Living In Niches

 

paragraph-736864_1920Sorry this is so late, but apparently I had to write the world’s longest post for Mad Genius Club.  I needed to do it because despite the award this has been week from hell, and the only way to explain things I’ve chosen to do (now) and say without besmirching the innocent is to give the whole history.  Also I’m tired of people trying to “defend” me and making things much worse.
I don’t need people to defend me, because even though I made mistakes, they weren’t KNOWING mistakes.  For the rest, such as the quality of my writing, I make no claim.  How do you judge quality but by sales, anyway.  I writes a bit, though, and intend to continue.  Anyway, if you want to read this post, go here.

I did not forget Stephanie’s post, and it will be out tomorrow.  I would not post it this late, because I owe her better.

That post above is the example of a niche within our world today.  KJA used to say that only writers understand other writers, because by every metric the business if fucking nuts.  It is that.

I’m sick and tired of people sending me typos, critiquing my choice of cover OR my choice of audio book reader on the traditional published books.  I can’t fix the typos, I don’t get a say on either cover or reader, you’re complaining to the wrong person.  Ditto for “why did you change your name” and “why are you writing mysteries now.” Over twenty years (this month.  20 years from my first novel sale) I’ve done what I needed to do to stay published.

But I remember being “just” a reader and not getting it either.  Because it’s a niche. Very few people traditionally published in the long scheme of things, and it’s a very secretive (and a wee bit crazy) business.  Only writers (and editors, though sometimes I DO wonder about that) know what’s going on.

The same applies in time.  Part of the reason the idiots on the left call everyone nazi and march in the streets beating up people who don’t attack them first, is that they live in the niche of a rich and secure country and have never actually met a real Nazi.  They don’t understand the ethos of rising eugenics and national socialism which infected even the US, or how misunderstood Darwin led to the regular person on the street thinking that eugenics “made sense.”

A middle class writer — not particularly right or left — who wrote The Green Man of  Graypec in the thirties decried how our civilization had fallen, in his future history, for lack of “eugenics hygiene.”  He didn’t follow it to its ultimate conclusion, which yeah, kind of involves ovens.  He probably didn’t think of it.  But treating people as widgets in groups leads to dehumanization and from there to ovens it’s a straight line and the skids are greased.

The children who were maleducated in history live in a niche where Marxism is the way and always wins.

But everyone is in a niche.  This morning I was reading a mystery set during the blitz and written during the blitz.  The author had later added an intro in which she talked of setting up a meeting place in London, at the restaurant, or if it’s not there, at the movie theater.  If that’s gone, at x hotel.

I was born 17 years after the end of WWII and to me it was already history.  And I already knew we would win.  I have no idea what it’s like to grow up under the threat of what seemed from the outside the all-conquering German army. Like my kids have no clue what it is like to grow up during the cold war.  And you can’t make them FEEL it.  You can give them some idea, with stories and history, but you can’t take them there, not really.

This is the tragedy of history and why we so often repeat our mistakes as a species, fast or slow.

The glory?  We survive.  More or less functionally, humans survive.  And honestly, Heinlein was right.  With some disgusting intervals at certain times or places, the future has been better than the past.

So go to the future.  It’s better there.  And help build it the way you want.  Oh, and survive.  Never give up, never surrender.

It’s all you can do.

 

293 responses to “Living In Niches

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Those idiots also don’t understand what a Real Hitler or a Real Nazi would do to them. 😦

    • Even more troubling, to me, is they don’t understand real violence. Yes, I just said people marching in the streets beating up random people don’t understand violence.

      The classic example of that is Moldly Locks. She went out with a wine bottle, gloves, and a mask to punch some “nazis” after bragging about just planning to do that on social media.

      Then a “nazi” she punched had the gall to punch back and then some. Moldly Locks wound up in the ER and made a huge play of being the victim. I mean, that “nazi” hit a girl who wasn’t doing nothing.

      Lots of us laughed at the quick turn from feminist antifa warrior to assaulted Victorian maiden. I did.

      A lot.

      But over time I realized that wasn’t all that was going on and maybe not even the main thing.

      I think she just doesn’t understand the tool she considers first and all the implications of its use: violence.

      Because she has grown up in a world where violence is something that either happens on TV or to brown people in oppressed countries.

      Violence isn’t something that happens in the first world.

      She knows Hitler was elected (sorta but not exactly true). She knows it is elections that bring Hitlers to power, not violence. She was taught about the Nazi’s winning seats and Hitler being appointed Chancellor (although not why) and not about Brown Shirts.

      So she doesn’t realize she’s becoming a Brown Shirt or, to be more accurate, the similar communist militants against whom the Brown Shirts did much of their street fighting.

      Because she lives in a niche within a niche within a niche. She is the child of relative wealth in the wealthiest society every in the longest period of peace in the top ten if not longest.

      And she and others like her don’t realize at a certain point the violence they are using gets out of their control. It gets out of the control of those trying to use them.

      Then things go to hell.

      This is the second time in my lifetime fools like this are trying this. The Days of Rage ultimately failed, but the surviving warriors of that period raised a new cadre and are back for a rematch.

      We need to stand firm and stop their violence without being goaded into matching it.

      They lose regardless, but we need to make sure we win.

      • I wonder if she’d also absorbed the idea of waif-fu, so that her bottle and sap gloves would make her as strong as Superman, and no male could possibly resist the force of her blows. After all, Grrrrrrrrrl Powar! and all that garbage they teach in some colleges and high schools these days.

        • I think more likely she hadn’t really absorbed the idea that getting hit HURTS.

          • Or thinks being in a fist fight doesn’t hurt any more or is any worse than being in a mosh pit.

          • I first encountered this in a Conan comic, not sure where the original is from.

            “It’s not how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can get hit”

            https://westfargomusings.wordpress.com/2018/09/05/its-been-a-week/

            • Most people who have done martial arts for several years understand that concept well. Most military, even Air Force members, understand that concept too. (I can poke fun at the AF since I did 22 years in it. What most of them know about combat and fighting can be written in large type on less than a dozen 3×5 cards.) Putting 50 rounds through an M16 once a year just doesn’t cut it.

            • Sancho Panza to Don Quixote in MoLM: Whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone, it’s going to be bad for the pitcher.”

          • Add the idea of getting “just a bruise”, and that getting “just” soft tissue damage is not dangerous, bad would be only broken bones.

            Soft tissue damage, that “just a bruise” can also leave permanent problems for you.

            • I can remember “just a bruise,” though– when I was a teen I’d have hideous bruises, huge ones, and they hardly hurt much less did the kind of “forming a lump behind the skin” thing that has happened a few times now!

              Youth?

              • Or not a bad spot or hard enough a hit. I have gotten my share of those. The one which hurt like hell and have never healed completely has probably messed up some of the veins on my leg – I fell so that my left leg slipped and shot forward, my right knee folded and I basically sat right down from that position, except there was a sill and the front of my right shin, about between knee and ankle, hit it, with almost my whole weight behind it. The bone didn’t break, for a while it seemed that it was “just a bruise”, but it has had a tendency to swell after that. Badly. Sometimes that leg is twice the size of my left one. Walking helps, though, so if I spend at least a few hours daily on my feet it at least looks pretty okay.

                • That sounds like a blood clot…… *worries*

                  • It has been that way now for nearly a decade. I have also frequently complained to doctors, mostly the ones in one jobs occupational health care, none seems to think much of it.

                  • Unpleasant and unsightly, though. I will no longer wear shorts or capris skirts which are shorter than ankle length. There is also a scar because the damage originally included a large, I think it is called seroma. In the months after the fall, after it had formed, it was drained several times and I used tight bandages on the spot but it always filled back up in short order, and after some complaining I finally got a time for surgery (through occupational health care). Then the wound from that took months to heal (and part of the skin next to it died – it turned kind of black first, then just fell off. Very ugly and wide scar…), during winter, while it kept leaking fluid in copious amounts. I had to tape a few sanitary napkins to that spot, new ones several times a day, to keep my sock and trouser leg dry. Going to a store was about the only reason for me to leave my apartment during those months, apart from visits to a doctor, wet sock and shoe are not nice when the outside temperatures are freezing. Because it leaked more when I walked.

                    :/ Fun times.

        • That is a possibility. She did seem genuinely surprised that ‘nazis’ are allowed to punch back and they punch harder than her.

          • The thought is that it would just be punching fish in a barrel, that the cops would support and protect them as they herded the “Nazis” into them.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        What’s both sad and scary is what’s happening in the Judge Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

        While some of the Democrat Senators are trying to be civil, the protesters including some in the “gallery” are going insane.

        What do those idiots think “shouting at the Senators and Judge Brett Kavanaugh” will do to prevent him from gaining a seat on the Supreme Court?

        I just hope security is keeping a very good eye on the situation because from what I’m hearing those idiots may decide that a dead Judge can’t gain a seat on the Supreme Court and I have this feeling that the idiots wouldn’t mind seeing dead Senators including dead Democrat Senators. 😦

        • I seem to remember cheers last summer when Scalise was still in air being medevaced.

