A Uniform Front

I am in many ways a terrible person.  Or I am to anyone in authority over me, trying to give me a story without making it a detailed explanation.

Say I am told that books just aren’t selling because people don’t read.  I go “But I am someone who JUST reads for fun.  No games, no tv, no movies.  And most of the time I go to Barnes and Noble and can’t find anything I WANT to read.  For years all I bought there were stuff like The Times Table of History” and it wasn’t for lack of WANTING to read, it was because of not finding anything remotely readable for my tastes.  (If I want to be preached at, I go to church.)

I’m that kind of horrible person, I ask questions.

Which is why I found it somewhere near ROFL funny when that creature dropped by yesterday — you remember, the one who asked us if we were not free in some way (rolls eyes) which not only betrays a lack of understanding of what I was saying, but also a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of liberty — and I went to her blog to check out whether she was just an idiot or malicious.  (I do in general check out drop ins I’ve never seen before, if their first comment is unreservedly positive or negative. Because, see above.)

The answer would seem to be yes.  But the really funny part was the reason she was so upset at the “puppies.”  (Notice no difference between sad and rabbids) whom she represented as being “right wingers” upset at “no right wingers winning awards in science fiction.”  Hence, the “Yes” since darling idiot seemed unaware the sad puppies nominated among others an outright (and proud) socialist.  It’s always astonishing to me that people can have so little curiosity they don’t check the story.  Also among the organizers, I wouldn’t qualify myself as a right winger, not by European classifications which is what the left uses.  I mean the last time I heard the phrase “Gentlemen, your swastikas” was while watching the Producers.  I’m a Rational Anarchist, who has tried really hard to vote Libertarian and ends up voting Republican half the time, with a clothes pin on my nose, only because I have family in Venezuela and I don’t believe in socialist paradises.  I suppose darling idiot thinks everything not communist is “right winger.” Sometimes I wonder we managed to teach them to write.  Maybe she’s using text to speech software.  There’s a hope.

But the reason she was REALLY mad at us is that now Science Fiction no longer presented a “united front” towards the world.

And there I stopped, scratched my head and REALLY wondered how she managed to read and write.

Look, I know it’s customary to ask “what are they teaching the kids these days?” BUT REALLY I ask you WHAT ARE THEY TEACHING THE KIDS THESE DAYS?

Do they teach people that “uniform front” or “community of one accord” or whatever the hell they call it are normal for any group of more than three people?  And if so WHY?

Everytime I hear that anyone won by unanimous vote, even if it’s in a small organization, I know for a fact either it’s a job no one wants, or there have been shenanigans.

Humans are otherwise so constituted that there are always a few of me among them. And far worse than me.  In a run off between the Messiah and Beelzebub there would be three or four custard heads who voted for Beelzebub in the firm belief he was misunderstood or maligned.  In anything less clear cut than that you’re going to see far more dissension.

And when you’re talking about a community of creative people who can’t otherwise agree on anything, up to and including whether pants should be worn on butt or head, if you see a united front, you know there’s shenanigans.

I.e. I always marveled at all those people who said things like “there are no right wing writers, because right wingers just go along with the status quo and aren’t very creative.”

This betrayed that a) they were living circa the beginning of the 20th century when anything vaguely considered right wing was “the status quo.” b) they’d failed to notice the socialists had run away with the train around 1920 or so, and were now the status quo in every large institution and company.  c) were under the impression it took marvelous creativity to write the 14th Harry Potter knock off, which was in fact most of what was being produced at that time. d) thought it was possible for creativity to follow a rigid set of ideological beliefs.

It seems stupid but I spent a large part of the 00s arguing with people that this was blazingly, in your face dumb.

It was also gospel for all the big publishing houses.  To check if someone was a good writer, you made sure they mouthed the right beliefs.

Which explains why I went to Barnes and Noble to be disappointed.

Thank heavens for indie, people know it’s not like that.

And in the same vein thank heavens for the Puppy movements, because now people know we’re real, living, breathing people and not Marxist robots.  They might be tempted to look over a science fiction book now and then, and might even buy one and then another, and another.

Now, if only we could get the incipient little totalitarians to understand that it’s possible to have more than one opinion about things, that total unanimity is not a sign you’re right but a sign you’re afraid (or voiceless), and that dissent is not some kind of crime in other more important areas, like national politics.

Perhaps then they might be fit to live in (or even conceive of) a free society.


626 responses to “A Uniform Front

  1. Perhaps this creature is the horrible answer to Mr. Coward’s question:

  2. It’s not just writers. The same weird idea exists in the fiber artist “community”. I was afraid for many years to mention on spinning (yes, spinning wheels!!) forums that I’m a happy gun owner and want the government out of my life as much as is possible.

    The leftist fiber people will kick any non-left person out of their groups. I’m finally discovering a lot of other fiber people who feel the same way I do, but if any of the leftist artists discover our existence, we and our products are actually sometimes shunned.

    • It exists in most artistic communities I’ve found. The rare ones are the ones that aren’t militantly left wing. (I found one, sadly gone, where most of the people were just left wing, and the rest of us could talk about guns or whatever and get either bemusement or ‘ok… so what’s making you cringe about this picture since you actually know something about what it depicts?’)

      • It seems a lot of communities that see themselves as outcast tend to also endeavor to keep people that straddle the boundary between that community and one they identify as more normal. Plus with the power from weaponized victimhood they try and go further and further into weeds.

      • I belonged to the Leavenworth County Artists Association for one year. They were anti-nudity in paintings and anti-gun, which is weird because this is a military community.

        And they were horribly boring people.

        • The military in general is anti-gun. Keeping one in base housing can be either difficult or forbidden depending on what base, and you might as well forget it if you live in barracks.

          • Actually, almost all our friends here are retired military or active duty, and every single one of them owns guns – it’s those who work for the prisons and who were born and raised her and not farmers who don’t like guns.

    • Were you on Ravelry?

    • SheSellsSeashells

      Beadweaving/jewelry making here, and LORD YES. (Admittedly, not helped by the fact that beady types feature significant overlap from crystal-craving New Agers.) I know exactly one other conservative beader, ever. 🙂

    • This more or less happened on a homesteading forum I was on for many years, too. I finally got tired of the nonsense and stopped going there. But it was a little upsetting because I’d been a member for much longer than most of the left-wingers who wanted to argue with me.

      • When Mother Earth News went all wacky, I thought about taking up drinking again. For about six seconds, before the rest of me slapped that part upside the head.

        Homesteading and scratch living stuff seemed to splinter into preppers, granolas, greenies, and a few ever more fringey groups. I know the interest is still there, a bunch of teens and youngsters always show up at the farm when we’re doing interesting stuff (especially if it involves fire, explosions, construction, or cooking). There just seems to be a little mental block there, as if some part of them says “you mean it’s okay to do this? Nobody here’s going to yell at me for it?”

        Once they get over that, they’re just kids and teenagers. That, I can deal with. Scared to learn, that about breaks my heart.

      • Altavista archived Usenet for a long time. Google acquired the archives from them and put them online. Alas, the archives are sadly incomplete, with huge gaps in some newsgroups.

        One of those groups is misc.rural, where people talked about homesteading, self-sufficiency, that sort of thing. And like most newsgroups it had its peculiar denizens, like the guy whose solution to everything was to buy his Angora goats, and… Ronnie Dobbs and the Hastings UFO Society. Except that in the long ramblings about “psychic CB radio” and the operational details of the Society, UFOlogy, and gossip about its members, Dobbs actually had useful replies to questions about blocked wells, sick chickens, and other topics.

        I don’t remember any overt SJW types in misc.rural. Maybe the Hastings UFO Society scared them away…

    • ….suddenly the reaction of the ladies who were doing spinning at the local fair makes a lot more sense.
      I only had two of my girls with me, but I’m pretty obviously pregnant, and I think the Princess said something about this being a lesson as we were walking in…. (Home schooling. At seven-ish, she was one of the oldest non-teens there.) And I was wearing one of my military Aviation shirts, too– a Marine one.

      • All I’d need is a big TEA PARTY HOBBIT hat and maybe an open-carry rifle to more clearly say “Hi, I’m not on your ‘side’.”

      • Not all spinning ladies are SJWs, but an awful lot of them are! If I want to spin with a group, I avoid all talk of anything controversial. Then I feel like a big chicken.

        • #NotAllSpinningLadies?

          Nobody wants to be made an object lesson.

          Combine the Leftist Love of Power with the Hatred of Dissent . . .
          Robert Bennie had been a successful financial advisor in Lincoln, Nebraska for many years. He did not like the election of Barack Obama at all, and in 2009 became active in local Tea Party efforts. He made his support for the whole Constitution and particularly the Second Amendment known. He wrote in the Lincoln paper that he regarded Obama as dishonest and evil, calling him a communist. All of that so incensed three top officials in the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance that they decided to use their power to get back at him for having exercised his rights of free speech in ways they didn’t care for. So they began to pressure Bennie’s employer, a firm called LPL. Eventually, after attempts at mollifying the regulators (led by John Munn, then the Director of the department), LPL terminated Bennie’s employment. And, chastened by the experience, Bennie stopped his Tea Party participation before the 2012 election.

          He filed suit, however, alleging that Munn and two of his comrades had violated his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983. How do you think his case fared?

          As I explain in this article on [sic] Forbes, so far he has gotten nowhere. While the district judge agreed that the behavior of the regulators was completely unjustified, he ruled that Bennie had not shown that their attack on him was so bad as to cause a “person of ordinary firmness” to be chilled in the exercise of his First Amendment rights. On appeal, the Eighth Circuit agreed. Now, with assistance from Pacific Legal Foundation, Bennie is trying to get the Supreme Court to review the case.
          — — —

          IOW, because Bennie didn’t fight it to the death he forfeited his right. I remember when they made such arguments to victims of rape.

        • thephantom182

          I just avoid talking in public at all, anymore. Sit, smile, say nothing. The three Ss. Alternative is I say what I think, and then there’s somebody having a snit for sure.

          If there’s one thing I’ve learned by having it shoved up my nose year after year, nobody wants to know what I think. The few that do, ask. Them, I treasure.

    • caitliniwoods

      I just got back from helping staff a booth at Reinbeck. (Do you do any shows? It might be fun to make my own friends instead of just my MIL’s.) I don’t know if it’s just that I come into it from my there-for-decades MIL, but I’ve always found conservatives…

      …but I’m suddenly glad I never talked outside of the hushed tones that u assumed were don’t-be -a-jerk-about-politics politeness, because since some of them started friend in me on FB, it turns out that some of the folks I’d not known the politics of are really, really “all right-wingers are evil” screechy. @_@ Yeesh.

      • never talked outside of the hushed tones

        Did you see the recent news item about the tony Manhattan restaurant demanding a table of Trump supporters shush?

        We who live outside their bubble are always condemned for any breach which might allow reality to enter.

        • Too bad they weren’t Monty Python fans.

          Instead of the Spam song, they could have sung the Trump song.

      • I’d love to go to Reinbeck someday. But it’s awfully far away from Kansas, and my goats would be really lonely.

        I have done a few shows, but most are general arts and crafts shows, so I miss the customers who would be interested in fiber or yarns.

        I have had a booth at the KC Ren Fest a few times – just for one weekend, not an entire season, and it was fun, no one cared about politics because they were all drunk, but it was exhausting to spend 2 or three days from morning until night spinning and talking and explaining.

        • SheSellsSeashells

          Oddly enough, I’ve never had a political issue at any of the Ren Fests I’ve worked. I think the preponderance of weapons nuts may have something to do with keeping things polite.

          • When I have my own booth at the Ren Fest, no problems at all. When I have spun with people from guilds at demonstrations, though …. well, they were not pleased to learn I was not of their political tribe.

            • SheSellsSeashells

              Yeah, I can imagine. Something I’ve noticed among the Left is that they can be perfectly nice, but literally cannot conceive that other perfectly nice people can disagree with them. I nearly quit patronizing my local bead shop after one too many “tee-hee, Republicans suck and are stupid!” comment presented as Gospel Truth, but instead gently informed the cashier that this particular Republican’s business made up a good chunk of their yearly rent.

    • Okay: Is anyone else thinking of a crochet gun case holding a pink AR-15 with an awareness ribbon on the stock? Would love to see the reaction to that.

      • One word for you: Kalashnikitty

        Why yes, I do have a button with Kalashnikitty saying “Let’s go to the range!”

      • Gee – what would be the appropriate color for an awareness ribbon calling attention to the fact that the job of police in home invasions is largely limited to drawing chalk outlines?

        I understand white is already taken by the lung cancer crowd.


        Good Lord, they’re re-instituting heraldry!

        • “Good Lord, they’re re-instituting heraldry!”
          You are absolutely right. I didn’t realize it until you pointed it out.

          How about gun-metal blue.

          • Let us know when you’re at the KC RenFest again, and we’ll try to see you. (My husband sings out there every weekend.)

            • Do you live in the area?

              • About half an hour away from the Festival (assuming it’s not race weekend).

                  • BTW, it’s been several years since I updated my blog. 🙂

                    • I’m not doing great with updating mine, either. I need to force myself. My original blog was pretty popular from 2003 until about 2998, then I quit. I keep trying to start again, but I am not doing a great job of it. Perhaps more goat photos would inspire me.

