Forget Your Place

Recently we were talking here about the culture war and I realized with shock that I’d never have engaged in the fight if Larry Correia hadn’t started.  And the reason why not surprised me.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t aware of the strange phenomenon in our field, where those with power pretend to be the underdog and scream about the injustice, even as they dispense whatever justice or injustice they want with no reprisals.

It wasn’t that I was scared of what it might do to my career.  Since 2012 I have known indie can make me more money than even Baen, so if Baen should for some reason be unable to publish me, (say, because public opinion turned overwhelmingly against me) I could go on writing and publishing.  If I burned this name, I could adopt whatever pseudonym I decided to use.  No one even needed to know.

No, the reason I would never have stepped out of line, if Larry hadn’t started it up, is that I had internalized the condition in the field — the condition in the culture at large — as the way things are, the sort of unspoken law, against which no one can fight.  The very vehemence of the response to Larry told me, not that he was right — I and anyone with even a modicum of honesty knew that, however much we kept our mouths shut — but that the establishment was vulnerable.  No one uses that much overwhelming force to stop that which is no threat.  More importantly, there was a sheer joy to speaking what had been forbidden, to letting the truth pour out.  It reminded me of the probably apocryphal words attributed to Christopher Marlowe shortly before his death: “To speak the truth would be worth it even if it were just once and one had to die for it.”

Realizing that, realizing how far we’ve come since Larry dared stand up and speak, realizing how much things have changed (and no, not to increased strife.  The strife was there before, but only one side was discomfited) I realized how many times even I, who have an avowed problem with authority, even I who moved across the ocean to escape a culture that believed a lot more in one’s allotted place and one’s allotted destiny, have a tendency to accept “my place” and stay in it.  Not because I’m afraid, or because it is comfortable, but because it seems inevitable.

It is never inevitable.  If something is wrong, fix it.  If something is uncomfortable, change it.  If something is making you chafe, step out of it.

Oh, sure, there are obligations and promises given, and I’m NOT suggesting you be monstrously self-centered.  I’m not talking about the type of situation where someone is dependent on you and you have an obligation to them.  All of us go through those situations, and the reward comes in living up to your obligations.

I’m rather talking about those situations where things just aren’t right, where entire fields, or entire offices or entire families or social groups are being run by a small, easily offended clique or by tyrannical individuals who enjoy power, and you stay quiet, because staying quiet is easier and you’re used to it, and you don’t want to buck the trend.  It’s not, mind you, that you’re afraid to lose your job, but that people might look at you funny in the break room, and things will change.

In these cases, it is your duty not to know your place.  It is your right to speak your mind.  It is your time to challenge the status quo. And it is important that you do.

Because politics is downstream from culture, and if you don’t change culture, any change you make to politics will be fleeting. And we’ve let it go far too long.

Know your place.  And then forget it.  Your place, in a free society, is wherever you want it to be.

Go forth and make it so.


388 thoughts on “Forget Your Place

        1. That’s what the British sniper did to the guy with the flamethrower (and his buddies) who was about to use it on his prisoners.

      1. Light a fire for a man and he will be warm for the night.
        Set a man on fire and he will be warm the rest of his life.

        1. Still, I have to say, after the episode of Gotham (The Rise of the Villains: By Fire ) The Spouse and I watched last night, flame throwers have problems, too.

          1. drool

            Isn’t it good to know that there are studies that say a small amount of dark chocolate daily is very good for the health.

            1. What if you’re a large person? Then can I have a large amount of dark chocolate? (I do love dark chocolate with peanut butter.)

              1. Reports on studies indicate that the size of the medicinal dose of dark chocolate is unrelated to the size of the person being dosed. Two to three ounces (say, the amount of a couple of Dove bites) should suffice to deliver full benefits.

                Of course, as there is little risk of overdose you might want a couple extra, just to be safe.

  1. One of the big advantages of the Intertubes is how they have allowed those of us who don’t subscribe to the conventional wisdom to discover that we are not alone and that therefore it is worth fighting because it turns out there are in fact quite a lot of people on our side.

    Indeed it seems entirely possible that the other side, despite its apparent cultural domination has feet of a particularly fragile and water soluble clay. We all forgot that many many people had tuned out because they couldn’t find stuff they liked.

    1. No matter what they say, what they mean is ‘Shut UP!’
      I think the increase in the shrillness and volume and hate is their realization that they no longer can control the ‘narrative’ like they did when Walter Cronkite was in charge.

    2. Exactly – I have wondered for several years how many times a news outlet like 60 Minutes created a story out of whole cloth, like the Dan Rather/GWB/Texas Air National Guard thing … and got away with it because it wasn’t possible for outside observers to study the documentation on which the whole fraud was based.

        1. It does come as somewhat of a shock when you realize that for many years “conventional wisdom” was really a narrative carefully crafted by special interests and fed to the public by the network media under their control. True, it’s hard to separate truth from chaff on this net of ours, but at least the truth is there if you work for it.

          1. It does sound like a bad conspiracy theory, doesn’t it?

            Kind of like how the debunking– very well supported, factual, and actually “holy crud how did anybody BELIEVE this junk?!?” level of debunking– of the “Hitler’s Pope” garbage sounds…. well, crazy. It was a freaking Soviet plot? And nobody listened to what the founders of Israel, the head Rabbi in Rome, Einstein or even the bloody Nazis had to say on it, they believed some freaking plays?!?

          2. In the Vietnam case, both ways. First the elites, INCLUDING CRONKITE, sold America on the necessity and moral justification of the war. Then, when it failed to be an easy victory, on the necessity and moral justification of immediate withdrawal. To the point that they hated Nixon so greatly for winning it AFTER they had decided that it was immoral and unwinnable that they sabotaged enforcement of the Paris Peace Treaty just to make sure that it wasn’t won with their disapproval.

            They threw a nation into a Communist hell just to be able to say “We were right.” And that nation is still in there, with the same American elites resolutely ignoring their suffering.

            Remember that, when the left-wing Boomers go on about how moral are they in international affairs.

            1. Three nations. Let’s not forget Laos and Cambodia, (i.e. Pol Pot). Admittedly, our military went about it all wrong: the Communists were doing guerilla warfare while we were, as far as I can tell, still dominated by WW II thinking, but when our media started amplifying and quoting the most extreme leftist radicals, it didn’t help. Who remembers Tom Dooley?

      1. All the not so big anymore networks have had questionable reporting. ABC with Food Lion and NBC’s exploding gas tanks… yup…

        1. Hey, let’s not sell NBC short…the got caught a lot more than the other guys…to the point exploding gas tanks were a minor example.

        2. And just in this current election cycle CNN, MSNBC, and at least a couple of the majors have been caught editing footage to “adjust” reality to suit the message they wanted to convey.

            1. I remember hearing last election cycle, Romney and Ryan were at a campaign spot together, and the crowd was shouting “Romney! Romney! Romney!” and Romney stopped them, and told them to shout “Romney/Ryan!”

              This was reported as the crowd shouting “Ryan! Ryan!”, and Romney stopping them, etc.

              Whole different appearance to the story.

              1. Yeah, that and the election fraud did for Romney. Say what you will, yes, he came from a liberal state, but he’d have been a million times better.
                He’s a human being, something that can’t be said for either of the two this year.

                1. That was a crucial part of Romney’s problem. He was too nice to take on people happy to blame him for people dying of cancer or call Obama out for what it is (and while “out of his depth” is true it isn’t the main problem).

                  Lack of any fight by Romney or McCain (at leat against Democrats) has been over corrected in Trump.

                  1. Herb, you’re drinking Trump’s and the media’s koolaid. McCain I give you. Romney? F*ck that. He was fighting. I was even present at some of his statements. He was “deplatformed” or as I referred to it at the time “cone of silence.”
                    There are TWO things I want you to contemplate: WHY you believe he wasn’t doing anything, just because he was reported as not doing anything. (Or rather, they didn’t report what he did.) and B) Why Trump is not getting the same treatment. Any response starting with tough or smart is buying the narrative. Trump is simply someone they can do business with. And they know it. And so does he. More so than they could with Romney. Contemplate that.

                    1. WHY you believe he wasn’t doing anything, just because he was reported as not doing anything.

                      Because his ad buys in the general was not nearly as fierce as those against GOP opponents in the primary. Remember, I live in a state that was fought over in 2012 very hard and adjacent to two others. I saw what he had to say about fellow Republicans in media he paid to run and contrasted to that media he paid to run against Obama. I didn’t need TV news I don’t watch to tell me anything to do the compare and contrast.

                      The tone was decidedly different.

                      Also, Romney’s campaign strategy was to not engage. He didn’t want to risk angering anyone because he and his staff concluded that given no president had been re-elected with economic numbers like Obama had in 2012. They concluded that rocking the vote risked turning off voters who would leave Obama over the economy. This was pretty openly stated by his advisors at the time. He was effectively playing prevent defense in a tied game on the opponent’s home field.

                      Only late in the campaign did he get beyond his “out of his depth” views about Obama because they realized they’d been wrong.

                      Why Trump is not getting the same treatment.

                      Because the media believes it is to their benefit to highlight his obnoxiousness instead of hide it.

                      While the “it helps Hillary” issue is part of it, it is only part of it. The other part is it is good TV. In fact, it was good enough TV to win the primaries by getting a good segment of the GOP still stinging from McCain’s “ready to be president” comment during the debates (as an aside I consider McCain a much, much worse candidate…Romney I blame more for believing past results insure future returns a bit too much).

                      Trump is simply someone they can do business with. And they know it. And so does he. More so than they could with Romney.

                      You had me until “more so than they could Romney”. There is a one word counter to that: Romneycare. Romney had a demonstrated willingness and ability to compromise with very, very blue state legislators. As did McCain, although McCain even more so. That is why they were their year’s media darlings. The best you can claim is Trump is likely as willing to be sleazy about it as the media and Dems are while Romney would do it thinking he was the height of adulthood while selling out to them.

                      Don’t think the media didn’t do as much to select the most pliable Republican in 2008 and 2012 as they did in 2016. In fact, prior to Trump the media was all over Bush in the way they were McCain and Romney in their years.

                      People who thought Romney was a great GOP candidate should support Johnson who talks nearly as good a game and will be just as good a friend of big government as the other three (all while pretending not to do so and has Romney’s clone as running mate).

                    2. The tldr; version: Romney spent more time running as Reagan in 1984 to be considered a fighter when he should have been running as Reagan in 1980.

                      Consider Romney’s “Believe in America” slogan, a major general election ad buy. Is that closer to 1984’s “Morning in America” or 1980’s “Are you better off than you were four years ago.”

                      For all the differences Trump is running more more as Reagan in 1980. Do the same comparison with Reagan slogans with Trump’s “Make America Great Again“.

                      Romney was running his 2016 re-election campaign four years early. It might have worked given his opponent was running an election, not re-election campaign. It didn’t.

