And Shame The Devil

To speak or not to speak?

Imagine that you are in a situation where everything you hear around you, all the points of accepted truth are carefully manufactured from above.  From your own experience, from the things you’ve seen yourself, you know that they’re not true.

Can you say anything?

Of course you can’t.  People will think you’re crazy.  In fact, you might start thinking you’re crazy yourself.

For years I seesawed on this point.  I knew that there were things I’d seen, things I’d lived through that no one in the US would believe if told (I imagine it’s much like someone who is for a democratic government in the Arab world now trying to tell the truth in the US about the Arab Spring.  Even with blogs, unless he’s very lucky, people will think he’s crazy or a supporter of a repressive regime.  Because everyone they hear about the Arab Spring tells them how chocolatesprinklesawesome it was.  And how it was populist and pro-democracy.) Heck, most people in Portugal, save the few who’d been there with me would believe it. And even SOME of those had gone into believing in the official version.  Because it’s easier.  Because then you don’t feel crazy.  And even if you can’t bring yourself to believe in it, you talk as if you do, in public, because you don’t want anyone to think you’re crazy.

This subtle disconnect followed me to the US, where I found that to get ahead in life you needed to be as far left as you could be, or at least make noises like you were, and yet where every single TV show and TV report and book and magazine shouted that the left was downtrodden and the right firmly in control of government and everything else.  Oh, and the rich were all right wing.  (Guys, for those people who are my age, this was never the truth.  Not even in Europe.  The rich are more likely to be extreme left.  And it’s not guilt.  It’s that they know what is the end result of communism:  a sort of techno feudalism. They want that.  In its end stage, communism is a complete reversal of the anti-nobility revolutions of the eighteenth century.  And that’s why the upper classes support it.  By their fruits, etc, as a wise man once said.)

And then at some point I reached the Kit Marlowe point: To speak the truth, just once, would be worth it, even if one had to die for it.

I won’t claim any great bravery.  I came out of the political closet when indie became available.  That’s because I have obligations.  To my family, to my kids.

I keep hearing that writers should still keep their politics quiet, because we’ll alienate readers.  Is this true?  I don’t know.

At this point, the way the left is, if you don’t vocally endorse their pet causes, they’re not going to read you anyway.

I know my coming out of the political closet has cost me maybe ten readers that I knew and that I liked as people (despite their vile prog politics) but I don’t know how much that propagated to the “real world” readers.

Does it matter?

Sigh.  I don’t know.  I have obligations to my kids.  I have obligations to my husband.  Maybe coming out as libertarian/conservative means I’ll NEVER achieve more than the audience I have just about.  Who knows?

Even if I knew that – even if I IRREVOCABLY knew that, would I have stayed in the closet?  No.  No, I wouldn’t.  Even if I knew it meant the end of my career (and, hell, it might.  What do I know?  I’ve seen the job of demonization they did on Heinlein.)

Partly because I couldn’t stay in the closet any longer.  Partly because… every time you stay quiet, particularly as the lies grow more deranged (I swear I saw someone defending the loss of full time jobs as “people worked less hours before the industrial revolution.  We don’t need to work that much.”  What work might mean in self-respect and in habits passed on to the next generation means nothing.  And what work might mean in terms of society subsisting means still less.  Do they really think that if no one works and everyone gets money from Uncle Sugar the country will stay prosperous?  No, don’t answer that.  I want to sleep nights) you’re forcing other people into that thought closet where I lived so long – the place where you double think, and guess yourself and wonder if you’ve gone nuts.

And the time came I couldn’t stay quiet any longer.

I imagine at some point people around 1773 made the same choice.  They didn’t want to.  They wanted to go on being loyal British subjects and bless the king in public and drink to him in taverns.  But after a while you have to choose.  Your silence contributes to the destruction of everything you hold dear.  Can you stay quiet?

I’ll add I still stay quiet sometimes.  If you erupt in every social occasion, at every minute, people will discount you.  It becomes a form of Tourette’s.  So I choose my times, but I do talk.  I do provide something people can read and say “I’m not alone.”  (And sometimes I do talk at the grocery store, and the park, when I hear something egregious. The first time I had an attack of this was in a bookstore in Portugal in the seventies, where employees were talking about… well, their summer of recovery.  And I came back at them with not only figures carefully gleaned but with how those same figures were viewed  by the same paper when the other guys were in power.  And I asked them “Do you have short term memory loss or are you a party parrot, willing to repeat whatever the socialists say, no matter how egregious?”  Then I walked out, shaking.  None of them detained me to explain.)

But in the end, you have to pick your place to stand and this is mine.  Does it cost me readers?  Who the frack knows?

If someone takes offense to my views – which aren’t standard conservative, or even (and this takes effort) Libertarian enough for the party, mostly because I arrived at each of them individually and painfuly and on my own – then they probably have a much greater choice of glittery hoo has to read.  But it is possible a demonization campaign means I never grow beyond the Huns, which are not QUITE enough to make a living from.

If that is it, well… I can cut back.  Or write monster porn under a deep secret pen name.  (I swear I’m not.  Because ew…  But I’d rather do that than stay quiet.)

Perhaps I’m expressing it all very badly.  I read Live Not By Lies in the journal of Law and Liberty.

And I thought “Yes, that’s it.  That’s why I came out of the political closet.  That’s why I must remain out.  That’s why I must continue talking even when the other side claims I offend them deeply.”

Because they need to hear this. They need to know that opinion isn’t uniform nor uniformly in accord to them.  It might not change their minds, but at some point, they’ll have to start explaining their philosophy to us and to themselves, and maybe that will clear away some of the oddest contradictions.  And maybe they’ll have to learn more about the history of their beliefs.

Because people who believe like me need to hear this.  Sometimes I feel I’m preaching to the choir, but by all that’s holy, you need that too.  There is a reason for weekly church services in a world hostile to religion (as it was at the beginning and in many places again.)

Because men (and women) are social.  We want to fit in.  We need a group.  And we’ll sell our souls to belong to the consensus, if that’s all we see.  (And if you want to know how close I came to it, read Magical British Empire.)

And because, even if my voice is small and weak, it shatters the consensus.  There’s only one of me, but there are a hundred other small and weak voices.

They might, maybe, dismiss us as crackpots (someone called Larry that.  Never mind.)  But in the process of doing that, they mention us.  And one or two of their sheep come over, and remember that they once thought the same.  And one by one, we pick at the unthinking flock.

Is it enough?  Is it possible to save our country and our world, one by one?

How else would you do it?  This is the only way it’s ever been done.  Speak out.  Live or die free.  Live or die on two, like a human being.

Don’t let them get in your head and change your thoughts from what you know is true, just because you want to fit in, to be feted, to be accepted, to be loved.  Don’t let them enslave you.

I speak out because: “You can’t enslave a free man. The only person who can do that is himself. The most you can do to a free man is to kill him.”Robert A Heinlein

516 thoughts on “And Shame The Devil

    1. Trouble is that folks who are insane (the subjects of some recent posts, for example) have found each other online and can also reassure themselves—wrongly—that they are not crazy.

      1. I keep coming back the capacity of empathy in the world. It seems more and more that to be a good progressive you have to have no real empathy, or at least suppress it into extinction. I’d hate to think that was right, because it means millions of people are strangling that part of themselves that is most valuable and most profitable to themselves and their communities, and have to be aware on some level of the cost.
        Maybe progs flock together for the feeling of community and togetherness that otherwise they would not be able to experience?

        1. I’m not sure I agree. Most progressives I know are actually quite compassionate. It’s just that they have compassion for whole categories. The poor. Women. Brown folk. Groups they never have to meet in person. That last bit is (appropriately) snarky, but I don’t mean to denigrate their compassion, simply it’s direction. It’s a hell of a lot easier to feel good about helping “the poor” by donating your bag credit at Whole Paycheck or get a warm fuzzy about helping the environment and fighting global warming by carrying those groceries home in handwoven jute baskets (or whatever) than it is to go down to the local homeless shelter and serve meals. Plus, you get the connection of being part of a group of like-thinking people whom you also never have to meet in person!

          1. The majority of the older Progressives I know prefer to subcontract. Support Gre3npeace or the Whirled Wildlife Fund in order to improve the environment. But Fair Trade [thing] to help poor farmers in [country] stand up to the evil corporations. Pay more in taxes so the government will take care of the indigent, because the experts know better how to take care of that sort of thing. Progs mean well, but they prefer to do it at one remove. (Note that I’m not talking about the anarcho-progs.)

            1. See, this really gets my goat … I come from a Christian background/family and I see our individual Christian duty in all the flavors of charity that need doing. The prog christians I know don’t do individual charity, but give to organizations and call it good. I’ve actually watched, IRL, a wealthy, living-off-the-interest woman spend hours making phone calls to get the St. Vincent dePaul Society to pay a poor, sick, old man’s electric bill ($33.00 it was), while I was so frustrated watching that I almost shoved her out of the way and just paid the thing myself with my credit card — but it never occurred to her to just pay it for the man. I give to organizations, too, but I also do personal work, and I think that personal aspect of it is vital to the spiritual side of things. I think there’s going to be a surprise at the final reckoning about that lack of individual care for the poor, hungry, etc. etc. Am I crazy or is this a legitimate interpretation of Christian ethics? My church isn’t much help, as they just keep fundraising for their large organizations; they are in bed with the progs. I know there are Christians here, so tell me I’m crazy or not … or tell me this isn’t appropriate for this venue, if you think that. 🙂

              1. I think you are right. Can’t tell you if you are Christian as I’m Jewish. But I think that you’re better by Jewish standards.

              2. Not crazy. Hell, I do more individual charity by your definition than giving to organizations (and most of my relatives make me look like a piker). It’s what I have to give. And if someone’s struggling and needing help you have to give, why *not* give it?

                  1. When I help someone the very last thing on my mind is tax deduction. At church I only give cash. What I give is between God and me. Actual helping is more important. Our church, a smaller non denominational Christian, does direct outreach, feeds the needy, etc. The urge to help and do good is there in most people but we have institutionalized it and somehow the individual action needed is looked down on but never acknowledged, go figure..

                    1. Yes, but HOW they track what people give — government wise — so they can say “so and so gives such and such” is by tax deduction.
                      Eh. For me it’s between me and the person — but maybe that’s a quirk of mine. I don’t do it to curry favor with G-d who already knows where I stand and my flaws. But that’s me.
                      And, btw, I could USE tax deductions because I’m self-employed, so yeah, I think about it. Doesn’t mean I don’t do it if it’s not, but I DO wish it were.

                    2. Yep, on the self-employed needing deductions. I just do my best to make some non-claimed income to offset it. 😉

                      The majority of my charity is time and labor, not cash, because that is both what I have and what I prefer to give; and I could probably with enough headaches write that off, but seldom go through the effort.

                    3. The majority of mine, too, bearcat. I’ve mentored more beginner writers (some of whom surpassed me) than I can shake a really big stick at. But you can’t deduct that. Also bailing out less competent friends (Oh, hush you) with time or moving expenses, etc.

                    4. Charitable contributions and taxes are entirely separate — and you have a positive duty to minimize the taxes you pay. Unless, of course, you think the government a wiser and thriftier employer of your money than you are. Reducing the tax payments encourages government thrift and leaves you more funds to contribute to needs you consider greater.

                      The tax deductions should only matter after donations, but they ought not be ignored.