                    • Reply to Beth – I’m impressed with your time-travel skills 😉 And more goat photos would be great! I wish I were closer to take some…

                    • I ran a blog for a while. After a while even trivial weekly updates became a hassle, and finally I quit.

                      Now I just hang out on other peoples’ blogs. And I continue to be astounded at how Our Gracious Hostess manages to churn out stuff five days a week, more or less.

                      (my only suggestion is that the occasional “I’m busy today” entry could be a repost of some prior topic I didn’t get a chance to read or comment on, having only discovered ATH a year or so ago… I’ve stepped back and read a lot of older stuff, but it’s not as much fun when I can’t drop my random drivel into the conversation)

        • Red or black (for blood or death) surrounded by a white border?

        • Yellow seems appropriate, though people will just think you’re wearing it as a symbol of supporting the troops.

          • Not necessarily. According to the Wikipedia link above, yellow can mean:

            * Traditional (in the U.S. and in Canada) symbol of support for military forces, especially those deployed overseas and in conflicts.
            * Suicide awareness.
            * Rural Fire Service Queensland – A symbol of unilateral support of Rural Fire Brigades across the state of Queensland Australia (instituted by the Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland)
            * A symbol of wish for universal suffrage by the pro-democracy groups and activists of Hong Kong SAR (see Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution) and a symbol of democracy.
            * A symbol of mourning the victims of South Korea’s Sewol Ferry (see South Korea Sewol Sinking).
            * A symbol to draw society attention to the high rates of roads deaths and injuries worldwide.

            There are further meanings when you include “pale yellow”…

            After seeing all the things the different ribbons can mean, I can’t help but conclude that ribbons can no longer increase awareness, for all the attempts people have used the various ribbons for….

            As for myself, I think I favor a peace sign, where a rifle is the long, vertical part, and two pistols for the right and left diagonal parts. The circle can have something like “Peace through strength” or “Speak softly, and carry a big stick” around it…)

            • Consider this for your motto:

              Si vis pacem, para bellum is a Latin adage translated as, “If you want peace, prepare for war”.

            • Free Range Oyster

              I’ve seen it done with the encircled silhouette of a B-52 and the caption “Peace through superior firepower.”

        • Not surprising. Progressivism is nothing more than feudalism with the serial numbers rubbed off.

      • Mike Williamson’s blog, the Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse, may still have some old pics of his (now adult) daughter at 10 or so with her pink and yellow “Hello Kitty” Ar-15. Good head-splodey stuff.
        The blog is a good read also, but as busy as Mike is, he seems to post new articles / observations / rants about once a month.

  3. “Perhaps then they might be fit to live in (or even conceive of) a free society.”
    Biggest damned “perhaps” I’ve ever seen. Leftists are so obtuse!

    • I don’t have the impression that they want to live in a free society. It wouldn’t be a safe space for them.

  4. Patrick Chester

    “Unified front”? IOW, she noticed there were SFF fans who did not share her Enlightened Views?

    *plays nanoviolin*

  5. Instapundit has yet another particularly (i.e. more so than usual) troubling link up today. A survey of various bits of historical knowledge revealed that apparently 32 percent of millenials believe that George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin. I don’t know if the individual described above fits into the clueless group, but the attitude seems to be along the same lines.

    • I wonder how small their sample set actually was…

        • Which is a somewhat ridiculous number to extrapolate out to the entire population. Especially since in such opinion poles the margin of error is higher than ‘2.5%’ and confidence numbers reflect how the surveyors feel about it rather than any actual concrete metric.

          • Still insane reflection on populace. Even giving bush the million deaths hysterically screamed by leftists Again lost more than that in some battles iirc. About only possible argument is that of the apologists (if Stalin only knew what you were doing he’d stop it)

            • More likely an insane reflection on the polled group. That’s less than .001% of the population. REALLY hard to get any kind of representative coverage with that few people.

              • Looking at some of the political polls, I have seen sample sizes in the low hundreds, and in the details, the mechanisms which drive the results (pre-screening the respondents to get a skewed sample to begin with)

                For a recent poll, 2800 is a fairly reasonable sample size, though both the respondent selection method and the specifics of the questions are critical to understand the reliability of the results.

                • If I remember right, an unbiased sample of 2.8k would be a pretty decent indicator if it was that many millennials sampled.

                  As it is, it’s more like they took a bucket of 9 bean soup mix, rattled it around and then took handfuls off the top in quanties that would be good for fairly accurately measuring the entire-thing, but not sub-groups.

                  (The catch being that the beans in the soup mix aren’t all the same size and weight– you do that, you’ll “sort” them out; a sample straight down from top to bottom might work…..)

                • A step up from ‘ludicrous and laughable’ is not ‘good and accurate’. You might also want to check out Foxfier’s information. She discovered where the poll came from, which does not increase my confidence in it in the slightest.

          • If you do the sampling right, you can actually come up with a pretty good idea of even a large population from a relatively small sample size.

            • That is a very, very, very big ‘If’.

              • In the same vein, you could come up with folks backing the idea that humans really can breathe chlorine and not die, that up is down, and that there really is no practical difference between the sexes… and make it look like a majority with the right jiggering of the statistics.

                It’s a very good idea to be highly suspect of things that don’t make any sense. One is usually born out by the evidence.

              • A very big “if”, indeed. For that matter, sample size of 100,000 or 1,000,000 would be utterly useless if the sampling is seriously flawed.

        • Maybe more and more people are lying to pollsters?

          • It’s from YouGov. It’s a site you volunteer to join (anyone else’s selection bias alarm just go off?), enter all your own demographics (and again?) and then tell them aaaaaallll about what you think. (A third time, those alarms should be going off.)

            Internet polls are great for getting impressive results, but I sure wouldn’t put a lot of money on the results.

            • enter all your own demographics

              Do you enter what you identify as or what others might identify you as? I am confident their sample does not accurately represent the views of Wallaby-Americans, therefore the whole project is an intolerable microaggression.

        • I could have lived all day without seeing that poll result. Utter depression.

          • It’s the OBVIOUS results of what our schools teach. Read the school books, sometime.

            • Read all the way through. The textbook I use starts OK, and by the 20th Century entire sections are totally wrong (just ask peter Grant, then stand back and be ready to expand you vocabulary of invective).

            • Tom Kratman put up a post that dealt with this today on Everyjoe.

              What about our children, though? How are they to tell when they’re being fed a steady diet of lies? How are we to stop it?

              For most subjects this is not all that important. Yes, I suppose it does allow the progressive minded college board to further some non-mainstream writers and artists, but those are rarely going to dictate the thoughts and values of the young. Advanced Placement US History, on the other hand, or APUSH, has vast potential for perverting the past to create that perverse future of which progressives dream.

              Worth a read, as Tom’s columns usually are.

            • I can’t and keep my composure. So, I’ve been exiled from helping my girls with social studies for the most part. 😦 I occassionally try to sneak it in another way though.

              • After the Daughtorial Unit was home schooled she aced the Social Studies GED by selecting for the most politically correct answer (then she read the question.) There are work-arounds to the herd’s instinct.

                Be in the herd but not of the herd.

              • I used to scream and throw things around. The boys were impressed. Also, learned a lot of bad words.

                • After The Daughter took up reading dictionaries and books on word etymology for fun (including dictionaries of scatological and slang) I found I had nothing to teach her regarding such vocabulary.

                  Still, I could teach her that the best curses did not involve the use of ‘blue’ language, but were curses. Such as

                  May you have a hundred wives, each excellent in all ways. Each time you encounter one may you find her be more delightful and accomplished than before. And may each one come with a mother-in-law with a sharp tongue who finds no single redeemable characteristic in you.

                • scott2harrison

                  I know that you are in favor of assimilation, but I hope that at least some of the words that they learned were in Portuguese. An ability to curse in a foreign language is always impressive and sometimes useful.

                  • They only know one long string “Ah, porra, caralho, filho duma grandessissima puta” because I normally swear in English, unless I burn myself, and then I say the above, because mom said it when she burned herself.
                    Robert used it ONCE after he tore his ACL in football, and while the med was examining his knee.
                    Unfortunately the med was half-Spanish and stepped back saying “What did you say about my mom?”
                    took a while to explain.

              • The history books were hidden from me starting with state history. That was interesting because we already had some old state history textbooks that they’d read some in. But I’d already taught them a smattering of history when it came up, and would break out a copy of the Constitution on occasion.

                The problem is, at that level I didn’t know what was taught and what was garbled. Some of the stuff heard from them and their friends were . . . interesting.

        • Hm.

          This is why I don’t bother with the Heritage blog, it sucks; they didn’t link the “report,” say who it was done by, how they did the sampling….


          Here we go; VofC website has the original story, but…


          It was done by YouGov?

          So they did a sample selection by who VOLINTEER to do a bunch of surveys for free, and self-identify on who or what they are, and then (from the study linked at the bottom of the above page) the website weighs them to extrapolate what the over-all setup would be.

          And they don’t define what they’re using for each generation marker, although we can *guess* that they’re not doing they “everyone younger than Generation X is a Millennial” since they have Z listed, it’s still pretty questionable.

          In fact, there’s a really big hole where the interpreted information should be.


          Guess “Glorified online survey had nasty results” wasn’t the article they wanted to push.

    • Still – the poll a couple of months ago asking various age groups to estimate the percentage of homosexuals in the overall population … and high-school-aged Americans estimated that about thirty percent of the US population as being gay, IIRC. Which — if you watch TV almost exclusively, and pay no attention to real life, you’d be inclined to think so…
      Me, I lived in a military barracks of and on for twenty years, and my own observation of 2% apparently tracks pretty consistently with the best available figures.

      • It seems to scale by the rate of child molestation. As low as below 1% in places where children are safe, up to ~50% in places where predators have free reign(parts of Asia and the Middle East), or where access to the other sex is involuntarily curtailed.

    • > apparently 32 percent of millenials
      > believe that George W. Bush killed
      > more people than Stalin.

      I could believe that, since I’m pretty sure most of their sample group is probably shaky on who “Stalin” was.

  6. Its all about the HIVE MIND. Collectivism. I have had people tell me it is a bad thing to not be part of the collective, especially the younger set (Im nearly fifty). I stare at them and wonder what happened since the days of “do your own thing, man!” Cause that’s all I ever heard growing up. And now we’re supposed to be ANTS. ~ Mary Thornell

    having to log in to a different Word Press account, an older one I dont use anymore. WP drives me crazy.

    • WP drives everyone crazy. It might be intentional.

      • But . . . but . . . if WP drove us all crazy, how would be know>?

        • . . . We’d be voting Democrat?

          Okay, okay, you said crazy, not stupid. *grin* But that was too good a line to pass up.

          • Re: WP I seem to have to re-login with every comment now. Oh joy…buzzers.

            Re: Vote. This is a small town and so far I’ve seen one (quite possibly the Hillary sign in town. It’s on a lawn across from a funeral home. Make your own joke.

            • I have not seen one Hillary sign or bumper sticker. I have not seen one Trump sign or bumper sticker, but I have seen some Make America Great Again hats.

              I’ve never seen an election with no bumper stickers before.

              • I have seen three or four Hillary (we got Californicated) two Trump (but the only yard signs I’ve seen are Trump. I think two or three) and ONE Johnson.

                • No one wants their cars keyed / painted, their homes vandalized, and / or their signs stolen. If I wasn’t worried my wife will be here alone when I’m back on the road, I’d put up some signs and a shooting blind.

                • Our across the street neighbor has a Hillary sign in their front yard.

                  I’ve thought abut asking whether they imagine it will move any votes or whether they’re just virtue signalling, but Beloved Spouse has strongly hinted that it is best I not talk to any neighbors … and for the next (ummm … carry the one and …) 24 days do what I can to avoid talking to anyone in this house.

                • I have seen … and ONE Johnson.

                  *checks the clock* It’s been at LEAST nearly an hour, and nobody….?


                  A sailor’s work is never done.

                • I’ve seen more Trump bumper stickers and yard signs and heard more people openly discuss their preference for Trump over Hillary, than either McCain or Romney. And yes, I am still in SoCal.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Option 1: There weren’t all that many Republican voters there four and eight years ago.
                    Option 2: It is an area that is more aware that the Mexican problem is very real, and in need of some form of solution.
                    Option 3: Democrat crossover voters.
                    Option 4: Trump will California and the election.
                    Option 5: I am full of crap, and should shut up and stop embarrassing myself.

              • I see a lots and lots of sign throughout town. The few Presidential ones are in the few ‘Everyone in the Party’ crowds of signs. Mostly the signs are for truly local races.

              • Bumper stickers are on the way out locally, so it’s not surprising to see no Hillary and very few Trump. I’ve seen a few Trump signs but no Hillary signs, but that may only reflect everyone’s disgusted with both and not how they intend to vote.

              • Probably because no one wants their windows bashed in.

                Tho I’ve been tempted by a “The Deplorables” (pic of Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, etc.) sticker I saw at Patriot Depot…

                … I did buy the T-shirt.