          It’s not wouldn’t mind. It’s would love to.

        • What do those idiots think “shouting at the Senators and Judge Brett Kavanaugh” will do to prevent him from gaining a seat on the Supreme Court?

          Well, they’ve managed to shut down a number of speakers by screaming a lot and threatening violence… maybe that’s the plan.

          • They’ve also managed to provide plenty of examples to every other Trump appointee of the fresh hell that awaits them and their families if they work with this Administration. You hear a lot about how many offices Trump hasn’t filled…. but not so much about the ones out in CA and other Left Coast spots that he’s had more than one person turn down because they don’t want to run themselves and their families through the gauntlet.

        • And that would be the point at which they lose control of the violence.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          What’s really sad is that the Alex Jones clown show is not the craziest thing happening there.

        • All about the feelz. Facts and rational thought have no place in their world.

        • The Democratic Party leadership, led by Chuck Schumer, had a conference call this past weekend to coordinate disruption of the hearings (DIck Durbin admitted this) and in fact the leftist loons who are disrupting the hearing are welcomed and encouraged by the highest ranking people in the Democratic Party. The Democrats have gone all in on using Fascist methods and violence because they still refuse to accept that Hillary lost and their aspiring Queen was not coronated as they all “knew” she would.

        • That’s the main reason that Judge Kavanaugh’s security hustled him away from that Parkland fool. No matter your screening, you just don’t know for sure. Even without any weapon, does this guy have serious martial arts training? Let one nutcase with that within arm’s reach, and your protectee is severely injured or dead. (Yes, there are those on the Left with that kind of training, and also firearms proficiency – just a smaller percentage than we have. Good thing to remember if the SHTF eventuates.)

          Plus, considering that this was a setup by the Leftist Senators – did this guy even go through the normal screening? Quite possibly not.

          • To be honest I wish there were more with both of those on the left.

            Far and away the majority of people with one or both of those things understand why violence is bad and something to be avoided.

            I do honestly think that is a huge factor in the right not having gotten violent in prior years. Yeah, we have our whack jobs, but in the 20+ years since the quote “Our country is in that awkward phase…” was first said no one has decided it is time to begin shooting because that awkward phase is over. That’s because our hot heads get overwhelmed by people who know better.

            The left doesn’t have enough who know better or Antifa would have been shutdown by the left.

            • The other half is the knowledge that even if the right winger was 110% justified in actions, the propaganda organs and state will come down on them and anyone they cared about. And will smear anyone in same area code politically. So people do self police and prevent large groups like the left uses.

          • Doesn’t take any training beyond “hit his nose with the heel of your hand, driving upward.” That works for small teen girls– for a full sized adult man?

            Kavanaugh gained major points from me when he had the awareness to NOTICE that security guy “I’m not hurrying” hurry up to the side and didn’t do the normal “oh, hey, you’re walking up, how do?” thing he’d started.

            • That technique sounds simple. Pulling it off is a great deal harder than THE LAST BOY SCOUT made it look. Not that I would expect the kind of Hobby Protester who would volunteer to try it to know that.

              • Never seen the movie. (Guessing it’s a movie?)

                If it’s successful, they’re dead.

                If it’s not successful, they’re still hurt– which is why it’s taught so much.

                I know there are counters if the person you’re attacking is expecting it– but not really relevant for the “walking up to a judge acting like you’re going to shake hands.”

          • “Plus, considering that this was a setup by the Leftist Senators – did this guy even go through the normal screening? Quite possibly not.”

            I just read a book with that scenario, by the lovely Laura Montgomery. 😉

        • I dunno. The state of American politics for the last decade has often reminded me of a stereotype banana republic – opposed parties going for the throat, the populace angry and sullen by turns, and things just generally going to hell because neither side will allow anything to be done, lest the other side get some advantage somehow.

          Yes, there are parallels to Weimar Germany, but there are closer parallels to, say, Argentina.

      • What really scares me is that everything they know about guns they learned from TV and the movies, ie that they are a magic wand that compels your enemy to give up and do whatever they’re told. And much as they hate guns (honestly not true, they just hate them in our hands) if their blue wave fails this fall I can only expect their radical fringe will resort to fire and bombs and guns because we made them do so in response to our success. And once that gets traction outside the usual blue enclaves it will get bloody and nasty very fast.

        • We might be saved by the mythology there– it’s always a lone guy with a gun, MAYBE two.

          That’s why the Family Research Council isn’t a household name for mass shootings and desecration of corpses, because the homicidal idiot thought it was a magic wand. It was such a pathetic failure that it took MONTHS to find out he hadn’t brought the bag of sandwiches as some kind of a disguise, since that was more in keeping with the results.

          • Well, I’d expect as much coverage as hodgekinson’s attack. With most of the reports referring to how it was a hate group. Their nuts get buried, even with bodies.

            • If there are enough bodies, they can’t bury it entirely.

              Even Mr Shoot Up A Charity Baseball Group didn’t manage corpses, thank you up there– and it hit the news, though they’re trying to bury it.

              It’s hard to hide bloody attempted murder, less hard when it’s something that could be more normal crime. Like the Portland mall shooter where even I thought it was some sort of a love triangle, before I found out it was (yet another) armed citizen stopping an ATTEMPTED mass murder.

              The problem with supporting policies that work, if they’re even halfway in place it tends to work better than not at all.

          • he HADN’T? I kind of assumed he had.

            • Same here, I think most folks did, until his testimony. He was such a pathetic failure, it fit, right?

              They didn’t really spread it around much. Honestly, that might be as much charity to the “hate sandwich” chain as the MSM not wanting it to be spread around.

              He brought the “hate sandwiches” to smear in the faces of the corpses he planed on making. A sort of “here, haters, die and I’ll add insult to injury.”

        • That is exactly what I meant by “violence gets out of their control”.

        • Even those of us who don’t think of guns as magic wands have difficulty if we didn’t grow up around them.

          Went to a gun show a few weeks back, and a dealer was helping me figure out what sort of pistol might suit me. He handed me a pistol and told me to pull the slide back, and I stared at him blankly. When he pointed it out, I could barely move it. So, recommendation is revolver.

          • We’ve been looking for something “smaller” for hubby to carry when we hike.

            I have tendinitis in both forearms. We went through a LOT of pistols before we found one whose design allowed me to pull it back at all; let alone a grip small enough for me to hold it (very small hands). OTOH I can’t unload revolvers at all; never have been able to.

            Shooting either type, at this point, better hit the first time, because I guarantee the static shock from the recoil will cause me to drop the thing. Adrenalin might get me two shots. I know, for practice, there are methods to alleviate if not remove the problem, but doubt an emergency situation I’ll be able to say “just a minute, need my …” before I shoot them.

            OTOH dropping it would be probably a good thing, I’m the type the prosecutor would be screaming “excessive force” because I pulled the trigger & never released it until the slide locked back; screaming the entire time, & totally unaware of what is going on.

            • Um, with most guns available to the public, if you pull the trigger and never release it, you will fire the weapon once. It would be difficult to allege excessive force in such a case, unless deadly force was not justified *at all*.

              • Good to know. Knowing my luck, I’d keep flexing my finger & pulling the trigger until the slide locks back, totally unaware of what I was doing. Gun is NOT going to be my “Go-To” defense.

                To even get to the gun safe in our house we have to open 3 different safes. Go to another room, unpack the closet to get to the gun safe, open the gun safe, load the gun … Uhhhhh, running first.

      • Because she has grown up in a world where violence is something that either happens on TV or to brown people in oppressed countries.

        I can offer support for this– I can’t watch a lot of modern movies. Like, made-since-the-70s type movies.

        I know what it is to do damage to flesh– both my flesh, and flesh I’ve patched up.

        I DO NOT WANT to see photo-realistic violence. Ironically enough, like WWII vets, I am quite happy to have the gun go “bang” and the bad guy grabs his chest and falls over, maybe there’s some red stain under his hand– I understand what happened, I don’t need it spelled out. I don’t need to have a long, lingering scan of the shattered rib, the blood pulsing out, the breath slowing…and then stopping, the eye glazing and a fly landing on the unblinking eye.

        It is darkly funny when the folks who think your “squeamishness” about movies is a scream are turning pale and can’t watch as you cut a splinter out– of your hand, or someone else’s. (Seriously, I nearly did myself harm when someone screamed because I was cutting an ingrown nail out of my hand– it wasn’t that much blood, and I’d properly sterilized everything.)

        • That, and the drive to keep ratcheting things up to the next level. Half a century ago a single victim of poison or a knife in the back were plenty for a murder mystery. A lot of modern stuff reads more like splatter-horror than anything mysterious.

        • Yep. I haven’t seen much damage done to other people, but I have damaged myself enough during the years to have some idea. Plus compulsive researcher. I don’t need it spelled out in entertainment. That’s entertainment. Should be entertaining, not make me feel nauseated (which happens when it’s damage to somebody else, I would not make a good nurse or doctor. For whatever reason I can deal with my own blood a lot better).

