Look How Far We’ve Come

One of the weird habits of writers is that every few years we go and get our trunk stories and read them and go “Wow, I really am better now.”

We’ve done this recently as a family (hey the family that picks scabs together stays together) and laughed heartily at some of our early stuff.  (BTW if you’re a working writer — meaning you didn’t take some long hiatus in between and you read stuff from ten years ago and say “wow, I was good” this is a bad sign.)

So it occurred to me this little cell of dissidence — or as a friend calls it, “Hoyt’s home for the tragically gifted” — needed to do the equivalent.

I “came out” of the political closet roughly five years ago.  This was done in stages, so it’s hard to pinpoint a specific date.  To be fair, I don’t think it was possible before in the sense that not only would I have been black llisted with the main stream publishing left, but also with the right, who would have viewed me as extreme and “crazy.”

In fact, when we first started out, after I’d come out of the political closet, with people saying stuff like “I couldn’t come out in mainstream publishing, or people would have never published me again.”  Or “I can’t come out because I work in Academia” we got commenters in here — not all leftist — accusing us of being paranoid and crazy.

No one can honestly say that, after the battle for Berkley, the Sad Puppies insanity in which one of the major publishing houses in the business called in favors in mass media to tar a movement with artistic and aesthetic differences as “racist, sexist, homophobic” and “trying to keep minorities and women from writing science fiction.”  Also, at various points during the kerfuffle those of us who were involved got told we’d never work/be invited to cons in this town again.  (BTW being invited to cons might seem to beginners to be part of the pomp and circumstance of being successful as a writer, but those of us to the right of Lenin — meaning we weren’t talking politics to begin with — have gotten used to surviving without big con presence, and frankly, from observing my indie sales, I’m not sure cons were ever useful for sales, unless you were front and center on the demographic that attends cons.  Since I’m aiming for younger readers that don’t have a lot of time for non-paying activities… meh.)

What if I’d decided to say that the left would weaponize the IRS and other governmental departments?  Well, in 2011 we might still be called crazy.  After Lois Lerner not so much.

What about when we said things like the Clintons being corrupt?  Well, back in 2010/11 a lot of people were still talking about what great Americans the Clintons were, and how the only reason the Republicans didn’t like Billy Jeff was his peccadilloes.  But the election in 2016 — despite all the vari-colored hairs sporting Hillary t-shirts — proved that most people don’t buy their innocent act.  Despite all the mass-media burnishing of their image and their “achievements” enough tarnishing information has come out, that no one buys it anymore.

How about that global warming, eh?  Yeah, I know.  In 2010 at a company dinner for a friend’s job, we spoke in hushed tones about how it had some flaws.  Now most people roll their eyes at the media when they push this crap, and the more alert have started to say “so, it’s climate change now?  Why do you keep changing names like a bad Chinese restaurant?”

What about some of my “kookier” ideas like that world population is not as big as I think it is, and that there is no possible way to tell how big it actually is, since even in the US — which has, arguably one of the most reliable censuses in the world, we “estimate” people and “count uncountable population” and other political ways to inflate population.  (Much less in the countries which receive international aid per-capita.)  Well, when I first mentioned it in passing, here, my comments were full of “no, no, we know exactly how many people there are, and the world population is climbing terrifyingly.”  Now I can say that we don’t know how big the world population is but that it doesn’t seem to be as big as we’ve been told, ON PJMEDIA and the comments don’t yell at me for being paranoid.

What about having a general doubt of things reported in one of the Mass Media outlets?  Sure in our councils, as it were, we’ve made fun of MSM all along, but people used to assume if the NYT said it there was some fire beneath the smoke.

Yeah, after Russian pee pee gate and the determined attempts to NOT report on Hillary’s multiple liabilities  That is gone, baby, gone.  In fact, it was people at large attaching “fake news” to the MSM that caused MSM to try to walk back this cute meme they’d started.  (too late.)

Then there was their attempt to Mau Mau (Mao Mao) the rest of the US with the idea that every white person was racist, the police was hunting for black men, and BLM were going to burn our cities until we admitted our guilt.  Then there was their screaming about global warming, while jetting around the world.  Oh, and let’s not forget Occupy Wall Street, which, in each of our cities translated to “crazy half dozen and clearly dangerous homeless people standing on the corner being crazy” while the MSM treated it as a respectable movement.

Oh, and let us not forget “Summer of Recovery.”  Which the unemployed read amid shuttered store fronts and thought “that’s funny.”

There are a ton more examples.  It’s Saturday morning, and I’m not awake enough to list them all.  So, I’ll let you hunt them down.

How did we get here from where we were 5 or even 6 years ago, where the left commanded the heights of culture, moved the overton window at their pleasure, and were considered “sane” and “mainstream”?  Well, it was a bit of this and a bit of that.

First of all it was the fact that when Obama got reelected despite a — charitably — lack luster and uncharitably bizarrely disastrous (in economy, in world prestige, in pretty much everything) first term, the left thought it would never lose again.  So they leaned way out the Overton Window and REACHED for what they thought was within their easy grasp.

Second there was the New Media and the fact that everyone has a camera on their phone.  You do realize that in the 70s we all — not just the crazy and biased left — would believe “hands up, don’t shoot” right?  And that Antifa were pure-halo-knights of the resistance, right?  But alas the man on the street can now record masked thugs bashing women’s faces in, and the halo is tarnished forever, no matter how much the MSM tries to burnish it.

Third, there is the development of what I’d call “right wing talk backers.” and a right wing culture.  Indie publishing has allowed a bunch of leans-libertarian (and right) authors to self-publish.  Yeah, a lot of them are awful, but not all.  And you can’t hide the ones who aren’t.  And that means those of us who used to swallow the left politics with our entertainment because it was the only game in town no longer have to.  Which means that the mass-industrial-entertainment complex is losing money.  (And just you wait till our people take the movies!)

The leftist and dysfunctional view of the world can only persist while it’s unopposed.  Now, it’s not.  Now it has a million dissident, not particularly organized voices talking back to it.

Recently, an episode of Right Angle at https://www.billwhittle.com/ talked about how 1984 might be impossible with the level of communications and internet we have NOW.  I think they’re right, because to make the world of DST (first written in 1998) fly, I had to add in a disabling of the internet and peer-to-group communications.

And that’s my scattered Saturday morning thoughts.

The election of 2016, with a not terribly appealing anti-left (we can’t call him right) candidate wouldn’t have gone the way it did if tuning out the leftist entertainment/news/intellectual complex hadn’t become the norm.

The left wouldn’t be running for safe rooms and complaining of trigger words if they were still in control.

More importantly they wouldn’t have tried some of the crazy gambits they’ve tried, in terms of telling us to believe their words over our lying eyes (really, Don Junior violating his “oath of citizenship”? REALLY?) if they weren’t in a panic.

Ride right through them, boys.  They’re demoralized as hell.

In the end we win, they lose.  And we’ve come a lot further towards it than I bet you realized.





271 thoughts on “Look How Far We’ve Come

  1. To quote Churchill, perhaps with an excess of optimism, “not the end, not even the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning.”
    But there are still many more ways things can go wrong than they can go right. There are huge territories to recapture, and with them, the resources those territories provide.

    1. Churchill all so said “their is nothing to fear but fear itself…………..and spiders.

  2. Tarnished halos? I think those suckers have crumbled to oxides by now. Only the most fervent true believers actually trust the media. Anyone else with even a touch of common sense distrusts all forms of news media.

    1. Except for the maligned “low-information-voter”, of whom there are too many to discount politically.
      You know them — after work, family, an hour spent in the tavern after work or the book of faces or in an on-line game to relax a bit with people who aren’t part of the political punditry, then they’ll spend maybe 15-30 minutes dutifully scanning whatever news source is easiest — mostly so they won’t show up totally ignorant when something is said at work, or when the office is closed next day because of Hurricane Zelda.
      They may have common sense on how to work, how to mow the lawn, how to help solve their kids’ problems — but no real interest in spending their time decoding the political prognostications of people they oughta be able to trust.
      Sad — but such folks have, I think, become the MSM’s prime audience, and the reason why movies and other entertainment needs ideological/political balance or neutrality.

  3. “And that’s my scattered Saturday morning thoughts.”
    Would that I could be half so coherent.
    I do love these posts. It’s like you’ve taken the thoughts floating in the back of my mind and given them form.
    Thank You.

  4. I’m a little sick of people claiming that half the population is automatically evil, though. Been fighting that perception for more than a decade. (I still have friends all over the political spectrum, amazingly enough.)

    1. Fetal livers for Lamborghinis was a phase change moment for me. “Evil” returned to my everyday conceptual toolkit. And cannot be unseen.

    2. I’m related to quite a few Democrats. I view them the same way I view the Wehrmact, they might not be individually evil, but they’re leaders are and they’re working for an evil cause. They need to be defeated.

    3. I did. After a bunch of them on Twitter were commiserating on how many of their friends had revealed themselves into “white Dominionists” and had clearly ALWAYS been evil, while cheerfully shredding the reputation of a mutual friend who wasn’t there to defend himself, I…don’t. Unless one of them specifically tells ME they’re my friend, which to date has not happened. I miss them. But I react very, very poorly to that particular behavior.

    1. I hit “Yeah, after Russian pee pee gate and the determined attempts to NOT report on Hillary’s multiple liabilities That is gone, baby, gone.”
      and thought:

        1. ’80s flashback
          The hair,
          the bad action sequences,
          Grace Slick trying to look 19 at 40 something nearing 50
          the horror!

          Heh, I wish I looked as much younger

        2. Gah, had to look the video up to find the name of the movie – Mannequin (1987). I don’t think I saw it in the movie theater though – but I had seen it a long time ago.

  5. And just you wait till our people take the movies!

    There are some small independent movie makers out there learning and honing their craft. It may take a while before they produce great films, but it is coming.

    And with DVD/Blu-ray and online down load availability of a backlog of old and foreign film unless you feel the need to have the movie theater experience you can skip what it presently being sold and still have movies.

    1. Please! A friend was recounting at lunch today how the HBO mini-series “Birth of a Nation” made him hate white people, and he’s white. I countered with some of the antebellum law cases where masters were convicted of murder for killing their own slaves, or for killing any black, and how slave’s testimony was weighed the same as that of a white. He wanted to know why that wasn’t in the stuff he watches and hears. “Because you have to look for it,” was my answer and left it at that. I could see a soap-box starting to sneak up on me.

