Why We Must Fight. By Tom Knighton

*This is Sarah:  Sorry this is late.  My fail proof system to get posts up… failed, so I had to hack it this morning.  I’m also not doing anything about Paris until Tuesday at least, though my main thing is “if people say they want to kill you, believe them” which would seem really obvious but our enlightened leaders routinely fail to get.  I got the news in dollops two hours into my vacation, on texts from older son.  I’m still a little in shock.  More when I get back home.*

Why We Must Fight.

By Tom Knighton

Just how screwed up is the United States? Well, based on some of what I see out and about these days, pretty screwed up. You see, the things that make this country great, things like free speech? A lot of very loud people seem to be offended by the concept of freedom. It’s pretty pathetic.

By now, I suspect many of you have seen the video from Yale University where a student is shouting down someone who is essentially defending the First Amendment. The screeching student tries to make some argument about Yale being her “home”.

I watched the video as intently as I could. I couldn’t get too intent because my laptop wouldn’t survive being forced to do a Frisbee impression, but I did the best I could. While watching it, I developed a theory about why there was this bizarre effort to describe a college as “home”.

You see, I believe it’s about rationalization.

When you consider a particular space that you have no authority over as your “home”, then you can justify lashing out against anyone who dares to disagree with you. It allows one’s mind to justify anything you do, because you’re defending your own turf.

Defending turf is a timeless custom among humans. When Ogg and Ugg threw down over who the cave belonged to, they were battling over turf. Most wars throughout history, up until recently anyways, were about turf.

The idea of turf being sacred is almost encoded in our DNA.

So, when the screeching student prattles on about “home”, it’s about defining her turf. Oh, she shares it with others of her tribe, but that’s not an issue. Her tribe has her back on such things. It’s the defining characteristic of their tribe.

Unfortunately for them, they fail to notice that another characteristic of their tribe is to abuse the English language badly enough that it probably needs a shelter.

Yale University, or any other college for that matter, is not now nor will ever be “home” for students. It’s a school. Yes, they live there for their time at school, but it’s not home. The entire business model for colleges is based around students staying there for a few years and then kicking them down the road so they can play adult.

It’s not home. It’s a place to become educated.

That’s irrelevant to the tribe, however. They have decided it’s home, and any disagreement is an invasion into their home. Just as any of us would do with a home invader, they seek to stamp out the life of the intruder. For people like our screeching student, that invader is freedom of speech.

I believe that this is what has lead to the idea of “safe spaces” we have all come to know and mock. Rather than confront ideas with their own ideas, they seek to push away the unpleasantness. They don’t want to be challenged, so they hide away in their own caves and hope the evil “other” goes away.

Don’t believe me? Then please, tell me why there was a problem with the World Fantasy Awards having a bust of H.P. Lovecraft?

Was Lovecraft a racist? Looks like. Much like most other people from that day and age did. However, rather than just have the conversation about the backward thinking of his day, the effort has been to purge him. Couple that with at least one notable author arguing that aspiring writers don’t really need to read the classics, and you see an effort that would effectively remove H.P. Lovecraft from the collective memories of fans.

Now, realistically, this isn’t some grand conspiracy to remove Lovecraft. What it is are independent efforts that have a cumulative effect that amounts to the same thing.

It’s not just in our little corner of the world either.

Look at the University of Missouri. Yes, I understand there are some very real problems there. I’m sure that there might be some legitimate grievances in there somewhere. The problem is, we don’t care. Any ability to give a flying flip ended the moment a bunch of privileged white college kids started pushing an Asian student around for the crime of exercising his First Amendment rights as a member of the press (he was on a freelance assignment with ESPN).

Even more ridiculous was that one of the ringleaders was a staff member with a background in communications who held a courtesy appointment with the journalism school. Rather than recognize individual rights, she looked to defend the “safe space” at any and all costs. Tim Tai, the photographer that was assaulted—and yes, he was assaulted—was told to “respect the students”. Even his status as a student was irrelevant to the Snowflake Brigade. After all, it was home and his rights didn’t matter.

Recently, a buddy of mine on Facebook posted an opinion. Nothing unusual for social media, right? Well, a friend of his passed word that a third party wanted my buddy’s friend to un-friend him. Why? So this Special Snowflake wouldn’t have to see my friend’s opinion in her feed.

Sunshine, that’s what the “hide post” feature is for.   If it’s bad enough, then the “block” feature works well too.

For better or worse, there is a generation of people who think their feelings are all that should matter. They’re not open for discussion, they’re not open for debate, and they’re not open for much of anything other than complete and total agreement.

They’re the people who rules-lawyer the crap out of things and try and get people thrown in Facebook jail at the slightest provocation. You use their name? BLAM! Reported and a 12 hour ban. You said something to them on Twitter? BLAM! Now you get your account shut down.

Not everyone on the left falls into this category. Thankfully, there are some on the left who are just as disgusted by this behavior as we are. In part, they have enough sense to know that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Of course, it’s so good that many of us are starting to play by their rules too.

For a while, right-leaning authors tended to let any comment come through on their blogs with the exception of spam and trolls while many left-leaning authors moderated the snot out of their comments. However, more and more of us aren’t willing to allow the hate to flow toward our blogs while the other side fails to reciprocate.

Now, some of us simply allow comments we happen to like. I do it on my own blog, after all.

We’re setting up our own “safe spaces” of sort, thanks to secret groups on Facebook. However, those similarities are about where it ends.

You see, we don’t want liberal thought purged from our world. OK, that’s not really true, but the difference is how we want it gone.

Leftist ideologues tend to want everyone who disagrees with them silenced or, even better, forced to agree with them through indoctrination programs. Disagreeing is a sin, and you will not only will sin no more, you will think in such a way as to never think sinfully. Don’t believe me? What about the baker who refused to bake a cake for a same sex wedding? He not only has to make cakes for same sex weddings, but he was forced to undergo “sensitivity training”. He couldn’t be permitted to think something unapproved.

