Liberty and Safety, a Blast From The Past Post, August 24 2013

*Sorry about the unholy lateness.  The short form of this is we were putting an offer on a house, when someone got there first by hours, again.  ARGH.*

Liberty and Safety, a Blast From The Past Post, August 24 2013

It is a truth universally acknowledged that it is a bad thing – a very bad thing – to make Sarah berserk out over breakfast, which is why most sentient species, some invertebrates and some single-cell life forms have learned to avoid it.

No, this doesn’t mean Dan and the boys are in trouble.  No, that’s fine.  What happens is this – after week from hell, I was running around with a headache so bad I could barely think through it.  In case it wasn’t obvious from the rate of typo to word in the last few posts, I also could barely write through it.

As happens we found a hotel that met our low-price-to-low-flea rate and Dan and I ran away so I could get work done on the overdue Baen novel.  (It is unique in writers that our vacations involve the chance to write MORE.  Shouldn’t be a great shock, though.  Our “let’s go out to dinner” nights involved “I need to work out a novel plot.”

This was particularly needed because on top of the situation with our friend Alan – who should go home from the hospital today and start a new course of chemotherapy, so that’s good news – my kids are having beginning of school year issues.  Since it is written (I don’t know where, but if I ever find out, I’m setting fire to it) that nothing the Hoyts do can be easy or simple, they’re both adding second majors and weird ones at that, and giving the bureaucracy hissy fits.  This for some reason causes them to run into my office at the rate of a kid every five minutes, to p*ss and moan.  So, the office gets impossible to work in (also smelly.  The cats hate competition) and I lost two entire days to this.  Which also added to my blazing stress headache.

So we ran away for three days and two nights to “get writing done.”  So far so good, right?

Yeah.  Except that breakfast is included in the room special promo sale.  Which is why we stayed here.  Have breakfast latish and you don’t need lunch, so that’s one meal less to pay for.  (Hey, we’re writers.  We’re cheap.  Also, largely poor, our days of being rich beyond the dreams of average – sic – having crashed at the same time the towers turned to rubble and the tech boom collapsed.)

So we went down to breakfast.

Just when you thought it was safe to go down to breakfast…

We were in a little isolated table but separated by a curtain from a large group table.  I heard the words “They can’t expect Obama to fix everything with one measure.  I mean, things were so bad it doesn’t have a quick solution,” and I told Dan “Right then, I’m going to order an omelet, before I start ranting.”

When my calmer half said “I don’t know.  I’m kind of hoping they make you start ranting.”

So I went down to get the omelet, and I came back and sat down.  The large group of unmitigated stupid seemed to be talking lower – at least.  If I said the multiplication tables backward in my head, I could tune out the occasional break through sentence like “What we need is more business regulation.”

And then, zero to nothing, I heard something, and I started shaking – painful body-long shakes – trying to suppress the berserker.

The phrase was “the problem is we have too many liberties in this country.”  Like that.  Like that, I found I was putting my head through the curtain and saying “If you discuss politics in public, I’m going to intervene.”

I want to point out that when I’m fighting the berserker, my voice gets really weird, and my eyes get this bizarre “one step over the line and you’re dead, Mister.”

I’ve been known to make postal workers run away (true) and airline employees bend over backward to give me anything I want, while I’m being perfectly polite and suppressing the berserker.

But these people were wrapped in an invincible mantel of stupidity.  They said – I swear to Bob – “What?  This is a public space, we can talk about anything we want.”

I said “Absolutely.  And I can correct you anyway I want.”

At that point the better half who is a New England gentleman intervened. “Yes, it’s a public space,” he said.  “And we’d like to have breakfast without your politics intruding on it.  Can you keep it down, please?  Particularly if you insist on being ill informed.”  (When calmer half feels the need to put in the knife, imagine what my excitable self was feeling.)

And so I downed as much warm coffee as I could, because if you can’t find alcohol, warm liquids will help, and eventually the shakes subsided.

Too many liberties…

There are three things to take from this encounter: first, it is polite and proper, if sharing a public space with other sentient beings, to try not to say anything offensive out loud.  I tend to discuss the latest scientific developments, a novel I just read, anything innocuous.  I’ve gone to dinner with PJM colleagues and not discussed politics loud enough for the other tables to hear – and shut up when the waitress approached.

Look, guys, there was a reason that Englishmen who had servants said “not in front of the help” – it wasn’t just to avoid gossip.  It was also to avoid making another human being, not in a position to retaliate, uncomfortable.

Good manners and all that.

So, if you have politics to discuss, keep your voice down or save it to your room.  UNLESS you’re sure that the entire room is taken up with your coreligionists.

Another thing is that these people looked fairly normal.  I didn’t see any badges of the little Satanists for Stalin or anything of the kind.  This scares me beyond belief and I’m trying not to be depressed.  They really think Obama is fixing “this mess.”  I… Look, go over to the Zero Hedge guys… just read this.