                      As for the importance of personal giving versus giving to institutions, is not that the primary theme of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? Giving to the workhouse hardened Scrooge’s heart while giving to the Cratchitts opened it. (Not that I consider argumentum ad fictionum logically valid, but there is plenty of research supporting Dickens’ theme.)

                    1. I “loved” how the Lefties sneered at Romney’s giving. IE it wasn’t Real Charity/Compassion because it was to the “evil” Mormon Church. I don’t remember them saying it about Romney but I seem to remember Lefties saying that “Conservative Giving” wasn’t real Charity because it was “just” to lower the amount of taxes they paid.

                    2. Of course it’s not charity. Charity is giving money to institutions to make the world a better place, usually through international travel to five-star resorts for conventions at which celebrities tell each other how charitable they are. Giving a poor person money to help them get on their feet? That’s just increasing the population of ignorant breeders who are bringing on the Global Warmpocalypse with their mouth-breathing hatey hate.

                    3. Ah, but that doesn’t count. It’s religious, you see.

                      They start with that meaning “to churches” but when you point out it’s not true, they go onward to any religious affiliated charity.

                      Because giving a hundred dollars to Catholic Relief Service to prevent children from dying of water-borne diseases is not charity; real charity is giving a hundred dollars to the private school your soccer-playing child attends, for a soccer field.

                      “Real” meaning, of course, what the leftists do.

              3. One of the failings of the Church right now is the buying into of that particular semi-falsehood: charity is best done by institutions. While a group of people can, in fact, pull together and do something greater than each individual could manage separately, that doesn’t mean it should be the default.

                1. If by the Church you mean the Catholic Church (you guys DO realize there’s more than one these days, right? 🙂 ) they have almost always thought that way. It’s baked into who they are.

                  1. The Body of Christ. Of which the Roman Catholic church is a nominal subset. I tend toward the notion that churches of all stripes are human institutions that at-best imitate the relationship of the Trinity to each other. And humans everywhen have found it far easier to give money to people who promise to use it wisely, than to use wisely themselves. I apologize for my lack of humor. I’ve been reading up on the Occupier-in-Chief’s antics in preparation for a Raiding Party post and just don’t have it right now.

              4. This is also my biggest beef with the people who claim that socialism is inherently Christian, usually holding up the example of Jesus’ feeding the poor. Jesus went and personally helped people, using His own resources and resources willingly given to Him, but the progs claim that using tax monies gathered through a legalized theft to make the poor dependent on the government and guarantee their continued voting for the party that gives them the goods is being like Jesus, and then put down Christian conservatives as evil and stingy and failing to follow their own religion. Never mind what we actually do.

                1. but the progs claim that using tax monies gathered through a legalized theft to make the poor dependent on the government and guarantee their continued voting for the party that gives them the goods is being like Jesus

                  …That’s probably the most twisted and wrong interpretation of ‘render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s…’ I’ve ever seen.

              5. Birthday girl, you’re not crazy. I have yet to find where Jesus, or any of the other prophets or later religious leaders, said “Whatsoever ye have given unto the Roman Committee for Rural Relief or to the Friends of the Cedars of Lebanon (Jerusalem Chapter) shall be returned unto you tenfold.”

              6. Back in the 90’a, my parish decided to have a “discussion” on gun control and racism. It was put on by two well meaning professors from Butler, and stereotypical PL’s. By the time I finished talking (from _personal_ experience), the enthusiasm was gone from the group. I pointed out that in _tier_ neighborhood, police came in one officer cars. In mine, they came in _two_ person cars, and not just one, either. From 1970 (when I moved back to Indiana), until I moved to Greenwood (2005), I lived 90% of the time in “bad areas.” I pointed out that most of those areas contained Black people, who needed protection, and couldn’t depend on the Police. I also pointed out that my “credentials” as an “anti-racist” started at about age _7_, when we moved to Florida (1955). A time when crossing color barriers could get you sent to jail. Yet, I did it. I did it, because the idea of “separate but ‘equal'” water fountains, and other facilities, was wrong.
                That wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last that I’ve “made enemies,” by speaking truth. I’ve been fired from jobs, for standing up to abuse, and criminal behavior. I’ve been threatened (and later evicted) for trying to stop drug dealing behavior where I lived.Standing up to criminal behavior is one reason that my SSDI is less than $1,000/month.I was fired from a good job, and spent 2 years trying to start a business, and working part time. (SS counts the last 3 years, for determining Disability income).
                In spite of the costs, I would do it again, because the alternative is to condone it.

              7. To me, charity begins at home. I know there are a lot of Mrs. Jellyby types who donate and protest all sorts of things but they have no compassion for their neighbors. Especially when they see their neighbors as close-minded conservatives.

              8. I actually stopped giving to organizations (mostly, not completely since there are some I love) because I was on a non-profit board for years. I watched how the non-profit sector worked and I really didn’t approve. Maintaining dependency is crucial to maintaining the charity. Now I give big tips to people who help me, and give my business to small companies. I prefer to help people who are trying to help themselves.

                1. I have traffic with several non-profits – but then, they are groups I would support if they were for-profits, and I engage in commerce with them. For example, The Alaska Airmen’s Association, the Nashville Zoo, the Anchorage Symphony… (I always consider it very silly that the zoo and the symphony are non-profit, as their entire point is to trade entertainment (and education, snuck in for the ride) for cash. How is that any different from the books Calmer Half and I sell on Amazon? Well, aside from I don’t have to deal with a conductor or the temperament of the string section, nor do I have any elephants or clouded leopards.)

                  As for charity – most of mine would never make it on the “tax-deductible” roles to flash around like diamond rings and designer dresses to impress the neighbors. Which is fine; my G-d has some pretty clear directives on the subject, and some sharply pointed commentary that charity done to impress gets all its rewards in the impressing other humans, ’cause it sure doesn’t impress He who looks at our souls.

                  And then there’s Operation Migration. Put a bunch of lunatics together, who are so incredibly crazy they’re trying to raise a nearly-extinct species and teach ’em to migrate seasonally… using hooded costumes and ultralight trikes. That’s not charity; that’s an appreciation for the insanity of dedicated passion throwing itself at a lost cause with a shoestring and a grandiose plan, and winning.

                    1. Before I went back to college to complete my degree, I had plenty of money and could afford the symphony. Then I was going to college and could easily afford the symphony due to the student discount, but had no time because I was working and going to college. 😦

                  1. I always consider it very silly that the zoo and the symphony are non-profit, as their entire point is to trade entertainment (and education, snuck in for the ride) for cash.

                    You may consider it that, but I’m willing to bet that *they* don’t.

                    The Zoo probably considers itself to be (a) a conservation organization and (b) an educational institution. Being “for-profit” would put tension between money and fulfilling those missions.

                    The symphony similarly.

                    Also tax treatment. As a “for profit” anything over operating expenses gets taxed. As a “non-profit” no taxes. This lets them bank excess money to sustain them through “bad” years.

                    And yes, in few months the Denver Art Museum (as sad and small as it is) and the Denver Zoo will be receiving a tiny bit (hey, I’m a working stiff. Or I will be in 10 days) more revenue. Probably be upgrading out Museum of Natural History membership as well.

                    1. Well I for one agree with Dorothy, particularly on the symphony. What is the difference between a symphony selling tickets to a performance and a rock band selling tickets to a performance? Yet one is classified as a nonprofit and one as a for-profit (and those classifications aren’t based on whether they actually MAKE a profit or not).

                    2. Well, down here the regional symphony does educational stuff, bringing kids from outlying areas in to hear the music for free, and traveling out to give small concerts, plus running the Youth Symphony for the best music students, and giving a few college music scholarships. So that counts as “an educational institution” as well as being a concert group like a rock or R&B band is.

          2. That’s my experience too. Most of my friends are like that – really nice people who do worry about others. But they direct all that compassion to supporting organizations and politicians who promise to do it, they don’t do anything in person.

            And the point seems to be “I could help only one person, and not very well since I’m not rich (and same goes for small local volunteer organizations) so it’s much better if we all support that big organization instead, or that politician who will try to make sure the government does it, they can make a real difference”. I think the main difference may be a wish for utopia. They really want an utopia where nobody is really poor or sick or alone. And they fall for whatever or whoever tells them that it’s possible.

            Possibly combined with the worry that if they help somebody in person once or twice, and have misjudged that person they will end up with a leech who then keeps asking for more help – or they give that money or time they might have needed themselves too to somebody who cheated and just pretended to need help because he was lazy, or if given money will use it on booze or drugs. And those are not completely unfounded fears, in a society where most of us don’t even have any idea who our next door neighbors are. They trust that some big organization, or government, will have the resources to find out, and direct the help where it really is needed.

            1. And the unkind thought: compassion through intermediaries and from a distance is of course a lot easier. You are a nice person and want to help, but you are pretty tight up with both your money and your time, so you give a small donation to the right big organization and vote for the right party and hey, easy conscience.

          3. Wasn’t it Dickens that had a character that spent all her time and effort doing “charity” for kids over seas, while her own kids were neglected? For that matter, the mom in Mary Poppins.

        2. I don’t think a lack of empathy is the key.
          I think it’s a lack of shame.
          OK, trying to hammer that thought into something comprehensible. Guilt is what you feel when you have done wrong. Shame is what you feel when you fail to do what is right. It’s hard to rationalize away shame. It’s easy to rationalize away guilt–or at least disassociate it from the act that provoked it, while the emotional state remains.
          And having unresolved guilt is a pretty unpleasant emotional state. So it encourages projection, hanging out with like-minded people assuring each other that “they’re good people”, and all the rest.

          Of course, just because it makes sense to me, doesn’t make it true.

          1. Oh, I think it IS a lack of empathy, in the one-on-one form. See, they have been taught that they have to have sympathy for classes of people, but then, when one of them doesn’t match their preconceived notion based on their class, they go all poo-flinging monkey on that person, no matter what their troubles. Because they don’t really care about individuals.

            1. But, Waaaaaayne! Individuals can’t fix things! Only institution like government and NGOs can fix anything! Individuals only make things worse! Like conservatives, who all hate children and old people and women and the gays and brown people and . . .

              1. That is probably the crux, the word ‘fix’. They have learned to think that individual charity is at best a temporary band-aid, while supporting something like the right politicians, or some big organization, is the way towards a permanent fix because they have the resources to study the matter and find out exactly where to put the money in order to change things on a fundamental level.

                And they want the fix. They want the utopia. Or at least they want to think they are working towards that utopia. One sort of magical thinking.

                And too much trust towards the ‘experts’.

                Come to think of, that also seems to be very prevalent with these people, that too much trust part. They don’t trust ordinary people very much, not as a group, but boy do they trust the credentialed experts. The experts are like the wizards in fantasy, they know everything and can perform miracles. Yes, some bad apples in the bunch sometimes, but on the whole, surely the others are mostly good and well-meaning, even if they sometimes make mistakes too. But the bad apples and the mistakes are always just the exceptions.

  1. The backlash is particularly venomous if one happens to fit into a category that the Left likes to claim that it is protecting or empowering. The narrative says that the Right oppresses women, while the Left empowers them. When women such as yourself point out that isn’t the case, they must be silenced or marginalized.

    1. Heh. Tell me about that. Female low income blue collar worker. I’m not as brave as Sarah, I vent online but rarely face to face with anybody. But the chance to vent somewhere has been a tremendous relief after having spend most of my adult life being mostly quiet.

    2. So as a Latin woman, foreign born and with a graduate degree in the liberal arts — yes…
      No wonder many of my friends are conservative gays, conservative college professors and conservative artists (for a value of conservative that includes libertarian.) We’re all damned together.