Ah, yes. Orwell would be proud.

Honestly, is it any surprise that many of us are withdrawing from the more general society? Of course some of us are.

Whether we should or not would be an interesting topic for debate, but I ask you to not judge those who have withdrawn from the field too harshly. The wars can be brutal, and some just can’t fight any longer. To be an effective warrior, it takes a lot of time. There’s a lot of reading, a lot of watching, and a lot of understanding required. Some people just don’t have it in them any longer.

However, those who can still fight need to do so. Otherwise, the “safe spaces” will grow and grow. Screeching students will multiply exponentially. Before we know it, they will silence us. By force.

Imagine a world where a tasteless choice in a Halloween costume is deemed criminal? Imagine if you could lose your job for your Native American costume, or whatever else you opt to wear. For Halloween.

There are people who actively dream of that power.

So, as a result, we must fight. Even if we have to get louder than the screeching students, we must fight. The future is worth it.

178 thoughts on “Why We Must Fight. By Tom Knighton

  1. No offense intended Tom, but I can’t “Like” your article because those sh*t-heads piss me off too much.

    These sh*t-heads are now screaming about the events in Paris “taking attention away from them”.

    Absolute Morons. [Frown]

      1. As I said elsewhere, I think it’s because there haven’t been recent enough uses of fire hoses, attack dogs, nightsticks, and “fell down the stairs repeatedly at the jail”.

        Not that I endorse those actions (well, mostly… God’s mercy is infinite, but mine has some pretty practical limitations), and I wouldn’t have back then even if I was alive in the 60s, but these privileged little turds (with apologies to excrement everywhere) don’t have a single clue about what real suffering is because they’ve never had any.

        1. There are legitimate grounds to be concerned about members of the Missouri State Democratic Party.

        2. My favorite example of ludicrousness from the Mizzou fiasco – for certain values of “favorite” – was the rich kid who went on a hunger strike to protest his “oppression.” The kid’s dad is a corporate VP of Union Pacific Railroad who made $8.4 million in salary and compensation last year; his family has a net worth of over $20 million dollars.

          We should all be so “oppressed.” Gah.

      2. Oklahoma and Arkansas are next to Missouri. A hundred years ago, Democrats in Oklahoma and Arkansas respectively killed three hundred and a hundred minorities. The continuity of the two state Parties, and the love modern Democrats have for Wilson make the presence of Democrats in Missouri deeply troubling. Persons of Democratness endorse attitudes and thinking about race that are highly problematic.

      3. I am not surprised — their Universes have only sufficient mass for a single center, after all, so everything is about them.

        We are discussing a cultural faction which believes it has said something intelligent by one of its intellectual icons (Ms Magazine) Tweeting “While ISIS endorses rape, American college administrations similarly facilitate the rape of women on campuses” after all. (In fairness, that was an expression of such profound stupidity that even Salon challenged it.)

        Against such willful stupidity what can one do?

        1. (In fairness, that was an expression of such profound stupidity that even Salon challenged it.)

          Wow. Just… wow.

        2. Well, when you consider how they bend over backwards for Muslims, there actually IS a certain trace amount of logic in that statement. Just not the kind the left likes.

        3. Quote them far and wide!
          See, we want them to keep talking so they convict themselves out of their own mouths.

    1. You won’t like it?

      Then I’m going to have an emotional breakdown and…oh wait, I’m not a pathetic pencilneck who has let their emotions control everything about them. I’m good. 🙂

    2. You know what actually concerns me about that, Drak? Have you ever had two toddlers together when one starts a tantrum, then the other one – and then the first one just gets worse?

      We already know that there were Palestinian “advisers” in Ferguson – what “advisers” might be running around Mizzou and the other places right now?

      What might they do to achieve an even bigger tantrum to wrench attention back “where it belongs?”

      1. $HOUSEMATE has dubbed such a thing (usually at restaurants) a “baby laser” one sets another, sets off another and the mess feeds back on itself and is ended only by exit or exhaustion.

        As for attention seeking, it requires a measured response. Note that kiloton and megaton are measures.

      2. Toddlers learn that “getting the adult’s attention” may not be a good thing. Those “toddlers” might do something terrible and “get attention” that they won’t like. [Frowning Because What They Do Might Really Be Terrible]

        1. Because P. J. O’Rourke.

          HT: Power Line’s powerlineblog[DOT]com/archives/2015/11/the-week-in-pictures-missouri-loves-company-edition.php

          1. Do they? There seems to be a lot of Toddlers in these Campus “Protests”. [Frown]

    3. These sh*t-heads are now screaming about the events in Paris “taking attention away from them”.

      Yes. [Shakes head sadly]

      These poor souls have no idea that they are missing altogether the grave injustice that has been perpetrated upon them. It is a terrible thing to be so poorly educated.

        1. At the rate they’re going, and affecting public policy — “Paris” may well come to them without our persuasion.
          On-campus concealed carry might be the only thing to discourage that…

    4. … screaming about the events in Paris “taking attention away from them”.

      There’s some indication that this screaming is coming from outside “help”, not actual students.

      1. I think that it will turn out “outside ‘help'” has been more deeply involved in many recent events on various campuses – moreso than “student ‘leaders'” or “faculty ‘mentors'” would like to be known.

        1. We already know that the Ferguson Protesters were paid hired* to show up. We also know that many a Union picket line is staffed with day labor, not Union members.

          Not that it gets in the MSM news feeds. Imagine the coverage if it turned out that even one T.E.A. Partier had been paid to show up.

          *Oh heck, just put “ferguson protesters paid” in your search engine and you’ll get over 400K hits.

          1. That’s why that “professor” was so insistent that the reporter videoing the protest be stopped. She was afraid that someone would run a facial recognition scan of the tapes and compare it to the Ferguson protests and see a LOT of familiar faces…..

