Oh, It’s Much Too Late For The Stick

 

Yesterday night I had one of those moments when you feel like you should get up from the computer and go look in the mirror, to make sure your consciousness hasn’t – somehow — transferred over to another universe, and you’re not, by any chance green with poka dots and perhaps antennae. (I always wanted antennae.)

First let me point out that I’m one of those people who only links other people on facebook when either I know them extremely well or the matter I just raised is either something that will interest them.  Of course, sometimes I’ve just accused them of something heinous in jest. For the later this is usually my very closest friends and the joke is somewhat of an in joke.

So it always surprises when people I’ve never traded even two words with tag me on something. Note I said “surprises” not “upsets” me. Normally what I get tagged on are con pictures, a quote of something I said while running my mouth, an echo of a post of mine or of course cat pictures. And I’m not so foolish as to wish to deprive myself of cat pictures.

Sometimes my friends at Baen tag me on something when they wish me to engage in a discussion because my opinion – say because I grew up abroad – is valuable. Sometimes I answer, sometimes I don’t depending on how busy I am, because those threads go on forever and a lot of them seriously damage my calm. But again, it’s not that I mind as such, it’s that I’m surprised because I wouldn’t do that. (Well, okay, sometimes I call the Baen League.)

So, when I get tagged I always at least look at it, even if it’s to say “why is someone linking a cartoon about having small kids on my timeline? Oh, probably tagged in error” and not approving.

Yesterday I had a tag from someone I’d never seen before with “I particularly want the opinion of Sarah A. Hoyt and X because—” X was a colleague of mine who is so far to the left of me that I’d need powered binoculars to see her. We’re not talking one of those “wrote a conservative book once, so everyone thinks she’s a conservative”, we’re talking pretty much everyone knows she thinks Stalin was a bit of a wet blanket and if he’d just had some firmness, we’d already have our earthly paradise. So even though I’d just landed back home from Ravencon and had something like 200 notifications, I had to go look at it and see what this person could want both our opinions on. (We’re actually both very interested in renaissance history so I thought it might be that.)

The tagger was someone I don’t know. Note, it doesn’t mean I haven’t seen her name or even shaken hands at conventions. I have a horrible memory for names and faces. I know most of the regular posters here, but if you are a lurker who introduced himself at a con, (and you know there’s five or so of you at every con I attend) don’t be offended if you have to introduce yourself again and again. I usually remember people on the third introduction. It’s not you. It’s that in cons I meet so many people, it takes a while to stick.

As for remembering people from internet arguments, unless you did something so out of the ordinary insane as to make me laugh like an hyena – such as think I’m a white supremacist – or were so incredibly persistent with stupid attacks as to stick in my memory, sorry.  I won’t remember you and you’re safe from my vengeance (which usually consists of not lending you a hand when you need it). I’m not so much good-natured as vague and too lazy to be bothered much.

So, this person was no one I knew. The thread was the whole thing about whether we should have politics in science fiction and what measures should be taken so only the “right people” got in. She seemed to be you know, at least at the edge of the crowd that thinks it’s terrible that Larry Correia is on the Hugo ballot. (Later Amanda Green did a search and confirmed for me that she is indeed one of the many young politically correct writers who think that science fiction must be made safe for the special feminist glitter, and if males are allowed to talk at all these poor precious blossoms will find themselves back in the kitchen and pregnant. A feat for the young men in this crowd, but I’m sure they’re afraid of it, too.)

And then came the moment when I had to go to the bathroom and look in the mirror to make sure the antennae were properly glossiferied because you wouldn’t want to go around with your antenna kerflected.

The comment I was tagged on, by the originator of the thread, was “I particularly want to know the opinion of Sarah A. Hoyt and X because I don’t want to work with authors who are difficult or are going to cause trouble.”

I looked at the name again, looked at the picture, scratched my head, thought “Well, some houses are hiring them practically out of the cradle these days and maybe she’s younger than she looks” – but even then I had the “Ahahahahahah!” building at the back of my mind. (And I’ll explain why.)

Then I went and looked at her home page. She’s the editor of a micro press, the sort it’s just the person and a few friends. Say Naked Reader Press. Maybe smaller.

At this point the “Ahahahahaha!” is getting louder.

I go and look in the mirror and check my antennae, and come back and think about this. What in hell do my political opinions have to do with my being trouble as a writer? I’m actually so laid back as to be practically supine. I’ve protested exactly three edits in my life, to any marked degree, and even then, all the times, after the edits had gone WAY beyond what other writers would have jumped down people’s throats for. As for the other side of this, when I worked as an editor, the two worst types of trouble a writer has given me have exactly zero to do with politics. (And weirdly, I never got a “my words are just too precious, don’t change a single one.) One of them was asking me every ten minutes if I was going to accept the story (weirdly, I did buy one of those. It was that good.) The others were people who sent me corrections every day, even after the short story had been delivered as part of an antho that had gone to press. This had absolutely NOTHING to do with where the writer was on the political spectrum, but had to do with being a neurotic pain.

So the fact this woman considered my (and I presume the other woman’s, but who the heck even knows) political opinions to be a problem caused me to answer with “Oh, it’s okay. I’ve decided I won’t work with any editor who thinks I should go back in the political closet on either side, so we’re all good.” (Then she went and “liked” this comment which flabbergasted me even more.)

What I should have said, of course, was “What? You want me to reassure you I’ll stay quiet on politics so I get to work with your micro press? WHAT IS THIS? THE 1980s OR a parallel world?” (And I knew it wasn’t the later. I mean, my antennae are jus’ fine.)

Yes, there were much bigger people on that thread, including editors for a lot of big houses, but do I look that stupid? I’m already on their black list and they wouldn’t publish me ever unless I reached J. K. Rowling level, in which case their corporate bosses would make them.

But here’s the kicker: they weren’t publishing me even before. And they weren’t publishing me on the political color line – because I was insufficiently vocal with the leftist tropes. (No, this isn’t having a big head. I’ve seen what they publish. On both competence and entertainment value, I’m way better than most of their stable. But I always had a whiff of possible wrong think about me. In fact, they agree on the competence. One of the funniest things this week was to hear one of them concede that Larry and I “can write well enough to win a Hugo.” This same person, five years ago, though I was too incompetent as a writer to buy. Have I grown that much in five years? Well, I’ve grown, but not that much.)

So by this point the ahahahahahahahahahah should be perfectly clear.

Look, when I broke in, I KNEW – I heard enough conversations, caught enough of them in unguarded moments that I knew – that they would not knowingly publish someone they considered right wing or libertarian. And “right wing” as well as “libertarian” meant someone who was slightly (very slightly) to the right of Lenin. They were, by and large, a left-academic bubble, and had been so steeped in Marxism, some of them from the cradle, that they thought “reasonable” opinion started with Lenin.

I knew this, but there were no other options, and no one had answered my submissions to Baen, and I’m a writer and writers will do almost anything to be read. (It’s part of the stories screaming in your ears.) I couldn’t be vocal left. I just couldn’t, not and look at myself in the mirror. But I thought if I stayed quiet and kept my head down, I could make my way on “fun stories” and make a living, which is all I ever wanted.

I was wrong. As we’re finding out, push, awards and recognition go to those who VOCALLY endorse the same dead (and stinking) platitudes that have caused 100 million dead around the world. Because only “the good people” should be endorsed, pushed and recognized.

And that’s fine. That’s peachy keen. I’ve known that for years.

Would I have remained quiet if they’d allowed me to reach the upper echelons of my profession by staying quiet? Maybe. I have decided opinions, but the flesh is weak. Though even then the dream was always that I’d get to a point I COULD talk.

However, who knows? Baby needed college tuition. Maybe I’m more corruptible than I think.

But that’s neither here nor there. It didn’t happen. They would never even consider it. Not unless you’re of them. (Which reminds me of the math teacher who said she’d give me an A if I joined the communist party. At 13, my answer was: “Madam, for good or ill, I believe I have an immortal soul. I’m not saying I might not eventually sell it, but for an A in math – even if that means entering Engineering school? – The price is way too low.”)

So when I stood on that wind-blown ledge, deciding whether to come out of the political closet, to jump into the maelstrom of public argument, I knew PRECISELY what I was doing. I knew that I’d become a leper. I knew the most heinous things would be said about me and that half the people would believe them without checking. I knew people would read my non political books – Noah’s Boy – and find right wing messages (which is a treat, given I’m a small l libertarian and half these people are European where “Right wing” means something completely different.)

I knew.

I knew if my books with Baen tanked, all I could then do was be indie. And I knew this would mean a diminution in lifestyle. In the same way I knew to the extent that the main houses of publishing could confer on me the ability to not struggle anymore – and they still can to an extent – I was blowing that down the wind.

But there was never much chance, because I couldn’t even pretend to be a communist and wake up in the morning and look in the mirror.

I was more afraid that readership in the mushy middle would eschew my books because if there’s one thing the left propaganda machine can do is make one untouchable. Or could do. I’m not so sure now.

In the moment before I jumped I considered that. Then I looked at what has happened because people like me have stayed quiet. In a way those young people who think Marxism is valid could curse us and the generation before us. Those of us who stayed quiet, at least. And if they ever realize to what extent they’re mistaken they will, too. Because we should have been dissenting voices so they realized this was not the default option, as their professors were telling them. Even if our voices were small and barely heard, we should have been there.

And you know what? If I stop selling altogether? I can write tentacle porn or something. (And then with my other tentacle…)

And then I jumped. When I jumped, I said goodbye to any chance of awards, any chance of recognition, any chance of ever being published by a traditional house other than Baen.

But now someone is trying to push me back in line with the threat of not publishing me in her micro press? Ahahahahahahahah.

Look, I could see this in the seventies or eighties, when if the other doors shut on you this was your only option.

But how is this for failing to get it? If I were capable/willing to abjure, then I wouldn’t ever need the small presses. I do have the craft. I can write. Even if I never got the big push, I could make a living in any publishing house today if I were willing to do that. I wouldn’t need the little presses.

AND if it got to that point that I needed a micro press? Well, that’s why G-d gave us indie. Where if I’m going to sell only 200 copies of a book, I’ll make a lot more out there on my own, with my own micro press.

It was just such a surreal moment, I had to write about it. My thought was “Oh, my heavens, you didn’t realize that we GOT the stick before, right, and that that’s why we were quiet? You thought you were hiding it in velvet and that no one knew there was a political color line? And now that we’re vocal you thought you could push us back in line with THAT STICK? It never occurs to you that we thought through our decision to come out and that one way or another we’re no longer afraid.”

Sweetie, that stick is made of liquorice.

It’s much too late for the stick. And your carrot has precious little power. You’re going to have to come out and debate the cherished ideas that were foisted on you with people who disagree with your mentors and guides and the people you were taught to revere.  You might even find yourself in the “not cool” group.  Just mouthing platitudes won’t get you through.

Welcome to the human race. Welcome to adulthood.

Oh, and also ahahahahahahahahahahahahah.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers, and thank you Glenn Reynolds for the link.

 

 

519 responses to “Oh, It’s Much Too Late For The Stick

  1. Every so often I wonder, “Surely no one is that dumb,” and then I am corrected once again. *le sigh*

  2. I think you are showing a lack of understanding here:
    “t she is indeed one of the many young politically correct writers who think that science fiction must be made safe for the special feminist glitter, and if males are allowed to talk at all these poor precious blossoms will find themselves back in the kitchen and pregnant. A feat for the young men in this crowd, but I’m sure they’re afraid of it, too.)”

    That is in all probability a variant on “Please don’ throw me in that Bri’ar Patch”

    • CombatMissionary

      The sad thing is this: these PC Special Snowflakes sit here and scream shrilly about the evils of Old White Patriarchy. But if they’re so delicate and so fragile that they can’t negotiate the interwebs on their own and carry on a conversation with people who disagree with them without a referee, aren’t they by default declaring that they need somebody bigger, stronger, smarter and tougher than them to protect them? Aren’t they begging for somebody to protect their strong, independent, liberated selves?

      Nobody better to do that than a big, strong man. We don’t care if our precious squishy feelings get hurted and boo-booed.

      • I dearly wish Melody Byrne had not closed her Femina Fortis blog, because she had a magnificent essay about why natural followers still need to learn to defend themselves. It boiled down to “you can’t be a good follower if you can’t help your leader, and you can’t help your leader if you can’t take care of yourself.” The Special Snowflakes don’t get it, so they want to be protected so they can celebrate Grrrrrrrrrl Power or something.

        It explains why so many gals have such messed up heads: they are helpless victims of the patriarchy who are invincible, strong, and empowered. At the same time. Or so the Usual PC Suspects keep insisting.

        • And this is why 90% of girls in my boys’ generation are on anti-psychotics.

          • That’s a disturbing statistic. How many of the boys are on ADD meds, I wonder?

            • Don’t know. I know they tried to push them on both of mine, and while they MIGHT have had some reason in Robert’s case — he wasn’t, but he was VERY active. In Marshall’s case, it didn’t even make any sense. From about age one, his favorite thing was building incredibly complex structures.

              • William O. B'Livion

                Yes, but where they the approved structures at the approved time?

                Otherwise, to paraphrase the Philosopher Pink Floyd “Drug him up against the gills”.

              • At one point, I was buying Chris hundreds of Bionicle parts for his project to make a Bionicle that would have been about 6ft tall. He got an arm about the size of mine done, but kept running out of specific types of parts, and eventually gave it up (I was having a hard time paying for the parts, anyway).

            • The Spouse has postulated that there is an all purpose number: in this case it would be read as too many.

          • The percentage is that low?

            [runs for cover]

        • To be fair, a lot of the Speshul Snowflakes have been treated horribly. Mostly by other Speshul Snowflakes, because they were gullible enough to believe that anybody with the same politics as you is a nice safe friend/sex partner. Unfortunately, they usually will go to great lengths to assure you that their Speshul Snowflake Safe Friend did them no harm even as he/she ripped him/her up, whereas Republicans they’ve never met are allowed to be projected upon as evil rapists of hatey hate.

          Exhibit 1: Marion Zimmer Bradley and her super Speshul pedophile-activist second husband, whom she defended against everyone in fandom who questioned anything about him, while letting him get away with doing bad stuff to her own kids and the kids of others. And while writing feminist sf about the evils of patriarchy and rape, and having all her Speshul feminist friends over at the house ignoring the real crimes going on under their noses.

          • You know, I only recently found out about MZB’s failings you’ve outlined, and I was shocked. Completely shocked. Not because I believe someone on the left could be completely or utterly depraved (no side is immune, unfortunately), but because I find it so reprehensible that anyone would defend such acts.

            • I’m kind of shocked about MZB’s pedo-hubby as well. I never heard a word about it until this post – and in my defense, when it was happening, I was out of CONUS and pretty well occupied, and never a part of fandom, particularly. I did pick up a clue early from her own interviews and book commentaries that she was most emphatically not a Libertarian … but I always had the impression she was one of the non-whiny, small-f feminists, especially with the Renunciates; don’t want to uphold the traditional female roles – then sack up and assume the responsibilities as well as the privileges, defend your independent self and no whining allowed.

              • Yeah, I figured out pretty quickly that she was a feminist, but she wasn’t one I had a problem with. Of course, I read Mists of Avalon back when I was a liberal, so of course I had no issue with it, but it seemed like the variety I still have no issue with.

