Of Feet and Knees

Fear and courage and fear as a weapon to enforce comformity and obedience are part of the themes of Darkship Revenge [I knew it was a bad idea to have two R words in a row, ah well] whose tagline could be “it’s best to live on your feet.”

I normally have trouble telling you what the “point” of a book is even after I finish it until it rests for a while and I can think, and in fact I just realized the synopsis I sent in for Through Fire was at best incoherent, so I’ll need to redo it and also add a paragraph to the payoff page, because what I have there could be interpreted as what I mean. Or it could not. I’d rather clarify it. Not a moral, precisely, but tying the threads together. (The funny thing being that in conversation with Kate I told her exactly what the point of that book was, but it still wasn’t on that last page.)

This made me think of what Brad Torgersen (rightly) says “this field is soaked with fear.” Yesterday, I read a post, possibly linked from insty, talking about why fear works so well on the middle class who has career aspirations (we’ll talk more about that later) and who can’t afford to be seen with the wrong people, supporting the wrong ideas, talking to the wrong side of the fence.

As I’ve watched person after person “distance” themselves from Pamela Geller, a disgraceful and bizarre idea, because, let’s make this very clear: she had a contest for people to draw Mohammed in vile ways [This is what I’d heard. That is was the “most offensive” that would win. Apparently I was wrong — quelle surprise — it was just to DRAW Mohammed. Only offensive to devout Muslims of certain sects.]; two people tried to shoot her and everyone in there.

Let’s repeat that in case you don’t get it: lines on paper, which no one who potentially could be offended by it needed to see were responded to with an attempt at killing her.

If you don’t think that’s bizarre, substitute the contest to draw Mohammed with a contest to draw Christ in the most vile way possible [we already have that. It’s called the NEA-ed.] Imagine that two armed people showed up to shoot you for it. How many people who did the ritual “Geller made the poor Muslims do it” all over the media, including Fox News, would do the same? One? None?

Of course, Christians don’t do that. At most they would show up at pray at you. And THAT would be considered hateful and closed minded, and people would talk about being intimidated going into the art show [Every time another show comes up with a way to insult Christians this script plays out.] And then the police would show up to keep them separated, just like outside Planned Parenthood, the people who pray the rosary at you have to keep a certain distance or be arrested, because, well, they make people feel bad and it’s hate speech.

I have yet to hear a talking head say “Well, if people don’t want to be prayed at, they shouldn’t have abortions in a fixed place, in public. I mean, it’s like a trap for Catholics.” Or “if people don’t want those fundies to show up and shout Bible verses at them, they shouldn’t have [yet another] a play showing the Messiah of Christianity having gay sex.” Or… No, you don’t hear it, and for students of religion who wonder about things like the Crusades which, they keep telling us, have no Biblical support, it might be a good idea – as the good professor says – to think about the incentives you’re providing.

But people who are distancing themselves from Gellar in a hurry aren’t acting like they’re afraid of death: afraid of being blown up or shot or stabbed as so many people who spoke up against the religion of “peace” have been. No. They’re afraid of losing public face. Their “distancing from Geller” is not because they’re afraid the Jihadis will show up at their door, or stab then during their morning bicycling, no. They’re afraid their friends and neighbors will think they’re anti-Islamic which has been declared by those who command the heights of the culture to be bad. More so, they’re afraid their BOSSES will think they’re anti-Islamic or “hateful” (since the left is now determined to tell us “hate speech” which is ALWAYS defined by those in power over the culture “isn’t protected.” [Which is a lie. The protection of speech is ONLY needed for speech others hate. Otherwise, no need. No one has ever been told they can’t say they love mom and apple pie.]) and their career/employment/chances at recognition in their specialty will be over.

It’s easier to cow most humans (social animals) with social ostracism than with death threats. There’s something heroic in standing up against a death threat while merely standing up against losing your job because of a whisper campaign calling you a poopy head looks slightly silly. Worse, because it’s a whisper campaign you’re never absolutely sure it’s not all in your head.

This was brought to a head by the comments yesterday about my blast from the past. I said that (as I remember, I locked that post on LJ and d*mn if I remember the password eight years later) there had been a mass fit throwing (what we now call a twitter storm) and hints that I’d never work in this town again. When someone asked for them as proof that they’d threatened careers before, I tried to remember if there was anything specific enough from either editors or writers who were better known than I (which at the time was practically everyone, including Bob who mans the seven eleven and hand sells his novels from under the counter to late night junkies.)

I don’t know precisely anymore, but I doubt there was much more than “You’re not who I thought you were.” And “I thought you were on our side” and such things from people with career ending ability. Look, they don’t usually go around saying that in public.

But think about those two sentences in the context of being said by someone who can deny you employment, should you ever need it. Did they threaten your career? Well, no, but should you not fall into line, the ability to end it is there nonetheless.

Look, part of the problem with this is that the US is no longer a meritocracy. I don’t know when it happened here, because I wasn’t here, but I remember when my brother graduated college and was applying to his first job. It took him years to find an engineering job, partly because the job market for computer people sucked in Portugal at the time. So he applied to a lot of things, including American companies.

The first step in this was a test. Partly it was a competency test, partly a personality test. A lot of this was boogaboo. I remember after one test Alvarim called home to verify when he’d been weaned, just to know if he’d had it right in the test. Boogaboo. Nonsense. “Magic.” And full disclosure in 1981 I took one of these tests for employment in the largest newspaper in the city at the time, and I never got called back for an interview. I suspect it was the “world affairs” portion as I’d been in the states for a year and they had a different “narrative” than in Portugal. Or it could have been that there were 200 of us taking the test for two positions and I had a high school diploma with one or two Journalism AP classes. Frankly, I was shocked that on my resume I was called to take the TEST.

Anyway, the tests weren’t perfect, but it was within the rights of a company to administer the tests, and I understand (can’t swear. As I said, I wasn’t here) that it was once widely used here. In practicality this meant the graduate from Harvard and the guy who taught himself computers in his basement were co-equals. The highest test won.

I still had a test for my last “real” – translator – job, because when you need someone with seven languages, you’re not going to get them all in normal ways and some will be self-inflicted, so you need to test them. How they get away with it, I don’t know.

I know that the other tests, particularly given by large corporations, were ‘debunked’ as being (usually) ‘racist’ and such, and therefore discriminatory. I don’t know if they’re illegal, or if they simply aren’t “done.”

I do know that more and more as I’ve been here, your employment is likely to depend on whom you know and who can recommend you for a position. That means a whisper campaign can as effectively shut you out of making a living as it could do to a writer back in the days of five houses who all talked to each other and no other route to reach readers.

And that’s why the reaction to Sad Puppies and to Pam Geller. Because people must be seen not to be “bad”. They must appease the people who can destroy them, before the whisper campaign starts.

One of things that has amused me, but not really, through the Sad Puppies thing was watching people who’ve known me for years suddenly think I was “right wing” in the way the SJWs say I am – i.e. that I subscribe to theories of race or gender supremacy, or that I think women shouldn’t work (which would be mighty funny, considering I can’t remember an ancestress who didn’t have her own business, going as far back as I can go) or that I’m an homophobe, or whatever.

Whisper campaigns are scary effective, because they can get in behind your rational thought. If someone told you to your face that I was a white supremacist and you’d met me and (particularly) my kids, you’d probably pee yourself laughing. BUT if the same info came to you whispered, as “Well, you know, her opinions on race are just nuts” or worse “of course, I disagree with her thing on race” – incredibly effective because it leaves you to make up in your own head how bad my opinions must be for someone to say just that.

And this is why luminaries are publicly denouncing SP and Pam Geller and anyone else who steps out of line. Because behind their brain they know we’re pretty despicable, even if – particularly if – no one ever told them anything concrete about our despicableness.

So, have there been career threats? Not open, and nothing any of us could point to. Until recently. Recently – because we’re freed by the fact we can always go indie and have a truly closed pen name [and btw, to me the clear admission that they were manipulating things in secret came when my agent told me we couldn’t have a pen name that was secret from the publishers. And also when someone – a midlister – did have a secret pen name (I believe the book is The Seamstress but I don’t remember the author name. And the title could be wrong, though the sense is right) and got pushed to bestseller, and the publishers were furious about her having a secret pen name. Which doesn’t make any sense, unless they have a lot of control. But even having been in the field for years, I greeted that with relief. Because it confirmed what I suspected.]

The problem with whisper campaigns is that you can’t defend yourself, you can’t argue, and you can’t kill them once they start.

So when a whisper campaign starts against someone, the best way is to fall in line and denounce the person loudly and ritually. Which is why Brad is right, and my field (and a lot of society) is drenched, dripping and stinking with fear.

OTOH having been on the other side of this let me tell you, if enough of us refuse to live on our knees, then living on our feet becomes possible. Of course, for the first few this means metaphorically dying (or having your career and character – which is far less glamorous) on your feet.

Is it worth it? I think so. I sleep better at night, and trust me, this is very important. And I can see myself in the mirror without flinching. Also, I’m not jumping at shadows. (“You’re not the person I thought you were” might be completely inoffensive, even said by a publisher, but when you’re afraid they’ll kill your career, it becomes a threat, even if they didn’t mean it that way. So you’re jumping at shadows [and I don’t remember if there were more concrete threats, but to me those were clear enough. Then again I was drenched with fear.])

To me it is worth it. Would I have done it, if Indie weren’t a possibility? I doubt it. I’d probably have walked away from the field altogether.

But what this means is that in your very own field it is important to be on the lookout for opportunities for freedom, for the ability to work, to practice, to establish a career regardless of what people think of you. And then you can be free and stop the ritual denunciations and the crazycakes agreeing with insane people (“lady” is an insult! Totally.)

I know for a lot of you this isn’t possible yet. But I know, also, a lot of those drenched with fear in my own field are ignoring the wide open door. They’ve bought into narratives of less quality (and there’s a rant on that later.) So, don’t shy from the open door, look for it. Create it if you can.

Always look for a chance to live on your feet, or to quote Heinlein, to be a live lion.

Ça ira. Potentia vobiscum.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers, and thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link.

483 responses to “Of Feet and Knees

  1. One thing I keep in mind at all times is the Pratchett observation (different context) that somebody effectively on their knees has his opponent’s genetalia at the perfect hight for biting……

  2. Sometimes the fear is so bad, people on your own side enforce it. “If you do this, you’re going to be found dead in a ditch” followed by a couple of examples where it did, in fact, happen makes for a damn effective nightmare generator.

    • Part of why I try to respond to such things with “so, how do we do this while dealing with the risks?”

      The Texas event vs the CH magazine is a good example:
      CH had a lot of security measures, but no offensive ones.
      Result: pile of dead targets and the attackers got away to threaten others, very effective threat.
      The Texas event had security that included a lot of people with guns and defensive measures, although I’d prefer if they’d had it somewhere that attendees could be armed I must assume they had an eye on other defensive measures.
      Result: two dead terrorists, one unarmed guard injured.

