Who Is To Decide?

This was almost a post about abortion and euthanasia, but then I decided I didn’t have the time/mental space/spoons to arbitrate the free for all that would open up. So, in a month or so. You have that to look forward to.

It is however a post about human life and humanity as a concept.

It is important.

I believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, among the inalienable rights of humans. But the question, asked in a dirty little voice from a corner of my mind as I say that is “who is human?”

Look, we can’t really claim that this used to be beyond dispute. Humans have always had issues with this concept. I am, undoubtedly human, freighted with all the rights and consciousness of a thinking, sentient being. You, my friend, almost certainly so. Those buggers over there, whom I’ve never met? Children yet unborn or too young to speak? The elderly so old their mind wanders and they have no idea who they are or what they’ve done? The demented? The impaired? Are they human?

Bah. Who is to decide?

For millenia, humans being tribal creatures, creatures of the band, it was decided by positional and relational criteria. My tribe is human. Those buggers over there? Not so much. Look, they eat weird things, and dress funny, okay?

Though exceptions were always made for those known and friendly. Because humans are funny. And not funny ah ah.

Christianity brought about the “all children of G-d.” So that the stranger with completely different skin, manners, features, was your brother or sister. All human. All redeemed by the one sacrifice that redeems us all. Young, old, impaired. It didn’t matter.

It’s kind of funny in the present day Christianity is presented as the most racist religion evah. Never mind. We live in funny times. And not funny ahah.

The twentieth century and the growth of the state to replace the church (note I say replace. This was intentional. Having a vast state might be okay — all right, by me it isn’t but hey — if it didn’t try to become the religion: the only ones to decide. The moral and thought of the nation it controls. As we know that’s impossible with any derivation of Marxism.

Which is what made the twentieth century (and possibly the end of the 19th) funny and not funny ahah.

The state, being controlled by a group of people who consider themselves qualified to decide who is human — or if you prefer — who gets any rights, considers most of humanity widgets. Mere chattel to be disposed of.

Only the insane or idiots would say things like what Bill Gates openly says, about reducing humanity — whose numbers he doesn’t know. Whose lives he can’t hope to understand — to 20% of its numbers. Because they too are human, and would realize it if they took a minute. Crowned heads and peasants alike have been “reduced” suddenly and horribly, and he’d see that, if he removed the hubris from his eye.

But in our day oligarchs, and the very rich who think they control them, say this casually.

They have forgotten or never understood the horrors of the 20th century that killed over a hundred million human beings, who were deemed not human because they were the wrong ancestry, the wrong religion, the wrong color, the wrong “utility” or simply because they wore glasses. Over a hundred million humans, as real as any of us reading this, were sent to their graves, sometimes in horrible ways, because those with power to decide decided they weren’t human.

Worse, millions more were reduced to lives that we wouldn’t inflict on our own domestic animals, because they weren’t deemed human. (The Nazi experiment of feeding concentration camp inmates on old rags and paper still horrifies me more than death.)

They weren’t deemed human by other humans, temporarily in power.

Only an idiot or a madman would think this is right. Only an idiot or a madman prey to a sadistic compulsion would try to do this. And forget the fate of Robespierre.

I was raised to think that “the important thing is not to be happy, but to be good for some thing.”

Both sides of that equation are flawed. Of course, the important thing is not to be happy. Happiness is a fleeting state. You can pursue it, but never hold it. Unless the happiness you crave is the sort of satisfaction when it’s late on cleaning day, and everything is done, and you snuggle up to your husband. A sort of glowing contentment. Or what Foxfier called “a sense of “this is good.””

But being good for something is the utilitarian evil rearing its head. Babies, the extreme aged, the infirm aren’t good for something. Either temporarily or permanently.

Does this mean they’re not human?

It took me till I was thirty, a stay at home mom (and very ill, but I didn’t know that) and making no money, and found myself listing for anyone I met that day everything I’d done that day for me to understand my grandmother’s habit of doing the same. It was “justifying my existence” since I was not making anything TANGIBLE. So I had to tell everyone how many times I’d changed the baby. I was ransoming my life for another day.

A sad and evil impulse. Human, of course. And not funny, ahah.

The truth is every time you give humans the power to decide who is human and who isn’t, you get this sort of thing. “Prove you’re useful.” Or “prove you’re useful to me.”