                As someone who only recently became involved in fandom myself, I had no way to know more than that. Still, it’s shocking to imagine someone would allow that into their home.

                • Women do the most tomfool things for their man. And “feminists” are worse. They rationalize it more. AND they think they’re immune.

                  • Yeah, but the level of what this was…

                    …I really just can’t comprehend it. Almost anything else, I could, but that? Really?

                    • REALLY. The wife of the Jack The Ripper imitator in the late seventies gave a moving interview about how he was her man and she’d stand by him. NOT unusual.

                    • And that’s truly scary.

                    • Look up how many women have married or attempted to marry serial killers on death row, convicted of raping and murdering multiple women. And these are women who initiate the relationship with the man AFTER they know what he is capable of.

                    • Honestly, I can understand an attraction to a serial killer more than I can a pedophile.

                      Luckily, this is one of those things I don’t actually have to understand in the grand scheme of things.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Quite simple. Paraphrasing Kratman because I can’t quite remember the wording:

                      ‘In matters of love, romance, and sex, humans can be not a little stupid, evil, and insane.’

                      Speaking for myself, what I knew of sex before I experienced puberty came from studying things relevant to the interests of children. As in, what do adults do to children for the sake of sex.

                      There are books written for divorcing parents to give to their children. Some of them can be interpreted as ‘shut up, stop whining, you have no grounds to expect us to stay together’. As in, legitimating narratives for the ‘parents’, who only care about the partner of the moment, with little regard for the effect the ‘partner’ has on the children.

                      The literature on this is so widespread that it strikes me as naive that someone wouldn’t think of it. Ever hear of Cinderella?

                    • It’s the parent in me that’s having such a hard time comprehending.

                      Also, Cinderella isn’t a great example. It’s the step parent pulling crap after the parent has died. It’s not the living parent allowing something like that.

                      Note that I’m not saying it didn’t happen, or that it doesn’t happen. It’s just that I can’t imagine how a parent would allow, and even enable, someone to do that to their children. It happens. I hear it on the local news far too often to say otherwise. I just can’t fathom how someone could do that.

                      Honestly, there’s a part of me that prays I never will.

                    • I note that in Aschenputtel, the father is still alive, as he often is in Cinderella variants.

                    • I’ll take your word for it. I’m not familiar enough with any of those variants either way.

                      Still doesn’t help my comprehension though. Like I said, I don’t think anything will.

                    • Well, you have to consider the little matter of stopping him.

                      I was in an online discussion of a case where a woman was physically abusing the child, and the man did not intervene, and in the midst of loudly expressed incomprehension, I observed that if he had intervened, he would likely have found himself labeled a wife-beater and perhaps excluded from contact from the child forever.

                      Much indignation from commenters who seemed to think that a man, if he walks in on his wife force feeding the child some household cleaner, ought to stop her without using force.

                    • Fair enough. I’ll easily concede that it complicates the situation. Sure, there are variables I’m not aware of, but it’s really neither here nor there.

                      Doesn’t mean I can actually comprehend MZB’s situation though. I mean, just kicking the guy out or taking the kids and leaving herself were all options that would have actually made her more of a hero to her ideological ilk. Clearly, for whatever reason, she didn’t. Either she just didn’t think about it, or wasn’t concerned.

                      It’s too late to find out from her though.

                    • Oh, I read the link. The issue is that in the sixties people had a lot of rats in their heads about sex, and SF people always gravitate to the fringe. They honestly believed sex was good for kids — even sex with adults — at least a number of them did, and from MZB’s answers, I suspect she was one of those.
                      As monstrous as the idea is, would we have been sane enough to stop ourselves from believing it if “all the smart people” said it?
                      This is why I keep religion, even if I often doubt some details. It’s wisdom to support my frail mind and keep me from deviating too far. I don’t reason from it, because you shouldn’t, but I wouldn’t stray that far in my private life, because I was taught some things are sins.
                      BUT believe it? I might have. Who knows? I’m not throwing any stones.

                    • Here are some Cinderella variants for anyone who wants to learn:

                      http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/other.html

                      (Evangelizing for a wider variety of fairy tales is one of my hobbies. There have been literally thousands, but I wonder if there is even a Top 10 that you can rely on a modern audience knowing.)

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      If you used to be a liberal, perhaps you used to be a libertine before becoming a parent? Try casting your mind back to that era?

                    • Oh, I was definitely a libertine. Still not firing though.

                      That’s alright though. I don’t need to comprehend the whys and hows. I fully accept that it can and does happen with far too frequent regularity. I also can’t comprehend how someone, when faced with facts about what communism has devolved into in every place it’s been attempted on anything larger than a small village scale, can still be a communist. I can’t comprehend how someone can argue that we are “wage slaves” when we are free to leave our jobs at any time we so choose.

                      I don’t have to comprehend it, but I can’t escape the reality that it does happen.

                    • marycatelli

                      At the end of the nineteenth century, “wage slavery” was common hyperbole referring to the grave fear that the decreasing independence of the common man was a threat to democracy. Yes, there was working for wages, but that was supposed to be the province of youngsters, along with being young and unmarried and living in someone else’s household. Adults were indie. They were older, married, lived in their own houses, and sold not their labor but the fruits of it. This was the necessary independence to make you reliable as a voter.

                      Mind you, even in the height of the Dark Ages this was the ideal pattern, not the invariant reality, but that was the theory.

                      You notice that nowadays it’s not used to encourage independence.

                    • I was referring to the more modern usage.

                      I was somewhere one night and someone went on and on about “wage slaves”. It took every ounce of self control not to deck the ignorant bastard.

                      Just because Junior there couldn’t get a decent job with all of his piercings, he wants to blame the system when he should have just blamed his poor life choices.

                  • We’re all rationalists, at least some of the time. But when it’s all you’ve got…

              • I thought he was an ex-hubby and why she had a beef with men. She remained married to him? I am flabbergasted!

            • I’m sitting here, after reading that, and I. Am. Horrified.

              • Jordan S. Bassior

                I read the link you sent me — I’m astounded by the degree to which MZB acted as Breen’s enabler, turning a blind eye to his actions until it was impossible for her to ignore them. She seems to have literally found him sleeping with boys and underaged teens more than once before admitting to herself what was going on.

                • Is that link shareable? I, too, am hearing of this for the first time… I had no idea.

                  • In Wikipedia, look up Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter H. Breen.

                    Googling Breen resulted in this:
                    http://www.sff.net/people/stephen.goldin/mzb/

                    I only read Mists of Avalon because previous attempts to get into her books didn’t really go so well. I always figured I just wasn’t in the mood for her type of storytelling and thought I’d read more when I got older.

                    • CombatMissionary

                      I read that book when I was a kid. If I recall correctly, the storytelling was all right, the story was pretty imaginative, but it had the feel of one of those “You can’t trust a man” stories. Like if Lifetime made a King Arthur movie.

                    • I never could get through Mists of Avalon, and that was back when I finished every book I started. I did read a couple of her science fiction books, including one I liked but that had lesbian main characters that came right out and said it, you can’t trust a man.

                    • She should have just divorced the man. Generalizing from one loathsome criminal to all men takes a certain something.What kind I’m not sure.

                    • MoA had that feeling as well. ‘Can’t trust a man.’

                    • The sad thing is that Bradley always seemed to have an inner libertarian whom she kept stifling. She was always having her characters working hard, learning skills, being self-reliant… but then she’d make the story take a left turn. Shrug.

                    • All my left liberal friends do that. To succeed, even in writing, you need to be a libertarian in PRIVATE life. They just never get the contradiction.

                    • Yeah, that was the thing that made no sense. She’d create characters who were all that… then a foolish decision that wasn’t quite out of character, but seemed to make no sense – to me. A bad decision makes some sense to the character’s inner monologue at least, and you could see where they come up to that decision, but… *shrug*

                    • I liked a few of the Darkover books, and more of the Darkover anthologies. Mists was OK, some of the other re-tellings were OK, but I never really bought all that she seemed to be selling. (Liz Williams, in the first Diary of a Witchcraft Shop, has some thoughts about Mists and the modern town of Glastonbury, and what came from the book.)

                    • If you’ve ever read George Orwell’s collected letters and essays, you will know that there’s a good reason why he’s known for his anti-communism and not his socialism. He was rather silly for a socialist, even, arguing that it was better because the government would just order X boots, and so we would have boots, as opposed to getting them only if someone profited.

                      The only occupation he realized needed some freedom to operate was writer.

              • Yeah. Kind of hard not to be.

              • Well, the reality is that writers are human and not superheros. Chris Muir’s drawings not withstanding.

          • Jordan S. Bassior

            They are so focused on the “sins” of political disagreement with the(shifting and vague) Left Truth that they ignore more relevant issues such as “Does he act as if he respects you?” “Is he faithful to you?” “Does he seem to be planning for a long future with you, or is he already plotting an ‘exit strategy?'”

          • CombatMissionary

            Sadly, that makes a certain amount of sense. It reminds me of the cycle of abuse some women go through in certain areas of American society (*COUGH* *COUGH* section 8 housing *COUGH* *COUGH*).
            When the cops show up and she’s covered in blood, mud, tears and snot because her insignificant other threw her out in the yard in her negligee on a rainy night with a big shiner on her eye, she needs help. As soon as you slap the cuffs on the insignificant other, she’ll ram a kitchen knife in your back.

      • I’ve always said the end stage of the feminist is the puritan, fainting victorian woman, on her couch, with her vinaigrette. This was still an ideal where I grew up. I had no use for it then, I had no use for it now. Being mostly a body that carries a mind around, I want my mind to go where it wants and say what it wishes. They’re JUST out of luck, bless their hearts.

        • I recommend All-American Girl: The Ideal of Real Womanhood in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America by Frances B. Cogan for a more balanced view of the Victorian woman.

          • Indeed – or a book that I have on my own shelf – Massey’s “Texas Women on the CattleTrails”, which includes the story of Lizzie Johnson, who parlayed a career as a schoolteacher and writer into bookkeeping … and then into a prosperous career as a rancher. http://www.celiahayes.com/archives/325
            Or even Sally Skull … whose proper name is Sarah Jane Newman Robinson Scull Doyle Wadkins Horsdorff
            http://www.celiahayes.com/archives/1057
            No, not much of the typical fainting Victorian special flower about either of them, or their kind – who were legion on the frontier.

            • Oh, no. Real women weren’t like that — but the ideal at least in Europe was.

              • Real women in Victorian times had a lot more fun, and a lot more responsibility – and were much more powerful in their own spheres than after-the-fact conventional wisdom acknowledges. Personally, I rather like the Victorians; sometimes just a bit prudish in company, but earnest, hardworking, not afraid of open emotions, idealistic, quite often eccentric and usually optimistic. I like the optimism. There is so little of it, in this century.

                • Gertrude Himmelfarb goes into the European side of it in The De-moralization Of Society.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  IRRC in every age, the Hallmark of “respectability” was what the leading women of society thought was respectable.

                  Many times, the leading women didn’t have official “power” but the leading men didn’t ignore them.

                  • What strikes me as particularly (and, darkly…) amusing is that the feminist movement completely missed the fact that in the old system, women actually had a lot more effective power than the feminists realized. A hell of a lot more–When you’re the gatekeeper to determining who gets to have a family, and who gets laid regularly and respectably, you often wind up with more control over what goes on than most realized then, or now.

                    Disbelieve me? Take a look at the whole “White Feather” thing in Victorian/Edwardian England. Who was running that little enterprise? It certainly wasn’t the men. Most men take my viewpoint–If you’re a physical coward, and afraid of the things that go on in battle, that’s not a judgment issue. Hell, I’d have never subjected myself to that crap, if I could have helped it. But, when you can do something, you do it, and you don’t look askance at those who can’t, generally. That’s men, though–The women took a different, far less merciful view.

                    Outward signs of power don’t always indicate actual power or strength. The feminists missed that point, entirely, and pissed away a lot more than they realized, when they opened the floodgates of lust and “free love”. Which is a hideous lie–There’s nothing more expensive to a society than the entire concept of “free love”.

                    I think the matrons of the old days would laugh themselves silly if they heard nine-tenths of the brilliant theories the feminists propose about those days. “Powerless…”. Yeah, right–That’s why in my grandparents generation, the women who were products of the Edwardian era had such empty, vacant lives, and why my grandfather mysteriously always wound up doing whatever it was my grandmother wanted done…

                    Oh, yeah, grandmother was the exploited one, she was. Not hardly–She’d laugh herself silly if she heard some of the crap I’ve heard claimed about her era.

                    • you read today’s post over over my shoulder, Kirk.

                    • CombatMissionary

                      Ha ha! I told my wife the other night about how, when we recently had a disagreement, I told her that I was going to do something and she repeated a couple of times that, “No, you won’t.” I argued with her a little. And THEN she said, “No, you WON’T.” with that tone of voice that means, “You can either do what I said, or you can have a miserable marriage.”

                      She immediately said, “I don’t have a tone of voice like that!”
                      I just laughed and said, “Why do you think I left the room and you won the argument?”

                    • The originators of “soft power”, and manipulators par excellance if they wanted to be.

        • Are you sure you meant vinaigrette? I have a hard time imagining someone fainting on their couch with a salad dressing… without having very ‘Un-Victorian’ thoughts entering my head.

          Man, now I need to go find some lettuce. 😦

          • I boggled at that usage, myself; but it turns out that vinaigrette used also to mean a little bottle for holding smelling salts. This was a usage of the word I had not previously encountered; which is why Mrs. Hoyt’s blog is Good For You, and Nutritious as well as Delicious, even if you take it without any salad dressing.

          • I’ve always heard it was ammonia.

            On Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 7:06 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

            > Jerry Lawson commented: “Are you sure you meant vinaigrette? I have a > hard time imagining someone fainting on their couch with a salad > dressing… without having very ‘Un-Victorian’ thoughts entering my head. > Man, now I need to go find some lettuce. :(” >

      • This is why I say there’s a strong undercurrent of bigotry in leftist thought. Well, what I actually say is that all leftists, by definition, are bigots.

        We have to protect girls from unhealthy body images, but say nothing about boys, because boys can shrug off that programming and be comfortable in their own skin. Girls require the protection of society.

        We have to protect women from rape culture, because they aren’t wise enough to stay out of dangerous situations. We’ll put all of the onus of maintaining a safe and healthy relationship on the teenaged male, because even when his brain is flooded with hormones screaming “GET LAID NOW!!!” he’s still capable of wisdom.

        We can’t criticize ethnic groups and point out the facets of their culture that lead them to under-perform against Northern Europeans, only white men have the psychological strength to withstand criticism.

        Pointing out the bigotry inherent in my liberal sister’s positions was not…well received.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      So, we possess the power to impregnate women with the sound of our manly voices? Damn.

      • Now I can’t get the image of Black Bolt of Marvel’s Inhumans out of my head, though I’m pretty sure that his voice-related power had nothing (directly) to do with impregnating women.

        • Yah, but a lot of neo-Victorian feminism is easily explained if one accepts their unstated yet very noticeable belief that the masculine will has great power over weak female minds. (That last noun phrase contains a redundancy. Neo-Victorians believe all female minds are weak.)

      • Well, it’s well known that reading Tom Kratman’s books can cause unprotected women and metrosexuals to become pregnant. Close enough.

