When I was little in the playground, and started interposing myself between bullies and their victims — with the understanding one of those times it was interposing between my elderly teacher and the delinquent multi-times-repeaters boys in the school next door — I realized I was a coward.

How did I know that? Because every time I looked at the bigger foe rushing towards me, and I understood I WAS going to get hurt, perhaps severely hurt, I wanted to puke and run away. I was terrified.

But I didn’t run away, because I couldn’t. Because if I ran away, evil would win.

However, I had no illusions about my courage. I’m not brave. I still am not. I’m a coward.

When I started speaking out — and for those who only became aware of cancel culture recently, be aware that in most fields it was operational my entire working life, and speaking out against the left meant getting destroyed — I knew I was limiting my career both in terms of who’d publish me, in span (how long it would last) and in reach, (because movie deals, etc, don’t go to wrong thinkers.) I was terrified. I still am. But the alternative was losing my soul. So I had to speak out.

I’m still not brave. I’m terrified. I just live with it.

I am not a happy warrior. I hate confrontation. Hate, hate, hate. I have taken hits in my career and am now fully indie, partly because I don’t speak out against stupid stuff, and don’t want to hurt people I have an even half-cordial relationship with.

But there are issues that affect others, and are bigger than myself, and then, well, the turmoil of emotional confrontation is worth it, compared to letting raw, naked evil go on.

And so I must stand. And be not afraid. Or at least be less afraid of standing than not standing. Because not standing against the onrushing bully and evil doer is death, and not just for me.

Note, I am not saying that horrible things won’t happen from here on out. There will be horrible things, and some of us, hopefully not many, will end up somehow being part of that butcher’s bill. I pray, and I’m sure a lot of you do too, that it will be as few as possible.

It’s even possible a miracle will occur and the butcher’s bill will be taken not in lives, but merely in part-lives. Years wasted, years of anxiety that take time off our lives, years of poor health care as society restructures. But not whole lives.

The thing is, we’ve looked at the face of the collectivists and the centralizers trying to command us. It’s a hideous face. And we know what their ilk has done elsewhere. Mass graves, blighted lives, destroyed economy, destroyed environment, the cause of freedom often also destroyed in people’s minds, guaranteeing generations of darkness.

We have no choice — none — but to stand. Not if we want to keep our souls.

And you know, in most cases what I’ve found is that when I do brave the bully the hurt I take is much smaller than expected. I won’t say they run away. A lot of them don’t. But the hurt they can bring is much bigger in my imagination.

Right now, too, it’s much much easier to build up how bad they can bring the hurt, because, let’s face it, half of their actions make no sense at all and it’s easy to imagine they have a terribly clever plan. That they’ll get us in the end, and utterly destroy us. That our sacrifice will be in vain.

This is easier to believe if like me you grew up in the time when they controlled all streams of information and made themselves seem omnipotent.

But you know, there have been enough cracks in the facade, you know it’s not that. Sure, they have plans. But most of their plans are based on a universe that doesn’t exist, where Marxism has the force of prophecy and holy writ.

Make no mistake, they’re still going to hurt us. And some of us will pay the ultimate price.

To quote the bard: we all owe G-d a death. It’s not like by accepting the intolerable and kowtowing to evil we’ll live forever.

It’s a matter of what we buy with our lives. And what is worth it.

Be not afraid. Yeah, they’re going to hurt us. Yeah, we’re cowards.

But looking at the horrors people of their mental and ideological bend have already visited upon the innocent of the world, can you really afford to do absolutely nothing?

I know some of you are in impaired positions where, to keep a beachhead in enemy territory you have to keep your mouths shut. I understand that. Be aware and alert, though. Things can change very fast.

As for the rest of us? Now is the time. This is the place. At this time in this place, it’s us who have to stand for what is worth it.

In the end we win, they lose.

Sursum Corda. Be not afraid!

182 thoughts on “BE NOT AFRAID

  1. Bravery isn’t about “not being afraid”. It’s about “being afraid and still standing against the foe/danger”.

          1. As with anything, part of it is about not hating myself tomorrow. If God were to ask me what I was thinking I don’t want to be reaching for excuses.

            I’m a little ashamed that I filled out the religious exemption paperwork instead of playing chicken. I could afford to lose my job, it just would have been rough. All I can say is at that moment I couldn’t take the strain with everything else in life and it felt like if I took a stand that would put pressure on DH to conform and we couldn’t lose both jobs. So both of us in exemption territory made more sense than me playing chicken and him risking having to get the jab to keep his job. But that’s the stand I could and should have made and didn’t.

            I, too, am a coward. I know I’m not ready to take the punch without warning. So I try to pad myself first so I CAN take it, or at least be ready with first aid and other support for those braver than I.

            1. Nah, filing the paperwork means they get an idea of HOW VERY MANY people oppose it.

              I heard of a lot of federal employee divisions that were looking at having a third to half of their workers being involved in any attempt to force out the religious objectors.

              Picking on the Orthodox Jews? Or very serious Catholics? Those are small groups.

              Finding out you’re facing *worse* than decimation? THAT got their attention.

            2. Dealing with your paperwork takes up their time, leaving them less of it to f*k with other people. Don’t just give up if they reject it, either. Complain, file appeals, be a pain in the ass. If enough people do that, the Dread Overlords won’t have time for much else.

              1. Working for the evil empire, getting the shot, but refusing to submit the copy of medical records may be a source of double damage to the system. They know you had the shot, but can’t get a “record” of it. How can they fire you for not getting the shot when you got it, but only refuse them a copy of your confidential medical record.

                For now they dump you in the refused pile, but it doesn’t fit their model, because you got the shot. The bean counters hate such creativity, because you do not fit.

                This means that when they say they do not know how many have had the shot, they may actually speak the truth. This is the best way to mess with their minds.
                “Get the shot”.
                “I did”.
                “We don’t have a record”.”
                “I showed my supervisor”.
                “We need a physical copy”

                Imagine trying to deal with 100,000 saying that. They are no longer in charge. It drives a bean counter crazy. There may be that many playing this game. We hear nothing about how many fall in this category, because they don’t want to give anyone ideas.