                    3. Make America Great Again means we’re not. Look, Trump is losing to frigging Hillary. But you want to believe you were right in snubbing Romney and embracing Trump. Shrug.

                    4. The problem is that in the primaries the liberal states have enough electoral votes (completely out of proportion to their Republican votes in the general) to choose the Republican nominee. They invariably choose the most liberal candidate, through a combination of Democratic strategy (some call it sabotage, but it isn’t really, it is just a strategy to have people register Republican in order to vote in the Republican primary) and the simple facts that people in liberal states tend liberal, even Republicans, so they vote for the liberal candidate. Then those states that chose the candidate that the more conservative states can’t stand, ALWAYS go democrat in the general.

                      The Republicans need to readjust their nomination process if they want to have much chance at winning the Presidency. My personal choice would be to declare states that have not gotten a minimum of at least 45% of the Presidential vote in two of the last three elections, should not have a say in the nomination of the candidate. Realizing that there will be a HUGE outcry about disenfranchised Republican voters in those states, I would suggest a compromise position of the number Electoral Votes per state given in the primary process be calculated by the number of Republican votes cast in the last general Presidential Election. Rather than basing the Electoral votes on the total number of voters per state, they should be based on the number of voters likely to support the candidate in the general election, per state.

                    5. I have blinders on about Romney?

                      Did you watch his governorship in MA from a second row seat (the state of CT) as I did with him and Weld?

                      Romney is a great guy of the Bush cut. H W Bush was the ultimate Cold War president who sadly saw it end one year in. Romney was a great potential caretaker president much like Ike or Clinton (Bill, not Hill) but had no place in what was going to be a fight against a man unafraid to play every dirty card and who did so against the Clintons. Gingrich was the only one close to what was needed although Cruz would have been better but he wasn’t even available to run.

                      BTW, you’re complaining about those who disagree with you falling for the narrative or having blinders sometimes sounds very Gramscian. It fits you ill. My interpretation of Romney doesn’t come from Fox News or CNN or talk radio. It comes from pushing 30 years as a voting adult working with and supporting the GOP and knowing the types and trends. It also doesn’t mean Romney is bad, evil, or even liberal. It means he is, and ran the campaign of, someone who routinely got rolled by the Dems 20 years after we should have known better.

                      Remember, when I say Trump is karma for those who perpetuated that GOP mindset I put myself front and center. I voted lockstep for a candidate whose proudest moment was gutting the 1st Amendment because that was better than electing a Democrat. Not only that I did it in a year there was no way in hell that the GOP would have won. The year all of us should have voted Libertarian in protest. I said Romney or Obama all the while knowing Romney lacked the personality needed for that fight. I helped kicked the can as much as anyone else and we got Trump.

                      What I am trying to do is not be blind as to why we got Trump and a year where all four national candidates are Democrats or worse. Trump is a New Dealer and the all are even further out there.

                    6. Make America Great Again means we’re not. Look, Trump is losing to frigging Hillary. But you want to believe you were right in snubbing Romney and embracing Trump. Shrug.

                      I neither snubbed Romney (although I voted Santorum in the primaries, moved, and got registration screwed up so didn’t vote in the general…I had as much enthusiasm as Romney) nor embraced Trump. I voted Cruz in the primary and I’m voting Trump the same reason I voted McCain: because I voted GOP in the primaries and if you do that you vote that way in the general.

                      Am I going to do it as much in spite for all the people too good to live by the rule they demanded of us for years who are openly supporting Hillary? Sure, I’ll cop to that. But that is not embracing Trump.

                      What I do want is for people to realize how we got Trump so we don’t get worse in 2020/4…but hey, let’s vote Hillary (which, as I was told year after year, is what voting 3rd party is…funny how not that the GOP establishment doesn’t have the nomination that rule is inoperable) and see what the people she’s already spitting on (with assists from plenty of Republicans to be honest) vote for in the next GOP primary.

                    7. Third party voting depends on where you vote. If you live in California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts … go ahead vote third party. If you live in Texas, Utah or any state where the Hillary winning the vote means it’s already a landslide, vote third party. For those of us living in battleground state (pointing to my tarheel) there is a rough choice but I recommend Trump on three grounds: 1. might as well see the left heads explode as compensation for the suffering 2. the Media will at least cover his every effort at abusing power 3. why not? How much worse than Hillary could he be? At least he isn’t promising to rewrite the 1st & 2nd Amendments. And any criticism of him will not be deemed racist, sexist or even deplorable.

                    8. @bearcat: The Republicans need to readjust their nomination process if they want to have much chance at winning the Presidency.

                      Not disagreeing but the people who win the nomination also control the party. The Bushes and the Romneys know if they did that Walkers, Santorums, or *gasp* Cruzes might win…why they are as icky as Trump…can’t risk that.

                    9. Herb, compare Trump to Romney. Romney was a leftist-republican, not an outright LEFTIST.

                      Yes, and having supported that enough years a critical mass of Republican leaning voters decided that if it was choice between a Democrat who despises us and hands out more goodies to everyone else or a Democrat light who is merely embarrassed by us and won’t give us goodies just promise not to give everyone else more was stupid and they wanted an out and out Democrat who liked (or at least pretends to like*) them and gives them goodies.

                      Hell, W was a trial run on that one to a degree.

                      However, I think someone else explained the key “pretends to like us” portion much better:

                      * At least as much as the Dems like their pet minorities.

                    10. “He was not a libertarian, but he was a conservative. Trump is neither.”

                      Umm, no. I realize he is long out of the spotlight, but lets not go and gild him quite yet. Romney was no doubt a nice guy on a personal level, and much preferable to Obama or Trump. He was not however either a libertarian or a conservative.

                      Your second sentence however, is perfectly true.

                  2. Oh and:

                    Make America Great Again means we’re not.

                    And “are you better off than four years ago” means we aren’t. Except Trump is going for “are you better off than 20 years ago” so the expanded meaning.

                    Also, when we have a President who apologized for the country, only get saved from bombs because bums stealing the bags they are in throw them in dumpsters or find them in NJ (the US is now protected by The Department of Homeless Security) and the SCUS will soon be finding a right to omnisex bathrooms (over/under is 7 years) I question if we are still the great nation that won the Cold War.

                    Is a football player who once won a Superbowl but sat on the couch and got fat still great? Because that seems to be the US of today and very few people in politics or culture seem to want to change that. The biggest signs of desire to change are things like Sad Puppies and Gamer Gate. We have a long way to go.

                    Politics is downstream of culture and two “not great” threads, the left and the working class, have finally flowed far enough down to give us politics of decline full bore. Expect that to last for while until we clean the headwaters.

                    That’s why when someone posted about complaints about Kapernick but not about pols doing similar students I pointed out politics is downstream of culture and the former has more effect, and thus deserves more criticism, than the pols.

                2. Now Sarah, Donald Trump may not be a Good Human Being but he is human.

                  On the other hand, I don’t know What Hillary is. 😦

                    1. It’s that whole “reality is unrealistic” thing. So used to the fictional depiction that the real thing doesn’t register as accurate. 😛

          1. Michael Crichton made a movie called “Looker” about an organization that could manipulate video images in real time to influence elections.

            It was pure fiction in 1981… now, it wouldn’t be difficult at all.

            It’s a pretty good movie, too.

      2. They not only got away with it, the movie about the affair whitewashed the whole thing to boot. They can say or do anything, with the rest of the media watching their back.

        1. Did they? Rather and his producer lost their jobs,W won re-election, and bloggers moved from basement dwelling jammie wearers to the main drivers of political campaigns much of the time.

          Sure, a decade later a movie white-washed Rather et al but that doesn’t restore their lost income or restore the lost credibility of the MSM.

          1. It seems like a bigger deal should have been made. We needed to have an important conversation about media bias in the wake of Rathergate, and instead it was virtually forgotten by the mainstream.

            1. I think we did just not in the MSM. The public’s view of journalism and the penetration of newer media forms really gained speed afterwards.

              Maybe not a conversation but lots of action.

            2. it was virtually forgotten by the mainstream

              I believe you may have misspelled “desperately.”

            3. You do realize that what you refer to as the “mainstream” is rapidly becoming an irrigation canal with a MAINSTREAM!!! sign on it running next to the Mississippi. The Rathergate thing is part of the reason why and a trigger for a lot of the remaining reason.

            4. Of course it was ignored in the mainstream, most people don’t like to admit their own guilt. That doesn’t mean that a big deal wasn’t made about it.

              I would have liked to seen a bigger deal being made, but what there was both sufficient remove those found directly guilty in that instance, and much more than had been made in the past when there weren’t other sources of media.

            1. The movie may have bombed, but it will remain on Netflix and as filler on cable television, unexploded ordnance of liberal lies.

          2. Yes, and no.

            Yes, the media lost at the time. Long term? I’m not so sure. And there’s two immediate reasons for that that I can identify. The first is the spread of “everyone’s doing it!”. The media’s misdeeds are excused with the “everyone’s doing it” rationale, and a perception that even if the media does have “occasional” problems, it’s not as bad as the stuff you see on the internet (legitimately bad on-line sources like Buzzfeed and Gawker have not helped in this regard because they tar all of the other on-line-only news sources due to “guilt by shared medium”). The second is that as time passes, the people with actual knowledge of the event decreases, and the number of people who don’t really know anything about it increases. And a lot of people who know will be in the “yeah, something bad happened with Rather, but I don’t really know much about the details” camp. The new people and the people who never really bothered to learn the details can both be influenced by things like the recent movie.

        2. I am not certain they really got away with it. Rather’s career ended in flaming debris, George W Bush was elected, and the phrase ‘fake but accurate’ became an object of ridicule.

        3. And of the twelve people who were not paid to see that movie in theaters, six might be convinced.

          Yes, it’s now in the Hollywood Canonical Reference Vault along with other made up crap, but it was such a humoungous flop that there is absolutely no popular culture impact to it’s release.

          1. Hm, that does not scan – lets try again:

            And of the twelve paying moviegoers who saw the thing and were not paid to do so, …

            It really did spectacularly horribly on release. A Massive, massive flop.

        4. Yet the movie couldn’t hide the fact that they “shot at the President” and missed.

          The President (or his people) didn’t have to go before Congress to “explain anything”.

          The movie was a failure because it was about a failed stunt by them.

          Having not seen the movie, I can’t say if it showed the “PJ Guys” who provided the Real Truth about the documents, but I’m sure that the movie couldn’t say that the “evil Bush” smashed them.

          They got fired after the “PJ Guys” showed them to be a bunch of idiots.

          I doubt any amount of “whitewashing” could disguise the fact that they failed.

          IMO that’s why the movie bombed.

          Movie goers want to see winners but Dan Rather was a loser and the movie could not show him as a winner.

          Now, I think a very good movie might have been about the “PJ Guys” who took on a Major Television Network and won. 👿

          1. Movie goers want to see winners but Dan Rather was a loser and the movie could not show him as a winner.

            This explains why The Big Short did okay despite being about people among those who profited the most from the financial crisis. Given they profited by the fall of the “banksters” they are somehow heroes.