              • General observations on signs from random travels through OH/PA/IN/KY:

                1. Donald Trump signs went up earlier than Hillary Clinton signs (not counting Hillary for Prison signs).
                2. Neither Trump nor Clinton signs are nearly as popular as those for more local offices, such as sheriff, county commissioner, etc.
                3. Anywhere rural has almost overwhelmingly more Trump signs than Clinton signs (again, excepting Hillary for Prison signs).
                4. Suburbs are all over the place in terms of ratio. My subdivision switched from 3:1 in favor of Trump to about 3:2 in favor of Clinton over the past two-three weeks
                5. Locally (southwest Ohio) I’ve seen a more Trump signs when passing through predominantly black areas than I’d seen Romney/McCain signs in previous years. Clinton signs are more prevalent in those areas than Trump signs, but not nearly to the extent Obama signs were.
                6. Food trucks were running about 3:1 in favor of Trump

                One few more observations from overhearing various conversations:
                Fewer Democrats are disgusted with Hillary Clinton than Republicans are disgusted with Donald Trump, but she’s still not very popular. There’s a larger crowd than normal this year who are voting against than voting for. However, there does seem to be a sizable minority who are vocally enthusiastic about Trump.

                Make of all this what you will. Remember to vote. And pray, if you’re of the inclination.

                Geez, this is longer than I’d intended when I’d started writing it. Sorry.

                • I remember in 2008, there were signs everywhere in the area, and lots of bumper stickers. In 2012, there were fewer, but still a lot of yard signs for the presidential candidates. In the same area now – there are a few local yard signs, but no signs for either Hillary or Trump.

                  My husband thinks people are afraid to express their preferences anymore. If so, isn’t that a huge change in attitude?

            • There’s a house a few blocks from Redquarters that still has their Bernie! sign in the yard. No one bothers it. They also have two windows that really need to be replaced – the patches have been there for, well, as long as I can recall, so 5-6 years at least.

            • Re: logging into WP every comment:

              In case you haven’t thought of it, delete your cookies with “wordpress” or “wp” in the names.

    • But you must follow THEIR lead. They are worthy while those in 50s were not.

    • “Do your own thing” as long as your thing is the approved thing, and you do that thing in the approved manner, in the approved location, with the approved thingee.

      Always thus.

      • And don’t forget – if it’s not forbidden, it’s mandatory.

        • Old Soviet jape: “All things not compulsory are forbidden.”

          • Reminds me of the difference between the Navy of old and the other branches. Navy: If the rules don’t say you can’t do it, you can. Other services: If the rules don’t say you can do it, you can’t.

            Big difference in what you can accomplish with those different mindsets.

            • I’ve heard rumors that Americans in general tend to go with the “Navy” approach to everything, while pretty much everyone else tends to take the other approach to everything…

    • We MUST all express our individuality by submitting to the will of the Kollecktive! Individuality demands Uniformity, Diversity is Divisive!

  7. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    “a terrible person”?

    We know that you’re the “Beautiful But Evil Space Princess” so that’s nothing new for us. 😉

  8. I really want diversity in stories–even if I don’t (and maybe especially if I don’t) agree with the author’s opinions.

  9. If every event in your life has to be filtered for your politics first you sure have limited horizons and choices. I can’t help but think the driving force in living like that is not your principles, but fear of your own herd.

    • If every event in your life has to be filtered for your “politics,” your “politics” are actually your religion. But we’ve all known for some time that for those on the left their religion is actually what they think is their politics. That’s why they hate us “unbelievers” so much.

      • With more vitriol than even the worst cults.

        • Never doubt that many of them would be quite willing to behead us if they weren’t squeamish about blood…

          • They are just waiting to order others too

          • sfgarbagefire

            alarmist much?

            • Considering that Obama adviser William Ayres is on the record as advocating killing 20% of the US population that doesn’t agree with him? Not really.

              • In fairness, that is only because Ayers views them as irredeemable and deplorable. Fortunately nobody in (or likely to be in) a position of authority shares such a view.

              • That 20% will probably shoot back, making it very problematic to be the government agents trying to execute those guys.

              • Would you mind sending me a link?

                • I doubt you will trust any source we might offer, so instead I recommend you plug “bill ayers eliminate 10% population” into your search engine of choice.

                  Larry Grathwohl was a government infiltrator of the Weathermen. As might be expected, Ayers andd associates tend to not support his allegations.

                  • sfgarbagefire

                    I personally like to see sources from both sides before I make a decision, that said from what I’ve read Ayers is a certifiable nut job. Do I believe that the Obama administration wants to eliminate 10% of the population no. Also to imply that they are “friends” seems a little far fetched. But this just my at first glance opinion.

                    • Woman, Obama announced his candidacy to the State Senate in the living room of Ayers’ home. He doesn’t DENY they’re friends.
                      Whether Obama means it or not — I think he’s a figure head — many people in his administration are linked to Weather Underground. Again, no one tries to deny this, including the people “fingered.”

                    • sfgarbagefire

                      They sound like a bunch of left-wing fascists trying to legitimized a tired ideology by using the president.

                    • Who is a third generation red-diaper baby and therefore not equipped to fend them off? Likely. And?

                    • sfgarbagefire

                      I would argue that humanity at large, world communism is a pipe dream. It will never happen. Why because its a closed system it will fail to thrive thanks largely in part to greed and human nature.

                    • But greed is only bad when it consists of taking other people’s things. When it’s just “I want this” and you work your tail off for it, it’s the engine of civilization. Then we call it “ambition.”
                      What you’re missing is that humans were built on the frame of a scavenging animal. To give people free sh*t is to morally atrophy them. You deprive of them of the chance to strive, and humans were made to struggle. It’s who we are.
                      I would take your last paragraph and say “Thank G-d.”
                      You see, economics is not a finite pie. Communism thinks it’s a pie and ends up redistributing it till it’s redistributing poverty. BUT we keep INVENTING new needs and new ways to fulfill those needs. The wealth in this world right now is much more than even a century ago. (Which is partly why no one realizes we’re in a deeper economic hole than in the thirties. Or few do.)
                      Blessed human greed. Unless it’s greed for power, which gives us the grey and relentless 1984 world.

                    • Greed and human nature are why it gets repeatedly imposed. It is not by accident that the Castro brothers are among the richest men in the world, or why María Gabriela Chávez, daughter of the late Hugo Chávez, is reputedly the wealthiest person in Venezuela.

                      The money is in selling the snake oil, not in buying it.

                    • However, when you say things like that I’m the love child of Ayn Rand and Robert A. Heinlein (who btw, are in many ways polar opposites, but never mind) and think it’s an insult, what philosophy do you think you’re reflecting?
                      You see to believe in that freedom of “positive liberties” that Obama believes in.
                      The problem with “positive liberties” is that you can’t give someone free housing or free health care or free food without taking the goods and labor of another person. Which is not a liberty at all, but slavery.
                      I know they don’t teach that in school, just the happy-fluffy-thought of “everyone deserves.” BUT we don’t live in a world where things magically materialize. We live in a world where things humans want/use have to be hard-earned. This is what Heinlein called TAANSTAFL.
                      So, to give someone “free” things you must violate the rights of other people — rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which pass through rights to property — there is simply no other way, and that’s where the 100 million deaths of communism come from. There is no “somewhat socialist” either, because it always ends up in communism, fast or slow. It has to, because it’s the only way to ensure “free” things for those “positive liberties.”
                      Read Hayek’s The Road To Serfdom, or for the fun, easy access read P. J. O’Rourke’s Eat The Rich. Or read Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.
                      When you said I was “next level crazy” you were right. I’m as crazy as our founders who not only believed in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but pledged their lives, their wealth, their sacred honor to achieve it. (And many of them paid.) Which is why I chose to be American, since America is based on those “crazy” principles.

                    • Many people fail to distinguish between <I<inalienable rights and all other kinds. Inalienable are those rights inherent in your existence, such as the freedom to believe as you will, freedom to defend yourself and your property, freedom to associate with whoever amuses you. Those rights are not granted by the government, they exist independent of government, but government is established to protect those rights against encroachment.

                      All other rights, such as healthcare, housing, food and clothing are rights which are not inherent in your mere being alive and which rely upon government for their provision, not their protection.

                      Until and unless you recognize that fundamental distinction, you have no more business discussing human rights than someone can claim to be a veterinarian who is unable (or unwilling) to distinguish between a horse and an ass.

                    • sfgarbagefire

                      When I said love child of Ayn Rand and Robert A. Heinlein it was more along the lines of writing style in Rand’s case. For some reason the way you write and structure things reminds me of her. And in Heinlein’s case more of a political philosophy which is a little extreme at first glance. And your right I was being an ass, but now that I’ve had time to “talk” with you I realize that statement was a touch out of line, which is why i previously apologized. That said I find your comments and post to be very interesting and thought provoking, even if we disagree. I actually just put the Moon is a harsh mistress on my TBR, and holds list should be getting it the same time I get Darkship Thieves. Have you read Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald?

                    • You’ve not read Hugo-winning Moon is a Harsh Mistress and you’ve temerity to compare anybody’s philosophy to Heinlein’s?

                      Once you’ve read the book do not presume to know Heinlein’s political philosophy. That book was written in a period when his goal was to provoke thought in readers and not as an attempt to represent the author’s own beliefs. This was once a somewhat common practice among authors, to take an idea and push it to its boundaries in exploration of its implications.

                      As SF great Larry Niven once observed, “There is a technical, literary term for those who mistake the opinions and beliefs of characters in a novel for those of the author. The term is ‘idiot’.”.

                    • I’ve read some of his personal writings and starship troopers (and yes I LOVED the movie, I know it varies from the book, but I love a good 80s action flick).

                    • The movie is completely wrong.

                    • We’ve even been given evidence by some who follow such things that it was an entirely different movie until someone pointed out that Starship Troopers had alien bugs as enemies, and then some of the book was shoehorned into the movie and the name was used.

                    • That is a gross understatement of fact. The movie is wrong in the same way as Peanut Butter and Jalapeno Jelly sandwiches are wrong.

                    • sfgarbagefire

                      That’s what I’ve heard, but I still love its 80s cheesetasticness.

                    • A non-exhaustive list of Heinlein you should read before you opine on him or how anyone resembles him:
                      Starman Jones
                      The Moon is A Harsh Mistress
                      Citizen of the Galaxy
                      In fact, those are books you should read before you consider yourself even moderately well read in science fiction. Other books you should at LEAST make an effort to read (and not just pretend you read — and note that my advising these books does not constitute endorsement of the ideas in them)
                      They Walked Like Men – Clifford Simak
                      The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin
                      The book of Ptath – A. E. Van Vogt
                      Ubik – Phillip Jose Farmer
                      The Still Small Voice of Trumpets – Lloyd Biggle Jr.
                      A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter Miller Jr.
                      These are just off the top of my head — I’m sure there are a dozen more that would occur given ten minutes thought, but I have books to write and a house to vacuum. I’m sure at any rate, the commenters will be happy to supply more. These are books you should know before you opine on science fiction present, past or future. Those who don’t know history have no past, and no future. (hattip RAH.)

                    • I don’t know if Starman Jones is a good one to get a feel for Heinlein as a beginning book. The cultural setting is a projection of a pretty dated time in history, and culture shock might throw a younger reader out of the story.

                      I would suggest Tunnel In The Sky, even though it’s a Juvenile story.

                    • Starman Jones is very good for someone who believes in top down structure to start meditating upon the drawbacks of such a system. Also, my older son loves it above all others.
                      Tunnel in the Sky, aka “Hunger games DONE RIGHT.” 🙂

                    • Ok, I can buy that rationale for Starman Jones. The guilds being kind of Unions taken to the extreme.

                    • Shouldn’t leave out Rolling Stones. It’s my very favorite Heinlein.

                    • I’m prejudiced against it. I think he had a time traveling bug in my kitchen, which recorded discussions and arguments with #1 son.

                    • Errrrr … that would be the son whose initials are R.A.H.?

                    • We’re hard against the wall on this thread, and now you open that particular can of wyrms so far-reaching a topic?

                      You could get a post and several hundred comments out of the “essential” SF. That is because this, unlike any other literary genre, is an ongoing conversation, in that Starship Troopers generated multiple novels “responding” to it. Add to that the premise that the novel was written at least in part to stimulate exactly such a conversation.

                      For Heinlein I would recommend Double Star for his examination of differences between politics and statesmanship. Before heeding anything you might have to say about his philosophy I would want to see your analysis of Troopers and Stranger and your efforts to resolve the many apparent contradictions between the two.

                      Heinlein, more than any other single author, has warped the fabric of SF space/time and only John Campbell stands as comparable in influence. Until you grasp that you’ve about as much of interest to say about the genre as a precocious 4th-grader has too say about American politics.

                    • RES I might do that as an open post for Saturday, then collate the results and set them up in their own page. NOT a bad idea.
                      And again, what was that novel in which they were energy beings and had three sexes? I keep meaning to re-buy it, having left it behind in Portugal and in Portuguese 30 years ago, but I can’t for the life of me REMEMBER title or author.
                      Someone found it once, and then I promptly forgot it before I bought it.
                      I remember it well enough that it annoys me not KNOWING it. In the end, we were stealing their energy, I think, without meaning to.
                      I would like to add Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke to the list.