        1. Not everyone needs to go to war or be on the front lines. Just as important is that candle in the window that lets the guys on the front lines know they still have something to fight for and come home to.

          Your job appears to be keeping that candle lit, and visible as far as the eye can see.

        2. Hey! Canadian Polish Sausage Onna Bun ladies!

          So it’s a little like using one of those 30 pound sheets of chocolate to smack someone over the head…. IT’S A KIND OF HAMMER! AN’ IT’S CHOCOLATE!

          Just have to get *creative*. 😉

        3. If you want to use the chocolate hammer as a hammer, freeze it first!
          Or just eat it and use the energy from the sugar to get the job done before the insulin crash. 😉

    1. To fear pain is nigh universal. Nearly all humans do. To fear things like imprisonment, disfigurement, torture and starvation is also quite common. Suffering is something that all creatures learn to avoid, but with one significant caveat:

      If it is important and meaningful, we are more willing to suffer for it.

      Bravery is therefore not the absence of fear. Only fools and the ignorant lack fear. The brave may instead fear failure more than pain and suffering. Even death. Some things are worth more than our little lives. Some few. And dying for a cause is rather simple, relatively speaking. Once you’re dead, you’re done in this life.

      Duration matters, as Tom Kratman reminds us. If we are willing to suffer to bring about a better world for our children and grandchildren, best we make that suffering meaningful. So we do things that are difficult and not our favorite things. The introvert may learn public speaking, because his governor is an ass. The coward stands up for those weaker against the strong. The lazy and comfortable rise and work, doing the things that need be done.

      It’s simple to be courageous in the moment. Not easy, exactly, but at least it’s over quickly. Stretching that out over a lifetime, making it habit even if it is against your nature? Take it from a natural pessimist and depressive. It sucks. Do it anyway.

    2. Many comments here that speak truth. Brave is not the absence of fear. Brave is acting in the face of that fear, knowing that what you face can hurt you.

      The most afraid I have ever been was a fire on board the submarine I was stationed on. I have no memory of gearing up to fight that fire. I had to wander the submarine to look for where I got the bunker gear. But I was geared up and ready to enter the engine room for fight that fire.

      Part of that was drills and training, of course. I did what I had practiced when fear shut down my brain. (What have you trained to deal with lately?)

      But I have faced my fear and I know that I will act. So will you. Be proud of that.

  2. I disagree with you, Sarah. To paraphrase John Wayne (and the line was probably wildly misattributed), “Bravery is not the absence of fear. Bravery is being scared out of your mind but saddling up and riding out anyway.”

  3. I pledge, and I urge others to do so, that I will not allow those spouting leftist falsity to go unchallenged. I will not be violent or anger-laden, but I will be forthright and implacable in ensuring that anyone seeing the confrontation knows that the leftist lies aren’t received wisdom and irrefutable.

    I will further urge those observing the confrontation to not believe either me or my opponents, but to go and find the truth for themselves and to never defer to authority just because authority demands deference.

    1. Be smart about it.

      Asking for sources is a good way– especially when they are of good will.

      Haven’t we all had lightbulb moments where we realized something we “knew” wasn’t so? When we looked for the foundation it rested on, and found sand?

  4. Dang it, the dust in here finally got to me.

    I’ve started alternating my St. Michael medallion and St. Walburga medal. Why? I don’t know, but there’s a feeling that it is something I should do. OK, St. Michael, yeah, pretty obvious, especially when you consider how in Central Europe, he was the saint for stopping those who worship unclean things, or at least that’s how the returning Christians saw it. St. Walburga? Well, she was one of two Saxon ladies who supported Boniface and others in their work in what is now northern Germany. They managed property, stockpiled supplies, and kept the lights on while the missionaries went out and tried to bring enlightenment to the ‘eathen. (Lioba is the other, Lioba of Fulda.)

    1. St. Michael the Archangel,
      defend us in battle.
      Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
      May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
      and do thou,
      O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
      by the power of God,
      thrust into hell Satan,
      and all the evil spirits,
      who prowl about the world
      seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. .

      Taking this out of the Mass was not the least damaging thing the vaticanistas did. Of course, we were praying for the conversion of the communists so they had to go.

      Number one son has developed a devotion to him. Interesting how things work out.

      1. I know there are some dioceses where the Prayer to St. Michael isn’t there but in my diocese every parish is told to say it. Also our Bishop consecrated our diocese to St. Joseph in December.

        We aren’t wholly lost everywhere yet.
        But it does look pretty bleak.

        And as Bilbo told Frodo, “It’s times like these when a hobbit needs to be extra careful”.

        So that’s why we have to have our clothes and weapons where we can find them in the dark. And pray for heavenly light to guide us and confound our enemies.

        1. Alas, I live in the absolute epicenter of the lavender mafia. Over the summer, I was at a parish in PA that did say the Leonine prayers after Mass. it was refreshing. The parish was run by the Redemptorists so I thought it might be just them.

              1. *raises eyebrow* I suspect that every serious exorcist is to an extent a combat exorcist. There are people and things that most certainly do *not* want you doing your job. That requires one to have strength of faith, discerning judgement, and good reflexes.

                I’ve been in the middle of some domestics that made me want a good flak jacket before. Exorcisms share some similarities.

                1. One thing I’ve heard (out of a not-so-huge total of such things) about the Church (or parts of it) recruiting exorcists, post World War II — they looked at former Central and Western European contra-Nazi resistance fighters sooner and closer than others. The idea being… very much what you said.

                  Pre-selecting for what the American Old West might have called simply, “sand.”

                    1. “Grit” is the more common term, sand is an older word for the same thing. Determination, stubbornness, not-going-anywhere-ness.

