It’s Not You

It’s not your fault. It’s not you. It’s them. You are not alone.

Look, I woke up late (I’m still recovering from weirdly severe if very short URI that hit me last week. Like all URIs with me it’s taking a long time for the after effects to clear. I feel almost well, except for this underlying feeling that recovery is built on paper tape that will give at the slightest push.)

So I woke up, and had blog block. I happens maybe once a month. I want to write, but there’s no topic for the blog. Nothing. just blank head. (I now have the white board up, and am going to start writing future topics on it again. For these occasions.)

So I hit a few friend groups, and we were chatting….

All of us have similar experiences, only the timing varies. Well, and how many of our fans/friends the implosion took.

Because I am artsy (eh, sorry. It’s just who I am. Yes, I was good at STEM, but I was also the kid who wrote, did art, designed clothes, designed and made stuffed animals, painted pebbles, made things with wood, etc. I’m not saying I’m good at all or any of this, but that left to my own devices, that’s where I gravitate. The other interests don’t help: history, science fiction, social speculation. Honest, if I didn’t like economics so much, I might have fallen.) in my case the answer to how big the implosion is: would you believe two implosions? The first after 9/11, the second when I came out of the political closet. Was that 10 or 11? And the size was “cosmic.”

To explain to those of you who haven’t had this happen to them — are there any of you in America, at this point, really? — it’s like this:

We all grew up in a culture defined and dominated by the left, which frankly had taken over the overculture by the time I was born almost sixty years ago. And because the media industrial complex was in charge of news, entertainment, movies, books, art, everything, the barrage was complete.

We grew up submerged in it. I was born in sixty two, have realized they were wrong at least thirty years ago (before that I kept trying to limit the dissonance with “they’re wrong on this, but maybe not this?”) and I still have moments, usually when world building or thinking through a social issue where I go “Oh, no, wait. That’s just Marxism, and I know it’s not true.” And at that I’m ahead of the curve. I still hear people commenting on how poverty causes crime. PEOPLE ON OUR SIDE. And that’s both an insult to poor and honest and upright people, and has never been true, ever. Though it’s a sacred dogma of Marxists.

It’s moments like listening to Presley croon “In the Ghetto” and going “What the? No. Sure, maybe lack of opportunities can cause this” — though mostly what it causes is depression and drug use, as we’re seeing for a vast portion of young people — “BUT poverty is not the cause of crime. And solving it by throwing money at it destroyed black families and made everything worse.” I should have realized that before. But having grown up in water, I didn’t even see it.

Heck, by many definitions, I was a leftist, because I grew up in Europe, where all you have are two flavors of socialism, and the government is assumed to have the right to do things like limit speech. (And don’t get me started on gun ownership.)

So, having grown up like that we learned to give a “discount”.

We gave a discount to our favorite artists. I had a thing that went “He is a political idiot, but he sure can write/sing/whatever.” We also assumed we were all alone. We were the only ones who saw the dissonance, the lies, the hypocrisy of the left.

We assumed our friends were stupid, not evil, even as they reviled people like us and endorsed programs we knew would destroy everything that keeps society working. And were objectively evil. But we went “well, it took me so long to figure out, and they’re good people. And frankly I don’t wish this knowledge on anyone.” So, we talked of other things and emphasized what we agreed on.

Mostly because we really thought we were, if not just us, a tiny, tiny minority. We had clawed each of our beliefs, one by one, from the overculture while it shrieked in our ears that we were wrong, and insane and evil. So we were sure of them, or we wouldn’t hold them. But we didn’t blame people who couldn’t see it. It felt weird, and like we lived in a parallel universe, but it was better to stay quiet and have friends and a life.

My heart, btw, goes to people who married people under this system, and whose spouses didn’t change. To both of them, because most spouses had no idea anyone disagreed, much less their spouse. I was lucky, because my husband changed, politically. Mostly because we couldn’t not talk to each other, having been friends first. And because he’s honest enough to consider evidence, no matter what. Also, because after Reagan, he had some doubts of the left narrative.

And then everything changed.

Part of this is that it is the normal modus operandi of Marxists not to allow dissent of any kind. Because they’re a cult, you know? The reveled has to be accepted, even when it changes. So they kept chasing smaller and smaller dissent.

The end of one of my friendships came when the friend said I always disparaged her political opinions. Since she’d just informed me that W was going to put all gays in camps (snort giggle) and that we were spending 3 billion a day in Afghanistan (SNORT GIGGLE) I might have snort giggled audibly. Note this was the first time I’d answered her political rants at all. Mostly I did the multiplication tables in my head. That was the FIRST time I snort-giggled. Why the heck that “always” I don’t know. But that was the last time we talked.

And this was after 9/11 had nuked most of our friendships, hang-outs and writers’ connections, because people were saying things like we deserved it, or became troofers. And these were people I’d thought mostly sane and intelligent.

I didn’t fight it. I sidled away. Later I found out they decided I was a “right winger” and made up sh*t about me. That’s fine. Crafting Straw Right Wingers is their hobby.

Then at some point I hit a wall. I JUST HIT A WALL.

In publishing they kept demanding more and more AFFIRMATIVE allegiance to the crazy.

Three incidents stand out, one of which I only remembered recently while telling a friend about it (because I’ve been sick, and things got shoved out of my mind):

The first was when — and I think you guys know this — my hermaphrodite humans book got rejected but would be “accepted if you change their pronouns to “she”” which, TRUST ME in that book makes no sense whatsoever. This was in the nineties, but I was too dense to realize what it meant.

The second was when an agent wanted to make me change the book so human sacrifice (involuntary, etc) was a GOOD thing that the good guys did. That he couldn’t understand I COULDN’T WRITE THAT was ….. a revelation. That he then gave most of my world building to one of the darlings (no, not actionable) was eye opening.

The third was when one of my editors told me the only way for me to break out of midlist was to write an autobiography where — strongly hinted — I blamed America for all the issues with my birth country/childhood.

I realized things had got stupid. That combined with this blog, and the fact I was in a few lists and groups, where I heard what they said when the door was closed and they thought they were safe — you haven’t lived till you hear someone who has the image of a kindly grandmother explains to you how life will be so much better once 2/3 of the population “the stupid people” according to her die in a horrible epidemic, which is sure to come — brought me to a place which, without being Lutheran got me to quote Luther: “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

With full and clear understanding that I was blacklisting myself (I’d seen the hatred and the cancelling, then more undercover that followed things like “She’s a practicing religious person” (In that case Mormon, but it went for all religions.)) back in the days when indie hadn’t proven to support anyone (now it’s at least as good as Trad) and when even right wingers thought that the left was more creative, because we were so effectively blocked from the public, I came out politically.

I’m not expecting accolades for my courage. I had to do it. I had no choice. Something bigger than me grabbed my cowardly self by the scruff of the neck and propelled me into play.

Weirdly I didn’t lose all of my fans or blog readers. But I lost a lot of friends in the field, a lot of my reach, a lot of my pull and I thought I’d kissed goodbye forever to any chance of having writing-related fun jobs, like comics or Hollywood. (Well, maybe. It’s weird, but the times they are achanging fast. Still, not the same.)

It was made easier because honestly they didn’t trust me, so they’d already not given me the DAHLING treatment. Though I probably would have done it, anyway.

But yes, I lost friends and people I respected, who suddenly decided I was the devil. I’m somewhat amazed I retained SOME, though I can count them on the fingers of one hand.

In other words, they can’t give us the leeway we gave them for COUNTLESS decades. They will see us as the devil, if we disagree on politics, even as their politics edge crazier and crazier to the point if you don’t agree that there is no objective reality and that children as young at two know if they’re trans, you’re a hater who hates, and you probably want to massacre gays and eat babies for breakfast.

They will make our books “out of bounds” without reading them, because we’re the debeel. They will malign us in ways that only make sense if we assume they’re completely insane (like an immigrant who tans being suddenly called white supremacist.) And other than the fact that their stupidity is occasionally hilarious, like the people who complained about politics in the …. Shifter series, it’s heartbreaking to watch.

We thought we had friendships, and associations and– It was all a lie.