The worst part? As we saw through lockdowns, those who would order who is to live and who is to die don’t even understand what makes the world work. Or to quote a headline from the NYT (No, I didn’t read it. Do I look stupid?) “No one knows what makes the economy work.” (Oh, reeely? No. We do. It’s free humans trading freely. Those who would decide who’s to serve and who’s to eat? Not so much, no.)

You can’t decide who’s to live and who’s to die. No one can. More importantly, no one should. Certainly not a bureaucratic body, or someone who considers himself “scientific.”

That’s not how any of that works. To be human is to be flawed. The mote in your eye will not let you see clearly. Ever.

Judge not lest you should be judged.

Or if you prefer and if you don’t believe in G-d: To give humans the power to decide on the humanity of others is a corruption, which eats society and in the end makes everyone into things.

I believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. For all humans.

And I believe anyone saying “We are human, but those deplorables/stupid people/people who tan/weird ones over there aren’t, and they get fewer rights” is an idiot or a madman, and courting the fate of Robespierre.

Let my people go.

Bits and Pieces

I’m still home for another day. Going back this weekend, for …. reasons. Which makes it hard to get everything done by Wednesday, but we’re going to try.

Meanwhile well…. bits and pieces….

I don’t know if I’ll post next week. It depends on what the connection is like back there. It ranges from awful to impossible, though, so I’ll end up doing less, at any rate.

The accomplishments for this week seem pathetic, though I’m trying to rest, so…. it’s still probably too much.

Yesterday I was able to cook dinner in the kitchen for the first time. I’m halfway through unpacking my office. I have clothes in the dresser (and on boxes. SO MANY BOXES.) The dining room is eat-in ready, but I won’t do the walls (which are …. complicated) till I come back again, so things aren’t really unpacked yet. We also need to put baseboards throughout. I have an idea for a feeding station for the cats downstairs, but that involves getting a “rustic” looking “sofa table.” I might end up building one. Probably towards the end of the month. The idea being feeding the cats on bottom, and what can only be called my “coffee shrine” on top. If I put it in the dining room, that makes the inadequate kitchen counter livable, until we can remodel the kitchen. (I’m holding out for a gas range, sorry.) Which might be up to a year, depending on finances which depend on how much I write.

As usual, after three days at lower altitude, the writing started trying to come back. Not fully. I really had got myself in a state. I was determined to b*tch at son dragging me down here for a week (It DID delay us) until I caught glimpses of myself in the doors of gas stations. I looked like my friends who had cancer and are JUST starting to recover. It will give you a vague understanding maybe of how bad it had got when I tell you one of the very minor effects is passing: my fingertips can now be used without excruciating pain, as they’re starting to heal. This makes typing “not a torture.” Also means I don’t drop things and spill stuff all over myself quite as much.

Anyway, my hope for today is to finish setting up my office, so that I might, maybe, come back and start writing. I have Bowl of Red (so delayed) to get out. Also A Well Inlaid Death and I MUST get the Darkship books re-edited and out before I write the sequels. (Darkship Defiance, the Athena book; and Hacking the Storm, Fuse’s story.)

There is a second Rhodes book pushing hard to get written, and of course, The Long Purr Farewell.

So, I hope it’s clear both why I need working fingertips, and why the office must get set up so I can come back and slip into work.

Probably, supposing I’m back by Thurs. or Fri, I’ll spend next weekend painting the dining room and Dan’s office, but by Monday the 18th I MUST be back at work, and producing words. The way I see it, once the kitchen, dining room (We don’t have an eat-in kitchen here), bedroom and office are livable, the rest of the house can be unpacked and finished on weekends and evenings. I’m hoping to be done in time to decorate for Christmas. But the essential part is almost done, so…. the rest will happen.

Anyway, not looking forward to the next week, but determined to make it “the last trip to Colorado” — at least till closing. It should have been a month ago, except for the difficulty of getting workmen to actually show up on time, etc.

And all I can say is this mess might be G-d’s way to keep my mind off the mess our occupying Junta is making of the country.

On a lighter note, last night as we were falling asleep, the cats were throwing themselves about, and there was noisy scrabbling of claws. The words “Stop that” were uttered multiple times, and there might have been a pillow flung unfortunately nowhere near where the noise was.

Or maybe fortunately. This morning, there was a moth, dead, in the corner. Good cats. Satisfactory result.

