Staying Alive

I’ll try to do a Dark Fate later today, but I’m about running out the door, to spend most of the day in a waiting room.

I’d like to make several points, though, before I go, partly to explain what yesterday’s post was about.

First of all I made the post yesterday because I HAD TO.  The other alternative was walking away and shuttering the blog.  I was going to bed depressed every night, which interferes with what I do to earn a living.

Now some of you are going to say I can’t stand contrary views, I’m unreasonably optimistic, and I can’t stand to have anyone oppose it.  Obviously, this is what at least one gentleman believed, as he thought I meant he shouldn’t read my blog any more because he “can’t find hope.”

Certainly, if you’re so depressed that you need bolstering, I DON’T mean to send you away.

What we were dealing with, though, was not depression.  It was “burn it all downers” treating their “side” as a soccer team.  If we pointed reasons why the US is not like any of the scary examples they’re scaring themselves with, they come back with “Nuh-uh, yes it is.”  The apex of this, again, was someone thinking that Americans will act like Chinese or Russians at the time of their revolutions, ignoring culture, ignoring education, ignoring the fact we have the ability to communicate without state interference and therefore would know what is happening.  In fact, ignoring anything except the “win” that we’re going to go down just like Russia and China.

And accusing me of fetishizing guns was probably the funniest part of all this.  Yeah, Americans aren’t even aware of the liberties they do have, like a fish isn’t aware of water.  Which is why we’re not like any of those other countries. If you don’t know that, you might have no perspective on what the world is really like.  You might also wish to consider you’re not fully informed and get your images of the possible from reading too much fiction.

When I’m faced with people like that, who want to “win” by… I don’t know causing everyone else to kill themselves, yes, I do tell them to get out of the way.  Because after a while you get tired of fighting the very same irrational battles.  If these people BELIEVED what they say they’d already be committing suicide. But it’s all testosterone, wanting to be right and believing that the worst case scenario makes them “smarter.”

I’ve seen this in the past.  I grew up in the cold war and we were going to be nuked, really, next month, if not before.

As to my vaunted optimism: This makes me giggle.  I am not by any definition an optimist.  Ever. My worlds, despite the fact my characters keep fighting are actually fairly dark.  If you look back through past posts you’ll find I expected by now we’d have lost an American city to a nuke.  Even now, I expect whatever the outcome of this election, there will be blood on the streets, and in some places it will get to the level of “civil war.”  (Take the thing in Charlotte to the next level.)  I’m predicting domestic terrorism if the left loses (which doesn’t look likely) and I’m predicting the government harassing areas it doesn’t like if the left wins.

I’m not predicting “the long night” because that would take A LOT of nuclear explosions.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, mind.  That was also what yesterday’s post was about.  But those nuclear explosions will come from outside the country, not within.

Anything else?  We’ll rebuild.  We haven’t yet got to the level of civil disorder of the seventies here, let alone the seventies in Europe.

Things are never as bad as we imagine they’ll be.  They’re also never as good.  Those who thought we could elect republicans and then sit back and reap the benefits, and who are now mad because their brilliant plan didn’t work are guilty of unwarranted optimism.  Also of not understanding our system of checks and balances and of expecting legislators to perform miracles.

My best case scenario is that we’re going to eat live slugs for four years.  At the end of those four years, if we’ve worked really hard and are very very good at it, we MIGHT be lucky enough to get another Mitt Romney.  And in three more cycles, if we’re very good, we might have someone approaching Reagan, after which we can continue applying shoulder to the wheel to get us to as close to the constitution as this sorry world will allow.

The nation isn’t turned around in one administration or in one week.  The left has been taking over the administrative apparatus for a hundred years.  Count on at least that much.  Yeah, each of us can’t do much.  I know my only usefulness is in the culture wars.  But I’ll do my poor best.  And if each of us does his/her poor best in the cause of freedom, which might very well involve working for liberty in the belly of the beast, our great grandchildren might be free men and women.

If this is unwarranted optimism, you’re reading me wrong.  And if you think my scenario is depressing, consider the alternative if your great granddaughters being women of the veil, dressed like living room furniture, or your sons living in 1984.

Not that 1984 is plausible.  The tech went the other way, from mass to individual.  Which is why I say that in the end we win, they lose.  We are more in tune with how things are done now, while they pine for the “mass information” world of the twentieth century.  Mass production too.  That encouraged thinking of humans as widgets.  This encourages thinking of each one different.

But adapting to how things work now will take time.  And it will take work.  And if your only interest in the world is to see the long night come, you are, objectively, working against Liberty and humanity.  I don’t have to indulge your sadism.

And I don’t have to go to bed every night between angry and depressed.

So, that was yesterday’s post.

If you’re willing to work, no matter how disheartened you get at times, you’re welcome here.  You’re my brothers and sisters.

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat but there’s a 10% chance the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train, but liberty for future generations.

298 responses to “Staying Alive

  1. The prattle at us about gravity but I say, “The world just sucks.”

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Amen!

    Now I disagree with Sarah about Trump (to a degree) but I think how well he’s doing is a sign of hope.

    IMO he’s neither the Man On The White House nor the Man On The Pale House.

    The fact that he’s doing so well means to me that there are people still willing to fight.

    Of course, I’m hoping Trump wins just to see Liberal Heads Explode. 👿 👿 👿 👿

    • You are not alone in being interested in witnessing the… neurodeflagration.. of some. (I have doubts the thoughts move quickly enough for genuine detonation, but ox slow too, so….)

      • I think it will be more of a neurodefenstration. Their minds slowly falling out the windows.

        • Well, they claim they keep open minds, presumably so open that their brains will be able to fall out. I guess the betting will be through which opening, eyes or ears?

      • If Trump wins I await the Hillary Primal scream.

        • That is one of my main reasons to vote Trump.


          “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture.”

          Hillary has already stepped away from the campaign trail, ostensibly to prep for the next debate but surely because she a) believes the presidency is her just due for putting up with Bill acting the way Trump talks and b) because studies show that the more people see of Hillary, the less likely they are to vote for Hillary.

          • Which will be louder? Hillary’s or Ryan’s.

            • Ryan is an unfair hit from the alt-right. Ryan is doing what he absolutely MUST do to save the rest of the party from a disastrous candidate. If you don’t understand that, take a leap.

          • Yup RES I think you have the right of it. In the words of future Senator
            Blutarsky ” Lets Do this ! AAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!”.

            Honestly I don’t see it happening as the electoral vote calculus is seriously iffy. He really needs all the old south, and a lot of the rust belt
            including Pennsylvania and I don’t see that. But the schadenfreude of Hilary having to throw in the towel on election night is just so tempting to think about.

    • One of the many things that makes my teeth grind is the fact that the Republican party can’t seem to separate the man from the message. They can’t seem to overcome their revulsion to Trump to focus on the fact that his message resonates with LOTS of people. How many thousands of people have waited in long lines (sometimes for hours) to attend a Trump rally? The best the Rs can do, it seems, is to be slightly less insulting/disparaging than the Dems. The idea that people would be excited about putting their nation first … how deplorable.

      Something that keeps floating around the blogosphere is that if people don’t like Trump, they’ll like whomever comes after him less (and that person will be less reasonable/personable).

      • I don’t think it’s so much as separating the message from the messenger as it is that they don’t like the message either, but attacking the messenger is a lot less potentially fatal to their power than making plain their contempt for the people who are the backbone of the party, those that are out on the front lines making the country work (however creakily, so to speak) in spite of the efforts of the political class to gain more control over people.

        • As was said earlier in the election – they fear Trump, but they hate Cruz. It’s questionable whether Trump actually believes even half of what he says, but he has managed to harness the populist revolt. Cruz, on the other hand, appears to actually believes the stuff he says.

        • “…less potentially fatal to their power than making plain their contempt for the people who are the backbone of the party…” That contempt is pretty danged obvious already.

      • This is why we’ve turned against the Republicans as a Party, but not Republican candidates (as a whole). Some, yes.

      • The establishment repubs hate their base. They have more in common with Hillary than they do with you or me. This horrible base nominated Trump over there guy, Jeb(!). They can’t forgive that.

        • Their base did not nominate Trump.

          As he’s frequently bragged, and as the evidence supports, Trump was nominated by cross-over votes.

          The thing that we have to wait and see is if those folks will actually vote for him, or if the Trump supporters will spend the next however long copying Trump and declaring they were cheated because they lost.

        • JESUS HOLY CHRIST. No, the base got fooled into nominating a democrat, Trump, over say, a constitutionalist like Cruz. But the truth is, that even JEB whom I’d not vote for ever had a better chance of winning than Trump.
          I hope you’re really proud of getting us a liberal democrat and a friend of RINOS as republican candidate. Wipe your hands to the wall.

      • Yes, exactly this. For instance, no one except maybe Cruz seemed to recognize how strongly the base felt about immigration, and how effective the issue could be on the national stage if it was presented properly.

    • There are enough people opposed to Trump, both inside and outside of DC that I sometimes suspect that a Trump win might very well be our best hope of partially dismantling the Imperial Presidency.

  3. So I guess the answer is that we’re living a crappy version of Foundation where we see the storm coming, know we can’t stop it and at best can plan for weathering it. The only way to weather it I can imagine is to A) give up and be a statist bastard, B) start working to build up the local and state institutions so they are ready to pick up the slack when the national ones become undeniably bad, or C) some soft squish middle ground that tut tut’s the As and Bs.

    Where’s a Sam Adams when you need one? A little rabble rousing for liberty would be nice.

    • To quote from Harry Harrison:
      “We must be as stealthy as rats in the wainscoting of their society. It was easier in the old days, of course, and society had more rats when the rules were looser, just as old wooden buildings have more rats than concrete buildings. But there are rats in the building now as well. Now that society is all ferrocrete and stainless steel there are fewer gaps in the joints. It takes a very smart rat indeed to find these openings. Only a stainless steel rat can be at home in this environment.”
      And then there’s this:
      “A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running; I aim to misbehave.” – Malcolm Reynolds
      Because make no mistake, their ideal imagined socialist heaven is the functional equivalent of the fictional planet Miranda.

      • What’s sad is that the guy who wrote that Reynolds line can’t seem to connect it to the pile of bodies on Earth from collectivist governments. He seems to think just putting his team in charge will make it work this time.

      • “…the other three were of a breed Verkan Vall had learned to recognize on any time-line — the arrogant, cocksure, ambitious, leftist politician, who knows what is best for everybody better than anybody else does, and who is convinced that he is inescapably right and that whoever differs with him is not only an ignoramus but a venal scoundrel as well.”

