On Being Persona Non Grata

expulsionfromEden

You could say I have a contrary disposition.  You could also say water is wet.

My brother who is almost ten years older than I, loved to tease me.  When I started taking languages and literature and emerged as one of the better students and therefore likely to have a career in diplomacy, he once spent a summer night making up a mock-newspaper of my adventures 20 years in the future, when I’d have been declared persona non grata in most of the world’s countries, and sometimes offered money to go away.

It was funny.  What it wasn’t, by then, was really true.

You see, I’ve always had a contrary disposition, and will stick like a Spanish mule, and put my four hooves down as if set in cement, if you try to push me – personally – in any direction.

But by the time he did that I was in college.  And I wasn’t stupid.  At least not stupid in the social-reading sense.

I knew where the power was, even if all the Marxists who wielded power at every institution of learning insisted they were the underdog.  I’d learned in high school that I had to toe the political line or be punished.

And I’m an introvert.  I don’t like scenes.

And I’m human.  I want to be liked and accepted by the group, at least superficially.

And then there was the fact that I thought I’d spend the rest of my life in Portugal where, as a young man from there said on FB yesterday “There are only different kinds of socialists.”  So, there was no point being the voice that cries in the desert.  We remember what happened to such voices, right?

So I went along to go along, and yes, I’m smart enough to pretend.  Also, I’ll be honest, their ideology is a very simple lens.  It’s easy to fake.

I don’t know what changed or when.  I would think it was 9/11, but before that I’d become a fire eating, don’t tread on me Libertarian, the kind who thinks we really can get along without any government.

It was, you know, that a lot of my assumptions about the things the Leftists were right on had started collapsing as I read and understood more: the dangers of overpopulation; ecological disaster looming; the problems of child labor in developing countries.

I’d started reading Sowell on economics, and suddenly it made sense as Marxist economics never did.  And then someone, maybe for a prank, sent me a subscription to Reason then under Virginia Postrel’s editorship.  I fell headlong into “everything the Marxists ever taught me was wrong”  — which is true – but went all the way to the other side of no borders and no government.

I came back with a shock on 9/11.  I think my mind was already laboring at it, because my story Traveling, Traveling is about the dangers of bringing disparate cultures together too fast, and about the fact some people will want their isolation and kill to maintain it.

I still stayed quiet in my public life.  Well, quiet on politics, that is.  Through my thirties and forties, I kept my mouth zipped.  I even tried to pretend. And heaven help me, I must have been very bad at it.

Call it being out of practice in pretending, since in the years of working towards publication I only had to please myself.  I must have been better in Portugal.  Or maybe in Portugal they weren’t on the constant lookout for heresy as progressives have been here, in the last ten years, when their monopoly on information got threatened.

It became obvious, from whispers caught (and my kids heard more, and of course told me.  My kids being darker than I, most people didn’t realize they were mine.  And Kate also heard things) that my career was being curtailed anyway.  They weren’t SURE so I’d be allowed to keep working at a low level, and they watched me all the time.  But I was given no opportunities (hell, I wasn’t allowed to have even chance opportunities) for career advancement just in case I was evil and “conservative” (which in this context means “to the right of Lenin.”)

I still couldn’t come out of the closet and continue being employed.  I did consider just quitting, but Dan asked me to hold on another year.  And besides, the other house ate money by the handfuls, which means though Dan makes enough to support us, the house would suddenly swallow 14 or 15k because a kid fell in the shower and supported himself on the tiled wall.  (Which is when we found out the idiots who flipped the house before we bought it hadn’t put green board behind.  That was…. Er… fun.  When we were done rebuilding walls and putting in mold abatement, my entire earnings for that year had gone to it and taxes.)

So.  I kept my trap zipped and continued working.  I didn’t want to be persona non grata.

I still don’t want to be persona non-grata.  I only started talking about politics, because my (then) agent told me I had to blog every day.  And it’s impossible to blog every day without writing about what matters to you, which – given that I have this wound from the cold war, and it only hurts when I laugh – sooner or later the anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-Marxism, anti-statism would come pouring out like vitriol.  It just would.

And you’d think in the USA in the twenty first century being against those things would not make you persona non grata.  Except of course it does.

Just the other day there was another announcement for a new magazine for marginalized voices: women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. And my head kind of twisted.  If they’re marginalized, that means most publishing slots are for conservative white males, right?  This idiot actually went out of her way to say she was opposing the Sad Puppies and promoting marginalized voices.

Will one of you tell me what major publishing house we control?  Baen books is just agnostic on politics, certainly not a “right wing house” and even if it were, it’s not one of the big four.  So, what other major publishing house runs itself by the principles of Sad Puppies?  Much less the principles the idiots think Sad Puppies followed?

And if we’re not in control of any major house, any magazine, why are these people they want to make a new magazine for “marginalized”?  WHO “marginalizes” them?  H*ll most of the editors, publishers and writers in my field seem to be women. It reminds me of being in an all girls’ school in middle school.  And H*ll, if you throw in romance, women vastly outnumber men in all publishing.  As for race, you know, there was never a time ANYONE asked me to state my race or paintchip color (Home depot Spun Gold, thank you) on a submission.  And no one can hear my accent in writing.  So if I was discriminated against, it wasn’t race!

In the end it was this, the screaming like you’re hurt while hitting other people: the active marginalization of conservatives and libertarians and even traditional democrats (even Hamilton would be read out of the current Democratic Party, I think.  And the man was a monarchist who believed in a powerful central government) while screaming that the leftists, communists, socialists and assorted proponents of the ideas that killed 100 million people were the downtrodden ones that sent me running out of the political closet.

Do I like it?  Not much.

The visions of myself, refracted, like mirrors, go echoing through the net.  On the right I get called a happy warrior.  On the left I get called crazier names, including “politically insane.”  Or “fascist.”  Or of course, the old standby “racist, sexist, homophobic” because I refuse to bow to their aesthetics of “good art is that done in the service of the eventual Marxist state.”  (Most of them don’t even remember how that came about, but yeah, that’s it.)

And even those on our side sometimes say you know, I talk too much, I talk too loudly.

I know it loses me readership.  Several people on the left were fans of Darkships before they found out my real politics.

And I never wanted to be persona non grata, whatever Alvarim thought.

But what else can I do?  The more we stay silent and let lies go around the world again and again and again, the greater the chance Western Civ dies.

And for all its faults, western civ, the notion of individual liberty, the power of only semi-fettered markets, have lifted more humans out of poverty than ever before.  They have almost eliminated famines not caused by bloody stupid kleptocracies. They’ve proven the best for avoiding those dystopian outcomes: overpopulation, pollution, famine.

I know which world I want my children and grandchildren to live in.

And if I must be persona non grata, so be it.  I’m human. Like all humans I want to be liked, to belong, to be accepted in the dominant culture of my time.  But when the dominant culture of my time is a poisonous and undermining lie, there are more important things than being liked.  There are more important things than personal success.

At another time, in another place, I’d have stayed quiet in my library, writing my fiction.

But this is not another time.  And we’re not given a choice.

I’m not a happy warrior.  I fight because I must.

Because everything I believe in depends on it.

439 responses to “On Being Persona Non Grata

  1. The recent example of Kathy Griffen illustrates the “marginalized” mindset. Like formerly fat people gone bulimic, the Leftists are incapable of perceiving themselves as other than victims. Even when one of them shoots herself in her own foot, it must, must be the fault of the white male patriarchy.
    This drives them ever deeper into witch hunts, searching for the kulaks and wreckers who can never, ever, be themselves. Their faults are ever in the stars, not in themselves. So even as they become the establishment they imagine themselves marginalized.

    Such insanity cannot last, and intervention is required. Even from those of us who believe there is no fighting city hall, and that a person cannot be reasoned out of positions they didn’t reach by reason. And such contrariness, such insistence that they are victims of their own conceit will never make a body welcome.

  2. paladin3001

    c4c

  3. One of the reasons I chose to publish indie is because I didn’t want my political beliefs held hostage by a major house(okay, so ONE of the reasons…others include having the level of control I like to have). I don’t put my views out there for the general public, but I don’t hide them from friends either. And in this polarized age, it only takes one to take offense and “out” you.

    I don’t talk about my politics in my blog or my work, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hold strong views. I wonder how many others are out there like that…

    • Count me in for that. I don’t typically talk politics in a professional setting, but I don’t shy from it in more private gatherings. And while I don’t trumpet my religious beliefs from the rooftops every chance I get, I also don’t hide the fact that I regularly attend church. If it comes out in the course of conversation, it’s just because that’s who I am. If someone takes offense to that or refuses to take me seriously after that, then that’s on them.

      However, I’m shifting more in to your camp as time goes on, Sarah. Marxism demands conformity of thought or, at the very least, obedience. That’s anathema to individual liberty, and the primary reason the other side wants to disarm everyone and then marginalize/ban any belief that doesn’t match theirs. Silence, on the face of it, looks like consent, and it just emboldens the other side to push the envelope further and further.

      We definitely live in interesting times.

      • Marxism demands conformity of thought or, at the very least, obedience.

        When you live a lie, Truth is your enemy.

    • Count me in for that as well. I don’t particularly hide my political sympathies – but I don’t blare them to all and sundry, especially when it comes to my books and my book-blogging.

      But anyone trying to force me into toeing a political line … nope, nope and nope.

      • OT: Bought and love Luna City IV. I enjoy this series a bunch.

      • I don’t particularly hide my political sympathies …

        Oh, I do hide mine. They are known to only a select few.

