Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

*I’m sorry to be SO ridiculously late. I got hit with something last night, involving stomach flu symptoms. Given the other weirdness I think it’s autoimmune, but I’m not functioning really well, or really barely at all. – SAH*


*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM MARY CATELLI: Spells in Secret.

Magical doors and other mischief mix badly with tales about murder, as young scholars return to Graytowers.

Kenneth, as prefect, thought he had his hands filled with the beginning of the new session, but when one magical door takes him and another scholar far past the bounds of a prank, they barely escape with their lives, and their escape means only that they are in graver danger. They must hide, leaving the school, and casting all their spells in secret.

FROM ALMA T. C. BOYKIN: Knowingly Familiar: Familiar Tales Book Sixteen.

When Ghosts Walk . . .

Something moves. A Mesopotamian curse sends ripples through the magical community of Riverton. Mages André and Lelia Lestrang find themselves fighting ghosts from their past. The battle draws them closer to Master Saldovado and the clans, closer perhaps than Lelia’s heart dares to go. How long before Patrick Lee and Riverton’s other magic users demand answers about the clans? The Familiars are keeping the secret. For now.

But breaking ancient spells comes easily for shadow mages. Juggling parenthood, budgets, car repairs, school schedules, and a six-year-old daughter’s desire for a pet unicorn? (Or a house dragon, preferably pastel pink.) That’s difficult!

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: BAD

Just an FYI

Stolen from Ace of Spades HQ because you need to see and contemplate:

Also you might want to read this: Italian Covid-19 Lockdown Businesses Threaten a Tax Strike

I don’t want it to be Boston Commons o’clock, but reality doesn’t seem to care what I want.

When a Long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, Pursuing Invariably the Same Object, Evinces a Design to Reduce Them [I.E. the People] Under Absolute Despotism, It Is Their Right, It Is Their Duty, to Throw off Such Government, and to Provide New Guards for Their Future Security.”

– Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776

I Feel The Ground Shifting A Blast From the Past From September 13 2018

*I was going to write a post, I was. Only I’m trying to do like three things at once, yes, mostly writing related, and kept getting pulled away. It took me 4 hours to finish the one for MGC.
So, I’m sorry, but you get a blast from the past. Rest assured I’m okay and no, not particularly doomy. Annoyed, yes. But then who isn’t? Anyway, this post is about personal strategies in this pants-on-head time. I had a similar talk with younger son this morning, so it resonates.- SAH*

I Feel The Ground Shifting A Blast From the Past From September 13 2018


Cats are more sensitive to noise than we are.  When I was doing work with orphan kittens — most of your local shelters will take kittens any age.  Most euthanize those under 8 weeks of age, which most state laws view as being too young to adopt.  Some people like me volunteer to raise litters to 8 weeks of age, which is often 7 week stints of having infants, with all that entails.  As my health got worse, I stopped doing it, so I haven’t done it in close to ten years.  Might do it again, when some of our feline geriatrics go to their reward — one of the women in our support group said she’d been delivered a 2 week old kitten who was in shock.  Someone had transported him in a tin bucket (lined with warm towels, mind) on the handle bar of a motorcycle.  The person doing it, had found an almost-dead kitten, wanted to take him to a rescuer, and had not idea their hearing is far more acute than ours.  (The kitten survived, btw.)

Posit a kitten whose mom gave birth under some piece of industrial machinery, with all the noise and clanging.  If he doesn’t go deaf, he might adapt to a quiet life, as an adult, but he’ll probably still deal better with chaos and confusion than your average cat.

In a way I am this kitten.  Due to things too hard to relate, and besides not mine to tell, things were already semi-unpredictable before the revolution.  They hit full potato after in that I couldn’t predict what would be next.  Like…School could start 1st or October or… whenever.  One year it was January.  Our curriculum was not what my brother and father had studied, not even in vague outlines. It could change, for that matter, at any time during the year, both courses (in Portugal you don’t select them.  You get them per-school year) and what courses taught.  Your commute home could be fine, or there could be a sudden strike, and you had to walk home (if it was both bus and trains on strike.)

There was no rhythm, no pattern, no pathway to adulthood.

And then when things were stabilizing, both in the country and in my life, I moved overseas.  It took me a while to realize all my assumptions — and therefore most of my actions — about how things worked were plain wrong.  I’m sure there are some minor things I haven’t figured out yet, because they’re internalized when people are pre-verbal.

Though my new environment didn’t contain surprise strikes, or pitched street battles when you least expected them, it was completely unpredictable TO ME.  (My misreading of real estate cost us dearly in our first house.  But I came from a country where you bought a tiny home and it grew with you and you stayed there for life.)

Then we moved… well more or less every five years for the last thirty.  We stayed in last house 13 years because most of it I felt too ill to move. But then we had six moves in a year and a half (some of them partial, some kids, but still disruptions.)

I’m as “adapted” as our kind can be to disruption and chaos.  Which is still not very well.  I still feel confused and upset when I can’t predict what  the best path is, when I can’t make the “noise” and confusion stop.

Most people want tomorrow to be a little better than today, but not markedly different.  They want to raise fat babies and fat, happy grandbabies, and predict what gets them there.

They get downright testy when the path to get there keeps changing and they have no clue where to go or what to do to get to that happy outcome.

Right now our disruption is mainly technical.  “Mainly” but it soon flows out to the rest of the world.  The French Revolution and probably WWI were convulsions from the big tech change of the industrial revolution.  Because when people are unstable, things go nuts.

And we’re at the beginning of such a period.  On and on it goes, where it stops nobody knows, but hell, the last echoes will probably resound 500 years from now, particularly if things keep changing.

Which means people are getting — to coin a phrase — their cheese moved all the time: jobs, politics, expectations, ways “things have always been done” within jobs and families. The inevitable is no longer inevitable.  The impossible and unthinkable might be improbable, but they do happen.  “Things fall apart.  The center cannot hold.”