        Last Enemy, H. Beam Piper, August, 1950

        • Gah, this single sentence upended my entire morning. Had to go re-read Last Enemy. Great story. *Grumbles.* I hope you’re satisfied, J Greely.

    • Where’s a Sam Adams when you need one?

      Funding people to fornicate in Catholic churches on holy days, last I heard or cared.

      http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/rejecting_apology_boston_pubs_boycott_sam

  4. c4c

  5. These people seem to forget that C. McCarthy’s _The Road_ is not supposed to be a documentary or a happy end point. Not is it a forecast. It is (depressing as h-ll) literature fiction.

    Back to listening to Bach’s Christmas oratorio, directed by Harnancourt. And Heinrich Schutz, because Schutz wrote music as the world burned down around him (1620s-30s German lands) and yet he still produced beauty and power.

    • Some day humans are going to take over the galaxy and it will be because the same culture and span of time that produced Magdeburg produced Schutz’s “Jauchset dem Herren” (Psalm 100).

    • C. McCarthy’s…

      So help me, I was wondering what (and how!) Charlie McCarthy had written.

    • And McCarthy has made it very clear that he never intended the end of The Road to be a happy ending, just a pleasant respite. Ten years after the end of the novel, no surviving humans at all.

      • Why the hell imagine a world without any people in it? I know I’ve asked this question before. But every time I encounter such nihilism it completely flabbers my gast.

        • As an academic exercise in engineering, it can be interesting (how long do roads last without repairs? dams? how long without pumping before the rivers under NYC and London return to the surface?). Otherwise, no thanks. That way lies madness and suggests someone so badly hurt by others, or so spiritually warped, that they need serious help. Or they are making a very grim point (N. Schute’s _On the Beach_)

          • Hate “On the Beach.” What was it Anthony Burgess said about it? “It is original in that there are no living characters after the end of the novel. It would probably be cruel to point out there are no living characters before the end, either.”

  6. I grew up in the cold war and we were going to be nuked, really, next month, if not before.

    I grew up 14 miles from one of the main Navy bases for antisubmarine warfare for the entire Pacific theater, which was right next to the primary control center for all US military satellites. Both were roughly upwind given prevailing winds most of the year, which ends up not mattering that much, since with the known CEP of 1960s and 1970s Soviet missiles I was not just in the blast and fallout zone, I was in the actual impact radius. And that’s not counting the other bases further upwind, and the many defense-related factories that used to be in whats now silicon valley, which were further down but still prominently included in the industrial columns of the Kremlin’s target list.

    And when I was growing up plenty of the parents in my neighborhood apparently talked about this regularly at dinner even if mine didn’t, because kids talked about this at school, from elementary on up, all the time. I’m also old enough to have participated in the last of the duck and cover drills before the hippie teachers and administrators got them eliminated. Because they hated kids and wanted them sliced open with flying glass, apparently.

    Now none of this compares to the Blitz kids in the UK, where actual bombs were actually falling on them regularly. All I had was the knowledge that if bad things happened in the obscure and distant arena of US-Soviet relations, those bad things would happen to me.

    Those who did not live through the daily threat of streaks-of-light-and-large-bangs-on-no-notice don’t have any idea what that feels like. And, really, neither did we – the relief when the Soviet Union fell apart (with miraculously no rogue launches), when I realized that threat was mostly gone, was really amazing. I’m pretty sure much of the 1990s boom was just Cold War kids acting for the first time without concern after “the end of history”.

    Of course then history came back, and the varying responses got us where we are today, but take it from me, things are not nearly as bad now as they’ve been in the past.

    Despair is a sin. Technology is on our side. The Republic will endure.

    Lots of work lies ahead, but it’s kinda starting to be downhill from where we are right now, which makes it easier for us and harder for them to push back.

    And in the end we win, they lose.

    • I was scared of a possible nuclear war, so I did what I usually do when scared: I tried to learn all I could about it, from weapon effects to rigging fallout shelters. The book that made the biggest impression was one about survivors of Hiroshima who went to Nagasaki in time to experience another bombing. The big thing was they survived twice.

    • I recall learning flash-to-bang time for estimating distance of lightning strikes, but the same thing applied to a pika-don event. But then you were close enough that the Dr Who line about “a bang so loud you won’t hear it” applies. By comparison, I was way out in the middle of nowhere – quite possibly in an area where the news would be the cessation of normal broadcasts, etc. and ‘snow’ that didn’t itself melt.

    • “I grew up 14 miles from one of the main Navy bases for antisubmarine warfare for the entire Pacific theater, which was right next to the primary control center for all US military satellites.”

      I feel you. From the back of my elementary school I could look across what was then empty canyon and mesa to NAS Miramar. I could (and did at air show time) ride my bike across the mesa to the fence line that parallelled the main runway. (To avoid the canyon I had to go down the road a bit and get on the mesa across the street from where the Convair division of General Dynamics was still making parts for F-102. F106, and the Atlas missile.)
      Noon every Monday the air raid sirens were tested. Even in elementary school we had adopted dark humor and joked that the most effective time for the Russians to attack would be at noon on a Monday. Duck and Cover wasn’t period kitsch, it was a prayer that maybe, if the missiles headed to the stuff nearest to us missed by enough, it might do some good.

      • A word about Duck and Cover: It also works well when a tornado is nearby. Many’s the time we hurried into the halls and did it for real. Once, the funnel went over or close enough to the school to yank the doors open.

      • Right same thing where I grew up in the 60’s and 70s. Groton CT with Electric Boat and the Sub Base were 30 miles west, New Haven and all the Sikorsky and United Technology stuff 30 miles east. and another 30 miles beyond that New York City one of the larger targets painted on the east coast. My dad was a bit of a fanatic and had all the government publications on Civil Defense. I remember reading them as a precocious pre-teen and scaring myself silly. It was clear although we’d
        miss the blast (unless the Soviets were particularly inaccurate that day)
        we’d be in the high (500-100 R/Hr) rate fallout area. Even a first rate shelter would only mean you’d live 10-15 days instead of 1 before getting a lethal cumulative dose. Then I stumbled onto a copy of John Hersey’s
        Hiroshima freshman year in High School. The pictures and stories are disturbing to say the least. Being intelligent and imaginative is not always an asset.

        And our current president and Ms. Clinton if she gets the office are walking us back to that world through their incompetence. Except now
        even the youngest parts (Ohio and Trident D5) of the nuclear triad that are supposed to assure MAD are 40 years old. Some parts (Minuteman 3) are nearly as old as I am and no one is doing anything to fix that.

        What these idiots have done is essentially walked into a bad part of town and flashed a wad of cash and then announced they’re safe because they’re standing in a gun-free Starbucks. And it may be they did it just to be “cool”.

        • I live less than 3 miles from EB and it’s less than 5 to the Subase front gate.

          I know damn well that if the idiots in DC get us into a nuclear shooting war, my entire family is toast. (Which reminds me, I don’t have the iodine they gave us years ago just in case Millstone has an issue.)

        • I grew up on Long Island NY, downwind from NYC and also in town was the Marine HQ for the east coast. I assumed if something every happened it would have been quick.

          I am still new NYC, but now I am a good 40 miles upwind of it. Of course, Picatinny Arsenal is only 10 miles downwind – but that shouldn’t be too high on their taget list, right? 🙂

          As they used to say, the Soviets had to worry about which NATO National leader was the most fragile who might go nuclear first – now I suspect that might be our leadership. Sigh. Actually leadership is probably overstating it now…

          Anyway, I am not a “burn it downer” – thanks to Sara for maintaining some sanity here and trying to hold a candle in the darkness – thanks and understand the example you are making for others.

          -John

    • Professor Badness

      I used to live just down the hill from NORAD. I took comfort in the fact that in the event of a nuclear launch, the end should be quick.
      I would tell my wife, “We’ll be the first/last to know.”

      • Back in the Eighties, when Reagan and Thatcher were fighting to establish cruise missiles in England the Labor opposition (Neil Kinnock, I believe) inveighted that hosting such infernal devices would make Britain Ground Zero in the event of a nuclear war.

        I recall thinking that, in the event of a nuclear war, Ground Zero was likely the best place to be. Mad Max never held much attraction as an alternative lifestyle and I’d read enough post-Apocalypse SF even then to recognize the Max-world as a best case scenario.

    • Yes, realizing I’d been wearing a heavy lead shirt for 30 years was the best part of 1989. There was no longer some perfectly nice fellow in Kazakhstan standing by to vaporize my ass.

      • The papers announced the Berlin Wall coming down at the end of my first week of Fitness Training company before Basic.

        • When I read Rocket Ship Galileo some twenty years after its 1947 publication I sniggered about Nazis on the Moon. That is a lesser gap than between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the present.

  7. Here is an interesting point made by the editors of the NY Sun: If conservatives couldn’t muster sufficient strength in the GOP to deliver the nomination to one of their own, what reason is there to think that burning down the GOP and forming a new, conservative party would work?

    The Trump Party?
    Could it be that Donald Trump would react to his defeat, if he is defeated, in the 2016 election by forming a new political party? That’s the question we keep thinking about as the autophagy of the Republican Party consumes what so many pundits are insisting is his last chance of victory in November. For whatever Mr. Trump’s problems, it is clear that he has millions of loyal followers. Will they return to the Republican fold on the theory that the party establishment was right after all?

    [SNIP]

    [G]iven the almost nihilistic way in which Mr. Trump has turned on the leaders of the party whose flag he’s flying, it’s hard not to wonder what will happen if he loses. He could, of course, wipe his hands of politics and return to business. Then again, too, he could try to seize control of the GOP, purge his adversaries within it, and remake it as the Trump Party. Or he could bolt the GOP, taking his millions of followers with him and launch a new party of his own.

    If he does that — we’re not making a prediction here — it would be as American as apple pie. Our history is littered with parties created as vehicles to pursue all sorts of visions and represent all sorts of factions — the Prohibition Party, the Communist Party, the Black Panther Party, the Toleration Party, the Anti-Masonic Party, the Nullifier Party (which fought for the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in which the two states vowed not to enforce the Alien and Sedition Acts).

    [SNIP]

    The point is that all sorts of political parties have come and gone in our glorious history, and it’s none too soon to start thinking of the possibilities in the years ahead. It’s not our purpose to suggest that the Republicans throw in the towel. But while people say the most lamentable things in the heat of battle, it’s not easy to recall a situation going to be as difficult to put together as the rift that Donald Trump’s campaign has opened within the Republican Party.