      1. But, but I thought being Latin made you Wise. By default! Larry’s wise, and his Warm Beige is waaaayyy darker than my Fishbelly White. And, and he’s actually been oppressed, because minority! Isn’t that how It Works? Pop culture didn’t lie to me, did it?

    3. See recent news items about the response to Justice Clarence “Lawn Jockey” Thomas’ recent comments about being currently treated far worse by “northern liberal elites” than ever he was as a boy in Jim Crow Georgia.

      As generous as they are, one thing the Lefties hate is ingratitude.

  2. Or write monster porn under a deep secret pen name. (I swear I’m not. Because ew… But I’d rather do that than stay quiet.)

    Pick better monsters!

    Don’t be put off by Twilight– thing Japanese!

      1. I understand tentacle porn is really really big in Japan.
        Have absolutely no clue why, but it does appear so.
        As for desperate, I do recall one retired naval officer too infirm to work a real job who managed to do quite well for himself writing the odd story here and there. His one unfailing rule was “write what sells!” Of course he did reach the point where just his name on the cover was sufficient to earn the advance. I’d hope that he rest in peace, but strongly suspect that his spinning is the cause of much of the tectonic activity in western regions and clouds of gas that form the words “told you so” regularly issue from his crypt.

  3. It seems like it’s a twisted version of the “hypocrisy” obsession of the Left– which actually means “anyone we don’t like doing something that can be interpreted as not living up to our view of their ideals.”

    They think it’s rude to let on that anybody disagrees with them– and by “rude” I mean more like “breaking big social taboo, talking dirty to stereotype ladies in Victorian London” rude.

    1. “anyone we don’t like doing something that can be interpreted as not living up to our view of their ideals.”

      Prezactly. Liberals have very low standards, so that it’s easy for them to live up to them and pat themselves on the back for their trivial accomplishment. Conservatives tend to have high standards, and they often fall short of them, and thus they have to aspire to do better, but this is by design (or by divine).

      Liberals will slam Conservatives for failing to live up to Conservative standards, even while their performance is orders of magnitude above the standards of the Libs.

      1. What bugs me is when I’m attacked for doing something that isn’t even a problem— ie, when they “reveal” a conservative (white) dated someone black, or isn’t observant, or violated the rules for the faithful…of the wrong religion.

        1. Ain’t Moral Relativism grand? When “bad” – or, Ghu forbid we use a doubleplusungood term like evil – is better translated, “what we don’t like or can probably use to denigrate our enemies in the moment,” literally anything is fair game. Don’t like the color orange? You must be a thought-sinner. Bring your lunch to work in a paper sack the color of lightish dirt? You wicked, wicked racist who wants to go back to antebellum Savannah. Defend the Bill of Rights? Why do you hate children, you anarchist?

          1. Actually had an argument with some facebook idiot who thought that agreeing with the statement “the second amendment is there as a last resort to defend yourself, even against the police” as 1) supporting cop killing, 2) wanting gangsters to kill cops, and 3) glorifying cop killing.

            And they couldn’t even get their facts straight about that rapper guy who plays a cop on TV now, while they were doing it.

            Like “last defense” is glorious, or promotes hunting people.

            I didn’t ignore him until he claimed that at no point since the founding of the founding of the US had cops every needed to be someone you defended against, and when I pointed out the Secret Police he claimed THE TEA PARTY WAS THE MODERN VERSION.

            Thank God for ‘block.’ Inability to tell the SS from peaceful and tidy adult protesters is delusional.

            1. I’m muddling through some thoughts (long term muddle, here) on this. Even addressed in my last Raiding Party post. Can we call these people the idiots and liars they are, or is that descending to the fool’s level and getting beaten with experience?

              1. Absolutely you can call people idiots and liars. If they are, and you’re entertaining about it, your audience will laugh, and agree. If they aren’t, and you’re entertaining about it, your audience will laugh at your wit, shake their head, and move on past you.

                If you’re not entertaining about it, and you’re right, people will suck their teeth and grumble agreement. If you’re not entertaining and you’re wrong. people will sneer, or willfully ignore you and not come back.

                So pick your battles wisely!

                1. Dorothy’s right. The most effective tool in our arsenal is a sense of humor. Because the one thing they cannot STAND is being laughed at. Do it gently, but that will just get under their skin all the more.

              2. I think I’ve mentioned before– you need to clearly and directly spell out exactly what they did wrong, and then ignore them when they go into acrobatics to top it. (This prevents false positives, because sometimes folks do dumb stuff and end up being able to rationally support what they hadn’t done before.)

                When it becomes clear that it’s NOT a tactic, it seems to work. At least, it keeps down your blood pressure.
                My husband instituted that suggestion after noticing that I keep winding myself up arguing with people who think that, say, one must believe all life came from a warm puddle in order to be a good medical doctor. Because. Why? Because because, if you deny it you’re a bad doctor. (and I’m agnostic about what method He used! Rather like science, though, so I guess it’s an insult to a fandom?)

                1. Had that “warm puddle” argument before, many times. I will keep this advice for the next idiot that wants to define absolutes of beliefs before one can qualify to become a medical professional. *grin*

        2. Like the total non-reaction of conservatives to the Superbowl Coke ad that featured people singing in different languages. I have seen dozens of post on social media about how terrible it is that people objected to the ad, but not one single post from anyone who actually did object to it.

          I have been asking for someone to provide me with a link to anyone who spoke out against the ad, and despite the claims that “conservatives everywhere” threatened to boycott Coke over it, no one yet has given any evidence that there was any negative reaction from anyone.

          Liberals just keep passing around the same claims of some phantom conservative outrage because it fits their image of the conservative boogeyman.

          1. I actually do have a facebook friend that is boycotting Coke over it– he’d be a Democrat if not for that nasty “all humans are people” objection to abortion he has.

          2. Having seen the advert, I was more unhappy about the fact that it was sung in different languages at all, because I feel that national anthems should not be changed as long as the nation it stands for exists- but that’s me. I understood the message they were putting through.

            But I wasn’t happy that they changed it and sang it in different languages – it felt wrong, like something that should not have been done. Like there’s proper protocols for handling the flag, hanging it, folding it, and cleaning it; they should not be changed. These things are important, as they symbolize the soul and spirit of the country, and I feel those should not be treated lightly.

            Better to show all those different nationalities while singing the anthem in the language of the land, I think. That would have gotten a more positive melting pot response.

            Someone mentioned that it was sung in languages of mostly Muslim countries, but I couldn’t verify that just from listening. I think I did hear a snippet of Filipino, which is a Catholic nation.

                  1. … Wonder what they would think of the Anthem of Free Vietnam?

                    Oh citizens! Our country has reached the day of liberation
                    Of one heart we go forth, sacrificing ourselves with no regrets
                    For the future of the people, advance into battle
                    Let us make this land eternally strong
                    Should our bodies be left on the battlefields
                    The nation will be avenged with our crimson blood
                    The Race in times of crisis will be rescued
                    We the People remain resolute in our hearts and minds
                    Courageously we will fight such that everywhere
                    The Glory of the Vietnamese resounds for eternity
                    Oh citizens! Hasten to offer yourselves under the flag!
                    Oh citizens! Hasten to defend this land
                    Escape from destruction, and bask our Race in glory
                    Be forever worthy of the Lạc Hồng descendants!

                    1. Oh, that’s very OK, because 1) they can’t understand the words and 2) it’s not a European country. Remember, Vietnam is a Victim, so almost anything they do is OK. (Killing cute jungle mammals is not OK, but it is a regrettable colonial legacy that will, no doubt, end soon.)

          3. When unable to argue against reality the tactic seems always to trot out a pet strawman argument that you already have a raft of support for.
            I thought the Coke ad was cute and appropriate for a multinational company to put forth. Didn’t give the politics any thought until the left started the usual histrionics.

              1. All the objections I saw were from overseas, people who thought it was 1) dumb or 2) and insult to the national anthem. And then the feedback spewed by the vile-progs was about how bigoted (other, non-Huffpo reading) Americans are. YAWN.

                  1. Sort of like how the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (words by James Weldon Johnson) is now “the Black national anthem.” Or so I was assured by someone who announced it as such, then had to give the proper title and number when pretty much everyone else in the room just blinked and looked at her funny.

                    1. The music was very beautiful.

                      And very sad. I found the mood appalling, it was like they were singing about bygone beauty at a funeral. Nothing uplifting about it.

          4. Actually, Rush Limbaugh did a section complaining about it. I actually thought it was beautiful, and would have LOVED it if they had had all the people at the end finish it together in English. America is a land of immigrants, coming together to make one. They just forgot the last part of that.

            1. I didn’t know that. I’ve never paid much attention to Rush Limbaugh. (Although, of course, most liberals believe that Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck–who I also don’t pay attention to–do my thinking for me.)

              1. And I heard Glen Beck say that he liked the Coke ad. By the way, since I didn’t see it, could somebody please tell me what song isn’t our national anthem but the left wants it to be?

                    1. I agree, that song is gag-worthy. Honestly I don’t care how bad they mangle it. If we are going to have an “unofficial anthem” it better be something at least patriotic, like “Proud to be an American”

                    2. YES. That song is part and parcel of “Every land is loved for its beauty” “America is exceptional, like every other country is exceptional” — when everyone is special, no one is.

                    3. To the extent that it concentrates on “the beauty” of the country it is. Yeah, okay, a couple of lines are specific, but that’s not the THRUST of the song. The purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain could be the USSR

                    4. Heck “patriot dreams” is pretty generic. WHAT did the patriots dream of? Let’s not forget that the Soviets had the “Young pioneers” (similar enough to pilgrims but I won’t argue the point. It doesn’t always mean religious) and various kinds of “patriot” awards.

                    5. It is generic in that it is not actually specific about the United States and our constitutional principles — it is easily converted to almost any other nation. Heck, eliminate all the people in the USA and the song still applies.

                      Contrast that with the sentiments of My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty … or the Star Spangled Banner’s … the land of the free and the home of the brave.

                      Now look at these items being sold:

                      God mend thine every flaw,
                      Confirm thy soul in self-control,
                      Thy liberty in law!
                      – – –
                      May God thy gold refine
                      Till all success be nobleness
                      And every gain divine!
                      – – –
                      God shed his grace on thee
                      And crown thy good with brotherhood
                      – – –
                      God shed his grace on thee
                      Till souls wax fair as earth and air
                      And music-hearted sea!
                      – – –
                      God shed his grace on thee
                      Till selfish gain no longer stain
                      The banner of the free!
                      – – –
                      God shed his grace on thee
                      Till nobler men keep once again
                      Thy whiter jubilee!

                      Strike God from those lyrics and you could sing that in the USSR. As there is no essential reason for Socialists to eschew God (although G-D might eschew them) they can quickly rewrite Him into their “Jesus was a Community Organizer” myth and get the Liberal Fascist Utopia of the Reverend Wright’s dreams. (Okay, might be that last verse wouldn’t fly.)

                      Nope, that is the Frosty the Snowman of patriotic songs.

        3. One woman I worked with, who is Vietnamese, said she caught the same trouble for dating black men, when she was in school. I thought she was supposed to get an exemption! 🙂

          1. Who’d she catch it from? May well have been her family or neighbors, rather than US society in general.

            Much as the left likes to push “minorities can’t be racists, because they don’t have power”, some of the nastiest racists I’ve had the misfortune of meeting belonged to officially designated minority groups.