Mind you by the time I hit that, I came with baggage from Portugal, and I’d been cut off by childhood friends and family members, so finding this was depressing, and in many ways breaking, but at that point I’d survived the worst cuts. When you survive the beginning, you grow scar tissue, until it’s sort of a second skin that can’t be pierced. You take the new hit and go “Expected nothing else.” And keep on trucking.

It wasn’t till this morning that I realized that many people blame themselves and the way they phrased things, and keep going over “there should have been a way to do this and keep my friends/associates.”

There isn’t.

Look, it’s not entirely their fault either. We — our side. By the time we came along, we had SMALL choice, though still — kept quiet. We let them assume “everyone sane agrees with me.” And we let them create in their minds a completely bizarre “painted devil” vision of what the other side was like. Of course, a lot of this has been going on in mass-industrial-entertainment-communication since the 40s, so it might have been impossible to penetrate by the time we were born.

This would be like suddenly removing our human skin and revealing we’re really the devil. To them. They’re not going to ask why some people really look like that, or if it comes with all the other stuff. They’re going to react in panic and rage, because of what they think they know.

And they are going to believe they’re the “majority” and “the good people” which is why you get someone 3 years younger than I lumping me in with the “old people who need to die.” Because in the Marxist cult those who believe differently are “old” and “remnants.”

Oh and the future belongs to them, which does ring a bell.

Anyway….

It’s not entirely their fault. They’ve been indoctrinated from birth. And they weren’t strong enough to break away.

And it’s not your fault. You saw the lies, and you understand the lives you’re trying to save include your asinine and blinkered friends. Because Marxism kills. Fast or slow. But it kills. There is no other option.

And yes, you had to take a stand. For what it’s worth. Yes, it might be too late. But they can’t win, because their ideas don’t work. And we must — must — shape what comes after.

Mourn the friends you thought you had and sort of did. Mourn that they can’t even find the truth (with two hands and a seeing eye dog.) And then do what you have to do.

Which in my case, inexplicably, but inevitably is — somehow – writing a lot of books. Which means finishing this blog and going to (real) work.

Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. A man in a (mental) overcoat is the enemy. Don’t shoot them, if you don’t wish, but be assured they’ll try to shoot you in the back.

Stand in the only place you can and do the work. Waste no guilt on could’av should’av.

It is our honor and our very great privilege to be born in a time when we can and must fight for individual freedom.

Sure we might lose. But it is still a post of honor.

Stand.

And be not afraid.

Sursum Corda. You’ve got this.

187 thoughts on “It’s Not You

  1. I consider myself extremely lucky that one of the things I found to read as a kid was stories by Robert E. Howard – Conan and otherwise. If your first mental encounter with Islam was the slave-takers in “The Footfalls Within”… well, it’s a lot harder to deny the evidence about that religion’s horrible habits.

    That, and given the time he was writing, the Left hadn’t slammed all the cultural doors yet. So that and Sherlock Holmes and a few others got locked into my head early, as “this is what having morals and ethics looks like, and upholding them is worth dying for. Though it’s preferable to take down the bad guys instead….”

      1. Every time I see you say FIDO, I giggle a little. The military amoung us have rubbed off on your vast pool of available vocabulary! …I’m not the only one!

        Such a useful phrase, innit?

              1. I CAN’T HAVE HAD A KID i DON’T REMEMBER. It’s actually impossible right?
                Or did they in one of the endless infertility evaluations steal a fertilized egg and sell it to Brazil?
                Um……

                    1. Oh, dear.

                      Note to all dragons, minotaurs, and other large mythological beings: we might need some muscle here in a second. I think it’s intervention time.

                    2. >> “Heck, husband thinks I SHOULD adopt him…..”

                      [suspicious look]

                      Why do I suddenly suspect that you two are a bad influence on each other?

                    3. Didn’t you specifically tell me you wanted eleven SONS, with any daughters on top of that being a bonus?

                      Even Foxfier didn’t get close to THAT.

    1. Yes, it hit me in the 70’s, but it was a lot more subtle back then. When I read your part about suggestions from the editors and agents, I couldn’t help but think about one of Harlan Ellison’s Hollywood stories. He was in a meeting about a script, and one of the suits said, “I think you should put a dog in it.”
      “Why would I put a dog in it?”
      “Because my daughter just got a puppy, and he’s so cute!”
      Harlan claims to have launched his entire 5-foot-three 150 pound frame clear across the table to begin strangling the guy. I disagreed with Harlan on just about everything, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. These people were always idiots, just now they’re religious zealot idiots, loudly insisting on fealty to the flying spaghetti monster.

  2. “We all grew up in a culture defined and dominated by the left, …”

    Speak for yourself. I did not. I grew up in Old America, still learning Civics and salute the Flag and the 3 Rs in school, high-trust among ourselves, and with a snarling hatred of all things socialist/marxist. The counter-culture were those traitorous gallows-bait spitting on returning GIs on the evening news. I didn’t actually meet any in Real Life (other than a cousin who was a wannabe hippie, and one high school teacher who admired Castro, from a safe distance) until some years after college.

    And while initially willing to let them go their way if they’d let me go mine… I’d say it really got going when the new Dept. of Homeland Security (a name that raised my hackles from the start) enabled gov’t getting its hooks in everything in new and different ways. Now, I wasn’t to be allowed to go my own way, and the left increasingly had the means to enforce that.. And that’s when I started thinking differently about this “tolerance” thing, and that it was really a form of totalitarian takeover.

    “The logic of the left today is overwhelmingly rooted in a single essay published in 1965 by the neo-Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse. That essay is “Repressive Tolerance.” The thesis statement of this essay can be boiled down to “movements from the left must be extended tolerance, even when they are violent, while movements from the right must not be tolerated, including suppressing them by violence.” This asymmetric ethic has been the heart and soul of left politics in the West since the 1960s, and we’re living in the fruit of that catastrophe now.”

    https://newdiscourses.com/2021/01/how-not-to-resolve-the-paradox-of-tolerance/

      1. It is in Dick Francis. Dick Francis-!* It’s in most of us, these little blind spots we uncover. Like the entire plot of a major political-drama movie disappearing if the star-crossed lovers announce an elopement.

        Or how nobody in action stories, even some by Team USAians, prays in a foxhole.

        I’m going to keep the door open for the penintent, and watch my back.

        Count no friend lost until he’s dead.

        *Still great reads. But oh, once you see it you cannot unsee it.

        1. So now I’m going have to go looking through my Dick Francis collection (which you would otherwise have to pry from my cold, dead fingers?) looking for insidious leftism? Gee, thanks.

            1. He was a working class guy from Wales. He HAD to be Labour, just about all of them were. Even if he was by some miracle, a Tory, he would have been wet. We miss just how out of pattern Thatcher was in the UK context.

          1. I re-read *all* of them with the DP during the lockdown. Because I own them all. And I am not tossing them as I did MZB’s & most of Tepper’s when I was weeding my library. Loads of good discussion-fodder and eminently re-readable.

            Kind of Mrs. Hoyt’s point. It’s been in the air we breathe, the water we, swim in for a *long* time.

        2. Or like, “Castle,” where the characters (outside the token Catholic) say, “the Universe,” when they mean, “God.”

          1. Yep. Or “Religion” when they mean Christianity or maybe just maybe if the person is slightly self aware Judaism.

            The erasure of the Jewish faith from Future history including future history, including tat written by [Jews] in science fiction has always struck me as utterly and completely bizarre. To the point that once I notice, it tends to throw me out of the story.

          1. Dick Francis’ health went bad, and he was “asissted” by uncredited writers for years. Some were… not so good.

            Exactly when the assistants and ghostwriters started was still largely unknown back when I heard of it years ago, but I’d say somewhere in the late 1980s.

            1. His wife Mary had been practically a coauthor. She was his principal researcher, sounding board, first reader, editor. After she died in 2000, I thought the quality of his work declined remarkably, although at the time I was completely unaware of her or her role in his writing.

      2. I disagree on that Sarah. The thing is back in that day, what they said and did in D. C., as far as we were concerned it didn’t really affect us none.

        Yep FDR’s writ loomed over post war America but it made little or no nevermind in Struthers, Ohio or Perrine, Florida. Just my opinion, mind you, but I was there in the ’40s & ’50s and that how I remember it.