  5. I’ll make a challenge here, both to Sarah and to those reading her thoughts.
    Don’t let people pass in silence.
    Yes, as you said, some will likely pay an ultimate price. And it’s quite likely that those in power will do their damdest to make them out as evil doings, traitors, or whatever.
    If we keep silent, they have paid in vain.
    Years ago, I was sitting in Denny’s, having a cup of coffee at the counter (those are gone now.).
    A persons sitting close to me started spouting off about some contractor who had wronged them in some way. I ignored it until they mentioned it was XYZ company (friends company). Before I even registered what I was doing, I stood up and said, “I know the owners of XYZ. They are my friends. They would never act that way.”
    The complainer immediately backed down and soon left.
    Now I’m not perfect; certainly not the hero type. And my friends are mere human as well. But I knew them, and knew their characters. I wasn’t going to let an untruth pas unchalleneged.
    To put it in perspective, I later met with my friends, and asked them about this complainer. The knew nothing about it. As best as we can figure, someone used their name, their credibility, for their own purposes.
    Don’t be silent.

  6. How did I know that? Because every time I looked at the bigger foe rushing towards me, and I understood I WAS going to get hurt, perhaps severely hurt, I wanted to puke and run away. I was terrified.

    But I didn’t run away, because I couldn’t. Because if I ran away, evil would win.

    Um, that’s actually the exact opposite of a coward.

    1. To the one in the moment, it often doesn’t feel that way. Your knees may shake. Tears may form in your eyes. You want to be *anywhere* but where you are.

      To the one sheltered, protected, they may think you are brave. But you don’t feel that way. And what praise one gets after feels false.

      But what matters, though? You don’t feel brave. You don’t think you ever were. What matters though isn’t how you felt. What matters is what you did. So you don’t call yourself brave, even if other people do. What matters is if you keep doing it when you see the need.

  7. “Contrary to some opinions, it’s better to be a dead hero than a live louse. Dying is messy and inconvenient but even a louse dies sometime no matter what he does to avoid it and is forever having to explain his choice.” Kip Russel (as written by The Lieutenant–from memory but should be pretty close, given that’s my all-time favorite book).

    1. And from that same work — Iunio (On the floor of the Three Galaxies examination chamber): “Slit their throats as I bring them down, boy! There’s work to do!”

      Not all of us can be Iunio, standing alone against the tide. Sarah has, probably despite her better judgement, placed herself in that role. Those of us not able to do so (yet) must be prepared to “slit their throats” as they falter.

      Keep your steel oiled, sharp, and close at hand.

    2. Better to be a Harold Shea than a Yngivi, eh?

      I know Harold didn’t die, but I couldn’t resist.

  8. You reminded me of my Papa, who’s in heaven now, and it’s filled my heart too full to write much.

    We will stand. We will fight. We will speak. We will rise like cream.

    We can do no other.

  9. “”I know some of you are in impaired positions where, to keep a beachhead in enemy territory you have to keep your mouths shut. I understand thaI know some of you are in impaired positions where, to keep a beachhead in enemy territory you have to keep your mouths shut. I understand that.”

    Those of us manning the beachhead can still find opportunities to toss some sand in the gears of the establishment. Maneuver them into contradictory positions. Put an extra dot on that QR code for the latest propaganda. Make an opportunity for a contrarian to speak. Leave a copy of Starship Troopers laying around where someone impressionable might read it. Every little crack helps topple the Big Blue Edifice.

    1. There was an instruction manual that the western allies prepared during WWII. It was on sabotage, and intended for some of the forced laborer workers in axis industry.

      beyond that book, two Canadians who were forced labor in a Japanese shipyard managed to burn it down, without being implicated, and the prisoners were not punished.

      We have plenty of tools

      1. The 1944 Simple Sabotage Field Manual (Strategic Services Field Manual No. 3) is available on line; “Where destruction is involved, the weapons of the citizen-saboteur are salt, nails, candles, pebbles, thread, or any other materials he might normally be expected to possess as a householder or as a worker in his particular occupation. His arsenal is the kitchen shelf, the trash pile, his own usual kit of tools and supplies. The targets of his sabotage are usually objects to which he has normal and inconspicuous access in everyday life.”

        Not suggesting, of course that anyone implement any such, heaven forbid. however since many here are writers such information may well be useful for plot development. Yea, yea, that’s why I mentioned it!

        1. Right, Wasp by Eric Frank–oh, there’s another one? Nevermind.

          Also, re: QR codes. They have a great deal of redundancy. A dot or two won’t do it. You need to mess up 20% or more, depending on the code.

        2. I read it somewhere (source lost in the mists of time) that said that while sugar in a gas tank might cause problems, a good amount of laundry bleach would trash an engine quite well.

          From a long history of personal experiences, roofing nails do really well as sort-of caltrops. 1″ ones seem to cause the most trouble, though slightly longer ones are murder on tractor tires. Protip: if your acreage used to have a bunch of buildings on it (former mill-site/company town in our case), you will be familiar with flat tires. The blithering idiots who were “responsible” for the shanty demolitions got lazy, and burned the buildings. Lots-o-nails left behind.

          1. Bleach might, I suspect dish detergent (break down the oil lubricant on the piston rings) would as well.

            & yes, if I drop a nail in the yard I’m willing to spent at least an hour finding it if necessary as I know if I don’t I will, surely and most certainly, find it with a truck, tractor or mower tire! 🙂

            1. A lot of the nails buried themselves in the pumice soil, but they’ll surface after rain or snowmelt. $SPOUSE goes looking for them (never had much luck with drag magnets; among other issues, our *soil* is magnetic), and she’ll find some impressive spikes–Earth First would approve. (spit!)

              The most troublesome are the roofing nails and those in the 6 penny size. OTOH, I haven’t had a tractor flat in a couple-three years, though the drought gets some of the credit for that. Not enough weed growth to mow where the nails are concentrated, and where grasses/weeds are growing, the worst of the nails are gone. Maybe.

  10. A Hero is someone who stands up despite wanting to “puke and run away” and “being terrified”.

    Will add a Hero is the one who thinks they are a coward but who stands their ground knowing they want to run away because they know they are going to get hurt, and may not be able to protect what they are trying to protect. But the hero does it anyway.

  11. Someone who feels no fear isn’t brave. It would not be bravery if I stepped into a den of snakes to pick up a fallen child, I have no fear of snakes. However, if my SIL were to do the same it would be extreme bravery on her part. She is deathly afraid of even the tiniest green grass snake.