May we all see the result of our work, thus, in the land of the living.

Amen.

Surfing the Event Horizon

What if they had a Singularity and nobody noticed?

Yes, I do know all the improbable things that have been freighted onto the idea of a Singularity. Human brain augmentation, Downloading yourself to live forever. And other Christian heresies, which always seemed improbable, impossible and/or dystopian. (Or, in more crude terms, things that make Sarah giggle when adults discuss them as if they were serious.)

But taking singularity as it was defined: a break so sudden and massive in human history that both sides of it would be mutually incomprehensible, wouldn’t it be understandable/visible only in retrospect? kind of like some bends in the road are so gradual, they’re only visible in retrospect.

Because there’s something to understand about humans and change: even the sudden ain’t really sudden.

Or, in other words: I’ve heard the entire biosphere described as a skim of dirt on the rock of the Earth.

In the same way, change in the way humans live is a thin sliver on an otherwise bed-rock stability.

Has to be. Without stability the species would have vanished long ago. Without change… Looks at Africa. Yeah, that.

But most humans hate change. Even the ones who think they’re for it. It usually means they want to design the world according to what in their brains (and only there) is a stable pattern. So that change stops.

Then there’s people like us, who change/create/move things without realizing. (Which is why the non-pink monkeys hate us. Okay, Apes. Same principle.)

Change, unless it comes in the form of violent invasion or cataclysmic events is usually slow, over centuries or millenia. S-l-o-w. And the change of communism isn’t. IT’s more a reversal to the way “things were always done.” (Glares at Africa.)

It’s very slow. VERY SLOW. Until suddenly it isn’t. Until you’re on the other side and going “How come the road behind me isn’t even visible?”

Mind you in some ways the change is all a reversal to quasi-ante. But how far away is the ante? Well, in what we’re facing, would you believe before cities?

Okay, let me wind way back.

The entire twentieth century will be viewed — I’m laying down a marker in serene confidence that when it’s called I’ll be long dead — as a psychotic fugue in the history of mankind.

Thing is it seemed logical, the culmination of a movement-towards-mass-everything stemming from mass production started in the industrial revolution. And the idea that crawled into people’s brains is that humans themselves would become a sort of collective creature and that this was “progress.” It doesn’t help that this was costume made to appeal to would be rulers who imagine themselves superior.

So they thought, if they just gave it a LITTLE push….

A hundred years later, real progress went in another direction, and people wedded to …. shall we call it retro-progress? The Future of the Past? are having memgrims, kitten fits and panic attacks which they pass on to the rest of us, of course.

But the thing is, humans were never going to be ants. Or collective beings. Thinking that could/would happen was a fugue state.

And the reaction is epic. Massive/epic.

Despite their attempts to put the genie of “distributed” (Communication/manufacturing/etc) back in the bottle, it keeps escaping them. Turns out that no, you really can’t control the beast unleashed, no matter how you try to.

So, they’ve gone extreme. The covidiocy was an extreme attempt “Just stay home and stop moving, d*mn you.”

As is the Climateocy “Just stop traveling/moving/doing things.”

Doesn’t work.

In fact, because I have a really dark sense of humor, I’ve been giggling over how everything they do just makes their vision recede/get lost.

It always was going to. It has nothing to do with reality. In fact, if they made the world communist, they’d just STARVE everyone. Communism was only possible because the US fed it. (insert rant.)

But what they’re doing in their flailing couldn’t be more designed to rush things if their councils were run by a cabal of their enemies. (They’re not. We couldn’t run a creek through a pebble bed, much less in secret.)

I started finding articles about how “everyone wants to go back to the office, and anyway only 2% of people can work from home.”

It’s bullshit. You know it’s bullshit. I know it’s bullshit. The number is probably closer to 20% and while some people do want to go back to the office, I doubt it’s most people, let alone “everyone.” Besides the articles have the same desperate wiff of “if I say it loud enough and click my heels” I’ve come to expect from other dying ways of life, like traditional publishing.

And anyway, they’re ignoring the cascade of the 20% in supporting services, etc.

On top of that, I’ve been standing on random walls and waving my arms, and screaming, but no one will listen.

There is this meme going around “there aren’t enough workers because the socialists won. They gave people money to stay home and now people want that.”