      1. I saw the original D. W. Griffith “Birth of a Nation” in 1960, and it was the most effective piece of propaganda I’ve ever encountered. I left the campus theater just about ready to join the KKK even though I grew up in Hawaii and was dating a black girl. I’m not surprised the current HBO reversed this and went totally the other way. The media has always had a toxic side.

    2. Indeed, My daughter and I ditched the cable something like three or four years ago – and went to streaming internet … and what with Netflix and Acorn and a couple of other services out there – what a lovely bounty; movies and TV series from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands and more – something for every taste and interest. Yes, there is a certain amount of PC going on, I am certain – but I’ve never heard of most of the actors, directors, producers before, so if they have been busily insulting us American deplorables over the last year or more — well, I’ll never have heard of it. And then there is Amazon and Netflix producing their own content…

      And American independent producers are just waiting in the wings…

      1. In many significant ways the real cost of American movies is the promotion and distribution, not the production. Frequently one will read articles about a new film in which the promotion budget exceeds the production cost — and that is including the cost of “stars” in the leads, even though having a “star” is merely another form of promotion; a star brings prestige and attention but does not really deliver value. Most roles could be played as well or better by an unknown who doesn’t bring a history to the character (there are reasons why many of us, knowing that Tim Robbins or Susan Sarandon is in a film pay it no further attention.)

        Production costs, thanks to CGI and other factors, are far more manageable than they used to be. There are plenty of people out there who know how to dress a stage, costume actors, light a scene, frame a shot. Even distribution, now that theatres show digitally rendered films instead of costly release prints, is surprisingly simple.

        What remains a challenge s capturing eyeballs.

    3. I think certain stories are getting told – and rewarded at the box office – already. See American Sniper, Joy, Sully, Hacksaw Ridge, Doctor Strange, Captain America (yes, generally any of them where Cap is involved including Avengers: Civil War), Act of Valor, The Social Network, Lone Survivor and Zero Dark Thirty. Even Hidden Figures has some subversive moments regarding the importance of family and the Church to the protagonists.

      Going back a little, movies like Independence Day, Passion of the Christ, Saving Private Ryan, Flags of Our Fathers, Gran Tarino, Akeelah and the Bee and The Patriot did well. These movies all stand out in their pro-American, pro-Christian and/or pro-Capitalism messages. As much as I hate to link this site, http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2015/01/19/settled-science-pro-american-films-annihilate-anti-american-films-at-box-office/ has noticed it as well.

      Now, admittedly, a large number of these came from a limited group of film-makers – most notably Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson. But I hope their success will spur more of the same.

      1. As someone on the fringe of that industry, I can state that Hollywood narrowly missed setting that off early. I think that another writers strike, which they just narrowly averted, could have set off a push toward non-Hollywood centered media.

      2. While I hope your analysis is correct, I would recommend looking at foreign box office before affirming your argument. These days more than half of a film’s gross is often from overseas, and in some cases as much as two-thirds of receipts come from outside America.

        While we’re at it, it might be interesting to determine how much of Hollywood’s product is made in Hollywood. I have seen evidence that a great deal is shot in Canada and much work is being done in places like NY and Wilmington, NC. It may simply be that Hollywood serves as a distribution and financing center for product, in which case it can be relocated very easily.

        1. A significant amount of stuff is still shot here, and a lot of stuff still has post done here, even when shot elsewhere.

    4. It’s starting. My brother and his wife were involved with an indie project that’s finally hit Prime. Nothing earth shattering in one sense, (very in another: they managed a film nior with a happy ending without ruining the noir feel.) Speaking of which I need to nab a copy.

    5. We would also do well to remember that we don’t have to do the big-budget stuff. Hollywood only makes $100 million movies, in the hopes that they become big blockbusters. For some reason, they don’t know how to do mid-list stuff.
      Thus, someone who has an idea for a movie that would only take $20 million or $30 million to make, are ignored, which is a pity, because (1) you can make four or five movies at the cost of a typical Hollywood movie, and it’s even possible that one of these movies will be a big blockbuster, (2) mid-list movies give opportunities for fresh blood to come into acting, directing, etc, (3) a lot of stories would do better as a mid-list than they would as a big blockbuster.

      I should observe that apparently book publishers have the same problem: only going after the next big bestseller, and ignoring the fledgling talent that can grow into the next big best-seller, if given the opportunity to start small.

      Of course, just as publishing’s ignoring of the mid-list is a big opportunity for those willing to go Indie, Hollywood’s ignoring of mid-list movies is a big opportunity for indie-ish movies…

      1. Happens a lot in MMOs, too– everyone wants to be WoW, with gazillion world wide accounts.

        Nobody wants to be a real cult classic that has, oh, only a few thousand players…who are fanatically devoted.

      2. They make $20-$30 million movies all the time. Just these days if its a union production, that means its a one or two setting character piece with one A and one high B star both getting something on the back end.

        Recent actioner made for $40 mill: John Wick 2


        it aint hard to look this stuff up.

      3. What I have been saying for simply years. Nothing mid-list, small-budget, experimental or of restricted appeal. It all has to be huge, noisy, cost a mint and make a mint, nothing left to chance. Hollywood and Big Publishing puts all the money on one big expensive sure thing … rather than diversifying into a number of smaller projects, some of which MIGHT be wildly successful.

    6. I wish I had the time to watch Red Vs Blue, which started out as a humorous fan video of Halo then… with the apparent blessing of Microsoft, became a thing of it’s own. Saw a few episodes though, and it’s hugely entertaining.

      The creators of Red Vs Blue are the same people behind RWBY I believe… Not sure if they count as ‘small’ any more though, Rooster Teeth…

  6. We’re currently experiencing some “recovery” up here in my home province, with our Liberal federal government coupled with the provincial NDP (socialist) government. We’ve got shops closing in the local mall with homeless people lining the street leading to it.

  7. I’ve begun hoping that the extended temper tantrum since Nov. 8 is not a sign of the strength of the left, but rather the death throes of the movement. Your take is, to say the least, encouraging.

    On the other hand… if you wonder where the people who still believe in Saint Hillary are… there are a LOT of them in Austin!

    1. It doesn’t matter what they say or think. None of it matters. That is all a big “So What!” It is just a toy and it is provided by Trump. Something for the Democrats to play with while the adults get things done.

      1. Now that Trump is in office, the Dems are suddenly concerned about dishonest politicians.

    2. The Democrats based their entire campaign in 2016 around portraying Donald Trump as a monster. People are already beginning to see that he isn’t a monster, and they’re beginning to ignore those who keep screaming that he is (CNN is losing the ratings battle to cartoon reruns, for crying out loud). Most Progressives are so deep into the echo chamber that they think #TheResistance is working. 2018 and 2020 are going to be YUGE (to coin a phrase) shocks to them.

      The next step, the critical step, is to start breaking the power of the centrist wing of the GOP. It’s inexcusable that there hasn’t been a serious attempt at repealing Obamacare after the GOP has been campaigning on that issue since the decade began. There should have been an up-or-down vote on full repeal to let the American People know where their representatives stood. It’s not the job of Congressional leadership to shield their members from difficult votes, especially when they campaigned on exactly those votes. As it stands now, I’m not going to give any support to a candidate who doesn’t pledge to vote against McClellan as Senate Majority Leader.

      1. I seem to yammer on about this, but I really think that most of the hullabaloo has its origins in the Democrat establishment’s desperate need to keep their voters from really think boit what they did in nominating Shrillay. Sure, Bernie was a probably loser. But Shrillary was so bad SHE LOST TO DONALD FUCKING TRUMP.

        The Democrat establishment really seems tired and weak. I can’t think of one Democrat figure who I can conceive of running a real populist campaign. Oh, maybe Bernie, but the Democrat power brokers put themselves in a position where they can’t allow him to be nominated. They aren’t trying to position themselves to WIN in 2020. They’re trying to position themselves to keep hold of the party in 2020 by making sure none of the voters they disappointed think much about the nature of that disappointment.

        1. Both parties exist largely to extract donations from Americans (some employ a very very broad interpretation of that state), ostensibly for the purpose of enacting the policies preferred by those donors. The cynical among us can debate whther the policies or the donations take precedence. What is largely going unreported (surprise, surprise, surprise) is that for all the fever-swampery on the Left, their till is empty, their pumps are sucking wind.

          Politico reports that the RNC raised $41.5 million in the 1st quarter of 2017, but finding how much the Dems raised is more difficult — a fact which is itself revelatory: if their fundraising had been strong they would be bragging. What I have found is that after the 1st quarter of 2017 the RNC reported $41.4 million cash on hand with no debt while the DNC reports $10.8 million on hand and $2.8 million in debt. I am not Warren Buffet but I know which enterprise seems to have the stronger balance sheet.

        2. I get the feeling that Hillary desperately wants to run again in 2020. I don’t know whether that’s realistic for her. And I don’t know whether she still has sufficient control of the party that she can steal the nomination again. But little things I keep seeing here and there lead me to believe that she still has a shot at Historic First!

          I’m certain that she’ll lose (barring some major event). But that doesn’t mean that I want to sit through three and a half more years of her desperately screaming that she’s relevant.

          1. I would not be the least bit surprised if she and Nancy Pelosi are both medically disqualified by 2020. I realize that Pelois’s district would reelect her if she were to die and be taxidermied, but her neurological slips are getting worse and worse. And those are just the ones on the news. I’m hearing murmurs that her staff are seriously worried about her health.

            1. Something definitely appears to be wrong with Pelosi. It’s possible that it’s just stress getting to her. I would imagine that she’s under a lot of pressure to “stop Trump” from Dem constituents who are blissfully ignorant of the fact that she’s now only the Minority Leader with a president from the opposing party.

              Or it could be something more serious.

              As for Hillary, that one collapse is the only blatantly obvious public incident that I’m aware of so far. If anything else has happened, her people have been doing a good job of keeping it under wraps.

              1. Pelosi is suffering the effects of Botox Overdose Syndrome. It is non-terminal and its effects have been known to last beyond the grave.

