It’s the Past that Keeps Changing

I don’t like to be manipulated. Mind you, I don’t know anyone who thinks it’s loads of fun, but some people don’t seem to mind much. “I wuz taken” gives them an excuse not to think too hard. In fact people like claiming vast conspiracies against them (“the man”, “the patriarchy”, “the illuminati” – don’t laugh at the last one, you should see the comments I don’t approve.) It gives them an excuse not to do anything much. It also makes them important. After all it takes a vast conspiracy to hold them down. They’re that important.

I’m not sure I believe in vast conspiracies. I’ll admit to you that things like Jornolist and the fact that no one, not even a hungry cub reporter has dared reveal our current president’s grades or even what courses he took, specifically, have me raising an eyebrow and wondering if I’m wrong.

However, being wrong would including doubting both Heinlein and my dad, both of which emphasized that two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

The communist three to a cell system worked pretty well at keeping secrets, mind, but only by walling-off potential damage. And by and large we’ve come to know everything they were up to. It’s just no one believes it, and it’s largely not reported on.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter in this.

Humans are social animals. And, for my sins, I went to an all girl high school. (I don’t know what my sins were, but they must have been terrible. Or terribly fun. Too bad I can’t remember them.)

I know all about ruling by “controlling the cool.” And I know that the outcasts simply aren’t listened to. I wasn’t precisely an outcast. More of a self-out. Even in the gifted form I attended 8th through 11th, I was odd woman out. More or less on purpose.

I don’t like being manipulated, and I’d rather be outside the hierarchy than have to swallow hard and nod along with things that revolted me, to be in.

Being an outsider, when you choose it yourself, is not a bad thing. You get to watch the dance, mark the way the wires are being pulled on the puppets who live and die for social approval.

But you pay a penalty. If you’re an outcast, even a self outcast, they won’t listen to you. You’re written off as “crazy” or “smart of insane.”

Which is okay. Been doing that for a long time. I heard some prophets had the same rap. I can deal.

We know – this is not an if, not once the archives of the Soviet Union opened up – that the Soviet Union and International Communists expended an enormous amount of time and attention to commanding the heights of the field in certain areas: news reporting, publishing, the arts, education.

I think they did it the old clumsy way, by bribery and subversion. I don’t know (haven’t read most of the stuff on it, mostly because it’s published in dribs and drabs) if they picked people of outsized influence who were low echelon but commanded the “cool.”  But they got them all the same.

They were aided in this by the rot that started crumbling Western Civilization after WWI. (WWI never ended, really. You know, sometimes I think we’re in one of the crazy cycles, like the wars of religion, playing itself in a million guises, all of them pernicious.) Oh, and by human nature. You see, humans are social animals (did I mention that already?). People who achieve high status tend to be good at manipulating “the cool.” And “the cool” by the time WWI happened had turned against Europe. In a move that went back to before the French Revolution, “the cool” had turned against civilization itself and the mores of Judeo-Christianity. Instead of believing the accumulated history/victories of civilization were “the cool”, members of the civilization turned on itself, including idealizing humans in a supposed natural state and past, barbarous stages of their own civilization.

A little bit of this is a good thing. Civilizations can get too effete and disconnected from real human nature (as we have proof daily.) Checking your assumptions is a goodness. Kind of like doing mathematical proofs. Our own country comes from questioning some of those assumptions and going back to a not-really-ever-like-that republic, before the medieval rule of kings.

But World War I tore at the foundations of Western Civilization, the easy going assumption that because we were more prosperous we were more civilized than all the past. The dreamers and the crazies who had been questioning and asking, and pointing out problems were still (unless they were really crazy) by and large members in good standing of Western Civ. They came to reform, not to destroy.

Suddenly the sparrows who had been pecking at the moss growing on the more calcified parts of the civilization became vultures, impatient and tearing apart the not-quite-yet-dead body politic.

Now we’re in the curious situation where the cool is to turn against that which makes it possible for you to be you; to be wealthy; to be comfortable.

The very people at the pinnacle of our system of rewards ridicule the very virtues that allowed them or their ancestors to get there – thrift, hard work, drive, commitment – as bourgeois. Nostalgie de la Boue?  Baby, we have a hard on for the dysfunctional, the crazy, the broken.

And civilizations that – objectively, if you know anything of their history – were far bloodier, dirtier, more genocidal than our own are held up as paragons and victims for one reason alone: we won. They lost. They never got to inflict their evil on the world at last.

I keep expecting, any minute now, the hagiographic rehabilitation of Hitler. After all, he lost. And those WWII propaganda movies sure made him “the other.”

Because that’s how loonie it’s got.

I don’t believe in conspiracies. I believe however that humans will do anything to acquire social status and power. We’re social animals.

What this means is that a few well placed people can command “the cool.”

And “the cool” has now come to the place you knew it would. Having elevated all the other “victims” of Western civ to the pantheon, it’s now concentrating on elevating the most powerful (in terms of cool) group in our societies to “victim.” Yep, wealthy and well educated white women. (Even if some of them have a fractional amount of other blood. Like who doesn’t?)

The problem with this is that women, though held back somewhat by biology, have definitely been on the march since the pill has become available and common and lifelong pregnancy stopped being the destiny of every sexually active woman.

And the other problem is that even before that liberation from the chains of oppressing biology, there were always women who made it to the reaches of power. Not even noble women. There was after all that peasant girl, Joan of Arc (my patron saint, as we often both find ourselves in a war that’s not what it seems, led by forces we can’t even define.)

In the eighties when I came to the states I realized the history women here knew – even educated women – was not what I’d studied. It was the little things that jostled me. Like a friend saying that women hadn’t been allowed to hunt or work outside the home ever. Ah. Peasant women always (more or less) worked outside the house with their husbands, if their husbands did. And as for hunting… you did what you did to survive. (Though women mostly set snares, but so did most peasant men.) Other things, like a recent college graduate 20 years ago assuring us there had always been famous women fighters, women in the ranks of the fighting men, since always. How did we not know about them? Ah, well, it was a patriarchal conspiracy. A conspiracy maintained for centuries by groups of unrelated men and women and supported by researchers into history, many of them women. Yep. That’s how powerful patriarchy is. Because magic.

Then there is the whole “idyllic and lost matriarchy” an idea so dumb only academics could believe it and fail to see in it the obvious reflection of the Christian lost Eden.

All of this puzzled me, but it was above my paygrade to fight it. I made jokes about it on panels, and grinned in the face of people saying it (mostly because there’s a level of shock that translates itself to chuckles.) I thought it was a moment of madness, but it would pass, culturally speaking.

I was being a wishful thinker. The women who believed that half backed stew of nonsense raised daughters who believe them too. And now with the force of revealed wisdom.

Except that revealed wisdom collides with reality. There have always been women in science fiction/fantasy/comics/gaming. Some have been held down, true, mostly by other women. And that biology thing held them down too, until the seventies or so.

Now fantasy has a lot more women than science fiction. And while I know bloody nothing about comics (my fandom is Disney comics, okay? You should be happy I don’t cos-play.) I have heard that in gaming some work/games have more women than others. This is because women are different from men and statistically more women or more men will gravitate to certain things.  You doubt that, you try being a male nurse or secretary.

I know when I was growing up it made me an odd duck among odd ducks that I not only liked science fiction but that I was a WOMAN who liked science fiction. Yeah, it got me sneered at, but mostly by people who didn’t like science fiction. The geeks were just glad to see a woman share their interests.

I’m not saying it was easy. It’s never easy being odd man (woman) out. I’m sure in the early days of science fiction, just because of rarity, the women who broke in had to be faster, smarter, better.

I know that the publishing establishment tried to keep me from writing science fiction. But that’s humans being humans and stupid. The tin said “Woman” and therefore “fantasy writer.”
(That’s fine. I’m told fantasy sells better, anyway.)

However that’s not to say you couldn’t do it. Or that women didn’t do it. But these are the women other women don’t see.

Go read the article (which coincidentally has almost the same title as my article for PJM on the same theme.) He lays out how the history of science fiction keeps changing to claim it used to exclude women until some arbitrary date that makes the new generation the pioneers “speaking truth to power” and all that rot. I’d quote him, but this is already too long.

Anecdote isn’t data, but I know when I came in, there were three women for every man I met who’d just broken in. Not brave pioneering, not only because it had gone before, but because writing is a badly paid, indoor work that can be done while watching kids. That’s all. Or that can be done on the side of an academic career. And because it required years of unpaid work to break in, a luxury most men don’t have.

But these women – and some men who claim to fight for women (rolls eyes) – need to invest their actions in coming into a field that now belongs pretty much to women with “the cool” and tones of heroism.

So history must be re-written so that women are victims and cool. The current generation of women, mind, not the ones who did the real work of breaking in, who often paid for it by not having personal lives, or who were considered odd ducks by everyone inside and outside SF. No. Their pampered, overeducated, molly-coddled would be granddaughters, who want to believe the Man is holding them down, rather than admit they’re the Man.

It finally dawned on me why Malzberg and Resnick had to be silenced and the innocuous, slightly gallant term “ladies” had to be made into an insult.

It wasn’t because there was anything objectionable in their columns, but because the only way people who aren’t victims can claim victim status and self ennoble; the only way those who continuously put others down and engage in vicious wars of emotional destruction can claim to be bullied; the only way the queen bees can claim they’ve been denied power and deserve it now is to silence those keeping the history of the field alive.

Each one of those lady editors and lady writers threatened these ideology-blinded, ambition-motivated “Social Justice Warriors” personally, by making it clear they were trying to conquer territory already conquered, and that they aren’t a patch on the previous generations, male or female.

Which is why the history had to be stopped. (Fortunately there’s twitterstorms and internet outrage for that, which allow one or two queen bees to make strategic decisions the drones echo unthinkingly.)

Because in the current day and age, we live in a crazy version of soviet history.

We know what the future holds – more “oppressed women” forever conquering the fortress that never falls because it can be re-written to never have fallen – it’s the past that keeps changing.

492 thoughts on “It’s the Past that Keeps Changing

  1. If you’re an outcast, even a self outcast, they won’t listen to you. You’re written off as ‘crazy’ or ‘smart of insane.’

    You left out “denier”, you denial denier, you.

  2. Being a victim has become too great a positional good for people to let something as pesky as what actually happened get in the way. It also is a great explanation when a hack author can’t get people to read her work. It’s not that she can’t write her way out of a paper bag, it’s because mean old misogynists are keeping her brilliance doused. Sure.

    BTW my personal (un)favorite made up historical “fact” is the old “9 million women were butchered during the ‘burning times’ .” Every time I hear it my fists itch.

    1. I wonder how long (checks under bed — maybe it’s already occurred) until denying people their rightful victim status becomes a marker of victimhood.

      I eagerly await the first telecast of the Victimhood Olympics.

    2. Yeah, the actual death toll was, I’ve read somewhere, about 60 thousand people burned in Europe, and, in the eeeevilll America, nineteen, eighteen women hanged and one man pressed. And those were in one village, Salem, and they were the people who were honest and had done nothing wrong and hung around because they just couldn’t believe these girls making impossible accusations could lead to anything,and so did not haul ass.

        1. I think there’s something in the soil in Central Europe, but heck if I want to do the research to figure out what it is/was.

          1. Ergot explains a lot. But also Germany had a historic response of blaming everything on witchcraft that the Church was always having to fight, so maybe they had ergot whenever the climate got too chilly and damp.

            1. I wonder sometimes of S. Ozment was right, but in a different way, when he described the tension in German history as being that between individual liberties and group strength. You get remarkable individuals and ideas springing up, but then you get a collapse back into fear of anything different or strange. Granted, being in the path of march for everyone going back to the Indo-European raiders probably didn’t help. And being pulled between Germanic law and Roman law prior to 1200 or so (when Roman law won for the most part). Throw in the mess with the Reformation and proto-nationalism getting blended together, and the wars that followed, and ugh. Makes the English look almost sane. Almost.

            2. Some cultures seem to have a very strong meme of supernatural mischief as the final cause of any misfortune, whatever the material cause may happen to be. To this day, there are cultures in various parts of the world where people will admit that so-and-so broke his leg because he fell out of a tree, and he fell out of the tree because he was careless, but will insist that his mental lapse happened because of witchcraft by someone who wished him ill.

              1. Islam. That phrase “In’Shallah”, It shall be as Allah wills, is NOT a metaphor. There are Suras that make the claim that a) Allah creates the world as it is every instant and b) could decide not to at any time.

                1. Hence you get the declaration “God is not bound” which means that God IS bound to act in a wild and capricious manner, and not produce regular laws of nature that Science could study.

              2. Many tribal cultures across the world ascribe to witchcraft or gods what we’d just consider bad luck, or carelessness causing an accident. When it is witchcraft, and there are other tribes around, the tribe may consider that it was a one of the other tribe’s witches, and start a war over it.

                1. Witchcraft beliefs are common to every culture on Earth except modern industrialized ones, and certain hunters and gatherers. (And by modern, I mean REALLY modern. France and England still had murders of accused witches at the end of the 19th century.)

