Five Rules For Internet War — if you absolutely must

Now, I’ll admit that I have rarely felt a need to go to war with someone on the internet personally – at least unprovoked.  I have once started a war unwittingly, by linking someone who was being as Georgette Heyer would say “foolish beyond permission.”  This is known around here I think as “the incident of the very pampered non-fic writer and her insane groupies.”

Most of the time, though, when I have something to say, I have something to say about ideas, not the person in particular.  And since the ideas are usually stupid enough on their own, I don’t link the source – though I or my fans have been known to clue others on how to find it.  This usually avoids counterstrikes, because the originators of the annoying ideas either don’t feel a personal incentive to counter attack, or they don’t recognize the ideas as their own.  (People are oblivious, what can I say?)

This is not so much because I’m a wussy – I’m not – but because I’m your average, excitable Latin type.  (Well, maybe not average, but pretty close.  Sometimes stereotypes are true.)  Once the fight has started, I find it hard to pull back and do what I’m actually supposed to do, such as write novels, that actually pay, so we can actually you know, keep roof over head and such. (Okay, being fair, husband keeps roof over head.  But I pay part-tuition for the boys and other expenses of that ilk.  And if the payment for those has to come out of his paycheck, roof over head becomes… challenging.)

Also, as I said before, I’ve been involved in blogs that went to war against other blogs/organizations.  There are people you shouldn’t go to war with (more on that later, but let’s just say some of the more… ah… politically involved blogs… you know, the ones really involved, have connections who are either violent or plain crazy.  The practice of Swatting for instance can get someone who is just having an argument with a crazy comprehensively killed.)  But even if you go to war with a sane human being, (for values of sane and human being), if you both get so absorbed in the fight that it is the most fascinating thing in the world to you, you might not notice you’re boring your readers to tears.  I’ve wandered off from at least two blogs under these circumstances.  I agreed with their position in the war, but how many times can you say the other side are poopy heads without growing stale?

However, this blog has been – coughs delicately – involved in wars before, mostly when someone went after my friends, or said something so criminally stupid (as in, if you’re stupid enough to believe it you’ll do things that criminal in fact if not in law – and sometimes in law) that I must stomp.

From my own mistakes and er… unnamed (and unlinked) others in the Internet Art of War, here are some things you must do before going to war.

1-      Know your opponent.  I mean, at the very least CURSORILY google the person.  This also applies to commenting on their blog.  After all we’ve had people coming in here all hot and heavy, having heard somewhere I was ESL and lecturing me about my English based on my unproofed, un-caffeinated copy written early morning.

I’m not going to say I don’t make English mistakes – ya’ll do too, precious(es) – but I’m more likely to be using obscure slang and even more likely to have made some truly insane typo of the sort where my fingers think “head” is an apt substitute for “door” (this for some reason happens in my manuscripts a lot when I’m tired.)

Then there are the idiots who will run to other blogs and say “Sarah Hoyt, who is an indie writer” – before trying to claim I don’t know anything about traditional publishing.

Five minutes googling – or looking at the side bar – would tell them I write for a living and am still MOSTLY traditional.  Then there are the precious flowers, on and off this blog, who lecture me about not knowing other countries since I never left this one… yeah.  That’s funny too.

Of course, most of the time, when I get upset enough to go to war, my minions have already exhaustively researched the target.  That brings us to point two.

2-      If your opponent has hyper competent minions – by which I don’t mean ones who run to twitter to call your opponent white supremacist, but those who start posting funny (and true) stuff about your opponent in the comments to your blog – be aware that you’ve been researched and that some of it has been done by professionals who do this for a living.  Your proposed opponent – or the person you just attacked because it seemed like a good idea at the time – probably knows more about you than you do yourself.  If he/she isn’t using it, maybe he/she is being merciful.  Of maybe he/she is too busy with real life.

Don’t assume they used everything they have.  Depending on what you think is the possibility of a nuclear-level retaliatory strike based on what there is to be found out about you… not continuing to attack might be the best part of valor.  Remember what they say about mad dogs and Englishmen.  Let the sleeping Englishmen (or any other nationality that’s similarly nuts) lie.

3-      If you make mistake one or mistake two, don’t try to add to them by doubling down and saying something utterly stupid like ‘Well, I still think’ or even ‘poopyhead, poopyhead, poopyhead.’

At this time, it is a good idea to – if you’re not smart enough to apologize or simply can’t do it without losing face before your followers (eh.  Not mine, but some people have DIM followers)  — either drop the matter entirely or make a cogent case as to why your opponent is still wrong WITHOUT having whatever characteristic you based your initial attack on. That brings us to point four.

4-      Your opponent is unlikely to be a cardboard cutout.  Yes, I know, some of you are young enough to have soaked in group-hate without knowing that very few people fit stereotypes.  (I might be excitable, but I’m not flamboyant, for instance. Also, I’m only excitable after a point.)  Just because you’re battling what you identify as a conservative, say, (and you’d better make d*mn sure of that identification.  If you’re very young, be aware that anti-communist doesn’t necessarily mean traditional conservative.  That error will get you laughed at.) don’t assume this is going to be a prudish, repressed, or even particularly religious person.  Yes, I know what the movies and TV show you.  You might want to consider that in capturing the heights of entertainment and news, the left left its followers curiously disconnected with the real world.  (Which only works to a point.)  In the same way, when attacking someone you identify as crazy left, don’t assume they have the rest of the package, including atheism.  I’ve met a few hard left fervent Christians.  People can be … bewildering.  Don’t attack a “package deal” – few people are that.  In fact, don’t attack people at all.  Attack their ideas/beliefs/wrong-headed behavior that set you off in the first place.  Calling anyone a poopy head doesn’t convince anyone.  Explaining why an idea/belief is wrong might.

5-      If you’re going to attack or counter-attack, nuke from orbit.  That is, don’t just say something like “That idea/belief is wrong.”  Show why it’s wrong.  Explain how you came to that conclusion and don’t have it be just “I was told it was wrong, and only old people believe that’s right.”

Remember you’re not fighting a cardboard cutout.  So don’t suddenly assume your opponent got his ideas at the old cardboard cutout emporium mart.  To say “everyone knows this isn’t true” just makes you sound so young we’ll check for spit-up milk under your chin.

This goes double or triple when you’re talking about a country you’ve never visited; a time before you were born; a field that’s not your specialty.

Heaven knows, I engage in enough blather about things I’m not an expert on.  I’ve also been known to say that a commenter I KNOW is an expert should check me on it.

BUT when you’re going on the attack, you want to be on your home ground and conquer the hills.  Make sure – absolutely sure – of what you’re saying or doing.

Just because all your college professors told you things in country x are thus and so, if you’ve never been there, trust me – TRUST ME.  I’ve lived through this – you have no clue.  Chances are your oh, so learned professors don’t either.  They’re usually just going after their counterparts in that country who can be – again, trust me – astonishingly divorced from reality.

The mistakes can be as egregious – I’ve heard Americans say this.  No really – as assuming socialism works because “Europe has such beautiful buildings.  Much better than America.”  Or of course the idiot Michael Totten ran into in his latest jaunt in Cuba who told him that “They really love Che. I don’t think anyone in America is loved that much.”  (Innocents abroad, indeed.  Let’s hope this American tourist never finds out that when the penalty for not “loving” a public personality is death, people tend to “love” him, publically and loudly.)

Visiting a country on vacation won’t tell you anything about what life in it is like, either.  You might come back knowing a ton about artifacts and the local food, but to really know a country you need to live there, at peasant level.  (Or be a trained investigative journalist.)

So unless you’ve done that in a country, don’t lecture the people who live in that country on what they know/believe or what actually psychologically motivates them.

This is true for everything else.  I don’t care if your postmodern psychology teacher told you that tons of wives get beaten superbowl Sunday.  That is one of those things that sound right inside a belief system, but aren’t actually true (likely because the belief system isn’t congruent with reality) no matter how many made up statistics are brought up.  And don’t you go using those made up statistics to lecture your football-fan friends, because you’ll just look like a total idiot.

Again, make sure what you’re using to attack can be backed up and is not just a “I was told this.”

Once you’re sure, strike at will, and have fun doing it.  And then disengage.  This is just a battle.  It’s not your life, and certainly not your profession.

Always remember the motto “Peas Is Our Profession” (yes, if you get the reference, I’ll send a signed book to the first one.) even if war is at times needed.

*And no, there probably won’t be chapters this weekend.  I have Godzillamicin and inhaler but clawing back to health is going to take time too.  Meanwhile fiction takes more effort than non-fiction.  Sorry.*

278 thoughts on “Five Rules For Internet War — if you absolutely must

  1. OK, Young Lady [grin] — take your Godzillamicin and use the inhaler, and get back to what I think you should be doing. (I almost said “we,” but I don’t have a mouse in my pocket.) That would be tellin’ rattlin’ good stories that we enjoy and for which we give you money.