                1. Nosferatu 2020: Because if you have to pick an aging, pale bloodsucker for the Democratic nominee, might as well go all the way.

        3. The fun part is the question of whether there was anyone else to run. Maybe the Democrats — encouraged other candidates to not run, but who, pray tell, will run in 2020?

          1. I have no difficulty believing that there are twenty leading Democrats who look at President Trump and believe themselves a credible alternate. Sanders no doubts imagines a repeat or a king-making role. Warren, Franken, Kamala Harris all can see</I themselves in the White House. Terry McAuliffe, Andrew Cuomo, heck, Bill deBlasio all imagine themselves heirs apparent.

            The question is who will Soros, Steyer, et al finance?

            1. One of the key questions right now is – just how young are those Democrats in question? I was surprised several months back when hearing that Warren’s about the same age as Hillary. Sanders is getting up there (plus his wife might be wearing orange during the next election).

              Can’t really comment on any others.

            2. That depends…. if Antifa gets on the federal terrorism list, Soros won’t be supporting anyone.

            3. Spotted in today’s news:

              Dems’ rising star meets with Clinton inner circle in Hamptons
              The Democrats’ “Great Freshman Hope,” Sen. Kamala Harris, is heading to the Hamptons to meet with Hillary Clinton’s biggest backers.

              The California senator is being fêted in Bridgehampton on Saturday at the home of MWWPR guru Michael Kempner, a staunch Clinton supporter who was one of her national-finance co-chairs and a led fund-raiser for her 2008 bid for the presidency. He was also listed as one of the top “bundlers” for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, having raised $3 million.

              Guests there to greet Harris are expected to include Margo Alexander, a member of Clinton’s inner circle; Dennis Mehiel, a Democratic donor who is the chairman of the Battery Park City Authority, even though he lives between a sprawling Westchester estate and an Upper East Side pad; designer Steven Gambrel and Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman.

              Washington lobbyist Liz Robbins is also hosting a separate Hamptons lunch for Harris.

              Harris, a 52-year-old former prosecutor and San Francisco district attorney who went on to become California’s attorney general, was a star of the Senate intelligence committee hearing into President Trump’s ties to Russia, grilling US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Harris has also opposed 18 of Trump’s 22 administration nominees.

              Plus, in 2013, former President Obama had to apologize after telling a group that, in addition to being “brilliant,” “dedicated” and “tough,” Harris “also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country.”

              Despite being less than seven months into her new job as senator, Harris is already said to be the Democrats’ top fund-raiser and is being talked about as a 2020 presidential hopeful.

              Harris has denied having “national aspirations,” but this Hamptons trip proves it isn’t far from her mind.

              A Democratic insider said, ­“Kamala is the big Democratic star right now, at a time when they badly need a star. She’s coming to the Hamptons to meet key people as she takes a national stage, and expands her influence and ambitions.”

              1. She hits a number of the identity card bingo squares (emphasis added):


                Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California. She is the daughter of a Tamil Indian mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris (1938–2009), a breast cancer researcher who emigrated from Chennai, India, in 1960, and a Jamaican-American father, Donald Harris, a Stanford University economics professor. Her name, Kamala, is feminization of a Sanskrit word and means “lotus flower”. She was extremely close with her maternal grandfather, Rajam Gopalan, an Indian diplomat, and as a child she would frequently visit her family in Besant Nagar. She has one younger sister, Maya, a lawyer and public policy advocate, who married Tony West, a former Associate Attorney General of the United States.

                The family moved to Berkeley, California, where both of Kamala’s parents attended graduate school. They also introduced their daughter to civil rights protests, which were common during that time in Berkeley. Kamala’s parents divorced when she was 7. Shyamala raised her daughters in Berkeley, where the family lived in a predominantly African-American neighborhood and where the girls sang in a Baptist choir, and they were also raised with Hindu beliefs. Her mother eventually moved the family to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where Shyamala took a position doing research at the Jewish General Hospital and teaching at McGill University.

                After graduating from Montreal’s Westmount High School in Quebec, Harris attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in political science and economics. At Howard, Harris was elected to the liberal arts student council as freshman class representative, a member of the debate team, and joined Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
                Harris then returned to California, earning her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 1989. Harris failed the California bar exam her first time, later saying, “it’s not a measure of your capacity.” She was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1990.

                After working in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and City Attorney’s office, she was elected District Attorney of San Francisco in 2003 and held that position until 2011. Harris was elected California’s Attorney General in 2010, and re-elected in 2014.

                According to UC Hastings official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 41.6% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation, excluding solo-practitioners. UC Hastings Law School Transparency under-employment score is 47.2%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.

                U.S. News & World Report ranks Hastings 50th among top law schools in the US

                  1. IIRC, she asked Trump’s incoming intelligence chief what actions the CIA would be taking to combat climate change.

            4. Franken? I’ve actually written the man (OK, his office) saying, “Alright Al, jokes over. Time to come home.” And then I look at Obummer and think, ‘Eeeeh, maybe . . .’. Never overestimate the gullibility of the American voter; Minnesotans (not all of us, of course) sent Skanken to the Senate after all. Then they re-elected him. (Shudder)

      2. Thing is, I’m still not convinced that Trump isn’t a monster.
        Unfortunately, the Left is presently doing its best to demonstrate that he really might be the lesser of two evils, which is annoying me greatly.

        1. This.

          Well, “monster” is overstating it. I’m pretty convinced he is a conventional New York liberal and crony capitalist who is easily manipulated by flattery. But watching the Left, I’ve come to the conclusion that if Hillary isn’t a monster, a number of the people around her are. The idea that we dodged a bullet by electing Trump is somewhat unbelievable, but here we are.

          1. To be quite frank, I suspect that if the Left wasn’t throwing a screaming fit about Trump, they could co-opt him. It would be up to his staff and VP to keep an eye on him.

            But the Left *is* throwing a screaming fit.

            1. That had been an argument early on in this administration — that Trump is a shallow, non-ideological man susceptible to flattery who could be easily co-opted by the Congressional majority: Democrats and RINOs. Their extended unfair tantrum (provoked in not insignificant part by Hillary’s “justification” of her loss) has ensured that Trump will treat Democrats as vengefully as they had imagined.

              Self-fulfilling prophecy from the party of the self-licking ice cream cone.

              1. When I saw that video of Trump sitting in the White House Press Dinner back some years ago while everyone in the room made fun of him, I took a good long look at his face, and said to myself “You guys are going to seriously regret that.”

                Schadenfreude hasn’t ended yet. I’m kind of expecting that Trump’s ego will be the thing that actually keeps him from following the usual Dem party pushes, if nothing else, out of pure, unadulterated spite. Similarly, the GOP seem determined to get on his bad side, so… he’s a bit of a loose cannon, politically.

                Part of me also thinks that he doesn’t want to completely fuck up, for the same ego purposes. The fact that the press has to constantly make petty bullshit up to smear him strikes me as a good sign.

          2. I think Donald Trump started out, and in many ways still is, a conventional liberal, but I also think given his statements over the years that he became convinced that business-as-usual with the bureaucratic morass was dragging the country down. As junior notes, the Left’s been throwing a tantrum and slinging insults at him. Likewise, the GOPe hasn’t exactly been his most enthusiastic supporters. On the other hand, the Freedom Caucus in government, and various libertarian, conservative, and general anti-left groups have generally been supportive of Trump. As long as this state of affairs continues, I suspect we won’t see President Trump far into the liberal camp. Heck, I think he’s already been more conservative than at least three of the past six Republican presidents.

              1. John McCain stated that he was going to retire at the end of last year.

                Sadly, he changed his mind…

                Too bad the Keating Five scandal didn’t force him to resign from office back in the ’80s. Probably would have saved us a lot of trouble.

                1. I tried to help him retire…I voted for his opponent in his last Primary…but he didn’t want that kind of help.

            1. … he became convinced that business-as-usual with the bureaucratic morass was dragging the country down.

              A real-estate developer working in NY, Nj, FL & DC? How could he ever imagine there were problems with corruption and bureaucratic empire-building?

              I think when he asserted he could re-furbish the UN building for half what they were claiming it would cost he was figuring to turn a generous profit on the project.

        2. Trump might be a monster, but if so he is Frankenstein’s Monster, a one off non-reproducing monster. Hillary was more on the order of a Dracula or werewolf, a contagion spreading itself throughout society upon which she preys.

          1. Hee. My Vampire:Requiem characters tend to try to keep human casualties to a minimum. Proper animal husbandry must be practiced, after all.

            1. I miss playing V:tM/R … My vampire character had very quietly seduced a fellow classmate into becoming a willing source of food. She actively liked him, so she kept her feeding to the barest minimum, and if she got too hungry, went hunting, Dexter style. Alas, I didn’t get to play for long; RL got in the way.

    3. I wonder if a great deal of it isn’t driven by a few very guilty people who are pulling out all the stops to have something… anything that they can hold over Trump et. al. to bargain for some immunity deal / prosecutorial discretion / etc. That seems to fit the data better to me than the ‘the democrat leadership thinks this is the way to win more elections’ theory. (But didn’t Pournelle have a law about that?)

    4. Respectfully, I disagree. I see the tantrum as working themselves up for the cleansing to come when they have power again. If you think it was bad under Obama, wait until the SJWs, captive courts, bureaucratic agencies, and academia are unleashed upon their enemies … which is everybody but them …. with no restraint.

      Sort of Pol Pot to the west of the Hudson.

  8. Seems to me that the left embrace the seeds of their own demise. They live inside an echo chamber fueled by the progressive narrative. They ignore or suppress every opinion that doesn’t fit within their strictures, and refuse to even admit that other opinions might have merit, only sending their attack trolls to places where the rest of us openly discuss real issues to spread their progressive kant and demean each and every concept they find unworthy.
    Thing is, they very easily convince the faithful that their’s is the only true way and so will always believe that their position is far stronger that it truly is. So they over reach time and time again, and when smacked down react with anger, violence, and disbelief. Precisely what we are seeing today.

    1. Fascinating clip. When was this movie made? The image at the altar beside the monk looks much like the Black Madonna of Czestochowa, and the cross atop the staff he’s carrying bears a strong resemblance to that atop the papal ferula often used by Pope John Paul II. If the movie predates 1978, it would be coincidence, while if it came out afterward, there’s a real possibility that those elements were deliberate artistic choices.