                  A lot of them have had witch hunts. More or less dependent on culture.

                  1. For that matter, there was a strong element in Catholic theology that Witchcraft (ie Witches hexing people) was superstition.

                    While some elements of the Catholic Church were involved in witch hunts during the Big Scare, others were not.

                    Of course, during the Big Scare Protestants (including IIRC the clergy) were also involved in witch hunts.

                    Oh, it was interesting reading about the “evil” Spanish Inquisition’s opinion on Witchcraft.

                    After a short-lived witch hunt in (IIRC northern Spain), the Inquisition took the strong position that Witchcraft was superstition and that they had better things to do than hunt so-called witches.

                    1. Oh, it was interesting reading about the “evil” Spanish Inquisition’s opinion on Witchcraft.

                      After a short-lived witch hunt in (IIRC northern Spain), the Inquisition took the strong position that Witchcraft was superstition and that they had better things to do than hunt so-called witches.

                      Those horrible, horrible people required– gasp– EVIDENCE!!!!

                      And didn’t allow “everybody knows”! Or even confession of flying through key holes, if the confessor couldn’t manage to do it when chased around the room with a stick…..

                    2. Some even commented that “stories of people being hexed” increased when a witch hunt was going on. [Wink]

                  2. I guess the USA ain’t one of them new-fangled modern industrialized ones, then. I can recall witch hunts, or at least, devil-worshippers as recent as the 1980s at various day-care gangs. At least one modern journalist has compared the campus “rape-culture” frenzy to the same moral underpinnings.

                    I wonder whether the heavy focus on serial killers (it seems as if all the ones we catch are male) on television doesn’t contribute to this, the same way as it over-presents gays in American life.

                    1. There are plenty of female serial killers, though fewer than men. ISTR many of the females serial have been poisoners.

                    2. They’re usually only caught because someone notices that kids keep dying around them and they make a dumb mistake, and even then it takes a long time because…well, look at the cost if you’re WRONG, and she just has had horrible luck, or takes in kids who don’t have a good chance of living.

                      I suspect there are a lot of Kermit Gosnells out there, too. He even took trophies….

                    3. Providing an important lesson: if you are going to be a serial killer, do it in areas to which society turns a blind eye. Gosnell, Dahmer (back when the gay sub-culture was something they cops studiously ignored), mothers killing their children — all of these hid in cultural blind spots, places where we just didn’t want to look at too closely.

                      Then there are the serial killers who found productive niches, such as a mob hit man of whom I’ve heard; happy is the man who manages to merge vocation and avocation.

                    4. Medical professions, end-of-life caregiver….

                      That’s another place for female serial killers: the women who take care of old people whose kids don’t want to bother. No evidence, of course, but the gal my grandma kicked out when she started trying to groom grandma into signing things over sure had a high turnover rate of little old lonely ladies who didn’t live much past giving her the majority of what they owned.

                      Just like any other predator, they’re going to disguise themselves as something above reproach– like how pedophiles become teachers, religious leaders, things that will get them near their prey and hide them from detection.

                      Thus making it hellish for the REAL ones.

                    5. Wouldn’t that make a neat Hitchcockian thriller, a la Shadow of a Doubt: the sweet, doting care-giver, providing ease for so many elderly …

                    6. You’d have a hell of a time getting a lot of people to see anything wrong with it, unless you added some Obvious Villain Traits beyond gaining the trust of the elderly/disabled/dying and then killing them.

                    7. Note that I specified it in terms of what is presented on TV. Female serial killers are also less inclined to murder strangers (Arsenic and Old Lace not withstanding.)

                      Aunt Martha: For a gallon of elderberry wine, I take one teaspoon full of arsenic, then add half a teaspoon full of strychnine, and then just a pinch of cyanide.
                      Mortimer Brewster: Hmm. Should have quite a kick.

                      [discussing the body count]
                      Dr. Einstein: You got twelve, they got twelve.
                      [angrily grabs Dr. Einstein’s necktie]
                      Jonathan Brewster: I’ve got thirteen!
                      Dr. Einstein: No, Johnny, twelve – don’t brag.
                      Jonathan Brewster: Thirteen! There’s Mr. Spinalzo and the first one in London, two in Johannesburg, one in Sydney, one in Melbourne, two in San Francisco, one in Phoenix, Arizona…
                      Dr. Einstein: Phoenix?
                      Jonathan Brewster: The filling station…
                      Dr. Einstein: Filling station? Oh!
                      [slits throat]
                      Dr. Einstein: Yes.
                      Jonathan Brewster: Then three in Chicago and one in South Bend. That makes thirteen.
                      Dr. Einstein: You cannot count the one in South Bend. He died of pneumonia!
                      Jonathan Brewster: He wouldn’t have died of pneumonia if I hadn’t shot him!
                      Dr. Einstein: No, no, Johnny. You cannot count him. You got twelve, they got twelve. The old ladies is just as good as you are!

                    8. There’s also the difficulty of catching them. The difference in MO may contribute to that.

                      Not that it’s easy to catch them at any time. One guy was going to write a book about catching serial killers and hoped it would help police do it. He didn’t write the book, because there was one and only one way: a victim got away and told the police what the killer looked like.

                    9. ” I think if I caught one going after children, it would go badly. For them.”

                      If caught. Some mothers have murdered a whole succession of children in what is termed “Munchausen syndrome by proxy”. Indeed, once one dies, it becomes easier to the next death to be explained away.

                    10. Then there was the infamous Belle Gunness of Indiana. She killed her husbands. She killed her children. She killed her husbands’ children. She killed her suitors. She killed hired girls. She killed people who stayed at the house overnight. And then she faked her own death and got away with it.

        2. There are researchers that attribute many (or most) of the European witch trials to economic and/or political competition – not religious motivation. Some substantiation there by digging through very old land records, tax documents, etc. (comparing those accused to their accusers).

          At least some of the Salem trials may have been convenient acceptance of the “victims” stories in order to acquire easily farmed properties – good convenient land was getting somewhat scarce at the time with the increasing population in the area.

          1. I’d listen to them– the Church, as SuburbanBanshee keeps pointing out, got in to a lot of trouble for stopping witch executions.

            1. Most of the sources I’ve seen assign an explicitly economic motive — it was a prime example of why civil asset forfeiture is a BAD idea.

              1. Looking at the records they were mentioned using, it’s very likely that they were looking at post-Enlightenment cases…and possibly had a hatchet to grind. 😀

          2. Reality jumping in– I’ve got a whole new level of sympathy for the witch crazes.

            Had an emergency root canal last night, after waking up Sunday morning with a tooth ache that only halfway respected the pain meds I can take right now– good Lord, I was pretty sure what was going on and it was maddening.

            Someone who DOESN’T have the option of a dentist drilling into the tooth and loosing the puss-pocket? With the way that the pain was jumping around teeth, even to the other side, even WITH effective pain killers?

            It sure seemed like a sadistic act of willful torture, which suggests a human source….

          1. The same way you read initials in the apple peels when you use them to see your future spouse’s name on Sylvesterabend (or using lead on Sylvesterabend), or All Souls, or St. John’s eve.

            Sheesh, I thought everyone knew that. What are thy teaching in schools these days.

    3. Wasn’t the whole point that they were cooked without being butchered? The waste, the waste! /kratman

    4. I actually unfriended a shipmate because she decided to equate that myth to Israel being currently targeted for extermination.

      See, blowing up pizza parlors full of little kids isn’t that bad, because her invented religious fore-bearers supposedly died in numbers that would have depopulated entire countries……

      1. And it STILL wasn’t the Jews doin’ the imaginary burnin’ and whatnot. Shoot they came in for their own “burning times” if they were unconvincing conversos.

        So you’d think she’d cut the poor Israelis some slack, being as they share the same History of Oppression.

        I’m guessing that shipmate drinks loooong and deep from SJW Kool-Aid.

        1. Shoot they came in for their own “burning times” if they were unconvincing conversos.

          Actually, that’s a myth, too– ironically, an acceptance of the slander that the people who hated them spread around. Only fairly recent that we’ve been able to get all the records together and verify that it was basically the Spanish witch hunt, though.

          I think her main problem is that Everyone Knows that Israel is evil, and so somehow not complaining when they fight the people trying to slaughter their civilians is bad or something.

    5. I hadn’t heard that one, but I’ve become skeptical of a lot of the “nn-many millions were killed” claims, because the numbers seem to keep growing and growing without anyone putting forth any new evidence.

      I’m reminded of a bogus number flung out by one of the animal rights proponents: “Six million puppies and kittens are killed in shelters every year.” When confronted with the fact that this is more than three times as many as are born in the first place, he admitted that he’d made the figure up from whole cloth (and I quote) “because it sounded good”.

      1. Exhibit #6,000,000 for my argument that Leftists are too dishonest to live around, and therefore cannot be integrated into a civil society.

      2. You should have pointed out that PETA runs a “kill only” animal “shelter”.

          1. I gather they think of that as “hostage rescue” efforts.

            After all, “theft” implies the animals were property.

  3. It IS the past that keeps changing!

    Case in point Numero Uno:

    Case in point Numero Duo:

    Translation: Lying Lefty liars -lie- about the past. They have to, it didn’t happen the way they wanted and more importantly, it didn’t happen the way they said it would at the time.

    Otherwise known as stupid assholes using 1984 as a manual instead of a scary lesson in how bad this shit could get.

      1. And then check to see if there were counter-arguments at the time, or if those pushing for X had an agenda (see: the Dust Bowl and the Resettlement Administration).

  4. “I’m not sure I believe in vast conspiracies.”

    Nod, now “group think” is something I believe in.

    1. No need for a conspiracy when you have a large group of people who already agree on everything.

      1. In one of his books (Gordon R. Dickson?) likened politicians to a bunch of spiders sharing a common web. If the web was damaged, the nearest spiders would set to fixing it; no communication or coordination was needed.

        I’ve always thought that idea explained a lot of things about the JFK assassination… but it also applies to other types of organization than political.

        1. I have two favorite theories abiut the assassination of JFK, one of which makes sense,and one of which just resonates with me.

          Makes sense ; Kennedy was shot by a socially isolated loser who, like many sch, had flirted with a wide variety of fringe “causes” looking to belong to something. That gave him a connection to the U.S.S.R., although he probably wasn’t an agent, and pretty certainly didn’t shoot Kennedy on Kremlin orders. LBJ saw that connection, knew that it wasn’t a good time to be starting WWIII against the Soviets, and with typical Political Class contempt for the Unwashed decided that he had to manage the news. So he muddied the waters, and that created the atmosphere of coverup. Any “evidence” that Oswald was a Soviet agent was almost certainly bushwa, byt LBJ didn’t think the public was smart enough to see that.

          Resonates; Jackie got tired to the womanizing sonofabitch and had him killed.

          1. I don’t really like to get into discussions about the JFK assassination (IMO Oswald was the murderer and acted alone) but I get extremely annoyed at the “theories” that have the CIA behind Kennedy’s assassination.

            Come on, it would have been easier for the CIA to arrange JFK to die in his sleep than to go to all the trouble that the theories claim they went through to arrange for a gunman in Dallas. [Shakes head and walks away]

            1. Unless it was intended as a false-flag operation, of course. Not that I believe it was.

            2. The military ones always bugged me. Even the military portions of not exclusively military ones as well.

              Having been in the military the wide ranging silence needed by people up and down the chain of command just didn’t ring true. “Secrets” traveled too fast around every base I was on for the movement of people and even JFK’s body as imagined by people like Oliver Stone to remain secret until 1965 much less until today.

              1. Same here – there are no secrets in the military, unless the secret involved is held very, very tightly by a very, very small number of people, People always know, otherwise.

                1. I like the part in the Wearing the Cloak series (forget the book) where Astra recounts how Blackstone had explained to her and Shelly that the ideal number of conspirators was two, and that’s only because one person isn’t really a conspiracy.

                    1. Silly Lady. All you need to do is “make it easy for the cape to come off”. [Wink]

            3. Steven Hunter has a book The Third Bullet which demonstrates nicely that if your null hypothesis is a CIA conspiracy it cannot be refuted on the known facts – it is very much a what if book.

              On the other hand despite a tendency to get guns right and facts plausible Mr. Hunter is flat wrong when he says about his own book:

              We aren’t anywhere near being able to answer the question of who killed JFK. I was unable to come up with any physical evidence that proves Lee Harvey Oswald innocent. But it’s still entirely possible that the Warren Commission report’s findings are 100 percent true.

              We have more work to do. It doesn’t matter so much what Lee Harvey Oswald is capable of, but what the rifle is capable of. Can the scope even be zeroed for that kind of shooting? We don’t know, because the FBI did a terrible job of investigating the assassination.

              We should start by taking the rifle over to the National Archives and turning it over not to ballistics experts, but to a panel of snipers and hunters, men who have shot for blood with telescopic sights during field conditions. It’s eminently doable, and it wouldn’t take a 500-man, trillion-dollar investigation.