        1. FDR was before my time, but even as a kid in the 60s I remember the bristling resentment of being forced to accept government anything, which I now figure was the legacy of FDR.

    1. Blessed Fulton Sheen was writing about the false “tolerance” in the 30s.

      A Plea for Intolerance is from 1931, at the earliest.

      A chunk of it:
      What is tolerance? Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience towards evil, and a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. But what is more important than the definition is the field of its application. The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error….

      Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability. The government must be intolerant about malicious propaganda, and during the World War it made an index of forbidden books to defend national stability, as the Church, who is in constant warfare with error, made her index of forbidden books to defend the permanency of Christʹs life in the souls of men. The government during the war was intolerant about the national heretics who refused to accept her principles concerning the necessity of democratic institutions, and took physical means to enforce such principles. The soldiers who went to war were intolerant about the principles they were fighting for, in the same way that a gardener must be intolerant about the weeds that grow in his garden. The Supreme Court of the United States is intolerant about any private interpretation of the first principle of the Constitution that every man is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and the particular citizen who would interpret ʺlibertyʺ in even such a small way as meaning the privilege to ʺgoʺ on a red traffic‐light, would find himself very soon in a cell where there were no lights, not even the yellow — the color of the timid souls who know not whether to stop or go. Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in their laboratories, and as all of us are intolerant of a particularly broad‐minded, ʺtolerant,ʺ and good‐natured grocer who, in making our bills, adds seven and ten to make twenty.

      1. I’m not going to agree with him about the virtue of censorship…Sunlight is a better disinfectant…but otherwise about the intolerance of bad ideas, he has a point.

        1. I’m such a bad Catholic here and I disagree with Sheen. Civil society requires tolerance, which includes tolerance of error in ideas.

          The thing about censorship is it assumes you’re the censor.

          Yes, I’m accepting the American view that religion is a private matter.

          I shall assuredly burn.

          1. Of course, Communism is a religion…. but they present it as fact in spite of all laws against false advertising. Can you force them to put in a disclaimer that they are a religion?

          2. You might want to go read the argument in full.

            There is a massive difference between allowing someone to be wrong, and the idea that one is to pretend that no view is more correct than another.

            1. Indeed there is. In civil society one has the right to be wrong and we must tolerate error for the sake of peace. I’ve been through this argument all sorts of ways. I was a Jesuit boy after all.

              Sorry, my parents used to fight about Sheen all the time. My father was much more pious than my mother but he was also anti-clerical, which is not uncommon among those who grew up in a society dominated by clerics like the Irish, or the Spaniards, or the Québécois.

              1. You seem to still be using ‘tolerance’ in a manner that doesn’t match either what Sheen wrote there, or how the progs used it then, or use it now.

                As someone pointed out in another comment– they went from ‘not destroy’ to ‘pretend they’re the same’ to ‘support’ to ‘engage in,’ and are gaining speed. Because they need to be affirmed that their error is correct, and the hole is still there.

                There’s a reason that there were subjects one wasn’t supposed to bring up, because that requires that the listeners either pretend to agree, or they’re forced to respond.

        2. Ideally, of course– although there’s the obvious things like not printing that which is not yours to print, and legal recourse when someone prints stuff which is false and harmful. (Funny how the US is one of the few places that includes the false part of that, huh?)
          Dealing with the issue of fraudulent claims is a long running problem that still isn’t perfectly solved, and probably won’t ever be.

          When there is what I’ll delicately call an imbalance in access to whatever is counted as printed?
          Different situation. It’s stupid to insist on living as if a situation is ideal when it is not, and behaving as if it is will make things worse.
          (Example, look at the creative definitions of “the press” that is due legal protection, which would’ve left out most of the Founding Fathers. Or look at demands for freedom of the press when an enemy is funding the publishing of that they want spread in another area, vs what is allowed in their own.)

          We’re *very* fortunate to have such a low cost-bar for spreading information that we can go with sunlight as the best disinfectant, and we still have to have recourses to not allowing publishing of some things by some people.
          (No, I’m not equating copyright with censorship–but I also don’t consider censorship an inherent evil. Just generally a bad idea. Copyright or claims of violating of the same *has* been used for censoring a lot of stuff lately, though.)

  3. As a flyover born American, I’m alway heartened by your assurances. I’m also heartened by the knowledge that the vast majority of immigrants (those who took the time to actually immigrate), are pro capitalism, as opposed marxist. We have good friends from Hungary, who detest all forms of socialism and have a sensitive SBS (Socialism Bull Sh*t) detector. Most of our German friends as well as assorted other flavors of immigrant detest our drift. Funny, they’re all entrepreneurs and very accomplished, how could they possibly reject socialism? /sarc

      1. It tends to make people disregard my objections to the wonders of “democratic” socialism, because I am just biased and damaged by that exposure. Evidently, having been rendered allergic by it makes me unable to see things objectively.

          1. How insanely backwards are these people?
            In my experience, if a fellow immigrant from Soviet Russia is NOT violently allergic to socialism, chances are pretty good his family had at least some connection to the nomenklatura. So his childhood memories are dominated by bucolic summers at a family dacha in the countryside and not by seeing the look of pride and joy on your mother’s face for having scored a piece of meat that here in the States I would not give to a dog.

            1. Saule Omarova is a straight-up Marxist-Leninist. Joe Biden’s Soviet-born nominee for comptroller of the currency. She was at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991 when the soviet union dissolved, so she probably was a member of the nomenklatura in order to get there (or a KGB sleeper.) Her biggest problem is she wants to outright federalize everyone’s bank accounts to doled out as they see fit. Hope she never gets that opportunity.

              1. From her official biography on Wiki:
                “Omarova graduated from Moscow State University in 1989 on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship.[8][9] Her thesis from MSU is titled Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.”

                I mean, seriously. She was basically hand-picked to be on official track to become a professional high-level communist. She had it made.
                And then the whole thing collapsed. No wonder she is bitter.

                In Russian Wiki she is quoted as claiming to have become an anti-communist after one year at the Moscow State University. Given her thesis and Lenin Scholarship, not to mention what she is saying now, I call self-serving bullshit on that.

                1. I’ve noticed that quote. The first time I saw it I took a minute or so to realize that the reference to “The Capital” is to the book usually referred to as “Das Kapital” in German, just as “Capital” in English or sometimes as “Capitalism”. I really don’t want policies based on Marxist theory to destroy America the way they have destroyed every other place they have been implemented.

          2. And it’s certainly not lost on any of the regulars here how many people blathering on about how awesome it is are some of the richest in the country.

              1. Also rather striking how they then use that not legal status to run roughshod over any illegals who fall into the purview.

                It’s almost as if what they really want is a class of laborers who they can just sic the cops on whenever they feel like it…

  4. I tend to think of myself as not having had much of that sort of experience. Partly because of not keeping in touch with people much when regular meetings or in person contact cease. Partly because of having very few real life contacts. Partly because of being a little bit cautious when it comes to investing too much in a contact.

    Then I recall how disappointed I was in certain ‘conservative’ activists, or how distraught I became on realizing that certain professional organizations didn’t believe in their professions in any real way.

    Of course, I also at times consider myself a bit of a squish, for not completely making my human relationships into political instruments, and for not pursuing political ends with every act in every venue. Then I see or remember that maybe that is a wee bit extreme, and not a trade off that serves all desirable ends.

  5. As to the “Let’s kill them all!” toadies, I came up with this:

    God has divided mankind into two groups:

    1. Those who believe that the most powerful biological force is the tendency of a population to be dominated by its most quickly reproducing members. (the Darwinians)

    2. Those who are actually reproducing. (the non-Darwinians)

    1. Darwinism got hijacked by marxists. Lewontin and the rest of that crowd really messed it up. For the rest of us, it’s not up to me to tell God how to do things, but I’m an RC and not as tied up in literalism as some, including the “darwinists.” It’s really Mayr more than Darwin.

      I remember going to the Darwin exhibit at the Museum of Natural History and finding it odd that they made such a big deal out of the whole atheism thing. they had no reason to do it and it made me feel they were actually afraid. Were they confident, they would have said nothing.