                    • Asimov – The Gods Themselves

                    • Which I JUST read a few weeks ago for the first time. And the end of the aliens’ portion didn’t make any sense to me AT ALL.

                    • Thank you. So, that one too.

                    • I know William Tenn wrote the story “Venus and the Seven Sexes” but doubt that is what you’re recalling.

                      He also wrote the eerily prescient Venus is a Man’s World but those of tender feelings should avoid that as likely to explode their heads.

                    • sfgarbagefire

                      If your fans don’t mind by all means send me a list. I’ve always been curious as to what fans consider their top 10. Or what writers are considered the founders of science fiction.

                    • Ah, the ones I gave you ARE NOT the founders of science fiction. For that you have to look to Shelley, Verne and Wells. I did read them when I was learning English, mostly because the bookstore attic I’d found, full of books in English from before “culture protecting” importation tariffs, (they didn’t seem to do much to protect the culture, since tv came from America, but they were really good at getting people not to READ in English) were then very old and now more so.
                      You will think I’m shallow, perhaps, and I have friends who love Verne and Wells and even Shelley, but I found their style ponderous and their plots slow. I can appreciate their innovation (though really, the Iliad could be considered science fiction for its time. There’s always been a taste for writing and reading the fantastic) without having any ludic engagement in their work.
                      Consider though that right now we have more than 100 years history in writing COMMERCIAL science fiction and fantasy, and not — as the shallow seem to believe. But then, they’re very young and I was once young — 30. There is a lot of backlog and building WELL before getting to the founders.

                    • I liked Verne when I was in lower grades, but that likely owes greatly to the translators.

                      I have long considered myself fortunate for having discovered SF when the genre’s main works were relatively recent and an aggressive high school student could feast on forty years of accumulated works. Pohl & Kornbluth, the various Smiths (Cordwainer and Doc), Hoyle, Sturgeon, Tenn, Williamson, Asimov, Clarke, Zelazny, Simak, Laumer, Anderson, Dickson, Piper and (of course) Heinlein were all easily available so that one could, with effort, “catch up” on the ongoing conversation.

                      No snub intended toward Blish, Budrys, Burgess, and the many other fine writers too numerous to recall.

                    • I mean, you’re completely free to continue blathering uninformed opinions, of course, and no, we don’t want to shut anyone down.
                      BUT for your own sake, I sort of assume you don’t want to blather uninformed opinions which will make you cringe in 10 years. I am, I admit, judging by my own preferences in the matter. If I’m wrong, however, do carry on.

                    • A) It was 1997, not the 80s. B) There’s no forgiving what was done to Troopers in that movie. “Willing suspension of disbelief” is hard to manage when you’re deliberately choking on your popcorn to keep from ranting at the screen. Caspar van Dien is a perfectly nice fellow. Filipino he is not. Ditto Denise Richards and NPH (PBUH).

                      After that travesty I cringe whenever I see a book I love made into a movie. One look at Peter Jackson and I didn’t worry, but the Jack Reacher movies have a dyslexic casting director. Reacher is 6’5″, not 5’6″.

                    • sfgarbagefire

                      Wow 97′ it looks really dated to be that young.

                    • Was based on those principles, after this election I seriously doubt much will be left. In truth, the Founding Fathers were always a small group of idealists, the majority just wanted to be left alone to live their lives and had to be forcibly convinced that the only way to accomplish that was through armed revolt.
                      But now faced with the choice of a dubious savior or a thoroughly corrupt, scheming, and incompetent life long politician; I predict that media bias, voter fraud, corruption, blackmail, and the lust of the people for free stuff will result in four years that could very well cripple the American dream for generations to come.

                    • One generation, tops, Uncle Lar. I mean — modestly — you still have me. More importantly — and seriously — we’re still attracting people like our Kate. we’ll do all right.

                    • Ayers is a certifiable nut job” who is possibly the single greatest influence on modern pedagogical thought.

                      “Ayers returned to school to study early childhood education at Bank Street College of Education and received his master’s degree in 1984. Staying on there, he worked as an instructor while working on a doctorate in curriculum and teaching, which he completed in 1987. Ayers joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1992. In addition to his work at the university, he has become an accomplished author, writing numerous works on education, including The Good Preschool Teacher: Six Teachers Reflect on Their Lives (1989), To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher (1993), and Teaching for Social Justice: A Democracy and Education Reader (1998).”

                      From Wiki:
                      Ayers was elected Vice President for Curriculum Studies by the American Educational Research Association in 2008. … William H. Schubert, a fellow professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, wrote that his election was “a testimony of [Ayers’] stature and [the] high esteem he holds in the field of education locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.”

                      He has edited and written many books and articles on education theory, policy and practice, and has appeared on many panels and symposia. … Ayers worked with Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in shaping the city’s school reform program, and was one of three co-authors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge grant proposal that in 1995 won $49.2 million over five years for public school reform. In 1997, Chicago awarded him its Citizen of the Year award for his work on the project. Since 1999, he has served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, an anti-poverty, philanthropic foundation established as the Woods Charitable Fund in 1941. Wall Street Journal columnist* Thomas Frank praised Ayers as a “model citizen” and a scholar whose “work is esteemed by colleagues of different political viewpoints.”

                      *Franks, author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? & Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? was briefly on the Journal‘s roster as an effort to include dissident views from the opinion page’s uniformly conservative voice.

                    • sfgarbagefire

                      He can still be a nut job and a scholar at the same time. I mean being crazy didn’t stop Nietzsche.

                    • You say that as if the two were not reinforcing conditions. A higher proportion of scholars are nut jobs than you are likely to find in any profession outside psychiatry, and a greater percentage of nut jobs are scholars than are found in any other field (outside psychiatry.)

                      The key is not that he is both, it is that he is influential.

                    • Sarah, I hate to do this, but “Ubik” (which I also highly recommend) wasn’t by Phil Farmer, but by Phillip K. Dick. Also, she should read Heinlein’s “Farnham’s Freehold.”

                    • JESUS. Thank you. Brain fart. I have recommended it to several people.
                      What I did was meld Ubik by Dick, with The World of Tiers by Phillip Jose Farmer. HORRIBLY edited, but also HIGHLY recommended.

                    • Their fault, both being named Phillip, of course. For the sake of disambiguation, we should change everyone’s name if there’s already a famous author with that first name. 😀

            • No, alarmist would be saying you lot is NOT squeamish about blood.

            • No more than you, and probably less so.

        • The vitriol is because they are in denial about being a cult, and are in over their heads.

      • Remember, save your best hate for heretics and apostates!

  10. Everytime I hear that anyone won by unanimous vote, even if it’s in a small organization, I know for a fact either it’s a job no one wants, or there have been shenanigans.

    There’s also two other scenarios. One is when one has no better idea, and the option proposed doesn’t sound so truly horrifying that you feel compelled vote against in an effort to buy time to find a better idea. The second is in open, take-your-turn voting processes, if it becomes clear your vote won’t matter and solidarity may be more useful than airing discontent. YMMV, of course.

    • Or the person being voted for stepped out to use the restroom. That’s generally how one ends up chair of a committee.

      • Or you butter up the new guy by offering them the job.
        Poor fool probably doesn’t know any better…

        • That’s how my brother ends up on committees – he’s flattered into it. My wife misses a meeting or leaves the room, and next thing she knows she’s secretary-for-life.

          I stopped going to church for a year because they stuck me on a committee… didn’t go back until my term expired. Now I hide in the back of the balcony so they can’t find me.

      • From personal experience being stuck on a plane flying to Japan also works as a way to get oneself elected

        • I once became the locsec of an organization that shall not be named because I was in bed with pre-eclampsia.

          • I got shanghaied into several organizations because a friend was pregnant/in surgery/had a death in the family… and got stuck there for years (each time). *sigh* “Friends.”

            Don’t get me wrong, I’d do it again because it was, and is, the right thing to do. Getting free of the consequences of said “right thing” can be tricky.

            • I was made president of one because I was absent, and re-elected due to lack of competition (i.e. no one else would have it). Fortunately, conflict of interest kept me from having a third term.

              • Some day, I would like to become a delegate to a State Convention (theoretically Republican, but we’ll have to see how that party weathers the coming storm). I have come to realize that running directly generally won’t work, because there are several people who want to be delegates…however, if I were to volunteer to be the Chair, I’d be both State and County delegate, to boot! And generally the only competition is the guy who’s currently the chair, and he desperately doesn’t *want* to be chair…

                The only things that have kept me from doing this are a lack of time, and a tendency to move every year or two (being a Chair is a two-year commitment)…

                Of course, having a tendency to move is also a major reason why I haven’t run for delegate positions for a while, too…

            • Admittedly I would go.the full Healey method. ” If elected I will not serve”

    • Well poisoning, or ideologically pure groups. We get both today.

    • Church meetings are notorious for having unanimous votes – until the vote matters anyway.

  11. Heck, even in my own head I often can’t come up with a united front. When several approaches each have their own ups and downs I can change my mind in the same hour.

    • Heather Renee Wittman

      I was going to make exactly this comment! And when I see ‘united front’ I mostly suspect a great deal of bullying. And bullying makes me suspect secrets of the not-so-savory kind.

      • I was going to disagree, just to be contrarian, even though I actually agree. In this case that would be advocating for a united front by breaking the united front of disagreeing with even a single-person united front.

        And there’s always people like me in any group.

    • “If you can’t make an argument against it, you don’t understand it enough to support it.”
      They may not be very good arguments, but the fact that there’s any question of doing a thing means there’s resistance to the idea (at the very least it’s “do this or don’t do it”) so you’ve got to know WHY.

  12. As the late Bill Buckley said, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

    • That’s because the “other” views they want heard are their own. _Other_ other views need not apply.

    • Then they wonder why we don’t appreciate it when they monologue a one-sided “dialogue” at us.

  13. “Everytime I hear that anyone won by unanimous vote, even if it’s in a small organization, I know for a fact either it’s a job no one wants, or there have been shenanigans.”

    This is the reason that when dictators have sham elections to impress the gullible, they aim for about 70% of the vote: large enough to make it look like they’re overwhelmingly popular in their country but not so overwhelming as to make it look like they had guns to people’s heads to force them to vote the right way. Only true idiots like Saddam go for the 99% strategy.

  14. Which post was the idiot on? I can’t seem to find it.

    • I THINK Staying Alive.

    • https://accordingtohoyt.com/2016/10/14/staying-alive/#comment-399970

      sfgarbagefire is the user name if that doesn’t get you to the post.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      From Garbagefire’s blog: “Ever wondered what the love child of Ann Rand and Robert Heinlein would be like… Check out Sarah Hoyt…. This is some next level crazy. Needless to say I will be adding one of her novels to my TBR list, because wow. Just. Wow.”

      You have a new fan, Sarah! 😀

      • Is there a clock somewhere, missing the little birdie?

      • OMG. That’s the nicest thing anyone said about me. Stopped clock and all that. I wonder if Toni will let me put that on the cover?

        • Ever wondered what the love child of Ann Rand and Robert Heinlein would be like… Check out Sarah Hoyt

          That’s ADVERTISING awesome. (I love how they seem to think calling you this is bad. BA HA HA HA HA)

        • I must object, mildly. You haven’t committed any 60-page monologues that I know of. And you can write; Rand’s writing…meh, even if her ideas are good.

          • That’s where the Robert A. Heinlein part comes through 😉

          • Mmmm… SOME of Rand’s ideas are good. Her assertion that altruism is always bad, though, she can take and shove where the sun don’t shine. I will grant that much “altruism” is no such thing, but is in fact people trying to make themselves look good to others. And some unintentioned altruism can do more harm than good (there’s a book called When Helping Hurts that I keep on hearing about, and that I really must read someday). But as a Christian, I can never agree with her that altruism is always bad. Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross can only be called the highest, and best, form of altruism, and we should emulate Him in smaller ways daily — being willing to lay down our own good for the good of others, when necessary. (Though one should NEVER be forced to engage in altruism — but that’s a different argument.)

            • I realized the key to understanding some of the BIG mistakes she made:
              She accepted a lot of the starting assumptions of communism.

              So they define that loveless “sharing” as altruism… she rejects it absolutely. The thing they were pushing is bad, she just tossed the baby out with the sewage….

              • Ah yes, that makes perfect sense. That’s the “forced altruism” that I mentioned in my parenthesis — and “raise taxes to spend them on social programs” is a subset of it.

                It’s hard to see errors in your own fundamental assumptions, just like it’s hard to notice that your vision is slowly getting fuzzy and you need glasses (or a new prescription). It usually takes someone else pointing out your wrong assumption for you to notice, and I guess Ayn Rand never had that assumption pointed out to her.

            • Heinlein made a distinction between being truly and naturally selfless and “altruism” as a perversion. I find he’s mostly right.

            • In the last twenty – thirty years there has been significant social science (I know, I left out the -ist) demonstrating that true altruism is probably the single most significant source of personal happiness. John Lott did one of his specials on that back when he still worked at ABC.