          1. It is. I wanted to get a copy, but the battle at Vienna scenes are, well, the effects department needed either a larger budget of smaller ambitions.

            I would love to see a really good movie made about the Second Siege of Vienna (1683). It’s a heck of a story. The first siege was pretty impressive, too, but lacks the Winged Hussar charge.

  9. As far as weaponizing the IRS, that was done under Clinton. (Maybe earlier, but that was when I was first aware of it.) Jim Baen complained frequently about the number of times he was audited.

    1. As I recall it was tried under Nixon, but met some pushback.
      And I would not be surprised to find that it was done on the down low in any number of administrations before him, almost certainly under FDR.

      1. Nixon was unable to weaponize the IRS because they knew him not for their master. LBJ and JFK unquestionably used the trolls of the IRS, and wielded their threat against any who thought to step out of line.

    2. That is the reason I am nonplussed at the whole Trump tax returns thing. Never mind the IRS has to review it closely every year (I do hope the big numbers get recurrent reviews) but the day he announced I am almost willing to bet that his records were pulled for a random review.

      Iirc NY and IRS did same with Limbaugh. Reason he changed his broadcast location.

        1. I know NY was always saying that he owed them a much larger chunk than he should. They were counting days in state differently iirc.

          1. The annual fight with the state of NY was costly to him in more than money — although I am sure he paid plenty to accountants and lawyers. There was the time and the harassment, and the arrogant reminder that they could reach into his life and shake it.

            They never imagined anybody could look around at the glories of NY City and State and say, “Eh. I can do better,”

    3. I have a sneaking suspicion that such misuse of the IRS has occured under every Democrat since Truman. Throw in Nixon, who was a swine, though a swine with all the correct enemies. The difference being that, by Bubba’s term the Media was no longer able to keep a lid on it.

    4. What happened to Jim Baen is why I no longer vote Democrat. Local Democrats long used the strategy of painting themselves different from the party leaders, and party leaders did the same to locals. That way each could blame the other when the party did something to upset their electorate. Since local politics was still dominated by Democrats, elections were really decided in the primaries, so to ditch the Democrats meant no longer having a say in local election. This was why there was the phenomena of Stealth Republicans.

      When the IRS under Clinton audited conservatives and Jim Baen twice, we had the national party pulling local party crap. There was absolutely no difference at all. Enough was too much. From that day on I’ve voted Republican.

      I’ve wondered about that decision from time to time. The curious thing is every time I do, the Democrats do something to convince me it was the right decision. The Democrats are the Republicans best campaign workers.

  10. By the way, today is my birthday. Last month the doctors at a big hospital in Houston removed the last of a very dangerous cancer from me, so I’m on the road to healing. And I consider this column a wonderful and very timely present!!

    1. As a fellow cancer survivor I wish you a most enjoyable birthday. Coming up on eight years cancer free, so there is always hope.

    2. A friend of mine was in a terminal coma when a pair of lungs became available that passed the tissue typing as acceptable donor organs. After that we celebrated his birthday as the day he woke up in ICU, not what was on his birth certificate.

  11. I think one of the things that helped to turn the tide was that Andrew Breitbart died. I know that this sounds counterintuitive but bear with me.

    Andrew Breitbart alive was an inspiration. He coached people, he mentored people, he encouraged people. He made suggestions. He listened patiently as he was mobbed at conferences. The group around him at the hotel bar at CPAC about a month before he died was six deep, and he patiently talked to everyone till even I went off to my hotel (and I’m a night person.) He was a merry prankster and was always willing to either share a drink with or get in the face of lefties. When people tweeted hate at him, he retweeted it. Sometimes that took hours, as fresh hate was coming in all along. That last time I remember seeing him was outside the back entrance to the hotel where CPAC was held in 2012. After establishing that the protesters there were in sympathy with Occupy Wall Street, he started shouting at them “STOP RAPING PEOPLE!” This resulted in considerable upset.

    So yeah, Andrew Breitbart was inspiring alive, and that doesn’t even count what Breitbart.com was back then, and the people who got a chance to step up and learn to write online news effectively there.

    But an awful lot of people got not quite enough inspiration, or motivation or whatever. They cheered from the sidelines. Lots and lots of “You go, Andrew!” Lots of talk about how great he was. Lots of words without actions.

    But then he went and died.

    And we were stunned. Whether we prayed, cursed, or both, everyone I knew within conservative new media and social media went into a sort of mental vapor lock. The new Breitbart site was launched on schedule despite his death, and there was a fundraiser for his widow and kids, but most who admired him, especially from afar, were stunned.

    But slowly the light dawned on people. Andrew wasn’t there to do it anymore. If they stood on the sidelines, nothing would happen to cheer. Nobody could take the place of Andrew Breitbart, but people could pick up a bit of the burden. And people who had sat on the sidelines and cheered while Breitbart was alive set up blogs or began writing at news sites. Some of the people who had already been writing set up sites and made a place for other writers. Some became podcasters, and a couple of more people started Internet radio stations or used Ustream to make shows. (One ambitious group even worked out the tech to take the audio from the Ustream live feed and send it to their audio stream to create a hybrid.

    It didn’t happen overnight, but once it caught it spread rapidly. It was almost as if Andrew Breitbart had broken into a thousand tiny pieces, and a thousand or more mini-Breitbarts grew. Whatever you think of what Breitbart.com has become, all of those people he touched, directly and indirectly, are his legacy.

    If he were still alive an awful lot of people would still be on the sidelines cheering him on.

    1. Just to address a couple of things that have come up the few times in the past that I have advanced this theory:

      1. No, I am not saying we are better off with Andrew Breitbart dead. I am saying that it was one of several factors in moving things. We could have gotten here with him alive. I’d have preferred it that way.

      2. No, I am not claiming to be Andrew Breitbart’s best friend, or a friend, or even someone he mentored. I barely qualified as an acquaintance. I’d have been shocked if he knew my name. Aside from doing tech for a conservative internet radio station and attending an occasional conference, I was mostly one of the people cheering him on from the sidelines.

      3. This is just what it looked like from my seat. Your mileage may vary.

      1. I see a hundred thousand people, stunned at the news of Breitbart’s death, and as I watch they individually rise to their feet and shout, “I Am Breitbart!”

        No, there’s no telling what might have happened had Breitbart lived, just as there is no way to know what would have happened had Nixon thrown the plumbers to the wolves. We can only look at what has happened and tease out a few threads as to why.

        In this regard the turning point might well be The Decline And Fall OF Dan Rather, when a ragtag bunch of guys in their pyjamas brought down the Tiffany News Department and revealed the crown was hollow, gilded lead and toxic to its wearer. Imagine the movie they’d have had if only they’d treated it as they did All the President’s Men , with Buckhead as the noble common man calling out their lies and the guys at Power Line and other sites playing the part of the WaPo. Geeze, doesn’t Hollywood normally kvell over tales of the established powers being revealed as clay-footed and brought down by the little guys?

        1. Nod, the movie about that event failed because “who wants to see a movie where the Good Guys are shown to be idiots”. 👿

        2. Tangent alert!

          If Nixon had thrown the plumbers to the wolves, the wolves would have run right past them and kept nipping at his heels. Nixon offended the Progressive Left on a nearly elemental level. They never forgave him for defeating Helen Gahagan (who was as nasty an old Stalinist twunt as you might care to avoid). They certainly weren’t about to let his victory over McGovern (who was supposed to win because Youth Vote!) lie.

          He wasn’t even at all conservative. Except for feeling that the North Vietnamese were swine (in which history proved him right), he was just the kind of Big Government Progressive that they claimed to like in those days. But he was saying about how far he would go, and they wanted to go further but knew better than to admit it.

    2. > When people tweeted hate at him, he retweeted it.

      Not a bad tactic. I pointed a friend at Tom Kratman’s web page, and he ordered a couple of Kratman’s books based entirely on the reviews that were posted there.

      “Being hated by all the right people…”

  12. Indie publishing has allowed a bunch of leans-libertarian (and right) authors to self-publish. Yeah, a lot of them are awful, but not all.

    Is anyone here going to deny that a lot of the BP* approved leftish SF/F authors are awful? I know I am not the only one who walked away from a beloved genre saying “It’s not me, it’s you” long long ago. Sure, I’d still cruise through that section of the bookstore, checking whether the spark had returned, dance a few steps, crack open a couple covers and chat a bit, but there was nothing there but the memories of past loves.

    There were books on the shelves
    But I never heard them singing,
    No, I never heard them at all
    Till there was Baen

    There were ships in between stars
    But I never saw them zooming
    No, I never saw them at all
    Till there was Baen

    And there were monsters,
    And there were wonderful heroes,
    They tell me,
    In sweet fragrant orgies of blood, and gore.

    There was awe all around
    But I never read its pages
    No, I never read it at all
    Till there was Baen

    1. There are a couple of authors out there worth following still – (yes, I have an attachment to both Butcher’s Dresden series and my youngest just tore through my Patricia Briggs collection) but I agree it is getting harder and harder in the bookstore and relatively easier in the Amazon Kindle book store. We’ll see how things shake out.

      I assume you are excluding Baen from BP – they tend to care more about story and my impression is they are doing better as a result.

      1. I assume you are excluding Baen from BP

        *koff* See my love song to Baen elsewhere this page: Til there was Baen.

  13. When Donald Trump won the election and the left went totally screaming monkey poo over it, and kept screaming for weeks, his whole administration started looking more like the adults in the room. The leftists have been squandering their credibility on Republican Presidential Derangement Syndrome and Democratic Presidential Hero Worship.

    1. And now nine months in they still cannot accept the reality. We cannot lose, but we did, so Trump must have cheated. There must be some evidence that can be used to impeach and remove him from office, there simply must be!!! It has become embarrassing how many even moderate liberal Dems will say with perfectly straight faces claims that are obviously untrue to anyone who’s been paying the least bit of attention.
      But boring as the constant whine has become, I’m betting it pales when, unable to see a skosh of reason, the Dems hand the Repubs a super majority in 2018.
      Funny that the Democratic Party and traditional publishing both seem bound and determined to destroy themselves from the inside out. Especially since all that they would need to recover is to begin giving the people what they need and want instead of trying to force idealistic crap down our throats.