    So if he loses it’s going to be something to watch. Not that the Republicans are the only ones with an issue. There are also Senator Sanders’ unhappy followers, stranded by the alliance of their leader with Secretary Clinton. Then again, too, Mr. Trump has been reaching out to them at every turn. If they both are cast off in the current contretemps, maybe they’ll leave the Republicans to their traditional leaders and — we’re not intending any kind of endorsement here — ally in time for the next election under the banner of the Trump Party.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Theory:
      1. The rule changes made at the last convention have substantially weakened local influence.
      2. A new party would not be bound by the court order the old party is.
      3. Deep red states like Utah and Oklahoma are fertile grounds to start growing a new party.
      4. The current cycle will weaken the Republican party enough for a third party to make some gains.
      5. RNC support for Trump was an abject surrender of the field to Clinton. Current Republican support for Trump, hence refusal to switch to McMullin, is surrender to Clinton.

      • And in the grand tradition of “throw it back in their faces” (example: Yankee Doodle) it might get a name or nickname: The Deplorable Party. With a “Yeah, we named it that. You call be stupid enough to call us other names, too? We’ll continue rubbing YOUR noses in it. We’re Deplorable and we’re still the better choice. Whazzat make you lot, huh?

        • Margaret Ball

          Now that Mrs. Clinton has dumped on the Basket of Deplorables and the Bucket of Losers, I would have thought most people would figure out that she thinks everybody outside her elite circle is a deplorable loser. Sadly, I’m living with two counterexamples.

          Oh well. Better start collecting recipes for slugs.

    • Assuming a close race we could easily see another 2000 where it’s weeks or months before the ultimate winner is declared, and even then the suits and counter suits over fraud could continue for years.
      But once that all shakes out, if Trump loses I fully expect he will hunker down and prepare for the chitstorm of harassment as every Federal agency holds him under a microscope. HRC is a great many things, and one of them is thoroughly and totally vindictive and willing to use her position for both profit and revenge.
      If you believe as many do that the Obama administration used government agencies to conduct partisan attacks on organizations they disapproved of, all I can say is you ain’t seen nothing yet. Under an HRC presidency public faith in fair and equal treatment under the law will fall from its current abysmal level to something in the high negative numbers. Like Sarah says, riots and blood in the streets unlike anything seen here since at least that little disagreement we had back in ’61-’65.

      • Regardless of which side wins, the question is merely whether it will be 1961 or 1861.

        • 1861 I think. We won’t know until it happens.

          • Ya. If we can break the monopoly on information while prevention of a new one and make regulations more.difficult we might muddle thru. Make it obvious that 47% of country has absolutely no say and the lucky outcome is 1861.

            • Indeed. At least in 1861 there was a pretty obvious geographic divide. Now you can’t just split the country into two neat pieces, this side likes Hillary, this side doesn’t. Add in that we know that Hillary and her supporters will happily send anyone who doesn’t agree with them to reeducation camps (if we’re lucky) or just kill us (per Bill Ayers), and yeah, blood in the streets.

      • Yup. Trump did himself in when he announced that he would appoint a special prosecutor to look into Hillary. Hillary’s smile while he was saying that during the debate seemed to reek of “Amateur. I won’t NEED a special prosecutor.”

        Plus, the left is already working on a boycott of any store that carries any product that carries the Trump name, even Ivanka’s stuff. Between that and investigations, even if Trump stalls prosecution till he dies the odds are that he will die broke.

        In our “Three Felonies a Day” world a person or bussiness entity exists so long as government permits it to.

    • “Will they return to the Republican fold on the theory that the party establishment was right after all?” No. The party establishment failed to learn that we went for Trump because the party had already given us the brush-off, the run-around, and the bums rush. Some individuals, yes; the Party, no.

      • But when votes actually made Trump’s run real rather than the joke it was initially presented as before the primaries (vs. when votes merely confirmed how things were heading at the end) it was not confirmed-R-votes that accomplished this “making real” – it was crossover D votes in the early primary states that allowed such.

        And if that crossing over to vote for Trump was not an organized D campaign to attempt to pump up the easy opponent for The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua, i.e. the candidate they had the most dirt on, i.e. The Donald, I will be vastly astonished.

        If you somehow believe that the media, and the Presidential campaign fof Monica Lewinsky’s ex-Boyfriends Wife (but I repeat myself) did not already have all the mud you are now seeing flung back in the spring during the primaries you are delusional.

        I think both sides vastly misjudged the tenor of the public – heck, the Ds got Bernie getting way more votes than was in his script – but Cruz could just have easily been the R protest candidate, and without those early crossover-legal primary victories, I think Cruz would have had an honest shot at the convention.

        But the crossovers picked Trump, and here we are.

        • The latest batch of hacked e-mails have revealed that Hillary’s campaign was indeed hoping to face Trump in the General Election, as they viewed him as the one candidate that they could definitely beat.

          Wouldn’t be the first time that a Democrat engineered the Republican primary to pick her opponent. At the very least, Claire McKaskill worked to make sure that Todd Akin was her opponent in the General Election in 2012, and the Democratic Party as a whole owes her a debt of gratitude.

          • I had been thinking about Senator McKaskill’s ploy, too, and have spent idle moments these last several days trying to list similar such ploys. It seems to me that both the Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle candidacies as likely instances of such chicanery.

            In all likelihood it is impossible to fully identify the frequency of such rigged elections.

            The T.E.A. Party needs to learn some professionalism, and the Republican professionals need to learn some principles. I know where my betting lays on it happening first.

            One could make an argument that T.E.A. Party senate candidate Marco Rubio would be our nominee had he not been sand-bagged by the professionals (both parties) telling him he needed to prove his ability to “reach across the aisle” and “get things done” with that still-born immigration reform abomination.

            Pro Tip for new Republican Senators/Representatives/President: the Democrats are not your friends and they are not your foes. They. Are. Your. E-N-E-M-I-E-S.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              I’m very suspicious of Ross Perot, and could stand to know more about Arkansas politics.

              • I’m suspicious of Ross Perot on general principles, but I’m not sure his interest back when he guaranteed Billy Jeff won was anything other than his pure personal hatred for papa Bush.

                If Camp Clinton had any chits they could use to call on Perot for favors, I would have assumed it would have manifested more publicly. I have not read anything mentioning Ross for a long time – maybe he’s the super kingmaker behind the scenes, but I’d expect him to at least have shown up in the hacked emails by now as a pay-for-play participant if he was active.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Consider that we don’t have perfect chain of custody on the emails. I suspect that part is correct because it matches my preconceptions, but going from that to ‘knowing’ is a great way to poorly manage whatever mental health problems I have.

            Being careful about levels of proof is a good mental habit for anyone.

            That, said, I’m probably tired enough that I’d screw up even if I think I’m being careful. Night all.

            • Chain of custody, chain of schmustody: you would have to be an idiot (or a journalist, but I repeat myself) to have not seen that* midway through the first act of this farce.

              *That being the Hillary campaign’s preferred opponent was Teh Domald. Just as you knew at curtain’s rise after the overture that whoever the GOP nominated was going to be defined by the Dems (and MSM, BIRM) as racist, sexist, heartless …

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                My preconception is that it is fairly obvious, absent Trump campaign chaff, that Trump was the only way Clinton wins.

                • Fairly obvious except to all of the Trump fans that *insisted* that Trump was the best candidate to take on Clinton.

                  Oh, and he was also totes conservative. Because wall. And any history indicating otherwise was a whole two years ago.

                  /sigh

                  • My cousin maintains that Trump will win in the biggest landslide since Reagan.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      Bigger, the Russians will nuke all Democratic voting population centers in a false flag operation disguised as Islamic terrorism, because they have owned Trump since the seventies. 🙂

                      Okay, I’m maybe half a percent serious. I suspect any terrorism short of nukes would be memory holed, and I’m skeptical Muslim terrorists could have the capacity to use a nuke here inside the the next twenty days, and not already have used it. The Russians I can see having a political reason to time it to, say, five days before the election.

                      Islamic terrorists seem to have more of a ‘1. Scarily Murder 2. ??? 3. Prophet’ grasp of American politics.

                    • Take the crack pipe away from him.

                    • “The biggest landslide since Reagan” wouldn’t have to be all that big. The last six elections have been pretty close, largely within the limit of MSM’s thumb on the scale.

                      Observational evidence suggests it is possible there is a hidden Trump vote — absence of yard signs where they are traditionally abundant, MSM insistence that it is all but over, Hillary has won, don’t bother with voting (something we never see when a Republican nominee is leading) and other factors.

                      Doesn’t matter. It won’t be a Trump win so much as a Hillary loss. Trump is quite possible the worse man to ever run for president (or at least since Aaron Burr) but Hillary is the worst person ever.

                    • Given all the actual cases of assault, vandalism, theft, and now firebombing we’ve seen whenever Trump supporters are identified, no one with anything to target is going to admit to voting for him.

                    • “Biggest since Reagan” was my characterization, not his exact words, which I don’t remember. And I was only thinking of electoral votes. He might have said “biggest ever”.

                      As far as the crack pipe goes, Sarah – even my brother and sister are solid supporters, even though my brother in particular is generally very conservative, and ordinarily very informed on such things. I just don’t know what is going on with them.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      1. What you do a lot, you get better at. 2. Gaslighting works partly because people will often weight the opinions of others.

                      One model says that Trump has spent much of his seventy years learning to bamboozle people. If correct, he might be very good at it. Some conservative voices were vulnerable to being bought or intimidated. If he seduced many of the rest in one on one meetings, he could enormously influence the expression of conservative thought.

                      It could’ve been effective on me, except that I’m crazy enough that his pitch wasn’t a good match for me, and I happened to have contacts and sources extremely hostile towards him.

              • One important note here: The important legal principle of “Chain of custody, chain of schmustody” only applies when the evidence is all farkakte and only the split the baby approach can approximate an appropriate response.

                Since in this case it’s the alleged perp who is farkakte, the schmustody is moot.

  8. since no one else is brave (or foolish?) enough, I guess that I’ll go there ,,, c’mon, at least in the States a certain mental picture forms with that phrase, right? So, onwards into the breach (the 70s qualify, right?).

    “Stayin’ Alive” Bee Gees, 1977)

    Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
    I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk.
    Music loud and women warm, I’ve been kicked around
    Since I was born.
    And now it’s all right. It’s OK.
    And you may look the other way.
    We can try to understand
    The New York Times’ effect on man.

    Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother,
    You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’,
    And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive.

    Well now, I get low and I get high,
    And if I can’t get either, I really try.
    Got the wings of heaven on my shoes.
    I’m a dancin’ man and I just can’t lose.
    You know it’s all right. It’s OK.
    I’ll live to see another day.
    We can try to understand
    The New York Times’ effect on man.

    Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother,
    You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’,
    And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive.

    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me.
    Somebody help me, yeah.
    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me, yeah.
    Stayin’ alive.

    Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
    I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk.
    Music loud and women warm,
    I’ve been kicked around since I was born.
    And now it’s all right. It’s OK.
    And you may look the other way.
    We can try to understand
    The New York Times’ effect on man.

    Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother,
    You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’,
    And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
    Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive.

    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me.
    Somebody help me, yeah.
    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me, yeah.
    I’m stayin’ alive.

    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me.
    Somebody help me, yeah.
    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me, yeah.
    I’m stayin’ alive.

    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me.
    Somebody help me, yeah.
    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me, yeah.
    I’m stayin’ alive.

    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me.
    Somebody help me, yeah.
    Life goin’ nowhere. Somebody help me, yeah.
    I’m stayin’ alive.

    • Oh God. If we are down to being inspired by the Bee Gees, then we are truly doomed 🙂

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Gotta take inspiration where you can find it, these days.

        • Classic rock station was playing “Eye of the Tiger” this morning as I drove to work. As you say, inspiration is where you find it.

          • I love that song. Went to see the movie in a midnight showing the night I got permanent residence.

          • *chuckle* In that vein, one of my odd-time favorites is happy music with depressing lyrics. The forties’ swing music had this going on. Even Bluegrass has it’s tunes of that nature (Old no. 7, by Devil Makes Three- and other songs, same band).

            In some small way, you can choose to be inspired like you can choose to be happy. Or, at least, you can choose what’s important enough to get mad or sad about.

            Sometimes classical music makes the best impression. “The Planets” can still distract me in a crowded airport, and settle me when all the world’s a whirl with this chaos or that passion. Music has a way of bending our emotions. It’s a legal drug. *grin*

            • Of course, there’s always the “burn-it-down” anthem. 😎

            • I confess to liking the song Vincent without knowing the name other than by the start of the first verse: “Starry, starry, night,” or that it was about someone who committed suicide. The song was decades old before that part sunk through my thick skull. And because I didn’t know the name, it took a little while longer to realize it was about Vincent van Gogh.

              Then there’s Brown Sugar that sounds like a really rollicking rock song until you listen to the lyrics.

              The absolutely most depressing song I know with an upbeat tune has to be Goodbye to Love. A close runner up would be Alone Again, Both are obviously depressing, though.

              There’s more depressing songs, of course, but these happen to have the upbeat tune.

              • I like to remember the good old days …


                The years may have flown but the memory stays …

              • The Kingston Trio introduced me to upbeat tunes with grim lyrics at a tender age. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHYbvHyNRZA

                • 🙂 I inflict that on my students once a year. Also the Volga Boatmen’s birthday song. I had a student fall out of his chair this year, he was laughing so hard.
                  Happy birthday (ugh)
                  Happy birthday (ugh)
                  Misery, gloom, despair,
                  People dying everywhere.
                  Happy Birthday (ugh).

                • I grew up listening to that album. (As well as Tom Lehrer, The Seekers, the Broadway cast album of Camelot, and Richard Harris’ A Tramp Shining. I’m sure that explains a lot about me.) What I consider truly sad is that some 60 years on and things haven’t really changed much at all.

                  Totally OT, but a welcome break (at least to me). Looking for the Tom Lehrer hunting song on YouTube, I found a Night Court scene. Bob and June Wheeler detonating chickens. I really, really needed that laugh.

        • Reading the lyrics is, admit it, better than listening to the Bee Gees.

      • Patrick Chester

        Yes. Doomed.

    • Alas, I vaguely remember the movie and strongly remember one too many rounds of CPR training when I hear the bass line. (The, ahem, pulse of the music is exactly what the Red Cross now recommends for chest compressions for adults.)

    • The only thing I see in my mind when I hear that song:

    • Curse you. I hate their singing, but that damn thing is an earworm. Now I will be hearing it for hours…

  9. I’m not big on hope. It’s nice to have, but life does go on without it.

    That said, what would give hope is knowing what to do. This means study. Even the loathsome Che Guevara had a book of instructions.

    What I therefore propose here is a reading list. Saying we need to hold the line and not to quail is great; knowing how to do that is better. This falls under both politics and persuasion.Heinlein’s Take Back Your Government, available from Baen’s, addresses involvement in local politics. I’m sure there’s others in that vein. But what about getting our point across? What how-to guides are available there?

    So, to start off the list, here’s:
    Take Back Your Government, by Robert Heinlein.

    • How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

      • If you need to educate a child or yourself, The Well Trained Mind and The Well Educated Mind, Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer; and Susan’s Story of the World and History of the World series (serieses? serii?).

        See y’all in a decade when you’re done!

        • I was disappointed by the history books. You need to have an overview knowledge of the history first before they really become useful. I’m still looking for a solid narrative history of those periods for reference and classroom use.

          • Any thoughts on Will (and for later volumes, Ariel) Durant’s “The Story of Civilization”?

            • I’m not thrilled with the subtle (and not so subtle) socialist bent, but they are useful when I need a quick (or not so quick) refresher on the big picture and chronologies. I’ve got a set, Sib’s got a set, and I dive into mine several times a year, at least until I get to the French Revolution and after (for that I have a goodly number of monographs and the Oxford University summaries.)

              • Thanks. I see them on sale sometimes at Half Price Books or the library book sale and that’s at least enough of a positive recommendation I’ll probably pick up volumes if they’re cheap enough.

              • I think that the most useful children’s book that inculcates children against socialism is “The Little Red Hen”

                ….unless, in the last 30 years, it has been bowdlerized to conform to The Narrative.

          • The Story of the World series? Really? For elementary, we’ve found them to be a good overview.

            • I’m thinking of _The History of the Medieval World_ and the other book in that pair. I’m looking for advanced High School/ College Freshman level material.

              • History of Ancient, Midieval, and Renaissance (there’s three right now) we’ve used in middle school. Um. I guess either this is a YMMV or we’re doing other stuff, liturature maybe, that makes it work for us? I wouldn’t call them high school material, let alone college, but my perspective may be screwy. High school should be reading sources, translated when needed, in my opinion.

    • Folks, I’m absolutely serious here. Making a stand means being able to effectively present a case. The question is how. Only one other suggestion, Carnegie’s book, address this issue.

      This means books on advertising. On persuading others. On debating. On forming a plan of action for an effective political campaigns. If we don’t know how to go about winning hearts and minds, we aren’t going to accomplish a thing.

      • I’ll also throw out Robert Greene’s The Art of Seduction. Despite the title, it is as much about individual and mass persuasion in a political or marketing sense as it is about seduction in a “romantic” sense. Some of its techniques are sufficiently manipulative that I have major qualms about some of them – though I suspect Machiavelli would approve of many.

        • I actually really, really like Machiavelli– he has a lot of good points, and you’ve got to think about stuff and figure out if it’s moral, and why it’s wrong if it’s not moral, before someone’s hide is on the line.

          I’ll have to put that book on My List.

        • And, of course, one of the better ways to avoid being victim to a predator is to know what a predator is going to do.

          • This. It’s no coincidence that so many of the Great White Hunters were also magnificent naturalists and observers of the world around them (Jim Corbett, “Karamojo” Bell, Teddy Roosevelt).

      • Free Range Oyster

        Most information that I’ve seen on advertising and persuasion is directed toward mass consumer marketing, which is not what we primarily need. Mass media is not particularly useful at present for persuading. It is useful for rallying your allies, for indoctrinating if you can control it, at best for casting doubt on something. Persuasion must be done personally, one-on-one or to a small group. For this approach, the place to look is the churches. Religious conversion happens individually. Look to successful missionary programs. I’m only familiar with the one in which I served, but there are other denominations that have had success over the centuries. How did they do it? For LDS Huns and Hoydens, let me remind you that the principles from Preach My Gospel are broadly applicable.
        I’ll second the vote for Carnegie. The results I’ve seen from using just part of that material are incredible. You might also check out the parenting book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Clear communication is important. I’ll add more as I think of them.

      • Free Range Oyster

        Other ideas:
        Go Rin No Sho
        The Art of War
        An Army of Davids
        The Federalist Papers
        The Anti-Federalist Papers
        Common Sense
        Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
        Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric

    • Books may be added to the Goodreads Group to make a permanent list.
      https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/104359-hoyt-s-huns
      with a shelf if you want to keep it specific.

  10. The problem we have here is that those of us who chafe at the state’s overreach are trapped here on earth and we can’t get away. 100-200 years ago there were frontiers – the American West (heck America entirely for most Europeans), Australia, Africa and so on- where you could and strike out on your own with little worry about the all controlling state. There’s no such frontier now.

    • Hey, Elon Musk is talking about colonizing Mars over the next 40 to 100 years. Probably not soon enough for me, but perhaps my grandchildren will become Martians! I wonder what the chances are that Mars will be a free society.

      • Elon Musk is the head of Tesla, right?

        He talks about Mars. But Tesla’s apparently on somewhat rocky ground right now. So I’m not sure how much use he’s going to be a few years from now in getting anywhere if it involves more than talking.

        Doesn’t mean that there aren’t others that will take up the call. But he’s probably not going to be the one.

        • More to the point, he’s also the head of SpaceX.

          • Yeah, I’m aware of that. But I’m wondering how the SpaceX financials will look if Tesla goes under.

            • SpaceX has been running on other peoples money since the second Falcon 1 failure – Elon used his all up, and finding outside money at that point was what let them try again (and succeed for the first time).

              It’s a private company still, so there’s no disclosure available on whose that money was, but I don’t think Tesla’s fortunes are all that relevant to SpaceX’s future.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            If Tesla’s vehicle architecture has engineering issues, and if this is an organizational problem originating from Musk, then we might expect to turn up similar problems in SpaceX.

        • Sorry, it was really a tongue-in-cheek type of comment. I’m a cynic at heart, people promise the moon (or in this case Mars) and almost never come through. I probably should have made the effort to indicate that the comment wasn’t to be taken seriously.