              One of the hopes of this project is that it will create a spurt of that activity.


              In fact the Kennedy shooting has been role played by hundreds of people in assorted classes from scaffolding shooting at a trailer to recreate angles and distances precisely using a rifle and scope from Klein’s so near to the actual as to make no difference. This includes due allowance for left hand bolt operation and all the rest of what is known. As I recall more than 3/4 of the students matched or bettered Oswald’s shooting – under simulated conditions. Sadly perhaps with no tension save meeting expectations and knowing the fixed route of the trailer and mostly having watched other students try it first.

              On the other hand one of the members of the Warren Commission more or less dined out on the story that the Warren Report was indeed a rush to judgment that reached a predetermined conclusion in a relative hurry with an inadequate investigation and consideration of alternatives – not to say the conclusion was wrong.

              1. Read _Case Closed_ by Gerald Posner and tell me what you think of it.

                1. Yes, excellent book. Made me wish someone would make a movie about the *real* Jim Garrison.

            4. Also, based on the record of the operations side of the CIA (the i telligence side does somewhat better), they would have botched it.

              1. What are you talking about? Of course the CIA did it and of course the CIA botched it. The target was actually Texas Governor John Connally; JFK was how they drew him out, and that’s also why the cover-up.

                They were just rerunning the trick that worked with Chicago mayor “Tony” Cermak almost exactly thirty years before.

                1. No! no! no! It was McBird what did it at the behest of his lady! Just check out the historical record according to Barbara Garson.

                2. I still love the LawDog’s version about Elvis and the aliens working with the Illuminati. I’m having trouble finding the link, but let’s just say that an active imagination+the history channel+a good adult beverage can produce wonders. 🙂

                  1. This just reminded me of another ‘story’ on it. The comic ‘Those Annoying Post Brothers’ (very counter-culture) had it as a ‘practice hit’ for a really big assassination they were working up to in another dimension.
                    And of course right after the shot, one brother turns to the other and says ‘I can’t believe you missed!’

                  2. At our house, we’ve finally abandoned the poor Canadians (Blame Canada!) and Dick Cheney in favor of Ancient Aliens. Frankly, if “ancient astronaut theorists” are correct, those butinskis have their hand in EVERYTHING.

            5. Family friend was with the CIA (moved over from his OSS origins) back then. He once said that he knew his own boss was not an idiot – and didn’t believe that it got THAT much more idiotic as you went up the chain.

              If you really believe that someone needs to be terminated, that his (or her) politics are that dangerous to the nation – you do NOT do it in such a way that you make them a martyr (and, by extension, actually give a boost to their policies).

              There were so many, many ways that JFK could have been killed – and thoroughly discredited in the process. “Heart failure” while in flagrante delicto with some bimbo was only the simplest…

            6. The most interesting argument I ever saw put forward, is that Oswald missed. That he was shooting at Connolly (they WERE personal enemies – most people don’t know that), and he missed and hit Kennedy instead.

              Of course we’ll probably never know, but it is a curious idea.

          2. The one that resonates with me is your second one, but switched to organized crime for who was “behind” it.

            That’s partly because my parents have that impression, and a loser of the type you point to would be equally drawn to the Mob.

          3. But Oswald *wasn’t* a “socially isolated loser.” Or a “loner”, or any of the other tags commonly tossed at him. He was married and had two kids. From testimony in the Warren Commission Report and Gerald Ford’s book, he was creepy by modern standards, but engaging enough to easily make the kind of acquaintances who would give him money or lodging. He had some kind of schmooze mojo.

            By any measurable standard, Oswald was far more socially ept and personable than, say, me.

            1. He was and he wasn’t. I don’t recall a super-huge amount about Donald Bellisario’s Quantum Leap episode based on Oswald, but he put as much as he remembered about the guy into the episode. (They were in the same group in the Marines, IIRC. So yeah, it was informative.)

          4. I used to work for a guy who’d worked for Joe Kennedy Sr. back during the presidential days, and he was on the spot and knew all the people involved. The story he told me goes like this:

            First, you have to understand that the Kennedys were the Irish mafia (involved in the whiskey trade during Prohibition, and they still own certain franchises). They were in direct competition with the Italian mafia.

            JFK had promised the Italian mob certain favors for helping get him elected (using their union influence etc). But come time to make good on the promise, he reneged, and this made life hard for the Italian mob. You don’t welsh on a deal with the mob, not even your competition. *BANG* (And of course they got rid of the shooter, too.)

            So when RFK was running for president, the Italian Mob came to him and said, “So, are you going to make good on what was promised, or are you going to follow the same harmful (to us) policies as your brother?” RFK said, “I’m going to do the same as my brother, of course.” *BANG*

            So along comes Teddy running for president… and remember what happened? He was the front runner by a mile, but suddenly pulled out of the race, and he would not give a real reason for it. Why? Because the Italian mob came to Teddy and said, “So! Are you as stupid as your brothers?” And Teddy said, “No sir!” and dropped out of the race.

            No Kennedy has run for president since, because that was part of the deal for letting Teddy live.

            And the whole thing was covered up six ways from Sunday, because we couldn’t let it be known that we’d had a mobster in the White House.

            Now, my boss was not given to Making Shit Up. He had documentation for other stuff he talked about that was, ah, Little Known at the Time. And as an explanation, this handily covers everything, including Teddy’s mysterious (at the time) bailing out of the race, and doesn’t require any grand conspiracies. So I’m inclined to believe this is indeed what really happened.

            1. And as an explanation, this handily covers everything, including Teddy’s mysterious (at the time) bailing out of the race, and doesn’t require any grand conspiracies.


              Organized crime can look like a classic “conspiracy theory,” but it’s really just people doing something in their own interest.

              THAT kind of conspiracy is very, very easy to believe, and find– if you’ll even recognize it when you see it as anything but collateral damage.

            2. Neither the mob nor the unions had any reason to believe that RFK would play nice with them after his stint as Attorney General under his brother.

              From Wiki:

              As Attorney General, Kennedy pursued a relentless crusade against organized crime and the mafia, sometimes disagreeing on strategy with J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Convictions against organized crime figures rose by 800 percent during his term.

              Kennedy was relentless in his pursuit of Teamsters union President Jimmy Hoffa, resulting from widespread knowledge of Hoffa’s corruption in financial and electoral actions, both personally and organizationally. The enmity between the two men was intense, with accusations of a personal vendetta being exchanged between the two; in what Hoffa called a “blood feud” between him and Kennedy. In 1964 Hoffa was imprisoned for jury tampering.

              1. Yep, that would fall under “making life hard for competing mobsters”, against the agreement made that got JFK elected in the first place.

            3. Also: The Spouse had surgery that week, and did not come to until, as he put it, the only thing of interest had occurred…so I have reason to remember this. Teddy Kennedy did not drop out. He was behind Carter in votes coming out of the primaries. He then failed to maneuver the uncommitted delegates and Carter defeated him at the nominating convention.

              From Wiki:

              After defeating Kennedy in 24 of 34 primaries, Carter entered the party’s convention in New York in August with 60 percent of the delegates pledged to him on the first ballot. Still, Kennedy refused to drop out. At the convention, after a futile last-ditch attempt by Kennedy to alter the rules to free delegates from their first-ballot pledges, Carter was renominated with 2,129 votes to 1,146 for Kennedy. Vice President Walter Mondale was also renominated. In his acceptance speech, Carter warned that Reagan’s conservatism posed a threat to world peace and progressive social welfare programs from the New Deal to the Great Society.

            4. Rez –
              Had a friend who was with the AIA(Army Intelligence Agency) tell me pretty much the same story. Except that John was wacked as a warning to Robert who started dissing the mob after the election deal had been done and John had won.

          5. I’ve seen enough from people who should know that it was the Soviets who very diligently “muddied the waters” because they were truly afraid of what would happen if Oswald’s connections to them came out. Most of the FUD came from the active measures campaigns that were run by the Soviets in the 1960’s. Of course they were helped on this by the Washington and media elite who did not WANT to believe that a nebbish like Oswald could kill the Icon Of Camelot all by himself.

    2. I don’t believe in vast hidden conspiracies but I do believe in extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

      I also believe in temporal blindness, an inability to see what does not fit the view of the times.

            1. I strongly suspect that some of my ancestors were madmen who heard voices (especially the one fruitcake that advocated capital punishment for children who were “disputatious” with their parents).

              But I wouldn’t attribute that particularly to RES or Uncle, not knowing their ancestry – should that comment have been further up?

              1. Death for talking back to your parents? A whipping wasn’t enough? In severe cases how about sending them to an orphanage?

                1. I did note that he was a fruitcake. Apparently, the only reason that he is an ancestor is that he was normally gallivanting around the countryside preaching fire and brimstone – the distaff side was at least somewhat connected with reality.

                  He had some parental influence, though – all of his sons turned out to be preachers too, although (slightly) milder.

                1. Ah, no — missed it completely. I am quite sure I’ve never read a particularly silly book.

                    1. OH! THAT particularly silly book! Nope, not while I have chewing gum wrappers and dish detergent labels to read.

                    2. The Jaynes book? I’ve only read pieces of it…

                      But one has not seen real “silly” until you read some of the stuff that is based on it. Example “An Essay on God as the Bicameral Mind: Implications for Africological Research.”

    3. I know that there is such a thing as group think.

      When I see an advertisement that trumpets, ‘nine out of ten prefer,’ I don’t run out and buy the item, I ask myself, ‘So?’

      Or when I see an add that claims, ‘thousands of happy customers loved this product and they can’t be wrong,’ I think, ‘Oh, but yes they can.’

      Nor am I one to climb on the band wagon because of noise or numbers. Some people do, maybe they don’t trust their own judgement. I am an ODD and I just don’t have to go along for the ride.

      1. I grew up with the idea of “if your friends jump off the cliff, will you do the same?”. [Very Big Grin]

          1. Consider the difference in the meaning of the word ‘friend’ in our society.

            Suppose you use the term friend correctly, i.e., persons with whom you have chosen to cultivate an ongoing relationship, vs. the people who are acquaintances in your at school who you sometimes hang with, or — even less so — who are on your facebook page.

          2. I had an acquaintance, a lovely boy in the Fairbanks theater, who was walking down the street one summer day, freshly arrived in Alaska. He saw a bunch of local teens and college kids jumping off a bridge into the Tanana River, and they were having a great time of it. So, he jumped off, too… and discovered the hard way that all rivers in Alaska are sourced by snowmelt and glacial meltwater. The Tanana is no exception.

            He described it as a shock that froze the breath out of his lungs, and sent his balls trying to rocket up to the top of his skull for safekeeping.

            Only upon retelling did it occur to him that this made him the object lesson for why not to jump off a bridge, even if everyone else is, too.

            1. I’m glad he’s okay. Icewater shock is a major drowning risk factor, and why every swim check at summer camp started with a jump into the lake (with lifeguard standing by.) It wasn’t always snowmelt—I got to do that swim check one year—but it was usually colder than a pool even by the end of the summer. (And the scouts complaining about the water temperature that year got no sympathy from me—”It was 20º colder when *I* took my check! Deal!”)

              1. *chuckle* Now *that* brings back a dusty old memory. Whew.

                Back in the misty young ages of my little mountains, I, too was dragged (literally. I did not kick, I did not scream. But I also didn’t help!) to camp. As a counselor, for my sins. To teach wee little swamp-rats how to sing hymns that wouldn’t cause their little mommies and daddies ears to bleed.

                Mind you, as a bulletproof teen, I thought I could do anything, I just didn’t *want* to actually *do* anything practical, say. So, I taught. I cooked, I cleaned, I cut trails, I made sure the mischief was safe and safely away from prying eyes (though there *was* the roof jumping incident…), and, on the first day of our early spring camp, swimming.

                “Lane! Check the water!”

                Mutter, mutter.
                “It’s wet. I’m not. I’d rather keep it that way.”

                “You’ll be mucking stalls for the next month!”

                “Suits me. Smells better than the cabins…”

                “… Early shift.”

                “… Crap.”

                So, out into the lake. Which, by some miracle of science, is about fourteen degrees below freezing, but still liquid. Standard tactic is to dip all the way in, walk out, that proves it’s safe. It’s colder than my ex-girlfriend’s blackened little heart. Colder than the wash tub in February, *before* you break the ice off it. You can stifle a scream underwater, if you’re quick enough, too.

                “Water’s fine, Sir! Send out the little horrors. In fact-” *kick* “let them play ball. Nice spring day for swimming.”

                The Sir takes one look at my blue fingers, vigorously toweling self. The Sir doubts. The Sir decides to check for himself. The Sir screams like a horse being gelded, after deciding to *jump* in, off the boat dock…

                In retrospect, that was a dirty trick, and I probably deserved all the things that he attempted (and sometimes succeeded) in doing to me thereafter. Being used to dealing with the cold/heat, and the Sir being a priss-pampered city boy, well, it was inevitable there would be “friction.”