  2. That rule about not treating your opponent as a cardboard cut-out strongly resonates with me. I’m a Catholic who takes the teachings of the Church seriously – including the teachings on human sexuality – but that doesn’t mean I necessarily think it’s a good idea to enforce those teachings via the civil law. I AM apt to challenge the idea that contraception is a good thing — but that doesn’t mean I want to ban it (because I’m not a utopian idiot and I know that’s impossible). Similarly, I vote Republican — but that doesn’t mean I’m against taxation, which is what one Facebook leftist assumed about me a while back despite the complete absence of any evidence. No, I’m not against taxation; I’m against EXCESSIVE taxation, and I’m against our taxes being misused to fund bunny inspectors and cowboy poetry. Etc., etc.

    Of course, these precious darlings make these assumptions because they don’t actually know any better. They’ve spent their entire lives immersed in an ocean of leftwing propaganda, so to them, it’s common sense that, as an orthodox Catholic, I want to control everyone’s naughty bits and that, as a Republican, I think the poor should be left to fend for themselves. Which doesn’t mean, mind, that we shouldn’t hold them entirely responsible for their own ignorance. As you say, it’s stupidly easy to actually do the research.

    1. Yes, but it’s easier to knock your opponent down when they’re made of cardboard. 😉

    2. You’re not alone in that, Stephanie. Heck, when I was still with my old band, folks in NYC publicly wondered why we were wearing shoes. And pants, not bib-overalls. *chuckle*

      Add in politics and religion, and, well… It’s easy to believe things that make sense when you don’t think too much about them and don’t see them in real life. Human beings are kind of hard wired to generalize. Putting things in categories is what we do.

      Adults tend to recognize this in themselves, and make allowances. *grin* As our host says, people aren’t cardboard cutouts. We tend to weirdness- at least around here we do!

    3. I’m a Charismatic Roman Catholic, and came to Libertarian thinking as result. It’s the closes to genuine Christian Thinking politics I can find. (Note: Little l, not Big L, libertarian.)

        1. That should be fairly obvious — Popes John Paul II was a charismatic Roman Catholic, Benedict less so. The jury is still out on whether Francis is charismatic or whether the Liberals are just deluding themselves. (Note — I acknowledge the redundant aspect of that last statement but plead it as not dispositive.)

          If you were envisioning Roman Catholic’s snake-handling I regret the disillusionment.

            1. The “charismatic movement” in US Catholicism was pretty much a reaction to the widespread misinterpretation of the Vatican II Council, specifically the bits where it was supposed to encourage deeper development of personal devotion to God and personal holiness, but was used by parish commissars as an excuse to try to stamp out personal devotion, parish clubs dedicated to prayer and good works, etc.. But at the same time, there was a lot of renewed devotion toward the Holy Spirit and a lot of attention paid to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit received at Confirmation. Plus there was a lot of pent-up demand for miracles and wonders and charismatic miraculous gifts, a demand which was not being allowed to be approved and channeled in the normal Catholic devotional ways.

              The result was that normal people who just wanted to say the Rosary in peace ended up banding together, ending up with all sorts of interesting characters and their ethnic customs, Pentecostal and Fundamentalist ideas, and even New Agey stuff. It was a big center of peaceful spiritual resistance to stupid commissar junk during the Eighties, and people like Mother Angelica were part of it. On the dark side, however, there was a lot of credulity for false apparitions and would-be cult leaders in some areas. During the Nineties it tended to splinter into smaller and more focused groups, some of which went off to do more mainstream or traditional things without losing the personal devotion (like Mother Angelica), some of which continued charismatic in various ways, and some of which got weirder. Today, you mostly hear about the movement in connection to “Healing Masses.”

              1. I encountered that movement a little in Brasil, but not being a Catholic I didn’t completely grasp it. I figured it was a local/national thing, since the most actively religious people I saw seemed to be neo-Pentacostal (the Assembly of God, the Christian Congregation, the Rectangular Church [no, really]). You could generally hear their services from at least half a mile away. Made sense to me that it would rub off some.
                There was one Catholic priest in particular who seemed to be very popular back in the early 2000s who was doing that sort of thing, though I forget his name. Charismatic preaching, pop-styled music, noisy audience participation; he had a radio show and made regular TV appearances. I found it… odd; it clashed with my usual, favorable perception of the Catholic Church. I can’t say I’m surprised to find out it was part of a larger trend, but I hope most were not so… flamboyant.

                1. From everything I’ve heard, Brazil’s charismatic movement is a tooooootally different story than the US. Totally. Completely. And yes, as you noticed, Pentecostalism is very very big in Brazil and hence influences a ton of stuff. I think I even know what singing priest you mean; he comes up in Catholic blog/news stories a fair amount.

                2. ” the Rectangular Church ”

                  I wonder if this is a splinter off of the Foursquare Church? (Which I know nothing about other than an acquaintance in grade school was the son of a pastor/minister of the Foursquare Church)

  3. “Hey what was that thing that just shot across the bow?”

    “I dunno… Looked kinda like a warning shot, nuclear variety.”

    “Nah, couldn’t be… Ignore it! Full speed ahead!”

  4. Well naturally, every head needs a door. I mean privacy!
    I would add an observation to your list:
    Never ever assume though you apply your sarcasm with a trowel and make liberal use of the /sarc tag, that some durned fool will not take your posting as a stone cast example of your true beliefs.
    I swear there must be a condition, genetic I suspect, that renders certain sorts totally incapable of recognizing sarcastic remarks no matter how blatantly they are applied.

    1. Persons on the autistic spectrum often have no concept whatsoever of sarcasm. Borderline cases may understand the concept of sarcasm but be a bit slow on the uptake. The /sarc tags actually help.

        1. My greater concern is those among us who not only don’t recognize jokes, but elect them to high office.

          Commented to Beloved Spouse this AM about FCC survey on how stations decide what is “news” — imagine the howls of outrage from Pinch Sulzberger’s office had Bush’s FCC tried pulling that sort of thing. Coupled with WashPost frontpage story expressing shock, shock about Scott Walker’s campaign possibly commingling campaign acts with government activities (horrors! his schedulers at campaign and political office coordinated his activities!!! President Mulligan would never do a thing like that!)

          Not only do these jokes write themselves, they perform live daily.

            1. Someone once asked me why, with my libertarian leanings, I didn’t just go full out libertarian.

              I pointed to the Reason article in which two of the contributors admitted to voting for Obama, but none admitted to voting for Romney.

              1. I’ve been asked similar things, and even infected my husband with the answer– assuming that the person asking is the sort you can answer honestly, my problem is that the big-L Libertarian looks like conservatism reverse engineered by big-L lefties, with many of the assumptions left intact.

                I’ve also been known to use cooking metaphors (recipes assume a level of purity not often found in my home), building metaphors (bricks vs scrap wood) and whatever else comes to mind at the time.

                From another angle– they are idealistic in places I don’t think should be idealized.

                1. You’ve really kind of nailed it. When it comes down to it, capital-L Libertarianism is fundamentally a movement of the Left. Granted, a movement that moved in the correct direction on a number of things, which is to be lauded. It’s nice when the liberal who gets hit by the two-by-four of reality absorbs at least a few lessons. It shows he can be taught.

                  But, yeah. Russell Kirk insisted that the opposite of conservative is idealogue, not leftist or progressive. Pretty much what you said in your last paragraph.

        2. In Real Life you’ve got the additional information of body language, facial expressions, and voice inflection… and people still have trouble.

          I posted a comment that I felt was excessively snarky about how Obama was talking tough, blah, blah, Ukraine, blah, blah we’re in the best of hands… and got a comment back that seemed to assume I was serious.

          Recognizing sarcasm helps when you “know” people over a long period of time and have an idea of what their actual opinions are.

          (I try not to break the “rules” but the kid responded to the effect of how wicked (implying “cool”) the events in the Ukraine were and I sort of went straight for “dear gawd are you in diapers?”)

      1. A problem that I frequently run into is that sarcasm simply does not communicate well over text. Sometimes it works, but many times the lack of expression and tonal variation leaves the impression that one is speaking directly, rather than being sarcastic (or other types of indirect implication).

        For those that Uncle Lar mentioned, who ignore the /sarc tags, though, there is little hope.

          1. That must be where my extra supply came from (I thought they delivered double, at least…). Don’t worry, it is going to good use. Pinkie swear.

      2. Also: just because someone is on the “autistic spectrum” does not mean he is Sheldon Cooper.

        I have tried to introduce the Lojban particle “je’unai”, which was the best suggestion for being sarcastic in Lojban. Literally “The following statement is false.”
        “.je’unai Obama is the greatest president ever”

        If the Great Knock has learned Lojban, if Lojban had existed, when he was tutoring young Jack Lewis, he could have said “.je’unai the Master of Balliol is one of the most important beings in the universe.”

