Have you ever been in a tug of war? One with a fraying rope?  Probably not.  I suspect most tugs of war in the US would be supervised contexts, either at school or in other circumstances.

But I’ve had tugs of war with rotting rope.  It looks fine, and suddenly it parts. And both sides fall. Hard. Sometimes there are injuries.

I wonder how many people out there are oblivious to the fact that we’re in a cold civil war.

I’d known it for over a decade, back when I was reading at Classical Values and saw the situation framed in that way.

But it became clearest to me over Sad Puppies.

Look, I’m not an infant. or a child. I knew the establishment in science fiction was hard left. I knew it well enough to keep my mouth shut till I couldn’t anymore.

I even knew there was a style of science fiction being pushed hard. “Literary.”  And I know what Literary means these days.

Well, it means what it does every age, right?  The prestige writing, the type the contemporary critics value is that which displays the marks of an excellent education and hews to that which professors of literature (or the gentry, mutatis, mutandis) say books/plays/poetry should do.

At one time, while reading about Shakespeare, I found the way that critics at the time thought plays should be written. For instance, critics of the time thought it was low and bad to have deaths happen on stage. Instead, there should be messengers who tell us the death happened, in the upper class way, off stage.

I laughed till I swallowed my tongue, because I have a degree in literature (and languages. The two went together.) One of the great play writers in Portugal, a luminary that I’ve heard floated as a possible “he was Shakespeare” whose play we studied had so many messengers announcing deaths that it was amazing they didn’t trip on each other on the approach.  He’s considered great because he did everything the right way, the way the critics said he should. Of course he is not known in every country and there aren’t towns named after his characters.

Shakespeare, that commoner who just had people die (with buckets of blood) on the stage? He does.

Does that mean that I think that I can identify future Shakespeares?  I wish. Because then I’d know exactly what I should write to be that big.

But I do know that there can be disagreement in tastes. And I know, as anyone should who has studied the history of any art that any “school” any “this is the good thing” can run itself off its legs.  Which arguably our notion of “literary” has.  Which is why each year books sell less. Which is why books that win awards and are taught as the next great thing are entirely forgettable while the old stuff sells.

So I thought that it was time for a turnover.  Nothing political, right?  And that is because I’m a great big, fat idiot.

Through more than fifty years of seeing slander perpetrated against anyone who disagreed with the establishment, particularly when the establishment was the result of the long march, I thought — like an idiot — that of course they would attack our taste, our intelligence, our writing. I never thought they’d go political. Much less that they’d accuse us of motives that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.  Which of course they did, in the international press.  (And btw US slander laws suck.)

And then it all became political.  And the shock — and honestly a shock that broke something in me, because you don’t expect that.  You just don’t — was that people who knew me, people I’d considered friends, people I’d have trusted, people who weren’t political, believed the slander.  I lost friends over it. But more importantly, I lost trust in humanity as a whole.

Because people I knew chose to believe that I’d had some kind of bizarre racist/sexist/homophobic aims, rather than that I simply disagreed with them about what makes good literature and what should be promoted and get attention.

Sure, I knew a lot of these people disagreed with me politically. But I knew that didn’t make them bad people. And I thought they understood — despite the demonization of generic libertarians/conservatives/whatever — that I was not any of those things.  Oh, yeah, and not stupid, either.

But they didn’t.

You see, we are social apes.  And there is the problem. The serpent in the garden might as well have whispered “belonging.”

Which brings us to why I was shattered and why they needed to defend by bringing in the worst “sins” problem, and for that matter why people I liked and respected believed them: because not believing them meant being cast out. It meant not belonging.  Because people they trusted and respected at least as myself, and possibly more, said these things.  why not believe them? It was the sensible thing to do.

Someone the other day said that Sad Puppies was te beginning of the turn.  She was wrong.  There are many many turns in the road, and none of them are actually dispositive.

What they are is symptoms that … consensus reality was fraying.

Which is a good thing, because the way we were going, given the long march, was the primrose path to hell.  Since all the news and entertainment and everything including education were hell bent in stampeding us into communism, we’d have ended up there. We were already halfway there in all but law.

But —

But it frays the thing that connects us together.  The consensus reality. The rope in the tug of war, if you prefer.

I’ve watched otherwise sane people — people I used to believe were sane — believe the most outrageous things.  Yeah, and say the most outrageous things, in this year of our 3 of the Falling Masks.

I understand it.  A lot of them are good people.  But continuing to belong to the circles they belong requires them to believe certain things.

And it’s not conscious.  None of it is conscious.  It’s all trust in other people. Trust in the group.  And frankly not having any idea that anyone could believe differently, because we all run in our own social circles. The trusted circles. And we trust them. That’s the whole point.

But the rest of us, outside those circles, those of us who thought we were alone and found out we weren’t, those who have been slandered in the press (and there’s a lot of us and growing) have our own circles.  And we’re bunching up.  And we’re hearing hells bells ring.

And the people going with the establishment don’t see it. They just don’t. They think they still have full control. They think they can regain it by stampeding it. They just want to belong. They want their circles to accept them and think they’re smart.

We’re pulling the rope, two ends.

But the rope is frayed. And if it breaks, both sides will go tail over tea-kettle.

While time remains, while we wait for Archduke Ferdinand to get shot — or hell, for Gavrilo Princip to go off and get a sandwich, because when the powder is packed this tight any spark will set it off — we must — MUST — fight with words.  We must break those circles. We must break that certainty.

We must fight back with ideas and thoughts and words.

Or we’ll fight physically.  And the rope will break. And the republic will fall.  And with it the last best hope of mankind.

The fight might be hopeless, but what else are you going to do? We have to do the best we can.

Before the rope breaks.





362 thoughts on “Fraying

  1. Ideas, thoughts and words no longer matter to the Left. Their minds are hermetically sealed and nothing short of violence will stop them in their drive for absolute power. The country needs a purge and, as horrible as that will be, nothing else will correct the current course to tyranny and enslavement, or worse, for the rest of us..

    1. That much is clear. Lately I’ve been seeing … something that they like to think passes for an argument (but is a mashup of mottle and bailey fallacy and bait-and-switch) to try justify transgenderism (not transsexualism) by citing the existence of intersex and chromosomal doubling (I can’t remember the term, the XXY XYY etc) while mushing it up as a social argument but inserting it into discussions about biological factuality, terminology and data.

      “Biological sex is fluid.” Apparently because at some point, we’re ‘physiologically female’ in the womb.

      Also from the same people who are pro-abortion and claim that there isn’t anything in the womb but a ‘clump of cells.’

      And apparently math and data determining what is considered a ‘normal range’ is ‘erasing the millions of biological minorities.’ (But math is really really racist now so it shouldn’t be taught or something, because reasons.)

      It’s a little disturbing and yet fascinating to see what insanity they descend to, in their world.

      1. Apparently because at some point, we’re ‘physiologically female’ in the womb.

        Oh, ouch, my head hurts.

        If this is based on what I think it is– it’s a variation on the old theory that the embryo passes through all the stages of evolution that the organism’s ancestors did, having gill-slots and such. (which is known BS)

        It is factual in so far as “if you just LOOK at the kid, you can’t tell if he’s male or female at that point in development.”

        1. But neither the man parts nor the lady parts exist at that point. That isn’t female; it’s “the cookie dough is still being made, and some of the ingredients are still on the counter.”

            1. Indeed. I’d go so far as to say all the ingredients are in the bowl, just not completely mixed and baked yet. And most of the developmental intersex issues happen (or rather, fail to happen) during the “baking”.

              As for the abortion is/is not murder question; I’m not God. I do know that it doesn’t matter at what stage a miscarriage happens at, if the couple wants a child, fetal death is a massive tragedy, and if from an act of violence, deserves to be treated as murder. I also know that some people couldn’t care less if their child died at any age; and at a fetal stage they’re happy to hand over a couple hundred dollars to “make it all go away”. Frankly, I can’t see God wasting His time ensouling a body He Knows is never going to even take a breath of air.

              1. There was a discussion over at Ace’s blog last week (I think) about how little attention is paid to the psychological cost on the mother of having an abortion.

                1. Bah! The psychological cost to the mother is peanuts compared to the physiological cost to the fetus!
                  See? I can argue from both sides. I’m very conflicted on this and really haven’t been able to make up my mind other than: if it were my kid and not obviously disabled, I’d say go to term and deliver; if the child was obviously disabled, abort and start over. The “choice” belongs to the parents. And I’ve seen some horrific costs of choosing on both sides of the question.

                  1. Except you can’t trust doctors. or nature. We were told older son would be massively disabled. Heck, now he knows this stuff he says the same.
                    As in, mentally retarded, will never be able to function for himself.
                    Well…. He has some slight issues, like a tendency to get obsessed with stuff (TOTALLY not genetic, shut up.) BUT his last IQ test came in around 165. And he sort of can look after himself. With his wife’s help. Like most guys.

                    1. Youngest child, I had to sit in the car sobbing for about half an hour before I was safe to drive home.

                      The doctor informed me that from the size of her skull vs her body, kid was likely to just spontaneously die, and if she didn’t we’re looking at major health issues.

                      I’d made it rather clear that any treatment that wasn’t treatment for the kid’s health, we weren’t going to do. Got the referral to a second doctor, who specializes in fetal development.

                      After the ultrasounds– he looks at the paperwork again, and asks me to tell him what MY understanding of why I was there was; then informs me he’s never had a child so perfectly proportioned for their stage of gestation come through his office.

                      Best guess, my kids develop outside of the computer’s theorized norm (I know that the rest had heads that grew faster than the rest of their bodies, going by percentages) and/or the first two ultrasounds messed it up in some way.

                    2. That… seems to happen to guys more often than I’d think plausible. Because I was supposed to be severely mentally retarded if I survived the first night at all. Based on that “diagnosis” my early teachers (not the nuns) treated me like I was autistic until mom insisted on the IQ test.

                      I still think the d*mned thing is rigged, and doesn’t measure the things they think it does. Seems like the doctors may be able to measure relative deviance from the mean, but not direction (at least, not well *at all* at very early ages). Perhaps because relative intelligence (whatever you particularly mean by that) at the far end can end up functionally identical to the very near end, too. “Difficulty tying one’s own shoes” and “unable to complete basic routine tasks,” as I’ve seen it called. Seriously. I’ve met highly intelligent people that *need* minders as much as toddlers sometimes, with similar results when left unattended. And I’m not even talking Mensa (it’s own special category, I think).

                      If you catch ’em young, they can turn out arlight, I think. An excess of intelligence and focus can be like walking through the world with a magnefying glass at all times. You *miss* things. If taught how to channel that focus into productive tasks- lists help, some- they might be able to pass as normal people for short stratches. I mean without causing that “this person Is Not Right” reaction that normal people seem to have.

                    3. To be fair, how can someone doing a test know if the kid (metaphorically) touches the fire that JUST BURNT THEM because they haven’t connected “fire=> burns” or because they changed something and want to see if THAT changes the result.

                      AKA, when we told the first girl not to touch the cat… and 30 seconds later had to inform her that yes, touching the cat with a blanket on her hand DID count as touching the cat. -.-

                    4. I suspect that some of the functions that cause extreme IQ also contribute to autism. Sort of the way I’ve heard that creativity and skitzophrenia are on the same spectrum, and that most of the apparent rise of autism in the developed world is more related to people with autistic tendencies selectively mating.

                      But I don’t know how to test that theory yet, and don’t have sufficient interest to flow up on it much myself.

                    5. My brother, who is brilliant if odd, had to have his shoes tied for him (by mom) on his wedding day. My kids, both into the “IQ measurements aren’t reliable above this point” sphere FINALLY figured out how to tie their shoes as teens.

                    6. I suspect part of the “doesn’t fit into norms” thing is that the norms are old, and don’t take into account how people have gotten larger just since the beginning of the 20th century, the first century after large scale industrialization and industrialized farming.

                      People who don’t realize that the peak of the curve can move across time but want to prescribe things based on someone not fitting into that peak should not be trusted.

                    7. I still remember the type, years ago, when a woman returned to an online group with the glad news: the baby had spina bifada! And we were all rejoicing because the first ultrasound had looked like the baby had no diaphragm (50% survival rate) or no lungs (this defect is not usually compatible with life).

                    8. @Foxfier

                      Eldest son came home to find me weepy over a youtube video of a baby born at 23 weeks gestation. (He survived)

                      Viability is getting lower and lower.

                      Docs still don’t know why Brandon died, when he was actively thriving. We got the autopsy report, four years after he’d gone, and nothing found that would account for cause of death.

                      Mind, both Brandon and Damien were supposedly at risk of being mentally disabled/Downs Syndrome kids when born (because nucal translucency scan said so) but when they were born, there was no sign of such, and Damien’s death is apparently due to some issues with placenta. (and he was tracking perfectly healthy, according to docs… but if he’d had more ultrasounds, they’d have seen he wasn’t growing much, in 3rd trimester.)

                      So yeah, docs… tests… aren’t always 100%.