              • Back in 2012, when hushed whispers (because they were never actually officially mentioned by the campaign itself, of course) about all the nice things Romney had done over the years were circulating, an illuminating (I thought) question popped up over at HuffPo. Someone had heard about the wasps’ nest story. And they wanted to know why Romney wasted so much time removing the nest himself, when it would have been much more cost effective for him to hire someone else to do the nest removal, while he went off and made presumably more money than the hireling cost during the same amount of time.

                Heard about that and instantly realized, “This is someone who just doesn’t get it.”

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  a) There comes a point of diminishing returns when it comes to investing time in moneymaking.
                  b) The more often your response to someone in trouble is ‘throw money at it’, the more likely you are to see it as the only solution. If ‘throw money at it’ is all you do, you may run through your money, spend all your time making decisions, and do very little actual good.

            • I read it as “virtue signalling disguised as altruism” is bad, personally.

              • Altruism with your own money and time is valid, altruism with other people’s money and time is a violation of truth in labeling principles.

      • So do you put it on FB or do I?

      • If you want to disparage someone, make sure you know how to spell their name. Otherwise you look like a blithering idiot.

  15. Everytime I hear that anyone won by unanimous vote, even if it’s in a small organization, I know for a fact either it’s a job no one wants, or there have been shenanigans.

    I don’t know whether this is accurate or not, but I’ve been told that the old Jewish Sanhedrin had a rule in place that touched on this. Supposedly, if the Sanhedrin was ever voting on a criminal case, and there was a unanimous vote of ‘Guilty’, then the vote was supposed to be treated as ‘Not Guilty’ instead. The rationale was that a unanimous vote meant that there was obviously something motivating the people voting beyond the basic facts of the case.

    • Yup, it was one of the reasons Jesus’ conviction was illegal. On another note, two of his disciples were members, and I’ve always wondered if they voted guilty specifically to invoke that rule especially since the other members would be counting on their ‘not guilty’ votes to make the conviction legal.

      • We know at least a couple of folks weren’t there for the vote– the guy who’s tomb was donated for Jesus’ use, if memory serves me right.

        I’d guess that folks got focused a bit on the “let’s make sure the troublemakers aren’t here” aspect and forgot the bylaws aspect– of course, that head guy who had it in for Jesus was probably really persuasive, so they may have just carefully sorted against the folks who wouldn’t be persuaded.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      In my own writing group we usually have unanimous votes for our president, though one of our members makes a habit of casting a dissenting vote for its own sake.

      • You can have a unanimous vote if the group is small enough. I was in a group that only had 2 members once.

      • I believe James Madison failed of being our second president elected unanimously by the electoral college because one thought that honor should be reserved to George Washington.

        • Monroe, not Madison. That was after the implosion of the Federalist party due to their connection to the Hartford Convention–aka “The reason why I don’t take New Englanders seriously when they talk about secession being the awfulest thing ever.”

    • I just watched 12 Angry Men recently, so the idea of a unanimous vote has been on my mind since last week. But in the case of a jury, they are supposed to be twelve people with no connection to the case, and no external factors that would motivate them to vote guilty or not guilty except the facts of the case. An ideal that will not always be achieved, naturally — but still, a jury that votes unanimously is usually another exception to the “unanimity = shenanigans” general rule.

      • With small groups, unanimous votes are accepted, and even often preferred. If you’ve got a small group of people, then it’s not surprising if you manage to get everyone on the same page. But when that number goes up, things change. The larger the number of people voting, the more likely it is that you’ll get disagreement.

        Think, for instance, how the House of Representatives will have a vote on something that’s largely pro-forma, and the vote will be 533 for, and 1 against (plus an abstention because someone’s making a trip back home). Get the group large enough, and someone’s almost always going to find a reason to vote contrary.

        And the Jewish Sanhedrin was a decently-sized group.

  16. Wendy Delmater Thies

    Good article, thanks

  17. It seems stupid but I spent a large part of the 00s arguing with people that this was blazingly, in your face dumb.

    I believe the phrase you’re looking for is “the noughties”.

  18. …people who can’t otherwise agree on anything, up to and including whether pants should be worn on butt or head…

    Silly, they should be worn on the arms. (RUNS)

  19. Over at MGC Wyrdbard is suggesting that SJWs be likened to Kudzu in their relentless way of colonizing an area.


    I think there is much to this. Both strangling growth in it of anything else, both end up presenting a subsequent uniform (green) facade to what was taken over. In the SJW case the green is both the environmental one and the envious color they show when they see something being successful on its own. Moreover once both have started their invasion the only weapon that is successful is fire

    Wyrdbard also suggests kudzu can be used as a biodiesle foodstock. I think the same could also usefully apply to SJWs. Especially the more rotund ones

    • You can make arrowroot flour out of kudzu. SJWs… not tasty.

    • Yeah, kudzu is useful, SJZs, not so much. Except perhaps as fertilizer.

      Wisteria at least has the ability to be pretty. SJZs… don’t do pretty, remember? They reject beauty in everything, because beauty is an ideal, and I’m sure they think of it as some kind of ‘-ist’…

      • Kudzu is NOT wisteria.

      • It will also pull down disconnected power lines and is difficult to eradicate. Our rental house had wisteria, and it was a constant battle to keep under control.

        • The few times I’ve contemplated growing decorative wisteria, I’ve thought only of potting them. These days I’m unsure if that would be good enough, unless bonzai.

        • Oooohhhhh – I had wisteria once but a bleach rinse and two-week course of penicillin cleared it up just fine.

        • Interesting. We had a Wisteria vine at the house I grew up in. It grew, minded its own business, put out amazing flowers once a year and didn’t even try and take over the roof, much less anything else. (I think dad pruned it maybe once every five years… maybe?) I take it this is unusual?

          • It might be locational, or something in the soil. My aunt had to work like a demon to keep hers alive– at least as much as the more finicky of the roses.

            High desert, near an alkali lake.

            • Eastern Oklahoma. I always thought of it as a ‘tree’ because it was bigger around than the apple, the pear, or the peach tree in the yard. Maybe it hit something the roots couldn’t get through so hit an equilibrium? *ponders* I may need to re-cast my thought about getting Wisteria. (Though I REALLY want to make essential oil out of those flowers.)

          • Maybe climate? The things go wild around here, sending out runners and taking over huge areas. Know of a lot on the way to church where the wisteria had about strangled all the trees. When they cleared it, I was expecting the wisteria to return. But whatever they did got rid of it once and for all.

            • That may be part of it. This one was growing up through a large hole in the concrete back patio area. (Large as in 3ftX3ft.) Apparently planted deep enough that the roots never gave the concrete issues, but it would prevent runners.

            • Wisteria thrives beautifully in the Piedmont of NC…

              (Unfortunately so do all sorts of nasty biting insects that love you all too well and which your system does not return said feeling.)

      • Kudzu and useful are two words I never expected to see next to each other.
        Only use I ever saw for kudzu was growing up telephone poles and weighing down the wires or hiding the car you parked at the tree line two weeks ago…

        • I didn’t think it was useful either, until I found out that the kuzu starch was derived from kudzu… and got curious. I was also wondering why it got imported to the US.


          • Here in the wilds of Montana we have wild grape and a tree-strangling vine called “wild cucumber” (but more similar to hops) that are nearly as bad, and considerably more useless.

          • FWIW, my father credits kudzu with checking rampant erosion. He has a “Sure it’s bad, but it stopped something worse” attitude about it.

            I am told that kudzu makes fantastic compost, but I’m just not game to try it.

            • SheSellsSeashells

              Back in Atlanta they used to have occasional “Kudzu Watch” segments on the morning traffic coverage. Complete with helicopter shots: “This patch of kudzu is attempting to engulf a small home in the Marietta area. Prompt evacuation is recommended.

              Somewhere out there is an old special called Leroy Loves the South: “Kudzu was imported from Japan to control soil erosion. We do not know if it actually worked, as we have not seen the ground since.”

            • Feather Blade

              I seem to remember hearing something about grazing cattle on it…?

    • We should adopt the same persistence. Keep going, infiltrate, grab every single chance to push things even a tiny bit in your preferred direction, never give an inch, never stop working towards your solution, and do keep banging your own drum and how much nicer you are than the opposition (think of the children!).

      That’s why they have been winning. It’s never live and let live or each to his own to them.

      Also seem that part of our problem is insistence on purity, and sort of all or nothing thinking. People who throw up their hands in disgust and declare they are out of the game if some paltry couple of decades of efforts don’t seem to bring the desired results, or if there isn’t any alternative right now they would like. In the same situation SJWs just double down.

    • 2-4,D kills kudzu……

  20. Sarah! I’m shocked… SHOCKED I SAY!!!

    An educated European like yourself should intuitively understand why we MUST ALL present a Unified Front! If one writer goes out on her own and writes books that stray from TRUE SciFi/Fantasy, that author is clearly taking more than HER FAIR SHARE of readers! Think of all the poor, barely illiterate, minority writers out there. All alone in the world. STARVING! All because of YOU and your unfair use of composition, interesting plot lines, and characters that seem to jump off the page! MORE IMPORTANTLY, think of all the socially conscious authors you are CHEATING out of a chance to do some REAL GOOD in the world by promoting understanding and acceptance! The world is CLEARLY a less accepting place because you don’t join us in teaching, through our words, acceptance for and validation of all the various gender and species identities! HomoPyroNecroNymphoBestiacs everywhere are miss-understood and looked down upon by their fellow persons because YOU persist in portraying them as the flaming-dead-dog-humping perverted badguys! You would think with all your involvement with those Dead Puppies you would understand how that feels!

    Naaa… Just kidding… Have to have something to fill my time while waiting for the next installment of Dark Fate (Squee!!!)… cough… ahem… yea!

    • thephantom182

      “HomoPyroNecroNymphoBestiacs everywhere are miss-understood and looked down upon by their fellow persons because YOU persist in portraying them as the flaming-dead-dog-humping perverted badguys!”

      BWAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!! That’s fricking hysterical! Do they set the dead dog on fire before or after?

      • Before or after the necrobestiality? I guess it would depend on how hot *ba-bump-tish* they like their perversions.

        • that’s almost the most disgusting thing I’ve heard of. I’ve read amateur porn (erotica/slash) that was more politics than sex. Good Grief! Why talk about talking points when you could talk about body parts?

          • *shrug* I’ve long ago taken it as a given that someone, somewhere, will find a taboo or something just plain disgusting and wrong, and think of it as an awesome turn on and fetish. I remember spotting a DVD in the Amsterdam red light district about scat fetish and was weirded out for the rest of the week. There are some seriously disturbing people out there, and I think about past me “Oh you innocent thing.”

            *shudder* Then I stumbled into the pure weird that’s in the extreme furry fandom. I shrug at the ones who wear fursuits and like to pretend they’re (insert animal here) in heat. They’re TAME.

            • There’s My Little Pony pr0n, and it’s viciously defended as anybody not “seeing it” in the cartoon being crazy.


              • *shudder* There’s also the Elsa/Anna incest shippers, because ewwww, males.

                The MLP porn was what drove a few of my friends out of the fandom (Also Avatar.) They got seriously creeped out and it killed their enjoyment of watching the series and writing fics and drawing fanart – none of which, I should add, were remotely sexual in nature.

                • The shipping wars alone drove some people out of the Avatar fandom.
                  TLA was bad enough, but LOK, especially after the series finale? People got run off the internet for expressing dissatisfaction with how that went down.
                  And the Harry Potter fandom…(shudder)

                  • Yep. The yaoi/m-m fans were probably some of the worst ones I’d ever seen.

                  • One of the reasons why I mostly avoid fan fiction, and most fan art. Even with the warnings on it’s still possible to stumble on quite disturbing stuff. Lots of it sex, but sometimes completely no sex stories can go in pretty weird directions too (not to mention totally twisting the characters out of shape).

                  • It’s the fault of the authors in every single case. They’re simply too limited/blinkered/blind/foolish/bigoted to recognize how the relationship(s) should have worked out, and instead went with the version that ended up in print.

                    WHY CAN’T YOU SEE THAT!!??

                • thephantom182

                  They made -porn- out of My Little Pony?

                  I -so- don’t want to know that.

                  • A particularly businessminded fetish group did – and well, found a market in the …er… Toys to help with the cosplay as well.

                    I’m being nice and not giving details, but I guess it does prove that there are nerd fetishists out there.

                  • Dude, there’s even Hello Kitty porn out there.

                    No, I wasn’t interested. My friend and I were playing what i guess you could call, “Does It Porn?” or, variously, checking the validity of Rule 34. The idea was to take a subject, type its name into Google, and add the word ‘porn’ after it, and see if you get results. Do not do this, if you value whatever sanity you have left after visiting here for any length of time.

                • SheSellsSeashells

                  I utterly despise Frozen incest, much more than I despise the usual run of “anything that moves” shippers. My personal fiction happy is close nonsexual relationships between women, because IT NEVER HAPPENS and if it does it’s relegated to funny old ladies. So “OMG they love each other it has to be sexual!” sends me into frothing rage.

                  (FWIW, Jordan Bassior comments here sometimes and writes damn good MLP fiction, with occasional adult moments but nothing I’d call porn. (“Adult” in my lexicon is “sexual content that serves the story”; “porn” = “sex for the sake of sex”. (Also, I really like parenthetical comments.)))

                  • It’s especially horrible since the whole freaking point of Frozen is that love doesn’t have to be “romantic” type.

