Aim Small, Miss Small

This could frankly be titled “From the dumpster fire’s heart I stab at you.”

We are in a strange place and no mistake. I mean, it’s been said for a long time that we’re in that awkward space when it’s too late to vote them out, but too early to start shooting.

It used to be amusing. Not laughing right now.

Added to that no sane person wants to start shooting, because we know if it ever starts it will make the French Terror look like a teddy bear picnic. And that the left isn’t sane and in their all-consuming lust for power they don’t realize the rest of us aren’t merely holding the worst back, but we are the worst that we’re holding back. And good men tested to the limits of their self-control can break: When tired, when sick, when despairing, when their children cry with hunger. We’re not even talking famine conditions. I don’t think that will happen here (I could be wrong.) It’s “Dad I want dinner” and either there is no money or no supplies for dinner. This is what should keep our supposed betters awake at night, but it doesn’t. Because their cult requires them to believe that the huddled masses long most of all for communism and redistribution.

They also believe that if they break every fire alarm, they’re safe from the fire. So they muzzle us, and they’ve rigged the elections so we can’t punish them. This means they can do what they want, right?

I tell you guys, all the proponents of never swatting or even saying no to your kids created these monsters. They think as long as there’s no immediate retribution — and they never experienced that as kids — there will never be consequences.

Sri Lanka? What’s that? They I bet you have shut their ears to it, and to all the other unpleasant and borderline rebellions against their rule and the rule of their favorites abroad going on all over the world right now.

Because if you don’t hear the alarm, the fire won’t hurt you, right?

So, not laughing. Really not laughing.

More spending the nights awake, wondering what the heck we can do about it, since we can’t vote the bastards out. The impossible — yes, you heard me, impossible — results of 20 and 22 have proven that conclusively.

And… well…. even if it feels like the whole country is high-Colorado timber after three years of drought, nothing will happen till there’s a spark. And then it will be too late to control the fire. Suburbs will burn just as readily as the littered wooded spaces, and the slopes covered in scrub oak.

But I can do nothing — not me personally — I can neither change the course of history nor stop the spark. Nor clean up the timber.

So I wake up screaming. And worry for everyone I love. And pray for a miracle.

But we’re human. We need to do something. Else we lose our minds, and not in a good way. Which adds both to the timber and the probability that what’s left after the fire is not the nation we know and love.

I find some comfort in USAianism. Yes, I know, I created it accidentally, from a joke in DST to suddenly having it hit me in the face in A Few Good Men.

And yes, I know I have a religion already (Thoroughly muddled with another religion through early instruction, which simply makes me as neurotic as a shaved cat.)

But USAianism is more a creed than a religion and plays well with all forms of Judeo Catholicism. (Though, no, I’m not talking to my church about that. They have some ideas that I find disturbing about temporal order, anyway.) All it requires me to believe is that the very existence of the USA is a miracle — look, anyone who knows history knows this — and its continuation despite all the times we’ve “fallen from grace” is almost as miraculous. And since it’s a miracle, I believe Himself intended it. Which frankly, given his preference for giving humans free will to choose makes perfect sense. We might not be absolutely free, but our system, however imperfectly observed gives or for a long time gave the individual more choice than any other. (Regardless of how often individuals choose “wrong.”)

So I comfort myself with rituals and observances. Along side the Christmas tree this weekend we’re putting up a tree of liberty: artificial oak tree. Will have felt around the base and patriotic ornaments.

And I am making cookie cutters in the shape of Hessians. We’ll bite their heads off on Christmas eve. (Think how much fun that would be for kids. And you could tell them the story.) And I’m fasting the last two weeks of advent, because our forefathers starved at Valley Forge. (I refuse to turn off the heat, though, even if they froze at Valley Forge too.) And I will read about the revolutionary war every day.

Yes, you are looking at me like I lost my mind. I didn’t. In fact, it’s sort of a ritual of hope. Embedding the history in ritual and the reasoning for our existence in a creedal matrix means it has a better chance of surviving down the centuries. Which means, even if we go down it won’t be forever. And that’s hope, though cold comfort. (Things my books taught me.)

But that’s “Personal angst management.” It doesn’t have much effect in the world, since right now we don’t have littles to teach the ritual and through it the ideas to.

So what can we do?

Well, I’ve told you before that the winter ahead is going to be hard. And probably the first of several hard winters. Because our government is outright making war on the people. Right now, mostly a war of attrition.

Years ago, during either Obama’s second term, or the covidiocy, or both (I don’t feel like looking) I came up with “Not one red cent for the blue.”

I mean, I used to patronize businesses and artists that I felt deserved to survive regardless of their political color.

But at some point I realized that they NEVER do that for us. They demonize us and tell lies about us. I don’t know how many people have been scared away from my fiction by “racist, sexist, homophobic” but I bet you more than a few, reason being I used to believe those slurs, well before I was published. So, in my twenties.

Most of my books are thoroughly apolitical and non-objectionable for anyone. And no, none of them are racist, sexist and homophobic, unless your reasoning is specious and a bit crazy, honestly. Because I’m not. And it’s really hard to write what you aren’t.

The ones that could be considered political — Dark Ships — mostly concern themselves with the future politics of regimes that don’t exist. And while, yes, my beliefs DO come through, and you can choose to port principles from them to our time, that is not what I was doing. Because I don’t write science fiction to reflect the present. I write science fiction because I like speculating about the future.

And yet, I’m thoroughly blacklisted at every respectable (and some non-respectable) publishing houses, and there are people who would not pick up my books for fear of contagion with forbidden opinions.

Because the left is REALLY GOOD at that. I knew that when I caught them saying that Heinlein — HEINLEIN — was racist, sexist and homophobic. The only justification I could find is that he treated women as being much more worthy than men. But no, that’s not what they meant. They never read him, because they were told what he was. And the left — and innocents — recoiled without reading.

So, I know they cost me business. They cost all of us business. And those of you who are employed have names you use here that no one knows at the work place, or you’d be fired.

The left has no problems with any of this, because they define themselves as “good people” and therefore if you disagree with them, you’re evil. And they have no problems — of course –punishing and destroying the evil.

I used to be much more nuanced than that. I used to think they had any number of useful idiots, and people who SIMPLY didn’t know better. And because of that, I held off and held back, and read their books — even if I had to skip past all the preaching — and bought their stuff.

But right now? Right now, I’m all out of charity. Unless they speak out against the present mess? (And then they become magically “right wing” according to their side) I HAVE NO CHARITY.

So, here we are. Facing hard hard times, and all out of patience.

And I’m going to give you an “Aim small, miss small” way of fighting back. It’s not much, but for many people it might be the difference between survival and not. Because things are about to be close to the bone.

It’s basically the only way I’ve ever taken revenge on anyone. You see, I’m …. lazy. Which weirdly, in my case is a saving grace.

When someone does something directly against me (openly or not) I could plot revenge. But dude. So much work. And I have books to write.

So what I do against those that hurt me? I ignore them. But I remember. Which means, later on? Down the line? When they need a hand up that I could easily give? I ignore them. My answer is something like “oh, noes. How turrible” and then I go my merry way, ignoring them.

I’m going to propose the same, but with a bit added, because we need to survive this winter, and the years ahead.


Not one red cent for the blue; all support to the red.

Look, we can’t afford NOT doing some business with the blue model. I have to do business with Amazon, for the same reason I have to do business with the atmosphere and gravity. What’s my other option?

Same applies to some food and supplies, and to services like paypal, which I still can’t cancel, become some editors still pay me that way on royalties for stories sold years ago.

This is not going to be a clean break or super-perfect.


What it means is that if there is a choice? I’ll buy from our side. If there is a choice of an artist to promote, a writer to pimp, a restaurant to patronize, a handyman to hire? I’ll buy from our side, I’ll push our side, I’ll patronize our side.

Now I’m not asking you to consume crap, just to buy/support our side. The left does that, and it’s led by degrees to all the stuff they sell/do being crap. Because quality stopped mattering.

But will I preferentially read an indie SF series from our side, ignoring the occasional typo, to the highly hyped, carefully set up story pushed by the majors and written by some red-diaper blue violet? Oh, you bet your sweet *ss I will. If the story is still good, supporting our own makes me feel better.

But Sarah, you’ll say I don’t often know the politics of my handyman, my mechanic, my restaurant owner.