                  2. Ignores the point. People who are inclined to have an abortion probably aren’t that concerned with what the fetus might think about the procedure. Mother’s body, and all that. But the pro-abortion crowd acts as if abortion is as simple of a thing as going to the doctor the have your in-grown toe-nail fixed, when that’s simply not the case. Abortions aren’t as slphysically safe as advertised. And they often cause emotional issues for the woman that they’re completely unaware of until after the fetus has been removed.

                    1. They argue that it shouldn’t be treated as something to mourn, just a routine medical procedure or maybe something to celebrate. On the theory, presumably, that the emotional effects are all imposed by mean people in society.

                2. If anybody needs it– Rachel’s Vineyard.

                  Just search for it, they do support for those who have caused an abortion, or who lost a relative to abortion. A lot of their councilors are women who had abortions, and realized what they’d done, and both want to save other ladies from making the same wrong choice– and save those who did, and either have to deal with what they did, or insist that they didn’t do anything.

                3. Worse. Mothers (and fathers) must never admit if they realize it was a bad mistake, and there’s no one, outside religious institutions (and not all of those) who will take their remorse and need to heal seriously.

              2. Honestly I’d rather assume that He would, or at least believe in One that would. In the grand scheme of things, much of our lives are wasted time and effort as well, and it makes it mercy that such a One would waste time and eternity on it for us.

                Should one who had no chance at all be granted any less mercy than one who all the chances in the world and failed in them?

                1. I tend toward the view that the question is well above my pay grade. My job is to worry about my relationship with Him, not His relationships with other folk.

                  When it comes to ensoulment I grant benefit of the doubt, assuming a soul until provided contrary evidence.

                  1. Same here, which is why I’m of the opinion we should be respectful of potentially sentient AI. I mean the rules were, we get the ability to create other humans that would have souls, but there isn’t exactly any spelled out requirements of how we had to do that…

                    1. Yeah… I will grant there may be a philosophical case for it not being possible, and I can think of problems with thinking we’d done it when we had not, but — let us err on the side of treating possible people as people.

              3. I haven’t slept well to make a tasteful joke of this, but election.

                Why would God grant free will to a man He knows will choose Damnation?

                Okay, I’m not well educated enough in Calvinist theology to present that case as they saw/see it.

                There is a peril here, perhaps not present in what I reference. If God has chosen to save some work in some cases, why not others?

                If I suppose for this reason that some fetus does not have a soul, what stops me from supposing that my enemy, who I do intend to kill, was similarly created without soul? Or that the soul has left, and however much it resembles murder, is not.

                So, maybe you are not so depraved as I. I, who finds that this is a little too tempting to risk that initial trust.

                1. The answer is paradox. Both free will and predestination are 100% true. Both quantum mechanics and theology are paradoxic. Jesus: 100% God, 100% man. The electron: 100% particle 100% wave.

                  The problem is that the more you understand a mystery, the less mysterious it becomes; the more you understand a paradox the more mysterious it becomes. This goes much deeper than simple freewill/predestination, it is that the God who created this amazing universe seeks an intimate relationship with me, and you. That is the mindwarping paradox. Talk about unequal power relationship.

                  He wants me to come voluntarily. This dangerous freedom that is offered allows evil. It has to. If you can choose good, you must be free to choose evil, otherwise it is no choice. If you put you in a cage to keep you safe you are not free. True freedom is dangerous. This is lesson parents learn. You must hold them tight and let them go at the same time (paradox).

                  The demonizing of enemies is a specialty of the left. Trump has been a challenge for them because he was one of them, and knows their weaknesses. I do see him like one of the Judges of the pre-king era of Israel. God seems to delight in using flawed people. Sampson for example. Hopefully we will not have to pull down the temple, but that is up to the left. As long as they seek war, and demonize all who disagree, the danger that 1859 and August 1914 are models of the future we face becomes all too real.

                2. “what stops me from supposing that my enemy, who I do intend to kill, was similarly created without soul?”

                  They don’t want you to. They are full of slips of logic like that.

          1. *slow nod* That works, because the stuff on the counter is THERE, it isn’t changing– you just can’t either see what it will be by looking at the dough, nor is the cookie cooked.

          2. Suburbanbanshee has it right I think. At some early point in the development there is a large (well large in relation to the fetus) undeveloped opening in the flesh between the legs and a little nub of flesh at its upper point. Which if you squint really hard and have a very good imagination (or a liberal education) bears some vague resemblance to lady parts. What those items will soon (like 2 weeks) turn into will be determined by the 23rd pair of chromosomes. There are some times things go wrong at some 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10000 level due to a variety of weird reasons, but for the vast majority of fetuses those chromosomes determine the sexual phenotype.
            This issues almost feels like the liberal types were reaching to
            1) strengthen the dumb all female society’s are gentle and good thing (all would be fine if those nasty fleshy members didn’t show up and ruin a perfect world)
            2) Do anything to fight the Genesis creation story (Adam, spare rib etc). I.e. OOH look Genesis is wrong you nasty christian fundamentalist fuggheads. Not realizing (or caring) that Genesis is not a science lesson but poetry.

      2. It’s the same as the one old minority ww2 vet they drag out saying that he never got a birth certificate and has no id to vote. Or the homeless dude truly down on luck vs the druggies.

        Using extremes is par for em.

        1. Their goal is not to “reasn together that we might find Truth” — their goal is to win arguments even* when they are wrong.

          *pronounced es·​pe·​cial·​ly

        2. “It’s the same as the one old minority ww2 vet they drag out saying that he never got a birth certificate and has no id to vote. Or the homeless dude truly down on luck vs the druggies.”

          Like there aren’t alternatives to getting the Id card. I mean the WW2 vet has his driver’s licensed, if like mine, marked issued since yyyy. His discharge WW2 papers, possible marriage certificate. The homeless dude truly down on his luck … well there are programs that will pay for their Id, if they don’t have one already, probably expired, but expiring doesn’t change the information. And so on. I mean there are thousands of reasons someone might be without a birth certificate or appropriate paperwork, or might be difficult to a PIA to get. But it is doable. Just how much do you care to do the freaking work?

          1. They also complain about those “poor minorities” who can’t afford to get ids while those same “poor minorities” need ids when getting welfare and/or food stamps. [Sarcastic Grin]

          2. I understand that India is issuing biometric ID to every Indian. Every single one of them. This is done to preclude voter fraud and to ensure that no Indian is disenfranchised. If they can do it, so can we. That would end this issue, right? Not so fast. If such a measure were introduced in Congress, guess which party would most oppose it. And guess why.

            1. Given how they can’t figure out social security numbers, I’d rather object to the US Gov having a “bio-metric identity” for everybody.

              1. SS #’s. You mean continue paying out to someone who has died? Or cutting off benefits to a living breathing person? Or both?

                Besides if biometric id, then wouldn’t put it past certain party making sure those id’s being cut out at death, preserved, and made to vote correctly, well after the assignee is dust.

                1. Or the inability to tell that 47 people reported as working on the same one are clearly not?

                  Or taking claims that have the utterly wrong name, age and sex for the social?

                  Or pretty much any of the identity theft tricks.

      3. Chromosomal abnormalities are just that. Abnormalities. They should not be used to justify anything.

      1. Oh, you mean the weak-chinned assholes who decide their ethics by testing the direction of the prevailing breezes? Yes, I’m super excited to have them on my side, behind my back, instead of on the other side where I can see them and mark their doings.

        1. Oh, you mean the weak-chinned assholes who decide their ethics by testing the direction of the prevailing breezes?

          Nah, that’s an even smaller number.

          The ones who are willing to trust are these– they go along, because they know there must be a way, and if there isn’t any other way presented, then this must be the right way.

          Basically, the folks who DON’T run off the edge of the trail just for the hell of it.

          1. Eh. I tend to think of them as the apolitical. At least they *think* that. Politics doesn’t put bread on the table, change the baby’s diaper, or put gas in the car. The absent minded head nod and tune-out is what they do. Politics hasn’t infected their daily life. They get offended when it does, and just want it to go away, like a bad smell.

            They don’t listen to political news. It gets tuned out, too. If they think at all, they think most people are like them. Just trying to get by. Political people are weird, and possibly dangerous. So they might learn where to head nod and move on, dropping the little mailbox nasties in the bottom of the birdcage.

            They don’t have the energy to waste on politics, they think. If they vote (and the vast majority *don’t* outside of maybe the presidential, because their parents did it), they don’t think on it much. They tend to view people pushing them into political discussions with as much eagerness as an impending colonoscopy. Invasive, icky, and just want it to be over with, if it has to happen at all.

            The support for the left, weak though it is, is not conscious. They often vote that way because their friends do (townies, mostly), or the smart people do, and so on. It is, as has been mentioned here, a sort of “default” leftism. This is a false popularity. They really don’t care very much.

            It can be an ugly realization for a person to come to know that the political class really *is* interested in them. What they represent, a vote, a taxable income, and support for their pension- not much more, and not truly individual, but still unpleasant. They *can* be reached. Our messaging and focus on the, heck, call it “not left” has been, well, y’all remember Romney. *shakes head* Possibly and in a more machiavellian sense on purpose. It shouldn’t be hard to do better than that, folks.

            1. This. I have very successful friends who are so busy they catch up with news on MSM three minutes in the evening. Their default view is left because that’s what they’re fed, not because they want to stick with the winning side, etc.

                  1. Oh, I HEAR it, the thing is that they are just not considering anything they can do as math.

                    It’s like the “you’ll never use algebra after high school” thing, where they don’t COUNT any of the basic shopping stuff as algebra.

                    1. Or carpentry, plumbing, et cetera. Balancing a checkbook is pretty basic. Budgeting. Calculating expenses, determining what term you want your mortgage to be, what car payment is reasonable, interest vs. principle… I still calculate tax and tips on my own.

                      And I don’t consider myself particularly good at math. *shakes head* This is just what normal people do, and some do a lot more. If you can’t do math… People will *really* take advantage of you. Not just can. There are enough folks of low character out there that eventually a body will run in to at least one of them.

                    2. This is how my kids figured out I do math in portuguese. In our house two houses ago, I was laying parquet in the dining room and had to calculate how much to cut off the edge pieces… which I did in Portuguese. 😀 because multiplication tables were learned in Portuguese.

                    3. *grin* Reminds me of the first words I learned that weren’t English. My father spent seventeen years building an addition on to our house, effectively doubling its size. While working two nearly full time jobs.

                      So he was working tired, but determined to do it right, because stubborn (no, I’m nothing like that, honest!). And on occasion when things predicatably happened, he muttered. Cussed out the pain. In German, because little pitchers have big ears. *chuckle*

                      It so happened the head nun that corralled us little monsters on occasion, a German immigant, heard little me turning the air blue after stubbing my toe… Well, I didn’t sit down for at least two days, and my father needed some extra special effort to get out of the dog house… Heh.

                      Just happened to think, what I’m doing now with rehabilitating this century old house and thirty year old truck, well, apple falls not far from the tree, I suppose. Funny how our actions affect the people close to us in our lives. Wonder how far back the chain goes, where in the misty distant past some traditions, acknowledged or not, start up.

                      Like as not, some hairy ape in a cave somewhere shaping wood, making hide tents, and teaching the little ones how to get by a bit better. Not a bad thing to be passing on, I think. Humbling to think on.

            2. They don’t think politics has infected their daily life. But they watch what they say. They’re careful not to even think about using the “N” word or other possibly hateful slurs. They keep they’re kids out of Scouts because while they like the ideals of Scouting, they really don’t want their kid camping with a homosexual, NTTAWWT, and they never call them queers or other hateful names.

              They dutifully separate out the recyclables as told, which are subsequently mixed in with the rest of the trash and taken to landfills because there’s no market…

              We could all come with more examples. We pay attention if we’re reading and commenting here.

              Politics affects everyone’s daily life, but some people are simply unaware.

        2. Oh, I want them on my side, but not at my back, but in front of me.

          Use the unreliable as shock troops and scouts to flush out the enemy and take the brunt of the casualties.

              1. Sometimes slow is quite good. I try and take my time to enjoy the good ones these days. And re-enjoy the old ones I’ve mostly forgotten. It’s how I got through my first big book, page at a time, over a year when I was about six or seven, I think.

          1. Nah. I don’t want to use them as cannon fodder. They’re functional human beings, they’re just kind of stupid.

            I have an entirely different set for that, and the best part is that they’ll volunteer for it, and will get slaughtered from the get-go.

    2. “Ideas, thoughts and words no longer matter to the Left. Their minds are hermetically sealed and nothing short of violence will stop them in their drive for absolute power”

      If we can preserve the Republic, we win by default because of demographics (,

    3. That’s the problem with sewing up all of the social institutions. Eventually, the pressure becomes great enough that someone says “f- it” and the direct action starts with nobody in control to say “stop”.