    2. I recently heard on a radio talk show that Leno had said one of the biggest reasons he’d tell more jokes with Republicans as the butt of a joke than Democrats was that the Republicans were more likely to laugh at it, whereas the Democrats were more likely to take offense.

      1. As I understand it, the person saying that* was Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels. In response I gather that many Republicans chuckled ruefully and many Democrats snarled “that isn’t funny.”

        *Not arguing whether Leno did not also say it. I have long pondered the differences in humour typical of Right and Left, with the Left displaying much greater propensity for exclusionist humour, e.g., almost any joke about how Dan Quayle or Sara Palin is dumb.

    3. ^^This^^ to Uncle Lar’s post. Happens to me a lot. Express an opinion, some people start acting like you shot their dog. Hey! It’s an opinion. Everybody has one. Ever hear that?


      1. Hmm. It looks to me like a hybridization of the SAC motto, already mentioned below, and the “Visualize Whirled Peas” bumper stickers that were popular a few years back.

        1. Ding ding ding ding ding — pm me address and book you wish to receive signed. (I need to send out things to high subscribers, anyway, including t-shirts — though I’m waiting on art for huns/hoydens one. sigh — if I can JUST stop getting sick.)

          1. I remembered the phrase from a discussion on pluralizing words from a language blog I used to read now and then. Had to google the phrase to find the blog again (

            Now that you mention it, I remember that pun from Good Omens too. Now I’m going to have to go back and read it again. 😉

          2. It also appears to be a chapter title in a book on how evil the American pursuit of staying in the front of the arms race is. The book is here for anyone who wants to snicker at the description and the reviews (all 3 of them):

            Where I found the TOC turns out to be a Russian website, which I won’t bother to list, so it won’t go to moderation.

          3. Heh. My comment went to moderation anyway, and also stuck in the cover image. I forgot it would do that. Sarah, if you want to kill that comment, I’ll just put the name here: WAR STARS: The Superweapon and the American Imagination

    1. … and of course the original “Peace is our Profession” was the actual motto of Strategic Air Command, not just something invented for Doctor Strangelove.

      The idea is similar to a poem I’ve only ever read in translation, by “Yehoash” (pen name of Solomon Blumgarten 1870–1927):

      An Old Song

      In the blossom-land Japan
      Somewhere thus an old song ran.

      Said a warrior to a smith
      “Hammer me a sword forthwith.
      Make the blade
      Light as wind on water laid.
      Make it long
      As the wheat at harvest song.
      Supple, swift
      As a snake, without rift,
      Full of lightning, thousand-eyed!
      Smooth as silken cloth and thin
      As the web that spiders spin.
      And merciless as pain, and cold.”

      “On the hilt what shall be told?”

      “On the sword’s hilt, my good man,”
      Said the warrior of Japan,
      “Trace for me
      A running lake, a flock of sheep
      And one who sings her child to sleep.”

        1. Joel — you’re overthinking this. You should have a mental list of my favorite authors, by now. It’s in a book by one of them. (Well, sort of. But if I specify it will be too much of a clue.)

          1. The style looks like Pratchett to me. Since I don’t know much Pratchett, I haven’t tried to win.

          2. It’s been a decade or more since I read it, but based on this “It’s in a book by one of them. (Well, sort of. But if I specify it will be too much of a clue.)” I’d have to wonder if it was a referance to “We Also Walk Dogs”. Twenty some years ago, that one was one of my top five shorts. But, as I said, it has been a very long time since I had that tome out.

            Any way, interesting post and very true. Part of the reason I stay on the sidelines.

                1. Is all good. I caught it (much too late!), but I also have the book sitting on my desk right now. *grin*

              1. And that’s why I missed the reference: I haven’t read that much Pratchett. I don’t find him as amusing as others seem to.

                (Did someone just say, “Burn the heretic!”?)

                I mean, Pratchett is funny enough, but the last few book of his I’ve read earned nothing past the occasional giggle, and the story had to make way for the joke. For comparison, I literally laughed out loud half a dozen times this afternoon reading John C. Wright’s The Phoenix Exultant.

                (Silly library system doesn’t yet have the third book in that series—but they are ordering A Few Good Men per my request, so I’ll put in an order for the missing Wright book too.)

                1. The last few books of his are more like Pratchett fanfic. Have you tried Guards Guards, Men At Arms or Night Watch? The laugh is always tinged with “oh” but it works…

                  And that whole burning thing makes me cranky. Bad for my lungs…

                2. Ah, well I have never read any Pratchett, because all the people who recommend him describe him and his works as something that I would hate (and would quickly involve book wall collisions, and I hate doing drywall repair). Doesn’t mean one liners pulled out of context aren’t funny.

      1. Having sat more than enough SAC Alerts….

        It was “Peace is our profession, War is just a hobby.” and
        “To err is human, to forgive is not SAC policy.”

        1. Are you old enough to remember “Wings, Engine, Fuselage, Tail”? Also known as “Wrong, Every, F-cking, Time”?

          That one goes clear back to World War II, but may not have outlasted it by very long.

        2. There’s always “Any Time, Any Place”… which I believe was AFSOC.

          I never wore that patch but I knew a female officer who said it was… interesting.

  5. Well, maybe not average, but pretty close. Sometimes stereotypes are true.

    Gotta love culture….

    On the sick: news yesterday was announcing that pig flu has been hitting a lot of people this year; I think the push to vaccinate may be partly responsible for spreading the pig flu, given that my husband was told to get the shot instead of the nose-spray because he had small children at home– I KNOW a lot of places have been really pushing the spray, and that it’s a live vaccine that is known to result in germ-shedding. Just less shedding than if you got sick on your own.

    The spray is a lot easier sell since few people enjoy being poked with needles. :/

        1. …correct me if I’m wrong, but a death via secondary infection shouldn’t be counted as a claim for ‘death via vaccine side effect’ right?

          Not that it would stop the anti-vac folk, but I thought I’d ask for my own clarification, because I was curious.

          1. Uh… no. It’s counted as complications of the illness. The point of getting the vaccine is to either 1.) avoid getting the illness, or 2.) lessen the severity of the illness.

            If you get the illness, it doesn’t mean the vaccine failed. It may only provide enough protection to lessen the severity. Getting the illness is not a complication of the vaccine. Catching a secondary infection is a complication of the illness, not the vaccine. Cutting the top of your foot when you’re trying to do the dishes, but the combination of inhaler + nebulizer + steroids + antibiotics makes your hands shake hard enough you lost control and dropped a glass on the floor – that, too, would be a complication of the illness, and have nothing to do with the vaccine.

            The only time anything could be attributed to the vaccine is when 1.) they’re using a live vaccine, 2.) the patient is allergic to the serum in the vaccine, or 3.) inadequate sterilization / bad hygeine leads to transfer of bloodborne pathogens.

            3. Is not an issue in the first world, but watch out in Africa. 2. Is much less common here in the USA, but is a problem when horse serum is used in coutries where eating horse meat is common. (Got my mother.) There are some problems with people who are deathly allergic to egg proteins on one of the vaccines, if I remember correctly. I’ll have to look that up. 1. is usually not an issue, though I hear the flu nasal spray is live-vax, as opposed to the shot which is dead. It is, very rarely, an issue when the virus is not as dead as it is supposed to be. Every now and then, the oral polio vaccine does give a child polio. Compared to the horrific crippling and loss of life that comes from a polio epidemic, it’s still better than the alternative (and the USA & UK-based anti-vax idiots don’t even have to worry about that, because those two countries don’t even use the oral version.)

            1. It’s depressingly common for vaccines not to be treated the way they’re supposed to– my grandfather was killed because a “keep refrigerated, use within 24 hours” vial was used on Thursday, used on Friday, left on a cart over the weekend, and he was the Monday guy. (The really sad thing is, the “doctor” had done this to at least a dozen people before– my grandfather is just the first one to die, rather than lose a limb or become disabled.)

            2. Thank you VERY much for that! The egg and fish allergy question came up when we were getting my kids immunized over here (because the records got destroyed in the floods) and while there’s some seafood allergy for some things, (like the kids apparently can eat shellfish and fish sticks just fine, I can only have the fish sticks and I’m hesitant to try the shrimp – I miss tempura so much waaah!) the reactions I described were deemed to be ‘mild enough to risk.’ But no, if the allergy is severe enough in reaction they’ll say not to risk the vaccine coz the reaction being severe enough to endanger life … yeah, no, they’ll tell you it’s probably not a good idea, maybe later if the kiddy outgrows the allergy and notes are made on the records.

              It baffles me that people get so uneducated about the vaccines, and act like they were told that there’s no risk whatsoever. Here they tell you flat out “There’s a risk, like anything else. It’s small, but it happens and it’s your decision.”