      • CombatMissionary

        You should go look up that parody video series on YouTube, “The Most Interesting Mormon in the world.”
        “He can multiply and replenish the Earth without lifting a finger…”
        Bwa ha ha ha ha haaa! I showed that one to the wife.

  3. ” and if males are allowed to talk at all these poor precious blossoms will find themselves back in the kitchen and pregnant. A feat for the young men in this crowd, but I’m sure they’re afraid of it, too.)”

    Well I would be afraid of it if I was one of them to, I mean who wants a hormonally imbalanced [redacted] that close to the corner you’re curled up in with your blanky?

  4. The SFWA kerfluffle is getting a lot of attention lately. Glenn Reynolds wrote a column in USA Today, and others like Rand Simberg linked to it and discussed.

    Its all very amusing to an old rabble-rouser like myself … 😉

  5. I checked– I don’t have antenna…but there is a real suspicious black tail whipping behind me in the mirror. Very dashing.

    Geez– geez- sputter geez. I know I walked into an alternative universe when I was eight or nine. So no, this is the same one as always.

  6. What a marvelous combination of Ego and obliviousness. How does anyone manage to start a business with so little contact with the Real World?

  7. Sarah,

    We don’t agree on everything, and we never will. But this morning I get to say, “Lady, you knocked one out of the park.”

    I remember a time when people of differing beliefs were courteous in their discourse. I was taught to live like this–to the best of my ability–by a man born in the year of the Great Depression.

    There is a sense of statesmanship all-but-forgotten by the populace at large these days. That failure runs from top to bottom on the political feeding chart.

    We live in a new age where black-balling McCarthyism is the method-of-choice on both sides of the aisle, where moral outrage is fad by people who couldn’t possibly comprehend what a divided state really looks like and where it, inevitably, must end up. I suspect that this populace could pay dearly for it in the decades to come.

    I believe what we all need is an “adult swim” area off somewhere to actually discuss and debate and agree and disagree on this collective mess we call society. All the while, let’s spend our days writing what suits us, writing what we hope can help pay our bills.

    But what do I know? I’m just a newbie hack writer.

    • Our government believes that what we really need is a fenced off
      “First Amendment Free Speech Zone”.

      • Yes, only Siberia is already taken.

        • Heh. Fitting and not fitting, at the same time. Finns have a saying: Siberia teaches. Most commonly used when you are both tired of somebody’s special snowflake behavior and either suspect or hope that this particular special snowflake is headed into a situation (usually known as the real world) where she is about to lose the protections which allow that kind of behavior.

    • Here’s the thing — I don’t expect anyone to agree with everything I believe, because I didn’t take my opinions wholesale off a shelf. For instance, I take as much flack from the right for my support of gay marriage as I do from the left for my opposition to single payer health care. (Grew up with it. No thank you.)
      The difference exists, though, that the right will beat me when the subject comes up and yell at me (though often fairly politely) but they don’t black list me, and they still read me. They’ll say “Well, she’s weird on this and that, but she’s a good writer.”
      I understand this. I read Misty Lackey whom I disagree with on practically everything. I just roll my eyes at her political interjections and go on. I don’t even demand she not put those in — what you believe will leak in.
      BUT I will get a full on attack from the left for a not-particularly controversial opinion expressed BY A CHARACTER in an otherwise non-political book. (And I was tuckerizing someone and the opinion is stuff he says, all the time. And my main character was rolling his eyes at it.) And there’s the political color line.
      PFUI. That’s why G-d gave us indie.

      • The thing that killed me was when The Passive Voice blog mentioned the kerfuffle the other day, people who’d never before even heard of Vox Day were suddenly reading his blog, getting riled up, and then continuing to read his blog so as to rile themselves up more — while swearing they’d never read his fiction! I don’t know how he rents out space in people’s heads, but clearly he manages it.

        Anyhoo, they quickly opined as how anybody who would do anything with Vox Day, much less put his name on a voting slate, even as a politically pointed puppy pensivity prank or jeux d’esprit, was clearly evil. Also, clearly he agreed with Vox Day’s every word.

        • Yeah, that’s what inspired my comment on the other thread. I was disappointed but not surprised. I don’t agree with some of what VD says on his blog, but his writing is good, and some of his ideas in his stories make me wish I had thought of that (and had his breadth of knowledge).

          • As John C. Wright pointed out, VD can be annoying as hell, but so can Harlan Ellison. So why lionize one and expel the other?

            • Because there are only two kinds of people in the world: Marxists and Racists.

              (Pop quiz: Detect the sarcasm in the preceding sentence. Bonus points if you can do so without shooting green smoke out of your ears.)

            • Watch Harlan’s review of the Saving Mr. Banks movie. Then watch the movie. Watch Harlan COMPLETELY miss the point of the movie. Thank Ms. Travers for insisting on those wonderful tapes of the making of “Mary Poppins,” a process in which Ms. Travers was obviously fully involved in.

              • Rob Crawford

                WTF? How… I mean…

                Never mind — Harlan Ellison. Two friends of mine had to work with him and Stracinski (sp?) once — neither of them being particularly into SF had no idea who either of these fellow were. Yet years later, they remembered their experiences… Not positively…

            • Perhaps, just perhaps, because of such things as “City on the Edge of Forever”. And the feud / attention from Sinatra. (Go find the annotated version of the Gay Talese study “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold”. Or the original, I’ve got no dog in that hunt — but I very much enjoyed Talese’s commentary on his original words and the process of creating the article for Esquire.)

        • Yeah, I was reading the Passive Voice kerkuffle today. PG himself made it clear he was a fan of Larry Correia’s, but goodness, some of the commenters! Really awful. And they’re relatively reasonable, compared to some of what else is being reported.

          I’d been thinking of approaching one of the PV regulars for editing services, but she’s off my list now. She said she’d written a huge rant about the situation, then deleted it, but made it clear whose side she was on. I’d had some qualms about her, since she’s the editor for one of the idiots who got Jonathan Ross canned from LonCon, but I wasn’t going to hold that against the editor. But this, I have to, if only because I just can’t see working with someone who gets that over-the-top hysterical.

          So, anyone know any libertarian-friendly free-lance editors? They don’t have to be libertarian (is that even possible?), just open-minded.

    • William O. B'Livion

      I believe what we all need is an “adult swim” area off somewhere to actually discuss and debate and agree and disagree on this collective mess we call society.

      We call that “the internet”, and when the (not so) occasional fascist or stalinist f*wit tries to tell us that we can’t talk about this or that or be less racist or whatever we bang the living f*ck out of their feelings with big steel hammers.

    • CombatMissionary

      I can’t recall any examples of blackballing on the conservative side of the aisle. Nobody over here is saying people can’t express their opinions.

      Oh, we may LAUGH at some ideas, or tell somebody to go invest in more education, but we’d never say you can’t EXPRESS them…

      • Ummm… The editor of Guns and Ammo did lose his job after writing a pro-gun-registration article. I’m just sayin’…

        • He was the editor of Guns and Ammo. I suspect the editor of Out Magazine would get fired for saying gays should stay in the closet — and rightly so.
          That said, I meant to answer this with “there is some on the ‘right side'” if you include the crazier sort of socon. Among the would-be commenters I kill-file first time out are the outright communist apologists (Maoists, usually) AND the crazed Bible thumpers. And before the religious people here take offense — no, I mean CRAZY BIBLE THUMPERS. As you know I’m religious myself, but coming in and quoting a wall of text from the Bible that has nothing to do with what I posted? Crazy. Or take the guy who came in and said we — even banshee and Mary — are all going to hell because Vatican second was wrong, wrong, wrong, and there are no real churches left in the world. THAT one was a persistent bugger, too. He kept leaving comments even though I killfiled them. And the post that provoked this was something fairly political but not religious AT ALL. So… I got nothing. BUT I don’t consider those conservatives so much as “people with an uncertain grasp on reality/sanity.” BUT they might be the moral equivalent of the Maoists. “Crazy people, posting from their padded cell.” However, if you include those fringes, and people in the center often do, then the sides can look equivalent. If you squint.

          • Hey, who you calling a crazy Bible thumper? Woe unto you, woman, for you have not been mindful of the words of Scripture, and I quote from the Book of Numbers:

            ‘In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab. And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar. And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.’

            Let all who have ears to hear take heed and tremble at this obvious and imperative moral lesson!

            (Pardon, Ma’am. I’m one of these people who never quite outgrew the churlish insistence on touching park benches that have WET PAINT signs on them. It’s kind of my own personal variant of Tourette’s Syndrome.)

            • 😀

            • That was funny. It’s okay. I have the same issue!

            • So what you’re trying to point out with this scripture is that we should raise up a flag and that Sarah should be our leader as we go forward to conquer the world?

              Oddly enough, I’m good with that, though I think we should enlist the aid of the Kratman – I’m not sure that he would appreciate us leaving him out of the fun.

              LOL.

              • I’ve got some flags folded up in a drawer upstairs, never took them out after I moved. Don’t think I have a Jolly Roger, but I have the Don’t Tread On Me and both the Stars and Stripes and the Stars and Bars. I reckon I can be a flag bearer.

          • That’s the difference between the right and the left. We’ll censor based on behavior: posting obscenities in a family forum, brining politics or religion onto a quilting thread, being a repetitive mindless troll, etc. They censor based on content. We don’t have to do that because we can easily demolish their arguments. The only way they can win is to shut us up. To which I reply with A E Pessimal’s battle cry.

            • Which is what this post is, basically. If the threatened stick had been from TOR or someone like, I’d also have upheld my middle fingers. as it was, it was just ahahahahahahahah

              • Expendable Henchman

                Wow. didn’t even rate a flip-off.

                Even I’ve never been that pathetic. I know because everybody seems willing to flip me off. I guess things could be worse.

                If the idiot commenter was right, and you do wind up in hell, please come find me. We can chat about gay marriage, and how dumb opponents are to oppose gays voluntarily registering with the government. It’s not like the marriage enables any activities, rather the opposite, since it restricts folks to one partner ‘for better or worse, in sickness and health, till death do us part’.

                I mean, if you really hate gays, I can’t think of anything better from that point of view than to lock them up into partnerships where they watch each other and can inflict divorce court upon one another for straying. Really, you’d think gay marriage was *invented* by the homo-haters.

                If you do ever write that tentacle porn, absolutely let me know, my bookshelf will always have a space for Hoyt tentacle porn.

                • Re: gay marriage – if you believe that “marriage is a holy estate…” etc, from many common ceremonials, then you may have cause to be offended that gays claim to be married. BUT if you believe that, it seems consistent to believe the state has no compelling interest in defining or regulating marriage, and religious tolerance in a secular state demands you accept the offense.
                  I think the state does have an interest in encouraging population replacement for taxes and defense, but that the state idea of “marriage” and religious marriage have only a superficial commonality.

        • Dick Metcalf wrote a stupid article for Guns & Ammo. And by stupid, I mean that the “arguments” he made were not just wrong but stupid. Dick Metcalf has been writing gun articles for almost as long as I’ve been alive … or undead …

          Dick Metcalf lost his column, and the editor of G&A – who was already supposed to leave at the end of the year – resigned.

          Frankly, I always thought that the editor allowed the piece in some form of revenge/sabotage.

        • No one would scream if the Bulletin editor had gotten canned for an article declaring that fantasy and SF were inherently childish and shallow, and anyone who introduced characterization or thought into a story was ignoring the criteria of the genre.

          The opposite of this, say:
          http://www.scifiwright.com/2013/10/the-epic-of-space/

        • I thought he shouldn’t have gotten fired. I figured that it would have been better if they published a couple of rebuttals instead. Had a conversation instead.

          • My point exactly.

          • That’s exactly what should have happened. I’ve been a newspaper editor, and while a magazine for an allegedly professional organization is a bit different, considering the nature of what SFWA claims to be, a dialog would have made a lot more sense and probably done more to extinguish the ill will both sides have regarding the whole fiasco.

            Of course, rebuttals and dialog don’t play into the radical leftists’ hands, so they pull something like this, where they act like a maille bikini and the term “lady editor” and comments about her attractiveness are akin to chaining women to the stoves so that they learn their place.

            For the record, I’ve always taken issue with the maille bikini, but for a different reason. I’ve taken issue with it because, from an armor standpoint, it’s ridiculous. Why bother if you’re going to leave all those vital spots open? But I’ve been a student of armor for quite some time. 😀

      • My feeling?

        You don’t like someone’s politics, so you don’t buy their stuff? Meh. Your choice.

        You don’t like someone’s politics, so you do your best to keep others from buying their stuff? I think you’re looking for a warm spot in the afterlife.

        • Exactly. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t buy Scalzi’s work because of comments he’s made about my own political ideology.

          However, I have never tried to damage his career because of his comments. I have never actively campaigned for his exclusion for awards because he said something about my ideology. In short, I simply don’t give him or his publishers any of my money.

          I might read Red Shirts, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for it.

        • exactly!

    • Oh don’t try that moral equivalence gambit. There is only one party that is a black-balling, race-baiting, totalitarian thinking cesspool and it’s the Democrats. As far as I’m concerned, the debate about whether or not to compromise with Democrat ideals is the same debate a woman has with a potential rapist. No, you don’t get to rape me, not even a little. There’s no compromise with the left; you either fight to the death, or accept slavery.

      Great essay, Sarah. I was once quiet too, thinking I wanted to be polite, but that time has passed. Time to be noisy.

    • “I remember a time when people of differing beliefs were courteous in their discourse.”

      It’s cyclic. Some of the campaign rhetoric thrown around in the early years of our republic would curl a GHH’s hair.

    • Rob Crawford

      “We live in a new age where black-balling McCarthyism is the method-of-choice on both sides of the aisle…”

      Oh, really? Both sides?

    • “I remember a time when people of differing beliefs were courteous in their discourse.”

      I have noticed that some elderly leftists (the Old Left) are somewhat courteous–although, for example, you have to wonder about a host who allows hostile interrogation of a dinner guest’s political beliefs–but their children (the New Left) tend to be even less civil than Harlan Ellison.

    • Yes – because courteous discourse allows people to discover agreement in part. The style much seen now seems to require rejection of all of your interlocutor’s beliefs – and person – if you disagree in any part.

  8. It’s a really tough decision to make, whether or not to “come out” politically. I’m working on a goal to publish an SF novel in the next year, and I’m tempted to have two pseudonyms, one for the PC crowd, and one to express my real opinions. It’s very sad that we have to be afraid of the repercussions of revealing our political beliefs. I’m pretty much a small-l libertarian too, sometimes called “classical liberal”, but with sympathies for many conservative positions–but I used to consider myself a Democrat/liberal (before I actually started thinking for myself). I find it ironic that I see more intolerance on the left than anywhere else, when the “accepted” belief is that it’s the left that’s tolerant. Of course, everyplace I look I find that the “accepted” beliefs have no more chance of actually being correct than any others, so that probably shouldn’t surprise me…

    I’ve been wondering if there are some SFF workshops and cons that are more tolerant of political beliefs than others?

      • Pretty much anywhere that Baen has a significant presence whether at cons or on the Bar. Wouldn’t exactly say tolerant, they will mock you and pick your most precious ideas to pieces with great enthusiasm, but I’ve seen with my own eyes how the person who is in violent disagreement with you will leap to your defense should anyone sink to the level of ad hominem attack.
        Spirited debate is one thing, just wear your big boy galoshes and bullet proof raincoat, but this current trend of vilifying and punishing folks for unpopular opinions is really starting to disturb me. And to coin a phrase, you really don’t want to see me when I’m upset.