      3. 60 Minutes apparently had a reputation for doing the Daily Show treatment to interviews – to the point where smart interviewees who knew how 60 Minutes acts have been able to embarass them with the uncut interviews.

        1. It’s been the advice of Instapundit and others over the last ten years or so that if you are being interviewed regarding your controversial stand on something – to bring your own camera and crew and tape the entire thing – just so that no one gets any funny ideas about editing your responses into something else entirely.
          Very wise advice, too, considering.

          1. Hugh Hewitt has for years made it a practice that anybody from the MSM wishing to interview him was welcome to come on his show and do the interview before Hewitt’s audience. Of course, Hewitt also had a tendency to interview the interviewer, asking such questions as whether Alger Hiss was guilty.

          2. Didn’t some gun rights group do that to Katie Couric? Caught her deceptively editing an interview for her “documentary” played audio they recorded of the interview to show how she deceptively edited one part and now they’re suing her?

        2. When the anti-nuke hysteria was in full swing in the 80’s, 60 minutes did a piece on the Clinton plant in Central Illinois. Lucky for the utility, the PR folks insisted upon taping it themselves and caught CBS in a LOT of creative editing.

        3. I have been on TV and Radio a number of times, as well as interviewed by newspapers. I learned from others before those events that those people are you enemies and that they are out to destroy you, and will do so the first chance that they get.
          So be very careful of what you say, record if at all possible, and warn them upfront that if they re-edit what you say, you will sue immediately (but do it carefully) also be aware of their tricks. If there are two cameras, keep an eye on what the second one is doing, especially when the first one is supposed to be ‘off’, be careful of what you say as long as you are wearing a mic. DO NOT make ‘off the record’ statements until the mic has been removed and the cameras are both off and elsewhere.
          Reporters are all far left, and their editors are even farther left, and they make money and fame by tearing you apart and making you look bad. They will lie in an instant, and have no morals or ethics at all.

          And even with all of that, they will still make you look bad. The lesson to be learned here is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER talk to the press or have anything to do with them. They will never help you, they will always hurt you. And if you think you can get the best of them, well if you’re not a famous expert with other outlets (Like Milo or Trump for example) you are only fooling yourself.

        1. Ok, on reread, bad comparison, it did happen. The reporting just utterly ignored most of the information.

          1. Ever watch the Scooby Doo movies?

            I can’t remember if it was the second or third movie, but at one point the Dishonest Reporter takes Fred saying “you’re trying to make it sound like we hate Coolsville!” and edits it so that it says “We hate Coolsville!”

            More classically, “a text, without context, is a pretext.”

            It does matter for truth, justice and understanding, what was going on– the eternal “so and so was unarmed!” is pretty useless if it doesn’t include information like “he is a former football player with a black belt and multiple attempted murder charges for unarmed battery” or “his target is a 75 year old disabled vet.” Or even “he was unarmed, all he had was a baseball bat and a chef’s knife, not a WEAPON.”

            There’s all kind of ways to lie without, technically, saying anything that’s false.

          2. Actually I’d say that Kent State was a decent example. Although the guard did shoot protesters, 1) they had reason to feel threatened, 2) someone was shooting at them, as best anyone has been able to tell, 3) people were attacking the guard and had not dispersed even when ordered to do so. So while the basic fact is correct, the entire framework has been flipped into “innocent peaceful protesting college students massacred by eeeeevil soldiers/police.”

            Huh. For some reason that sounds kinda familiar.

            1. What happened and what got reported were as alike as a moose and a deer.

              Other examples abound, some of them in our history texts, such as the events in Wilmington, NC in 1898:

              Over a century later, facts of 1898 race riots released
              Posted Dec 16, 2005
              By Angela Mack, [Wilmington Star] Staff Writer
              One hundred and seven years. That’s how long it has taken the state to bring to the surface the history of the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot that left the Port City in racial ruins. The violence was part of a statewide effort to put white supremacist Democrats in office and stem the political advances of black citizens, according to a draft report released Thursday by the state-appointed 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission.

              The incident is the only known violent overthrow of a government in U.S. history. Afterward, white supremacists in state office passed the laws that would disfranchise a race of people for generations – until the civil rights movement and Voting Rights Act of the 1960s.

              “Essentially, it crippled a segment of our population that hasn’t recovered in 107 years,” said Harper Peterson, former mayor of Wilmington and a member of the commission. “It’s a major event that went unnoticed.”


              The 480-page report, divided into eight chapters with appendices and maps, is the first to examine the riot’s economic impact on Wilmington’s black community and the shift in the city’s demographics after a number of black residents were forced out of town.

              According to the report, 11,324 blacks and 8,731 whites lived in Wilmington in 1890. In 1900, there were 10,407 blacks in the city and 10,556 whites.

              Wilmington’s black entrepreneurs and skilled workers suffered economic setbacks after the riots, but they slowly rebounded. The violence left many blacks dead or injured. The report documents the deaths of 22 blacks.

              There are no white fatalities documented to include in the report, said LeRae Umfleet, the state archives researcher who has worked with the commission since 2003.
              — — —

              Does anyone here doubt that, had such an event been perpetrated by the Republicans it would be widely reported? This was the precipice from which Jim Crow was launched, spreading beyond NC to Virginia and other states of the South, and yet most know nothing about it.

              1. I understand that the use of violence in support of implementing Segregation/Jim Crow well precedes 1898.

                I vaguely recall that the murders Republicans at the time accused Steve Renfroe of were much earlier.

                1. The use of violence, yes; that was in the origins of the KKK. The successful use of violence to overthrow and replace a duly elected state government was quite revolutionary.

          3. Yes.

            1. Protest upsets state university administration and regularly overwhelm local PD.
            2. University request National Guard backup from the governor.
            3. National Guard activates and sends what they can scrape up to try and intimidate protester troublemakers.
            4. Some NG officer issues live ammunition, and no noncom imposes common sense by making the guardsmen keep ammo in their ammo belts instead of loaded into their Garands.
            5. During a protest where these NG troops are deployed, someone starts shooting at them.
            6. With not enough leadership and discipline to retreat under fire without returning fire, guardsmen fire into the crowd of protesters, killing several.

            Now leave out #5 and report NG troops shooting protestors without provocation at a state university, and with nothing like the internet to cross check that reporting, you get what we got. And the truth didn;t come out for 40 years.

            1. In fairness, someone in the National Guard unit could have smuggled in a private firearm, covertly used it to spur the killing, then abandoned it. I think the alternate possibility is by far more certain, but we don’t actually know who fired the shots that apparently started the matter.

              And the officer screwed up, even if he was green and untrained for it.

              1. I’ll admit I’m more inclined to blame the NCOs. Some 2 Lt. isn’t older than the kids protesting or holding the majority of the rifles.

                Some NCO at 25 or 30 should have talked to the CO and/or told everyone to keep ammo in their belts. Even a E-5 is senior enough to know better (best rank in the nuclear Navy…senior enough to know the skeletons and junior enough to not have to worry about them).

              2. I suppose anything is possible, but I tend to look for “who would benefit” from an event, and the folks egging on and “community organizing” those protests had far more to gain from provoking an incident than would Some NG Dude, and it’s far harder to hide a provocative action as you suppose within close ranks of formed up guardsmen who were actively maneuvering than from the surrounding masses of protesters:


                “But Sarge, I need to fire these provocation rounds from my hidden pistol…”


              3. However, the protesters were definitely throwing rocks. Throwing rocks is so lethal that it has been used as a method of execution.

      4. As retired Air Force I could immediately tell it was fake. The font was not not 12 point Courier, which was the standard font for written documents.

        1. And — there were no file notation and initials in the upper-right hand corner, which I thought was a bit suspicious. If it was official, it would be in the file plan, with the handwritten folder number and date.

            1. And the incredible amount of time they spent trying to show it could have been possible to use superscript if the AFNG had been equipped with the most modern and expensive up to date typewriters in some backwater office. Like any government office is going to have the newest bestest anything.

    3. Exactly this. The thing is they’re disciplined, so it’s easy for them to take over institutions. The problem is they’re delusional, so those institutions don’t fare well under them. It’s time the adults came home. And the Good Lord Have Mercy, we’re the ONLY adults available.

      1. A fact which should either make us all break out laughing, or go screaming out of our own minds.

        …I think I’ll go with being Amused. We’ll do more damage to the establishment that way.

        And oy, when it comes to the tuning out because of not finding something you liked… so much so. I’ve had times I’ve gone into bookstores and walked back out, empty-handed. Because there was nothing on the SF/F shelf but one more morally gray Designated Protagonist. Enough already!

          1. These days I’m often found in the manga section. At least there’s usually something with Good Guys and Bad Guys!

            …Although Spice and Wolf with its characters who use guile and economic savvy is really neat.

          2. Last three visits to a book store I got a decent cup of coffee and a really nice cookie. Books? Do they still sell those there? Between Baen Webscriptons and direct from Amazon why would I bother?

            1. Went into the bookstore with my girlfriend two months ago for the first time in months. We spent almost as much time looking at the Gundam models and the Star Wars mini games as we spent looking at books.

        1. It makes my resolution to buy paper books only for the child that much easier to keep, at least. And it’s expanded my reading horizons greatly – narrative nonfiction scratches the “read big books” itch pretty nicely.

            1. Try some of Peter Capstick’s big-game books. They’re finally out on Kindle, and are quite good.

                1. Death in the Long Grass is superb, Death in the Silent Places is good, Death in the Dark Continent was pretty good. And be prepared to laugh like a hayena at the bit about the snake and the outhouse.

                  1. Not to mention the “Tale of the Man-Eating Lady”.

                    “That’s bloody Africa for you. EVERYTHING bites.”

                  2. I second both the ratings and the comment about the snake and the outhouse.
                    Although after my experience with a rattler yesterday, all I can say is; apparently my heart is healthy, no fears of a heart attack any time soon.

          1. I got a kid’s kindle when it was on sale last time– the big “everybody chip in” gift at sixty bucks– and our eldest sometimes gets rewarded with being allowed to read books on my phone.

            Learning how to use paper books is big, though, and there’s always Goodwill or St V.dP.

        2. I can remember going into bookstores when I had some expendable cash (and even sometimes when I didn’t), making a bee-line for the science fiction & fantasy section, and always finding something to make want to grab it and take it home… 15 years ago. As you say, things have changed. As glad as I am for the indie revolution, I miss those days. I like the feel and smell of books above and beyond their value as vectors of story and information. Irrational, but there you are.

          I think the problem trad pub has goes beyond ticky-box protagonists and predictable opponents: Oh look! There’s a corporate character, or a businessman, or a Catholic priest. I wonder what role they’re going to play in this little adventure. For the millionth time.

          There’s also a sameness to the plot structures that you only really notice if you have to read one after another after another. Harlequin romance novels have more structural variation.