A tiny excerpt:

#1 When Barack Obama entered the White House, 60.6 percent of working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.7 percent of working age Americans have a job.

#2 Since Obama has been president, seven out of every eight jobs that have been “created” in the U.S. economy have been part-time jobs.

#3 The number of full-time workers in the United States is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#4 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers now make less than $30,000 a year.

#5 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

#6 When the Obama era began, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks.  Today, it is 36.6 weeks.

#7 During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000.  That far exceeds any previous four year total.

There is more.  Oh, yes, there are 33 of these facts.  But the mainstream media won’t report it, and those who are dumb beyond the dreams of average (sic) swallow it, hook, line and sinker.  And what can we do?  I’m serious.  WHAT can we do?  This is sort of like before the French Revolution when people demanded Necker be returned to power because when he was borrowing and spending everyone was doing so well.  There are no words.  To paraphrase Heinlein, stupidity is the only capital crime.  The punishment is always death.  Unfortunately when it’s public stupidity, the death often falls on those who weren’t stupid.

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it and take the rest of us along for the ride.

The third point though…

There are few things you can say that are so HEINOUS that they send me into automatic “Must suppress the berserker” mode.  Look, guys I’ve got through entire dinners with communists without getting there, and without looking speculatively at the silverware and considering how to kill someone with a fork.  (Okay, I lie about the second one, but all the same. Thoughts are, thank you, private, and my hobbies are my own.)

But that “we have too many liberties” got under my shield and went directly to the “attack” and immediately as well to the “you can’t go berserk in a public space.  No, really.”

How can anyone think we have too many liberties?

Oh, I know.  They think that because they believe in the myth of the “superior man” who will take care of them.  The man on the white horse who knows better than everyone, and who can run everything so that no one is ever afraid or poor or sick or marginalized.

In other words, they dream of the ideal childhood.

The rest of us know that never in the history of the world, not even the calmest, has there been a time when a leader could guarantee safety, health and contentment to everyone. There will always be poor, unloved, suffering people.  You can’t help that.

You behave in a way you help those around you and you try not to be a burden, but even then at times that will fail.

Those of us who are religious believe a time will come when we will live like that, in perfect harmony and contentment with a superior being watching over us.

But last time I looked, neither king, premier, president, emperor or satrap had the power to look into the hearts and minds and judge everyone perfectly.  And no, the NSA spying ain’t it.  And none of the above were the creators of the universe.

They are all, in fact, fallible men, usually fallible men attracted to power over others, who want to run you not for your own good but for their own internal satisfaction.  And since people who crave this sort of power tend to be more broken than writers, their internal satisfaction might be something that even they don’t understand.

There is no man on a white horse.  There is, always, an old trickster, coming to town and promising eternal peace.  If you look carefully, you can see the horse is a mule that has been painted white.  And the man is just using the same old promises the human brain is wired to crave, but what he wants is quite different.  And even if he truly believes what he says, he can’t deliver.  He’s just a man.  He can’t know what each individual wants and needs.  Only each of you can know what he wants and needs.  And sometimes not even that.

Clearly the people on the next table would like to believe in the man on the painted mule.  I would too.  The idea someone will look after you perfectly is SO appealing.  But I’m grown up.  You can’t go back to kindergarten.  And even my kindergarten teacher had no clue how to handle me.

I’ll handle myself, thank you.  Even to the point of making sure I don’t berserk out at the breakfast table.  It can be done.  It’s just not easy, or comforting or pretty.

It’s a horrible way to live.  Except for every other one.  I’ll keep my liberties, thank you.  You want to give yours up, I can give you a list of destinations willing to oblige you.  It starts with Cuba.

No kings, no queens, no lords, no ladies.  We won’t be fooled again.


170 responses to “Liberty and Safety, a Blast From The Past Post, August 24 2013

  1. Is the reason the house hunt is so troublesome because you want a trapdoor at the office door so they can get dumped into basement?

    As to the berserker, everything is open for politics now. There are no more ‘safe spaces’ where you can discuss normal stuff. And the more it intrudes the more the berserker inside stews.

    • I guess the only useful response is confrontation. If you don’t confront the profoundly stupid and ill-mannered, they have no way of knowing that their behavior is offensive to the rest of us thoughtful persons. You don’t have to be rude about it, just say something like, “Excuse me, but could you keep your politico/religious self-congratulation down? There are others here who completely disagree with you and would appreciate it. The reason you didn’t realize that we’re not in complete agreement with you is that we keep such opinions of ours to ourselves in public places.”

      When they get all huffy about that, you can unleash the flames…

    • No, it’s because we’re facing the prospect of paying rent for at least one son and possibly two, and we’re not wealthy.

    • Is the reason the house hunt is so troublesome because you want a trapdoor at the office door so they can get dumped into basement?

      Sigh. Probably more government regulations interfering with people getting their dream lair… I mean home.