      1. I’ve been trying to point that out to people without much luck.

        The Torlings and SJWs were certain there was a Puppy “slate”, and some Secret Master telling the Puppies what to do. Because that’s how *they* operate; if not directly from Soros and Bloomberg, then wink-wink nudge-nudge, because they live in an hierarchical world where *someone* is always “in charge.”

        We, on the other hand, aren’t particularly amenable to being told what to do, and when enough of us decide Something Needs To Be Done, there’s nobody out there to say “Hold, enough!”

        They’re too blind and programmed to understand how much they ought not to want to go there…

        1. Precisely. This is one of the big dangers when the rough music starts. The right is not a cohesive group. They range from highly focused, political autists, that draw distinctions with a scalpel (yeah, I have a mirror) to people who have-just-had-enough to people who really really really have had enough.
          And once it starts, no one can call halt.

          1. And once it starts, no one can call halt.

            Not without disgusting levels of blue-on-blue anyway.

            Come to think of it we are experts in blue-on-blue. So it should be easy right?

            1. Probably not, actually.

              After the first 5000 or so rapists and would-be Einsatzgruppen get shot when caught red-handed, the rest will get the picture.

        2. And yet they will argue about conservatives wanting to preserve and protect a hierarchy. And swear that they came to their conclusions themselves, without direction.

          It’s why they make accusations about watching Fox News as thought that’s some kind of insult, and no one could ever possibly think otherwise than them except by being brainwashed. Not all the movie screens in all the world can hold their projection.

  2. Interesting that you’ve come up with the rope-snapping analogy; because I’ve been thinking that the way things are right now – backlash against the woke, the social justice zealotry, the political correctness and the endless, oh so unhidden double standards now, is a restraining rope breaking strand by strand. And sometimes, They Who Believe Themselves Our Social And Moral Betters even take a knife to the rope and saw at it.

    1. It’s generally NOT a good to take saw to the limb you’re sitting on. Sure, SOME (precious few) cartoon characters can get away with it, but… that ain’t the way to bet.

      1. Well, obviously, they believe that when they finish sawing off their branch, the rest of the tree will fall down.
        Everything the Democrats do makes perfect sense once you realize that they have given up on getting people to want to vote for them, and are putting all their efforts into making people afraid to vote against them.

        1. As was put on Twitter (based on a comment on ATH a bit back):

          Wile E. Coyote lives in an Objective Reality – a painted wall remains a wall.

          But Roadrunner lives in a Subjective Reality – if it looks like a tunnel, it IS a tunnel.

          Sound eerily familiar?

          1. Cogent observation, friend minotaur. Dist my WP interface offer an option of liking a comment I would have employed that then and wouldst do so now. Alas, I must content myself with public acknowledgement of a point well made.

            What escapes far too many, of course, is that the roadrunner’s methodology only succeeds because the roadrunner is a bird-brain.

            1. I’ve finally found the way to get to the “Like” button. If WordPress knows you’re logged in, then in addition to the notifications menu in the upper right, in the upper left there’s a “Reader” button. This takes you to the interface, where you can look at your “Followed Sites” (hopefully yours includes, because if it doesn’t I don’t remember how to follow a site in the WP interface). For each “followed” site you can get a list of posts, and in the post, you can click to expand comments. (And sometimes you might have to click to expand replies). I’ve managed to “like” several comments on this post by doing it that way.

              1. When logged in to WPDE… I mean wordpress… open the reader function (top left in the black bar if you are visiting a site logged in). On the left side, click “search” and search for “accordingtohoyt.” There will be a clicky that looks like “follow.” Click that. Now you are following according to hoyt, and you can like all you want!

  3. The bright and shining turning point for me was the Tea Party, and how the Establishment News and Entertainment media went all out, to paint these perfectly well-behaved, patriotic and well-intentioned good citizens as ignorant thugs, racists and terrorists. That … crashed the last bit of credibility the guardians of pop culture and news had for me. Sad Puppies was just the coda.

    1. The definitive moment for me was when NBC news showed a carefully cropped picture of an AR-15 toting Tea Partier as an example of White-Supremacy. With the un-cropped version showing the African-American as the White-Supremacist, it killed what little credibility Lame-Stream Media had for me.

      (An earlier bit was the use of model-rocket motors to make the case for exploding gas tanks in GMC pickups. NBC again…)

      1. Not that the other two “big” broadcast networks were above it.

        Dan Rather and the faked letter about Bush Jr’s ANG days is an obvious example from CBS, being relatively recent, but you can also include Cronkite’s portraying the Tet Offensive as a sign that the US has lost, instead of the reality of it being the last gasp of the VC in a roll of the dice they ultimately lost.

        For ABC, their show “PrimeTime Live” slipped a ringer into a Food Lion supermarket, that was supposed to catch FL playing dirty (literally and figuratively) with safe food handling, prompted by the United Food and Commercial Workers union seeking revenge on the company after their employees rejected the UFCW’s attempt to unionize them. When the hidden camera didn’t see any health violations, the ringer tried to manufacture them, coached by the union, and edited the footage to look like it was confirming their initial belief that FL was a bunch of jackasses who were unsafely handling food.

        ABC vs Food Lion

        And there’s more recent for NBC, as well, with Katie Couric’s “Under the Gun” [so-called] documentary, maliciously editing footage of an interview with a pro-RKBA group to make them look like idiots. Unfortunately for Couric, they made their own recording of the interview and released it to the Washington Free Beacon. Even NPR (not exactly a hotbed of right-wing reactionaries) called BS on the editing.

      2. Our betters at the NYT have informed us even those who parents came from India are white and exercise white supremacy:

        While it’s tempting to see the reported ethnicity of the boys suspected in the assault as complicating the story and raising questions about whether the assault should be thought of as racist, I look at it through a different lens. Instead of asking what the boys’ reported racial identity tells us about the nature of the attack, we should see the boys as enacting American whiteness through anti-black assault in a very traditional way.

        1. So, they’ve redefined everything bad to be “white”. I’m sure there won’t be any unforeseen negative consequences to this . . .

          1. If there are any negative consequences it won’t be because of them — of that you may be sure.

      3. Just saw a post about the World Series booing. NBC boosted audio from 5 gay guys who were booing, damped the audio from the rest of the crowd cheering to make it look like Orange Man Hated.

        We don’t watch anything on NBC…

    2. For me, that did more destroy the concept of “the media” was worth more than warm bucket of [spit] than to ruin the image of the Tea Party – and I was never able to actually attend a single Tea Party event. BUT.. un-official (and more trusted) channels told me what was what. And, yes, ox slow. And *ox* ‘get it’ in this case.

      1. It’s older than the Tea Party.

        There was a group called Promise Keepers,

        Basically, it was a group that strongly talked about Men’s responsibility to their wives and family (based on God’s Word).

        But to hear the Left talk about it, the Group was an Evil Political Organization wanting to destroy Women’s Rights.

        To point out how stupid the Left was, one Public Radio reporter attended the Washington DC Promise Keepers rally.

        She was Shocked to see how Non-Political the Rally actually was (my Dad attended and said it was an old-fashion Religious Revival).

        So she and the (female) host of the Radio Program started “imagining” what the Political Motives “actually were”. 😡

        1. Promise Keepers was interesting. I attended 2, one in Shea Stadium, one in the Hartford Centrum. The Shea one was one of the earlier ones, it had 35-40K attendees, mostly male. At one point a stadium full of men was down on their knees praying. Also 35K+ guys singing praise music is an astounding sound. A revival meeting would be a good analogy, it even had altar calls. The purpose was mostly to remind the evangelical males that had gotten sucked into the general work life that we were critical to our families and churches and had responsibilities there to our families, fellow christians and especially G*d that came before the almighty dollar. Of course liberals wondered what it was for because they had no clue that politics and religion might be mostly orthogonal to some people.

        2. I think I heard that one on NPR. Back when it was the only station that would come in sort of clear, on long drives late at night.

          The Promise Keepers had simple goals- be better men. There are time tested and proven ways to do this. It became popular because it works.

        3. Wasn’t Promiae Keepers an organization that had a rather high African-American participation rate, or am I thinking of something else?

          Democrats couldn’t let black men off the plantation, however, so they had to trash it.

        4. That sounds all too familiar. “Okay, so outwardly you Evil Christians who are Christian (therefore evil) don’t act as if you are a raving bigot who wants to take over the world. Therefore, you must be SECRETLY EVIL and -inside- you believe these awful things we say you believe, because we don’t believe what you do and ONLY AND EVIL PERSON WOULD DISAGREE WITH US *puff puff puff*…also, someone totally wrote an essay that Christians are bad because they just kind of are.”

          Seriously, what is with the Left and essays? For all their mockery of those who believe ancient scriptures are holy, they treat kooky school reports from a few decades ago like they’re ironclad laws of reality.

      2. Ah, yes, the “Tea Party terrorists” who always threatened to threaten America, and never actually arrived.

      3. “and I was never able to actually attend a single Tea Party event.”

        I was. Just the one. I was struck by two things: first, the signage was all clearly home-made, although some of it was very good home-made. Not at all like lefty “grassroots demonstrations” with their clearly mass-produced signs. Second, the conventional political activists were all pushed out to the edges. The speakers were a mixed lot politically, but the one or two who were obviously “Republican” got very subdued reactions from the crowd, compared to the ones who were “conservative” and slashed both parties equally.

    3. Same here. I’m not much of a joiner. So the little (20 people or so) Tea Party gathering I attending in the very early days is the only “political rally” I’ve ever attended. A lady was passing out pocket Constitutions, someone else had names and addresses. I *think* someone had a handwritten sign saying, “Taxed Enough Already.”

      A news van from the local tv station came by and . . . drove away. Who could blame them? We were very boring.

      But watching the media and the left’s vituperation, denigration and mischaracterizations of the Tea Party over the following year convinced me: there *is* a leftist narrative and the left will do unconscionable things to keep it from being unwound. (Sorry for mangling the rope metaphor.)

      Since then, the more I’ve paid attention, the more the schism between the left and (what I consider to be) American values has become apparent.

      1. The Left merely pointed and jeered. It was the Right who directly opposed the TEA Party. To the Left we were just another kind of Right, business as usual. But the GOP saw us as a direct threat to their own structure and anathema.

        They won, more or less.

        That time.

    4. After Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska because the media was mean to her, she swanned into a TEA Party gathering in Little Rock and told us we were all wasting our time and should vote GOP like good little serfs.

      No, Mrs. Palin. We hated your half of the Uniparty enough to start our own. And the only votes you’re getting are from people who hate your opponent more than you.

      Her condescending attitude was a perfect example of why we were giving the upraised middle finger to her Party.

      1. ah, she resigned because they were out of session (not any important new legislation needed her to sign it), and was being “investigated” for spurious claims that were costing the state monster bucks (all claims against the governor had to, by law, be investigated). Those opposed to her used it to hurt her both fiscally on a state level and personally financially (the state forced to spend to investigate, and she had to foot her defense bills). Her resigning saved the state multi-millions, and herself and family millions.
        Lawfare and anti-corruption laws used for the advantage of the corrupt.

        1. They basically harassed Sarah Palin out of office and out of politics. She scared the mainstream political establishment by existing, and by threatening the “inevitable” coronation of the Kenyan Kwizatch Haderach, made herself a big fat target. Nobody was fired up about McCain, but when she joined the ticket people started getting fired up about voting GOP…and that couldn’t be allowed to happen.

          1. it was one of those stupid “What were you thinking?” laws that sound ever so good . . . if you trust everyone to be honest about everything, all the time.
            It needs/needed the phrase “And if it is proven false and frivolous, we charge the person who filed the complaint, plus interest.” at the very least.

      2. Wait – are you condemning Sarah Palin for the crime of being imperfect? What a nightmare!

        You seem to forget that she was an early and vocal supporter of the TEA Party movement, and overlook the possibility she was advocating taking power from within the GOP. It ain’t as if the country club Republicans’ grip was all that tight, after all. Nor as if building from within is inherently inferior than tearing down from outside.

        Seems to me your recitation of recent history does not comport with my own recollection of events.

      3. She didn’t resign because the media was mean. WTF?

        She resigned because she was being hit with serial frivolous lawsuits, the only one which wasn’t thrown out before she resigned was the one that sued her for having a legal defense fund which, weirdly, was illegal in Alaska if you were the governor.

        And that was AFTER McCain lost the election and she was out of running for anything… because people can’t be *beaten*, they have to be *destroyed*.

      4. “After Sarah Palin resigned as Governor of Alaska because the media was mean to her,”

        The earlier comments were too nice: that’s a lie, and for some reason makes me discount your account of what she said. She resigned because 50 baseless ethics complaints she had to pay personally to defend were a precursor to the lawfare we’ve been seeing with Trump…. except that Trump has enough money for that strategy not to work.

      5. If only you were wasting your time by building a third party. The reality is that the TEA Party as an independent entity would guarantee years of Democrat rule, and at this point that would mean the death of America.

