The Day Before Liberty Con

As most of you know, my one, no-fail con a year is Liberty Con, in Tennessee.  Over the years it’s become not just a family reunion (my kids consider it so themselves) but also a place where my fans know they can find me.

It’s sold out, as it usually does.

Thing is, this year with the trip to Dallas so close by, we’re running to get everything done before LC.  I have a mound of clothes to iron (before it gets too hot), I have the beginning of Guardian to rewrite (I’ve not sent it in yet because it felt “off.”  I finally got the voice though.  And I’ll be reading from Guardian, with the proviso that it’s unapproved, so it might change, at my reading at LC on Sunday.

I also need to file a couple of articles with PJmedia, because I missed an entire week, mostly through trying to work on other things, but also through being on antibiotic from h*ll for my ear infection.  And I get paid by the article.

So I’m going to go and do paying work.  But I’ll leave you with my MGC post on what makes a good plot, or at least how I work a plot and my guiding principle: Ride Alongs.  and my sole article at PJmedia in the last week:  A Cultural Revolution in Slow Motion.

BTW late and stupid, as usual, on that last one, someone came to my FB page to tell me I was overgeneralizing “as usual” (No Sh*T Sherlock.  I generalize in 1k word articles.  Because otherwise it would be a textbook.) that I’d got the Cultural Revolution all wrong (I guess this bunny thought Mao was cute and cuddly, and no I didn’t, I’ve read too many autobiographies of people caught in it.)  and that the parallels aren’t that great.

Um… no one is sending indoctrinated young people to the countryside to teach farmers how to farm, true, but we are sending indoctrinated young people across the country to beat people and lecture them in the name of progressivism and “to build a better future” even though everything these young people know of the world they learned from their ideologically insane/no world experience professors.

And if they think there is no similarity to the Chinese cultural revolution, when statues, monuments, references to our own past are being removed from every public space and book, in the name of “progress” then they are part of the problem.  They too have been indoctrinated to the point they have no contact with reality anymore.

Okay, I go write for pay and pack, and clean.  See those of you going to LC on Thursday evening at the con suite (if open, if not we’ll let you know where to meet via tom tom de Baen Barfly.) where we’re apparently having more Port Wine than is good for anyone (So many fans bringing it) and reading aloud from a book that deserves it (and is not mine.  Though I could be tempted.  Also Port Wine.)

Post tomorrow.

218 responses to “The Day Before Liberty Con

  1. From A Cultural Revolution in Slow Motion

    Free trade and property rights have fed humanity as a whole for the first time in millennia. Remove those and the graves will fill with amazing speed.

    Well, of course there will be deaths. There will be the remnants of the old capitalist system buggering the works and the assorted deviants,recalcitrants, obstructionists and sub-pars who cannot quite get with the program no matter how much you re-educate them. Isn’t that always the excuse? It is never the fault of their enlightened system, just the fault of the unenlightened among them. 😉

  2. Gosh, loose and uninformed analogies are just fine with people on the left when they involve Donald Trump and, say, Adolf Hitler.

    • I think a lot of leftists think Trump is Hitler Boys of Brazil style or something like that but with 50% more Aryan via the blond hair.

      I don’t think their thought process are strong enough for it to just be an analogy (hence the “literally Hitler” refrain).

  3. From Ride Alongs

    …is my WORST selling book out of thirty many (I haven’t counted recently, okay? Give me a break. Do you want me to count, or do you want me to write?

    That question is simple to answer. Write, and then write some more.

  4. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    IMO people who “love” the Chinese cultural revolution are very likely people who imagine themselves “hammering people” in the name of the Chinese cultural revolution not people who imagine themselves the victims of the Chinese cultural revolution. 😦

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I’ve been eating a lot of non-dairy ‘yogurt’ lately. There’s a brand who talks about their product using the term cultural revolution. I kinda figure they are ignorant morons.

      • Nah, they’re probably Educated morons.

      • Sort of like a politician who averred that he was indeed a nationalist socialist. And then wondered why people stared at him, jaws agape, then backed away with increasing speed.

        • They did? Funny, I didn’t notice any Sanders supporters backing away. I guess that shows just how much they couldn’t stand Clinton.

        • You know, I can’t for the life of me recall any kind of large-scale, beneficial socialists, nationalistic or otherwise. If it doesn’t work on the large scale, why are they so ignorant to think it will work globally?

          • 1. It doesn’t work on national scale because there remain too many loose kulaks and wreckers.

            2. To paraphrase Reagan: It isn’t that they’re ignorant, it is that so much of what they do know is flat wrong.

          • It doesn’t work on a national scale because the unenlightened keep failing to understand how much better off they are and risking their lives to get to nations where all their stuff won’t be confiscated and they won’t be arbitrarily shot one day because someone declared them an enemy of the people.

            It’s sort of like how in the US, confiscatory tax rates in the states don’t raise money because businesses move to other, lower tax states, or how Illinois gun control laws don’t keep crime down in Chicago because the surrounding states don’t have those laws (I haven’t looked up the statistics, but I’m sure that most gang murders are committed with weapons purchased legally in Indiana). The only way it’s going to work is if they can impose their regime on the whole world so there is no longer any place to run. Once that happens, the beauty of Communism will shine through, and they’ll finally have an omelet to show for all those broken eggs.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              I’d like to see evidence that the Chicago gangbangers purchased their hand guns legally anywhere.