  2. Tom, you mention something here that has worried me for a bit: a lot of right-leaning forums are at risk of becoming the same kind of echo chambers of the left. I see many comment threads ( speaking in general, not specific ) that shun and mock the leftist poster without actually addressing their words, just as the righties get unceremoniously banned on places like HuffPo and Salon. It’s very easy to fall into that trap if you’re not vigilant.

    1. It does happen, unfortunately. However, the problem has been that the lefties get to espouse their thoughts on their sites and our sites. As a result, they have an even bigger platform.

      The fear is that emotional claims and cries of “fairness” seem to resonate with people, so why let them do it on our sites too?

      Luckily, it’s not anything to really worry about. Bad ideas are bad ideas and CAN be beaten.

      1. Absolutely, they can be beaten, thankfully. One of my favorite movies, “words and ideas can change the world.” They can also destroy it for those that want to abuse them. Technically bad people can be beaten too, but I’d prefer not to face A&B charges.

        All this attention getting showered on the Mizzou “problem” is so unfortunate because it could indeed have a point. It would be a great thing if a football team went on strike against actual persecution and racism. Unfortunately the whole thing is based on lies and willful misperceptions that reinforce a false narrative. Sad because this could actually be a tool for a lot of good, but now they’ve cried wolf ( resisting the urge for a Wolfe pun here ) and if there’s ever a situation that’s an actual problem, it will likely get ignored.

    2. That already happens partially by the sites you choose to visit.
      Do you go to File666 like you come to Sarah’s? Read Drudge and Vox daily? Should Instapundit have an ultra-Progressive/Socialist (same thing really) to counter the effect of Sarah’s posts there? Do I have to read the books recommended by Tor like I do the ones I see here?
      (OK, I’ve beaten the point deep into the ground.)

      Self-selection is unfortunately part of the human condition, you have to have a ‘tribe’ to fit into. Even here, where the thoughts, ideas, and speech are pretty free-wheeling, I think there is still something of a self-selection.

      Elsewhere, I have been in a fascinating week-long discussion with a trans gendered lady about the Houston Bathroom Vote. It started off in the usual manner, she called me ‘stupid’, I called her a ‘half-wit’; but in addition to my insult, I honestly tried to answer the question she had associated with the stupid comment. We have been having a insult-obscenity free conversation, that I know has help me understand her point, and I believe she understands my point better as well. What we both discovered is, of course, that the other one is human, and if we don’t agree, at least we better understand where we are coming from.

      But you are right. Such occurrences are rare. I have been enjoying it because it is indeed so seldom that you can find a person from the ‘other tribe’ willing to discuss each other’s biases and try to at least accept them if you can’t agree.

      1. There is an excellent reason for eschewing intellectual discussions with blithering idiots.

        Admittedly, there is money to be made from the office pool on how many posts it takes to get called raaaaacist, sexissssst and an all ’round horrible person.

      2. I often throw (figuratively, despite temptation) Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind” at the more educable of my liberal friends. It’s one of the better gap-bridgers I’ve seen. And the fact that 1) he’s an avowed liberal and 2) by his measurements us evil conservatives are more empathetic amuses the hell out of me.

      3. Fair point, if you only frequent places that are acting like echo changes, it’s at least partly your fault for choosing to go to those places.

        I too have had infrequent discussions with the “enemy” that were both civil and productive. I would like to have more of them. I just have very little patience for seeking them out due to the headaches the other 99 asinine ones cause.

        Me – “That idea actually doesn’t make sense because of A, B, and C.”
        Them – “Uh huh, you’re just ignorant.”
        “Care to explain why you think I’m ignorant?”
        “It’s so obvious. If you don’t get it you must be really stupid.”
        “So you can’t actually explain or properly argue your point? Right, well I’m not wasting time on someone who just wants to throw insults.”
        “Yeah, if I were you I’d run away from a losing argument too! Good luck in life!”

        I try to stay optimistic, but when 99.9% of my disagreements come off like that, I don’t have much desire to find those who are reasonable.

        1. True. The reason I am fascinated is that it is so rare. I try, like this one, to give one rational response to some taunting question, and if all I get back is more taunting, I usually tell them “Get back under your bridge, Troll”

      4. ” Even here, where the thoughts, ideas, and speech are pretty free-wheeling, I think there is still something of a self-selection.” – Undoubtedly true. However, self-selecting for people with a rational point to make doesn’t seem like a bad idea, to me…

  3. Noticing a disturbing trend from the far Left. Arthur Chu has started complaining that free speech is just a tool of white liberals that gets black people killed (At least that’s what I gleaned, he’s incoherently stupid). And the Mizzou protestors are now complaining about free speech. I get the feeling really soon that it’s going to be “time for a national conversation on revoking the First Amendment”. You know, for your own good.

    1. And what these people never realize is that if not for the First Amendment, the abolitionist movement would have never gotten off the ground, nor the Civil Rights Movement, or women’s suffrage, etc.

      All of those movements depended on the First Amendment in order to work. Without that, things would have gotten even uglier than they did.

      1. Lincoln himself upon first meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe is reported to have said, “so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”
        For our foreign friends and those recent graduates of the American educational system, Ms. Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel which did much to turn national opinion against the practice of slavery.

        1. The sad part of the current leftist on campus is that they try to ‘ban’ such literature because it uses terms that are considered offensive today. After all, most of them think Lincoln was a Democrat.
          The other thing amazing is that they use the slur “Uncle Tom” for any black male that dares to defy being put in their place by their progressive betters.
          I think progressives discount the past because they don’t want their minions to realize how far they have really already progressed. Of course there was also prohibition, that didn’t work out too well for the First Amendment supporters.

          1. Even better: Uncle Tom is killed in the novel for helping other slaves escape.

            It wasn’t until the bastardized stage versions were shown in the (Democrat) south that Uncle Tom became a knee bending yessir caricature.