    • Indie is the reason, after reading here and MGC and going to a couple of indie panels at a con, I dusted off my interest in being a writer that I’d shelved (mostly despite occasional flirtations and a love affair with NaNoWriMo that never seemed to last past my birthday) thirty years ago.

      I had realized even then getting published was more a crapshoot popularity contest pretty much 100% out of my control that had at most a tangental relationship to ability, skill, or work.

      As of Saturday I actually put something up on KU. Mostly to give a run at the system and not expecting anything to come out of it, but in part to prove that I can write and I can publish and that is under my control.

  4. Off on a limb somewhere, but I’m reasonably sure it’s tangentially related:

    This Sunday we sang “Let There Be Peace on Earth” (which I’m not entirely sure belongs in church, but oh well, nobody asked me), with the words changed to be gender-neutral. I could not sing that part of the verse, for multiple reasons, including the fact that in changing the words, they also took out the familial metaphors of the song.

    • Such conversions to contemporary political needs are often awkward. In reading about the NY Shakespeare IIn The Park production featuring Donald Trump as Julius Caesar I have wondered how the producers handled Antony’s “Come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” speech. As the core of the play seems to be a defense of Caesar as unjustly slain by senators acting outside the law for fear of their standing in society the insertion of Trump in the title rols seems somewhat at odds with their presumed purpose.

      But, what would I know? I haven’t read the play since High School and back then we naively assumed the text of a play mattered. Heck, we were so ignorant we didn’t even suspect Brutus’ motivation was thwarted homosexual desire for Caesar.

      • My first thought on that last sentence was “WTF?” and then I realized…

        You know, my main bar is what most people would consider a gay bar and I still think half the literary (and political) LGBTAOMGWTFBBQ is nuts (hell, they are arguing what the A is for).

      • Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
        I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
        The evil that men do lives after them;
        The good is oft interred with their bones;
        So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
        Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
        If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
        And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
        Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
        For Brutus is an honourable man;
        So are they all, all honourable men–
        Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
        He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
        But Brutus says he was ambitious;
        And Brutus is an honourable man.
        He hath brought many captives home to Rome
        Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
        Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
        When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
        Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
        Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
        And Brutus is an honourable man.
        You all did see that on the Lupercal
        I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
        Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
        Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
        And, sure, he is an honourable man.
        I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
        But here I am to speak what I do know.
        You all did love him once, not without cause:
        What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
        O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
        And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
        My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
        And I must pause till it come back to me.

      • Oh, yeah. People are sometimes thrown off by the thought of a king replacing a republic, but Shakespeare, while he disapproved of usurpers, was writing a story in which the king would not be shoving the rightful king off. Even if he had accepted the crown, Shakespeare would have thought it all right. (It was granted that the kings were originally selected by the people, though it was generally treated as a final decision.)

    • Oh yeah. Politically corrected church music. I’d rather eat dung first. What good is separation of church and state when the Church becomes an advocate of the State? I’m fairly certain that BAD things come from that. One of the reasons I’m highly critical and suspicious of the current Pope, regardless of how nice a guy he seems to be.

      Freedom of thought from government control is one thing. Freedom of thought from social or economic control is a whole ‘nother animal. When you’re considered a heretic and put in the shunned box; it makes it really tough to interact socially with anyone. And it makes obtaining an income to be able to pay the bills problematic. As in, you can’t pay your property tax, so you have to sell (below value of course) and leave town. Banishment for the modern age. The big problem with that is, if everywhere is communo-socialist, there’s nowhere for the banished to go. It used to be that those so banished, could come to the United States, that first and last bastion of freedom.

      Which means that there’s nowhere else to go. i.e. Good job, progressives! You’ve just managed to back the conservative-libertarian crowd into a corner and threatened our existence.

      The Trump election was the first sign that we’ve stopped backing up. I know the progressives are too stupid to realize they’ve committed the equivalent of backing a grizzly bear into a corner; so they’ll be making all sorts of noises when we start ripping their noses off with a swipe of 4, razor-sharp, 4-inch claws backed by half a ton of mean, pissed-off muscle.

      • What good is separation of church and state when the Church becomes an advocate of the State?

        Ooops, almost forgot … per the inestimable Bernie Sanders, Article VI of the US Constitution has been repealed. What’s in Article VI that needed to be repealed? Only that silly prohibition against religious litmus tests …
        https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bernie+sanders+religious+litmus+test&atb=v52-2_a&ia=web

        • Oh, Nationalist Socialist Bernie is just taking advantage of the “unless it’s inconvenient” clause that all the D Senators insert how ever many times they need to in their oath of office:

          I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

        • Actually, while Sen. Sanders is imposing a religious test for his vote, since it is a criteria only for his vote and not national criteria for holding federal office, I’m not sure that it’s unconstitutional. Sen. Sanders and Mr. Vought ended up talking past each other. Mr. Vought could have cut to the chase by saying “Senator Sanders, if even my own family doesn’t accept Jesus, they are condemned as well. That’s the default condition for everyone. I doubt Sen. Sanders would be any less displeased, but at least he’d know something about basic Christian doctrine.

          Something to remember about Sen. Sanders: some of his family died in the Holocaust, and I doubt he knows any more about what Christians believe than the average journalist. Dollar to donuts, he sees Mr. Vought’s statement as something besides a strictly religious argument. Either that, or he’s looking for an excuse not to vote for a Trump nominee.

          • Family dead in the Holocaust, and he identifies as a National Socialist.

            That alone tells me what I need to know about Sanders’ historical knowledge and idiocy.

          • Sanders has a better excuse than Massachusetts I>Catholic, Teddy Kennedy, who goggled at John Ashcroft having proclaimed “We will have no king but Jesus.”

            Mr. Vought might have best served by advising Sen. Sanders, “With all due respect, senator, I do not believe that the OMB has anything to say about who gets into Heaven.”

      • One of the things lost when the Progs conquered education and stopped teaching civics was the idea that separation of church and state exists as much to protect the church from political force as it does to protect the state from the domination of one denomination.

        • Polliwog the 'Ette

          I would say that it is entirely to protect the Church side of the equation. People forget (or plain don’t know with modern education) that the church in the time of the Founders was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the English government staffed entirely by people who served at the will of those in that government. Yes there were rebels and non-compliant teachers/pastors as well but they were few and had no official standing.

          • Feather Blade

            One thing, from reading history, that you can just about universally guarantee – when the Church gets in bed with the Government, it’s the Church that ends up screwed.

      • The big problem with that is, if everywhere is communo-socialist, there’s nowhere for the banished to go.

        There is a reason I have notes for a universe where the settlement of the solar system really gets going with US conservative megachurches. They are organizations with the membership, money, skillsets, and, increasingly, the reason to do so.

        • Do you have to be a member of the church to join their space program? If I wasn’t so old and broken I’d love to join their program. There’s an enormous Church that I passed on the way to a doctor.

          Please let the Free Range Oyster tell us about your books, when they are produced.

          • I haven’t gotten that far…the idea has its genesis 30 odd years ago and about a decade and a half ran into John Carr intro to a Piper collection…but maybe they should get slotted in the pipeline (this forenight’s story is a weird submarine idea I had once).

            • Oh, and an offhand idea from the second book in the Titan series (was that Demon?) by Varley concerning religious cults and L5 colonies that seemed a riff on 70s communes but I suspect was more right than wrong feed into it too.

            • 30 years ago I was young and healthy enough to join.

              • So was I. Now not so much but still willing to risk it. I suspect nearly everyone here would happily embrace “Requiem”.

                • Weird, I have pretty much the same notes. Mine date back to my teens . . . Must have been something in the ether.

                  • Well, great minds and all, but yeah I would say combined with a working knowledge of the early colonies (still taught when we went to school) and the growing hostility to religion that really got going in the mid-80s I think it was “obvious”.

                    But, as I like to say, it’s not what happens but how you tell the story so I hope we both write them. I might be more interested in your version than mine 🙂 (and know I know I have to make mine better).

                    • I’ve read anthologies where the same story idea was given to all the authors and all wrote something different. The stories were interesting.

        • See Grayson and the Church of Humanity Unchained.

      • The big problem with that is, if everywhere is communo-socialist, there’s nowhere for the banished to go.

        Reagan spoke about that on many occasions, but I prefer the Readers’ Digest version: G-d Save Texas.

    • I’m not sure which denomination you attend, Jasini, but you may want to consider checking around some other local churches to see if it’s just that one. Our church is fairly conservative in its study of the Word, and I have yet to encounter a politically corrected hymn, although I’m certain some of the others in town are trending that way. And our church caters to the nearby college, too, with lots of student attendees outside the summer months, and so far there hasn’t been any clamoring from them about going PC.

      • It may be somewhat foreign to your experience (everyone), but I recommend attending an Orthodox Church liturgy sometime to see what you think. The Orthodox Church is probably the most theologically conservative church around, and I guarantee that there will never be any changing of the liturgy or the hymns to satisfy some changing political winds in secular society.

        • I second all of this.

          We’ve been on the same liturgy for more or less 1400 centuries (or 1500 on high holy days when we do a full St. Basil).

          • ?? You don’t really mean 140,000 or 150,000 years, right? Or else I’m missing something obvious due to dehydration. (Sometimes it’s hard to remember to drink enough water when you grew up where 15-20% humidity is normal at 90ºF, and now live where it’s closer to 80% at 90ºF. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

    • Yeah, just sing it right. That’s what I do, and all the Little Old Ladies who are singing by memory are with me. But I’d do it anyway. Because I’m ornery like that.

      Words mean things. Where they get off claiming the old words aren’t inclusive is historical ignorance is all. Why the heck do they want to exclude women from equality? I’d much rather be included as a son, with the inheritance implicit in that. (You note it’s spelled out in Job, that the daughters got a share?)