        • Musk has been an absolute genius at getting corporate welfare for his companies. If the government stops providing the various subsidies and tax-writeoffs he’s taken advantage of he’s bust.

          However SpaceX has a lot of IP and engineering talent that would be snapped up in a heartbeat if the company actually went titsup.com I imagine Jeff Bezos would love to buy SpaceX at a bankruptcy firesale to add to his own space efforts.

    • Which is why we fight to save the one we have. There’s nothing more dangerous than an American with their back against a wall.

  11. My father said something similar to this when I talked about politics with him a few months ago. He rolled his eyes at all the doomsaying and said “If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been told this election will end the republic your mother would be married to a millionaire.”

    I’m worried about things. I think everyone is. It would be crazy not to be worried.

    But it’s still our nation, right or wrong, and we still have the power to do something about it. Other nations have gone through this before and they survived. We already know how to win, we just have to do it.

  12. It is rough and unrefined, but It seems to me to fit:

    Look to the sky
    Look to the stars
    They can’t take us over
    They can’t take what’s ours.

    The work of our hands,
    We can always redo.
    The things in our minds
    We pass down to you.

    The will to the striving
    They never will break.
    The hope in our labors
    They never can take.

    The fire that burns
    In every free soul
    Is something they never
    Can see nor control.

    They think in our spirits
    We are like them,
    Yet we know the truth:
    We are still men.

    No machine to dance
    To a street grinder’s tune.
    No dog to lie lazy,
    Then howl at the moon.

    We look to the sky
    And reach to the stars,
    And they can’t understand
    What makes the sky ours.

  13. My best case scenario is that we’re going to eat live slugs for four years.

    Gagh is always best when served live.

    • Thanks to the Spanish episode of Emeril’s _Eat the World_, I have now seen live gagh on Earth.

      Baby eels, cooked at the table in boiling consomme, inside a big wineglass.

  14. What, this blog is supposed to be depressing? Oy, have I been reading this wrong all this time…!

    To be honest, the folks here are a breath of fresh air. To a lot of us, I’d wager. Were it depressing, I think we’d all notice. I *know* I would. Depression says, “there’s nothing you can do.” It doesn’t say, “get off your bleedin’ arse, there’s work to do! Now git!” Depression never mentions hope save to say it’s all gone, now. It doesn’t tell you to calm the *bleep* down and use your brain, we can get through this. Depression never lets you win, even when no one else can beat you- you beat yourself. It doesn’t say, we *will* win in the end, but ONLY IF WE TRY.

    It can be optimistic here if you take it to mean we *can* improve. No kidding, we really can. Things *have* been better in some ways, and *are* better in a lot of others. I have more books and more free time today than I ever dreamed I could have back when I was younger. Politicians today can’t get away with things as easy as when we could hardly find each other across the country, let alone talk regularly.

    Yeah, there’s corruption. On a grand, mind boggling scale. Yup, there’s plenty of blame to go around. ‘Pubs and ‘crats both. And where do those two parties come from? How do they get their power?

    We live in America, so that’s on us. We’ve allowed a lot of crap to go on because we were too busy. Working, raising the rugrats, taking care of our old people, generally living the kind of life we want to and try to live. No kings, no oligarchy, no matter how you slice it, we *elect* our oppressors to power. They have to fool us to get there, but the responsibility of choosing our representatives is *ours.*

    I heard today that voter turnout for some parts of Appalachia for local elections was about 2%. Of the whole population in these areas. And we’re not all the different from the rest of the country. National elections varies from 30%-65% on average. That’s a lot of people who probably complain about taxes, the price of milk and gas, road construction, crime… and politics. And don’t do anything about it.

    Pretty damning stuff, right? Well, in some ways yes. But that just means we don’t need to do as much to make a change at the local level. Get to talking to people, get them informed, get them voting. Just a little bit will do. If you want to do more, great, we appreciate it. Once people are involved, things like, oh, those bussing scandals hit home. You mean those serial criminals just canceled out my vote, my sister’s, and my whole neighborhood’s? That ain’t right.

    Of *course* there is hope, folks. It’s a bloody good thing that we *get* to work to earn our bread… and to earn our way out of this mess. That is a freedom, and a responsibility, not everyone in the world gets.

    • Worried about vote fraud? Get involved with the polls- either as a poll worker (you’re not required to be a little old lady, you know) or with your political party as an official poll watcher.

      • It will probably be too late for this election, but do get involved as soon as you can, so you can be in place for the next one.

        • A lot of places, and especially the local party chapters who are the ones who provide most of the poll watchers are still looking!

          Contact your local candidates, your local party committee, or even your local registrar of voters.

    • I suspect Randall and Potter Counties, TX are going to have relatively high voter turn outs, not just because of the presidential election, but because of seven(!) bond proposals that would, if all pass, hike property taxes 57% in the five years. And a lot of folks are getting tired of “trust us” from city leaders.

      • I’ve long wondered about such bond issues. They always seem to raise taxes to pay for the bonds issued, but once the bonds are retired the taxes never seem to return to status quo ante.

        So, whose auntie gets the money after then, eh?

        • I haven’t a clue, although recently it’s been a pair of out-of-town developers hired to revitalize downtown. Several million dollars of the city (and other cities) later, they both fled the country with the Feds hot on their heels for fraud. And then the city leaders announced, “We’ll do it right THIS time!” and they want the bonds. I think the street bond may pass, the other six? Not so much. But I’ve been surprised before.

          • They tend to ask for bonds for the public schools around here. I never went to them, so I see no point in funding them, and have no problem voting nay.

            • Two tricks I’ve heard of in Washington:
              Using ’emergency operational bond’ rules to self-pass bonds and use it to hire “teachers” (paper-type, not involved-in-teaching type), which is illegal but only once you get caught.
              The guy in charge of assessments decides that property is actually worth a whole lot more than it was, often on flimsy pretenses like “someone checked what the price would be if this farm which was bought in the 50s was subdivided, we’re going to charge you the back-taxes for the new value for the past three years.”
              (That one hit the news because the yearly taxes jumped to more than the lady and her late husband had paid for the place– I think it was some sort of a horse boarding location, now. I believe that lawyers jumped all over each other to stand up for a little old lady so obviously being bullied, though; nobody is jumping up to stop the “every single year everyone’s taxable home value is increasing exactly as much as the law allows, even if home sales aren’t” trick.)

              • The local school board here tried several times over the last 15 years to get BIG bond issues passed, but the voters got burned back in the late 1990’s and refused them every time until about 2003. An influx of new voters got a $6 million bond issue to enlarge the high school. They spent the money on a Dance studio, a new cafeteria, and a culinary school and did not add one damn classroom. Bond issues failed again until 2008 when another new influx of voters (Thanks Opra 😦 ) passed one again for a new high school. Luckily, the crash of 2008 stopped the new move-ins and they have not tried another issue ….yet……

              • People rightly complain about escapees from California agitating and voting for stupid stuff in their new locales, but one thing Californians did right was pass Proposition 13 by state constitutional amendment back in 1978. Prop. 13 rolled back property tax assessments back to 1976 levels for existing owners, and then limited annual assessment increases to 2% per year. When property is sold it gets reassessed at 1% of the sale value, and from then on gets the same 2% per year increases.

                It also sent all property tax revenues up to the state level for redistribution according to arcane formulae for “fairness,” and that has caused problems for localities with healthy property tax bases whose money was sent off to more “needy” areas, but in general Prop. 13 moderated the type of reassessment abuses Foxfier describes in Washington state that priced owners out of their homes due to property tax increases.

                • Here in my corner of Ohio we have a different problem. Assessments don’t tend to increase unfairly, but figuring out property tax levies can be a pain sometimes. (Over)simplified explanation: the effective rate of each levy maxes out at a rate such that it is the lesser of the levy rate and the amount raised during the first year the levy was in effect. So if property values rise the effective tax rate declines, and the levying entity receives no more money than it got the first year. This means that if levy is up for renewal at the same stated rate as before it is often actually a tax increase, because the effective rate gets reset to the actual rate.

                  This is sometimes totally justifiable. If the levy was for 5 or 10 years, inflation alone often requires a higher effective rate. If the decrease in effective rate was because of tax revenue from newly-developed land, the cost of providing additional services (e.g. fire/EMS levy) might require the higher effective rate. Sorting out each levy is therefore just a nasty mess.

        • At least where I am in Ohio, I have seen (and voted in favor of) renewal of property tax levies that dropped the rate because the bonds had been paid off but operating expenses needed to continue to be funded. For property tax levies that are solely for operating expenses, I’ve never seen them drop, but that is no doubt in part because of the approved vs. effective rates being taxed.

    • No. The charge is that I’m unreasonably optimistic lp

  15. richardmcenroe

    keep in mind, Sarah, that there is a BUTTLOAD of mobying going on this election. and that many of these ‘concerned’ correspondents who wish they could read you if only you weren’t so depressing…want to depress you.

    • actually they complain I’m too optimistic.

      • Well, that you are.

        Just as those people who first came from Europe to this continent were unreasonably optimistic, just as the army at Valley Forge and the Signers of the Declaration were too optimistic, and convention in Philadelphia. And as were far, far too optimistic those who fought for their country in the War Between the States, or who rode West afterward. There were a heck of a lot of unrealistic optimists wading ashore at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, too, not to mention those scientists assembled at Oak Ridge and Hanford.

        Some might say that extreme optimism is synonymous with being American.

        Not me, though, never me. I think the crowd sayng 1) Burnitalldown 2) ? 3) Utopia are the extreme optimists.

    • I’ve run across a comment there with a guy who professes unregenerate Marxism, gets called on it, denies all — just because Lenin had a good idea with “Whom, whom?” doesn’t mean he’s a Marxist.

      Moby, straight troll, true believer — all depressing thoughts.

  16. Delurking to say, with all sincerity, thank you Sarah for this blog and this community. It’s one of the few things this dismal season that gives me hope for humanity, and even more for the cause of freedom’s resurgence, if not in my sons’ time, then perhaps in their sons’. For me, in this time and this place, your words are a gift.

  17. Love your blog! Please don’t stop. I would call your posts “balanced”. Some are optimistic, some not. Always interesting.

    Wildly off topic (and feel free to delete this if it’s not appropriate), the 21st Annual Pumpkin Carving is coming up. If anyone in the Denver area would like to attend, I’d love to meet some of y’all in person. It’s an open house sort of thing. If you’re interested, email me at tiger sizer (no space) on gmail.