I’m not better at this than anyone else.  I dearly love security and predictability, I just think a little clearer through the mess, because I’m the kitten who grew up in the machine shop.

So — some things I know you might want to think about:

1- You’re not crazy.  You just feel that way.  Our brains are wired for the neolithic (if that.)  We don’t do well with fast changing situations.

2- Most of the anxiety you feel is not real.  Look, when you were a neolithic farmer, and a lot of things started changing, it was sure as shooting some bad invaders would raid your farm one night.  So you had to be alert and paranoid all the time.
Sure.  I don’t want you to do things like ignoring your surroundings, but I also don’t want you to die of stress.  Take a deep breath.  Yeah, it’s crazy, but you don’t believe in a deterministic future and the inevitable arrow of history.  Your world is being rocked, but not jack-hammered into the ground.  Chances are good you’ll be fine.  You got this.

3- Our friends and neighbors who believe in a deterministic future and the inevitable arrow of history?  Their world is getting jackhammered.  Worse, their ways of reacting that always served them well are doing worse than backfiring.  They’re not doing anything.  Worse, they’re used to being in power, and in having “privilege” for having “the correct opinions.”  That’s not really paying off anymore.  Even in publishing where the establishment abides, there’s less and less cheese to go around, which means the other rats are turning on you.
I’m not saying you should pity them.  Oh, heck, you should, yes, but considering what has gone on in the past, most of us aren’t that saintly.
Just understand the crazy stuff they do and say is because they lost their moorings, not because “they were always inherently bad people.”  (Though some, of course, were.  People will be people.)  They’re really really scared, and scared people do crazy stuff.

4- So, you, stop being scared.  Yes, there’s a possibility this all goes to buckets of blood, but I can guarantee those who see a boot stomping on a human face forever in our future are not taking in account a bazillion factors.  That type of thing works in fiction.  Reality is more complex and frankly the boots haven’t been permanently successful anywhere, even the parts with the worst record in that regard in human history.
Take a deep breath.  Half of what you’re feeling is due to perceived chaos and instability and the people for whom the chaos and instability threaten fundamental beliefs.  You’ve got this.  Most of us will be fine.

5- This is no time to run around with your head on fire. Conversely it’s no time for a nice nap either.  Roughly half the population (not all of them hard left, or even left) is out of their minds with panic.  Roughly 90% are somewhat scared. All over the civilized world and some of the semi-civilized.  Scared people do crazy things.  Be aware of your surroundings, particularly when traveling abroad, but in our fair land, too. Have a plan of escape/survival if things go strange, at all times. Just don’t obsess on it.  Having the plan will help you feel less anxious, and increase your chances of survival should things go wrong.  Think of it as the spiel on emergencies when you board a plane.  Chances are things will be fine where you are, at that time.  But there will be rough patches. To survive the rough patches, your back brain needs to know what to do.

6- Think about the specific change around you and in your field.  The way changes are trending is not always obvious — in publishing right now I swear things change every six months — but they can be guessed if you think about it.  Nothing trad pub has done so far has really surprised me (except perhaps for how long they’re taking on the way down, but I know non-fic is still profitable, and there’s parent companies and stuff.  So my surmise of how fast it would all go South has always been broad “two to ten years” say.) Some turns Indie has taken have shocked me because they’re due to Amazon changes, and I can’t anticipate those.
You don’t have to foresee ten years in the future, and thank heavens, no one needs to foresee 100 (unless you’re an immortal.) Even science fiction is less forecasting than “what would be cool” and “what would make my story more fun” and then finding a plausible way to get there.
BUT if you’re a few months ahead of the rest of your field, your town, your business, you’ll do very well.  It’s like surfing on the crest of change, without getting pulled under.

7- That’s it.  Take a deep breath.  You’ll do fine.  You got this.  Reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated.  Be not afraid.

Keep Your Eyes Open

I had a dream I was being lined up against a wall and blindfolded. Which must account for my being here, stark awake at 5 in the morning, I suppose.

Only what woke me was “Why the blindfold? I don’t need a blindfold. I want to see.”

Why? Well, because if you’re blindfolded you can have false hope. “Maybe they’ll relent at the last minute. Maybe they’re not really aiming at me. Maybe.”

A lot of people are doing that right now, a lot of people who should know better. But they have jobs — a lot of them with the government that’s about to be openly taken over — or they have an oath they swore that they don’t want to think obligates them to take action that will endanger their jobs, their families, their quiet little life.

A lot of people are holding their hands over their eyes as hard as they can, for the same reason — still — most conservatives don’t protest. We have jobs, we have families, we have lives. While some of us are so broken that politics are vital to us, most of us prefer to keep that as a quiet vice, while we enjoy our lives.

Which, btw, is how we got where we are.

That blindfold is lovely. It keeps your heart from racing. It keeps you standing in line with your fellows, while they aim at you.

At worst this will prevent you from doing what you can to actually survive. (That’s why they blindfold you, not as a kindness. And in this metaphor, that’s really important.) At best it lets you die while thinking everything is fine. Again, this is particularly true in the metaphor.

Though perhaps not just in the metaphor. As someone who has looked straight into machine guns aimed at her, at sixteen, let me tell you you don’t know what you’ll do. You just don’t. In my case I froze. Also, fortunately, in my case that saved my life. And probably the life of thousands of people behind me (and other people in the front row, but mostly a guy about my age whose name I never knew. (Pal, if you’re reading this, yeah, the adults were sh*tty to skedaddle and leave us in front, but be aware that’s the only time freezing would probably work to our advantage. Anyway, freezing is not normal for me, and the two times it happened it saved my life. BUT it’s not a decision you make. It’s in the back brain. The next time I had guns pointed at me while unarmed I was 22. And I’d provoked it. And I went sarcastic. Was it the right thing? I don’t know. I’m still here. Those guys didn’t know what they were doing. I could see that. I could also see what my words did. If I’d been blindfolded, I’d never have known that.