      THAT is a good response to a threat.

  3. As far as the white supremacy thing goes:

    If I recall correctly your husband is a white man.

    You married the absolute best person that you could find. One might almost say the supreme person you could find.

    He is a white man.

    Ergo you are a white supremacist and a male supremicist as evidenced by the most important choice in your own life.

    So there!

    • “White” — well, he is very pale, but apparently because of kids genetic stuff, he’s actually more red. Genetically speaking.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        “More red”? What have you done to embarrass him? [Very Big Evil Grin]

          • My Ex-SiL tried that with my brother…only to discover that she’s much easier to embarrass than he is. Much to my amusement.

            • Jerry Boyd

              Reminds me of the time some of the ladies my wife works with wanted to know all the words to “There Once Was a Man From Nantucket”.

              • There IS a clean version of that, you know…

                • Actually, no I didn’t…

                  • Jerry Boyd

                    Nor did I. Please elucidate.

                  • There once was a man from Nantucket
                    Who kept all his cash in a bucket
                    His daughter named Nan
                    Ran away with a Man
                    And as for the bucket, Nantuckit.

                    There may be others.

                    • Before his untimely death, William the Coroner would have limerick contests. One was to do a PG “old man from Nantucket.” Apparently it was the most difficult challenge he ever issued, judging from the plaints and entries. Phuket Thailand appeared in a number of the attempts.

                    • There once was a man from Nantucket
                      Who’d buy lots of corn just to shuck it.
                      He’d shuck away
                      and after a day
                      he was more than willing to chuck it.

                    • There once was a man
                      From Nantucket, but Haiku
                      Does not suit the joke.
                      -M. Mitchell Marmel.

                • It’s a limerick; there are probably entire books that exist only to have clean versions of famous dirty limericks.

                  • Jerry Boyd

                    Doggerel with no dog? What, catterel?

                  • We have a book of limericks at home. Several, actually. One of our sons waslearnoign limericks in school and asked Mom, “Hey, can I take this book of limericks to school.” She said yes. Then he glanced at it and asked, “What does this word mean?” Mommy grabbed the book and said, “You can’t take that to school.” None of the limerick books on the shelf were school suitable. The only clean limericks I’ve ever seen are in school textbooks. It is entirely possible a book of clean limericks exists somewhere, but evidence is lacking.

                    • Check the kids’ section– I had two when I was growing up…then again, that might have just been my family’s sense of humor. I had a bad habit of horrifying folks, and I can totally see SEVERAL family members going out of their way to make people think I was about to do it again.

                      There was a young lady named Bright
                      Whose speed was far faster than light
                      she went out one day
                      in a relative way
                      and returned on the previous night.

                    • Edward Lear wrote hundreds of clean limericks.

                    • Look for Arnold Lobel’s _Pigericks_. Yes, they are limericks about pigs, with illustrations.

                    • That book is surely offensive to Muslims and thus is hate speech.

                      As Muslims also consider the dog unclean, does that mean they must not be subjected to doggerel? How about Vogan Poetry? (N.B., http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/vogonpoetry/lettergen.shtml )

                    • There was a young man from Nepal,
                      Who fell in the spring in the fall
                      ‘Twould have been a sad thing
                      Had he died in the spring,
                      But he didn’t, he died in the fall.

                    • “Edward Lear wrote hundreds of clean limericks.”

                      Why?

                    • Ah! You try to go through elementary school being accused of lear-ing.
                      Okay, I think I caught Peter Grant’s fever, somehow. I’m going to bed.

                    • I used to have a two-volume set of hardcover limerick books, with about 1700 limericks in each. The front of each book had a blurb that started out talking about how limericks could be dirty/bawdy “or otherwise,” then continued with “Of the 1700 in this book, none are otherwise.”

                      Those actually came to mind a week or two ago. I’d be interested in finding them again.

                    • One of my favorite clean limericks also seems appropriate to the topic of the day.

                      There once was a lady from Niger,
                      Who smiled while she rode on a Tiger.
                      They came back from the ride
                      With the lady inside,
                      and the smile on the face of the tiger.

                • Next, you will be saying that Tommy Loy circumnavigated the skipper.

              • So, what are they? 😀

                • Jerry Boyd

                  Sorry. Family blog more or less. Not appropriate a-tall. Send me an e-mail at qed one nine six one at yahoo dot com if you’re truly interested.

      • Oops. I forgot that he was not strictly speaking white. My apologies. (It still makes you a male supremicist though).

        • Jeff Gauch

          Liberals believe that culture and genetics are linked. Oddly enough – or not, considering all of the other stupid things they believe – they think that culture can influence genetics in some neo-Lamarkian way. Thus people like Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, and Carly Fiorina are all white men.

          • Well of course over a long enough period of time culture can effect genetics by introducing selective pressures, i.e. the ability to digest lactose or some of the adaptations to cold seen in arctic peoples or adaptions to high altitude in the case of the Nepalese.

            • I would say that’s more a case of environmental pressure effecting phenotypes that in turn impact culture.

      • RED! O.K. Looks back — rereads. Ah, genetic… for a moment you had me there.

        • Dan is red, because Sarah is always wearing her rose colored glasses when she looks at him.

          *ducks*

          • I’m curious, how does letting a senior audit an already scheduled, budgeted, staffed college course measurably increase taxpayer overhead? One more warm body to add to the HVAC load, maybe? Too heavy a price to pay to have someone with a lifetime of real-world experience sitting in the class to ameliorate the nonsense flowing from the professor, someone unable to be cowed by threat of bad grades and poor job prospects? They could be the modern day tribunes. (Roman, not newspaper types) We oughta pay’em, in fact. Maybe we could do a KickStarter. 🙂

            • snelson134

              “someone with a lifetime of real-world experience sitting in the class to ameliorate the nonsense flowing from the professor, someone unable to be cowed by threat of bad grades and poor job prospects? ”

              And why would they ever want anyone like that in the class, any more than lawyers want them on juries? To ask is to answer.

              • A lawyer can use his strikes to keep me off a jury. Professors, not so much.

                • They just don’t have to let you in for free.

                  • State school. State law. How they gonna keep me out? They could undoubtedly try to gin up some trumped up reason, but they’ll have to work to do it. (shrugs) When it gets to rabble-rousing, I can go some.

                    • It seems like a scheme to increase senior support for higher education. Given that “seniors” are the voting group with highest participation rates this ploy makes sense as a way of positioning higher ed as a good not just for their grandchildren but for themselves, as well.

                    • If that’s what they’re thinking, fine, but there are gonna be some folks inside that Trojan horse that may have other ideas.

                    • That might also be part of the plan, for those who are concerned about the tendency of the air air inside of ivory towers to become musty.

                      It is a poor knife that hasn’t two edges and in public policy it seems all horses are Trojan. (Sigh. Until this moment the employment of “Trojan” as a brand name for condoms has been so much taken for granted that I had missed the wee pun inside. I am ‘umbled, yet again.)

                    • I suspect there are way too many college grads that know that word only as applies to condoms and malware.

            • Assuming you are replying to my comment down thread. Are you implying that the college gets No tuition, or other income by having you there? I haven’t studied that out, so I can’t say for sure, but I certainly find that hard to believe.

              • No, I’m not implying. I quote the relevant passage from my nearest large state school. Anyone 65+ can audit (non-credit) “ANY” scheduled class, for free, assuming the class is not at capacity, anytime after the late registration closes.

      • Ah-Ha! So, you admit he is part of Red America and thus anathema to all that is True and Blue!

        It is well known widely recognized that Red America is White Supremacist (because unless handicapped by the state, a strictly meritorious society will be run by Whites. Err, Yellows, actually, but you know what is meant.)

    • I contend SJWs are actually the ultimate white and male supremacists.

      The world is roughly 30% white at the top end (depending on your definitions) and roughly have of that is male.

      So, at the max, 15% of the world’s population is white males. Using the top estimate for homosexuality and bisexuality we’d lose about 3% so straight white males are at the maximum 12% of the world population.

      According to the SJWs they have oppressed everyone else. The most common SJW solution is not direct action but demanding they stop.

      So, 12% of the world population can oppress the rest while outnumbered roughly 7:1 and the most the oppressed 88% can do is ask the straight white males to stop.

      If the ability to oppress 7 times your number without them being able to stop you isn’t proof of the innate superiority of the straight white male I don’t know what is.

      So, SJW = greatest proponents of straight white male supremacy around.

      • Hmm… a group of people treating other groups as if they were children, and autistic children at that, couldn’t possibly consider themselves as being better than those other groups, could they? What’s that? They could? Well, that’s pretty much the definition of “supremacist”, isn’t it?

      • It’s that damned Protestant Work Ethic.

        Requiring people to work is so unfair. Why, the wrong sorts of people might achieve recognition!

        Competition is a form of micro-aggression, after all.

        • RES, I know (hope?) you say this as a joke, but be careful, as the SJWs will probably think it is the truth.

          • Much as I wish it were otherwise, the “joke” in such statements consists of putting into plain language what their arguments are, stripping away the varnish and veneer from their vanities.

            It is what they would say if they had any integrity, honesty and self-awareness.

      • Eh, your math is in error there, that would be three percent of the fifteen percent, which would leave you with better than 14.5% not 12%.

  4. Getting fired isn’t always the most feared sanction. I think it’s more common that people fear the disapproval of others. I felt this mostly in college and university settings.
    Hmm,,,since I’m going back to school for free next fall, maybe I should take Women’s Studies and express my belief that a woman with a firearm is empowered.

    • I’d be careful. I know from experience that mentioning that you own a firearm in an academic setting can convince people that you’re a (potential?) murderer.

      • Under certaincircumstances , that could be a plus…

        • Come out here. One of our chem profs (a friend of mine) shot himself in the foot in front of his class and no one’s got an issue with him carrying (except we do give him a bad time for not having a pocket holster. And no, this is not something you can ever live down.).

          • In general:

            Carrying is a good thing.

            HOWEVER

            Carrying by someone who doesn’t know how to avoid shooting themselves, maybe not so much.

            I might just have a problem with THAT SPECIFIC INDIVIDUAL carrying around me.

            In general though, I get your point.

            The crazy part is that when I informed a classroom full of people that I was a gun owner they all asked me if I was carrying and several took steps backward away from me. This despite the fact that I don’t own any handguns (for financial reasons mainly. That, and I grew up hunting and prefer something with more range/knockdown power than a pistol.)

            Then again, I AM in a blue state so maybe that _is_ the problem.

            • Yeah, there are hyperbolic gun-controls freak who tell me they can’t be trusted with gun, and man, I agree.