              And yes, I don’t understand the attitude of ‘there’s some deaths BUT THAT’S ENOUGH BAD VACCINES GET RID OF THEM’.

          2. I believe if you get the flu from the squirt-vaccine, another one hitting you while you’re sick isn’t supposed to be counted as a secondary infection. Goes along with how me getting flu-symptoms every time the Navy vaccinated me didn’t count. (In theory, not possible; in practice, booger if I know why it happened, I didn’t notice it had happened until co-workers pointed it out. I never get the flu. That requires human interaction. {humor})

            1. This is why I tend not to get the vaccine.

              Gotten the vaccine five times. Five times, got the flu immediately thereafter. Twice, was worst flu of my life (needed hospital). Flu any other times? Nope. Not even once. Just colds, stomach bugs, the same stuff everybody gets every now and then.

              1. My theory has to do with a highly concentrated population of everyone in the places that sick people go.

                See also, the “joke” that Hospitals are where you go to get sick and die.

                1. Of my five, three were college clinics (definite high concentration of sick people… also full of people who had actual illnesses that needed to be treated). The remaining two I have no answer for, as they were back home in a local clinic, not much turnover there.

                  Chalk it up to weird biology. My family checks every box in the “history of” save epilepsy, yet most live well into their eighties despite bad health habits.

                  We have the “joke” in my little mountains, too. There’s a sad bit of truth to it, yes.

              2. Whereas I got the syringe-vaccine instead of the nasal squirt, and it was a good two months before I got the flu. I’ve gotten the syringe (dead) vaccine every year since the one I worked maintenance at an international airport (including the non-customs-cleared side) and picked up something nasty out of China. Before that, I was all “I’m young and tough and it might make me sick.”

                Since then, I’m all “I’m never going through that again!” Most years I don’t get the flu at all; every year but this one, it’s been mild when I’ve gotten it. This year, the swine flu was mild compared to the bad cases – I just got bronchitis on the tail end, and then a different flu strain before I’d recovered from the prior flu/bronchitis. Truth to tell, it’s still much milder than what my unvaccinated husband is suffering through right now – but it’s still bad enough to make laundry and dishes a major effort, much less my normal workload.

                1. That might have something to do with it- one of the “worst of my life” flus was the nasal squirt.

                  I have to be very careful of respiratory illnesses because my mom and grandma are highly susceptible. I may try the syringe again next year, just to see, because anything that keeps me from getting flu keeps them healthy, even if I’ve hardly ever gotten it before. It may be a risk, but there’s a responsibility there, too.

                  1. I think I quoted it above, but: the squirt does make you shed live, catch-able germs according to the CDC. Just not as bad as if you got sick in the first place.
                    A thought: perhaps those of us who almost never get sick unless we’re vaccinated have really good immune systems that nuke stuff from orbit, and the sick we get is from our body’s reaction to an unusual level of “We’ve been invaded” crud?
                    My husband has been really sick twice since he can remember– one was the Small Pox vaccine, the other was a horrible crud after he came back that matched whatever hit me when he was gone. (I’m never sick. It had me flat out for a full day.)

              3. when I mentioned this to doctor he denied it. He also denied side effects. When I asked about a symptom I was having, he brushed it off. otoh, I am supposed to do whatever he says. he doesn’t give me info and let me make a choice. no it’s you must do this. I get fed up with him sometimes. otoh, who else can I call that will call in refills on my meds when I’m out of town?

      1. One of colleagues tried to correlate this with the explosive growth of windmill electrical generators in our area and their effects on the populations of bats and mosquitos. Which lead me to ask when influenza gained an insect vector.

    1. The replacement mailman just came to the bookstore, far too early, Ben will have to take the books to the PO himself. He says the regular mailman, a heavy smoker, is bad sick, though he did the route a couple of weeks ago.

  6. I agreed with their position in the war, but how many times can you say the other side are poopy heads without growing stale?

    *suspicious* Have you been talking to my husband?
    Not that his “once it’s firmly explained, and you’re starting to repeat yourself to the point of tears, walk away. Unless they have authority to edit what you said, it will be there for anybody who cares to read; if they do have authority, well, they’ll screw with it or they won’t.”

    It’s been great for my stress levels, but I think my Guardian Angel’s arm is getting tired from grabbing my shoulder, so to speak.

    1. “Unless they have authority to edit what you said, it will be there for anybody who cares to read; if they do have authority, well, they’ll screw with it or they won’t.”

      this brings to mind the observation that over on the leftoid sites one finds littel reason to argue with them there. Any valid points, facts or whatever will usually be deleted, or not ever posted, and only those who, while possibly agreeing with you, are incapable of making a coherent point, are loons in their own right, and fit a cherish meme of the leftoids (like “racist tendencies” of which many are false flags I am convinced) are ever going to be posted.

      1. I’ll add to your false flags suspicion: here we used to get a particular poisonous kind of bible thumper. By this I don’t mean religious person, I mean BIBLE THUMPER. People who will answer a comment with Ah ah! and a LONG quotation form the Bible that you can’t figure out.
        We also got some crazygonuts Marxists who were arguing au serious and trying to convert us. I started banning those, because, well, why should I let them lure the unwary and uninformed. The religious nuts stopped. I finally went and checked. Yep. the two were likely to have the same IP.

        1. I help run a couple of web sites, on almost completely unrelated topics.

          The one is a social/political/religious commentary site, of little interest to anyone but libertarian-leaning conservative orthodox Mormons, and one of the contributors posted a not particularly good (though not dreadful, either) short story about missionaries in Argentina. We got a string of absolutely vulgar, ignorant comments from someone claiming to be in Argentina. Checked the IP: Sao Paolo, Brazil. Well, close enough, I suppose, at least if you figure all South Americans are alike. 😉 Banned him.

          The other is the history site I’ve occasionally pimped here. Got a comment out of the blue on my article on the Kuomintang that began “You dumb a$$ …” and disagreeing with my take on Kuomintang economics and politics. (They were dreadful. But evidently I didn’t make them sound dreadful enough.) Sure enough, same address in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Go figure.

          Trolls gotta troll, I guess.

            1. I hesitate to link the first, because the fact I help administer it is not widely known. Plus it’s probably way reactionary for the tastes of most of the folks here. Is there a way to send it to you privately?

              The second I’m happy to shill at the drop of a hat.


              Check out the table of contents. Proof, if any was needed, that we government drones have way too much time on our hands.

          1. … someone claiming to be in Argentina. Checked the IP: Sao Paolo, Brazil.

            I’d note that it’s not completely impossible for this person to have been telling the truth. IP geolocation databases aren’t always too accurate: when I was in Dallas, if I looked myself up on or other services, I would sometimes find them claiming I was in Austin. Why Austin? Because that’s where the headquarters of my ISP was, and so that’s the address that made it into the geolocation database for that particular range of IP addresses.

            So if your ignorant commenter/persistent troll was located in, say, the northeastern part of Argentina, I wouldn’t find it completely out of the question that he might have been using an ISP headquartered in São Paulo. I’d put it at a low probability given that trolls do tend to lie a lot, but it’s a claim that’s at least remotely plausible.

            1. My favorite is that my ISP has been everything between the two Vancouvers and as far east as Spokane, that I have noticed.

              That said, wouldn’t country lines be kinda different? I haven’t seen myself show up as Oregon unless I was visiting my sister, and that’s just states.

          2. of little interest to anyone but libertarian-leaning conservative orthodox Mormons,

            Wow. That’s a niche audience.

            How big is the audience?

            1. I think it includes my neighbors, but then they’re breaking all the expectations of Mormonism anyways….. (given the others I’ve been familiar with, that’s good)

        2. I’ve been to a blog many moons ago that the owner would allow those past but added a bold “(likely false flag attempt)” to the posting. A few others will edit out the statement but explain to them what was offensive and why, or state the thing had absolutely nothing to do with the argument at hand, and to try again.
          Others just let them wander about but keep pointing out the tactics (Like over at MHI with his checklist) unless things are totally out of hand and too stupid to allow to live.

    2. A few more Rules may fitly be given here, for correspondence that has unfortunately become controversial.

      One is, don’t repeat yourself. When once you have said your say, fully and clearly, on a certain point, and have failed to convince your friend, drop that subject: to repeat your arguments, all over again, will simply lead to his doing the same; and so you will go on, like a Circulating Decimal. Did you ever know a Circulating Decimal come to an end?

      Lewis Carroll, “Eight or Nine Wise Words about Letter-Writing”

      1. This. Especially this. It’s a very common problem with all kinds of people, at levels far below a proper Blog War. I… *looks at the ceiling* …may have even seen some of the Huns and Hoydens fall into such an… error. *Pointedly doesn’t look at anyone in particular*

        1. Some who do it may do so in the belief (mistaken or otherwise) that you need to repeat yourself because some readers might miss the point the first time.

          Of course, sometimes it is easy to get the idea that “you’re the most intelligent person in the room” especially when the readers seem to miss the point.

