Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rattling the Cage Doors

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Totalitarian regimes create people who find a way to get around them.

In the Soviet Union there was the famous Soviet joke, the only one of which I remember is: The agricultural inspector came to the collective farm, and asked how the potato harvest had gone.  The secretary of the cooperative assured him, “We produced so many potatoes, they’ll reach the knees of G-d.”  To which the bureaucrat snapped, “There is no G-d.” And the secretary said, “The same with potatoes.”

There is also the anecdote that during the Roman Empire, when the emperor ordered a certain courtier to commit suicide (an order that if refused ended in execution and expropriation of the heirs) the courtier did so, but left his will, to be read in public, listing all the various lewd amusements and gross injustices that the Emperor had committed, thereby ruining his reputation.

You see, any curtailment of free speech doesn’t actually silence people. It leads people to communicate in other ways.  Which can mean the “rulers” having no clue of what is actually going on in people’s minds because they’re not in on the joke — few of them would understand they’re the joke — and don’t see the communication taking place.

IMHO part of the reason for the increasingly paranoid behavior of the left is that they know there is communication going on but they don’t understand it/know what we’re saying.  They just have the impression that we’re getting restive, and they don’t fully get it. Even though they obviously should.

Look, yeah, the first amendment still protects our speech. And yes, I know the first amendment only protects our speech from the government.  But in the year of our Lord 2019 we also know for sure that if you say the wrong thing you could find yourself fired, your reputation destroyed, your family threatened, your career a thing of the past. It’s not exactly by the government — though remember that poor schmo dragged in for the movie The Innocence of Muslims whom no one had watched and which Obama decided to blame for the 9/11/12 Embassy attack? — but by the Marxist Hydra which encompasses various power structures: the government bureaucracy, the media, entertainment, a lot of rich people and what’s known as the “movers and shakers.”

This btw has happened for a long time, at least in my field, (and in a lot of others). But it was impossible to get word out, and anyone who managed it was disbelieved.

Now, of course we know we’re not alone. We also know the limits to our speech.  And we’re of course told things like “free speech doesn’t cover hate speech” which is what is technically known as bullshit, since no one ever needed a right to free speech to say that butterflies are pretty and ice cream tastes delicious.  Or for that matter to echo the things the controllers of media and social media want you to say.

And of course, the left, knowing the game is up and we can see them, has dropped all the masks and has gone to naked aggression and force.  Daft and naked aggression and force. I guess all out of touch would be elites, in their terminal state seem to get a little … odd.

The problem is that for decades, in many ways they had this thing called “Absolute power.” For decades our Marxists had full control over the media, full control over publishing, full control over entertainment, full control over the bureaucracy behind the government, full control of a lot of our judicial system, full control–  It turns out, after all that we’ve been saying it all wrong.  It’s not Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is, in fact Absolute control of the means of communication dumbs you down infinitely.

Until you think your sh*t don’t stink and if you refuse to impose consequences on other leftists everyone will be fine with that. They are after all leftists and therefore above the law.

So the left, not knowing any history but Marx and his paler (and let’s face it, being German, he was pale enough) and dumber imitators like Howard Zinn, think the way to secure full control — again. They liked it, see — is to keep tightening their fist.

Instead they should look to Hong Kong (and ooh, boy, they hate Hong Kong. They want to be left to felate the PRC’s bloody … organ in peace) and learn that when you tighten hard enough, the people become like water, be it in confrontation or in words. They flow over and around you.  And they get angry.

The signs are already here. We’re learning.  The left is teaching us.  A man with an overcoat is an enemy.

Or in this case, a man — or woman — in the control of the left is the enemy.

I hope you boys and girls are telling the polls what they want to hear.  (Bats eyelashes) “Why Mr. Poll taker, I can’t wait to vote Trump out of office.  I’m all for Biden/Warren/Harris/Mayor Pete/ Bernie Sanders [gargles with mouth wash, followed by sheep dip]/Tulsi/Bloombug/the rest of the clown car.”  That is a form of (real, not their imagined bullshit) resistance, because you’re messing with their knowledge of how many votes to manufacture. We must beat the margin of fraud. And we know they’re going to fraud like nobody’s business.

Then there is…  well…. you know, we’re not allowed to say the name of Mr. C * aramella.  Because he’s totally not the whistleblower that Schiffty claims not to know. (Rolls eyes.  Yeah, bud, we’re dumb. Pull the other leg. It plays jingle bells. Bake me an Italian caramel cake, you tax-sucker.)

And then there is, amazingly, joyously the fact that:

Jeffrey Epstein did not kill himself.

It’s an act of civil disobedience, and it’s everywhere. And I’ve seen people complain they’re tired of the meme. Or try to be rational and go “but the hyoid bone can be broken if you hang yourself if you’re over sixty and–”

People…  I doubt very few of us care how the famed sex-trafficker died. Though I must tell you it stinks to high heaven for a millionaire who is known to have dirt with everyone and who ran possibly the largest and most high-reaching sex ring with underage girls in the world to “kill himself” in prison while both guards are asleep and the camera is disabled.  Because you know, there are only so many coincidences we will swallow.

We also know — know for an absolute fact — that the media is not only trying to whitewash the whole thing, but also trying to hustle it out of sight as fast as possible, with the cooperation of most of the agents and agencies of the law who are SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING FOR US.

It begins with what Epstein was and what he did. Back int he early two thousands I heard of Bill Clinton and flights in the Lolita Express leaving out of Mena airport in Arkansas. Dark mutterings of young girls and drug traffic. And all the time, all the time I thought “Right-wing fever swamps. I guess we have nutters too. Because if that were happening, involving someone who later became president, there’s no way it wouldn’t have come out. Everyone would know.”

Well, dear fever swamps, I want to apologize to you. You were right, I was wrong. It turns out the Lolita Express was flying and Bill Clinton was part of the party and no one NO ONE, not one man jack in the main stream media thought this news worthy? NOT ONE. The Omerta held it as silent as they held Obama’s grades or what courses he actually took in college, or how he got to be president of Harvard Law Review without ever publishing a single thing.

Now, how do you expect me to laugh when someone says all leftist politicians are lizard-beings from Ganymede? HOW can I say that’s insanity because someone would know and report it? They might know, indeed, but they wouldn’t report it. Not on leftists. (And to be fair mad uncle Bernie does look like a reptiloid. Oh, my bad. He’s just a communist. After a while it starts showing in their features.)

And we’ve seen things that just ten years ago I’d have thought were insane: we’ve seen Hillary pardoned for crimes that would have sent anyone else with her clearance to prison. We’ve seen open conspirators and liars disporting themselves in the limelight and get not even a slap on the wrist. Instead they get lucrative book deals for books that everyone knows will sell three copies. We’ve seen a former president bug a rival’s campaign, and try to discredit the rival with a fake dossier, and yet remain free, rich and revered (though not by the left who now are trying to convince us he was a conservative. No sale, guys, that baby with the bright red diaper is ALL yours. Kiss him on the puss and call him daddy. You own him.) We’ve seen now two attempts to take the president down on fake accusations and fake “evidence” with full complicity of the media. We’ve seen the President’s executive orders countermanded by judges out of podunk who never said “Bah” to a single one of Obama’s use of pen and phone, no matter how outrageous.

We’ve seen you try to impeach the president because Joe Biden is corrupt.

And what’ seen can’t be unseen.

Here, I’ll decode for you, hard of hearing leftists: Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself, means “We can see you there behind the curtain.  You’re not a great wizard. You’re not a medium size wizard. You’re just corrupt little leftists swollen in your own importance.  AND WE SEE YOU.  AND WE SEE THROUGH YOU.”