              What, of course, I can’t agree with is their refusal to see that not only are they not the summit of human perfection with everyone else their inferiors, but they aren’t even normal.

          • Ah, to forever be known as “Professor Gimpy.” Poor guy. On the other hand, it should encourage some degree of civility among large, angry students who might otherwise think they can intimidate him.

            • Yeah, except he didn’t get a limp. Mostly he learned his lesson and admits to it, so . . . we’ve all done stupid things and he didn’t hurt anyone but himself and he won’t do it again.

          • Joe Wooten

      • YES, IT DOES. Ask me how I know.

        • Stephen J.

          What the heck: (panto audience voice) “HOW DO YOU KNOW?”

          • This particular elephant has tusks three feet six inches long. I know, because I measured. A hospital full of middle aged women is one gigantic whispering campaign. They got me. Guns terrified them all, apparently. Word was I might have one, and I might be… Unstable.

            That’s all it took. And that’s why I am The Phantom on the Interwebz. Because plenty of people will smile to your face and stab you in the back quick as a wink, over nothing.

            • Shucks. I thought you were a Cessna 182 who wanted to be an F4 when you grew up. 😉

            • Stephen J.

              Judas Priest. Guns terrify me but I wouldn’t accuse someone of being a murderer simply for owning one.

              Then again, one of the odd effects of suffering a phobia (not, in fact, of guns, though the noise factor plays into the phobic effect) is that one becomes very familiar with the difference between rational wariness and irrational terror, and the appropriate contexts for both.

              • Some people apparently feel that if they have a gun, they’d go out spree killing. They can’t understand why anyone with a gun doesn’t automatically do that.

                • You must realize that since it’s a danger with THEM, it’s obviously a danger for YOU, because they are superior and wonderful beings, and no one can do what they can’t.

    • Stephen J.

      “I think it’s more common that people fear the disapproval of others.”

      Not just others, but friends; people you know, like and respect. People you’d really hope would know how to say “Okay, I guess we have to part company on this one issue, but I know you well enough to know you’re still a good person.”

      The problem is that when you make political positions into moral principles, tolerating political differences amounts to condoning “immorality,” and — without a philosophical matrix that shows how to understand one’s own moral imperfection, and why we have a duty to judge others only with all the restraint and mercy we would ask for ourselves — moral outrage and condemnation is the biggest destroyer of love there is.

      • Dennis Parish

        This fear of rejection by the group is why Scott Peck said groups, rather than individuals, commit the greatest evils against persons.

    • In a women’s studies course I’d be more worried about getting a poor grade for failing an ideological purity test. A threat to your financial aid can be as serious as a threat to your career.

      • Why in the world would you want to take a Women’s Studies course?

        • Know thy enemy? (As in women brainwashed by women’s studies… not actually women in and of themselves.)

        • I signed up to take a Women’s Studies course.

          On the first day of class, I realize my mistake when I asked if I could spend the semester studying Kate Beckinsale and got some really, really nasty looks. :/

        • Me, myself? Never in a million years.. Just being in the same room with a television showing The View or Oprah gives me a headache.

          But I have a couple of younger female relatives who’ve taken women’s studies courses. I don’t hold it against them though – they were wise enough to recognize that it’s 96% junk.

        • Revenge.
          For 16 years, I was one of the the very few adult males, surrounded by females. I was a middle school counselor. I could not avoid hearing about cramps and fibroid tumors at lunch for 16 freaken years.
          So, revenge. (not really)

        • I have my station in life, and like it. I’ll enjoy, when I am old enough to enjoy free tuition, in taking every grievance study I can at some school, and ripping the mushheads to shreds.,

      • School for me is free. In Georgia, once you turn 62, you can go to college for NOTHING. ANd I turned 62 three days ago, and turned in my app the same day.

        • When I graduated high school, I had just wasted the last twelve years going to a school that had taught me what I could have learned in 5% of that time on my own. I saw no reason to ever set foot inside a school again. Now I’m nowhere close to 62 yet, but I haven’t found anything to change my mind yet, either.

          By the way, I don’t live in Georgia, so it’s not MY tax dollars paying for you to go get a degree you are never going to use, but I’m sure Tom thanks you for it.

          • If it’s like in Colorado, it’s just the right to audit, no degree.

            • I’ve a sudden urge to dress up iin severest suit, grab a clipboard and don my sternest expression then walk into a college classroom and inform the instructor, “I am your Auditor.”

            • This is a feature, not a bug. I already have two degrees, I give not one wombat’s bot about another. I skipped over to the nearest large state school school site….

              “Students 65 years of age or older may audit any course offered by the university without payment of a fee if space is available.”
              …..,
              “Such approval conveys only the privilege of observing and does not include submitting papers, taking tests, or participating in laboratories or field work.”

              In other words, none of the drudgery of having to do the work, with resulting free time available to be used for classroom “discussion.”

              • Thank you for explaining that, it was unclear in your first post, and I assumed you were actually taking classes and doing work and such that would involve taking up the professors time and materials, as well as being eligible for a degree, certificate, etc.

                • Nah, my purpose would be to be a bollard, if you will, cemented directly in the path of the progressive steamrollers in such classes as the various grievance studies courses, and US and World history classes. Too many professors cow students into meekly agreeing with them. I suppose my title would Class Contrarian. For the record, I was the same way when I was degree seeking. And in high school as well. I had 2 3-day suspensions from my Jesuit school when my arguments with the priests in theology got a bit too blasphemous for their taste, Calling a pope a “bastard spawn factory” as a sophomore in a Catholic secondary school is a no-no, evidently.

  5. Christopher M. Chupik

    Whisper campaigns? Hell, they’re shouting from Twitter!

    That reminds me of one of the sillier things I’ve heard about Sarah lately. Some of the Usual Suspects seem to think Sarah is a big Jeb Bush fan.

    Stop. Laughing. That means you too, Sarah.

  6. The thing about Geller’s “Draw Mohammed” contest which is so personally irritating to me is that the same lot of people who tisk-tisked anyone lampooning Mohammed are the same lot who were smugly OK with … Piss Christ, or that picture of the Madonna ornamented with elephant dung, or even (and going way back here) perfectly fine with Nazis marching through Skokie and defending all this as freedom of speech and intellectual diversity. Somehow it’s OK to offend Christians and Jews because … whatever, but offending Muslims is hate speech. At least, people – have the guts to say that you’re scared to death that if you piss off the Muzzies they might actually show up with guns at your door – then at least you won’t look like such a hypocrite.

    Me, I am a free speech absolutist. Either everything is on the table for vigorous discussion, or it isn’t. Hurt feewings because you are (sniff!) offended? Well, toughen up, cupcake.

    Do you know what was to me the most astonishing thing about the original Danish Mo-Toon Cartoons o’Doom? They were about one degree more cutting than your average Family Circle cartoon, and yet all of our mainstream press outlets were refusing to print or broadcast them because they were so offensive! So nasty, so insulting… So much for upholding press freedom, people.

    • As Insty is fond of saying: “may our elites enjoy the incentive structures they are creating” 😉 Of course, what the “French shower”bags don’t seem to realize is that every end-run around free speech and due process they are creating can one day be used against them when the shoe is on the other foot. Cf. the backstory of Tom Kratman’s “Caliphate” for a riff on exactly that.

      These words were probably put in Thomas More’s mouth by Robert Bolt, but I will always remember that little speech:

      • Moore didn’t say the exact words, but it is a very orthodox Catholic position– never heard anybody who studied the guy in depth try to argue that it wasn’t consistent with his philosophy and theology.

        Part of an ongoing culture war inside of active Catholics, too. Take a wild guess who I want to win. 😀

      • James Schardt

        I LOVE that movie! That scene in particular.

      • A co worker in Charlotte gave me a ticket to a performance of AMFAS in which she played Alice. I’ve never seen the movie, but that performance was wonderful.

    • It’s worth pointing out that a drawing or other depiction of Muhammed doesn’t have to be satirical or disrespectful or even EXIST to drive them murderously insane. Any depiction at all is forbidden. Moustapha Akkad (producer of Halloween) and his daughter were murdered by a suicide bomber at a wedding in Jordan, years after he directed The Message, a very respectful dramatization of the beginnings of Islam that was RUMORED to include an actor playing Muhammed. (It didn’t.) And a hostage situation in Washington and other madness resulted. And the murders over Charlie Hebdo weren’t really over the ones that were published, it was over other cartoons rumored to exist, rumored to be more extreme.

    • Be fair. Some of us believe that free speech protects all of those events as unplesant as we find them. (OK the Mohamed one is only unplesant as to its necessity as we are at war with that religion).

      • They are at war with us. And themselves, and some/many other themselves who are less pure/rigid than they are. Does that last part sound familiar?

      • I’m sorry, but your comment has confused me (not always difficult). To whom do you refer when your say, “some of us”? I’m pretty sure Celia was talking about only people who are holding the double standard she described.

        • I jumped the gun and replied before I finished her posting. Oops, sorry about that.

    • Well, they may have said it was because they were offensive, but I’d guess that it was really because they were terrified to publish them.

      • Very likely – but they were always so smugly self-congratulatory about being the fearless press, speaking troof to poowwwwer! and their allegiance to free speech … and then, when it came to putting their money where their mouth was … they caved like wet cardboard.
        One or two outlets did at least have the guts to admit they were afraid, so I will give a teeny bit of credit.

    • As the owner of the top ranked site in google for those Danish cartoons for one heady week or so I can tell you there were a LOT of people wanting to see what all the fuss was about.

      It had to happen when a) I was on the road and b) so was the guy hosting the server I was running so when things melted down (and yes Google did effectively DDoS us) we had some issues getting things back to working again. But we did make a couple hundred bucks in google adsense sales which was nice

    • ravenshrike

      Did somebody say Illinois Nazis?

      That scene never gets old.

    • ‘somehow’ hell, it boils down to ‘won’t come hack my head off with a rusty machete if i feed them the Christans first’

    • wanderingmuses

      Dang, Celia! Will you run for president? You run on that platform alone I’d give you my vote 😉

  7. Christopher M. Chupik

    Not to mention David Gerrold, this years Hugo MC, telling Brad Torgersen on Facebook: “I will make sure you NEVER get a Hugo.”

    • Now that is the best indictment of the current Hugo system I can imagine. Once in a while, one’s enemies are dumb enough to say out loud what their agenda is.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        And that’s one of the reasons we don’t silence our critics: it helps our side when they shoot their mouths off. Also, because we aren’t insecure fascists.

    • Somebody needs to take Gerrold aside and tell him, “David, your a decent enough sort, but you need to get a grip. You’ve written exactly one thing in your entire life that is likely to survive your death, and that was a TV episode.”

      • Yes, and the actors heavily ad libbed the script. Where the episode probably gets most of its charm.

        • Best. Scene. In Trek.