      • “I think she just doesn’t understand the tool she considers first and all the implications of its use: violence.”

        I looked her up after seeing the video. That bitch doesn’t understand a lot of things. Like personal hygiene and why we do it, like that tweets are forever and the Internet never forgets a picture, and that a 90lb grrrl can’t swing a sap glove hard enough to get a 200lb man’s attention, much less put him down.

        She had also evidently never taken a punch before. Talk about leading with your chin.

        My question is, how did she get that way? Answer, California. It sucks in beautiful young women from all over the world, chews them up and spits out Moldy Locks. That girl was a beauty once, the pictures are out there.

        Also I suspect her parents are stupid. Its just a hunch.

        • and that a 90lb grrrl can’t swing a sap glove hard enough to get a 200lb man’s attention, much less put him down.

          Seriously, freaking leverage is your FRIEND, y’know?

          The old “hit the guy with a chair in a bar fight” is standard because it’s effective, and it just making the guy mad is a “look at what a bad-A he is,” not reality.

          But “gosh, I’ll hit you with my hand! But also have some metal on it!” is not brilliant.

          • I actually -am- an over 200lb man, and in a bar fight I am using that chair. Preferably one of the metal ones. Punching is for games in the boxing ring, where there are rules and time-outs. Real life, you bring a bat to a fist fight and a gun to a knife fight. And friends with guns.

            • You CAN use them– better than I can!– but you don’t HAVE to, so much.

              Doesn’t make it any less smart, but it’s definitely more needful for someone like me than for you!

              • You’d be surprised at the number of morons eager to fight the big guy. Having to fight is a thing. I’ve almost always avoided it by reading the room and leaving when the voices started getting a little louder. Almost always. Couple times the radar wasn’t enough. I was lucky though, managed to get out. Now that I’m old and sneaky, I just don’t go to places like that at all, ever.

                Using the chair, that’s a necessity. You have to end the fight and then escape. In bar fights, street fights, anyplace really, the belligerent is not -alone-. He’s always got friends. Always. You, the target, never have friends. That’s why you are the target.

                The only way you’re getting through that shit is to CRUSH the guy and run while his bros try to figure out if he’s going to live. You have exactly one shot before they put you on the floor and use their boots on your face. Overwhelming and unreasonable force applied with no warning is what you need.

                So you hit him with the steel chair, in the face, and you f-ing run like a deer. That’s how its done. 90lb girl better have a .45 in her pants or she’s dog meat.

                (You can imagine me watching an action movie, the groans and the “Oh COME ON!” from the back row…)

                Oh and by the way, for you parents who remember the Fight Rules from school? No kicking people when they’re down, no headshots, stop hitting them after they give up? Remember that?

                That’s all over with, my friends. They don’t do it like that anymore. Now three -girls- hold a kid down while a fourth -girl- kicks them in the face until they stop moving. In Canada. All the time. That’s when they don’t have knives.

                Home schooling. Really good plan.

                • You’d be surprised at the number of morons eager to fight the big guy.

                  Intellectually, no; how my brain works when I’m not gaming it out, yes. The big guy often leans on being “big”–seen that video of the cop finding out that Eric Gardner was big enough that being “the big guy” wasn’t enough, and the total change in how one fights?– I know that intellectually.
                  I just have trouble with the “looking for a fight” part.

                  My mental barfight map is also based off of shore leave, where you DO have backup– or guys you can’t leave, depending.

                  My dad was always the tiny guy, had to gain 15-20 pounds of weight in boot camp to be the classic 98lb weakling. (it was fat, he was annoyed)
                  The fight rules were more honored in the breach…..

                  • Small man syndrome. It’s a thing. Sometimes comes in the female version, but not as often.

                    • Yeah, dad sometimes had one-degree-removed superiors assume that of him, and made sure we could recognize it!

                      He’s just a mouse, he doesn’t WANT to fight, but if the cat comes at him he’ll be hanging off the cat’s nose. And a smart mouse, makes sure to make friends with the big guy…who usually also doesn’t want a fight.

                      90% of dad’s response to the various pissing contests is looking at the idiots and going “Really?!?!”

                  • There is always somebody looking for a punching bag, and they always seem to have a little group of mouth-breathers with them, so I’m always looking out for when they show up. Usually it takes them until after 11pm to get liquored up enough for the bravery to kick in. So, I made a habit of not being out in the bar district after 11. Works great.

                    Never had any back-up in my (extremely brief) military career, I was, as usual, the only Odd brown pigeon in the flock of grey ones. I figured being bored was a lot more fun that being beat-up, so I made sure to spend my time where the beer wasn’t flowing. Other guys came back with lost teeth, broken knuckles etc., so it seemed to me being part of the crew was less awesome than people made it out. Hence the extremely brief career. To be fair, it was Trudeau’s military and only career REMFs stayed in that clown-show.

                    • That’s one of the reasons why I was taking college classes at night instead of hitting the clubs with the rest of the guys. It’s cheaper, you don’t wake up with a hang over, you have a better chance of meeting smart, good-looking, literate women, it checks off a box on the promotion sheets, you get a nifty diploma to hang on the wall of your office, and you get opportunities for a decent paying job NOT shoveling manure.

            • Chair. Broken bottle. I had the weaponized umbrella. (Thank you mom. It probably saved my life dozens of times.)

              • There is a reason unless I know it will be confiscated I always carry a knife. Well, reasons, but that is one of them.

                • I use discovered they have “TSA compliant” multitools. Your usual Leatherman tool, except without a knife blade.

                  I guarantee if someone knows what they’re doing, those needle nose pliers are gonna *hurt*. And since there’s no edge, you’d be in a lot better shape with the DA or court if it came to that.

                  • OOOOOHHH

                    I need me one of those. Or two.

                    • It’s a Style PS, I’ve flown a few times with mine. Additionally, it’s hooked to my car keys which hang off a 4″ locking gate 28KN climbing carabiner. Knuckle-guard/flail. Other hip has a 200 lumen flashlight, which in daylight is distracting, at night just this side of painful.

              • Heavy glass beer mug

              • I have one of those umbrellas. ~:D
                https://unbreakableumbrella.com/unbreakable-umbrella-videos/
                I’m trying to figure out a way to include it in one of my stories, but the robots all have plasma guns. They don’t need an umbrella that can break a coconut.

                • I’ve been thinking about getting one of those unbreakable umbrellas. The last time I had to go to the local courthouse, they denied me entry because of my PEN. Sure, it is a Smith & Wesson “tactical pen” (machined aluminum, with the non-writing end designed to be useful for a pain-compliance technique), but it’s still just an INK PEN. Hmerph… I would say “It can’t kill anyone” except I’m pretty sure any ink pen could (technically) be used as a stabbing implement (not a GOOD one, but better than harsh words), but having the pain-compliance thing doesn’t actually make it any more dangerous than a regular pen.

                  I haven’t quite decided if it’s worth it yet because I don’t have to go to the courthouse very often, and frankly, I wouldn’t put it past them bastards to deny umbrellas for some reason.

                  Still, I don’t like having NO options.

                  • I got one of them – the factory seconds, $40 (maybe) cheaper and just as good – to carry when I went to Oregon (where my CWP isn’t valid).

                    It’s an excellent umbrella that survives undamaged even when you slam it in a car door. (… I rigged up a sword-hanger so I could carry the umbrella on my belt instead of occupying one of my hands, and sometimes I just wasn’t coordinated enough to get the end of the umbrella out of the way as I closed the door.)

                    The only thing it doesn’t have is a vent at the top for use in high winds. Despite that, mine hasn’t turned inside out yet.

                • Maybe it’s something that one of the human characters carried before he/she met the robots? I could definitely see Alice carrying one of those around, for example.

                • Likewise. I finally bought it last fall, after having thought about it for, er, some years… main problem finding a place to buy one, they don’t seem to be sold anywhere in Finland. So, through German Amazon. And my German is beyond rusty and that place doesn’t seem to have an option for changing the language to English. Usually I have bought things from the UK one, but if they finally manage to actually do brexit I will need an alternative still inside EU, so maybe I should brush up that German. Or maybe not, it seems possible Amazon is planning a FI store.

                  • That’s like being a Canadian. I had to dig to find someplace in this idiot country that sells them. Getting things from the USA means they end up costing 27% more, PLUS 13% tax thank yew very much, AND then there’s Customs, AND shipping, AND you don’t know it it violates some rule somewhere and will end up getting stuck in a warehouse… super fun shopping experience.

                    Still, at least I didn’t have to wheel out my high school German. That could have gone badly. ~:D

              • Sarah Hoyt, Kingswoman.

            • > bar fight

              John Farnam’s advice is still worth following:

              Don’t go to stupid places.
              Don’t hang out with stupid people.
              Don’t do stupid things.

              • Unfortunately, sometimes the stupid finds you regardless. I would add to this list “Always have SOME kind of defense plan.” Sure, it can be “run away run away” as long as you always keep your eyes open for a reasonable egress route.