You thought you had us locked safe and tight, didn’t you? You’re trying so hard to slam the door on us. Bless your little rotten hearts. But Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself is the measure of how you can’t control us. It’s the sound of prisoners rattling the cage bars, faster and faster in a crescendo rhythm.

You’ve seen enough prison movies to know how that ends, right?

You poor sons (and daughters. must not discriminate) of bitches. You thought you could cage Americans? You thought you could control our words? You thought you could confine our thoughts? You thought you were OUR betters?

We ain’t got no betters. Those sons-and-daughters of bitches ain’t been born.

Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.  And Eric C*aramella won’t kill himself either, when you discover he no longer serves your purposes. Oh, and by the way, I know absolutely nothing that will lead to the conviction and impeachment of Hillary Clinton.

Hear that? Rattle rattle rattle, growing to a deafening crescendo.

There is an anger in the land I don’t think you’re even vaguely aware of.  I’m not — not even close — the most hot tempered on our side.  And I was a very reluctant Trump voter. But watching your sham- wow-impeachment (It’s Russia, it’s Ukraine, it’s taxes, it’s mean tweets against the squad, it’s the fact that orange man bad), your attempt to reverse elections you don’t like, and silence people who don’t agree with you, has me spitting mad, furious, not even sure what to do with all this anger.  And I’m not alone. You have no idea of the anger stalking this land. (And if you say “you sound angry” guess what “Damn skippy. You have no idea how angry.” The only ones not angry aren’t paying attention.)

We’re expressing it with humor. We are as fond of a joke as Jeffrey Epstein, who didn’t kill himself.

Be glad we can still express it with humor. But beware there’s anger there. Deadly serious anger.

Rattle, rattle, rattle.

You can’t stop us.  The more you do to try to stop us the angrier we get. And you won’t like us when we’re angry.

That much I can promise you. You won’t like us when we’re angry.

 

Challenge and Book Promo

Book Promo

*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. GREEBO needs very expensive medical treatment, which will hopefully ensure us another year or two with him, but it’s kind of a very bad time for it.  (I mean, we can, okay? It’s just … very expensive, but I can’t give up on him.)  So, every little bit helps-SAH*

Yes, I’m sorry. This is another of those weeks where the challenge word JUST didn’t make it. My email was hungry, I guess.

So, your challenge for vignettes is: Tell us about the life of one of the hamsters who runs the internet, and the things that can go wrong (or right.) Make it as serious or funny as you wish.  Make it focused on ONE particularly hamster or the weird effects that happen when one of the runs too fast on his wheel.

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FROM MARY CATELLI: The Hall of the Heiress.

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She knows nothing of the hall where she lives, alone, where sea serpents prowl the shore, except that it bears the name Hall of the Heiress — not even if she is the heiress it speaks of.

Any more than she knows her own name.

Or whether there is any escape from the hall.

FROM DAVID L. BURKHEAD:  The Chooser: A Tale of Modern Valkyrie.

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A Tale of Modern Valkyrie

Göll is a Valkyrie, a chooser of the slain. She takes those who die in battle first to Hel for judgement, then on to their final destination, whether it’s Valhöl or elsewhere. When her latest slain is an eight year old boy she finds herself facing a new challenge, one she had never before faced in all her centuries of serving the Lord of Battles.

FROM MEL DUNAY:  Saving a Queen (Ancestors of Jaiya Book 2).

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Journey to the country of Jaiya, in a world not quite like ours. Here the humans wield magical powers and fight against an Empire which seeks to enslave them, but they share their world with insect people and trollfolk, and stranger things lurk in the shadows…

Queen Prasa escapes from her city as it falls to the Empire. Her only hope of survival lies in traveling with Nirav, a smuggler who pilots a type of balloon called a skyboat. Caught between her sense of duty and her attraction to the smuggler, Prasa must listen to her heart in order to find the best way to save her people. But what is the secret cargo that Nirav carries…and why is a flying monster out of the old stories hunting his skyboat?

Note: Queen is meant as a standalone with a “happily ever after” ending. However, the heroes in the later books in this series are descended from Prasa and Nirav, who are also the ancestors of some of the characters in the original Jaiya series. The romance is on the sweet side, but there are some references to the horrors of war, more implied than shown, and violent fights with the flying monster.

The Best People

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Let me begin this by saying there are millions of people way smarter than myself.  This is a necessary statement, as you will see because otherwise I’ll sound insane.

Though I’ll say there are only two people so much smarter than myself that I felt like a little kid trying to comprehend an adult.  One of them was Ginny Heinlein. There is a third one I can almost keep up with if I run fast enough. And I’ve caught him in an error once, in economic forecasting, which has zero to do with this field.

Other than that life in this family is a daily act of humility as the other members of it are way smarter than myself. When they get going on something, particularly blue sky physics, I can just sit and watch like someone with two broken legs looking on at acrobats.

That said, my feeling of inferiority is tempered by the fact I often correct the English of one, the history of another and that I’ve read more than husband, (it being part of my job.) so I can pull up examples of things he was unaware of.

And that paragraph above is why I don’t believe in “Smart people” and “The top men.”

Even admittedly brilliant, stunningly erudite people have areas they know or understand or think about more than others.  And in some of them they can be strangely and stunningly ignorant.

I won’t give the example of actors who run their mouths on politics and political systems, because that would be low hanging fruit.  I’m not sure — and I know some of them are bright people but that’s not the point — what acting talent is exactly (which since maternal grandparents met on the boards and enjoyed some acclaim is kind of odd, right?) but it doesn’t seem to be a strictly intellectual function. Maybe it is simply an enhancement of that mimic ability that allows humans to adapt to the tribe when yet very young and to manipulate their caretakers so they survive.

I won’t mention authors, either, because authors are … well. I have no idea how others work.  I know some say they do this rationally and purely from intellect, but you know what? We lie for a living. And we tend to claim as the origin story of someone’s favorite book whatever fits the rule of cool, even if the real origin story was to quote a meme with Yoda. “Young I was, needed money, I did.”

We are usually learned and competent in two areas that impress those who aren’t writers: the manipulation of words and knowledge of obscure facts.

In addition, I can sound incredibly smart — without trying to, just geeking out, because I read a lot of history and economics and my mind is a stainless steel lint trap. Meaning I retain the most obscure, bizarre and often irrelevant pieces of information seemingly for life.  If I live that long, after I forget my own name and can no longer recognize my kids or — more alarmingly — my cats, I’ll be able to tell you the very last words that Leonardo DaVinci ever wrote was Il Caldo e Freddo.  Which means “[My] soup grows cold.”  (Actually the soup is cold, but what he meant is that he’d be right back but had to eat his soup before it got cold. Which will be the title of the last Leonardo Da Vinci Mystery, if I can clear the time and muster the discipline to write everything else on the way to those.

But again, most areas of human endeavor are opaque to me and I’m a babe unborn. I am in the end a savage with modern day creations. I can’t tell you why what I’m doing works, why the words get typed into this blog and will be shown to you.  I can’t tell you why or how the computer works. I can’t even program the computers I use every day. My electrical gadget expertise stopped with assembling a tube radio from parts more than forty years ago, and I doubt I could do that now.  Or keep my first tape recorder going through amazing feats of repair even though it had been made in (I kid you not) North Korea. (Someday I’ll do a post on how all the crappy regimes allow imports and entertainment from all the crappy regimes, or how we learned to have fun when we had Russian and Romanian movies inflicted on us. Too long a digression for here. Let’s say “Russian technology” is an improvement on “North Korean machinery.”)