          I had nearly given up on adult SF (except for a handful of older authors will a relatively small output) but I still had (and have) to read a LOT Of young adult fiction back-to-back. And after a while you begin to wonder if they’re all edited by the same person. They nearly all have this weird bit in the middle, for example (I call it “the Tor slog”) where the A & B action/emo plots swop around & try to get sorted out.

          It’s as if CENTRAL Central Intelligence has taken over the publishing industry.

          1. I think when you are reading YA, you kind of expect some moral dilemma to be posed and resolved. Adult fiction should not be lecturing you like you are a member of the basket of deplorables.

              1. I think it was James taranto (Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web Today”) who noted that Hillary’s insult was far greater, dividing Trump’s supporters into “Deplorables” and “Pitiables” — both groups being too dumb t know their place.

                It seems she took all the wrong lessons from Thomas Frank’s tome What’s The Matter With Kansas and is blind to the idea some people are not willing to sell their liberty for ten cents on the dollar.

                1. …people are not willing to sell their liberty for ten cents on the dollar

                  Particularly when they know they will have to finance the purchase through the taxes they pay at the rate of $1.50 on the $1.00.

                2. What was great was Hillary declaring Trump is trying to divide Americans by group and that’s bad.

                  Apparently dividing them by basket is okay though.

            1. Well yes, the YA “problem novel” is a real thing, but for a long time you could count on novels for young people that weren’t “issue-of-the-month” emo-fests to have an actual story, because kids wouldn’t put up with the same kind of grey goo that adults are shamed into playing that they admire.

              That’s changing.

          2. I like the feel and smell of books above and beyond their value as vectors of story and information. Irrational, but there you are.


            Logic, like economics, doesn’t tell you what your goals are. Only how to reach them.

            The sentence “I like the feel and smell of books” has logical content only in whether it is a true or false regarding the content of your mind.

            The concept “I like the feel and smell of books” is a statement of preference, and as such is neither rational nor irrational. Attempting to apply “rational” to that concept can only be done in the context of another goal. Any other attempt is making the same mistake as trying to apply “absolute truth” to an experiment.

            The Paperclip Maximizer is rational. It merely has goals very different from your own, and in fact completely incompatible with your goals.

            1. Good point. My feelings that the smell and texture of paper and book glue are neither logical nor illogical.

              Unfortunately, the word “irrational” also means not a thing of reason, an absurdity (dating back to the 17th century). Which was patently obvious from context.

              Vocabulary FAIL

              But I’m not triggered, just pedantic.

        3. You’re not alone.

          My turning point was in 1995, when I went into a chain bookstore with over a thousand dollars of “discretionary spending funds” to blow on books. I left empty-handed.

          And that was my last attempt to purchase any new SF until quite recently.

          1. Me too. I used to love browsing bookstores for new SF to read. That sort of tapered off about two decades ago. My kids were born about then and with life changes I did not really notice the dearth of good SF, since there was so much else to attend to. But then a couple of years ago via political blogs I tripped over the Puppy phenomenon. Wow, that certainly explained some things. Since then I have been following links through the various authors that get mentioned here and at MGC and my to-be-read pile is growing at an impressive clip.

        4. The best local book store used to have Baen Books in its English language science fiction/fantasy shelves (rather small shelves though so there never was much). Now the owner/director (I’m not quite sure how the chain operates, and not interested enough to check) changed, and what they have seems to be only New York Times certified best sellers like Game of Thrones series, and award winners like Leckie’s series. 😦

          And Pratchett. I might buy some of his from there, but otherwise that store seems to be pretty much a goner as far as I am concerned. Thank heaven for Amazon and it’s collection of indie ebooks, and Baen. Otherwise I would not find anything to read anymore, not really. Apart from old stuff from the local thrift stores etc, lots of the classic mystery, thrillers, and yes, some fantasy and science fiction too, was translated to Finnish, and there is a surprisingly good selection of English language paperbacks in circulation too (and I’m also quite fond of Finnish as it was 50 to 100 years ago).

          1. You can usually get the latest Ringo book from Barnes & Noble. If you are willing to wait, you can usually get his most recent paperback as well. (Usually Baen published of course.) I will admit to a long term addiction to Jim Butcher’s Dresden series as well (Roc Books). I also enjoy and re-read Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson novels (Ace Books). MHI series books are occasionally also available at B&N (Baen of course). But yes, a lot of times I go in, I come out empty handed … and not happy about that.

            1. No walk in book stores in this whole country seem to have any of those now, often not even in Helsinki where you find the two stores with largest selection. We do have three decent online book stores here – two mostly just books, third sells a lot of other stuff too, seems to be aiming towards becoming a competitor to Amazon, at least locally – all of them covering the whole Scandinavia + Finland, with separate sites for each country. If I want books on paper I order from them, cheaper than Amazon, especially since if you take slower delivery one of them sends without separate mail costs (I suppose those are included in the book prices, but that store still comes cheaper than the other two in spite of that).

              But when it’s ebooks it’s Amazon, the local online stores still have a rather sorry selection (nothing like Kindle direct program, for starters, they just have books from established publishing houses), and mostly the prices are higher than what Amazon asks. And now I mostly buy just ebooks, with a few exceptions.

              But I do miss walking into a physical store and going through what is on the shelves. Back when what was there would result walking out with maybe ten paperbacks from ten different writers (usually kept it to ten, for budgetary reasons, but sometimes there would have been even more). Now… usually hard pressed to find even one or two.

              1. The thing about a actual brick’n’mortar store is you can walk in and find things you weren’t looking for.

                Although I admit that this lost its specialness for me when I realized (about fifteen years ago, I guess) that on a trip to a local Borders I had put eight to a dozen paperbacks in my basket for consideration and each of them had a Baen logo on its binding. While I had pulled a number of books off the SF/F shelf to glance at them, only the Baens piqued enough of my interest to merit serious consideration.

                I can still browse the other sections of a book store (that’s how I found Robert Coram’s Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War) but except for those books I have already pre-ordered through Amazon I don’t generally find anything in the SF/F department that even calls me to take it off the shelf.

      2. If we’re the only adults available, my being considered a sane, responsible adult should terrify a large proportion of the population.

        1. I don’t recall anybody specifying sane and responsible.

          Most of our elected leaders, on both sides of the aisle, would fail at least one, if not both of those qualifications.

        2. I don’t know. It is the ones that think they are convinced that they are sane responsible adults that cause much of the trouble in this world.

    4. I cancelled my subscription to the conventional wisdom years ago, but they keep delivering it. That tells me they are desperate to keep up the fiction of a large subscriber base so they don’t have to drop their ad rates.

        1. Is it 50 or 55 when they send you membership stuff? If it is the former I can’t wait to start shredding it and sending it back in their prepaid envelope along with some scrap metal in two months.

          1. My wife signed us up without asking me. I had to explain their anti-RKBA stance to her. She didn’t renew, but they still send us a couple of pounds of junk mail a week.

            1. My then 16-year-old son received an invitation a few months ago. We’re assuming that it was because he has the same first name as his father, who had just had his 50th birthday.

            1. Assuming you mean AARP, it’s 50. I know because we’ve been members since my husband turned 50. We joined for the hotel discounts. And before anyone says anything, we also belong to AMAC. We told AARP we didn’t want to receive any junk mail, and they have complied. AMAC’s stuff we read.

        2. Funny thing, once I cleared the CPA exam I started getting offers from Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report and the like, offering me a professional discount rate that would have barely covered their mailing costs (if that) …

          1. I think you were supposed to put them in your waiting room. (Then, after they’ve aged properly, say a few years, you can pass them on to dentists and physicians).

    5. Anyone have anything tasteless and premature to say about this Tulsa matter?

      Wyrdbard? Aacid?

        1. Alas, yes. Over on Baen’s Bar an Oklahoman expressed his unfettered joy* at news of Al Sharpton’s impending arrival.

          * Yes, this was sarcasm. “Concern” would be closer to the sentiment expressed.

        1. Half was that I was, due to ignoring the news, very ignorant of what had happened. For all I knew it could have happened today. The regulars here are often very good sources for objectively looking at the known facts.

          1. I saw a headline that the initial autopsy results may have some bearing on things (as in the deceased had something like PCP in his system, or acted as if he did, and some was found in his car). But that’s about as far as I trust the news at this point.

  2. THe price of silence isn’t peace, but further oppression. True patriots are always mocked, ignored.
    Then all of a sudden they become “Founding Fathers”.

    1. The problem is so are crack-pot goobers. If you keep the shouting level high enough, it can be difficult for folks just trying to make a living, raise kids, and deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune to tell which from which.

      So they get lost in the noise. And based on what is now available about Soviet agit-prop, and from aging hippies who think it’s safe to explain their techniques, I’m pretty sure that’s the intention.

      No hope for it. Just have to carry on.

    2. > THe price of silence isn’t peace,
      > but further oppression

      A large percentage of people can’t slice that finely. We see oppression. They see “not fighting” and equate it with “peace.”

      PEACE: n A state of conflict short of actual war.
      – Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne

      1. Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary:

        PEACE, n.
        In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

        O, what’s the loud uproar assailing
        Mine ears without cease?
        ‘Tis the voice of the hopeful, all-hailing
        The horrors of peace.

        Ah, Peace Universal; they woo it —
        Would marry it, too.
        If only they knew how to do it
        ‘Twere easy to do.

        They’re working by night and by day
        On their problem, like moles.
        Have mercy, O Heaven, I pray,
        On their meddlesome souls!

      2. And considering that Laumer’s CV included a good deal of time working for the State department, I have always wished that he has written an actual autobiography.

          1. I think there should be a statue of limitations, on a pedestal somewhere – likely in Texas, now that I think upon it..

            1. 😀 Actually, around 1848 I think it was, a congresscritter wanted a giant statue of the “Roman god Terminus, the god of borders” carved and set up near where Denver or Colorado Springs is today, facing east, with an inscription on the base reading “thus and no farther.” And then came the gold rush of 1849 . . .

        1. He might have planned one, but he had a stroke in the early ’70s that resulted in brain damage and partial paralysis. He eventually managed to finish a few works in progress. I know at least some of the stuff that came out with his name later was ghostwritten; a friend of mine did one. It was all arranged through the publisher; he had no contact with Laumer at all.

  3. There’s a certain segment of the populace, we’ll call them the “gadflies” who are incapable of shutting up when they’re right. Because we don’t kill them off in this country (yet), we have more of them than the average nation. They are stubborn, often unpleasant, and frequently wrong about stuff.
    But when they find the one or two things they are right about, they can change the course of history. They’ve founded, freed, and saved nations throughout history. Those active today in our nation are one of our most precious natural resources.

    1. Did I ever tell you I got kicked out of kindergarten because I wouldn’t shut up about the teacher being wrong when she SPANKED SOMEONE ELSE? Particularly the mousy, scared kids?
      She walked me home to my grandmother (after trying to give me all sorts of bribes, including the coveted glow in the dark rosary. Don’t ask) and handed me in with “When she comes of age for first grade, we’ll have to take her. But by law she doesn’t have to be in kindergarten, and I’m not going to put up with her.” Eh.