          • The Mother-In-Law was of the opinion that, because reading is so important, one should never stop a child who is reading from reading. The M-I-L told me that she was troubled in disciplining The Spouse when young. She found that grounding to the bedroom, unlike with the The S’s Siblings, backfired because The S was entirely happy for the excuse to retreat there and read, in fact preferred it to just about any other activity.

        • And the critters are stolen from the master himself RAH. They’re essentially the flatcats from “The Rolling Stones”.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            To be fair. Heinlein didn’t see the Tribbles as “stealing” his Flatcats. For that matter, Heinlein had said that his Flatcats “came” from “Pigs Is Pigs” by Ellis Parker Butler.

            •         That was mostly Heinlein being gracious, according to the recent authorized biography.  He seems to have actually thought they were inspired by the flatcats, and been somewhat annoyed.  But he decided to let it go.

      • …and that was 48 years ago.

      • You know if he’d put 1/10th the energy into finishing the War with the Chtorr novels he’s put into denouncing the Puppies the series might been done instead of being dead since 1993. Instead of remembering how awesome the ending to a series I was very much into was I now remember it was one of SF’s great pieces of vaporware.

      • Nah. “game of Rat and Dragon was awesome. Even if it is probable that his “in” joke about librarians was accidental, it was still great fun to have a story in which Cataloguers Saved Humanity.

        I plan to try to get him to autograph my copy. Everyone is stupid about something and artists are no exception.

        • *pause* …Chess with a Dragon?

          I do like that one. Kind of disappointed to realize the connection at the moment (I’m terrible at remembering authors’ names), but it is a really good story.

    • …Wow. Really, wow.

  8. Sarah, great post. A few things:
    (a) the post linked by Insty you are referring to is by Ace, and is one of his best ever: http://ace.mu.nu/archives/356555.php

    (b) “The Weapon” by Rush lyrically ties in pretty directly with your theme:
    http://www.rush.com/songs/the-weapon/

  9. c4c

    • No, but an F4F flew by today.

        • AK47:

          For when you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherF*()*&)(*&*(er in the room.

          • Then again look at how that all worked out for two RIF Jihadi’s of recent newsworthiness.
            Or as I like to say, “Hey at least it’s a start!”

          • AK47:

            For when you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherF*()*&)(*&*(er in the room.

            No, that’s a set of 40lb satchel charges, one per exterior opening of the room, and flung in just far enough to make sure they will land near the base of the wall. Then, you make sure your M240 MGs are properly sited and ranged in to cover the most likely points of egress. Then you initiate negotiations with a 1000lb JDAM.

            Rinse, repeat for the next room in the structure, which ideally will cease to resemble any sort of structure after about the third iteration of your evolution. If it does still sort of look like a building, it might be time to move up to either your SADM or MADM range of munitions.

            If that doesn’t work, the Soviets had this nifty little tool, the Tsar Bomba. The only people likely to be left after introducing that munition will likely be cockroaches…

          • Jeff Gauch

            W87: For when you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherf^%$er in the country.

            ISIS might want to take note.

            • W87?

              • Jeff Gauch

                Warhead for the Peacekeeper ICBM.

                • yea, i still wonder if they have really thought out the whole ;get nukes and use them on israel and the great satan’ thing thoroughly…. *one* Peacekeeper can wipe out all their major middle east population centers

                  • Jeff Gauch

                    We don’t have Peacekeepers anymore.

                    We do have quite a few Minutemen and Trident D5’s though.

                  • snelson134

                    2 things. One. they don’t believe the Peacekeeper will ever be launched, because kafirs are soft, and two, they will end up in Paradise, so what does it matter?

                  • It is my expectation that if the US continues on its current foreign policy path we will see a nuclear strike against either us or Israel somewhere in the 2 to 6 year timeframe. Washington D.C., New York City, or Tel Aviv take your pick.
                    When that occurs, and I fear that our treatment of Iran makes it inevitable, the Israelis will retaliate. It’s commonly thought that Israel has between 50 and 100 tactical nukes in it’s arsenal. Faced with a proven nuclear capable enemy already on record swearing to utterly destroy them I don’t think it likely they will hesitate to respond to the threat.

                    • wanderingmuses

                      My question is will Israel wait to be attacked or a take a preemptive measure and just hit Iran? My money is really on the latter. Then this administration will have to think very hard about how they want to be portrayed in the history books, which seems to be of great concern to them.

                    • WWIII is no longer an if. And you forgot Us AND Israel as an option.

                    • Wanderingmuses; Indeed this President seems far more concerned with his ‘legacy’ than he does running the country. Someone ought to remind him that the ‘victors’ write the history books, and I doubt his legacy will be all that impressive if Iranians are the authors.

                    • I would only hope that the Israelis initiate a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear capability, but I find it impossible to believe that they would initiate a nuclear first strike. Conventional, yes, and including cluster, deep penetrator, and FAE which can have almost the same devastation as a tactical nuke.
                      Sarah, thanks for adding that thought to the mix. A lot will depend on how many they actually have, who really has go/no go control, and their overall goal. If they nuke Israel it will respond in kind. Us? Who knows. Likely we will dither while our wiser heads council restraint until we “know for sure” what really happened. I’m fairly sure some will try to say that the Israelis did it just to draw us into their war.
                      And the most likely target in the US will be a coastal port with the delivery system a much rerouted and camoflaged shipping container. On the Israeli front were I to bet it would be some sort of tunnel under Tel Aviv.

                    • Clark E Myers

                      See also Tom Kratman on why Israel can’t – can’t not won’t – do an effective airborne preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program.

                      Among other bottlenecks getting enough fuel far enough to refuel fast movers to get though then get home takes more tanker capacity than Israel has available. I suggested a coalition of Italy and Japan and everybody with a 767 based tanker could do it on paper if not in reality. LIke cold war SAAC it’s nasty when the tankers themselves run dry.

                      Dr. Pournelle has interesting suggestions on nuclear proliferation as well.

                      Given that Syria today is in large part the result of running out of water and a political system that can’t handle allocating shrinking resources (see e.g. the Illinois pension system) I suggest we mark on a map every other place the water is going to run out – including the front range of Colorado.

                    • “Among other bottlenecks getting enough fuel far enough to refuel fast movers to get though then get home takes more tanker capacity than Israel has available.”

                      You are assuming that getting home after the mission is accomplished is a “make or break” factor in the decision.

                      I posit that Israel is hardnosed and pragmatic enough that if things got tense enough they wouldn’t necessarily rule out asking for volunteers for a one-way mission.

                    • Without any doubt. I’d lay long odds they’d have more volunteers than needed.

                    • There is a real question as to whether the Saudis are more concerned about Iran than Israel and what that might induce them top do.

                    • Clark E Myers

                      So why hasn’t Israel put on a full court press to stop the Iranian nuclear program? They can’t. They may have the planes to do some limited good. They may even have the intelligence to do at least that little bit of good. It is very likely that they have express Saudi permission to overfly anything they bloody well need to or want to to get the Iranian nuclear program.
                      Even with all that, they lack the aerial refueling capability to keep it up.

                      Read more: http://www.everyjoe.com/2014/08/18/politics/israel-strategic-problem/#ixzz3Zo8Hzd6w

                      Currently it is by no means an attack on a single point of failure. AFAIK the Iranian nuclear program and fuel storage is widely dispersed and hardened.

                      Show me a one way multipoint mission against opposition is possible and what logistic support a one way mission takes. Afterburner is fun – in Vietnam a Thud would run the tanks dry in 5 minutes supersonic part of the reason for the large number lost.

                      On a typical combat mission into North Vietnam, the F-105D carried two 450 US gal (1,700 L) wing-mounted fuel tanks, a 390 US gal (1,500 L) fuel tank in the bomb bay, and five 1,000 lb (450 kg) or six 750 lb (340 kg) bombs, and required inflight refueling going to and sometimes returning from Hanoi 700 mi (1,100 km) distant

                      No doubt the Saudis, and sadly much of the world, would be greatly pleased to see the aftermath of an exchange that left Israel with no air force and Iran having lost only its short term nuclear threat with every excuse and reason for a spasm attack on Israel.

                      I for one would expect a post-strike Israel to get no more from the U.S. than the two hand grenades and a box of 20 cartridges level of support that we gave against the invading Soviet forces in 1975.

                    • snelson134

                      I am nowhere close to that optimistic. I put the odds at 3-1 in favor that this Administration would provide early warning, IFF codes, and probably in combat targeting data via AWACS / satellite for the Iranians. Right now, I’d still say there’s only a 25% chance that they would order the military to shoot the Israelis down for Iran.

                    • “I for one would expect a post-strike Israel to get no more from the U.S. than the two hand grenades and a box of 20 cartridges level of support that we gave against the invading Soviet forces in 1975.”

                      Oh, say you don’t expect them to strike in the next two years? Because that would be loads more support than the Obama administration has shown a willingness to give them so far.

                      Obama has shown he would rather support Iran than Israel.

                • tyk

        • Terry Sanders

          Z9M9Z

      • D.C. had some real alphabet soup flying overhead today. We need someone to write a story with an android named C4C.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Oh yes. C4C, that brilliant “jack of all trades and master of many”. He got purchased by a down-on-his-luck smuggler who never listened to anybody let along an android. Fortunately, the smuggler’s alien partner did listen to C4C so they were able to work together at keeping the idiot smuggler alive. Still, they finally lost the smuggler to a giant alien worm and afterwards made a fortune together.

          • Very nice! It was a little short, but overall, I would nominate it for an award over, say, If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.

            • You would have, eh? And I’m not your love.

              And don’t call me Shirley.

              • Sigh. I considered putting quotes around the title, but, of course knew *everybody* here would understand without them.
                I didn’t consider that *everybody* here would jump at the opportunity to mis-understand as a motivation for an ascerbic barb.
                Silly of me, since this entire thread is harassing Emily for a perfectly reasonable c4c post.

        • The Other Sean

          My only disappointment was the White House and Capitol Building were still standing after all those bombers flew over. Just kidding, the collateral damage of such a thing would have been awful. 🙂

      • That was in DC. Watched it and the other warbirds.

        • Alas, I was 1) lecturing and 2) glued to the radar in case I needed to conduct a this-is-not-a-drill emergency drill. Ah, spring.

        • I put up a few pictures on my blog. Warning – my camera is old, and sucks by today’s standards.

      • Joe Wooten

        F4U

      • How do you know it wasn’t an FM-2 asked the anonymous nitpicker?

  10. OK, looks like putting URLs in posts kicks me into WP “moderation” limbo. So here with bowdlerized URLs:

    Sarah, great post. A few things:
    (a) the post linked by Insty you are referring to is by Ace, and is one of his best ever: ace dot mu dot nu / archives / 356555.php

    (b) “The Weapon” by Rush lyrically ties in pretty directly with your theme: www dot rush dot com / songs / the-weapon

  11. I wonder how many of those people going after Geller did so while owning tickets for a performance of ‘The Book of Mormon’ musical?