      1. That won’t happen so long as the self-designated elites are convinced that they are More Enlightened, and Wiser, and More Benevolent than all those those bitter clingers to tradition, who are tainted by the sins of their antecessors. Their Good Intentions make them Spotless and Pure, and must be presented with passion, and invective, and if necessary, force.

        Never mind how many of those those good intentions, on careful examination, turn out to be either dangerously naive or a cloak for something more sinister.

    2. They keep saying they will hold their breaths, turn blue, and die if Hillary! isn’t made president right this very minute.

      I’m waiting. *looks at watch, pats paw on floor*

          1. Their opposition has left them unhinged. As evidence, the ACLU fought to prevent Trump from according immigration preference to Iraq’s Chaldean Christians, claiming “There is no legitimate reason to favor Christians over all others who are persecuted for their beliefs.” At virtually the same time the ACLU is in court attempting to block deportation of Chaldeans back to Iraq on the grounds that they are “widely recognized as targets of brutal persecution in Iraq.”

            The only constant here is their effort to frustrate this administration.


          2. If this is the state of what American politics are supposed to be like from now on, what makes them think that if a Democrat gets in again, the rest of the nation won’t DO THE SAME BLOODY THING?

            I swear, sometimes I think Americans have had it too easy politically, that you have no fear of impeding the daily workings of ordinary governance. This is on one hand, a good thing – Y’all have never had to fear a real dictator, which is… part of the problem. The idiots screeching now think a dictatorship would be amazing.

            Though, I’ll cheerfully admit that on that I’m a touch hypocritical right now. I wouldn’t be opposed to Duterte taking on a dictatorship in the Philippines, because it’s starting to look utterly necessary just to be able to reinstate law and order over there, or have a chance of fixing the Philippines. Apparently he doesn’t want to, despite imposing necessary martial law over in that ISIS holdout. (Six year single terms. Whose stupid idea was that? Oh yeah, the earlier Aquino president. Ugh.)

            You guys still have it easy – and I’m sure I’ll piss off people saying that, but take this into consideration: you have actual mechanisms in place that will allow you to affect politics – those things are theoretically in place in the Philippines, but in effect, not so much. While you have the screaming SJWs, if y’all wanna feel it’s not as bad as all that, try to keep up with Philippine politics. I try not to, because of the sheer amount of stupid happening there makes me want to join vigilante assassin squads to hunt down terror supporting drug dealers and Islamic terrorists, for whom the human rights activists are screaming on behalf for. American political retardation, I can at least laugh at, splutter at, or marvel at the breathtaking brainlessness.

            I’d have traded Obama for Aquino, that’s how damaging Aquino was to the Philippines. I deeply regret not voting President Estrada back into office – and I was part of the crowds that marched against his breathtaking personal corruption and cronyism. (I missed voter registration because I was out of the country.) Chatting to my friends who I was keeping in touch with while elections were going on, I heard many expressions of regret of voting for Aquino just to keep Estrada out of office (as opposed to actually voting for the candidate we wanted.) “At least with Estrada, we KNEW he was corrupt (but only insofar it would benefit his personal wealth and mistresses,) but he wouldn’t have gift wrapped Mindanao to give away to the terrorists. He would’ve sent the army in again to fight.”

            ISIS came in DURING Aquino’s media-enabled 6 years of autistic ineptness. Duterte got in, but oh dear God I wish we hadn’t gotten Hillary-lite for the VP.

            The stuff going on in the US against Trump? Boggles. But you guys still have a chance, have hope, that you don’t need martial rule and dictatorship to fix things.

            It’s not that bad in the US yet -no matter what the ctrl-Leftist howler monkey IMPs think.

                1. Without the pressure of running for reelection there is little to constrain an executive’s impulse toward abuse, corruption and authoritarian action. Plus a president is a lame duck the day of the election. A better approach might be to repeal the twenty-second amendment, limiting the president to two terms.

                  The greater problem, I suspect, is the permitting union representation to the civil service bureaucracy. That establishes a permanent party of government, furthering growth of the administrative state and rendering representative government irrelevant.

                  1. Interestingly that is the opposite of the CSA’s logic in setting the term for the President as a single 6 year term. That way the president would have to focus on governing, knowing he cannot be respected, and not be tempted to use his position to pay off powerful newspapers, interests, voting blocs, etc.

                    1. SHould have been ‘reelected’. Darned autocorrect. Though with politicians I suppose it wasn’t a bad guess.

                    1. Nor be allowed, through their union or directly, to contribute to any candidate or party or PAC. By accepting Caesar’s coin they forfeit their voice in the selection of Caesar.

                      Pipe dream, sure. I can hear the caterwauling about the First Amendment from those eager to eliminate it for deplorable groups even before I put forth the proposal that the franchise be restricted for public employees.

                    2. Hell, you can hear me objecting from here– I’m way too familiar with the screwy accounting that they put into declaring that, say, rural areas are net receivers of gov’t funds while cities make money.

                      More logically– the presidents are able to vote in elections. Kinda ruins the whole notion that there’s a precedent.

                    3. Rather selects against those who think that voting for their goals is the best way to reach them, doesn’t it?

                      The secondary/long term effects are…rather horrifying.

                    4. I would think it would select for people who were dedicated to service to the point they would be willing to give up their right to help choose their leaders.

                      Now this might seem to be a foolish thing now, but I suspect that if it were implemented (and, of course, survived Supreme Court challenge), there would be enough people unwilling to do that, that the bureaucracy would shrink amazingly, and once it was reduced in size by 60-70%, the size of their effect in voting would be minimized anyway.

                    5. I would think it would select for people who were dedicated to service to the point they would be willing to give up their right to help choose their leaders.

                      Which would be alright, except that it makes it so those who see nothing wrong with doing illegal stuff to promote their cause can be really, really, REALLY effective by being in control of the paperwork.

                      You’d end up selecting for those who prefer to subvert the process– basically making it so the dark state revolt BS becomes normal.

                    6. I’d say the better solution would be to formalize the whole thing, and set things up so that you gave the public employees actual representation in Congress via a deal where they’d lose “local citizenship” for state representative and senatorial elections, and could only vote for their own federal-level representative offices, proportional to the share of the population. That way, we get their influence out of the shadows and permeating everything, and put it out in the open, where they have to make their arguments against everyone else’s representation.

                      I’d also think carefully about perhaps making the House of Representatives at least somewhat affinity-based. Instead of lobbyists, let the various interest groups set up nation-wide intake areas for their specific interest, and give everyone a chance to elect their own affinity-based interest group representative. Have thresholds so that you have to attract a certain number of votes, and maintain territorial-based representation while also enabling the interest groups to put forward their legislators. You could have a local representative for your current legislative district, and a supplemental vote for your preferred affinity grouping, like the NRA or your teacher’s union. Any use of funding for political efforts outside the affinity group would be illegal, and subject to sanctions.

                      So, basically, our current system with legalized lobbying taking up a certain percentage of the House of Representatives. If you could attract enough of a proportion of the “national affinity interest”, you’d be able to have your own representative on the House floor. Which would work to put all the crap we have going on in the shadows out in the open, where they would all have to negotiate openly. And, it wouldn’t disenfranchise anyone, entirely–I’d give the government employees their own representation outside the states, make them citizens there and unable to vote in local elections, while giving everyone else an opportunity to vote for the special interest representative of their own choosing along with the local territorial-based local government.

                      It might not even be a bad idea to go for a tricameral system, where there’s a house of representatives elected based on territory, senate that’s filled by appointment from the sub-regions, and a “house of experts” where the special interests get to fight things out. Put all the lawyers there, and let them just have an “advise and consent” say in matters that assists in writing legislation and only give them a veto power that requires the entire “house of experts” to have 100% unanimity that something is a bad idea.

                      One thing I’d definitely suggest is taking the foxes out of running the henhouse, and make it an automatic disenfranchisement for the lawyers; if you’re going to make a living off the law, your ass shouldn’t be writing it. Every law ought to be written and understandable at two steps below what the median reading level is, nation-wide, so that even a kid who’s only educable to a sixth-grade level can understand it.

            1. Barring some disaster of epic proportions that completely destroys the US, I suspect that we’ll get a dictator of some sort sooner or later. While there are a number of differences between the US and the Roman Republic, my gut instinct tells me that’s the arc we’re following.

              Again – there are a number of differences (no Marion reforms, for one thing…). So it probably won’t happen in the same fashion. But I strongly suspect that before the US is through, the leader of the country will no longer be an elected official.

              It’s still a while off yet, though.

              1. When Obama got re-elected over Romney, I was depressed enough that I feared the same thing, and I feared even more when Mrs. Clinton appeared to be the next one up. However, I’m now much more hopeful that sanity will eventually prevail and that the Republic will become what it was intended to be. Not soon, not easily, but in the end.

              2. Remember when the Left was screeching that you couldn’t prosecute Clinton, she was running for president?

                I often recounted how the death of the admittedly ailing Roman Republic was when Julius Caesar HAD to stay in office, to remain immune from prosecution.

                sigh Now I see Leftists screeching that you can’t talk about Clinton’s offenses, she didn’t become president. (Generally when such talk would show up their raving hypocrisy. No, folks, if you care about an alleged offense only when Trump is said to have done it, you don’t care about it at all.)

                1. If Russia is Rome, then they’re Rome in reverse – Empire first, *then* Republic.


            2. Nothing much going on in the US except a minor uncivil war. We have a self-anointed elite in the MSM, Academia and Civil Service who think they only thing wrong with this country is that the Deplorables Do. Not. Know. Their proper place.

              Sadly, they think they can put down this serf rebellion and have a country that will survive.

              1. “Sadly, they think they can put down this serf rebellion…”

                Their problem is that it isn’t a rebellion of serfs. It’s a rebellion of citizens, and they aren’t going to win. They think Trump is bad? Trump is the shot across the bow. Disregard him and we’ll open up with the full broadside.

        1. With the “accent on try” or “get him to resign”.

          The sad part is that I think some of them believe that if he’s out of the White House, then Hillary automatically gets into the White House.

          That’s not how it works. 😉

                  1. Grant them the minimal sense that leftists have shown throughout the 20th century: one advocates for the hellholes, but one leaves them for others to enjoy.