              Now there is likely a black market in guns in Chicago but the “gang member” on the street likely didn’t go to Indiana to purchase his gun.

              It’s more likely that the “black market” didn’t get the guns legally in any shape or manner.

              IMO the major problem in Chicago (and such places) is that criminals don’t get the full punishment of the Law for using guns in their crimes.

              Hey! Where did this soap-box come from? 😉

              • The Free-Range Soapbox strikes again!

              • There have also been a significant number of thefts from the Chicago trainyards. Turns out gangs are willing to pay quite a lot for a tip as to which boxcars are carrying firearms shipments.

              • If you really want to have reason for despair about Chicago, and Democrat cities generally, read the blog “Second City Cop” an actual and anonymous truth to power by a Chicago cop which regularly airs the dirty laundry of the Mayor, the “Aldercreatures”, and the police brass.
                The cost in blood and treasure of Progressive policies is shown with snark and very black humor, and _some_ of the commenters are even intelligent humans. I like it when I am in a mood for mayhem.
                JPDev

              • THAT soapbox?
                Kim.

            • “they’ll finally have an omelet to show for all those broken eggs”

              Except they won’t have an omelet. They’ll have a scrambled mess that’s raw in some parts, burnt in others, and just perfect for making everyone equally sick.

              • No, it’ll be an omelet this time. Gooey and delicious and absolutely perfect. This time it’ll finally be done right. Understand me? THE RIGHT PEOPLE WILL BE IN CHARGE AND WE’LL FINALLY GET REAL COMMUNISM DONE RIGHT AND IT WILL WORK!!!! *unintelligible sounds of gurgling, growling and ranting*

                • You know, I never understood how communism kept failing because the wrong people were in charge.

                  If it is communist isn’t the state supposed to wither away which means no one is in charge therefore the idea of the right people in charge is inherently non-communist but is apparently the way to make communism work.

                  • That’s because, per the USSR, end-stage communism has not been achieved yet. Even they were only at the socialist stage, although very advanced as compared to “supposedly” socialist places like Sweden. Thus the need to have the party leadership, laws, and the coercive mechanisms of the state. But all will be well with the next Five Year Plan, Comrade!

                  • lack of leadership will proceed dialectically out of the intensification of leadership, comrade!

              • … a scrambled mess that’s raw in some parts, burnt in others,

                That is an omelet. The fluffy, cheesy deliciousness is just a myth, a lie spread by capitalist dogs.

                • I’ll have you know that fully cooked, not overdone, fluffy, cheesy deliciousness of an omelet is NOT a myth. I make them that way for my wife. And we’ve been fairly happily married for 33 years.*

                  * to each other, for all you loophole lookers. 😉

                  • I made them every morning for the boys when they were in school

                    • I cheat. I just mix the cheese into the scrambled eggs after they are almost fully cooked, like you can get at Waffle House.

                    • As noted by Jeff Gauch [elsewhere], such omelet claims are a vile propaganda, a reactionary counter-revolutionary violation of proper party policies and doctrine. You must immediately submit yourself for re-education and disciplinary procedures. In modern soviet state, all omelets are “a scrambled mess that’s raw in some parts, burnt in others.” Serving of false omelets is a thought crime subject to severe punishment and work reassignment … especially if local party officials have need of a good cook.

                  • How dare you corrupt the good and noble proletariat with your vile imperialist propaganda about omelet, you wrecker?

                  • With enough microwave radiation, all omelets are light and fluffy and developing rudimentary nervous systems…

      • Maybe they’re just making a bad pun? As the product being a revolution in cultured (non) dairy products or something?

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Well, yes, but it is in very poor taste, and their market probably does not punish them much for it.

          • True that. On the other hand, it’s non-dairy yogurt. Maybe they were also going for the crime against humanity angle (I kid, I kid).

          • I have to ask why you continue to buy food that you consider in very poor taste?

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Some of the flavors other than plain worked fairly well. And I was pretty desperate for soft foods that I could manage with my dietary restrictions.

      • I’d have seen it as a pun, personally.

    • Every leftist thinks he will be in charge because he will be at the vanguard of the Revolution.

      None of them realize it is the vanguard who dies breaking the lines of the government for the future leaders and that said leaders execute any of the vanguard who remain because having done it once they don’t want the vanguard doing it again to them.

      Sure, Stalin’s purges cost thousands of lives by removing competent leaders but it insured no revolution against Stalin because there were no competent leaders to start said revolution.

      And Stalin cared more about his power than anyone else’s life.

    • Did they imagine themselves arriving in adulthood after it cooled down and finding themselves unfit to to do anything, because it trumped all education?

      When Huai flowers bloom by Shu Jiang Lu is good on the revolution, and also interesting in its discussion of story, talk about the period after and what a problem those kids had

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        They never imagine anything “bad” happening to them.

        Look at the girl who imagined “punching Nazis” but never imagined one of the Nazis “punching back”. 😈

        • That they would hit a girl is proof that they were not only Nazis but male chauvinist pig Nazis.