    Sometimes we do the brave thing without thinking about it too much. I’d like to suppose I could be a martyr if the killed me quick enough. But I pray every day not to be put to the test. Goodness knows I have trouble enough avoiding run of the mill temptations. I don’t think I would do so well against a big one. One time Ricardo Montalban was asked if he ever was tempted to stray from his wife by all the beautiful women he worked with. He when he said he had but hadn’t succumbed.
    The interviewer expressed some doubt and then he said something like, “There is no virtue in never having been tempted. The virtue is in the resistance.”

    We are taught these days that the absence of all discomfort is not only achievable but desirable. Feelings are to be protected at all costs.

    IF you are the right sort. Otherwise you can die in a fire.

    1. :fond smile:
      That he noticed the other women– and found his wife of 63 years, who while an actress was also his age– and still found loyalty to her preferable, is pretty dang sexy, in the admiration sense, not the envy sense.

      (Kinda depressing that not only did someone ask the question, but went on to publicly challenge it, but…. Hollywood.)

  12. I’ve seen it argued that if you’re not afraid– defined to include accurate recognition of risk– then you can’t be brave. You’re confident, which is different.

    Bravery requires recognition of risk. (Even if it’s only in your own mind. If you possess no fear, you’re not brave.)

    I have a vague idea I actually heard this in connection with Trusting in God; there is confidence in God– trust without hint of fear– and there is bravery with God– fearing, but trusting that He’ll do what you must.

  13. Let me chime in — courageous is exactly what you are, Sarah, doing the righteous thing regardless of personal fear — doing the righteous thing without experiencing fear is just spunk or combativeness.

  14. Sarah dear, I’m going to pile on here. You know my background, I’ve been a cop, I retired from the Submarine service, I have medals that the citation is mostly blacked out because we were never there. Being afraid isn’t “being a coward.”
    Fear is your friend.
    Frank Herbert was an idiot. Fear is not the mind-killer unless you give in to it. Fear is a tool that brings up your heart rate, gets more O2 to your muscles, shuts capillary flow, reduces blood loss, provides time dilation, and increases visual and auditory sensory detection.
    What you DO with the fear is what matters. If you use it to run away and leave others to their fate, that is cowardice and earns you the three feathers. If you use it to be a more successful fighter, that is bravery. Or in the words of a character by John Wayne, “Bravery is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway.”

    1. I’m going to disagree on Herbert. Fear *can* be a mind-killer. When strong enough, it shuts down your mental processes, and can reduce you to the flight impulse. You can’t think of any option *except* to run.

      Fortunately, preparation – particularly training – can make another option so much a habit that when fear shuts down your mind, you automatically fall back on your prepared response.

      1. The strange thing is that there is very little physiological difference between pleasurable and terrified adrenalin reactions. Except whether you are on top of the rolling log or underneath it.

        1. This is why one of the psychological tricks of dealing with stage fright is to convince yourself that your heart is pounding, only because it is exhilarating fun!

          So yeah, sometimes it’s good to say Whee! Even if you don’t feel like it.

            1. I really wanted to link a short clip of GLaDOS deadpanning “Wheeeeeee” as you launch yourself over a chasm here, but I couldn’t find one. I could only find an audio clip and it’s just not funny without the context.

          1. Or if you’re afraid of roller coasters or rock climbing or whatever, force yourself to smile early and often. The physical act of smiling can change the feeling from fear to exhilaration.

          2. Stage fright, go away!
            This is my big day.
            This is my time to be a star.

            With apologies to those who loathe Minmei.

          1. Yeah. Sledding is good for that, or racing other people, or singing when you get it right and you have the audience in your hand.

            Time dilation is kinda fun when you are working audience emotions. Hasn’t happened often to me, but it is cool stuff. Gives you finer shades of control to work with.

              1. It’s not really “time dilation.” It’s processing time speeding up, or otherwise the brain making things seem to go slower, so that you can think more quickly and react more quickly.

                I suspect that other bits of the brain inputs are temporarily being ignored, really. It’s some kind of emergency brain/nervous system self-hack mode. Because the things you’re not concentrating on, kinda don’t seem easily accessible, or don’t seem to matter.

                1. They say that the nerve inputs from even our eyes are like zillions of gigs in a minute, but we just mostly ignore that. And the same with the rest of the senses. So obviously the background parts of the brain are very picky-choosy about what they bring to the attention of our executive bits of brain.

            1. Your (bad parts) family probably trained a lot of “fun adrenalin” out of you. But you can train the fun back in, with some Cunning Planning. Obviously there is a lot on your plate, but just bear it in mind.

            2. Oh yes, so this. When everything clicks, and the listeners are *right there,* leaning into your words, be they spoken or sung, and there’s a communication going on that goes beyond artist/teacher and listener . . . And it’s addictive, but you can’t plan on it. Preparation helps, memorizing your material, knowing more than is called for, but you can’t assume the lightning will strike. It just happens sometimes, and oh, the magic.

          2. The “catch” is that you have to have a baseline belief that you are absolutely and completely safe.

            If you can get that once, you can expand it. Not all the way, but you can expand it, and some folks are *really* good at expanding it.

            I’ve got a very, VERY tiny amount of range where it works, and some of those are connected to who I’m getting an adrenaline rush with.

            I’m pretty sure you don’t have a lot of experience being in situations where you know, bone-deep, that if something goes wrong you will be caught, safely.

            1. A bad musical performance is not going to kill you, other than maybe socially and psychologically. If they practice and perform enough, most people eventually have their bodies notice the lack of physical death. And then things get a lot more interesting.

              Some people love attention enough that audiences gazing at them are always pleasurable, even though staring is an ancient primate aggression signal.

              1. A bad musical performance is not going to kill you, other than maybe socially and psychologically.

                :grins: Which is why “safe” and “not physically harmed” aren’t the same– and, of course, someone who is “shy” is unlikely to be able to train out of it simply by nothing bad happening.