      • Also LTUE, which happens in Provo every February. For some reason, the Utah scifi crowd tends to be pretty darn accepting of opinions. Also, that one’s a straight up creative symposium, focused on craft and profession for writers, artists, etc. They get some pretty high-powered names in, too. Larry “International Lord of Hate” Correia, Brad Torgerson, Howard and Sandra Tayler, Tracy Hickman. I highly recommend it.

        • My daughter and I used to go to the Salt Lake City convention – and it was always a blast; laid-back, accepting and very welcoming to all.

        • I might have to try it.

        • “For some reason, the Utah scifi crowd tends to be pretty darn accepting of opinions.”

          One of Torgerson’s recent posts offers some insight on why that might be so.

          http://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/shunning-and-radioactivity/

          • Yup. Read it. I’m seeing some blowback to it, too. Predictably, it’s all personal attacks and accusations of cishetmalewhiteyhateness and how Brad couldn’t possibly have experienced such things himself and how eeeevil the LDS church is for supporting traditional marriage (to the tune of umpteen millions of dollars, albeit sans citations. shockingly) etc, etc, ad nauseum. Brad, as has been my experience of him, has been unfailingly polite in response. Especially, y’know, given that the responses to his post have had almost nothing to do with the point he made. Larry’s Internet Arguing Checklist ftw.

            • Brad is one of the nicest people I know, and far MORE MODERATE than I am.

              • Christopher M. Chupik

                Ah, but he is guilty of being an unrepentant male. There can be no forgiveness for such as he.

            • And that post brought out the trolls as well.

              You know, I used to think LDS folks were a little weird. Not drink Coke or Coffee? WTF?

              As I’ve gotten to know folks like Brad and Larry, as well as a colleague on one of the blogs I contribute to, I’ve come to understand that while I may not fully understand their beliefs, they tend to be some very wonderful people.

              Not that those who want to vilify people like Brad would take the time to find that out. They’d much rather be offended than realize that other people have been oppressed throughout the ages.

              • The best coworkers I ever had the joy of working with, even given the stresses at the time of that work being done at a failing startup, were LDS members. No question about that.

                I’m certain they have bad apples just like any other group of humans, but I’ve not encountered any.

                • Neither have I, but like you said, they simply have to exist. The laws of probability alone say there have to be.

                • Both the best coworker I ever had and if not the worst, at least one of the very bad coworkers I’ve had; were Mormon. Yes there are bad apples, but as a general rule they tend to be very hard working; my complaint (and it isn’t universal) is that they also tend to be very clannish and if one gets into a position of power where they do the hiring and firing all to often they weed through both the existing workers and the potential new hires, until in a short time there are only Mormons working there.

                  Note I don’t like such practices, particularly, but except for in government jobs I think they should be legal. You should be able to hire or get rid of whoever you want, for whatever reason you want, after all it is your money (or your livelihood, if you are an employee in charge of hiring and firing) that is paying their wages.

                • Harry Reid.
                  But yeah, we have tons of LDS friends. If “By your fruits thou shalt know them” they’re totting up better than average.

                • The Other Sean

                  I believe the Mormons call their bad apple Harry Reid. 🙂

    • Been there, done that. I blog on political stuff under a ‘nom du blog’ left over from when I started as a mil-blogger. The political stuff does not go onto my book blog – but people who have known me as a mil-blogger for a long time are pretty aware of the book-writing stuff. I don’t quite want to smack some of my readers in the face yet with my political stuff, since I cherish the notion of perhaps making readers think seriously about the points that I raise in my books.
      The nom du blog is “Sgt. Mom”, btw.

  9. This girl might as well have told Larry He’d NEVER get to write for her. I’m sure he and Mrs. Hoyt would get a good giggle from that.
    These are the same folks who will claim the Nazis moved to the right … when the “move” was when Stalin started claiming they were too right wing … then again Trotsky was too right wing for the Soviets too.

    They act like they are getting politics and whatnot out of my workplace since we got bought out. What is really happening is we have to put up with the special princess mindset (and most of the princesses are male btw) and any criticism is not allowed, even if you are telling the truth (actually especially if you are telling the truth). From the outside looking in, The publishing industry (except Baen) seems to be made solely of special princesses.But they have no bias … just ask them.
    Sad Puppies 2 was pure genius.
    It is like voter fraud. The only way anything will ever get done about it is to pull it on several of the specials by doing to them what they have been doing all along, then maybe they will make certain it cannot occur.
    More than likely they will try to twist it to their advantage, though.

  10. I just want to point out that you’ve won one award so far (The Prometheus Award) and hoping for two.

  11. Well said, Sarah.

    The idea that some micro-press might not publish me somehow lacks the gravitas to get me quaking in my boots.

    • Right after the petition came out against an editorial oversight board came out, I read about some editor commenting that those who signed the petition could count themselves out for any work with his outfit…even paying work!

      Right. Because Harlan Ellison and Mercedes Lackey are just tripping over themselves to work with such a guy…even for paying work!

      Yes, publishers are publishers, but some of these micro-publishers think they’re a bigger deal than they really are. Obviously.

      • Since the majority of my customers in the publishing world are author-publishers, I have trouble taking any pretensions from a micro-publisher seriously. Yes, they can be useful, but most people who would go to one are plenty able to go it alone if they choose.

        • Honestly, looking at percentages from Amazon alone, I just can’t see what someone gets out of a micro-publisher. I mean, I don’t imagine most of them even have enough of a network to market effectively. Maybe they know a couple of critics, but that’s about it.

          I’m seriously curious what they get out of the relationship.

  12. “Madam, for good or ill, I believe I have an immortal soul. I’m not saying I might not eventually sell it, but for an A in math – even if that means entering Enginerring school? – The price is way too low.”

    Ms. Hoyt, I pray that was intentional wordplay on your part, for as an almost-graduate of a major Engineering-er-erring school, it spoke to me.

    Just finished “A Few Good Men”. Wow.

  13. Ahahahahaa!
    *milking the sky-cow*

  14. I’m sorry – I didn’t see the original, so maybe I’m missing something, but from what you quoted here, it sounded to me more as if the publisher did NOT realize what your political viewpoint was, and assumed you were in lockstep with her.

    Of course, maybe your interpretation came in clearer as the thread went on, but that’s the way I took the original quote.

    • This is possible, but considering she runs in the group of Cora something or other, I don’t think so. I think she put me in and then author X to muddy the waters 😉

  15. This really amazes me. It used to be that scifi was the art of speculation, not just about technologies, but also about the effects of different political ideologies and religions on the future. Yet, so many readers seem to think that whatever the author puts on paper is their heartfelt beliefs. I received a review on one of my Exodus books where the reader stated that I was obviously an Imperialist, because I had Emperors and, gasp, Empires in the books. It wasn’t called Exodus: The State vs The Greek Republic. Just because I wrote about Emperors and an aristocracy, doesn’t mean I think that’s the best form of government. In wartime, when it might take months to get a message from one side of the Empire to another, it might be a better form of government than a democracy, but, after all, it’s fiction. In my book, To Well and Back, one reviewer stated that I had an obvious problem with Christianity, because my heroine had an abusive father who was a Baptist Minister (she was from the south), and one of the enemies read like an old testament religion with none of the positive attributes. The allied power was Hindu, and were characterized as champions of freedom. But because I didn’t have a Christian hero, I was obviously a vehement enemy of Christianity. I guess if I have a villain who is truly despicable I must be the same. I think a lot of this kind of thinking goes back to our Universities, which used to be the bastions of free discourse and debate, and became politically correct machines where certain viewpoints were actually banned on campus. Now the people who were trained in those institutions are the reading and writing public. Fortunately they are not all of that public. And as pointed out by Harry Turtledove in his In The Balance series, snout counting (majority rules) does not always lead to the right answer, or the truth.

    • David, infamous sock puppet

      I am really looking forward to speculation as to my beliefs when people read my upcoming (soon! I promise!) book. It is quasi-historical fiction/detective noir set in 12th century Heian Japan and the hero is a disgraced samurai who actually believes in the Confucian ideals of government, tries to practice it, and occasionally bends people’s ears about it.

      So, from that, what can you take away about my political beliefs?

    • I’ve not gotten much traction with it (yet), but I have an Observation / Theory…. Baker’s Theory of Communication Limits on Polities (other names have been applied along the way…): Any _effective_ government is limited in geographic coverage by the speed of communications.

      First Approximation: round-trip communications exceeding somewhere between six weeks and six months, tending toward the longer in pre-“tech” cultures, seem to be the limiting scope…

      First Corollary / Cognate Form: Any functioning government exceeding the Communication Limit is most likely an empire or a confederacy, and the substantive part of the POWER in that government resides with the delegate parts.

      Applicable examples: Roman Empire, British Empire.

  16. Over at MHN, Mike in Seattle found a (tweet presumably) comment from an Andreadis to the effect that Heinlein shouldn’t have won a Hugo back then. I suspect an extension of the question posed on Instapundit regarding whether he could win one now.

    You’d think with all the talk of relativism…

    I’m having trouble sorting their lines of thought, and your booky-face linker is yet another iteration.

    • Relativism means no one gets to criticize them, not the other way round.

      • Right. I always forget the second part.

        • How can anyone expect no criticism? That’s a major part of life!

          • Well, it’s a major part of life in the real world, where screwups get people killed. In academia it’s a different story. They’re isolated from reality, so the only reason to criticize someone is to tear them down; it’s a hostile act. So when you point out to a woman who has spent nearly the last 30 years in one school or another that, say, raising wages for farm laborers will increase the cost of food for those self-same laborers as well as everyone else, causing prices in general to rise and leaving those workers in the exact same position as before, you get told to stop being a meanie.

          • “How can anyone expect no criticism? That’s a major part of life!”

            Because in the end leftism is always about death.

  17. “For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. . . but for Wales!”

  18. Long time lurker, first time (I think) commenter, so I expect my name to be remembered — and my face even though it’s not connected to this post.

    It sounds almost like a weird marketing trick gone bad — “Let me try and stir up some interest here.” The “like” of your reply is… just… baffling.

    Eamon — Heinlein wouldn’t win anything now. I commented at MHN that I’m not even sure they’d publish Tolkien nowadays given his religion (and the distinct lack of politically correct hobbitses).

    • One of my idiot colleagues is bucking at Glenn’s article because “it’s impossible not to have some politics in SF.” I’m really starting to wonder how people who can’t UNDERSTAND a short article presume to write SF. Glenn wasn’t saying that politics shouldn’t be in the story, but that they should be ignored when it came to mutual support and craft. BUT they either don’t get that, or pretend they don’t. It’s Toni’s article all over again. Oh, and one of his commenters immediately accused Glenn of having gone insane. One of these days I’m going to cons with a barrel of rotten fish, and hitting all these people on the back of the head until the reset button kicks in and they start thinking.

      • May I recommend a large trout?

        I am, of course, a lowly indie guy, but I’ve never looked at liberal writers all askance. And tolerating some of the… mess that comes out of the mouths of guys like GRRM can be a bit much (especially if you were unfortunate enough to be around for his outburst in November of 2004). I’ve seen some guano crazy things — and I can manage to separate that from their writing.

        I will admit, though, that in the last year a growing number of people have wormed their way onto my “do not read” list — mostly because of their sheer nastiness, not their politics. I don’t care if you’re a (left/right) wing nut job as long as you’re at least a little polite about it.

      • “it’s impossible not to have some politics in SF.”

        Guy over on my FB wall has made much the same argument, that politics is a ubiquitous part of life so that Mr. Reynolds is “a fool” for arguing otherwise. Oh, and that apparently the current level of bile and vitriol is, and always has been, the norm.

        • Do they not realize, for good or ill, most people pay no attention to politics in their day to day life? Not even interpersonal politics, unless it’s shoved in their face. Most folks aren’t going to pay particular attention to the politics in the story, unless it’s overt, preachy or keeps cutting the cables on their disbelief suspension.

          They idea that you can’t write fiction without some reference to one of the prevailing political philosophies is silly. And not what Mr. Reynolds was saying.

          Now if we want to talk about whether or not an author can write without letting their personal phosophies color their decision-making… I’m still going to come down on the side of ‘course they can!’ To the extent they want to exercise their intellect they can create whatever world they please.

          Politics being such an integral part blah-blah smacks of some of the other helpless to resist the impulse arguments. Silly and shortsighted.

          • well, having done it both ways, I prefer not watching my every word, and letting invention take its course, BUT I still read leftists (and general weirdness) without letting the politics get in the way. What I don’t read is boring, stupid word-masturbation, which unfortunately is what sends the publishing houses into spasms. (Yes, image intended. I denounce myself.) I know this, because I can do the word thing without thinking (actually I have to fight it, otherwise my writing becomes impenetrable — eh eh eh eh eh) and they kept trying to push me towards it.
            If you write in pretty words, let me tell you something: a) you’d better have something behind it. b) I’d BEST not see you sweat. And most of the dahlings who do the pretty word thing sweat like hogs.
            An exception on the pretty word thing which I suspect he, like me, does by default, would be John C. Wright.

            • And my mind was just pulling itself up onto the curb, before this comment.

            • Sure, I’m all for following where the muse and the story lead without self-editing. I just reject the helpless to do otherwise bit. And you’re a prime example, after all. You spent the first part of your career leaving your philosophy out, it’s not inherent or ubiquitous or inevitable. I’m glad you stopped, though.

              I read people from all over the spectrum, and generally enjoy good story without concern for politics. I’ve read a fair number of the Names that have been rubbing their politics all over their pale flesh in a weird parody of performance art (Let C. Stross stand in for that image, it’s only fair) and generally find…no particular politics. Not that it may not be there, just that if it’s not central to the story I don’t care enough to notice. Message fic, though…

              I love playing about with language, and if not careful trend fairly obscure. Stuff I wrote in school played much with pretty structure and beautiful language. Now, though I don’t aim to be as spare as Elmore Leonard, I do try for a more direct and conversational tone.

            • What I don’t read is boring, stupid word-masturbation, which unfortunately is what sends the publishing houses into spasms. (Yes, image intended. I denounce myself.)

              … XD Dare I say it? Word bukkake?

              *RUNS AWAY!!!!!!!!!!*

              • You Dare! You Dare!

              • The Other Sean

                And here I thought that was egg they had on their faces. I’m glad I didn’t get too close.

                • Yeah, well I’ve had the misfortune of actually reading a book that was word bukkake. Well. Tried to read. I couldn’t read the damn thing. No real plot. The most insipid and ugliest characters I’d ever seen put to print. Nothing but words strung together to look pretty, and it was thicker than a phone book. Oh and THE most horrifying squick inducing Ikea sex scene ever, and the Ikea sex scene? is nearly literally ‘insert peg into hole’. No I didn’t finish. I read about 200 pages, looked at the 800 odd I still had to read, skipped forward by closing the book and opening it about 2/3 of the way through and landed on the sex scene. Put it aside and spent the rest of the holiday apologizing to my hubby about the waste of cash. I later found out that the stupid thing won a Nebula.