So, not just a metaphor, but a metaphor too.

As I went to bed last night, most of the right was busily pulling that blindfold over its eyes, convincing itself that yep, there was no significant fraud.

I’ve seen this process often enough that it shouldn’t disgust me anymore. Instead, I should count myself lucky — very, very lucky — that I’m no longer being called crazy and having things thrown at me because I say there is fraud. Back in 2008 everyone was so busy going “No, the American people REALLY want socialism” that I was treated as a crazy person.

Kind of like I was treated as a crazy person when I said that the covidiocy was a covidiocy. Heck, randos will come out of the woodwork because of THAT sentence, to tell me what a horrible person I am. E pur si muove Modderpockers!

Yes, you can come up with all sorts of tap-dancing — that blindfold is so silky, so soft, so comforting — but the truth has been there from the beginning. And the orders, all over the world? The same orders? Sure, they all just arrived at “let’s kill the economies and imprison law abiding citizens for what amounts to a common cold for most age groups” unanimously at once. They choose to obscure the real statistics, the fact that masks do nothing, etc, all at once. Randomly. And the next coin I throw into the air will land neither face down nor face up. It will never land, in fact. It will become a fluffy yellow duck and fly away.

In the same way, the left ran a man who never got more than 2% of the vote on his own on a national election and a woman who came in last in her home state. They ran their campaign from the basement, while scaring people about the dangers of going out and voting in person, and demanding mail in ballots. And they had more votes than anyone in history.

Nice, nice blindfold. Is that silk?

“But everyone hates Trump. Mean tweets.” Bullshit. And you know it. Yeah, tons of people hate him. Because media. Because the media has convinced a large number of idiots that NOT trampling states governance means he’s a fascist. But a lot more people who hate him will vote for him. Crawl over broken glass to vote for him, in fact. I did in 2016 when I thought there was 99% chance he’d be a disaster. But Hillary was more disastrous.

And now you think people hate Trump enough they went and voted for the people saying “we’ll lock you and open borders.” “The most important things are climate change and health care for illegals.” And yeah, even with the media trying to hide that, most people know. They’ve seen the way the left behaved these four years.

Also you know the numbers are cooked. And if you don’t it’s because you choose not to know. Because you love that blindfold.

Hell, I knew the cooking was coming since they started running Commie la whorish and her zombie meat puppet. The additional fillip of not even campaigning? You’d have to be stupid not to know the fix was in.

You’d have to be blindfolding yourself. It’s very fashionable. It goes with the covidiocy mask.

How long has the fix been in, and how is it done? Well, it’s done in all sorts of ways, but I’m going to bet on the computer-control thing, and I’m going to bet it’s been in place since 08 at least, though they still run tons of the normal side fraud too, because the left can’t leave anything to chance. They know people don’t like them, and frankly they hate us and want to destroy us. They don’t trust independently thinking people, and they want to stop them running around with thoughts.

Anyway, I’m sure the computer is the lynch pin for four reasons:

The first is that there is no way our votes need to be beamed out of the country to be counted. And there is no excuse for vote counting machines to be connected to the internet.

The second is that the left accused the GOP of changing votes via the internet and of having the voting machines connected to the internet in 2004, and the left ALWAYS accuses the opponents of what they’re already planning to do.

The third is more complex, but is to me clear as day: the left don’t behave as if they need or want your vote. They have behaved since Obama at least as though they’re putting on theater so you can accept their “wins” as legitimate. Agitprop, not wooing the public. And yeah, I’ll give you that Obama was “popular” for complex reasons in 08, and he either won or came very close to winning against McCain who was not popular at all. BUT even there, you know, the merchants who bet on how popular he was with merchandise, even in my favorite fabric store which was in an ethnic neighborhood? Yeah. They didn’t make bank. All that stuff was gone in a couple of weeks, on the discount table. And if he’d been as popular as projected, it would never happen. And the buycotts of anyone who opposes the left are massive, while “get woke, go broke” is a thing. On the ground and from observation? Obama had maybe half the real support Clinton had. And the current G team has maybe a tenth of that. You know how you said “All the left had to do was act sane the last four years.” Well, no, they don’t have to. Because your vote no longer matters, peasant.

The fourth is that they’re working SO hard on making the very idea of computer fraud sound ridiculous.

But, you’ll say, Sidney Powell is on our side. She’s always been. Yeah. She probably is. And if the democrats were a political party that would actually mean something. But they’re not. They’re a criminal enterprise.

In other words, the feeling I’m getting is that feeling we’re all familiar with from the Trump administration: he’s trying, but he has to rely on other people, and every other wrung below him is either doing nothing, engaging in white mutiny, or outright working against him. Yes, even people nominally on our side.

Why? Because everyone has a handle. Everyone can be blackmailed. AKA the Chief Justice John Roberts principle. And the left like any criminal enterprise has specialized on having the dirt on practically everyone.

Me? Oh, they probably do. There are things I’d prefer the world at large not know. Not for me, mind you, but for those around me. Then again, I’m a libertarian. And not wholly sane.

Yes, even someone like me, at my level, has had “threats.” Thank heavens I’m too crazy and stubborn to even understand them. Which, btw, I’m sure is Trump’s secret too. But most people? There’s a handle, and it can be grabbed. And some thing that happened in 18, right after the election? Let’s say there’s ways to affect me and my family that involve grabbing other people’s handles. Only explanation for the shower of sh*t that came down in one week, November 2018 from seemingly unrelated sources. And the unremitting “bad luck” that has marked the last 2 years.

Does that sound paranoid. Okay. Then you can believe that Trump is really bad at hiring, that the FBI and CIA and the rest of our agencies have not been corrupted, that the Supreme Court is not compromised. That a lot of people like me are just “accidentally” unlucky in ways that prevent us having any real power in our fields.