              2. :musing:
                I wonder if folks could build up with some of the other forms of “vulnerability” that are noted for being more basic… a friend has been reading and sharing quotes from an ADD/ADHD book that theorizes that it’s caused by a lack of emotional connection.
                I don’t buy the theory, but actively working to build connection/trust *can* work to help deal with the symptoms– so maybe it’s kind of like training yourself to interpret that adrenaline rush as something that’s pleasurable, rather than “I need to FREAKING RUN AWAY!!!!!”

                I know it can help with normal shyness to have someone you trust to support you…

                (note, HELP, not CURE, for both things!)

              3. Yep, ‘dying on stage’ is just an expression.

                Most of the time, anyway. Janis Joplin pretty much pulled it off…
                Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

              4. As a toddler, my kid was at a Christmas Eve service where all the children came up on stage so the kids’ minister could read them the Christmas story and dole out candy canes. Kid sat tranquilly through it, tripped down with the others…then pulled her hand out of mine, turned around, and clambered RIGHT BACK UP. She likes her drama, she does…

              5. “A bad musical performance is not going to kill you, other than maybe socially and psychologically.”


                Um. That depends on if you have a very bad parent who is also the church choir director and determines whether or not you eat.

                1. I’ma gonna travel back in time and HAVE SOME WORDS with that one. (Possibly the words will be written on a big plank with nails stuck in it.)

                  Although to be fair, some/many choir directors have THE POWA go to their heads. I forget if I ever told you about the (public) school choir director who held my grades hostage unless I agreed to never take choir again, because she blamed me alone for our choir not getting a 5.

                  Mind you, she had never actually explained what the choir was being judged on, let alone what went into getting a 5. We were seventh graders, and this was before the Internet. But we were magically supposed to know about binaural headphone judging after the fact, also. So it was all my fault if I was standing two feet away from my place, because she had emphasized how we had to stand where it was physically balanced.


                  I really really regret not having taken it to the school board, and not having had a recording device on my person during the blackmail session. (Who would have known you needed such a thing?) But yeah, we needed the money from my mom’s substitute teaching, so I didn’t fight it like I could have.

                  1. Ouch. *Nod*

                    *Wry* I don’t have any trouble imagining your situation; sounds like that teacher would have fit right in in a particular small town I knew. When I say my hometown was in on the abuse and either helped or didn’t care, I mean it. My father was the church choir director, he cozied up to the richest old lady in town who was the church organist, and she didn’t care what he did as long as things sounded good to her. And because she had the town money, no one else cared either. Even – especially – the reverend, ’cause guess who paid his salary?

                    But the main point I was trying to get across (and didn’t last night), is that it… honestly often does not help to suggest “safe” ways of experiencing adrenaline to someone who’s been strategically terrorized. Cluster B types are very, very good at making sure their targets’ every possible association of adrenaline is with outright, life-threatening fear. Just check out the Corona panic media mess. It’s got abusive tactics all the freaking over the place.

                    I’m working on it. I learned to drive, despite everything. And I can talk to people without my throat closing up anymore and the world going blank. It’s progress.

                    1. Like I say, obviously not a current priority. Shrug. A lot of old people end up doing crazy brave stuff, because a lot of the annoying traumatic things of their youth have worn off. But some people just do other things that don’t scare/impair them, and that’s fine too. Going with your strengths is sensible.

              6. Although a really good dress rehearsal can do it, too. When it’s just you, the chorus, the conductor and God.

                1. This is one of the gentler choirmasters I’ve ever met. Also one of the most effective. Wilko Brouwers, from the Netherlands.

                  He has a great warmup exercise. You put your hands up above your shoulders with your hands clenched in claws, hissing, and then you relax. It’s hilarious and effective. He developed it for kids, but it’s good for adults too.

                  Mind you, demanding choir directors _who are sane and safe_ are not bad. You just have to be ready/able to get pushed, and they have to push in a fair way.

              1. I’d recommend attending an amusement park, preferably with someone experienced and trustworthy enough who can guide you through the difficulty curve.

                It doesn’t take very long. Especially once your mind is able to notice that you can choose what reaction to have. Even if the laughing is a little forced at first to stave off the panic it will become less and less forced.

                [see also: me last year]

                  1. You have lots of fun in your own way right now, so it’s not like you’re deprived of all fun. Apollonian fun is just as fun as Dionysian fun, although the mechanisms are somewhat different.


                    And you might want to see that anime movie Belle, although you also may want to bring tissues. It has a happy ending and a lot of happy throughout, but it may be more emotional to you than to most.

                1. I love roller coasters, while $SPOUSE hates them with the fire of a thousand suns. OTOH, the only way to get a ‘coaster fix in Flyover County would be at the county fair, and it’s not worth it.

                  I took a 10 year old nephew to Disneyland in the mid ’80s, and we hit all the coasters we could ride. That was fun–he liked them too…

          3. You must not have spoken with many paratroopers.

            There’s nothing quite like stepping out of a reasonably-serviceable aircraft* into total darkness, at 800′ AGL, with many pounds of equipment strapped to you, then feeling the opening shock of your parachute, then performing a more-or-less as-trained parachute landing fall, then performing a quick inventory and realizing that your body is still in functioning order, that makes one feel gloriously, wonderfully alive.

            *Air Mobility Command doesn’t have any “perfectly good airplanes.” “Reasonably-serviceable” is the best it gets.

            1. My brother’s answer to the “jumping out of perfectly good planes” was “wait, are you FAMILIAR with the planes they use when we practice?”

              He was not impressed.

              (Same brother who broke his ankle on the first jump of the day, and finished the rest of the jumps, and still took a day to actually go to the doctor because “it was just a nasty bruise.” /facepalm RANCH KIDS!)

              1. THIS. Having successfully deadsticked a C182 back to the drop zone after putting out 4 jumpers and watching the oil pressure drop to zero.

                The other answer to the “Why” question was for the jumpmaster to point at me and say “We’ve seen him land!”

              2. My father broke his collarbone doing a “perfect” parachute landing fall. The good part was that he couldn’t proceed with his assigned specialty (chemical warfare–late in WW2) and became a draftsman–his civilian job.