    The difference in responses between the ‘Draw Mohammed’ contest, and ‘The Book of Mormon’ musical is enlightening. A couple of Moslems tried to shoot up the former. In response to the latter, the LDS Church took out an ad in the musical’s program offering an opportunity to find out what was really in the Book of Mormon.

    • Probably lots. Or at least thought any mild objection to ‘The Book of Mormon’, up to and including saying “I kind of don’t like that,” is fascism of the worst sort.

    • Junior, I’ll believe that when I see the Book of Mormon being played in Salt Lake City.

      Oops.

      • Wait, so they’re required to ENDORSE that which offends them? Cool! so the Muslims only attack when we draw Mohammed in Mecca?

      • James Schardt

        The LDS Church bought an ad in the musical’s Playbill. They are not above supporting the musical at least in a very minor way. The only reason the play hasn’t gone to SLC is it wouldn’t make enough money there to be worth the effort and the producers know it.

        Oh, part of that ad had a smiling woman with the caption “The book is always better” Gotta love that humor.

        http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/06/entertainment/la-et-cm-mormon-church-lds-ads-book-of-mormon-playbill-20120906

        • I’m sure somehow that ad is considered hate speech against thespians or something.

        • Sara the Red

          If it ever does make it to SLC, I expect the Church will post missionaries outside offering to give people free Books of Mormon. 🙂

          By contrast, when I served my mission for the LDS Church in Romania we were advised to be cautious in proselytizing to Muslims. Not because they were Muslims, but because there was a very real chance those Muslims would be killed for daring to investigate another religion. (There was actually a standard “Are you sure you *really* want to keep talking to us, because it could put your life at risk” to be given to anyone who really was interested.)

          • I was in the US, and we had similar advice. We were to be extra cautious with any potential converts who were visiting from the Middle East.

            If they had settled here permanently, well, that was another matter entirely.

            • Professor Badness

              I was also in the U.S., and we had the same directives. We didn’t want to convert someone only to have them killed by their families. It doesn’t happen much in the states, but it was a worry if they were returning to the middle east.

          • Was thinking about the “being polite to Muslims that aren’t homicidal” and realized that events like this are actually also good for those who don’t hate us but have insane neighbors– if they get away with “we will kill you if we think you disagree with us,” what on earth makes folks think it will stop with foreigners?

      • Believe what?

        That the LDS Church took out an ad in the playbill? That’s documented. That the LDS Church is supposed to finance the performance of a musical that’s insulting and derogatory to the LDS faith in the heartland of that faith?

        That’s absurd.

        Your link doesn’t work, by the way. Or at least, it doesn’t work for me.

        • Sara the Red

          And yes, they did take out an ad, offering people an opportunity to learn more about the actual book. In most cities the musical played in, I believe. I recall reading a short news blurb from the LDS press office about it, and it was chuckled over at church by those of us Mormons with a sense of humor. (There were, of course, plenty who were mighty offended and huffy about it…but that’s hardly surprising either.)

      • So, your belief in the existence of the ad which the Mormon Church took out in the musical’s Playbill is based on whether or not the musical was played in Salt Lake City?

        Do you withhold belief that a small city newspaper ran an ad for Delta Airlines until the town builds an airport?

    • And I developed more respect for the LDS Church because of that act. That was class.

      • Joe in PNG

        It’s also a brilliant PR move.

      • wanderingmuses

        They’re a classy bunch overall. My family has a lot of class, if I do say so myself. They (the Church) threw out me. I have no class lol 😉

    • My conclusion after decades of observation is that the left is primarily interested in ‘defeating’ conservatives. Issues of fair play, double standards or providing aid and comfort to those who seek the destruction of the US are trivial concerns as long as conservatives are thwarted.

  12. Pingback: SARAH HOYT: OF FEET AND KNEES. And she references Ace’s thoughts on the timorous professional cl… | CRAGIN MEDIA

  13. I am working hard to extricate myself from dependence on my particular industry. So far, in this particular area, you don’t have to rush to denounce, but if you don’t share the hive mind view you had better keep your mouth shut. People know I’m not “one of them” but I’m “one of the good ones” because I don’t talk about it much.

    It’s probably a bit cowardly that I don’t push back when they say stupid things. But someone who is very ill depends on my having this job, and I can’t put the financial burden all on my husband right now. But I’m working on freeing myself, by and by. But I won’t ever actively denounce anyone. If it comes to having to do that, I’m out. Everybody has to have their limits.

    • I stayed quiet a long time, and I wouldn’t push anyone out of the closet. I had small children, and we needed the money.

    • Pseudonyms– and I know of several people who have multiple layers to their false identities, and/or trade details to confuse matters if they have to use emails or addresses– are used for dang good reason.

      Although it can have funny effects, I’m still getting emails about a friend’s mortgage because we both have access to a “spam”/low security email, and her smartphone decided that she really wanted to use that one…..

      • I’ve used a nym (Sgt. Mom) on the internet for years – and for some darned good reasons: I was contributing to an early and somewhat prominent mil-blog at the time of the ramp-up to the invasion of Iraq. My legal last name is shared (or was shared) by my parents, my daughter and my two brothers, all of whom are or were in the phone book, and my daughter was on active duty with the USMC and was deployed to Kuwait. I didn’t want to attract any grief onto myself or them.
        I also wanted to keep my writer self entirely separate from my legal real-world self because of … well things like internet trolls, the deranged and the vengeful.
        Fortunately now I am self-employed, so don’t have to worry about bosses and co-workers having contrary political opinions. I do soft-pedal them on my writer’s website, though – why kick potential readers in the teeth?

        • I believe I remember you from that dark and distant past – thanks for all your good work!

        • I remember reading a number of things you wrote back in the day! Glad to see you’re still on the net and in a stable enough situation that the pseudonym is unnecessary.

        • I’m continually amazed at how many authors seem to enjoy slagging off entire demographics of potential customers. And in a couple of cases, those have been the bulk of their readers.

          Of course most of the readers never find out, but it takes a special kind of stupid to bite the hand that pays you.

        • Oh, so you are Sgt Mom? Nice to see you again here!

        • wanderingmuses

          Hey! I remember reading you as Sgt Mom. Small world indeed.

    • If I didn’t have dependents, my Facebook page would be a warzone. As it is, I have to pay attention to what I say that can be traced to me easily (people I work with are FB friends, and were before the company’s Social Media policy went up), or I could lose my job.

      I technically still could, saying things here, my employment is a little further distanced from my name than it is there.

      • I used to believe the chances of losing my particular kind of position for exercising 1st Amendment rights were close to nil, but “firewalled” my net activism from my real name pretty much from day one — and that for two reasons: (a) to avoid embarrassing my employer(s); (b) in disgust at certain colleagues from the far left who felt/feel free to use their affliation as a bully pulpit. [“That which is hateful to you, do not unto any other. This is the whole Law: the rest is commentary.” ]
        Since, I have seen to my chagrin what happened to some colleagues elsewhere.

        • wanderingmuses

          I have to admit, reluctantly, that I also adhere to two 1A no-go zones requested by my husband. First, that I never mention his employer’s name on the web. Second, that I do not write to the current president. I’ve written every president since Carter with admonishments or admiration (sometimes both to the same president lol). But this time, I haven’t because my husband almost begged me saying he didn’t want to be audited. I asked him why not. They’d probably find they owe us money not the other way round. He just said it wasn’t worth the hassle. So I caved.

          • Um…. wanders upstairs to ask husband if he’s bigamous.

          • They’d probably find they owe us money not the other way round.

            No, they wouldn’t. And if they did the amount would be insufficient compensation for the time and trouble required by the audit(s*).

            OTOH, they probably wouldn’t audit you. 1) you think they care what people write (unless there’s a big check accompanying the letter)? 2) it is much easier to simply add your name to the list of people scheduled for re-education camps. (Why did you think Hillary was so excited over the concept of “adult” camps?)

            *You think if they found you were indeed owed money that they wouldn’t re-perform the audit, in greater depth, to make sure? Then they’d charge you for the cost of the audit.

            • Actually, I sent in some snark to Obama. Unfortunately, all it got me was on the Organizing for America mailing list. Fortunately I used an old email address from antiquity, so they come in, but are never read.

              • Certes you are aware that the Enlightened One, PBUH, is protected against all snark by a phalanx of servitors toiling tirelessly in the bowels of His administration?

                Let me guess: the Organizing for America list regularly spams inundates you with requests for small sums, typically about $3 – $5, and warns of the terrors threatened by the tools of the TEA Party and Koch Brothers (but I repeat myself) and that only you (and your donation matched by anonymous public philanthropists) stand between America and a rising tide.

          • Once upon a time in a country not so far away, one of my relatives had a multi-year court order against the IRS, requiring them NOT to audit her while said order was in force.

            Background: The IRS had audited her multiple consecutive years, each time determining that they owed her a substantial refund. Said refund utterly failed, of course, to cover her cost of legal and CPA-ish representation during the audits.

            After a sufficient number of years (I can’t remember how many, darn it), her lawyers very strongly suggested a trip to the Federal Court system to request an injunction alleging (among other things) the appearance of deliberate harassment. Although it took over a year for the wheels of Justice to grind, they did indeed grind exceedingly fine. The result was the afore-mentioned court order, good for 7 (or was it 10?) years. The total cost of the trip through the legal system was rather more than my current annual income. (And note, here, that I’m a well-compensated mid-50s Silicon Valley techie, so we’re definitely talking significant $$!) It was well worth paying, however, because it was much cheaper than dealing with the continual audits.

            At this point, I would expect the attentive reader to ask: “What happened when the court order expired?” Any takers out there in the class? And let’s not always see the same hands!

            You got it! The audits resumed the very next year. Supposedly, they don’t have to wait as many years before returning going back to court. We’ll see.

  14. Professor Badness

    *Sigh*
    It does make me kind of glad to be a just another nameless retail worker. I’m to far off the radar for anyone to care, which is just fine. Any books I want to put out will be quietly and electronically distributed by indie (hopefully).
    I never expect to make money off of it, let alone a living, which really ratchets back the potential anxiety.
    Sarah, you have my respect and kudos for slogging through it all.
    May God keep and bless your continuing efforts.

  15. On point again, but when you had an early lead of “she had a contest for people to draw Mohammed in vile ways” I’m not sure if that was a precept of the contest. Maybe just drawing historically accurate cartoons about the life and beliefs was all that was required, as they are bad enough. Was that an unconscious following of the forced societal narrative?