How is that blindfold? Comfy?

But Sarah! Then you have to be paranoid!

What? The worldwide, irrational, not to any scientific standard covidiocy lockdown is no reason to be paranoid?

You know, I hear they make padded blindfolds. Tri-ply, so no ray of light comes in.

Look, if our vote is as good as gone — and hell, guys, we in Colorado, California, Oregon and unfortunately now everywhere, have always known the fix was in. Utah is the only state where vote-by-mail means “no one to the right of Romney will ever win again.” (And in Utah there’s complex cultural reasons.) — you have to be aware of what that means. You have to look into the gun.

For an example of what it means, look at California. Or take a gander at Denver. Go ahead. It means they don’t care. They can impose whatever fantasy they want, destroy you however they want, make you do the most nonsensical things, while preening and posing for others like them. Because what are you going to do? Vote them out?

Which means if you keep that blindfold on, the bullet WILL come. You will die. Fast-ish at a guess. Probably within ten years, we’ll be marching lockstep with Europe. Or worse. Did you know they really are serious about the Green New Deal? Or that they’re already talking redistributing land by skin color?
Hello, Zimbabwe!

Keep that blindfold on and you’ll assume at least half the country and probably more are effectively a ridiculous feminist activist from college.

Accept the reality of fraud? And be aware you’re not alone. Be able to see what’s actually happening. And maybe duck or jump on the shooter at the crucial time.

For instance, the only plausible for the current lockdowns is that they’re terrified you’ll talk to each other and share knowledge that this election is f*cked up. Just like we did with Hillary’s emails, even though the media ran an absolute blanket of silence over how stupid that was. This is why they’ll keep us locked up for another year, maybe two. Well, that and because it will destroy most of our structures of life.

As for the mandatory vaccine, that’s not the goal, although with these loons in the pocket of China, I wouldn’t put it past them to have something to sterilize you or worse in that “vaccine.” China has been known to run that gambit on their own captive populations. Fortunately they’re really incompetent, so it’s 50/50 if what they mean to do will work. BUT the point is for you to have a “health passport.” Achtung! Papers please! They’re already implementing this shit in parts of the EU. What it means is another handle on EVERYONE. Oh, you won’t play ball? Well, we cancel your health passport. Good luck ever leaving your house again.

If you think about them as a criminal enterprise, it all starts making sense.

And you start seeing ways to fight back. Most of which aren’t even — probably — obvious.

For now? Well…. For now just letting other people know they’re not alone is a good beginning.

After that come other things….

Look, whichever way this falls, you need to know it’s going to get sportive for a long time. How long? Judging by how many people will do anything not to remove the blindfold? and how many are convinced donating and volunteering is the way to go, when FRAUD is massive and in your face? YEARS. Maybe a couple of decades.

Yes, get food and emergency supplies. And weapons, which in this case are emergency supplies. And not just guns. Partly because you can’t get guns for love or money right now.

Second, make connections. In your area, and across the country. People you really, really can trust. (Yes, they might have a handle, and you might be f*cked. Which is why the longer you know them the better, okay?)

Third, if you mean to do anything that takes advanced medical services, from having babies to getting major surgery? DO IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Things are not instant, and even though our current idiots are in a hurry, it will take probably a decade for our medical services to hit Cuba level.

Fourth, if you’re in a blue state, no matter how much you love it, plan your escape. One year or two, four maximum. I suspect the next four years are going to see a re-shuffling the likes of which has never been seen in American history. No, I have no clue where “safe” is. Same as “if the US falls, there is no safe place in the world” (you people abroad have been warned, now.) “Who knows which places will be safe in the US.” It’s possible no place will be safe. But a large city probably isn’t. So, plan.

Fifth keep your job as long as you can, but be prepared to lose it. Because the economic dislocations are going to be bizarre and massive. If, like me, you’re dependent not just on the net, but on lefty companies…. you might be f*cked. Or not. I’d really feel a lot better if someone came up with an alternative to Amazon.

At any rate, if you have a choice: give not your money to leftists. If you can get a good or service from someone not on the left, do so. If you can hire and have two choices, pick the non leftist. If you can do someone a favor, pick the non leftist. The left has always done this thing, where they preferentially hire and buy from their own. Which is the power they now hold.

For some things, you cannot avoid giving them your money. BUT if you must buy books from Amazon, at least buy from non-leftists. And preferably indie. (Yes, plans in works. At least for me/a group of us. BUT making an outright competitor is impossible, because of the tax situation. If you have to pay taxes in every state, just keeping lawyers on staff to do it closes the internet to the average Joe Blow. Which was the intent.)

If you keep the blindfold off, you can see other things and other ways to knee them in the groin, before they can kill you. Or before those who can do wrestle the gun they’re holding to your head.

If nothing else, you can see the next panic they try to stampede the population into and not fall for it. And perhaps have a few of your friends also not fall for it.

If you keep that blindfold off, and refuse to believe their story over your lying eyes, you can remain free and fight back in the measure of possible. And maybe one day rebuild.

Because guys, seriously, this lot can’t find their *ss with two hands and a seeing eye dog. Their “great reset” (Complete with German accent and white cat on lap) is the sort of plan a Bond villain would laugh at. It only sounds plausible to the very rich and very sheltered. They’re going to get eaten. Possibly literally.

But on the way there, they’re going to cause untold horror and misery.

Don’t let it be to you!

Keep that blindfold off. Remember, as Heinlein said, they can’t control a free man. They can only kill him. (And if you’re stupid enough to think that doesn’t include women, it’s probably too late for you.)

So, yeah, the fraud was massive. There are four lights. And keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.


Okay, guys, I need help. No, not that kind of help. Well, not more than usual.