Will someone PLEASE find my eyes. They rolled under furniture, and now I can’t find it.

There MIGHT be some people like that, though I’d guess it falls more under “I had to give up my apartment and move in with mom and dad, and now I’m reorienting my life, rather than go back to what I was doing before.” But sure. In 300 plus million, I’d bet there’s some people like that.

However, the cases I know of “not going back to work?” Almost all women. Almost all working retail/service/pink collar. Almost all of them discovered they liked staying home with the kids/being mom. Also there’s an explosion in homeschooling and a lot of people don’t want their kids wearing muzzles all day. You do the math.

I know at least two of our favorite waitresses, one quit to stay home, and one works only weekends so she can homeschool.

Most of them, actually “did the math.” Most of those jobs, the women are working because they’ve been conditioned to work, but if you factor in day care, eating out, clothes, car maintenance, they’re actually paying to work.

Sure, this isn’t all women quitting to stay home with kids. But you know what? If it’s 1/4th of them, it accounts for the labor shortage. And a bunch of cascading effects, including sudden demise of the tax base.

The idiots who thought it was a good idea to do this? Not a clue.

For one, they’re not good at thinking people might do what they weren’t told to do. That’s their tragic problem. And the reason they do so many stupid things.

For another, humans aren’t good at seeing change. They just aren’t. I look at indie writers courting/rushing into trad pub and shake my head. It always ends the same way. And that’s before the covidiocy made trad pub near broke.

I saw the writing on the wall 10 years ago, but these really bright people are still thinking they can have a bright and big career. (Shakes head.)

Never mind.

It seems the bigger the change, the harder to see.

And Lord, the sh*t coming down the pike from the covidiocy. The two I mention above are MINOR and even those are Earth shattering. Or at least civilization sundering in a sense that things will change so much, we can’t see it, even in the middle of this.

Take more women staying at home. Even 1/4 of the mothers, and the results, cultural, economic, hell, health are mind boggling in 20 years.

Or take the reversal of the growth of cities, brought about by people being able to work from everywhere and anywhere. (Some people, of course. And services, probably in a new form, will follow.)

Those alone, will twist the world into a shape the 20th century won’t recognize.

And I bet you there’s a million other effects I can’t even see.

Hold on to the sides of the boat — Or your surf board — stay flexible. Remember everything can change, very suddenly, once enough momentum is acquired. Also remember stupid is gonna stupid, and probably poke themselves in the eye again and again.

Get ready to survive a change that might be nothing short of oh, the agricultural revolution.

And don’t let the retro-futurists convince you they’ve won.

They’ve already lost. Now we need to make sure we don’t.

Make Room

Hey, buddy, would you mind exhaling, so I can inhale? And scooch over, so I can sit.

Like many of the terrors invoked in the seventies by a prattle of progressives, overpopulation is a paper tiger. Frankly, even if you took the official figures, we’re nowhere near overpopulated. Take it from someone who’s been driving back and forth across the west on a regular basis. We could put several New York Cities in several states, and not notice except for a marked uptick in fraud. (and in Colorado, given Vote by Fraud Mail that would be lost in the noise.)

But it doesn’t take a very deep thinker, or delving too much into anything at all to realize all the population figures, PARTICULARLY the ones from the UN, are bullshit, and overinflated bullshit at that.

I might have a leg up on you guys on that, since I grew up in a nominally modern, industrialized country which tries really hard to know everything about its people, but is guesstimating when it comes to how many live there because: people lie. They lie for benes. They lie because it’s Tuesday. They lie because it’s fun. Also, even when they’re not lying, they make assumptions. Of course, for instance, I live with my parents. Because for the longest time they assumed that was my real home. Do I count twice? We’re lucky if it’s only twice. A few years ago, I found out that under my pre-citizenship name, I was still voting in North Carolina. Which is a puzzle, as I never voted under that name. But apparently I’ve been living for 30 some years in our starter apartment and am registered to vote. (It’s disconcerting. Oh, fraudulent too. But disconcerting. Like looking into a parallel world.)

In other words, simple words: humans are wiggly things, hard to count and moveable. Oh, and unreliable. AND the bias in counting is always towards more. Because governments derive more power from more people; fraud happens more easily with imaginary people. And, oh, yeah, authoritarians get power from panicking about “more people.”