                1. Are things bad enough in PI that you’ve considered encouraging your mom and other family to move to Oz?

                  1. Quickly googling:


                    30 year wait times? Pay 6k for the potential privilege of being told no? I could use that money to improve the house she lives in, make sure she’s comfortable, save a bit more and buy a car and hire a driver.

                    Some of the other considerations is she has a pretty solid social group there – she has her Church, her ministry, the convent/monastery she visits, people she interacts with regularly, and her religious study work. I’m not the most social of people even if I work from home, content to not leave the house if I don’t have to go out. The house she lives in was fully paid for my father before his death (I remember how he was celebrating this before he found out he had lung cancer) and she won’t have to endure being constantly uprooted the way we do (Hubby is in the ADF.)

                    Health problems aside, when I broached the possibility of trying to get her over here, she had at best a 50/50 reaction -she’d love to see the grandchildren more, and the opportunities for food would be nice, but she’d be pretty bored. Youngest brother seems well on his way to be solidly upper middle class and I figure he’s likely to have children too, and I’m sure she’d love to be around for those grandkids too. I miss her but I know she’d be bored.

                    I’m not sure how we’d move her gorgeous altar either. I’m in fact rethinking inheriting the beautiful Mother Mary of Lourdes statue she has, since it is very likely the Catholicism will die with me.

                    She’s expressed wanting to live in Tasmania though, since it reminds her of Europe, cold weather, four seasons and all.

                2. Shadow, the “logic chain” I’ve seen on a few Progressive web-sites goes like this. Impeach Trump, because impeach=send to prison. Because Trump wasn’t really elected, Pence can’t be serve. Since Pence can’t serve and neither can any of Trump’s cabinet appointments, it goes to President Obama’s former VP, Joe Biden. Get Biden to appoint Hillary! as VP, then persuade Biden to resign. Voila – all perfectly legal, and Hillary! is president.

                  No, I don’t know what they were smoking or drinking, and I don’t care to sample any of whatever it was.

                  1. They’re insane. That’s not how it works. Even I know that. The Secretary of State is next, right?

                    *sigh* I’ll just go back to sketching on the Cintiq. It’s been too long since I drew so I’m making myself practice before I do commission work. (Practice = drawing my hubby cuddling me. It’s good body study.)

                    1. After the VP, it is Speaker of the House (Rep. Paul Ryan) and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate (Sen. Orrin Hatch, IIRC), then the cabinet secretaries, IIRC in order of departmental (not personal) seniority. So Secretary of State comes next, then down on through the list through to Secretary of Homeland Security, skipping any who are not native-born citizens (e.g. Elaine Chao).

                    2. Even stipulating their theory of illegitimate election and appointments (while we’re at it, let’s stipulate water flows uphill) there’s no way they get around Ryan and Hatch, either of whom could nominate Trump or Pence or Tillerson or Cruz and then resign as President.

            1. Traditionally the US media has always treated a vice president as an imbecile, at least back to the early Roosevelt administration.

              I have no idea why, but they’re pretty blatant about it.

              1. It goes back further than that actually – a lot of people have hated the office of VP, including those holding the office at the time.

                Per Daniel Johns from the Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center,
                “Ridicule is an occupational hazard of the job,” Johns observes, leading me past political cartoons, newspaper invective and portraits of whiskered figures so forgotten that the museum has struggled to find anything to say or display about them. “Quayle took a lot of flak, and that’s pretty much the history of the vice presidency, going back two centuries,”

                John Adams, the first to hold the job, called it “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived.”

                Being vice president is comparable to “a man in a cataleptic fit; he cannot speak; he cannot move; he suffers no pain; he is perfectly conscious of all that goes on, but has no part in it.” — Thomas R. Marshall, vice president under Woodrow Wilson.

                See also, John Nance Garner IV’s famous quote that the Vice Presidency was “not worth a bucket of warm piss” (and he actually was the 32nd Vice President of the United States, serving from 1933 to 1941).

                1. Heh. I was thinking the reference was to the first Roosevelt administration and recalling how Teddy got there: he was stuck into the vice-presidency under McKinley to bury his political career, not to further it.

                  Per Wiki:
                  Though Henry Cabot Lodge and others urged him to run for vice president in 1900, Roosevelt was reluctant to take the powerless position and issued a public statement saying that he would not accept the nomination.


                  The office of Vice President was a powerless sinecure and did not suit Roosevelt’s aggressive temperament. Roosevelt’s six months as Vice President (March to September 1901) were uneventful, and Roosevelt presided over the Senate for a mere four days before it adjourned.

                2. It’s said that the people who got Teddy Roosevelt the VP position did it to get him out of their hair.

                  They didn’t expect TR to become President. 😉

            2. This times one hundred. Getting Trump out just to replace him with Pence would be the dumbest thing the Dems can do.

              Trump simply DOES NOT CARE about many social issues. Abortion? Doesn’t care. Same sex marriage? Doesn’t care. I could go on and on. If he says something that sounds conservative about them, it’s probably just to throw a bone to the people who voted for him.

              Pence, on the other hand…

              1. Trump simply DID NOT CARE about many social issues — he saw them as cheap sops to throw to his base. Now? They are salt to rub into his enemies wounds.

                1. I think he’s sincerely pro-gay, but not to the point of endorsing the latest insanity, no matter how damaging it would be.

                  1. should have written “always endorsing”. Plus, forgot to add that since coming to that conclusion, I’ve also come to suspect that his deception capabilities are beyond my ability to penetrate reliably.

                  2. I recall he was interviewed by the Advocate in the early 2000s, and when they asked him about his policies on hiring gays, he basically blinked and went “Why am I supposed to care who they screw, as long as they show up for work on time?”

                  3. I think he’s sincerely pro-gay…

                    No, no you fool! Trump held the rainbow flag upside down!* He’s a homophobe!

                    * I’m sorry, Sarah, but I’ve heard that again, recently, from her.

                2. I strongly suspect that prior to looking into the matter Trump was entirely happy to leave abortion as a topic in which only women were allowed a voice. That fits the pragmatic, apolitical impression I have of him prior to this campaign.

                  Having been forced to look deeply into the issue it is not difficult to believe he has been repulsed by what has been done. That kind of “conversion” is one main reason the pro-abortion lobby does all it can to avert people’s gaze from these “procedures.”

                  1. Lines up pretty well with my sense.


                    Best way of illustrating it I can think of is actually a DC comic.

                    The one where Joker figures out that Red Skull IS ACTUALLY FREAKING NAZI and proceeds to turn on the SOB, because while he’s an insane psychopath, he’s an AMERICAN insane psychopath.

                    I’ll see if I can find it.

                    1. Can’t. Suppress. Reaction Reflex. Even. Though. She’s. Agreeing with. me>

                      Red Skull is Marvel. Captain America’s arch enemy.

                    2. Yes, and it was a cross-over comic by both Marvel & DC. 😉

                    3. Pedantic? ME? Now waitaminit, how’d I know the kid was jailbait; the kid looked like 35. You want I should ask for a drivers license or something?

                      [Classic reference, Frank Sinatra opening scene in Pal Joey]

                    4. Oddly, pictures and videos often fail to display in the email received posts. I try to check the WP page before responding but do not always recognize the need.

                    5. There was a similar scene in the movie ‘the Rocketeer’ only with gangsters not the Joker. (difference: several orders of magnitude less loony and less flamboyant.)

                    6. There’s also an issue of Captain America in which the Kingpin refused to have anything to do with the Red Skull (and even sent a hitman after him).

              2. And lots of us recognized that. We didn’t vote for Trump because he’d somehow put the government on the side of the church —- we voted for him because he would stop weaponizing the government AGAINST the church.

          1. They believe there’s a Magic Reset which will give them whatever they want, exactly the way they want it, without consequences.

            1. It’s the election do-over clause in the Constitution. It’s right next to the parts about muskets and the government providing healthcare.

        2. http://thehill.com/homenews/house/341677-house-dem-files-article-of-impeachment-against-trump

          Brad Sherman (D from CA, where else) formally filed an article of impeachment for obstruction of justice over Trump allegedly interfering with the FBI’s investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties with Russia. Now Al Green and other dems are saying more articles of impeachment will probably be filed “soon.”

          But the funny part is that most uber-Libs I’ve talked to seem to think that if Trumpzilla the Cheeto Demon God is impeached, then Saint Hillary the Anointed and Most Holy One will become President. I must confess taht I find much humor in their reactions when I explain that no, Mike Pence, the Uberdevil (he’s more evil that W., after all) will become POTUS, and that St. Hildabeast isn’t even in the Line of Succession anymore and there is no way, short of a coup d’etat, that she can become President any time before 2020 (and even that is extremely unlikely).

          1. Well, technically there are ways she could legitimately become president before 2020, but the scenarios are too unlikely to even elaborate upon. Snowball’s chance in hell would be overstating them.

            1. I cannot recall whether the President pro tempore of the Senate is required to actually be a senator, nor where* that office stands in the line of succession, but I am pretty sure the Speaker of the House need not be a member of the House and ranks ahead in the succession ranks. So, Hillary’s PAC funds a successful takeover of the House, appoints her speaker, Trump gets impeached and Mike Pence gets drunk and takes a nap on a railroad track, or is caught having dinner with a woman other than his wife and resigns in disgrace.

              *Fourth. I looked it up. Ahead of the Secretary of the Treasury and behind the Speaker.

              If we’re gonna dream about order of succession scenarios, let’s hope we get down to #6, Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

          2. Hehehheeee…. My favorite was someone, I think it was Terminal Lance, that lined out “who would become president” right down to Mad Dog/the Warrior Monk.


            Talk about temptation….

        3. Only if they’ve completely lost control of the caucus and the ability to do math. Post Clinton, I don’t see impeachment happening.

      1. …Sneezed while writing and hit post. Him being Trump. I don’t get why they think impeachment will work here, unless they completely subvert everything… which they might think they’ve done. (And impeach based on what, exactly?)

        1. Contrary to what Dems proclaimed during the latter days of the Clinton Administration, impeachment is not solely limited to “High Crimes And Misdemeanors” (which phrase, BTW, turned out to mean “anything but what Billy Jeff was doing.)

          Impeachment, essentially, boils down to an equivalent of a parliamentary vote of “no confidence.” It requires an office holder who has become so tainted that it is perilous for his own party to support him. Impeachment can be done for any reason, under any pretext; the Constitution provides no appeal of the verdict.