                    It’s like the giant flashing red light of “YOU DID NOT GET IT.”

                    • Do not confuse “did not get it” with “do not want it.”

                      An extended discussion of why some people do not want it and do not want others to have it is best left for another day.

                    • True. We’ve done some rather long discussions about the work to destroy friendships, families, and pretty much every relationship that isn’t all about sex, and they’re draining.

                  • Yeah. I really hated that people are unable to have nonsexual feelings for others. Folks these days go straight to ‘they must be having sex! There’s emotions there!’ – and its stomach churning in the Frozen incest shippers. (The fanart I have seen of Jack Frost/Elsa ship though is rather a cute concept.)

                    Jordan’s had lots of fun writing MLP fanfic but iirc he has more fun writing interpersonal relationships and playing with a world’s political/existential ‘what if’ than fap stuff. We used to talk about it because MLP had interestingly adult concepts hidden in the show (like the Cutie Mark arc) and wasn’t just fluff that he really enjoyed. He wanted to explore that, and I remember encouraging him to write it. So I would recommend it because of that exploration of concept, not just because he is a friend.

                    • It’s been an old observation of mine that I haven’t really shared that a lot of this boils down to people who can’t make the distinction between something attractive (Cute, fun, beautiful) and something sexual. Their only way of relating to something wonderful is to want to stick their dick in it.

                    • even pretty scenery? beaches, meadows etc.

                    • ….the obsession with sex EVERYWHERE that is beautiful.

                      Tell me it isn’t explained by “this place attracts me to it, so sex”?

                    • *wail* I don’t know, and I’m not sure I want to!!! TToTT

                    • …There was a bit of weird news I saw recently (think within the last 2 months) where a guy was filmed having sex with a hole in the ground. As in, in front of an office building. The hole in the ground was asphalt.

                    • C’mon — you never heard a guy say he was desperate to knock off a piece o’ asphalt?

                    • *laughing groan!* Ya got me, RES. Ya got me. *laughing*

                    • Yeah, but then how do you explain the females who are like that?

                      (For the record, I’ve had that question asked of me from frustrated male friends, over the years.)

                    • Got to thinking about this while I was driving today… rather freaky correlation came to mind.

                      You know one of the ways they tend to find kids who were sexually abused? When they make friends with other kids, and do extremely sexually inappropriate things.

                      There’s also a known tendencies for victims of sexual violence to sometimes try to cope by making that violation a part of who they are– probably some kind of psychobable along the lines of can’t rape the willing.

                      I’d guess that at least some of the more… extreme… folks are suffering from a form of sexual abuse, even if it’s entirely possible that nobody laid a hand on them before the damage was done. The correlations between various “sex ed” classes and active predator grooming habits is kinda notorious.

                    • *shivers* You’re right, that … is a rather freakily disturbing correlation to come to.

                      And you know who I thought of? Lena Dunham, her sister, and those freaky parents of theirs.

                    • Interesting insights. Christians have long complained abut a coarsening of culture which seeks to deny any realm of innocence for the children.

                      But would that mean their teachings have some understanding of human nature and that enlightened minds are actually somewhat dim?

                    • Yeah. There was this little girl who stripped for Marsh, then tried to strip him, when they were six. At the time I just decided she couldn’t play with him anymore. (He, btw, screamed loud enough to bring me running.) I never thought to tell anyone, even at the school.

            • Or the bookstore there that had an interesting display tied in with a local agricultural observance — National Sheep Week. Complete with inflatables, VCR tapes, and care instructions……

            • The Internet will hurt you if you’re not careful. I thought it was merely pathetic the guys who would spend their time lovingly cutting and pasting Emma Watson’s head on various porn pictures (She does seem to be the favorite target of this) but then…

              … deep breath….

              Then I saw the guys who take pictures of celebrities and paste on the lower half of some – I hesitate to call it porn – “porn” of women wearing adult diapers.

              And I thought, I couldn’t imagine a deeper layer of pathos. Until I read the comments praising it.

              I’m tolerant of a lot of kinks, but there are some that thankfully remove their owners from the gene pool.

              • merely pathetic the guys who would spend their time lovingly cutting and pasting Emma Watson’s head I wonder if that’s the reason behind the pictures I’ve been seeing around about ‘celebrities we didn’t know were Muslim!’ clickbait things.

                I’m tolerant of a lot of kinks, but there are some that thankfully remove their owners from the gene pool.

                Yeah, this. You know me; I generally don’t care what consenting adults do with each other, safely. I shrug about the folks who have a purely 2D kink – because the focus is a fictional, illustrated only character, they’re unlikely to be attracted or seek gratification with a live being (Thus, the only ‘harm’ really is when they get into a tussle about who is the best waifu.) (Okay, the bruised egos of real women upset these guys will never look at them don’t count, imo…)

                There are some 2D only (or so one hopes) kinks though that really were disturbing. Vore being one of them. I’d like to imagine that ‘babyvore’ is something I had a nightmare of, but…

      • before.. duh… who could get turned on by a dead dog that ISN’T on fire? That would be sick!

    • There will be Dark Fate as soon as I recover from injuries sustained while ROFLLAL.

      • Ok – who is close enough in RL to provide first aid. Some of us are really, really looking forward to the Dark Fate excerpt.

  21. …dissent is not some kind of crime in other more important areas, like national politics.

    The usual response to that from the Left is “Give us time.” They’re working their hearts out to criminalize dissent, and failing that, to render it “socially unacceptable” via PC enforcement techniques. But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

    The severe courage deficit among conservatives and libertarians — i.e., keeping silent (or being easily silenced) to avoid unpleasant responses — might prove to be our downfall.

  22. Wait – a Uniform front? What color Uniform?

  23. thephantom182

    “Look, I know it’s customary to ask “what are they teaching the kids these days?” BUT REALLY I ask you WHAT ARE THEY TEACHING THE KIDS THESE DAYS?”

    This: http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2016/10/todays-burning-outrage-pets.html

    Excerpt: “Non-human animals have a moral right not to be used exclusively as human resources, irrespective of whether the treatment is ‘humane’, and even if humans would enjoy desirable consequences if they treated non-humans exclusively as replaceable resources.
    When we talk about animal rights, we are talking primarily about one right: the right not to be property. The reason for this is that if animals matter morally – if animals are not just things – they cannot be property. If they are property, they can only be things.”

    Rutgers University, no less. That’s what they’re teaching kids these days, sh1t that’s so ridiculous it isn’t even wrong. It’s 2+2 = aardvark.

    • I always have to laugh at these people. If it wasn’t for their living in places of absolute plenty, they wouldn’t have such inane philosophies and ‘moral qualms.’ I always want to toss them out into the Daintree and wonder how long before they debate eating fruit from a gympie tree versus eating grubs or other animals.

      • thephantom182

        I’m done laughing, myself. These days I send strongly worded letters to the university the creatures inhabit. Why would I send a kid I hope to be self-supporting to have his/her brain washed by those freaks?

        Hit them in the wallet.

        I’d very much like to see these two “rescue dog” owners dropped into a Northern Ontario spruce forest with no supplies other than a rifle and 100 rounds. See how long it takes them to shoot a moose.

        • Why waste the rifle and rounds? Ammo is expensive. Let them be dropped out there with nothing but their hands and the clothes on their back. Don’t need rifles to eat leaves, right?

          • thephantom182

            They have to buy their own. >:D

            Thing is, getting dumped in the spruce forest is a death sentence even in the summer. There’s -nothing- to eat except moose, rabbits, deer, etc. They can digest cellulose. We can’t. Those “eat wild” guys would starve in a week. Tundra, with trees.

            Ivory Tower dudes can’t be expected to know stuff like that, I suppose.

            Although, you can carve fillets off a healthy mosquito up there. They taste like shrimps if properly prepared, or so I’m told. For them you need a tennis racket.

          • nothing but their hands and the clothes on their back

            Why are you granting them the clothes on their backs? They didn’t build those.

            • thephantom182

              Innocent animals DIED for those clothes, you MONSTER!!!11!!

              I think the life expectancy for a naked Ivory Tower human in De Nort Wood would be best measured in hours. As in, there’s a reason the Indians were -hunter-/gatherers. A lot more hunting than gathering, you betcha. And even with all the woodsiness of being born there, they starved fairly often.

              It’s hard to kill a moose with a stick.

              • “Whack!”

                We’re gonna need a bigger stick.

              • Bloom County once took this all to its logical conclusion. Michael started out on a vegetarian kick because animals were killed to make meat. After guilt-tripping everyone else into joining him, he then progressed things further and further until he realized that pretty much everything he did was killing uncounted numbers of innocent bacteria. The series of strips on the topic eventually ended with the group all hanging upside down from a tree wearing surgical masks.

              • “It’s hard to kill a moose with a stick.”

                I’ve heard of a moose that charged a train because the train was invading its territory. Apparently the train was derailed, and the moose walked away…

                So, yeah, it’s hard to kill a moose with a stick. 🙂

                • Come to think of it, though…if there’s moose, there’s bound to be squirrel as well, and *those* are easy to kill with a stick…

                • Piffle. Killing moose with stick am simple. You must use correct technique, however, such as sharpening one end of stick, cutting a notch and adding feathers to the other end and launching it using another stick and a bit of string, Or you cut stick down to about 9mm diameter and load into suitable cartridge.

                  Alternatively, you might simply use a really, really, REALLY big stick.

    • Dude, that logic is so tortured that Amnesty International is sending letters and organizing a protest vigil!

      • thephantom182

        I call it “Can You Top This? scholarship.” Controversy = money.

        They want to beat Peter Singer for the title of “most caring philosophers” in the Ivory Tower. All they do is find the most extreme position on a subject, and then say something even more extreme.

        Peter Singer’s “work” is astounding balderdash, when you finally dig through all the wordbrush you get to something so stupid it makes your head hurt. So now these two say “How can I get a grant?” and the answer is out-balderdash Singer.

        Therefore they conflate a legal definition with a moral one, and come up with animal ownership is slavery.

        I guess no one mentioned to them that legally, children are “owned” by their parents (or the state) until the age of majority. Parenting is SLAVERY!!! Stop the horror!

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          IIRC a few years back some people in California (of course) were talking about giving children “partial votes” in State Elections. 😦

          • thephantom182

            I’ll see your California and raise you the Repubik of Kanada, where there was a movement afoot among the Liberals to reduce the Age of Consent to 14.

            No, really.

    • *tilts head to side* That looks familiar, but it’s like…when you explain something to your five year old, and then you hear her explaining it to her sister, and you figure out that she REALLY didn’t understand it….

      It is rather wrong to treat animals as *just* resources, but it’s wrong because we’re people, not because of some kind of “how would it make you feel” junk. Animals (all of nature) is there to serve man– but a thing that serves you has to be taken care of, especially if it’s a gift. That’s just being decent.

      I don’t have the spoons to explain it very well, but that way that folks are horrified at the thought of just suddenly going “Hm, my uncle sent over a neat recipe for dog the other day– let’s try it with our family dog” points to the intuitive morality there.

      Someone took that “written on the heart” sense of dignity and hit it with a hammer until it fit their version of morality, I guess? A really short-sighted, rather quickly horrific version of morality….

      • Animal rights isn’t about benefiting animals; it’s about hating people. If you can force people to give up using animals, you can make humans go extinct (since it’s not possible to raise healthy children on the then-necessarily-vegan diet). THAT is their end game.

        They put forth crazy positions to make their reasonable proposals sound good when they come up in front of your local legislature… and they’re being quite successful at it. (Did you know that in much of the U.S., dog breeding is now illegal? And in San Francisco, you must use an “approved” bedding and diet for your pet.)

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I’d put it in terms of the basic respect and decency owed tools and machinery.

        You don’t leave a shovel out to rust, right? It’s mildly wicked, because of the effort to make it, and the lost opportunity to make use of it.

        Animals are domesticated because they have enough utility to humans to be worth the calories.

        I dislike, am allergic to, scared of, and immune to the body language of dogs. I leave dogs alone, and do not trouble them. (I have very little to do with any animal, beyond eating meat.)

        There are probably things that you and I can agree ought not be done to dogs. That is what the mad activists exploit.

        The activists seem to be as Reziac, plus some number of nutty mystics with no sense of boundaries.

    • The reason for this is that if animals matter morally – if animals are not just things – they cannot be property.

      I’d really like to see this claim supported, rather than just thrown out as a starting assumption.

      If it’s true, then either there are a whole lot of things that aren’t ‘just things’, or the Taliban did nothing wrong when they worked to destroy all evidence of things predating themselves.

      • thephantom182

        “I’d really like to see this claim supported, rather than just thrown out as a starting assumption.”

        I think most of the “support” for the claim is “You’re a poopy head if you don’t agree!!”

      • Feather Blade

        Unsupported assertions are epidemic in academia.

        I’ve given a short crash course in formal logic to our department’s history class for the last two years, so that they don’t do this in their research papers.

        Sometimes it even helps… *sigh*

    • I can’t imagine a faster way to get the entire American population against you than to tell them that you believe that their dogs and cats should not exist.