                1. Yeah, I’ve got my own memories of swimming in a lake of molten ice. It’s the sort of thing that will chill your bones.

                    1. *chuckle* My personal worst was wintertime vehicle maintenance.

                      Imagine two tons of diesel-burning, torque heavy mobile metal meeting Southern red clay. Lots and lots of Tennessee mud, liberally applied. Then freeze. At minus twenty. You have a maximum of one hour to de-ice, clean, and dry said vehicle so it can be maintained, before the next arrives. Pressure washers are a must.

                      Now imagine your co-worker-in-training getting a little happy with the pressure washer, and soaking you, outside, mind, in said minus twenty (and breezy!) weather.

                      I about knocked him silly. My cousin, who works at a little airstrip in Alaska deicing planes, laughs when I tell that story. *grin* I have no desire to prove my manliness any more than that (actually, I don’t want to get anywhere near that cold *ever again.*)

                    2. Your cousin will like this one:

                      Winter of ’98, Indianapolis airport. I’m on a Delta flight out when the couple looking out the window exclaims “They did it to another one!”. Look out and there’s a Northwest jet on fire in the taxiway about 500 yards away.

                      “What do you mean, another one?”

                      “Oh, we were supposed to take off on another Northwest flight about 4 hours ago, and they told us they needed to de-ice first. It looked like they sprayed one of the engines. It caught fire and we had to evacuate by the emergency slides.”

                      I made it a special point after that to never fly Northwest in the winter.

            2. I did that in Yosemite in August and the only reason I’m alive is that I could stand up in the shallow water – if I’d gone off in deep water I don’t think I would have made it. It looked so inviting, the day was hot, and all the kids were swimming around.

              1. The New Hampshire college I attended had the most lovely, inviting lake. Wish I could share a picture.

                I think I saw perhaps a half dozen people EVER swim in it. Pretty much the same people that ignored the bit at the bottom of Jeep commercials about “professional drivers, do not attempt…” (There was one day when there were three of them turtled in a particular parking lot. The local tow truck operator, who had an effective monopoly, made a bundle at that school…)

            1. Jeez, I just saw what I wrote earlier today. That was sadly lacking in good grammar.

              1. Eh, just do like the rest of us. Blame it on the coffee (lack thereof).

        1. I frustrated my parents a tad when they asked me that question because I always answered, “Maybe, it would depend on why they were jumping off the cliff.”

          1. When I was young enough for that question to be used on me, I had never really had any friends I trusted enough to follow blindly, so my answer would have been, “No, I’d ask them why they were doing something stupid”.

      2. Even if thousands of people ARE happy with the product, what basis do they have for assuming that the preferences of those people are my preferences? Something that works extremely well in their circumstance, may not do the job I need done. What if I have an off-label use for the product I prefer, that their product simply cannot do? Or I simply put more weight on a different quality of the product. Say, for example, that yes, the product does the job well, but I can’t tolerate the fragrance? People are NOT widgets.

        1. My father worked in different kinds of sales for a long time. At one point the focus was basically on getting people to pick something, anything, from the business he worked for — but there were lots of different options to go through. It took a major adjustment when he moved to a company that basically sold one thing and part of the sales job was to identify customers it was specialized for, and send the rest away!

      3. Crowd pressure works on a LOT of people.

        I’ve known people who were practically rabid in support of a particular political candidate… who then voted for the other candidate, because it looked like that one was winning. And walked out of the polling place wearing a sticker or button supporting the candidate they were practically foaming against shortly before.

        Confronting them with this, they don’t see (or admit) that they’ve done anything strange. Apparently “being on the winning side” is so far above “partisan support” that no disconnect is noticeable.

        Years later, two of them emphatically denied they’d supported the first candidate at all, having apparently undergone a complete political metamorphosis, “memory hole” and all. When I asked them to explain the campaign signs they’d had in their lawns, they denied they had ever had any signs.

        I imagine this sort of change happens on other ideas, not just politics.

      4. If it’s really that good why are do you have to promote it with a nonsense claim? (1,000 people loved it. And if 10,000 units were sold? Yeah…)

        I immediately get suspicious.

        Then too, if you’re a weirdo, chances are good if every mundane you meet is raving about it, it won’t be your to your taste. Case in point: nearly every “Oprah” book. I would have used Ancillary Sword as an example, except it’s very much to my taste. It’s just… Lord love a duck, it’s like a primer on “how not to write description,” “how to frack up a 1st person viewpoint,” and “coherent sentence structure really IS your friend you know, it’s not a Tool of the Patriarchy.” I downloaded a Kristine Kathryn Rusch novel and read it in one 2 hour gulp because I needed to read something competent for a break.

        But that’s a rant for another day. Sorry.

    4. Imagine how huge the Santa Clause conspiracy might seem to a child. They could understand that their friends parents might all be in on it; they all know each other. But how can their parents have ‘gotten to’ strangers in other cities all over the country… the globe. Even the New York Sun and NORAD are in on it!

        1. Shhhhh. There is no “Santa Claus conspiracy” — forget you ever heard anything about it. Just put it out of your mind. Don’t even whisper about it. Rumours about him being a Vatican hit-man are not the sort of thing you want to entertain.

          1. I was going to plug “Target: Santa” by Sarah’s son Robert as a read with an interesting twist, especially regarding the reason Santa brings toys, but it seems to be gone from Amazon right now.

              1. Tried to get to it three different ways, but they all resulted in an error page.

                (Please tell me that you are confused that it’s missing, not that you don’t know what I’m talking about. 🙂 )

      1. Frazz had fun with that. One Christmas, a kid was complaining about how much the Santa Claus thing must COST, and Frazz pointed out — how often have you seen his image?

        She was rather shocked. Discovering the operation must run on licensing fees was not much of an improvement.

  5. Wendell the Manatee has retweeted this on Twitter, adding: “Hooooooooooooonnnn!”

  6. “smart of insane.”

    O.K. I know you probably didn’t mean to type that, but I LIKE it.

  7. “I keep expecting, any minute now, the hagiographic rehabilitation of Hitler.”

    Still fringe but they’re working on it.

    1. Wasn’t there a study a few years back where some scary amount of high school students said they couldn’t judge Hitler? I tried to googly it, but didn’t find anything, but I could swear I read it on Insty or something. I hope I’m misremembering. Too much grog.

      1. I remember hearing something similar. A professor reported having new college students saying that. IE Germany was a different culture so the students didn’t think they should judge Hitler.

        1. I remember a story about multi-cultural indoctrinated students “understanding” the Klan. The motives, after all, were indistinguishable from multi-culti rhetoric.

          1. What is scary is hearing your mother in law say “It’s a shame Hitler couldn’t complete his good work.”

      2. Not sure, but that seems familiar.

        I wonder if the people who say Hitier and the NAZI’s were socialist, not that I’m saying otherwise, will wind up rehabilitating Hitler rather than discrediting socialism.

        1. You’re assuming that he needed rehabilitation.

          Sure, the South didn’t like him. Still doesn’t. But the rest of the country has always seen him as someone who helped hasten the end of a long-running war.

          Sherman has never had an image problem anywhere except in the South.

          1. While I agree about Sherman, this is a fight that Our Hostess Does Not Want To Be Fought Here!

            1. *grin* And I am keeping out of it, like a good little boy, why yes I am.

              I might even allow as how the very thought is just precious!

          2. ,,,you won’t find many Sherman supporters on the Rez in Oklahoma, either. Or check out how he “liberated” New Orleans from the British.

            And who says propaganda doesn’t work?

            1. Anybody that doubts propaganda’s effectiveness should watch W.D.Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation”.

        2. Interesting perspective on him in H.W. Brand’s The Age of Gold. Not apologizing for him, but it takes the perspective that when he decided to do something, he did it thoroughly—much like Orson Scott Card’s portrayal of Ender Wiggin. “If I do this, I’m going to do it such that I never have to do it again.”

          Which does not endear someone to their “collateral damage”, to be sure.

    2. Well, Stalin is already starting to become “kinda rough but all-in-all he saved the Soviets, improved the economy, and his enemies were worse,” and so on. Apparently Czar Vladimir has nodded favorably upon such efforts.

      1. Anyway, whatever else he was OUR thug. He may have been brutal, but he kept the Germans out.

        Yeah. That sort of thing? Yesh.

        1. More along the lines of “He was forced to take such steps by the exigencies of the era, in order to bring about a glorious new reality.”

          Focusing on the ends, not the means, and blaming others (counter-revolutionaries, reactionaries, back-sliders, defenders of bourgeois values) for the steps taken. Classic abuser/abused syndrome: they forced me to do that to them.

          1. For some reason, that sounds eerily familiar.

            Oh yes, the latest pronouncements from our own Beloved Dear Leader…

      2. Try to get a Democrat to admit that all the liberals and Democrats in the U.S. supported not going to war against Germany- until the day after he turned around and started war against his former ally the USSR. That’s in a great big memory hole. The Soviet Union and the West were ALWAYS allies during WWII, and all good people know that….

      1. And should she win, I have no doubt they’ll be producing a hagiographic documentary, “The Triumph of the Hill.”

    3. They’ve already made the Imperial Japanese the victims of American imperialism. We forces them into war with the sanctions we put in place to punish them for their war in China.

        1. Ugh. That book. The Imperial Cruise is somewhat useful if you’re trying to learn a little more about the trip itself or some of the people on it (Alice Roosevelt, or W. H. Taft, f. i.), but “incredibly slanted” doesn’t even begin to cover it. It is basically a leftist, anti-American, borderline-slanderous, political hit piece on T.R. While there are great reasons to be dubious about the constitutionality and wisdom of some of Roosevelt’s domestic policies, this wasn’t what Bradley attacked.

          1. I was referring to his more recent book, The China Mirage.
            I’ll let him go on the
            The Imperial Cruise because, let’s face it, we messed that one up, albeit I think not nearly for the reasons that Bradley thinks we did, or as badly as Bradley thinks we did–especially since he wrote with the benefit of being as the 20th century.

            1. Bradley was writing with hindsight. He was also ignoring that at the time, Japanese foreign policy, while often belligerent toward some neighbors, was no worse than the majority of the European colonial powers.

                1. Well, did it matter to those Chinese if they were killed by Japanese or by Europeans?

    4. In the past, widespread Holocaust Denial was one of the things that would have needed to occur in order to rehabilitate Hitler. But I’m starting to wonder if that will continue to be the case in the future.

      1. It doesn’t appear so. What I hear is more along the lines of “was Hitler/Naziism really so bad? After all JEWS.” Not sure if I’ve just wandered into a strange area of the internet or if that view is growing more common.

        1. Like I said, I’m starting to wonder if Holocaust Denial will be required for Hitler’s rehabilitation in the future.

          1. Are you kidding? They’re already moving on with Holocaust Justification. Remember, Adolf and the Grand Mufti were best buds.

            The Jews deserve it because they target civilians. Civilians who accepted housing provided by Hezbollah ( on the condition that they allow Hezbollah to store rockets and launchers in their basements, but still innocent civilians whom Hezbollah would kill in a Beirut Minute if they could blame those deaths on Israel — further proof of the evil of Israelis, because look at what they make their enemies do!

          1. Uggh. We’re not going to have to replay the whole 20th century are we? I was hoping we could stop going backwards with the 70’s.

            1. We are not going to replay the twentieth century, we are going to top it, the way the twentieth topped the nineteenth.

              The nineteenth century had Leopold, the twentieth Hitler, Stalin, Mao and all the others. Who will the twenty first century bring?

              It is too early to say.

                1. In a coincidence of cosmic timing, the SMOD and the erupting of the Yellowstone Caldera will occur at the same time, precisely and exactly off-setting each other, allowing the Earth to survive unharmed … except for the arising of a dedicated death cult, determine to do what the Cosmos could not.

                  1. Well damn. What are odds the of that? I can’t do a death cult, I’m just not a joiner.

                  1. The Chavistas are getting to that point of desperation that makes an extremely violent lash out very possible. They have control of the police, army, and have a well-armed party militia who will obey their orders. They’d probably eventually get smacked down, but it will be very bloody, especially in the first few months.

    5. Actually, if you took certain speeches and replaced all instances of “Arisches Herrenvolk” by “African American”, you’d get something that could pass for a Louis Farrakhan speech 😉

      1. No, hadn’t seen that one before. I see a story like that every once in a while though. Hitler themed restaurants, shops etc. in India or Indonesia. Those don’t bother me too much, it just seems weird or ignorant rather than hateful. Like the fools here who wear Che t-shirts for the iconic, edgy, rebel image without really knowing anything about him.

  8. “Other things, like a recent college graduate 20 years ago assuring us there had always been famous women fighters, women in the ranks of the fighting men, since always. How did we not know about them? Ah, well, it was a patriarchal conspiracy.”

    Did she explain the use of the word “famous” in that sentence?

      1. I believe it. I never even heard of Xena in school, I had to learn about her on my own time watching documentaries.

        1. Just remember, in 2000 years the series will be Diana: Warrior Princess about her and her sidekick Fergie ride her semi-intelligent motorcycle while battling against the war god Landmines.