        1. Later on, they managed to tamp me down, so I wouldn’t be a gadfly. I am very glad that side of me woke up. Being hopeless and swallowing anger in the face of not just injustice but gross and blatant deception MIGHT have been killing me.

          1. Obviously you realized this in Kindergarten, but did anyone else ever think the adult world would be so filled with incompetence and stupidity? Or that everybody spends half their day trying to cover up for said incompetence and stupidity? And the worst part is, being aware of it does little to curb the same behaviors in myself.
            It’s like I’ve got a 2×4 stuck in my eye and I’m worried about the sawdust in my buddy’s eye.

            1. Part of it is that our education is truly messed up at all levels. My generation was so maleducated I’ve spent years trying to correct deficits, and I still fall short of my dad’s education. And then each generation gets worse. We’re in NO way preparing anyone to be an adult. That’s why I said it’s time the adults came home, and unfortunately we’re the closest thing to it.

            2. but did anyone else ever think the adult world would be so filled with incompetence and stupidity?

              Yes, I attended public school. With that as my sample of non-parental adults I didn’t expect much.

              Stll got less.

              1. It was bit of a shock to me. As a child I kept waiting to grow up so I could start dealing mostly with people who acted responsibly, and considered their actions a bit beyond the next five minutes. Then I did grow up, and found out there really weren’t any grown ups, at least not that type of grown ups I had assumed grown ups would be like. :/

                1. I’m sorry to hear that. I grew up surrounded by adults who were actually adults. I got quite a shock to my system when I found that they were not as common as I thought.

                  1. My parents were okay in some respects, but not in all. Hard workers, but father did have problems with alcohol – I guess excusable, it was common to people of his generation, the war vets did not get any kind of help with their PTSD but were supposed to just grin and bear it, even admitting that they had problems was frowned upon. And since most of the adults in my family were older, old enough to have gone through that experience, my father was not the only one with some sort of problems related to that. And I was also unlucky enough to spend third and fourth year class in school with a teacher who definitely had some sort of problems (one of the ways she kept discipline in class was to make fun of students who weren’t among the chosen favorites, and I was the target a couple of times).

                    But the shock was that so many of my contemporaries never seemed to fully reach what I assumed would have been the fully adult state.

                  2. Out of everyone I know, with the exception of people in my parents generation, and my older siblings, I am the ONLY one described as ‘responsible’ by everyone around me.
                    I have -never- met anyone who was more responsible than me, and damn few who were as responsible as me.
                    Sucks being the only ‘adult’ in the room for the last 40 years.

      1. “the coveted glow in the dark rosary. ”

        Why am I getting the religious equivalent of an actual booth seen outside Graceland: “Elvis Sweat: Let his perspiration be your inspiration!”

            1. Actually, more likely was simply zinc sulfide, which needs to be ‘charged’ with (UV) light. I recall thinking my (not much older than myself) aunt’s glow-in-the-dark plastic cross was neat around that time.

              1. Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
                Sitting on the dashboard of my car

                There he sits all pink and pleasant
                Glows in the dark cause he’s phosphorescent!
                Sitting on the dashboard of my car

                Second best thing at Reno Worldcon, after meeting Larry, was meeting Dr Demento.

              2. Long ago, when Disco was King, I found a source for those little glow-in-the-dark superballs, about an inch diameter. The cats were great fun to play with those at night, letting one or another take a turn inside the darkened kitchen and softly bounce one through the door…

                They also liked lurking at the foot of the stairs while I’d bounce one down to them.

      2. “History Isn’t Made By Well-Behaved Women” … so shut up, stay in line, mind your place and vote for Hillary?

        That’s one of the bumper stickers I most despise, as ill-behaved women (yeah, you, Lady McB! and you, Mary Mallon!) often make History for all the wrong reasons. Logic is clearly not a virtue such people like to signal.

        1. For what it’s worth, my read of the the woman who generated the quote in the first place is that she would probably agree with your sentiment.

        2. I hate because people rarely make history, fiddly bits and attitude are irrelevant to that statement. Most people do well by raising decent children (something I’ve failed at so I’m below average).

          It seems those who set their sights on doing more than that often do much, much less.

          1. Those who set their sights on doing more than raising decent children often do so as an excuse to neglect that first order task. “I was a lousy mother/father/other because I was involved in trying to create a more just world” is a perfect example of the adage that everything before the “because” is made a lie by the subsequent clause.

          1. I like to remind people that interesting times are fun to learn about a hundred years after and a hundred miles away. At the time . . . not so much fun.

            1. Heh. Because then you know how it ended. While it’s contemporary… and I am one of those people who may sneak a peek on the last page, or read the spoilers before going to a movie. Knowing that there will be a happy ending makes viewing or reading much more pleasurable to me, and since I mostly read or watch movies for pleasure, duh!.

              And of course in real life it’s worse. Sometimes I really wish it was possible to find out the spoilers with life too. Unfortunately predictive systems rarely work all that well – so I guess we really do have free will, which, I suppose, is good.

              Except that I hate the bad kind of surprises (not overly fond of any kind of surprises, actually, even the good kind) and down endings. Especially in real life. :/

      3. There’s the spit on manners as well. When is it being obnoxious, when is it necessary? (And yes, sometimes it’s both). The naturally socially-skilled probably don’t have this issue but I know the odd-balls do (I wonder how? Heh.)

        I think there’s a lot of second-guessing by folks who want to be polite about when to speak up and when to be silent on all the half-truths, mis-representations, and things-everyone-knows-that-just-aren’t-so.

        It would be lovely if we had an operating manual for these interactions.

        1. My kid is 10 and extremely analytical, and unfortunately also hot-tempered. When discussing temper control, I said something in passing about “if you can’t control your temper, then you wind up being rude by accident. And if you’re going to be rude, you should CHOOSE to be rude and do it with great precision and force.” She got a *gleam* in her eye and now I’m somewhat apprehensive (then again, Child is aware that I am not the best role model for How To Be A Good Citizen).

          1. A lot of the problem is in who it is that defines “Good Citizen.”
            For the powers that be it means obedient serf, works hard, pays all their taxes and then some, and never questions authority.
            Who would ever want that either for themselves or their kids?

          2. That’s actually a really good way to convey the behavior that needs to go into “being rude.”

            Treating it like a weapon means that you’re more likely to be effective, too.

            Part of why gadflies are named for insignificant, annoying insects is that when you’re a pest all the time, nobody cares what you have to say. If you prioritize, then people will bother to sort through what you say. (that’s a matter of respecting others– their time is important, too)

            If you don’t bother to try to moderate– match up with– others, then you mostly left with only those who agee with you listening at all, and half of them are wishing you’d shut up and get off of the same side as them.

        2. “It would be lovely if we had an operating manual for these interactions.”

          The manual always lies. The manual is written by people who want you to shut up.

          Just look at the Sad Puppies 1-4. We Did It Wrong. We were a basket of uncouth deplorables. They minted wooden assterisks to tell us how wrong we were. Just participating was the greatest sin we could commit.

          This last outing was the most telling, as far as I’m concerned. Sad Puppies was 100% transparent. Kate Paulk made it impeccably, exactly the way they said they wanted it, 100% slate-free. Didn’t matter, it was still a slate, and now the issue is QUALITY!!1! Because, y’know, Neal Asher? Jim Butcher? Those Puppy Picks? So not quality, ok? Seriously, little Phantom. Just shut up and go back in your hole, you’re embarrassing yourself.

          Fuck. Manners.

          1. The assterisks were when I moved from the Sad to Rabid camp.

            I just hope Vox manages to burn it all down before the Torlings do it first…

            1. If Vox brings it off it will be with fire and explosion.
              If by TOR and the rest it will be with a whimper, and a slow drift into senility.

              1. I’m starting to think that MacMillan is just waiting for Doherty to die. The moment he does, I suspect they’ll pad lock the doors and fire everyone. I just don’t see TOR as being worth the hassle to them anymore, when you consider the amount of contract abuse and wasted money that goes on there.

            2. In that you are far from alone. When the Hugo’s are finally seen as Razzies (worst works) to the Dragon’s Oscars we’ll look back and see the wooden @ssholes as the turning point.

  4. …as the way things are, the sort of unspoken law, against which no one can fight.

    This is, in part, what the power elites depend upon.

    As the structure the elite depends upon ages and subsequent generations take the helm the understanding of the intellectual underpinnings (good or bad) that brought it to the forefront weaken. A system is in trouble, having squandered its intellectual capital, becoming moribund in thought, when the elite’s arguments boil down to a variant of ‘how dare you, it is beyond the pale, you disgraceful, shameful, dishonorable, unworthy, inexcusable, unpardonable, unforgivable, reprehensible, despicable, abominable, contemptible, execrable, heinous person.’

    1. disgraceful, shameful, dishonorable, unworthy, inexcusable, unpardonable, unforgivable, reprehensible, despicable, abominable, contemptible, execrable, heinous

      Wow, that’s a whole basket of “deplorables.” 😉

      1. Also “very bad writers, sexists, racists, homophobic, neo-nazis” so we don’t forget the delightful Miss Gallo’s contribution. Think she’s writing speeches for Hillary?

        1. The single best argument for voting Trump is that one of them is going to win, and at least we’d get to watch all the right heads explode on Wednesday,

            1. Just caught another one. I need to verify the truth of the matter, but apparently La Donald has been caught claiming he wants to require universities to be on the hook for student loans from the federal gummint. So if and when students can’t pay them back, the unis take the hit just as much as the taxpayers.

              Yes, I’d like the Feddle meddlesome to quick appropriating people’s hard-earned cash and using it to bribe Big Academy and trap gullible young ignoramuses into a lifetime of debt-slavery entirely,. But no Republican ever has claimed he’d do this, (and to be fair, I’m not sure it’s even politically possible).

              Assuming Mr. Trump’s position is as I’ve stated it… Holy Hannah. What a great practical way to undermine a chunk of the welfare state.

              Lot of critical IFs, though.

                1. Years ago, back when I was in college a friend who made his work-study bones helping in the Financial Aid Office relayed an observation about the huge celebration held when they realized they”d set a new record for aid given out. He also noted, with no little disdain, their indifference to whether any of those loans were ever likely to be repaid.

                  ‘Tis all about the incentive structure, ennit?

                  1. The evil trick they pulled was to forbid student loans from being cancelled through bankruptcy. Change that then allow the lenders to come back on the universities for collection. Now that would go a long way towards setting the current situation to rights.

                    1. Notice their various offers to permit repudiation of that debt, whether through accepting employment as a government puppet union worker (hmmmm … wonder what happens to any remaining debt if you leave your government job?) up to Bernie’s free lunch.