          Under current configuration of the Senate, it would require at least 19 GOP senators to decide their political careers will suffer less harm from voting for impeachment than against it. Simply put, it ain’t gonna happen. All of this is a distraction from the fact that the Democrats have, in the parlance, “got nuttin'” and must distract attention from their obstruction and impotence.

          1. Technically, those 19 GOP senators would be voting for conviction in the Senate trial, the House having already impeached by a simple majority vote. Which prerequisite seems unlikely.

          2. OTOH, to impeach Johnson, Congress deliberately passed a law to get him to violate it. So there is at least that much precedent that a crime has to be involved.

            1. That seems a somewhat tendentious interpretation of the purpose of the Tenure of Office Act. Had Johnson not deliberately violated it in order to force a court challenge to its constitutionality there would have been no grounds for impeachment. Given it had passed over his veto there should have been little doubt of Congressional will to hold him to the act.

              Some would even suggest, incredible as it sounds, that Congress deliberately passed a law to get him to obey it and not undermine the Reconstruction efforts.

              1. The law was written to make it impossible for him to do his job. Deliberately violating it was just bringing about the inevitable.

                1. The law was written to prevent him from firing duly nominated and approved cabinet officers. That does not precisely translate as “mak[ing] it impossible for him to do his job.”

                  It was a unique time in American politics, having a vice-president who was not of the president’s party succeed him in the office. Given what Johnson was doing in his job — returning to power in the South those who had advocated and fought for secession, allowing domestic terrorism against US citizens (freedmen who’d fought for the Union, Southern citizens who had been loyal to the North) — it might well be argued that the goal of the Tenure Act was to prevent the necessity of impeachment.

                  This is treading par’lous close to Arguments Which Have Been Barred by the blog’s proprietor, so I suggest there is little point in further discussion.

        2. They are. Although they haven’t thought this through very well. Even if they could somehow succeed, they’re going to get… President Pence. And A Very Angry Trump, who will no longer be bound by the rules of the office.

          1. They may get worse than that. Have the Democrats really thought through the consequences of Trump being martyred via either impeachment based on transparently bogus charges or, God forbid, assassination? Do they really think his voters will just shut up and go home?

            Have they thought through the consequences of cutting down every law and every check-and-balance of power in sight in pursuit of the devil called Trump? (I think one of those old dead white guys, Blackstone or somebody, had something to say along those lines. But Democrats can’t be arsed to read any of those old dead white guys because racism, white privilege, blah blah blah.)

            Have they thought through the consequences of beating up and (post-Hodgkinson) gunning down Republican voters and politicians in the streets while openly seditious Democrat politicians, media hacks and celebrities gleefully call for RESISTANCE!!! and cheerlead for tyranny?

            Hell, have they actually thought through the consequences of the sort of people who shop at Whole Foods successfully starting a civil war against the sort of people who grow everybody’s food, and hunt their own food, and make all the things, and provide most of the soldiers and cops, and own most of the privately-held firearms in the country?

            There’s another of those old dead white guys who had something to say about the mood taking hold in this country right now. Something about Saxons beginning to hate, and Gods of Copybook Headings returning with fire and slaughter.

            But since that ODWG was doubtless guilty of colonialism along with all the other usual white sins, Democrats probably can’t be arsed to read any of his stuff, either. So buckle up, kids; it’s gonna be a really bumpy ride.

            1. This was one of the points that ILOH made in his gun post for liberals on his blog. If you piss off the regular citizens enough, then eventually there will be an armed revolt. And at that point, *everyone* loses. The country will disintegrate. The Left will likely come off the worse for it. But the US as a country would be gone.

              1. I would quibble that there is a non-zero chance of a restoration of the Constitution following such a civil war, perhaps with “and this time we mean it” added to certain amendments, and the idea of a Starship Troopers type of clause requiring some form of service (not to include the Civil Service) for voting rights.

                But I would not bet the farm on it. We’re talking odds akin to hitting a twelve-digit powerball.

                (Looks at Powerball sales. Sighs. Loudly.)

              2. There are layers and layers of stupid assumptions in this area – just one: The concept that a nation like the US would have an all out society-rending civil war that did not involve the folks manning the nuclear deterrent taking sides is pretty much probability zero, and recovering as a nation from one or more own-goal nuclear strikes would be very very challenging indeed.

                Add in the opportunity for a Scudder / Buckman personality to claim said nuking was foreign in order to unify the country to face the “foreign threat” and you rapidly get to the same “real” Imperial America.

            2. If they have…think about their training.

              The pattern goes thus:

              Make noise.
              Get what you want.
              Make noise.
              Someone small resists.
              Make more noise, get help destroying them.
              Make noise.
              Get what you want.
              Make noise.
              Someone big resists.
              Make more noise, get help destroying them.

              As long as they keep destroying people who resist and get THEIR notice, they get what they want.

              The idea that other people are PEOPLE and will be weighing other considerations doesn’t scan.

            3. “Have the ___ thought through the consequences … ?”
              No, they have not. Remember, this is the party that always supports increasing the minimum wage. They don’t specialize in thinking through the logical consequences, I fear.

              The quote on cutting through the law is from the play Man for All Seasons, created by Robert Bolt in the 1954-1960 time frame (earlier radio play – completed play). The dialogue goes as follows:

              Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
              More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
              Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
              More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you — where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

              1. Remember, this is the party that always supports increasing the minimum wage. They don’t specialize in thinking through the logical consequences, I fear.

                Logic is a tool of the Patriarchy! Consequences are a Right-Wing Plot.

                Professors Should Write Books That Seek Truth, Not Inflame Passions
                George Leef
                The academic enterprise is supposed to be about truth. Those who are entrusted to teach are expected to convey knowledge to their students, not their opinions. And when academics write books, they should do so to deepen knowledge in their fields, never to mislead readers.

                Sometimes, however, academics allow their zeal to convert students or the public to their beliefs to get the better of them. They go from seeking truth to twisting it; writing books not to illuminate, but to inflame.

                The most infamous case of that occurred in 2000, when Emory University history professor Michael Bellesiles published a book, Arming America, that purported to show that our “gun culture” was of fairly recent origin, as shown by the “fact” that guns had actually been quite rare in early America. The book was highly acclaimed because it confirmed the anti-Second Amendment bias of many intellectuals.


                Arming America comes to mind because two recent books by academics similarly twist truth in order to advance their beliefs and confirm the biases of “progressive” readers. Those books are Economism by University of Connecticut law professor James Kwak and Democracy in Chains by Duke University history professor Nancy MacLean.

                Both Kwak and MacLean want readers to believe that the Right—i.e., conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, and others who believe that government does more harm than good and should be downsized—is a movement driven by bad motives. The thrust of their books is to reassure leftist readers that conservative arguments against democratic, “progressive” policies to redistribute income, raise wages, and in other ways transform society are merely a mask for the greed and lust for power that animate people on the Right.

                That genre of writing—trying to win an intellectual argument by disparaging your opponents—is deplorable and belongs in the realm of everyday political writing and commentary. It does not belong in the academic world, where scholars should work on the plane of reason and evidence.


                If Economism were just an extension of his “Econ 101 is misleading” argument, Kwak’s book would be just another mistaken academic work. But the core of the book is an attack on the motives of the people who employ “economism” (which is to say, using concepts from basic economics to argue against many interventionist policies), portraying them as motivated purely by greed. Suppose that someone opposes the minimum wage on the grounds that it will lead to job losses among low-skilled workers. His real concern, says Kwak, is keeping down labor costs for business, not the welfare of the people who lose employment or never find legitimate work in the first place.

                Now, Kwak acknowledges that some well known economists have argued against the sorts of interventionist policies he wants in order to battle inequality, but he never attempts to directly refute Mises, Hayek, Friedman, and others. Instead he tries a back-door pseudo-rebuttal by claiming that the forces of the Right, upset that the New Deal’s golden age of fairness was not giving them all they wanted, misappropriated their theoretical ideas for bad ends.

                The striking thing about this line of argument is the author’s lack of charity towards his opponents. Free market advocates who rely on “economism” are, in Kwak’s account, just tools of the super-rich.

                [END EXCERPT]

                The defenestration of the MacLean book is already approaching Bellesiles-Level II, rendering this the most corrupt argument to come out of Duke since the infamous Lacrosse Club “Rape.” One more excerpt in support of that assertion:

                In fact, there has been so much criticism that MacLean feels the need to ask supporters to come to her defense. As we read in this July 12 Inside Higher Ed story, MacLean is said to have written, “I really, really need your help…. Koch operatives and the riders of their academic gravy train…are working hard to kill Democracy in Chains and destroy my reputation….”

                You see, it is not important whether 2+2=4, or whether gravitational attraction is correctly expressed, or even whether Avogadro’s Constant really is — what matters is the (supposedly) Hidden Agenda of the kulaks and wreckers who don’t want us to have nice things. The sum of three angles of a triangle could exceed 180 degrees if only conservatives weren’t so darn mean.

                And I should have gotten an A in High School Geometry, but the professor was just a sexist who refused to admit that a girl could find those extra degrees!

        3. Based on feeeeeeels. They effectively ousted Nixon on feels; he certainly didn’t do anything Kennedy hadn’t done. They forget that they’ve,lost a good,deal of credibility since Nixon, and also squandered a good deal of political capitol (for example, keeping Shrillary out of a well deserved prison cell) on efforts that didn’t pay back.

          They also fool themselves into thinking that the ‘Hillary won the popular vote’ meme means something given that a huge number of those votes were almost certainly fraudulent.

          1. The people who say that Hillary (or Gore) won the popular vote are simply displaying their ignorance of how the Presidential election system works. Not only is there fraud of unknown magnitude, but there are millions of voters in safe states who don’t bother to vote because it doesn’t matter. I didn’t bother to vote for Trump because I live in Washington and knew that all of my electors were going to Hillary (turns out I wasn’t quite right about that). There are also Democrats in states like Texas who don’t bother to vote for similar reasons. When you add up all the unknown factors, saying that Hillary would have won a national popular vote is simply idiotic. Of course, if Democrats didn’t say idiotic things they’d be much quieter.