  2. and I published THIS last night.
    “Maybe the only way to make people richer in the long run is to take their money away from them.”

  3. You’re actually more generous in your interpretation than I would have been. Whenever I hear some variant of “we have too many (liberties/rights/choices) I translate it as “Other people have too many liberties/rights/choices” which can also be rendered as “Daddeeeeee! He took his toy back and I still want it.”

  4. I was standing in line at the post office when this lady (who I never saw before in my life) suddenly turned and stated, “Republicans are so stupid, all they do is oppose everything!” I smiled and replied, I guess it depends on what they opposing.” she turned around and said nothing more.

    • Hah. I find more witty and appropriate comebacks here … with your permission, this one’s going in my mental file to be used at will. (poor Will, what did he ever do to deserve it?)

    • SheSellsSeashells

      One of the two times that the Lord has blessed me with an appropriate comeback: I was minding my business in my favorite local bead shop when the cashier went off on “I hate living in $STATE because Republicans!” and sailed into a laundry list of Republican sins. Around Sin #3 I cut in with “And some of them spend a couple thousand a year in your store! How dare they?”

      • 🙂

      • Sara the Red

        I gotta ask: what was her reply to this?

        • SheSellsSeashells

          Brief sputter followed by a sullen “Well, I didn’t mean YOU…”

          • Patrick Chester

            Some Of Her Best Friends, etc., etc.?

            • SheSellsSeashells

              I dunno; my very favorite Crazy Friend* ever once burst out: “How can you be a Republican?? I LIKE you!”

              *I have a theory about friends: for optimum happiness and sanity, you need to both *have* a Crazy Friend and *be* someone else’s Crazy Friend.

          • Sara the Red

            Always tempting in situations like to suggest to the manager/owner that a little education/re-education/self-education on what exactly ‘free speech’ means, and that it does not apply to employees of private businesses–at least, not if they want people to continue giving money to said businesses, at any rate…

            Political and religious opinions are not to be aired in front of customers, dammit. Polite, neutral conversation–that’s the only way to go.

    • It has always boggled my mind why Republicans don’t embrace the title, “the party of No.” After all, it is the reason I voted for them in the first place.

      • Because they are demonstrably (on the whole, some few individuals may not be) as firm in their conditions as wet spaghetti. The elected idiots, I mean. There are republican *voters* who are nigh as sick of such fecklessness and cowardice that they are ’bout ready to jump ship that I’ve heard. If they really were the party of “No,” we’d not be so deep in this mess today. And the ‘pubs in congressional office wouldn’t be looking at massive sweeping defeat next election cycle.

      • One candidate I met (years ago, who didn’t get elected, dagnabbit) summed it thus, “They try to call us ‘The Party of NO’. We’re the party that CAN say ‘no’.” (If only they would, much more often. And louder.)

      • Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), bless him, was called “Senator NO” by at least on editorial cartoonist.

  5. Birthday Girl

    OT: I just saw a video of last Friday’s (I think) Squawk Box with Ted Cruz. He used TANSTAAFL in there, both as acronym and spoken out. Didn’t attribute it, though

  6. Vraiment, pas devant les domestiques.

  7. There is no man on a white horse.

    I apologize if this breaks your rule on discussing religion, but in Revelations the man on the white horse is often identified as Conquest.

    So people should really think twice before wanting him to save them…

  8. Man on the White Horse. Revelation 6:2. Um, well, yeah, I guess that is what they want. But they often get Mr. White Horse and Mr. Pale Horse confused, and the rest of us don’t want either.

    What are they thinking?

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I sometimes have them as Tyranny, Anarchy, Taxes and Death. Or John Wright, Sarah Hoyt, Larry Correia and Vox Day*. 🙂 Plague, War, and Famine seems the usual. You can also interpret the white rider as the Antichrist.

      But I’m pretty sure the idiom isn’t derived from Revelation, or even from Alexander the Great.

      If you are a new strongman regime, for most of history, you got that way by military power. Horses are expensive and impressive, so you probably want to be riding a horse in your stage managed shows of power. It is a good idea to make a custom of riding a particularly distinctive horse. I think Alexander and maybe Julius Caesar did so.

      I’m pretty sure there are many historical examples of newbie dictators riding white horses.

      *I may have switched Wright and Day from the correspondence I originally found for the Evil League of Evil.

      • But I’m pretty sure the idiom isn’t derived from Revelation, or even from Alexander the Great.

        But it’s more fun to point out the apocalyptic symbolism.

      • Especially as riding a horse before stirrups required reals skills.

    • In Luther’s German, the “pale horse” is a “Schimmel,” which means pale and uncanny. The glow from mold on decaying things in the woods is also sometimes described as being like schimmel.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I recall reading that the exact coloration is pale green or yellowish gray, and is meant to refer to rotting flesh. I don’t know anything about German, thanks for the new vocabulary.