    • Unfortunately, nothing new. Isaac Watts’ At the Cross has changed from

      Alas! And did my Savior bleed
      And did my Sovereign die?
      Would He devote that sacred head
      For such as worm as I?

      to

      Alas! And did my Savior bleed
      And did my Sovereign die?
      Would He devote that sacred head
      For sinners such as I?

      I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day has been rearranged by switching verses about to make it more triumphant, but far less powerful. Some versions of The Star Spangled Banner in hymnals is the WWII version with the deleted third verse (so it wouldn’t offend our British allies). So it goes.

      BTW, I’ll see Let There Be Peace on Earth with Life is Like a Mountain Railroad and raise with The Sweetest Gift (A Mother’s Smile). Yes, both found their way into hymnals and I’ve sung both in Church.

      • There is nothing worse than when people attempt to alter the old hymns (or new) because they are offended by the implications of the original words. I almost cheered out loud when I heard that Keith and Kristyn Getty actually refused to license their hymn In Christ Alone to one of the denominations who wanted to put it in their hymn book. Why? the denomination (sorry, forget which one) only wanted it if they could alter the line about “as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied”. ‘Wrath’ was, apparently, too strong and potentially offensive and scary for unsaved people.
        Somehow, I get the feeling if you could ask the original writers of the old hymns, their reaction would be similar to the Getty’s.

    • Oh, the “we are family” version? (It would sound cooler to segue into https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMVe_HcyP9Y). I’d like to hear the version that goes “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with that guy over there…”

  5. Dragonknitter

    Yep, poisonous fairy tales from self deluded spoilt brats imposed on the sane majority…couldn’t get power the honest way. There are none so deluded as they who delude themselves.

  6. Paul Koning

    There would be lots of interesting variants of “what first set you on the libertarian road” story. I like yours of starting with Sowell. I started, as so many did, with Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged). Next, I think, was Neil Smith (The Probability Broach), with some Heinlein thrown in (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and a couple others whose names don’t come to mind). Then the Federalist Papers — which is an amazing collection of propaganda pieces that didn’t even come close to coming true…

    • L.Neil Smith introduced me to Libertarians. I didn’t know there was such a thing, then I found out I was one. Surprise!

      • When Mike and I first met I was a Republican and he was a Democrat. During the 1998 election, we took some online quiz. We answered one question differently. Turns out we’re both libertarians.

    • Oh, Heinlein was there in the back of my mind. but I interpreted him as “just an American thing” and never read him as POLITICS until the transformation had started.

      • I knew you had been influenced by Heinlein, but this is the first I’ve heard you mention Virginia Postrel. I very much liked her tenure at Reason, more than I liked the magazine under her predecessor or whoever runs it now. I can’t say that I agree with everything the Libertarians preach, but I think they have a lot of worthwhile ideas.

  7. Jon Del Arroz

    Nicely said. Keep fighting the good fight.

  8. > grata

    Who wants their grata, when you have ours?

  9. My politics developed from reading Heinlein at an early age.
    It was through him that I first encountered the concept of the rational anarchist which I categorize thusly:
    All government is evil.
    People being human, some government is necessary to allow them to live in close proximity to each other. Some rules are required to facilitate interactions and trade as an alternative to bloody violence.
    People being human, pure anarchy presents the opportunity for those few who seek power and control over others to gain such by force. A limited government lets those who simply want to live their lives in peace to band together and stand up to the strong men who would have it otherwise.
    But when government is allowed to grow unchecked it becomes the tool of those very same strong men to dominate and control the citizens. The founding fathers recognized this and did their level best to codify restrictions that they hoped would prevent such a perversion of this new Republic they were creating.
    Seeing what we’ve become over some 240 years would I suspect greatly sadden and disappoint them. For the strong men have infected not only government, but every institution, every mechanism for education or social interaction. And make no mistake, socialism is at root nothing more than a tool for those same strong men to control and manipulate the people.

  10. Not that I have the funds or ability, but if there isn’t already a Persona Non Grata Publishing

    (Sadly, it would not surprise me if there was such, but tuned to the left of Stalin.)

    • One day there will be a Dark Etiquette publishing (even if only has Tina and I) which if I am lucky might fill the role.

      • The name sounds slightly creepy.

        • They focus on rules of he road for maritime passing in cases of incliment​ weather. Ya know, red to red, green to green.

        • It was my radio show back when I spun goth/industrial 3-4 hours/week (depending on the incarnation). I have kept it for any creative stuff.

  11. Christopher ALLEN

    I have to say I’m not a huge fan of your books, but I positively love this blog. I find it hard to believe that English is not your first language. You put into words feelings that I can’t fully express.

    • No shame in not having a taste for somebody’s work. Definitely not if you’re intelligent enough to frame it as a matter of taste instead of yelling that somebody can’t write because of their views. 😀

  12. I know exactly what started me down the Libertarian road. L. Neil Smith and the Canadian government’s gun control project. Before I read The Probability Broach I didn’t know there was “Libertarian.” Before the Canadian government made me an instant criminal and took away my stuff, I didn’t really care all that much.

    Afterward, that was different. I took the opportunity to LEAVE Canada and live in the USA for ten years. Worth it!

    But all the books have dried up. No more Libertarians in public life. As if something… happened… to them. Know what I mean?

    So, now I know that the remedy to an inimical culture is to write a new one. Which I am busy doing.

    • Bunch of them moved to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. I forget how many seats in the state Senate and House they hold. They hold a bunch of local positions all over the state. Biggest hindrance for them is they often have to run under the GOP ticket, instead of openly as libertarians; although some of them do anyway. Unfortunately, the federal level representatives are all packed with feminist progressives.

      • There was one in CO, too…

      • Paul Koning

        NH is libertarian enough to have adopted Constitutional Carry earlier this year (after electing a Republican governor who signed the bill, rather than his leftie predecessor who kept vetoing them).
        Phantom, if by “public life” you mean elected politics, there never were more than a handful of explicit libertarians there. Some more libertarian-ish people like the Pauls, though you have to wonder about Rand’s reply to the recent shooting (why wasn’t he carrying already, and why didn’t he say he’s going to now?).
        As for books, Neil is still publishing good stuff. James P. Hogan often did good work, unfortunately he died too soon. (Interesting to see libertarian work from a Brit.) Then there is Rolf Nelson, though his publisher seems to be short on bandwidth.

        • Perhaps as a physician Paul thinks it is wrong for him to carry.

          Afterall, isn’t the essence of being libertarian, after all, isn’t to prescribe what actions people should take but to celebrate their right to choose actions. I am a big supporter of people carrying yet don’t and, until two weeks ago, didn’t even have ammo for the 45 in the house (crazy ex-friend of the wife changed my perceived threat enough to change that).

          • Paul Koning

            “… as a physician”. Perhaps. If so, he’s just as misguided as those who mistranslate the Commandment as “thou shalt not kill” rather than the correct “thou shalt not commit murder”. The Hippocratic oath is about medical practice, it does not say anything against self defense.
            Quite apart from that, it’s hypocritical to pretend to be against self defense and instead hire others for your defense instead. While one expects that from liberals, a politician who cares about personal freedom and personal responsibility should know better and act accordingly.

  13. “What is the richest nation on earth?”
    “What nation had the fewest rules about stuff?”
    Gee, think those might just be related some?

    Yeah, the USA has a great land mass and some wonderful natural resources. So do many other places. And a few places might be richer per capita due to oil or some such. Now, how many of those places do the people with the wealth travel to the USA for things.. like a visit to Mayo? And how much goes the other way?

    So many places could be so great… if they’d just take their foot off the brake. But they insist that’s the accelerator and need to press harder – and so should we.

    Are they delusional?
    Are they idiots?
    Or is it yes?

    • As folks on another set of blogs I frequent have adapted as a motto (and I’m certain we didn’t originate the phrase): “Embrace the power of AND”. In so many cases where something can be a case of maliciousness or stupidity, the correct answer is BOTH.

    • Venezuela has a great land mass and natural resources. And they were doing quite well for a while. Hmm, what changed?

      • And Argentina was within a hairs-breadth of being a first-world country… before they ran afoul of Juan Peron and believed his promises of soak the rich (and the middle-class) to benefit the poor mob. Instant descent into caudillo rule and third-world hell.

        • Actually, I think Argentina fell off the wagon a little earlier than Peron’s misrule. A radical president was elected in 1916 that set the stage for Juan and Eva. He ruled until about 1930 when a military coup overthrew him. This is when Argentina fell totally off the rails to being a rich nation.

    • Yes, it’s yes.

    • they’d rather have ninety percent of a small pie than nine percent of a large pie.

      • From their perspective, it ain’t the size of the pie what matters, it is who gets to divvy it up.

        • Paul Koning

          That, and the fact that many of them have the delusion that *they* will be the ones doing the divying. I call this the “Trotsky Fallacy”.
          Some other countries, back before big government took them over, were very rich too even though they didn’t have the USA’s size or resource advantages. Portugal comes to mind. One I know better (my country of birth) is Holland, which was a world power back in the 1600s, and actually well on its way to that status even while they were still fighting their war for independence. (That was the 80 year war, the last 30 years of which are better known as the 30 year war.)

          • Er… WHEN was Portugal very rich? In the African colonies, maybe, but in National Socialist Portugal, we were poor as Job.

            • Paul Koning

              In the days of Vasco da Gama and his peers…. 16th century.