  5. Um… “tom tom de Baen Barfly”?

  6. Ox finally on the road to LibertyCon. Already an “adventure” before the start. Not bringing any port.

  7. *Waves hankie from window* Y’all have fun.

    I finished Dikötter’s book on the Great Leap Forward back in May. I’ve got his book on the Cultural Revolution, but I think I need to wait a little longer to read it. There’s only so much hard-core depressing history I can take at one time.

    • Yep. There are some things I hear about and think, “nah — let’d go read a trashy (and amusing!) romance novel instead.”

    • And heavens, it’s depressing.

    • Another three for the research wish list when cash flow resumes in the fall. Most of it depressing, sigh…

    • I’m not sure my upcoming reading on the Spanish Civil War, Franco’s Reign, and Pinochet’s Chile will be much better but I those are the models I have decided to hang my US restoration circa 2090 on. Well, the period leading up to and the transition…not sure what the grooming of Juan Carlos will turn into…some weird party building creating the Enlightened Democrats and the Restoration Republicans (the Glorious Old Party)…hmmm, there might be a mix of the Restoration after Cromwell as well…arguably that’s a better model.

      • I’ve just realized that I haven’t been much following Chile since Pinochet stepped down. As I recall, I found their privatization of “Social Security” a very intriguing project. Anybody able to get me up to date on their progress? Have they fallen prey to one of those periodic bouts of self-mutilation that seems to particularly afflict Latin American nations?

        I note that Wiki asserts: “

        Chile is today one of South America’s most stable and prosperous nations. It leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, state of peace, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. It also ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, and democratic development.

        ” so I assume the project has worked, which would be why it is so little in the news.

        • I am amazed Wikipedia has let that stand without a comment of how the socialists would have done it in 197x if the evil capitalists hadn’t paid the eviller South American Hitler to oppress the people and then claim all the post-Pinochet polices were returns to what he overturned.

          Then again, most leftists aren’t as smart as post-1980 Chinese “communists” (do what works and label it socialism and don’t care what it really is as long as you stay in charge).

          • Thank goodness for reading twice! I initially scanned your phrase “most leftists aren’t as smart as post-1980 Chinese ‘communists’ ” as “most leftists are dumb as posts” and was about to rail in defense of posts.

        • Unpossible! Everyone knows The Bolivarian Paradise On Earth Of Chavezlandia, err, I mean Madurolandia, err, NoToiletPaperOrEvenFoodLandia Venezuela is the bestest place in South America. Ask Sean Penn.

    • Another view of the Great Leap Forward, along with before and after, from the viewpoint of a Chinese-American physician from California, see https://muse.jhu.edu/article/397347/pdf .

      Some time after Dr. Chung returned to America, he married one of my wife’s aunts, and I got a chance to read the book. Think: “Adventure, bad things happening to someone else a long way away”.

    • *Similar waving from a ways East* All y’all who’re going to Libertycon, do have fun and be nice to Brandy et. al. for me.

      I find going back to C.S. Lewis and similar is a decent palate cleanser after depressiong histories. It leads me to believe that there’s a market for real, unflinching hope out there, but e-gads is it tough to do well in print. Or anywhere else, I imagine.

  8. I get paid by the article.

    That sounds like an unsound business model. If they won’t pay you by the noun or even the verb, couldn’t you at least get paid by the preposition? (I realize that getting paid by the adjective would entail problems, and these days being paid by the adverb just wouldn’t do.)

    Oh, and does “Post tomorrow.” mean Friday, or possibly Monday? (I trust you’ll not be so idle at Liberty to compose a post for us.)

    I haz become a very confused wallaby.

    • For reasons too convoluted to go into in public our Sarah has an extremely light official schedule this year, leaving her free to range the con and wreak havoc as she will.
      I am looking forward to this with great anticipation.

      • Wait – Someone in supposed authority decided to free-range-author our Beautiful but Terrible Space Princess? Holy mackeral.

        • yeah, I’m on TWO panels: both to promote the Straight Out of Tombstone antho which is apparently the only work I have out. (rolls eyes.)

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Well, considering that you were on too many panels last year, you deserve a break this year. 😉

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                My mistake. 😉

              • You deserve a break “two years ago”? I am not sure retroactive relief is practical, even at a libertarian SF con.

              • Yep, two years ago Sarah was rode hard and put up wet.
                Back to back to back panels with no breaks or respite.
                It was brought to the attention of the con after the fact.
                So last year her schedule was…
                Much lighter, but more than a bit bizarre, not at all appropriate for an author of her stature and reputation.
                And this year she’s apparently a newb with a short story up in some anthology.
                But nothing to see here, we’ll just move along now.

          • I wonder if they do the schedules by hand, or if they have some kind of software? Seems to be a process something like that would handle reasonably well.

          • We should make, er, persuade you to wear a GoPro and wander around live-streaming the convention…

    • Get paid by the gerund. Your prose style will be a bit staccato but until they catch on to you, you’ll clean up.

  9. Rummaging around on my hard drive last yesterday, pulling up handwriting sheets to print, I found what’s likely the first version of John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education, a free pdf from a long, long time ago. I know he’s published it since, and presumably cleaned it up.