        • There’s a famous novella (not our novella, but the German meaning) entitled “Der Schimmelreiter” where the double sense is used because the horse is uncanny and part of the evil forces of nature. It’s a great ghost story/Gothic (in the good sense) tale.

          You’re welcome.

        • sabrinachase

          So let me tell you the Awful Truth about white horses, having been acquainted with a few (and very nice they were, too). Unless you wrap them in plastic or clean them *constantly*, with some kind of soap, they aren’t white. They are, er, colored in spots with what you might expect to find on the floor of a horse’s stall. So yes, pale yellowy-green to brown. The phrase “high maintenance” only begins to describe a white horse that is used for competition. Which may be why the term is used for a hero, since only someone with a massive retinue of horse-cleaning groupies can ride a white horse.

          • There’s an old joke (I don’t know the truth of it), that says that horse nomenclature doesn’t have “white” horses, and that all white horses are either albino, or they are registered “gray”.

            The joke is thus:
            Q: What color was George Washington’s white horse?
            A: Gray

    • Well, later in Revelation, the conquering Jesus does ride a white horse, and the white rider is associated with messianic prophecy and the two-edged sword of the Gospel. (In Beatus, he is the preaching of the Gospel riding on the Church.) The Antichrist interpretation is later, from Billy Graham among others.

      But the Messiah is not on any ballot.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I want to say that it makes sense that the white steed’s rider is a king of some sort, because of the crown, and there are only so many kings in Revelation. But, we at least partly get that symbolism from Roman usage, which weren’t strictly for for rulers. At the time Revelation was written, how many different traditions were there for the symbolism of a crown? Or was the word used more specific than it is in English?

      • It’s two different riders on white horses at two different times; the false messiah is on a white horse with a bow (in Revelation 6:2). The Truth comes with a sword out of His mouth, with which he kills His enemies in Revelation 19:11, 21).

    • “On a fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi Yo Silver, away!'”

      So, I gather that that’s not the Man on the White Horse that Mrs. Hoyt is referring to? Nor that white horse, either?

      *shrug* Revelations and the Apocalypse generally isn’t what comes to mind when I hear or read that phrase.

      In American mythology, the man on the white horse is the good guy. And he’s usually carrying a Winchester.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        If only the Czar knew.

        Some people have a meme that causes them to expect a powerful person would be interested in helping them out. An extreme case might be relatives of Stalin’s cronies, who thought he might intercede to save them when he was the one having them murdered.

        That meme could be named ‘strong man on a white horse’. Lots of new and would be dictators have sold themselves that way. I want to say in particular during the 19th century in the Latin world, but I don’t have any citations.

        If I were to only endorse Cruz as the last best hope of mankind, that would be an appeal to the strong man on a white horse. If instead I argue that Cruz is the best choice, but will amount to nothing if the rest of us don’t lift a finger, I am making a more defensible statement in line with Republican theory.

  9. “They think that because they believe in the myth of the “superior man” who will take care of them.”

    The technical term for the “superior man” is “free man”. In German as I understand it that translates to fuhrer. In other words when you say “we won’t get fooled again, you are very wrong.

    • At the end of European part of WWII there was radio broadcast about the war, the end as it was, and the work to still be done in the Pacific. I heard a rebroadcast years ago and one line stood out. It was, roughly: The superman now lies at the feet of the everyman.

    • Führer means a military commander, or leader or conductor, as in a tour group leader (and guidebook) is a Reiseführer. The literal for “superior man” is Übermensch (similar bad connotation to English-speakers). I can’t find the “free man” definition in my dictionaries, but I don’t have the big Duden dictionary, so it could be a usage that’s not common anymore (gee, I wonder why?)

        • As in Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron of WWi fame.

          A friend of mine has written a very interesting alternate history of the world that might have been if Richthofen had survived the Great War. It’s a world without the horrors of the Final Solution, but it’s also a world in which Naziism hasn’t been discredited in the marketplace of ideas, and respectable people can still promote those notions.

        • OK. I’d thought of that one, but it doesn’t have the “superior man” connotation as a noun, just the idea of noble rank. I guess I was not reading deep enough into how it could be understood.

  10. Talk to ANY small businessman if you think we have too many liberties.

    • I’m not terribly sure the concept exists. If you believe, as I do, that freedom is by its nature inextricable from responsibility, then it does not.

      *snort* Too many liberties, indeed.

  11. My brother is constantly trying to bait me into discussing politics. As if anything he can say would be worse than Trump as the Republican candidate.

    • Rudy Giuliani as the Republican candidate?

      “Heads we win, tails you lose.”

      • The Other Sean

        Guiliani would not be be first choice for president, nor even my tenth, but I’ll take him over Trump any day of the week.

        • As Larry put it, the only NYC real estate developer that would be good in office is Wilson Fisk.

          • The Other Sean

            But Wilson Fisk emerges only after the Chitauri attack – I think we could live without that.