            I think the worst I’ve met personally was a fellow who was an inner-city teacher in San Francisco. He didn’t much like any non-Asian groups, though he made a grudging exception for some whites (“but too many of you are lazy”). He was *really* unhappy when his son married a Mexican-American medical school classmate (miscegenation!), but his greatest bile was reserved for blacks. Considering where he taught, that would have been at least a third of his students. And yes, he *was* doctrinaire Bay Area Liberal in his political leanings.

            Fear and dislike of the Other is, unfortunately, a big part of human nature. Whether it’s expressed in ethnic, religious, or political terms.

            After all, if the people you disagree with really, really, deserve it because they’re Star Bellied Sneeches you don’t have to feel guilty for doing ’em dirty.

            1. It was from her classmates. She told me that they called her “n***er-lover”.

              Frankly, I think they were playing with fire. This girl is one of those, “She’s 5 foot nothing and 95lbs dripping wet, but I really wouldn’t want to piss her off” types.

            2. A frequent source is females of the male’s group– two or three flavors. Either “dang (ethnic slur) steals all the good ones” if they’re interested, “(female insult) is just slumming” if there’s a wish to insult both, and accusations of attempted genocide by intermarriage for the appearance of not being personal.

              1. Heh. That kind of sounds the same as these attempts to keep pure strains of some animals, especially wild animals, around. If it is found that two different strains are interbreeding it’s a disaster, especially if one of them is rare, because it might mean that after some time the rare breed will completely disappear in it’s pure form, and that’s horrible, and not an acceptable loss, and We Have To Do Something.

                  1. Well, not all that familiar with their tendency to interbreed, but red wolves plus coyotes. Or polar bears plus grizzlies, after that one cross was shot a few years back.

                    1. Yes on the red wolves/coyotes, spotted owls are interbreeding with another breed of owl (whose name is escaping me at the moment) and their solution is to shut down an entire industry. Polar/grizzly is kind of like whitetail/mule deer crosses, they can interbreed where their ranges overlap, but it is unusual, a lot of their ranges don’t overlap, and neither species is really endangered, so the results are more of an interesting oddity than anything else.

                    2. The polar/grizzly cross caused some hand wringing connected to this global warming thing people keep talking about. The idea seemed to be that it was a first warning sign of the two ranges starting to overlap more, as the grizzlies moved north and polar bears had to start living on land when the ice disappeared, and then they’d breed and oh horrors, or something. I’m not sure if I read that speculation in local sources, or somewhere online.

                    3. It’s strange, because when I was little in Cali, Polar bears were described in the bio textbook as grizzlies who’d adapted to having white hair and, IIRC, a blockier body.

                    4. What I have seen are some DNA comparisons which pretty much say the same, with a slightly different wording. Polar bears are more of a subspecies of grizzlies than a fully separate species, and have evolved very recently. Possibly less than 100 000 years ago, no more than about a million and a half.

                    5. I’m recalling some stories I read out of an old hunting book (Outdoor Life Press?) about hunting Polar bears on some island where they spent summers and possibly had cubs? It was a long time ago, but I remember that it was a dry land island, occasional iceberg in the water around, but bare land, sorta tundralike and brushy. With it seemed from the stories a LOT of polar bears. These were old stories, at a guess probably happening around the 50’s, so long before Global Warming, but polar bears were living on land clear back then.

                    6. Spotted owls and Barred owls, both of which may have only moved in to combine within the last century or so.
                      And the red wolves, which according to a report in Scientific American in the early 90’s when it was interesting, were the result of a cross between wolves and coyotes in the first place.

      2. “Liberals have very low standards, so that it’s easy for them to live up to them and pat themselves on the back for their trivial accomplishment.”

        Well, consider the anti-war faction of the left. Being anti-war commits one to being against every war, which is quite hard, and in fact none of them lived up to it. I just don’t know of anyone on the left who was against Saddam Hussein’s war against Kuwait, though they were all against our response to that war. Likewise, being against anyone who is sexist or homophobic entails a very different stance on Muslims than we are seeing. And for American leftists, being a multiculturalist entails accepting foreign sports like soccer (or if not accepting, at least being willing to stick up for it against its many American detractors), which so far hasn’t happened. (I don’t count younger leftists who are soccer fans as part of this because they grew up with the sport. It’s not as though they chose soccer as a result of multicultural principles.) Yes, I know. Everyone thinks I’m crazy for bringing up soccer, but for me seeing who showed up at soccer games here in America was the first hint that the left wasn’t all that it claimed to be.

        Anyway, I have yet to meet a principled leftist.

        1. I’ve met a few religious pacifists who oppose all war. They also acknowledge that 1) if the US had not existed in the late 1800s they’d be dead because their grandparents would have had nowhere to flee to and 2) if it comes to that, they will die or be enslaved because they refuse to defend themselves. I do not agree with their understanding of scripture, but I respect their honesty. (Most of the ones I met are basketball fans, oddly enough.)

          1. Ok, I overstated things. Sorry. I should have said I haven’t met any leftists in person or print who opposed Saddam’s war. What I remember is that there were no protests against his war, but there were protests against our response to it, before we had actually done anything.

            1. The “peace” movement was protesting our response to 9-11 before there was a response. Their first instinct was not how they could help, but how they could obstruct a response.

              1. I think Jesse Jackson put it correctly, it was never about “protecting” Saddam. It was always about George W Bush. IE the evil Republican.

          2. I suddenly envision putting that to the test. “Oh, you would rather die or be enslaved than defend yourself?” and see what they do when I try to clip a leash on them. (Punching them would be another possible test, of course.)

            1. I vaguely remember some science fiction story where the good guys were absolute pacifists, and that it began with a scene where one of the warlike people who they had dealings with (or who had conquered them, it’s been a long time and I don’t remember well) tried to dissuade a woman of the pacifist nation of the error of their ways by raping her (I think he had gotten very frustrated trying to argue with her), only she turned the tables by submitting willingly and basically seducing him. Or something along those lines. I think the pacifists won in the end by similar tactics, and totally changed the culture of the warriors. Kind of like Gandhi on steroids.

              Of course their opponents were quite decent as people.

              1. You actually finished such tripe? Sorry, I always feel at least somewhat obligated to finish a book I started (and used to feel much more so) but that one probably wouldn’t have made it past chapter 1.

                1. I used to finish everything I had started. Before internet not so many choices to be found in this country, so if I bought something I read it, whether I liked it or not.

                  It’s possible that was not a book, it may have been a story in Analog or Asimov’s or F & SF. There are only a few stores which sell those here, most in Helsinki, but since I lived close to one I used to buy Analog fairly regularly during the 80’s.

                  1. And yep, I remember that beginning mostly because I thought the whole scenario was stupid. So the ploy in the story worked, but only because the warrior nation people were decent, and I could see that even then.

                2. I think it was a short story. After their non-argument, he told the woman that they would make breeders to make more soldiers. She basically acted like they were having good sex while he was raping her, which of course made him feel uncomfortable and kind of dirty. She got pregnant, then, by the control that the people on that planet had over their bodies, she caused the baby to be spindly, with wings, so he would be unsuited for being a soldier. The soldier converted to her point of view and fell in love with her. It was dreck, trying to make the point that everyone will make nice if you just don’t return violence with violence.

                  Which is SO well borne out by history, right?

                  1. That is… incredibly creepy.

                    Designing your kid around TRYING to make someone angry when your entire objection to them is they are violent?

                    Not only does that involve disregarding the good of the kid, it puts his life at risk!

                    1. It is also writing with a stacked deck —

                      by the control that the people on that planet had over their bodies, she caused the baby to be spindly, with wings, so he would be unsuited for being a soldier.

                      — being an option for so many species.

                      WRITER’S TIP: if the only way for your plot point to work depends on special circumstances, you aren’t persuasive or credible. Toss out the loaded dice and find another route to your destination.

                    2. Oh, now I so want the follow-on story – where the kid grows up to be an _excellent_ soldier, and thus one of the ones that survives the incredibly successful invasion what wipes out most of the populace and rolls across the rest.

                    3. You’re not supposed to think about it logically. You’re supposed to realize that it was their (I forgot earlier that LOTS of the women had been impregnated by the man and his soldiers, and they all altered their embryos to be unsuitable) superior philosophy of pacifism that converted the invaders to their way of thinking (yeah, like that would happen), so they were in no danger at all. See?

                    4. In Gordon Dickson’s Dorsai universe there are pacifists. In fact there are two planets full of them. But they realize that they need protection, even if they don’t want do it. They hire Dorsai to be their military protectors.
                      I know that this is at an angle to the story we are discussing, however I bring it up to show that pacifists don’t necessarily have to be asswipes.

                    5. I actually have little respect for the inhabitants for Mara and Kultis for this very reason. They are hypocrites, because they don’t actually believe in their pacifism; rather, they abdicate their responsibility for self-defense and hire it out so they can remain “pure”. (They are also a bunch of meddling assholes. 🙂 )

                      This is different from the type of people who recognize that they are simply not strong enough to defend themselves, and hire professionals to give them a chance.

                    6. So these invaders can have easy and ready access to sex whenever they want, with the added assurance that any children they father will be unable to rebel in the future and overthrow them. And this is supposed to *deter* them from their behaviors?

                      Methinks the writer didn’t think that through very carefully.

                    7. emily – oh, there are pacifists that aren’t, as you say. There are also vegans that aren’t sanctimonious idiots without two brain cells to rub together. The difference between them and the very loud fraction (minority? majority? I know not, but they are the loudest) is that they actually have a coherent philosophy, rationale, and logic. And when we argue, I may not agree with their values, their stances, their politics, their lifestyle – but I respect that they’ve given it some thought, and have a solid philosophy.

                      The difference between a member of the religious society of friends who refuses to sign up for the selective service and a rancid hippie who blinks bloodshot eyes while intoning “What if they held a war and no one came, duuuuuude?” is vast, and I’m quite sure the Quakers are muttering “Get off my side, idiot, and take a bath.”

                    8. Dorothy Grant | February 14, 2014 at 11:50 pm |

                      emily – oh, there are pacifists that aren’t, as you say. There are also vegans that aren’t sanctimonious idiots without two brain cells to rub together.

                      …I saw this and remembered the brainbreaking call Housemate had to take. A vegetarian was complaining about an animal shelter she’d been first asked to leave from, then ejected from.

                      Said vegetarian was wearing a fur coat made of grizzly bear fur. Which, on quick glance on Wikipedia, are endangered. Housemate tried to explain to her that an animal shelter full of people who love working with animals and are probably conservationists would look poorly on a woman who wears the fur of an endangered species. Her response?

                      “But I’m not hurting the bears by wearing the coat! They’re discriminating against me for being a vegetarian! I want to help animals and they won’t let me!”

                      He flat out told her there was no way anyone was going to let her work in an animal shelter if she has that attitude. And being a vegetarian means f*$* all.

                      (yes, we know the difference between vegan and vegetarians, but the idiot on the line doesn’t seem to have two brain cells to rub together anyway.)

                    9. Heck with what the folks though of it– the ANIMALS are who I’d worry about! Can you imagine the lawsuit such a twit would launch if she was mauled by a dog who was responding to a big predator?

                3. I used to, when I was young, feel obliged to finish books. Now even medium interesting books, if they don’t pull me all the way through get forgotten. I think it’s getting older and busier.

                    1. Yes. I don’t have time to try again after a book hits TBAR thresholds, and sample population says statistically, it’ll never get better after hitting that threshold anyway.