                  If I hadn’t left the book in Melbourne, it would have ended up as target practice before I burned it. At least that way we’d have gotten some actual entertainment out of the 40 AUD spent…

              • Patrick Chester

                XD Dare I say it? Word bukkake?

                O_o;;

              • Stares at comment for a moment, then slowly shakes head, muttering under breath “grabe ka na!”

          • “The Personal is Political.”

            Therefore your personal life is in fact chock-full of politics.

            They have said so. Q.E.d.

          • You ever notice how much more obvious politics can be in a work after you know the author’s politics?

        • Key to the SJW / GHH side of the kerfluffle is brazenly misrepresenting what we are arguing.

          • Rob Crawford

            You left out the mind reading part. The intentional misrepresentation of what we say, followed by the mind reading that discerns intentions and attitudes directly opposite of what we actually said.

        • Because for some people, politics has replaced religion. It’s the all-consuming passion and concern of every moment of their life. And if you’re drinking coffee it had better have been fair trade coffee, grown organically in a sustainable way.
          (yeesh, I can’t even hear the word “sustainability” without twitching a little.

          • “Fair trade coffee” — distorting other people’s economies because we can. Bleah.

            • ** slowly turns label of coffee can out of sight **

              • For Caesar, fair trade is telling pirates to up their ransom demands!

                (You know, that explains a lot about Amazon pricing threads….)

                • Good point. But I didn’t get this coffee from the pirates who abducted me… err … Caesar.

                  • Was it good coffee? ‘S OK. If you bought it to show other people that you bought Ecologically Sensitive Economically Righteous coffee (and it tastes like burnt motor oil), bad Caesar, bad, bad!

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Ask Caesar what he did to the pirates who held him for ransom. [Very Big Evil Grin]

                  • Crucified them all for selling non-Fair-Trade products, didn’t he?

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Worse, he promised them, while a captive, that he’d be back to crucify them. Unfortunately, he was just a youngster so the pirates didn’t take him seriously. Bad Mistake! [Very Big Evil Grin]

                    • Yes, I was aware of that bit. But as all Progs know, piracy is not a sin, as long as it is Fair Trade piracy. If the pirates had cut Caesar (and their other captives) in on a fair percentage of the price they got for selling them into slavery, as determined by the U.N. Commission on Needless Nosey-Parkerism, why, then, everything would have been tickety-boo.

                      I mean, it wasn’t as if Caesar and his fellow captives were Persons of Colour or anything. They deserved to be sold into slavery for failure to check their privilege.

                • Rob Crawford

                  “For Caesar, fair trade is telling pirates to up their ransom demands!”

                  From what I recall, Caesar would view our current treatment of pirates with horror. Then set about gathering sufficient rope to hang them all himself.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I loathe that word. The s word. I hate it even when I find that it is the most appropriate word for me to use.

            When someone uses it I may guess that they have not one clue what they are speaking of, or at least fail to fully appreciate the whole of the situation.

            ‘Over what scale of time?’

            Implicit in the word as used, is the idea that people might do things the same way, that way, over a long period of time, and that we can choose that action for them now.

            ‘I am going to have many descendants, and none of them are ever going to have intercourse out of wedlock.’

            • One of my comps questions was: Did the American Indians have a sustainable way of life? The correct answer started with: Do you mean in location or in time?

              • Didn’t history already answer that question?

              • That question, and similar, I wish were more widely applied and considered.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                The longevity of an endemic warfare society of the sort mentioned in LeBlanc’s Constant Battles should be considered in terms of its enemies. Where its enemies are very much larger, support a denser population, and have better military methods…

                There was also a lot of differences between tribes and groups of tribes.

      • “One of these days I’m going to cons with a barrel of rotten fish, and hitting all these people on the back of the head until the reset button kicks in and they start thinking.”

        The buttons are stuck, so you’re best going with one really big fish. But plate armor is optional. (cue Monty Python sketch)

      • 78% of blog reactions to Glenn’s column responded solely to the headline. (And the other 22% were approving of the column, and mostly ignored the headline.)

        Of course, the headline is a poor summation of the article’s gist, and probably came from a USA Today editor, not Glenn (such is the usual practice for newspaper & magazine opinion pieces)—but hey, whatever attack works, amiright?

    • Absolute agreement on both. Which can’t help but cause a cackle considering how many lovers of Tolkien would have to make a decision when the thought-police tried to tank him.

      • Oh, there are plenty who’ve already thrown Tolkien down the memory hole. But it’s okay, because Peter Jackson’s version is pure and good! (Until it’s not, of course.)

    • I don’t think that C.S.Lewis could be published today. 1984 would be published as a user manual.

  19. sanfordbegley

    Nuke the Wales! Oh, wrong protest meeting? Errm Sorry? >Hides sign and slinks away<

  20. The thread was the whole thing about whether we should have politics in science fiction and what measures should be taken so only the “right people” got in.

    I was trying to imagine how one could write science fiction entirely avoiding politics given what matters some people think constitute political territory. (These days the weather isn’t even a safe topic.) I entirely lost any desire to be empathic at what measures should be taken so only the “right people” got in.

    That last phrase sets off the alarms:


  21. For all the talk about being treated like lepers, I thought of this:

    “The lepers are running the colony.”

    (It’s a little better than the Inmates running the asylum, although without the fancy jackets.)

    • Those who understand won’t need an explanation; those who need an explanation won’t understand.

  22. Re: The increasing politicization of… Just about everything.

    I’m convinced that the people who are behind this either don’t understand what they’re messing with, or that they do, and it’s a part of their plan. Time was that it just didn’t matter what sort of politics you espoused, it just wasn’t going to affect your life as a private citizen, here in the US. You weren’t going to lose access to your doctor, you didn’t have to worry about unfair partisan treatment when you went to deal with the government. About all it might actually have a bearing on was your relationship with the local patronage system, except in the most backward regions of the country.

    Now? It’s rapidly reaching a point where your politics are your life. With Obamacare, perhaps literally. The partisans, and I include some on the right (Remember the “Moral Majority” BS?), have decided to make access to everything from justice to health care subject to a litmus test. That’s not going to end well, at all. Because, the moment you start threatening folks here in America over their politics for things they really care about, which is precisely what the weaponization of the IRS is in the process of accomplishing, a whole lot of other things come out of the toolbox.

    The political culture that’s present in a lot of Americans tolerates only so much of this stuff, and then the attitude switches over from a generalized “going along to get along” apathy to “hoist the Jolly Roger, and commence to slitting throats, gents…”.

    I had an interesting conversation with an acquaintance of mine, the other day. We were talking politics, and he was taking his usual apathetic line, and I asked him “Well, what are you going to do if you ever find yourself having to deal with your mother, or your wife being denied life-saving health care because of your politics, like who you voted for, or who you donated to?”

    That caught him by surprise, because he’d never considered that as a possibility, but with what’s going on around us, he had to admit that it wasn’t just wild speculation. So, I asked him again: “What would you do, if someone close to you was denied, and died?”.

    His answer was that the responsible parties, locally and as far as he could get up the food chain before someone stopped him, were going to die. And, probably along with their near and dear, as well.

    That’s the kind of thing this sort of bullshit unleashes, and enables. It’s also why these assholes need to be stopped, and soon. Because, once we reach the point where someone like my friend believes his beloved are subject to the whims of politics, and he decides to demand the price from those responsible that his self-respect demands, it’s too damn late.

    This is how things like the Spanish Civil War get started, when the ideologues reach a critical mass. Once some asshole administrator at the local hospital, or some idiot apparatchik in the IRS decides to start playing games based on politics, the knives are going to come out, and bodies are going to start piling up in a game of tit-for-tat that will only end when the resultant firestorm of rage burns out. Frankly, I give things maybe a couple of years more, and if effective action isn’t taken over this IRS scandal, problems are going to ensue.

    Once you knock over the Weeble of public order and the sanctity of individual right to opinion, it’s going to take decades before the oscillations stop, if they ever do. I honestly would not want to be living near a major US city, if this idiocy doesn’t begin to dampen out in the next few years. I think it will, but if the apocalyptic types ever gain control, even for a little bit, the resultant backlash is going to kill a lot of people.

    • Exactly, Kirk – that is what I am afraid of as well. Once all trust in government institutions is gone, once the assumption that the various government authorities will treat with you honestly and impartially, irrespective of your personal politics, your connections or lack of them, or your pocketbook … once ordinary people begin to perceive government as a master, intent above all on squashing dissent or shearing you like a sheep … all heck will break loose.
      It has already begun in some small ways, I think – look at the Bundy ruckus in Nevada. Hundreds of people turned out to support and guard a ranching family … because the BLM was (to all intents and purposes) determined to drive him out of business.
      The last time a civil war turned hot around here, it wound up with windrows of dead men in blue and grey uniforms, and lead bullets falling like hail on battlefields scattered from Kansas to Arkansas, and from the Rio Grande Valley to Maine.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      It could also weaken the uniqueness of the United States.

      I think the relative lack of bloodlust when it comes to foreign affairs may be a result of a relatively blood free history when in comes to internal and neighboring existential threats.

      When was the last time the Indians could have sound reason to think they could wipe us out?

      Yes, the Civil War. I think the wounds and scars from that persist to the current day. In fact, maybe they are some of the roots of the current issues. (If so, the modern Democrats and the left are not the heirs of the Union.) I think we got off easy.

      I have doubts that the next civil war, hopefully far away in the future, will be anyway near so clean.

      • @ Celia and Bob, both…

        The big difference this next time ’round, is that the “enemy” is so diffuse. Who does someone like Cliven Bundy go after? He’s not going to march on Washington with his army, is he? For one, he doesn’t have an army…

        But, just as the centers of power are diffuse, so too are the oppressors. The men behind the BLM’s local offices in Nevada live right there in town with Mr. Bundy. When the outsiders from Washington, D.C. get sent in, they get to go home after they get done slaughtering Mr. Bundy’s cattle. Not so with the local representatives of that bureaucracy. They have to live there.

        My guess is that the state of Nevada will, at some point, become “ungovernable”, because the agents of the Federal Government aren’t going to be safe living in their homes with the people they’re bankrupting. I’m honestly surprised that more of the loggers up here in the Northwest haven’t already started teaching that particular lesson, but perhaps the reserve of good will wasn’t drawn down enough when the Spotted Owl bullshit started. And, it may not be the end of the story–You have no idea of the animus felt by all the bankrupted, out-of-work timber workers, when they hear that the new solution to the Spotted Owl “crisis” is for the Forest Service to hire people to go out and shoot Barred Owls. You want to hear incoherent rage personified? Bring up that issue with someone who lost their family business that went back generations, in the name of saving that worthless owl, and casually mention that there are jobs available to go shoot the owls… Did that as a joke, not so long ago. Not again, I’ll tell you that much.

        The Feds are going to learn the hard way that you don’t govern without the consent of the people, and when you’ve lost that, you’re no longer able to effectively do shit. That mob that showed up for Mr. Bundy? That’s just a warning tremor. When the critical mass point is reached, you’re going to see Forest Service employees, EPA minions, and BLM bureaucrats in fear of their lives, as they and their families are burned out of their homes and ridden out of town on rails. They may be lucky to escape with their lives. They can’t all live in garrisons, somewhere–Those facilities just don’t exist, and they’d only serve to concentrate the targets.

        • Exactly, Kirk – when the minions of the Fed-Gov and their families have to live in protected enclaves … that’s the point when we know that the new civil war has kicked in.
          People outside of flyover country don’t begin to have the faintest clue about how angry local citizens are about the BLM and the Forest Service, with regard to the use of public lands. There’s a pile of tinder, soaked in gasoline – and all that is lacking is the match.

          • Part of why there’s no threat right now is that a lot of the agents are local folks who just have jobs with the departments, and they’ll hamstring some of the dumb stuff.

            They started bringing in out-of-area managers, though.

            And the level of imported workers keeps going up as they want more “specialized” workers…..

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          The people who fought in the civil war weren’t necessarily neighbors to begin iwth, nor did they always settle down afterwards next door. Furthermore, that it was a regional split, more or less, meant that each side could form and supply uniformed units. This, and relative adherence to the laws of war made it easier for veterans to put the war behind them.

          Even so, a surprising amount of the ‘wild west’ violence was Democratic Party activists for whom the war was not over. (Range wars and cattle were non-trivial, and those stresses exist also today.)

          Under current conditions, the possible fault lines seem to point in the direction of greater unpleasantness.

          It might not be limited to only two sides. If it is really that close to happening, the formation of the sides may depend on the mechanics of the ignition.

          Anyone eager to leap into a civil war, sure that they would win, is a fo-, er, not very bright.

      • Another thought occurs to me, here:

        One difference between the way we’re headed, and situations like that obtaining during the transition from Weimar Germany to Nazi Germany is that the American populace is a hell of a lot different than the German one.

        In Germany, the conditioning/culture is such that the mentality is essentially “the state is right”. Here in the US, there’s a totally different set of cultural mores and values. We’re basically a bunch of pirates and ne’erdowells who were driven forth from the conformist lands of our ancestors, either by force or by choice. That’s going to make a huge difference.

        In Germany and Soviet Union of that era, the Jews and other segments of society that were no longer “acceptable” more-or-less let their oppressors get away with it. Right along with them, the mass of the populace acquiesced to what was going on. You never hear of some Gestapo or NKVD type getting a bullet behind the ear when he went home after a hard day’s work of rounding up the enemies of the state.

        Solzhenitsyn made that point in the Gulag Archipelago. Such conditions are not likely to be prevalent during similar times here in what was the United States. There are going to be a bunch of people who were agents of the state that are in for a huge surprise, when they find that their neighbors aren’t at all supportive of what they’re doing.

        You’ll know things are about to get a lot worse, once the regime starts taking measures to protect the families of the state agents. If they don’t, there is only so far that they can go before nobody will be willing to put on the uniform of an agent of the Federal Government.

        What I find interesting is that there are already people out there compiling lists of addresses and such. Right now, those lists are innocuous, but in different times, they could be quite… Devastating.

        • I’d say that anyone in NY or CT that registered their guns is “going along.” Anyone that says “I support the second amendment BUT…” is too. Registration leads to confiscation leads to atrocities. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I’d add anyone who doesn’t vote against the people perpetrating this nonsense to the list of go along, get alongs…

          I saw an image of one of the militia snipers on overwatch at the Bundy ranch, with the words, “The second American Revolution almost started today.” I really think it almost did. There is an escalating sense of tension, and an increase in ordinary folks getting ready for some seriously bad times. Not just in the blogosphere, but IRL too. The .gov side seems to be escalating too. Now you can be reported for buying MRE’s or other prepper supplies as supicious, while on the other hand these are exactly the kinds of things FEMA is urging everyone to buy.

          It’s not just a few people that are buying every scrap of ammo that hits the shelves, or signing up for concealed carry permits in record numbers, or even getting ham radio licenses in historically huge numbers. Ask your neighbors if they are putting in a vegetable garden, or mention silver coins, or hyperinflation…. you might be surprised by what you hear. Or you might not be surprised at all.

          zuk

          • Weimar Germany was so afraid of the Nazis as to register all the guns, so as to keep them out of Nazi hands.

            Very useful lists, they were, to the Nazis.

            • To be fair, they were afraid of both the national socialist revolutionaries (the Nazis) and the international socialist revolutionaries (The Communists). The rolling street battles between those two factions of lefty revolutionaries were one of the things that set the stage for the Hindenburg government and all that followed.