    • Oh. I thought it was (what I read) “the most insulting Mohammed cartoon possible’

      • Robin Munn

        The only image I’ve seen from the contest was the one that won:

        That one is not in any way vile or insulting. Unless you believe in free speech, in which case the cartoon is indeed an insult to Mohammed. But since the critics don’t believe in free speech, it’s hard to see how they could reasonably take issue with this cartoon. (Yes, they’ll do so anyway, thus proving that they’re unreasonable.)

        • Robin Munn

          Oh good, that turned into an inline image. I had intended to just post a URL on its own line, but apparently putting an image URL on its own line triggers WordPress to turn it into a proper inline image. Great; for once, WordPress actually did what I wanted to do.

        • yah, for some reason the photo-bucket collection is no longer working, must have been too much traffic with all the journalists checking out what the cartoons were about before they characterized them. try this link :

          • Oh and apropos of the topic, the WSJ reported on Tuesday that the winner had gone into hiding because of death threats.

            • Death threats? That’s unpossible.

              You know, “religion of peace” and all that.

              • “peace of the grave” or “peace of the slave”? 😉

                • short answer: yes.

                • Given that “submission” is apparently a better translation of the term which is usually translated as “peace”…

                  • Interestingly, the Semitic root š-l-m (from which both salaam and islam derive) has a number of additional meanings. In Hebrew, “shalom” means peace, of course, like its Arabic cognate salaam — but “shalem” means ‘whole, complete’, tashlum=payment from le-shalem=to pay (literally: ‘to make whole’), hashlama=completion, hishtalmut=continuing education (literally, “completing oneself”),…

            • On Twitter, he confirms death threats but denies hiding. 🙂

              • Hopefully he is not hiding, but the snipers covering him are. Just two trophies from such a magnificent piece of bait really is not enough.

                • Heh, Bosch Fawstin is only going to get more inspiration from all of this. The man is absolutely fearless.

              • I just know what I read, and that’s what the WSJ reported.It came from the news side of the paper though, so I having no problem accepting that the reporting was not entirely accurate.

              • As a convert from Islam his neck is already under the sword, so the addition of a cartoon or three doesn’t really matter. They are mere traffic violations in comparison to his grand larceny.

      • pamelageller.com has them all, and the winner was one of the more inoffensive. It was; however, wonderfully self-referential.

  16. Middle class means, nowadays, student loans, which can only be repaid if you are working at what you were trained for (for a lot of folks, there are always exceptions). If you get fired and blacklisted, you can’t repay your student loans. You can scale the rest of your lifestyle down to working two part-time minimum wage jobs, but you can’t handle those loans that way, and they will never, ever, go away, even though you aren’t allowed to work in the way you were trained to anymore. (I think a lot of the problems with higher education would be fixed by making student loans bankrupt-able, and either forbidding the government from making them or requiring the schools to pay them back if the student cannot.)

    • The latter is Instapundit’s solution. Not only would it provide students with a way out of crushing student loan debt, but it would encourage universities to make sure that their students were actually graduating in fields where they could earn a living.

      • Exactly what powers would you give the university to enforce that?

        Take K. Teapot Bradford’s post-university life:

        After leaving college and realizing that the life of a corporate drone is horrendous, I decided to throw it all away so I could attend Clarion West in 2003. I left my job, left New York, and left any notion that I’d be leading a normal life in the dust. After Clarion West I wandered around the country for a few years visiting friends, writing, and discovering that all one needs to survive in life is confidence, charm, and many well-off friends.

        • Exactly what powers would you give the university to enforce that?

          Have them run the loans– they grant ’em, they’re responsible for ’em.

          A large part of the problem is the cost/benefits are so disjointed.

          • If the university is on the hook for repayment, even partially, it’s rather like co-signing for loan, no? So they’d have a fiduciary duty to choose which loans to co-sign by the expected risk, which is measurable in part by subject of study and grades.

          • Given that the universities are doing so spectacularly poorly at being courts of justice — which is not their skill set, and which we have other institutions to carry out — why are you asking them to become banks as well?

            • I’m not asking them to be banks, I’m saying that if they want to let their customers run a tab at their business, they should do the same as any other business and be on the hook for it themselves.

              They are in the business of selling training, generally with a stated supposed use. Presumably they’d be in a position to know if their product has any kind of a chance of actually functioning as advertised.

        • … all one needs to survive in life is confidence, charm, and many well-off friends

          So, using the Clinton Playbook?

    • Why should the schools pay back money they never saw? There are scholarship students who take ’em out for living expenses. Do you want to go after the pizza joint, the grocery store, and old Mrs. Sweetheart who rented the student a room? (Especially as the student has in his power to ensure that he can not.)

      Bankruptable will only work if there’s a period before it. Banks aren’t going to lend money to a person they KNOW will have heavy debt and no assets.

      • If the loans were bankrupt-able then there wouldn’t be student loans for people to use for living expenses unless the lender thought they were good risks. Scholarship students would negotiate for enough scholarships to cover living expenses (I got my alma mater to cover part by doing just that) and get jobs/stay within what their families could afford.
        Of course the schools would have to work with much smaller budgets, cut administration and other forms of waste.

        Yes, there would be people who would have gone to college under the current system but wouldn’t under this proposal. I don’t see that as necessarily being a bad thing. There will be a few smart people who miss out because they aren’t good loan risks and didn’t get scholarships. There will be a lot of people who would’ve majored in something without a good payback ratio who miss out, either on majoring in that field or on college entirely. There will be students who pick different degrees because of it. It seems entirely reasonable to me that lenders ought to be able to pick what degrees they’ll loan for. Lenders can pick what houses they’ll loan for, within certain rules, why not which degrees?

        I would only require the universities to pay back federal loans. Or get rid of them entirely. I’m by no means convinced the federal government should be in the student loan business at all. As I understand it, the university is very involved in pushing the federal loan package to the students: I could be wrong about that, but the university was offering me federal loans back when. For private loans, the student has to find a private lender.

        • I may be out of date on this but, 2 years ago, I was Director of a local Credit Union. We were banned by Federal Law from offering a ‘student’ loan. When the Government wants to be a monopoly, apparently anti-trust laws are meaningless.

        • “Yes, there would be people who would have gone to college under the current system but wouldn’t under this proposal. I don’t see that as necessarily being a bad thing.”

          Actually I see that as a very good thing.

          ” I’m by no means convinced the federal government should be in the student loan business at all. ”

          I’m very much convinced that they shouldn’t. Why should the federal government be in EITHER the banking or the higher education business?

      • Don’t fool yourself. All federally backed student loans have been taken over by the Department of Education. They were guaranteed by the DoE before that. Student loans being exempt from bankruptcy is not about helping the students get loans. It’s about making sure the .gov gets its money.

        And, having worked in the non-federally back student lending field for a couple of years for an institution that represented multiple (as in over 100 last I checked and probably more by now) credit unions, I can assure you that any institution that does private loans requires a co-signer with the exception of a very few where the loans ARE guaranteed by the school. (No I can’t provide examples. NDAs and all.)

      • Is not an education an asset? Is not that the reason tuition loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy — the recipient retains the goods?

        One can imagine a story in which the bankrupt student’s mind is wiped by the university — reset to status quo ante — and then prospers, manages to pay off the tuition and has the repossessed knowledge returned … and promptly fails at every task life presents.

        There is ample evidence that many students exit university less informed, less knowledgeable than when entering.

        • Plenty of debts resulting in an asset purchase are bankruptable, the most obvious being mortgages in states with a homestead exemption.

    • The inability to discharge student loans through bankruptcy has got to be unconstitutional. It amounts to indentured servitude at the very least.

      • Be an interesting argument to try. Congress has the power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States; ” But Amemdment 13 states “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

        So an exception to bankruptcy laws established by Congress could find itself in conflict with the amended Constitution. Someone with one of those ridiculously heavy debt loads ought try that.

        • “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, ”

          But since they signed for the loan voluntarily, it is not involuntary.

        • It’s not the only thing that you can’t discharge in bankruptcies. Unpaid taxes, for instance, and civil suits in which you have been judged to have acted maliciously.

    • Dare I raise the point that bankrupcy is a violation of a civil contract and, while giving the student relief from burden, nevertheless, is essentially stealing someone else’s money?

      • snelson134

        You can raise the point, but it’s ultimately unsolvable, since the alternative is to endorse de jure or at least de facto debt slavery. One reason debtors prisons fell out of favor is that unless you were prepared to sanction whatever was involved in “work or starve” there was no reason for the debtor to not become a ward of the state with three hots, a cot, and a roof overhead for life.

        • Good answer. I guess capital punishment would also be excessive. So, what happens with defaulting on student debt now? If you can’t remove it via bankruptcy, then they just take it to the grave? To garnish wages is de facto slavery, as is demanding they serve some social program for 7 years. Perhaps asteroid mining?
          How do you stop such a permissive attitude from degrading the moral fiber of society? (only partly rhetorical, that is what we live in now an amoral society, but how do we get out of the hole we are digging)

          • snelson134

            We get the government out of the business; if a private business wants to place bets on student employability, that’s their business. When they want to pick my pocket to cover their bets, that”s theft.

            • As a general organizational principle, separation of the spheres of responsibility and authority (control) almost always ends badly.

              In the case of educational loans we have three parties and none of them both responsible and possessing authority to act. Cheap money drives up tuition prices, lenders are rewarded by amounts granted not by the recoverability of such grants (Hey! it worked so well in the Housing market!) and borrowers have little power to negotiate terms with financer or seller.

              What could possibly go wrong?

              • And poor kids keep going back to school when they can’t pay, something both my kids (who chose state college for money reasons — as well as living at home — ) say “never do. Work minimum wage if needed to to pay the debts. Don’t add more. Which incongruously made me very proud.

                • snelson134

                  THIS. It’s what I did, plus living at home. I ended college with $1500 in loans and paid those back within a year. Heck, at the time, AUM (Auburn U Montgomery) didn’t even HAVE dorms.

              • What do you mean “in the case of education loans”? I thought separation of responsibility and authority was the hallmark of modern western government.

          • I believe some proposals have been made (by guess which side of the political aisle) to discount student debt according to the debtor’s willingness to enlist as a government thug tool functionary.

            Proposals to limit payment on the government loans to a set percentage of income seem (especially to the types of people inclined to fall for such scams as “free” tuition loans) like a good deal but actually are merely a voluntarily agreed to surtax on income.

          • Take your drivers license away.

            Seriously, they can revoke your drivers license for failing to pay student loans.

            • snelson134

              They can; considering how easy it is for illegals to get them, and how lax the enforcement is, I suspect that an equal treatment claim could be made.

        • And part of the reason education is so expensive is that schools are not accountable for the lies they tell in their part of the contract. Yes, I know. We research. Hence telling the kids “We’ll help with undergrad if you take STEM” — but how many parents do. This sh*t is being sold as shinnola, and poor kids who believe in it. Also, even for the ones who don’t, the university MAKES them take some number of “studies” and even Geography is now grievance, so…

      • Bankruptcy is not a violation of a civil contract. It is a risk inherent in any and all civil contracts.