          2. They “got” Nixon because he was too loyal to his Mission Impossible minions – if he had disavowed them like the tape recorder told them to expect, he would have served out his term.

        4. Those who talk about impeachment of Trump are are either stone cold ignorant of political reality or blowing smoke.

            1. blowing smoke as in obfuscation, or as in inhaling weed? I’d say a combination of ignorance, naivete, senility, inability to think and a will to power.

              1. blowing smoke as in obfuscation, or as in inhaling weed?
                yes. 😈 More specifically, I have the evil suspicion that the obfuscators are hoping to gain popularity and political support from the weed-smokers.

              1. I wrote down and posted my hamburger recipe – before I end up losing the paper again. I’ve got some music and I think I’ll sketch. Today I’m putting in the ‘keep quietly busy, but no heavy work’ category coz tomorrow’s early wakeup for Lots of Errands is going to suck like a tornado.

    3. (Nods) THIS. If someone confiscated Trump’s iPhone, his popularity would be above fifty percent within two weeks. As matters stand, chances are people in November 2018 and 2020 are going to be saying “Given that this crop of Democrats are the alternative, I’ll stick with him.”

      1. Mind you, good luck convincing the Dems of that. There’s a particular one of my lefty friends on Facebook that likes or comments on at least one political post a day either slamming Trump, or talking about how great some particular Dem is. Based on the comments that always turn up in those posts, you’d think their candidates walked on water.

        1. … you’d think their candidates walked on water.

          I dare say many of them wouldn’t pass a dunking stool test.

      2. I’ve come to believe that Trump’s tweets are in fact strategic. By using them he’s steadily undermined the credibility of the old guard media, forcing them into wild overreactions based on very minor provocations. I predict that sometime around 2019 Trump’s tweets – at least the more provocative ones, he’ll still toot his own horn and point out his successes – will begin to taper off. The media will be discredited and there won’t be anything keeping him from looking “Presidential.”

        1. I looooved the reporter who says that being blocked from Trump’s twitter feed means he can’t do his job and has no access to information. Gee, you mean you are admitting that you can’t be arsed to go talk to live people, do research, look at documents, and listen to what the press-briefings and press releases say?

          1. …..

            Or even… visit Twitter while logged out/from an IP whereon he hasn’t been obnoxious?

            Am I missing a step in how this functions?

        2. One does notice some strategy-like results. Witness how all the people claiming to have evidence of discussions with Russia dropped it like a hot potato when he claimed wire-tapping.

          1. It was amusing to notice James Comey’s willingness to leak did not include leaking the information there was no substance to allegations of Trump being investigated for Russia collusion.

            He probably didn’t know of any MSM outlet that would take such a leak.

            1. This is, in fact, probably why Comey was fired. According to Comey’s own testimony, he confirmed to Trump on three separate occasions that Trump was not under investigation. Trump asked him each time to publicly state that (because it would get rid of one headache that Trump’s been dealing with), and each time Comey refused. By doing so, Comey showed that he wasn’t loyal to his boss, so he got fired.

        3. I see them as strategic trolling. You know the dog whistles the media likes to screech about? He knows all about the ones that work on the media and the Left, and when he actually uses them, the buckets of drool from the trained dogs that come out seem to also include brain matter.

          1. Agreed. Pres. Trump trades looking undignified to the vast majority of not-politically tuned-in Americans, in return for the establishment mass media turning themselves into highly visable dumpster fire for those same Americans.

        4. “Mr. President, the media are starting to wind down again. We need to make sure that they don’t zero in on our efforts to reform the Veterans Administration before we can get that complete.”

          “Oh, no problem. Let me just tweet something about, hmm, I don;t know…”

          “How about, um, pineapples sir?”

          “Pineapples! That’s really, really great! They’ll be thrown completely off the scent of anything related our deep-state reform efforts for at least a week!”

          1. Kim Kardashian had to get naked to “break the internet,” Trump just had to tweet “covfefe”.

          2. Exactly. I expect there’s going to be a return of covfefe right about the time Betsy DeVos goes to work on the low-to-mid hanging fruit at the DoEd: her 90-day report ought to be coming up soon, yes?

  14. Recently, an episode of Right Angle at https://www.billwhittle.com/ talked about how 1984 might be impossible with the level of communications and internet we have NOW. I think they’re right, because to make the world of DST (first written in 1998) fly, I had to add in a disabling of the internet and peer-to-group communications.

    Maybe, maybe not. I’m not an expert on the matter, so someone who knows more than I do can feel free to pipe up. But it’s probably worth pointing out that China is *definitely* making the attempt. The Great Firewall blocks the flow of information from outside. And Beijing is working (with help from Western software companies, iirc) to gain greater control over the information that’s passed around within the country via computer networks.

  15. “One of the weird habits of writers is that every few years we go and get our trunk stories and read them and go “Wow, I really am better now.””

    Which leads me to a question. I reverted the rights to three of my novels from Bantam back in the day, and am considering bringing them back out indie. Here’s the question: I’m not 20 years old anymore, so should I rewrite them with what I’ve learned since then or just reissue them in all their post-adolescent glory.

    1. The standard response to this is: They were good enough for people to buy back then, they’re good enough. Get them out and move on to the next project.

      The practical asides are:
      1.) If they have fans (and every book seems to have at least one or two), rewriting it may kill what the fan loved, to loud complaints. Avoid complaints, and comparisons to George Lucas..
      2.) If you get bogged down in re-imaging old projects, you’re not putting out new stuff. Putting out new stuff is where most of the money is. Go for the money, after making sure that your old stuff can bring in more cash again. (Reprints almost always get lower sales than new releases; the reason they’re re-issued is because some money and happy fans is better than no money and fans scouring used book stores.)
      3.) If you start rewriting one book to your current standards, why not all of them? And if you became a better writer when doing them all, why not do it again as soon as you are done? This is actually a well-known trap in the webcomics world: the moment a writer/artist starts redoing old strips to current standards instead of putting out new material, the comic is toast. It’s not going to continue.

      Caveat: there are some indie authors who have gone back and re-edited their first books. Mostly for spelling, grammar, formatting, and the worst plotholes, because it’s the entry to a 14-book series or similar. However, this tends to lead to severe reader complaints on book 2, because they enter the series expecting a certain level of polish, and then get the second book the reader wrote. Where when the first book was rougher, readers who overlooked that fell in love anyway, and binged on the series. On the other hand, the better polish didn’t turn away near as many readers as the rougher version. The one romance author I know who did this very successfully got 6 books up without even basic copyedit, then went back and re-edited the entire series as part of new covers & blurb, as the market matured to expect a more professional style. But for every one who does this successfully, there are a lot who founder on the rocks.

      1. Scope vs investment management: If re-issuing an old book will get you another 14% of its original sales, or 20% with a cleanup-&-repair edit, don’t spend more than 6% as much time as a new novel would take doing that edit.

        I know, I know – hard numbers are really hard to guess at, and we have no better tools, really, than educated guesses. But with sufficient experience, and averaging over a bunch of old books, you may be able make a numbers-based discipline work.

    2. Baen has occasionally published “Second Editions” of some of their more well-known titles. In their case, I think it’s a way of having their Free Library cake and eating their Amazon sales cake, too — but you could do something similar, if not for the same reasons. If you really want to rewrite your novels, maybe put the originals out first, with a note that you’re working on a Second Edition rewrite that will be out When It’s Ready™, but that you’re reissuing the original version so that any fans of the original can get it for their Kindle right now if they want, without having to wait a year or two for the second edition.

      That’s how I would probably do it, anyway.

      1. But see Dorothy Grant’s good advice about why a rewrite is often a waste of time (and money that you could have been making from the book you didn’t write during that time — opportunity cost). In my field, computer programming, there’s a similar situation that often comes up: people are tempted to rewrite an entire program because “I can write it so much better now that I’ve learned to do X, Y and Z”. But it’s usually far more cost- and time-effective to simply fix the bugs in the existing program if/when they come up, and do NOT do that rewrite-from-scratch.

    3. As a fan (….not of you, yet, sorry)
      Reissue them.

      If you wanna rewrite them, sell that too– but reissue them as they are. Make a note that says something like “as an artist I don’t like these anymore and want to try to make them better, but as a servant of my fans I respect that some folks love it and want to make sure they can get them. Look for title 2.0 at some point.”

      1. I only know of one instance where an author has publicly repudiated a prior published work, Christopher Stasheff in his Warlock series, with the books King Kobold and King Kobold, Revived.

        I own both, don’t find a great deal of distinct difference in them; there are plot and character differences but both books were about equally enjoyable.

        Most readers are not all that critical, they’re looking to enjoy a book and you have to work to kick them out of doing so. An amazing number of writers and publishers are willing to do that work.

        If the earlier works are simply less than you’d wish them to be, there is probably not much to be gained in comparison to the time you spend rewriting them. If you have solid reasons (even if only to yourself) for reworking them, publish the revisions under slightly different titles and see what the market does.

        1. The repudiation was so strong in the foreward(?), that I have wanted to try to find the original for years, but never remember to look when I have spare cash on hand.

  16. Russian pee pee gate

    So operatives working for a national political party for one of the presidential candidates met with a foreign national, then connected said foreign national with federal agencies, who caused money to be paid to said foreign national in return for said foreign national providing materiel damaging to a different candidate, and worked with thsoe agencies to propagate that material across the federal bureaucracy and out to the news media so it can influence the Preseidential election.

    Except in Pee Pee Gate, this was Democratic party operatives from the Dowager Empress Felonia Von Pantsuit’s campaign, and the foreign national was a British Ex-Intelligence Operative.

    Thus the case that Queen Elizabeth and/or MI-6 were actively interfering in the internal political affairs of an ally to keep that preposterous Trump person from being elected President somehow never gets mentioned at all.

  17. First of all it was the fact that when Obama got reelected despite a — charitably — lack luster and uncharitably bizarrely disastrous (in economy, in world prestige, in pretty much everything) first term, the left thought it would never lose again.

    But… but… Obama’s decisions were well-thought-out and sensible! My coworker said so!

    *Sigh* Yet somehow, said coworker had never even heard of the beer summit.

  18. “…wait till our people take the movies!” — Although I don’t spend that much time on movies, I don’t discount their influence. Don’ wanna wait – sooner, please!

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