No. And it’s not going to be perfect. But a little discrete investigation won’t kill you, either. You unfortunately these days can suss up anyone’s politics with a five minute talk or a five minute internet search.

Again, I’m not calling for perfection. Yeah, all of us have that friend we love who is wobbly at best. Or that vegetarian hippie restaurant we adore (Not since Charlotte 30 years ago, but yeah.)

What I’m saying is, when you can, offer support to our people. When possible, buy from our own. When you can make it work, shun those who hate us and want us to eat bugs.

It’s not much. But it might make a difference between some of us surviving and not.

Through the dark night ahead.

Be not afraid. Go light your lantern.

233 thoughts on “Aim Small, Miss Small

  1. Take the current woke ideology professed by the Democrats and other global leftists, replace the words Jew and Jewish for the words they use to describe the groups and people they don’t like and their rhetoric is almost verbatim from Germany during the time the Nazi’s rose to power and then proceeded to implement and carry out the Holocaust.

    Anyone who doesn’t think the people saying this stuff don’t intend a similar result haven’t been paying attention.

      1. Let’s review:
        * A centralizing theory of political power and legitimacy.
        * State-socialist political economics.
        * Anti-semitism, with the Jews identified as bloodsucking capitalists.
        * Propaganda and programs aiming to fundamentally transform society into an idealized future state.
        * Equivalents of the SA and SS, organs of coercion answering to the leader and the Party, not the law.
        * Systematic suppression of competing political speech.
        * Registration, suppression, and confiscation of civilian firearms.
        You should actually expect to see almost all of these being pushed by any actual fascist demagogue, because they’re a mutually reinforcing package
        Spotting the wild Fascist – Eric Raymond.

      2. They especially hate Jews. Remember when the Occupy Wall Street crowd was demonizing Jews. It is why The Squad’s repeated anti-Semitic pronouncements are not condemned by the Democratic Party, and why so many in the party embrace Jew-haters Louis Farrakhan and Al “led pogroms against Jews in NYC” Sharpton.

        Much of Critical Race Theory is simply academic language for Farrakhan’s screeds that declare “white people are the devil” and demonizing Jews as “termites” and inherently evil.

        1. You know what? I know where I belong.
          My family might be conversos, but your people shall be my people. Wherever thou goest, I shall go.
          So from me, they get NO QUARTER.

            1. Rocks, just honking big rocks. Heinlein eloquently pointed this out in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, a fine instructional tome for carrying out a modern day revolution.

      3. Baby girl, they hate and despise all religions as competition to their worship of communism, its patron saint Marx, and the offshoot Green climate change. They demand that we the lumpen proletariate can have but one master and it must be them.
        Free men get to choose who they follow and what faith to dedicate our lives too, and they simply cannot tolerate such ideas as they are counter to their grand and glorious world vision.

        1. Yeah, but yids seem to get singled out for special treatment. Eh, nothing new – this crap was old when Haman pulled it in the Persian court.

          1. “Yeah, but yids seem to get singled out for special treatment. ”

            Now, now, they’re just following Divine precedent. He thought you were special……. 😉

      4. We’re used to that, though. And more likely to stand up to it than we were, say, in 1933.

    1. I think it was during the reign of the Kenyan marxist that I went to the US Holocaust Museum online, and found the propaganda section. That man’s regime’s tactics were almost verbatim what the Nazis did and said. Breathtakingly so.

      1. Pretty much. And BLMtifa is very familiar to anyone who’s read the antics of the SA as recorded by William Shirer.

  2. Ayup. Haven’t been talking about it, but just been quietly doing it. And not alone, either. I’ve been getting that kind of subtle question, or the odd remark, from clients for a while now. Only on one side, because the other likes to loudly assume that of course you’re with them, and that you’ll have to submit to them throwing a tantrum if you disagree.

    The subtle response to the subtle question often unlocks an explosion of pent-up anger that I simply ride out, and steer back to doing business, because I get it. I don’t want this to be happening, but I get it. Just like when I had one who’s in a spot of difficulty, because he took a stand on not taking the jab…

    I thought about it a moment, and then said in a sympathetic voice, with neutral wording, “I get you, sir. I chose not to do that, either. Still working here, too. There are more of us out here than you think.”

    No one else needs to know what I was referring to. Message sent, message received, and from the sound of it, that helped just as much as the material assistance I could provide.

    1. It reminds me of trying to learn if someone is a follower of Christ without asking directly. Looking for the telltale clues, the looks, the head-nods. Yep.
      And I’ve been doing this for a few years now, since it was dangerous in and around Seattle to get the signals wrong. And virtually everyone is/was a leftist.

    2. I’ve been doing the same for awhile. Living in or near Seattle it felt dangerous to out myself as MAGA. It’s like trying to find out if someone is a believer in Jesus without directly asking them “Hey, are you saved or what?”

      1. I accidentally found a way to find fellow followers of the Way. When someone asks me how I am, I say “Joyful”. It is interesting how Joy is a common thread among believers. It has lead to some very interesting conversations with strange people. When you truly know I AM, you know Joy.

        Perhaps there are some similar ways to secretly signal. Not wearing a mask. Living in Mordor West, one does know when to speak, and when to be silent.

          1. Had one encounter in downtown Seattle when there for Census training around 12 years ago.

            Another example: During the panic, I went into a bank here in Mordor West. There were two tellers, and one other customer. “My” teller asked how I was. I said Joyful. The other customer, about 10 feet away, overheard me. He responded. Clearly he was forgiven much, because he knew great Joy. Unprompted, simply hearing the word Joy generated an amazing outpouring. He knew Joy. An interesting way to witness.

            I call them divine appointments. I expect them. They are reminders I am not alone. Joy is a gift. It is more than mere happiness. It is one of the 4 advent infinities. Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. May you be blessed with them this advent.

  3. Tom Cotton’s recent response to Kroger’s CEO seems to fit with the “revenge by ignoring someone” plan–“I’m sorry this happened to you. Best of luck.”

        1. Me too! He knew the bomb he was going to throw but waited till the end. Voila. The joy of watching an elected official say “no” to somebody else for a change.

  4. I’ve been supporting the ‘red’ economically for some years, to include patronizing small local-owned trustworthy businesses, and giving a quiet thumbs-up to people – strangers whom I know by small signs – share my own independent, constitutional USAian sympathies. There are a lot of us out there, more than anyone in a blue bubble realizes.
    I think that in Texas we’ll be all right, when things in other places get … spicy.
    But there will be hell to pay in big blue mismanaged cities, and I honestly can’t really feel sorry for the people who are cheering on every proggie lie. There will be a reckoning, and it won’t be pretty.

    1. The rapid draining of my sympathy worries me on a…spiritual level, I guess. I am the biggest squish imaginable when somebody is in pain, but more and more when I see blue suffering my first reaction is “How terrible. Anyway…” I do not like that I’m getting that way, but I like it better than submitting to bastards who want to grind me down. Even if they DO have kids and puppies who will suffer. How terrible.


        1. We do after all have a long standing tradition of helping sad puppies. Best to do that by lifting them up and separating them from the idjits responsible for making them sad in the first place.

      1. It is prudent to remember that one’s feelings can not guide one’s actions. Alas, even well-ordered feelings.

  5. So SheSellsSeashells and I were hawking her handmade bead jewelry at a craft show many years ago, I guess 2004. Along to the booth come these two women, very urbanite, well-dressed, one of them prominently carrying a purse with a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker plastered on it. Now they were perfectly nice, and we were perfectly nice, and nobody who saw the interaction between the four of us would’ve ever suspected a thing. One of them bought a necklace and paid the $24.95 plus tax, we all thanked each other and they went on their way.

    Soon as we got home, without either of us saying a word, with only a glance and a nod, I jumped on the computer and made a $24.95 donation to GWB’s re-election campaign.

    I hope that woman liked her necklace, and her small part in helping keep Lurch and Silky Pony out of the White House.

    1. In fairness, it was Kerry/Edwards, “Bush Lied, People Died”, and a couple far more slanderous decorations. Make all the statements you want, but throw out insults and I go passive-aggressive.