      That goes to the heart of this post, I think. There are not really that many of them and they’re afraid. This makes them dangerous but not nearly as dangerous as they wish us to think.

      1. BGE you are much more knowledgeable than I about the various theories of evolution. I never paid too much attention to it because it was never a religious issue for me. I’ve always had a healthy skepticism about whether one species can “evolve” into another. All the things cited by the evolutionists as obvious “incremental advances” merely point to reuse of common methodology. I’m a software engineer, and that’s clearly how more complex applications are built. Visicalc did not “evolve” into Excel for example.

        There are too many red flags in the standard evolution story to be ignored. Do they ever show you how many actual fossilized bones they have that they used to “reconstruct” that skeleton? When you find out that Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals produced fertile offspring, they just change the definition of species. If you were confronted even with the complete skeletons of Danny Devito and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, would you conclude that they are the same species? But we don’t talk about any of that because, “Shut up!” as Andrew Klavan would say. Any such field is clearly not science.

        Sorry, don’t mean to hijack this thread,

        1. To further the hijack, and totally not because it’s one of my nerd topics (like y’all believe that)…

          From the dusty corners of memory I seem to remember something of evolution. Back when I was learning it, there was some mumbles about “fitness.” There is no “fitness” as the common man used it in evolution, “survival of the fittest.” The changing of a species, scientifically speaking, cares nothing for the survival of any one of its members. Only that they survive and reproduce.

          Random mutations give rise to certain slight advantages, over time. This means the effect of the mutation is usually very *small.* Big changes take a long, long time.
          Species under stress- changes in environment, food source, etc, can lead to individuals with beneficial mutations surviving and, this is key, reproducing. This can create what is called a “founder effect.” If the stress is *enough* and the species is culled down to a few breeding populations, the effect of that beneficial mutation will be larger, downstream. Meaning following generations will be more likely to gain that beneficial mutation.

          It doesn’t have to be beneficial at all, though. Founder effect will change an isolated population fast, in generational terms, when a mutation becomes shared by a significant majority. Even faster if it is a dominant mutation, rather than a recessive. Individuals within that population do not undergo evolution as they are alive, absent, I dunno, excessive radiation or something. The mutation happens in vitro, as the fetus devlops. Often in the first week of development, point of fact.

          As for Neanderthals, well, from my studies it looked like Early Modern Humans really got around. Genetically speaking, we weren’t that different. Going from earlier versions of Homo to a long, long, long time. Early Modern Humans of various forms have been around for over 200,000 years going off the last study I checked. The next link in the chain happens around one million years prior. That’s over fifty thousand generations, at a conservative guess. Earlier versions of Homo run into the multiple millions of years between samples.

          Add to this, at some point in our history, humans went through some sort of *serious* founder effect sort of thing. It’s bloody dangerous to have too much consanguinity in human breeding populations. That’s not so much a factor in other species. Humans are *not* genetically as diverse. Not by a long shot. Such that there’s a serious cultural aversion to brother and sister getting it on in *all* cultures that I’m aware of, up to and including dinky little primitive tribes that just joined the greater world in the last century or so.

          The Neanderthal, Cro Magnon (and several others) thing as different species of man is chalked more up to stupid academic tricks. You don’t get the same cachet and grant money from discovering another skeleton in an existing category as making your own *new* category. And then staking your academic reputation on it such that you must defend it from contamination. *shakes head* It would be more accurate to call them all part of the Early Modern Human category, species homo sapiens sapiens. Were one of them alive today, they could still get it on and have hairy little babies with willing members of the opposite sex today. Might even add a smidge to the old genetic diversity pool while they are at it, to boot.

          1. Fitness is a very slippery concept. What they talk of now is “inclusive fitness” which essentially means they don’t know how it happens. That said, Darwin generalized from his experiences in the Galapagos and his knowledge of stock breeding. That species evolve is not really a stretch. Mendelian inheritance came later but the mechanism for selecting for traits is well established (e.g., the wheat we eat today is very different than it used to be.) Everything else is there to play for. To me, the biggest mystery is saltation when one species becomes two.

            Where “the science” seems to stand is that they’re pretty sure about the notion of evolution. Everything else is up for grabs to one degree or another. Like so many things, it’s become wrapped up in politics.

            1. Yep. And note, the key difference in the selection you are talking about is that the intelligent selection is done by *us.* Not random environmental factors involving dozens to thousands of different factors. Domesticates wheat, cats, cows, and suchlike evolved via selective breeding- the tomatoes and such of pre-agricultural Man were *nothing* like the big red delicious ones we consume today.

              The saltation aspect is very interesting, and probably (possibly?) involves when populations become split and undergo slow mutation to adapt to new environments over time, eventually becoming so different that sperm and ovum cannot combine (or even simply that the two populations do not recognize each other as potential mates).

              Given the state of science today, I remain highly wary of the things it comes up with, considering contamination by politics of various flavors. Also, given my distance from the field, I’m probably mistaken about any number of things by now. Hopefully time will tell, and we can get a handle on things such that Terraforming becomes viable once such things are better understood.

        2. If you want to break your brain, look up “ring species”.

          Species are mostly just a way of abstracting abstracting groups of similar creatures that interbreed and produce fertile offspring. So it is possible, and likely for the individuals with the group to change over time, as some die, and new ones are added. And, because the children, while like the parents, are not the parents, it’s possible for the extant group or some subgroup to contain individuals different enough from the original definition of the set, to justify creating a new set to describe just those.

          If you look up Father Alexander’s homepage (he’s an Orthodox priest who collects articles on his site, it’s very green), he’s got a bunch of articles going over how the Orthodox view Genesis and the creation debate. The core thing is Genesis is about the reason and intent behind creation, rather than the mechanics.

          It’s a lot of interesting reading, that I don’t think I could adequately summarize, especially since I’m not really the best at it, but it’s worth a browse.

        3. Pretty sure a lot of the hate on the Discovery Institute and similar groups is because there’s pretty decent evidence for micro-evolution — very short and dirty definition, selective breeding, when you use the rules for the other science-stuff. We’ve seen mutations happen, and although they’re usually not useful, sometimes they are. Cool, that makes it tested, it has good predictive ability, that’s well established by the evidence.

          The similar support for macro-evolution is less so; about the best one we’ve got would be predicting fossil characteristics and where they’d be in the timeline, and that is…not so good.
          Another test is related to your point about cro-mags and neanderthals one, where you have a shared ancestor but the current one can’t cross, best shown by if they are inter-fertile with a third species but not each other. This is the point of ring species.

          That’s the POINT of those really cool zoo displays where they’ve got like a dozen different salamanders (great choice, they’re mildly exotic in looks and tend to have pretty colors but are easy to care for) and you don’t have to worry about over populating the display because they can’t interbreed. … problem, nobody told the salamanders that they weren’t suppose to make little salamanders… so the definition got changed to include that they don’t cross because they have different courting rituals, or live in different areas. Which also let them keep coyotes and wolves as different ‘species,’ and pretend that the long term denial of the existence of coydogs was something other than embarrassing.

  6. “I had to do it. I had no choice. Something bigger than me grabbed my cowardly self by the scruff of the neck and propelled me into play.”

    Oh BOY did that resonate.

    I’ve linked to my early efforts in this comment. Too little, too late, to change the outcome? Perhaps, I’m not a real writer. But it’s a start. At the least I can sow some doubt in some of the less fervent.

    View at Medium.com

  7. I wasn’t ever hidden in my politics– did get folks who were shocked, but that was mostly mistaking not speaking for agreeing, anybody who was around long enough for me to offer accurate information quickly put me in the ‘weird’ box– so I can tell you that they do this even when someone isn’t political.

    It’s just that you’re a threat to their self-image.

    It took the half-elf YEARS to get me to (mostly) believe that the multiple MMO guild breakdowns were not my fault.

    Even then, it was not even entirely him– same as you and Dan, he was my friend before he was anything else, all else being equal he’ll side with me. If I’m jacked up, he’ll tell me. But there are things for which he has no tolerance, insert black dog gnawing here, etc.– it was the people who left the groups before I did, and the ones who left after we did.

    Every. Single. Group. Went on to implode, until there was only those obedient to the leader, and the Trouble Makers who must be Gotten Rid Of.