              • Mike, there was also the minor matter of those pesky Anarchists still hanging around the fringes ready to toss some sputtering-fuse handbombs… the Molotov Cocktail having not yet been named or seen in general use, natcherly

      • I have doubts that the next civil war, hopefully far away in the future, will be anyway near so clean.

        I have substantial fear that your next civil war may be nearer than most of you think, and that it will bear an awful resemblance to the Spanish Civil War – but on a much larger scale.

        • will bear an awful resemblance to the Spanish Civil War – but on a much larger scale.

          Actually, I think more like Beirut and Northern Ireland, only about a thousand times worse.

          • No, it’s my belief that there will be organized governments on at least two sides in your coming struggle. Perhaps a Constitutional Convention on one side, the current bureaucratic state on the other (with elections suspended due to the national emergency, natch); and possibly minor players as well, corresponding loosely to the Anarchists in the Asturias and Catalonia. That’s a complication that never really featured in Ulster or the Lebanon.

            • “with elections suspended due to the national emergency, natch”

              I keep seeing this crop up, and it represents a fundamental misunderstanding of our electoral system. Elections aren’t run by the federal government, but by the states. Obama could announce that elections were suspended, but every red state – and a fair portion of the blue ones – would tell him to pound sand and hold the elections anyway. And those states would send their electoral votes to Congress, and the House would certainly count them. Probably right after they voted on articles of impeachment.

              We didn’t suspend elections in the midst of the bloodiest war in our history, there’s no national emergency short of total nuclear exchange that warrants suspending them.

              • I agree with you, but Congress hasn’t had the balls to stop Obama from making any of his other illegal Executive Orders. So considering how totally out of touch he is with average Americans, what is going to clue him in that that would be a step to far? Before he takes it.

                • The problem is that Congress is divided, and the House alone can’t do much against an executive order. Certifying the election of a President? That’s a different kettle of fish.

                • This Congress hasn’t had the balls to stop him. That does not mean that a future Congress won’t, or that the current lot of idiots is going to keep pissing away their powers and responsibilities the way they have. Given enough pressure from the electorate, and even Dingy Harry Reid will vote for the affirmative during the impeachment.

                  The question is, what defines “enough pressure”. I’m not sure I want to see what that would be, for the Honorable Reid.

                  • We are talking about a special snowflake President. He isn’t going to believe that anybody will actually stand up and stop him, until they actually do it. Which means that it doesn’t really matter what Congress will do, he won’t believe they will do it, so he will go ahead and give the orders if he wants to.

                    • But, when he gives the orders, who will obey?

                      The system is full of people who quite simply… Won’t.

                    • Why do you think the U.S. government has been buying enormous quantities of small-arms ammunition? It isn’t to distribute it to the military.

                      Why do you think the U.S. government insists on disarming the troops on its own military bases? It isn’t to make the military more effective.

                      When the day comes, the people who won’t, won’t count.

                    • The point is that many won’t, if everybody obeyed we wouldn’t have a civil war, a revolution* maybe, but not a civil war.

                      Tom, those people that won’t… can count.
                      ‘ten in the clip
                      and one in the hole
                      Nate dog’s about to
                      make some bodies grow cold.’

                      *going off the definition that a revolution is the people rising up against the ‘legitimate’ government. While a civil war is a war between two factions that both consider themselves legitimate governments.

              • It’s not a question of whether anything warrants suspending the elections. It’s simply a question of when the people in power become so arrogant that they refuse to recognize the elections, and refuse to leave office when voted out. The only thing that preserves a democratic process, when you come down to it, is the willingness of politicians to stop working when they are fired. ‘Chavismo’ is an ever-present danger.

                Then, too, sending out Federal agents to confiscate the voting equipment and arrest anyone trying to implement an ‘illicit’ election could go far.

                • Isn’t the military top brass going through a purge – or is that just punishment for anyone who dares question?

                  • There is a difference?

                  • Re the existence of a purge, while it may well be one of those “if it walks like a duck” situations, the current efflux of starred and eagled personages from the top of the U.S. military may also be the fruits of the way the promotion system has worked over the past 30 or so years.

                    The zipper malfunctions do seem to be a good fit for the type of political personalities that make it to those rarified heights,but. If ’twere all constructed from whole cloth, I would think there would be stuff filtering out into the wild tubes of the interwebs along the lines of “Zipper malfunction? That guy? No way. I worked for him* at undisclosed location, and he’s just not that type.” The military is after all a pretty closed community, and there are plenty of people getting out over the past decade, enough to get some sniff over the rumornet of anything that smelled as bad as a seekrit purge.

                    * Amazing the difference a few words make: I originally wrote this as “…was on his staff…” Hmm, nope, maybe: “…worked on his staff…” Nope again.

                  • Yep. I noted in a conversation yesterday how out of touch the average Dem pol is with the military and military culture. If they think sticking a bunch of compliant generals/admirals on top will give them control of, or protect them from, the military…

                    “We’re good, our people are in charge.”
                    “Um. Anybody heard from General Toady?”

                    • Gentlemen. As a result of the recent purges, we have a complete staff of competent & proven officers in the local militia, who are no longer under the National Command Authority. We have openings for experienced troops and noncoms who still take their oath to defend the Constitution seriously. When the Combined Federal SWAT Authority “requests” the help of the Armed Forces against the populace of this city, where will you be?

                • There are a few gentlemen at 8th and I, not to mention more than a few Secret Service agents, who would take issue with any President refusing to step down.

                  They might send out federal agents to confiscate voting equipment, but they wouldn’t be getting them back.

                  • They’ll be sending out the agents in tanks, and I will bet turtles to turds that unlike the military, the crews of these tanks won’t have taken an oath to defend the Constitution.

                    • One of the chief purposes of the education system is to turn out graduates who know nothing of the Constitution and think (if you can call it thinking) in PC terms. These people are much more likely to make willing thugs for tyranny, all the while thinking they are kind and virtuous.

                    • Where would these non-military get tanks? Note: An MRAP is not a tank, and is rather trivial to take out of action (the wheels are designed to blow off).

                    • From the infantry perspective, tanks are targets.

                      In the absence of interlocking multi-discipline support utilized by military mech units, moreso.

                    • There is a learning curve to operating an Abrams effectively. And a fair number of people in the US that have been taught how to take out tanks expediently.

                    • Going off of my time in the Navy, the #1 threat would be “the guy who did your job last year, and then got out.”

                      Seriously, a LOT of time was spent sitting around talking about how people could make things go bad.

                    • Well we’ll have to resist then.

                    • Re MRAPS and tanks and APCs, note which one the Feds are “giving” to local agencies.

                • It’s simply a question of when the people in power become so arrogant that they refuse to recognize the elections, and refuse to leave office when voted out.

                  I have a hard time picturing an American politician trying that and surviving. I mean, they’re constantly surrounded by armed people who swore an oath, not to serve a particular politician or party, but to uphold the Constitution of the United States — and all it would take is one such person who decided that that oath required action. (E.g., John Wilkes Booth, from what I gather, truly believed that Abraham Lincoln was a dictator.)

                  • Before that time comes, it will be simplicity itself for them to surround themselves with other armed people. They will probably preen themselves on their fearlessness and gun-hating purity when they dismiss their official bodyguards.

                    • First point: To do that would require a level of thinking ahead, and understanding the opposing point of view, that many (not all, but many) of those pols wouldn’t have. They don’t take their oaths seriously, so they’ll have a hard time conceiving that others would. Case in point: Nancy Pelosi’s flabbergasted reaction when someone at a town hall asked her to provide Constitutional justification for the Obamacare bill. Her “Are you serious?” reaction wasn’t scripted, it was her genuine first reaction. She had never conceived of the idea that someone would care about the Constitutionality of her favorite bill.

                      Second point: I suspect that dismissing the politically-suspect bodyguards, and replacing them with a Praetorian guard made of only politically-correct individuals, would do nothing but increase the number of bodies lying around after the event. The ones who took their oath seriously would need a team rather than an individual, but the outcome would be the same in the end, at least as far as the politican’s personal survival is concerned — because in any assassination scenario, the attackers only have to hit a single target to achieve their goals, but the defenders have to take down ALL the attackers to achieve theirs.

                      Third point: Say you’re a politician trying ahead of time to dismiss all the people who might object to some future decision. Are you sure you dismissed all of them? Are you really, really sure you didn’t miss, say, a Shannon Foraker? Because all it takes is one “Oops” and suddenly you’re having a really bad day.

                      Yes, you’re correct that any politician who wanted to ignore elections would be wise to take steps ahead of time. But for the reasons I just stated, I don’t think it would work out too well for them regardless of said preparations.

                    • @ Robin Munn Not only to do you have to get rid of all the Sharon Forakers you need to get all the Alfredo Yus, Thomas Theismans and Eloise Pritchards.

                  • And that is why Hillary refused to let her agents stand-down, or to have armed military, around her.

                    Or so the military grapevine says.

                    • Having heard it first-hand (from a member of the military that disarmed before being allowed in her presence) I believe that grapevine.

                      Apparently she never heard the saying, “there are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous people.”

              • I would tend to agree with you, except that we witnessed armed men and women barricading national parks just “because of the shutdown, they have to be closed because we don’t have enough money to keep them open”.

                If they want to suspend the elections, they will close down the voting places.

                • We also saw people walking right through those barricades, and the armed guards didn’t do much to stop them. It was a delight. 🙂

                  And our elections in Texas are run by volunteers, in schools, churches, community centers, and even people’s homes. Heck, we were directed to a local mall a couple of years ago. They try to close the voting places, I think people will go elsewhere.

                • See, Wayne… I hate to tell you this, but you’re thinking the way they do. It simply doesn’t matter if they do that…

                  You can put armed guards on the election machinery, but that election is going to happen anyway. The ballots may be scrawled out on notebook paper, and certified by newly-sworn in election officials, but it will happen.

                  And, believe you me, about that “government shutdown”: Had someone really needed>/i> to get into those shut-down facilities, it would have happened. The rest of us were just being polite, and the statist fools thought they were demonstrating power over us. Thing is, they only have the power we grant them. And, if we take that power away…?

                  In the end, you only govern with the consent of the governed. When they withdraw that consent, you’d better have a Plan “B” in mind, and one that doesn’t include remaining in the offices of the government. There are enough people of like mind with me that are left that when the idiots try turning over the card table that is our system of government, they’re going to find out that some of us both read the Constitution, and took our oaths to support and defend it quite seriously. Even if it means we eventually lose the fight in this generation, we’ll do enough damage that we won’t be soon forgotten.

                  • There are enough people of like mind with me that are left that when the idiots try turning over the card table that is our system of government, they’re going to find out that some of us both read the Constitution, and took our oaths to support and defend it quite seriously. Even if it means we eventually lose the fight in this generation, we’ll do enough damage that we won’t be soon forgotten.

                    Indeed, and that’s why I think you’re headed for a civil war. I have a terrible suspicion that the idiots are going to turn over the card table, and it will require force to remove them. From what I’ve heard here and there, the idiots are already preparing for this eventuality by equipping various federal agencies with their own paramilitary forces.

                    It would be sadly hilarious if the U.S. armed forces wound up fighting for the Republic against a hodgepodge of FBI, IRS, and ATF rent-a-grunts; but after the events of the last two years, I no longer consider it impossible.

                    • It would be sadly hilarious if the U.S. armed forces wound up fighting for the Republic against a hodgepodge of FBI, IRS, and ATF rent-a-grunts; but after the events of the last two years, I no longer consider it impossible.

                      Someone down-thread has already mentioned Tom Kratman’s State of Disobedience, but it’s worth mentioning again — because that scenario is precisely what his plot is (though it’s a single state, Texas, rebelling rather than a general uprising), and it’s driven by the same kind of politicians. In fact, his villainous President, whose unconstitutional orders kick off Texas’s secession, is a hardly-disguised-at-all version of Hillary Clinton. I read it more than a dozen years ago, and it’s scary how closely recent events have been aligning with the novel’s setup.

                  • In the end, you only govern with the consent of the governed. When they withdraw that consent, you’d better have a Plan “B” in mind, and one that doesn’t include remaining in the offices of the government.

                    Time to post this again:

                    This is why the 2nd Amendment was written. Not to protect hunting, or self-defense, though those are also good outcomes. But to protect the right (and ability) of the American people to overthrow, if necessary, a corrupt government.

                • “Sir, you can’t vote here. Elections have been suspended.”

                  “Sir, I’m going to go home and get my gun. It will take me about half an hour. If you are still here when I get back, I will kill you and open this polling place.”

                  Of course, there are quite a few more state and local police than there are federal agents. We are talking about shutting down local facilities rather than federal. I expect most of those trying to block voting would be safely ensconced in jail rather quickly. More’s the pity

                  • “Sir, you can’t vote here. Elections have been suspended.”

                    “Sir, I’m going to go home and get my gun. It will take me about half an hour. If you are still here when I get back, I will kill you and open this polling place.”

                    While the actual mechanics of running an election are more than a tad more complicated than that, I do believe that an attempt to actually suspend elections would be “game on.”

                • Including ones they didn’t spend money on, so they were costing more than non-shutdown.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              We have organized governments at a minimum of the federal, state, and local levels already. None of these is necessarily monolithic.

              The drug gangs we have in areas, along with illegals, are enough, I hear, to be a de facto government in Mexico.

              People who live their lives denying the authority of government have been a fact of life back to, oh, maybe to the founding of the nation.

              The question is ‘how many sides will both organize a government, and have the fighting power to back it?’, and that seems ‘I dunno’, because it would depend on how the factions split, which would depend on circumstances.

              If the fighting goes on long enough for a bunch of additional governments to be set up, it might become a permanent feature.

            • The way I see it, if any other Governments get involved besides the Feds, it will be State or Local governments backing people in their own legislative area against encroachment from the Feds.

              • If that is all that happens, the states will be crushed one by one, on the Indian model.

                • That method worked because the various Indian tribes, clans, and/or other political groups didn’t (for the most part) come to each other’s assistance, and so they were gobbled up piecemeal.

                  But as we just saw in Nevada, the individualists are organizing. If it becomes the Feds vs. the states, I don’t see one state refusing to aid its neighbor.

                  • Not that Indian model. I mean the model of India, where formerly, the Indian government would use military force to remove individual state governments whenever the people of a state had the temerity to put some other party than the Congress in power.

                    • I’m curious: Where do you think they’re going to get the military to do this “crushing”? Recruited from the same ranks of elitist assholes who made up the Occupy fiasco, and who couldn’t organize their way out of a paper bag?

                      There is no John Company to pay for a mercenary force, and no “His Majesty’s Army” to support it, either.

                      If it comes to open warfare, the current Federal armed forces are going to evaporate into the wind. The people who really matter, the long-service career NCOs and the mid-grade officers aren’t going to play any games like that, nor will the junior enlisted that make up the majority of the force.

                      Something like that may be possible in a generation or two, but not in the immediate future. And, even if they did recruit a “New Model Army”, with their ideological blinders, the resultant force would be virtually useless.

                    • I believe you are overestimating the power and unity of the fed.gov, and the likely coherency of various agencies in the face of such orders.

                    • Eamon,

                      Please note that I am not saying the federal oligarchs will succeed. Only that I believe they will make the attempt, and it will require considerable bloodshed to stop them, and that the social fabric of your country will suffer still greater damage in the process.