              1. Some of Trump’s advisers are truly credible people, and I wouldn’t put such a scheme past Larry Kudlow. It sounds remarkably like certain suggestions a Instapundit has been making these last couple years.

              2. I believe that what has been floated is that, if the graduate of a university seeks, but is unable to find gainful employment with their degree which enables them to pay the loan back, then the university would be in the bag for selling the student a loan.

                I saw a sad article about a young lady whose school ‘helpfully’ connected her to a loan to enable her to get her dream degree, training her to teach special needs children. The total cost for the education was such that there would be no way for her to pay it back based on the projected income in the field. Under the proposal the university who foisted the loan upon her would be held responsible.

                  1. The lack of “skin in the game” has left the universities in the same position normally held by used car dealers.

                    Modern universities give NO refunds!

                1. It would also discourage the university from offering degrees in things like Performing Arts to people who are going to end up saddled with massive levels of debt.

                  Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has been pushing the idea for a while.

                    1. Yes, but a proper conservatory education such as Julliard is precisely the case of music (or Berklee for more popular forms or Oberlin, despite the SJW college that is a growth on the excellent conservatory).

                      Now, should you take a loan for it is a different story.

                    2. Music is a different thing. Oh, painting too, but not as it’s being taught. For painting and writing, pick your knowledge where you can and practice h*ll out of it.

                    3. That works for music as well but instruction is important.

                      I still think the fundamental issue isn’t the schooling per se but the complete lack of ROI analysis in taking loans to get it.

                      Hell, I’m not even taking loans for the MS-QCF if I get in (cashflow half and work will cover roughly half) and trust me compared to the $30k cost I plan on getting a very good ROI but wouldn’t do it with a loan.

                    4. Interesting…is that what passes for instruction in modern schools or all instruction in general? Serious question because the former is very true in composition (where people are trying to politicize it) but it is hard to politicize a major scale (can be done but that hasn’t reached critical mass yet).

                    5. Of course it is — what’s the point of feeding the proles on entertaining stuff when they’re the ones most in need of brainwashing proper instruction in appropriate behaviour?

                      That you are not happy to buy such socially uplifting entertainment is proof of your wrongthought. It is most unfortunate that the State must still wrap its instructional indoctrination in a fig leaf of entertainment and the authorities look forward to a day when all subjects understand what is bleedin’ well good for them.

        2. It is ironic that the generation which rediscovered and reveled in the Marx Brothers is putting forth their very own Margaret Dumont clone* for the presidency.

          Which might explain the GOP’s channeling Groucho.

          *Like all clones this seems a rapidly deteriorating very imperfect copy.

        1. My, my, my, my, my. What a mess. Never had what appears to be a never ending link before… what new wonders will become of us?

          Is this Word Press delenda est or some new perversion from the net?

        2. Short Model Lee Enfield, battle rifle of Great Britain through the first half of the 20th century. Ten round internal magazine fed from stripper clips. Bolt cocks on opening which makes for a rapid rate of fire. In WWI German troops facing British armed with SMLEs thought they were under machine gun fire.
          And the true reason to have such a thing is to defend your individual liberty and that of your nation.
          Which is just one of many reasons why the civilian version of the current US battle rifle is so popular with the public.

          1. Back when the Soviet Union rolled into Afghanistan they had the brand-new AK-74, successor to the AK-47. The Americans had gone to a 5.56×45 cartridge with the M16; the Soviets, not to be outdone, when to an even smaller 5.45×39 cartridge.

            According to several accounts, the Soviets found the old adage of “if the enemy is in range, so are you” was no longer symmetrical. The Afghans, equipped with ancient British SMLEs, were able to pick off the Soviet troops from well outside the effective range of the AK-74s. The Soviets finally reached waaay back into their armories and started passing out equally-ancient Mosin rifles for squad “designated marksmen” to hold the Afghans at at distance.

            The US Army had to learn the same lesson a couple of decades later, fielding Korean-war-era M14s, Remington 700s, and Barrett .50s to swing the asymmetry profile back into its favor…

                1. There’s BAR and then there’s BAR. I was thinking of the Browning semi-automatic sporting rifle sold under the name BAR. Come to think of it, Springfield Armory has their M1A.

              1. We have that… It’s called the M240. The Belgians basically turned the BAR action upside down, added the feed tray and pistol grip from the German MG42, and designed in their own barrel change mechanism in order to build the MAG58, which is what we adopted as the M240. Excellent weapon, but too damn heavy to be hauling around the mountains on foot.

                And, another example of how dysfunctional our small arms procurement system is–We got the M240 in a ground role because the execrable M60 MG of Vietnam yore was at the end of its service life with no replacement program even being looked at. The Rangers in the Army and the Marines noted that the Armor branch had all these M240 coax guns in war stocks, along with the fact that FN-USA had been trying to sell the ground-mount kits for them to the Army for years, and… An end-run around the procurement system happened, resulting in the M240B replacing the M60 in the ground role. No real field testing or development took place, or the idiots would have identified what every other army in the world which has deployed the MAG58 has found: The weapon is just too damn heavy for dismounted operations. In the vehicular-mounted role, the gun is just about perfect.

                Part of the problem in Afghanistan has stemmed from the ubiquity of the Soviet-era counterpart to the MAG58, the PKM. Those guns are a lot lighter, and really widespread across the theater. You hear of our troops being outranged by the enemy, what they’re talking about are the PKMs doing the work, usually at a time and place of the enemy’s choosing, and from a tripod. Our guys have the M240, which is theoretically capable of answering the PKM fires, but which is being fired from a bipod, being as we don’t have a rapidly deployable and versatile tripod system for the guns. And, the tripod is what really makes the system work–Off the bipod, you can get maybe 800m in effective range. Tripod-mounted, up to 1800m. We’re still issuing the same primitive tripod we issued for the .30 Browning guns in WWI, instead of something more modern like the German Lafette tripod system from the 1930s.

                My highly biased opinion says that if we were to issues a more capable tripod, train the troops to employ it properly, and then copy a bunch of the tactics and techniques of the WWII German Gebirgsjager… Well, you’d hear a hell of a lot less about how we’re “overmatched” by the enemy’s small arms in Afghanistan.

              2. The sporting BAR is a hunting weapon, great for the field, but not designed especially for combat. The military BAR weighted in at over 20 pounds, required a very stout person to carry and shoot, and they needed an assistant to carry the 20 round magazines. The army tried to address that problem by trying to merge the M1 Garand and the BAR functionality with the M14. Trouble was it was still very heavy, used a full power cartridge, yet did not have the weight to make it controllable in full auto fire.
                That the Browning company named a sporting semi auto hunting rifle the BAR was purely a marketing trick as it and the military BAR have almost nothing in common mechanically.

                1. What I was wondering was a quick, off, the shelf, semi-automatic long-arm in a role like the Garand. Didn’t even think about the Springfield Armory M1A at the time. What prompted it was the observation about the Remington 700, a bolt action sports rifle. I’m guessing that was in a sniper role. Still, if one sports rifle could be used in combat, could the same be done with a semi-automatic? I picked Browning because at one time Browning shotguns and rifles were near legendary stuff, and wondered if it would be more likely to operate under those conditions.

                  1. The Army M24 and Marine M40 are both bolt action sniper rifles based on the Remington 700 action, carefully tuned and tweaked by service armorers. Usually chambered in 7.62 NATO they use the long Remington action so can and have been also chambered in .300 Win Mag.
                    In 7.62 x 51 they’re rated to 800 yards, in .300 Win out to over 1,000.
                    Next step up are various rifles in .338 Lapua, and from there to the .50BMG. There is also a good bit of effort being conducted on a couple of cartridges in or around .40 caliber that have the range of the big .50 but even better long range ballistics.

                    1. I know of at least two snipers that used the 25-06 in Iraq, also. Not my choice of a long range cartridge, but sniper is a specialist designation and they get a bit more leeway in choosing their weapons than your average grunt.

            1. Mmmmm… Not quite so, I’m afraid.

              The Afghan dushman, or bandits as the Soviets termed them, were not quite such wonderful shots as all that. The old-school Pathan with a trade musket, jezail, or SMLE was pretty much gone by the time the first years of the war had gone by; they armed themselves, then as now, from the nice, new foreign weapons provided the client Afghan Army. Once exposed to the wonders of modern assault rifles and the cornucupia of munitions provided by the same Afghan Army back-door supply chain, the Afghan tribes never went back. Their marksmanship, which was once the wonder of the Northwest Frontier, went to spit. They never really regained it, either–Too much of the good ol’ inshallah mentality. You don’t want to know the joys of trying to teach the modern Afghan marksmanship, either. The stories I’ve heard…?

              The root of this mismatch you’re discussing here isn’t that the Afghan is such a great shot or that their weapons are longer range than ours; the root of the problem is that we’ve taken a small arms system which is dependent on supporting arms and branches that we’ve actually taken off the table through asinine Rules of Engagement; the M4/M16 family of individual weapons is perfectly adequate for the role it is supposed to fill, that of individual weapon within the umbrella of other fires from weapons like mortars, artillery, aviation, and ground attack aircraft. The problem is that where we’d be using all those supporting arms with gay abandon in a “real war”, in Afghanistan, we’ve eschewed them in the interests of winning hearts and minds through a reduction in collateral damage. So, when the Afghan troublemaker opens fire on US troops with a Soviet-era PKM from 1000m or so, the normal, doctrinal response would be to blast that position off of the face of the earth utilizing the full range of fire support. Instead, we’re telling the troops “Hey, small arms only, and have fun storming the sanger…”.

              Thus, mismatch of weapons systems and doctrine. We’ve never been too hepped up on small arms, anyway–The Germans fought WWII and damn near won by developing and fielding truly superior small arms systems and small unit tactics. We dealt with that by basically blowing those systems and small units off the battlefield by inundating them with artillery, aviation assets, and the Sherman tank. Your superiority and excellence in infantry tactics count for spit, when some Lieutenant in the American unit attacking you can call in artillery fire from every tube within range, request that every aircraft in the area drop bombs and strafe your positions, and culminates the entire nightmare (for you…) by having a platoon of his attached tanks occupy the smoking ground where your positions were, and do pivot steers on top of where your fighting positions were dug in.

              Unfortunately, the idiots we have running our armed forces these days have forgotten all this, and thus we have the spectacle of US forces being subject to long-range ambush by primitive fecal-product stains armed with relatively primitive weapons. We are not a small-arms centric force, by either doctrine, training, or equipment. I estimate that the German Gebirgsjager of the pre- and early WWII era would probably be able to deal handily with the average Afghan mob of bandits that’s giving us so much trouble, but those were troops who were trained and equipped for foot-borne mountain warfare with zero or minimal supporting arms. And, they’d have likely been a bit less restrained with that whole “ROE” thing–One IED, and the Wehrmacht troops would have likely depopulated the entirety of whatever valley it occurred in. I’m not saying that they’d have been more effective, in the long haul, but I would say they were better adapted to the fight we’re in, at least as we’re rather idiotically fighting it.