    In some cases, we discovered that the folks who’d just faded away earlier had basically been told that everyone hated them and encouraged to leave– when in reality most of the group couldn’t figure out what on earth was going on! When someone messaged to ask what was going on, THEY assumed it was a one-off, and made polite excuses.

    But from the inside, it was just “gosh, things just got kind of quiet.”
    Sometimes they recover, when the Diva doesn’t get what they want, usually because someone applies the rules against them, and leaves, with a few folks– but oddly, the folks who left before tend to come back. Discovered they had time again, and such.

    If you see it starting– speaking up can help.

    1. “In some cases, we discovered that the folks who’d just faded away earlier had basically been told that everyone hated them and encouraged to leave– when in reality most of the group couldn’t figure out what on earth was going on! When someone messaged to ask what was going on, THEY assumed it was a one-off, and made polite excuses. ”
      Good LORD that sounds like trad pub, where I had to tell the fans I’d “lost interest” in a series because the publisher had killed it, and said that as an excuse and I didn’t wnat to offend them.

    2. We’ve ran into that. The Diva tried to take over. Diva took their stuff and left. Ultimately our group did merge with another one. But the biggest eye opener was when Diva left and tried other groups, they were told what was what, because, while we weren’t aware of this, what happened to us, was communicated wide and far (we didn’t do this. Didn’t find out until we had finished merging.) Thus the Diva had difficulty moving on (did find a spot but was very restricted). Yet when we started to look to merge, other groups were competing to have us merge with them (it wasn’t because of our size or bank account). Despite the politics within each group did not align with our group … Actually not true. They did align because we had the wide range of political views too, just the group goals came first and foremost; and no Diva’s. We eventually faded out because of our own believes of the group goals and who should be in leadership roles and regular participating. Even that doesn’t align with some view. That is fine. We stuck to our belief.

  8. Like Reziac, I grew up in Old America, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in school every day, I regarded the signers of the Declaration of Independence as heroes. I was taught to regard the framers of the Constitution, not as hypocritical oppressors, but pioneers of political freedom, who like most pioneers had to leave their work unfinished for future generations to build on. I also acquired a belief that the Federal government had not only stood by indifferent to the religious persecution of my ancestors, but actively participated in it a generation later, and that it was not entirely benign or trustworthy. I was raised to be suspicious of the sainted FDR and JFK and most of their works. While Hitler was indeed a monster, the various murderous bastages spawned by Marxist-Leninist ideology were not one bit better. While the United States has never been perfect, overall it has been a bastion and beacon of liberty for the whole world. .I do not fear a violent overthrow of our government or foreign invasion. Rather, I have watched the progress of a slow, creeping, insidious, and systemic moral rot that infects our various institutions, and primarily the wealthy and influential. The Old America I was born and raised into is not dead, but it appears to be in critical condition.
    So, no, it’s not me, but as far as I can tell, I have negligible influence. I’m just glad to know I’m not completely alone.

  9. My heart, btw, goes to people who married people under this system, and whose spouses didn’t change.

    My ex always knew I voted Republican, and up until 2nd Obama (and having our baby) was content to let our. votes cancel each other out. I didn’t change, but she got a lot more strident and a lot more left, along with a whole lot of other personality changes after giving birth — I don’t know if that was due to birth complications leading to chronic discomfort leaking over into getting touchier and angrier, or having a baby daughter suddenly made everything “more serious”, or what. But in any case, I stayed the same Glenn Reynolds small-l libertarian that I’d always been, and she got a lot more radical and a lot more willing to throw it in my face.

    About six months before she divorced me, she said, “You read all those conservative blogs, you’re just in a bubble and you never hear any other opinions!” I replied, “I live in Seattle, and with you in the same house. I can’t help but hear other opinions. I literally can’t get away from them.” I don’t remember if I told her that she was the one in the bubble, but if I didn’t I should have.

    Oh, we also had the argument where she said that there were literally no political issues more important than abortion rights, and my wanting to balance them against economic, security, or other issues was totally illegitimate. I asked her if that meant that she would not literally vote for Hitler if he promised the right to an abortion, and she said “that’s not fair” and walked away. Ah, I thought, so there ARE other political issues you think are important, you just don’t want to admit it.

    In retrospect, I should have never married her in the first place. Telling me that her favorite college professor loved Howard Zinn, and that people like Paul Robeson had a good reason for desiring Communism, should have been red flags. But then I wouldn’t have had my daughter, or likely any offspring at all. What doesn’t kill us sometimes leaves us broken and dysfunctional, but at least it didn’t kill us.

    1. I was more broken and dysfunctional than I realized before my marriage than I realized, but the silent treatment I got from my ex about every disagreement didn’t help. Ironically, our political beliefs were among the few things we could and did agree on.

  10. Part of me just wants to say “screw ’em.” As coarsely and as vehemently as the situation requires.

    This is America. We can hold any opinions we choose. And anyone who says different is unamerican.

    But I think they’re under the wrath of God (Romans 1:18-32), and we need to give ’em the Gospel in the possibly vain hope that that will jumpstart their faith (Romans 10:17).

    So, I’ll bear with the rotting meat-sacks a while longer.

  11. My public schools had the daily Pledge of Allegiance until grade 6, Civics class in 8th grade and “Social Studies” lessons (the left had already supplanted teaching of History with that term that was more easily redefined at will) that still portrayed the Founders & the founding documents as good & important.
    My parents were JFK Democrats (part of that was undoubtedly due to the space race, my Dad worked for NASA) but even at 7 y.o. I found some of Goldwater’s campaign material made more sense to me than LBJ’s. My first Presidential vote was for Gerald Ford because he had dismantled Nixon’s wage & price controls (and it was cemented when some friends from Georgia informed me that while Carter was a great guy he was a terrible leader).

    But five years after I graduated High School, Howard Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States was published to wide critical acclaim from TPTB and what history was taught in public schools quickly changed from pro-American to anti-American.

    What’s amazing is that even with the indoctrination, a bit more than half of adults manage to reject most of it. The trope is that “common sense isn’t”. But it turns out that more often it is.

      1. Didn’t someone here mention another history writer with a similar name who’s much better than Zinn? Howard z-something? Or is my memory just playing tricks on me?

  12. Glad that conversation got this post out of you (and sorry I was too pressed for time to seriously join in, lunchtime never lasts long enough)! I got a sense for these kind of political attitudes early on and felt like an outsider as well, though my usual response was to quietly fade out ASAP and not maintain any connections from there, especially among the more vocal. There were only a few connections left from meatspace and various other groups I did put some work into keeping but the COVID Crazy ended up creating a few rough patches with some and straining others pretty badly. Still within expected parameters for me for whatever that’s worth but it has made figuring out some areas of my life a lot more difficult without their input on subjects they were good with. Not hard to see why you’ve gotten such a good group of Huns, though, given all of this and I’ll admit to still being a bit surprised at how quickly my own adoption here has gone! Reaching out to and joining in with the Hunters and Dinerzens/Huns and how much things have improved since then really has been the best thing about this year for me.

  13. I was raised very much Capital-R Republican, although by the time I was ten I’d decided I wasn’t one. The thing that convinced me I wasn’t a Democrat either was my Grandmother saying that she would never vote for a woman because they can’t be trusted. She also said she would vote for the devil if he ran as a Democrat. When I asked her what she would do if a woman ran as a Democrat, she turned her back on me. And yes, I was about ten at the time.

    Part of the problem thinking humans face is that most people want their truth in memes and soundbytes. This is nothing new, and the prevalence of memes just solidified a human tendency.

    Talking to most people is like trying to explain gravity to someone whose only exposure to the phenomenon is the Wylie Coyote cartoons. They literally do not have the experience to understand what I’m trying to tell them. Nor do they want to know. It would shatter their world.

  14. I grew up in a great environment. In school it was the Pledge of Allegiance every day, history was taught to honor the history of America and the positive role that the Constitution has played in its development. Civics was taken seriously, with the system of checks and balances and operations of government thoroughly described.