                      In fact, the last one that sailed over that threshold (I was reading on the way home from the bookstore) went into the kitchen garbage as soon as I got home, with a used teabag promptly dumped on top of it. “This is an insult to humanity; it’s not even going back to the used book store to waste other people’s time.”

                1. Don’t you know? In that story, she was channeling the power of her femininity, and using its healing power to help the poor, misguided invader, while Friday was a rape victim who Heinlein callously portrayed as being mostly unaffected by her experience.

                  Gah. Hack, spit.

                    1. Well, that’s what she believed, but IIRC, she had nothing but human DNA. She just represented the best combination of that DNA that it was possible to produce.

                2. Yes, but Heinlein! Double plus ungood! (These are my middle fingers. Wait, not enough: I spit upon their Gaia, I spit upon their house gods, I dishonor their ancestors, may they be damned to the end of time.)

                  1. And I’ve recently learned that Podkayne is a poor representation of teenage girlhood, so Heinlein is a bad writer. A feminist said so, so it must be true.

                    1. Well, not a real woman, at least according what I take to be the commenter’s meaning. After all, Heinlein can be a good writer if a teenage girl understand the mind of teenage girls better than he does. Aw, hell, here’s the quote from the write-up:

                      As a child, I believed Heinlein’s view of the world—until he wrote about something that I knew better than he did—the mind of a teenage girl. That’s when he lost me. That was when his worldview bumped into something I believed in even more: my own ability to do whatever I wanted to do.


                    2. I was going to ask what that poor representation was, that she had a brain? Or that she failed to use it? Seems to me that is a good representation of teenagers of both sexes, that they have a brain, but only use it on select occasions.

                      Then I read your quote and realized that your feminist was missing one of those prerequisites, namely the brain.

                    3. And I’m not disparaging Podkyane, I liked both her and the book, if she would have thought everything through it wouldn’t have been realistic.

                    4. I back-searched that quote, and I would just like to say bigotry like that is why i never go to IO9 anymore.

                    5. I tagged them as an “exploit the demographic” type site way back when– I don’t doubt at least some like scifi and such, but it’s mostly for other purposes.
                      Not surprised to see it suffers from the “cool kids” disease of promoting the New (Supposedly) Awesome; every time I’ve accidentally followed through to the site anyways, they’re incredibly rude about sourcing their stories. (Or they’re made up out of whole cloth, take a pick.)

                    6. Yep.

                      Especially when after some research you find out that they got it from another blog, which actually found the document and broke the story.

                    7. I agree. And every once in a while (getting greater in frequency as the lies get more blatant) we need to see the kind of idiocy we’re up against.

                    8. In my experience such accusations tend to be examples of ex post facto argument: I was offended by the book and need a reason which will induce others to not read it.

                      The obvious arrogance of thinking that “because I had a teenage girl’s brain and it did not operate like Podkayne’s, ergo Podkayne’s brain was not that of a teenage girl” never apparently occurs to such people. Perhaps their error is in thinking that they had a teenage girl’s brain when they merely had a teenage girl’s hormones, without the brain.

                      When I was a teenager, teenage girls were quite capable of thought, reason and logic — although the operating process was often opaque to teenage boys (a circumstance conducive to the health of the species.) Perhaps Liberal education policies have succeeded in breeding such attributes out?

    2. “Living up to our view of their ideals”– that’s the crux of it. The Left has an idea that the Right is a monolithic belief system and that anyone who self-identifies as conservative is being “hypocritical” if she or he doesn’t fall into what the Left sees as the Right’s party line,

      The fact is that self-described conservatives have far more diversity of thought than self-described liberals can imagine. There isn’t any official “right-wing ideology” in the way that there is a very intricate and oppressive “left-wing ideology”.

      I have no problems being bisexual and conservative, because I believe that my sex life is something over which no government should have authority. I have much more in common with a conservative who personally disapproves of my lifestyle but agrees that it is none of the State’s business than I do with a liberal who thinks that who I choose to have sex with must control who I choose to vote for.

      1. Indeed. I can’t tell you how many times I have discussed something with a progressive sort and they are all confused until you finally say some key word that lets them LABEL you. Then they immediately want to tell you what you believe…

      2. And neither of us “hates government,” although we might allow the shorthand to slide.

        I actually had to explain to a relative about the notion of ‘valid roles’ for gov’t. He’s had almost as much college as I’ve had non-military school, but he’d never heard of such a thing. That someone might view the gov’t as not “good” or “evil” but “tool” of some sort was a shock to him.

  4. Hell, it was your politics that brought me here must be I dunno, two years ago? I think I posted something about liking your brain as my fist comment after an article about Heinlein? I can’t even remember what led me here first, all the blogs are so interconnected….

    But I get a better feeling of kindred spirits here than on any other blog I’m involved in. And that says to me that the way to stop feeling alone in your beliefs is to share them.

    1. It was his death that propelled me out of the conservative closet with a rocket boost, to be honest — or rather, reading his biography after he died.
      If my books tank, I can always write monster porn. Foxfier will advise me on monsters 😛

            1. Big hands, big feet, big noses, big… er. You know, that is starting to sound like the Scandinavian trolls. Very much. 🙂

              They did steal girls and women, (occasionally also young males). Although the official reason, at least in tales allowed into books, seems to have been to turn them into their servants. Or sometimes to eat them.

              Who knows what got left out.

          1. *gasp* Maybe he’s a monst- No, no wait. I’ve met him. More machine, perhaps, than man, but not a monster. And definitely not evil, despite any twisting that may have occurred in transit. Hmmm.

                1. One of my ideas was for the “evil” world conquering aliens to be short fuzzy cute ones. Oh, one version of them were responsible for Bar Fights because they hated to be called “cute”. [Evil Grin]

                  1. I have occasionally played with something where the bad aliens are cute and small. They conquer humans, but humans get one of the other species the cute master species have been treating badly as allies and start fighting back, and those others are something really terrifying looking. Perhaps add some well-founded doubts whether the monstrous aliens can really be trusted, but humans have no choice.

                    Something like, maybe as if the bad guys were Ewoks and the good aliens rather like either the Aliens or the Predators from those movies.

                    Okay, I do share the general dislike of the Ewoks. Besides the stupidity those costumes were not all that good, the critters looked more like a zombie version of something which might have been cute while alive. 😀
                    And the idea of having to interact with, and trust, something which gives you the creeps just by its looks is a fun concept in a story. Usually the ‘good’ monsters in stories are something which is maybe scary, but also some sort of good looking, something like a lion, or a beautiful type of dragon, but what if it was something repulsive?

                    1. One of my “good guy” aliens did resemble the beings from the Aliens movies. Nobody like to watch them eat but had no problems with what they ate. [Wink]

                    2. Well, if they ate Ewoks… 🙂

                      And now I’m wondering how a fan fiction with zombie Ewoks might be received. 😀 (does Star Wars universe allow zombies, anyway? I suppose you could reason something from the dark side of the Force, maybe a Sith lord might create something like that).

                    3. I have a book somewhere with the main character teaming up at one point with an alien who looks like a 7-foot tall Praying Mantis. The tension of worrying if she could trust the alien wasn’t there, though, because they had been working together for some time as bouncers at this restaurant/bar, but I thought that the conversation when the alien offered to help was great. After asking if she could help, she said, “I know you don’t like me. I see you flinch and shudder whenever I approach, but I respect you, and would like to help, if you will have me.”

                      The human MC hadn’t realized the Mantis had noticed anything and had to explain that it was the battle computer that enhanced her reflexes trying to make her attack the threat of the giant carnivorous insect, not dislike, that caused it.

                    4. Reminds me of a couple of characters from Alan Dean Foster’s Humanx Commonwealth, a human and a giant bug who had been friends and co-pilots back in the day, and they were always jokingly (and lovingly) insulting each other as “squishy bug” and “smelly ape”. I loved those guys.

                    5. Heh. I’d figure that might be a very big problem for the resistance. Not perhaps so much with their own fighters, but at least as long as the baddies hadn’t gone for wholesale genocide yet, and had managed to keep their atrocities well concealed, any propaganda by them about the horrible bad human terrorists killing the cuddly well-meaning little dears would probably find a very receptive audience among some segments of populace. Considering that some still refuse to believe all stories about the evil our own recent human dictators have done they’d probably go into overdrive if the aggressors were also something cute looking (I just came across a short news story about Gaddafi and his sex slaves in the net version of one Finnish paper, and at least half of the comments seemed to either deny those stories as western propaganda, or twist the facts into pretzels in an effort to defend and diminish, seemingly just because Gaddafi was from one of the designated victim nations).

      1. I remember one of Breitbart’s friends on Twitter right after his death saying “What to remember Andrew properly? Then take up your sword and go into battle like him!”

        There are people in my life I’d be sorry to lose, but I would hate to lose my own self respect even more.

  5. I found you thru Mr Corriea’s blog. I realized that you were an author and that I liked the way you thought. Went to kindle and got a sample then bought your books(shifter). Your blog led me to Cedar,Amanda(Ellie), and Peter G so I did the same with them. I don’t need our politics to mesh 100%. Just don’t preach to me.

      1. That’s why I like your books. You Don’t preach. If we all speak up then the leftists won’t have won.

    1. *chuckle* I found her the same way.

      I think I’ve been around almost as long as Dr. Mouser (think I remember him on that Heinlein post, but my memory ain’t always reliable). Can’t recall a time I felt preached to, here, save for the occasional leftist idiot (lord forgive us our redundancies) that wanted to tell us all what we thought, believed, and how we should act. Certainly not by Miss Hoyt or any of the Raiding Party folks.

      There are good people here. Smart folks, the lot of them. They say things that make me think, and I like that. Heck, I can always use more reasons to think. What with the soporific, smothering we are subjected to by those representatives that think they are “leaders…”

      Anyways. This place is often a little spot of sunshine on a cloudy day. Hearing common sense warms the soul, and nourishes that part of ourselves that stands proud without the crutch of government influence.

    2. I think I wandered over from the Mad Genii, then found the connection to Larry C (who I found through the Law Dog). A classmate/writing buddy/ alpha reader/ partner in virtual mischief directed to MCG.

    3. I wandered over from the bar, I know it was Lin that first introduced me to Sarah via a link on the bar (MadMike’s I assume, but possibly Kratskeller or Politics) to a PJMedia post by Sarah, which linked to this blog. Which at that time was still firmly (for a short time) nonpolitical.

    4. I found you by buying a Webscription from Baen. Same way that I found Larry, Wen Spencer, David Weber (oops he was in Baen’s free library) & more. I got to this page from Instapundit. I love your writing, both fiction and political. Got my politics from RAH.

      Keep up the good work. Let’s change the world! At least the US.

          1. Waggles hand — if you’re going to dice it that close, as much as I love my dad, RAH brought me up at least as much. He’s my… ah… other dad.
            When Robert was born we were SO BROKE — Dan had been working for a company that didn’t pay him for six months. Yes, we should have sued. We were young and stupid — I was offered $50 to participate in a focus group on how moms named their babies. So … $50. 10 tuna cans and a bunch of toilet paper, right? — I went. All the names — 91 — were either creative “I named my child KZVUG because I want to create a new world” or creatively spelled “I wanted to name him Eric, but I spelled it Aaeric because I want him to be creative.” Then they come to me and I say “Robert Anson.” The room is speechless. Then one of the moderators said “Is… is he named after a grandfather?” Me, thinking of explaining who he was named after and why (Weirdly when he was a toddler I found that name recognized in the oddest places, like a place that sold architectural salvage. When I yelled “Robert Anson, get away from that pile of boards before they fall on you” the owner laughed and said “you named him after Heinlein?”), gave up and said “Sure. We’ll go with that.” We’ve been going with that ever since.