        “Bankruptcy is a legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay the debts it owes to creditors. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankruptcy

        Overemphasis added.

        Entering an agreement for financing with the intention of defrauding through bankruptcy would be stealing, but what do you deem it when an entity employs fraud and social pressure to induce a buyer into a contract which will deliver a product which not only has no value but will leave the purchaser in worse condition than he/she was in before the purchase?

        Sayyyyy, maybe the FDA should go after some of these colleges selling educational patent medicinex.

    • wanderingmuses

      Maybe I just come from the position of never having had a student loan. I didn’t go to college. I’m a trade school grad (secretarial school). But my husband had a few lingering student loans when we married. Anyway, I think the student goes in borrowing the money as an adult. They make that commitment to repay the loans and know the consequences of not repaying them. The only ones that should be “on the hook” for the repayment is the student. All this talk about forgiving student loans that has been going on lately (not this thread, just in general the last few years) sort of chaps my hide. The student made the commitment, received the product (the degree) and now it’s time to cowboy up and make the payments. If they’re too high they will work with you. We had to get the hubs’ loan payments down to fifty bucks a month at first. Yes, it took forever to make any headway but that’s the way life goes sometimes.

      • I self financed my education(s) but I was fortunate in being able to do so (wisely selected grandparents — I heartily recommend this strategy to one and all.)

        And I would agree with you that we would all be better off if students were assumed competent adults — but that is contradicted by multiple factors in an era when they can ride Mom & Pop’s insurance until age 26 and where colleges themselves (admittedly under severe governmental pressure, but that simply exacerbates the problem) advocate against micro-aggressions, in favor of trigger-warnings for the most trivial cause and fails to chastise the types of idiot students who declare (in editorials in college newspapers) that even when they say “yes” they might mean “no” because rape-culture made them do it.


        Modern colleges make used car salesmen seem ethical in comparison.

  17. Pingback: Of Feet And Knees | Transterrestrial Musings

  18. she had a contest for people to draw Mohammed in vile ways;

    No, she had a contest to draw Mohammed. Period. No requirement at all for the drawing to be “vile”, because, for her purposes, no such requirement was necessary.

    As far as the Islamic faithful are concerned, ANY drawing of Mohammed is vile. Let me repeat that so there is no confusion.

    ANY drawing of Mohammed is vile, sacrilegious, verboten, double plus ungood, wrongthink.

    That you would adopt the same characterization of her contest as both the cowards and the Mohammedans have done is unfortunate.

    • I find the current Islamic view toward images of Mohammed to be somewhat ironic. My K-12 world history text books had photos of works that were supposed to be of Mohammed, showing that at least historically, no one cared.

      • Initially it was just carvings and statues that were forbidden and even today that is one of the differences between Shiite and Sunni though I don’t recall which is more extreme on this subject.

        BTW, there is a statue of Mo in the Supreme Court building in DC.

        • “Graven” images. I believe that some Orthodox churches draw the same distinction.

          • Sara the Red

            Yes, which is why Orthodox faiths have icons, and revile Catholics for being dirty heathens for having statues, while the other side reviles the Orthodox for being dirty heathens for having icons.

            Obviously, this is not a reference to all folks of those faiths–this was just what I saw amongst some, usually older, people while living in a country that had both Orthodox and Catholics side by side. And unlike in the past, no one is murdering/blinding people from the other side any longer, but rather just saying somewhat rude things to their cousin across the dinner table and getting sneered at in return. (And then, more often than not, going out for drinks together…)

        • The ban on depictions of Mohammed were originally statues and such. He still appeared in art (Persian and Moghul books and miniatures) into the early 20th century. In most of those cases, he was shown veiled, but not always. It was the Wahabi rise that led to the idea that any depiction of Mohammed, Jesus, or others is forbidden (because any depiction of a person is forbidden. In fact, depiction created beings [animals and plants] is considered bad in some sub-groups.)

          • If you are going to introduce facts and historical precedents there is no point in discussing this with you. Clearly your goal is suppression of dissident viewpoints.

        • Doesn’t that mean the SCOTUS is baiting Muslims?

      • They’re marking their territory now because they figured out they can, an ever expansive territory with the assistance of the naive, the cowardly, the stupid.

        The only time islam has ever been comfotable is it’s own skin is when they believe they have their boot firmly on the infidel’s neck. And they’re striving to get back there.

        • Even then they’re not comfortable, because they promptly turn on each other.

        • The Other Sean

          “They’re marking their territory.”

          Yes, well, piss on them, the psychopathic little turds. I hope they keel over and die of apoplexy that the contest was held and their would-be killers are the only ones dead as a result.

    • Again, the quote I saw is that the prize was for the “most offensive” — a few of my fans entered.

    • As far as the Islamic faithful are concerned, ANY drawing of Mohammed is vile. Let me repeat that so there is no confusion.

      Some of ’em– it’s a cultural thing, like Christian groups that don’t allow statues, although opposite of the route we’ve taken.

      If you’re interested, I couldn’t remember which groups were more nuts about it, either:
      http://www.worldheritage.org/articles/Depictions_of_Muhammad

    •         The Shi’ites allow images of Mohammed.  I’ve seen some, done and for sale in contemporary Shi’a countries.

  19. For people who ask about potential job loss:

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/01/07/atlanta-fire-chief-was-fired-because-my-christian-faith.html

    It happens. Here’s proof. His job wasn’t threatened. It was taken away.

    • Ugh.

      He’s a public employee; he should be able to sue under the religious test clause.

      • Not a federal job. I don’t think that Constitutional provision has been extended to the states…at least, not that I’ve heard.

        • ah, fair point. I would argue that it’s implicit in the incorporation of the establishment / free exercies clauses, but that makes the argument substantially more complicated.

          • Religion’s a protected class under anti-discrimination laws, so he still could sue, if he can prove that was the reason. (On the other hand, how effective can you be in such a job if it’s been made clear “your kind” aren’t welcome? That’s the other head of the snake: not firing people but making it effectively impossible to do their job well.)

    • Or for that matter: Brendan Eich http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendan_Eich

      One of the key architects of the core product forced out for bad think expressed with a check.

  20. Imo, what secretly pisses off many of the Gellar critics is that the event was in Texas and the jihadis were killed before being able to slaughter a bunch of arrogant Texans. I do wonder if those jihadis had managed to get through the event security, how many of the attendees were concealed carry. 😛

    • May Texans never change in this regard. I hope it’s always painful and deadly to even try this stuff there.

      • Urban concealed carry in Texas is a recent institution pushed by Susanna Gratia Hupp after she lost her parents in the Luby’s cafeteria massacre back in 1991 where a madman shot 44 patrons of the restaurant killing 24 including himself. Ms. Hupp watched helpless while her parents were shot and killed. She had left her handgun in her vehicle as was required at that time under Texas law rather than bringing it in with her .

    • Yeah, I was wondering how many attendees were reaching for concealed holsters or running toward their pickups to grab a rifle when they heard the first shots.

      • I know I sure wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere near the parking lot– supposedly, they think the terrorists were going to aim to do mass damage to people exiting, but the event running longer than expected messed up the plan.

        Would’ve been smarter to try driving through the front door during the middle of the event!
        (Note, “try,” because even tiny little police forces now have people who pay attention to tactics in the middle east and will be watching for attempts to use a vehicle as a battering ram/weapon. Still better than waiting for a large portion of the group to be headed for the place they almost assuredly have guns before attacking.)

    • From what I read of a person on Ricochet who was going to go, none of the guests were armed– it was held in a school, which is part of why they had so many extra layers of security. Metal detectors and such to be allowed in, mostly because that’s not a bad idea when you have a guy who not only has multiple death threats, but who our own federal level politicians have tried to ban from entering the country.

      Quote:
      Two Democrat U.S. Representatives are seeking to block Wilders from entering the United States, according to ForeignPolicy.com. Representatives Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)21%
      and André Carson (D-IN) wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, asking them to block Wilders’ entry under the authority of the International Religious Freedom Act. The Act allow the State Department to ban the entry of foreign leaders “responsible for severe violations of religious freedom.”

      http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/04/30/democrats-seek-to-block-geert-wilders-from-texas-muhammad-art-and-cartoon-exhibit/

      Yes, logically that means these guys were claiming that the NETHERLANDS are “severely violating” religious freedom. /oy

      • Yeah, Carson’s my Congressman.

        Needless to say, he does not have my vote in 2016. Unfortunately, it probably doesn’t matter, since Congressional districts here in Indiana are pretty well gerrymandered, so it’s a safe seat.

  21. Comes at a price, this living on your feet. The only way to live in my life, but toward the end, I realized it took a huge toll on my family. Not just the risks that we all ran, in their watching the damage I was taking in speaking truth to power.. It will be a sad day when we all give up…

  22. Clark E Myers

    Be of good cheer
    – there really are publishers and media and markets outside the New York axis and in the heartland. Michael Bane, of music and outdoor channel fame mentioned puppies and Mad Mike favorably on Wednesday.

    There is a fair amount of debate on the ethics of shooting terrorists over bait – many approve – that intends no criticism of Ms. Geller.

  23. Clark E Myers

    Notice the winning cartoon was not in the least vile if the word means what I think it does.

    “BTW, the $12,500 winner of that event was Albanian-American artist Bosch Fawstin ” view among other places at http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/2015/05/that-whole-tricksy-first-amendment.html

  24. Those who say “I believe in free expression, BUT…” don’t really believe in free expression.

    • Yep. No one needs protection of law to say “gee, your hair looks great, honey.”

      • SEXUAL HARRASMENT!!! I’m calling the EEOC over that comment!

      • This is of course aside from the “falsely yelling ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater” standard (most people leave out the ‘falsely’) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_theater

        • Jeff Gauch

          I think it’s important to distinguish between speech and verbal acts. The latter intend to impel others to physical action. Thus, falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is a verbal act to create panic in a crowd. Similarly, you have ordering a murder, incitement to riot, and fighting words (which is really incitement to riot on a small scale).

        • I could live with them yelling fire, it is all the texting on their phones that annoys me.

        • Often overlooked is the fact that falsely yelling Fire! in a crowded theatre is almost impossible to prosecute.

          First they have to prove that it was you who shouted Fire!, then that you knew it was false.

      • Politically popular speech has always been protected: even the Jews were free to say “Heil Hitler.”
        — Isaac Asimov

        • An American and a Russian are arguing about their two countries. And the American said, “Look, in my country I can walk into the Oval Office. I can pound the President’s desk and say, `Mr. President, I don’t like the way you’re running our country.'” And the Russian said, “I can do that.” The American says, “You can?” He says, “Yes. I can go into the Kremlin to the General Secretary’s office, pound his desk, and say, `Mr. General Secretary, I don’t like the way President Reagan is running his country.'”