    Moving on, high school was still a positive environment. High school from 1968 to 1972 was a time of great change, the hippie years. However, the high school vice principal was a World War II veteran who was respected by everyone and ran a tight ship. Order was maintained but creativity not stifled. It was a rare time at the school when groups were not stratified. The jocks got along with the hippies, everyone got along with the Normie‘s and good students were respected. I gather it was a short Golden Era for high school.

    Politically I was raised in a balanced family. My mother was raised as a Democrat. My father was raised as a Republican. Discussions throughout my development were two-sided with vigorous detail and rigor. I participated as I could. Gradually my mothers experience with helping children in the inner city soured her on the actual benefits of government and she became a Republican. Issues were still discussed vigorously and in detail, a great home environment.

    College was the University of Wisconsin – Madison. This was a far left, socialist campus. I majored in political science but quickly added a second major in economics. I have been taught at home to always evaluate all information yourself and be prepared to change your viewpoints when you learn more. As I learned more I became a libertarian conservative and believer in free markets and minimal government. This was reinforced by a minor in land tenure, a program established by the political science, economics and agriculture schools. This was the study of how economic development occurs in less developed nations. This completely reinforced my belief in minimal government and free market systems. Even Marxists studying land tenure came to value free markets. Reality has that effect. But I went on to law school, where I was the token free market advocate as one professor called me .

    After law school I went to work for manufacturing and computer science corporations. Corporations which sold only to other corporations. This was an ideal environment for me as I could operate in a group that believed in market principles.

    Romantically, I married a Democrat from law school. I naïvely assumed that she would see reality and change as my mother had. She did not. She also didn’t value the relationship and divorce resulted. However there been one child born with severe birth defects. She had to beat the odds to survive but went on to require over 20 major surgeries and still lives as an invalid with severe chronic pain. I am still the person closest to her and take care of her. I did remarry, another Democrat. Seemingly I was unable to learn. She had been on the staff of a Democrat congressman , but had returned to the Midwest and worked at a law firm. We have had two children and family life has been good. She has become more apolitical, but she knows my viewpoints on things and accepts them.

    My other friends are still those I had in high school. They all know that I am an independent thinker who strongly believes in freedom and America. They are all accepting of that. They mainly work as professional musicians. I’ve never had the ability to effectively play instruments but I have a huge record and CD collection and love music.

    I’ve been fortunate and how my life has gone. I try to keep promoting my ideals. How active I can be is restricted by family time demands.

  15. You often say that they’re afraid of us and there aren’t many of them.

    I’m not sure that’s exactly true. Afraid, surely–but not of me. Budziszewski wrote of The Revenge of Conscience, and describes many of our elites well. There are things you “Can’t not know,” and when you try to refuse to know that something you cling to is evil, you require more and more affirmation. Tolerance for sin isn’t enough, it must be celebrated, and then joined in with, and when even that’s insufficient, you make more and more radical demands to try to soothe the hole in your soul by blurring the world.

    It isn’t just about the usual sins. It applies to the intellectual sins as well–believing a lie and clinging to it in the face of contradiction. Double down harder: real Communism has never been tried; promiscuity is a cure for jealousy with no side effects; if unpolicing hasn’t worked yet, try more of it, and lock up those pesky skeptics too.

    I read somewhere (perhaps here?) that you can go days without food and a lifetime without sex but hardly an hour without trying to justify yourself.

    It isn’t you and me they’re afraid of; we’re just visible targets. Their real adversary is a lot closer.

    1. >> “if unpolicing hasn’t worked yet, try more of it, and lock up those pesky skeptics too.”

      Wouldn’t locking up those pesky skeptics require, y’know, police?

  16. I made the mistake of taking the Left’s positions and dismantling them.

    I think I figured out, long before Jonah Goldberg did that the Left was more than willing to engage in behaviors that they hated…if the other side used them. And, not just the “right,” but any other “fellow travelers” that were starting to leave the purity spiral.

    And, I had to engage in the “hate the politics, love the product” because I met too many creators of things and a lot of them…well, let’s be fair. A lot of them marched, danced, painted, or otherwise went to the beat of their own drummers and a lot of the basic talking points of the Left are seductive.

    (Some of them knew what they were getting into, and knew as long as they played the game well, they could be covered.)

    I’m just tired of it all. I need things to be fixed and working properly, one way or another. I need the division of labor that all of this other crap is handled…so I can get my crap under control.

  17. “It is our honor and our very great privilege to be born in a time when we can and must fight for individual freedom.”

    “All this being so, let us rather give thanks to the Lord our God who, as he tested our ancestors, is now testing us.” ~Judith 8:25

      1. “For that which we are about to receive, let us be truly thankful.”

        Yeah, that’s what old campaigners would say when the enemy line lowered their muskets.

        I’d rather take a page from George Patton and have the other side do all the receiving and thankfuling.

    1. “The stone cannot know why the chisel cleaves it; the iron cannot know why the fire scorches it. When thy life is cleft and scorched, when death and despair leap at thee, beat not thy breast and curse thy evil fate, but thank the builder for the trials that shape thee.

      -The Hammer Book of Tenets”

      From a video game, but same sentiment. This conversation reminded me of it.

  18. “They kind of don’t have a choice”. But they do. We all do. The truth will set you free, like it or not. But I do appreciate the affirmation of the fact that it’s OK to stop beating my head against the wall of some family members’ collective prejudices. I needed that. Even though I’ve been the odd all along anyway.

    1. You’ve told them the truth, shown it to them and they still choose not to see or listen. You’ve done your part, now it’s up to them to open up the wall of their prejudices. Their decisions are not your fault.

      I can offer some small anecdotes that show those words are not in vain…my MIL, of all people (far left, vegan, runs with wolves, all of that), has refused the vaccine, does not see the point of masks, and is extremely worried about Xiden and his cronies. She lives in CA, too. I’m still looking for ice-skating demons…
      If she can see the hypocrisy, I’m convinced almost anybody else can.

      1. Part of it is the cost.

        One of the biggest reasons I was never on the left is that, at least currently, most of their recruitment is aimed at offering companionship with the string of “agree with us, or lose this.”

        I’m a geek, I am 1) already a social outcast, and 2) if I could keep my trap shut to not piss people off when their statements don’t make sense, I’d already be normal, but I listen and the more interested I am the harder I listen and the more I think about it. Half of the reason that ‘subjects for polite conversation’ exist is people like me. 😀

        Many people have zero interest in a subject, so they’re willing to nod agreeably with whatever so that they can be sociable. They like people.

        So the “conform or be alone” string is a a very good threat– especially when ‘conform’ isn’t that big of a cost, and they’re not really interested in the subject.

        The weird-left (as opposed to the safely-weird-in-the-approved-way-left) has a similar lack of response to ‘conform for approval’ that I do, especially if they can justify things on the basis of their own, previously acceptable stances. (Digression, I’m still boggled at folks who worry about hormones in cow milk wanting all teen girls on birth control. Wat?)

        Even if your mother in law’s stuff became trendy– I bet she broke some trail when it wasn’t. Might even get a high off of that. Heck, she might be old enough to have actually done some “question authority” when the authority had some kind of power….

        But a lot of folks… if they stand up, they lose everything they care about.

        1. Oh, I totally get the stand up lose it all…that happened to me as faculty. My MIL (77 yr old now) dropped out of college to get married, did all the “right” things according to her family social mores, etc. Then when she and FIL separated, she went 180 deg the other way. Was “open” and “honest” with all her children about the failures of their father. That went well… Wouldn’t hear anything to the contrary, wouldn’t entertain any questions about anything (this is about when I met her). Now, she’s swinging back the other way…it’s interesting to watch. Hubs is still very, very careful to watch how he phrases things with her.

          1. I know YOU do– and several folks in here, I know, have stood up and lost their jobs, directly and indirectly. Been kicked out of whatever polite society they had.

            Because the truth is worth it.

            But… most of us, we knew we had these lines. We knew there were Truths that were so self-evident, we couldn’t stand by and pretend they’re nothing.

            For folks who’ve never been pitted against it? Whose Everything IS the social that hurts us when it’s yanked, but we’re still alive, even if we’re bleeding?

            They don’t have the same… foundation, I think is what I want to say. I’ve still got family, plus my husband, that will hold to me no matter how stupid they think I am. My one eyed crazy uncle never got kicked out, and he was a total ass, on purpose. And that support structure still gives honor to “because this is true” as a reason to piss them off.