          On the gripping hand, sometimes the “most intelligent person in the room” proves how stupid he is.

        2. And sometimes a few of us forget that just because the supine equine moves a little after you hit it with a large log, such movement does not mean that the horse is still alive. *rueful grin*

        3. *chuckle* I know I do this. No excuse. Sometimes I look back after I hit submit and go “waitaminute… I already said that,” or someone else already did (usually better and more succinctly).


          I’m getting better, I promise!

          1. I only duplicate posts when I post before reading all my messages. If I do wait, then I won’t post anything.

            1. When I am churning through a backlog of messages comments and find a point I want to react to I open the blog post (either through the comment “header link” of by the “reply” link) then copy a distinctive word or phrase from the comment, click on the post tab, hit CTRL F and paste the phrase into the opened box. This allows me to find the comment and quickly skim replies to determine whether the point I want to make has already been made.

              Then I uthually go ahead and potht my reaction anyway becauthe I am jutht tho pithy.

        4. But, of course, there’s the complementing error of saying something once, obscurely, and then refusing to explain.

          (I, naturally, fall into the “Say it in sixty different ways with way, way, WAY more stuff than anyone wanted” area. Somehow, my husband not only puts up with it but seems to find it cute.)

  7. … of the sort where my fingers think “head” is an apt substitute for “door” (this for some reason happens in my manuscripts a lot when I’m tired.)

    Mad-Libs Syndrome. It happens to the [adjective] of us.

  8. In fact, don’t attack people at all. Attack their ideas/beliefs/wrong-headed behavior that set you off in the first place. Calling anyone a poopy head doesn’t convince anyone. Explaining why an idea/belief is wrong might.
    Ah yes, but I do find that any pointing out that your typical leftoid’s beloved ideas are wrong, and worse, providing facts and evidence to why is considered a personal attack, and tends to bring about a worse reaction from them than calling them a poopyhead would.
    I have have left certain “debates” and then the forum/board/community, when those I was arguing with ( a few who actually tried to use what they thought were points of fact) when my facts started to be ignored, and the loons started simply stating that I was lying. Didn’t matter what I said or could prove.
    My “favorite” was the one how the Vietnamese Reeducation Camps were not all that bad … because John Effing Kerry visited there and those who he talked to said everything was supercoolfine.
    Having names and even offers for a phone number to chat with a few folks who escaped Vietnam or bribed numerous officials so family would be allowed to leave (ever notice communists really like hard cold American cash? Wonder if that still holds with the latest group ruining … err …running the economy) were met with the “Lies” defense.

    1. Or the “your data are wrong because I have numbers from [govt/agency/think tank] and they’d never lie to me.” Un huh, and I’ve got a bridge to sell you, especially if you are looking at weather records and trying to argue AGW from info that the holding agencies freely admit they’ve “adjusted” several times. (This applies to several countries, btw.)

      1. I often say AGW is religion for the godless leftoid and most of them are zealots. No amount of fact will sway them from their belief of the dogma. When they point out it is “Science, from Scientists” I tell them they might want to look up all the “Scientific” hoaxes through history to find plenty of cases of “consensus” that not just wrong, but fabricated.

      2. oh, and I have one large folder of links with numbers and stuff much from real by gosh scientists that either point out how wrong the numbers, models, etc. But this requires a basic foundation in Maths and logic so they got ignored.

        1. I’d be interested in receiving a copy of said link collection if you have it easily to hand: I’ve occasionally thought that I should put one together for when I get into those arguments with someone who does listen to logic (I do know some), but I’ve not really known where to start.

          My email address, which is managed by Google, is not hard to deduce. Just put in a period separating first name from last name, and send it to the obvious domain for Google email.

            1. I recommend CS does have them on the sidebar.
              He also has a long list down low on the right sidebar with links to “Lukewarmers, Pro AGW Views, and Skeptical Views as well as Political Climate

              1. I do read Wattsupwiththat, though I couldn’t remember Anthony Watts’ blog’s name (or his name, for that matter) last night as I was posting, so I left it out rather than say “I do read that one skeptic blog … you know the one … I think”. 😀 But I don’t have a good collection of individual blog posts to point to.

          1. **bangs head on wall**
            So I think to myself, “Self. you best check those links to weed out the dead ones.”
            I find folders from 1999 but I cannot find the AGW one.

            I looked for an hour (the .json file of my links is 524KB!) and it seems I either didn’t have it in Firefox (though I got links all over, most dead dead dead from other arguing on The blog that shall not be named, Keenspot and Kyokipress among others) or for what ever reason I deleted it and don’t remember doing it.
            memory is the second thing to go

      3. Let’s not even start on UN Infant Mortality stats — they’re like comparing per capita automobile ownership between countries that consider the class “automobiles” excludes trucks, SUVs, Vans (mini or otherwise) convertibles, roadsters and hot rods and countries that consider the class “automobile” to be comprised of any wheeled device with self contained engine, including bicycles.

        1. I thought motorized bicycles were bad– note, not motorcycles, bicycles which have a motor on them and can get over 35 mph– until I saw the next step on, motorized scooters.

          Note, not motorscooter.

          A kid’s scooter which the guy attached a motor two, and was getting at least 30mph out of when he went past the electric speed sign…..

          1. Texas can consider those as Motorcycles and demand you have a license and whatnot (some cops look the other way, and oh, if you’ve been riding a motorcycle for 30+ years, then move to Texas, your out of state Motorcycle endorsement is ignored … back to class with you). Michigan considers anything with a less than 50cc engine a “Moped” so even a Derbi or old Honda MB5 is not a “motorcycle”.

          2. Depending on state a “motorized bicycle” often is a bicycle with a less than 50cc motor and going Less than 35 mph. You may or may not be legal to use said vehicle with a suspended license, you may or may not be legal to use said vehicle in a ‘non-motorized’ area, said vehicle may or may not need to be licensed, you may or may not be able to get traffic tickets (like for speeding, failure to yield, etc.) on said vehicle, you may or may not be able to get a DUI on said vehicle, and …. uh yeah, motorized bicycle definitions, laws, rules, and regulations are … uh…. vague, and …. uh…. interesting. They also vary from place to place, and from officer to officer, lawyer to lawyer, and judge to judge. Interpretation tends to vary wildly.

    2. There was a time when I commented on those sites and blogs, occasionally. I never started to argue, almost always I just asked if somebody could clarify something which didn’t seem to make sense, or played devil’s advocate but said I was doing it, some sort of ‘okay, but what if…’ question, maybe with a few data points added.

      Often somebody tried, at first, but most often their answers skirted the actual question rather than answered, and often, if I kept asking, they’d get more or less rude sooner or later.

      So I gave up. As I have said I was kind of half in that camp once, because it was the only thing you saw anywhere in public discourse here, and what we were taught in school and could read in newspapers. I always had doubts, but I had this thought that I probably had to be wrong about them since all the authorities seemed to think otherwise.

      And I might have stayed in that camp if I could have gotten decent answers to some of those questions I had. Transfer to the dark side was easy in the end because there seem to be hell of a lot more people here who actually consider questions, and try to answer them, and cite facts and figures and _give the sources_ so you can go over them yourself instead of just reciting the same old talking points over and over. And don’t get angry at you if you ask them to clarify something. And occasionally even admit that there may be something they don’t understand yet, and perhaps the answer, when gotten, might even upset some of their pet theories.

      1. Yeah, you’ll notice, I’m sure, they also prefer to keep most people in the dark and like the Democrats here, rely on a base of people who are completely ignorant of the issues, and how things work. That is a big reason why it is said the “right” wants leftoids to keep on talking, and the “left” wants everyone else to shut up.
        When your “winning” strategy is to get as many ignorant and uneducated people to the polls, make fraud easy as possible, as well as trying to let those who will vote your way for nefarious reasons (felons vote democrat if allowed by a major majority because they go soft on crime for the most part, and are all for disarming their victims … I’ll leave who’s victims they are up to you to decide) I will for some reason doubt your sincerity in saying you have my best interests in mind.

      2. … if I could have gotten decent answers

        Decent answers to those questions are the one thing they don’t have, haven’t had, and will never have … because their only answers are varying flavours of indecent.

        1. We had a lot here in town, and one night, son and I ringed their camp in mocking posters. Told Dave Freer. He said “OMG, are you crazy? Those buggers are ALWAYS murderous.”

  9. Reblogged this on Blackeagle's Wizard's Den and commented:
    Sarah Hoyt can be a hoot-and-a-half. She can also be astute, serious, and well-worthwhile to read as a blogger. (With apologies to the lady, I am far less familiar with her actual fiction output – a situation I fully intend to rectify as soon as funds allow, I assure every one of you!)