          At least we have the RPG already.

            1. For some reason it won’t take my attempts to link to it thought. Try Warehouse 23 (or Wiki for an article describing it.

              1. Okay, operator failure:


                There is Diana Warrior Princess and its one supplement, Elvis, the Legendary Tours (“Exiled by his evil half-brother, the sorcerer-priest Costello, wandering bard Elvis searches for a way to return to his home, the mysterious Land of Grace. Armed with his wits, guns, and guitar, and aided by his sidekicks John Lenin and ‘Senator’ Joe McCartney, his adventures really rock!”)

                The Wikipedia article ( cover supplements never made. I really wish we’d gotten Gandhi’s Angels.

                1. Haven’t played RPGs in years, but I might have to get those just to read.

        2. Thank goodness I had just put the drink down. I hate wasting my Throwback.

            1. Fate/Stay Night is a Japanese media property that grew out of a pornographic video game.

              It involves a secret war between historical figures from a magical xerox machine.

              Fate’s King Arthur is a physically sixteen blonde woman.

              If there were a lot of such secret wars, and certain feminists were survivors of the same, they might have reason to think that Leonidas, Romulus and Thor had really been women.

              1. Ah, okay…I thought you were referring to an actually documentary about rediscovered women warriors that was being discussed and which I completely missed.

                That media sounds like just that kind of crazy mismash of half understood western culture that makes for fun anime (oh, the horrible cultural appropriation and othering of Europeans in Japan)

    1. And coupled with this is the “we need more female national leaders, because females are more peaceful”, which tends to ignore that the female political leaders that have had and kept political power tend to have had similar personalities to the male leaders of the time, generally a degree of ruthlessness and a willing to play the political game hard. From Liz the First to Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher (an extra special case: “we want strong women politicians, but when we had one, we hated her”) there have been a few, and they have been very similar to their male counterparts. But admitting that violates the narrative.

      And lets not get into the cognitive dissonance of the “women are exactly like men” and “women are better than men” rules in the “there have always been famous women fighters” and “women are more peaceful” narratives.

      1. That one always makes me chucklesnort. I went to an all girl high school, and 99% of the teachers were women. Women being more peaceful is super delusional. We’d still go to war, just maybe for different reasons. Or maybe even not that. Despite all the whinging women have had and continue to have an influence on what the “men in charge” decide to do. In any case, it surely would not be fewer wars.

        1. Is this a good time to bring up Kipling’s “Most Dangerous Of The Species”? [Nervous Smile – Don’t want the women mad at me]

          1. You have awakened a small pedant. I think you mean “The Female of the Species.”

        2. I first ran into this idea on a high school trip to DC.

          I can’t remember exactly what my reaction was, but I was startled enough to be totally honest and…um… blunt. Something like “…have you paid any attention to how women behave at all?

        3. My mother’s suggestion for dealing with the Taliban at one point was to track down all the menopausal women who had lost sons, teach them to shoot, and air lift them into country (pointing them in the general right direction of the guys who killed their sons or gave orders to that effect.)

          1. Heh. Hmmm, that has me wondering if you are a descendant of my HS English teacher… Vassar lady, no less.

          2. IIRC, one of ISIS’ defeats was at the hands of a lady whose son they’d just gunned down, and her newly widowed daughter-in-law.

            He couldn’t get to his guns. She could.

      2. There is/was an online community built around a game called Empire. This is the one of which Wolfpack Empire was a variation. Think a cutthroat competitive multiplayer Civilization, with diplomacy being roleplayed.

        That women could be first rate players of this game was disproof of the notion that their rule would necessarily be peaceful.

        Furthermore, it is part of why I never took the misogyny anti gamer gate stuff seriously.

      3. This isn’t limited to humans. Until the electric collar leveled the playing field, performance dogs were overwhelmingly male. Successful females usually had markedly “male personalities”.

        As to being “peaceful”… In dogs, males may beat each other up, but as soon as one gives in, it’s settled for good. And if the boss knocks heads together before a resolution is reached, that settles it too. But females fight to kill. No fight between two female dogs is ever really over until one of ’em is dead.

        [I’m a pro dog trainer in Real Life, with over 40 years experience.]

        1. my neighbor has a pit mix female and a Rotty female (and a Swedish Vallhund female as well as another big male Rotty named Ruger who is Not nice to me unless he is not in his yard, alsoas a rescue Rot mix male who’s goal in life is to really annoy the Rotty female). When she moved in after we had troubles keeping the herd contained (The big Rot male can open gates) and got that all sorted, for what ever reason her Rotty decided to kill the pit. They now have to be constantly separated. Buddha the pit is a sweet thing, and Coda the Rot is not bad either … just not together any longer (they been together for a couple of years with no problems at all) Bu either stays in the house, or in the yard with Ruger, or if someone is home she can wander the property (she and the Vallhund, Ruby, will stay on the property if the others do as well. Ruby actually sticks around even if all the others run off), and if the others get out She and Coda seem to get along well enough but they run off casing things … anythings. and Ive learned I can corral the whole group, including Ruger and get them back into the yard but Ruger then gets protective and mean. Coda even lets me walk into the yard with no issue … But she will go after Buddha, So I learned not to put Bu up with the rest, and she just goes into the garage and curls up on a dog bed.

    2. In fact I think it’s just the opposite, there never were many woman warriors, but those magnificent few were remembered. The only French Foreign Legionnaire most people could remember offhand is probably Susan Travers, the only female Legionnaire in their whole history.

        1. Jean Danjou is the first member of the Legion whose name /I/ memorized.

  9. … they were trying to conquer territory already conquered

    But, that’s the easiest kind of conquest! Let somebody else take the risks, brave the dangers, suffer the damages, then you step in and swipe credit. Sure, it’s a form of achievement plagiarism, but somebody’s gonna get the credit and why not somebody like you?

    1. It’s the never-ending revolution, where we are perpetually one election away from The Handmaid’s Tale.

      1. Funny how they are so scared of a pretend “Handmaid’s Tale” happening here when something very like it is already happening in other countries. But those countries are part of the Victim Tribe, so we don’t dare say boo about it. Just keep pretending to be afraid of it happening here.

    2. “… they were trying to conquer territory already conquered”

      But, that’s the easiest kind of conquest!

      Well, that’s what the guys in high school always said, anyway…

  10. Other things, like a recent college graduate 20 years ago assuring us there had always been famous women fighters, women in the ranks of the fighting men, since always. How did we not know about them?

    I have a friend who went through college during this period, taking courses in women’s studies. She takes another spin on this, one which makes more sense to me.

    Yes women have made achievements in the past that we are not told about (although not necessarily as great fighters). According to her, it is not the men that have acted to suppressed this. It was the women gate-keepers of society who deemed those women as outsiders and their actions undesirable. These gate-keepers have chosen not to tell their tales, because it would contradict their narrative.

    1. Oh my goodness. And this is one of the many reasons why living in NYC would be my own personal version of Hell.

      1. Oh yeah.

        And while on the subject, wouldn’t you drop kick some bitch that sideswiped you with her enormous purse on an empty street? I’d have taken a chunk out of her.

        That’s why I live in the country. Nobody around to trigger my inner Scotsman. ~:)

        1. I’d ave blocked the blow and tipped the bag so she was scrambling to chase down her $300 lipstick et cetera, scuffing the toes of her Manolos and probably ripping her Michael Kors skirt in the process. But I’m mean that way.

        2. Nah, I’d just step away, and smile that slow smile that says, “You may have a high-status purse that cost you a median wage person’s earnings, but *I* have a life worth living.”

        1. I thought the tollbooths doubled as border control stations? I know, they don’t do anything to keep Queens and Brooklyn apart from each other, but for all the other boroughs….

                    1. Glad to be of service, ma’am. By the way, thanks for mentioning Ninja Nun the other day. It’s a hoot!

                    2. Yeah. Older son might be insane. Just consider that a medical school’s admission committee has enabled the training for his cutting into people and if he achieves his ambition for cutting into people’s BRAIN and shudder.

                    3. So, you have Robert, who knows SpeakerToLabAnimals, becoming a brain surgeon, and yet you wrote some projections of what Speaker has been working on into one or more of your novels…

                      Are you TRYING to create the Mad Scientist who builds the Mind Control device?

                      Heh. 🙂

    2. Read that. Yeesh. Monkey dominance much? Home school the poor kid.

      No wonder New York liberals are so demented.

      1. I wonder where in NY city her publisher lives? (I also wonder whether the author used to write for the Rolling Stone, New Republic, Washington Post and/or The New York Times.)

        1. OTOH, NY City may have officially merged into the American megalopolis, Crazytown:
          Report: NYC Cops Arrested Men for ‘Manspreading’ on the Subway
          By Katherine Timpf
          New York police allegedly arrested two men for “manspreading” (sitting with their legs far apart) on the subway, according to a report entitled “That’s How They Get You” released by the Police Reform Organizing Project.

          “On a recent visit to the arraignment part in Brooklyn’s criminal court, PROP volunteers observed that police officers had arrested two Latino men on the charge of ‘man spreading’ on the subway, presumably because they were taking up more than one seat and therefore inconveniencing other riders,” the report states.
          — — —

          1. Something about that is making my BS flag fly high, especially when it gets to where I’m supposed to be outraged that someone was arrested for an outstanding warrant which they then characterize…strangely.

            Run into way too many “reform X” groups that are like those “crazy law” lists– it will say “women are forbidden by law from wearing shiny shoes” and the actual law is against positioning shiny things to look up lady’s dresses, or “no sex with elephants on a Tuesday” and there’s actually a law against bestiality. Technically, the thing they point to is included, but there’s an awful lot of relevant stuff left out. (IE, “I was arrested for waiving my hands while I talked!” and leaving out that they were doing a ‘snakes on a plane’ style monolog with a gun in each hand……)

            1. Yeah. I expect those guys were doing more than “just sitting wrong”.

            2. There’s actually a twitter account now that sends out those kinds of intentionally misleading interpretations of laws. I can’t remember the name of it, though.

    3. …. “many” children, more than 2.5, and yet they were talking about having anyone with toddlers or kids use the freight elevator? (Which, actually I tend to prefer– whoever designs strollers has the drivability sense of a slug.)

      I do wonder how much of this is based on other people, and how much of it is just-so story… or how much is just flat made up.

      1. I thought that part seemed incongruous too, but then I thought about some of the vehemently “childfree” people I’ve run across online and the likely dynamics if you had a bunch of them inhabiting the same building as people who are, say, having 3-4 kids and treating them as status symbols. (I’m somehow not guessing the “lots, more than 2.5” here refers to, like, 7-9.)

          1. Come to think of it, it may explain some rage I have seen online about expensive clothing being damaged by childish grimy fingerprints, or an expensive stroller banging into knees.

            Though the tone, implying that it’s impossible to step outdoors without it happening, seems implausible to me.

      2. Not that I’m ruling out the idea they’re making it up, either, just — I’m not sure that one’s out of the question.

      3. When I was in Germany the last time, I overheard some Germans (with the coolest, sturdy stroller/wagon I’ve yet seen) complaining about the flimsy American “umbrella” strollers and how hard they were to navigate/put kids into/fold.

        1. Of course they are. You are suppost to take the kids out before folding, not put them in.

        2. “Umbrella” strollers seem like toy versions of the real thing. The thing I call my “umbrella stroller” is actually a higher-priced version of the same, called a Maclaren. It’s secondhand and also a version that was recalled because kids could crunch their fingers in the scissor joints. (Simple fix there—the kids are not allowed to mess with this stroller. Problem solved.) It’s sturdy and folds up pretty compactly, so it lives in my car. But the Germans have a point because the cheap ones are worse than supermarket carts with wobbly wheels.

          1. The plastic stroller/wagon I saw could be pushed or pulled, depending on where you put the handle(s). It had a little A-frame in it for stroller use, and that left space in the “back” for carrying a few things (in this case diaper bag). Then they took the child out, dropped the A-frame flat, changed the handle(s) and had a wagon with really nice fat wheels. When the shuttle van arrived, father did a few things I couldn’t seem, and when he straightened up, it looked as if he’d taken the wheels off, or snapped them into the side of the wagon so they were flush with the sides, folded the thing in the middle at a hinge line or something, and tucked the handles into it somewhere. Now the whole contraption looked like a really fat briefcase and took up about as much room. I’d love to import a few, because I wager they’d sell like hotcakes.

            1. Come on now, you know the safety morons are gonna jump on something like that. No way they’re going to let something that works on the market. Have you tried to use a current-production gas can?

              1. Yes, which is why I have a few old faithful Jerry cans I keep at my folk’s place (aka the Garage of No Return) for when I need to carry fuel. We’ve had them since back in the 1980s when we used to do a lot of traveling around the Colorado Plateau and other places where the buzzards carry water.