              No, the conventional wisdom about the small arms “mismatch” isn’t entirely accurate, or even correct in the details.

  5. I’m NOT suggesting you be monstrously self-centered.

    That would be joining our oppressors, whose self-importance is so monstrous they seize other people’s travails as occasion to display their virtue and intimidate others. That such displays do little positive for the alleged victims (really, tell me how anybody is harmed by gringos selling tacos) and often exacerbate their problems, is irrelevant to the Sanctimonious Justice Zealot.

  6. It’s important to note you can also fight back in stealth mode. While quite capable of in-your-face argument, time is limited, stupidity infinite, and as an introvert I get really tired of people much faster than I can bludgeon them. So instead of arguing in the open, I spread logic landmines. They can detonate when I’m not around, they also work on casual bystanders in addition to the person I’m directly talking to, and because they are not *obviously* confrontational, they get through the mental shield like a slow knife 😀

    e.g. always wryly mentioning “global warming” whenever someone mentions cold or unseasonable weather. “How can Al Gore afford to heat all those houses?” “I wish $Politician would ask me what I want instead of telling me. Why don’t they do that?” “I don’t understand why they can’t offer the healthcare policy I want along with all the other ones…” And so on.

    1. Our opponents’ shields tend to react best to fast, high energy attacks, so it is often better to slide the shiv slowly in and let them bleed out before they realize their wound was fatal.

      If Scot Adams is correct, Trump is a master of this, clanging swords on shields while inflicting his deadliest cuts so quietly his opponents open their wounds deeper.

        1. Compared to the US Government, the Goa’uld are starting to look pretty good.

          The Fed is at war. Unfortunately, it seems to be at war with its own citizenry…

      1. Hmmm…

        In shield fighting, one moves fast on defense, slow on attack … Attack has the sole purpose of tricking the opponent into a misstep, setting him up for the attack sinister. The shield turns the fast blow, admits the slow kindjal!

        -Gurney Halleck

    2. I left one of them out yesterday. “Why is Ford Motor Company abandoning a new, half-billion dollar factory in Michigan, and building a new $1.6 billion dollar car plant in Mexico? Instead of Canada?

      And why is no one asking the Premiers of Ontario, Quebec and BC, and the Prime Minister, that question?

      Kathy Shaidle picked that one up and ran with it, I’ve got 1700+ hits this morning.

      I hope to emulate Larry Correia, who asked “Why can’t Heinlein with the Hugo anymore?” and now has to decide what kind of tank he wants to drive around in on his mountain. That is a problem I’d like to have.

      1. No tanks, Larry has too many friends. He’ll have to settle for an armored personnel carrier. With a pintle mounted Ma Deuce of course.

    3. Or look at the snow and say, “Hey, a whole foot of global warming!” Works best when you are with 1 AGW true-believer and two “save the whales but use common sense” types.

      1. I love pointing out to the crazy end of the ‘save the whales’ spectrum (Which usually has high over lap with the ‘evil oil companies’ spectrum) that what put an end to commercial whaling was… the oil industry making kerosene so cheap that no one wanted whale oil any more. (about 1/3 the cost if I recall correctly.)

        1. Bonus points if you can say, with a straight face, “Standard Oil saved us from the energy crisis caused by reaching peak whale.”

  7. As for “knowing your place” … “But screw your courage to the sticking place, And we’ll not fail.”

    1. I had a very alt-right response to “knowing your place” all of a sudden…I want to answer, “Screwing your girlfriend because you’re too busy being a loser to bother.”

    1. I’m a big fan of grumpy old men 😀 I fully intend to be a grumpy old woman when I grow up, and I will just turn down my hearing aid when those young whippersnappers try to talk back to me–and talk louder. Many splendid opinionated elders in my family, and I took notes. Be warned.

      1. My dad was a grumpy old man, except that he got scammed by the media and didn’t know how a lot of the things he heard were slanted. Personal stuff, though? If someone did him wrong, he’d let them know about it.

  8. One of the -glaring- problems in my life has been that, as an Odd, I can’t tell where my “place” is. It’s a fucking MYSTERY to me most of the time, when people flip out on me because of something I did or neglected to do. Upon relating the story, most compatriots just shake their heads and say “you poor sap,” and then explain what happened.

    Usually it boils down to me following the stated rules and doing what management said they wanted, while asking “Why are we doing this? It seems stupid.” People get tired of telling me to shut up, after a while. I won’t stay in my place, I ask inconvenient questions, and I’m much too huge and ugly to ignore.

    Most people get the message after a while, but I’m the blind kid. I don’t get it.

    Coming to this uproar in Science Fiction has been more of the same shit, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like the ‘correct’ authors. I don’t praise the ‘correct’ stories. I have the wrong politics, again, and I’m too frigging stupid to read the wind. I can’t go along to get along.

    So here we are, same manure pile, different day. The Big Kids are telling me to shut up again, making threats they can’t back up, and doing the same posturing they always do. You’d think they would know better, most of them are just as weird as I am, but apparently being a little higher up on the shit pile counts for more than experience and compassion.

    Difference between me at 19 and me now? 40 years of learning how to handle these assholes. Still can’t read the wind, but I do know the most painful place to put my boots to them.

    The wallet.

    1. > Usually it boils down to me following the stated
      > rules and doing what management said they wanted

      Yah. I tried that. “No! We didn’t mean *those* rules!”

      “You said ‘no deviation from the rules.'”

      “You’re supposed to know the exceptions.”

      “So tell me, then.”

      “We can’t do that…”

      1. I believe I’ve had that exact conversation, almost word for word. You were much more polite though.

        They always portray the Aspy as the skinny nerd. Small, self effacing, bespectacled and skinny. You never see the 200 pound bearded Scot with the wild, fey look in his eye, bearing down on the manager. Or the head nurse, that was probably funny when watched from a safe distance.

        Yep. Real team player. Self employment is heaven. Hell is any company job. Hospitals, seventh circle of Hell, with sprinkles.

        You know, after 50 years of this shit, I hardly ever bother talking to people anymore. I’ve perfected the Polite Nod and the Ignore Me charm. I skate through a day and don’t say squat to anybody. By choice I talk to the water delivery guy, he’s a self employed fruitcake like me.

  9. I have never been one who ‘stayed quiet’, and I have paid the price more than once in my life. I’ve always stood on my principles and my beliefs, and I’ve lost jobs over it, friendships, and even been targeted by our government for it (though I did nothing illegal but spoke up against what I believed was wrong).
    What is funny is I can go back to places I haven’t been in twenty years and the people who are still there remember me. They may either like me, or hate me, but they have -not- forgotten me, or much of what I stood for.

  10. Madam, you are a catalyst. In your presence, my fear of alienating tradpub precipitated out out of solution, releasing energy that put my novels on KDP and gained me a couple thousand new readers, as well as the will to stand up to the lefty nutcases who occasionally haunt my online presence. I may soon (and finally) have the SFF career that I’ve wanted for the past forty years. I think I may not be alone in this.

    We who are about to fly salute you!

      1. I’ve never been short on the perspiration side, but sometimes my inspiration tank gets a little low and needs topping off. The problem wasn’t doing it. The problem lay in simply believing that it could be done.

  11. We can call it a preference cascade, we can call it “The Emperor Has Knobby Knees Syndrome” but the truth of it is clear:

    VIDEO: Jeers and Laughter for Charlie Crist after He Calls Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’
    By Paul Crookston — September 20, 2016

    Charlie Crist, former Republican governor of Florida famous for switching parties in a failed bid to defeat Marco Rubio in a U.S. Senate race, drew a torrent of laughs when he called Hillary Clinton “honest” in a debate last night. Asked whether he would support his new party’s nominee, Crist waxed eloquent about Clinton’s character – good, steady, strong – but the big finish came when he said, “I believe that she is honest.” Audience members couldn’t quell their laughter, and some loudly booed as well.

  12. No, the reason I would never have stepped out of line, if Larry hadn’t started it up, is that I had internalized the condition in the field — the condition in the culture at large — as the way things are, the sort of unspoken law, against which no one can fight.  The very vehemence of the response to Larry told me, not that he was right — I and anyone with even a modicum of honesty knew that, however much we kept our mouths shut — but that the establishment was vulnerable. 

    Possible alternative way to put it–
    You were being polite. Don’t make waves, folks will behave in the prescribed manner of “being decent.”
    That’s the point of manners– smoothing human interactions. If I observe the polite fiction of fill-in-the-blank, it doesn’t indicate a factual support– I say “good morning” not because it either is an AM that’s above the median, or even because I truly wish the other person to have an above-average time before lunch, but because that is the polite greeting. Acting “polite” is an expression of love, even if it’s a tiny one– like the consideration shown by not farting in public if you can help it, and not leaving a mess in public places.

    Their reaction to Larry, however, was beyond the bounds of manners. They didn’t respond as if he was being rude, they responded as if he was offering them violence.

    Like you said, it was about their vulnerability.

    “Being polite” isn’t a matter of survival– their behavior made it clear that it wasn’t manners they were involved in, it was you will support what I say.

    That is… quite a bit different. Those who are not with us are against us, rather than those who are not against us are with us. The presumption of goodwill is removed. Rather than paying attention to the quality of what is done, it’s refocused on who you’re doing it with.

    That’s toxic.

    Kinda evil, too.

    1. I know that some folks responded to Larry, to carry the metaphor, as if he’d let one go in public.

      Some folks responded as if the whole group had just been politely asked to be careful about scent related things, because the area was crowded and circulation was bad.

      And some folks responded like he’d hauled in a month old pig carcass and painted the walls with it.

      That is… not a sign of healthy “being polite” culture. In a common area, where you’re not a total new-comer, that’s a sign that someone’s using the system for alternative purposes. (If it’s either a relatively private sphere or you’re new, it tends to indicate a backstory. For something that’s industry wide, a backstory may still be involved, but dragging other people into it is still an indicator of major dysfunction and, at best, toxic personalities.)

      1. I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this Hugo award process somehow you’re not a good fan. We should stand up and say we are true fans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any award selection.

        Hugos ought be elected, not selected, and any complaints about slates or invalid participants are simply a return to the Jim Crow rules which restricted Hugo participation for decades.

    2. For quite some time in this country we have had a bedrock principle of Good Faith. Each side would be given a fair chance to say its piece, without undue heckling or interruption, disagreements over policy would not be turned into disputes over character and (in general) rules would be adhered to evenly (sort of) for both sides. Certain types of slander would not be accepted, and each side would keep its lunatic fringe trimmed.

      This was not simply good manners, it was a necessary predicate for democracy to work.