        A first-past-the-post system like ours has two stable states: One party and two parties. Adding a third party pulls votes from one of the other two parties, making them both nonviable and leading to a one party state, unless the larger of the nonviable parties co-opts the third party. FPTP in a Parliamentary system can have multiple parties because while each district has two major parties those parties can change from district to district. The result is multiple parties with regions of support where they dominate. Since we have a national election for President, we only have the two national parties. Except for the times in history where we’ve only had one.

        1. NY allows cross endorsements by parties; many states outlaw the practice. NY, as a result, has several parties with automatic ballot lines, decided every 4 years by getting at least 50,000 votes for governor.

          In some districts a Republican candidate who fails to secure the Conservative Party line will lose. In some other districts a Democrat candidate who fails to secure the Working Families (a complete misnomer) line is dead in the water. Used to be the Liberal Party line was the needed line, but they lost the their automatic ballot line a while back and haven’t gained it back.

          How important is 3rd part endorsement? In the the 1970 NY Senate election the Conservative Party rejected the Republican candidate and nominated James L Buckley. The Republican candidate got the LIBERAL Party endorsement. The Democrat and Republican candidates split the liberal voting bloc, and James Buckley won the election as a 3rd party candidate. The 225,000 votes on the Liberal line that went to Republican would have resulted in a Democrat win. Buckley won with about 39% of the vote. In 1976, he lost reelection with 44% of the vote and 1.4 million more votes than he was elected with.

          Libertarians typically never cross endorse; they always run their own losers. I typically vote straight Republican on the Conservative line. It sends a message.My current congresscritter, if he continues on course, may not get the conservative nod in 2020, and I may not vote for him. He’s turning into a RINO extraordinaire. Sometimes they need to be cast aside…. I’m hoping he’s primaried.

          1. There is precious little I like about NY politically–but the “you’re not just competing for the top line, but the further-down as well” is one of them.

            (Not enough to keep us here after the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, mind. It is a little agonizing how long it’s taking to pull up stakes, though.)

        2. “A first-past-the-post system like ours has two stable states: One party and two parties. Adding a third party pulls votes from one of the other two parties, making them both nonviable and leading to a one party state, unless the larger of the nonviable parties co-opts the third party.”

          Not necessarily. The lasting dream of third-party advocates is to develop a “none of the above” party which motivates the forty-odd percent of the electorate that doesn’t bother to vote anymore. Get a few percent from each of the two existing parties, add most of the ‘silent majority’, and you might just have a winning formula. Especially with the Electoral College.

          Is it likely? No. But it’s possible. Ariel Sharon did it in Israel with the Kadima party. The USA is a much larger and more diverse electorate, of course, so the odds of doing it here are much smaller. But the possibility does exist.

          1. Except that I don’t think that the 40% stay home because they don’t want to vote for either of the candidates, they stay home because they don’t care which of them wins. They’re not looking for “none of the above,” they’re looking for “either of the above.”

            Israel has a proportional parliamentary system, so it operates completely differently than in the US. You don’t vote for a person, you vote for a party.

    5. Mine came muuuuuuch earlier than that. Been pro-life since ‘93. Media has always called us “anti-abortionists”. Yet, most people in the organization will tell you that they are also against euthanasia, embryonic research, and some are even against IVF, because it commodified human life. Since I became an adult, I’ve known the MSM isn’t fair or balanced. And it’s just gotten worse as far as I know.

      1. It’s also funny that the media *still* hasn’t figured out the difference between “embryonic stem cells” and “adult stem cells”. One is objectionable (and doesn’t work). One is not (and actually does work, frequently).

        1. At this point, anyone who doesn’t know the difference either hasn’t looked into it at all or is actively pretending not to understand for the express purpose of encouraging people to murder more babies.

          1. I’m going with someone lying– because I’ve seen several stories reported as “embryonic cells” when it’s IPCs (induced pluripotent stem)— that is, adult stemcells they booted back into closer to embryonic, without the whole horrible side-effects on the person being treated, and no dead ‘donors’.

            The only place I’ve seen it recognized that IPCs aren’t “embryonic” is when they’re saying that IPCs are only used because of those horrible restrictions on embryonic ‘donation’.

            1. Not necessarily lying — it could be simply that their thinking has been so conditioned to the idea of embryonic stem cells that they are blind to the alternative hypothesis. Once they’ve seen the phrase “stem cells” they cannot imagine any kind other than embryonic.

      2. Did you see the new attempt to hijack pro-life?

        They start insisting that if you allow the death penalty, don’t support a welfare state and in some cases if you’re not a pacifist, you’re not REALLY pro-life.

        Notably, the objecting-to-actively-killing-the-utterly-helpless-innocents aspect is pretty much dumped from what the “new pro-life” guys actually DO.

        1. New? They’ve been pulling that for at least thirty years or more. The repulsiveness of denying due process in the one instance and denying it occurs in the other seems utterly to escape them.

          It is yet one more instance of their attempts to argue by definition, re-defining terms to produce grotesque results.

          1. The main “new” thing is that they’re trying to take the title of pro-life for themselves, rather than just deny it to those who don’t agree with abortion, etc.

              1. That is Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment.” And given what kind of stuff we now know that he supported, allowed, and was friendly with…

                Well, let us just say that the cynical leftie attempt to portray him as a saint and theologian when he died, would have been laughable if it hadn’t been so disgusting. Ugh.

                So it does not surprise me that internet smarm has adopted an extreme form of the supposed “seamless garment.” Yes, hide the guilty behind the innocent! Sure!

        2. It’s amazing the number of Leftists who will turn into the theocrats they denounce if they believe the Bible supports them — a belief that is remarkably easy, apparently.

          1. Now Mary, it’s obvious that the Bible supports their views just as the US Constitution supports their views. [Very Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

          2. Evidently they think the Bible, even more than the Constitution, a “Living Document” — one that would be much different if only its Author was as wise and they.

            After all, it was written over two millennia ago and in a foreign language< so who knows what it truly means?

    6. Because of shortwave radio, I’d know since the 70’s that American media covered a lot of things badly and refused to cover things that didn’t fit their narrative. But the bit that flipped the switch to “don’t believe until you can verify” was Dan Rather’s “Fake, but accurate” when the false story about Bush fell apart thanks to the early blogosphere.
      The Tea Party coverage was just a reminder.

    7. Sigh. I would like to say it was the Reagan Revolution and the blatantly dishonest MSM coverage of that, but it wouldn’t be true.

      I think it was when I observed the degree to which MSM reporting on the anti-Vietnam rallies, framing small groups so as to make them seem significant, selecting “representative spokespersons” who were representative only of a desired framing of the debate, and various other dishonest tactics intended to sway the public. They were not reporting on public opinion, they were obviously molding public opinion.

      I was against that war and too young to vote, but even then the stacking of the deck was obvious.

    8. The big break for me was working as an Intel officer in the 80’s and seeing what was really happening versus what the big 4 (ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN at the time) were reporting.

      Specific instances:

      Monitoring in real time a major Contra operation in which they kicked a larger Sandinista ambush force all over the place until the commies ran for home (And were allowed to do so, the Contras apparently didn’t want the bad press of an actual massacre). US media (CBS, Gunga Dan) in particular) “reported” it using basically a Sandinista press release.

      And then there was the entire reporting of DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM

    9. I believe that for most people there are at least several turning points and that they are recognized retrospectively. That’s how it was for me. One of the biggest such turning points for me was the reaction of “liberal” acquaintances to 9/11. Even though they were horrified by the deaths, they were secretly pleased that our country was successfully attacked in that manner. For them, the dead were dreadful collateral damage in what was otherwise a positive thing. Before then I believed that their complaints about our country were no more than sour grapes from persons who would otherwise back the country when the chips were down. After 9/11 I began to examine all their beliefs, and my own beliefs, more carefully. Now I view those “liberals” as a threat to my inalienable rights.

  4. The mask falls further.
    the need to not just disagree but totally be the opposite of Trump gets us headlines like those from killing al Baghdadi, al la WAPO and stupidity like Jamie Curtis et al. SNL had perfect timing on it too, no?
    Though the ranting over supposedly posed photos of monitoring the raid did bring about the occasional “Oops, deleting this because it was wrong!” when folks learned the truth.

      1. I’m hoping that millions of people are looking at this and realizing that if the Democrats and the media aren’t willing to give Trump credit for an obviously good thing – even to the extent of denying him a back-handed compliment like “congratulations on not screwing this up” – then they’re never going to give him a fair shake, and they probably never have.

    1. It is sad when the “Cool Kids” lose sight of the fact they are no longer cool or kids.

      Or it would be were it not so hilarious.

        1. Funky, was just thinking that yesterday– “if you were a legal adult for the summer of love, you’re 70 or over.”

          And The Who were formed when my mom was in single digits, released “My Generation” a year later in ’65.

            1. And now the kids of folks who were too young to sing along with that song are middle aged mothers are driving along their way home from a vacation at the grocery store, singing along, because the song does rather rock.

              1. Somewhere long ago (90’s? late 80’s?)I heard Pete Townsend do My Generation and Pinball Wizard (from Tommy) by himself and purely acoustical and it was AMAZING. Especially Pinball Wizard, tempo was 2x either the Tommy version or Elton John’s from the movie, but it felt right and the acoustic guitar and Towsends vocals drove them more than than full up pieces.

  5. I find it darkly amusing how the mainstream media (spit) suddenly decided that the former head of ISIS just a decent person, and that it was absolutely terrible that President Trump had the nerve to a) have him killed, and b) said mean things about him. After all, he only killed three of his children because he was being chased by Bad Orange Man!

    Per Twitchy for the full effect:

    1. Come on… As Ilhan Omar would say, some people did something to the guy. No biggie.

      Yeah, the meme crowd is having a field day with this. Among many other mainstream media fails. There’s something to be said when joke websites have a less biased news coverage than most of the journalistic cornerstones of the past century.

    2. Back when The Weekly Standard was a thing, they ran an article on some of the comments being made by American religious leaders in the late 1930s and early 1940s, as the threat grew from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

      German militarism, said one Methodist minister, “may be provoked by bitter belief..that there is no peaceful way of solving a desperate economic problem.” Condemnation of Hitler, according to a leader in the United Church of Christ, was a “short-circuited, adolescent hatred of individual leaders.” And a Unitarian minister in New York said that “If America goes into the war, it will not be for idealistic reasons but to serve her own imperialistic interests.” The it’s-all-our-fault line was echoes by a Reverend Holmes, who said that a German victory should be viewed as “the punishment for our transgressions.” Comments along these lines continued to be made in 1940 and even in 1941.

      1. Now admittedly the liberal pastorate have been idiots going back to the turn of the 20th century (even longer for Unitarians and Universalists). But there was no such thing as a UCC pastor before 1957 as the denomination is created out of a merger out of several other denominations in 1957 ( There are a LOT of similarly named churches including some of the congregationalist denominations that were part of the original and ongoing mergers, as well as a large number of non denominational churches coming out of the 2nd great awakening in the early 19th century using names like that.

      2. And for some unknowable reason, these voices of enlightenment all shut the heck up starting on December 8th, 1941.

        Just one of those unsolvable historical mysteries.

        1. Hindsight is 20 20. Although that probably wouldn’t stop Modern liberal pastors from continuing to be useful idiots particularly if the president in question wasn’t one of “their” people if you know what I mean (and I think you do…).

    3. Ah yes, the head of ISIS was nice old friendly family man who was forced from his professorship by the mean old U.S. Riiight. Which makes me wonder just how “innocent” Khashoggi really was; and maybe, just maybe, Prince Salman might have been justified in having him killed.

      1. Which makes me wonder just how “innocent” Khashoggi really was

        He wasn’t.

        Long time political player in a very nasty pool.

        The scariest thing to me in these various scandals is how many folks are repeating Turkish propaganda, or Russian disinformation, apparently entirely based on what is helpful to ‘their’ side.

        Even when ten seconds worth of investigation would’ve uncovered decent facts, even AFTER search engines get flooded.

        1. Kashoggi was a wholly owned propagandist for (IIRC) the Qatari. Turkey as a defender of journalistic freedoms is the biggest (bad) joke since Mao as agrarian reformer. The Saudis were wrong to execute Kashoggi as they did (public trial exposing him as an agent of influence might have played into their enemies’ hands less well) but that does not make of him an innocent intrepid objective journalist.

          1. The Saudi behavior was so /stupid/ that it makes me wonder what other messes were involved– or if were wasn’t malicious “helpfulness” involved that favors a third (or fifty-third, given that area’s politics) group.

            Sad thing is, it’s possible it was simply Politics As Normal over there. /sigh

            1. I tend to favor the latter explaination. They’re not like us over there. Doesn’t mean they’re *stupid,* mind, though it can happen to all us merely mortal beings.

              1. The main reason I don’t favor it is because it requires 1) Turkey to believe they can manipulate those who usually report on politics over there, by publicizing normal stuff, and 2) they’d have to be right.

                While highly probable, theory doesn’t add anything of predictive value, so I’m going with the “third party involvement” and “there were even more messes involved” options until ruled out by additional information.