                • Abso-freakin’-lutely.

                  Nobody can have a perfect plan for every situation. But ANY plan is better than nothing.

                  People who should know better get hung up on “perfect” or “best”, then give up when they find there’s no definite answer.

                  • *nod*

                    The problem with a bad plan is if you don’t know how it works, so you don’t know when it has become a Bad Idea to follow it. If you have at least passing understanding of WHY you do this or that in a plan, a bad plan is at least a plan.

                • And know what tools are near you.

                  The old adage “any tool held properly is a weapon” is true. It’s not always a good weapon and usually you don’t want to be betting your life on it but JIC know what is nearby that you can pick up and use if SHTF.

                  • At one point during my time in college, I was at an event held at a camp. There was a meeting that was held in a clearing in the woods a few hundred yards away from the buildings: quite close, but far enough that wild animals could sometimes be seen. And during that meeting, a black bear followed by a cub walked across the path less than fifty feet away. the meeting consisted of mostly college students (including me), but there were a few adults there as well (I am excluding the students from the category of “adults” at the moment). I heard a lot of people saying “Awwww” as the cute bear cub crossed the path… but I was looking around and thinking “Okay, if the bear comes close I’m grabbing that tiki torch. There’s a flame on one end I might be able to scare it off with, and if worst comes to worst, the other end is pointy.” The other adults I could see also had a tense expression on their faces, but AFAICT I was the only college student looking around for a weapon. (To be fair, I was on the edge of the group and most of them were behind me, so others might have been reacting correctly as well — but the collective “Awwww” I could hear suggested that *most* of these students didn’t perceive the danger).

                    Thankfully the bear just looked at us and moved on, and nobody was dumb enough to approach her (I assume it was a female) or get between her and her cub. But I still remember the feeling of “I’m the only one of the students actually seeing any danger here” and looking around to see what nearby items could be turned into an improvised weapon.

                    • Last year at SJW a bear came out of the woods and stopped in the cabin’s driveway. A lot of us went to the raised deck to look but a handful ran outside to stand on the driveway and look at the bear. When the walked down the driveway a couple of idiots followed it a bit.

                      I am amazed we didn’t wind up in the ER (at best).

                    • Forget idiot college “kids”. Go to any national park that has any type of black bears frequenting them. The material given when visitors come in the gates & all the signs posted regarding the dangers of wildlife, getting too close, & bears specifically, is a waste of money. Until the “it will happen” stupidity, liability defense of “you were warned, repeatably”. Well then there are the fines garnered afterwards & the “too close but nothing happened except you got caught”. People are stupid or aiming for the Darwin reward. YMMV.

                      Our last dog was an English Toy Spaniel (what English call the English King Charles – 20#’s-ish, Floppy Ears, No nose, No Tail, black with tan coloring). Took her to Yosemite, Yellowstone, & Canadian Rocky NP systems. Every campfire program we took her to, we got “oohh, there is a bear cub. Can I pet it?” Uhhh what?

                    • Black bears, brown bears, moose, bison, elk, there are many paths for Darwin.

                    • Don’t know why but my comment ended up in moderation. No links.

                    • WordPress. If it were a horse, I’d shoot it.

                    • The only time I ever saw a bear, I was at CFB Petawawa, sitting in a hole on the Matawa plain, with a full-auto FAL in my hands and a mag full of blanks.

                      You story reminded me, I haven’t thought of that in 40 years.

                      No, we did not open up on the bear. Sergeants, you know. But we could have, and that’s what made it awesome at age 17. ~:D

                    • It is possible to “awww” at the cute bear cub, while simultaneously recognizing the threat mama bear is.

                    • Donald Stephens

                      I’ve day-hiked a lot, for many years. By now, I’ve had enough bear encounters that my reaction has reduced to “Oh crap, another one.”

                    • Exactly the opposite. Grew up camping/hiking/backpacking. Hubby & I day hike & backpacked a lot; plus were leaders that took scouts to hike, camp, backpack, etc. Worked in the woods. Have seen exactly 2 bears outside of national parks. One was on a FS(*) logging/back road, at the end of the work day. Another was on a ridge across the ravine while backpacking in Eagle Cap Wilderness. Never have encountered one directly on a trail, NP or not.

                      (*) Engineers had seen a lot of bears that spring. So when the summer crew came on we were given a safety meeting on bears. Being 18 to 24(ish) crew, every time we saw something black, open range so 99% cows, someone shouted “Bear”; everyone would laugh. The one time we actually saw one, it had been a long, hot day. So other than a couple of us & the driver, most everyone was dosing in the crew van. We started yelling “Bear!” Everyone was “yea, right …” … “No, Really. Bear!”

                    • My parents once saw a cub up a tree and people posing their children underneath for a picture.

                      Folks, there’s a reason why the word “bear” does not come from the root of “bear.” It means “the brown one.” One did not want to tempt peril by actually naming the creature.

                • Mine would be “sneak away”. If that is not an option, well, neither is running for me, with my knees a healthy guy with strong arms in a wheelchair would catch me easily enough. Or an obese not-runner one. Or about anybody likely to start or continue trouble.

                  So – I will not turn my back, but will observe and try to find a way to stay out of anybody’s way while trying to do that sneaking. Or fight as well as I can, if attacked.

            • Well, I’m only about 160# and my attitude is always bring a gun everywhere, heh, heh. Bring friends and auto weapons if things look dicey.

          • Some people’s reaction to sudden pain is to sit down and cry. Others may just go berserk

        • She is far from alone. I have read actual socialists with experiences in the trenches (specifically a black guy who got his start at Black Power protests in the 70s) complain that the Antifi kids know nothing about fighting.

          He also, in a moment of almost self-awareness said he was fighting working class and union dudes. He said 40 years ago they were fighting with him and wondered why the changed sides.

          • Antifa think having weapons and striking from behind will win them the day. You can see them doing it in the videos, they wait and blind-side guys.

            The reason they’ve been able to do this is DemocRat mayors standing down the police in DemocRat majority cities. Eventually, the rank-and-file cops in these cities will figure out to let -both- sides keep all their bats and bricks when they show up to riot.

            I’m not eager to see that, because it will be ugly. People will die.

        • When I was taking karate it was explicitly taught that hitting a guy would only make him mad at you. So for little things like me and *all* women (for practical purposes) your self-defense goal was to make your *one* hit do maximum damage (we did *not* practice those hits!) and run away as fast as possible. The issue of “have babies, can’t run” and you might if you really really HAD to, and got your one hit and got it *right*, manage not to have to run.

          The idea of “Imma punch a Nazi!” OMG.

          • It was impressed upon me by a variety of bikers, cops, some guy who used to be in the SAS, that one does not “win” a fight. One escapes fights, or survives them.

            That’s why I have so much contempt for these IDIOTS who are so eager to start shit with strangers. They have no f-ing idea the trail of tears waiting for them if a punch lands in just the wrong spot. Paralysis, nerve damage, brain damage, fractured jaw, fractured maxillary -sinus-, oh my ghod.

            • There’s a video somewhere of a guy trying to start something with someone at a train station. Second guy reaches into his bag, grabs what appears to be a screwdriver, and centerpunches mouthy dude in the chest with it twice.
              Mouthy dude looks surprised for a second, then drops.

            • THIS. The people I want at my back in a fight are the people I know who want to fight the least.

              I think that is one reason the right in the US is less violent than the left. We have our hothead same as them but our leavening of people who understand violence is much higher, due to military, bikers, leather folk, etc.

              As I said above too many lefties think a mosh pit is real violence. They are fools. I love a good pit. Hell, I am at PowerProg waiting for Nocternal Lights to come on and I’ll be in one.

              I will run a four minute mile to avoid a real fight if I can.

            • I’ve had two people that just a normal fall from standing height or less went very bad. One was standing and struck head. Fractures, loss of senses snd other deficits. Other was on a motorcycle and knocked off at a stop sign. Called at the hospital.

              In addition, the folks I know that are the most dangerous are the calm ones. These folks would think them targets. Very bad, very dark, very fast

              • They’ve already thought out various ways of how things can go wobbly and about how they might deal with it.

                A lot of people get caught in the escalation trap; a situation starts going bad, but they’re focused on dealing with each step instead of seeing the overall picture, and then they’re caught by surprise. Other people simply lack situational awareness; they’re surprised too. And, of course, sometimes stuff just happens for no readily apparent reason.

                The natural response for most people is to stop and watch what’s happening. They’re zoned out, like a rabbit in the headlights. And they waste the time they could use to withdraw or respond, likely as not winding up a victim instead of a bystander.

                Other people have a plan; “avoid, evade, respond.” Me, if I see things turning sour, I’m gimping away at whatever speed I can manage that day. If trouble follows me… I’m a “senior citizen” now, and “disabled”, and I’m not playing “shove you” or “punching bag.”