But come on guys. There isn’t a single one of us that canvasing through the lines of our family doesn’t see precipitous DECLINE in the last 30? 40? years. From seven to two to one is not unusual.

Ah, but the THIRD world. Bullshit. On stilts. wearing a funny hat. The third world, being net recipients of aid benefit from claiming to have more kids, but from what I know from people who have family there they too are declining.

Oh, sure, more births than us. But don’t forget they die earlier and harder too. They need a ton more births. They don’t have that. Not anymore.

Same goes for our ghetto inhabitants. I have friends who work with that population and who are all up in arms about how they’ll “take over.” BAH. Sorry. Their lives are shorter and brutish. Sure, they reproduce more. But not as much as needed to expand. To go on, sure. But not to expand.

So, why do so many people on all sides of the spectrum believe the whole “World population is booming out of control?”

Oh, several reasons: suburbs have been expanding steadily. This is because even in the gentrified cities, we required more space than our ancestors. Or at least we demanded it. So, you know “Population must be growing because we’re building.” Except that’s not true.

Also apparently we identify people we have contact with, subconsciously, as “members of our tribe” and with electronic communications all our tribes are “growing.”

Plus, the US and other “developed” countries are being assaulted by unassimilated waves of “migrants.” The understanding is that these people are escaping the “teeming multitudes” in their countries. It’s bullshit. And the funny hat now has feathers.

Seriously. It’s just that as Marxism (the gift that keeps on taking) spread to the third world, often via their sending their best and brightest to our universities, the third world became less able to support even diminishing populations.

The truth is that a contracting world population is the only way to explain some of the recent economic and political developments.

And it’s terrifying.

Look, I know all the fantasies about how an empty Earth would mean everyone would be rich.

They’re bullshit, on stilts, wearing a funny hat with feathers, and blowing a horn with its ass.

They’re based on the Marxist idea that “resources” exist somewhere outside an humanity that can only distribute them. If you wonder why that’s bullshit, I invite you to look at the relative wealth of Brazil and the US, and the relative distribution of natural resources. And if you think the US is hiding the stash, come closer so I can hit you on the head.

The truth is that the only wealth, the only real wealth is people: they both give value to resources and make resources into things worth having.

Without people we have nothing. Not even a civilization.

And I’m going to bet you cash money we’re near a demographic cliff of unimaginable depth.

Don’t look down, it’s a long way to fall.

Go and make kids. and raise kids. And sound the alarm.

Because wealth is made of people. And we need more people.

Slouching towards progress

Like many, if not most of you, I thought this “progressive” thing on the left was a new thing. Yet another name change, like a bad Chinese restaurant.

Turns out I was wrong and suffer from historical blindness. Apparently progressivism was a thing of both parties in the early to mid twentieth century. FDR was progressive, but so was Eisenhower, and so, of course, was Nixon.

Progressivism was loosely defined as “dragging the American people to the future.” The kicking and screaming was implied.

As for the future, the dear little (big, actually) statists had forgotten the first rule of the future: it’s hard to tell what the future is. Because it hasn’t happened yet.

In their little shriveled power-hungry hearts they had seen the future. And it looked like Russia. Or Germany. (No seriously. That’s what they thought, before Germany imploded.) It was glorious future, comrade. The people at the top, the best men, you understand, told the masses how to live, and everyone was happy. I understand the peasants danced on the streets in celebration every other Thursday. Well, they did if they knew what was good for them.

And I can see you guys ruminating and saying “Yeah, but Sarah! Rural electrification. Highways! These are fair and just things to pursue.”

The thing is, were they? Were they really?

All of these bullshit directives from above might have “achieved” something. And from the perspective of us now, looking back they might seem right.

What I want to ask yourself is “Is it survivor bias?” “Was there an ignored path?” And “What about the squid farms on Mars?”

I guarantee the answers are “Yes. Yes.” And “We’ll never know, because it’s impossible to know if they’d have existed in another time line.” The squid farms on Mars are short hand for opportunity costs. For things that never existed. We don’t know what they are because they never existed.

The thing is, in almost every case where we have “another way” the “other way”, the way of individual choice is better: More efficient; less wasteful; more human.

Take the internet. Yes, I know it started as a military project. And was useless as tits on a bull for the general public, until it escaped via cat memes and porn and became the engine that transformed society in the very late twentieth century, and is transforming it again with a little help from covidiocy into a place where well… cities aren’t as important (reversing the trend of millenia) and parents can actually raise their own children (reversing the trend of centuries.)