    I will add somewhat to the sub-rules for InternetWar orbital strikes: apply so much of Baker’s Drugs as you have at your disposal when needed. (Ah, you don’t know about Baker’s Drugs? Those are the tactical decisions that, when made at just the right time, absolutely astound your opponents and may or may not actually accomplish the intended result — but whatever they do accomplish will be notable for style, lack of style, or absoposilutely one-hundred-percent panache.)

  10. Reblogged, with addition for Rule Five: if ya got ’em, use Baker’s Drugs along with the orbital strike. (Quick summary of intent: add your own personal style, do not just lay down a carpet-bombing run.)

          1. For shame!!! You are the first person on this blog to make that error!!! (well, this week!! maybe.)

            (Glances nervously down to check “Notify me” box.)

  11. “Then there are the precious flowers, on and off this blog, who lecture me about not knowing other countries since I never left this one… yeah.”

    So, do they apologize when they find out where you grew up? I’m guessing they don’t.

    1. People who rearrange reality inside their heads to make themselves look good *never* apologize, because in their personal reality, they’ve never done anything that needs an apology.

    2. Nope. They make up stuff I didn’t say (“Obama is a communist”) and argue I should know better… (He’s almost certainly a communist by conviction, having been raised one, and showing no signs of the big conversion people sometimes have. BUT he governs like a fascist.)

      1. That’s sort of like saying “He was raised Catholic but governs like a Greek Orthodox.”

        Are there ANY communist rulers out there that didn’t govern like fascists?

        1. What definition of “Fascist” and “Communist” are you folks using?

          Because neither frankly there’s tons of nitpicky little differences (like are class differences more important than ethnic or racial differences and who technically owns the means of production) but very little real differences–both Communists (and their little brothers the socialists) and Fascists believed in racial AND class distinctions, and it doesn’t really matter of you have a piece of paper on file somewhere that said you OWN the land and the factory when the government tells you exactly what and how much to produce, and how much to pay, and can take it all away from you with the stroke of a pen.

        2. Well, arguably Lenin and Stalin. Maybe Mao. The difference is economic. Communists have the state own things. Fascists have the state control the owners of things.
          Yes, it reminds me of that farside cartoon with the aliens on the door of bathrooms and “Only they know the difference.” But they like bringing up “He didn’t nationalize industry” so, there it is.

          1. Which reminds me: A comment on the German lady professor’s blog seemed to believe you’d fled Portugal when the fascists were replaced by communists.

            Correct me on this: When you speak about the Marxist government you grew up under, it’s right-deviationist Marxism you’re referring to, right?

            1. No. I was six. But I didn’t “flee” Portugal. I got married to an American and moved here… 11 years after the revolution.
              I’ve talked about the ancien regime here before. They were what FDR would have been, had he been able to pull it off here. So, yes, still Marxist. And they kept the country desperately poor for decades. Also, it was illegal to say anything bad about the president in public. The only thing going for them is that they kept Portugal out of Russian hands, but that’s a minor “plus.” But in the next five (six?) years, after the left took over, we got treated to everything, including Maoists for a few months (they still find graves from that period.) Of course for Africa the trade off in leftists was a horror show. The Leftists handed Africa to Russians and Cubans — so tons of people ran here at that time, and who could blame them? It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with not being slaughtered. (It’s actually the difference between national and international leftists. The choice is grim, but if you must pick one, pick the first. They’re less likely to let invaders kill you.)
              That they thought I fled here at that time, must mean they think I’m A LOT older and from Africa. Or, then again, they’re dumb as rocks. Your pick.

              1. Ah, but the first sort hate me because (as everyone knows) all Jews are communists; the second because (as is equally-well known) all Jews are capitalists.

              2. “That they thought I fled here at that time, must mean they think I’m A LOT older and from Africa. Or, then again, they’re dumb as rocks. Your pick.”
                Or both, of course.

                Maybe they think you are an Azorean. There was noise about secession when the left took over.

                1. The thing is, one couldn’t blame them. AGAIN I should write about the difference between nationalist Marxists and Internationalist Marxists. The second kind always defaults to “I must destroy my country in order to save it” and they manage to be way worse than the stupid nationalist kind who WANT the best for the country but are too dumb and greedy to manage it. (Their idea is sort of “the country on top of the world, me on top of the country.”) A pox on both their houses, but again, given a choice, pick the nationalists. Of course, we WEREN’T given a choice. The critters in power here and our elites are the internationalist kind… G-d have mercy on our souls (and our bodies.)

                  1. These days they’ve all abandoned specific platforms. Whether as a tactic to avoid having to defend the details of their ideas or because they are all too stupid and illeducated to hold a thought in their heads….

                    1. Sadly there is a lot in what you say. More and more the operating principal seems to be “kick your teeth in and then jail you for mumbling”

                    2. Sorry, incomplete.
                      That was supposed to be started with: One of the benefits of not having a platform of ideas to fight from is that it really opens up your options for what you can do, and the pretext you can adopt to justify it. Once you reach that state you have free license to carry on and do what your whim is to accomplish what you will, and then call it whatever you like. SO the operating principal seems to have become “kick you in the teeth and then jail you for mumbling”. All for the benefit of reaching…whatever. The Utopia of Next Tuesday, or whatever,

            2. BTW, the neighborhood two streets over is mostly Cape Verdians — BLACK and Mixed race Cape Verdians — who escaped here right after the revolution in 74. I bet these idiots think that the handing over of the Portuguese colonies to Russians and Cubans was a GOOD thing for the native populations. (SPITS.)

                  1. The Federation wanted to make peace with the Space Fascists so they traded off several planets so everyone had a nice, straight line.

                    The Marquis are the ones who were handed to the Space Fascists.

                    1. When I found that out– while the show was running– I was horrified because it was the first time I’d heard that the Originals existed.

                      We’d spent time building Japanese internment camps out of sugar cubes (ones at odds with what the folks I’d grown up with who’d lived in them, and around them, remembered) but we hadn’t mentioned an actual resistance in the place where boots were on the ground?

                    2. There is a certain amount of regional focus too. When Enemy at the Gates came out I was dating an Indonesian woman, and she wanted to go see it, and I had to explain Germany’s invasion of Russia and the great patriotic war. She was up on what the Japanese did, but the European theater was not something she learned about.

      2. I keep asking the smart people who insist that the Nazis weren’t left-wing to please tell me how to square the whole “National Socialist Workers Party” thing with them being some right-wing organization, but I can never get a straight answer out of them…

        The only real differences between communist, socialist, and fascist amount to variations in degree–They all believe in the collective over the individual, the state over all else.

        That whole ju-jitsu move that turned the Nazi party into a right-wing organization just stuns me with the totality with which they’ve accomplished it. Just like how Lincoln is a democrat, the civil rights movement was stonewalled by the Republicans, and all the rest of their counterfactuals. Mind-boggling, when you think about it.

        1. “That whole ju-jitsu move that turned the Nazi party into a right-wing organization just stuns me with the totality with which they’ve accomplished it. ”

          The first people to say the Nazis were “to the right” were Stalin’s Communist party. They were saying that Naziism was a “right deviation” of communism, not that it was “right wing” in the US political sense.

          Of course, it seems like the bulk of what the American left believes in came from Soviet agitprop, so…

          1. Yeah,
            I’ve asked various leftoids what Nazis, Fascists and “Right Wing” Americans have in common, and all they tend to come up with consistently are:
            – Patriotic towards ones country
            – Support a strong Military (that Communist do also is totally different…no really)
            – are Racists(tm) (everyone they hate it seems MUST be racist … because shut up … racist!!1!11)

        2. You should like Ernst von Salomon’s FRAGEBOGEN, where in one passage he explains how he was not a Nazi because he was an rightist AUTHORITARIAN.
          The “Fragbogen” was a questionnaire circulated by the Allied Military Government in the belief that it would tell them who the real Nazis were. What Ernst’s “answers” turns out to be is an inimitable compendium of human stupidity. (Ever heard of the Battle of Crailsheim? No? It was the last German victory.)

        3. Thanks for this, it boggles me too.

          Just like how Lincoln is a democrat, the civil rights movement was stonewalled by the Republicans, and all the rest of their counterfactuals.

          As for that, the reply I’ve gotten is “The parties back then aren’t the same parties now.”

          1. Hey, I have been told that Janet “We had to kill the children in order to save them” Reno was a Republican, and poor Clinton was somehow “forced” to “retain” her in his cabinet.

          2. That would explain why Republican state organizations are all the time having Jefferson-Jackson dinners for fund-raisers while Democrat organizations celebrate Lincoln, I s’pose.

            In fairness, Grover Cleveland was one Democrat most modern Republicans could endorse:

            Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism, and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans. His crusade for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. He relentlessly fought political corruption, patronage and bossism. Indeed, as a reformer his prestige was so strong that the like-minded wing of the Republican Party, called “Mugwumps”, largely bolted the GOP presidential ticket and swung to his support in the 1884 election.

            and whom most modern Democrats would denounce.