Sure, I could learn all of that, and I’ve promised myself quiet time to study some of it as a reward for finishing books, because as the good doctor says, I’m a bad boss and a worse employee and I should just fire myself and find someone else to be me. But that too is a digression worthy of another post.

The thing is, when we come to this “Smarter people” or if you prefer “Top men” (even when they’re women) I will never know as much about any of these things as people who are objectively — if such a thing is possible to measure — dumber than I, but who have devoted their lives to one of them.

Which brings me to this post, or the precipitating event that led me to write it: Yesterday on Facebook I talked to a polite and rational liberal.

Having determined that someone — not me — asked him how he reconciled his beliefs in the inherent dignity and value of the individual with wanting Universal Health Care.

This man agreed most systems of universal healthcare are a florid disaster and do way worse than the mangled, government-raped thing we have, but he insisted that “Someone smarter than me can design a system that works.”

He also held out hopes that we could have a system like Sweden.

As I said he’s rational and polite, so I’m not including him in the following — I think he just heard it so much from other leftists he thinks it must be true —  but I’m just going to say I’ve often wondered if the left’s obsession with the way a used-to-be extremely white country where everyone is relatively closely genetically related is rooted in their subconscious eugenic and racial beliefs.

But of course Sweden is not a model. Long before that thread was over someone who knew it better than I pointed out they now have a parallel private system, which people pay for (and is quite expensive) in addition to paying for the “universal” one out of their taxes. Because it’s so much better.  The same thing is true of Portugal, btw.  And you probably can’t find two more different cultures and modes of behavior than Sweden and Portugal.

And the problem is even with Sweden, or Great Britain, or any of that, there’s a ton of stuff we don’t know about these government-run systems.  Such as, for instance, how much they actually cost. Or what their real statistics are.  Americans (born and raised) tend to trust statistics from abroad as if they were their own, forgetting we’re the autistic kids in the nations playground, who actually say what we think, and believe facts matter.

I’ll point out in passing that it took me till two years ago to make sense of something mom told me from birth: when I was born extremely premature, the doctor who came over to examine me after delivery called the hospital to beg the use of an incubator.  He was reportedly told that since mom had chosen to have the baby at home with a midwife, there were no incubators available. This seems like one of those things you read about on how a “patriarchal” system suppressed midwives in favor of doctors.  And eh, maybe it was, though I doubt it. For one, given the transportation possibilities in the village at the time, trying to get to the hospital once labor started would mostly mean delivering on the road.  A couple of years ago, a lightbulb went on in my head: given my birth weight and general expectations of survival, they didn’t want me to die in the hospital. Because I’d skew their numbers.  And yes, Portugal had universal health care.

No matter what a governmental department — and I mean any nation — is supposed to do, over time their actions will be changed and decisions made so as to skew the numbers in their favor.  Since inter-government people aren’t evaluated on profit (i.e. on how efficiently they use resources versus results) but on how good they look on paper everything is will be done to look good on paper.

Which endeth the semi-digression (yes, my mind is like an eighteen wheeler, occasionally lurching from lane to lane.  Stop gripping the wheel of your reasoning so tightly and enjoy the ride) and brings us back to my point: you can have people way smarter than I design a universal health care system, or a long distance communication system, or an economic strategy.  But the thing is, see, they are still humans.

If their incentive is to look good on paper, even if they’re the best of people and devoted to their seeming objectives, they’re going to have to do some “looking good on paper” or the only thing that will happen is that someone else will take over who does look good on paper.

Beyond that, they will come in with all their prejudices, their acquired and never examined opinions (“it works in Sweden” or “population is exploding.”) and a ton of other things likely acquired with mother’s milk and never thought over (because most people don’t) and they will be influenced by them.

This is fine when what they’re doing is designing something with objective parameters that follows immutable laws. Even then unintended consequences can bite you in the ass.  Ask any engineer.

But when you’re dealing with humans, where each individual is the original chaotic system, and when you get them in a crowd they’re…. unfathomable incarnations of chaos, then the system tends to come apart fast or slow depending on how big it is and how much it’s supposed to cover.

Even the smartest person in the world, for instance, knows less about me than I do.  And speaking of chaotic systems, my body is unfathomable. It was supposed to have stopped ticking 57 years and some months ago, and nine times out of ten when it throws a wobbler and husband drags me to ER, (over my strenuous protests that “It’s just my body being my body. If you give it an hour it will be okay again”) the diagnosis and proposed treatment is “Heck if we know.”  Stupid docs assume I’m hypocondriac and get very upset when told I don’t remember any of this, it’s my husband who observed it. I’m amazed no one has accused him of Munchhausen by proxy. (And I’ll point out I was doing this long before we were married, just in case you’re silly.)

The tenth time the diagnosis is… weird? And the recommendations weirder.  I’m probably not the only patient ever discharged with the instructions to “eat more salt” but I must be rare because the nurse tried to change it to “less.”  If ever anyone gets discharged with instructions to “take up smoking and work to smoke a pack a day” it will be me! (Or at least that’s the joke in my family.)

Even the level of standardization our government (Yes, we should be thanking Obama. Ptui.) has introduced in health care has made it very difficult for off beat, strange body-systems.  Yes, part of it is the shortage of doctors, and the time allotted per patient, but part of it just they’re treating us by statistics as much as anything else because of those stupid codes, and insurance. (“Attacked by ducks, second encounter.”)

What is a Smart Person TM supposed to do with stuff like that? Even when I’m in perhaps a group of 0.3% of the population, when you’re talking about something the size of the US that’s a lot of people. And other people have weird stuff of their own.

As for the economy… Brother. We know what smart people do. (And dumb people too, like Denver raising its minimum wage to stratospheric levels on the ASSUMPTION this will raise people’s income, instead of sending the low skilled into unemployment. Lord have mercy. I expect a lot of robots in the area in the future.)

Smart or dumb, no one can muster the level of complexity inherent in even 100 humans, much less 300 million, assuming that’s our current population.

There is no one smart enough, free or prejudices and preconceptions enough to handle that. (It could be argued my DST series is all making this point, actually.)

Because even the smartest human who ever lived, supposing he’s interested in bureaucracy (which would be a strange perversion) is still human, and will have his preconceptions and ideas that aren’t exactly rational. Worse than that, he will ASSUME everyone is as smart as he is, and as well intentioned.  I’ve long observed the very smart CANNOT believe in stupidity beyond a certain level. And the very compassionate and sweet get easily duped by the evil.  More so than the rest of us who have — Thank Heavens — a broad streak of darkness, and therefore know how the evil operate, because we see the impulses in ourselves. (And we watch ourselves ALL the time.)

And then there’s the way bureaucracy works. In any department, any office, any group of humans, decisions are made not by what is more rational or “smarter” but by horse trading, back-rubbing and horse-trading.  At which, btw, anyone one standard of deviation or more above the mean (which is very mean indeed) tends to be beyond bizarrely awful. Because IQ differences aren’t quantitative, they’re qualitative.  And you lose the instinctive rapport with the rest of the species the more different you are from them. (And who’d be surprised, considering if the difference is physical pack-apes will shun, ostracize or kill the mutant.)

So, policy in the end is not set by the smartest guy, muttering away in his cubicle in the corner (and from the policy prescriptions I read from very smart people, this might be a good thing. They tend to shun the pack, and the species, as much those shun them.) Policy is made by the empire-builder within the department who manipulates everything so that he has job security. There might be some input from Auntie Marge who has worked for the department forever and brings in cookies and chocolate cake on Friday because no one wants it to stop.