  18. I’ve been reading this blog for a long time. Not being a SF fan, I do it for the political and social commentary. It’s interesting to read opinions of someone who grew up in a totally different environment than I did and had totally different experiences. I don’t believe I’ve ever commented before.

    So this comment is a confession. I’m a burn it down Republican. The first time I voted was for Nixon (when he won), and I’ve been GOP ever since. And in all those years the only times I voted for President with a light heart were 1980, 1984, and 2012. Down-ballot elections weren’t any better. The party told me I needed to suck it up and vote for the likes of Ford who thought Poland was free; Bush I who had a vision problem; Dole the ultimate go along to get along guy; Bush II who said he didn’t believe in nation-building and then embarked on a spree of just that, who wanted open borders and amnesty as much as any leftie; and McCain, a vicious old s.o.b. also wanting eternal war, amnesty and open borders. I’ve never done anything harder than vote for McCain, and I’m never doing anything like it again.

    So there was Reagan, who the party didn’t like, although their dislike pales in comparison to current day, and Romney, who would have been decent, I think, but he couldn’t help but apologize for everything that might have made him good. Now there’s Trump. Not my first choice, but at least not apologizing for success in business, and as I started to listen:

    The Supreme Court
    The borders
    The Supreme Court
    His attitude toward decades of constant war for nothing
    The Supreme Court
    He’s right about the U.S. defending the world, including many countries that could pay for their own defense but instead get to use the money we save them on social programs and sneer at us because we can’t afford the benefits they give their citizens
    The Supreme Court
    He’s right about stupid trade agreements. Sometimes I wonder why Perot’s “giant sucking sound” prediction isn’t quoted more often. Hmm, maybe that’s because the people who would have to quote him are in favor of Obama dream of bring the U.S. down to the level of third-world nations
    The Supreme Court
    I know “taxing the rich” won’t pay for a sliver of the lefties’ dreams. In fact from figures I’ve seen, confiscating every dime of wealth from the 1% wouldn’t make a dent in this country’s deficit much less debt.
    The Supreme Court

    that’s off the top of my head. I don’t believe the current GOP can be fixed. For that matter the Dems can’t be either, but I don’t care about them. So third party, burn it down and rebuild, whatever. I’ve had enough of leftie light, and I’m out.

  19. It is funny how the Polls get closer as we get closer to election day.

    • The media makes money from campaign ads and close, sensational presidential runs. It’s not in their financial interests for one candidate to be the obvious winner until late in the game.

  20. I certainly hope this blog doesn’t disappear any time soon. I can always count on a good daily essay, and I always learn something. Lessons from someone who had seen this road we’re traveling as a country and has insights for Americans… that’s invaluable.

  21. You apes wanna live forever? Etc. Etc.

  22. And accusing me of fetishizing guns was probably the funniest part of all this. 

    I think I finally figured that out– amusingly enough, because of the some stuff is not identical therefore humans are different guy.

    The thing I kept hitting against is that you don’t really talk about guns that much, not on your own. You don’t avoid it, but it only gets talked about when it comes up in conversation.

    The one time you could be construed as waving “but guns!” around as a protective amulet is when… someone does the “but we’ll lose because military” shtick.

    This is an example of where technology changing really does change the whole situation, because military works due to an imbalance of force. Back when the weapons were strength multipliers, yeah, part of it was the weapon themselves– swords are expensive, both in material and keeping in practice– but there’s also the fact that the majority of the population simply doesn’t have the same basic strength as a fairly young not-maimed male (AKA, soldier).

    Guns change that situation.

    Instead of the maximum portion of the population that could, if they had a weapon, put up a fight being something like 25% if you figure a full half of men– it’s more like 75%, bare minimum, including personal objections to violence.
    Pre-teen girls, elderly disabled vets, young widows holding their baby as multiple attackers try to break in– they can all resist, and win, without any amazing luck.

    This radically changes the situation, especially in the US– the second amendment makes us basically a sane version of the Spartans.

    We have the ability, and we have the resources. That really does change the result of “the government wins because military.”

    Our very national culture has depended on guns for a very long time; you couldn’t have isolated homesteads where the husband left for weeks or months if the lady didn’t have a gun. Yes, a lot of those homesteads were still destroyed– but a lot of them weren’t. Most of them weren’t. Even if whoever attacked had weapons, guns make it too costly, most of the time.

    • Guns change that situation.

      Offered in support:

      The gun against the sword: Why Kurosawa remakes miss the point
      [SNIP]
      I’m going to admit something: I’m biased. I love Akira Kurosawa’s movies – though I tend to prefer the jidai-geki flicks to the ones set in the present day. Yet there’s an inherent issue unrelated to quality that precludes the creation of solid remakes. It’s the fact that the gun is often associated with novelty, and that’s just not the way it is in your standard American version. Bullets, in US films, are everywhere. In fact, there are so many, you frequently can’t count them.

      You can, however, in The Seven Samurai (1954), one of the masterpieces of world cinema. In this tale of peasants and samurai versus bandits, the brigands have three guns; their opponents have none. That’s an advantage, and the counting and, ultimately, collection of these weapons is integral to the plot. A gun means long-range firepower; the samurai use either swords or bows and arrows. A gun also symbolises modernity, and the fact that it’s responsible for taking the lives of four samurai suggests a conflict between the past and the present. When master swordsman Kyuzo falls at the end after being mortally wounded by a bullet, he throws his sword in disgust. That’s not how he wanted to die. It’s not the samurai way.

      Nope. You don’t find that in Shichinin no Samurai’s remake, The Magnificent Seven (1960).

      Guns have a curious history in Japan. They were welcomed early on, with manuals on marksmanship even produced before they were discarded and stored voluntarily for years before being brought back. In Kurosawa films such as Ran (1985) and Kagemusha (1980), they play a huge role in the major battles; in the former, a gun is responsible for killing lord Taro as he assaults his father’s castle, while in Kagemusha, Oda Nobunaga – one of Japan’s three great unifiers – uses guns en masse at Nagashino to wipe out the rival Takeda forces. This final battle makes its presence felt in Kagemusha, where it is heard, in the reports of the gunfire, rather than shown until the horrific bloody aftermath, which powerfully documents the waste of life expended on the field.

      But guns also offer warnings and the possibility of disaster in smaller Kurosawa films, notably Yojimbo (1961) and Stray Dog (1949). In the latter, a detective loses his gun to a criminal, and nearly the entire film is spent searching for it, as it could be used for evil. There’s a loss of control there, and without control, firearms offer the potential for villainy; the sword is a nobler instrument and can even be sheathed to prevent violence. That’s the weapon of choice for Toshiro Mifune’s Sanjuro Kuwabatake in Yojimbo, and he’s countered by a bad guy with a pistol: the wild, scary Unosuke (played magnificently by Tatsuya Nakadai). Unosuke displays this gun frequently, as if proud of it, and it’s obvious that he got it via nefarious means. To him, it’s a novelty, yet to Sanjuro, it represents danger, and when he ultimately disables Unosuke with a knife to the wrist before dispatching him, the miscreant asks to hold his instrument of destruction once more before he dies. It’s a not-so-obscure object of desire as well as a weapon, and just touching it provides a thrill.

      That’s the biggest problem in the initial remake, Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Because it’s a Western, guns are used both by the heroes and villains, so they lose their impact. So what if Clint Eastwood’s Joe is a superb marksman; his adversaries carry firearms, too, so there’s no discrepancy. Therefore, the conflict is minimised. Both sides can compete with each other equally; thus, it’s not about the sword versus the gun. You don’t have a historical context.

      • Oops – emphasis added: A gun also symbolises modernity

        Debates over the effects of modernity and which political party accurately represents modernity may now commence.

        • “Debates over the effects of modernity and which political party accurately represents modernity may now commence.”

          Technically both sides reflect Fascism, and a yearning to return to Feudalism. Want to see an SJW’s head explode, just list all the ways Hillary’s list of promises coincide with those of another famous National Socialist. He had a snappier tailor though.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        One aspect about guns and Japan is that after the Shogun united Japan using guns, the Shogun greatly restricted their availability.

        IMO it worked mainly because the Nobles disliked the idea that a commoner with a gun could kill a noble with a sword.

        Of course, our modern would-be nobles talk about the evils of guns but often have body-guards carrying guns. 👿

        • Was talking about that with Daughtorial Unit over lunch and wondering why these American igNobles (Faubles?) imagine they bodyguards are trustworthy. Rumours that Kim Kardashian’s bodyguards conspired with her robbers should give pause (stipulating that the whole thing was not a gigantic con, which when discussing that family is always a perilous assumption.)

    • Patrick Chester

      They usually presume that “military wins” because they can’t imagine any form of resistance beyond standing out at the open and shooting at tanks.

      Or that the government will carpet bomb or nuke rebellious cities.

      • Or that “Free Stuff Nation” won’t show up at their door when the EBT cards stop working. Troops deployed away from their families won’t stay when their families need defending. And they won’t be an ocean away.

        • I wonder what it would take to impose an effective blockade of various American cities — New York, D.C., Chicago — and how long it would have to be held before shortages had an effect.


          It’s hard to starve out folks that’ll eat ‘possum.

          When Katrina struck it was a city what cratered. When blizzards hit it ain’t the country folk who get the news coverage.

          • Depends on the city.
            New Orleans would be one of the easier ones. Once you’ve sealed off the bridges over Lake Pontchartrain, then blockaded the Mississippi River and blocked off I-10 to Baton Rouge and Highway 90, you’ve basically cut it off completely. (You’d have some trouble with the airport, but that can be resolved by putting SAMs or mortars on barges in Lake Pontchartrain) There aren’t a lot of secondary roads in.
            Now, Detroit would be much more difficult. Not only is the road network much more redundant, but Canada’s on the other side of the Detroit River, and could be counted on for resupply.

            • While replenishing the coffee cup contents I was pondering these questions and considered that while NY seems simple — drop a few bridges, collapse a few tunnels — the FDNY and (I presume) NYPD have more than a a couple boats they use for general purposes which might allow limited resupply long enough to get the gates open again.

              OTOH, considering DC I expect that cannibalism would commence by Day -2 during any blockade.

          • The flipside is that while it’s easier to patrol a concentrated urban area, it’s a lot harder to control movement.

            Out in the countryside any movement stands out, while in the city, people are always moving around. In Baghdad they ended up building huge tall walls to break up the areas and control Iraqi movement from area to area. Since that happened just before we won the insurgency, I’m not sure how it played out after we left (Tunneling much? Shovel registration?). But given how easy it was for Iraqis to suborn Iraqis manning the checkpoints at the openings in those walls prior to our departure, I imagine any such control in US cities would still be pretty porous.