        2. What is the opposite of an adrenaline junkie? Someone who doesn’t have a “pleasurable” adrenaline response? I think that’s me. The closest I come is a fast ride, but I don’t want to actually feel like I’m going to die (think Big Thunder Mountain, but not Tower or Terror).

          1. I think a lot of the adrenaline junkies are convinced that they can’t die… which obviously is not a safe assumption. Just look at most of the notorious Kennedys.

            Useful and fun as it can be, it’s probably good for the human race to have some people lack the Whee! reaction. Because if everybody else starts jumping off the cliff for fun, you need somebody to survive and breed.

          2. Our 7 year old’s reaction to Tower of Terror.

            “That was FUN!”

            “Do you want to go again?”


            VS the Space ride, which we rode, again, and again, and again. Do you know the lines are non-existent during the Disney Parades? At least they were the times we were at Disneyland and Disney World.

      2. Firm agreement on training and preparation. When fear grips your mind so tight you can’t think, your body can go through the motions. Works for soldiers and firefighters, works for about anybody else, too.

      3. But fear and desperation can allow you to do things that are impossible…or so it seems afterward..So they can be your best friend…I’ve been there…

    2. Frank Herbert was an idiot.

      Herbert was not an idiot, he was a liar, selling a story that required that meme. Whether he believed it himself is undeterminable. The idiots are those assuming that, because he put that phrase in a character’s mouth, he believed it himself.

  15. As I said on another post, I’ve already broken up with most of my family after I made comments supporting the trucker convoy in Canada. I’ll probably still be in contact with my younger brother and my mother, who has dementia and almost no short term memory, but that’s it.

      1. I am! I haven’t seen any of my family in over two years now, as I’m in the U.S. and they’re in Canada or Australia. Fortunately we have a wonderful neighbor who we have adopted as a Grandma for my son.

      1. Yup. After joining Discord, I decided I’d better use my handle here. I go by my full name on MeWe.

        1. I went full name after an argument on LJ, Elf Life/Winger’s and Shadowfall’s forums (probably Cheph’s as well, but she was already wandering away then) surprisingly the knob claiming I was hiding behind false names didn’t do the same and pretty much hid from me after that. You might recall me as jpfuel.

      1. Yes. Not too many local to me, but plenty online that I will be able to see at least once a year.

    1. Martin Luther’s famous words, usually rendered in English as “Here I stand, I can do no other” — “Hier stehe Ich, Ich kann nicht anders” in his own German — have already been alluded to and even quoted directly above.

      But when I went to look up the rest of his speech / response to being called before leaders of the Church and the Holy Roman Emperor in April 1521, to either retract or confirm what he’d been saying (and upsetting assorted people as he did), I… got a bit of a surprise.

      In just how relevant to today, just over 500 years later, his words are.

      And more specifically in how clearly (and Biblically) he identifies the strife that he caused, that we cause by disputing The Narrative today, as very much a good thing and even something of a Divinely authorized or even recommended thing. And how strife within a family is an explicit, identified part of what we could call God’s plan for us.

      But mostly I’ll let him do the talking (with some highlighting by me):


      8. What I have just said will, I think, clearly show that I have well considered and weighed, not only the dangers to which I am exposing myself, but also the parties and dissensions excited in the world by means of my doctrine, of which I was yesterday so gravely admonished. But far from being dismayed by them, I rejoice exceedingly to see the Gospel this day, as of old, a cause of disturbance and disagreement; for such is the character and destiny of God’s word. “I came not to send peace unto the earth, but a sword,” said Jesus Christ. “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes shall be those of his own household.” [Matthew 10:34-36]

      9. God is wonderful and terrible in His counsels. Let us have a care, lest in our endeavors to arrest discords, we be bound to fight against the holy word of God and bring down upon our heads a frightful deluge of inextricable dangers, present disaster, and everlasting desolations…


      After finishing his statement (and then having to repeat it in Latin) he was asked, again, if he would “correct” any of his words. And he said:

      11. Since your most serene majesty and your lordships require of me a simple, clear, and direct answer, I will give one, and it is this: Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures and by clear reason (for I do not trust in the pope or councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.


      So many people are so visibly now in a position much like Luther’s, then. Likely many more are not-so-visibly there, too; equally called (if not quite as majestically) to either recant or stand their ground. (Look at, say, Robert Malone or Peter McCullough on virues and “vaccines” today. Likewise we can all point to examples now of “it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves”… paging Dr. F! All the while, so many of them, also screeching “Believe the Science!”)

      But what strikes me with such force, here, is this idea of Luther’s, so directly (and Biblically) expressed. That this strife, that here and now can and does tear friend from friend and one family member from another, may have a function and a use and a purpose — even (to those who allow and admit such things) a fated or Divine one. (“But far from being dismayed by them, I rejoice exceedingly…“)

      And, most of all, how important it is for us to choose the right side.

      It is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.

      Ah, yes. That. What he said.

      (And maybe, for at least some of those affected by that in-family strife… the above might help some.)


      [Translated version of Luther’s response above is from

      davidbahn-reflections dot com slash 2017/10/31/martin-luthers-here-i-stand-speech/

      BUT NOTE, my browser ALSO gave me the following warning,

      “DuckDuckGo blocked this Facebook Page ** We blocked Facebook from tracking you when the page loaded. If you unblock this page, Facebook will know your activity.”

      so proceed, as always, at your own risk.]

      1. Lol – my family is Lutheran for the most part, although some of them have gone non-denominational. I’m quite familiar with Luther. If you haven’t read them, though I don’t like sending money Tor’s way, you may want to look at David Weber’s Safehold series.

        1. Good to hear — and the possibility none of that was new to you is one reason I wrote all that in a less directly-personal way. Though it’s still amazing to me how much of Luther’s speech is timely for us, exactly as-is word for word, in our collective situation today.