                If it comes to the point where bad guys are targeting you, specifically, your practical responses come down to “pray for divine intervention” and “deadly force.” Begging or compliance aren’t going to work any better than they did in elementary school. You *know* how that scenario is going down. Your only real decision is when you use the only tool you have.

                Avoid: stay away from bad places, as much as possible
                Evade: GTFO when it starts looking squiffy
                Respond: don’t wait until it’s too late

                And then you need a plan for what happens afterward, but that’s another subject…

        • Heh. Not the California girls of Beach Boys anymore?

      • a Brown Shirt or, to be more accurate, the similar communist militants against whom the Brown Shirts did much of their street fighting.

        The actual Nazis knew more than she did. Even in my casual reading on Nazis, I’ve run across a number of propaganda treatments of rank-and-file Communists as potential Nazis — including a street fight which had a Communist fighter tearing up his party card and being joyously welcomed to Nazi ranks.

        • Yep, the Brown Shirts were actually formed to fight the original Antifa but later recruited quite a few of them. Not really much difference between National Socialists and International Socialists.

        • IIRC, switching back and forth between the brownshirts and communists in Germany was common. My recollection is that Horst Wessel was considering joining the communists at the time of his death (in a fight with communists).

    • To those who say Trump is Hitler, I say:
      Yeah, remember when his followers burned down Congress, and then he took away the property of all the blacks, and annexed Canada because lots of Americans live there?
      Good times.

      • The answer I always get is “he hasn’t done it yet”. They WANT him to be Hilter, but movie Hitler who they know will lose to them without any of that nasty blood, sweat, toil, and tears.

        You know, like BusHitler.

        • If they’re that persistent in, “He hasn’t done it yet,” I’d ask, oh like when a judge in Hawaii overruled a presidential executive order on immigration because of something Trump said in a campaign rally a year before, Trump had him executed, uh removed er…? Oh wait, he obeyed the order and used his lawyers to appeal it, an appeal which was legally ruled correct. The justice department, led by men he appointed, insisted on investigating him and convicting former associates for things they did before they knew him, so he purged them all and put in toadies to work his will, er, actually he complained on Twitter. Yeah, just like Hitler. Trump is obviously the worst Hitler evah!

        • > lose to them

          Lose to someone *else*, having a bad time on grainy video, which they will occasionally notice in tiny little windows on their smartphones while they’re sipping a latte.

          Protesting is a community-building social activity, crawling in mud and having people shoot at you, that’s the kind of thing liberals outsource.

        • The obdurate idiocy of comparing a mildly Conservative Rotary type like Bush to Mr. “I vill gif you your orders vhen I haf finished eating this carpet” still bemuses me. And, naturally, it does more to normalize The Despicable Austrian than it does to demonize Bush.

          I sometimes wonder if that’s deliberate. If they WANT to normalize the Nazis, so that when they implement their own ‘final solution’, it will be considered business as usual.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Not really the best parallels. If Trump had been Hitler, the equivalent position in the timeline would be after the night of long knives, and before the night of broken glass.

        Okay, US institutions are stronger than the Weimar Republic’s, and we didn’t have the external stress equal to knowledge of the Holodomor.

        • The US didn’t lose a major total war with a total collapse of government, undergo blockade & near starvation, narrowly avoid a Communist Revolution (the Spartacist in 1918), get saddled with a super unfair treaty, experience a total economic collapse, and wind up with multiple governments falling in a very short period of time.
          We also don’t have the deeply ground belief in the superiority of the state over the individual, or that obedience to the state is a good virtue.

          • Then again, the USA was pretty dang close to becoming to a Fascist Totalitarian State in the 30’s under FDR.

            • Ehhhhhhhh…that’s pushing it a bit. FDR didn’t have the focus required to become a dictator a la Stalin or Hitler. The closest he might have come was Mussolini.
              Now if Coughlin or Long had ended up in charge…well.

              • Note I said Fascist, not Nazi or Communist. Happily, both the checks and balances of the Constitution, and the outbreak of WWII shorted those ambitions.
                It’s interesting how many Democrats were wanting to basically nationalize & centralize various defense industries during WWII, and how American industry successfully fought off the attempt (see “Freedom’s Forge” for the whole story).

              • It’s not pushing it *that* much. Courtesy of Google Books and archive.org, I’ve read hundreds of periodicals from the 1920s and 1930s that give a rather sobering picture of American society then. And read the Sedition Laws, and how they were applied. And some of the grungy bits of the WPA. And if you start looking closely at the history of the FBI, they’re probably cleaner *now* than ever before…

                America was no worse than any other country, but by modern standards the fascist lean is definitely there.

                We dodged a bullet when we got Trump instead of Hillary, but that wasn’t the first time. The Democratic Party had a small pool of Chosen to step up to replace FDR; his failing health made the Vice Presidency the hot ticket. Truman wound up there through a process not greatly unlike how the Republican Party caucus spat out their pre-chosen candidates and spat out Donald Trump instead. A lot of Democrats had had all of the FDR they wanted. thankyouverymuch, and no great desire for more of the same.

    • I am once again (just like i was during Bush II) tempted to get a “If republicans are nazis why aren’t you in a camp yet” tshirt or bumper sticker

      • More and more I’m wanting to give the oppression LARPers what they claim to want.

        The thing is if you let them out after they might come back wanting another hit to prove their virtue.

        Hmmm, is there a market for “Republican Concentration Camp Adventure Experience”…you went some land, setup tents, give them awful food, and say mean things (which in their world is assault) while they get to video their “oppression” on their iPhones?

        How much is it to rent a 4H camp for a long weekend?

        • Work up a flyer for it, post it online with a virtue-signalling hashtag, see how much outrage you can spin up.

          I bet enough to power the US for at least a month, if you could get it into the power grid.

      • Ooh, that’s an idea…

  2. What I find exceedingly amusing is the simple truth that if we were a tenth as violent as the left thinks it wouldn’t be a problem for long as all of the protesters would quite mysteriously vanish into thin air. This country has a great wealth of seacoast, flooded quarries, and abandoned mine shafts.

  3. What an amazing picture you’ve chosen to accompany the post!

  4. Part of the reason the idiots on the left call everyone nazi and march in the streets beating up people who don’t attack them first, is that they live in the niche of a rich and secure country and have never actually met a real Nazi.

    Worse, they don’t even have an understanding of what the Nazis were, and what made them so horrible.

    They were just…people.

    My family didn’t MEAN to teach it, but I learned that growing up– my grandfather got home from WWII later than most because he was a prison guard, for a prison full of German POWs. Most were Nazis, in that they were in the party.

    They were also mostly just 20-something year old guys who’d been drafted on the other side, the classic poor bastard that you’re going to kill who is fighting for his side.

    Didn’t bring anybody back, did it? And papa had ghosts with familiar faces. I also saw the photographs of lampshades made of human skin with tattoos on it.

    But one of the prize possessions was a water-color he’d traded with a German POW for, of his first-born son, born while he was at war. Granny sent the baby picture, and he had their wedding picture, so the POW painted a picture of her holding my uncle; if I remember the story right, he traded cigarettes for the water colors and some paper (shipped by granny), then papa bought the picture with cigs.

    Humans can do great evil, especially if they feel like they have an excuse. If you find yourself assaulting the innocent, it’s a big warning sign that you’re in that failing.

    • For most it was join the party or here’s your K98 have fun on the Russian front. For those with some notability it was join the party or here let us adjust your piano wire necktie. Werner Von Braun comes to mind, who by the way probably saved as many Jews from the camps as Herr Schindler did.

      • I wonder how many of the “secret Nazi” sorts were actually Nazi-under-protest that someone smoothed the paperwork for, to save them…..

      • Although the interesting thing is that the atrocities were mostly done on a volunteer basis. No one got conscripted into being a death camp guard, and usually if you didn’t want to shoot the Russian villagers you got sent to stand watch while those who were so willing did the murdering.

    • There is a tweet going around that if you say it is okay to punch a Nazi and someone says “define Nazi” that is proof they are a “Nazi” and you can punch them.

      For those who remember the Days of Rage, was dehumanization of non-leftists that wide spread?

      • The really ironic thing is that most Anti-Fa agree with a large number of National Socialist tenants and beliefs, right down to the antisemitism.

        • Yup. And they likely cheered the proposal that Warren put forth about a month ago that would extend government control of companies larger than a certain size.

          • The inability to grok the concepts of Opportunity Cost and Unintended Consequences seems to be a defining characteristic of the Left.

        • Had a journalist a year or so back who attended a true Neo Nazi meeting. Actually admitted that she mostly agreed with them.

          • Pretty much the same philosophical roots, when it comes down to it.
            Even the white supremacism.

            • In the 99.9999% of diversity initiatives are rooted in a belief in white male supremacy.

            • A lot of them are willing to compromise on “white” in exchange for “not a flaming socialist.”

              Some of the “white supremacists” are similar; if you’re not on public assistance, have a job, aren’t on parole, and your children (if any) were born in wedlock, you’re not-white-but-we’re-OK-with-that.

              It’s interesting to read a Klan declaration and realize it boils down to “get a haircut and a job” and “why can’t we all just get along?”