            And given that any such movement control mechanism here, whether in cities or the countryside, would be manned by American kids (OK, maybe newly raised TSA troops rather than the 10th Mountain Division or the CA National Guard if it got that bad here, but still), any such urban control troop requirement would mean one less troop out pacifying the rebellious country folk.

            I have to think any such control effort would be a stupendously massive undertaking, and in no sense easy no matter how many resources were applied.

      • It’s also remarkable that these are the same people who kept insisting that Iraq was an “unwinnable war.”
        I’d much rather run a counterinsurgency in Iraq than in the United States, and not just because of patriotism.

        • Grating minds?


          You beat me by a minute but mine had more data.

        • Patrick Chester

          The first thing that comes to mind is an insurgency here would be able to hit the military’s logistics network a lot more easily. Things more critical than a supply convoy.

      • Yet they forever warn us against attempting to use our military to impose our will on podunk nations like Afghanistan, with a population 1/10th ours, per capita GDP 1/30th ours, and a land area about that of Texas.

        Perhaps they anticipate using a level of force against our own citizens well below that which they would allow anywhere else in the world.

      • And there’s that matter of tanks requiring fuel – of the right sort. Might not be easy, but monkeywrenching can happen. There are all sorts of odd little choke points, each of which by itself might not be any big deal, but PO that 47% of population and perhaps The Machine Stops when just a percentage of that percentage decide the machine is not fit to fed further. And then if ordered/commanded/forced to deal with it? Well, “work to order” can bite when used by those not in AFL-CIO or such, too. One could djinn up all sort of things, one could. And ox slow. Ox not think too much about this.

    • > Guns change that situation.

      “God created Man. Sam Colt made them equal.”

  23. I find that in times such as these it is useful to read biographies …


    … or watch them.

  24. No guarantees in this life. “Good” people get cancer and “Evil” people get health, wealth, and chips on the side.

    Remember, we all dance “the shaking of the sheets” together in the end–king and serf alike. And we all meet our Maker to give account of what we did with what we had (think Si Kahn poem).

    We’re blessed to live in a land with many opportunities–including the ability to read Sarah and Friends’ writing. I’m not in a hurry to give that up. Neither should you be. And you can find a friend to explain it to you, if you look up.

    Vote wisely, if you choose to vote.

    • Adieu, farewell, earth’s bliss;
      This world uncertain is;
      Fond are life’s lustful joys;
      Death proves them all but toys;
      None from his darts can fly;
      I am sick, I must die.
      Lord, have mercy on us!

      Rich men, trust not in wealth,
      Gold cannot buy you health;
      Physic himself must fade.
      All things to end are made,
      The plague full swift goes by;
      I am sick, I must die.
      Lord, have mercy on us!

      Beauty is but a flower
      Which wrinkles will devour;
      Brightness falls from the air;
      Queens have died young and fair;
      Dust hath closed Helen’s eye.
      I am sick, I must die.
      Lord, have mercy on us!

      Strength stoops unto the grave,
      Worms feed on Hector brave;
      Swords may not fight with fate,
      Earth still holds open her gate.
      “Come, come!” the bells do cry.
      I am sick, I must die.
      Lord, have mercy on us!

      Wit with his wantonness
      Tasteth death’s bitterness;
      Hell’s executioner
      Hath no ears for to hear
      What vain art can reply.
      I am sick, I must die.
      Lord, have mercy on us!

      Haste, therefore, each degree,
      To welcome destiny;
      Heaven is our heritage,
      Earth but a player’s stage;
      Mount we unto the sky.
      I am sick, I must die.
      Lord, have mercy on us!

      Thomas Nashe

  25. I wish I could be as optimistic as you are. The disaster of this election is merely a symptom of deep long term trends. There is enormous momentum in some of these trends,

    Item: in 2009, Charles Murray posted a comment on some data he’d extracted from the General Social Survey. RTWT; but the gist was that nearly all segments of the U.S. population were politically centrist or center-right (shifting slightly rightward since 1979), but the “Intellectual Upper Class” segment had moved far out to the left. This movement was quite steady and has probably continued.

    Item: donations to presidential candidates for September 2015 to April 2016, from faculty and staff of all colleges with 5,000 or more students and median entry SATs of 1300 or more. 92% went to Democrats. The only Republican donor at Princeton was the campus locksmith.

    The Left has captured the intellectual class (including most scientists, BTW). That’s the “thinking center” of society. When all the smart people are wrong, who corrects them? When the chief source of dissent is genuine yahoos, that’s fatal to dissent.

    Item: demography. In 1930, there were 351M people in Europe, 99M in North Africa and the Middle East, and 117M in the rest of Africa. There were 133M in the US and Canada, and 89M in the rest of the Americas. In 2016, there were 523M Europeans, 566M in NA&ME, and 986M in Africa; 359M in North America and 619M in Latin America. Since 1980, Europe has added 50M, while Africa and the Middle East have added 905M. The political elite in both Europe and America are reflexively hostile to resisting mass immigration; that won’t change until the effects are catastrophic – when it will be too late.

    The enemy holds all the high ground, and has the big battalions and ammunition stores. I don’t see any path away from a very bad future.

    At best: some cadre of the rational may survive in some refuge. East Asia may survive its ongoing demographic collapse without being overrun. But I can’t see much hope for the First World as is.

    • Regarding your demographic concerns, actually… birth-rates are crashing all over the globe. Much of the Middle East is already at or below replacement; even Pakistan, poster-child for a high-birth Islamic country, is only at 3.2 TFR and dropping like a rock.
      India and Brazil are barely above replacement and will drop below within the next few years.
      Sub-Saharan Africa is the laggard in the trend but is following it steadily — there is not a single country in Africa which is reproducing at normal human rates. (And of course African immigration is not a problem anywhere).

      • Yes, fertility rates are crashing almost everywhere (Iran, Turkey, and Algeria are below replacement) – but they crashed long ago in Europe and America and the Far East. That’s why Europe has gone from outnumbering the Middle East and Africa to being heavily outnumbered.

        Pakistan has dropped to 3.2, but no European country is above 2, and seven are below 1.5. Africa and the Middle East are still growing, while Europe is shrinking.

        That trend is not going to change for a while, and it will have consequences.

        Besides which – the freight train is already rolling. If fertility throughout Africa and the Middle East dropped to European levels tomorrow, it would not change the current population ratio, which already tilts massively away from Europe, and which will shape the next twenty-five years. The U.S. ratio with Latin America is less severe, but still dangerous.

        • Portugal was above 3 in the seventies (supposedly. This was a huge lie, but never mind.) It can crash faster than you think. Also mortality rate (of children particularly) is FAR HIGHER there.

    • Read my post again. If you think I’m optimistic, you didn’t read it.
      Your stuff — Demography. Lies, damn lies and demography.
      In the US we make up people wholesale, you think int he countries that are net recipients of the world charity (always per capita) they are honest?
      Stop scaring yourself. Things are nowhere as bad as you think.

      • You really think there is a gigantic conspiracy on the part of Third World countries to exaggerate their populations? A conspiracy that has been active for about 40 years, and in which all reference compilers and statisticians have been complicit in?

        As for optimism – that was ironic. Right now, I don’t see even a 10% chance of avoiding a slow catastrophe. No society in history has ever faced what we face now – the entire “thinking apparatus” going off the rails. Remember Heinlein’s aphorism about “the normal condition of mankind”.

        There remains the possibility that discovery and invention will save the day. Look what fracking has done in the energy field (and for the economy in general).

        • A gigantic conspiracy would not be required. Just lots and lots of little ones.
          Also, thinking apparatuses have gone off the rails before–see the wholesale embrace of the Romantic movement in the early 19th century.

          • This. Charity One pads their numbers just a little, so they can get more donations to help more people. Charity Two does likewise, again fudging just a little and you never know, because the people here say there are villagers farther back in the jungle and you need to budget for reaching them. Government Agency One pads its numbers because . . . budget. Government Agency Two does likewise so it won’t lose ground or face to other agencies, and so on and so forth.

            And if the US can’t get truly accurate numbers on a census, how is Rwanda, or Brazil, or Vietnam? And inflated numbers make the country look bigger and less likely to roll over if someone threatens (puffer-fish census, if you will).

            • *sad music in the background behind the voiceover*
              “I am one of the one in five children that deals with hunger”, anybody?

              Which, when you dig back down, was a survey asking kids if they always got to eat everything they wanted. (Sometimes they use a similar one that’s for households, asking if they were able to buy the food they wanted. I don’t see a freezer full of steak and beef roasts, so I’m food insecure? Uh, no. Having a food budget isn’t “insecure,” that’s biased survey writing to get a result they want.)

              Or the ones based on “children who need help to get food”– which is based off of the number of reduced price lunches.
              My school was…well, we were one of the relatively poor families. When I got a license, the car that was bought wasn’t new, and it wasn’t just mine. We were also one of the few who weren’t on reduced or free lunches, and it was such a pain to KEEP us off of them that I stopped eating school lunches at all. (I’d go in, buy my lunch ticket, it was full price; go through the lunch line, and it had turned into two or more “reduced” lunch tickets. Every single time.)

          • Or believing Russia was all that in the seventies.

        • *snort* Yeah, just like the “conspiracy” to make guys picking up chicks in bars exaggerate their income and personal history, or the amazing difference between how many chicks they’ve “bagged” when they’re bragging vs when they’re talking to their doctor.

          Countries with bigger populations get more “aid.” You don’t need some dumb conspiracy theory to figure out that, hey, they’re going to round up.

          Man-on-the-street interviews in countries where your masculinity is judged off of how many offspring you have, likewise.

          • Pre-zactly. (As usual, you say it better.)

          • Hmmm… If these countries are rounding up to get more handouts, then does that mean there aren’t however many billions of people in the world? That the population alarmists are working from fogged numbers, just like the climate alarmists?

            Well, paint me red and slap me silly…/ sarc not sarc

            • Yes. It does mean that. Friends who work with humanitarian organizations abroad keep saying “there just isn’t enough water for the population they claim, even on minimal usage.” And other such things.