  6. I recently came across Jeremiah 20:9 in my reading, and thought about you:
    9 But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.

    Not that you’re speaking the direct pronouncement of God, but the principle is simular.

    1. After all these years of hearing the OT in Church, I should have remembered that one. It’s what has driven me all these years. That and the Catholic theory of “Sin by omission.” I have enough trouble with _committing_ them, I don’t need other ways.

  7. “people worked less hours before the industrial revolution. We don’t need to work that much.”

    Right. The reason so many people left the farm and took factory jobs was that farm life had too much leisure.

    Look, I know you didn’t make that up. I know that people really are that mind-bogglingly ignorant. I’m still marvelling that anyone that intellectual dead exists, let alone gets elected President.

        1. Then those who spout such nonsense should practice what they preach. Imagine the echoes of emptiness in governmental buildings throughout the nation…

            1. *rummages around*

              “Pitchfork, pitchfork, I know I ahve a pitchfork… Wait, I’m forgetting something.

              “Torches! Yes, that’s the ticket!”

                  1. Probably get two out of posthole-digger. And if you have ever used one you will be more than happy to have an excuse to take it to an anvil.

                    1. Only thing worse than digging a post hole with a post hole digger is digging it without one. Slightly.

                    2. My yard would require the people who built the Great Pyramid of cheops. All of them. It’s granite under two inches of dirt. I still wonder if mint will grow. I’ll try it this summer. A minty garden would be better than a bare one, for selling, right? Only danger is that younger son who is mint-mad will strip buck naked and go roll in the front yard at midnight.

                    3. Build a raised bed using landscape timbers and fill it with topsoil. That will add enough depth to allow basic stuff to grow. I know mint will grow in 4 inches of soil.

                    4. I like the twisty post hole augers (never called them diggers, I guess to differentiate between types) myself…IF you are in decent soil. They flat do not work if you have rock or roots to deal with.

                    5. Yup. Mattock comes in handy for those roots and rocks. If you can’t get heavy equipment to it, you can break said rocks… but it ain’t fun.

                    6. I am reliably informed that flax (and their pretty flowers and useful fibers) grow everywhere. Of course, they will grow everywhere you don’t want them to grow, also.

                1. Well the British always did claim to be more civilized than us… then again we won’t have to worry about running out of batteries in the midst of a good vigilanting. (totally a word)

              1. Might want to get hold of a couple of buckets of tar and two or three pillowcases worth of feathers.

                    1. That’s not just thrifty – you’re recycling, and reducing your carbon footprint by appropriate use of local resources. You Greenie, you!

          1. You don’t have to imagine it. You don’t think civil servants have to actually report on time, do you? Or at all?

            1. Save if there’s a scandal or crisis in the offing that they need to exploit for proper media coverage so the people can know how much they *care*…

              1. That’s only extremely senior ones. The Post Office was unable to persuade binding arbitration that a worker who had a cot set up in his room should be fired. They don’t care if you know they don’t care.

                1. That would be management, and upper management. I worked as a Casual for a couple of years for the USPS. If you are on the processing floor or doing a route, management is on you like a bad smell to get you to produce. The inspectors are watching at all time to make sure you are doing nothing but producing. (they seem to think that angry, resentful people steal. So they watch them carefully instead of trying to resolve issues)

      1. Well, it comes from a professor of leisure studies. What better way to get grant money than to point out how relevant his/her/its research is to today’s changing society?

    1. I think the latest thing banging around the leftist hive mind (and it is interesting that in the modern world, you can peer into such a thing (if you don’t mind losing SAN points)) is that unemployment is so high because in the modern world, everything is getting automated away. This is like the Jetsons or something, where no one *needs* to work more than a few hours a week.

      (head-desk) This economy is *not* what that looks like. In an automation utopia, you wouldn’t see a deperate lack of employment and underemployment (types of work might shift, and hours might decrease, but not because people who want them simply can’t find them anywhere – rather because a 30 hour work week earns them everything they want except free time). Goods and services would not become scarcer and radically more expensive (the opposite). The great industrial cities would not become burned out shells.

      1. Though I must say, certain aspects of the Jetsons were prescient: The button crunchies == carpal tunnel syndrom as the main workplace strain of the white-collar programming profession. 😀

        I don’t think they anticipated the vast majority of societies’ surplus being taken from the people responsible for producing it and carted off to the capitols of the world though. 😦

      2. There is a post I did beating on that idea. I THINK it’s something to do with folded hands so you might find it by searching that.
        These people drink their own ink.

        1. It has been long enough since you coined that phrase that it might be a good idea to rerun or revisit that post.

          Rerun means just put it up (largely) unaltered, revisit means use it as the basis of a new post updating the trends observed and reported.

    2. Good. Lord. And this is apparently a common belief on the Left, that work didn’t exist before capitalists invaded from Mars, or wherever.

      1. I think it’s part of the dogma. We started out with primitive socialism, which (per Rousseau) was corrupted by civilization, leading to capitalism at some point. I don’t think Rousseau had the “from Mars” part but he might as well have; it couldn’t have made it any less reality-based a theory.

        Truth is that “primitive socialist” societies probably lose 1%-2% of their population each year to tribal warfare. Do. Not. Want.

        1. Well, capitalism is either some primitive caveman belief or the result of sinister modern industrialists, depending on who you ask. 😉

    3. There is a distinct ethnic category which shares that attitude about not needing to “work that much.” Known as “White Trash” or “Cracker Culture”, they long constituted the backbone of the Democrat Party throughout the South.

      As Thomas Sowell has noted, their lifestyle and standards have been adopted as “authentic” by much of the African-American community, characterized by:

      an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship,… and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery.

  8. Eric Flint once said that the worst problem an author can have is obscurity. By talking about politics, especially opinions that have been historically marginalized, you are making yourself less obscure.

    You lose some readers, but you gain the Joe Spikers and Dr. Mausers. I think it is a net positive.

            1. They still run cartoons? I thought they had gone the MTV route. Of course, I don’t have cable any more, or a dish, so I don’t get CN. And we work similar hours, which is why I either get the first or the last ignored comments on posts around here.

              1. They run something. I’m not sure they qualify as cartoons, at least as we would recognize them.

                1. for those times, I have a box set of DVDs of Bugs and the gang.

                  I am glad to say that a few days ago they even showed the unPC version of Daffy swallowing the gasoline, nitro glycerin, and Uranium238 … shake well … swallow a lit match and blowing up.

                  Today being St Valentines day it is a ton of Pepe LePew.

              2. Looney Tunes and then Tom & Jerry so for two hours they have good ones on, They also play a lot of Scooby Doo (both the good old classics and the new recent not as good stuff that has a ton of lib-indoctrination in the story line (almost as much as that really annoying Captain Planet manure) then over on Boomerang (which if I update my “Classic” programing I lose) they got Hanna Barbera stuff, and some of the older “new” ones that were okay, and occasionally quite good (Johnny Bravo, and Dexter’s Lab had some clever shows) and occasionally they too have Looney Tunes (especially on holidays where younger kids have no school, they change the programing to all rotten new stuff All the time)

  9. And because, even if my voice is small and weak, it shatters the consensus. There’s only one of me, but there are a hundred other small and weak voices.

    I’d like to point out that everyone’s voice is small and weak. But if no-one speaks, it stays that way.

      1. 2004, Estádio Pacaembu, São Paulo. Sixty thousand of us singing in unison; you could probably hear us for miles, even in that noisy city. When I think of unity, that’s the sound I hear.

  10. Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to. — Theodore Dalrymple

  11. Be reassured (a little bit) that loud progressivism loses readers too. I would probably be reading Jon Scalzi still (his first book wasn’t horrible, but he seems to have only one narrative voice, and that one entirely too amused by itself), except that his on-line pronouncements just overwhelmed my ability to enjoy his work. And I’ve never read China Mieville largely because he’s such a smirking leftist. I can handle leftist. But the smirk…that’s too far.

    1. There are writers who’ve put me off them by making the unspoken presuppositions of their work too clear for me to ignore them in the fiction.

    2. Yes — Scalzi lost my business when he wrote his “white males are living in easy mode” BS. I still wonder if he’s noticed how much effort we put into the customs and habits he seems to believe are innate white male behavior, how easily many people slough off those habits, and the bad results of doing so.

    3. You and me both. His post back in October about Obamacare opponents not having any real arguments and “essentially” just being angry Calvinists who thought his friends deserved to get sick and should just hurry and die already was the final straw for me. Tell me I’m wrong, make an argument against my arguments, but leave the Alan Grayson schtick in the Drafts folder.

      1. The last Scalzi straw for me was that utterly revolting post regarding abortion and rape. It was in response to a certain politician ruminating (perhaps foolishly) on the moral quandary – that aborting a fetus gotten as a result of rape does punish the innocent child. Scalzi’s resulting screed, in the voice of a rapist thanking conservative politicians for helping him to dominate and abuse women managed to miss the point so thoroughly. I deleted him from by book blog rolls and unsubscribed immediately. And I had been rather a fan, early on. No more.

          1. Far as I know, the only thing of his I’ve read is the first part of Redshirts.

            First chapter was OK, but not to my taste, kept having an odd feeling that I knew the writer, and didn’t like him.

            Then I read the Kirk ripoff section and nearly threw the book across the room. If that guy isn’t one of those smarmy, “cool” guys whose bad behavior everyone is just shocked about when they finally cross a line in a way that causes utterly predictable human damage, he channels it very well. (No, I don’t always read into an author from what’s written, but sometimes you get a sense, if they’ve written something with a strong voice. Especially if it’s a type you’re got a strong response to. It has been verified often enough that I trust it.)

            Didn’t know his politics until later. Didn’t connect it to the book until I was wondering if I’d read anything of his.

              1. I was surprise when I read that. I get it: Scalzi has friends throughout the Hollywood scifi community, and has worked on at least one series, and spent time as a film critic. I thought Redshirts was entirely too referential (both self- and Star Trek) to ever be made into a successful television series. Not enough strength of its own (hell, not enough actual structure) to stand up outside of fandom. Hence the Hugo.

              2. Well, technically so are Monster Hunter International and some of Brandon Sanderson’s work. We’ll see if any of them actually get made. Development hell is the usual fate for a story.

                Re: Redshirts, there’s no “there” there for TV. The literary tricks in the codas don’t work in film, and the parody is thin and, given Galaxy Quest and other shots at Trek, not really original. My guess is that it tanks if it ever gets made.

            1. Oddly enough for someone who claims to be a fan of SF/F, I could never get into Star Trek. I know enough to recognize the show in the book as at least an homage to ST, even if I couldn’t recognize the specific expies in use. (TVTropes warning: don’t follow that link.)

                    1. I can’t argue with that.

                      It occurs to me I have been incorrectly defining space opera and for some time too (40+ years :o). I wouldn’t have called January Dancer space opera, but rather straight SciFi.

                    2. Luke is a world-class whiner in Ep. 4. “But I want to go into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!” Makes me shudder, as I am mortally certain I said something equally jejune at that age.

                    3. Third the recommend for Babylon 5. Londo and G’Kar turned into one of the great character pairings ever. Just give me those two talking in a room together, and I’m a happy viewer.