    I started a reread. I’d forgotten just how much he’d put in it. And I think I need to propose to the Moms’ group that we read/reread it, because there’s a tendency to reach back before 1960 and think we’re getting good, old materials, like the Founding Fathers used, and it looks like we actually need to reach a hundred years further into the past to get that attitude towards children.
    Also, he included a nice, mild, rant on the publishing industry as related to childrens’ books.

  10. “Um… no one is sending indoctrinated young people to the countryside to teach farmers how to farm”
    Well, actually…. That’s exactly what some of the environmentalists are trying to do – and have been ever since that Silent Spring. Probably the only area they are having minimal impact is engineering. But even there – witness the Grenfell Tower fire.

    Have fun at LibertyCon. I’ll have to make plans to go in the future.

    • Outstanding point. Better than good or excellent.

    • I seem to recall that during the Obama admin they were testing the waters on regulating home gardens, along with reminders that anything that was grown in a home garden was taxable! I’m pretty sure that it was all unanimously ignored though.

      They also tried to regulate yard sales. Especially the selling of toys and kids books, requiring testing for lead content for any toys or books older than a certain date (technically “tried” isn’t exactly right, since I believe the regulations are in effect, it’s just that most people either ignore them or don’t even know about them).

      Probably not the same, but still big government poking it’s nose in where it isn’t really needed.

      • Not so much taxation, as I recall, unless it’s sold and then it becomes income, but the application of agricultural laws, in particular quotas. The very first political cartoon I remember was in a farming magazine, and it had a congressman, a farmer, and a consumer staring at a bronco labeled “Free Market.” The caption read “The trick is learning to ride him again.” That was in the early 1960s, and we haven’t learned the trick yet.

        But I feel a rant coming on and I shall desist.

        • It has seemed to me that people tend to want a free market for what they buy and a managed market for what they sell.

          • As observed when someone’s on a tear about how certain companies should not be allowed to set prices, and you ask them if you want the government to cap their wages, too.

            • Many of them will agree to government caps on wages and prices — because it is easier to bring political pressure in support of raising caps on wages than on prices. When such decisions are moved from the marketplace to the forums you can be sure that the side with the most votes will generally prevail.

              Which is why few are holding their breath awaiting Seattle’s repeal of their $15 MW.

              • BTW:

                Maine tried to raise its minimum wage. Restaurant workers didn’t want it.
                As the Maine House voted on a bill to reduce the minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers, Jason Buckwalter and a dozen fellow servers huddled in a back room listening to the vote call at the Bangor steakhouse where they work.

                They all hoped to hear one thing: that state legislators had voted to lower their wages. Some cried with relief, Buckwalter said, when the final vote ended at 110 to 37 — overwhelmingly in their favor.

                The vote, which took place on June 13, marked the conclusion of a months-long political saga that has upended conventional wisdom about the minimum wage. Workers have traditionally supported such increases, which advocates say are critical to lifting millions out of poverty.

                But in Maine, servers actively campaigned to overturn the results of a November referendum raising servers’ hourly wages from $3.75 in 2016 to $12 by 2024, saying it would cause customers to tip less and actually reduce their take-home income.

                [SNIP]

                The servers’ campaign against increasing the minimum wage was a blow to labor activists, who believed the Maine referendum could kick off similar votes in New York, Massachusetts and D.C.

                Instead, some servers in those places are already mobilizing against a higher wage.

                “The next fight is on the national level,” said Buckwalter, who organized other servers to lobby Maine politicians and is now working with waitstaff in Minneapolis and Seattle. “I had lost my faith in government. This restored it, a little.”

                As Buckwalter and other servers explain it, the labor model in restaurants is unlike that in other industries. Federal labor law allows restaurants to pay their tipped workers less than the local minimum wage, provided that their total earnings, with tips, meet or exceed that minimum. If servers’ earnings fall short of that, employers must pay the difference.

                In reality, it’s not clear how often restaurants do that. Furthermore, activists say, workers who make the bulk of their income in tips depend on getting good shifts to make ends meet. That means they avoid any actions that could upset management, including asking for owed money or complaining about customers who harass or bother them.

                As a result, said Sylvia Allegretto, a labor economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied minimum wage issues, tipped workers tend to have a poverty rate almost twice that of non-tipped workers, and they are more likely to rely on public assistance.

                [SNIP]

                At first, that argument seemed to be persuasive in Maine, where more than 80,000 people work in food service, according to the state department of labor. The average annual wage is slightly over $17,000 a year for restaurant workers, but that includes both tipped servers at full-service restaurants and people who do not make tips, such as back-of-house staff and fast-food workers.

                A November referendum to raise both the regular and tipped minimum wages — $7.50 and $3.75, respectively — won with 55 percent of the vote. (It required a simple majority.) But almost immediately after the vote was tallied, tipped servers began to complain that the result would hurt their livelihoods.

                Their fears were twofold, said Sue Vallenza, a 55-year-old bartender at the Pilot House in Kennebunk, Maine, who immediately began lobbying state legislators to overrule the referendum. Many servers feared the higher costs to owners would lead them to raise prices or cut shifts. And at a packed, 10-hour April meeting of the Maine Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee, dozens of servers also said some confused customers were already tipping less.