                    • I do think they will make the attempt, too. They’re drinking their own ink.

                    • Tom Simon,

                      Sir, with that statement I have no argument. I’ve seen some people eager for revolution. All I can think is how little they understand what it would mean. Blood, death and disruption with many of us, right here in this little community, not living to see the new dawn.

                      Apologies for the contrarian nature of my previous replies, I’ve also seen too many who advocate rolling over in the face of the “awesome power” of the .gov. I know that wasn’t your intent, but I get twitchy.

                      Aside: Some days I hate WP’s email functionality. I was notified of Sarah’s response to your comment, and yet I’ve still not received your comment. Grumble.

                    • How odd. The Specialists webcomic is just starting to put the green superheroes into battle. They, too, are learning how ugly it can be.

                  • We have tech and doctrine as good as the Feds.

                • Not necessarily.

        • I’ve been wondering where and when for some years now.

          The BLM crud is happening in Collin County where I live. If the Feds try to push it. They’ll find out why you don’t mess with Texas! There are things worth dying for.

        • The Spanish Civil War, every war in Gascony, the Portuguese civil war (though it was regional, it was also door to door) to an extent, actually our revolutionary war. Neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother.

    • In Tom Kratman’s “State of Disobedience” it is exactly that thing (politics and medicine) that leads to some rather wild stuff at the end of the book.

    • History is what it is. I don’t think it is wise to re-write history either to absolve or condemn. This country is made up of people. Sadly, people fail, sometimes monumentally.

      We have not been without our persecutions, and they have not been isolated to ‘backwaters.’ Irish were told that they need not apply. Jews were legally barred from professional organizations, certain schools, and purchasing homes in certain neighborhoods. Catholics were targeted with restrictive laws as well, the state of Oregon passed a law to shut down all parochial schools. Chinese were banned from owning property in California and at the federal level we had the Chinese Exclusion Act. Members of the Communist party were black balled. None of this should be forgotten, because if we do we will forget that we can and have overcome weaknesses.

      And, if you think I am pro-Marxism, I suggest you have another think. One reason I don’t find Marxism acceptable is that any system that has adopted it has assigned sub-citizenship (or worse) to any who disagree with it.

      • And my ancestors were disenfranchised in Idaho, not just for practicing for polygamy, but for being part of a church that believed in polygamy.

        According to family lore, the local Mormon bishop called the entire congregation together, told them they were all excommunicated, and invited them to meet back at the church after they had voted. Where they were promptly rebaptized, having sworn in good conscience that they were not members of an organization promulgating polygamy and then voted. Don’t know if it’s true but it’s a great story.

        Oddly enough, the people of that small Idaho town seemed ferociously patriotic to me when I was a kid and we spent our Fourth of July vacations there to visit family.

        Don’t know how my patriotism will hold up when the day comes that I’m required to take a test oath that I’m not part of an organization opposed to gay marriage.

        • You know weirdly, the two oaths I had to take at citizenship were that I’d not endorse polygamy (they’re still afraid, apparently) or be a part of any organization opposing taxation.
          I figure those oaths are illegal, anyway. I’m an American, I have freedom of speech.

          • You had to take an oath not to endorse polygamy, to become a citizen? What the heck did you do, show up with a husband and a couple girlfriends, and kiss them all goodbye before walking in to take your oaths?

            • I was shy back then, otherwise, I SHOULD TOTALLY have done that. No, everyone has to take those oaths.

              • I can see the taxes oath, I mean it is the government administering the oaths after all. But polygamy, really, is that on of the two biggest problems we have from immigrant citizens?

                • Was it here that a few days ago everyone was saying how nice the Mormons were…?

                  …Yeah… This one’s probably our fault. Though you’d think after a hundred plus years, people would get over it. Geez.

                  ‘Course, it could also be because polygamy is still practiced in some areas.

                  > > >

                • There are groups in this world that practice polygamy. Great Britain has had some problem with emigres who are now receiving social services for their multiple wives.

            • marycatelli

              citizenship? It was a question just to get entry, as Chesterton observed:

              One of the questions on the paper was, ‘Are you an anarchist?’ To which a detached philosopher would naturally feel inclined to answer, ‘What the devil has that to do with you? Are you an atheist?’ along with some playful efforts to cross-examine the official about what constitutes an ἁρχη [Greek: archê]. Then there was the question, ‘Are you in favour of subverting the government of the United States by force?’ Against this I should write, ‘I prefer to answer that question at the end of my tour and not the beginning.’ The inquisitor, in his more than morbid curiosity, had then written down, ‘Are you a polygamist?’ The answer to this is, ‘No such luck’ or ‘Not such a fool,’ according to our experience of the other sex.

              though after some fun and games in Chesterton’s best style, he went on to observe.

              When we realise the democratic design of such a cosmopolitan commonwealth, and compare it with our insular reliance or instincts, we see at once why such a thing has to be not only democratic but dogmatic. We see why in some points it tends to be inquisitive or intolerant. Any one can see the practical point by merely transferring into private life a problem like that of the two academic anarchists, who might by a coincidence be called the two Herberts. Suppose a man said, ‘Buffle, my old Oxford tutor, wants to meet you; I wish you’d ask him down for a day or two. He has the oddest opinions, but he’s very stimulating.’ It would not occur to us that the oddity of the Oxford[Pg 13] don’s opinions would lead him to blow up the house; because the Oxford don is an English type. Suppose somebody said, ‘Do let me bring old Colonel Robinson down for the week-end; he’s a bit of a crank but quite interesting.’ We should not anticipate the colonel running amuck with a carving-knife and offering up human sacrifice in the garden; for these are not among the daily habits of an old English colonel; and because we know his habits, we do not care about his opinions. But suppose somebody offered to bring a person from the interior of Kamskatka to stay with us for a week or two, and added that his religion was a very extraordinary religion, we should feel a little more inquisitive about what kind of religion it was. If somebody wished to add a Hairy Ainu to the family party at Christmas, explaining that his point of view was so individual and interesting, we should want to know a little more about it and him. We should be tempted to draw up as fantastic an examination paper as that presented to the emigrant going to America. We should ask what a Hairy Ainu was, and how hairy he was, and above all what sort of Ainu he was. Would etiquette require us to ask him to bring his wife? And if we did ask him to bring his wife, how many wives would he bring? In short, as in the American formula, is he a polygamist? Merely as a point of housekeeping and accommodation the question is not irrelevant. Is the Hairy Ainu content with hair, or does he wear any clothes? If the police insist on his wearing clothes, will he recognise the authority of the police? In short, as in the American formula, is he an anarchist?

              Full text here:
              http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27250/27250-h/27250-h.htm

              (I must observe that he missed another part of the questioning — the part where he swears under penalty of perjury that what he says is true. Yes, they knew people would lie. They wanted to be able to charge them with something when they did.)

      • I have with my own ears heard people gloating about how wonderful it is that their states had laws barring the use of any public funds for parochial schools — without quite mentioning that the Ku Klux Klan had gotten the laws passed.

  23. “I have, on this thumb drive, a list of over fifty card-carrying conservatives or conservative sympathizers….

    • It’s not a political liberal/conservative breakdown. It’s the locals taking note of where the Federal employees live…

      I’m not in either camp, particularly–Both the Democrats and the Republicans are ‘effing idiots in my book, as are the “liberal/conservatives”, because they’re letting this polarization happen and are actively aiding and abetting it in all too many cases.

      What I am is an observer, and what I observe is that the “powers-that-be” are utterly oblivious to effect they’re having on local issues. There will be a reaction, once there’s enough “them-and-us” polarization, and it won’t be pretty. The locals aren’t going to give a rat’s ass about the political group the agent of the state belongs to–They’re just going to identify that this ass is the local representative of the agency that just bankrupted them via some “minor change to regulations” back in Washington, D,C..

      The resultant pyre is going to be interesting–Hearken back to what used to happen to the “Revenoor’s” that had to try to ride herd on the stills of Appalachia. That’s government without consent, and when it’s one minor region, it’s survivable for a central government. When it’s across a major economic region? The results are going to be a huge problem, for all of us.

      What the BLM is pulling down in Texas right now is a really good example–They’re taking the boundary issues that were based on the river banks for good and sundry reasons, and declaring the “new land” Federal property. The problem? By taking that land as belonging to the Feds, they’re cutting off access to water sources for the ranchers. There’s a reason the land boundaries were up to the water’s edge and then some–If the land is now Federal property, you can’t legally water your stock there anymore, without the permission of the Federal agency that took ownership of the “new land” resultant from the shifting of the river’s course.

      Looks like a minor issue to some ass sitting in an office in Washington. When it’s translated down to the level of the landowner and stockman, it’s a life-threatening problem. Which is why there is the potential for a huge flashpoint–These idiots we have running the Federal government quite literally do not understand what they’re screwing with. If they don’t watch out, there are going to be some dead BLM employees, and a bunch of folks who were looking the other way when it happened.

      Federal employees ought to take note about a fine American tradition: Agents of the King don’t necessarily get to go home at the end of their shift, if they’ve given the people they are governing a good reason for them not to.

      As a nation, we’re at that fine point where things can still be stopped. Keep this sort of thing up, however, and there will be blood shed.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      We can have proscriptions without having a civil war, if we will lie down for it.

      • I’d rather die than live on my knees. Better yet, make the other SOB die for his country..

      • Lie down for it? I don’t think that’s happening, Bob.

        Too many nations shed themselves of their troublemakers by sending them here to the US. We have a lot of folks whose bloodlines don’t include making trouble for the man, and they’ve been running things satisfactorily for quite awhile. So, the idjits who’re now in charge have fooled themselves into thinking that blood won’t out, and that they’ve managed to domesticate the troublesome.

        Thing is, I think they’re wrong. Very, very wrong. You won’t get smiling acquiescence as you try to load the cattle cars, here, with the victims hoping that the nice men in black aren’t going to hurt them at the end of the journey. What you will get is a certain amount of resistance on the part of your sable-uniformed minions as they notice that there are considerable numbers of them who don’t manage to return intact from their little “night and fog” missions.

        Anyone who thinks otherwise ought to carefully consider the implications of things like Kansas-Missouri border wars, and just what happened on both sides of the line.

        William Ayers has a lot of interesting fantasies. What he doesn’t have is one single clue about just how hard it would be to put those fantasies into action, or where the end-state would wind up.

        • I agree with this comment. We’re Americans, damn it. We hate fighting, but when we start, you can’t stop us. And we do start when it becomes intolerable.

          • As some white cismale gendernormative slaveholder said over a hundred years ago:

            Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

            • Oh, but they’re doing their best to dismiss Jefferson, and anyone else connected with the Constitution – white slave-owning patriarchs and all. (I’ve heard that’s a deliberate ploy to set up weakening the Constitution.)

              Heck, on the Passive Guy post, some people were attacking Voltaire for the “I disagree with everything you say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it” thinking – well, gee, he said a lot of bad things, so of course he would say something like that.

              • Well of course they dismiss Jefferson, they’re not Americans. Right now they think they’re winning because we’re still in the “suffer evils” phase, but if they keep pushing they’re going to see what we’ll do to guard our future security.

              • Why do you think they don’t teach any of the founders any more besides Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson? And maybe some Madison? No Benjamin Rush. (When you have a guy teaching black folk to be medical doctors, it does throw a monkey wrench in your “but they were eeeeeevil raaaacists!” arguments)

                >

            • Thomas Jefferson? or James Madison?

          • We’re Americans, damn it. We hate fighting, but when we start, you can’t stop us.

            One of our founding myths is that we will cross an ice-choked river, in the dark, with hand-rowed boats, on the eve of our biggest holiday, to kill you in the dark.

            You do not want to mess with the American people because after a certain point we will open up a can of whoop-ass that you just will not believe.

            So far, we’ve been pretty good about putting that genie back in the bottle after it was over.

            So far.

    • Card-carrying? From whom? Where can I join? (I sympathize with a lot of people.)

      • I think one came with the Official Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Handbook (Or was Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Official Handbook?)

        Probably this:
        http://www.amazon.com/Official-Handbook-Vast-Right-Conspiracy

        Bought it shortly after my department head asked who was visiting the office, because there was a car with a big W sticker on the window– when told by my supervisor that it was mine, he was utterly shocked and said: “but she’s such a NICE girl!” This is the same department head that really did have a degree in submersed textile manufacturing– underwater basket weaving– because one of the chiefs he knew had suggested it.

        • “but she’s such a NICE girl!”

          Obviously he didn’t know you as well as he thought he did. 😀

          • I swear by goodness, I really argued with myself on this while writing the response….

            If by nice, you mean that I don’t make waves and am utterly ENGLISH in the “be polite” department, I’m nice. It’s another word for “wimp.” (and also dangerous, because doormats that stand up are both a major threat and much disliked, because you count o them to lay down)

            If you mean that I think the “correct” things, you’re out of your mind or a fool, or possibly woefully lacking in sense. (most probable in this case)

            If by nice you mean that I do my best not to do harm, to TRY do what Christ said about acting out of true-desire-for-best-of-other, then I like to think that yeah, I am….

            • Or of course I could have just been being my normal obnoxiously sarcastic self. 🙂 And not being a doormat myself, you can guarantee if I had been present when he said that, my vocal response would have been identical to what I typed, regardless of who he was speaking about. If nothing else, just to see the expression on his face.

              • A good opening is just priceless, isn’t it?

                Sadly, I can tell you what his response would’ve been, purely by accident– imagine if you slapped him in the face with a live squid.
                Like that.
                And he looked kinda like the slightly-more-cheekbone verison of the elder English prince, too.

  24. I had a very pleasant conversation at my grandmother’s memorial service today with a woman who had lived across the hall from her at the assisted living center. We bonded over fantasy and she said she moved on to mysteries because she just couldn’t get into the genre anymore. The woman had worked as a government librarian and worked for the Democrat party at the same time my grandmother was working for the Republicans. She was the first Democrat I’d met in a long time who hadn’t made a point of talking about how evil my beliefs were. I don’t know what it is about this generation that thinks that’s acceptable.

  25. Sarah, as I was reading this I had a flashback to an old Bugs Bunny scene. Bugs turn to the camera, and says. “He don’t know me very well, do he.”

  26. OT: Hey, you can now see almost two miles through the dust! And the sideways mudballs have stopped, as have the drifts of dust coming off the roof. But the north side of my poor truck looks like it has measles. *SIGH* Dust, go home.

  27. It humbles me how brave people can be. Especially when they make the choice with forethought of the probable repercussions (as opposed to a vague idea that the action will be unpopular).

    Yesterday I got misty eyed over Brad R. Torgersen’s and John C. Wright’s posts. A few days before that it was Larry Correia’s. I’ve always looked with respect on your own rebellion (as should go without saying, but I must). I don’t even know how to tell you all how the posts made me feel. Except it makes me want to be brave too.

    It scares me that someone can be vilified for reading fiction, yet having a shelf full of the screeds of madmen and murderers and people filled to the brim with hatred just means you’re one of the Good People. (Not that I’m objecting to reading those sorts of works as they can be educational, if stomach churning.) Heavens forbid someone dare read the works of fiction of someone who once said something Doubleplus Ungood (nevermind the context or if it has anything at all to do with the fiction in question) – but a work suggesting people aren’t always people nor should they be treated as such is what Right Thinking people should be reading.