      • I read that as “their dogs and cats are sexist” and I thought “that’s weird.” I mean Havey prefers male humans, but…

        • Aside from Daddy, he’s a real Daddy’s boy, Nemo loves the ladies, canine or human.

        • Most of the sexist animals I know of are horses– the ones that we’d be willing to keep were the “be obnoxious to experienced men and sweet as can be to women or children of all ages” ones, a couple of the trail-ride ones would honest to bog play stupid for anything female, and my mom’s favorite horse was almost homicidal to anything male that tried to rid him. Dad’s favorite mare would try to step on women.
          (The only reason she stayed around was that at the time, mom was the only woman who was riding on that ranch anyways– and they liked to saddle her horse for her anyways, to be nice.)

          Have heard of a few dogs that HATE men, and our old house cat had a thing for blond guys. Have heard of some rescue fighting dogs that are racist against males of the same background as their prior owner. (as in, attempt to eat them)

          • a couple of the trail-ride ones would honest to bog play stupid for anything female, and my mom’s favorite horse was almost homicidal to anything male that tried to rid him. Dad’s favorite mare would try to step on women.

            Rhys hates the stallion his parents own; warned me that the stallion bites. Twelve years on, Rhys still grumbles about how the horse behaved like a total angel, allowing himself to be petted and going up to the fence for more.

            The mare was indifferent at best; allowed a pet or two, but otherwise didn’t seem to care.

          • I’ve mostly heard of dogs that are afraid of men, more than hate them. My mother had one of those.

      • Unified Front?

        Say, the last time the US presented a fairly unified front (or a few) didn’t automobile production stop for a few years, and one seventh of electrical production get diverted to some secret project, and…. well, do certain folks really want a unified front? I rather doubt it.

    • Well, if animals have civil rights, they cannot be bought or sold, neutered, forced to have sex, nor imprisoned (in a house, yard, barn, or pasture) without a trial.

      So forget pets, and God forbid you hit and kill a deer on the road, you murderer!

      • If animals have Civil Rights they also must hold moral and legal capacity, therefore when “my” dog (i.e., the dog who occasionally shares my residence and eats my table scraps) poops on your lawn, take it up with with him. I have no obligation to pick up after him as he is not my property.

        Any bites that result are consequence of your aggressive attitude and refusal to recognize his natural rights. I, OTOH, am free to shoot you if you threaten him with bodily harm as an inherent consequence of a recognized duty to protect the weak.

      • scott2harrison

        Don’t worry about the dear, just think of them as dear lives matter protesters. (Don’t say this if you are at the University of Tennessee).

    • And what rights do they have?

      ” Although we love them very much, we strongly believe that they should not have existed in the first place. “

    • > Rutgers

      That’s when, if I were hiring an engineer, chemist, mathematician, or other professional… I’d toss their resume in the trash as soon as I saw “Rutgers.”

      The school is selling “a degree from Rutgers,” not an education. Theoretically, that implies the graduate has some certain level of skill. (yes, insert laughter here…)

      But if a school is teaching stuff like that, they’ve just devalued every degree they’ve ever offered, to something less valuable or useful than toilet paper.

      If I were a Rutgers alumnus, I’d be looking for a lawyer.

      • I know a number of Rutgers alumnus who were already pretty darned annoyed after the un-invite of Condeleeza Rice a year or two back.

      • Sending applicants packing with a copy of that article in their hand would eventually send a message to the school, but before that, there would be so many discrimination lawsuits that it would be hard to count them all.

  24. For some reason, what comes to mind is The Judean People’s Front vs. the People’s Front of Judea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4

  25. Notice no difference between sad and rabbids

    This is significant because while it is only occasionally sad season, it is always rabbid season.

  26. In my experience, the only an ass wants a “united front.”

    Just for my own information and understanding, I always wonder who gets to choose how we will be united, what we will front and how the decisions will be reached. In my experience, the answers to such questions generally devolve into “not you”, “things which you will find objectionable” and “we will tell you.”

    As as been said, Include me out.

    • There are situations in which you want to present a united front. Take your typical litigation for example – you want everyone on your side on the same page or your opponent is likely to exploit that. It is why good attorneys spend time preparing witnesses prior to their deposition, “refreshing” their recollection by taking them through the key documents and discussing the positions both sides are taking in the case.

      Even in negotiations, you want everyone on your side of the negotiation reading off the same basic playbook (i.e. presenting a “united front”). I actually spend a fair amount of my professional time making sure those internal folks going into a call with me are talking from the same script so that the idiot Business Development Executive (read salesperson) doesn’t give away a significant risk point that could cost the company serious dollars if things go wrong and/or make commitments our delivery folks are not prepared to meet.

      To quote Don Corleone in the context of a less civilized negotiation, “Never tell anyone outside the Family what you are thinking again.”

      • I’ve seen SF fans present an unified front. For instance, after some SF icon died, and they check out the obits and see whether the MSM has an inkling of a beginning of a clue Even those who liked neither the author nor the writings of the author would take it as a moment to see whether the genre was still being treated as trash.

        • I will allow that it would be useful for fans to present a united front in support of authors’ freedom to write and offer for sale the kind of stories they find interesting and that fans want to buy, without regard to whether anybody else in the field considers such stories offensive, inappropriate, oppressive or in any other way “not the sort of thing I want to read.”

          I haven’t gotten the impression that the defenders of the Status Quo Hugo support that, however, so if we’re going to point at people and accuse them of dividing fandom, maybe that’s where we ought start.

  27. I have always been partial to a form fitted double breasted cut with its double row of shiny brass buttons and found that a flourish of soutache braid finished it nicely.

    What? We are not talking about uniforms as in martial clothing. Oh. Never mind…

    • The uniform you describe is discriminatory against the single-breasted community and men-without-chests! The required uniform will be the Mao-jacket style, which is why Hillary, that trend-setter of the fashionistas (it said so in the Washington Post*) has been modelling them on the campaign trail.

      *Washington Post not italicized because it has ceased to be a newspaper.

      • I have shop towels that are also Red Rags, but those are useful. I wouldn’t use the Times to wash windows with, and that’s pretty far down the list.

      • Oh, that was a Mao jacket – I though she was making a play for the small remaining industrial vote by wearing a welding jacket. In fact, if she wore the welding helmet for the next debate she’d get even more votes, no doubt.

    • Professor Badness

      I like your style.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Since we Sad Puppies keep getting smeared as fascists, we might as well have the snappy uniforms, right?

  28. In a run off between the Messiah and Beelzebub there would be three or four custard heads who voted for Beelzebub in the firm belief he was misunderstood or maligned.

    After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there was one vote AGAINST declaring war in response.

    • Jeanette Rankin, of Montana. A thoroughly dedicated pacifist. Also kind of a twit.

      • How in the hell did MT elect a pacifist?

        • Unanimously?

          • Nope, but by about a 7500 vote margin. As to how it happened, she did come from family involved in state politics, and she had some other support, as she was part of the progressive wing of the Republican Party.

            • The anti-war movement was *much* larger than modern history books tend to make out, and powerful. That’s why the Flying Tigers existed, and Lend/Lease, and the Neutrality Acts, why why there were American pilots in the RAF and RCAF wearing British uniforms.

              That’s also why there was the persistent idea that Roosevelt set up Pearl Harbor to quash dissent from the anti-war groups. Later, we found out Pearl happened mostly because Secretary of State Cordell Hull was crazy and “selectively edited” messages between the Japanese and American governments…

              • Yes, there were strong anti-war, and isolationist movements in the US. There were also those who supported Germany.

                In the 1930s the German American Bund became a large organization, from Wikki:

                Arguably, the zenith of the Bund’s activities was the rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City on February 20, 1939. Some 20,000 people attended and heard Kuhn criticize President Roosevelt by repeatedly referring to him as “Frank D. Rosenfeld”, calling New Deal the “Jew Deal” and denouncing what he believed to be Bolshevik-Jewish American leadership. Most shocking to American sensibilities was the outbreak of violence between protesters and Bund storm troopers.

                (By the end of that year Kuhn was jailed for tax evasion and embezzlement. No one else was able to maintain the level of support for the cause and the organization fizzled.

                Many Americans not associated with the Bund were also anti-Semitic, so the reports of the German separation and suppression of the Jews not only did not bother them, but seemed desirable. The stories of the greater atrocities, when they did get reported, could be dismissed as war time propaganda. I have read that when we liberated the concentration camps General Eisenhower ordered that all officers tour the camps, as he knew that if there were not a large body of witnesses people would not believe the full extent of the horror of the holocaust. (In spite of all the witnesses and all the documentation we still had and have holocaust deniers.)

                Joseph Kennedy, Sr. thought we could do business with the Germans. (He was decidedly pro-Irish and anti-English.)

                And after WWI many Americans had become isolationist. They did not think that a war in Europe or Asia should be a matter of our concern. Some of them felt that we had pulled the European coals out of the fire and if they wanted to kill each other again let them. Why should we risk our sons for them?

                • Probably more importantly, Eisenhower also ordered that film footage be made of the death camps, for the same reason that you mention.

                  • Not for the queasy:

                    Generals George Patton, Omar Bradley, and Dwight Eisenhower arrived in Ohrdruf on April 12, the day of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. They found 3,200 naked, emaciated bodies in shallow graves. Eisenhower found a shed piled to the ceiling with bodies, various torture devices, and a butcher’s block for smashing gold fillings from the mouths of the dead. Patton became physically ill. Eisenhower turned white at the scene inside the gates, but insisted on seeing the entire camp. “We are told that the American soldier does not know what he was fighting for,” he said. “Now, at least he will know what he is fighting against.”

                    After leaving Ohrdruf, Eisenhower wrote to Chief of Staff General George Marshall, attempting to describe things that “beggar description.” The evidence of starvation and bestiality “were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick,” Bradley later wrote about the day: “The smell of death overwhelmed us.” Patton, whose reputation for toughness was legendary, was overcome. He refused to enter a room where the bodies of naked men who had starved to death were piled, saying “he would get sick if he did so,” Eisenhower reported. “I visited every nook and cranny.” It was his duty, he felt, “to be in a position from then on to testify about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief … that the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda.” (Seemingly, he intuited then that these crimes might be denied.)

                    Eisenhower issued an order that American units in the area were to visit the camp. He also issued a call to the press back home. A group of prominent journalists, led by the dean of American publishers, Joseph Pulitzer, came to see the concentration camps. Pulitzer initially had “a suspicious frame of mind,” he wrote. He expected to find that many of “the terrible reports” printed in the United States were “exaggerations and largely propaganda.” But they were understatements, he reported.

                    Within days, Congressional delegations came to visit the concentration camps, accompanied by journalists and photographers. General Patton was so angry at what he found at Buchenwald that he ordered the Military Police to go to Weimar, four miles away, and bring back 1,000 civilians to see what their leaders had done, to witness what some human beings could do to others. The MP’s were so outraged they brought back 2,000. Some turned away. Some fainted. Even veteran, battle-scarred correspondents were struck dumb. In a legendary broadcast on April 15, Edward R. Murrow gave the American radio audience a stunning matter-of-fact description of Buchenwald, of the piles of dead bodies so emaciated that those shot through the head had barely bled, and of those children who still lived, tattooed with numbers, whose ribs showed through their thin shirts. “I pray you to believe what I have said about Buchenwald,” Murrow asked listeners. “I have reported what I saw and heard, but only part of it; for most of it I have no words.” He added, “If I have offended you by this rather mild account of Buchenwald, I am not in the least sorry.”

                    It was these reports, the newsreel pictures that were shot and played in theaters, and the visits of important delegations that proved to be influential in the public consciousness of the still unnamed German atrocities and the perception that something awful had been done to the Jews.

                    Then the American forces liberated Dachau, the first concentration camp built by the Germans in 1933. There were 67,665 registered prisoners in Dachau and its subcamps; 43,350 were political prisoners; 22,100 were Jews, and a percentage of “others.” As Allied forces advanced, the Germans moved prisoners from concentration camps near the front to prevent their liberation. Transports arrived at Dachau continuously, resulting in severe deterioration of conditions. Typhus epidemics, poor sanitary conditions, and the weakened state of the prisoners worsened conditions further and spread disease even faster.

                    On April 26, 1945, as the Americans approached Dachau about 7,000 prisoners, most of them Jews, were sent on a death march to Tegernsee. Three days later, American troops liberated the main camp and found 28 wagons of decomposing bodies in addition to thousands of starving and dying prisoners. Then in early May 1945, American forces liberated the prisoners who had been sent on the death march.

                    • Various war crimes lists include the name of Lt. John Bushyhead.

                      Bushyhead was court-martialed for machine-gunning somewhere between 50 and 350 SS camp guards at Dachau. Circumstances were so confused the prosecutors couldn’t even come up with a figure for how many scum he eradicated. It seemed too many others wanted to take credit for it or swore he’d done nothing, both 7th Army and the surviving inmates.

                      Back home on the Reservation, the Cherokee called him “The Liberator of Dachau.”

      • A thoroughly dedicated pacifist. Also kind of a twit.

        Redundancy Alert!