                Vallenza said she saw her hourly tips drop by more than $2 per hour, from the $20 to $30 per hour she made before.

                “I don’t need to be ‘saved,’ and I’ll be damned if small groups of uninformed people are voting on my livelihood,” Vallenza said. “You can’t cut someone off at the knees like that.”

                [SNIP]

                James Dill, a college professor and the Democratic state senator from Maine’s 5th District, received hundreds of emails and phone calls from unhappy servers, he said. He initially voted for the ballot referendum because he supports a higher minimum wage. After the outcry, he signed onto a Republican measure to lower the tipped wage down again.

                That measure passed the Senate by a vote of 23 to 12 on June 7, and the House on June 13. Governor LePage signed the bill into law last week, a spokesman for his office said, though the signing was not publicly announced for several days. It’s expected to go into effect in January 2018.

                “I realize not everyone is in the same boat,” said Dill. “But the ones who called me were saying, ‘I make $20 to $25 per hour, I’ve bought a house with that income, I support my kids — it’s really important that you don’t mess with my tips.’”

                “I believe in a higher minimum wage,” he added. “But the people who this was impacting didn’t want it.”

                [SNIP]

                “There’s no other industry that gets away with not paying their workers because customers can,” [Dave Palmer, the managing director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a national group of low-wage restaurant workers that fought for Maine’s referendum,] said. “This is bigger than any one state.”

                [END EXCERPT]

                What Mr. Palmer fails to recognise is that all industries’ workers are paid by the customers; it is only in some industries that the payment is not indirect.

                • The servers were right, of course. if their minimum wage went up to $12/hr, many, many customers would stop tipping at all, thinking that that was plenty for a server to be paid, so they would lose a ton of money.

                  And then the IRS would STILL tax them on 8% of the bills they were responsible for, even though they weren’t making that in tips. Those people who were making $25-$30/hr were probably only paying taxes on $15-$20/hr, because they are not required to report their actual take in tips.

                  • But don’t you see, when the restaurants raise prices to cover the (much) higher hourly wages the customer tips — based on (say) 15% of the bill — will also go up! Win-win for servers!

                    No prizes will be awarded for being first to spot the flaw in that theory.

                  • The tax issue is very important. I had full time drivers whose take home was higher than mine when I managed a Dominos even though my nominal income was higher. They were required by IRS consent decrease to claim $1/hr in tips so that is all they did.

                    $5-6/hr was closer to the truth which meant about 1/3 of their income was tax free.

            • Well, there are some leftists campaigning for a maximum wage…often they are also campaigning for a $15 minimum wage (with exemptions for people they need to hire, just as ACORN which had the balls to apply for a minimum wage wavier for people it hired in a “living wage” campaign).

              My opinion is those campaigning for higher minimum wage are just admitting how little their labor is worth and those campaigning for a maximum wage how little they think they can achieve.

            • If someone could forcibly implant the idea that prices are not arbitrary into everybody’s head, the Democrat party would cease to exist.

              • Even if you forcibly planted it there, many would pull it right out again, thinking it was a weed.

        • Not so much taxation, as I recall, unless it’s sold and then it becomes income, but the application of agricultural laws, in particular quotas.

          Oh, I’m sure it would have gone there if they had gone through with it. They were making arguments that, because you were “affecting interstate commerce” by NOT buying fruits and vegetables produced elsewhere.

          • It actually did, in one hazily recalled case. Guy giving away produce from his garden. What he was giving away was subject to some agricultural allotments, and the government took exception.

          • That isn’t an argument it is current case law in the US. From the article I reference below:

            The Supreme Court interpreted the United States Constitution’s Commerce Clause under Article 1 Section 8, which permits the United States Congress “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes”. The Court decided that Filburn’s wheat growing activities reduced the amount of wheat he would buy for animal feed on the open market, which is traded nationally (interstate), and is therefore within the purview of the Commerce Clause. Although Filburn’s relatively small amount of production of more wheat than he was allotted would not affect interstate commerce itself, the cumulative actions of thousands of other farmers just like Filburn would certainly become substantial. Therefore, according to the court, Filburn’s production could be regulated by the federal government.

            • The SCOTUS decision in that case surely ranks amongst their worst ever top five. I could argue it is worse than Dred Scott or Roe in that it licenses the feds to intervene in any and every nook and cranny of American life, effectively revoking the 9th & 10th Amendments.

              • By its logic that decision could even be construed to permit government determination of required family size, because nothing drive a household’s commercial activities like the presence or absence of children.

        • I do remember reading an article at the time that talked directly about taxation, referencing Wickard v. Filburn. Although admittedly, I don’t recall if that particular article was quoting a regulator saying “this is what we are doing” or a nutball screaming that “the government is coming for your carrots!”

          • Don’t forget, these are the super-geniuses who wanted to tax homeowners on the imputed income earned from renting their homes to themselves.

            As a general rule, the stupider the idea the more quick they are to clasp it to their bosoms.