In this case I need help with research, because I need to do this project(s) and I NEED to write fiction, so I can bring in money too, so I can’t just stop the fiction and do this. But THIS must be done.

Having the best read, most knowledgeable readers in the world, I know you guys will come through.

This morning between sleep and wakening, I thought ‘d like some age appropriate books for the adopted grandchildren (from 14 to 4 though you could stretch it of from 16 to 2. I’m a promiscuous adopter.) Specifically, I wanted age appropriate books on America, to pass on my love of the country.

I’m sure there are some. I’m also sure they’re rare, and I’d have to read every one of them for the “hidden poison pill.”

For instance, do you know I’ve never read the story of George Washington and the cherry tree, though I’ve read at least a dozen “debunkings?”

And one of the best documentaries on the American revolution strongly indicates the only reason that Washington threw in with the cause of liberty is that he was vain ad jealous?

Having read my kids’ history books, they were much much worse. Every flaw of our heroes pointed out, every misstep of our leaders highlighted, every traitor cast in a beneficial/sympathetic light. As for the biographies and fiction they are forced to read those are mostly of foreign leaders, often communists.

The big surprise to be fair is not that some of our children are marching in the streets screaming “Death to America.” The shock is that not ALL of them are. And that not all of them are willing dupes for foreign powers.

It is in fact like the religious education in our fully converged churches. I think my kids were almost done with it, when I realized my kids knew nothing of their supposed religion, but had been subjected to an unending stream of veggie tails and reading of The Giving Tree, and more objectionably lunacy some of which was unexceptionable but not particularly religious and certainly not our faith, and some of which was outright communism. You do that, and the kids will likely come out primed to fall for any well-sounding New-Agey philosophy and embrace it, buckle and tongue.

In the same way, you raise the kids on an endless stream of debunking, and why our country isn’t as good as they might think it is, and they grow up to embrace half baked Marxist nonsense hammer and sickle. Particularly since no one is allowed to say anything bad about any other country or way of life, because in the half-formed teacher’s mind that’s “racist.” (Because nationalities and religions are now races, doncha know?

Three generations of this, and the real wonder is that any kid will still love America.

So it occurred to me we need a series of books, starting with something picture-heavy, on our heroes and our history. (Yes, sure, throw the Cherry Tree in. Myth? And? Who is it who taught us about fake but accurate? Also we tell the little ones about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus not to “fool” them, but because the myths have an underlying truth. They grow out of them fast enough. And we can always put a note that this can’t be proven, but this story was told by our ancestors.)

Start with tales of the founding fathers and people alive at the founding, told simply, and much like the story of the cherry tree. A little book, drawing heavy (and if you’re reading this, yes, you, you know I’m going to ask you to illustrate it.)

Move on to something suitable for young teens. Stories from valley forge. Ben and Debra Franklin’s meet cute. Etc.

Then something for the older, more thoughtful readers (probably a bit of this from the federalist papers and some bios.)

I’m not proposing to write these, except for perhaps redacting “stories told” for the very young readers because if we find enough they’ll be in archaic language, and littles are sensitive to that.

But surely this material existed and was read to/given to kids at one point!

So, what I’m going to ask my readers is to find me the books, and point me at the relevant parts.

Suggest things to include, or redact for the very little, the young teens, the older teens. Aiming for about 120 pages (not thousand words) for the first, going all the way to maybe 120k words for the oldest readers.

I’ll probably also need redacting of anything I redact for young readers, because I suck at writing for kids. I was never really a young reader and I’m not sure my kids were. We jumped solidly to what is now called “middle grade.”

There might need to be a youngest reader or some of the stories might need to be made into comic books (And I have a few friends to annoy for the drawing.)

HOWEVER I have a very strong feeling it’s time and we need to do this. We’ve thought for too long we could hand the kids to a poisonous school system and they’d come out somehow Americans.

I’m not sure why we thought that, in retrospect. And obviously it was a stupid idea.

So let’s do this. Now.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo

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*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*


When you want to pass the lands of the Amazons, you can ask to be allowed to just sail by. Chloe wants to try it, as the only sane route.
But when their queen dies, it won’t merely be for the asking.

FROM MARY CATELLI: The Drunken Mermaids.

Shipwreck is not enough — though no ship will sail by, the mermaids have found the stranded sailors.

And worse, the cargo of wines and liquors is seeping into the sea.

FROM AMIE GIBBONS: Psychic Masquerade (The SDF Paranormal Mysteries).

Ariana Ryder just started getting psychic visions out of the blue last week.

She’s not going to let the freaky new powers stop her from going to the Halloween Masquerade ball though. The who’s who of Nashville and the President of the freaking United States is going to be there!

But the party turns into a rescue mission when a vision shakes Ariana’s world.

Can she rise to the challenge to save an innocent, or are her new powers just too freaky for her to follow?

FROM J.M.ANJEWIERDEN: Keepers of the Wind.

For a thousand years the outlawed priestesses of Meda have preserved the religion of the Fris, safeguarding what scraps and fragments they could.
For a thousand years the Alven Empire stamped out all other religions in favor of their false gods.
But the Alven dug too deep, releasing the demons of earth, terrible monsters they cannot hope to fight.
All that can stand against them is Fleur and the other priestesses.
Five young girls.
Even as Fleur’s powers weaken, the Goddess sees fit to drop a mysterious Alven–half-dead and without his memories–into her life. Can she trust him, or is he a threat to her people?

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: SMILING

We, Magnificent Bastards

I despise being gaslighted. I’m also really good at spotting it. Partly I’m good at spotting it because I used to have an eidetic memory.

I don’t anymore, after two concussions and other health issues. And forgetting things PANICS me, which is how I realized I never used to. My brother was an acknowledged eidetic but my family never spotted it in me, because ADHD. Or put it another way, you can’t remember what you never paid any attention to in the first place. And a lot of my early life was tuning out of conversations.