France, which does statism on pro mode had a model for the internet. When I attended an extension of a French university (long story) in the 80s, an entire unit of teaching was devoted to it: how the government had planned everything, so in the near future, a woman in one end of the country could call her aunt in the other and learn to knit a pattern via the video phones that would be provided to everyone.

Meanwhile…. Yeah. Private enterprise, software, people wanting to see cat memes — and porn — and by fits and starts, Americans got there before this multi-decade, carefully directed French project.

Is it what the French government envisioned? Well, no. For one, they wouldn’t want us to share cat memes and porn. And certainly they wouldn’t allow people to coordinate opportunities for throwing burning smart cars at the Arc du Triomphe. Ca alors, non, you peasants.

There is a reason that all progressive efforts are so deeply unconstitutional that if the constitution were holy water they’d burn on contact.

Because they are against individual choice. The “progress” is “someone in the know” and their VISION of progress. Which might or might not have anything to do with real progress. In fact, most of the time all it is is another layer of distortions, forcing commerce and the future into another channel than the one it would have taken naturally.

Better or worse? Well, usually worse, because individuals do what is good for them. Not what other people think is good for them.

And before you tell me about sanitation and roads and…. yeah and? Do you know for sure what individuals would have achieved without these massive centrally administered “progressive” projects would be worse? Because I doubt it. Every project in my life time has been way worse if done by the government. More wasteful, and generally some form of insane.

It is very important to remember this, because the current progressives have soured.

Look, every progressive project implies and necessitates a certain level of disdain for the “masses” and the “common people.” If it didn’t, they wouldn’t think themselves anointed to tell others what to do.

But at least FDR and his successors IMAGINED themselves benevolent. They imagined a better future for humanity, even while they f*cked us over. They thought humanity could become, of its own volition, collectivist and non-greedy and– and it’s a case of their not having any introspection, yes — but they wanted to gift humanity things like electricity and better/faster industrial production and such.

The current progressives have soured. We broke their little RedMarxist wagon. The USSR was not as wonderful as they knew it was, because humans refused to play along. And here in the US we hold onto the constitution, which prevents them doing all their wonderful stuff.

They not only disdain us, they hate us. All humans. Every single man jack and woman jill of us. They want us reduced, destroyed, diminished, humiliated; forced to grovel in the dirt for their favor.

That’s the progress in their minds.

It’s important to remember that progressivism has always been wrong. Always been evil. It’s the imposition of a vision of the future by people who think of themselves as anointed. I don’t see any way it wasn’t always wasteful, evil and wrong, and forcing humanity into paths better left untrod.

It’s time to give progressives the good old heave-ho. They know it too. They know they’ve failed, which is why they’ve gone rabid.

Let the future build itself. One individual at a time, from our own decisions and beliefs.

Let no one command us to the vision in their diseased heads.

Let my people go.

Prometheus

No one is quite sure who he was. Or at least the mythology makes a right hash of it.

Man, god or Titan. Titan surely, because he stood above gods and men, principles unwavering.

What we do know is that he liked humans, mankind. Which as we know is the original sin, unforgivable by the old horrors who called themselves gods and acted like a passel of pedophilic, fornicating, warring, rooting animals so lost to their pleasures that their entire reason was devoted to justifying them.

Sure, they said they did things for the good of humans. And sometimes they might sort of have, sideways, accidentally. Athena gave the Greeks the olive, after all, but you can bet — more or less — it was accidental to some other scheme of hers. Or perhaps she wanted to see them struggle in vain with the more-pit-than-flesh bitter fruit. Who knows?

Mostly they did things for their own good, and covered up their crimes with other crimes.

And then Prometheus, man, god or titan, who cares? went and gave the groveling, stupid, dirty humans fire.

Fire. Power. Energy. The ability to have that fire, that power, that energy do work for them, so they need not work themselves into early graves. Smoked meat, that means you don’t need to hunt every day. Food that’s easier to digest so babies and elderly people eat better. And by the by, the turbine, the nuclear plant, the car engine.

And light. Don’t forget the light. Light to see that the gods, presenting themselves as beautiful and golden were really a scabrous collection of old horrors, the old demons of mankind feasting on despair and making things more difficult for humans, because they can.