        • Unfortunately, no. see Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942).
          That case, the bastard basis of the expanded definition of “affecting Interstate commerce” and therefore expanding Federal jurisdiction into purely individual or State matters, allowing them to regulate, tax, or suppress almost any activity a Federal bureaucrat or prosecutor thinks should be screwed with. Wickard was growing wheat on his farm and feeding it to his own cattle. This, of course, denied the Feds the opportunity to either tax the wheat, the money it would have sold for, or to forbid him to grow it in the first place
          I well know that feeling of impending rant, and one of those has kept me up this late, I too, shall resist and desist.
          JPDev

      • Which is why “Three Felonies A Day” is on my book shelf.

        We are truly an overregulated country.

        • See: BUREAUCRACY IN AMERICA for two related recommendations about the unconstitutionality of the Bureaucratic state.

        • Man I need to actually READ that book. I have known of it’s existence for years but I haven’t gotten around to finding a copy. I’ve tried to explain the idea of “three felonies a day” to friends and I just get blank stares. Perhaps reading it would help.

      • Laws like that are not intended to be enforced on everyone; they are intended to give bureaucrats and your Leftist neighbors a handy club to beat you with if you step out of line.

    • Like California, that’s looking to outlaw glyphosate?

      • Nope, not going there (dodges soapbox, as it goes zipping by). Just ask any competent farmer (not just any Ag Eng graduate, someone who actually does this sh- err, stuff for a living) what farming *without* glypho or its derivatives looks like. For the world, let alone the country. *shakes head*

        Those little red books are going to get even more people killed, I’m afraid. You don’t go messing with stuff that *works* when it comes to our food supply. People will, no kidding, riot.

        • They’ve already killed millions with their DDT ban, why would they care about a few more corpses? It’s not like the bodies will be piling up anywhere THEY can see.

          I’ve long since given up on the idea that anyone on the Left is functionally intelligent, I’m beginning to question if there’s anyone on the Left that is even decent.

          • Stupid greedy farmers, hogging all the water! How are we to keep the lawns around our mansions and campuses green?

          • They are clueless – see the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute research ship, the RV Rachel Carson: http://www.mbari.org/at-sea/ships/rv-rachel-carson/

            • But at what point does cluelessness in today’s Information Age become willful, and thus evil? The really have no excuse to not know, they have to choose to be ignorant.

              • Weaponized Ignorance? Perhaps we should impose a tax on schools which produce such maleducated thugs? We could call it the lottery.

                • I like Instapundit’s idea of making student loans dischargable in bankruptcy after 5-10 years, with the school responsible for paying back half of the discharged debt.

                  • How about “The university is so sure that the student’s education is valuable, then let them front the loans…”.

                    We can offer them an up-front stipend from the Treasury, but ever after? They better hope those students can earn a living, out in the economy. And, by the way… If they go back into academia, that’s taxed on one-for-one basis, to pay back the Treasury.

                    See, that way we make sure that academia is actually going to contribute to society in general, because if they don’t…? Bankruptcy for the institution.

                    Guar-an-darn-tee you that there will be a sudden drop in the underwater-basket weaving majors. Hell, tie the graduation rate and “productive citizen” rate into the whole “Do you get a pension…” deal, and watch what happens.

                    There really needs to be a link between “long-term impact of college education on the student/society” and the financial well-being of the professoriate. Produce a bunch of economically productive folks? Your future is secure. Produce parasites? Your institution dies, and your economic well-being goes right with it.

                    Most of the “professors” at Evergreen really ought to be sitting next to cardboard boxes and drinking Thunderbird in their old ages, not living off the fat of the Washington State taxpayer.

                    Hell, I’ll go one further: Produce someone like William Ayers? LOL… Baby, you’re gonna be paying for that with a huge chunk of your pension plan, after we get done charging off all of the damage he’s done to society and everything else.

                    Probably unworkable, but an interesting idea, no?

                    • The Texas Regents’ University schools actually considered something like that a few years ago. Profs were to be sorted and ranked based on the income they brought to the university and how much the students in their programs earned after graduation. It got scuttled, but it was an idea.

                • See which teacher or administrator pulls the paper with black dot?

                • “It’s possible. Not only possible, it’d be easy!” exclaimed the excited Stanley.

                  Roger looked up, “What would be easy?”

                  Stanley sighed, annoyed at Roger’s not having registered what he’d been explaining for a considerable time, “The Stupidity Bomb.”

                  Roger looked quizzically at Stan, “Stupidity Bomb?”

                  “Yes! If detonated, it would unleash a tremendous blanket of idiocy over a vast area. Possess that and you can hold any nation that values its wits hostage. Imagine what they’d pay not to be rendered imbeciles!”

                  “Uh huh. Have you read any newspapers, or popular magazines lately? Maybe listened to the radio or watched television?”

                  “What does that have to do with anything?”

                  It was Roger’s turn to sigh as he switched on the usually dormant television, “Watch, and learn.” He started slowly flipping through the channels.

                  Stanley stared. His jaw dropped. Profanity followed. There was only one possible explanation. Not only had someone beaten him to building the bomb, but whoever did it also had quite obviously detonated the wretched thing. That much idiocy simply could not have occurred naturally.

                  • Ground Zero was San Francisco, CA

                    wait hear me out

                    Pelosi, Boxer and Feinstien are from there.