            I also recall a CNN commentator calling a sitting Supreme Court justice “Uncle Thomas” and then claiming he didn’t know there was any racist component to it.

            1. Shot: “I also recall a CNN commentator calling a sitting Supreme Court justice “Uncle Thomas” and then claiming he didn’t know there was any racist component to it.”

              Chaser: “SJWs Always Lie.”

      1. Those that want it revoked always think they’re in the brave minority speaking truth to power, etc. But the 1st Amendment is protection for such minorities – without it, they WILL be shut up, one way or another.

    2. I get the feeling really soon that it’s going to be “time for a national conversation on revoking the First Amendment”. You know, for your own good.

      People like that should be locked up. And any media that lets them make their argument should be shut down and their assets confiscated.

      (In cyberspace, no one can see you smirk)

  4. Um, Block does NOT work for “third-party” posts. I keep blocking SJW pages, but this does not make their posts a “friend” keeps “sharing” go away.

  5. If you want to know what is going on look at the movies “Wild in the Street” and “Logans Run”. We’re back to the middle 60s again. The rhetoric sounds like the Yippies and SNIC.

    1. Well, if we’re headed back to the early ’70s again, can we at least get Dirty Harry and Paul Kersey back too?

      1. Saw all the “Death Wish” movies back when they first came out. It was always puzzling to me how they seemed to consider Kersey’s actions as somehow unusual. To me they made perfect sense.

        1. The movie I’m thinking of right now is The Omega Man. Heston vs. mutant hippies.

                    1. You folks ought to drop “Hippie” from your list of epithets as you obviously are pig-ignorant about the historical hippies. Sure, some of them were dumpster – diving in the Haight, while addicted to meth, but more of us were exploring alternative energy, innovative shelter (think geodesic domes), life styles and generally being constructive members of the communities in which we lived. The ones I knew and lived with bathed daily, smelled of Dr, Bronner’s soap and had jobs, often very creative ones.
                      I don’t know what to call the current crop of retarded drop-outs, but they sure as hell are not Hippies.

                    2. Speaking of things people are pig-ignorant about, you should check out “humor”.

                      Frankly, I’m all out of flips to give regarding people being bent out of shape over things.

                    3. Sorry, but if they had a job and/or were “generally being constructive members of the communities in which we lived” they were not considered hippies. No matter how long their hair was, or whether the women bothered with bras or not.

                    4. Sorry Bearcat, maybe your hippies didn’t have jobs, but ours did, and my wife and I were hippies,with jobs, with degrees, with guns for that matter. With long hair, living in the woods in geodesic domes hippies. Reading Heinlein and Scientific American building boats and early hang-glider hippies.
                      The chronology is roughly, bohemian, beatnik, hippie. Yuppies came along when the straights decided being hip was cool and adopted long hair, bell bottoms and patchulie. You don’t get to define hippies. I don’t know what the dingleberrys you think are hippies should be called, but they sure as hell are not authentic 1960’s hippies.

                    5. So, he doesn’t get to define “hippy”, but you do?

                      But whatever. I lost my cool with an earlier comment, and on this note I’m bowing out of the discussion with a genuine apology for getting bent out of shape. It was a joke, and nothing else, and it’s really not worth getting into a pissing match over. It’s been one of those weeks.

                    6. When I was going to school in the 60’s, the ones you’re talking about were called “Yippies”, not be be confused with real hippies I guess.

            1. “Mutants”




              “Mutant hippies”

              “I’ll buy that.”

              (With apologies to Foglio)

          1. I’m a University of Missouri alumnus. The Heston movie I’ve been sadly reminded of all week – after watching the mutant hippie portion of the student body, supported by radicalized professors like the feminazi Melissa Click, half the underperforming football team and the never-to-be-sufficiently-damned mainstream media – is the ending of “Planet Of The Apes.”

            “Goddam you, you blew it up. You blew it ALL up.”

            They’ve nuked the school’s reputation. I don’t see how MU recovers its credibility after all this. The lefties piss and whine about alleged racial injustice and segregation on the MU campus even as they assault Asian student photographers (who won national awards for his coverage of Ferguson!) and white preachers, and turn the quad into a blacks-only “safe space.”

            The same football team that last year was both praised for its gay tolerance and condemned for hostility to women is now being hailed as civil rights pioneers. (And yes, I’m rooting for BYU tonight.)

            The (black) student body president who started the ball rolling with an unsubstantiated allegation that somebody yelled something rude to him from a passing pickup on College Boulevard was caught spreading false rumors about the KKK being on campus. What else has he lied about?

            And don’t get me started on the poopstika. Or the little darlings whining about how the terrorist atrocity in Paris stole their spotlight. Or the insane list of demands that essentially turns my alma mater into an outpost of Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago . . . which were cravenly embraced by Mizzou’s gutless administration in hopes they’d be eaten last.

            And worst of all, I see this happening not only at campuses all over the country; it’s a virulence that’s been seeping into the nation at large. It’s no longer an incipient or soft fascism we’re facing, but the real thing.

            No doubt some will tar me with the “racist” label for stating the above. You know what? I no longer care, and haven’t for years. They’re crybaby fascists and Stalinists who bully people while pretending to be victims. The protestors – regardless of skin color, gender, and the rest of the SJW checklist – don’t deserve our respect. All they deserve is a boot in the ass.

            1. Son wondered whether “poopstika” was anti-Semitic or anti-Nazi. After all, you don’t draw the symbol of your own beliefs in poop, do you??

  6. Tom you’re too nice. Always refer to SJWs as fascists. Always ask why they want to be like North Korea. Always refer to them as pre-adolescents. Always refer to them as jihadists. Please read Day’s SJWs Always Lie.

    1. Your position strikes me as an insult to actual fascists, who at least had a coherent* political and economic philosophy. The SJWs have no such intellectual pretensions.

      Totalitarians, that I would concede them to be.

      *for certain values of coherent, not necessarily having correlation to reality.