So they chained him on a mountain and had an eagle eat his forever rejuvenating liver.

Brother. He got off lightly. They probably wanted to do worse to him, but let’s face it, demons are utterly devoid of imagination.

Which is why they need the dark. And they try to make humans even more miserable than they themselves are, all the while trying to sell us on the idea they’re noble and perfect gods.

Perhaps it’s true that this is the only time this has happened. That this is the only advanced civilization of mankind. If so, whoever created the old myths had our measure and their measure: the measure of humans posing as gods, pretending to be something more powerful and special and holding others down in unending misery.

(Waggles hand. I’m agnostic on the matter. I’ve taken note of both the woo-woo insanity of the “lost civilization” crowd and the way the genesis of modern man keeps receding into the mists of deep time quietly, in official channels, by serious scientists, until soon it won’t make any sense with the rest of the biological history of the Earth. And since I can see sixty from where I stand, I cackle my old woman’s cackle, and touch the side of my nose and say knowingly “There’s a lot going on we don’t know nothin’ about.”)

What I do know is that we’re living through a new phase of a very old war. Very old.

The old horrors who think themselves gods, and don’t believe in anything greater than their own petty and dissolute will and pleasures, are trying to drive us down to the dirt our ancestors escaped. Sometimes quite literally: banning machines that wash, and water that cleanses, even though the justifications make no sense.

And they’re trying to turn out the lights. They need the lights off, so we can’t see them for what they are, and so we can’t communicate.

We need an army of Prometheus. We need people who reject the obfuscation and gaslighting.

We need people who find ways around their petty restrictions on energy.

We need people who hold the light aloft and say “Those aren’t gods. They’re very naughty spoiled and superannuated children.”

Be Prometheus. In whatever capacity you can, shed light on the truth. Hold aloft the torch. Make the darkness, the evil, the hatred of humanity recoil.

What are they going to do? Chain you on a mountain and have an eagle eat your liver?

Is that worse than make you live in filth and darkness fearing your own thoughts?

How?

There is no choice between cake or death. It’s just the eagle or forever darkness because a boot is stomping on your face, forever.

I know which one I choose.

I’ll continue holding up the torch. If you do too, soon enough the darkness will run out of places to hide.

On the count of three, light up your torch and lift.

One

Two

Three!

writing challenge and Sunday book promo

I think Mary sent me the key word for vignettes, but it was so long ago, I can’t find it. So, as a challenge, take the one of the pictures below and write the beginning of a story.

Book promo

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 SARAH A. HOYT: Barbarella #3 (The tentacle edition.)

Fresh off the chaotic conclusion to the riddle of Camelot, Barbarella finds herself out an ally but with no time to lick her wounds. A mysterious signal from space leads Barbarella to the water world of Encantado, where the remnants of a once-thriving situation lay hidden, as do much genetic shenanigans. And lest you think that’s all the Siren of Space must deal with, the armed forces of they deadly power behind the enslavement of Camelot is still hot on her trail—good luck outrunning lasers!

FROM PAM UPHOFF: Code Name Igor

Lord Axel Ivan Vinogradov Is a Mentalist with the Fast Reaction Teams that protect the small population of the Sanctioned Research World of Siberia Max from acquisitive Cross dimensional Worlds.

As the Three Part Alliance crumbles, Axel–code name Igor–finds himself overstretched between his duty, and his family. Especially after he is accused of murdering his corrupt and very much not-loved uncle.

FROM L. S. KING: Sword’s Edge

Ripped from her home…
…recruited as a spy.

Can Tam successfully pose as a servant and discover which of the lords is a traitor? If she fails, not only will her family die, but their world will be thrown into chaos.

Tragedy strikes—

Amidst grief, she must undertake a dangerous rescue mission, aided by a mysterious alien relic. Can this young lass succeed or will the assassins at her heels cost her all?

You’ll love this Epic Fantasy, because it’s science fiction with a twist.

Get it now.

FROM CELIA HAYES AND JEANNE HAYDEN: Luna City X

Welcome to Luna City, Karnes County, Texas … Population 2,457, give or take! Fugitive former celebrity chef Richard Astor-Hall has decided to make some serious changes to his life … and propose to his girlfriend, Kate Heisel. But the path of true love does not run smooth. Meanwhile, Jess and Joe Vaughn face impending childbirth, and Xavier Gunnison-Penn, the world’s most unsuccessful professional treasure-hunter marries his true love and sets off a family row, on the way to search for another treasure. Another chapter in the doings of those residents of Luna City, in this tenth visit to the most perfect small town in Texas.