And that might be the big divide in our country between right and left. Beyond everything else, beyond the screaming and throwing things, the left believes in “Top Men Women” who can design and carry out utopia.

Heaven knows why. I don’t. It is impossible for me to understand why their belief comes from, and I must assume it’s from “assumptions, half digested information and wishful thinking.” I’d also blame the unified media of the 20th century for hiding a lot of the cock ups that “top people” have made on the way to success.  I think WWII set us in this idea that government COULD run things, because people didn’t know (and many still don’t) of all the slips betwix the cup and the lip.  But who knows? The reason could be completely different.

The right, in the US, largely doesn’t believe in “Smart People.”  We know they exist. We just repose no trust in them.  The fact that the media has for decades been depicting as “Smart” people whose conclusions and ideas we were forced (from some life event usually) after examination to consider simplistic and borderline inane, doesn’t help us believe in “smart people.”

So in the end we’re stuck screaming across the divide “We would love perfect and free health care; yes, we think some people would greatly benefit from not having to worry about the daily bread, so they could create great things; yes, we’re all for improving the lot of the homeless and the addicted; yep, sure, some people are rolling in undeserved and misappropriated wealth.

It’s just that we think when we let anyone, smart or dumb try to fix that stuff, what we get is systems where bureaucrats prevent parents from saving their child’s  life; universal income that disincentivizes 90% of recipients from trying to work and reduces them to the level of pets or prisoners of their vices; turns major cities into open sewers that are not safe to walk in, lest you be attacked by a feral human; strips all incentive from the hardest working, most productive people in a society and leaves everyone in equal poverty.”

In other words, we yell across the divide “Yes, yes, we would all love paradise. But we don’t think it can happen, and certainly not in a planned model. The lurching chaotic system of everyone looking out for their own individual interests (which they know better than everyone else) has done better than VERY Smart People TM planning in their lofty towers.

Because humans are unpredictable, regressive, full of irrational impulses and subconscious never examined certainties.

And sure you can hate them for it, but don’t go pretending you are some lofty, all-knowing, pure intelligence. Because you’re not. And you too are filled with all of those. Denying them only makes them worse.

The only solution is to give people as little power as possible over masses of other people. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we can do, jumped-up apes that we are.

The problem is the divide is so fundamental and absolute, no matter how hard we shout, they can’t hear us. Examples will be useless. The fact that all attempts before have failed won’t deter them. They’re sure if they just find people smart enough we’ll have paradise.

Unfortunately mostly what they find is the rapacious, the power hungry and the good actors.

 

 

Incoming: The Chicxulub Impactor, Part 6 ― Now What? By Stephanie Osborn

Incoming: The Chicxulub Impactor, Part 6 ― Now What? By Stephanie Osborn

http://www.stephanie-osborn.com

 

In the last 600 million years, at least 3 large asteroids have impacted Earth, sufficient to generate craters of order 100km (60mi) across or greater. These are Chicxulub (in Yucatan, Mexico), Popigai (in Siberia, Russia), and Manicouagan (in Quebec, Canada).

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Popigai Crater, Russia

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Manicouagan Crater, Quebec, Canada

 

All three have been considered for the causes of mass extinctions.

As we saw last time, even older extinction events may have impactors as the cause. This includes the so-called “Great Dying,” the Permian-Triassic extinction event, which may relate to an unconfirmed impact crater in Wilkes Land, Antarctica.

There are many more very large structures and suspected structures that we may never know about, because of their locations―in the deep ocean basins, like the Eltanin iridium anomaly, three miles deep in the south Pacific basin off the tip of South America, discovered by core drilling. Or under the polar ice caps, like that Wilkes Land anomaly in Antarctica; the few places where rock outcrops can be seen in the Wilkes Land feature don’t display impact ejecta layers, which argues against the hypothesis. But the anomaly exists, and is still being debated.

What does all this mean?

It means that Chicxulub ISN’T unusual. It isn’t a one-of-a-kind event. It’s a semi-regular occurrence on geological timescales. It means figure out what to do NOW, while there’s time, because it IS gonna happen again. No “might.” No “maybe.” It WILL happen again.

If we let it.

The general consensus of the community is that a 60km (37mi) diameter impactor would “kill” Earth―would, as one of my favorite film characters noted, “wipe out all life on this little planet.”

The good news? That’s big enough for us to see it coming now.

The bad news? An asteroid doesn’t have to be a planet-killer to do a lot of damage.

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What do I mean?

Chelyabinsk

The Chelyabinsk bolide was only an estimated 20m (66ft) in diameter, and it was coming in at a very shallow angle to the ground. Had it come in at a steeper angle, closer to vertical, it would probably have hit the city and wiped it out. Even had it still detonated as an air blast, the shock wave would have come straight down, hit Chelyabinsk, and flattened it. This was “only” an estimated 600kt-equivalent explosion. Such an event is often called a city-killer.

weneversaw

And we never even saw the Chelyabinsk asteroid coming.

Why not?

Speed, size, and reflectivity.

These things are very small as such things go―a few meters’ diameter―and they’re moving like a bat out of hell. The Chelyabinsk asteroid was moving at about 20km/s. In day-to-day terminology, that’s ~60,000-69,000km/hr (40,000-42,900mph)! They’re dark, dusty, and don’t reflect sunlight very well, and they have no light of their own. They’re durn near impossible to see. The usual method of detecting asteroids is to take long-exposure sky photographs and look for short streaks of light as the asteroid moves. But if it’s coming right AT you, it’s going to be a point of light, not a streak, indistinguishable from the background stars until it’s too late!

Soassuming

So assuming you SEE it coming, what do you do with it once you’ve found it?

Well, what you do NOT do―Hollywood notwithstanding―is blow it up with a nuke. That just turns it into a shotgun blast instead of a slug. Either will kill you.

What you DO…is move it. Just a nudge. It doesn’t really take that much.

Dr. Travis S. Taylor and I wrote in detail about this sort of thing in A New American Space Plan, and I do highly recommend checking out that book. But there are quite a few ways of moving an asteroid into a new orbit, some harder than others, some requiring a bit more advance warning, but all within our current levels of technology to accomplish.

The easiest is a game of interplanetary pool. Shoot a rocket at it, whose payload is a big dense hunk of rock or metal, on a precise trajectory designed to knock the thing into a known orbit that is NOT going to hit Earth―preferably into a non-Earth-crossing trajectory, though that might take a couple of shots to do. Of course, if it’s a rubble pile, that might just knock it to pieces and put us back in shotgun-blast territory.

So other options include nukes detonated ALONGSIDE, to nudge it; mounting a rocket engine directly on it; parallel the rocket engine alongside and use the exhaust to nudge it; attach a solar sail to it…you get the idea here. And I haven’t even exhausted the options yet.

But there are two gotchas: We have to know it’s coming, and we have to be able to get to it. If we don’t have those two things, well. It’s gonna get awfully messy, awfully fast.

And like I said, it IS coming. Sooner or later, astronomers are going to point and yell, “INCOMING!”