              • Oh, yes, but the way that was frittered has nothing to do with Marxism. It’s just crazy. A lesson in a way. Um… I should write about it sometime. It’s a lesson in specialization done wrong. (I know whence I speak. My massive paper to graduate Portuguese history was on currency devaluation/deflation/inflation/etc. from that time to the present. I figure out the “why” too.)

            • I foresee a very rich Portugal about 2600…in fact so rich the Real (an actual gold Real at that) is the standard currency 🙂

    • Interesting tidbit on the Medical Tourism – Yes, the Emirs and Sheiks are coming to the U.S. to visit, say, Mayo. Also, some folk from societies with ‘universal health care’ simply in order to receive treatment before their conditions can kill them, the wait times for official treatment being longer than they have left to live (by design?).

      OTOH, there are Americans who are going to places like India or the Philippines for big-ticket treatments because the costs of travel, lodging, and treatment together there ends up significantly less than the cost of such treatment here.

  14. Frankly, I’d rather hang out with the crew you’ve gathered than any of those idiots.

    So screw them and their exclusions.

    • And risk some horrible disease?!
      Infection would explain much.

    • You could try hanging out at PorcFest. http://porcfest.com/
      Don’t know if that’s too hard core Libertarian-Anarchy for this crowd or not.
      I’d go, but I have a fencing referee training class that weekend.

    • Some days I think this motley crew is all that will have me (at least online and more and more IRIL as well).

      • Will you be LibertyCon?

        • I wanted to but went to sign up too late and it was sold out…next year, I will though. I mean, it is what, three hours up the road? Two? My retreat is a longer drive (and before I changed sides of town I went through Chattanooga on my way).

          • Best time to register is before January. And always get put on a wait list if you’re late. I had to cancel this year, and gave up my spot to someone else (somebody, like you, who probably wanted to go but signed up juuuust a bit too late). People cancel every year. Life happens, health, personal economics, and so on.

            LC is a good group of people. Some jerks, but hey, there’s one or two in every crowd since Mesopotamia, at least. It can be a social or as solitary as ye like. The panels are pretty good (and I’m not just saying that because I’m staff when I go), and Brandy keeps things interesting. Next year… at least it won’t be the XXX con. *chuckle* Maybe we’ll see more of y’all there.

            • A lot of the good people are canceling this year. I’m gonna miss you guys.

              • are you having to not go?

                • No, we’re going. Robert is meeting his GF at LC, the only time they’ll have together before the start of 3rd year. If we cancelled, he’d probably kill us. He wants her to meet his “extended family” and that’s LC.

              • We’ll miss all y’all too. This year my folks were going to get to go, but health got in the way. Once we jailbreak ’em from the hospital, we’re on for next year.

            • Actually, I go to XXX cons on a regular basis 🙂

              • I keep thinking of that jug of Granny’s “medicine.”

                • Depending on the con there may be quite a bit although I’m not a big drinker in those environments (although having a drink mixed in my mouth was fun).

                  • I have it on excellent authority that some drinking does go on at LibertyCon, though I am not at liberty to say exactly where, when, who, or whether or not someone tried to get Mike Williamson to poison himself with alcohol during the “Political Correctness and the Undead” panel a while back…

            • Is there a good cosplay component at LC? Asking for my fiancee

              • There’s always some cosplay going on, though less than DragonCon/GenCon. Partly because LC is a small, almost extended-family reunion type of con (only about 700 people), and partly because the focus of LC is a tad different (though there is significant overlap). I can’t speak for the rest of the Con, but *I* enjoy the cosplay (it feeds the inner geekiness), though not as a participant.

        • Banging my own drum…I’ll be there, on a panel about Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare at 2 PM on Friday, and running an RPG at 6 PM Saturday.

  15. Several people on the left were fans of Darkships before they found out my real politics.

    Uhm… HUH? I admit I have not (yet) read them and from what I’ve seen of them in snippets it seems fairly plain that… ouch.. ox head hurt again. Ox have problem thinking down to their level.

    • their – the ‘fans’ who abandoned, NOT the Darkship books.

    • I think the problem is that the people of the leftwards persuasion read the books, assumed that the baddies were eevull righties, and didn’t note that the dystopia described was mostly the logical extrapolation of where they would take society, if they could. When that was pointed out to them, via the author “coming out”, well… Cognitive dissonance required that they reject the author, not just the works.

      You see a similar set of responses that people have, when you tell them things like “Hey, that work you regard as being serious evidence for your side of things… Yeah, it’s a parody making fun of you and your ideas…”.

      What cracks me up is that sometimes you see this in the oddest damn places. I just got into it with someone elsewhere online about Machiavelli’s The Prince.

      Now, after the the first exposure I had to that book, I bought into the conventional wisdom that Machiavelli is this demonic adviser to tyrants everywhere, and The Prince is his master-work. I mean, that’s what I’d always been told, and that’s what everyone says about the book, right?

      Second time through, when I was older and actually, y’know… Reading the damn thing for comprehension, it dawned on me that a.) The Prince is completely out of character for Machiavelli, because, b.) it’s nothing at all like the rest of his work, either in content or language. It’s snark, purest snark, written as a Juvenalian satire like Swift’s treatise on using Irish babies as a meat source. It’s subtle, but it sure as hell is there, when you go looking.

      But, people do insist on it being taken straight, and Niccolo Machiavelli is now remembered as this wannabe adviser to tyrants, when the man was in reality a lifelong zealot for the republican form of government, and was actually far more influential with his other works, something forgotten today. Go look at his Art of War and Discourses on Livy, and keep a volume open while you are doing that on our Founder’s thoughts on national defense and citizen militias. If you’re not struck by the fact that they basically robbed Machiavelli, filed the serial numbers off, and then passed that thinking off without attribution (likely due to the inimical influence of The Prince making Machiavelli persona non grata in polite society…) as mostly their own, well… I’d like for you explain how so much of those two sets of thinking have so much in common. It’s almost point-for-point.

      Me, I think they were cribbing off of Machiavelli, if only through secondary sources who Machiavelli influenced, like Maurice of Nassau. It’s amazing to go digging through the histories, and find out how much Machiavelli influenced, in terms of republican thought, military policy, and things like citizen militia doctrine. You can trace a line back through US defense policy from the point where the National Guard Act essentially eradicated the constitutionally-envisioned militia back through men in the early colonies like Myles Standish, who set the standard for a lot of the colonial militia policies, to Maurice of Nassau, who was key to the revival of Roman Republican military discipline and drill, and from him nearly directly to Machiavelli and his advocacy of republicanism and citizen militias.

      If nothing else, Machiavelli is a prime example of how one work in an author’s career can completely recast how the rest of it is viewed, and how that author is remembered. From the evidence and history, I’m pretty sure that The Prince was a one-off bit of snark, intended to satirize the dysfunctional and counterproductive way that wannabe tyrants like Cesare Borgia actually thought and conducted themselves–And, the irony is that Machiavelli wrote that so well that many still take it seriously to this day.

      Although, I was rather shocked to find that there were people still taking the “serious work” interpretation as writ. I thought The Prince as satire was pretty much the accepted general school of thought, these days, but I guess not. Apparently, I don’t spend enough time in academic political science classrooms…

      • That is very interesting in the light of Barnes’s Jinx Jinkata stories which are kinda/sorta a three volume Heinlein juvie in a world where a more modern “screw everyone else to get ahead” advice book is the most quoted book of the culture yet in the final volume you learn it was merely a satire by what amounts to TV writers on how people thought you got ahead.

      • The consensus is split on whether it’s serious or satirical.
        The thing is, I think The Prince is serious, because ol’ Nick actually does give some legitimately good advice that is in line with his other work–for example, look for your power base among the people rather than the nobles, because the former will be easier to satisfy and are less untrustworthy.
        However, the key thing is that he is offering advice to a prince–that is, an autocrat–and basically saying “this is what you will have to do to maintain power as an autocrat,” which is why it’s so different from the rest of his work.

        • I’m going to go with “dark satire”, because it is so different from the tone, complexion, and the content of his other writing. The stuff he meant to be taken seriously is written much differently, and has a totally different quality and tone to it. The Prince, I think, was written when he was in a very dark place, having seen his life’s work in the Florentine Republic come to naught, and most of work brought low by the Medicis. He was, I think, a true believer in the republican tradition of Rome and Florence, and when he saw that brought down, he reacted by dipping his pen in venom, and venting his frustration in The Prince.

          You really have to read the rest of his works, and get a feel for how he usually wrote, before this becomes clear. For me, it took that second reading, and a third serious examination of him when I first discovered just how much influence he’d had on things like the Dutch Republic, and the first modern “Revolution in Military Affairs”. Maurice of Nassau was a key player in that happening, the Dutch being leaders in bringing back formal drill and evolutions to the battlefields of Northern Europe, much of their thinking being based on things coming out of Machiavelli’s other writing. You back into Machiavelli from that direction, and you’re suddenly faced up with the realization that The Prince was only a minor part of his work, and that it was far from the most influential or important.

          I think it’s almost certainly satire, and if Machiavelli himself somehow found out that he’d be remembered as the number-one adviser to tyrants after his time because of it, he’d have been both outraged and rueful in equal measure. There is really so much more to the man’s writing and thought than that simple snarky treatise on how to be an utter dick and attain/maintain power as such.

          • I’d agree on dark satire. Machiavelli had to drive a rather fine line in not openly offending the Medici and the other powers or the day who would squash him like a bug, and the Republicanism he must have felt compelled to write. The Prince wasn’t even published until years after his death. Unless my reading is way the heck off, it’s not even all that subtle in places (comments on the usefulness of mercenaries is instructive, if you know the history around the time and place he wrote).