              2. The new gas cans are perfectly good when one does a simple modification using a 3/8″ drill bit, with a duct tape strip as a seal when not pouring……

                1. That’s what I thought too. My buddy is paranoid about modding stuff to make it work better, so we had to put up with it.

                2. I totally gave up on the new gas cans’ spout thingee … can’t even figure out how the damn thing is supposed to be attached, and wound up pouring via funnel, the old-fashioned way.

                  1. there is a spout on can buy that makes the can into an old fashioned one that doesn’t leak … you know, like the old ones that got changed into no drip designs mandated by our incredibly smart gov’t

                    1. Have you seen the large “water cans” some places are selling that look suspiciously like old-fashioned gas cans?

                    2. yes, and they note that they cannot hold gas because they are not painted Red. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)
                      I’ve seen mil-spec Jerry Cans sold with the same warning

      4. I have to recommend my Burley two child bike trailer with stroller conversion kit. Folds and comes apart easily to fit in the back of the van, carries #250 of kids and stuffs (I think, it might be #350, I should look it up I suppose if I ever fill it full). Does not fit in narrow aisles, as in St. Vincent de Paul’s, but does turn very tightly, I can get through Joann’s with it. In fact, I can use it one-handed, and it’s the only stroller I can say that for.

    4. That looks like it might be a good book. I’ll keep an eye out for it.

      Any bets on just where their political donations go to?

  11. BTW: The Present is built on a foundation of untruths, because Truth is no longer an absolute good but merely a conditional one, measured in “how it helps me” (HIHM units.)

    Case in point, as spotted by PowerLine blogger Steven Hayward, this admission by the editor of The Lancet:

    “A lot of what is published is incorrect.” I’m not allowed to say who made this remark because we were asked to observe Chatham House rules. We were also asked not to take photographs of slides. Those who worked for government agencies pleaded that their comments especially remain unquoted . . . this symposium—on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, held at the Wellcome Trust in London last week—touched on one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.

    The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. . .

    The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. . . nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system. [Emphasis added.]

    If it doesn’t advance my agenda, enhance my narrative, win more funding, of what use to me is Truth?

    1. Back when I was first learning to write code (at the end of the punch card era) we had a running joke about always including an “N” factor. When creating a computer model or analysis tool and the input data did not support your theories you could always adjust N to make the results come out to what you wanted.
      It would seem to me that this has become standard practice in many fields, climate research among others.

      1. Why do you think computer models are so popular now as a source of proof of theory. If your proof comes from a computer model you can always tweak the model until it tells you what you want and then publish the results.

        Which is why a computer model should pretty much never be accepted as proof of anything. They can be a handy tool for analyzing data and the like but proving things? For that you need the real world.

        1. One story I read had a young woman who was researching something and asked a computer operator to run a simulation.

          The computer operator basically asked “what do you want the simulation to show”.

          She then realized that all other simulations had been attempts to “prove a point” not attempts to see “what might have happened”.

          She asked the operator to let the computer “just run” to see what happens. [Smile]

            1. Smile

              I wish he’d come back to that series. He left Earth far far away from the Solar System. [Grin]

        2. As someone in mathematical modeling I’ll take one small exception to that. The is an inverse relationship to fudging to get what you want and how much money you’re risking on the results in modeling. If you’re making multi-million dollar bets based on the results of your model (for example, of how interest rates will move over time based on current market conditions) you don’t put up with models that don’t prove to be much more right than wrong.

          I trust Walmart’s models of needed product flows in response to hurricane movements several orders of magnitude than climate models. The former writers lose their jobs if they are wrong. The later writers just get new grants for more studies.

          1. Yeah, there’s an important difference between modeling when you’re in trouble if you get the wrong answer, and modeling when you’re in trouble if you get the “wrong” answer.

            I was editing a paper the other day that involved mathematical models of whether food got hot enough in a particular process to kill bacteria. I am inclined to believe they wanted a real answer for that one.

            1. Yeah.

              Though I’d reiterate the usual all models are wrong, but some are useful.

              Working with food, in most if not all cases, the composition of the material is never going to be as uniform as you are assuming. Nor is the temperature going to be as evenly distributed. Because you need a model that is humanly solvable.

              A model doesn’t have to be perfect if it quickly and reliably tells if you are cooling the butchered carcasses fast enough, freezing the meat patties solid, or as you say, cooking the things enough to prevent food poisoning.

              1. Though I’d reiterate the usual all models are wrong, but some are useful.

                That one seems to be at the start of every text on the topic I’ve encountered. I wish more lay people were exposed to it or its corollary/other form: “The map is not the territory.”

              2. Computer models are very useful when you are modeling a small system with limited inputs and well defined physics. I do modeling of power plant thermal, hydraulic, and thermal-hydraulic conditions. I can build a model that accurately predicts the electrical output of a 1200 MW nuclear power plant to within 0.5 MW, along with predicting temperatures, pressures and flowrates within it to less than 1% error. These are small systems, modeling less than 200 components at most, with 2 to 3 inputs that are stable for the most part over a few hours. When you start trying to model s hugely complex system, like weather or an economy, with hundreds of varying inputs, some of which are outputs from another huge complex model, you get huge errors and cannot predict performance to any degree of accuracy.

                1. Yes and no.

                  My modeling work is economic and you can get pretty useful results if you remember four things (probably more but these are the big ones I see every day):

                  1. You have to remember you’re modeling aggregates. Our prepayment models (which mortgages will quick providing a stream of cash flows prior to amortization calendar’s end due to early payment or default) tell me in the aggregate what percentage of the anticipated cash flows won’t occur not which loans will quit providing cash flows specifically.

                  2. Remember what you are saying. We need to model thousands of variations on our inputs. I won’t tell you what the markets will do tomorrow but I will tell you if they do X the value of various things moves Y. Then I do that for 1000s of possible X so the traders we support can find the X closest to the market to use our data to make adjustments to our portfolio.

                  3. Be more cautious the farther out you go. I’m very confident of what our scenarios run last night say about the effects of today’s market moves. I’m moderately confident about what they say the effects will be a week from now. Ask me about 30 years and I’ll tell you what my models say and then tell you I think that is very useless information.

                  4. Be humble and remember the map is not the territory. If your model is consistently at variance to a large degree with reality change it. To me this is where capitalism forces me to be a better modeler than a climate modeler. If we are wrong then we fail to hedge our asset correctly and we get a high variability in both value and cash flows. Shortly thereafter I get to go back to writing web apps. I don’t want to go back to writing web apps.

        3. Back in the barely post-punch card era, my first real job dealt with estimating the reliability confidence intervals for underwater mines by modeling/simulating the operation based on component test data. The layout of the model was deterministic, it was a series/parallel diagram of the actual mine components and design. The methodology was Monte Carlo simulation. Like calculating pi by generating random x,y pairs (0,1) and counting number where x*x+y*y<1. Now, the simulation requires as input, the number of components tested, and the number of those components that would 'function properly'. That is in quotes, because it is the only subjective part of the model.
          Ideally, the mine 'engineer' would examine the individual test results and score the number of tests that would have resulted in proper operation. Using this as input, the model would crank out a series of simulated mines and the confidence intervals for the system could be estimated fairly closely.
          After the first run, the 'boss' went in and started questioning the decisions of the engineer for his pass or fail scores. Rinse and repeat. After about four iterations of this, the engineer, who was not the most stable of people in a field of known instability, was becoming paranoid delusional, and 'shell shocked'. I was so frustrated, I told the 'boss', "Why don't you just tell me the number you want, and I'll let you know how many failures have to be turned to pass?"
          I transferred to another department of the organization shortly thereafter.

    2. Instapundit has, just in the last week or so, run articles on a study on attitudes toward gay marriage that is now known to have used faked data, and a book on a researcher’s experience spending time with gang members that is now believed to have been completely made up. Meanwhile, Ace’s sidebar at AOSHQ has a link to an article about how someone carefully rigged experiment parameters to come up with the result that chocolate is a weight control supplement.

      1. “someone carefully rigged experiment parameters to come up with the result that chocolate is a weight control supplement.”

        I can totally see the impetus for doing that. 😀

          1. Actually, you’d be surprised what things suppress cravings for food in some people. In my case it’s tuna (or other dense protein) — normally a lean food — but one lady I know swears her morning chocolate croissant stops her from snacking on junk all morning. (She actually is fairly trim.)

            1. Back before I figured out that I needed B supplements, the only way I lost weight was buying chocolates or jelly beans and having one or two servings a day.

              The pattern was almost funny…. I’d have success with that, lose about five pounds with a struggle, a relative would scold me about how I’d never lose weight if I didn’t stop eating candy, I would stop, the weight would come back in spite of continuing the same struggle. Rinse and repeat. (This is in spite of watching calories.)

              1. And yes, I am an easily guilted, self-blaming moron when it comes to my weight. Nothing like being constantly assured that you’re just not trying hard enough to make me an idiot.

                1. There was a great article I read recently from a trainer who basically said that when you cut your calories too far, you throw your metabolism into starvation mode—so eat more to lose weight. Obviously, he used proper numbers to show what he meant, but far too many people cut out too many calories and then wonder why their weight loss stalls.

                  P.S. Foxfier—I’m a fan of Health At Any Size. So figure out what food you need to be healthy, including mentally, and work from that. Health is the goal, not weight loss.

                  1. I was trying to explain to my aunt at some point that her stated diet goals were likely to drop her below basal metabolic needs and cause her body to start clinging to every calorie it could scrounge….

                  2. This is especially true for people who are borderline hypothyroid (which is probably responsible for the majority of “can’t lose weight” and “eat to feel good” cases in the first place). Starvation makes you more hypothyroid, which reduces your ability to process glucose, which means the energy you need to live gets stored as fat instead — which means you simply cannot eat few enough calories to lose weight.

                    Always, ALWAYS, if you can’t seem to lose weight (or if you have depression especially if “food makes me feel better”) — get a full thyroid workup. Not just a TSH test, which by itself is worthless.

              2. If it helps, I find that a daily little bit of very high quality chocolate prevents me from craving other snacks … when I eat it, I actually can feel my shoulders and other body parts and emotions relax … the problem is in sticking with that “little bit” part of it …

                1. I had a coworker once (a very slim one) who swore by her regimen of one square of baking chocolate before every meal. Now, I took that with quite a bit of salt – she was (and is, so far as I know) also an avid bicycle marathoner.

                  But, OTOH, I have found that an ounce or two of dark chocolate (the kind sold for direct consumption – not the baking kind) will “disable” my sweet tooth for most of the day.

                2. *nod* I think it may be partly that, but there may also be something to the vague notion I have that some of my chocolate cravings are really B cravings– and the “give a little to make it not punishment” variety hides the effect.

      2. “and a book on a researcher’s experience spending time with gang members that is now believed to have been completely made up.”

        Not to put too fine a point on it, it better have been made up; he’s also got a link to an article tearing it apart where the writer sent one of the incidents described in the book to former prosecutors in the states covered by where she did her “research”, and their unanimous opinion was that if she did what she described (drove a member of the “gang” around while he was looking to do a revenge killing), she’s confessed to conspiracy to commit murder.

        And the fact that she also admits to have shredded all of her notes and data “to prevent being subpoenaed” (her words) just puts the confession to obstruction of justice cherry on the sundae.

        1. LOL – Steven Hayward observes science faker with chocolate smeared all over his hands and face:

          We began this new occasional series with the story of the Science magazine study about how people changed their mind on gay marriage based on a short conversations with a real live gay people, but in which the data was faked by the graduate student co-author, Michael LaCour.

          It now appears that LaCour, whose pending appointment at Princeton based on his work is in doubt, made up more than just his data. He appears to have claimed on his CV a UCLA teaching award that doesn’t exist. I’ll let New York magazine pick up the climax of the story from here:

          I emailed LaCour for comment, and he asked if I’d hold off on publishing this until he released a planned statement about the whole affair. I told him I couldn’t unless the statement contained information pertinent to the nonexistent teaching award. Shortly thereafter, a browser extension I installed to notify me when his website changed pinged me. His website’s link to his CV, which he’d taken down down recently, is now back up. This version no longer lists the Emerging Instructor Award, and the entire “Original Grants & Data” section has been cut.

          LaCour then emailed me again: “I’m not sure which CV you are referring to, but the CV posted on my website has not had that information or the grants listed for at least a year.” As of 6:20 p.m., the CV with the false information can still be viewed on the UCLA website.

          I think it was the British politician Denis Healey who is credited with the First Law of Holes, which goes: If you’re in one, stop digging. LaCour apparently didn’t learn the First Law of Holes in his social science methodology classes.
          — — —
          Lots of lovely links embedded in original.

    3. Back in college, one of my Psych courses required me to create a “study”, get 10-20 people to fill it out, and then analyze it. IIRC, it was on job satisfaction. Part of the analysis showed that the 1 of my questions had no correlation to the resulting data. The instructor insisted that I eliminate the question from the results as it didn’t show anything. I resisted because I felt the question dealt directly with one of the premises of my hypothesis, and that it failing to correlate showed that flaw in the hypothesis and indicated that something outside my questions was impacting the respondents job satisfaction. I was told throw it out or else. That was one of the final nails in the coffin of my psych degree (along with my math degree – I’d already finished my CS and decided I was sick of school).