      However, the marital hive-mind was a moment of absolute glory. 😀

  6. Now, more pertinent to the post…we try and do the same thing. Actually since my dad and brother were/are both small businessmen (running an independent auto repair shop since the mid-1960s) I’ve always tried to aim more toward helping small businesses anyway, which is not easy nowadays. This whole idea sounds a bit like the “parallel economy” they like to talk about over on Gab…yes, Gab is a strange and weird place full of actual Nazis but hear me out. Andrew Torba, for all that you may think of him, is very high on building the “parallel economy”…in his case meaning supporting Christian-owned small business. It’s really not much more than the simple principle of not giving money to people that hate your guts. On the flipside, though, you just have to watch out for the people that hate your guts trying to be your customers and putting you in an untenable “you must make the LGBTQ website/bake the cake” scenario.

    1. I start my day, while the coffee’s brewing, with a look at Gab, Twitter, Farcebook and MeWe, giving me a rough idea where many think things are headed at the moment.

      Frankly I haven’t seen much at all of Nazis on Gab for well over a year, probably over three or more years. Not saying their not there, but I haven’t seen much sign of them.

      I did just go over to Gab and read some 20 or so latest postings and didn’t find a Nazi. Again, not saying there aren’t some there but they really aren’t flooding the site.

      1. There are probably only about 75 actual neo-Nazis in the US. All the rest are feds trying to stir shit up. And every single, solitary one of them seems to be on Gab. They don’t get much traction there anymore, which is very encouraging.

        1. Why would anybody want to be a ‘Neo-Nazi’? The Nazis LOST! We kicked their asses, crushed them in 3 years and condemned their leaders to death.

  7. Good one… got my juices going. Regarding your point, “Their cult requires them to believe that the huddled masses long most of all for communism and redistribution…” I disagree a little here. I think the woke cult believes the huddled masses long most for; Kiddie Porn and the adult stuff, Drugs (hence the Fentanyl pipeline from China to Mexico to America, Free Lunches, and breakfasts and dinners via that monthly gubmint check, and Cheap ‘Entertainment’ consisting of schmaltzy, fattening Disney shit.

    I share your pain about the woke creeps who say your work is racist, sexist, and homophobic.” There are likely millions of people out there (U.S. Population = 350 million) who would say my books are racist, sexist, and homophobic, if I could only reach my market, instead of selling a couple hundred books a year. I did do a ‘FREE’ campaign and ‘gave away’ about 7.5 thousand books over the last couple months. This resulted in coat tail sales of about 6 books and maybe 20,000 KENP pages (about a hundred dollars’ worth) read. Not exactly a successful campaign, at least not yet. Anyway, I digress to toot my horn, such as it is…

    “I have to do business with Amazon… and Paypal…” Dig!. Me too. And I could not believe it when on a couple occasions, a people told me, when my books were mentioned, and I said they were available on Amazon… “Well, that’s too bad, ‘cause I hate Amazon.’ Well, I left that there. What’s the point? If not for Amazon, no one would have ever read my work after BIG NYC PUBLISHING ‘out-of-print’ed my books.

    “If there is a choice of an artist to promote, a writer to pimp…” Now you’re talking. Did I tell you about my bestselling book, Crossing Over… Okay, sorry. No more horn-tooting on your post. But I like your thinking, cause as far as I’m concerned, I’m on your side, even though we think similar things in different colors.

    I like your suggestion to just ‘pay to the red, not the blue.’ I think that is already happening and scaring some of the woke corporations. But I think we need to be louder about it. We need to send emails, make calls, and tell them, that their latest commercial pissed us off and we’re not going to buy their shit anymore.

    Thank you for your post. It’s encouraging to know that there are like-minded souls out there.

      1. Pretty much. Perversion and degeneracy often involves a very high level of decadence that’s only available to the very well-off.

      2. And wouldn’t it be illuminating if we could take a gander at Epstein’s client list.
        Pity that has been carefully tucked away by the powers that be to provide leverage against all sorts of influential folks.

  8. Aslan is on the move. What that move is, I do not know. And the days will be dark before they become bright again. Again, I don’t know how, I only see dimly, little glimmers of hope.

    The watchman stands against the night.
    His fire dim but still upright.
    And those who come, and those who call,
    Still hear his answer from the wall.

    In the stillness before the storm,
    When restless souls begin to mourn
    And bitter souls begin to rail,
    The watchman stands and does not fail.

    The watchman stands, eyes ahead,
    And gives an answer to all that’s said.
    And answers echo from soul to soul
    Though the waiting takes its toll.

    The watchman stands, sometimes alone,
    Yet in flash of lightnings it is shone,
    That other souls will with him stand,
    Upon the wall that guards the land.

      1. Go for it? At least for personal use. Might I ask for a copy or audio file when you’re done? I’m curious to see what you do with it.

  9. Re Valley Forge. They didn’t actually freeze out there. The park has replicas of the huts the soldiers lived in that winter. A bunch of historians built a couple more by hand with the same materials and methods Washington’s soldiers would have had available. Then, they lit fires in the fireplaces and kept the fires going all day/night as the soldiers would. Thermometers at the hearth and the door showed that at the hearth, the temp was about 66 deg, going down to 60-62 at the door. Pretty toasty. Food was a different deal, but again, not as bad as some of the hagiographies make it out. Valley Forge is HUGE. And at that time, there were farms around and lots of small game. The main problem was pay, clothing and small pox vaccines (yes, they had that then).

    We found out that our landlord is one of us. He dropped by (lives in another state, mother lives in this state) to see how things were going and saw our “Let’s Go Brandon” magnet on the fridge. Pointed at it and laughed. “I love it!” We’re good. Our neighbor has a bumper sticker on his truck that says “mask deez nutz” He’s cool. But then, this is Texas, so as others have said, I’m not nearly as worried as I was when we lived in Philadelphia.

    We’re trying to do the best we can to support red businesses. Like you, it’s difficult in some areas. Anthologies pay via PayPal, and small as that amount is, I’m certainly not turning it down! But where we can we are certainly avoiding blue.

    Borrowing and tweaking a phrase: I’m doing my best to shrink my blue footprint and enlarge my red footprint.

    1. Last Saturday, at Goliad’s Christmas on the Square, I spotted a gentleman – about fiftyish, had the indefinable look of a military veteran about him – wearing a t-shirt in red, white and blue, which said across the front “Proud Member of the LGB-FJB Community.” I had to look at it twice, before I figured it out. Lets Go Brandon – F**k Joe Biden.
      Gave him a thumbs up and quietly told him how I liked the shirt.
      Out in the country, there are still lots of Trump signs and billboards on the boundary fences of country properties. Nary a Biden sign…

    2. On the other hand, I suspect Valley Forge was colder then. There’s been a long-term warming trend over the last 250 years or so…part of the big 800-year climate cycle that seems to be out there.

      1. Yeah mid 18th century was coming out of the late 17th century Little Ice Age. For a while there it looked like we were headed into another Maunder Sunspot Minimum (like coincided with the Little Ice Age) we may yet get it.

        1. reaches for historical climatology hat, retracts paw Neeeeevermind. I’ll just say that we’d need a few (more) volcanoes doing their thing to get 1600s-levels of cold. 1770s-80s likewise.

          1. Or a few dozen surface detonated nukes would do the same trick.
            Or one Tambora class eruption. See Year Without A Summer for context.

        2. Ah, yes, back in the good old days when the Thames and the Seine froze over every winter and the growing season was a month shorter. I saw a painting from the 17th century of a winter bazaar set up on the frozen Thames, with horses and wagons and small buildings with brick fireplaces. The Glowbull Wormening zealots include those good old days in their ‘climate baseline’.

  10. Already started. We found out that Kroger (our up-till-then grocery store of choice) was offering employees up to $4k to travel out of state for abortions if their state of residence forbid them. No more Kroger–Aldi, Food Lion, wherever we can get what we need.

    CVS does the same, and we’re looking to move to Walgreens (assuming they don’t also).

    1. Then you’d really like the recent Tom Cotton video, Apparently Kroger and Albertsons want to merge, and they’re running afoul of anti-trust. So who do the two wokest grocery chains turn to when they want to do Capitalism? The Republicans, and Cotton gave them the most beautiful blow-off ever.

  11. In a sense, it’s already working. Disney has had bomb after bomb this year.

    Lightyear grossed $226 million worldwide… but had a budget of $200 million. Which means it lost money, and not a small amount. (Studios don’t get 100% of grosses, and don’t count marketing costs toward budgets. If a film doesn’t make around three times its budget, it’s a money loser.)