          • *waggles hand*
            Possibly, he was a great protector of liberties with his policies like “stop and frisk.”

            • It’s a policy that’s open to abuse, but seeing as how the people who were supposedly being unfairly targeted by it supported the policy, it seems that he did the important work of removing trouble-officers and thus preventing abuse.

              A minor inconvenience that prevents major ones, kind of like traffic laws. 😀

              • It worked, I’m not arguing that it didn’t. But just because something works doesn’t mean it is either right or constitutional.

                The fact that he was smart enough and effective enough to not only make it work, but have so called conservatives such as Sean Hannity (who happens to work in NYC) support such an obvious infringement of liberty, is what really scares me.

                • Problem:
                  I don’t agree that being able to do a low-level, non-intrusive pat-down (frisk) in case of reasonable suspicion that a specific crime is being committed (illegal concealed weapon) is a genuine infringement of liberty, especially when it’s in a context where abuses were prevented.

                  It’s definitely below sobriety checkpoints, and random inspections at the air port.

                  Because of the other tradeoffs (which I really, really, REALLY dislike) of weapons being removed and the mess in the criminal justice system, other changes had to be made to protect people’s rights, sort of like property taxes and Adverse Possession laws.

                  • The problem, though, is that in NYC, there are not that many legal weapons that can be concealed. This is an example of the infringement of one liberty — the right to keep and bear arms — leading to the infringement of another one — the right to be free of unreasonable searches, based on something as nebulous as reasonable suspicion…

                    • I draw the line in a different place, but they do have the right to choose where they’re going to draw the lines– and what steps to take to re-balance the rights.

                      Otherwise we just get into another dictatorship of “for your own good”– “no, you’re not allowed to freely choose the voluntary laws of your area, because this for-your-own-good-er says the result is bad.”

                    • While I agree that there should be a lot of leeway in what local governments can and cannot do in creating laws, the Constitution requires all States to have republican governments, and as such, they have to meet fundamental standards of liberty. It is Unconstitutional for a State to disband their legislature and their courts, and appoint their governor as a dictator, for example.

                      The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, though, and at least since the 14th Amendment, it’s been applicable to the States in much the same way the 1st Amendment now is.

                      As such, the Sullivan Act is Unconstitutional, and should be struck down, just as surely as we’d strike down any law passed, that infringes on the right to freedom of speech, or freedom of religion.

                      Furthermore, even if what NYC did is justifiable, we need to take the example of what is happening in New York as a warning: if you restrict one fundamental right, you are going down a path where it is natural, even necessary, to restrict other rights. This is NOT a road we should consider going down!

        • Likewise.

      • Bloomberg

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Trump with Chelsea Clinton as VP running against Sanders with Gary Ridgway. With Osama bin Laden still alive and going to serve as Secretary of State under whomever wins. Even Johnson or Stein.

      • Yikes. I’m glad he doesn’t read this blog.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          a) We’ve almost survived Obama.
          b) We survived Jim Crow.
          c) We survived the Civil War.

          Even should this be another year of maximum suckage, it is not at all clear we are done for.

          • Unfortunately, four years. But yeah. We’ll survive.

          • During the Reagan Administration, I had the very occasional glass of wine.
            During the GHW Bush Administration, I had wine a bit more often.
            During the Clinton Administration, wine or beer was a common thing with supper.
            During the GW Bush Administration, I had the occasional beer.
            During the Obama Administration, I’ve taken to stiff cocktails and hard liquor.
            Please, I do NOT want an administration that calls for regular intake of absinthe! (I like it, but there are times for moderation.)

  12. Feel you on the house thing.
    Otherwise, they finally gave a move date. Lesstan a month away,but close enough I’ll not gripe.

    • Me, too. Since we deploy in early June, I have decided not to find an apartment/house which will then sit empty for six months while i’m gone. Instead, I will stay in a hotel for the next few weeks. A succession of hotels, really. I leave the one I’m in now, three miles from base (and yet it still took me forty minutes- FORTY MINUTES! to get on base Monday morning) for a different one over near Dam Neck for the two-week course I’ll be taking there. Then back into my current one, but a different, bigger room with a kitchenette for the last three weeks. Plus a day or two here and there at a friend’s, because apparently certain hotels find it amusing to hike their prices by over $100 a night for a weekend stay. At least I’ll be getting BAH, so it won’t all be coming out of my pocket. Only about a third of it. And at least I won’t be moving around every week.

      Best of luck finding a house, esteemed Space Princess!

      • Bit of advice from my consulting days (a long, long time ago)- If you are going to be at a given hotel for a set period of time, get on the phone with the hotel’s management and try to set up a monthly rate. There is no reason whatsoever that a long term (1 month+) tenant at a hotel should be paying (fluctuating) daily rates.

        Similarly, if you are anywhere near a tourist driven area in the off season, moving into a B&B situation for a period (with your other stuff in storage) can also be an option — you’d be surprised what sort of monthly rate you can get.