    4. “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.”

      Oh ghod, if only it was half. I can tell you with considerable authority that ALL the “scientific” medical literature on gun is completely and perniciously false.
      The considerable authority comes from having read ALL of it from 1965 to about 2000, and out of ALL of it, a couple hundred articles, I found six (6) that met even the most rudimentary standards for science.

      Canada passed an anti-gun law in 1991 and made outlaw a gun that I owned at the time, turning me into an instant criminal. Not only was my property outlawed, I was not to be compensated for its loss. Just turn it in to the cops for destruction, tough shit. That pissed me off.

      So I read all the studies. They’re all bullshit. Every. Single. One. If drugs were evaluated using that type of “evidence” we would all be dead.

      The National Academy of Science did a meta-analysis like mine some years ago. Despite having a panel packed with every sort of Leftist asshole they could scrounge up, they still found what I found. Its all bullshit.

      It is one of the greatest scientific scandals in medical history, still completely unreported, in fact deliberately and actively hidden by the media. It pales in comparison to the farce that is Global Warming though.

      Lying liars lie.

      1. See also the Wright Rossi Report Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime, and Violence in America multiple editions exist.

        In 1978, the Social and Demographic Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, received a grant from the National Institute of Justice to undertake a comprehensive review of the literature on weapons, crime, and violence in the United States. The purpose of the project is best described as a “sifting and winnowing” of the claims and counterclaims from both sides of the Great American Gun War—the perennial struggle in Ameri­can political life over what to do, if anything, about guns, about violence, and about crime. The review and analysis of the available studies consumed the better part of three years; the results of this work are contained in this volume.

        The intention of any review is to take stock of the available fund of knowledge in some topical area. Under the Gun is no different: our goal has been to glean from the volumes of previous studies those facts that, in our view, seem firmly and certainly established; those hypotheses that seem adequately supported by, or at least approximately consistent with, the best available research evidence; and those areas or topics about which, it seems, we need to know a lot more than we do. One of our major conclusions can be stated in advance: despite the large number of studies that have been done, many critically important questions have not been adequately researched, and some of them have not been examined at all.

        Much of the available research in the area of weapons and crime has been done by advocates for one or another policy position. As a consequence, the manifest intent of many “studies” is to persuade rather than to inform. We have tried to approach the topic from a purely agnostic point of view, treating as an open question what policies should be enacted with regard to gun, or crime, control. Thus, we have tried to judge each study on its own merits, on the basis of the routine standards normally applied to social-scientific research, and not on the basis of how effectively it argues for a particular policy direction. It would, of course, be presumptuous to claim that we have set aside all our own biases in conducting this study. Whether or not our treatment is fair and objective is clearly something for the reader, and not us, to decide.

  12. I have several sets of encyclopedias, one’s from the 70’s, another from the 60’s. I love looking up stuff that did not exist before the 80’s, but which we’re now told ‘has been around for ever’ (like palestinians, which were invented in the 80’s).
    Now whenever one of these new ‘old’ things comes about, I can pull out the books from before PC and see if it’s true or not, and than ask questions like ‘if this is so old, how come it’s not in any old books?’
    Yeah, people love me for that.
    But those who control history, control the future, after all.

    1. I have known the opinion to be expressed that suppression of such knowledge was a primary motivation for the Great Children’s Book Burning of 1985.

      But that is nonsense. The book burning truly was motivated by the desire to protect children from the hazards of lead pigments in the books kids devour. Elimination of inconvenient history was simply a happy bonus.

      1. There wasn’t a lot of science behind the destruction, so one has to wonder.

        1. Keeping in mind that they were destroying books that went well beyond those intended to be ‘consumed’ by children who still were likely to literally chew the pages…

    2. Older than the 1980s — the PLO was founded in 1964 and the term started getting pushed after the Six-Day War of 1967 — but yes.

      The invention of the ‘Palestinians’ — an ethnicity created out of whole cloth (the term used to mean a resident of the British Mandate, of any religion) — may have been the greatest propaganda coup of the 20th Century. It allowed the Israeli David against Arab Goliath struggle to be repackaged as Israeli Goliath against “Palestinian” Daoud.

      Here you can see a 1977 interview with a ‘Palestinian’ leader who openly states they are only calling themselves Palestinian leaders for tactical reasons:

      1. And here, as late as 2002, a fanatical Arab MK who later fled the country before he could be arrested on charges of spying for the Hezbollah

        When the interviewer asked him to comment on his ‘Palestinian’ identity, he answered angrily (in perfect Hebrew, it must be said):

        “There is no such thing as a Palestinian nation. That is a colonial invention. Only the [pan-]Arab nation is real.”

      2. The term “Palestinian” originally referred to the Jewish settlers. Evidence of this can be found in such literature as the novel Exodus, published in 1958 by Leon Uris. While the novel may be dismisable as pro-Israeli agitprop, its use of Palestinians for the Jews antedates the modern usage.

        1. Not just Jews — every subject of the British Mandate. And yes, I know older Jews here who still jokingly refer to themselves as “Palastina’im” 🙂

      3. I really, really recommend Joan Peters’ book, _From Time Immemorial_ about the history of what is now Israel, Jordan and southern Lebanon from 1850 or so to 1950. Her introduction is about the Arab PR war against Israel in 1846-48 and beyond, and hiding the enormous population displacements the Arabs forced on the Jews living in Southwest Asia and North Africa.

        1. The book is somewhat controversial but a must-read. Apropos “the other refugees”, (the 800,000+ Jews expelled or harassed out of Arab countries) check out this organization that is trying to raise awareness

          About the real estate that these Jews were stripped of, I’ve heard figures quoted as high as FIVE times present-day Israel.

    3. I have a set from the 1930s. Handy pocket size, somewhat smaller than a modern paperback book. They’re handy to read.

      Most historical events are the same… but the viewpoint of the description is often considerably different than modern encyclopedia.

    4. This is why the left has done their best to seize Wikipedia, because it’s easier to “fix” then Winston Smith editing newspaper articles.

      I think I told you my pre/post war dictionary story….

    5. I have an Encyclopedia Britannica atlas from 1954. It’s a wonderful book to just peruse, and has the interesting disclaimer that many of the maps and other information it contains are still of pre-WWII vintage, because things hadn’t yet settled down sufficiently for new information to have been obtained.

      Brings up all sorts of thoughts about speed and reliability of information gathering and transfer, “race conditions” in available knowledge at different locations, and the like.

  13. ” … you try being a male nurse … ”

    I believe this is a regional thing. Where we live, this is no longer considered exceptional. We’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals in the last 5 years. Male nurses are common. Our neuro and pediatrician have male nurse practitioners in the practices.

    On the other hand, where my parents live, I saw few male nurses in the hospital where my mother passed away.

    1. Male nurses are usually my favorite. I’m not taking anything away from the hard work and dedication of female nurses, but when I’m sick there is something very comforting about having a physically strong, huge (by comparison) person around. I feel like I’m being guarded by a warrior, who just also happens to know how to take my blood pressure.

      1. Oh yes. And in the rehab ward we spent a month in, big and strong have objective professional benefits.

        1. I had to chuckle.

          No offense intended to male members of the nursing profession but I keep thinking about the mention of “male nurses” in Piper’s Space Vikings.

          IE men who had the job of making sure a lunatic noble didn’t get into trouble. [Grin]

      2. I had a male nurse when I was suffering from the problems of being cold turkeyed off of Zoloft for 5 days in a British Health Care facility (Bermuda) by a bunch of British doctors that were unaware of Americans infatuation with psychotropic medicines. While he was the only nurse that was a man, I suspect the fact that he was from San Diego had a lot more to do with his superior understanding of the problem.

    2. I did one of my teachers flunked me for one semester because she didn’t think men should be nurses. That was 1.5 year into a 2 year RN degree. I wound up in electronics and computer technology while attending the local community college to get my GPA back up so I could get my student loans back.

    1. Being bored at my brother’s house at age 15, I found “1984” and curled up in a corner with it — then read the whole thing in one sitting. I remember I was shaking all over by the end — I’d never read anything this powerful and vivid in my life.
      For the longest time, one of my most treasured hardcopy books was a 1st US edition of 1984. Eventually, I gave it as a ‘special’ present.

      1. I’ve got a cousin who hates librarians. One of them looked at Watership Down and filed it as “bunnies=kid’s book”, so he read it at a tender age — too tender, in his eyes, to be reading 1984 with bunnies.

        1. Watership Down was my favorite book when I was eight years old. It all depends on the child. (My husband read 1984 in 1983—at the age of seven. How’s that for mucking with a worldview?)

          1. I think I was about nine or ten when I encountered Watership Down. And then I found that the university library I had privileges at thanks to Dad being a prof either owned or could get ILL (and I think was owned, I had it an awful long time) the book that Adams used as a reference on the habits of the European Rabbit.
            Since only European Rabbits are domesticated, I was a very happy little rabbit breeder. I did read Watership Down to pieces, but I do that to a lot of books.

        2. And _Tailchaser’s Song_ is a cute book about little kitties. Um, yeah no. Although it provided a nice term for Rada to use when someone calls her a “female dog.” (“Sorry, wrong species. The term is ‘felara’.”)

  14. “Anecdote isn’t data, but I know when I came in, there were three women for every man I met who’d just broken in. Not brave pioneering, not only because it had gone before, but because writing is a badly paid, indoor work that can be done while watching kids. That’s all. Or that can be done on the side of an academic career. And because it required years of unpaid work to break in, a luxury most men don’t have.”

    This is also very evident in the world of the arts. Look at the gender make-up of any art class, studio class, whatever, and you’ll find mostly female students. I’m not talking about the ateliers or the art colleges that are mostly populated by kids out of highschool, I mean the “three day portrait class” offered by visiting big name artists. Many of the students are married and supported by husbands who work other jobs, or retired and supported by husbands who work other jobs, or simply older women who have another job and are using art work as a creative outlet.

  15. Also, wasn’t science fiction invented by a woman? Anyone who rewrites history to leave out Mary Shelley really doesn’t want to recognize the accomplishments of women at all.

    1. Aside from the issue whether or not Frankenstein was Science-Fiction, Fantasy or Horror, I’ve noticed the anti-Puppies constantly trotting out the “SF was invented by a woman, you evil Puppies!” as if it were a debate-ending trump card.

        1. Yup. Written today, it would be Social Justice fantasy – substitute your favorite “victim class” for the monster.

          In context of the time, it was “hard” science fiction, of the social conscience variety – which is a very different thing from Social Justice.

          SC type stories are questions about whether we should jump off that cliff just because it is there. (Good ones make the point that it depends – if an enraged water buffalo is chasing you, that jump could be VERY reasonable.)

      1. For Frankenstein to count as the “first” science-fiction novel, you’d have to qualify it as the first English-language novel that sort of counts as science fiction that people have heard of and is still read. Frankenstein is more Gothic horror than SF if you want to split hairs, and I’ve heard it said that the critic who claimed it was the first SF novel (Brian Aldiss?) was probably thinking more of the 1930s movie version with a well-equipped electrical laboratory than the actual book. Science fiction was more discovered than invented about the time the Industrial Revolution set in, probably more than once as authors may not have read what went before and had to independently work out the basic principles each time, and there are a number of European novels that qualify as science fiction to a greater or lesser degree that predate Frankenstein by some years. Julius von Voss’ INI: A NOVEL FROM THE 21ST CENTURY is in every way, shape, and form a science-fiction novel set in the 2090s, and that’s 1810. There are German novels written in the 1790s set hundreds of years in the future that have a very good understanding that the future will be different from the past with continued technological advancement and social changes. Saying Frankenstein was the “first” SF novel may be fashionable, but there were others before it.

        1. I’ll let Wiki tell it, although I’ve read it asserted elsewhere:

          Cyrano de Bergerac’s works L’Autre Monde: ou les États et Empires de la Lune (Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon) (published posthumously, 1657) and Les États et Empires du Soleil (The States and Empires of the Sun) (1662) are classics of early modern science fiction. In the former, Cyrano travels to the moon using rockets powered by firecrackers and meets the inhabitants. The moon-men have four legs, musical voices, and firearms that shoot game and cook it.
          His mixture of science and romance in the last two works furnished a model for many subsequent writers, among them Jonathan Swift, Edgar Allan Poe and probably Voltaire.[citation needed] Corneille and Molière freely borrowed ideas from Le Pédant joué.

          Even before that we can find Thomas More’s novel Utopia in 1516, although it is possible that actually predates the “creation” of the novel as we now know it.

          Then we find those SF graphic novels in those French, Romanian and Indonesian caves, probably more than 30K years ago …

            1. the writing someone else’s love letters bit is true, too. Not the rest, including, I believe, the era.