        • could it be both?

      • I’ve only read bits of _The Prince_, and long long ago, but I remember that it immediately struck me the same way: despite playing itself as a straightfaced How-To, in fact it’s subtle snarky satire. Which was dead-on per what little I know of the time and place.

      • read the books, assumed that the baddies were eevull righties, and didn’t note that the dystopia descrind by “right” people they mean only cadres of enlightened, “woke” leaders.

      • I think the problem is that the people of the leftwards persuasion read the books, assumed that the baddies were eevull righties, and didn’t note that the dystopia described was mostly the logical extrapolation of where they would take society, if they could.

        While I think that is probably the reason for some, I suspect for others it’s a much different reason. For a few years, now, I’ve been developing a notion that many people on the political left, down in their core, are actually libertarian, if not conservative, in their internal philosophy. However, because Progressivism has been in vogue for the last few decades, and has been treated as the default good in most parts of the media and education, these people convince themselves that they are Progressive lefties. It also helps that Progressivism gives them let to be lazy. But it creates internal stresses that are unresolvable within their adopted political philosophy.

        So what happens for these people, when faced with evidence that their adopted philosophy is false and untenable, is that they lash out and put as much distance between themselves and the evidence of their hypocrisy as they can.

        You can see this in authors, probably the easiest of all. Even a dyed-in-the-wool leftist like David Brin, in his Uplift novels, shows significant signs of it. Or J.K. Rowling, who wrote a character into her books that was exactly like the type of petty tyrant her political peers want in education (Dolores Umbridge), yet cast her as nearly as evil as the Death Eaters.

        With the tide turning, I suspect that more people than we are currently expecting are going to have mental awakenings to their true selves, and that, in fact, is what is going to be the cause of a pendulum swing far more severe than anyone really wants.

  16. My favorite thing about indie publishing is that you don’t have to please anybody other than your audience. The people who buy my books don’t care what color my skin is, whether I urinate from a standing, sitting or prone position, and who I would or wouldn’t kick out of bed. At least, none of my occasional fan emails have asked me about any of that. They mostly seem to care about the stories. Most of them even seem to understand that a fictional character’s political ideology may not necessarily represent the author’s.

    Which means you can be fairly unpopular among the literati and still make a living writing. The thought-police influence on who is allowed to be published is decreasing rapidly, so hopefully more people with unfashionable attitudes won’t have to choose between hiding them or risk being blackballed.

    • Good story good.
      Bad story bad.
      Melanin statistical noise in chemical analysis.

    • I must admit, if you do urinate from a prone position I’m curious about the mechanics of the process.

      • Catheter is only way I can think of that working, without mommy coming in and tossing the miscreant into just bearable hot water and scrubbing him THREE TIMES. uh… not that I’d know anything about it.

        • I think it depends greatly on your definition of “working”…

        • Happens a lot with the elderly infirm. Major indignity of getting really out of shape; and a significant problem in nursing homes with less than stellar caregivers.

        • Dr. Foley has been vastly underrated as a benefactor to mankind.

      • William O. B'Livion

        You wet yourself.

        Never had to do it myself, but there are some times when what you’re doing is more important than whether you’re a little damp in the crotch.

      • Well, shows how your privileged ability to pass waste from aboveground has blinded you to the plight of those who can’t or won’t. Why is it no bathrooms accommodate the needs of those who need to do their business on their back? J’accuse!

      • Is prone face up or face down?

        • Y’know… That’s actually something I’ve never thought about. In my life experience, using the word “prone” meant you were face down; “lie on your back” is face up. The dictionary says that there’s a bias towards it meaning face down, but the term can be used for face up, on the back positioning.

          I’d speculate that “prone” means different things to different people; for me, it means belly-down, and resentful of the buttons on your shirt preventing you from getting more prone… For reasons.

          For other people, the word is a curiosity, a vague technical term referring to a rarely-assumed position of little relevance to daily life.

          • H. Rap Brown was one that mistook that meaning – when asked what the position of women in the Black Panthers was, said, “Prone”

          • I always thought prone was the opposite of supine. Eh, it wouldn’t surprise me to be wrong, or that the meaning of the word has shifted over time, though.

            • Some early-ish low-aerodynamic-drag experimental bicycles have been prone or supine. Supine seems to have mostly won out, given issues with breathing freedom, among other things, in using the prone position.

    • I was trying a few years back to argue that the readability of a story was the important thing – not what color/gender/proclivities the author had.

      And I was told in no uncertain terms that LIKING the story took at least second place to making sure the author was ‘correct’ in thought, word and character.

      At that point I realized these people weren’t playing with a full deck, and left.

      • This is because the only way they have to evaluate art anymore is “does it comform to the aims of Marxism” which to be fair was taught to them in school. it was taught to me.

        • Look at all those rebels and non-conformists, walking in lockstep…

          • All in all, they’re just more bricks in the (Berlin) Wall.

          • Terry Sanders

            I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper–
            Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?

            • SheSellsSeashells

              I embrace the power of typos. I’m a prepper, she’s a prepper, Dad’s a prepper and WILL YOU FOR GOD’S SAKE STOP TALKING ABOUT THE BLACK HELICOPTERS, he’s a prepper, they’re all preppers…

              • Dan Hamilton

                Speaking of Black Helicopters: It is a little know FACT that 60 Minutes many years ago did a piece on “The Resister” a “fanzine” put out by some people in the special forces. They were interviewing this Special Forces Sgt. and he let fall that the militias in the National Forests were really great for training. The patrol would be dropped off by helo, walk in, find the militia, do a workup of their arms, training, abilities, etc., then walk out and be picked up by helo. It allowed them to do a complete exercise just like they would do it over seas. The interviewer didn’t follow up and quickly moved to a different subject. But at the end 60 Minutes used stock footage of Army helos taking off at dusk. Big very dark green helos, that as soon as they were off the ground looked as BLACK as could be.

                It was really funny, proof that the Back Helos, and spying on militias was REAL. Just that 60 Minutes show. No one else covered it. But I saw that show.

                So don’t make fun of Black Helos, they were REAL.

          • > non-conformists

            Just like “outlaw bikers”…

          • and in the case of Antifa, wearing uniforms!

          • I always told people who asked why, as a goth, I lacked tattoos or piercings that I was being different the lazy way, by being completely normal and hanging out with the freaks.

        • Heard an interesting comment yesterday. It was how painting had shaken free from the “schools” of art, and that artists were now free to explore anything. What determines good painting artwork these days is the marketplace.

          Sound familiar?

    • Don’t urinate from prone position. That made me shudder. I’m a mom. A MOTHER OF BOYS. Both my boys went through “peeing from weird positions. I once caught them having a contest for style and distance. younger son, then three won, on his head, from halfway into his room, with the bathroom door open.
      And that’s when I snapped and bought a carpet cleaner which I ran obsessively.
      Yes, I know it’s a male thing. I also know it wasn’t the point of your comment. Shakes hands and squints: EWWWWWW.
      SO triggered.

      • I’m impressed! Did he actually hit the toilet (at all)?

        • Mostly, yes. There was just dribbling at the end. You’d have to understand younger son is my gender shifted clone. I REALLY wanted eyes in the back of my head when I was little. And now I live in fear of what will seem “logical” to him at any given point, and of his jumping in where angels fear to tread.
          Weirdly, he came to my political views even though we rarely talked politics. Okay, he’s probably to the right of me, but… Seriously… That only makes it scarier.

          • Be glad for them that they have, or had, a healthy urinary tract. Too many of us older guys have problems taking a pee period.

      • I hesitate to bring this up, but… Urinating from the prone is a thing, and something you have to master if you’re going to be a sniper or a recon guy spending a lot of time in what we term “a hide”, as a term of art.

        Not to get too graphic, but the technique involves a wide-mouth bottle (Gatorade containers are ideal), a strategically-placed hole dug into your position, and… Well, do the math; I’m not diagramming it out for all of you.

        Standing up to go pee is a thing that can highlight your position, identify you to the enemy, and generally create an awful lot of trouble for you in situations where concealment and so forth are key. It’s also a reason why the recon/surveillance/sniper community is very dubious about the inclusion of women, ‘cos they’re not anywhere near as adaptable in this way as the male is. For the ladies, it’s pretty much a diaper, or nothing–I stand by for correction on that, if anyone else knows better.

        This is one of those things where you almost have to a.) possess the biology in question, and b.) have experienced the necessity. In any event, trust me on this, male urination from the prone is not only possible, being able to manage it properly is damn near a requirement for survival in a lot of situations.

        Oh, and by the way… Y’know those really nice, tough plastic pouches the MREs come in? There’s a reason they’re made like that… And, why the recon community in the Army has agitated for either the inclusion of a zip-loc feature on them, or the inclusion of a really big, really tough zip-loc with the MRE pouch…

        I’ll leave the “Why the f**k…?” as an exercise for the reader.

        • Learn something new every day.

          • And, generally something that you really could have gone without knowing…

            Anyone who is more interested in this stuff should go looking up the terms “SAS”, “Hide”, and “Long-term surveillance”. Before doing so, please think through the questions of just how on earth a three-man team might manage to stay unrevealed over a 96-hour period on overwatch of a suspected terrorist site, and then remove itself without leaving any sign of any kind at all that they were there. If the implications don’t boggle the mind, when it comes to contemplating personal hygiene, well… Your imagination is probably unsullied and innocent.

            A good SAS team was supposed to be able to get into position overnight, remain unobserved for up to a week, and then unass the position overnight while leaving precisely zero indication they’d been there, to include not leaving indicative cat-holes and body waste. Consider the implications thereof, in terms of “Man, that’s something I’m going to have to do…”.