                    4. I saw Star Wars in theatre on first release and was “Meh – Doc Smith spits on your Death Star. His Death Star was an actual star.”

                    5. Assuming I understand the question:

                      Second Stage Lensmen (1953. Originally published in four parts, November 1941 – February 1942, Astounding Stories)

                      As before in this series, the ultimate weapon featured in the previous book becomes the standard for the opening stages of this one, and newer, more powerful weaponry must be developed to deal with the new danger. In this case the weapon developed is the “Sunbeam”, where the entire output of the sun is converted to an energy beam and used to vaporize much of the Boskonian fleet when it shows up.

                    6. I wondered if it were that, or dropping the FTL planet into the Plooran sun to cause a supernova in Children of the Lens.

                      Or it could have been teleporting stars from one galaxy to another to cause supernovas in Skylark Duquesne.

                    1. Garak has been “incidentally” gardening while many people suddenly suffered strange accidents. Only some of which were plant related.

                  1. When it comes to Star Trek, I’m fond of the original series, and a few of the movies with that cast, if not exactly a fan. And I like the reboot movies, in the relatively entertaining fluff category. But I don’t like the next generation series (I remember getting this wish to hit most of the main characters on the head with a shovel at least once most times I tried to watch an episode), nor Voyager, and have not seen anything else.

                    1. Much like you, I prefered ToS over TNG, and unlike some seriously hardcore fans, I enjoyed the reboots because it is entertaining. If nothing else, I have to admire the effort that the actors for Kirk, Scotty, Bones and Chekhov have in both retaining the key traits of the original portrayals (and the ACCENTS!! I SQUEEED. In the cinema. No, I am not ashamed! ) as well as making the characters their own. While I think Quinto makes a handsome young Spock and is delightfully snarky, my childhood crush on Nimoy’s original did not transfer over. Plus, Kirk => easygoing buttmonkey. I actually prefer Pine’s Kirk in some ways.

                      The novelizations are also entertaining reads.

                    2. I made an effort to watch TNG but gave up halfway through the first season, only to come back for the later episodes fleshing out Klingon culture. Rather liked DS9 although the Sisko/Messiah and mirror world content got seriously over done.

                      Now, if they sent Whorff as ambassador to Klingon (or more credibly, chief of mission or chargé d’affaires) it might prove an interesting series.

          2. I read the free sample, then deleted it from my kindle AND from my cloud storage. It was not just derivative, but unlike the fan fiction it so strongly resembled, it wasn’t the slightest bit respectful of the source material.

    4. I bought several Scalzi books, and enjoyed them till I read his on-line rants. Haven’t bought one since.

  12. For some reason I feel like I’m about to break out into Michael Jackson’s You are Not Alone.

    The bottom line here is that Sarah is right. The number one thing we have to do is speak. Any type of action, even if it is only an Overpasses for Impeachment sort of thing, starts with a conversation. Look at the American Revolution. The Committees of Correspondence were started after people began ralikng to each other and decided to continue the conversation over long distances. The Sons of Liberty started the same way.

    Talking is important. So is listening. Near what the other side us saying. Use it against them. Find ways to trap them in their own verbal netting. Make them look like the idiots they are. Maybe,just maybe, if we can point out their inconsistencies enough they can start to see through them. Maybe

    1. One does what one can. . . I’ve added some books on Communism to lists on goodreads about human rights and tyranny.

  13. “Oh, and the rich were all right wing. (Guys, for those people who are my age, this was never the truth. Not even in Europe. The rich are more likely to be extreme left. And it’s not guilt. It’s that they know what is the end result of communism: a sort of techno feudalism. They want that. In its end stage, communism is a complete reversal of the anti-nobility revolutions of the eighteenth century.”

    If only someone had said this stuff to me when I was 18. It would have saved me 25 years of believing in rubbish. It was a long time before I figured out that there were plenty of rich leftists, and even more important, that they were in charge of the left and not poorer people like me.

    1. I go to my kids’ elementary school and give enrichment lectures. I don’t get directly into contemporary politics (that would be bad in a tax-funded institute, IMAO). But I try to teach them enough history and critical thinking that as they grow up they’ll be able to piece things together.

  14. I scare the crap outta my family. On the plus side it keeps the dinner invitations down. If somebody says something about economic recovery or improved unemployment numbers I say – BULLSHIT – or worse. My relatives living in $700k houses and pedaling on the corporate machine like crazy to keep that and two new cars in the garage get stark fear on their face if you contradict the talking heads on TV. I pointed out that the participation rate keeps going down and orders and margins truly suck, and they just look shell shocked. Nobody tries to refute it. My one nephew said what really scares him is he has never caught me out being wrong about major stuff. But he’ll still trade the two year old car in and obligate himself to new payments rather than listen.

    1. We’re in the middle of doing our taxes, which means gathering up sales and expense figures for our bookselling business. Our sales last year were about half what they were in 2012. Part of that may have been losing several weeks of sales while we were on the road at several major sf and anime conventions, but our Christmas sales didn’t peak nearly as high as they did in 2012. People just aren’t spending as much, which suggests that either they don’t have as much to spend or they’re very worried that their income may soon take a heavy hit and they’d better cut discretionary spending now.

      1. My book sales nose-dived also at the end of the year – well, one of the community Christmas fairs that I had always gotten good results from was demolished by bitter cold weather. (It was an outdoors event.) My other personal indicator that the economy is not doing well is that my daughter has not had near as many work days at Christmas and Valentines’ Day that she always had before. She’s an on-call delivery driver for a local franchise called Edible Arrangements, which does fancy bouquets of fruit cut into flower shapes. They’re very good, BTW – and usually made fresh to order. Kind of pricy, though. On certain holidays, they are slammed, and call in extra delivery drivers to work those days. She had two days doing deliveries at Christmas/New Years – whereas at Christmas/New Years 2012, she worked for seven or eight days over the two weeks. Valentine’s Day is huge – one year they were so slammed that I got dragged into working a couple of days as well, delivering arrangements. Last year, she drove four or five days. This year – she got called in to drive today, and may have some hours tomorrow. That’s a huge fall-off in business – and Texas is one of the states doing well, relatively speaking.

        1. Luxury goods do extremely well in a booming economy. Strangely, they can do well in a bad one, it’s the “I’ve scrimped for a year, I deserve a reward” syndrome. What paralyses folks is uncertainty, the feeling that something bad is coming, but we don’t know yet how bad or what can be done to address it. And that is precisely where we are today.

          1. My dad was a locksmith. Good economic times are pretty good for locksmiths. Strangely enough, so are downturns. When businesses have to change the locks to keep disgruntled former employees from coming back and trashing the place or stealing if they didn’t turn in their keys, there are lots of big jobs to do as you rekey all the McDonalds owned by the same guy. But once it hits the bottom, it got tight.

      2. My sales are up slightly. I think it is the novel pulling people to read other things.

        I noticed the headline of the regional paper out here says that a big renovation/contractor just filed for bankruptcy to the tune of 10 mil. That makes two major business owners going down in ten months. Granted, it could be just bad management – this guy has something like twelve different business, and he may have started pulling $$ from one to save another and it got out of hand. But yeah. And a lady came into the alterations place yesterday and wanted to know how much mending a pair of jeans would cost (bad tear out of cuff) because if it cost more than $15, she’d just get rid of the pants “because money is tight.” Bad sign.

      3. So, I’m selling hardly anything, but that’s to be expected at this point in my month and a half old career. But I went through a two week dead spot, and it was actually very interesting to see what happens to sales rank when you’re skimming the top surface of the unsold sediment at the bottom of the book listings. I went from my highest to my lowest over those two weeks in a steep then flattening curve, and then ONE sale made up more than half the difference. I thought it was kind of interesting, so I made a posting of it on my DA Page.

    2. @riteturn – I have to agree with you there. I work in a semiconductor fab that makes power MOSFETs. If you don’t know what those are, that’s fine, just be aware that they are used EVERYWHERE in electronics. Our products are in everything from cars to cellphones to TVs to medical devices to smart grenades. It gives me a unique and surprisingly broad view into how well different industries are doing.

      Our fab has been had an average load of 70% since 2009, and currently it is only at 60%. Before that we hadn’t gone below 80% for over ten years. And, due to the almost incestuous practice of managers moving between competing companies in this industry, I know that none of our competitors are doing any better. This does not in any way describe a robust economy.

        1. A common human trait. When the Lefties went after George W Bush following 9/11 I attributed it fear forcing them to challenge the foe they felt safe with rather than the enemy who truly scared them.

  15. It took me many years to be able to even turn my tendency to speak into, “Uh, but what about…?” instead of “Holy Ghu, that’s stupid!”. It’s strange, because, even though I am still rather shy in social situations, I’ve seldom been able to keep my mouth shut when I strongly disagree with something.

    1. Unfortunately, the same, sir. It’s done me few, if any, favors over the years.

      But it is worth it. The truth needs to be told. Some will seek it out on their own. Others need a little push to impel them towards that self discovery.

  16. Thank you for speaking out though, Sarah.

    I know I’ve spent more than one idle evening looking around the internet in search of kindred spirits. It is alienating not being able to find *anyone* out there who appears to think about the world in remotely the same way. (I could count them on my fingers sometimes, it seems).

      1. Thanks. 😀 Score! One person who actually read my blog. 😛

        Ehh, I shouldn’t be so melodramatic. It’s not like 1970’s East Germany out there or anything. Still, while one can pride themselves on independence of thought and individualism, having your every idle evaluation looked at like insane/monsterous heresy by your peers, and always wondering when and what it is safe to talk about does take a toll.

  17. I reached the ‘epic blow-up’ moment in August, 2011 – shortly before I walked away from the Open Salon blog I had maintained for two or three years. (Looks like Open Salon is crumbling, actually. A lot of contributors have walked away since, and the front page and editor’s picks haven’t been updated since last fall. Ah well – so much for becoming another Huffington Post.) I was one of the resident conservatives, until I just could not take another minute of PC bigotry. This was my kiss-off, which earned me an invitation to blog at

  18. Sarah, you are amazingly (and admirably) restrained. I have become only more spittle-flecked and vituperative in my dotage. I should probably shout from the rooftops were I the last lover of liberty in the world. As the Heinlein quote says, the worst you can do is kill me — your move, but fair warning: I shoot back.

    Besides, the urgings you get from leftists to soft-pedal your opinions are them taking counsel of their fears. They suspect (and it terrifies them) that they are NOT the majority (they’re not), and that there is a central flaw in their arguments which dispositively refutes them. They CANNOT countenance any opposition, because the mere existence of it gives their stances the lie.

    This, I think, is why Rush tells Us in the Right not to react to the left when they witter on about that. By doing so, we accept the premises of their arguments, which are entirely false. They are wrong — objectively, on the facts, the merits, the rights, and (for the most part) the law. They are a tiny and shrinking MINORITY of the population. They ARE NOT the main stream. They are a tiny trickle (down the leg of a running dog), on the extreme OUTER left. Ignore them. That winds them up even more.


    1. “They are a tiny trickle (down the leg of a running dog), on the extreme OUTER left”

      Ouch!!!! LMAO

  19. Ever since I turned to the Dark Side, I’ve been feeling like the little boy in The Emperor’s New Clothes. I know he’s buck-naked, but so many of the people around are pretending he’s not.

        1. No they’re crispy milk chocolate. nah whatever kind you’ll pay for. The customer is always right!

        2. If they’re not, you know where the kitchen and the ingredients are. Roll up your sleeves, wash your hands, and show the rest how to bake the “perfect” batch!