                    Most of the rest of CA’s problems are just the stupid spilling over into Sacramento. It must have been downwind that day.

                    • There’s no way you can convince me that there wasn’t another set off down over Hollywood.

                  • aka A Visit From Good Idea Fairy.

  11. My mother, my wife, and I will be there, Sarah! Looking forward to meeting you. Safe travels!

  12. Sitting in SFO waiting for next flight. Sooooo looking forward to Liberty Con.

  13. c4c

  14. The US version really predates Mao’s by thirty years or more. You can smell the stench in books like Tobacco Road, that people need the “guidance” of their “betters.” Such as the local saga of the “government” privies that was supposed to be safer and more sanitary than the standard outhouse, and how someone getting bit on the rump by a black widow cooled the enthusiasm for such.

    The cultural aspect has been more laid back until recently, but has been there for decades. And I note with a bit of schadenfreude how it’s feeding on them now.

  15. “Tom tom de Baen Barfly” Mental image: an outsized fly with a set of bongos (4 total drums in this set) a beer on a stool, and a space suit folded neatly in the background pounding out secret code. For some reason the fly is wearing a barret and shades and smoking a cigar. I’m not sure if this means I’ve had too much coffee or not enough.

    • I had the same image. Data point, looking over, I’m only through about a third of my morning medication.

    • So you’ll be publishing the resulting story when?

      • BAD MAN! Now I have a salamander in the corner that is UP TO SOMETHING, but she won’t tell me what. Also the fly has a pistol. I’m not sure what kind, but it’s well hidden by the bongos. This is going to be a shoot out. On a space station bar. *sighs* Time to test the humor… (not usually my strong point in writing.)

        • You’re welcome.

          Oh, and thank you…it is so long since I got called a bad man in these parts I thought I’d lost my touch.

          • Yeah, well, the security lion in whose bar you just inspired a barfight might have a few words with you. 😉

          • Btw, the working title seems to be ‘Fly on the Wall’

            • Oh, no! Someone turned #2 Son loose without a keeper?

              #2 Son intends to go into genetic engineering. He would like to give other species sentience. He is entirely lacking the “what could go wrong with this?” thought process wiring. He just does not think that way.

              I never used to think Mad Scientists were real. But apparently I’m raising one.

              • I think these are all alien spieces and this is just what they resemble. There may be a sentient slime in the corner or that may be someone’s spilled dinner. I’m not sure yet.

                Good luck with the son. Maybe that is somethign that can be taught? or maybe he’ll get a good partner who DOES think that way and have the sense to listen? My boy is only 2 and a half so we’ve got a while before we worry about anything like that.

                • That’s something that comes with pain, usually, I’m afraid. I’d say, “Ask me how I know!”, but really, all i remember is the fact that NOT asking that question is a VERY bad idea.

              • Free Range Oyster

                Mad Science means never having to ask “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

              • He would like to give other species sentience.

                Give him Niven’s Man/Kzin Wars. That ought help clarify some of the potential problems.

                • I’ve had him read Pam’s Outcasts and Gods. It didn’t have much effect. Oh, he was properly horrified, but real people just wouldn’t act like that. But take heart, he’s thirteen and will hit 20th century history in not long at all. I’ll give him Niven next time he complains about being out of reading material.
                  He has a good heart and doesn’t quite believe in man’s inhumanity to man. Thank God we home school. I expect public schools would kill his soul.

                  • Thank God we home school. I expect public schools would kill his soul.

                    I believe that to be their goal, yes. It makes its products so ever much easier to manage. Pesky souls are forever causing folk to say “Hey! Wha?!?” rather than obeying our instructions. “Unlawful orders” is an oxymoron!

          • It’s a bad touch, bad touch AHHHHHH

        • Is it a fire salamander, or an ordinary amphibian type? Could a salamander be considered a wyrm, wurm, or worm? Are the bongos drums, or antelope, or are the bongos banging on bongos? Did the fly kidnap that energetic and enterprising person? Is the bar on the space station raised too high? Have I had too much caffeine today and am wyrding out? 😉

          • Appears to be of the (anthropomorphic) amphibious type. But she wasn’t happy when you asked that question. There may be some fire in that amphibian yet. The antelope are part of the problem, but they are not the drums the fly is using to signal with. Neither are they recieving the signal. I’m not sure who’s using earth beatnik bongos are a good code base, I don’t know. The bar on the space station can be raised or lowered to suit the occupants. Or hide the dog. Usually hide the dog.

        • *starts humming* “Late night at the Draco Tavern, late night at the Draco Tavern/ Man, you never know just what might walk in through that door./ One more drink before I hit the road.”

          • “Careful that you don’t offend her/ You can’t always tell their gender” – prophetic words from the songsmith. (Duane Elms, iirc)
            (Why I can remember that verse and almost no other is quite beyond me.)

    • My mind went there, it’s late – An overgrown fly with a Barret .50 rifle.
      JPDev

  16. Sounds like a combination of exhausting and a blast; which is what all conventions should be imho.

    Flying or driving? Figure Denver to Chattanooga is a long day jaunt (18-19 hrs); but you’d lose a whole day flying anyway, plus you get to have your vehicle there, and you get to take side trips if you like.