And we’d better be ready when that happens.

~~~

For more details, check out INCOMING! The Chicxulub Impactor by Stephanie Osborn on Kindleand Nook. 

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or alternately try out her fiction: Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse.

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Happy Thanksgiving

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If you’re reading this blog, and are alone or near alone for thanksgiving, come in, pull up a chair. You’re with family here.  (Next year it might very well be just us.)

For those of you who worry about … well, about me, I actually have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Not only am I at long last writing regularly again, but despite this sore throat thing, I am MILES better than I was even last year.  Even two years ago walking out in the cold would give me an instant asthma attack, and last year I had to stop all the time to get my breath, if it was even mildly chilly.  But yesterday I put on all my clothes (seriously, I looked like a walking mound of clothing) mostly because I was stir crazy from being inside. And I went out to get some exercise. To wit, I shoveled half the driveway.

My arms still hurt — news flash, snow is heavy — but despite the cold and the wind, I didn’t lose my breath and my asthma didn’t kick in.

Therefore, even though progress is slow (as it was for writing again) there is movement and it’s in the right direction. For this I’m thankful.

I’m also thankful for lovely DIL who has brought a lot of joy into our life, even when — particularly when — she bullies me into walking. 😉

And most of all now and always I’m thankful for my husband without whom I’m sure I wouldn’t be me, and I might never have written anything. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this blog, or expressing my opinions on anything. I won a big lottery when he decided he wanted to marry me, and even more when he stuck it out with the excitable Latina.

And I’m grateful for our sons who are decent human beings even when we don’t agree or clash and who are both hard workers and strivers. In their own way they’re both healthy and wise, and the wealthy — whatever they consider wealthy — can come later.

I’m even thankful for the cats, though one of them — Euclid — might not be with us long.  You might also wish to keep Greebo, yes, my fuzzy editor, in your prayers. At 16, he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and is looking thin and seedy.  He is of course unpillable and uncreamable (What you expected otherwise from the buzzsaw in fur?) so we’re going to get him bloody expensive radio iodine treatment in the hopes of keeping him with us another year or two. Because he’s absurdly loyal to me, and loyalty demands loyalty.

But most of all I’m thankful that the writing is flowing again. Fiction, I mean. For a while there it was a struggle, for various reasons.

A shortish novel, (but well into pulp novel size) Deep Pink will be coming out within the week (yes, I’ll announce it here) and Winter Prince, a space opera, the first novel set in what I call The Human Universe (Though Winter Prince is part of a series called Alien Seasons) will be coming out next month.  Then sometime after that, hopefully Dyce.  (Yes, it’s mostly written. Things just kept happening.)

May the next year bring us yet more blessings, even if sometimes they’re in disguise.  Hold on tight to what you love, and celebrate the happiness in your lives.

Let us labor and work as hard as we can, so when the harvest is brought in it is a good one, and we’re rewarded as good and faithful workers.

And now, let’s eat.

 

 

 

The Flaw at the Center

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I did tell you I’ve been thinking a lot of heretical thoughts, right? Downright heresy against the fundamental principles of the society that brought me up, and the unwritten rules of the one who adopted me.

I suspect the reason for this … taste for heresy — yes, yes, you’re going to need two bolters — is that I acculturated ONCE. I acculturated willingly, and have no intention of reversing it (I’m not sure it would be possible, honestly. What’s seen and learned can’t be unseen and unlearned) but I’m also the fish who saw the water. (Insert heretical thoughts about Moses growing up between two cultures which probably prepared him for his role, honestly. Whatever divine intervention came after.)

People normally don’t see culture.  Just like a fish doesn’t see water. It’s just there. It’s the way things are.

But if you’ve acculturated, at least if you’re the kind that thinks too much (oh, hai there) you do. And you can’t unsee it.

For example the other day I was walking past a pedicure and manicure place. Their shop window had hands and feet and a lot of pink roses. So far so good. But it also had a pair of feet where the ankles were bound with a pink ribbon…  Yep, Asian place, and I’m sure it doesn’t mean the same in their culture, but my immediate thought was “bondage, with kindness? Gift bondage? What the heck?” And that’s why I looked in, and realized it was an Asian place, and realized they didn’t see the semiotics of the thing the same way. (To be fair, it’s harder if you come from a culture that “far” culturally from the US.  Portugal is — mostly — Western, or at least we share a lot of things, and it was far enough. Until I started doing covers, I didn’t realize my fonts weren’t congruent with what the rest of the US saw. “Historical fantasy” for me was “horror” to the average person.)

Anyway, lately I’ve been running into things having to do with kids and population.  There was a post on Facebook about how right now the biggest suicide risk group is around 13-14. And the highest suicide rate. Which is unheard of.

I pointed out that every culture who lets strangers raise their kids gets into trouble. There was the usual protest of “but I can’t.” And I get this. Honestly I do. I know how difficult it was for us.  Probably cost us not only my potential income (writing is not a patch on multilingual scientific translation, which back then could not be done remote) but also, ultimately my skills, as I don’t remember half of what I learned but used last 30 years ago. And also I have no resume. Right now, if indie and cover making doesn’t work, my recourse is to go trippingly to Walmart and become a cashier.

There were also at least fifteen years of heroics, trying to get the soit-disant career off the ground, while raising the two boys (while husband was working 18 hour days) and skills I had to learn like furniture refinishing and sewing, just to keep us living a decent life. Also everything was cooked from scratch (that’s not a hardship, btw) Husband learned to keep our cars going (not possible now, with everything on computers) and we both learned to renovate houses from the ground up. And eh… our big vacations were to Denver, and visits to my parents (who often paid half the trip) were at best every three years, which means the kids had no extended family in their lives.

As I write this, every car in this family is over 20 years old and one is in the process of self-destroying and will have — somehow — to be replaced.

I UNDERSTAND the price one pays to raise one’s own kids. And you can add to that general societal disapproval. The number of people who sneer at me and treat me like an idiot because I was a stay at home mom beat the number of people who treat me like a human being 100 to 1.

HOWEVER I think — shoals still ahead not withstanding — we did a better job than strangers could have done raising the sprogs. At least I hope so. The younger one, particularly, with his sensory issues would probably have been identified as having behavioral problems. (I mean they tried that in middle school.)  And put on psychiatric drugs. And destroyed.

Look, there are fine daycares. Excellent places. The best of them is not as good as medium-level parent. Trust me, there’s a difference. I KNEW as a kid when I was being watched by even very nice strangers that they didn’t CARE the way my parents did.

There’s other things going on. I haven’t looked into it in decades, but when kid was five or so I read about research on a mechanism by which … this is hard to explain… by the age of 3 kids “download” the mind of their principal caregiver. Yes, there was a mechanism for it other than “magic.” They studied kids who were adopted and even kids who were watched by other people, and found that their minds were closer to those who looked after them than their genetic relations.

Now, it’s been at least two decades since I looked at the research, and maybe it wasn’t even valid, but think about it. Do you want to risk THAT?  I didn’t.

Anyway, historically, societies who gave their kids to strangers to raise, from Ancient Rome to Imperial Britain (at the aristocratic level) crashed hard, fast and ugly once that became widespread.  And had EXACTLY the same problems we have with our youth.

That’s your first heresy of the day.  The second one is:

I came across this book. Or rather a talk by its authors.

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline

How it happened was like this: I thought I’d like to hear a favorite song I don’t own, went to youtube and accidentally clicked on an interview with the authors.

I haven’t read the book, yet, I ordered it, but it is due in FEBRUARY (no, no clue why.) So all my impressions are from that interview.