FROM IRENE MASCHKE: Aliens and Other Circumstances: Collected Short Stories.

Have you ever dreamed of shaking hands with an alien from a far-away star system? Would you like to explore deep space or fly to the Moon? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a time machine? While you probably may never enjoy the personal experience, the 15 brand-new short stories in ‘Aliens and Other Circumstances’ will take you on an imaginary journey to meet friendly and not-so-friendly aliens, to investigate effects of social media, to travel on a star ship and to take a glimpse at what the future might bring – good or bad. This collection contains a wide variety of original Science Fiction stories on a variety of subjects ranging from encounters with aliens to time travel and social developments, from serious to light-hearted and just-for-fun. Let the stories inspire your imagination. Read and enjoy.

FROM KARL K. GALLAGHER: Between Home and Ruin.

The Censorate wants to impose its rule on Fiera and destroy all the art and history the Fierans preserved from Old Earth. If the embassy can’t placate the Censorate, Marcus Landry will be forced from the world of the woman he loves . . . and will return to a home facing annihilation.

FROM DENTON SALLE: The Fourth Bear of God: Book 2 of the Avatar Wizard.

Jeremy’s celebration party for his passing the second degree of the volkh path is stopped when a band of armed men demand to speak with Master Anthony. Who disturbs the keep of the world’s greatest remaining wizard-lord? And why is Jeremy so attracted to her?

In a world where the volkh wizards once ruled as gods, and the Light wars with the forces of Darkness, a teenaged boy discovers that there are other important things besides following the path of the volkh to mastery.

But even young love is threatened by the forces of the Dark. And now lives depend on Jeremy’s choice.

Jeremy’s adventures continue as the Light and Dark continue to strive. If you liked Riordan or Butcher’s stories, you’ll enjoy this fantasy series.

FROM MACKEY CHANDLER: Fair Trade: An Alien Invasion Story

Most of my writing is in a series people seem to enjoy but there is a constant small crowd who say: I’d really like your take on an alien invasion story. Well this is for them. The bulk of the aliens come to Earth stories assume their vast superiority, sometimes invincibility. Sometimes they suddenly appear on the white house lawn dictating terms. I have yet to see one with them appearing at the Kremlin or Canberra which seems rather parochial. Other times they are so advanced they quarantine the Earth or Solar System without discussion because we are such barbarian slime-balls. They may alternately be impossible to talk to and attack without mercy. All these assume they come with a plan and the means to carry it out. Our own age of exploration showed things happen much less orderly. Islands and natives were happened upon while seeking someplace else or even because a storm or miscalculation left the ship lost. In that case there is no plan but survival with the assets at hand. As with any game remember that turnabout is fair play.

FROM PAM UPHOFF: Agent of the 300.

Axel Vinogradov is back!

And trying to make Siberia Max self sufficient. But is traveling to other worlds to research dairy farms the cover for covert contact a foreign government about an illegal method of controlling portal travel, or are both cover to hide that he’s really there to help the son of a friend through his perilous Presentation and Challenge?

As Axel falls deeper into a tangle of outmoded laws and customs . . . his Cyborg friends have troubles of their own . . . or is that . . . opportunities?

FROM C.V. WALTER: Wed to the Alien Prince (Alien Brides Book 3).

Kaelin knows an alien when she sees one. The trick, given her eyesight, is actually getting close enough to see them. She might as well wish upon a falling star!

Against all odds, one just walked right up to her and introduced himself as Roger. He’s on a mission from Molly, the friend she’s traveled half-way across the country to see, with news of her alien ever after and a shopping list. Apparently, the best technology in the galaxy isn’t stocked with hair conditioner…

When their hands touch, everything changes. Kaelin has a chance to become everything she ever wished she could be… but it will cost her everything she currently is.

Prince Serogero has found the perfect match in an imperfect woman. When he catches her during a seizure, everything he assumed finding his mate would mean is turned upside down. His people’s technology can help her, if she lets it, but at what cost to her, and to him? When his duties and her safety conflict, can they create a happy ending?