                (It’s like looking both ways when crossing a one-way street.)

          2. Interesting how he went from an occasional contributor to one US newspaper to a full fledged journalist and defender of 1st Amendment after he died.

      2. I note that many of the Left’s talking heads were out immediately to wring hands and worry that al-Baghdadi’s death might aid ISIS recruiting.

        Ye gods and little fishes! You know what aids terrorist recruiting? Doing NOTHING in response to terrorist attacks, that’s what aids terrorist recruiting!

        Part of the current societal malfunction is that NOBODY on the Left seems to pay a price in the MSM for past bad advice. The same Charley Foxtrot Cabal that deemed ISIS a bunch of “jayvee terrorists,” that twiddled America’s thumbs in response to their expansion across the Levant, who encouraged Putin’s involvement in the region and who pretended</I< they were doing something by recruiting, arming and training a small cadre of opposition forces (who often as not immediately turned their US-supplied weapons over to ISIS forces) are STILL turning up on MSM programs to condemn Trump's betrayal of our allies and our "five years of successful policies" with no no no-body calling them out as the stopped clocks* they are.

        *No insult intended to stopped clocks which are yet correct twice daily, a much better ration than these so-called experts.

        1. Note:

          For those reading about the ‘direct link’ between the YPG (or YPD, heck if I know which is more common) or Syrian Kurds, and the PKK, or Turkish Kurds, it’s that they’re Kurdish and Turkey believes all Kurdish forces are allied. Usually this takes the form of bombing any group of Kurds and declaring they were PKK. Edrogan did apologize for killing Kurdish members of the Peshmerga…eventually…after insisting it was only PKK he’d gotten….

          (Does anybody else get the strong desire to build a time machine just to go back in time and beat the heck out of the guys drawing the maps in about the 20s or so?)

            1. IIRC, Sykes-Picot was signed in 1916, while Churchill was not a member Her Majesty’s Government. I think he was running back and forth between his unit at the front and answering questions for the Dardanelles Commission in London.

              1. As well he should have been, given the massive FUBAR that operation was.

                The Great Courses has a series on military blunders, and the only positive spin the professor could put on the Gallipoli Campaign was that it became a point of national identity for three future nations: Australia and New Zealand because of the ANZACs and Turkey because Mustafa Kemal was a mid-ranking officer who used his successes to acquire the power needed to become Ataturk.

          1. There are stories that for decades Saddam had under-the-table agreements with the Turks to let the Turkish Army run ops into Iraq to chase down and kill Kurds who they said were PKK. I have personally spoken to Turkish Army vets who had somehow gained enormously detailed knowledge of specific terrain stretching quite far into Iraq.

            If true, this also adds another piece to the puzzle around why the Turks would not let the US open a second front through Turkey into Iraq from the North.

          2. Doesn’t really matter. Maps are just 2D models and flawed representations of reality. Personally, I’d have drawn the maps based on language first, culture second, and resources 3rd; and even then half the folks wouldn’t be happy with it.

            1. I’m more upset that they drew maps at ALL without being willing to sit there and enforce them, at least to the extent of “Hey, this group is acting all Christian and non-murder-hobo-like, we’re going to be LIVING RIGHT HERE and smash any raiders.”

        2. As Dad, who is solidly left of the previous president, and I were just agreeing, the purpose of the media is not to inform people: media stories are the scantily clad buxom blonde babe leaning on the red mustang of advertising. If it gets eyeballs on ads, it matters not if it’s true or false.

        3. This should not be a surprise. A noted by Instapundit’s Ed Driscoll yesterday, THE ACTUAL NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE for Stalin’s obit read, “Stalin Rose From Czarist Oppression to Transform Russia Into Mighty Socialist State.”

          Outlets like the NY Times and Washington Post have been rooting for and praising the enemies of the USA for a long time.

  6. …people I liked and respected believed them: because not believing them meant being cast out.

    Let not your heart be troubled. It’s the creedal pattern for a political church — Eric Hoffer, call your office — and in the U.S., political churches, with few exceptions, ultimately get nowhere.

    Vituperative shrillness such as that emanating from the Left can only carry the day in a nation that feels itself to be severely nationally wounded. Such a wound is nearly always delivered from outside, by a war or its aftermath. (e.g., Versailles.) So far, our wounds are moderate, and were self-inflicted through politics. Moreover, we’re in the process of recovering from them. So while we must remain staunch, and while there’s surely more unpleasantness to come, the odds remain good that we’ll come out okay.

  7. “You just don’t — was that people who knew me, people I’d considered friends, people I’d have trusted, people who weren’t political, believed the slander.”

    Yes. One expects that personal contact will counteract slander. And then when you find out no, it doesn’t, you were FUCKING DREAMING all this time and all those people were just being polite…

    … its a bit upsetting. 😡

    1. And then when you find out no, it doesn’t, you were FUCKING DREAMING all this time and all those people were just being polite…

      … its a bit upsetting. 😡


      It does make you value those who don’t abandon you, though. Even if they do think your stances horrible evil bad, they don’t think YOU are, and will still talk.

      1. I live near Berkeley. I expect very little politeness, so I tend to keep quiet. Lord help me if I were to put a bumper sticker on my car. 🙂

        1. Some asshole scribbled over the NRA sticker in my car window with a Sharpie. Apparently too stupid to realize the sticker is on the INside… So, a bit of paper towel, a few drops of acetone, good as new.

          How stupid do you have to be to go out of your way to piss off somebody with an NRA sticker in his window? What sort of idiots declare war on THE PEOPLE WITH THE GUNS?!!
          It takes two to make peace. It only takes one to make war.

                1. No, that was just to cover up Turkey’s invasion of Kentucky.

                  As a Red State, the MSN considers it enemy territory so ran cover.

                1. Perhaps that also, tough only for intellectual satisfaction since I no longer drink. Kind of like how I tour the Leinenkugel’s brewery whenever I’m in Chippewa Falls, WI.

          1. Because they think the people with the guns are going to feel bound by the rules their attackers have already rejected, and their attackers have seldom faced more than token opposition to their antics, and certainly no lasting consequences.

            These are the same people who have their friends video them breaking into zoos and petting lions, or accosting bears in the woods. They’ve lived in a coccoon all their life; they have no concept of personal danger. Outrage and triggering, yes. Actual danger, no.

          2. What sort of idiots declare war on THE PEOPLE WITH THE GUNS?!!

            That was rhetorical, yes? 😛

            1. The same idiots who denounce all cops as bloodthirsty racists and then support banning private ownership of guns so those same cops will be the only ones legally armed.

              1. What you want consistency from SJW’s? Most days they’re seriously challenged to find their posterior extremities with both hands and detailed directions.

          3. What sort of idiots declare war on THE PEOPLE WITH THE GUNS?!!

            The kind that state that Reagan/Bush/Trump are literally NAZIs, declare themselves “The Resistance”, and yet are sure they won’t be forced into a boxcar tomorrow.

          1. Atlanta has different rules. Buddy of mine used to work there during the summer. It wasn’t “Hotlanta.” It was “Atlantastan.” And yes, he’d know.

          2. I don’t put any kind of bumper stickers on my car, because I see no reason to advertise to all and sundry my fandoms, political preferences, or weird sense of humor.

            Though I have contemplated getting a “Keep Cool with Coolidge” bumper sticker that a buddy of mine designed. And if I can find one, maybe one reading “Lincoln/Hamlin ’60.”

          3. The only Bumper sticker I ever had was one saying Klingon Warrior Academy on my 1974 Duster in college. Probably doubled the value of that car.

        2. what you do is put “Your” bumper stickers on “Their” cars… preferably when no one is watching, heh, heh, heh.
          Friend and I made up some Trump 2020 stickers that are just the right size to fit over the “name” part on their stickers.

    2. People do not realize that my most fervent cussword is “Humans!” (Yeah, they’re generally alright, most are great – really, some are truly wonderful, but then there’s that…. special sub-set.)

      1. Reminds me of the android cop in the TV show “Almost Human” that aired several years ago. Whenever he started to use the word “man” as an exclamation, it meant that he was getting ticked off.

      2. I’ve had leftists berate me about my job as Targeting Officer against various (Soviet, NK, Iraqi, Iranian) target sets “but those are human beings in those facilities!”.

        Yeah, like that’s major recommendation.

    3. You found out which friends were actually pod people, and it didn’t cost you anything material.

      While sad and annoying, you came out ahead that time.

      1. I’ve actually been taught this lesson several times, because I’m a poor student. Its cost me money and jobs, and forms the basis of my self-employment. These days I fire the disloyal pod people, they don’t get to fire me.

        Too bad I couldn’t have learned that when I was young. Might have turned out less cranky. ~:D

          1. And yet by our trials are we made men. Humans, in this sense of the word. No, never happy about the loss and the lack. Of innocence, at the very least. But wiser, tougher, and more resiliant? Oh yes.

            Every person you meet has something to teach you. Some lessons are better than others.

  8. i was surprised to find that a friend was buying the conventional narrative hook line and sinker about SP. its a reason i am skipping a local con- the narrative was being fed to him by the rest of the concom.

    1. I was unsurprised to hear younger nephews at a recent family gathering, grown and married men, highly intelligent and accomplished one and all, echoing the party line on Chic Fil A’s new location in Toronto. “They’re all racists, aren’t they?” was the question.

      My remark was “If that’s true, then why are there only 20 demonstrators out front but the lineup outside to buy a sandwich is 100 yards long? Are all those people racists? Or did they mostly show up to annoy the idiot demonstrators?”

      It was like throwing a tennis ball at the brick wall of the school gym.

      Propaganda is a very powerful thing. We should all think about that a little.

      1. They’re all racists, aren’t they?

        No, child, they are — at worst — homophobes. And even that is an oversimplification, acceptance of which presents you as thinking sloppily.

        One can be against same-sex marriage and yet support the rights of people of color and even of homosexuals, as marriage is arguably not a civil rite.

        Besides, as all should know: fried chicken is a Black thing.

        1. No, child, they are — at worst — homophobes.

          No, you are accepting the language which they have twisted to their cause.

          Using that word means accepting their pretense that there is no difference between not liking certain behaviors and expressions, and having an irrational pathological fear of them. They use that word to portray those they accuse as dysfunctional and disturbed, without any further effort on their part.

          Pay attention to language, particularly when you use it. You can convey meanings you do not intend.
          If I say something that can be taken more than one way, and one of them pisses you off, that’s not the one I meant.

          1. Hence the “at worst” qualifier.

            Really, if you are going to lecture others for careless word usage you might want to consider more carefully the words used. Heck, you might even consider the implications of context, such as “even that is an oversimplification”.

            1. And it isn’t like there aren’t real people who would match the description. Same person likely also believes that D&D is a satanic induction ceremony, and that the AR can’t kill someone because it ain’t no .30cal.

              Every faction has its idiots…

        2. I doubt if they are “homophobes” Mostly what they are – from what I’ve read – is people who are respecters of the biblical remarks regarding homosexuals as in “hate the sin; love the sinner”.
          And they contributed to organizations that for the most part were apolitical regarding homosexuals. Which of course was not sufficient. We must all agree that their particular trait(s) is normal or we are all “homophobes”. Hint NOBODY in their right mind is afraid of them. Only maybe that they will attempt to corrupt ones’ kids. whatever

    2. Former friend: “Well, on the one hand, we have ‘everyone knows’; just type it into the Goog and you’ll get tons of web pages detailing how the Sad Puppies are racists, sexists, and homophobes, and all the evil things they’ve done. On the other hand there’s Draven, who’s bought into some kind of fantasy he read about while hanging out on Nazi blogs.”

      Draven: “Don’t take any wooden assterisks.”

    3. Only lost one friend over Sad Puppies, thus far. I guess it could have been worse.

          1. Pretty much since the mid ’90s the Hugo awards had become a clear sign, “Avoid this garbage”. The Nebula had gone down hill sooner as SFWA had gotten the roll left disease a bit sooner.
            All in all knowing that you DON’T want to read some SJW based glop means you have time for something more pressing, like flossing your cat…

      1. Keep things in perspective: friends don’t encourage friends to follow false idols.

        “I won’t lose a friend by heeding God’s call
        For what is a friend who’d want you to fall
        Others find pleasures in things I despise
        I like the Christian life”

  9. And we’re hearing hells bells ring.

    I know others often think of a much more recent tune, but… what was that about different circles and such?


        1. Uhhh, the radio would be AM/FM…

          I think AC/DC refers to the Great War between Tesla and Edison.

            1. Don’t have to be old radios. The Radio-Shack special is like that, as well as the one that will replace the RSs when it finally dies. (Can’t anybody make decent capactitors anymore?)

              It’s handy when mains power is a sometimes thing. We’re not in California (Thank you, Lord!), but we’re in the Boondocks/the Tules/BFE and transmission line failures hit a few times a year (or more, especially during thunderstorms).