  • They don’t follow my line of reasoning and think we’re already in trouble. This is because none of them has stopped and thought about whether censuses are “real” or who the hell counts illiterate peasants in trackless Africa. Or how come the great AIDS die off in sub-Saharan Africa was never reflected in our figures, or for that matter, they never got adjusted down after it was proven the USSR had been spinning numbers wholesale.  And who in hell actually tracks figures from places like the Arab countries or China, where communication is more propaganda than anything else?
  • They didn’t do that, they swallowed the censuses wholesale (Rolls eyes) and think we have 7 billion and will peak at 11 billion mid century. (Yeah, good luck with that.)
  • What they’re sounding the alarm on is the fact that we have a falling birthrate across the world, like India and China are reporting (and I don’t remember which is which) 2.1 children per woman and 1.5 children per woman. Assume that whatever the Arab world and Africa are reporting is unsubstantiated bullshit. The developed countries, including us, are below replacement rate. (And that’s without counting the shennenigans in our censuses, too.)

So far so good. I think the alarm should be sounded faster and higher, but yeah, we’re in trouble bad as a species. Particularly when you add in that most kids simply aren’t marrying, or if marrying not having kids. (As a former friend in Portugal told me “It’s the most absurd thing. We’ve forgotten how to make babies.”)

We don’t know what rate of population fall will collapse the economy. And we DO NOT know how many people it takes to keep civilization going.

This is because, despite the fact that the fall is obvious and coming at us fast, our establishment is still worried about the “overpopulation crisis.” If this reminds you of something else they’ve gotten backwards, you have it. So even saying population is falling or that it might be a bad thing is an heresy. They have my admiration on that.

BUT THEN they proposed as a holding measure, open-borders immigration to make up the numbers in the west.

Head desk, head desk, head desk.  I guess it’s to be expected. These people are demographers, therefore they SEE people as widgets. But people aren’t widgets. And cultures aren’t all “equally valid.”

Importing vast quantities of third worlders, from countries, btw, where the population is also likely falling but where the CULTURE is so vastly embuggered that they can’t look after their former population will do nothing for keeping the west going.  And if the West crashes — sorry, guys — civilization as we know it, crashes along with it. Sure, China will go on, for a while at least and probably eventually have a global empire. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

More pertinently, I’m coming to the conclusion that “culture” is … organic.  Think of it as a group mind.  In many ways it has a mind of its own. And its OLD.  And when disrupted it dies.  Now, I’m anthropomorphizing culture and this is not exactly what I mean, but it seems that contra the “plastic culture” and “Tabula rasa people” views of the last century (which filled 100 million graves) cultures are things that have to be respected and can only be changed incrementally, or the POPULATION the culture belongs to interprets it as being conquered and stops having kids or functioning. Which is where most of the west is with socialism. (The slow death of socialism. When it doesn’t kill fast, it still kills.)

Bringing another culture (or a couple) into the west just makes the clash of cultures happen harder, faster, and makes it more likely neither will survive. And nor will civilization.

The fact these smart heretics missed that is… mind boggling. And a sign of how the failed ideologies and false assumptions of the 20th century are still with us.

Now, I know how to save us, of course. But it’s something I can’t do alone, except by incremental influence of the culture. And you have to be prepared to be considered heretics and lunatics if you buy into this program. Because everyone knows OVER population will kill us. (Like everyone knew the Soviet Union was far more prosperous than the West.)

First, we MUST beat socialism back on all fronts. Both because it’s a culture incompatible with the West, and because our back brains interpret having it imposed on us as “having been conquered” and proceed to destroy the population; and because more power of the state means less power of the family, smaller families, atomized dysfunctional families, and strangers raising your kids.  None of this ends well.

Second, we must make it easier for women to work from the home.  Yes, I know.  I KNOW.  There are those who think women shouldn’t work at all. But in Western culture women have always been treated as human beings. Which in the present era means learning to read, write and use their minds. And if they do that… well, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Also, honestly, being ONLY child carers is a recipe for helicopter parenting. Women have always worked. Cottagers and farmers worked — both parents — with the kids around them. That’s most of our history. In prehistory women foraged with the kids. It was only the industrial revolution that broke that (to an extent, though often kids worked with their parents) and the 20th century “liberation” that destroyed it.  Kids are not widgets and they’re best with their parents biological or not. The resistance to working from home is stupid and based on a desire to control people. When you go out to build over, under and around, try to make this a humane world where families can work together from the home or whatever space they work in, and the kids can grow up around their working parents.

Rebuild the West.
Look, I’ll be blunt. The crash might already be inevitable. The mistaken assumptions of the twentieth century might be stretched across our path like an invisible wire, ready to trip us as we come running.  It might be impossible to turn around in time, even if this heresy too hold.
BUT if Western Culture, English Enlightenment culture remains with its principles of respect for the individual and a law-abiding community, we WILL rebuild.
We might rebuild anyway, yes, but we don’t know what frankenstein culture will emerge from this broken world. And some cultures are less functional than others.
A friend thinks rebuilding is unlikely already because it’s mostly the underclass (national and global) reproducing and the genetic material is poor.  To the extent we’ve yet to figure out (lots of mechanisms, including the mirroring thing above) how biology and culture intersect, he has a point.  But we also know what happens when you dump a bunch of what we’ll call “poor stock” in a very British way, in a place to sink or swim, with no help.  We know that from parts of the US and from Australia.  The first step is tons of deaths.  The population self culls. But what actually survives is no better and no worse than large populations of mankind.
So the genetics doesn’t worry me, except that it might prolong the length of the dark night of civilization.  Best if the dark night doesn’t come. (Even if massive dying is inevitable in any amount of civilizational crash.)
So, go out and learn the history of the West, and teach it to the young, and sweep Marxism and Howard Zinn’s lies into the dustbin of history.

Build under, build over, build around.  The time is short, and we MIGHT still have a bare chance to avert a worldwide civilizational crash.

Teach the children well. We might end up having to trust them to rebuild.

 

The Self-Eating Snake

Ouroboros

There are many cliches denoting the self-perpetuating tropes. The self-licking ice cream cone. The man who pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. And of course, Ourosboros, eternally consuming itself.

Normally these are used as a sort of instant image for something impossible.  Most of us — right? I’m not that weird? — at some age between two and five tried to sit on our own hands and wondered if we pulled up hard enough would it hold us up?  It didn’t.

Of all the myths of that kind, the one that always fascinated me was Ourosboros. Which can be a good, bad, or OMG why me? Symbol, I think.

I mean, it’s the symbol of the universe, eternally renewing. It’s appropriate for creatives, because in some ways we consume ourselves, and though we talk about filling the well, (none of us is completely isolated from the world) in the end what we feed into our stories is our time, our passion and bits of ourselves. (Into our painting, sewing, or other things too.)

It can be a symbol of eternity.  My engagement ring (which broke and I lost in our tenth anniversary, leading us to look for an anniversary ring, which conveniently was of the same type, though not quite) was an ourosboros snake with saphire eyes and diamond chip tail. It discomfited both families because engagement rings in Portugal are eternity rings. Here they’re solitaries.  This was a “these two are weird.” Me. We hope for eternity. For each of us, but for us too. We like each other.

I want to say that more than living in the crazy years, we live in the age of Ouroboros.  The ever-growing debt? Well, we can maintain ourselves by growing incrementally. Which means creative tech stuff.