Which doesn’t mean I didn’t notice enough to make things uncomfortable.

The only thing more complex than relationships between village women is world nations vying for primacy. But at least I never had to stand in a room while China and Russia insisted they were never friends, and did you know what China said about our Babuska? Which is good, because I had to listen to village women doing this. And I could never understand when both turned on me when I reminded them of something they’d said three days before and quoted them verbatim. This led to my mom ordering me never to speak in public without her permission, which didn’t work, because…. well, there’s a reason I ended up here, you know?

Then there was the illusionist who made a woman float in air. Only he didn’t. She was laying down on this little stand, with a top made of glass, and a thin metal rod. Oh, and wheels. I’d seen them set up the stage, you see, and the shape of the thing had interested me, so I’d kept an eye on it. And I kept telling everyone what I’d seen. And they thought I was crazy. I was about six, and I hated the illusionist for creating such a stupid trick, the people around me for not seeing it, and everyone for trying to convince me I was crazy.

…. Which now I think about it is how I felt about the covidiocy. Only I’m not as young or stupid as I was. And I know people are…. people. I’ve fallen for some whoppers myself and made friendships with people who turned out to be scum. So I understand people falling for it, kind of, though with this as with the scamlection I’m ASTOUNDED at SOME of the people who fall for it. And then I have to remind myself that although never diagnosed, I have some autistic characteristics. Weaponized autism, to be fair.

You see, because I don’t read PEOPLE very well, because I grew up in the village and know that people lie, because my parents — both of them — were certified (certifiable, really) pranksters who loved nothing better than to make me (or my brother) fall for an elaborate story, and then would never stop talking about it (and even if you didn’t fall for it, they assumed you had, which is annoying), I have a “weaponized autism” of falling down rabbit holes to verify facts.

This was why I started screaming from the rooftops that Winnie the flu was a paper tiger and people kept telling me I was crazy, stupid, deluded, which still pissed me off MORE.

In retrospect, a ton of people I’d never heard of (and a ton more who should have known better) came to my Facebook to yell at me about how evil I was not to want lockdowns. About half of them have since disappeared. And, well, we’ve found China did put a massive effort of their trolls and bots into spurring us towards lockdown.

But they couldn’t really make any difference in how I felt, you know, because I HAD done my dive down the rabbit hole and looked at the numbers from the Diamond Princess, and no, I wasn’t at home for anyone telling me that was because “cruise ships have the best medical care” because, meh, floating petri dishes. And a lot of the “care” they got involved things like extremely rationed water and food, because countries wouldn’t let them land and they had limited resources. Bah.

I’ve continued to look at numbers, btw, instead of listening to the talking heads who try to induce panic, talking about the extremely young who die of Wu Flu. And it’s bullshit. It’s all still bullshit. Every young person (which for this thing is under 55 or 60) “in perfect health” who dies of this turns out to have had a rare genetic disorder, or have been extremely sick since birth, or–

But even if this had been real, and a real danger for all ages the lockdown is f*cking stupid. Not just because lockdowns don’t work for respiratory illnesses, but also because you CAN’T lock down. Not long enough for the virus to go away. You HAVE to allow for people getting food and water, and emergency care. And people are social creatures, so whatever you allow to be open is going to be packed, even if it normally wouldn’t be.

But even if you want to believe lockdowns would work, the way they’re implemented tells you that we’re under psychological warfare that might be on the excuse of a virus, but have nothing really to do with it. No sane human being can say that more than 10 people in a CATHEDRAL designed for 2000 is a danger, but while you at the same time keep dispensaries open for pot? Yeah, no. In the same way, no sane human being can think wearing a mask at the zoo or botanic gardens, outside and in a sparsely “peopled” environment is going to make any difference, even if masks made a difference. (And before you say they make a marginal difference, no. Not really. The difference was “in the margin of error”, and that was before you take in account the masks involved had SEVENTEEN layers of fabric, relying on the “complicated pathway” to stop the virus. And no, I don’t have a link to that study, but trust me on this, it was one of the deep dives. Frankly, with four layers I can’t BREATHE, much less seventeen.)

If I had had any remaining doubts, traveling across several states this summer would have blown them to smitherins. You see, every state — heck every municipality — enforces the ridiculous and inane rules differently. And as we went we checked death stats and population density stats. Let’s say if there was ANY rationality behind the rules? The places that don’t enforce them at all would be worse off. They’re not.

But we still get people — people who know CHINA wanted us to lock down (and it makes me wonder how much of what “leaked” out of China, information btw still in the system and hurting us, like the idea restaurants are dangerous (no one has caught WuFlu at any restaurant in the US) was purposefully “fake leaked” by China in order to get us to lock down) to destroy us and save THEIR economic butts, repeating how “dangerous” this is and how we must stay locked up forever or until we all starve hiding under our beds. Granted a lot of those are democrat politicians and crazy moguls who are in the pay of China, but you’d think more sane people would be pushing back.

Except they can’t. The left is running in possession of cancel culture, trying to destroy anyone who even says boo. And a lot of people can’t speak, because of employment, etc. Add that in with the half dozen very social people who seem to believe everything that’s “in the air” and therefore must be consensus opinion, and there you have it. The impression that everyone is a moron who believes the Wu Flu will kill us all. (Well, everyone but me. I was born contrary, okay?)

Yesterday night I went by Powerline for the first time in weeks. They’ve been getting astonishingly wobbly.