              Yeah, there are still some nutters out there, but when you deduct FBI provocateurs, I expect the hardcore “white supremacist movement” is a couple hundred people, most of whom don’t like each other, either…

              • There was a Public Service ad once. I think it was Bill Cosby. A character in a chair muttering epithets about all the ethnic types who were ruining the world. Eventually that announcer asks him “And what are you?”

                “I’m a Bigot. There ain’t but two of us left, and I don’t like him neither.”

                • Problem is they keep shifting the definition. Now just not voting for the socialist or (nonwhite) racialist does it.

                  • And so, the Left normalizes actual Racism.

                    One day, I hope to see the Black Community (or some significant subset) wake up to just how badly they have been used by the Black Quislings and their Ofay Masters. I don’t usually like bloodsports, but for that I just might make popcorn.

                    • Possibly. Other chance is what we’re seeing in some of these oustings, identity groups replacing former masters with their own. Just need to make sure they keep an external enemy while slipping enough soma under the table.

            • Except the Nazis were not white supremacists, they were German supremacists, they even considered the Swiss to be a mongrel race. They pretended to not have a big beef with Anglo-Saxons as both were Germanic tribes but the Welsh, like the Irish are Celtic. Generally don’t see much “white” supremacy outside the US as with few exceptions different European nationalities don’t consider themselves one people.

              • Eh, their propaganda would list the Irish and the Scots — along with the Scandinavians — as one of the better people of Europe. It was the English Germanists who were all gung-ho on the difference between the Celt and the Anglo-Saxon; the Germans generally were more about the Slavs. (That is, it was your neighbors who were inferior.)

          • “Had a journalist a year or so back who attended a true Neo Nazi meeting. Actually admitted that she mostly agreed with them.”

            The crazy left is right about most things, too, sort of, if you look at it sideways. And then you get to the racist underpinnings of any collectivist ideology. (So that in common, too.) Not necessarily entirely wrong about the problems but beyond wrong about how to fix it all.

      • Seen it in the wild more than once. After group in question had already castigated all “right wing movements”.

    • They were just…people.

      Which is a thread throughout the work of that well known “nazi” Jordan Peterson who keeps harping on the idea that absorbing that truth is the foundation of any defense against embodying that truth.

    • I worked with a former Nazi. He’d been a Russian POW in WWII and said that moving to America was the best decision he’d ever made.

      At some point, I could actually use the line: “I’ve worked with a Nazi and you, sir, are no Nazi.”

    • Even as flawed and contrived as the Stanford Prison Experiment was, it did yield some interesting results. I suspect that the results would have been the same had they not been primed first, but had run for a longer period of time. Ah, the ethics of human experimentation.

      • Considering how hard some of them had to be “encouraged” during the process (a fact that I did NOT learn when first told of the experiment), I doubt that the results would have been the same for *all* the guards. I agree that some would have turned vicious without prompting, but it seems clear that some would have continued acting decent in the absence of the strong “encouragement” that they had to be given.

    • Notice how so many of the people who denounce anyone who disagrees with them as a Nazi and go out to “punch Nazi” are themselves vocally anti-Semitic and do not bother to hide their hatred of Jews, you know, much like the real Nazis.

    • They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer.

      Shortly after WWII, Mayer went to Germany to talk with some low-level Nazis about being Nazis. Well worth reading.

  5. Oh, The Case of William Smith finally got here, and I read it– more like inhaled it.

    Brilliant skill in that, everything foreshadowed but you didn’t REALIZE it was being foreshadowed until something happened. It would kill the re-read value except that I want to read it again, already, just to try to see how she DID that.

  6. “I was born 17 years after the end of WWII and to me it was already history. And I already knew we would win. Like my kids have no clue what it is like to grow up during the cold war. And you can’t make them FEEL it. You can give them some idea, with stories and history, but you can’t take them there, not really.”

    I tell them the story about hearing the air-raid siren in 1979, and going outside to sit in the park for an hour. I was about 23, it was summer, and shit was going down in 1979 just like always. Russian bombers, American missiles, and Canada didn’t even have a goddamn army. Which I knew first hand, I had been in it not to long before. They didn’t even give us boots. Trudeau era.

    So, on hearing the air raid siren, I figured it was a false alarm. (Canada, right? Who’s going to waste a nuke on us?) But in case it was the real deal, I went out and sat in the park. Better to be vaporized in the first hundred milliseconds than bleed out in a basement, or die of radiation poisoning.

    That’s what it was like in the Cold War.

    • I’ve told younger people about having dreams in the 80s about being the last person alive—and that most of us did. It’s one of those things that never seems to make it on the “you know you’re an 80s kid IF…” lists.

      • Flash-to-bang time wasn’t just for lightning.

      • Yeah, the 80’s. You’re wearing a mohawk haircut, there’s a spider tattooed on the side of your head, and you go out dancing every night of the week… because the world really -could- end before you’re 30. A job, a house and a family looks like pain you don’t want to have when everything dies.

        I was almost 45 before I decided the world wasn’t going to end. I remember. I finally stopped renting and bought a house.

        That’s why the WWII generation never understood us Boomers at all. They -won- their war. We were waiting for ours to start, knowing we had already lost. Nobody was coming out of that alive.

        • I’m not a boomer. I was born in 62, before they claimed that year. When I was growing up my brother (Jan 54) was one of youngest boomers.

          • That annoys me, too. The eldest sister was a war baby, the two between her and I were actual boomers, and then I came in 1960.

            Someone tried to convince me that it was the “culture” of my adolescent years that made me a “boomer.” Really? The two real boomers were in the “free love, acid tripping, long-haired hippie anti-war singers” culture. I was in the “disco ball, bell bottom, new found popularity after the operation singers” culture. Very little alike. (Yes, sex was very different than for those who were teens in the first sixty years of the century – but “free love” had pretty much burned out as a “normal thing” by then.)

            • The boomers actually hated us. We were materialistic and whatever….

              • Oh, yes. For about two weeks, I watched two rivals practice their (literal!) one-upwomanship with the platform shoes. Back and forth it went, and ended only when one of them finally fell off. Those things were not cheap, and buying a new pair every other day must have hit the pocketbooks pretty hard.

                • I honestly had to read that twice before I realized that you used the word “literal” literally. 😛

                  I kept thinking, really… shoes? No, *literally* shoes!

        • Agree we boomers were waiting for our world war to start, which never did. But personally never put things off. Figured it would all work out (yes the glass is half full, your point?) If I was wrong? Oops. Well, darn it …

          • How many people today are too young to even remember 9/11? Most people in high school or younger were born after 9/11 and even those who weren’t and those in college, probably have little or any recollection of it and certainly don’t “get it” when it comes to 9/11.

            • I was 42 that day and I still rememer the missing contrails after it…. Never noticed them before, but after?????

              • I lived (and live) right next to the airbase. The silence is what got to me. Kind of like walking through the woods, and the birds suddenly shut up.

              • A sky clear of contrails wasn’t unusual by itself. A sky that stayed clear of contrails for days was eerie. When things returned to quasi-normal, my first sighting/hearing of an aircraft was potent thing. Perhaps I do live in the 1940’s some[1] as my thought was, roughly, Keep ’em flyin’! even if wasn’t quite the right thing for civilian air traffic.

                [1] I like 1940’s music, the 1940’s ratios for the Manhattan and the Martini, the radio shows of the time. Not sure I could stand to dress in the style of the decade, however.

                • Hubby was working on an airbase when 9/11 happened. I’m from NYC. I was living near a southern airbase. Could Not get through to home on the phone. All the circuits were busy. Base lock-down was scary to me because I’d never experienced it. I was a recent immigrant. I’d been living there for about a year.

                  • I was used to being in the news. I mean it’s New York! But this was very strange and different. I’ve never been in a fist fight. I have been mugged several times. One time I was knocked down to the ground so hard I had a bruise on my hip for a month. Afterwards I said it was good that I (20 year in good health) was knocked down. a little old lady would’ve had a shattered hip. I’ve led a quite sheltered life, which I’ve been quite glad for. My family was one of the few who didn’t lose any close relatives in the Holocaust. My brother in law’s family were survivors.

              • My mother mentioned it, but I didn’t really notice, even after she mentioned it.

            • Next year, people born on or after 9/11 will finally be old enough to vote.

            • Or too young to understand the impact.

            • > too young to remember 9/11?

              They’ll be voting in November, and in 2020.

              It’s no different than the Spanish-American War or Thermopylae to them. Not their circus, not their monkeys.

            • Oldest son is a Junior in HS. I was 20 weeks pregnant when the planes hit the towers (which made me promptly realize I was going back in the Army as soon as divested of current burden as DHs health wouldn’t allow him back in, and *somebody* in the family needed to go in hopes that our kids wouldn’t have to). That means even some of the *Seniors* weren’t born yet.

              Hell, in 5 days the children who were born *that day* will be old enough to enlist. And I will be retiring from the Guard this December with the damned mess still ongoing.