And then there’s the negative stuff.  There is the snake that eats itself until you end up with a dead snake. Which is consuming the cultural side of our culture, particularly the places dominated by the left: entertainment, the arts, academia.

Look, most people never examine their own motivations. EVER. They particularly never examine what I would call “the wellsprings of their thought-orientation.”  This is good, probably, and a good evolutionary trait.

My entire family is afflicted with analyzing everything to death, which is why, realistically, we accomplish maybe a tenth of what we’re capable of.  On the other hand, it can free you from an Ouroboros trap.

Yesterday someone on my post on the Hong Kong elections said China can’t be so stupid that they thought demanding obeisance from our president would end well. Or that saying the students were a fringe group and suppressing them would end well. And I thought “of course they can.” In fact, it’s sort of inevitable.

As much as humans tend towards dictatorships, our one saving grace is that dictatorships and all closed information systems are their own punishment/death.  I.e. if the serpent can’t regenerate/get feed from outside, and keeps snacking enthusiastically on its own tail, eventually it dies.  Before it dies it becomes incredibly stupid.

This is kind of ironic because humans also love closed systems, where they can’t get surprises, particularly when they have power of some sort. Call it “Self patting machines.”  And they build them given half a chance.

Take traditional publishing — please, I don’t want it. — It had massive power in the beginning of the twentieth century. What it didn’t want to be seen, wouldn’t be seen. But d*mn it, sometimes the pesky reading public still got one in, still managed to make something a bestseller they didn’t see coming, still insisted on reading things that the increasingly closed-circle-leftist group that ran publishing didn’t think should be read.  So they ate faster. They tightened the circle. They hired and published only true believers, and when the laydowns crashed (guys, in the 70s a 75k laydown was considered bad and would end your careeer. Now?  Well, selling 3k to 5k is normal. 10k will get you fawned upon.  Now, these are hard copies of course. Traditional is notoriously bad at tracking ebook sales. They also price them not-to-sell.  So, who knows?) they made up stories about how TV and movies and then games were taking the readers away. (It’s funny, though, because they’re somehow magically re-appearing in indie.)  And when that stopped working they tried to force what they wanted to be the only thing read by going to the self-patting system of ordering to the net and telling the bookstores what to order.  That is in …. an interesting state of collapse, and the Earth shattering Kaboom won’t be far behind.

Or take Academia. No one was taking the courses they think are vital: mostly Marxist indoctrination, really, in various little dresses with capes of false erudition.  So first they demanded you take humanities courses, even for a science degree. Then they started removing actual courses anyone would want to take that was even vaguely mentally challenging and not regurgitating pap. (Yes, a great deal of pap had crept into say Western History) but they weren’t ALL pap.  Last time I looked, I couldn’t find a degree in Classical History in my area, and there’s ONE Latin class in 100 miles radius. Taught at inconvenient times.  Oh, they also suppressed any assistants and refused to give tenure to anyone who didn’t LOUDLY endorse the party line.

How is it going? Well, someone published a paper about the colleges likely to collapse in the next decade and had to take it down on threats of lawsuits. Because the snake will remain a closed system, damn it. It will. It won’t look at the list and look for correctives. It can’t look for correctives. It’s eaten only itself for so long, it can no longer even perceive alternatives exist, much less consider eating something alien to itself.

Journalism: the determined pursuit of that which is not news, the worship of credentials, and marginalizing of non-leftist reporters. The narrative uber alas.  Drinking their own ink, or eating their own tail, if you prefer.

I want to point out that in ALL these cases, as far gone as they are, the systems could still save themselves.  All it would take is discarding everything they think they know, and trying a COMPLETELY new approach.  Like, someone in Trad pub could take a look at what is succeeding in Indie, discard the holy writ of “a book, maybe two a year”, discard the idea that paper bricks ARE the product. Find a way to tabulate ebook sales for multiple authors. (It’s harder than you think. Yes, my husband has a system and a program. He does the books for a medium size indie. Even with the system and the program, when he’s doing them he invents new swear words.) Start a novel-factory, with shared worlds. Indie authors cannot write in shared worlds without … well, sharing (which brings up that royalty thing.)  Publicize hell out of the initial novels/worlds. And I mean insane levels of publicity, what they reserve for hyper best sellers (which don’t need it, but that’s something else.) The paper books will sell because people will collect them. Instant money.

Of course it would require them to discard a lot of things, like their idea of what sells, for instance, which is mostly acquired from their peers which right now are all flailing.

So why don’t they do it? Because they can’t. Between education and work experience, they have become unable to take in external information.  It would break their minds. And they would have to be willing to embrace it.  They would have to be able to take in ….intellectual input that isn’t themselves.

This is the problem of the PRC, to go back to above. They do incredibly stupid things, because in their system it WOULD work, and they can’t conceive of anything outside their system. They’ve never gone “Wait, why do I believe this?” and “What if it’s this instead?”  They’ve been in power so long they can’t even imagine doing that. The world is what their beliefs define, and Ouroboros eats well tonight. And as long as they last.

Our … oh, well, for lack of a better term, our Deep State, our entrenched bureaucracy has the exact same issue.

Look, I’ve been watching the sad spectacle and wondering how anyone SENTIENT can be taken in by it.  In fact, amid the general public, the only ones swallowing this nonsense are the headline-skimmers, who are fooled by the Mass Media’s Mass Illusion.

But why does the Mass Media buy it and hysterically try to perpetuate the illusion? Why do people who are obviously sane but embedded in the system buy it?  Even non-malevolent people?

I mean, okay, people like Schiff are malevolent, but the thing is even he THOUGHT he had something.

And our intelligence systems have been corrupt and insane for a while, even though it didn’t benefit them at all. Take their buying the USSR’s population figures or economic figures wholesale. Or now China’s. It makes no sense. A child could see the holes in those things.  (Or Heinlein. Who visited.) But they can’t. When facts prove them wrong it’s a shock, and they often hide the facts.

So, Ouroboros. See, it starts with credentialism and Academia, which was penetrated and largely controlled by the enemies of the US and sometimes outright communists by the 50s. And people hiring people who come from the right colleges, and sound GOOD to them.

Without realizing it, the wellsprings of all thought on the left (and Academia and bureaucracy are left-cultures, even if individual members try not to be) became the Marxist religion.

Man doesn’t live of bread alone. We live of narrative too.  Story, if you will.  We’re brief creatures, time is eternal. Story gives us a purpose and our place in it. It can be “I will live x number of years and raise my children well, and they will live after me and raise their children well.” But it always involves more.  “At the end of time we’ll be found worthy because we lived by x principles.”  “We are doing the righteous thing, because we follow x precepts.”

Most people don’t examine those precepts or where they come from. (Being religious makes it easier to know where they come from, and most religions are an improvement over the stuff fed the young ones now.)

And most precepts they’ve been fed, particularly at the elite-credential level that we get our bureaucrats from, are Marxism. The ideas of how things happen goes back to Marx, from revolutions to international peace, to the relative strength of countries.

These people really, honestly — at least a lot of them — want to serve our country. It’s just that all their ideas rest on not only wrong but bizarre foundations originating in the mind of a 19th century grifter who was good at one thing only: creating a closed and plausible narrative.

This is why, for instance, they “know” nationalism is wrong bad evil think.  Because workers of the world are all the same, of course. (Weirdly Marx was nationalist. But some of his construction hinted at internationalism, and that’s the train that ran away after WWI and WWII.) Or that, honestly, a president shouldn’t do anything the bureaucrats oppose, because history has nothing to do with individuals. It’s all “mass movements.”

Mostly, what we’re seeing play out in the house, is the panic of Ouroboros when it realizes there is something outside itself, that doesn’t conform to itself. In human societies this always involves hysterical doubling down.