    Wakanda Forever stands at $736 million world wide, against a reported budget of $250 million… but was expected to go over a billion, like the first in the series. It might break even, but not much more than that.

    And Strange World is just dying, not even at $50 million worldwide, on a budget of around $180 million.

    These are the wages of woke. That’s not even a concerted boycott, it’s just parents tired of Disney pushing non-Disney messages all of the time, cranked up to 11.

    (And that’s before taking into account the possible brewing scandal and possible accounting black hole that the Disney Board seems to be trying to cover up — CEOs do not get fired on a Sunday night, unless there is something someone with power does not want them to see on Monday morning.)

    1. “And that’s before taking into account the possible brewing scandal and possible accounting black hole that the Disney Board seems to be trying to cover up — CEOs do not get fired on a Sunday night, unless there is something someone with power does not want them to see on Monday morning.”

      Rumor I’m hearing – and it’s all just theories from talking heads on YouTube, so take it for what it’s worth – is that Iger and the current CFO who’s just been named the next presumptive CEO (whose name escapes me) invested a big chunk of change in FTX to try and make up/cover up the losses from the last couple of years (Lucasfilm, for example, did NOT give them the return on investment they were expecting) and maybe do some under-the-table donations to the Dems at the same time… and all that money just got wiped out, so now Disney is in deep sht, and Iger and the CFO are potentially in deeper sht which will become exponentially deeper if the SEC and/or their investors find out what they did. Which is why they sh*t-canned Bob Chapek without warning: they’re afraid he was going to start digging through the books and would uncover the accounting horseplay.

      But like I said, that’s all theorization from some talking heads on YouTube, so take it for exactly what it’s worth.

      1. That theory is from Kamran Pasha, who has worked for Disney/Lucasfilm and still has contacts there, and it seems extremely credible. He keeps giving circumstances or details that, if they came out, would invalidate his theory, and that keeps not happening.

        The most speculative bit is that it was some kind of investment in FTX, which he guessed simply because of the timing and there being no other big bad financial news in the right timeframe.

        Also, at the level that Disney is at, CFOs do not become CEOs, because the skillsets do not overlap. And a company the size of Disney goes through a long process for selecting the new CEO, lasting weeks or months. The CFO’s status was announced inside of two weeks of the replacement of Chapek.

        It’s entirely possible that Pasha is wrong on the details, but I think he’s right that something is deeply, deeply wrong and being covered up.

        1. Gotcha. And thanks: these were just videos that randomly started showing up in my Suggestions feed a few days ago. I don’t subscribe to the channel (Midnight’s Edge Live Archives) and had no idea of the channel’s or any of the hosts’ or guests’ credibility.

        2. Also their parks are losing money big time I heard. They’re pricing themselves out of range for a family. People just can’t afford it in this economy.

          So, of course, they will be hiking the price yet again this year.

          1. Disney’s attitude toward the parks is an odd one. What I’m about to tell you might sound a bit odd. But I’ve heard it from Disney employees who were in a position to know about this sort of thing (even if they weren’t directly involved in it).

            Disney – and Disneyland in particular – has a rep around the world that you don’t get with other theme parks. Disney is also much bigger than just the parks (which are a fairly small percentage of the company’s overall revenue these days, iirc). So, much of the value of the parks comes from serving as brand ambassadors to people. Because Disneyland is located in the highly populated Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area (specifically Orange County), there are a lot of families that want to visit Disneyland. And to a certain extent, Disney plays ball.

            But only to a certain extent. Disney largely makes nice to the locals in order to avoid upsetting everyone. The customers that Disney really wants are the ones that come from halfway across the world for a once in a lifetime visit. And who will then go home and tell everyone that yes, the Disney brand really is as wonderful and amazing as everyone says it is. And every local who’s attending Disneyland is potentially keeping out someone from far far away who didn’t make it because the park was too crowded on the day he or she was visiting Orange County.

            1. The two egregious acts that soured me with Disney:
              First, their legal persecution of any daycare or preschool that had the audacity of decorating with unlicensed Disney characters.
              Second, a few years back Disney World, the Florida park, laid off half of its 300 IT staff and immediately replaced them with foreign H1-b workers. Rumor was that those losing their jobs were offered a better separation package if they agreed to stay on long enough to train their replacements.

              1. The first one, while obnoxious, is actually legally necessary. If Disney were not to fight a trademark infringement, courts would then decide they didn’t want to keep the trademark. Failure to defend is one reason why you can’t be sued now for calling tissue “kleenex”.

                That one’s not Disney’s fault, but the way the law is written and enforced.

            2. Disney is also much bigger than just the parks (which are a fairly small percentage of the company’s overall revenue these days, iirc).

              Um, last I checked, pre-pandemic, the parks were somewhere around half of Disney’s revenues. Closing them during the pandemic is one of the reasons Disney is in such desperate financial straits right now.

                    1. I’ve always prided myself on being the wrong sort, ever since I was six and talking to the poor kids, and mom chided me for having no respect for my class. (TBF there was a danger of lice. But bah.)

                1. Speaking of woke, based on trailers being actively promoted on their channels the Hallmark franchise has a new romcom depicting how two gentlemen discover each other and find true love. I may be inferring too much from the 30 second promos but it may also be one reason why Mrs. Bure jumped ship from that organization.

                  1. ROFL. As someone who writes gay characters, I can’t say much. Then again mine are usually too busy saving the world to even hold hands. 😀
                    And obviously they’re not really gay, since they’re pro-freedom and sometimes outright stodgy let alone conservative.

              1. According to this article at the Motley Fool, park revenues were roughly one-third of Disney’s income in 2019.


                Now admittedly, that’s quite a bit more than I thought it was (I mistakenly thought it was down around ten percent). But it’s also quite a bit less than half. Disney is an empire. And the parks are only a part of that empire. The intent was to leverage the parks into making the rest of the empire more valuable, using the method that I described above.

                1. I may have been over-rounding from memory, or possibly including other “real world” revenue sources like the cruise line. In any case, the pandemic shutdown hit Disney HARD because of the parks revenue.

    2. They’re also just bad movies.

      The problem is making good movies is extremely hard. You can’t do it with anything less than the best, but they’re trying to do it with people hired for their skin color instead of their skill or experience who aren’t even interested in the base material.

      They’ve just been feeding franchises into the fire, one after the other. It’s just an amazing destruction of value, and people aren’t even listening to The Message.

      1. Sure, but plenty of bad movies make money. Michael Bay (who has a lot of talent, frankly) has made a career of it. The problem is more stark than that.

        Disney had a lot of cultural trust built up. Which it has squandered in just a few years. Word of mouth kills a movie’s second weekend at the box office, but Strange World had a disastrous first weekend.

        That’s not because the movie was bad; that’s because people no longer trust Disney.

        1. Indeed – and I grew up watching Disney – the TV show on Sunday, any number of Disney movies, which to be honest, were strictly formulaic, and almost painfully non-controversial. Visiting DisneyLand as a kid and teen – another safe venue, where a degree of decorum was insisted on.
          Disney – as a “safe for the family market” chose to blow all of that trust, trust acquired over decades. They will not soon, if ever, regain any of that trust.
          I hope that the American Girl brand hasn’t been fatally crippled by a trendy fascination with gender-swapping, but you never know. I always liked the American Girl series, for the quality of the dolls and the accessories. It’s now owned by Mattel, and I doubt they have any shame or realization of how badly they have bungled it with the indulgent parents and grandparents who buy American Girl stuff for their cherished daughters and granddaughters.
          Once trust has been destroyed, very hard to gain it back again.

          1. It’s a particularly pernicious example of not just woke capture of an institution, but also function creep (i.e., why The History Channel is now the ancient aliens channel) and MBAs ruining everything because they care nothing for the institutions they get control of, only for forcing everything to fit their “genius” methods.

            As an example of that last, I was assured, one of the times I temped on the Disney lot in Burbank, that the “experts” had the perfect algorithm to know precisely how many episodes a Disney Channel series could run for maximum profitability. The scripts and talent involved did not matter, all they needed was the right mix of character types to appeal to the target market segments, and they knew that, e.g., Hannah Montana needed to run X number of episodes, then they could cancel and let the reruns bring in the rest of the money. Based on how they’re doing things now, that attitude has only gotten worse.