      1. “*for certain values of coherent, not necessarily having correlation to reality.”

        The “progressives” have the exact same political and economic philosophy as the fascists — totalitarian rule by an “enlightened” “elite”. The modern ones won’t openly state it where they might be recorded, but, well, by their actions they reveal themselves.

    2. Hey, if your family has high songbun, North Korea can be a pretty sweet gig. The collectivists always think their faction will end up on top. Ask Trotsky how well that turned out….

        1. HEY! I saw a play some years back called “The Death Of Trotsky”, in six iterations, each starting with Leon at his desk, writing, with an ice axe stuck in his head, each ending with him realizing “I’m dead!”

    3. As Larry Correia says, arguing on the internet is a spectator sport. You’re not going to sway the SJWs, but when you go that route, you rare win converts from those who can be swayed.

      I used to be one of those, so trust me, I know it can be done.

  7. Honestly, is it any surprise that many of us are withdrawing from the more general society? Of course some of us are.

    Whether we should or not would be an interesting topic for debate, but I ask you to not judge those who have withdrawn from the field too harshly. The wars can be brutal, and some just can’t fight any longer. To be an effective warrior, it takes a lot of time. There’s a lot of reading, a lot of watching, and a lot of understanding required. Some people just don’t have it in them any longer.

    It could be that constantly fighting political internet “battles” (battles in which nothing ever truly gets decided. People just get outraged about each other’s irreconcilable differences in philosophy, world-view, etc.) is an infinite time-sink that detracts from other things.

    I’ve actually been trying to disengage from wasting too much time on politics and ‘awareness’ (of (admittedly horrible) things far away that I can have no effect on, regardless of how I feel about it or what I know about it.) It’s an emotional trap: The enemy tribe moving in for the kill, if only in the ridiculous metaphorical sense of an internet battle, captures the attention, and derails it from any other constructive project. (Learning things (for real, not ‘learning’ about some bit of political insanity). Writing. Creating art. Pursuing constructive projects.)

    Do our modern day version of the sans culottes need to be stopped? Probably. Do internet battles actually stop them? Maybe the appropriate venue to fight their nonsense (where it can actually have an effect) is in a courtroom, if they try to bring legal pressure to bear. Or to build parallel institutions to their captured forums (you can keep building new forums forever) – but that is a constructive project that needs to be centred around having something to talk about, or something to teach, and probably cannot be powered by simple reaction to their insanity.

    1. As has been said, you cannot reason a man out of a position he didn’t reason himself into. I am not interested in providing psychotherapy, therefore I invest little of my time tossing pearls of reason before swine; it only gets me dirty and annoys the boars.

    2. “pick your battles” is good personal-energy economics. However, sometimes the benefit of the argument is not to sway the rigidly fixed, but to improve your own skills at argumentation. A bout in the verbal salle.

  8. They said Lovecraft was a terrible wordsmith.

    If his work isn’t at least competent writing, we now have upwards of a 99% illiteracy rate, and spending on secondary and tertiary education is wasted in this country.

    Now, Mullen indicates that tertiary education would be wasted on her, and probably also some of the secondary education she supposedly experienced.

      1. The SJWs have a terribly difficult time distinguishing between “Things I Don’t Appreciate” and “Things Which Aren’t Good.”

        Beloved Spouse and Daughtorial Unit both enjoy Heavy Metal — all I hear is noise, my tastes running much more to Celtic Folk, Western Swing, Klezmer and Zydeco. But I do not confuse these preferences as standards and view my inability to enjoy Heavy Metal as a lack in myself, not a fault in the music.

        Sturgeon’s law asserts that “90% of everything is crap” and as a corrolary to that I suggest “to an outsider it can be very hard to tell the difference.”

          1. From Wikki:

            Despite their band name, Eagles of Death Metal are not a death metal band. Hughes stated that a friend was introducing Josh Homme to the death metal genre. When he played a song by the Polish band Vader and made a claim that the song was within the death metal genre, Homme then referred to Vader as “The Eagles of Death Metal”. After hearing this phrase, he wondered what a cross between the Eagles and a death metal band would sound like. In a 2003 interview Homme described the sound of the band as a combination of “bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals.”

            It’s so easy without complexity…

        1. Those usually swiftly become “Things that shouldn’t be allowed” and “there ought to be a law.”

          1. Frankly, were the Great Old Ones to return, I’d rather be eaten first. Much less suffering that way.

            As for the SJW crowd, while the Great Old Ones won’t need to torture them in order to drive them to madness (it would be like driving from one’s parking spot to a spot 6″ away), keep in mind the MGM motto: Ars Gratia Artis.

            1. I have an old friend, and when he gives out his typical opinion my response is, “Thank you for your blessing, dark cleric. May you be eaten first.” It makes him happy.
              I wonder if the folks at MGM understand recursion?

      2. Eh, I’m not sure about that: I think many of the SJWs actually like Lovecraft’s stories very much. They just have to pretend that they don’t because the man himself held some repulsive views, and any good SJW knows that the quality of the story is less important than the politics of the author.

        1. I wouldn’t go that far.

          I do think that the political criteria, per fashions in their set, is most significant for them. (I’ve come across a number of moderns who like the recent PBS FDR hagiography. This is indirect support for Wilson. Wilson actually helped murder minorities. If they were genuinely out-casting for the political crime of favoring the murder of minorities, the wouldn’t be whitewashing so many people. They are only chasing internal popular opinion.)

          Saying that ‘Lovecraft is a terrible wordsmith’ strikes me as a bald faced lie. Forcing people to endorse a lie is a way destroy their dignity, and weaken their ability to resist.

          RES does have a point as Jeffro seems to have shown with the narrowing of the genre.

        2. Of course they like Lovecraft. Think about the basic structure of any Cthulhu story: “There is no God that can rescue you from powerful and mysterious things that hide behind the facade of bourgeois normality until they decide to devour you.”