              Switchover is automagic; if the mains fails, the C batteries pick up the slack; pretty easy to set up the power supply to do that. (The most basic approach would be to have the battery pack isolated from the circuit Vcc with a diode, and an AC supply set up (also with a diode) that forces battery current off when it’s active. Other simple circuits would do similar. No physical switch required.)

              1. Can’t anybody make decent capactitors anymore?

                Yes, but a lot are made in China.

                Without much supervision, because seriously, how can you screw THAT up?

                *China: Hold My Beer*

                1. I don’t remember the details* behind the Great Capacitor Plague in the ’90s and ’00s, but a lot of electrolytic caps (from, yep, China) failed after a few years. I repaired a monitor with a capacitor kit about 8 years ago when time was much more available than money. It worked for a new years until other components started to fail. By that time, money was more available, so that monitor went back to China as e-waste.

                  (*) IIRC, somebody cheaped out on the chemistry in the caps, and the electrolyte wasn’t stable. Bad caps usually presented as bulged. OTOH, I had a Mac Classic II (piece of trash) where all the surface mount electrolytics leaked over the motherboard. That was a 1991 build. (FWIW, that computer was the first and deservedly last Apple product I’ve owned.)

                  1. Mitsubishi recalled almost their entire early-’90s automobile production due to bad capacitors in their engine control computers.

                    As the story went, they’d paid for certified components of traceable origin, and the subcontractor doing the actual circuit boards substituted cheap body-snatcher substitutes and pocketed the difference as profit.

                    I don’t know how Japanese law works on that, but I hope someone got their naughty bits slammed in a drawer a few times over it.

                    1. Well, remembering that almost-decapitation following self-disembowelment is kind of a thing in Japan, historically speaking…

          1. Some older radios worked on batteries *or* wall current. You had to move a switch on the back to select which you wanted.

            A modern electronic engineer would use cheap off-the-shelf components to have the radio keep rechargeable batteries topped up, and automatically switch to batteries when unplugged or the power went out, but back then, just the batteries would likely have cost more than the radio…

            It’s just another example of how incredibly *cheap* electronic equipment is nowadays, and how we can shotgun it at problems without expense being a consideration.

              1. Back around 1995-ish I was looking at an Intel parts catalog and saw they had a version of the 80486 with on-board RAM, EPROM and some I/O. The description said it was intended for room thermostat controls, cooking controllers, or simple process control. This was when an 80486 cost several hundred dollars retail… in “bulk”, the fancy 486 was priced at something like $2.50 each.

                I have a detached workshop. To monitor temperature (freezing or condensation) I needed a remote thermometer. Turns out it’s just out of range for most of them. But for about the same price, I got a Pi Zero W, a temp sensor, and I can check it by wifi… I used to run SCO Unix System V on a dual processor 60MHz Pentium machine with 64Mb RAM; it supported more than a hundred users on a WAN, and all their application software. The Zero cost about $20 and has more than an order of magnitude more power than the custom ALR server I administered then, and spends 99.99999% of its time snoozing.

                1. I think you’re thinking of the 8097, which was a completely different beast. More like a 16-bit version of the 8031/8051 than an 8086 derivative.

                  Which is a good thing. The 8086 was a piece of shit. Not suitable as a microcontroller, OR as a general-purpose CPU. The 68000 was far superior.
                  Susan Ivanova: “I do not like Santiago. I’ve always thought that a leader should have a strong chin. He has no chin, and his vice-president has several. This to me is not a good combination.”

                  1. Nope, it was an 80486. They had some similar variants of the 80186 too, some with ROM sockets, some with EPROM.

              2. I’ve got about 20 ‘555 timers’ stashed within arms reach. Along with a handful of AVR chips….

            1. You can get a microcontroller more powerful than the computers used in the Apollo moon missions for $1.50.

              The new Raspberry Pi 4 has a 1.5 GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM processor, 4 GB RAM, wireless networking, Bluetooth, gigabit Ethernet and TWO 4K HDMI video ports for $65.00.

              ‘The Poor’ have smartphones. So do the enemies of civilization, using what they could never create to murder the people who did create them.

              We are living in a science-fiction world, and hardly anybody notices.
              “Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has switched on the ‘Put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye’ sign. Thank you for flying with us, and have a nice day.”

              1. As William Gibson said, “The future is here, it’s just unevenly distributed.”

                And as Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi just found out:

                G’Kar: With luck, they may never find you, but if they do, you will know pain…
                Na’Toth: And you will know fear.
                Citizen G’Kar: And then you will die. Have a pleasant flight.

                1. Something my grandfather gave me years ago. (He was a contemporary and sometimes consultant with Steinmetz) Lost it along with a bunch of my stuff in my father’s and his wife’s divorce.

                2. One of my brothers had a crystal radio (probably from a kit in the 1950s) that used a galena crystal. I did a more modern version in junior high school (generic coil and tunable cap, with a silicon(?) diode for a detector). I had some Radio Shack transistors and cobbled an amplifier. I got WCFL (one of the bigger blowtorch AM stations in Chicago, with the transmitter site 10 miles away), though the amplifier was somewhat better at picking up the signal than the radio. If we lived closer to the WLS transmitter (maybe 25 miles away), I’d have gotten that instead.

              1. I still have a crystal set I built as a kid. It’s tuneable using a variable capacitor. Need to dig it out some day. Worked fine last time I used it (the ground on cable TV makes a great antenna).

  10. > Someone the other day said that Sad Puppies was te beginning of the turn. She was wrong.

    They’d already turned, but Sad Puppies was when they officially decloaked and went full retard.

    I knew a lot of them were on the left; they’d made it pretty obvious from their essays and blogs. But when they decided to go rabid and attack their own customers as well as other writers, that was a major shift in behavior as they openly circled their wagons and declared everyone outside unclean.

    But they waited too late; they were so focused on being the gatekeepers that they didn’t realize the fence had fallen down. They still control access to Traditional Publishing, but writers can now achieve “and then I get paid” without that.

    Maybe it wasn’t the true beginning, but Sad Puppies is when most people got their faces ground into reality.

      1. I would guess that you don’t see many of those, Tor being what it is these days. Usually I look at cover, read blurb, shudder and replace on shelf.

        Although I did find a book the other day, Neal Asher has a new one which I grabbed like it was The Precioussss. 3/4 of the way through, still liking it.

      2. Two valid solutions to that conundrom, one is to patiently haunt the used book store for the novel in question.
        The other we won’t go into in public.

        1. Uncle Lar, one generally does go into the public library in public, though.

          Or is that a third solution?

          (Judging from the new purchases shelf, my library serves one-third science-fiction/fantasy readers, one-third mystery/thriller readers, and one-third romance readers. They have a sign up by the circulation desk with number of summer checkouts. Works out to about 1.2 books/city resident.)

    1. “They’d already turned, but Sad Puppies was when they officially decloaked and went full retard.”

      Yeah, must agree. They did finally stop lying about it all being political right about SP3. But they didn’t change, really. WE changed.

      Sad Puppies was when -we- all decided we’d had enough of their bullshit.

      I’m pretty happy with how the whole thing turned out.

    2. Maybe it wasn’t the true beginning, but Sad Puppies is when most people (in this very small corner of the universe) got their faces ground into reality.

      That’s not to say that pretty much all other very small corners of the universe weren’t getting a similar message in a similar time-span, though.

      And they still can’t figure out how Trump happened.

      It’s impossible to put social pressure on people who you’ve previously unpersoned and thrown out into the outer darkness… if they care what you think at all, they’re pissed.

      (This is also why in-group bullying is an epidemic… people dependent on you are the only people you have power over.)

  11. I get the impression that the left thinks they’ve cleverly set things up so if when the tug-o-war rope breaks, the right will fall into the pond behind them.

    What they haven’t noticed, is the cliff behind the left.

  12. By the way Sarah, I didn’t click the “Like” for your post because at best it’s too sad/true to be “Liked”. 😦

      1. Somebody clearly went click-happy.

        My suspicion is that they didn’t even realize that’s what they were doing but were probably trying to mark comments as read.

    1. Whole page did, sir taurus. *shrug* I suppose we are liked, for whatever reason. Or perhaps herself gets the likes, we’re just the peanut gallery. *chuckle*

  13. > But it frays the thing that connects us together. The consensus reality.

    Once, their side *was* the concensus; nothing was taught, published, or in the news that went against the established Narrative.

    What we have now are multiple concensuses, some that have absolutely no concern what any of the other are doing; social structures that interleave but seldom touch. And we’re talking tens of millions of people in each.

    And they’re linked into distinct subcultures, not just by living in the barrio or the ghetto, but across telephony and “social media”, and they have their own radio and TV stations, stores and service businesses market to their specific demographics, they often have their own schools, and some of them don’t even speak English at home. And they care no more for the DNC’s Narrative than they do for the Tories or the PLA; it’s simply not part of their perceived world.

    I keep looking at places like Cyprus, and the former Yugoslavia, and India before the Partition, which had similarly disparate groups interleaved, and how “diversity” turned out not to be such a great thing after all…

    1. Oddly, it is their own philosophical argument which is deconstructing the consensus, arguing that there is a “Female” reality, a “Black” reality, a “Brown” reality, a “Gay” reality, a “Trans” reality …

      And yet gravity sucks for all persons equally, and no person’s poo smells pretty.

  14. As I recall, the last time the Democrats started a war against the Republicans, they lost it.

      1. I’d argue that centralization of power took off when the federal government started taxing people directly, and then using that money to control the states in ways completely outside of the law and the Constitution. Concentrating that much money and power in one place feeds coercion, corruption and fraud.

        Abolishing income tax and disbanding the IRS would go a long way towards getting the government back under control. Not to mention freeing 140 million people from Tax Hell every spring, and making some 50,000 pages of tax law obsolete.
        Londo: “Perhaps it was something I said?”
        G’Kar: “Perhaps it is everything you say.”

        1. The Fed giving itself the ability to tax the citizens of the states directly was a bigger disaster than the Civil War.

          The Civil war is *over*, other than for historians and some regional resentment. You have to deal with the IRS every April 15, and they’ll send thugs in masks and body armor to kick in your door if you piss them off.

          1. Haven’t you noticed? The Democrats are still fighting the Civl War.

            Lee and Davis surrendered, but the rest became the Klan, enacted Jim Crow laws, elected George Wallace…

            The only difference today is, they’ve also gone full barking communist…
            Under Capitalism, man exploits man.
            Under Communism, it’s the other way around.

          2. Oddly enough, the “regional resentment” will like as not, *not* be found in former conquered territories. Even border states, like Tennessee. No, for that you want urban metroplexes, in the north and east, and far to the west.

            Truth to tell, there were more than a few rebel flags flown from pickup trucks in my area. The skin color of the drivers might surprise you, if you haven’t been paying attention. More than that, the future of said flag waivers had a distinct tendency to lead them to the military or civil service. A proud heritage can be a funny thing.

  15. “Because people I knew chose to believe that I’d had some kind of bizarre racist/sexist/homophobic aims, rather than that I simply disagreed with them about what makes good literature and what should be promoted and get attention.”

    Rather, I suspect, they wanted to believe. They wanted to believe that your disagreement stemmed from some hidden bigoted agenda, because otherwise they’d have to reevaluate their own opinion, based on any criticism you’d offer.

    It’s a classic psychosis, really. Let’s say, a person chooses to identify as some sort of idealized “hero”, typically as compensation for their more mundane failures in life, and so picks a narrative to that effect. A grand social cause that can be tied to both physically deficient “victims” – oppressed minorities being a popular choice – and morally deficient “villains” – ubiquitous rich white men are also quite popular, moreso that the wannabe hero is usually a white male, often comfortably middle-class – and so can style himself as “not like them”, a veritable Lenin, a highborn defender of the lowly peasants.

    So in turn, when you poke holes into the aforementioned grand cause, or in any other way question the elements of the narrative, you become a direct threat to that person’s ego, to their very identity. Because if they’re not the Great Hero™, brave fighter of injustice against the oppressed… they’re bound to fall back on their mundane identity of Some Guy, unemployable loser.

    In short, not just our actions, not just our words, but our very existence is a threat to the inflated ego of a none-too-small group of people. However, the opposite does not apply. The right doesn’t need the left to justify our existence, or define our identity. When the rope breaks, both sides indeed may fall in stormy waters… but some of us can swim…

    …I mean, sure, I can mostly just dog-paddle, but, y’know, metaphorically speaking… yeah.

    1. Of course, the above describes an extreme case… as frequent as those are nowadays anyway. More often, people are simply emotionally invested in a given cause, but still tend to recoil when that cause is questioned. Or just take it for granted, as part of the social group mentality. That’s really the sad part – sometimes, it’s not just the obvious pussyhat crowd that can go off without a warning; it’s people who are otherwise normal, albeit more concerned with maintaining their own social status, than actually reevaluating what that status is based on.