              1. They had an actual program that they were certain would work every single time, because it worked once.

                Markets don’t work like that, but they won’t listen to that, because they’re smarter than the people who make up the markets.

                1. Even if it never worked even once, they’ll still rely on it if the “model” says it’s the right way to go. See, for a rather obscure example, every single thing mandated during the “pandemic”.

          2. Disney’s audience is largely white…Disney’s woke productions are unfriendly and sometimes even insulting to whites…As a marketing strategy, it leaves much to be desired..

        2. I’m not sure I could say Michael Bay actually makes bad movies. He makes pretty stunning visual set pieces that are generally fun to watch. Big robots beating on each other is a genre for a reason.

          For example, I’ve been playing MW5. The story is pants, but the mechs exploding each other is a lot of fun and the lance mates you find are bonkers. My current favorite is the homicidal grandma I recruited just to fill out the backup lance. She is both insane and effective.

          Now, every time the named story characters open their mouths I’m intensely greatful for the fact I can skip their dialogue.

          Michael Bay movies are the murder-granny cackling maniacaly as she announces she “Got another one!” while something is exploding in the background. Good mindless pulse pounding fun.

          Disney, on the other hand, has managed to zero in on the bone dry normalizing hectorettes who think they are cool, and you can’t even skip the dialogue.

          1. I actually have a ton of respect for Bay, but the movies he makes are not good. Entertaining, yes, sometimes, if you can get past the chaos-cinema-style editing.

            Bay began his career directing TV commercials and music videos and his work there was brilliant. (For example, he did Meat Loaf’s ” I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” video, and the famous “Aaron Burr” milk commercial.) But he never saw a need to adapt his style to longer form storytelling, so his every movie is cut like a trailer, a music video, or a 30 second commercial.

            Every Frame A Painting did a good analysis of his style, both good and bad.

            1. But that’s the thing, it can still be entertaining. The “Every Moment a Message” crew cannot manage even that, because they value minutes of message on screen over whether or not the audience had a good time.

              1. Thing is, gee-whiz special effects can only carry you so far. I remember watching one of Bay’s movies, I think the fourth one, in which the main characters were a single dad, his teenaged daughter, and the man she’s in love with. And she was so annoying that, well, in one scene where she’s running across a rickety bridge being chased by Decepticons while her father and boyfriend are trying desperately to rescue her, I found myself cheering for her to fall off the bridge so I wouldn’t have to watch any more scenes with her in them. When you find yourself hoping the protagonists fail and one of them dies just so you won’t have to see (or, more relevantly, hear from) her any more, that’s a fundamental storytelling fail. I can’t call that a good movie no matter how entertaining the fight and/or chase scenes might be.

                1. Oh that was my experience with the entirety of the first Transformers movie. The only human character I didn’t loathe was the soldier trying to get back to his wife.

      2. It’s not bad movies. In fact, the world building & props & landscapes and filmography is usually the best parts. (Usually. There’s rot starting to set in there as well, especially as CGI tech allows producers to make movies when they have no idea how the real world works, physics, etc)

        It’s bad storytelling. Worse, boring storytelling. With predictable plotlines and rehashing of old tired scolding /mocking of all the ‘wrongthink’ type people. And people are done with it.

        1. (Usually. There’s rot starting to set in there as well, especially as CGI tech allows producers to make movies when they have no idea how the real world works, physics, etc)

          You are a few decades late. There is a lot of emphasis put on practical effects these days that wasn’t there in the 90s and 00s.

        2. THIS.
          Though I’d prefer people would not buy me because I’m a female author/sometimes write female (or gay eh.) protagonists, AND was born abroad. And yet, I’ve had people after years of avoiding me send me an email going “I didn’t realize you weren’t woke.”
          DUDE. I’m on this blog …. every day. Sheesh.

        1. It kind of is, though. There are so many factors that can go wrong during production, any one of which can take a movie from classic to “interesting failure”.

          But it’s a lot harder to make good movies when you don’t even try to, and replace story with messaging.

          1. There’s also a lot of room between “Good movie” and “Classic” There are many movies out there that I enjoy and think are good movies, that probably won’t stand the test of time.

            1. True enough, and given the number of factors that can go wrong, it’s something of a miracle that any movie ever comes out as a classic.

              I had in mind a few specific examples. Jack Nicholson had a movie in the 1970s co-starring Bruce Dern called The King of Marvin Gardens. He’d worked with the same director before on the (minor) classic Five Easy Pieces, and on paper it looks like a movie that should be well-remembered, at least by cineastes who worship 1970s filmmaking. But one key role was badly miscast, a young actress was given the role because of her ethereal looks (which fit the character), but she just wasn’t a good actor, and every scene where she has to speak suffers.

              The Godfather Part III is kind of a bonkers movie, but the thing that killed it was that Winona Ryder got sick and couldn’t play her part, so Coppola was forced at the last moment to recast, putting his daughter in the role. Sofia Coppola became a good arthouse director, but was not a good (or experienced) actress.

              In the early 1980s, Goldie Hawn produced and starred in a movie that was supposed to be a tribute to the big band era, Swing Shift. Everybody was happy with the script, and they got Ted Demme as a director. But Demme and Hawn wanted different movies, and they didn’t realize the diverging views until filming was almost complete, at which point things behind the scenes got very tense, because Demme felt threatened that his lead actress was trying to pull rank on him in her role as a producer. The film that got released didn’t make anybody happy, despite all the talent being, well, talented.

      3. On the technical and functional side there has never been a time in history when it was easier to make movies.

        The problem is the writers are universally $)$$@%

    3. I am an animation buff. Geekery and musical inclinations aside, I love it as an art form, and I follow animation stuff on the Toob. I never even saw the “Strange World” trailer, and I don’t care to. Screenshots were enough – I don’t care how pinkified it is, it looks dreary, drab, and utterly uninteresting. All the worst visual bits of “Steven Universe” in CGI is…not a good look.

      And yeah. I don’t care any more. “Encanto” (relatively wokeless) was a lovely surprise that I hadn’t intended to see, and nothing else Disney’s put out in the last few years has sparked the teeniest bit of interest. Coming from a Star Wars geek (seriously, met my husband of 21 years over Star Wars roleplaying) and comics-aware nerd, that’s…sad.

      1. I did see the trailer, and the animation style was a turn-off plus nothing made sense.

      2. I disliked Steven Universe from the very beginning just on visual terms, long before it went All Gay All The Time. And the only character I had any sympathy for was the dad, and of course he was presented as an idiot.

        Actually, I think the only 2D-animated series I’ve aesthetically enjoyed in the past several years is “Gravity Falls”, and the fact that the subject matter was X-Files-ish was a bonus. Rick & Morty, Adventure Time, Steven Universe — blech.

        1. One that I enjoyed recently (before I spaced Netflix) was Hilda. The animation reminds me a bit of the Herg´é Tintin series. Was also a very lovely way of depicting the Nordic varieties of the Folk.

      3. That’s something I’ve often wondered about some animated works. It’s ANIMATION. It’s drawn entirely without constraints, limited only by the artist’s imagination. So WHY make ugly animation? Not limited to the characters; some animation shows whole ugly worlds. What’s the point of that?
        Cast Away: Only Tom Hanks could make two hours of talking to a volleyball great.

    4. It used to be that even if they took domestic losses they could make money overseas-except that wokeness means that not only do the films perform poorly overseas as well, in some cases they aren’t shown at all. Needless to say the irony of such “cultural imperialism”, trying to shove leftist woke ideology down the throats of the rest of the world, is lost on those who have spend decades demonizing the USA for “cultural imperialism” when it was John Wayne movies being made.

      1. I’m so old I can remember before international box office saved movies. International BO is why there are so many Fast and Furious movies, but prior to that? A film breaking even or even being a hit strictly due to international ticket sales was pretty rare. So, it’s been a thing since roughly 2000 or so.

        And prior to the ’90s, studios made a lot of movies every year, most within fairly reasonable budget ranges, and didn’t depend on blockbuster tentpole films all of the time. (One of the biggest budgets of 1989 was Tim Burton’s Batman, which was shot for $35 million. Even adjusting for inflation, that’s a fraction of virtually any super hero movie today.)