        3. Honestly, I doubt those most vocal in their attacks on Lovecraft have read ANY of his work. It does have a rather… demanding… vocabulary, after all.

          1. I’ve read much about Lovecraft, but never read any Lovecraft. For those of us who haven’t actually read any, what should be first and foremost on the required reading list? I’m certain someone in this crowd had a suitable answer.

              1. Pickman’s Model has been a commonly anthologized short work of Lovecraft and was adapted into an episode of Night Gallery, as I recall.

                Night Gallery adapted many excellent vintage SF & Horror shorts, such as Cyril Kornbluth’s The Little Black Bag, featuring Burgess Meredith & Chill Wills.

                This story, first published in 1950, had also been adapted in 1969 as part of a BBC series called Out of the Unknown and in 1952, on ABC’s Tales of Tomorrow, collections of which are apparently available through Amazon.

        4. Lovecraft’s bigotry always struck me (stereotype alert!) as more of the general snobbish Ivy League WASP’s contempt for anything not snobbish and Ivy League WASP. (TOR’s Ruthanna Emrys, in her Lovecraft re-reads over at Tor.com, borrowed the Lovecraftian phrase “The Degenerate Dutch” when discussing Lovecraft’s intolerance.)

          It seems to me that one thing that makes modern lefties uncomfortable about Lovecraft’s writing is that that same snobbish, elitist Ivy League mindset is still very much with us . . . and mostly within their ranks. Even if they aren’t so gauche as to name a cat after the N-word.

          But it sure wouldn’t surprise me if a few of those crazy cat-ladies of the Left have white Angoras named “Honky?” 😛

      3. If Lovecraft was such a bad person, why did the founders of the award honor him?

        The Wikipedia entry for the 1975 World Fantasy Convention lists the chairman as Kirby McCauley and judges as Ramsen Campbell, Edward L. Ferman, David G. Hartwell, Fritz Leiber, and Gahan Wilson. It doesn’t list the fan organizers, but surely the whole lot are Lovecraft advocates who should also be unpersoned.

        People in the first few conventions who “should have spoken up or done something” would include: C.L. Moore, Michael Moorcock, Gordon R. Dickson, Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, David Drake, Harlan Ellison, Andrew Offutt, Stephen King, and Michael Whelan. Down the Memory Hole with all of the fellow-travelers!

    1. If they had stopped (as a few did) at the “Why do we have a writer of a limited subgenre as the representative of all Fantasy?”, I would have supported them. Despite their current problems, the Hugo and John W. Campbell awards are named after people that had enormous effect on the entire field.

      By the way, seeing that the SJWs have now gained a victory here – expect that the next target in the PC crosshairs is JWC. He, after all, had a rather large bag of racism that he carried around. The Hugo isn’t safe, either – a quote from Ars Technica: “As late as 1963, one of Gernsback’s last publications, Forecast, argued that “chemi-geneticists” could alter the enzymes of African-Americans, allowing them to have white children.”

      Of course, this might not be such a bad thing. Once they’ve renamed these to the “Nora” and “Bill Ayers Award for Best New Marxist Writer”, they will be far more ignorable.

      1. Ah, but if a modern writer suggested genetic alteration to make white people have African-American children, they would win all the awards.

        1. You know, choosing the proper skin color for your children on the colony worlds might be important. The one with not enough sun: white children. Lots of sun: dark children. And when they grow up and get sent as diplomats to the United Planets there’ll be a whole rainbow!

          1. Was it Weber that had a world populated by the descendants of a great Irish migration to a “hot sun” planet? Turned out to be real “Black Irish?”

            Somebody did it, I could be wrong. No time to look it up right now, have to head out for the weekly shopping trip.

            1. Weber and Flint had albino “negros” in the Crown of Slaves offshoot of the Honorverse. The planet was originally settled by black supremacists, but in the ensueing survival struggle the albino gene came to dominate almost completely (I don’t remember why, but there was some sort of reason).

              1. IIRC they weren’t true albinos but did have very pale skin and hair.

                In that case, the planet received lower levels of light so pale skin/hair was a survival characteristic.

                Oh, the “joke” was that they were also gene-engineered for great strength & quickness.

                IE super-humans but since the “normal” humans who found the worlds had the high-tech, they were all but enslaved by normal humans.

                1. Lower UV output than Sol maybe? Isn’t skin color an adaptation to ultraviolet radiation or something like that?

            2. No, Weber and Flint had just the opposite in the Ndebele system where you had African colonists on a low sun world that selected for pale skin and blonde hair.

        2. Either Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov covered that years ago, if my memory serves me correctly. The aliens arrive, and it turns out that we are a lost colony of theirs, and have suffered a horrible genetic mutation. But don’t worry, they’re going to cure us and turn us all black again…

          And I can’t think of the right search terms to look it up- but it’s been written.

          1. Reunion, by Arthur C. Clarke. The search term I used was, “if any of you are still white,” which brought up the rest of the sentence.

        1. I actually had a C-5B jump, back when I was at Bragg* in the early 1990s. At speeds appropriate for parachute operations, they remind me of Vogon Constructor Fleet ships: they hang in the air in much the same way that bricks don’t.

          *The most appropriately-named US Army base is Fort Bragg; the least appropriately-named US Army base is Fort Bliss…. 😉

          1. I guess “Fort Sham Hilton” in San Antonio is just a nickname, no matter how appropriate.

  9. I would like to make one suggestion about your post:

    The term “snowflake” implies that the students at Yale and Mizzou are delicate little things who simply can’t handle opposing views. This is not the case. They could handle it, but they choose not to. They instead have decided to use their supposedly delicate feelings as an excuse to banish their opponents.

    The blog Phi Beta Cons has suggested the term “cry-bullies,” and I’m doing my best to spread it, because I believe that it perfectly describes both the people and their tactics: bully the opposition, attack attack attack, then scream and cry when your opponent makes the slightest effort to defend themselves so you can claim the mantle of victimhood.