        4. To be fair (and Orson Card has pointed this out) the explicitly-racist Democrats of the South did leave their party for the Republicans. They toned down the rhetoric, but perhaps should not have been made quite so welcome.

          Of course those folks of half a century ago are long gone, but the critics adhere to a literalist reading of “remembers the sins of fathers on children, and children’s children, and the third and fourth generation.”

          1. Card has also pointed out that, aside from the racism, those Southern Democrats had nothing in common with the national Democrat Party. So without racism bonding them to the party, their values of family, national defense and fiscal restraint were more suited to the GOP — which remained indifferent to race while the Democrats flipped the race card and played it the other direction.

            1. I’m confused now.

              Joel says that the Southern Dems who were racist left and joined the Republicans.

              But from what you imply, the National Democrat party were racist and the Southern Democrats, without racism to bond them to the party, “their values… were more suited to the GOP.”

              How could the supposedly most racist of the Southern Democrats join the Republicans if the reason why, if I understand this from you, they left was because racism was what they lacked.

              *headhurt* o_o

              From what I understand, our Conservatives of today hold the ideals of the Classic Liberal. (Always fun when I’m talking politics at home, and I have to make clear I’m talking about American Liberals, not Australian Liberals, which are center-right, apparently. I’m starting to adopt the word ‘Progressives’ instead, since that’s what Labour is over here… GOOD FUN TRYING TO KEEP THAT SORTED.)

              1. Had a blow up about that here a while back, where some folks were upset that an American blogging on an American blog, responding to Americans, was using American terminology because non-Americans might read it…..

                1. Ah, pff. I just have to start remembering the terms used here, because I’m in ‘Straya now!

                  Having tried to demonstrate the circular ‘reasoning’ I’ve seen used on the Pet Causes to Housemate, his translation of it now is ‘So they want to pretend that there’s a choice when in fact they’re offering you none. And they don’t want anyone to ever have personal responsibility.” He’s actually wondering how the heck that kind of mindset even crept in at all, it sounds so insane.

                  1. Matter of perspective.

                    I’ve had folks assure me that my God must be either evil or powerless, because He will not force people to only make choices which hurt themselves rather than others.

                    It’s a lot easier to oppose free will when you’re freshly hurting from someone’s exercise of it.

                  2. I find it helps to replace “left” and “right” or “liberal” vs “conservative” by “wants to change what has been the baseline” vs “wants to preserve and build on the baseline.”

                    It doesn’t work so well with the historical origin of the “Nazis are right-wing” thing, at least not without some pounding, but it’s a good rule of thumb.

                    Thus, American conservatives are largely classical liberals because we’re built on George Washington and such, while EU conservatives hark back to kings and stuff.

                    1. Alternatively, and with some adjustments for windage on the Social Conservative front, Democrats are the party which thinks we would all be better off if ivory-tower narcissist intellectuals screwed up people’s lives while Republicans think it is better for people to screw up their lives all on their own.

                      Or, as Thomas Sowell has expressed it, the two parties represent two different visions, with conservatives embracing what he terms the constrained vision — good things are limited, their distribution will always be uneven, and trade-offs will be required — while liberals are prone to think the absence of a “just” society is because some bad, greedy, mean-spirited people are taking more than their fair share. He also argues that conservatives are focused on whether a policy achieves its stated purposes while liberals are more concerned that policies they advocate “reflect well upon them” than whether they are effective. Thus the push for a higher minimum wage in spite of the fact that it demonstrably reduces employment for minimum wage workers.

                      If the matter is of interest I strongly recommend Sowell’s Vision of the Anointed, which expresses the thesis at length and is so good you will slow down your reading so as to not reach the end too soon.

              2. How could the supposedly most racist of the Southern Democrats join the Republicans if the reason why, if I understand this from you, they left was because racism was what they lacked.

                Little trouble scanning that, but…. basically the idea is that the SouthDems were anti-black (and poor immigrant, and Catholic, and…basically, anti-outside-their-culture), plus pro-family, national defense and fiscal restraint ; when Dems started actively attacking the other stuff, it outweighed the disagreements with the Repubs on what is essential to the culture.

                Probably helped that TV let people find out that some of their black neighbors shared their values. (I knew normal, racist folks– individuals always outweigh the race thing, and if you get enough folks, then the “race” aspect becomes a sub-group rather than represenative. This is demonstrated by older black folks talking about “white [n-words]” and the book called something like “Black Rednecks.” Secondary note, the word “Redneck” will vary heavily by who is using it, because the two cultures have really different applications. The book was about the honestly pejorative version.)

                1. You are probably referring to Thomas Sowell’s “White Liberals, Black Rednecks” in which Sowell (a black man, raised in the Jim Crow South and in Harlem and an economist who started out as an admirer of Marx) argues that quote — African-American Culture — unquote is actually derived from the White Trash (or Crackers) of the American South and is no more genuinely African than Edmund Blackadder is an accurate representation of British History.

                2. I probably should have done this to begin with, but… Quoting now~

                  Joel: To be fair (and Orson Card has pointed this out) the explicitly-racist Democrats of the South did leave their party for the Republicans. They toned down the rhetoric, but perhaps should not have been made quite so welcome.

                  RES: Card has also pointed out that, aside from the racism, those Southern Democrats had nothing in common with the national Democrat Party. So without racism bonding them to the party, their values of family, national defense and fiscal restraint were more suited to the GOP

                  That’s what had me confused (in italics). So race wasn’t as important to these Sou-Dems despite being ‘explicitly racist’?

                    1. No, they consider Republicans who support explicitly race-blind policies to be racist. Because if you don’t notice a person’s skin color you are racist. If you cannot understand what Clarence Thomas has done to merit being called an Uncle Tom and depicted as a lawn jockey, you are racist.

                      Sigh – I now need a drink of Alfonzo Rachel to clear my mental palate.

                  1. Think of it as menus at two different picnics. In the early Sixties the Democrats offered unionism, moral licentiousness, gutting our military, blaming Amerika first, enabling our enemies and racism.

                    Once racism was taken off the menu at the Democrat table (it was never on the Republican table) Southern Democrats had no reason to dine under the Democrat tent.

                    1. Yeah – I saw that on the “front page” of the NY Times last night. I sooooo much don’t want to hear their justifications for that. I guess if you think American strength was the great disrupter of Whirled Peas over the last 100 years it makes sense, the same way that rounding pi to 3 for easier calculation makes sense.

                    2. I am speechless… considering the power plays when we are NOT on the open seas — actually we haven’t had enough Navy on the open seas since Clinton imho– and we are seeing the results. I hear stories from my brother who is with the Merchant Marines.

                    3. This will do so much to persuade the Iranians that our resolve has not weakened and they must eschew their pursuit of nuclear weapons and missiles with which to launch them. It will also help dissuade China from thinking they can enjoy a “short, sharp war” against Japan to seize unchallenged control in the South China Sea.

                      And with the US leading by example, we cannot doubt that other nations, such as Japan, India, Australia and the Western European powers will follow, making the world safer from the threat of war. After all, it takes two to make war.

                    4. Dollars to doughnuts, the guys who actually do stuff will be first on the cutting block.

                      But, hey, there’s a symbolic freeze on the top brass! (Seeing as how a reservist officer can make more in a weekend than my then-active husband made in a month, eeek.)

                    5. Was true in the early 90s as well (guys and gals who did the work left in big numbers). And then there was a time that the Navy in particular lost their tech expertise– contractors did some of the work at a much higher price than work done by trained sailors.

                    6. Continuing the metaphor, why did the Sou-Dems go over to the Republican tent then? Racism doesn’t seem to be on offer there either, if that was all that tied them to the Democrat tent. Was racism that important to them after all, or it wasn’t?

                      But I suppose that’s not as important in the long run, as the Proglodites using it to scream ‘racist’ at their opponents.

                    7. Exactly — once racism was off the table, the Southern Dems found nothing on the Democrat picnic table they could stomach — the tofu, arugula and kale offerings repulsed them. Even though the Republicans didn’t allow racism on their table they did offer cole slaw, hot buttery biscuits, mashed potatoes and hush puppies. Denied their preferred entree, what remained was what determined where the Southerners dined.

              3. Sometimes “family” things are difficult to explain to an outsider.

                The national Democrat Party long permitted the South’s “peculiar institutions” because without the South the national party was marginal, at best. If you look at this map — representing the closest American election of the 20th Century, one determined by “found” ballots in the bowels of Mayor Daley’s Chicago Machine — you will see that the Democratis Party, absent the South, represented the NorthEast and industrial (unionized) heartland and darn little else.

                Once the national party stopped cooperating with the South’s racism, southern Democrats had little in common with the voters of Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Necada, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virgiina. [See earlier analysis.]