              • If it makes you feel any better, it’s been going on since about, what 630AD?

                • True enough. Although this particular flare up I mostly date back to 1991 (with brushfires back to the late 70s)

                  • I remember Black September… so….

                    • I wasn’t quite born then although I remember hearing stories about Munich. The first I was old enough to remember as actual big news would be the Iranian hostage crisis in the waning days of the Carter administration. I think we’re roughly a decade apart age wise.

                    • I was eight and aware of the olympics for the first time in my life.

                    • So do i, which makes me so disgusted by the possible next leader of the UK, Jeremy Corbyn, actively participating in a wreath laying for people who helped plan and carry out the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre. Corbyn is the poster-child for the patent widespread hatred of Jews that exists among the left.

                    • My oldest political memory was when Carter was elected.

                    • My first political memory: when JFK was killed.

                    • I’ve got a choice of two, depending on how you consider politics:
                      either “dang it, why are there jets on TV instead of my cartoons?” (First Iraq war…I was in training during the second!)
                      or
                      Dad turning off Rush for what I now know was details on the Lewinski situation.
                      Followed fairly shortly after by hearing my parents talk in hushed tones about the veteran who had been kicked out of his home because he wouldn’t shoot the bald eagles nesting in the tree nearby. And various other assaults on rural life– I’m still not sure if Hillary really did want to “fire the cattle guards.” My folks sure weren’t sure, it fit the rest of what they’d been doing…..

                    • Dad turning off Rush for what I now know was details on the Lewinski situation.

                      I remember listening when he did that. He gave, like, three or four warnings before very bluntly describing oral sex in the context of, “would you want your daughter being known for doing that to the President?”

                    • I honestly have no idea, it was just so odd for dad to TOUCH the radio after he’s turned it on that it stuck in my mind, and I know it was Rush because it wasn’t music or Woebegone.

                    • Of course, recently I’ve been given to understand that such things were FAR more common than even I would have thought they were, and I’m definitely more cynical than the average man-on-the-street.

                    • Meh, I wouldn’t give it too much credit– run into way too much “anybody who doesn’t say they did it is lying,” and know way too many women where “everybody knows” they did something that they did not do.

                      Heck, I had folks that were sure I was getting favors from the guy I eventually married when he was DMing– and it wasn’t possible that he was changing the setup to favor me, because he’d had the campaign written down for years. And I hadn’t ever seen it before, but I’ve met some of the folks he ran it with before, and it was all the same.

                      But “everyone knew” that any denial just meant it was even more true. Because anybody who says they didn’t do it is lying…..

                    • I usually don’t pay too much attention to those kinds of things, either, since I’m ready to really go after anyone who uses that argument on me, but the statements came from someone who was on staff at the time (the time being before Nixon was first elected).

                    • To be fair. Mine was what is this boring parade on instead of my cartoons … hey, I was 6.

                  • One of the first uses of our military was by Jefferson against the Muslim corsairs known as the Barbary Pirates. Earlier, when Jefferson was Ambassador to France, he had asked the representative of the Barbary states why they were attacking American shipping. The response that Jefferson received was that it was “their right under the Koran and the laws of Islam to attack the infidels and demand submission and payment, and that they fully intended to continue to do so as it was their right to do so.” The fact that people are attacking us because we are not Muslim and therefore are infidels is nothing new, and has nothing to do with our policies towards Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan or anything else but the fact that we are infidels in their eyes.

              • My youngest is a senior, she was born three weeks before the attack.

        • Born in 1961, and I never EVER bought the “Nobody wins a nuclear war” meme. Hell, the Japanese were well into rebuilding Hiroshima by 1950. It was pretty clear to me, quite early on, that the meme translated as “We, the Politburo, know goddamned well that if there is a Nuclear War the USSR will lose (because there’s only about a 50% chance each of our missiles will fire) and WE will go up in smoke. So we need the Useful Idiots of the West to do everything possible to bollux up the American military.”

          Oh, I was pretty sure that Washington DC, New York City and some other major cities were toast. I lived in Cleveland.

          • The first time I read Hiroshima Diary (written by an M.D. who was on the edge of town and thus survived – he even still had running water for a time!) it seemed gloom and doom and such. But I read it in the early 1980’s in High School. The next time, in the late 1990’s (2000 at the latest) it felt almost hopeful by comparison. I’d heard the doom forecasts for so long that anything that wasn’t that… well, doomsters might have done for nuclear warfare what Reefer Madness did for marijuana. Alright, I won’t be filling a bong with plutonium… hrm.. then again, that might have some (admittedly evil way to do it) societal benefit.

          • One nuclear bomb yet. Over a thousand nuclear bombs or more, with the debris and radiation, It would seem that the On The Beach scenario would be plausible if there was that kind of large scale nuclear exchange.

      • Never felt like that. Mainly just happy that Reagan was president. I will always remember the man who to do a perfect dive falling out of WTC.

    • I grew up in Minot. We figured we were a first target priority with the Air Force Base a few miles north of town and all the missile silos around the countryside. If it was gonna happen, we’d see the missiles launch and have enough time to bend over and kiss our asses goodbye.

      Grand Forks was just a couple hundred miles away with the same set up. At the time ND had 300 ICBMs and around a couple dozen nuclear bombers. It amused the hell out of me when some anti-Nuke group publicized creating a map of all the “secret” nuclear weapons locations in the US. All you had to do was drive down pretty much any highway in ND and you’d find missile silos and control stations. They were marked with signs and had fences around them. When I got to college one of the Chinese students couldn’t believe all the “missile silos” out in the open, as he pointed to grain silos on farms. One of the Ag kids took him and his friends out one day to show him the difference between the two kinds of silos.

      • I spent three years as a dependent on Grand Forks AFB, though I wasn’t old enough to really understand the whole “30 minutes till you die” thing until my dad was stationed at McConnell in Wichita.

        Then I plotted out the blast effects for 1 MT weapons hitting the base, the POL facilities north of Wichita and El Dorado, and the closest Titan II silos. Assuming none of the Russian weapons missed too badly towards our house, we were at or beyond where the blast effects from those targets dropped below hurricane force winds.

        • I grew up near SAC HQ and the main nuclear bomb assembly/repair/disassembly facility. We always sort of shrugged and gave thanks for living upwind.

          • Offut is where Dad was stationed prior to us going to Grand Forks, we lived off base in Bellevue.

            Actually, except for Grand Forks we always lived off base, even if that off base was just the other side of the the perimeter fence.

      • Did your silos have the bright blinking red lights up on poles? Those around Tucson did.

        I was kind of like phantom when going to school down here in the 70s. If it happened, it would be quick here. At home, I was right in the fallout plume from everything west (and somewhat north; Globe apparently is in the fallout plume from some of the Nevada above ground tests).

        • some of the grain elevators are tall enough to require them. most of the ones on the farms aren’t nearly that tall.

          • Oops. I meant around the missile silos. I was never sure whether those marked the security perimeter, or the distance at which you wouldn’t be incinerated by the exhaust if one was launched.

            Traveling through Kansas / Nebraska at night, I pretty much could tell when we were getting close to a town by the grain silo lights. If not that, almost always the water tower has one. You’d see those long before any glow from the small town lights (at least late, after the sidewalks were properly rolled and stowed).

            • I recall a story of a small plane private pilot who managed to get lost and figured he’d get close enough to a water tower to read the city name on it. Unfortunately he was lost around a town with a sense of humor and there were two water towers. They did not have the city name on them. One was HOT and the other was COLD. [Truth coefficient: unknown]

              • I’d just wonder how I got so far off course to Bath, NY…

                Of course, there IS a town with such water towers – Pratt, KS, “Home of Beautiful Women, Hot and Cold Water Towers.” I’ve driven through there a couple times over the years. I don’t recall that much difference in the percentage of beautiful women running around, though.

              • I live near the Florence Y’all water tower. He’d have probably started thinking he head banjos if he saw that, with its red and white candy striping.

              • Donald Stephens

                (this is from memory, but I’ll give it a go.)

                There’s a similar story from the early U.S. air mail service, right after WW1, when crossing the Allegheny Mountains at night was taking your life in your hands.

                One of the pilots got lost in the clouds – no navigation aids – and in desperation went down to try to see some some ground landmarks and get un-lost.

                He found a water tower and circled it to find the town name. He did: McConnelsburg, PA.

                McConnelsburg is in a valley that’s about three miles wide as that point.

            • Arkansas had lots of silos, but they were all underground.

              Since most of the state is kind of swampy, they had to be continuously pumped so they wouldn’t fill up with water.

              • Were there any near El Dorado, AR?

              • [clickety] A quick search says most of them were in central-to-northern locations, mostly hilly areas. Even a small hill would be decent protection against a ground or low-altitude burst. (as in, not having the launch door fused shut, not long-term survival…)

              • Titan II wings had 18 launch complexes. Little Rock managed to blow one up by holing a fuel tank; Wichita holed an oxidizer tank holding N2O4, which is hygroscopic (sucks up water to become nitric acid) and ate up the launch duct. The Titan Missile Museum is the only one not blown up or blown in.