      This worked so long as a) the legislative control turned over every few years, reminding politicians that as they dealt so might they be dealt with and b) lacking such transitions the minority party knew and accepted “their place.” The Democrat’s control (usually overwhelming control, often sufficient to override vetoed legislation) was exacerbated by the post-Watergate purge, establishing a large contingent of radical Dems in the House and leading many Dems to view the GOP (much less conservatives) as illegitimate. Their shock at the 1994 Republican Revolution was palpable and visceral, often expressed in personal scurrilous attacks on Newt Gingrich, leader of that turnover. This shock was echoed in the MSM, where many reporters had not a single Republican name in their rolodexes.

      This view of the opposition as illegitimate (coupled with certain other tendencies towards a paranoid style of politics, exemplified by Hillary Clinton and Sid Blumenthal) constituted a breach in decorum, one made worse by George W Bush’s 2000 victory in the electoral college — a victory specifically repudiated by most Democrat leaders.

      Manners are something you pay your peers, not underlings and especially not upstart revolutionaries presuming to sit at the table with you and divide the “spoils” as if they were entitled to a say.

      That is why Hillary can denounce Trump as divisive without any recognition that she is doing the dividing, and why she can deplore Trump’s reference to the recent explosions as bombs while she herself uses that word. She (and her campaign) are not cynically manipulating voter emotion as Harry Reid did with his slanders about Romney paying no taxes. They are utterly convinced that only they are anointed with the wisdom to lead this country and that any who cannot recognize that do not simply disagree but are pitiably confused or simply deplorable.

      It is also why Posner is still a moron.

      1. The Democrat’s control (usually overwhelming control, often sufficient to override vetoed legislation)

        Even before the Gingrich revolution I argued the most distorting thing in American politics wasn’t money or special interests but the fact the Dems had never lost the House for more than 2 years since 1930. I would have said the same about any party.

        Their shock at the 1994 Republican Revolution was palpable and visceral

        I remember Peter Jennings that night calling it a “temper tantrum” as if voting GOP was something only spoiled children did.

        Manners are something you pay your peers, not underlings

        Here I disagree. I think much worse of a person who is rude to those who, due to social hierarchy, cannot respond in kind (waiters are the classic example but there are plenty of others) but polite to their peers and those higher up the food chain than I do of someone rude to their peers but polite to those “beneath” them.

        1. I should clarify that last point, about manners being “something you pay your peers.”

          That is not, not, NOT my personal view, it is my effort at channeling the view of a certain basket of Americans who shall go unnamed (but rhymes with Schiberals).

          I adhere to the adage that you can judge a person by how he (in the broadest interpretation of the term) judges others by how they behave toward those with no ability to grant them favours. Some of us judge such people as honorable, others judge such people fools.

          1. Point and I should have realized such to be a constant among the Huns and Hoydens (one of the reasons I like associating with the crowd).

        2. Here I disagree. I think much worse of a person who is rude to those who, due to social hierarchy, cannot respond in kind (waiters are the classic example but there are plenty of others) but polite to their peers and those higher up the food chain than I do of someone rude to their peers but polite to those “beneath” them.

          I guess I’m in a third direction– the problem with being rude to waiters is that it indicates you think they are inferior— not that they are your equals, but because you have the power to be rude at the moment then you are somehow superior.

          It’s like… the form of manners is to treat everyone as if they are your equal in dignity; the heart of manners is to believe it.
          The most common expression is to demand that everyone behave as if the rude are more equal than others.
          (OK, ok, that last one was just annoyance speaking. The vast, vast majority of the time, it would take heart-reading to know if someone is acting manners or living them.)

          1. Thanks – that is a clearer expression of that my subconscious was dictating with the “ability to do you a favour” phrase.

            As far as treating waiters rudely, let me go on the record saying: anybody deliberately annoying any person with access to your food out of your sight is an idiot.

          2. I’ve made a point of not being rude to people who handle my food… and I’ve canceled my order when I’ve been with others who were.

          3. I’ll chime in with the much better.

            I don’t think waiters are inferior (I’ve done my share of food service so that would be odd) but I’m not unaware that in social hierarchy the are “below” me which is what I was trying to convey.

            To use a common political phrase, yelling at your waiter isn’t speaking truth to power, even if he’s a straight, white, able-bodied male, and you’re a one legged lesbian who can tan.

            1. “Inferior” in a sort of tactical sense, yes?

              What’s the old saw, about how one treats those who are not in a position to do anything about it….

              Pretty sure that it’s a matter of all of us hitting at the same area via different routes.

        3. You can take the measure of a man by how he treats underlings. “Suck up, kick down” is not the mark of a gentleman, shall we say.

    3. “They didn’t respond as if he was being rude, they responded as if he was offering them violence.”

      Remember that Liberals believe that Words shape reality, which is why they keep trying to change the meaning of words. So to them, a harshly worded sentence IS violence.

      It’s stupid, but that’s how their brains “work.”

      1. *tilts head sideways* That fits both with the ancient notion of magic, and with a shame vs guilt culture.

        Both of which are, if not primitive, at least counter to the philosophical assumptions of this culture.

        1. I think there is plenty of evidence that leftists believe in sympathetic magic…look at Reynold’s Law…government is run by people who believe that giving poor people with bad study and money habits college loans and mortgages they will get bachelor’s degrees and houses and thus become middle class.

          No, seriously, that is pretty much their logical when you boil it down.

  13. Feeling a bit filky today …

    Forget your place
    Come on get happy
    You better chase all your cares away
    Shout hallelujah
    Come on get happy
    Get ready for the judgment day

    Indie’s selling
    Come on get happy
    Readers are waiting to take your hand
    Shout hallelujah
    Come on get happy
    We’re going to the promised land

    We’re heading across the river
    Wash your sins away in the tide
    It’s all so peaceful on the other side

    Shout hallelujah
    Come on get happy
    You better chase all your cares away
    Shout hallelujah
    Come on get happy
    Get ready

    Get ready

    Get ready

    For the judgement day

  14. Heh. James Taranto, Friday last, takes first place:

    A Place for Everything, and Everything in Its Place

    0 “Carly Fiorina Puts Trump in His Place for His Sexist Comments”—headline,, Sept. 16, 2015

    0 “John Oliver Puts Donald Trump in His Place After Untruthful Tweet”—headline,, Nov. 2, 2015

    0 “Artist Plans New York City Monument to Put Donald Trump in His Place”—headline,, Feb. 25, 2016

    0 “Which Reporter Will Put Trump in His Place?”—headline, Times Union (Albany, N.Y.), March 12, 2016

    0 “Trumphole Leggings Put Trump in His Place”—headline,, March 16, 2016

    0 “The One Quote From Hillary Clinton’s Obama Rally That Put Trump in His Place”—headline,, July 5, 2016

    0 “Samantha Bee Puts Trump in His Place, Among History’s Greatest Fearmongers”—headline, Puffington Host, July 27, 2016

    0 “Someone Finally Put Donald Trump in His Place”—headline,, Sept. 14, 2016

    0 “Many others—Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio—have tried and failed to put Trump in his place. Now it’s Hillary’s turn.”—Timothy Stanley,, Sept. 15, 2016

    1. I don’t know about your place, but there are far too many mosquitoes around my place. Five bites in five minutes, at three in the afternoon, is excessive by any standard. (They’re hiding in the plants in the back corner flowerbeds, the little [censored, censored censored]s.)

  15. Mosquitoes are unfortunately still out in force here. I picked up a couple bites mowing yesterday, then a third taking my evening walk.

    On a happier note, I’m still spotting the occasional firefly, which I usually don’t this late in the year.

    1. No mosquitoes left here, not enough to really notice anyway, but we have deer keds. The damn things can’t even use humans for what they need, but they still land, drop their wings and hide in hair and clothes, and bite. Damn critters. Newcomers here too, when I was young you’d find them only in eastern Finland, now they are everywhere. The successful Russian invasion.

      I hate bugs. I really hate bugs.

    1. If it was emacs you were asking about, I’d just say browse the website inside, but vim isn’t an operating system, LISP intepreter, and web browser pretending to be a text editor. 😛

  16. No one is ever fanatically devoted to something they have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They *know* it is. Whenever someone is fanatically devoted to a set of beliefs or dogmas or goals, it is only because those beliefs or goals are in doubt.
    — Robert M. Pursig, _Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_

    1. No one is ever fanatically devoted to something they have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They *know* it is. Whenever someone is fanatically devoted to a set of beliefs or dogmas or goals, it is only because those beliefs or goals are in doubt.

      Not sure what context this was in… but taken alone, it’s not exactly right.

      I have literally shouted that the sun will rise in the morning, because I was having an argument (with the tiny army we made ourselves) about that very subject.

      Folks don’t shout it out of the blue, only when it seems to be challenged– not in doubt, but someone is questioning them. (The someone may not even be around, you might end up catching someone that’s been chewing on an argument for some time, trying to figure out exactly why it’s not right. The Uncanny Valley applies in arguments, too.)

      1. Something in the OP reminded me of this, but in general I think of this quote when I see the vehemence and verbal violence in the left if you ever question any of their beliefs. It’s because they absolutely MUST defend their ideological house of cards. They think they believe it, but somewhere, in some forgotten corner of their brains is a shred of common sense muttering “this is all bullshit” and they must not give into that doubt at any cost!

            1. Thank you– now I won’t go nuts trying to remember, at least.

              I associate it with Terry Pratchett’s Vimes, so it’s probably a traditional observation.

          1. Proverbs 28King James Version (KJV)

            28 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

            2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.

        1. That and I’ve noticed they spend a lot of time declaring someone or some group or idea to be “over” or dead or their career is finished, etc.. Over and over. Makes me wonder who they’re trying to convince: Other people or themselves.

      2. I’ve looked up some no longer popular person or idea to point out that few, if any, people are repeatedly saying that that idea/person is no longer popular. Now, the thing is that is usually something that is no longer popular since I had to dig to find some information on it. It’s not in the current media headlines, or being blogged about, tweeted, etc.

        Mostly as a counterpoint to people who like to declare something is insignificant, not popular, etc. Repeatedly. If that something were as insignificant or unpopular as people proclaim, I doubt there’d be multiple headlines or blogs or tweeting declaring so.

        (Is disco back, or still dead? Mildly curious.)

        1. Sometimes stuff is only popular with those who mock it….

          I THINK disco is back in various sub-cultures, because some of the Asian sub cultures keep catching it; heck if I can remember where, though.

          1. If I put the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” on my playlist for Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer, would it count?

            (More likely, I’d get grabbed by a Banshee at an ironic point in the song.)

  17. As a side note:
    As a good southerner, everyone has their place.
    As a good American, everyone chooses their place.
    As a sane human being, no man knows his place, much less anyone else’s.

    These things are…oddly comforting.

  18. My place?

    “Every man a king, yet none shall wear a crown.”

    (“man” refers to all homo saps willing to stand, in case any of the trolls and lurkers are about)

  19. Sometimes a bomb has to be thrown, even though you know you are within the bursting radius.

    John Van Stry | …What is funny is I can go back to places I haven’t been in twenty years and the people who are still there remember me.

    Last week I had lunch with some old cops I worked with 40 years ago and I was proud of the things they remembered about me.

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