        In my experience, you can end up saving at least 20-30% over the daily rates if you negotiate a monthly rate – especially if you can agree to reduced maid service to the room in question (every other day for example or only change sheets once per week or … ). Now, you may have to pay some of that in advance in order to realize the savings, but it usually works out better than the daily rate.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          FWIW, if there’s one near where you’re going, I have been very, very happy with Candlewood Suites. Technically extended-stay, but the ones I’ve been in have had very nice kitchens and been entirely lacking in the am-I-about-to-get-mugged? feel of most extended hotels I’ve stayed in.

          • Just for the weekend with the family, I stayed in the Homeward Suites in Atlanta, GA a couple of times, albeit 20 years ago, and it was likewise a nice place.

  13. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    “Desire for the Man On The White Horse.”

    Thus the appeal of Trump and Sanders. 😦

  14. Let’s blame Robin Hood! We tell children this wonderful tale about stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. We hold him up as a glorious hero.

    Of course, nobody tells the tale that taxes were increased to pay the ransom for King Richard. Who was captured on his way home from fighting Islamists in the Middle East. I guess Richard was as ill informed as W. Holy land horrors are eternal.

    I’m not a Sheriff of Nottingham fan, but give the man a break. He was fighting a communist insurgency!

    • Those who advocate stealing (or taking) from the rich and giving to the poor almost invariably wind up stealing from everyone and giving to themselves.
      Even the politicians who advocate higher tax rates on the wealthy wind up spending it on largesse (filtered through government bureaucracy) and thus buying votes to keep themselves in office.

      • Those who advocate stealing (or taking) from the rich and giving to the poor almost invariably wind up stealing from everyone and giving to themselves.

        Overhead. And Service Fees. Hey, a Merry Man’s gotta eat.

    • His brother claimed it was for that– but the money kept disappearing, and gosh golly gee JUST about that time, the bad choice Good King Richard had made for “watch the place while I’m gone” would get something expensive he wanted.

      And then they’d take more from anybody who wasn’t a crony.

      (The version I was told.)

      • But Prince John was a great man! Why, his enlightened rule after Richard died led directly to the Magna Carta.

      • Sara the Red

        Yes, and “Good” King Richard spent…a whopping six months (and not consecutive months, either) actually IN England. Or something like that. Way Richard viewed it, England was just there to provide money for his adventures, just as John viewed it as a way to line his pockets. I see it as six of one, half a dozen of the other…but at least Richard was gone and usually not directly meddling. Neglect was one thing, but I expect John and his direct interference in business was the straw that broke the camel’s back…

    • No, no, you’ve got it wrong.
      We neglect to tell them that in those days, the rich were the government.

      • …in those days, the rich were the government.

        Phew – lucky that’s over and done with – now we only have enlightened super geniuses who have taken a vow of poverty to run our government for us.

        • Eh, now it’s a couple of spaces removed.
          Technically speaking.
          Either way, we’re not in a feudal system.

          • I think some parts of society are feudal already – with the internal politics of parts of DC up there on my list.

            How else can politicians enter “Public Service” solidly middle class and retire multi millionaires than via pledges of fealty and resulting rewards from the already-powerful for faithful service to the personal agendas of their “Lords”.

  15. c4c

  16. I had a similar experience two years ago, sitting in the little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant I found near the Choo-Choo during LibertyCon. I don’t remember what exactly was said, but I do remember debating hard with myself whether to say anything or not. Ultimately, I chose not to say anything, because as I’ve said before, I’m not articulate when I get angry, so I often make a fool of myself in such situations.

    • Me too. It is embarrassing to lose an argument with an with a glib left wing loonie whose pea brain is chock full of false talking points. I always think of the perfect response two minutes after I need it.

      Glib idiots… my bete noire and nemesis.

      • Yeah, they’re even worse than people who have actually thought out their position, albeit using poor logic, because their arguments make zero sense. That way, I spend more time trying to figure out what they did wrong to come to that conclusion than figuring out a suitable response.

        And only later do I realize they did NOT come to that conclusion, but got it from someone else.

  17. Too many liberties? Sometimes wonderful things drop into your feeds.
    They haven’t outlawed breathing, yet.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      But C02 is a pollutant, so . . .

    • Sara the Red

      …It’s a crime to be intentionally shirtless in a reading room at the Library of Congress, eh? And going by that phrasing, it is therefore NOT a crime to be UNintentionally shirtless…? And yet, it says nothing about being pantsless, so can I also assume that isn’t a crime, whether it’s intentional or not? 😀

      • Well, it probably is supposed to discourage people from disrobing in order to steal stuff.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Or to discourage amorous couples . . .

          • Sara the Red

            ^ I strongly suspect that might be the backstory for this one. And it’s probably a fairly hilarious one, too.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              Doesn’t happen at my branch of the library much. I mean, you see the teenagers who are “studying”, but not much else. Maybe we just don’t have enough isolated corners for them to get up to shenanigans in.