            1. As for you, oh Wise Latina, I have a gluten-free (paleo) macaroon recipe I want your help improving, through the two of us baking batches. As soon as I can move, I shall see about sending the latest improvement round to you. (Peter and I went out to celebrate ten years of being alive and still walking, as today’s the anniversary of his back being broken. I has a full belly of awesome Thai food, a sunbeam on this couch, and a sleeping cat on me. Moving may take a few hours.)

              Oh, go on, toss that carp. The cat will appreciate it.

                1. well, I have not your regular email, so I sent it to the business at yourwebsite account. (Since you listed that at the bottom of a post.)

                  Three recipes, actually, none of them satisfactory, but good starting points.

              1. We just found out my daughter is gluten-intolerant (celiac) a week or so ago, and macaroons are pretty much one of her favorite things. So if a macaroon recipe is floating around out there on the ether, where might one tune in?

                1. And we might be able to work out a trade – my wife just won her second church chili-cook off trophy, so if anyone is interested in a recipe (equivalent) exchange…

                    1. I’ve got a few — I’ve got goodish at doing this stuff since I had to take the whole family low card. (When it was me, I just didn’t eat baked goods, but with the guys, there are times, like birthdays…)

                  1. Will do. Just as soon as I get back to my kitchen. Mrs. Dave and I are currently located in snowy, snowy Baltimore (ish) for a class of hers, and I’m missing most of my ingredients.

  20. It might not change their minds, but at some point, they’ll have to start explaining their philosophy to us and to themselves, and maybe that will clear away some of the oddest contradictions.

    Sarah, I admire your optimism. Sadly, real life experience does not bear out your theory. Okay, there have been one or two exceptions.

    A friend of mine has drifted into leftism later in life; she’s 40-ish right now. Her positions are illogical, ignorant and completely at odds with reality. Because we’ve been friends for a long time, I used to simply ignore her. And then I finally noticed what I had noticed when I tried to ignore bullies earlier in my life: she became emboldened and more belligerent. I finally started refuting her nonsense with actual evidence, which she simply waved away because [insert arrant nonsense here]. I continued to hold back some because the two of us had a mutual friend who was-and still is- much more dear to me and I was afraid that she’d get pissed off at me “attacking” our mutual lefty. I finally broached the subject to her and she replied “Good. She needs someone mocking her now.”

    Anyway, I’ve always been open about my politics, but I’ve never allowed political differences to get in the way of whom I choose to befriend. I will say that that graciousness has not been universally returned.

    1. “I’ve never allowed political differences to get in the way of whom I choose to befriend”

      I can’t say that. I despise bullies and mouthy morons, and definitely draw the line when the want the stazi to kill me.

  21. I vent here and in my stories. And under the nom de cyber I picked up over at TBTSNBN back in the day.

  22. It’s places like this that keep me sane.

    And yes, I’m aware of the irony inherent in that statement. 😀

  23. It was definitely the politics that brought me here, though I don’t remember the details. I never did worry about fitting in, conditioned as a child by always being the new kid every few years. People of our ilk are too widely scattered to find physical enclaves. Thank gore for the internet

        1. I think it was a combo of me liking Darkship Thieves and Instapundit linking to your blog that got me here.

    1. I found this place because people on my friends’ list on Facebook kept posting links to it (Hi, Lin!), and eventually decided it’d save time to just follow it myself.

      On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 3:49 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

      > Cyn Bagley commented: “I don’t remember exactly but I think it was > Dean or Kris’ site that I hit a link (curious) and found you… Been a > smart-a** ever since.” >

      1. I think I came here as one of the other guys at Chicagoboyz also commented a lot at Classical Values, and he kept trying to put us in touch … being that we were both writers, women of certain age and inclined to be … non-conformist, politically.

        1. Yes, I remember you from Classical Values. I still correspond with Eric S. I feel guilty about dropping it on the floor, but with PJM and this, I COULDN’T. Maybe once I dig out from under books.

          1. Eh … no matter.
            I’m about to kiss off Insty with extreme prejudice anyway. I keep getting a message from PJ Media sites that I am no long allowed to post comments . I have no idea what is going on – but email complaint brings no relief or explanation. It’s the same with my local classical radio station. They fired all the local announcers and went to rebroadcasting Minnesota Public Radio. Yes, for this we pledged and built up a wonderful classical library and a nice collection of local announcers … really?

              1. Well, they had better get over them soon, or I will walk away. I am not kidding. My original milblog site was on his blog-roll, and I was even one of the original PJ media sites. PJM payments for advertising held me over for a good couple of years, until readership dropped too low and the original milblog was dropped from the program. I didn’t mind – but now? I am beyond insulted at being treated like I am some kind of Nigerian spammer. I can’t even post a comment at Belmont Club.

            1. If you’re near a computer, there’s this:

              They’re Seattle based, and right now is pledge week, but….well, I find some of the gifts funny. I swear to Bog, they had a custom french press earlier today…..

          2. Yeah, you probably know several people here from the comments sections of other blogs – but we didn’t know you, because you used a pen name.

            (Stomps foot. Sticks out lower lip) It’s not FAIR! (Hehe)

            1. Actually, no. I remember a few of you, but not most. I think you also had pen names. Most of my friends — I ran with a wild and vicious crowd. No, really — are no longer commenting on blogs.

      2. Vodka Pundit linking the “he’s my publisher” article. Took several months before I overcame my internet instincts and looked at the comments…..

  24. I believe the first time I wandered in was working my way through all the interesting-looking links in Passive Guy’s sidebar. I saw your name and thought “Wait, I know that name… Baen author! Good stuff!”

  25. An interesting post Sarah. It would be fun discussing some of this the next time you have a gathering of the Huns.

  26. Somewhat pertinent both to this post, and to the earlier post about Scalzi and the attempted social censorship by his ilk:

    “‘Free speech,’ as Scalzi says, technically just means that Congress can’t pass laws that strike particular opinions from public discourse. But there’s another strain of thought that values the culture that restriction is trying to promote over and above its legal basis. ‘Free speech culture’ is a voluntarily-adopted ethic that rules certain tactics out of bounds. It requires one to, for example, respond to thoughtful criticisms of one’s positions with contentful justifications, rather than by deleting the criticism (as in the case of a blog owner) or mere name-calling, or by poisoning the well, or any other number of responsive strategies which seek to avoid or shut down discussion or otherwise shirk one’s own burden of proof.”

  27. Were I to “let them get in your head and change your thoughts from what you know is true, just because you want to fit in, to be feted, to be accepted, to be loved” the irrefutable fact is that I wouldn’t be fitting in, I wouldn’t be feted, I wouldn’t be accepted, I wouldn’t be loved — the pod person I was playing at would be the one they feted, accepted and loved.

    Sorry, that price is too high. I cannot practice doublethink and I cannot turn off the thinking I do. Even were they right about their world I would reject it as unsuited to me.

    I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

  28. Wayne Blackburn, was that in one of Stephen Goldin’s Jade Darcy novels? Those are in my “I really need to reread them” list.

  29. Escaping the indent:
    Dorothy Grant | February 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    Oh, now I so want the follow-on story – where the kid grows up to be an _excellent_ soldier, and thus one of the ones that survives the incredibly successful invasion what wipes out most of the populace and rolls across the rest.

    I can see this working. Grows up hating his mother and her ideology, and how she treats her husband, because everything is just fodder for her ideology/what she wants. Father dies trying to save his mother, because even then she won’t raise a hand to defend herself, and even tries to prevent him from doing it.

    Not sure what the end “point” would be, though– maybe give him the flaw that he’s a lot more like her than he thinks, using people to advance his goals rather than an end in themselves, with a big “Oh, no– I am what I hate!” and turn-around at the climax?

    1. Eh, I was figuring it’d just be backstory for the milscifi novel – you know, that’s just the mudball farm the protagonist escaped long ago, off to see the universe, meet interesting new lifeforms, and kill them.

  30. Thank goodness this didn’t occur at one of our nation’s “elite” colleges, one of those molding the leaders of tomorrow. Gobs, prepare for smacking to begin:

    College student thinks ‘diversity of opinion’ requires ‘not tolerating’ conservative views
    By Joel Gehrke | FEBRUARY 14, 2014
    A student at Swarthmore College thinks that in order to ensure that students are “hearing a diversity of opinion,” the institution should “not be tolerating” the “conservative views” of a prominent alumnus.

    The student made the comment in reference to a recent discussion between two Princeton professors, Robert George and Cornel West.

    “The whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion,” the campus newspaper quotes Erin Ching, who graduates in 2016, as saying. “I don’t think we should be tolerating [George’s] conservative views because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society.”

    West explained why it’s good for students to hear from people with whom they disagree. “I’m engaging in dialogue so that many people who would come to see [George] and come to see me can be exposed to a variety of perspectives on the issue,” he said at Swarthmore.
    Copyright © 2014 Washington Examiner

    Even George Orwell is rolling his eyes. Never imagined I would have a word of praise for Cornell West.

        1. Out of curiosity I entered “swarthmore college ranking” in a search engine.

          This is what it revealed:

          In its 2013 college ranking, U.S. News & World Report ranked Swarthmore as the 3rd-best liberal arts college in the nation, behind Williams and Amherst.

          I am forced to conclude that being one of the best liberal arts college in the nation is on a par with being “the shortest giant” or “least corrupt mayor of New Orleans.”

          1. While I can’t speak for the quality of art that their students produce, but Swathmore is definitely successful at producing liberals.

            1. I remember Leftist mockery of a Vietnam era military claim that “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”.* Now apparently they are comfortable claiming that “We have to suppress free speech in order to preserve it.”

              Which makes a certain amount of sense if you (pardon the oxymoron) “think like a liberal.” Presumably women, minorities and fill-in-the-blank victims of oppression are so traumatized by the horrors of DWEM civilization that they can only be free to speak if representatives of that culture are silenced. Fighting the monsters of injustice and oppression are much easier when you can convince yourself that the shadows you are boxing are the monsters and that the actual monsters are fellow victims.

              But it tends to end badly.

              *The first of “war correspondent” Peter Arnett’s many false reports from the battlefield.

  31. And I thought “Yes, that’s it. That’s why I came out of the political closet. That’s why I must remain out. That’s why I must continue talking even when the other side claims I offend them deeply.”

    I’m a little late coming to this party. Sorry. 🙂

    Whenever I hear someone grousing about offending some group that is always and everywhere offended no matter what (because that’s how those people make money and gain power), I am reminded of Suicidal Tendencies’ song “You Can’t Bring Me Down”.

    It came out when I was in Junior High. I loved it. Still do. But the best part is the rant at the end. To quote:

    “If I offended you, well I’m sorry, but maybe you need to be offended. So here’s my apology and one more thing: F^*K YOU!”

    I think we could all learn from that sentiment. Screw ’em if they can’t take a joke. And even more, screw ’em if they presume to blackmail you/us by claiming offense. Cry me a river, you pussy. Seriously, man (or woman if you’re so inclined 😛 ) up and face reality. Sheesh.

    So yeah, who care’s if someone’s offended by reality? Such people are not worth paying attention to anyway.

  32. Good going. Girl! I will check my library and then buy some more of your books.
    Re: publishing. I’m sure you know of Theo’s new publishing effort, Castalia House. If you have not yet, maybe contact them. Sounds like they have their act together and I don’t think YOU would have any problem with their vetting process.

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