          In an alternate (but not very, back then) history story that will take a while to get done, a character is standing on Chain Bridge between Buda and Pest, after the 1848 revolution failed, trying to figure out what to do next… to leave her Hungary behind, or keep on trying at home and most likely join her (now-dead) friend. That quote, “Here I stand, I can do no other”… is one of a few Christian things that go through her mind as she figures it out (with some external help). And yes, she’s Lutheran, as more than a few Hungarians were there and then too, though I didn’t really understand why until I wrote that. (That scene, at least, is done.)

          (Personally I’m more on the John Calvin side of things, but still close to Luther too.)

          And yes, in some ways it really stinks when some of your family (so you thought) suddenly decide to treat you otherwise, for no good reason. But given the choice of trying to inhabit someone else’s flat cartoon-cutout villain character as someone you are not, or simply going elsewhere to find sane and wholesome company where the person you are is welcome… it wasn’t really much of a choice for me. (And I do have sane family members too, just not as “closely related”…)

          Turns out I’ve read about half of the “Safehold” series, and yes it is very much worth the effort. Though right now, I’m about to get into the second book in Weber’s Out Of The Dark/Into the Light… also good so far.

  16. I’m slowly starting to go back to saying things on FB. I’m afraid I’ll lose more people I call friends, but I have to speak out. I write my blog even though most people who comment are on the same political side as I am. But I know that at least one cousin who’s pretty blue and lives in deep blue Silicon Valley reads my blog as well. So, I keep spouting off.

  17. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

  18. You’re conflating bravery and courage.

    Bravery is seeing what needs doing, and going and doing it in the face of risk.

    Courage is being brave even though you are terrified of that risk.

    Being afraid but still doing what needs doing is the essence of courage.

    And courage can be in very small things… the candle in the window, the soup in the pot, the signpost turned the wrong way to confound the enemy. The prayer uttered in darkness, that prevents your spirit from giving in.

  19. “Fear is not the mind-killer unless you give in to it. Fear is a tool that brings up your heart rate, gets more O2 to your muscles, shuts capillary flow, reduces blood loss, provides time dilation, and increases visual and auditory sensory detection.” With my background, which you can readily find out so I’ll spare you. I find this statement absolutely correct. Fear is a tool, and I am at best a bit of a coward. Thank you Sarah. Stay strong, stay safe and most importantly. Stay sane!

  20. Fear is the mind killer.

    Oh that’s what they WANT you to think.

    But they want you to think all kinds of things that ain’t so.

  21. … the alternative was losing my soul. So I had to speak out.

    Cowardice is not being afraid of unpleasant consequences, it is letting that fear determine how you act. Caught between the Scylla of suffering temporary* pain and the Charybdis of permanent damage, you chose the harm with which you could live. Bravery consists of recognizing and acting upon that realization. There are few cost-free choices in this world, but the costs are not always readily evident.

    *Yes, you might suffer life-long injury but it only lasts as long as this life. Certain assumptions (and the ability to keep them in mind) make such harms naught but bagatelles..

  22. it’s easy to imagine they have a terribly clever plan.

    So do they all, all have cunning plans.

            1. Well underway, with a replacement president who makes Black Adder 2’s Elizabeth seem like a Rhodes Scholar

    1. If Baldrick were in the Democrat caucus he would be the brightest one there by a a nearly immeasurable quantity.

    2. Actually, they have a stupid plan and have way overplayed their hand…if we stand strong, they will regret ever starting this mess…

  23. But looking at the horrors people of their mental and ideological bend have already visited upon the innocent of the world, can you really afford to do absolutely nothing?

    I saw, the other day, that the forces of Winnie the Flu are acting to protect children from indoctrination into revolutionary ideologies.

    The CCP is forbidding the taking of children to church.

    This will likely not work out as they anticipate.

    1. Given that “church” as such has generally not been a thing in the traditional Chinese religions (including import Buddhism), I’m not sure how much of an affect this will have on the Chinese population at large. It might be something that is seen as only affecting adherents of outside foreign faiths.

  24. At this time in this place, it’s us who have to stand for what is worth it.

    There are FIVE lights – if by “Five” you mean “Four.” That “extra” light is just you talking out your arse.

      1. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for I am the meanest SOB in the valley.

        God believes in self-help, or so my mother used to tell me. The Irish were always somewhat Pelagian. Pelagius was a Celt after all as are the northern Portuguese I believe 😀

  25. I hate confrontation too. In fact, I even hate it in some stories. I might leave the room if a tv series episode has certain kinds of events.

    Nonetheless, I’m going to try very very hard to say something when leftists are spouting bullshit. I think an awful lot of it is people only ingesting crap put out by the Democrat media complex. There’s a reason they put so much effort into lying about news sources that push back. If their adherents get exposed to the truth, the whole house of cards might collapse.

  26. (No, this is not me being cheeky or self-promoting; instead it’s only what it’s like to be one of those “gateway writers” swimming in the sea of inspiration that is today’s post and commentary…)

    “Ode to the Sharp End”
    (on the crowds of the Christmas Rebellion)

    To upbear the Edge,
    To be the Steel,
    That bows and rings and bends
    But never Yields;

    To embrace the Fear
    Yet jilt the Terror,
    To parry their betrayal
    And sidestep their Error;

    To be strong as Dark,
    But at one with Light,
    Willing to doubt your Cause
    But ever know the Right;

    To stand Side by Side
    With Those beside you,
    All one in Resolve
    Even if unlike you;

    To know the Cost
    For Who stand and Try,
    To bear the Burden
    Of knowing Those who Die;

    We are together the Ones
    Who must be Us All,
    Without our Doing
    Ours must surely Fall.


    “One People, United,
    shall never be Defeated!”


    André Attila Vargas (of House Vargas)
    Marquesas, A.D. 2243

  27. Fear is a liar. And it’s from the enemy, to eliminate US as a threat to their evil plans.

    God bless us all to stand up and, as much as we are able, to do what is right.

  28. I know you hate Ayn Rand with the heat of a million suns, but she had a very apposite quote for this siort of situation:

    “I’m not brave enough to be a coward—I see the consequences too clearly.”

    I’ve used that repeatedly in my own attempts at fiction writing.