  10. “What about the baker who refused to bake a cake for a same sex wedding? He not only has to make cakes for same sex weddings, but he was forced to undergo “sensitivity training”. He couldn’t be permitted to think something unapproved.”

    Only for some classes of baker.

  11. Might I suggest a “Safe Spaces are for Losers” campaign? Simply tape a “Loser’s Lounge” sign on the door to any designated “Safe Space.”

    1. Power Line (See below) has been drawing attention to (pointing a mocking finger at) the Amherst Rising protests which, among other butthurts, condemns the inherent racist nature of the college’s unofficial mascot, the Lord Jeff, representing the college’s founder and benefactor Lord Jeffrey Amherst, the commanding general of British forces in North America during the last stage of the French and Indian War.

      A series of tweets about Saturday’s scheduled protest of the football game (including the advice that “We will accept a non person of color for the teach in. Of course they have to declare their white privilege first.” — a “non person” of color?) includes the news that “Well have a “trigger warning team” to warn protestors if we encounter the Lord Jeff mascot or someone bearing his likeness.”.

      In respect of that I hereby provide a trigger warning about potentially threatening imagery…

      Wait for it.

      Have all the sensitive averted their gaze?

      Here he is:


      1. As best I can determine, a non person of color would best be used to describe a black zombie. Now, person of non color would have white privilege. Now, since they are probably meaning ‘person of color’ to be a non-white, then non person of color becomes a non non white. This is about as absurd as the construct non-American African-American, which I believe sports announcers utter something similar at Olympic sporting events.

          1. I think in RES’s original post, the Amherst student is actually showing his/her/xir total lack of understanding of the English language, even as Americans speak it. Since correcting their grammar would probably result in a ‘trigger warning’ it is probably for the best.
            I want to tell one that I need a non-trigger warning before they use the word trigger, because guns have triggers and guns are *evil*.

      2. Admittedly, that guy does have something of the “creepy puppet” look going on. I could see how he might make some feel, if not unsafe, at least uneasy.

        Of course, as far as creepy puppets with unsettling smiles go, General Amherst there has nothing on the Michigan State Spartan or Herbie the Husker from Nebraska, and thus far, student at those schools have managed to avoid screaming and stampeding for their safe spaces during every football game.

        1. Piffle – Lord Jeff is a puddin’.

          You want a real creepy mascot you need to look at Wake Forest University’s “Demon Deacon”:

          Call the exorcist!

          1. I was going to comment on the mascot of Guilford College, the Quaker school where beloved Spouse & I first met, with its oxymoronic whiplash inducing “Fighting Quakers” mascot … until searching for a suitable image delivered me to the UPENN version:

            Yeah, I’m talking ’bout you.

            The more you review the imagery, the more creepy thsese mascot muppets get.

    2. Simply tape a “Loser’s Lounge” sign on the door to any designated “Safe Space.”

      Or add the phrase “Jim Crow Memorial” before the “Safe Space’ on the sign.

    1. In McKillip’s Riddle-Master trilogy there’s a story about a Nobleman who seriously annoyed a King.

      The Nobleman hired a builder to build a wall around his estate so that he’d be safe from the King.

      Sometime after the wall was built the Nobleman decided that the King had forgotten about him and decided to leave his estate.

      He discovered that the builder of the Wall didn’t leave him a way out.

      So the Nobleman realized that the King had created his “Safe Place” and now the Nobleman’s “Safe Place” had become his Prison. [Very Big Evil Grin]

  12. RE: the Yale student video — the words that jumped out at me were:

    “It’s not about creating an intellectual space! It is not! Do you understand that? It is about creating a home here.”

    Really? Admittedly the student was addressing one of the couple whose job, along with teaching, was to oversee a dorm. His wife, a professor of childhood education, had written suggesting that by the time they were university students these people needed to be responsible for their own actions. The students should self-police their own choices in Halloween costume. She further suggested that students needed to accept that, in this world, they may encounter something that might offend.

    In 1996 Yale decided to insist that unmarried freshmen and sophomores would be required to live in dorms on campus. The dorms by this time were coeducational dormitories with shared bathrooms. In 1997 five Orthodox Jews, who had previously been living off campus, sought an exemption to the new rule to allow them to continue in separate housing, so that they continue to live according to their religious precepts requiring a high level of modesty between genders. Yale refused and it went to the courts. There was no campus protests supporting the rights of these students to be provided a home there, to live unoffended.

    The total cost of attending Yale for the 2015-16 academic year (nine months) is $65,725 according to the Yale’s admissions site. For some reason the student seems to think that us for a comfy home, not an intellectual space.

  13. Wanna bet the creators of South Park are frantically trying to work the college protests into an upcoming episode?

  14. Ummm, I’ve got a novel idea. If you don’t like the rules at Yale, nobody is forcing you to be there, take your $65K and leave.

    1. Novel yes, but not entirely. It was essentially the decision of the courts in regards to the five Orthodox students who challenged Yale regarding religious discrimination. (as far as it went)

      But this cuts against the general trend set since the SCOTUS decision in Grove City College v. Bell and the subsequent Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 which overturned it. (The Congress overrode a Presidential veto to pass it). If students carries any Federal monies with them the entire school cannot claim exception to federal rules of Title IX (Education Amendments of 1972), Title VI (Civil Rights Act of 1964) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

      The Orthodox Five lost their case as none of these acts specify protection of religious liberties.

  15. Mr. Knighton, I’m going to have to disagree on two points:

    1. What constitutes home. By your definition, rental properties cannot be called “home,” nor can children refer to where they live as “home.” It is just as much their home as an off-campus rental that will be vacated in he same number of years. In the same way, campus life is just as much home as anyone’s neighborhood.

    2. What’s going on is plain old two-bit despotism. They never had any intent of applying to others the same civil liberties they demand for themselves.