    It’s not that I really don’t like flying (I did spend 22 years in the USAF), but I’m not crazy about being cargo; which is what passengers are on the airlines, we’re not customers. And to the TSA monsters, we’re all terrorists, even if we’ve been pre-screened. So my message to the airline and airline security industries is I’m boycotting you, even if you never notice the absence of my minimal, coach-class fare.

    • For me these days that would be a three day jaunt. (Actually, when I did do that in younger days, I had the wife to switch off with, so it really doesn’t count.)

    • Livestock. United is trying to herd us like cows. No… Maybe a mixed flock of sheep and goats.

      • If you didn’t want to be herded like livestock you should have chosen a different airline. Or walked. Perhaps this is all part of a government regulatory scheme to boost Amtrack ridership?

        • I had United miles to spend. v Chose United 10 years ago as the airline to maximize miles with at work. Was okay for most of that time. United customer service and reliability has seriously degraded in the last few years.

      • Is reason I prefer private surface travel.

        • Is reason I would love to have enough money to own my own plane. A Cessna or Piper or Mooney would be fine, but I would love a Beech Super King Air. (That could be a party plane.)

  17. Next year I am going to LibertyCon.

    My goal is to actually release the first book of “The Yankees” while I’m there but that means writing it which means researching it and having finished Queen Takes Knight.

  18. Patrick Chester

    Have fun stormin’ the castle!

  19. “I have a mound of clothes to iron”
    Bless your heart, you ain’t from around here is you honey chile?
    Talk about pointless endeavors, Chattanooga mid summer cloth wilts a nanosecond after being donned.
    Now a little birdie at NWS does tell me that we can expect 50% or better chance of rain and thunderstorms the entire weekend so the humidity will likely be falling on us instead of just hovering in a fine mist.
    My intent is to be on site by 3:00 on Friday, will most likely tag up at the opening ceremonies.

  20. We’ll be leaving at 4 tomorrow, hoping to reach Chattanooga at a reasonable time in the evening.

  21. Christopher M. Chupik

    This is Liberty-Con, where you can spit on the mat and call the flat-cat a dastard!

  22. kenashimame

    c4c

  23. Just an FYI for anybody heading to LibertyCon via I-75 through Cincinnati, the Brent Spence bridge over the Ohio River is currently undergoing major work, with lane closures. You may want to look at using the I-275 loop or the I-471 bridge instead. (Alas, I do not have to worry as I didn’t register in time this year.)

  24. For those considering coming next year, rumor has it that this is the last year at the Choo Choo. They are in the process of going all condo, so almost total lack of hotel rooms on site. Great venue as far as meeting rooms and facilities goes, but sadly lacking in other amenities, so won’t be that sorry if the rumor proves true.
    I expect it will be discussed in detail at the con.

  25. Further note, Libertycon has a hard cutoff of 750 paid members. Add in staff and comped attendees and you get around 900 total. That limit is written into their charter which for a number of reasons would be extremely difficult to change. Add in that the founders intentionally capped it there in the (to me realistic) belief that growing much beyond that would negatively impact the family atmosphere that makes LC the very special con that it is.
    All this to say that registration for next year opens typically on the last day of the con so attendees can reup while still there. On-line registration opens at the same time, so if you want to come act quickly.

    • Great…I didn’t budget con fees for Sunday…hopefully early, early isn’t too expensive.

      • IIRC it opened around 0800 EDT last year. (No, I didn’t register since I knew I’d be going Abroad).

      • I always try to register quickly so it doesn’t slip my mind, but actually you probably have several months to register. I would certainly advise anyone to not wait much past the first of the year though.

  26. “…their ideologically insane/no world experience professors.”

    Example!!! http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2017/06/the-intelligentsia-trust-us-were-experts.html

    This is a great one!

  27. While there, make sure to leave the con and try the local restaurants. Avoid the chains, get guidance from someone who lives there.

    I lived in Chattanooga for less than a year, and gained two stone. I’ve been all over the country, and never found a place with better food.
    (I don’t know if it’s still around, but there used to be a little dive Italian restaurant in a strip mall off of Brainerd where the complementary rolls were served in a bowl of melted butter, and the food just got more decadent from there. And don’t get me started on the barbeque…)

    Oh, and See Rock City.
    The Chickamauga battlefield is also worth the time, if you can squeeze it in and have transportation to get there.

    • We can’t eat carbs. But yeah, the food in Chattanooga is unbelievable. we’ve been going there for 12? 14? years? It’s our home away from home.

    • Whenever I go past Missionary Ridge, think of an ancestor wounded there.

      You can find great food in all sorts of places. Years ago, bored of the chain restaurant menus, we struck out and found a real Mexican restaurant out from Tucker, Georgia. I wore the same hat I wear in my Gravitar photo, and the owner must have thought we were from out West. We were ushered to a back room where the Arizona Diamondbacks were on the TV. To date that’s the best Mexican food I’ve eaten.

  28. Never say never, but LC is unlikely to ever be in my future. Sounds like a darned fine time: I virtually toast all y’all’s SFnal party.

  29. Ox aboard Chattanooga Choo-choo. 740