        • Sandy Burger (cursed be his bones) will forever be remembered by archivists and researchers as the person who made our lives much more difficult (the *&$*#&$^ #$&!+#$ $*%(#*$^%).

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              IIRC: Sandy Berger was a Clinton crony. Clintons being Clintons, they had some public records they needed to make disappear. Berger made them disappear out of the national archives by stuffing them down his pants and walking out.

              I presume that prompted extensive rules about people being left alone unattended around records, and maybe also personal searches when leaving secure areas.

  18. It’s funny that, all from the same group of people, you hear both “Those asshole Republicans are out to destroy civil rights!!!” and “Americans have too many liberties!” . All without realizing just how opposing those two ideas are.

  19. Look, guys, there was a reason that Englishmen who had servants said “not in front of the help” – it wasn’t just to avoid gossip. It was also to avoid making another human being, not in a position to retaliate, uncomfortable.

    Good manners and all that.

    Points to something– what is the purpose of power?

    Is the purpose of power to exercise it? Or is the purpose of power to have it if it’s needed– a tool, that because it’s a tool requires self control to use correctly?

    • Calls back to an earlier lesson: Strength is the first virtue. Being *able* to do something is a prerequisite to the doing of that thing (yes, I know). If the only place we can resist is in our minds, ever, then how effective is that resistance? Also, now that I think on it, that last is probably how the Left would describe their version of paradise, based on what I’ve heard them say over the years. If they could limit it to one sentence, anyway.

      • You might enjoy Sheen’s show on… I believe it was “freedom.”

        Basically, to be free means to be ABLE to choose to do the right thing. (Gets complicated because it’s a lot of people, not just one, that gets the freedom.)

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Basically, to be free means to be ABLE to choose to do the right thing.

          Of course, if we’re Free we’re ABLE to choose to do the wrong thing.

          Which is what those people were likely talking about when they said there was “too much liberty”.

          They likely disliked the idea that people were free to oppose Obama.

          I think one of Obama’s people talked about liking Red China’s system of government.

          IE Red China’s government didn’t have to worry about what the “opposition” thought of their plans. 😦

          • Very true, sir. One must wonder at the disconnect, that they can believe denying liberty to others will never come ’round and restrict the freedoms that they themselves cherish so.

          • *sad* They also think that the natural consequences of an act are punishment, and to be free means that you don’t have to pay a price for a choice.

            This is a very important part of any theory that has to deal with consistently bad results from fair application.

        • *grin* Thanks for reminding me of that one. Freedom and Moral Responsibility is a good one to recall- especially in this election year. It’s also the argument I’ve been using on family who don’t vote… Choosing not to choose is still a choice- and one we’re responsible for, like it or not.

  20. Reality Observer

    When you start contemplating the alternative uses of the spoons, it is time to leave. Or start talking very loudly yourself about Margaret Sanger’s solution for mental defectives. Or combine the two…

  21. Patrick Chester

    Look, guys I’ve got through entire dinners with communists without getting there, and without looking speculatively at the silverware and considering how to kill someone with a fork. (Okay, I lie about the second one, but all the same. Thoughts are, thank you, private, and my hobbies are my own.)

    Not a spoon?

  22. Scene at crowded lab test place; includes people of all ages from months old to old waiting. Elderly lady laments Obama in fairly loud voice. Within minutes, the ENTIRE crowd joins in. Interesting, no

    • Way back in 2011, I was working on a story in the Gus on the Moon universe during a slow moment at the GenCon anime alley, and one of the other volunteers asked me what I was doing. When I mentioned President Flannigan (the guy who was elected in 2008 in that office, and who beats the drum of moral panic against clones and people with genemods), the guy says something to the effect of “good to hear a name that isn’t Obama.”

  23. Ah – should have question mark after rhetorical question…

  24. The biggest problem with “Ideal Childhood” is the Left is not supplying the adults. Somebody has got to clean up the wee-wee, provide the snacks, stop the fights, and be the grown ups in the room.
    As a rule, the Left has wholeheartedly latched onto the modern pampered, coddled & spoiled Victim of the Week, Safe Space, Trigger Word avoiding, new toddler hood with a vengeance. But, while that is currently a great way to get a suckle at the government teet, that is not a way to gain or keep power.
    Power can only be gained and held by people able to use force, the “rough men” of Orwell. Historically, the class that takes up arms will eventually wind up running the country.
    The end result of the Left’s hatred of the Military and Police (plus the people who actually do stuff) will be a loss of the power they currently have. The question is, who will it be?