    2. One aspect of the Left that always repulsed me was their insistence that you could not hold philosophical positions a la carte. To be a “good feminist” for example, meant you must not only support equal treatment of the sexes but endorse abortion, support government redistribution, oppose due process …

      And it isn’t as if you get to select the people deciding what philosophies you must espouse! Once you marry into that family of crazies you are stuck defending the most insane members.

      1. I find this to be a major factor in why people, as the hashtag goes, walk away from the left. Unless you subscribe to the full package of views, you’re not wanted there. If you’re a gay man who just happens to believe that illegal immigration is a problem; or if you’re a black supporter of the Second Amendment, or if you’re a woman trying to run a small business and skeptical of the various arbitrary and nonsensical environmental regulations… you don’t belong there. Dissenters need not apply.

        I myself started out as, in American terms, center-left (I’ll skip the full lecture on the idiosyncrasies of the Eastern European political compass). Though that was before I’d had any actual contact with American conservatives, in order to hear their real views and not the mainstream media version… though I still often found myself rooting for a number of conservative strawman villains in movies and such. Perhaps good ideas shine through even when skewed through duplicitous demonizing.

        The reason I drifted right was that, even in matters of agreement on certain problems, I noticed than any proposals for practical solutions would be ignored or outright demonized. It was clear that most leftist speakers merely used these matters in order to bully their own views unto others, or cry oppression and blame them for their own problems. So eventually, I was too disgusted to bother conversing.

        Thing is, I’m clearly not the only one to go that way. So in this sense, perhaps there’s hope yet. Perhaps instead of the rope breaking, more people will switch to the right side, and end the game before the fraying turns fatal. The very fact that leftists would rather deplatform their opponents than debate them, shows that they’re afraid of word getting out. And with this being inevitable in the modern communication scene, it’s only a matter of time before the scales tilt.

    3. It’s the automatic assumption of bad faith that really bothers me. Why not take a few minutes to find out why someone feels the way they do, rather than leaping to the conclusion that they must be shunned?

      1. Are you crazy? What if their reasoning makes sense? Don’t you know that is how people become misled by false doctrine and abandon the path of holiness?

      2. In the more extreme cases, those demanding the shunning might already feel the theories they hold so dear are flawed, if not outright wrong. And worse, if along comes a spider, so to speak, someone with similar ideas, but a far better understanding of the practicalities concerned – essentially someone who agrees on the problem, but proposes an alternative solution… then that is even more threatening, for it might ruin the self-image of the wannabe hero, and to a far greater extent than a more conventional opponent.

        That’s why, for instance, liberals actually have fun bashing conservatives with gusto… but go absolutely livid over libertarians – people who hold similar views on social issues, and simply believe that liberal fiscal policies wouldn’t be effective in resolving them.

        In short, it’s all about playing hero. It’s all about suggesting there’s always some grand emergency, one that supersedes or invalidates all laws and social conventions, in order for leftists to justify their own condemnation thereof. In order to cover their own failures and unreasonable demands of others. Because if there is no emergency, or if they can’t be the heroes who swoop down to prevent it for another day, they’d have to go back to their otherwise miserable everyday lives. So the moment you try and bring logic into it, like observing the uneven application of rules, or merely suggesting a practical methodology that would deprive them of their heroic self-image… you become another villain.

        In a way, it’s a philosophical version of gun control – liberals hate nothing more than the right of people to defend themselves, to
        choose for themselves, to think for themselves. Even if the conclusions are similar, the real problem is that such a person cannot be controlled, cannot be threatened or bullied into going with whatever idea they’re trying to push today… or will try to push tomorrow.

  16. “Or we’ll fight physically. And the rope will break. And the republic will fall.”

    Unfortunately, this is not a fight restricted to the USA. Canada, Britain, Oz, Europe, (even Portugal!) are all embroiled. Look no further than the last election. Rural areas voted CPC, urban voted Liberal. Holland and Germany have an uprising of farmers. France has had an ongoing uprising of the Yellow Vests for almost a year now.

    Its the same fight as Sad Puppies, just a little more basic. Depends how far socialist elites want to go. If they push too hard in Canada, Toronto will find itself without fuel or power. They’re one pipeline closing away from a really cold winter. That could really happen, from my reading of the political landscape.

    1. One need only observe that both pipelines and transmission lines are very long and vulnerable fixed targets to acknowledge them to be obvious targets for retaliation against urban excess.

      1. Not an insurrection. Just having the companies concerned decide they don’t want to pay the carbon tax, so they stop selling the oil. Turn off the pump. They could do that.

        This is why I have a wood-burning stove. Just in case something bad might happen for a couple of weeks.

        1. The Phantom said
          “decide they don’t want to pay the carbon tax”
          Ah the “Atlas Shrugged” Option hasn’t happened yet, But someday someone with enough money is going to say “No reward is worth this ” and walk away.

          1. someday someone with enough money is going to say ‘No reward is worth this’ and walk away

            There are signs that millionaires taxes are doing that, hence efforts at capturing wealth before it can escape Progressive territory. Warren’s wealth tax seems to be encouraging similar responses. But so long as those walking away demand the same patterns of services in their new residential communities the same trap will be sprung.

            The deadlier consequence is the people who give up on creating wealth and join the redistributionist scrum.

    2. “Toronto will find itself without fuel or power. They’re one pipeline closing away from a really cold winter. That could really happen, from my reading of the political landscape.”

      Ouch. Or brrrrr …

      1. Right? How much would that suck? No fuel for your furnace, no gas for your car, power is out because no fuel for the backup turbines and the wind isn’t blowing…

        What really scalds me is that I’m able to see that, but most people are not. They can’t seem to understand the notion of voluntary commerce being a two way street. They only see their way, and nothing else. Like its a law of the universe that the other guy is going to keep working after they spit in his eye and took his wallet.

          1. Oh, you mean that Atlas guy? Yeah, like that. Most of the exploration rigs that were in Alberta and Sask have decamped to the Bakken in the USA several years ago. The Dakotas are having an oil boom while Alberta is having the Great Depression.

            What, O what might happen if all the trucking and pipeline companies might suffer a general strike in December? All those guys being disrespected by the media and the federal government just suddenly decide they’re going on holidays for a couple months.

            No violence required. Just down tools and walk.

            And how, I ask you, can more than half the voting public be completely blind and deaf to such a possibility? Seriously. How? I mean, WE know, right?

            1. When asked why we weren’t bothered when we lost power over the last two winters. (Ice storm the first year, very wet 18″ snow second, who knows what will happen this year?) … we have a small generator (RV). Won’t power the house, but we can run the freezer, or refrigerator … won’t run the gas furnace however. Just make sure generator is under the covered area outside the garage. Also, and this makes us bad, bad, people, we have a wood stove, wood, and two dutch ovens. We are actually down to about 2 chord (from 14) … can’t get it for free anymore. We were only out of power for 72 hours. We were in the process of firing up the RV’s water heater when our power came back on. We can also cook in the RV. We have camping gear. The list goes on.

              Our only problem? Should the s$$$ hit the fan. We can hunker in place. That might not be the best idea. Leaving running until too late. Although running implies somewhere to run to. That monkey has flown the coop.

              1. I’m already in the place to run to. My area was named one of the top ten best places in North America to weather a Zombie Apocalypse. Too far from population centers for zombies to shamble, great lakes to keep them away from the south, etc.

        1. Like the NYC gas company that refused to add more customers because Cuomo vetoed a pipeline to add more capacity for the system. Adding more customers without adding more supply would mean that at times of high demand some customers would see their gas cut off by safety valves to keep the system pressure from falling too low. Cuomo’s response? Order the company to start adding more customers.

          I’m sure that once customers start losing gas randomly this winter Cuomo will order the regulating valves disabled. You know, because of fairness.

          1. And then, if something goes wrong and there’s a gas explosion, he’ll blame the gas company.
            If they do recieve such an order, they’d better have gotten it in writing.

            1. No fear — he’s apparently planning to solve the crisis by authorizing building windmillsgenerators on Long Island … at union rates and work rules, of course.

              Cuomo’s green-power dreams are slamming upstate yet again
              … subsidies for the windmill operators could hit $2.2 billion — — about double today’s wholesale electric prices for the city and Long Island.

              The cost would be snuck into consumers’ electric bills all across New York — with utilities legally barred from telling the public what’s going on. And that’s just for about a fifth of the 9,000 megawatts of wind power mandated by the “Climate Leadership” law Cuomo got passed this year.

        2. Phantom, they REALLY believe that all they will have to do is send government guns to stand over the businesses and their employees and everything will continue as normal. It’s an article of faith.

          Because it’s an article of faith, no voice of reason will be able to convince them otherwise.

          And when reason is off the table, the alternatives are war or slavery. Choose.

          1. But those are very very few, Steve. They are amplified by the system. There’s a third alternative where the worm turns. Yes, there will be deaths, in a few, isolated places.
            But our challenge is to stay alive and viable to make sure on the other side it’s not just as crazy with different labels.

  17. THIS: “The serpent in the garden might as well have whispered “belonging.”

    That’s the highest insight-to-words ratio I’ve seen in years.

    I don’t have a lot of friends who are consciously and explicitly devoted to evil. But I sure have a lot of “friends” who are devoted to remaining acceptable in their circles – artists, liberal arts majors, neighborhoods of Marin or Manhattan.

    It’s like a return to my socially unacceptable youth; the only friends I’ve got left are mathematicians, engineers and a handful of obstreperous writers who haven’t yet handed in their brains for washing.

    1. “You had to have seen what was going on. Yet you gave your child to the priests of Moloch anyway. Why?!”

      –sigh– “You don’t understand…”

      I understand about social pressure. But in the end, they made an informed choice, just like the ones who signed up with the NSDAP, the KKK, or Bernie Sanders’ election campaign.

  18. We’re not yet to the end of our rope, and unlike actual rope ours is capable of healing: it’s not de rope, it’s de vine.

    The greatest problem is that a small but highly valuable area of cultural real estate has been seized by nutters who think “King of the Hill” is the game to play.

    Mock them. Make them own their “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State.”

  19. In an earlier post, Sarah said: “If I could communicate just one thing, across the increasing divide of language and thought to the left it would be this: that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you’re running someone down is not righteousness. It’s just the feeling apes get when they run off another ape.”

    John Dos Passos, writing about the people he saw at a Sacco and Vanzetti case protest:

    “From sometime during this spring of 1926 of from the winter before a recollection keeps rising to the surface. The protest meeting is over and I’m standing on a set of steps looking into the faces of the people coming out of the hall. I’m frightened by the tense righteousness of the faces. Eyes like a row of rifles aimed by a firing squad. Chins thrust forward into the icy night. It’s almost in marching step that they stride out into the street. It’s the women I remember most, their eyes searching out evil through narrowed lids. There’s something threatening about this unanimity of protest. They are so sure they are right.

    I agree with their protest: I too was horrified by this outrage. I’m not one either to stand by and see injustice done. But do I agree enough? A chill goes down my spine..Whenever I remember the little scene I tend to turn it over in my mind. Why did my hackles rise at the sight of the faces of these good people coming out of the hall?

    Was it a glimpse of the forming of a new class conformity that like all class conformities was bent on riding the rest of us?”

    Related thoughts at my post The Drivers of Political Cruelty and Arrogance

  20. I was a little naive about Sad Puppies as well. I wanted it to be noted as a move to making better and more interesting stories. I was totally surprised when it went political and we became the “boogie-men” of the fiction world. Of course I should have known better– I was also with the Tea Party and attended at least one demonstration in Carson City, NV.

    It was a group of some of the most diverse people I had seen since I had come back to the States. All races and political idealogies. When the news came out in the local paper… they not only miscounted the amount of people there, but made the people involved sound like they were nuts and all-white. The picture showed only ten people on the Nevada Supreme Court steps when if they had moved down a block, they would have gotten a picture of hundreds of people lined down the main road with flags.

    I had stopped believing the press after seeing their misrepresentation of the military when I was in Panama and Germany. It hit harder seeing it at home. So to the left, Gamer Gate, Sad Puppies, and the Tea Party movements had to be ruined so that others would NOT try the same. “Go along to get along” is what they want us to do.

    Now we are seeing the next phase… a group of hooded anti’s who use terrorist tactics to scare the population. It’s like I’m living history instead of reading it.

  21. I have been in tug-of-wars (tugs-of-war?) where one side deliberately dropped the rope. I’m afraid they might happen soon.

  22. Couldn’t find your email address. Instead, found a suggestion to just comment on the current post. So. In your Moving the Cheese post, discussing shock of losing the future, I was struck by your all caps, “I KNOW”. And I connected the dots about shock. That is what is wrong with me. Now. Do you have any suggestions for what to do about it? Not antibiotics for a virus: the virus itself?

    BTW, if the rope breaks, the Republic will not fall. Those of us who have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution will win the war and crush the enemies.

    1. I don’t know what to do about it.
      Peterson’s book helped me. Not his philosophical justifications which are involuted and sometimes strange, but the 12 rules.
      I’m trying to train habit. Eventually, perhaps, rebuild a picture of A future. But for now, day by day, sometimes hour by hour. One foot in front of the other.