  12. Not laughing either. It seems, unfortunately, a rare parent that holds out against screaming kids, and that is a Bad Thing that has rippled outward too far.

    I do like the idea of Hessian cookie cutters. Nom!

    As far as supporting our side… the current idea has been rattling at me for a while that one of the main characters is a Christian (denomination maybe iffy, but) and that matters. In what he does, and won’t do, and what battles he fights. And how the world he lands in approaches him. I’ll see how well I can pull it off.

    Oh, and if you want a movie about battling overwhelming odds….

    One mountain fortress against a whole invading army. Whoof.

  13. Hum, hum, Hum, hum, hum. Makes me think (Parsing this sentence 3 different ways.) aim small, hit big and don’t miss anything at all.

    And, Revolutionary War reading, I recommend Joseph Plumb Martin’s A Narrative Of A Revolutionary Soldier, ISBN: 0-451-52811-5, basically a feet on the ground grunt’s reminisces of the war. I’ve tended to go back and re-read random selections around Independence Day, I think I’ll start doing so much more often.

  14. “Aim Small, Miss Small”

    Gah! No! Focus on HITTING. In particular, your goal is to hit a SMALL target. You get what you expect, nothing better. Demand excellence of yourself.

    Then focus on sight alignment and shot release.

    Hessian cookie cutters would sell, I think. Complete with the ceremonial Christmas Eve devouring. 🙂

    And we need to start compiling a whitelist of businesses to support.

    1. Isn’t that the point of the saying, though? Even if you miss the small point you’re aiming at, a small miss can still be a vital hit. So aim small by doing small things that actually count when they’re all added up.

      A whitelist of businesses that don’t hate us and the country we love would be a great thing.

      1. We takes the straws off our camel and we puts ’em on their camel. Maybe sometimes we lose a straw to the winds. We still takes the straws off our camel.

      2. It’s about mindset. Think about missing, and you will miss. Think about executing the shot with perfect technique, and the results will be shockingly good. Like 10s on the ISSF precision pistol target (a 4cm circle)…at 50 meters, with a 165-year-old percussion revolver.

        1. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but it is what I tend to do, and I’ve so far seen no one give proper attribution to the quote.
          Aim small, miss small was the advice given by Mel Gibson to his sons in the movie The Patriot, one of the better fictional depictions of the American Revolution.
          I always interpreted it as take that extra split second to focus and concentrate on hitting your target rather than shooting wildly. Yes, RAH said to get a shot off fast, but his were the days of repeating firearms while the Patriot setting was flintlock muzzle loaders.

  15. As well, when able, I have been paying in cash.

    Which has nothing to do with social credit or data hoovering or anything people on the net like to talk about… it’s because I’m denying the credit card companies their processing fee. The extra 1.5-3.3% of profit then goes to the business I’d like to support… and just like the act of not buying a ticket to a movie you don’t want to see, it’s one step closer to the death of 100 million papercuts to a company that likes to think it can change everything to pure digital currency and completely control you by the purse strings.

    1. That’s a good idea, which I’ve been lazy about implementing.

      … partially because it requires budgeting, and I usually live frugally enough that I haven’t bothered.

  16. We can pay in cash. We can buy from each other. We can move our Vanguard IRAs and tell them why. We can work towards alternatives to Amazon. We can look upon the faces of the policemen featured in the Timcast that shut down the restaurant and we can give them the cut direct in public and we can refuse to serve them. I can get with the local republican group and find out if our voter rolls are clean. I can continue to tell the RNC what I think of their current “leaders”. etc. More ideas, everyone chime in. I can find a non woke church and support it.

      1. Supposedly, It’s going to take the equivalent of continuous auditing by shareholders to try and penetrate the smokescreen. Look for FICUS and his SEC / FDIC / IRS to propose new regulations making that harder, or “cost of carbon” metrics to artificially make them look profitable when investing “woke”.

      2. They did and I read that. Although I believe it was a financial rather than moral decision. But I still get better service with my new place and it’s where my 401K is.

  17. I won’t even post anywhere using my real name and I own my business. It’s not worth it. And yes to all of this and use cash whenever possible which is almost all of the time.

      1. As a non-Catholic, I probably don’t understand what fast means in this context…probably not no food at all…

      2. 40 DAYS. We Jews have this thing called Yom Kippur – ONE day. Even is sin you people are still paying retail! (BIG GRIN).

    1. Must be nice to have that kind of protection when you do something that ought to fatally damage your business. Being “progressive” means never having to say you’re sorry.

      1. Subscriber service, more than likely. The subscription services for companies like that is pretty much a payment to the company so that they’ll help protect you from bad reviews on their site. Usually it’s by burying the reviews down where no one looks unless they’re really bored. But if there’s too many to bury, I wouldn’t be surprised if they just shut the reviews down completely.

    2. That should become its own site: Reviews Blocked By YELP to advertise NOGOODNIKS as NOGOODNIKS. And all Yelp can do about that is.. be honest. So they can.. be honest.. or have someone else be honest for them. We win. They LOSE.

  18. From today’s Advent reading: “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
    Seems appropriate.

  19. “O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

    1. Now if we could get it set to something more singable than the Anacreontic song… Apparently Francis Scott Key had that in mind when he created the poem so we’re kind of stuck with something that mere mortals cringe at singing, and even skilled singers crash and burn if they start too high…

      1. Tip: Sing off-key. Start at the very bottom of your vocal register. You can squeeze it in…barely.

        1. I’m a fairly well trained choral singer with a good (~ 2 octave tenor range in my prime less now) I can sing it comfortably if warmed up and I shoot the low point (Oh say) for the bottom of my range. But for most folks its octave and a fifth range is a stretch. In B flat (the most common key I’ve seen written) it starts on the F4(look here to say the naming tied to a piano keyboard ) the fifth of the key (F4 as written sung starting an octave down at F3 if you’re a male and not a castrato or operatic counter tenor 🙂 ). As written it ascends to the F5 (on land of the free), well within the reach of most soprano and tenor(again octave down for male) voices, but a reach for many bass and alto singers. And because we really have little group singing any more an octave and third is about the normal range of most folks that aren’t regular singers so they are in trouble. The low note is the B Flat 3 (again on oh Say) which is at the bottom of most Tenor or Sopranos but makes the Basses and Altos happy (they almost purr). If it is pitched up to C then the bottom note is more reachable (C3) but the top note is G5 a stretch for some soprano and tenor type and right out for most basses and altos. Pitch it down to A and you get the inverse issue.
          It is a lovely melody and fits the poem well but as I said even professionals can end up in trouble if they start in the wrong key. The songs vast range accents the high points of the words well. But that range also makes it a problem for group singing. Many songs of general usage can also move the singer e.g. Eternal Father Strong to Save, the Navy Hymn but uses an octave and a second (c4 to d5) for the task. For the present I’ll just enjoy the happy cacophony that is the Star Spangled banner when sung en masse .

  20. And always remember the Book of Armaments:

    And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, ‘O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.’ And the Lord did grin.

  21. The typical Heinlein critic is someone who has never actually read Heinlein, but has listened to all the other criticism from other critics who hate him, who likewise have never actually read Heinlein.

    1. The utter stupidity of the people who criticize Heinlein, without reading astounds me. When they made the movie “Starship Troopers” (spit), They did not realize they had an SF classic that already had a “person of color” as the protagonist. I fully expected them to play off that, but it was more important to trash an icon.

      1. Yabut… Heinlein was subtle about Rico’s ethnicity. “Subtle” is not a thing many storytellers do well nowadays.

        1. “Juan Rico” is Subtle?! About as Hispanic a name as you are likely to find. I will admit the signs he was not melanin deficient are subtle.

          1. Hispanic name, yeah, but I was thinking more of things like the offhand comment about his speaking Tagalog at home. AFAIK Tagalog isn’t any more globally universal in that setting than it is in RL.

          2. 100%. Then there was where he lived. I was, around, 10 when I first read Starship Troopers. Even I caught that,

            1. I’d have to look it up. But I thought Rico was surprised his dad survived because he was sure his dad was home with his mom when the area they lived was bombed. Mentioned at the end of the book when Rico’s new sergeant is his prior anti-military father. (I could be wrong. Not first time.)