        • Yes and no. Remember I grew up in what is AT BEST a second world country. Are you under the impression that people actually go around taking census. Hell, none of the immigrants in the village had immigrated as far as the census was concerned.
          YOU SERIOUSLY overestimate the respect for government surveys and rule of law in the rest of the world, if you think you need a “conspiracy.” You also overestimate access. Tell me, does Morocco take to the desert to count Bedouins. PFUI. You’re not serious.

  26. ” And if each of us does his/her poor best in the cause of freedom, which might very well involve working for liberty in the belly of the beast, our great grandchildren might be free men and women.”
    Just out of curiosity, in what way are we not free?

    • A not-exhaustive list, to which I’m sure my commenters will be happy to add:
      1 Economic-
      I am not free to take a job any job for any pay, regardless of the fact that I and my prospective employer agree.
      I am not free to keep my earnings, including those contributed to the “social security scam” even if I promise never to ask any money from the government.
      I write a book or two for the government EVERY YEAR because of the regulations on my CONDUCTING BUSINESS ON MY OWN BY MYSELF
      I cannot afford an employee due to regulations that would force me to fill enough paper work for a part-time employee to need all the time the part-time employee would work for me.
      2- second ammendment
      I am not able to own a Lewis Gun even though I could get one and really want one. Why? It’s a machine gun and the government doesn’t let citizens own those, in contravention of the second ammendment.
      Social-
      I cannot choose my own doctor/keep my own doctor/tailor my own health insurance to my own needs. This means we’re buying “abortion coverage” for a household in which NOT A SINGLE PERSON can get pregnant.

      Okay, guys, this is as much time as I’m willing to devote to such an obviously clueless birdie. Anyone else?

      • I confess to not being inclined to burn pixels in hope of enlightening the willfully dim, so I will mention just one limitation on our freedom, albeit one which so permeates our culture as to perpetually hamper debate.

        That limitation is “Hate Speech.”

        I doubt I need to elaborate on this as curtailment of freedom, a constraint so niggardly that it cripples discussion of a vast range of topics, a limitation raping intellectual engagement inflicting death by a thousand accusations of microaggression.

        Instead I will simply point out that any counter argument is a clear and undeniable instance of Hate Speech and thus merits banning anybody attempting such.

      • Tactically, I think it’s a bad idea to let someone read you saying “we want our grandkids to be free” (when, hey, there’s no shortage of folks who REALLY WANT US DEAD OR IN CHAINS) and shift it around to “we want our grandkids to be more free than we are.”

        Which doesn’t hurt your statements at all, I just dislike the “squirrel! You chase it!” shtick.

        • I do want our grandkids to be more free than we are, and yep, the chickie commenting is a certifiable asshole. 😀

          • I fear I must here disagree. Were that commenter “a certifiable asshole” he (she? it? ve? xe?) wouldn’t be so obviously full of crap.

            What we have here is a clear circumstance of sphincter sphailure.

            • She. I say certifiable asshole from the nom de blog. If you follow it you’ll see the comments about the “puppies” and disgusting rightwing groups. Which means the asshole is ALSO an idiot.

              • I confess great indifference to the individual’s gender identification as I cannot conceive any personal interest in such aspect in view of those qualities already demonstrated.

                Its nom de blog strikes me as grave insult to actual garbage fires, which are capable of offering warmth and light while this commenter contributes only pollution.

        • But yes, I expect things to get way worse before they get better.
          I also find that someone so crazy as to ask how we’re not free should have some enlightenment, you know, for the spectators.

      • About that Lewis Gun, have your dad pack it away safe and sound. You see, if HRC manages to steal the election she will almost certainly by either executive action or through a kangaroo SCOTUS saddle us with new Federal gun laws that will with a stroke of the pen give millions of current gun owners the choice to either surrender their arms or become instant felons. As I recall, that same issue came up once before.
        When the very spirited discussion on this is finally resolved, and whomever is in charge at that time straightens things out, you may very well find that importing your dad’s old souvenir Lewis isn’t a problem at all.
        Now, once in hand, the care and feeding of such a beastie is a whole other thing entirely. With a rate of fire of around 500 rpm and cartridges going for half a buck each or higher, do the math.

  27. Sarah, I don’t think you’re so much optimistic as simply fierce, unrelenting, smart, and clear-eyed from experience.

  28. we cannot understate the fact that politics follows culture. thus we get the candidates we deserve. the focus of our efforts must be at improving culture, those C. S. Lewis things of good literature forcing out bad or vice versa. This is why The Puppy Wars are more important than anyone thinks. Christianity responded to cultural decline in the last century by dropping out and creating its own subculture. This has had limited effectiveness. The long war is the culture and the foot-soldiers in the vanguard of this war are artists, poets, musicians, and novelists.

  29. So my personal Armageddon came to a head this week. I found that what I thought was a problem, wasn’t. I found that what I thought was a slam dunk, wasn’t– and that I needed to let it go. Overall I did okay, which is better than I thought– yes, I went worst case in my head. So if there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel, at least I am seeing glow bugs and fireflies.

  30. sfgarbagefire

    Mrs, Hoyt, thank you for responding to my comment in such a timely and succinct manner. And yes while I am an asshole (I’m going to ask questions and give my opinions regardless of popularity or audience) but I meant you no disrespect. I may have crossed the line when I referred to you as crazy on my blog and for that I apologize. You are a passionate person who is steadfast in your beliefs. However, I stand by my question and my blog posts. I am not a troll, I am simply a scifi fan who is trying to learn more about and take part in the fandom I enjoy.

    And if anyone is wondering yes, I’ll probably do a post about this later, at some point.

    Once again thank you for your time and energy. Oh and the blog traffic 😉
    -XX

    • You are quite definitely crazy. You just don’t know it.

    • I may have crossed the line when I referred to you as crazy on my blog and for that I apologize.

      Welllll, that’s fair enuff, ennit? What sane person could possibly object to being called crazy?

      I wonder whether “not being a troll” is an ameliorating or exacerbating factor? A troll is saying stupid stuff just to get reax …

      • She’s saying stupid stuff because when she turns a certain way, you can hear the wind whistle in beautiful, beautiful sounds through her otherwise empty cranium.
        I’ve been called crazy by all of Portugal, when I moved here. She needs to up her game.

  31. sfgarbagefire

    Oh sweet heart…. I am well aware, you have no idea.

    • Bless your heart.

    • BTW, Pro-Tip for blogging: use the #@!@%$ Reply option so folks won’t wonder what you’re talking ’bout.

      It is riiiiiight there, next to the time/date stamp next to the name of the person posting or, for those replying to comments received via WP email, underneath the text of the missive.

      Learn the rules, amaze your friends!

      • See, if crazy people like us can hit the Reply button, then sensible, intelligent, people ought to be able to do it, too.

      • I’m sort of figuring she’s sixteen. Brain not fully developed and all.

        • Could be a precocious fourteen.

          • I was living in my own little world at 14.

          • Y’know, it was interesting how folks like these seem to present as ‘young, teenager, maybe 14-16.’

            Back when we first encountered Clamps on Jordan S. Bassior’s livejournal back in 2009, we thought Clamps was female based off of how he wrote (found out later on that he liked to pass himself off as female) and speculated that s/he was a bright, too idealistic teenager, perhaps 16 or 14 – and the community of folks there didn’t initially come down on him like a ton of bricks until there was a regular display of being a flaming jackass.

            One of the community members decided to google the username, reasoning that there was just NO WAY this person could resist being an anti-Conservative asshole anywhere else, and discovered 1) was false, Clamps was male (also discovered uberstalker’s real name in the process because he had it originally as a facebook-linked thing) and that he had a very extensive history of doing so, as well as harassing women. Also liked to pass himself off as an Asian girl online.

            I have to wonder if it’s deliberate or accidental, this ‘presents as younger, perhaps female.’

  32. Thought this was a nice blog but its not. Mean people with nothing to do but be mean. Won’t visit here again, rude, insulting and bullies. Wow.

  33. Bless your heart? Is that a redneck thing? Supposed to be insulting in a cute way? Not cute. I hear banjos. Double standard? No, its not a double standard for me. I have no idea why this blog had to turn into a high school drama fest. I was looking on Amazon and found this author and decided to check out her blog and the things I read are cruel. So what if someone called her crazy. She should be a professional about it. Not a good way to get another fan but maybe you don’t need anymore or the sales. That is totally okay by me. Plenty of other authors to send my money to. And the last two posts, unbelievable. What are you 12? Oh, and I didn’t post “inside” cause I like to break the rules of blogging just like you all like to break the rules of grammar, you “rational anarchists.”

    • Oh, we’re 12? And you’re what? And Redneck… sweetheart, you’re not old enough to play here.

    • You “hear banjos”? Is that some kind of ruralphobic bigotry? Microaggress much?

      I am curious, by what authority do you presume to define “cute” or even “professional”?

      As for not needing your purchases, it doesn’t seem likely you would enjoy her books. (BTW – which Amazon listing(s) piqued your interest?) They feature strong women, involved plots and lots of action, so probably not your cup of tea.

      I suspect you will put up one-star reviews anyway, even without reading any of those books.

    • Redneck? Oh my, so now you resort to namecalling and after you said you were leaving. I know, maybe this is your version of “The Long Goodbye”. Tell me something, why should Sarah be “professional” when someone calls her crazy?

      Here’s a bit of advice, HG. When you come to a blog for the first time, you might want to spend a few minutes getting familiar with the blog, the regular commenters and the rules. No, this isn’t a place where we act like we’re sitting down to the Victorian tea. We do tend to get our backs up when someone calls us names, especially when that person has never been to the blog before and starts out that way. What we do like is discussion of the issues. If you would like to discuss, then hang around. But those who come and decide to be perpetually butthurt without cause can find their way to the door.

  34. How is that for your specifics? You are right though. I would not be happy here. Thank you.

    • Would be?

    • If this post:
      https://accordingtohoyt.com/2016/10/14/staying-alive/#comment-400508
      was your idea off offering specific examples of what you were objecting to, either your judgment or your vocabulary needs some work.

      You decided, apparently based on a lack of positive reaction to your opening comment being a generalized attack, to make an extremely biased attack against a majority-African-American portion of the population, which is homophobic to boot. But they’re poor and religious, and you can always stick a popular culture white face — one that’s developmentally disabled, because it’s funny to mock the disabled– on the attack, plus they probably don’t think the right things for your taste anyways.

      You then projected your own sophomoric behavior on those who objected to it, demanded a standard of behavior that you are unwilling to uphold, and mistake repeating a blanket accusation for offering specifics.

  35. So, freedom isn’t free? Who knew. 🙂

    Great post.