And yes, RES Trump lawyers might have filed some wrong lawsuits. I wish I could believe it was a diversion, and it MIGHT be, but seriously? You know what cases like this take to file? I imagine these law firms — while under threats, etc — having to file in weeks lawsuits that normally would take a year to prepare, are working like I did the week I got ten years worth of Brazilian tax documents to translate for a major corporation being audited by the IRS. I worked through save when I crashed for a couple of hours a night. I ate at my desk and all the work was given to Dan to proof and “make it real English” because at that point I was speaking some weird personal version of the language. And I imagine this involves just about everyone in the firm, which means all it takes is the receptionist having a bad day for things to be miss-filed. Yes, slips will happen, which in the long run will mean bloody nothing. Because most of the lawsuits won’t be. And I suspect there’s more than enough stones to sink the dems even if some go amiss.

BUT what you have to ask yourself is: who does it profit to publish this stuff? And why all the hands on head running around? Just like who did it profit to come and yell in a medium size blog (small, but medium for a writer’s blog) that the Wuflu was going to kill us aaaallllll. Yeah, sure, it’s news, but …. really?

And then I realized the Powerline comments (I’m not allowed to comment there anymore, since I told a troll to GF. Yes, that way. I guess they are proper, polite gentlemen which is why they have some nasty regular trolls.) had blown up to twice normal. And I went to look.

I’ve in the past read enough Powerline comments to know the names/look of regulars. Now? Dear Lord. They have an infestation of trolls, ranging from outright “I’m going to celebrate when Biden gets sworn in” to concern trolls “You guys know there’s no way to win this.” I was disgusted (though I now understand why they’re waffling. It’s hard not to be influenced) but this morning I woke up feeling both pretty cheered and furious. More furious than I remember being in a long time.

Why cheered? Because people who are as confident as the dems and the left (BIRM) try to project don’t go around invading the comments of any blog stupid enough to let them (Gentlemen — spits.) Even relatively medium to small blogs. People who are confident of winning don’t deplatform Conservative Treehouse, or shut down Dan Bongino’s ads. And they don’t infect every possible conservative who is stupid enough to listen to them with some form of “We’ll always have 2024” (We won’t. Not if we allow ourselves to be robbed this time and this blatantly. Let me quote Bob the Registered:

BobtheRegisterredFool4 hours ago

Please help me understand how I have erred below:

Any Republican who does not fight this to the end, at all costs, owes an apology to Lincoln.

Nixon conceded the election that JFK stole, but a) soviets b) JFK was at least reasonably anti-communist, and was not clearly working himself up to commit mass murder.

The combination of the riots, the gun control, the outright proposals to commit mass murder, and the determination to punish all Trump voters is concerning.

If Trump voters are in fact a majority, then some of the people trying to get into a Biden administration are proposing to use state power to punish an actual majority of the adult population.

Harris does not have a personal character that lays these fears to rest.

Then consider that black and Hispanic votes for Trump increased in this cycle. What consequences can you expect to result from meekly conceding at the first opportunity without doing everything possible to cripple in every way Democrat power and influence?

The calculation of a Republican establishment sociopath is “Haw, haw, we’ll just run in 2024 with a swamp creature.”

As soon as they can’t give Trump an opportunity to start a civil war over it, they are going to torture and murder minority Trump supporters in blue areas. With the goal of ensuring that no minority in a blue area ever dares vote Trump or GOP ever again.

Abandoning people to that is something I have a hard time finding just tactful words for. How is it different from abandoning the Hmong and the Republic of Vietnam? How is it better than, during WWII, having complete indifference to the fate of the many victims of the Axis? From Nanking to the Holocaust to Ethiopia.

Okay, I woke up early from the night’s sleep, so there may be an obvious reason why these seeming parallels don’t hold. So it might not be that “2024” is the 2020 version of Chamberlain’s “Peace in our time”.

Bob is not wrong. And conceding now because “2022” or “2024” would be bizarre folly. To paraphrase something someone put in the comments, and which was originally about Israel and which was originally attributed to Golda Meir: “America isn’t obligated to commit suicide because it would make you feel better.”

However even if it all goes wrong, Bob might be a bit of a pessimist.

I’ve said before this is no longer about Trump. In a way it never was. Our magnificent bastard of a president is merely the champion we chose and shoved into play to battle assholes on our behalf. (It is also why the other side wants to kill us.)

But we — we the people — are also magnificent bastards.

Look, guys, the left has controlled the media and the schools for how long? And how many stops did they pull out in 2020 to break us, including but not limited to putting the entire f*cking country under house arrest, crashing the economy, and ramping up psychological warfare to eleven.

Between cancel culture and vicious “revenge” on any dissenters, they’ve made anything not utter liberal a sin in the public sphere. They organized the most comprehensive and inclusive fraud machine in the history of mankind.

And they thought they had us. Honestly, it would have worked on ANY OTHER COUNTRY. It worked in Europe by echo, mostly. (Though there’s definitely a world-plan at work, or as Gore put it “a great opportunity. But the main push was in the US)

They thought they had us so much that they ran a potemkin campaign. I mean, they didn’t need REAL voters, right? (I suspect they got about 25% of the votes attributed to Biden from real people.)

And in the face of all this at least 78 million (and I bet you really 100 million!) of us hunched our shoulders and went “I don’t care. I’m voting for Trump. If you guys hate him, he can’t be all bad.” And “I hate defending Orangemanbad, but he’s better than you bastards. At least he likes America.” And they voted. They voted desperately, thinking all was doomed, knowing people would try to cancel them and destroyed.

They voted to spite the self-proclaimed elites. Because they’re Americans.

The attempt to gaslight us after the attempted steal was caught? Yeah, it pisses me off like you can’t even imagine.

On the other hand, since Trump is fighting against greater odds (in terms of time, corruption, infiltration of law firms and courts, etc) than — to quote 1776 — a just G-d would allow, it cheers me to know that even if the left “wins” and thinks they’ll have it all their way, they are facing…. us. Us, magnificent bastards. Us Americans.