              1. No. Apparently his mom didn’t normally travel alone, and he thought his dad had gone with her to visit his aunt.
                Look, to me it made sense, because I had family all through Spanish Speaking countries, and they all bounce around from one to the other, like we do states. So someone might be growing up in Argentina, but his kids marry and move to Venezuela or Mexico. It’s just a thing.

          1. He was Filipino; the “tagalog” reference gives it away. His mother died in BA where she was visiting.

    1. …I actually think self-promotion might be a good thing, in moderation and limited to maybe a post a month, or on a separate not-run-by-Sarah blog, or something. Networking’s a Good Thing.

  22. They also believe that if they break every fire alarm, they’re safe from the fire. So they muzzle us, and they’ve rigged the elections so we can’t punish them. This means they can do what they want, right?

    It’s part of a larger picture, though. In 2016 all the polls said Hillary would win, but she didn’t…and the democrat-media complex had the gall to be astonished by this, that the polling was wrong–when they themselves were purposely skewing the results to get that outcome, because they wanted everyone to think that Trump couldn’t win.

    It takes on a whole new dimension when they say to themselves, “This can’t be right, so I’ll adjust it until it is,” and then treat those numbers as if they’re the gospel truth.

    In Starship Troopers, Heinlein took pains to explain the concept of negative feedback, because it was an essential part of how the suits worked. The wearer moves his arm, and the suit moves its arm to maintain a certain space around the wearer’s arm.

    But what the democrat-media complex are doing isn’t that. The wearer moves his arm, and the suit moves its arm in the opposite direction; and other limbs move at random, turning the wearer into a pretzel, and all the while these shitheads are saying, “We won because the American people like our policies!” And believing it.

    1. “It takes on a whole new dimension when they say to themselves, “This can’t be right, so I’ll adjust it until it is,” and then treat those numbers as if they’re the gospel truth.”
      They ALWAYS drink their own ink.

  23. “Don’t give money to people that hate you” is a rule I’ve been trying to follow for some time now. A lot of people were talking about it in the culture-war sphere three or four years ago. Also, making sure to buy from people who don’t hate me/us when I know who they are.

    But it can be hard to figure out who the good guys are sometimes. Don’t have time to personally check the bona fides of every company I patronize. As Mike said above, a whitelist of some kind to identify the bigger players (corporations, chain stores, regional and national brands) would be a very handy thing.

    1. The problem is we can’t do it in public. Or they’ll get war made on them.
      But I’m not the only one trying to work on this problem, at least for writers. So stand by.

  24. It’s been easier to not support the Blue because…what in the hell am I going to buy from them? What is worth buying from them?

    It used to be that most mainstream entertainment was tolerably enjoyable. For the most part, now it isn’t.

    It used to be that there were a good number of good authors with good stories on the shelves out there. Now, there aren’t.

    There used to be at least two or three good comic books out there. Now, I wouldn’t use them to line a bird cage.

    So, it’s easier to not support the Blue. Why should I when they have nothing that I want?

    1. There’s the problem of older franchises with products I like, now in the hands of the enemy.

      I’m generally opposed to sailing the high seas, but I ask myself: Is it wrong to steal from a socialist?

      Or is it a sort of respect?

      If all property really is theft, then wouldn’t they be honored if I respected their beliefs?

      1. It’s only wrong to steal from a socialist or a communist only if you get caught. Less so for the socialist (most are ignorant or not very deep thinkers), more for the communist.

      1. BTW, if you had a subscription set in Diamond Previews, you need to create a new one because the next series carries a slightly different title.

  25. “And I will read about the revolutionary war every day.”

    The Reader has been focusing his serious reading on the period leading up to the Revolutionary War, trying to understand the motivations of our ancestors and the relative speed (for the pace of communication at the time) that the preference for independence from Britain took hold in the colonies. He hasn’t come to any firm conclusions yet, but does realize he needs to go back a bit further and read John Locke’s own words instead of modern interpretations of them. A great many of the speeches and communications in the colonies in the 1760 – 1776 period are Lockean in nature.

    1. Thumbnail sketch: The American War for Independence was a jurisdictional dispute between the British Parliment and the Colonial Legislatures. The British asserted the ability to impose taxes internal to the colonies, and by extension other legislation. Despite the fact that the colonies had no MPs. The Colonials argued that they were in a position parallel to the Electorate of Hanover – that George III was King of the United Kingdom and Elector of Hanover, but that Parliment had no ability to make laws applying to Hanover.

      Given that the colonies had charters dating back over a century, and had functional legislatures accustomed to controlling their own affairs, they had a decent argument.

      Tensions crept up for about a decade, until it turned into a shooting war. Which the Americans were able to win. Mostly because the Americans had in George Washington a strategist who had paid attention to the big lesson from the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion (Lose the army and you’ve lost the war), and who was a master both of deception operations and intelligence work. With Ben Franklin working to get the French in the war, and the asymmetric war goals (American victory not equalling an overthrow of the UK Government), it worked out.

      1. The Reader got the thumbnail sketch version – most everyone his age did. What he is interested in is what lies under that. The British had a multi-century history of very incremental acknowledgement of individual rights and representative government (the Magna Carta to the American Revolution was 7 centuries). At the time of King George a significant minority of the British population did not have an MP in Parliament due to a combination of lack of property for voting rights and lack of a candidate that made the property threshold to be in Parliament. Several British politicians and scholars pointed this out in response to the complaints from the Colonists; the claim was the Colonists, similar to those without direct representation in Britain, were represented by the Parliament as a whole. Add to that over half of the Parliament at the time was actually in King George’s pocket from a fund the Crown had for exactly that purpose (after King George Parliament reigned that in) and the average Britain had little real representation.

        The Colonists jumped from subjects of Britain to being upset over taxation and regulation without representation to ‘screw Britain and King George’ in about three decades. Whatever the provocation, that is a remarkable movement of what we call the Overton Window in a time when communication moved only as fast as horses or sailing ships. The Reader is working to understand the details behind Why?

        1. OTOH, the English Civil War started over taxes. Chopping off your king’s head is rather more drastic than giving him the boot.

    1. I just did the data entry for our electric bill. Pacific Power (owned by Berkshire Spit Hathaway) reports the average temperature, and Oct 22nd through Nov 22nd was 33F. That’s 5 degrees colder than any other November we’ve beeh here; 2003 onward.

      So the house (electric heat; propane cooking) cost $250, $65 more than last year, with no rate changes. Whee.

      Algore’s got some ‘splaining to do.

      1. To be clear, that was just electricity. Electric forced air and water heater. We have a propane wood-look heater that gives supplemental/backup heat. Had one power glitch yesterday, though the Friday storm is predicted to be worse. Sigh.

    2. The Washington Building Code Council just decreed that gas furnaces can no longer be installed in new construction as of July 2023, nor can an existing gas furnace be upgraded. Instead, they mandate heat pump space and water heating.

      Glad I had my gas boiler installed this year. Also, not sure how you do radiant heating with a heat pump.

      1. I am reminded of the bumper sticker (seen on a fridge at a place that started as a Mining School):

        BAN MINING!

  26. It irritates me that the very first thing I do when I see a new writer with a book I might like is go on his/her social media and check out their political leanings, or Amazon page and look for names I recognize in the “customers also bought titles by” list and see if any red flags go up.

    I also look for key phrases in the blurb and reviews.

    If the social media feed is right or politically neutral with just promotional stuff, it’s normally a “buy.”

    But irritating though it might be, it’s better than giving money to people who hate you.

  27. This guy wrote one of my favorite books of all time, “The Gift.” Favorites of all time is a rare list. He’s not a career writer by any stretch of the word: he’s only published a few books and those years apart, but they’re all exceptional in my opinion.

    So…recently I see he’s finally come out with another one, after years of waiting. I’m about to buy without looking and damn the price – I just want to support him.

    But something made me look at the sample first.

    The first sentence of his new book – the very first sentence – a swipe at Trump.


    I didn’t make any attempt to contact him or let him know: no point. He’d just mock me and use it to increase his social standing in lieu of money. But he’d lost himself what had been a lifelong fan.

    The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society used to be my go-to provider of Lovecraftian adaptations. I’d eat up their radio dramatizations and movies with a spoon.

    Then they bent the knee to BLM and announced they would be addressing the ‘problematic’ elements of Lovecraft’s fiction in their future projects.

    I’m out.