          Of course, the Secret Service no longer allows just anyone to enter the Oval Office … insert your own joke here.

    • Eh, some do, they just don’t want to be tarred with every dumb thing people do just because of admitting they’ve got a right to make the choice.

      They’d do better to stop trying to be polite and flatly say “I think the guys are (insert insult on jerk axis to preferred level). I object to people being jerks. They’ve got a right to do that, and I’ve got a right to call them on it, and I think that they chose to be jerks in a way that would put them at risk. They have a right to be stupid, and the guys who (tried) to kill them didn’t have a right to do so.”

      It’s called a prudential judgement in those theology circles I’m familiar with. Usually good for a flame war or ten.

    • When somebody uses the phrasing, “I’m not [insert here], but…” you can safely ignore both everything after the “but” and the “not” that precedes it.

    • Take “I believe in free expression, BUT…” and insert any other phrase.

      “I believe in the equality of women, BUT…”
      “I believe in the equality of negroes, BUT…”
      “I believe in human induced climate change, BUT…”
      “I believe the Clinton Foundation is an honest charity, BUT…”
      “I believe in sound money, BUT…”

      I believe people who say “I believe in free expression, BUT…” believe in free expression, BUT.

  25. First I read an article in the Guardian the day after. They had a photo of 2 guards standing next to the winning exhibit… Which was photoshoped out with a black rectangle. At pamelageller.com, you can see the pictures. Breitbart has the winning entry; however, their photobucket.com slide show doesn’t show any of the photos photobucket has deleted from their site.
    I am of two minds on this phenomena. 1)As business operations they can not afford the DOS attacks and controversy around their site. 2)To paraphrase Michelle O; “For the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country.”

    • This allows people to imagine the very worst, and spread stories that is was something truly disgusting (though that shouldn’t matter, as others have pointed out). The more horrible people imagine the winner to be, the more satisfied they are to be ok with the murder attempt.

  26. I will at this time share my take on the obscene New York Times editorial about Pamella Geller.
    http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2015/05/new-york-times-she-was-asking-for-it.html

    Down at the bottom is a picture of a fine looking blonde wearing bacon. This is my suggestion for Pam’s next event. She should wear bacon, backed up with kevlar.

  27. One key difference between them and us is that we seek to beat them in the market. They seek to beat us into oblivion.

    They’re not content to accept the difference of opinion, they have to absolutely destroy us with any tool they can. That’s why we know FOR A FACT that they’re down rating books on Amazon simply because the Sad Puppies liked them. In their minds, these authors MUST be punished for not disavowing the puppies.

    The problem is, they live in a world where their best efforts aren’t good enough. Too many people just don’t care, or will ignore their pathetic reviews because, well, they’re so bad as to be useless.

    We will, in the end, win. Not because we were more vicious, but because they do far, far too much of our work for us for any other outcome.

    • If an amazon review doesn’t have ‘verified purchaser’ beside it, I tend to ignore them. Not that someone who checked it from the library doesn’t deserve consideration, but when the haters come out, truth is the first fatality.

      • I’ll pay attention, but it depends on what they’re saying.

        You can spot the grudge reviews easily enough after a time.

        • Yeah…

          And other purchase venues. I actually used to buy one author’s stuff from a different site for a combination of reasons — they didn’t allow reviews unless you’d purchased directly from them, but also because you could get a bunch of different formats, which I appreciated whereas I resented the review policy a little. She’s since stopped selling through them due to policy changes. But it’s nice to still be able to review those on Amazon. Even if I haven’t actually done them all. *mumble*

      • That’s only useful if you are already interested enough in a book to read the reviews. On amazon, an aggregate rating below 4 means “awful”.

        • While I have seen the ‘sort by highest rating’, I never use it. I don’t check the reviews until I am at the buy page. Now sometimes, like say the roll-out of Diablo III, I do enjoy going and reading all the bad reviews.

          • I’m mostly just trying to make the point that we can’t dismiss the actions of people mass downvoting SP authors just because we aren’t likely to be taken in by it. Amazon ratings have a real effect on sales.

            • You are absolutely correct, and I would to know how in their grubby little minds they justify their pathetic lies. I know they rationalize it as ‘greater good’, but you have to sleep at night and I wonder how reviewing your days events you can handle, spent afternoon on amazon spreading lies and misrepresenting my integrity.

              • snelson134

                SJW: “1, they’re not lies when everyone knows it’s true, and b) “it doesn’t matter if we torture the heretics because they are facing much worse if we don’t get them to see the light…” Ends, means, it’s all good.”

              • Simple. We’re not real people to them, so down-rating is fine.

                They can justify their actions in their own mind because these individuals believe that the ends totally justifies the means.

                • So it is ‘justice’ only for certain definitions of justice. Somewhere along in my life, I determined that: The ends NEVER justify the means. I wish I remembered how, as they all could benefit from sharing it. I guess we learned nothing from the French Revolution, except that nifty short stroke, spring powered guillotine the Germans invented.

  28. Through Fire
    The French Revolution with ray guns.
    Written by Robert A. Heinlein’s ghost under the pen name Sarah Hoyt.
    What more would any sane reader need to know?

  29. “BUT if the same info came to you whispered, as “Well, you know, her opinions on race are just nuts” or worse “of course, I disagree with her thing on race” – incredibly effective because it leaves you to make up in your own head how bad my opinions must be for someone to say just that.” I’d wonder how bad the whisperer’s opinions were, and how wrong they likely were, and why said whisperer says they’re wrong. But that’s just me.

    The response to “You’re not the person I thought you were” is, “I’m not the person I think I am. Who DO you think I am?”

  30. My neck has always been entirely too stiff to knuckle under to whisper campaigns. There’s that pic going around FB with the caption “you know that thing in your brain that keeps you from saying things you shouldn’t? No, I don’t have one of those.”

    I would never have managed “political closet.” These days, I don’t have to.

    As for the denunciations of Pamela Geller. When the same things were said about the people at Charlie Hebdo after the attack there, I wrote a bit that normally I would not. I may disagree with someones religion. I may argue it. But, in general, I assume good faith on the part of believers, usually on the part of the founders of the religion as well. And I try to avoid descending into plain abuse–doctrine yes, personalities no. (Not always perfectly–I’m only human myself after all.) But when you attempt to use violence to silence dissent, it’s time to take that dissent and “turn it up to 11” as it were. The violence cannot be allowed even the appearance of succeeding. So:

    http://thewriterinblack.blogspot.com/2015/01/charlie-hebdo.html

    If violence is allowed to silence dissent, if it generates any response other than a pushback, then two things happen. One, you encourage the violent to continue–they got one thing, so they pick the next thing they want and use the same tactics to get that. The other is the people who did not start as violent will eventually decide “oh, so that’s the way the game is played, is it.”

    Neither of these is a lesson I want to perpetuate.

  31. So, over at Transterrestrial Musings, I discovered that there are lots of images of Mohammed on the Internet. Some are classical, some are modern.

    http://www.zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/islamic_mo_full/

  32. Sarah wrote (in part): “No one has ever been told they can’t say they love mom and apple pie.”

    I have two observations (both made with tongue firmly in cheek).

    First: “Hey Sarah! You can’t say you love mom and apple pie!” — (One objection disposed of! I never could pass up a straight line…)

    Second:
    “His rivals used to say (quite a bit) that
    as a monarch he was most unfit, but
    still in all they had to admit
    that he LOVED his mother!”
    (Thanks Dr. Lehrer, for “Oedipus Rex”)

    More seriously, OF COURSE it’s the unpopular, “icky,” hatey-mcHater speech that needs protection. The popular stuff already has all the cultural covering fire it could ever need.

    • If you had ever eaten an apple pie my Mother had baked, you would not think of ‘love’ as a way to describe your enjoyment of it. Now her homemade pizza… different story entirely!

    • Feather Blade

      No one has ever been told they can’t say they love mom and apple pie.

      Give them time, they’ll get around to forbidding it eventually.

      After all, a future in which “mother” is the worst of obscene words has already been imagined, and in one of the books that the SJWs mistake for an instruction manual.

  33. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    The problem with a culture of ear is that it spreads. It spreads and consumes everything. It’s better to stand up and not be afraid than to give in. The problem is that giving in is easy. How many times Have you not said something because you were afraid of what others might think? How many times have you kept silent when somebody goes on and on about something simply because you just didn’t want to be rude or considered it inappropriate. It’s better to say that what the other is doing is inappropriate and if they don’t stop star speaking out than to stay silent and afraid.

  34. Standing on your feet requires a passion. Otherwise, you’re apathetic, which is what we’re seeing across the US. ” Why is Geller doing things that make us uncomfortable”…?
    But passion and temper can easily get confused. I’m a master of strategy and tactics, but I also have a temper. At times, temper controlled tactics, instead of the other way around. I don’t regret a life on my feet. I regret not being more effective…

  35. I took the free Scientology Personality Test once.

    It came back negative.

  36. Better to be a live lion than a dead gazelle? (or other herd animal)

    • JustAotherGrunt

      It is better to be a dead lion than a live jackal, but when the wolfpack migrates through, they are satisfied equally to find fat jackals or fat gazelles.

  37. When we talk about the Upper-Middle class, we are, after all, talking about people for whom the greatest threat in their childhood was, “This is going on your permanent record.”

    It isn’t as if they’ve been trained for courage, much less had it as an inherent virtue.

    • Thank heavens for Dad, who stood/stands for honor and duty to the point of stupidity and who beat the same values into our hard heads. We might never get very far with that chain attached to our ankles, but when we get there, we’ll respect ourselves.

  38. Saying this sort of thing could make a lot of fans for the speaker:

    There are consequences when you don’t genuflect to the latest secular dogmas. And those dogmas can be hard to keep up with. So we find officials in a major city demanding that pastors turn over copies of their sermons. Or federal judges mistaking themselves for elected legislators, and imposing restrictions and rights that do not exist in the Constitution. Or an agency dictating to a Catholic charity, the Little Sisters of the Poor, what has to go in their health plan – and never mind objections of conscience.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m betting that when it comes to doing the right and good thing, the Little Sisters of the Poor know better than the regulators at the Department of Health and Human Services. From the standpoint of religious freedom, you might even say it’s a choice between the Little Sisters and Big Brother – and I’m going with the Sisters.

    That case continues, and as usual the present administration is supporting the use of coercive federal power. What should be easy calls, in favor of religious freedom, have instead become an aggressive stance against it. Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers, and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith. Federal authorities are demanding obedience, in complete disregard of religious conscience – and in a free society, the answer is No.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/418155/jebs-speech-liberty-rich-lowry

    Even paying lip service to that is more than the present administration (or a Hillary one, employing much the same underlings) is likely willing to do.