    • Who will it be? History provides a swathe of answers both terrible and sufficient. I prefer not to see another happen. Especially not here. *shakes head*

  25. Christopher M. Chupik

  26. There was a Hillary quote from a few years ago when she was giving a talk somewhere and she basically said that there is a balance between liberty and safety, and that in her opinion the balance had tilted to far towards former. I was trying to find it so I could get the exact wording and provide a link, but apparently it’s been buried under the metric crap ton of other stupid things Hillary has said lately and/or my google-fu suxors, because I can’t seem to find it.

    It has always confused my why ANY citizen would support legislation that bans or constrains… well… anything. In effect, what they are saying is that they don’t think they can handle having that privilege (or perhaps right, depending on what the thing is).

    I know, I know, the thought is usually that “Other People” can’t handle whatever. Why don’t they realize that it is THEIR baby that is being cut in half? (figuratively speaking, of course).

    • It has always confused my why ANY citizen would support legislation that bans or constrains… well… anything. In effect, what they are saying is that they don’t think they can handle having that privilege (or perhaps right, depending on what the thing is).

      Because my right to live is greater than their right to kill me if they want?

      My right to my purse is greater than their right to my purse?

      • Yes, killing and stealing are already illegal, and should be. One person’s “rights” (not that killing or theft are rights) do not trump another person’s rights (be they to life, or property).

        But nobody is talking about making murder and theft legal anyway (arguably, since some of us see imminent domain as government-aided, “legal” theft etc.), so your statements are not exactly intellectually honest now are they?

        On the other hand, people ARE talking about prosecuting people for speech (for denying global warming). When has prosecuting people simply for disagreeing (and saying so) EVER been OK in America?

        People ARE talking about restricting firearms rights to varying degrees (although you can never really pin them down. One minute they say “BAN THEM ALL”, the next they say “Nobody wants to BAN your guns!”).

        When I lived in California (mumble mumble years ago). I saw laws passed against back yard barbecues, and the wearing of one’s hat backwards. yes, really. It was a measure intended to “stick it to those yucky gang members”. Myself, and a few Marine friends went walking around with our hats on wrong in protest (in civvies, not in uniform BTW), and the police flat out REFUSED to cite us. Even when we asked nicely. We were told that “This law doesn’t pertain to YOU guys”. As an American, and a Marine the whole thing left me disappointed in “leadership” of my own country.

        • But nobody is talking about making murder and theft legal anyway (arguably, since some of us see imminent domain as government-aided, “legal” theft etc.), so your statements are not exactly intellectually honest now are they?

          Might want to watch the accusations of intellectual dishonesty there, neighbor. I’m not the one that professed a confusion about why “ANY citizen would support legislation that bans or constrains… well… anything.”

          You being too intellectually lazy to be bothered to understand why people who don’t agree with you do things is your problem; it only becomes mine in so far as it makes you ineffectual and a liability to have on the same side.

      • When people start talking about removing rights, it is always some other person’s rights, never their own.

        • It’s seldom so nice and clean as “I wish to remove your right.”

          Almost always, it’s just that they disagree with someone else about how to best protect another right.

  27. Hey, interesting, challenges, troubles are the sources of character, or so I have been told.

    Still, I would love to load up ATH one day and read as follows …

    I woke this morning without symptoms of allergies again. There had been a light refreshing rain in the early morning hours. The dew sparkled on the grass as the sun rose on another tranquil and productive day.

    After starting the laundry I poured another cup of coffee and got down to work. I have finished the research for the next book in the lives of the wives of Henry VIII series without any trouble or interruption.

    While shifting loads in the laundry after eating lunch I was struck with the solution for the conundrum that had developed between the various Goldport linked stories. This means I will be able to finish the next of the Shifters ahead of the deadline. I spent the early afternoon getting it written down and then got in my walk.

    Dan had an equally productive day with his writing, and he decided to celebrate by taking me to our favorite diner for dinner.

    It has now been a few years since we settled into what has proven to be the perfect house. Long time readers may remember the agony involved in loosing what I thought was a perfect house, the one that was demolished in the gas line explosion last year. Now we know that there was an even more suitable house waiting for us. The high level air filtration system and other modifications the prior owners had done because of their allergies continues to prove a real boon.

    On the news front the constitutionalists now have the government firmly in hand. The transition to the flat tax has proved smoother than predicted, and the next of layoffs from the IRS will occur on schedule.

    One can dream.

  28. BobtheRegisterredFool

  29. I taught English in Georgia for a year (the former Soviet republic, not the former Confederate state), and was fascinated by all of the signs of a collapsed society. They had experienced their collapse in the 90s and were just starting to climb out of it, but you could really tell that SHTF had happened not too long ago.

    Then I came back to the United States, and started seeing the same signs here that I’d seen over there. That’s when I decided to get serious about food storage and self-reliance.

    Those statistics are frightening, but they explain A LOT.

  30. Snerk. According to the spam mail digest I get from PJMedia, there’s a #34 factoid for your list:

    Apparently, Obama has created over 100,000 new jobs – all of them in the firearms manufacturing industry. 🙂