    It’s only a matter of time before the quality of their productions deteriorate as they pursue the ideology and shoehorn it in.

    I picked this one off a library shelf based on the cover, then glanced at the author’s picture and blurb and put it right back.

    1. What’s ‘problematic’ about Lovecraft? He’s derogatory to eldritch horrors and primordial abominations? Is Cthulhu being misgendered, or are the Deep Ones an ‘oppressed minority’? Shoggoths should be portrayed more sympathetically? Oh, wait…
      Eat noses! Eat toes!

      1. Lovecraft WAS a racist, and I don’t mean “he doesn’t agree with modern sensitivities perfectly” or “the leftists don’t like him for whatever reason so he gets called a racist” I mean he was an actual racist, even by the standards of his day he was pretty extreme, which in modern times makes him look like a cartoon character. Sometimes this leaks into his stories (I’ve even heard otherwise dedicated fans complain on how distracting this can be, to the point where it’s almost Nightmare Retardant). Most people can look past this and enjoy the crawling horror, creativity and world building, anyone who can’t decided to avoid his writings, and the left tries to cancel and destroy him because their whole philosophy is what is not compulsory is forbidden.

        Random fun fact: HP Lovecraft and Robert E Howard where friends/pen pals and would make references to each other’s works in their stories. So Conan the Barbarian and The Lovecraft mythos technically exist in the same universe.

        1. Lovecraft had some messed-up beliefs, but there are ways to downplay them in adaptions without ruining the work.

          The most charitable defense I have of Lovecraft was that he really, really, really loved New England and it’s history, and was reflexively and intensely hostile to anything he saw as threatening it.

          Even some of his worst examples – “The Street” or “The Shadow out of Innsmouth” – have some downright beautiful passages where he talks about the neighborhood or city as it had been before the ‘shadow’ fell.

          But thing is, it wasn’t a very HEALTHY love. Lovecraft didn’t exactly love New England as it was in his time, that he was actually involved in. Indeed he wasn’t all that invested in his own actual time and place, but the New England of the past, an abstraction.

          Lovecraft was a sad case in many ways: he was a nihilist who didn’t want to deconstruct society but to preserve it, but at the same time he believed the love he felt had no meaning or value outside himself, and the things he wanted to preserve were doomed to fade into entropy.

          “I can never be tied to raw, new things.”

        2. Oddly enough, many of those he expressed racist opinions about in letters — Italians, Portuguese, French Canadians, etc. — he could meet in social life and be perfectly polite to. There are reports that people who met him socially refused to believe he wrote those letters.

      1. I actually liked some of Stross’s work, especially his early Laundry books and Glasshouse. Then I met the man, and decided I didn’t want to give him my money.

    2. Wait… that quote as a front cover blurb?

      Never mind the political aspects, that’s a barebones summary. At best that’s suited for the inside back dust cover, not something you put up front to try to sell the work.

      (Yeah, I’m sure some would be sold based on that, but given the percentages of actual LGBTZOMGWTFBBQ people in the populace I doubt they’re exactly going to be sending it to “bestseller” territory even in the skewed reality that is “bestseller” accounting.)

  28. There’s also the problem of older franchises with products I like, now in the hands of the enemy.

    I’m generally opposed to sailing the high seas, but I ask myself: Is it wrong to steal from a socialist?

    Or is it a sort of respect?

    If all property really is theft, then wouldn’t they be honored if I respected their beliefs?

  29. “All it requires me to believe is that the very existence of the USA is a miracle — look, anyone who knows history knows this — and its continuation despite all the times we’ve “fallen from grace” is almost as miraculous. ”

    Speaking as both a USAian and a Jew, let me tell you, once He has chosen a people (the Jews to receive the Law, the Americans to lead Humanity to the stars), He doesn’t UN- chose you. You screw up, you get consequences, but you don’t get out of the deal. Israel’s gotten beat up on this numerous times, and we are still here.

  30. “For the present I’ll just enjoy the happy cacophony that is the Star Spangled banner when sung en masse .”

    Considering the history and makeup of subject, that seem to be the point of the exercise.
    We aren’t the product of professionals, but of laymen.

  31. Using teenage vernacular it is important to let the Left know that they ‘suck’ — society should treat them with disdain. Make them wear their stupidity and inane ideas. I don’t use Twitter but now that the app is recovering from state-sponsored suppression, Lefties need to be taking thousands of barbs. Feedback is good.

  32. Leaning in to the spectrum a bit today. If anyone is interested, the initial “too late … too early …” is originally a quotation from:

    Claire Wolf, 101 Things To Do ‘Til the Revolution
    (rev. ed. 1998, Breakout Publications; orig, pub. 1996),
    Foreward, p. i.

  33. “pay to the red, not the blue”

    I guess in our own way my family has been doing this for a couple of years.

    We refuse to set foot in two popular stores because of their policies, to the extent that if someone gives me a gift card for either store, I give it to someone else. Where the real fun comes in the refusal to buy P&G products. That has led to some interesting changes in products in the house – like laundry detergent.

    Other stores we will go out of our way to patronize because we support them. (Mission BBQ, Hobby Lobby being two) Or because they are locally owned and operated. To be honest, the local guys I don’t dig around to find their views. (In my neck of the woods, let’s just say things are bit closer to Byzantium purple than they are to Raspberry. Crimson isn’t even in the local color pallet) The few that we do know we either quietly walk away, or loudly support.

    Oddly, the brother-in-law doesn’t get it. He is 100% go inside, close the door, and ignore the rest of the world. He is too much “don’t make waves”, “don’t attract attention”, ‘just get what is easiest/cheapest”, “one person boycotting isn’t going to make a difference.” Maybe not, but if enough of us do it, it will start to hurt the company. And I do believe that there are more of us than there are of them.

  34. Sarah,
    Thank you for saying what needed to be said.

    There is no elite, no ruling class, no nomenklatura in America. Only parasites. The otherwise useless and unemployable whom we allow to be politicians, bureaucrats, media, and academia. Mere display. Showing the greatness of America that it can support such idlers. Like the feathers on a peacock, Mere display. (See ‘Thidwick the Moose, Dr. Seuss.)

    Yet the parasite class still doesn’t get it. The police exist to protect the bad guys from the wrath of citizens, not vice versa. Soy-boys ain’t nothing against vigilantes, comes to that.
    Thank you.

  35. Yes, pay cash. For four good reasons. One, you will likely spend less when you have to count it out in your own little fingers before handing it over. Two, you deny the credit card companies their cut. Three, because then the restaurant owner can’t count their tips toward them meeting minimum wage. Four, because it’s not my job to create a record against which my vendors and wait staff have to pay taxes to Leviathan.

    We use local businesses where we know the owners and staff when we can. Paypal, yeah, because it’s the easiest way to pay my cover artist in Italy. Amazon, yeah, because it’s the easiest way to be an indie author. And I have to give Amazon credit: I have never gotten any grief at all for my libertarian/conservative SF novels. They haven’t tried to ban me or demote me, and readers who bought my books on Amazon said they get emails telling them whenever I have a new release. So there’s that.

    1. likely spend less when you have to count it out in your own little fingers before handing it over

      Not if you are budgeting and track daily. YMMV but we do better if paying by CC.

      you deny the credit card companies their cut

      Granted. No argument here. That is ALL the CC gets. But the CC has to pay me; a pittance, but not nothing. And I can block bad payments.

      the restaurant owner can’t count their tips toward them meeting minimum wage + because it’s not my job to create a record against which my vendors and wait staff have to pay taxes to Leviathan

      100% We pay the tip with cash whenever we can.

      Note how we handle tipping paid in spades. We went to our normal (family owned and worked) Mexican restaurant last Saturday. Ordered. Drinks came quickly. But our meals took forever. Kitchen lost them. Server said, after getting kitchen going, she was going to comp something. What she did was only charge for our drinks, not the meal. I added an almost $30 tip (what I thought the cost of the two meals were plus extra, hubby normally pays so I do not normally pay attention). She tried make me stop. I didn’t. I insisted. What I told her, and we both firmly believe it. We go there a lot (for us “a lot”). We always get fast friendly service, with the staff joking back and forth with hubby (I don’t do that well). We know it is a family business. What happened was not normal. Anywhere else we likely would have just said “thank you” and paid a modest tip. There? No.

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