          1. There’s a whole class of utopian and fake country novels out there. They are pretty much all direct descendants of the “magical land of the week” plotline in medieval romance. Like the romances about Amadis de Gaul who went everywhere. California, land of Amazons, griffins, and heat, was popular enough to get the Spanish explorers to name a real place after it.

              1. It’s based on “Caliphate.” Like the legendary Baghdad of The Arabian Nights is full of wonders that historical Baghdad never had.

        2. Well, quite true. First English novel, not first in any language.

          But see above – you have to judge whether it is science fiction by the science (and reasonable extrapolation therefrom) at the time. “From the Earth to the Moon” or “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” published TODAY would be the sheerest works of fantasy. Actually, rather poor ones, to be honest.

      2. Let me guess, they fail to notice people responding with:

      1. That would be the tale of JoJo telling the tribe about the special pointy stick that was hurled at the buffalo instead of running up and clubbing it to death.

        1. Sorry, that was fantasy.

          Bad fantasy, at that, as it was well known that the tribe killed buffalo by stampeding them over a cliff or into a morass. Everyone knew there was no way to kill buffalo with sticks.

          This knowledge has come down to our modern day in the song You can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd.

    2. I vote we give the “First Horror” novel award to The Yellow Wallpaper, and “First SciFi” award to Frank. That leaves fantasy open …

    1. Jeezum, I was thinking I might be going nuts– I could not find the difference in “Display=display” beyond the capital D!

  16. Other things, like a recent college graduate 20 years ago assuring us there had always been famous women fighters, women in the ranks of the fighting men, since always.

    This reminds me of something that I’ve seen popping up on Facebook recently. Supposedly, some study or other showed that half of Viking warriors were women (Ok, I did a search. First results came back for articles saying basically, “Not so fast. Those corpses weren’t warriors, they were settlers“.)

    And of these things, new narratives are born.

    1. It is as if we are playing the Telephone Game with History. And the internet makes the problem vastly worse. The fact checkers have left the building (although the last forty years or so they were admittedly mostly out to a three-martini lunch.)

    2. That’s a common problem with cultures that actually did allow women to fight. You see arguments over how many of the combatants were women. Sassanid Persia is another culture that is believed to have allowed women to fight, and there have been arguments over just how common it was.

      The fact that some of those arguments are likely politically motivated, and everyone knows it, doesn’t help things.

      1. Ugh. And the sensible question of “allow? Who the heck is going to stop women from fighting if the majority of the able bodied men are GONE for a significant portion of the time there may be a threat?” gets ignored.

        Work gets done by those best able to do it; #1 qualification for ability to do it is BEING THERE….

      2. Funny how we’ve never seen any of these “We have always fought” proponents agitating for the draft to be extended to women…

      1. The thickness of their skulls prevents explosions, so they instead suffer core meltdowns.

      2. Womyn don’t start wars, see, they fight only in defense. And when they do, they out fight every man around, because Buffy and River.

        1. They don’t start wars? What exactly d’ya think “Do these pants make my butt look fat?” is, besides a declaration of hostilities?

          1. I’ve always maintained there is a second correct answer to that question, and that is, “Oh, YES.”

            Of course, that depends upon pre-agreed upon personal likes, but still…

              1. The numerous male progeny of my maternal ancestor are unable to negate that statement.

          2. Depends on the relationship…. I have had to ask my husband variations of that at times, because I really can’t objectively tell and I don’t want to embarrass myself. I know that if he tells me I should change X or Y for a better effect, I can trust that– and if he tells me I look fine, that there’s nothing I can do to improve the situation, so carry on.

            1. Ah, but that means that YOU have been able to convince him that an honest answer will not result in such activities as sleeping in the doghouse/on the couch, or having to ply you with flowers, groveling on his knees, in order to placate you, or any other demeaning behaviors designed to demonstrate who really wears the pants in the family. 🙂

              1. True, if only because he knows I’m clueless and that it’d hurt me a lot more to find out from a Socially Malicious relative than from him.

              2. I enjoy a mild popularity with my female friends who know that if they ask me a “sh–t test” question they will get a truthful, literal-minded, and objective answer (and I have a good eye for form, color and harmonious design.)

                It’s kind of useful for weeding out women who I wouldn’t want to be my friend, but I might find out too late after making some kind of emotional investment, too.

          3. With apologies to RAH, “No, dear, it’s the Twinkies tm”, is only a momentary pleasure, and it’s bound to put you sleeping on the couch.

        2. Puts me in mind of the mockery that ensued when Kristin Kreuk was cast to play the character Chun-Li. Chun-Li, one of the characters from the Street Fighter video game series, is a kick specialist, and looks like it (her fan nickname is “Thunder Thighs”). Kreuk… does not.

          1. I had to google, as I do not grok the celery. Celerity. -Celebrity- that’s the one.

            This is why I stay out of certain forms of fandom. *headdesk*

        3. Interestingly, one of the authors (David Weber) who created a TRULY compelling military heroine — Honor Harrington — jocularly describes himself as “slightly to the right of Genghis Khan”.

      3. Ever notice how those who declare women are naturally peaceful and nurturing do so in a most unpeaceful and non-nurturing way?

        1. IIRC, most Norse women only fought because Norse feudin’ didn’t believe in sparing women and children. Occasionally women fought also as “shieldmaidens” when they were young, but most women who fought were “avengers,” because there weren’t any men of age to do the job. Avengers dressed like men and had the legal rights and responsibilities of men, to make sure people knew it was fair to fight them, and their job was to continue the feud and kill the man who killed their daddy. (Or whatever other relatives had been killed.) Occasionally they took a little longer to get the job done, and thus lived most of their lives as legal males.

  17. “my fandom is Disney comics, okay? You should be happy I don’t cos-play”

    Image of Sarah as Magica De Spell…

    1. Considering she claims to be an odd duck I’d figure she would wear a sailor shirt and prosthetic bill.

    2. We can make Disney comics cosplay work. What you want are the old Mickey Mouse westerns.

      You’ll need: Mouse ears, a light colored men’s shirt, a tan vest, a red bandanna (kerchief), brown or tan dungarees (unless you want to go whole-hog and track down / make a pair of chaps) and cowboy books (or reasonable facsimile thereof.

      Easy-peasy, kiddo 🙂 You will win Most Obscure CosPlay ever, beating me out for my time-travelling mixed-martial artist from the future.

  18. The very people at the pinnacle of our system of rewards ridicule the very virtues that allowed them or their ancestors to get there – thrift, hard work, drive, commitment – as bourgeois. Nostalgie de la Boue? Baby, we have a hard on for the dysfunctional, the crazy, the broken.

    This isn’t really new, though. For instance, in Jane Austen’s books we can see the attitudes of the landed gentry toward those who earn their living via a trade. That isn’t to say that the landed gentry of the period were automatically complete layabouts. But there was an attitude there on the part of many of them.

          1. Ah! That’s the temporal torus. It migrates, so you never know when you’ll meet yourself coming the other way.

  19. In fairness to the Conspiracy Theorists, the idea that our current President (and his administration) is a long-term deep shadow operative of an inimical adversary of the United States is rather more credible than the theory he is an ivory-tower intellectual completely out of his depth. Occam’s Razor completely endorses the first thesis because the idea anybody could be so manifestly incompetent and yet be elected twice is frankly incredible.

    Forget taking over the US Healthcare system, forget the acting as more of an agent of the Ayatollah’s than the Ayatollah’s own foreign minister, forget handing control of the economy to irresponsible EPA bureaucrats, ignore the wholesale importation of unidentifiable immigrants and granting them effectively full citizenship (while stripping conservative, aka TEA Party Americans of their rights) — put all of that aside. What quality and/or achievement of this man makes anybody think he could supervise a three-man ditch-digging detail or manage the stop/slow sign crew at a road re-pavement site?

    1. I tend more towards the home-grown inimical adversary (with, of course, some input from the foreign ones here and there) theory, myself.

    2. Well now, there are an awful lot of potential voters with their hands out right now. The liberal progressive culture has infested our media, and our so called educational system. And most folks are too busy trying to get through the day to invest the time and energy to become informed at to all the issues behind the pap served up on the nightly news.
      Our doofus in charge was a red diaper baby, raised under Islam while with his stepfather in Indonesia, then run through a series of high end Ivy League schools with a golden affirmative action free pass.
      He’s articulate when reading from a teleprompter, cleans up well, hates traditional American values so is the darling of the left. What’s not to like?
      You want competency? Sorry, anyone truly competent to run this country is far too smart to ever even attempt a run. Far easier to remain in the shadows, make a bunchaton of money, and run things by pulling the strings of folks like pretty boy.

    3. My pet conspiracy theory is that Big O was slated to be assassinated, since the object was to get the unelectable Biden into office, but O worked out so well for ’em that there was no point making a martyr.

        1. That scenario is very likely why there have been a steady flow of stories about security breaches at the White House, and incompetence at the Secret Service.

  20. Maybe it’s some kind of “idealize the outsiders” thing?

    That would explain why it tends to evaporate on contact with reality– the idealized fans are cool, the actual ones……

  21. Cue St. Louis University removing a statue from public display as “racist.”

    It’s actually a statue of September 18, 1839. Two Iroquois Catholic furtrading lay evangelizing badasses, Young Ignace and Pierre Gautier, had walked all the way from Montana to announce that their Iroquois furtrading group had fully evangelized the Nez Perce and Flathead tribes, and could they please get a freaking Blackrobe to come and baptize everybody and say Mass? And young Fr. DeSmet is saying, Heck yeah!

    September 18, 1839. The previous four or five tribal delegations had walked all that way and gotten nothing but fur money and a couple kids baptized, and the one the previous year had gotten martyred by the Lakota on the way back. But there they are.

    It’s a statue of pure badassery and Christian souls on fire, setting Fr. DeSmet on fire. And the special snowflakes announce that it’s racist, and get other people to believe them.

    I sent a strong letter to the statue’s new home, opining that they’d better point out the Native American badassery and the lay Catholic initiative.

    1. It’s not an association I’d usually make, but maybe part of why these guys have such a hate for Catholicism is the same reason they have to make strange versions of the tribes and the Japanese to “appreciate”?

      Recently read a retelling of the hidden Catholics in Japan when they heard rumors that the newly allowed foreign church had a statue of Mary, which would mean the preachers were Catholic; tearing up at the thought of it….. They were very familiar with truly brutal cultures– and risked their lives to embrace the Church.

    2. That sounds like an amazing story. Can you recommend a good history? (I can do the research, but it saves time if someone can point out a good read)

      For example, “Tomahawk and Cross” is the book I’d recommend about my faith’s adventures in this line.

  22. You don’t “believe” in conspiracies? Then explain the dotcom IPOs. The IPO of an overvalued stock requires the secret cooperation of investment bankers, lawyers, company owners, and selected FTC clerks, to extract the maximum amount of money from unsuspecting investors. Doesn’t that fit the definition?

    Or take the acquisition of a datacenter by a large company, say Google. To acquire the necessary land parcel (often divided in several lots owned by different people), the company often create some shell real estate companies whose only function is to buy the parcels over the course of several months, without appearing coordinated. This prevents the land owners to yell “Hey, guys, Google is trying to buy my land and yours to build a very expensive computer farm! Time to raise our prices!” So these shell companies are, by definition, conspiring against the land owners.

    1. Or all the secret agreements and organization to exploit prostitutes, murder witnesses, or defraud investors. Obnoxious comment about Libertarians here.

  23. Notice that Kris Rusch has just started making anything previous on women in SFF incomplete if not obsolete. See also all the links: taking of course salt along the journey as it properly points out that Hilaire Belloc has been counted among women writers.

  24. When I talk to people who don’t obsessively follow politics and current events, I am truly amazed at the stuff they know that isn’t true because they read it in the newspaper or saw it on TV. Think George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. Most of the U.S. population would say “True” to the following statement- “The police ordered George Zimmerman to stay in his car.” It’s a patently false statment.

    And how many people do you know who believe Micahel Brown had his hands up in the air shouting “Don’t Shoot!”? More then you want to believe, probably. Took my wife and I days of showing my daughter other news then what she heard from her friends before she believed the truth.

    And then we can go into things about 9/11 that are true that have disappeared down the rabbit hole. I’ve brought them up in past posts. One thing I haven’t mentioned before-the MSM consistentenlly fails to show video of people junping to their deaths becasue “it’s too traumatic” or “too polarizing”. Not from conspiracy, but from all of the editors having the same mindset.

    And of course, there’s this sudden obsession with liberals that there is a “hate speech” exception to the first amendment, when there isn’t. Liberals realy, really hate the first amendement since conservatives discovered the internet. If they had their way, the comment section of this blog, if not the blog itself, would be shut down as being dangerous to public order and disciplne.

  25. “When four men sit down to talk conspiracy, three are government agents and the fourth is a fool.”
    — Russian proverb

  26. You don’t cos-play? The Evil Princess of Evil would make a Truly EVILE Cruella de Ville!

  27. Just watched Kung Fury on Moe Lane. I think I have a new Hugo nominee for next year.

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