“I was having dinner…in London…when eventually he got, as the Europeans always do, to the part about “Your country’s never been invaded.” And so I said, “Let me tell you who those bad guys are. They’re us. WE BE BAD. We’re the baddest-assed sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother’s side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d’Antibes. And we’ve got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go. You say our country’s never been invaded? You’re right, little buddy. Because I’d like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who’d have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying ‘Cheerio.’ Hell can’t hold our sock-hops.
We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, fuck longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.” (P.J. O’Rourke.)

Ultimately, the left is like a dog chasing a car. It probably won’t catch us, but if they do, they’re going to break their teeth on us, and then be dragged to their deaths, as we continue on our way.

And that, my friends, is worth cheering up for.

Truth A Blast From The Past From May 2018

Truth A Blast From The Past From May 2018


I realized recently that I have a “hunger and thirst” for the truth.

This might be strange for someone who writes fiction, and knows she does, (I always giggle at “this book was dictated by a supernatural entity/famous dead person” because I know that when I get a fully realized character that’s what it feels like.  The voice comes through (no, not auditory hallucinations, though some writers have them) but just a consistent voice in my head, and the story is told to me, as though it came from elsewhere.  But I know it comes from my subconscious.  I know if I exert will I can shape it and change it (sometimes harder than others) and I know it’s just a story.

But working in that half-light is part of the reason I need the truth, or to approximate the truth.  Look, I don’t think it’s possible to know the full truth this side of death.  The human brain is simply not designed to process it.  But knowing even a part of the truth, knowing what’s behind things like economic or political events, knowing when I’m being lied to, knowing why, all that is vitally important to me.

I spend a great part of my life reading about biology and evolutionary biology and paleontology and archeology, because … because I thirst for “as close to the truth as I can get to.”

Even building imaginary worlds should be based on a general truth: truth about people, truth on how things work.  I can have much fun with stuff like the brooms and anti-grav in Darkships, because a) it’s cool and b) I think one should introduce an element of “that should be impossible from what we know today” into any science fiction more than 100 years in the future.  This is because the future is not only weirder than we can imagine, but I guarantee some of our certainties will be upended.

On the other hand, stuff like the biological effects, I try to stay as close as we can to real science.  There are things we don’t know about the body and genes, and places I can fudge, but I try to stay within “what we expect will happen” because that is of course the “science”part of the book, the “true” part, and the cautionary tale and dream all rolled into one. (Weirdly, except in the actual engineering of humans, I haven’t even gone beyond today’s science.  All those viruses?  Yep. Biology graduate student, high school lab, about 10k in materials.  It does suck.)

And of course, I try to make humans work as they have historically.  Because if you’re not writing about people who feel and act real, why bother.

There’s more to my craving for truth: I grew up in a village, where finding the truth of even the most ridiculously small event was almost impossible.  Each household, each head of household, each cleaning lady had their own version, and you had to be  master detective to figure out who stole the schoolmistress’s hairbrush and why it turned up in the fishmonger’s stand.

If I’d loved that kind of slipperiness, I’d have made a great politician, but I didn’t.  I wanted to know what had really happened.  And the times I managed it gave me more insight into the village and the hates/personalities/loves roiling through than anything else could give me. It gave me a firmer place to stand, a place to act from.

The truth, when you figure it out, is a wonderful thing.  When I find a book that reveals a facet of some historical event that is obviously true and obviously illuminating, it’s like turning on a lantern in my mind.

Also so many of the lies I was told growing up were such limiting, destructive lies: “Humanity is a blight upon the earth and is killing it.”  “There are too many people” “the individual doesn’t matter, the future is inevitably communist.”  “We’re going to run out of fossil fuels in ten years.”  “You’ll live to see an ice age.”  (Well, that last one… never mind.)

Of course, we can’t be everywhere or know everything, but there are guidelines I’ve found to discovering the truth:

1- If a story is too smooth, it’s a lie.  Whether it’s a political theory/prediction or a narration of an historical event, if everything fits, works together smoothly and everything clicks, and particularly if it tells you about history always moving in ONE direction, it’s a lie.  Real life is messy, self contradictory and confusing.  Real history stumbles, falters, weaves across the road like a spider on LSD.  I mean, sure, we live better than in the 19th century in many ways, but we lost other things along the way.  Are we freer?  Well, in some ways.  And in other ways–
Which is why, btw, either triumphalism or utter despair about the cause of freedom are always wrong.  Always.

2- If a source, be it person, newspaper or school lies to me about one thing, I’ll never trust it about everything again.  Yeah, the lie might seem minor and inconsequential, but how can you trust the big stuff now.  I don’t dismiss them out of hand, but I verify, verify, verify.

3- Never trust anything coming out of a country that tries to control all flow of information.  Particularly do not trust GOOD reports coming from such a source.

4- Never trust something awful said about someone you already hate.  Verify verify verify.

It would be impossible to manage this, btw, if I gave a hang about most people’s private lives.  I don’t.  Trying to learn what I can of the truth about science, politics, economics and current events is about all I can manage.

And it’s also why, btw, I — and our side in general — doesn’t try to silence anyone.  Even if we know they tell us lies, their lies are a way to discover the truth behind them.

The other side?  The other side is enamored of a “Just so” story, a convoluted morality play in which it’s always the fault of someone else when you fall and break your nose. It’s a weird system, so smooth, so perfectly fitting and so without flaw, provided you don’t apply it to real people.

Because real people are messy and real history is confusing, and yep, “victim groups” can be victimizers and groups you hate can produce saints.

Admitting that would crack their entire system to pieces.  And so they must keep us muzzled, must pretend that we too believe in the system, and that our attempts to poke holes in it come from “hatred”.  Which is how they come to call supporters of almost no government “nazis.”

It’s also why they want to tear down statues and destroy physical reminders of the past.  Because if they manage it, nothing will rear up to disprove their oh, so smooth, so internally consistent system.

Except they don’t realize that humanity itself would still do so.  Because humans don’t work the way they think they do.  And their system will never survive an encounter with the truth.