    The world is so blind. It is terrifying what they refuse to see.

    • I’m not terrified of these idiots. Annoyed, yes. Terrified? No, I’d have to respect them, first. While I’ll never discount the level and seriousness of the foolishness they may get up to, I’m still quite contemptuous of their reasoning and actions.

      When the time comes, I’ll be doing the necessaries. For a view of what that may come to, Michael Z. Williamson has an interesting little think-piece up on the front page, over at Baen’s. These jackasses need a few learning events, and we may need to provide those.

      The mentality these dimwits display always floors me. They want control, and they want to run everything, but they’re signally incapable of doing so. None of these statist pricks has ever managed to make the trains run on time, ever. They’ve managed to create the appearance that the trains are running on time, but in the background, all you’ll ever find is incompetence. For examples, look to Adam Tooze’s economic study of the Third Reich. Hitler and his minions were able to fool a bunch of people into thinking that their program was working, but when the wheels came off, they had to go out and loot the rest of Europe to avoid explaining to the German public why two and two didn’t equal the six they’d promised. Same-same with Obamacare–They promised the nectar of the gods, and they’re delivering crap.

      When the time comes, we’ll deal with them in the time-honored manner: A rope, a tree, and a bit of assembly required. If things get really bad, there’s always the Liberian solution for lousy politicians–Invite them to a feast, and make them the guest of honor. I understand politician is a little greasy, but there are recipes that can compensate for that…

      • Sorry, not a fan of Rocky Mountain Oysters, and at least some of the politicians I wouldn’t feed to my dogs, they might poison them.

        • What, my dear Bearcat, have Rocky Mountain Oysters got to do with it? They are made from the testes of the slaughtered animal, and as for politicians, I can testify that in general, they have none.

          • It is claimed to be a common practice there to eat the testicles of your enemies, including vanquished political opponents.

            “Incidents of ritual killings and cannibalism always skyrocket as elections approach.” Yep, we still got a ways to fall.

      • lead injection or tar and feathers. I have no taste for long pig.

  28. I’ve been working on short stories, and even some novel-length works for the last several years, but after reading articles like this and similar ones, I’m starting to wonder whether I even want to play in what seems like it’s turning into a cesspool. I’m fortunate in that I’m (at least for now) not expecting to make a living writing, and more and more, I”m thinking that starting out indie is the way to go. Why should I genuflect at the altar of political correctness? I agree with Sarah; my soul is worth more than that.

    I wonder how many others, of varying degrees of talent take a look at the whole scene, shed a tear, and turn their back; the community deprived of what they had to offer.

    It’s sad.

    • Don’t turn your back. Investigate the possibility of going indie. I did a series about it at PJM.
      Right now, if Baen didn’t exist, I’d be wholly indie. It’s honorable, and I have friends making a living from it.

  29. Jack Tallent

    You know what I thought was the most powerful bit in this? It was the “people who disagree with your mentors“ line. I have always thought that people are given courage in their arguments by imagining the approval of some mentor figure, even if they themselves are unable to formulate the argument. Really good stuff.

  30. Pingback: More on the Politics in Writing Brouhaha | Stark Writing Mad

  31. Actually, I’d be interested in -explicitly- reading an anthology dedicated to exactly the question “What would a fully-fledged society run on non-Leftist principles look like?”

    Potential future societies are all over the place. But the vast majorities are either Utopias (what Leftists think we’ll end up at) or Dystopias (what the still mostly-left-of-center but still capable of thinking point out as flaws). Or, occasionally, the Leftist-view-of-what-they-think-a-Conservative-society-would-be. (Lord of the Flies).

    It’s done ‘in passing’ occasionally, but rarely like Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold where the society is a core piece of what’s happening and fleshed out. At least, the authors tend to either not flesh out the nuts-and-bolts, or not seriously propose the interesting society they’ve created as a viable ‘end game’.

    • I’m engaged in trying to do that with the Earth Revolution series, but I think it will take ALL six books…

    • “What would a fully-fledged society run on non-Leftist principles look like?”

      It would look like the one we used to have, when you were mostly left the hell alone to mind your own business.

      The mentality you are framing as “Leftist” is the same one that many assholes on the right also espouse–See, for example, any one of the many groups seeking to hijack the power of the state to make their religious preferences and teachings mandatory. They’d be just about as bad as anything done by the people I suspect you’re defining as “Leftist”. Doesn’t matter whether they’re left, or right–There’s a common thread, there, and that’s the desire to get in other people’s rightful business, and control what they’re doing. Usually, with the excuse that it’s “for their own good…”.

      And, what’s really, really annoying about these assholes, no matter where they come from? They usually can’t run their own lives with any real success. But, they’re damn sure that they can run yours better than you can.

      A pox on all their houses, say I. You want to control something? Do it to yourself, and your own. You want to change others? Do it by setting an example, not writing another damn law or raising a tax. Quit hijacking the state to live out your fantasies of righteousness.

      In my ideal world, where we lived without both the left and the right, as currently defined by most… Well, most of those control-freak bastards would be out of jobs, and probably doing something productive for the first time in their worthless lives–Like fertilizing the corn.

      You want to control me? You want to run my life for me? There’s one answer to that, whether you’re talking about some brilliant little hipster who thinks he knows better than I where to spend my money, or some righteous do-gooder out to save his fantasy of your soul–And, that answer is a resounding “NO!”.

      Now, when they won’t leave you the hell alone? Just like with training a recalcitrant horse, there’s an escalating series of measures you take.

      The final one is a bullet right behind one of their ears. Sad thing is, they make such actions necessary, when they won’t mind their manners. And, that’s all it is, in the end–Good manners. Don’t believe what I do? So be it–You leave me alone with my beliefs, and I’ll leave you alone with yours. Try to tell me I can’t live my life the way I want to? You need to go away, and if need be, that can be made to happen.

    • Wyst: Alastor 1716 by Jack Vance.

      Arrabus on the planet Wyst is an “egalistic” nation, where everyone is equal to everyone else. Arrabins work only two hours per week (“drudge”), assigned at random each week. (This week I’m a surgeon!) In return, they receive a ration of synthetic food, and are housed in gigantic block tenements. Natural food (“bonter”) is very rare, resulting in a flourishing black market trade with the “Weirdlands”, the lands beyond Arrabus. Theft and destruction of property is accepted because if you have something that someone else does not have, then you are unequal and that must be rectified.

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  33. Occasionally after a link from Glenn, I consider buying one of your books. I never seem to get around to it. But, you got me. Just bought “Witchfinder” on general principle to support you. Heaven help me if I like it! I am already out of time for authors on my must read list, but I’m sure I have room for just ONE more. 🙂 Also bought Correia’s latest in ARC on Baen. The progressives cannot be allowed to think they can control our thoughts. As a sidenote, the comment thread here often reads like banter in a Heinlein novel. However did you build such a lovely community? God bless you and yours, Sarah.

  34. Not sure how this is any different from saying, “We won’t publish you if you’re (black, a woman, hispanic, gay).”

  35. This gave me one of those Spock-with-a-Beard-Universe fantasies.

    Alan S asks ““What would a fully-fledged society run on non-Leftist principles look like?” Read the late, great Australian philosopher David Stove to find out. (PJM’s Roger Kimball has been trying to popularize Stove’s work, and it’s a noble project.)

    The best political work I’ve ever read is ON ENLIGHTENMENT. It’s out of print and costly now, but you can read a few of the essays free online. The first essay is the best, linked here:

    http://zh.scribd.com/doc/100055095/David-Stove-Did-Babeuf-Deserve-the-Guillotine

    The real nut of it is that, since “systems of equality” (equality of outcome) have always led to horrid tyranny, we should criminalize all calls for egalitarianism. We prohibit speech now – calls for the violent overthrow of the government – so why would this be a huge departure?

    So here’s my fantasy. Hugo-winner Len Leftyman gets into the elevator to ride up to Posh Publishing’s palatial digs on the 63rd floor to collect some praise for his new sci-fi manuscript, COMMUNING WITH THE HIVE MIND. The elevator shakes, giving Len pause.

    Then it stops at the mezzanine, where Sarah Hoyt boards and presses 63. Recognizing Hoyt, Leftyman waxes haughty: “Are you quite sure you have the right floor?”

    “Do I know you?” asks Hoyt.

    They ride up in silence. When the door opens on the Posh suite, Leftyman is dumbfounded to find Spock with a Beard at the receptionist’s desk!

    “Ah, Ms. Hoyt, congratulations on another million-seller,” say Spock. “Go right on in, Admiral Kirk is eager to discuss your new manuscript with you.” Hoyt smiles and breezes past. Spock turns his gaze on Leftyman. “May I help you, Mr….”

    “Leftyman! I’ve come about my manuscript. And since when does…”

    Spock looks grave. (Well, graver than usual.) “Leftyman. I’m afraid your manuscript has been rejected. Not only that, but there was so much positive allusion to systems of equality in it that we felt compelled to report you to the authorities. Please wait here while I summon them.”

    “What?! But what about free speech? The right of EVERY man…”

    Vulcan nerve pinch.

    The End

  36. Thanks. Cool comic! It’s not just my pals, I see. Lots of resentment from TOS fans over the new movie series.

    • Lots of resentment from TOS fans over the new movie series.

      What new movie series? There is no new Star Trek movie series these days.

      /deadpan

      I’m more of a DS9 fan, but… grrrr, dislike the hipstering of Trek. “Oh, hey, if we just use some of the same names and paste it on a movie we want to aim at everyone else, those silly trekkies will love it!

  37. OT: Yes, to those of you in business for yourselves, this year so far sucked as much as you thought:
    http://t.co/c5kAo4FuUp

  38. physicsgeeky

    I can write tentacle porn or something. (And then with my other tentacle…)

    Heh. I’m one of the Baen fans you met at Ravencon right after you arrived. Late, I might add, due to the bad weather pattern over Richmond. I and a couple of others caught you in the hall between your short stint in the Finding Your Muse panel and the Epic Fail panel your husband was in. The topic of sex scenes came up and we all started offering up thoughts on how a 900-alien-sx call center would go; Pretty funny stuff. And I’ll bet that there would be an audience, although I’m not certain how much money you can make selling to hermaphrodite xenomorphs from Xzouhubh(&^*&U. Pretty small target audience.

    BTW. thanks for being so friendly and gracious at Ravencon.

    • It was fun. You should have said “I’m physics geek”!

      • physicsgeeky

        Well, I was wearing a shirt with upside down physics equations on it, but I was simply glad to finally meet you. Next time I’m hanging out with the Barflies, I’ll introduce myself for real.

  39. I looked at my options when writing my first novels, and decided setting up an Indy Press was the best way to reach the market. I had no illusions that the gatekeepers of the major publishing houses would be interested in even telling me the time of day. I would be considered either not commercial enough, or not connected enough to break into the “old boys” network they had created for themselves.

    I’ve even watched them perform a hostile takeover of fandom requiring “correct think” to be allowed to be interested in their version of what Fantasy or Science Fiction should be. I looked at it, and saw I wouldn’t be welcome. I’m too likely to challenge flawed assumptions, and to make someone feel bad for being a programed drone going along with the crowd. Then I found other “indy” authors, and found that writing could be still “fun” along with being edgy and controversial instead of just commercial pablum for the masses. A place where “bad think” was not only allowed, but where “odd think” was encouraged.

    So I sit here on the side lines challenging presumtions in much the same way many of the old school authors used to be transgressive. I take their “correct think” presumptions, and swap the genders or races around to see if the message still works universally, or if it creates “bad think” when you reverse their prefered scenarios. Quite frequently it comes out that what they find is good for their goose, is just downright evil for their gander when you turn it the other way.

    Thus you shall know them by their hypocrisies, their double standards, and their desires to obtain control over all aspects of the message. Keep the back channels open, and don’t give in to the temtation to selling your soul to their devil in exchange for the beads and trinkets which is all they have to offer.

  40. I first read Starship Troopers in the 5th grade. Heinlein had a very positive influence on my social and political opinions since that time. I have indeed felt like a minority.
    One of my favorite memories is about 15-20 years ago, my family was at Disney World in the late fall. This is a time of year that all the rich Brazilians send their ill-mannered children to Florida to get them out of their hair. Horrible queue-jumpers. I kept spouting a line I believe from The Rolling Stones; “Queue hoppers! Shoot them in the foot!”
    Baen books probably makes more sales to me than any other publisher, as they do good science fiction. I don’t have problems with any author’s political bias; however, sometimes it can get a little too much in the way of the story line. L. Neil Smith comes to mind. A friend had me read Probability Broach and Pallas, and he comes off just a little too much in my face to enjoy it.
    Sarah may not be quite up to Heinlein standards, but like him, she seems to be a master of injecting political commentary that adds to the plot line and doesn’t get in the way. I want novels that challenge my perceptions of society and humanity, not ones that seek approval of the currently politically correct dogma and dogmatics.

    • Don’t think it was THE ROLLING STONES. He calls for the execution of line-jumpers in THE CAT WHO WALKS THROUGH WALLS, the one with the sinister Taliaferros who never come to much.

      Funny career Heinlein had. Got reamed by the Left for STARSHIP TROOPERS. Some guy wrote THE FOREVER WAR in rebuttal – think it just pumped TROOPERS. Then he really broke into the mainstream and on the Left with licentious STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND. (Do you grok stripping in Vegas, man?) Ten years later he writes about a guy who goes back in time and sleeps with his mom, and he’s bummed the STRANGE LAND fans don’t come droving back! The cutting edge had left him behind.

      “Not quite up to… standards?” Dude. Read more.

  41. Reblogged this on Andrew J. Patrick and commented:
    You can’t shut down the floodgates on anything in the 21st century…

  42. By the way, is it wrong that the title of this post has caused me to be earwormed with Julian Lennon’s ‘Too Late For Goodbyes’?

  43. This sort of “toe the line” thing isn’t confined to the Sci-Fi world, obviously, but it runs much deeper than I had expected. I had a good run researching and writing history, while teaching full time. After some little read but moderately successfully books, I was asked to write a couple of others in different “popular history” series, which were fun to do and I looked forward to more.

    Then I committed two gross, unforgivable sins. First one was entirely my own undoing, I raised too much of a stink with an editor about what did and what did not constitute the core topic of one particular book (it was really an argument about what was proper history and what was in fact more like tabloid journalism), so that was the end of the relationship with that particular publishing house.

    Secondly, I had a call to ministry, and shared that call with a longtime publishing world friend (whom, ironically, was with the house I mentioned previously). They warned me that putting those three letters in front of my name would magically transform me from an experienced historian with modest skills to a dangerous demagogue whom no reputable publishing house in that field would touch. At the time I was working with another house on an interesting proposal, and receiving mostly encouraging responses from them (well, the publisher did state at one point that “historians are a dime a dozen,” to attempt to put me firmly back in my properly subordinate and dependent position), but everything came off the rails when he took a peek at my website. I had linked to my new ministry website on the front page, he asked if it was true that I was an ordained minister, and quite suddenly, for what may have been completely unrelated reasons, the proposal was turned down. Two more houses followed the same path and nearly the same exact script with subsequent proposals.

    And that was that.

  44. I don’t particularly think I would care to be associated with any publisher who would publish the likes of me.

    #1 reason I won’t self-publish.