      I wish I could have your confidence re: the republic. I think if it all goes to hell Starship Troopers becomes a BEST case scenario.
      And you know, naturalized citizens also swear that oath.

  23. “Yeah, and say the most outrageous things, in this year of our 3 of the Falling Masks.”

    This is the one I was looking for this morning. American armed forces just killed the Head Bad Guy at Trump’s order. Then we get this:

    When Osama Bin Ladin finally ate it, the SEALS killed him and kept the body for ID. Or for their ear collection, that’s never really been explained. Then the body was buried at sea.

    Many years later we learned that the burial at sea was because those guys emptied their magazines into him, reloaded and ran through another mag. Then dragged what was left back to the ship with them. The leadership (Barry) didn’t want pictures of the mess taken and transmitted via the Interwebz, so they dumped the corpse over the side.

    But Trump is a bad guy for mentioning Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a mewling coward who blew up himself and his own kids rather than face US soldiers.

    “Are you out of your mind?” “This gruesome, vivid and probably exaggerated description of dogs chasing down Baghdadi will endanger our personnel in the region.”

    This is the former US Ambassador to Qatar, saying this.

    I’m going to love watching Trump win in 2020. Its going to be beautiful.

    1. To be fair, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a mewling coward…” seems a little too perfect of a narrative. Especially given the President’s penchant for hyperbole. Just a little too good to be true. But hey, it’s been known to happen and even propaganda can use the truth.

      As for OBL, I still think they should have kept his head and mounted it on a pike at the top of Freedom Tower. But I know that, while it is on a short leash, my inner barbarian is there.

      1. “…seems a little too perfect of a narrative…”

        Evidence: suicide vest. Coward’s way out. Also running away to hide instead of shooting back like a proper man. A little judgemental of me perhaps, but there it is.

        My inner barbarian says they should stick what’s left of al-Baghdadi on the Whitehouse fence for the crows.

        1. Anyone who kills their own kids is a monster. “But I was saving them from a horrible death!” is a terrible excuse. All you did was ensure that they never had a chance. Which, interestingly enough, also applies to the abortion question.

          1. Ah, the old “Lives not worth living” line of argument. That always struck me as presumptuous (and as evidence of somebody who is leading a life not worth living, but I eschew making such decisions.)

            In that line, I heartily endorse (although it probably isn’t playing at a theatre near you) the film Peanut Butter Falcon, even if it stars Shia LaBeouf because it features an award-worthy performance by Zack Gottsagen and stellar work from Thomas Haden Church. (Due for DVD release next week, I believe, if that’s your preference.) I suspect a lot of exhibitors are eschewing it because it features a Downs Syndrome actor and they aren’t comfortable with that the reason such lives might be not worth living is because “normals” treat such people like Hell, stifling their development and rendering their lives inert.

            Protect the lights of our lives, end abortions of Down syndrome babies
            The simple question, “Will you be my sunshine?” and the beaming smile of a young lady who’d just been invited to homecoming recently charmed the nation. Video of Florida high school student David Cowan’s chivalrous “proposal” to his girlfriend Saris Marie Garcia, a cheerleader, went viral and has been viewed by more than 4 million people. David and Saris are childhood sweethearts — and it just so happens that they both have Down syndrome.

            This lovely young couple’s joyful moment, captured for all the world, is no exception: Research shows 99% of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives — and their happiness is contagious. Scenes like these show our society has come a long way in accepting difference as a normal part of being human and recognizing the potential of people with Down syndrome to lead rich, fulfilling lives, if only given the opportunity and the support. …

            1. Ah, the old “Lives not worth living” line of argument.

              The thing that is both comforting and freaks me out about reading Chesterton– died in June of ’36– is that he was arguing against the motives in that a decade before he died. (Basically, instead of trying to fix problems, you make it so the people who have those problems don’t exist.)

              1. That WAS the solution of the Nazi’s to the problems of mental illness, physical handicaps, and non-standard sexuality. Again, the proper response is, “You first.”

                1. Which, notably, Chesterton pointed out.

                  Something about when someone talks about the excess population, ask if they’re excess– and if not, how do they know?

                  1. There’s a collection of Chesterton’s essay about the outbreak of WWII. It’s called The End of the Armistice.

                    It does touch on the Second Sino-Japanese War, but it’s most about Europe.

        2. Not saying that it didn’t happen that way, simply that I am always dubious of any information that confirms a bias, no matter who it comes from. That and my experience that first reports are always wrong.

  24. I commiserate with having (supposed) long time friends suddenly turn. For me it was during the Obama years. In my case it came in the form of my (supposed) best friend screaming at me that I was a “Racist, Homophobic, Science denying, Christian fundamentalist”. NONE of which are even remotely true. Well, except for that “Science Denying” bit. I guess I can see where he was coming from there. I lived through the “Impending Ice Age” scare when I was a kid (and it scared the crap out of me). You might say I don’t exactly have a lot of trust when “Scientists” state absolute facts.

    Mostly of the fall out had to do with me disliking things Obama’s political platform.

    So it sucks. I’m a pretty extreme introvert, so I’ve always kept my circle of friends very small. The day that all went down that circle of friends was cut nearly in half. All because I thought things like “there should be a better way to handle health care than have the government take over”, and stuff like that.

      1. Some of them, they went from “politics, who cares, let’s talk nerdy stuff” to “seriously man, you believe XYZ?” while I was still in “politics, who cares?” land. I don’t *have* to talk politics. I’d really rather not, most of the time. Talk Livy, Ceasar’s expedition with the Gauls, or suchlike? Sure! But it suddenly became *important,* and you couldn’t be seen on the *wrong side.*

        I get that it is important. And I can get d*mned passionate about liberty, and what freedom truly means. But I can also disagree politely if allowed to- that is, we can agree to live our own philosophies so long as *neither* forces their way onto the other. If we can’t have that, we have more serious issues than which pizza toppings to order.

        1. I was so irritated today by seeing someone posting about the horrific and bewildering possibility that a coworker who had been polite to someone coming out as trans might actually not have exactly the right gender attitudes.

          1. Or the ones who have such ridiculous political beliefs that a quick answer completely and utterly destroys their viewpoint, so they yell “no politics!” and just move on STILL believing that; higher taxes actually help the economy, or Rent Control encourages apartment building owners to build more apartment buildings, or that everyone will live like the 1% as soon as we get Socialism.

              1. But they never seem to, do they? And we’re supposed to nod along in all the right places…

                I love living far away from everybody sometimes. Just love it. It is awesome.

  25. Digression in the utterly adorable olympics:
    Our dentist is…not a big guy. He’s maybe an inch or two taller than I am. We were in today because someone has been swiping candy at night and didn’t want to get caught, so they didn’t brush their teeth after…..


    He took his daughter to “Zoo Eyes”– Halloween event at the Des Moines Zoo as Maui.
    Bought a muscle suit and FREAKING DREW IN THE TATTOOS ON IT!

    His daughter was an adorable four ish year old Moana, too.

    But dude, I’m not sure which is more adorable, that he went that far to help his kid’s outfit or the little girl.

    1. OK Nominate him for dad of the year, that’s AWESOME. Being a dad of two daughters when they were at that age they ask you for something and you hate to disappoint. It shouldn’t be fair for ANYTHING to be that cute.

  26. Someone the other day said that Sad Puppies was t[h]e beginning of the turn. She was wrong. There are many many turns in the road, and none of them are actually dispositive.

    A standard accident investigation mental model in aviation is “the Accident Chain” – break one link in the chain leading up to an accident and the accident does not happen.

    SP was one link in the causal chain leading to where we are today. It remains to be seen if a subsequent link in the full chain leading off into the abyss can be broken.

    What they are is symptoms that … consensus reality was fraying.

    I wonder sometimes whether this is an evolutionary adaptive construct: When societal stress starts to build up for whatever reason, variations in consensus reality multiply. This meant that some families moved away from the easier living at the seashore in Doggerland, thus surviving the rapid sea-level rise at the end of the last ice age that drowned it.

    Before the inundation these people were clearly nuts, questioning society’s basic assumptions and not going to get along with the majority consensus. All right-thinking Doggerlanders knew that doing things as your parents and grandparents did was the best way to thrive, under the wise leadership of the Doggerlander Kings. And moving away actually took your contributions away from society – actions worthy of condemnation, and likely being raaacisss as well.

    And when the waves crashed in and drowned everyone, I am certain those “selfish” families that moved felt no joy in being right – only sadness.

  27. 23 skidoo – I always say this when I have nothing noteworthy to ad, but I want the poster to know I read the whole thing, that they were not just shouting into an empty canyon.

  28. Moved down from Dan’s comment above:

    An excess of intelligence and focus can be like walking through the world with a magnefying glass at all times. You *miss* things. If taught how to channel that focus into productive tasks- lists help, some- they might be able to pass as normal people for short stratches. I mean without causing that “this person Is Not Right” reaction that normal people seem to have.

    There’s an anime called Log Horizon that is one of those people-trapped-in-a-video-game series. (Like Sword Art Online, but with less depressing notes.)

    It’s incredibly on point, psychologically– the girls worry like girls, for example, and the gamers act like gamers– and there’s one specific example that dramatizes a way to help these folks: MMOs.

    Dancing around spoilers, at one point a character does a “Because we are Gamers!” speech, and frankly it really spoke to me, and Dear Husband went through a similar route of loving video games– you can learn to catch the important stuff, because so much of the unimportant stuff is out of the way.
    Exactly BECAUSE it’s just a game. It’s “silly.”

    Can watch most of it here, but obviously: spoilers.

    1. There’s a whole genre called litrpg that pretty much capitalizes on that concept. Aleron Kong’s The Land has a pretty good story, even makes fun of the cliffhanger ending quite well in one point. The MC is not an idiot, but he is young and male… which can *look* like the same thing, often, but isn’t.

      If you ever want to see what brotherly love is, watch closely the evolution of the MC and the first being to almost kill him as soon as they meet (which happens strangely often, and mirrors *another* male trope- get in a fight with each other, become good friends after).

      Spoilers, no worries. I’ve learned to navigate around them a bit. *grin* Worth a look, when I’ve a spare moment or two.

  29. for a while I thought the left was angling for a major city race war (Cleveland, Baltimore) but that flamed out at Charlottesville …

    So instead of agitating at specific events the left has now gone to agitating everywhere … and they simply won’t let you live and let live … they are now coming into your homes, schools, businesses, ball games, TV, movies etc. everywhere to poke you in the chest about some nonsense or another …

    this will become the political rights “Crusades” … we will have to fight a defensive war against the left … and still get blamed for it in the end … (unless we beat the left so bad that they no longer get to write the histories …)

    myself I would prefer to get our retaliation in first but I’m not a Christian and tend to believe in the Conan way …

  30. I’ve lost a majority of the friends I’ve made over the last 25 years, and have had to distance myself from most of my family. It’s not that I make waves with my political opinions – it’s that they’re all so damned enthusiastic about not only trying to smoke out heretics, but also about ratting them out.

    Several friends are in similar situations, including red flag threats.

    Coworkers routinely talked about the need to beat and/or kill conservatives, both around the water cooler and in work email. People are losing their jobs left and right for being insufficiently leftist.

    This is not going to be resolved with words. And even if it could, I doubt doing so would give us a sufficiently durable solution. The rest of our time here is going to suck either way, what I’m worried about is our kids and grandkids.

    1. Amazing, is it not, how intolerant the advocates of Tolerance can be? It is as if they own no mirrors and are thus incapable of self-reflection.

    2. This. This. This.
      And yet, you’re overestimating the left and underestimating what for lack of a better word I’ll call “divine thumb on the scales.”
      Trump is not perfect, but he’s doing to the domestic left what Reagan did to the Soviet Union.
      Don’t lose hope, and be not afraid.
      This is the day the Lord has made and it is glorious in our sight.

  31. Being moderately autistic I see very clearly. After a lifetime of witnessing and experiencing similar occurrences I conclude that the socially and culturally constructed “self” simply collects, reproduces and disseminates the collective consciousness of the self’s peer groups; groups that require conformity as a condition for membership. Rejecting peerage, for the last 11 years I have been a happy hermit! (I’m a 77 year old retired sociologist) Life is absurd, and a prodigious source of lively entertainment!

  32. Just found this today.

    It dovetails right with what you are saying about worrying about how others judge us, *that* they judge us and how we can get out from under that mammoth. Those that believed the slander about you, Sarah, will believe slander about anyone they know because they value staying in the group more than their authentic voice. They don’t realize there is another group “out there” which will welcome them in. Or they are afraid to even go look because of what others might say.

    I started writing fiction because of a word prompt you had way back in the summer of 2018. I’m still in academia, but I have a plan and a system for leaving and yes, I’m going to make writing my full time job. I also know I’m going to get laughed at by colleagues. But then, due to events over the last year or so, I’ve already discovered I can’t trust most of them anyway.

    Here’s to jumping and knowing the net will appear!

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