            • paladin3001

              Winter Ops were suckage, but the bright side was that they didn’t “stink”…..

              • Yeah, but… The huge pain in the ass resulting from having to conceal signs that a.) you were there, and b.) that you have to think about concealing the fact that you were there several weeks hence when the snow melts…

                The whole realm of what really goes on during long-term deep surveillance missions doesn’t bear thinking about, really. And, that’s just the pure mechanics of day-to-day life, leaving out the whole question of what the heck to do with the odd child shepherd that happens to run across your hide site…

                • If you kill the shepherd you’ll draw attention to your self. Unless he sees you and is about to tell others of your prersence.

                  • There is no good answer to that question, except to somehow insure it never arises.

                    Failure to account for this problem has led to issues on oh-so-many operations–The Gulf War incident surrounding Bravo Two Zero, and nearly the same thing happening to kick off the mess that was behind the recent Lone Survivor movie.

                    Some of the issues are really predictable, and when you read the after-action reviews as a line dog or layman, you’re going “WTF were they thinking…?!?!!?”, because you’d think by this time that they’d have a check-box on the OPLAN worksheet that says “Shepherd Plan”, and a requirement to think through the issue. Apparently, the guys in Afghanistan for the latest shepherd-related deal didn’t actually have a plan for that eventuality, or they decided not to do the cold-blooded thing they may have had planned for the shepherds they might have run into. I’ve heard the story both ways, so who knows?

                    In any event, it’s pretty much an unpleasant fact of life, when you’re doing deep recon and surveillance.

                    • “you’d think by this time that they’d have a check-box on the OPLAN worksheet that says “Shepherd Plan”, and a requirement to think through the issue”

                      Well, no, actually you wouldn’t, because actually thinking it through and documenting it means that the manslaughter charges for doing it on the spur of the moment get upgraded to “premeditated (the whole thinking it thru part) murder.”

                      Everyone knows what the reality of that situation is.

            • A common line from one of the Goon Show characters comes to mind: “I did not wish to know that.”

            • The better class of cave explorers operate on the “leave nothing behind” system. Which usually means a bunch of full ziplocks in the backpack on the way out…

        • sabrinachase

          Yes, there are adapters that, how shall I say…allow the female of the species to piss standing up, or prone. Necessity, mother of invention, plus lack of bushes in desert combat environments helped with this. 😀

          • Many of the devices made for female pilots might help.

            • “Devices” meaning… Diapers.

              One of the many issues militating against women in combat as vehicle/aircraft crewmen stems from this issue–It’s one thing to be a female fighter pilot who’s going back to a base with showers, or an aircraft carrier, and another entirely when you’re talking front-line austere and over the long haul. A guy can get by with a piss-tube and a wet-wipe. The girls may have bigger problems resulting from this issue, and don’t ask the aircraft maintainers how they feel about the pilot’s pissing on their airframes, even through necessity. Stories I’ve heard… F-15 maintainer I know claims that there were a couple of aircraft that had to be coded out due to corrosion issues stemming from a couple of male airmen who couldn’t keep it in the tube, coupled with females whose diapers failed. Supposedly–He wasn’t a huge fan of female fighter pilots, because of this issue, but then again, since he was the guy who had to clean things up, he might have had good cause.

              Do not, I pray you, ask me how I learned that it’s possible for adult diaper rash to result in conditions requiring MEDEVAC. I made the mistake of asking a medic acquaintance of mine about that, and I really, really wish I hadn’t…

              • I was actually thinking of items for women who fly light aircraft. Men have long had little jugs, and women have these cup things with a funnel to fit into the jug. (There’s no bathroom in a Cessna 142, and the FAA frowns on you opening the door to go while in flight, so…..)

                Now, the more solid issuances? That’s a different story.

                As to aircraft corrosion…. Yeah, the one bulkhead in the KC-135 was susceptible, given that some percentage of guys couldn’t aim in a moving aircraft and the cans were sorta tall for some folk………………

                • I think the issue with fighter aircraft is that the cockpits are so cramped, the diaper is really the only option that’s both safe and usable. I’ve never heard of anything besides a piss-tube or a diaper in use for that application. I asked my maintainer friend about that, and he responded that the risk of having an unsecured container flying about during maneuvers was too great.

                  For a definitive answer, though, I think we’d need an actual modern fighter pilot to weigh in–I only know of this issue through hearsay, and it isn’t something people like to talk about, sooooo…

                  Still, I want you to think about and visualize “diaper rash so bad it required MEDEVAC”. That’s an unfortunate reality, with these things.

                • Aircraft corrosion. I can confirm that as a problem in the floor structure under the lavatories in civilian airliners. Back when I did that sort of thing, I spent many an hour grinding corrosion and/or splicing in new supports. (747 heavy check cabin crew)

          • Standing up, I can get… Prone? Howthehell…?

            • Wouldn’t it just dampen your trousers? To reduce the problem of solid waste disposal, stick to liquids?

              • Yeah, and the effect of urine-dampened trousers over the long haul…?

                Once upon a time, I learned the hard way why a lot of guys who’d been in Vietnam eschewed both underwear and socks; it’s a lot easier to keep things dry when you’re getting periodically soaked with water if you reduce the amount of things that hold moisture. Key to this technique, however, is that you keep scrupulously clean, and avoid getting your trousers soaked in ammonia-laden fluids. Humans, I’m afraid, were not meant to play like they are sloths and hang around in their own waste streams.

                An awful lot of what was termed “jungle rot” stemmed from poor personal hygiene, or unfortunate circumstances that left you with no other choices.

                I’m telling you now, anyone who writes of a soldier’s life and leaves out all the little details like pooping, peeing, and jungle rot? They were either not there, or they’re trying to avoid making their readers nauseated.

                Indoor plumbing? Gift of God, that is–Spend a month or two away from porcelain and a hot-water shower, and you’ll come back to civilization to find your barracks-mates just standing in the toilet stalls and flushing toilets with huge, happy smiles on their faces… It really is that big a deal.

                I can remember a couple of times where I just took off everything I was wearing, and threw it into the trash, rather than try to wash it. It would have been pointless to try to save any of that uniform set, because by the time it starts smelling like that, you’re never, ever going to get the odor out of it.

                • Amen on the praise for porcelain fixtures. Why, in my youth I frequently knelt there in prayer at the conclusion of every Friday and Saturday night.

                  • Praying to Ralph?

                  • Had a friend who was crew on the last diesel sub in the US Navy. He told me that when they did a Med-cruise(home-port to the Med), the crew would just wear the same uniform for the whole trip over. Usually this was around a couple of weeks port to port. When they got there they would surface and all jump overboard, strip off/abandon their old uniforms and climb back aboard buck-neckid.(Don’t see that happening in today’s navy)
                    I didn’t have any problem believing that story after going down below on his boat a couple of times. The whole boat kinda smelled like an old diesel-fuel tank with overtones of things you didn’t want to know..

                    • Nuke boats don’t smell much better although without as much diesel-fuel smell.

                      My ex-wife washed my uniforms in pinesol for a reason.

                • I can remember a couple of times where I just took off everything I was wearing, and threw it into the trash, rather than try to wash it. It would have been pointless to try to save any of that uniform set, because by the time it starts smelling like that, you’re never, ever going to get the odor out of it.

                  In my time on the sub, I knew of one guy whose wife wouldn’t let him into the house when he came back from a patrol. She’d actually had him install a shower in the garage, and he had to shower and change into clean clothes there. His poopy suits and patrol underwear never came in the house; he had to take them to a laundromat.

          • When I was in the Marines, there was a female Marine friend of mine that, when she got drunk, would go into the male head and pee standing up at the urinal. I asked about it once and she just said she figured out how to manage it and she liked freaking people out. She also threatened to beat me senseless if I EVER got brave (or stupid) enough to pry any further… so needless to say, the mechanics she used were never known to me.

        • For the ladies, it’s pretty much a diaper, or nothing–I stand by for correction on that, if anyone else knows better.

          I’m not saying catheters are fun, but …

          • Do they actually put those in, and how well do they do, handling high-G situations?

            I’m thinking I almost don’t want to know…

            • All I’ll say is that for space suits there are things called “plumbing connections” which apparently involve tubes both front and rear.

      • Growing up on a farm way out in the country, we had a barn for such games and didn’t have to resort to doing so in the house.

        Although, I don’t recall my brother and I ever making a competition out of PEEING. Probably because my older brother couldn’t guarantee a win like he could with stuff like racing or throwing a ball (it’s telling that past 10 or 11 years old, we no longer had shooting contests either).

        • I had an acquaintance describe a peeing contest he had in a barn. Turns out that a stream of pee can conduct electricity from an electric fence….

          • owwwwww!

            • You think that’s bad? I’ve heard of somebody peeing on third rail.

              • Okay. Now I’m reminded of something. A story I heard in Navy “A” school when it happened, and thought was exaggeration, but heard again years later in a class discussing differences between suicide gestures and suicide attempts from the physician who was in the ER that day. So the weather was great, and a lot of people were out in front of their housing units hanging around, drinking beer, whatever. And one of the neighbors popped the hood of his car, placed a small step stool in front of the engine compartment, and then started the car. And while the neighbors watched, curious as to what the step stool was for, he climbed to the top step, dropped trou, and pissed on the distributor coil. According to witnesses, he flew back about 10 feet as a blue spark came from the engine compartment. This was described by the doctor giving the lecture as a “suicide attempt”. The patient thought the voltage would be enough to kill him. It was, but there weren’t enough amps…

              • I’ve heard of an incident involving a despondent young man (break-up), an electric transmission tower, and beer. He didn’t survive.