            These guys don’t even have that.

            I gotta ache for them.

            1. Foundation is the right word. *Wry* I ended up building my own effectively in the dark, from book instruction manuals squirreled out when no one was looking. It may look ugly but it’s mine.

              And I still sympathize with people who’ve never had to come up against the hard, ugly reality that sometimes what “everyone wants and thinks you should do” is actually Bad. That… that is an awful thing to get through, and I imagine some of them just can’t.

              1. I think that’s what scares me most about the way they take away books and old stories and even history stuff.

                You shouldn’t have had to build your own foundation. That’s the point of a healthy family, of healthy friendships, of healthy communities.

                But you could, when all of those weren’t available.

                And they want to take away those tools, too.

                1. This, so much. This trend of emptying libraries of physical books and putting in computers instead… if it’s on the shelf, physically there, a lucky kid might pick it up out of sheer curiosity. If it’s in a database they have to look for it. How would they even know where to start?

            2. Yeah, I’m a little bit surprised or bemused to have one of my old lines I won’t cross turn up and be relevant again.

              I have that religious objection to abortion, but I’m used to only expressing it with my own chastity, and respect for marriage. I think you may be responsible for me thinking over the issue of the vaccine testing with that one especially dubious line of cell cultures.

              See, I was already avoiding vaccines in general for health reasons, not because I was necessarily persuaded by the case against, but because of the concerns of the family who has supported me in ill health, and because I didn’t see any real need.

              This ‘treatment’? Discarding everything that could possibly be misinformation, I still think I have a good chance of death, or serious medical consequences. For reasons of knowing my own health, some curious incidents involving a family, and the bone deep conviction that anything pushed the way this is will be bad news, and probably worth dying to refuse.

              So, when I file those, I’m probably going to look up the stuff provided to get the details right on the religious exemption request.

              But, it is interesting to reflect how much my own practice of Christianity (such as it is), and my understanding of Christianity in general can be boiled down to “when agents of the world coerce you to do evil, tell them to go fuck themselves”. Probably would not reach the audience I intend for with those documents.

              1. :wry chuckle: Yeah, probably not the best audience for that one.

                Can’t say it’s inaccurate or doesn’t have a place, though.

                If you want to go the mass info-dump of science route, the organization Children of God for Life has a detailed listing of the fetal cell lines used, and where/how they were obtained, when that information is available.
                I use to give moms who were avoiding all vaccines printouts from them, so they could identify what vaccines didn’t involve fetal cell lines– when they were open to any kind of discussion, I also drew the comparison to situations where it was cannibalism or death.

                1. It definitely has a place.

                  Issue is, it can be difficult to build a community practice of faith around “No. Eff off.”

                  So, to realize the other potential goods of Christianity, we must also have other aspects to Christianity.

                  Which makes it possible for those other aspects of Christianity to blind certain sorts to to Christ’s call to refusal.

                  My takeaway right now, with the faith experiences I’ve had recently, is that He may be trying to reach me better, and to bring me to the broader practice of the faith. It is possible that I may be a wee bit stubborn. And, having had some relatives whose own mental health issues clearly impact their expression of faith has almost certainly gotten me on guard against things that I should be accepting.

                  It is rare when a person does everything in life with practices that are entirely different for every task. What is functional in some circumstances is not functional in others. What is correct in some circumstances may not be correct in others.

                  1. And, having had some relatives whose own mental health issues clearly impact their expression of faith has almost certainly gotten me on guard against things that I should be accepting.

                    :hug:

                    1. Everyone has problems. Everyone has challenges with regard to faith. Serious mental health problems are not easy for anyone to deal with, and seriously mentally ill people have to be related to someone.

                      We have to trust that problems we have no choice but to experience are problems that God put us on Earth knowing that we would face, and knowing that we /can/ do what we should with the situation. (At least to some degree. I refuse to believe that God’s plan requires that evil men do evil deeds. I believe it accounts for evil men doing evil deeds, but not that it requires evil. etc.) I think folks blessed with having an easier time with coping with the serious mental issues of others may have been so blessed in some cases due to His knowledge that they couldn’t take it.

                      OTOH, considering how much worse some people have had this issue than I, it feels like it is an ugly thing for me to say. There are folks who’ve dealt enough of this stuff, and I do not want to hurt them. Which suggest that my initial reaction of “No, it is fine, don’t we all have enough to deal with?” might possibly be something I would only say for my self, and so might be a bit incorrect. 🙂

  19. It’s hurts to see family deceived, especially when I am outnumbered. I’m hoping to make it through Thanksgiving okay.

    1. I hope everything goes well for you this Thanksgiving. I’m still adjusting to not having a major family gathering since my father died 2 years ago, so I’m spared any adjustment.

    2. Yes, Thanksgiving family gathering this year should be “interesting”. Just a couple of weeks ago, after getting innocently involved in comments on school boards, masks, and the “vax”, I received the group stares that any black sheep gets. I’m a very accommodating person, but there are lengths to which I will not go.

  20. My political coming out of the closet was a long time in the making (oh, and Sarah, we’re only a year apart in age after all). It didn’t really happen until around the 2000 election aftermath with all the hanging chads, and then got cemented with 9/11. As a political science faculty member, being conservative or libertarian was/is a career killer. You have to keep your cards close to the vest if you want to make tenure and I really did. My views were sorta known in 2003, and I didn’t go up for tenure until 2008. I made it. But then, my views tanked any possibility of getting promoted to full professor. That’s when I made the decision to leave academia altogether. It would have happened anyway because I found the atmosphere untenable. I was hanging on for the sake of my conservative/libertarian students (which amounted to about 2-3 in every class; classes were 20 or so students). But the stress, frustration, and arrogance, and condescension got to be too much and I didn’t want to spend the rest of my career angry.

    Husband and I are on the same page, for which I am eternally grateful, and he’s as happy as I am that I left academia. Right now we’re facing an entirely different, yet similar, problem (massive changes to personal lives dictated by external politics…i.e. mandates), but we’ll get through this maze as well.

    1. Earliest political wake up call was JFK assassination and Warren Commission. Like someone striking a match right in front of my eyeball. Add plethora of dicey looking events since then to form my current opinion on politics in general.
      So glad I’m now retired and just have to put up with bunk from relatives and general population. I keep a mental note to remind myself about loving my neighbors in the face of frustrations!

            1. You said it, but I’m used to hearing that from you young’uns!
              When Jack Ruby just poked thru the crowd with a gun and shot Oswald, it was a hint something wasn’t exactly right.

              1. Yes.
                “That Photo” of Ruby shooting Oswald, the officer looking on in surprise…and the photographer just happened to take a photo of the exact moment of the shot…with the film and camera technology of that time, at the exactly correct angle.
                Curious.

                1. Not really that curious. Oswald was being marched out to be transferred to the county jail, so the photographer knew where to expect him and would have set up the shot in advance.

        1. I was 6. The only “political event” I remember is they took cartoons off the (two) stations we got on the Saturday morning of the funeral procession … (I was SIX, sisters 5, and 2.)

            1. Oh. I remember it. If for no other reason than the effects on the adults around me. The sudden turn off of the TV covering when it happened and the subsequent reshowing of the Secret Service covering Mrs. Kennedy by climbing over the back of the vehicle; not that I understood what occurred, then. The events as they evolved over the next years. But my reaction was that of an selfish 6 year old when it came to the televising of the funeral and trip to Arlington Cemetery. When aren’t 6 year old selfish?

              1. I’m too young for JFK or RFK, but Watergate pissed me off at age 8 because the hearings kept pre-empting Saturday morning cartoons and NASA mission coverage.

                1. How do you think I felt? We had to follow Watergate, and Vietname war, in HS; current events … 🙂 You’d think they were making us pay attention to what was happening outside our social circles. 🙂 I was 16 by the time Nixon resigned. Barely 18 when Vietnam War ended; watched the evacuations from the TV in the common room of my freshman college dorm. Pretty sure our graduation class of ’74, was the first class to not send anyone to Vietnam, and first class to not have anyone drafted, just based on timing.