            • I don’t remember perimeter lights surrounding the silos around Wichita.

              Funny story about Air Force logic; my dad retrained from avionics to Titan missile maintenance to try and get reassigned to Tucson (which had been his first duty station after basic and he fell in love with the place), which was one of only three sites for the Titan II. Listed his preferred duty location as Davis-Monthan, and the AF promptly sent us to Kansas. And proceeded in a distinctly non-military fashion to leave us there for eight years.

            • They are pretty flat. There is a pole next to the huge concrete doors that slide out of the way. But I don’t remember any lights on top of it. The fence is just there to keep people out.

        • Getting this up to the top of the thread. Being the kind of person that is bothered by not knowing something, I did a bit of research.

          What those red lights that I always saw were, I think, the warning perimeter around the IRCS antenna array, not the silos or the few surface buildings. The size of the pad looks about right in the aerial photo I found – and those were some serious antennas (as in “this is your brain on microwaves” serious).

      • My father in law tells a story about a farmer that got really drunk and decided to find out what was in “his” missile silo. Drove his John Deere over the fence and hooked up a chain to the “door” and started digging deep holes with the tractor wheels. The military police found him there “I almost have it, give me another try” and took him in to the base where the base commander (after the guy sobered up) took him down inside the “demo” silo to show him what was down there.

        • on the road between the church where my FiL preached until last weekend and the house the church supplied them is a missile silo. And right across the road, less than 100 yards from the silo is a farmstead. If they ever launched that one I imagine the farmers would be dead from the exhaust.

  7. If you’re interested in the Cold war, I recommend The Titan Missile Museum at Green Valley, AZ, south of Tucson (it’s the biggest of this bunch), the Minuteman National Historic Site in South Dakota, and the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site near Cooperstown, ND (which is larger than the SD one, having been built by Sylvania, not Boeing) (all have websites). Or, if you’re in the area of Whiteman AFB (Knob Noster, MO) and can get onto the base, there’s Oscar-1 Launch Control Facility and the Launch Control Center beneath it. The guest register is signed by the Commander of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Command.

    • The Titan Missile Museum is run by the Pima Air and Space Museum, and I think they run a special on admissions for both locations. Though you’ll want a day for the the Air and Space Museum by itself.

      • Also the Titan Missile Museum was used as a location for Star Trek: First Contact, if you want to get your film geek on.

      • Pima also does the boneyard tours. Have heard good things about it, although never did it either time I was out there.

        • If you ever come out here again, I’ll let you hop up on my roof with a pair of binoculars. Almost as good… (I also don’t bother going on base for the annual air show; I have a great seat from the roof for that too. I get to watch them practice for a couple weeks beforehand, which is kind of scary when they’re doing the mixed aircraft.)

          • Thx but if I go out there it’s because I’m gonna be out at AMARG. May be in background of some tourist photos.

      • There’s no museum like the Air Force Museum.

        Heh, David Drake thought it was creepy. Not the whole thing, but stuff like Bocks-car. Which was a friendly childhood memory for me.

        • It was interesting how the presentation was set up to make Bock’s Car impressive, as it is and ought be. Still was a bit strange to see a B-52 and then that B-29 and the 29 seemed bigger somehow.

        • *head tilt*
          That is really odd… I guess he has a really different concept of what it symbolizes, that that’s creepy?

          For me, it means that my grandfathers and great uncles came home, without having to kill little girls that charged them with make-shift weapons because what was behind the girls was scarier than dying to American soldiers, or shooting little boys that are strapped to bombs before they could roll under vehicles.

          War is terrible, but there are more terrible things….

          • Remember, Drake’s war experience was Vietnam, which was a decidedly different kettle of fish from WWII.
            Also worth noting is that his headspace was a very, very dark place up to about the point that he wrote Redliners.

            • One of the guys who instilled that world view in me was MIA in Vietnam, because his boat was blown up. They thought he was from another boat, and ended up identifying him by something on the hand he was holding when found, unconscious –which had belonged to his best friend. (That’s the crazy uncle I sometimes mention. He was a Hollywood Vietnam vet type crazy BEFORE he ever left high school, for what it’s worth.)

              So there’s probably some base philosophy/world view differences, too. Their dad and their mom’s brothers didn’t try to shield them from WWII… maybe Drake’s did?

    • The Strategic Air Command museum on I-80 between Omaha and Lincoln, NE is also cool. They’ve added science stuff. https://sacmuseum.org/

    • There are several *excellent* web sites with histories of the SAGE system, well worth your time. (for those not familiar, SAGE was the archetype of all the computerized “command center” systems you’d recognize from the movies. The one in “Doctor Strangelove” wasn’t that much different from the real thing.)

      • I’ve actually ran across quite a bit about SAGE recently when I was reading up on the Nike installations.

      • The last SAGE site still on line in the ’60’s was in Key West, Florida. I know because I was assigned to the AC&W Squadron there as my first duty station out of radar repair tech school. That was a strange place back then.

      • The 321st Strategic Missile Wing (Minuteman III, Sylvania) at Grand Forks AFB was housed in the old SAGE building, until it was deactivated.

      • For those who haven’t been curious enough to follow up, remember Reagan’s “Star Wars” proposal? That was *less* ambitious than SAGE, and SAGE actually got built and went online. And it cost more than the Manhattan Project.

        SAGE was like air; it was so huge it was nearly invisible. Most people would recognize its major aspects instantly; they’re threaded through Western culture. But they never knew all those aspects were part of the same thing, or what its name was.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-Automatic_Ground_Environment

        • I’m not sure it would qualify as less ambitious. Hard to say, comparing the very different times, but they were probably on the same order of magnitude.

          I mean, just for the space portion, we were talking about launching several thousand tons of hardware. That’s awfully ambitious in itself.

          • Yeah, but all those launches were off-the-shelf technology. The particle beams, not so much… but SAGE was pulling itself up by its own bootstraps; it was, in many ways, the predecessor of the internet; it ran into most of the same problems of communications and routing.

  8. A big part of the trouble is that the young Lefties tend to think in almost purely symbolic terms. So they do stuff that sounds really cool on a symbolic level…and entirely fail to grasp what the likely real world consequences are.

    Case in point; Kent State. It wasn’t until I read Michener’s KENT STATE that I learned that they day before the National Guard arrived on campus, the ‘protesters’ had set fire to the ROTC building, and then interfered with firefighters on the scene. Now, viewed symbolically, burning the ROTC building probably sounded like a great idea. But a building sized fie is not under anyone’s control, and it wouldn’t take much bad luck for one to kill a bunch of people. So, as soon as that fire was set, it became imperative for the authorities to shut down that ‘protest’, ASAP. The Protesters had, by setting the ROTC fire, shown that they were prepared to do something lethally stupid.

    The authorities were locally overmatched; the local cops were swamped. Nearby towns wouldn’t have any significant numbers of cops to send, even if they were willing. The Ohio State Police of that day were blue collar types with a rough reputation; the authorities probably figured that if they sent for the Staties, a lot of heads would get broken. So they sent for the Gurad, probably hoping that the appearance of military uniforms would act as a signal that playtime was over.

    Sadly, the ‘protesters’ were too stupid to understand the signal. They didn’t think they had done anything bad enough to justify shooting…because they still thought of the ROTC fire in symbolic terms. They didn’t realize that they had escalated to deadly force.

    Antifa don’t realize that they have escalated to deadly force. They think of bashing somebody on the head with a bicycle lock in symbolic terms. So, if somebody on the other side answers that by clubbing them with an aluminum bat, they will be genuinely shocked and feel terribly abused.

    Stupid f*cking children.

    • “Antifa don’t realize that they have escalated to deadly force. They think of bashing somebody on the head with a bicycle lock in symbolic terms. So, if somebody on the other side answers that by clubbing them with an aluminum bat, they will be genuinely shocked and feel terribly abused.
      Stupid f*cking children.”

      Worse. What they don’t realize is their “symbolic violence” of bashing someone with a bicycle chain, is a lethal action. Legally can be answered with ANY lethal action, does not have to be equal. Flying lead, either from victim’s response, or someone defending victim, even at a distance, is a reasonable justifiable response; in most jurisdictions.

      • Well, their spiritual parents didn’t realize it at Kent State, amd they certainly are no smarter.

        In a way, it’s a pity only four died at Kent State. If it had been a dozen or so, maybe the lesson would have seeped in….

      • Which is why their nonsense has been happening in “blue controlled” areas like CA….. or Charlottesville VA, where the authorities will condone their violence.

    • Well it’s no different that the ideas that you will have utopia by taxing and letting govt functionaries dictate everything. They see govt as a piggy bank, vs the hand in my pocket

  9. I joke about being OCD but I’m not in the least… still, that graphic up top with the maze with all the openings that don’t go anywhere is making me nuts.

  10. K, it’s been long enough now….

    Anybody else keep thinking Sneeches?