    1. ???

      Someone called her Heinlein and Rand’s spiritual love-child, and she was flattered….

      She just applies critical thinking to Rand. (And Heinlein. And… pretty much everything. And lets the commenters do it, too.)

      I’m pretty sure I’ve argued with her about it, she thought Rand was right on something, I thought she was horribly wrong, we both agreed Rand had some blind spots from being raised in such an abusive gov’t system.

    2. As her adopted little brother, and sometime houseguest, as well as someone who was personally heavily influenced by Ayn Rand before I ever heard of Sarah Hoyt, allow me to assure you that she does not “hate” Rand at all, in any way. Sarah disagrees with Rand on a number of points, but she is also, in her own way, very, VERY Randian. (Also, their life stories rhyme in terribly interesting ways.)

  29. It seems that the Ottawa Freedom Fighters are not honking after 6:00 PM. I have to say that’s the most Canadian thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

    It seems that the protest is spreading. There’s a convoy rolling into Helsinki, Finland.


  30. I’m still not brave. I’m terrified. I just live with it.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but every brave person whose accounts I’ve read sound like yours to varying degrees. Not all wanted to puke, but all were scared.

    Bravery is knowing when something else is more important than being scared.

    Not being scared is foolhardiness, not bravery.

    1. I guess that should be “Bravery is knowing when something else is more important than being scared and acting on it.”

    2. Occasionally, you get the “things happened too fast and I didn’t have time to think about it, I just acted” cases but other than that, pretty much.

      An expression I came across which I like: “courage is when you love what’s behind you more than you fear what’s in front of you.”

      1. And the “happened too fast, I just acted” is a big indicator you face some trauma risk after, especially if you stay calm after.

        Having a wreck at an event with two mental health professionals who specialize in trauma is odd. You get assessed three hours later for trauma because you didn’t freak out at any point.

        1. My then-girlfriend and I woke up to our house on fire one night. I tried to fight it, but realizing it was beyond my abilities directed my GF to run upstairs to wake the neighbors, and then made sure everyone including the cats got outside, and then talked with the firefighters (the house was literally in sight of the nearest fire station, so they were coming up the front steps as we were going out the back door).

          I was calm, cool, and collected the entire time, but completely fell apart with shaking, tears, and hyperventilation three hours later. I don’t think I have any lasting trauma — I’ve never had a nightmare about it or anything like that — I think some people’s nervous systems react that way.

          1. The theory on no breakdown or reaction after being cool and collected during the crisis is you never process it so it just sits in the back of the brain. Another way to look at it is PTSD is never leaving the cool and collected mode from the traumatic event.

  31. Note, I am not saying that horrible things won’t happen from here on out. There will be horrible things, and some of us, hopefully not many, will end up somehow being part of that butcher’s bill. I pray, and I’m sure a lot of you do too, that it will be as few as possible.

    When the butcher’s bill comes, each and every one of us needs to approach it like Patton.

  32. CS Lewis once gave a young friend some advice about writing, “…instead of telling us a thing was ‘terrible’ describe it so we’ll be terrified.” Thank you, Mrs. Hoyt, for I felt I was in the presence of courage while you stood rooted between the bullies and their prey. Stay strong, God’s speed. And remember (to paraphrase a great American): Resistance to bullies is obedience to God.

  33. Thank you for acknowledging the difficult but necessary step of setting boundaries when we take principled stands. I work in higher education. I have taken positions that seemed logical but have resulted in being publishing compared to Hitler and Goebbels or just called a Nazi in general. I live with the belief that I am one “inartful” , misconstrued, or *wrong comment away from an attempt to cancel me.

    One instance was when I asked how much the estimated cost was to provide insurance for domestic partners and what budget would it come from. I had not formed an opinion on the issue and was requesting more information. Without knowing what budgets will be cut and by how much how can one assess the tradeoffs involved? One person in the meeting actually broke down in tears and was actually sobbing about the heartlessness of putting a price on such a moral imperative.

    I lost that one badly. I have taken a metaphorical beating on other issues where I took what I considered a libertarian leaning stand. But I don’t engage in every battle. By picking my battles, I have been able to win a few and improve the outcome on even more.

    Perhaps just as importantly, I have friends whose views are very different than mine. I engage with them in discussions over a drink or in other informal settings. In that environment, I am able to understand where they are coming from, explain my view, and reach a shared understanding. That often influences their thinking in a way that leads to an outcome that I consider less suboptimal than would have otherwise occurred.

    I like to think I am playing the long game. But we are all the heroes of our own story so perhaps I am just justifying making a comfortable living instead of quitting in protest. Either way, I try to focus on treating everyone with love and respect and making the world a better place while I am briefly in it. Sometimes I have no idea how to do that when I am confronting who are doing things I consider **”objectively evil”. But everyone is equally valued by God so I attempt to love the sinner while hating the sin.

    I sleep well at night, most of the time.

    * If you never have a wrong thought you are probably not engaging in critical thinking enough. Part of critical thinking is being critical and questioning the common narrative. Often the common narrative is correct and that is how it emerges. But, by engaging issues with an open mind and going through a period of holding an incorrect working view as you think the issue through you gain an understanding and deeper belief in the common narrative if it holds up to critical analysis. Insisting on blind faith in enforcing the common narrative will often lead people to repeat the narrative in public but to reject it internally. This is destructive when the common narrative is correct because true statements such as “Diversity is good” are misused which leads to the rejection of a statement that is true when properly understood.

    **Example of “Objectively evil” I have personally seen, and reported, would include habitual sexual harassment, stealing, falsifying documents to attempt to falsely convict a student of cheating, etc…)

  34. My dear; carrying on with what needs to be done regardless of ones almost overwhelming fear is the definition of bravery. Ask any person that others say is a hero. First thing they’ll tell you is either they’re not a hero and/or they’re not brave. This is because of how they feel at the time they are being heroic or brave they are peeing their pants or worse are almost paralyzed with fear and in most cases of eminent death or dismemberment.
    So concern yourself not. That you have stood up and not fled means you conquered your fear and are to be applauded.

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