  29. It’s the same in so many areas. For us, it was education. From my brother to most of my neighbors, people were horrified that we homeschooled. “Even for kindergarten?!?!” “How will your children ever be properly socialized?” As if that was something that could only properly happen in government schools under the correct educational theories. My favorite quote for that was from Allison Smith – “Walk down the hallway of any junior high, and please point out the behavior you think my child should emulate.” Properly brainwashed into non-thinking is more like it. We didn’t put them into school until we found a charter started by homeschoolers for high school – and we made sure they learned to think for themselves beforehand.

    • Yeah, I’m kind of regretting putting my kids in school, if only because of the bad manners they picked up; and that’s not even getting into the common core crap that they’ve dumped into the school curriculum. (I don’t blame the teachers; they were just as frustrated by the latter.)

      It took some doing but I’m glad those bad manners didn’t stick.

      I’ll have to remember that line. Thanks for sharing it!

    • I’ve been getting the “properly socialized’ thing from relatives…who I turn around and remind that they’ve been complaining about how “kids these days” (20-somethings) can’t manage to speak to adults since I was my kids’ age, but my kids are mildly obnoxious in their willingness to talk to anyone.

      • But… how else will they keep current on the latest hand jive, know where the best drug dealers operate, or pick up proper socialist programming?!

    • thephantom182

      Ah yes, homeschooling.

      Word to the wise for all and sundry: if you have an Odd kid, or a Gifted kid, or God help you a Gifted AND Odd kid, you really, really need to get that kid -out- of the school system. The “socialization” they’re getting is a Chinese water torture of boredom and rejection. They will grow up mean and violent. Ask me how I know.

      And restrain yourself from reaching down the throat of the next moron who says the calumny “socialization” to you. Pulling their liver out through their nose will be satisfying but not socially acceptable, sadly.

      • “Do not use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure, and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long

  30. “How will your children ever be properly socialized?”

    In my experience the people asking that question are prone to leaving out the middle “ist”.

    • In my experience the people asking that question are:

      1) neuro-Normal, center bell curve, fit-in-at-all-costs white sheep.
      2) not very bright.

      If you keep the kid home from school and just hang out with them, they will learn more that they will in school. For sure. If you actually teach them math and English, they will be reading high school stuff in Grade 5, university stuff by Grade 7. By high school they will be bored with the university stuff and picking holes in SJW memes for a giggle.

      Socialization is enhanced by not being tortured by the other white sheep all day, every day. People are not -born- with social anxiety disorder, they develop it after being trampled by the herd for the formative years of their young lives.

      • It’s a monkey thing to try to destroy the different. Keeps mutations down. Adults still try it, but kids give it full rein. I don’t know anyone who is not average and who had a happy time in school. Not helped by well meaning relatives and their older friends telling them these are the best days of their lives.

        • thephantom182

          “It’s a monkey thing to try to destroy the different.”

          Apparently, but isn’t that why we employ teachers? To TEACH the savages civilization? Not anymore, and it didn’t work well when I was a kid, back in the Dark Ages when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and TV was in black and white.

          Keep your Odd kid away from the friggin’ destructive little Normals until he/she learns all the dirty fighting stuff. That seems to be roughly high school. Then the higher intelligence really starts to kick in, and the white sheep get left in the dust.

          “…well meaning relatives and their older friends telling them these are the best days of their lives.”

          I’ve heard that so often, it makes me mad every time. If the best time of your life is over when you hit 20, and you’re probably going to live to be 90, you live in a place that you seriously need to leave. Oh, and I did, post haste.

          • There are no teachers (to speak of) employed in the public schools. They are indoctrinators, trained to deliver the New Truth (adjusted daily) in the guise of teaching. School curricula are carefully designed to limit if not prevent any actual teaching’s occurrence.

            Some brave resistance fighters remain active within the system, but their influence is limited to preserving a representation to kids of what actual teaching might be like. Programs are in effect to ensure their eventual eliminatiion from the system.

            Meanwhile, the Public Teachers’ Union in New Jersey is pushing a constitutional amendment to guarantee their pensions benefits cannot be reduced, no matter what effect that has on the budget.

            Because it is for the hostages children.

          • I’m lucky. My family is odd. We got a firm grounding in Who We Are, and knew that we could count on our parents…if we were right. 😀

            One of the (painfully accurate) insults my mom would sometimes offer was “the best time of his life was when he was in high school. Maybe college, but mostly high school.”

            • Free Range Oyster

              My parents are not Odd, though they are unusual in many ways, but most of their children and all of their grandchildren are. Probably all of us kids are, but one sibling chose to be the white sheep of the family (we still love him anyway). At this point our Oddity is part of the clan culture, and the Oyster Wife and I have thoroughly indoctrinated our children in that part.

              On the “best time of your life” bit, I just want to state that I despise the song “Summer of ’69” and all its spiritual kin. Even if your high school experience was awesome (and I’ve friends who loved it), what kind of pathetic life do you have to have that you can’t improve on it?

          • oh, yeah, the teachers are selected to be on the end of dim these days — because what they have to swallow as “training” requires that. Though a few smart ones slip through. They must go through hell in college — which means they side with the little darlings trying to destroy the different.
            The number of times the middle school told me my son had to “learn to play the game.” because he didn’t want to engage in stupid crap.
            Then we pulled him out, he was homeschooled for a while, went to a dual college/high school program and is now taking three engineering degrees concurrently. Meanwhile the kids who played the game are potheads.

            • Oh, it’s worse than that; most education programs announce up front that unless you can provide ample evidence of your SJWness they will either not admit you or find a reason to kick you out.

            • thephantom182

              Congratulations to you Mom, and Dad, you got it done. Success is the best revenge.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Which disciplines?

          • It does explain why so many of them refuse to grow up, though.

        I’m tired. After several months of averaging about six and a half hours a night, I got two nights of over eight hours, and then another short night last night…and I generally need eight to function. So pardon the ramble, please.

        We were a bit worried about the Duchess. Until she was five, we couldn’t be sure she was reading words rather than being really good at remembering stuff and decoding indications.

        Then she had an argument with my mother about if “body butter” was lotion…. (She’s still skeptical. If it’s lotion, why does it have food pictures, and why is it labeled butter?)

        No, this isn’t an “everyone can do this” outcome for homeschooling; this is two girls who are very intelligent and driven, though driven by different things. (Princess adores praise; Duchess adores competition.) Princess has been reading the instructions in her lesson books since we started “formally” homeschooling her. She’s also been reading to her sister since she figured out books have words, which is good since I hate reading out loud.

        ….The Baron just yelled “PENTAGON!” because he’s playing some game online where you use tools to cut out shapes. The point being to learn the names of the tools and roughly how they work, while practicing fine motor control with the mouse.
        (He was wrong, it was a hexagon, but considering that he’s three, not too bad. He’s also learned rather horrifyingly advanced vocabulary from tablet games. ‘Avoid the obstacle’ and ‘look, an excavator,’ really?)

        The Empress is still at the “arguing that all four-legged furry animals are dogs or cats” stage, but she also randomly sings the first few lines of the ABC song. Which I do not sing to her. Dang sisters are tutoring her….


        A big thing with homeschooling is that it feeds on itself. My kids teach each other, show off, compete…help. The Duchess is better with numbers than her big sister; her sister is (obviously) better informed about almost everything. They’re both interested in mostly different things but will be utterly delighted to talk to each other, or anyone else that will hold still. Being enthusiastic is a good thing, not a vulnerability.

      • The owner of my friendly local game store has commented from time to time on the fact that he actually provides a valuable service to the community. By providing a place for people to play games, he fosters the development of face to face social skills in a competitive environment. The toxicity of the online community is avoided, and people learn to interact with others without starting a fist fight (at least, they do if they want to continue playing games in the store).

  31. Not entirely germane but too delightful to not spread:

    An FBI special agent who was interviewed in connection with the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s conduct as Secretary of State provides a stunning window into Hillary’s character, or lack thereof:

    ] explained that CLINTON’s treatment of DS [Department of State] agents on her protective detail was so contemptuous that many of them sought reassignment or employment elsewhere. Prior to CLINTON’s tenure, being an agent on the Secretary of State’s protective detail was seen as an honor and a privilege reserved for senior agents. However, by the end of CLINTON’s tenure, it was staffed largely with new agents because it was difficult to find senior agents willing to work with her.

    — — —
    So, punishment duty?

    Q: If assigned to Hillary’s presidential detail, would you be willing too take a bullet for her?

    A: Take a bullet, hurl myself on a grenade, face a grizzly mom with just a butterknife … anything, anything to not have to listen to her!

    • Several former Secret Service members have gone public about their absolute loathing for Hillary.

      The only other politician that came close was LBJ, and at least he didn’t actively try to make their lives miserable.

  32. And most of the time I go to Barnes and Noble and can’t find anything I WANT to read.

    Ha! I remember when that started happening to me in the 1990s. I couldn’t believe I was leaving the premises with NO BOOKS. I’d come to the B&N specifically because I desperately wanted to buy (and then read) some wonderful new-to-me books. But I hadn’t found a single one I wanted to bring home with me. It seemed outrageous.

    I had so many memories of browsing the wire racks of the drugstore near the college grounds in the early 1980s and stumbling upon amazing reads. I wanted that experience back again!

    When I left B&N empty-handed the next half-dozen times I visited, I was forced to realize that those serendipitous discoveries just weren’t going to happen any more. And I stopped going to B&N. Or any other brick-and-mortar bookstore.

    Of course, now I read mostly ebooks, so online is the way to go for that. 😉

  33. I believe I first ran across this ‘United Front’ concept back when I was about fourteen (c. 1966) and came across a Donald Wollheim ‘non-fiction’ book on SF at the local library. Started flipping through it and found a passage where Wollheim argued that all SF writers should slant their stories so as to support certain assumptions about the future. Such as that a single world government would be A Good Thing. I may not have been able to drive yet, but I snorted and put the book back on the shelf.

    (And it being Wollheim, ‘United Front’ is the right way to describe it, i.e., like the old commie political tactic.)

  34. Free Range Oyster

    Moving to the top level to get away from the threading wall. Sarah mentioned a few books that she considered essential to be well-read in SF. I’d really like to get further input on that, candidates for a SF Canon/Great Books as it were. What do you all suggest?

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Doc Smith.

      • Free Range Oyster

        Any in particular?

        • Lensmen and Skylark series. BIG suspension of disbelief on the FTL in Skylark needed, though.

          • My favorite SciFi guilty pleasure. Such a shock when I learned accumulator is a obsolete synonym of battery. Battery powered FTL spaceships! 🙂

          • Elements of those are problematic now. Certain commonly accepted expressions of racism (two words: Fenochrone Genocide) in Skylark and Lensmen contains significant amoebophobic themes.

            More to the point, Smith’s prose was vividly purple even at the time the books were written, likely reflective of the era more than the writer, and it wears badly today. Still significant for sense of wonder and pushing the boundaries of science (Warp drive is simply a refinement of Smith’s hypertubes.)

    • The Heinlein juveniles, which should be required reading.

      I am particularly found of The Star Beast, Have Spacesuit — Will Travel</IL and Citizen of the Galaxy.

      • Bother! Sorry! Ham-handed fingers! Should have closed italics after ‘travel’ and reopened then at ‘citizen’. (Anyway, all of you should know these titles without thought.)

      • Isaac Asimov Foundation series. Poul Anderson. Keith Laumer.

        • Free Range Oyster

          Anything particular by Laumer and Anderson?

          • Retief series by L:aumer and Hoka series he co-wrote with Gordon R. Dickson. I’m mentioning the easiest read not the best ideas etc.

          • The Sound and the Furry (The Complete Hoka Stories) is available on Amazon. I felt about GR Dickson the way Mrs. Hoyt feels about Heinlein.

          • Anderson’s High Crusade has aged extremely well and is a cautionary note about assuming technological advancement equates to political advancement.

            I think Jack Williamson’s With Folded Hands is among the essential from that era. Published in 1917 it rebuts Star Trek‘s “replicator” economy twenty years before Trek.

    • Dang you, Free Range Oyster! What part of “You could get a post and several hundred comments out of the “essential” SF” had you confused?

      You owe Sarah at least three guest posts discussing the evolution of SF from Golden Age to New Wave to The Present. Maybe four, as it seems likely there was a phase there, post New Wave, on which I am blanking (perhaps because so little memorable work was published?) Breaking it down into significant authors, works, themes, influences (e.g., Sputnik, Star Trek, Star Wars) and elements. Say, 1930* – 1955, 1956 – 1980, 1981 – 2000, 2001 – Present. In the first couple phases attention might also be paid to the editors of important SF magazines

      *First publication of Astounding Stories of Super-Science.

      • Free Range Oyster

        My dear wallaby, I would love to do so, but I don’t know that history. That’s why I asked! I have been an eclectic reader and largely without guidance my entire life. I’ve only begun to dig into the roots of this my tribe in the last few years. I know enough at this point that I might be able to ask the right questions, and I love the idea of reading and assembling the key influential works in science fiction, but I’m only just beginning.

  35. The Hoka series was co-written by Dickson and Anderson. Dickson I’d recommend Soldier, Ask Not, Wolf and Iron, Way of the Pilgrim. Time Storm. Dickson would take a familiar sf idea and make it fresh.

    • My apologies, ma’am, for the correction up above; I had not realized you’d crossed the streams and posted your own correction down here.