    1. I doubt Tom meant the description of “home” to be definitive; he is describing the perception in the minds* of the protesting without necessarily endorsing their conceptualization. Just as a dog peeing on a tree does not make that tree the property of the dog, so too does the effort to expand the definition of “home” fail to recognize fact.

      These are the types of idiots who will take “Mi casa is su casa” literally and try to remodel the rooms.

      1. You’re right, it’s not definitive. However, a college is not and was never meant to be “home”. It’s a place that lets you stay conveniently close to your classes while you pursue an education. That’s it.

        1. The very real problem with that is you could argue the same for military housing. It’s not intended to be permanent. Home is pretty much where you hang your hat.

          I really doubt the student response is based on “home.” It’s more of a despotic urge than protection of turf.

          1. I can see the argument that their dorm rooms, apartments, whatever, are “home”, for certain values of the word “home”, but not the campus as a whole.

    1. For total African body count (all shades), plus people living anywhere else tropical, you can’t beat Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring and proud parent of the resulting ban on DDT. Preventable Malaria deaths since the US ban on DDT was extended worldwide as a precondition of US Foreign Aid are in the 3 billion people range.

  16. I mentioned to The SO, “The WFA statue needs to be changed — but only because It Is A Fucking Hideous Representation Of The Grand Old Man Of Providence”.

    She mentioned this to her circles.

    Suddenly, people are coming out of the woodwork saying, “Yeah, it is really unpleasant-looking….”

    So at least there’s a chance “if it gets changed, it will be changed for the *right* reason”….

  17. Take a break for fighting with:
    Winners and others of the Bulwer-Lytton contest in SF and Puns:

    Winner, Science Fiction:

    #The gravitational pull up here on Mars is much less than it is back at home base, of course, so your tongue sticks to the roof of our mouth and everyone sounds like Eleanor Roosevelt. — John Holmes, St. Petersburg, FL

    Runner-Up, Science Fiction:

    Entering the Forbidden Zone on Planet Q38 Minor meant death, either quickly by mushroom poisoning or terribly by The Shiny Golden Hook; but Captain Zirek didn’t care, he was in love with three-legged Zora, and that’s where she was stabled. — David S Nelson, Falls Church VA

    Dishonorable Mentions, Science Fiction:

    Turk strained at the controls of the Pulsar-Phased Adenoid Five Galactic Cruiser, trying desperately to pull up from an uncontrolled dive, until he suddenly remembered he was in space, and there is no up or down. — Joseph E. Fountain, Fredericksburg, VA

    The mighty roar of the awesome atomic engines (louder than a thousand MGM lions, more powerful than lust on a warm summer’s day) erotically thrust the metallic monster into the heavens like some demonic angel escaping from Hell and made the intrepid astronaut swallow his gum. — James Luce, Los Altos, CA

    The Phylognites made love by intertwining their eyeball stalks, a most erotic sensation except occasionally when, due to inexperience or excessive ardor, their stalks became inextricably bound in what (unbeknownst to them) a species of obnoxious, quarrelsome little bipeds on an obscure planet circling a small star in the Milky Way might call a “bird’s nest.” — Wayne Carmichael, Tyler, TX

    Winner, Vile Puns:

    #Locals know it as Pinocchio Rock, because it’s shaped like a proboscis, and lies at the edge of the cliff.— John Holmes, St. Petersburg, FL

    Runner-Up, Vile Puns:

    Having eaten her fill of the town’s fils et filles, the French witch inspected her candy-encrusted house and decided she needed a grander lure to attract grander prey–perhaps she should build a homme depot. — Scott Britton, Boston, MA

    Dishonorable Mentions, Vile Puns:

    As James King, detective in the Queens branch of the NYPD stared at the rooks pecking at the disheveled corpse of Bishop Robert Knight in the alley behind the pawn shop, he checked for his mates. — Mark McGivern, Albert Lea, MN

    Old Man Dracula forgot to put his teeth in one night, and so had to come home hungry, with a sort of “nothing dentured, nothing veined” look on his face.— Matthew Pfeifer Beaman IA

    Sherlock Holmes brusquely dismissed his companion’s theory that the victim had died from an allergic reaction to either seasoning or seafood, saying “Watson, although the problem is alimentary, it is neither the Thyme nor the Plaice.” — Owen Roberts, Edina, MN
    From: http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/2015win.html

  18. Debating with a SJW is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon — it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.

  19. There’s a tag-line, or catch-phrase, or whatever you want to call it that I’ve used for nearly two decades now.

    Evolution isn’t working fast enough, more dumbasses need to be shot.

    There are times when I let my emotions get away from me and I start thinking that line needs to be implemented in reality. These idiots only reinforce that thinking.

    1. For at least the same length of time, I’ve occasionally been using, “Childhood is insufficiently lethal.” The idea is that we’re protecting too many from the easily-foreseen consequences of their actions, allowing them to propagate into the next generation.

  20. Anent nothing in particular, except Princess Bride! and a reminder of why, indeed, we must fight.

    And the thoughts that occur when I try imagining Hillary or Bernie or The Donald or any of the other candidates attempting such spontaneity.

    BTW – you ever hear Rob Reiner’s story about the time he was dining in a mob-connected spaghetti place and had an obviously “made” man come up to him and say “You killed my father, prepare to die”?

    1. Of course it is on Youtube!

      It’s a great movie but I still think it could have been better cast. Most of the leads are a little flat; Elwes, Christopher Sarandon, Robin Wright, and Christopher Guest all lack that certain spark, that je ne sais quoi that separates actors from people merely playing their parts. For example, imagine what Alan Rickman could have done with the role of Humperdinck or Count Rugen. Consider what Heath Ledger could have done with Wesley/Dread Pirate Robert (well, okay — he was only about twelve at the time the movie was made, but he would probably still have done better than Elwes did.)

      I swear, it does much to make you appreciate the challenge Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks had to bring such characters to life.

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