          • I had heard of a story (truth coefficient unknown) of a hunter who, having grown up in the country, took the time to check that he was aiming parallel to any nearby fence. Only to discover the fence turned just behind the bush and.. well..

          • Getting naïve city boys to pee on electric fences was one of the favorite activities of most country boys……….

          • That gets extra dangerous with some of the “Home Grown” electric fences that sometimes are used. I was once told by a friend about a stray dog who lifted it’s leg on his neighbor’s home-made electric fence. They ended up shooting the poor thing because most of it’s male parts were burnt off. Not sure if it’s true (cell phones weren’t a thing back then, so people didn’t walk around with cameras or think of photographing every little thing. As a side note, If they had I would HATE to have been the one developing THAT film… Baby pic… baby pic… cute flower… a bunch of family pics….. OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT!?!?!?! ).

          • Yeah, the Mythbusters really screwed that episode up.

        • Eh, kids in my school would do competition peeing right in the bathroom, because we had the trough-style urinals in elementary school.

      • And this is why I’m glad I don’t have kids……

        So are any theoretical offspring.

    • I wouldn’t kick anyone out of my bed. If you smell bad, track dirt onto the sheets, or snore loudly; I’ll just get up and move to the other bedroom for the night. I tend to be more tolerant the lower the thermostat goes.

    • I’ll admit my favorite thing about your indie publishing is I’m not waiting forever for some RPG company to let you write another sourcebook.

  17. And no one can hear my accent in writing.

    Indeed, I do not hear it. If were to judge by the Shifters books I might figure you have a leaning towards dragons and felines… but that’s hardly the same.

    • Sarah has an accent? Hmmm. I’d say that the printed word is superior to the spoken word in media when it comes to reducing racial or ethnic discrimination. It was 3 months before I found out Thomas Sowell was black.

      • I am reliably informed that visual evidence aside Sowell cannot be black due to his politics.

        Also, according to them, Sarah Palin is not a woman. Our Sarah is, in fact, an anglo-Morman gay male.

        • Michael Houst

          /guffah

        • And sounds like Natasha Fatale doing Boris Badenov.

        • Aw. you forgot the great rack… :/

          • Oh, yeah…you Mormon men tend to have them. 🙂

          • Hard to miss …


            … that great rack.

          • You keep saying you have a great rack, but I have yet to see you post a picture of it. I’d really like to see it!

            I’m a bit squeamish, though, so I’d appreciate seeing a picture that doesn’t have someone being tortured on it, although I would understand it if you don’t have any.

            Just don’t post any videos showing your rack being used…or audio, for that matter…

        • Sarah is NOT gay. Just because she’s an anglo-Mormon male married to another male, it doesn’t follow that she is an observer of that lifestyle; indeed, she *can’t* be gay, because otherwise she wouldn’t be a supporter of Sad Puppies.

          • I have it on good authority I’m homophobic and never mind my peculiar writing portal lands in the gay bar zone of character world.
            THE MYSTERY is my sons. I think we have a lab in the basement.

            • If giant mutant rutabagas come tapping on your windows late at night, you’ll know what the equipment was for…

            • If you aren’t homophobic, why are so many of your characters homosexual? That clearly demonstrates an obsession and, as your characters are homosexual rather than gay, only one conclusion can be reached.

              • BLINK. I grant you some are mostly angry, and a few are morose, but some of them are as gay as a summer day and a bird on the wing.

                • None of your homosexual characters ever tries to say the government should force a Christian florist or cake decorator provide services for their same sex marriage ceremony, so no, not gay.

                  • Her characters are generally smart. Or at least not stupid.

                    • There’s an SJW word for that. [roots around in the mental septic tank]

                      “Ableism.”

                      Sarah is actively discriminating against dummies and slackers by writing not-stupid characters. Well, what can you expect from a [insert random number of this week’s poo-flinging words here] ?

                  • They’re mostly white Mormon males, yes. Some even have great (gun) racks.

                  • You know, it took me a long time to figure out a way to turn the tables on that one, since the Left has no moral standards that we would recognize as moral, but I finally did.

                    We need to demand that a shop run by vegans provide appropriately-decorated cakes to a cookout, where the animals are brought in live and turned into food right there on site.

    • I occasionally find an odd turn of phrase that I attribute to her original language/culture. But not an accent. 🙂

      • Usually attributable to my thyroid meds being out of whack, actually. I know this will sound strange, but sometimes it gives me brain fog and requires me to approach meaning sideways.

        • Ooo. I hate that. You know what you want to say, you know you know the word, you can access synonyms until the cows come home, but for the life of you the connection to that one word you really want is blocked or lost.

          I swear those retrievals go into some weird queuing mechanism in the brain. Why else would you wake up 12 hours later from a deep sleep shouting, “EUREKA! I remember the word I wanted!”

          • I have that happen, too. Sometimes perfectly ordinary words. I can’t even blame it on the stroke a few years ago since it goes back to childhood.

            Post-stroke, things are often a bit different. I can often think of the precise word, but only in Spanish, French, or German. There’s just a little word-shaped hole where the English should be.

            After a while you don’t pay any attention to it…

          • YES. So sometimes I end up going around to get to my meaning because I can’t wait. I should have realized my thyroid was low, btw, because words are usually not a problem. Anyway, it’s getting better. We’re just adjusting the dosage.

          • For me, that means it’s a day ending in “Y”.

        • Huh. I’ve assumed it was just a slightly different phrasing of a metaphor from a foreign language. There are some great ones that really do make sense when translated, though it might take a second to realize the imagery.
          But, your facility with words means that even if it is a meds issue, it still turns out well. I have never said after reading one of those, “well, that was dumb.”

          • Nah. I’m thinking in English. I have been for 30 years. It just sometimes gets faulty. Oh, the exception is when I’m quoting grandma, whose favorite expression and encouragement not to apologize/be meek was “The more you bow, the more they see your ass.” 😀 I come from a long line of horrible women.

    • There needs to be an MP3 of Sarah saying “Moose and Squirrel” on this website.

  18. Can I just point to the insanity (or inanity) of the people protesting the anti-sharia protests? We were treated to the spectacle of feminists and gays marching *in favor* of sharia law …

  19. Christopher Chantrill

    You may be marginalized but we love you.

  20. OT: Mooing at telemarketers is fun.

    • A few weeks back I decide to press 1 on a spam call for a business loan. Wasted at least two minutes of her time while she took down info until she got to business name and I said, “Dick’s Decadent Dildos”. After a 5 second or so pause she hung up.

      My sides hurt from laughing after.

      • I’ve had friends who had contests to see who could keep telemarketers on the phone the longest while saying the most outrageous things.

        • Friend of mine once managed half an hour by claiming that he worked for a company that made telephone headsets and asking about the one telemarketer was using.

        • I’ve considered doing that, but it just seems like being rude to the person at the airline desk. It’s not their fault.
          Now, if I could get in contact with the person actually responsible for the policy…well.

          • Rude? They are cold calling me not the other way around. They want me to be polite they could just not call.

            This is doubly true when it is a scam. I don’t believe people working a boiler room don’t know exactly what they are doing.

      • I don’t have time for such. Asked a persistent telemarketer who called work for their security clearance.

        A pause? “My security clearance?”

        “Yes. This is a hotline.”

        Quick apology and a click.

        Hey, I didn’t lie. It was a hotline – to transmission.

        Didn’t get telemarketers on that line for a long time.

        Another time, a persistent telemarketer kept calling the office wanting to speak with the company president, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, in my best funeral director voice, said “I’m terribly sorry, but [redacted] is no longer with us.” A flustered apology, and click.

        Didn’t lie then, either. He’d just walked out to grab lunch.

    • I dood it again. Though next time if the caller asks about between age X and Y I must ask why they are discriminating against the elderly.

  21. “And if I must be persona non grata, so be it. I’m human. Like all humans I want to be liked, to belong, to be accepted in the dominant culture of my time. But when the dominant culture of my time is a poisonous and undermining lie, there are more important things than being liked. There are more important things than personal success.”
    Yes. Nailed it, Sarah.

    I’ve said for a long time that I would love to return to living in the old USA, where I could just ignore most of what went on in gov’t. But they won’t let me. They’ve insisted on politicizing everything, and making sure that I must endorse their side to continue to enjoy my “privileges”. But, I won’t endorse their views. And I refuse to live as a slave – to gov’t, or to their ideology. I will live free.

  22. “As for race, you know, there was never a time ANYONE asked me to state my race or paintship color (Home depot Spun Gold, thank you) on a submission. ” So you’re a golden goddess! THAT explains EVERYTHING.

  23. even Hamilton would be read out of the current Democratic Party

    Point of order. Hamilton was a Federalist and those an opponent of the Democrat-Republicans who the current Democrats claim as forebearers.

    Much more interesting is the ongoing effort of Democrats to distance themselves from Jefferson, the Democrat-Republican President, and Jackson, the first Democrat and first Democrat president.

    They are even trying to forget their own history.

  24. “Dominant culture of my time”, eh? In publishing corners, and some others dominated by wordsmiths, perhaps so; and that’s gotta sting. But overall? not so much, I think — else who was outraged enough by it to elect Trump?

    No, I find enough people who don’t subscribe to Marx’s Mad magazine to be able to ignore it mostly – and take a little pride in being persona non grata to them when they intrude.

  25. “And no one can hear my accent in writing.”