                Think of it this way, keeping in mind that metaphors are never perfect: A woman lives with a guy who takes her for granted, disparages her, rarely takes her out any place nice but the sex is great. Once he stops having sex with her she is much more inclined to listen to the attentions of a guy whose idea of how to treat her more nearly corresponds to her own. (Feel free to reverse the sexes of the metaphor or even eschew binaryism altogether.)

          2. The so-called “Dixiecrats”, Racist democrats who supposedly became Republicans…. ever notice how rare it is for people to name or number them? because the facts make a poor cudgel against the Republicans. It’s easier to pretend it was some kind of sea-change, when in fact there were maybe three who successfully retained their office after claiming to switch, and maybe six of them total. I don’t remember the exact details, but Ann Coulter cataloged them once.

            1. If you want to watch Democrat heads explode, ask them why they supported the racists for all those years..and then got upset when they left…. for the party that was instrumental in STOPPING the racial discrimination……

  12. I sat down thinking I was going to read a bit of snark, but this is actually really good advice. Especially for the folks who are new to this whole debating-on-the-internets thing. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I know a lot of folks consider blog-wars to be “impolite confrontation” so they avoid them. A few people have learned that staying “polite” and silent doesn’t really do you much good.

    A lot of people are finally speaking up… but aren’t that good at it. This is a pretty good list to follow for the newbs. (of which, I am probably one.)

    1. It is from The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agness Nutter, Witch

      3477. lette the wheel of Fate turne, let harts enjoin, there are othere fyres than mine; when the wynd blowethe the blossoms, reach oute one to anothere, for the calm cometh when Redde and Whyte and Blacke and Pale approche to Peas is Our Professioune.

  13. Visiting a country on vacation won’t tell you anything about what life in it is like, either. You might come back knowing a ton about artifacts and the local food, but to really know a country you need to live there, at peasant level. (Or be a trained investigative journalist.)

    Probably not enough to know how to live there at a peasant level, because frankly if you’ve got the means to travel to a *foreign* (not just another) country it’s unlikely you’ve got the knowledge to live in your own country as a peasant.

    But let’s draw the distinction between “traveling for fun” and “vacation”, and if you do the former, and you’re looking at the places you visit with the eyes of a traveler and not the eyes of someone looking for a beach chair and a drink with an umbrella then you can learn a crapload in a week or three.

    1. … you can learn a crapload in a week or three.

      As demonstrated by RAH in essay about USSR in Expanded Universe.

    2. I’d quibble a bit with the “peasant” part but otherwise agree. I might be making this up, but I think that I’ve heard the term… living on the economy? As opposed to visiting and spending money from some other economy, I suppose.

      Live there and work there so you’re actually involved in how the local system works. I don’t think it’s necessary to be a peasant.. but at least working class… yes.

      US military overseas doesn’t quite do it, but closer than most and in greater numbers. The US journalist is closer than most, or can be. Lots of expats working and living overseas, so they’ve got it. Not *visiting* you know. Not a tourist. Not on vacation.

      1. I might be making this up, but I think that I’ve heard the term… living on the economy? As opposed to visiting and spending money from some other economy, I suppose.

        That’s what the Navy calls it when you rent a place off base.


        Man, do I miss Japan. Picked my supermarket over which would get me the most stuff to be able to make a few of the dishes I miss…..

          1. My husband found a place that imported a case of CC Lemon for him, and Amazon does have instant milk tea– it’s not perfect, but it’s OK.

          2. Incidentally:
            oh, glee! we got a passable milk tea at Saar’s!

            I’ve also been seeing the Thai canned coffee showing up at Safeway– hopefully, if it hits it off, the Japanese stuff will get over here too.

          1. There are a ton of Asians living in in the Metroplex, which is about 4 hour drive from Austin. I’ll see if anyone does it in my neck of the ‘plex.

          2. Had some sort of cheap sukiyaki a couple days ago that came out of a Safeway deli in Enterprise, OR. No, no idea why they had it, and it probably isn’t what you are used to or looking for, but it wasn’t bad.

    3. William, you got it in writing before I did.

      From my own (VERY) limited experience, being that non-tourist “intentful” traveler is enhanced several times over by being respectful, observant, and reverential. (semi-hypothetical advice, by way of example: Don’t just hurl three random coins into the fountain, take the time to observe what “locals” are doing, be prepared and bring three coins with personal meaning, and follow-up as the local would through whatever additional observance / action is associated with the old customs of the place.)

  14. “I’m not going to say I don’t make English mistakes – ya’ll do too, precious(es) –” Sorry Sarah but, as a Texan, I have to correct you. It’s not really an English mistake and I’m fairly certain you’re a much more competent and accomplished writer than I. Here comes the but, the proper form of contraction you all in Texas is Y’ALL; plural form is ALL Y’ALL. Trying to decide which of your books I’m reading next.

  15. I guess I’m an odd, odd. Long ago, I was bored, wanted something to entertain me and started reading erotica. Like many, it didn’t take long before I said to myself, “I can do better than this is in my sleep!” A little plot, a little characterization and I was going great guns. After my first few stories, people warned me that “The super-Christians will hate you!” I girded my glittery hoo hah and prepared for the worst. Crickets. I published my first book and was told “The progs will eat you alive!” Very, very soft crickets — inaudible, in fact. I’ve commented on MZW posts on Facebook. John Ringo. I’ve done a few of my own. Crickets. Evidently my writing doesn’t push any buttons. I’m just letting you know, Sarah. I’m studying you! I’m really tired of Jiminy and his brothers and sisters!

    1. I push people’s buttons by existing. Always have. One of the great female writers of SF started attacking me before we met, before she read anything of mine, when we were on any mailing lists together. Maybe she was bitten by a Sarah Hoyt as a child. Of course when we met, I wiped the floor with her at a Heinlein panel (No, really. People were coming up afterwards to shake my hand.) And then older son wiped the floor with her at a Heinlein panel. I don’t think she likes me any better now. Ah well, you can’t please everyone and trying will drive you nuts. (I know. I tried for years.)

  16. Launching discussion of proposed military reductions as a new thread, with the following summary of proposal:

    WE’RE SPEECHLESS – AT 8:26 A.M. ET: What does one say to madness? From Fox:

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will reportedly propose a Pentagon budget that will shrink the U.S. Army to its smallest number since 1940 and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets.

    The New York Times reported late Sunday that Hagel’s proposal, which will be released to lawmakers and the public on Monday, will call for a reduction in size of the military that will leave it capable of waging war, but unable to carry out protracted occupations of foreign territory, as in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Under Hagel’s plan, the number of troops in the Army will drop to between 440,000 and 450,000, a reduction of at least 120,000 soldiers from its post-Sept.11 peak.

    Officials told the Times that Hagel’s plan has been endorsed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and protects funding for Special Operations forces and cyberwarfare. It also calls for the Navy to maintain all eleven of its aircraft carriers currently in operation. However, the budget proposal mandates the elimination of the entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attack aircraft, as well as the retiring of the U-2 spy plane, a stalwart of Cold War operations.

    The budget plan does keep money for the F-35 warplane, a project which has been beset by delays and criticism over design flaws.

    Other characteristics of the budget will likely draw further ire from veterans groups and members of Congress. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Hagel would recommend a limit on military pay raises, higher fees for health-care benefits, less generous housing allowances, and a one-year freeze on raises for top military brass.

    COMMENT: Look at this from the viewpoint of foreign adversaries like Russia, Iran and North Korea. The sound you hear is the breaking out of caviar.

    We have tried these major drawdowns before, and every one of them has ended in disaster.

    There is a reason Obama – who is a leftist, not a liberal – picked Kerry and Hagel. Their mission is to reduce America as a world power, for Obama believes that it is the United States that is the source of many of the world’ s problems. He can’t say it, but he’s acting it.

    I’d love to know where the “savings” from these cutbacks will go. I think we all know. Look for an increase in “programs” that will benefit the leaders of major Democratic constituency groups, but not necessarily benefit the followers.

    1. H-ll, he’d do a lot more for military morale and readiness, and the budget, by axing the LCS (aka the Little Crappy Ship) and the F-35. And trimming the number of general officers. But then his masters really believe those asinine posters about “It will be a great day when libraries have all the money they need and the Air Force has to have a bake sale to buy a new bomber.” Just replace “library” with “political organizers.”

    2. Yep– yep– and yep… I am furious as well… I point at history– but they have re-written it to suit themselves. This is a very very bad thing.

          1. As you say, people wanted to hear it. How could there be another major war in Europe so soon after the last one? Some really, truly hoped for “peace in [their] time.” And they got the years that the locusts had eaten, instead.

            Love Vera Lynn, but “White Cliffs of Dover” turns me into a fountain every dang time I hear the opening line.

  17. I always tell myself: “No! Don’t respond to Sarah’s post! Don’t check the box to notify me of follow up comments! Your Inbox can’t handle the flood!”

    But I never listen…

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