  21. The end of one of my friendships came when the friend said I always disparaged her political opinions. … That was the FIRST time I snort-giggled. Why the heck that “always” I don’t know. But that was the last time we talked.

    You failed to agree with her before. That caused badfeelz. But she tried to guide you to proper thought anyway, and you kept rejecting her, until finally you went into a crazed all-out attack.

    They don’t think like you do.

    1. Yep. Failure to enthusiastically agree is a clear sign that you vehemently disagree. I’m always reminded of Dubcek’s comment during the Prague Spring: If you aren’t against us, you’re with us.

  22. Recently at my job they posted something on our company intranet informing us that yes, they would follow the vaccine mandates and were already moving forward on them…and this was a week BEFORE OSHA sent them to the White House. It was incredibly heartening for me to see a few people comment negatively on that post, scattered in between the company cheerleaders singing its praises.

    Quite frankly, folks, I”m terrified. I am not vaccinated. (my wife and 16-year-old child are and I’m OK with that, they got it before the news about all the adverse effects really started coming out and there have been no problems so far, praise God). Originally I was just waiting to see how the effects would turn out, now I am bit more skittish about it plus I have a mulish streak that I don’t like to be told I have to do something. But, even though I work fully 100% remote, I may end up facing the decision of vaccine vs. job. I am white, male, and 55 years old, not in super-great health. Nobody nowadays in corporate America is going to hire a white, cis, male, Southern, unvaccinated, 55-year-old software tester. I’m the wrong color, the wrong sex, and clearly full of wrongthink if I have not taken the jab. I have a stay-at-home wife, a teenager being homeschooled, a dog, two cats, a mortgage, and not a whole hell of a lot stashed away to live on. I’m facing the decision to potentially throw away a good salary, benefits, hell, my complete 35-year career in information technology if I don’t get the clot shot…or, possibly, kill myself if I roll a natural 1 and the vaccine doesn’t like my diabetes or something.

    I have talked brave online about “stand your ground” before. But damn it’s a lot harder when I’m the one staring down the barrel and I have a family and a career to think about. I don’t know what to do.

    1. ” I am white, male, and 55 years old, not in super-great health. Nobody nowadays in corporate America is going to hire a white, cis, male, Southern, unvaccinated, 55-year-old software tester. I’m the wrong color, the wrong sex, and clearly full of wrongthink”

      Except for being 60, I’m in the same boat (same job, too). I got jabbed early, but now they’re talking boosters (my doctor is already “asking” and I’m thinking NO). My political opinions have been known for 20+ years; I’m not dodging the bullet when they get around to me. As it is, I’m not even getting offered government project engagements any more.

      1. Could you work in your field as an independent contractor, or would too many potential clients flow the vax gibberish down to you in the contract t’s and c’s?

        1. Most contractors appear to be under the vax mandate. Even more are under the woke mandate, and like I said, I haven’t been invisible.

          Heck, I got extra questions back in the 90s just for being an NRA Life Member.

        2. Generally, if you’re a contractor (whether under salary and earning a W-2 from a body shop, or a 1099 independent) you have to follow the rules of the client that you’re sent to. Meaning it’s within their rights to request “vaccinated only.” Plus any IT contractor of any size is going to have 100+ employees and thus be covered by Slow Joe’s mandate.

          1. And even if the contractor isn’t that big, they are likely operating as a sub to a prime who is larger, and who doesn’t want to be excluded from even bidding by not following the mandate.

            1. I realize that these things flow down to everyone in the various levels of contracts. I was saddled with them as an employee of mid-size companies.
              I’ve been out of the flow of business for a bit since I retired. What I saw quite a bit of was individuals becoming independent contractors in their retirement making some good bucks. Just them, not working as part of a contracting firm. I realize the crap still flows down, but what I was curious about is are there enough companies out there not following the vax mandate (in forming their finished product or service) that individual contractors could make a living from? I actually have no idea of how many firms across the board are not enforcing a mandate, since it’s not really law.
              I know, I know, I’m being obtuse and naive, but I’m also just curious.

    2. Husband is a year older than you. Lost his job due to mandate. We do have enough to keep going for a little while and he’s looking at all opportunities. Please don’t give up hope. Start looking for new positions elsewhere. There is a list of companies that will not require the jab. I’ll dig it out.

      1. I’ll give it a shot when the time comes but I am not optimistic because I am a Protestant Christian and not Hindu or Muslim. (Our workplace, for example, actually has labeled and purpose-built “wudu” rooms–for Muslim foot-washing. And talks far more about Diwali than they ever did/do about Christmas. It’s “Happy Diwali” but “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”) Nothing ventured, nothing gained, though, so I’ll keep an eye out when they give us the option if they do. They recently asked us to return a survey about vaccination with four options–yes, no and I don’t plan to, no but I plan to, and I’d rather not say. I answered “I’d rather not say.” It’s no business of theirs.

  23. I had a long-time gaming group that I had to leave as my political stance evolved. Not only could they not leave politics away from the table, one person would structure things just to pick on me. In one session, my lumberjack barbarian was told he had to turnover the lumber for the good of the village. I was assured this was an example of how socialism works. It’s been years and on occasion some of that group will reach out and want to get together. I try but then they’ll comment on some “news” story and all the venom is still there and I just can’t. It hurts because those were good times on the whole.

    1. I find that a lot of the reaching out is an attempt to get me to change my mind so that they don’t have to blame themselves for my having left the group, but so that they can then congratulate themselves for getting me to “see the light.”

    2. I had a similar problem with a World of Warcraft guild I had a character in. As far back as 2008, the night Obama won, they were crowing in guildchat about it and just saying some really awful stuff about Republicans in general and conservatives/Southerners in particular. I quietly logged out without saying anything and later on a couple of friends caught up with me (and they were flaming liberals as well) and apologized for the folks who got a bit ouf of control. Nothing else came of it but I eventually left during the 2016 campaign because (a) most of the old-school folks had quit the game anyway and (b) the level of Trump-bashing finally hit my limit. Most gaming guilds and the like have “no politics” rules but not this one. I think I was the only even semi-conservative there. And by then they generally knew my opinions.

      I had another WoW friend and we’d always gotten along great. She denied it but was a massive leftist. I hit her up the day after Trump won in 2016 to see how she was doing, after I had literally posted one silly and inoffensive political meme on Facebook, and she basically told me to go eff myself. Haven’t spoken to her since.

      1. That’s just sad. But it shows she was more afraid of them than she ever was of you. In order to demonstrate her purity she had to cut you out hard. Pathetic on her part.

  24. A few (trying to keep them) short points:
    When I met my now-husband, he was a Democrat and I was a Republican. During the W election, we took some online survey about political views and who we should vote (mostly for laughs). We answered one question differently (and were categorized as libertarian).
    The reason he is my now-husband is that when gay marriage became a thing, we were instantly married, whether we wanted to be or not (Colorado is a common law state). We did make it official, but it would have been nice to have been consulted, first.
    While in Colorado, we hosted two parties a month (for about twenty years). Due (partially, if not primarily) to Sarah, I stopped letting the Republican comments slide. When asked not to bring up politics, I would say, “I won’t if you won’t”. It drastically changed the composition of the parties.
    One of those parties was gay men only (only one near-the-end trans complaint). It’s true: It’s easier to come out gay to Republicans than it is to come out Republican to gays.
    We’re now in South Dakota. For Halloween, husband wore a MAGA hat and shirt. He was asked “where’s your costume?” several times. His response was, “in Denver, this frightens people.” Much laughter ensued.

    I don’t exactly “stand up”, but I also don’t let things slide any longer. Thanks, Sarah.

    1. Okay, what the heck? You were in Denver and we never met???? ARGH.
      So, we’re planning Huns Dinners where we can drive (this being broad. It might include a night stay, if there are enough people.)
      And we have some friends in SD. This will wait till house sells, and then I’ll post proposed locations here. Probably one a month. Though December will be before house sells and certainly Ohio, because of family.

  25. “governor of Oregon in her Christmas mask.”

    I live in Oregon, and had not yet seen that. I did not realize that Elphaba was channeling Pennywise.

    But worse, the WWW is clearly planning to continue the ’emergency’ into Christmas.

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