    I was just relaying to a friend over the weekend how surprised I was the first time I heard you speak on an interview (I can’t for the life of me remember why it came up). I always knew you had to have SOME kind of accent with English not being your first language, but judging from your writing I didn’t expect it to be all that noticeable. I don’t think I had ever heard a Portuguese accent before then. Being completely ignorant, I was expecting something akin to the Spanish accent that my first wife had (only maybe a little more Castilian… and maybe a little more pronounced. First wife came to the US from Mexico with her family at a fairly young age.)

  26. If end up persona non grata you’ll likely have plenty of company. Maybe even enough to start a new country.

  27. I don’t know about talking too much, but you certainly write too much. Where “writing too much” means “at times I keep up with what you write”.

    Nah, perhaps I just work too much. Providing for a family is probably over-rated, after all! 😉

  28. Christopher M. Chupik

    I’ll probably end up persona non grata in Canadian SF just for posting here, but there’s nobody I’d sooner be marginalized with than you.

  29. I read up on libertarianism when I first heard about it. Sounds great. But recognized that in it’s purest form, simply isn’t workable in real life. I tend to think of myself as a realistic libertarian, the government that governs least governs best. And saying that, there’s a whole bunch of observable things we know about culture that conflict with a pure libertarian realm.

    Marriage for one. Yes, that can of worms. In a pure libertarian world, you want multiple wives, or husbands, or group marriages, or same sex marriages, you’re welcome to it. In real life, we can observe the effects of polygamy, or as I’m often corrected, polygyny. It always, always eventually results in the women being treated as second class citizen. And if even a small percentage of people engage in it, leaves a whole bunch of young males mateless. Not good for a society at all, at least not good for one that actually wants to strive for equality between the sexes and give people- in specific male people- a reason to achieve. So they can attract a suitable female… So, banning polygamy as a practice is high on my list of one of the things government should do. Well, how about group marriages! That’s never been tried on a wide social level, right? Well, it has been tried. In fairly large communities. With one thing in common. Every single one of them has failed upon the death of their charismatic leader who established and enforced the rules. I won’t bother with opening up the SSM can of worms….

    Banning slavery is a proper function of government. Slavery does exist in the world today. Mostly in the areas that practice polygamy… Government could also allow slavery, but without a government to prohibit and police against it, it will exist.

    Common defense. Before the industrial age, Before the industrial age hit big time, the local militia could train and muster and be called out when the regulars were coming. Your local neighborhood militia isn’t going to build and maintain A-10 Warthogs, and isn’t going to survive a strafing run by them. All the tiny countries of Europe exist solely because the United States has A-10’s and other high tech weapons, and is willing to use them. As does Kuwait. Whether we SHOULD use them to defend other countries is another debate.

    Property rights. Property rights exist in the United States mostly because the government keeps close track of who buys and who owns what, and requires all sales and transfers to be recorded. In most of the America’s south of the U.S. border, what’s walled in is yours. But don’t take a 2 month vacation and leave it vacant. You’ll end up having to take it back by force.

    Now fire departments are interesting. Rural VFDs in SC are different then rural VFDs in NY. In SC they rely solely on “contributions”; they get no tax money. In NY, they’re taxing districts. Lot’s of other differences…

    It also helps that we’re a high trust society. We can have rail lines that are used infrequently. And the locomotive engineer will travel along the line confident the rails will actually be there. In other areas of the world, not so much. Any rail not used or patrolled frequently will be torn up and scrapped. Of course, it’s also unlawful in the U.S. for any scrapyard to accept anything that resembles rail.

    I point out to people that any change, however small, in the way we do things affects everything else. The entire system is connected in ways we don’t imagine. Automobiles changed courting habits. No one foresaw that. Everyone carrying their own personal communicators has changed courting habits. That was foreseen, but not to the extent it has. I envisioned people actually talking. My kids rarely talk; they text. The internet has changed politics. That’s how we got President Donald John Trump. Very few foresaw that. And many have still refused to accept it.

    All the different self organizations involved in running Libertarianville eventually turn in government, even if you call it something else.

    • “Your local neighborhood militia isn’t going to build and maintain A-10 Warthogs, and isn’t going to survive a strafing run by them.”

      You’re right. What we can do is a) make sure that the collateral damage to the pilots and those who ordered them out from that strafing run is as high as possible and b) make sure that the pilots are aware that they aren’t always in the cockpit. Read Kurt Schlichter’s latest book for some ideas on how that would work.

      • You are referring to 4GW warfare and civil war. I’m not. A U.S. civil war would upend many rules, and the world economy would collapse as fast as the house of cards it is. My HS had a semester class in military history. I mapped out local infrastructure, with a plan to take it out. In 1972. My history teacher mentioned I should destroy it after he gave me an “A”. I read within the last few days the Russians actually did a detailed map of U.S. infrastructure during the cold war. In todays world, we have satellite imagery that can give us a good deal of that information.

        During the second Iraq war much was made of the fact that apparently one of our cruise missiles impacted and detonated in an empty lot! And therefore, our missiles were errant! Turns out that under that lot was the intersection of most of Iraq’s communications wires and fiber optics and all that. And the nexus was right where the crater was.

        If a nation of citizen militia were fighting against a nation-state with a centralized mechanized army, and no qualms about who they kill, the nation-state wins. As pointed out in historical fiction, Gandhi was able to prevail against the British using non-violent means because he was going up against the British. If he had tried the same tactics against the Third Reich, there would have been a different ending.

    • I too believe in what the founding fathers cobbled together. Weirdly there is no name for us.

      • I think the term is Constitutionalists. When sitting on the bench, often disparaged as Originalists.

      • Considering the GOP is being labelled an “extremist terrorist organization” by university admins I shudder to think of what labels those who really believe in the Constitution would be labelled by the progressives.

      • Personally, I like the moniker “Americans”. It says all that needs to be said.
        Unfortunately, some other yahoos who don’t believe in real freedom went and hijacked that one about a hundred years ago.

    • It sounds like you have Libertarians confused with Pure (no-government) Anarchists. Yes, there are some of those running around labeling themselves with the big “L”, but that doesn’t mean that is Libertarian orthodoxy. There is a place for a SMALL Federal government, designed to protect rights (Mostly property rights, as all rights stem from there), and do the things that ONLY a Federal government can do (make treaty etc.) Pretty much the very things that attracted the various states to join the American Republic to begin with.

      As for your seeming dislike of non-traditional Marriage… Marriage is a Religious construct. Not a civil construct. Government has NO place regulating, taxing, tracking, or having anything else to do with marriage. Even if such non-standard marriages, group marriages, multiple wife-husband marriages, etc. are as crappy as you say, it is not, should never be, the place of government to ban them. If someone is forced into, or forced to stay in such an arrangement, it is NOT a marriage. It is abuse (which, of course, is and should be illegal, property rights also cover people’s right to “own” their self).

      For that matter, by your arguments against non-standard marriages, regular (one woman, one man) marriages should also be banned because of how many of them end in abuse or divorce, and how many of them end in the woman being dominated by the man.

    • Dan Hamilton

      For marriage you are not thinking clearly. The old evil polygamy was Man marries many women. The New polygamy is Woman marries couple who are already married. Everybody in the marriage has to agree. Once that change is done, the problems with group marriage disappears.
      The libertarian marriage is everybody in the marriage consents to the additional person. Everybody gets a veto.

      • It would be nice if consent made all problems go away. Consent of legal adults just ensures the situation is probably not some kind of rape or enslavement, from a legal point of view.

        Early medieval Irish law allowed a second wife to enter a marriage, and even (if her economic situation was better than the first wife) to become either an equal or more high status wife. But the original wife had to consent, and then the newcomer had to agree to let the original wife have the first 48 hours of the marriage to treat her however, with no legal recourse (short of murder, which would get the original wife prosecuted and fined, as well as getting the newcomer’s dowry returned — all of which I’m sure was a comfort in the afterlife to the newcomer wife).

        For some reason, concubinage was a lot more common than polygamy in early medieval Ireland.

  30. Remember in “The Fountainhead” where Roark’s country living design gives the young man courage to go on living his life/beliefs? That’s what Sarah’s blog does every day for more people than anyone realizes. Also, thank all of you “marginalized ones”. Proud to try to be a member, too.

  31. You’re always persona grata with me.

  32. thewerewife

    OMG! “Home Depot Spun Gold”?! You have GOT to hear this song I feel coming on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpDkj-Kyqyo

  33. I am thankful Clinton used deplorables rather than persona non grata in her fateful speech. That single evocative term well have been the difference.

  34. Arrgh. Read might before well.

  35. nofreelunch

    Leftism is a con perpetrated by elites seeking POWER. The believers are closed minded dupes, nothing more. Take charge of your own destiny, then you won’t care if fools like you, or not.

  36. Thank you for saying this. There are so many of us walking this lonely path. We’ve given up so much happiness for the sake of principle. A magical life of wealth and influence, surrounded by beautiful and interesting friends… at our fingertips. All we have to do is pretend there are 5 lights, not 4.

    But we can’t do that. So we remain shunned and ostracized, surrounded by hatred and contempt. It’s so hard, and we are so alone. But every so often we come upon a message left by someone else walking this path. It helps to know we aren’t the only ones here.

  37. Joe Miller (@joethefatman1)

    I’m human, but… I’m too misanthropic to really desire the approval of anyone outside my immediate kin. If it weren’t for them I’d be happy all alone in a cabin in the woods.

    • It doesn’t explain well, but one of the most romantic things my husband has ever told me is that I don’t count as people…

      (We both exhaust super-quickly around people. Including the daughter. It’s something special to be each other’s exceptions.)

      On reread, doesn’t fit your comment exactly, but it warms me too much not to post.

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