Eat faster, snake. That tail is poisoned, and it will spell the end of you.

And maybe, over time, society will free itself of your poisonous assumptions.

Even if your death throws are going to throw us all into disorder.

Build under, build over, build around. Get ready to take the weight of the sclerotic self-eating structures when they collapse.

Because I expect an Earth shattering Kaboom.

Storm Incoming.

I’m sorry guys, there’s a snow storm coming, we’re woefully low on litter and food, and I have to go take care of the immediate issues first.

Some news of interest:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Woppa1Woppa/status/1196315507059650560?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fwoppa1woppa&fbclid=IwAR0URG18w-hrMv42ZLeID54YnFvyp29vWM9xoqS6khGz7O2iPCpdITCq57U

WATCH: Hong Kong Police Pulls Revolver, Shoots Protestor in Chest

And REMEMBER that totalitarianism makes you stupid. Our would-be-ruling classes are halfway there:

China demands Trump veto bills on Hong Kong

But our president apparently agrees with me that we should show them our middle fingers:

Trump Expected to Sign Hong Kong Bill Despite China Threats

I hope Queen Elizabeth has the same intestinal fortitude, but in let’s control all the things Great Britain, who knows?

‘This is our darkest hour’: students at Queen Elizabeth School ask British monarch for help during Hong Kong’s anti-government protest crisis

At least Hong Kong is showing that this is not just a few “crazy” protesters. And btw if one more pseudo conservative (US mode) comes to my FB page or blog to tell me that, I’m going to go full Hulk on them. Because while I realize some of them really want to be dictactors, they should learn to disguise it a bit better. BE the America Hong Kong thinks you are. At least for a day.

Hong Kong District Council election: Pro-democracy candidates win majority of seats, as pro-Beijing camp suffers historic defeat

UPDATE: but but but, if we don’t trade with China we miss on their wonderful culture. Look, yeah, I take some of this is because they feel the wheels are coming off (and no it’s not Trump’s fault. Though it might be to Trump’s credit) but I heard of stuff like this for decades. Perhaps not as numerous or extreme, but still…  Different cultures are different. And no, not all of them are as capable of giving everyone in them a decent living or a fair deal. (Also, Boing Boing is confused. This stuff is happening even to those who never asked for a discount. It’s like their cloning other people’s reviews, somehow on Amazon. if there’s a way, they’ll exploit it, because that’s how things are done. Period. They were putting cement in capsules that were supposed to contain heart medicine 14 or 15 years ago.)

Before you ask your Chinese factory for a discount, make sure you won’t be kidnapped and/or have your product cloned

 

Because we KNOW a lot of people in Freedom choose to compound with evil. Look at our journalistic class and what they hid:

Holodomor Memorial Day in Ukraine and Around the Globe

How Stalin Hid Ukraine’s Famine From the World

And kindly remember that even if communists (and socialists) don’t intend to kill you, they always do, and make you miserable in the interim. I’m not going to link on Venezuela and famine in one of the world’s most fertile countries because I have to go get cat litter. But you can look it up.

However, here is this from the old Soviet Union:

How A Russian’s Grocery Store Trip In 1989 Exposed The Lie Of Socialism

Even in Europe their “soft” socialism (subsidized by US tax payers who protected them from the USSR and reality. And made them hate the US. Remember Heinlein the thing about many words for “thank you” all implying a degree of resentment? Like that.) is killing them. There is a sense of closed horizons, and they’re not having children.  Partly because socialism teaches you to hate yourself and feel guilty for eveyrthing you are and everything you have and there is no hope of redemption. Who’d bring children into that world.  Also, sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.

So, as we enter an election year, consider Hong Kong. Consider that in the entire history of attempts from the 20th and 21st century there isn’t a SINGLE example of collectivism done right. Not among humans.

Then think on how to vote as if your life depended on it. It just might.

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

Book Promo

*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. GREEBO needs very expensive medical treatment, which will hopefully ensure us another year or two with him, but it’s kind of a very bad time for it.  (I mean, we can, okay? It’s just … very expensive, but I can’t give up on him.)  So, every little bit helps-SAH*

FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY:   Long in the Land (Martha’s Sons Book 2).

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A lost starship.

A lost colony.

A man on the run.

Peter Dawe shares the same horizons as the rest of the stranded starship’s offspring. First Landing shelters them from the worst aspects of the planet, but it doesn’t shelter them from each other.

Sure, Peter was recovering stolen property, but the colony’s governor doesn’t see it that way, and Peter faces a stark choice. He can stay on the farm and bring the governor’s wrath down on his family, or he can run.

He wants to stay and fight, but the day an aircraft—a machine not seen for decades—appears in the sky, everything changes.

And the person hunting the aircraft also hunts for Peter.

FROM BLAKE SMITH:  An American Thanksgiving.

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It is Thanksgiving Day, 1865, and Margaret Browne isn’t feeling very thankful. The war is over, and her grown-up sons have returned from the fighting, but her beloved husband remains absent, last seen a captive in a notorious prisoner-of-war camp. The Browne family muddles through their uncertain path, lost without their leader, but when everything begins to go wrong all at once, Margaret must hold together the farm and her family, and turn a disaster into a true day of thanks-giving.

 

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: land

Something’s Happening Here

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Lately I’ve been having heretical thoughts. Thoughts I’d have dismissed out of hand a couple of years ago.

For someone who grew up in the seventies and where I grew up, we’re living in very strange times.

People are rising up. All over the world. In Iran, they’re rebelling against the mullahcracy. In Hong Kong those poor kids lasted much longer than we expected, and the media could not keep them quiet. In France the Yellow Jackets go on despite media blackout.  In Holland and Germany (Germany!) the farmers are taking to the streets with their tractors. And yes, in the US the Tea Party though reviled, lied about and infiltrated arguably started it all, and arguably had the greatest influence in growing the sullen resistance of the people.

In fact, judging by the sales of gun and ammo the one thing Americans haven’t done is quiet down. Also judging by how many houses we looked at a couple of years ago that had elaborate survival schemes, we’re not confident everything will be well. And we’re certainly not confident on anyone to protect us. Partly, of course, because we no longer trust our governments or those so called elites. Which is partly — in the US — traceable to the net and the existence of a complete, parallel system of information.

I realized as I was about to type this paragraph that I actually don’t know if this is true in the Asian countries, because — you know — my direct contacts there are free. However with that caveat, in the west it’s easy to presume that the unrest is caused by the internet, by access to other forms of information, even by the ability to contact people across the world for practically no cost. However I’m going to tell you right now and right here that this does not apply in Europe. Sure, they took to the net like a duck to water for all the things we initially took to the net for: recipes, mommy blogs, pictures of grandkids and, of course porn.

What they don’t have is political blogs, alternate news blogs, places where heretical views are spoken or any of that.

Now, if you say “It’s because they have different laws” I’ll say “Sure, whatevs. But they had different — and more repressive — laws before, and it was more expensive to get ahold of the equipment, and yet people still did and had pirate radio stations and what not. Also this is not China, you know, they should be able to get hold of ways to anonymize themselves.

Now, it’s possible it’s just a lag-time. Europe usually lags ten to twenty years behind the US, even when the same tech is available, possibly because we culturally (maybe genetically, but there’s no proof of that) have a tendency to be innovators who jump on things first. Maybe in ten or fifteen years Europe will be a forest of contentious blogs.

Anyway — they have the unrest, even without the blogs — and you know what’s weird? Outright unbelievable for those of us who grew up in the seventies: No communists.

Oh, sure, Europe has black block and antifa. And they’ve managed to enmesh themselves with the yellow jackets — France, what’s up with them, even? — but they are not the majority or — except by college professors — considered a spontaneous movement.

Look, through black-lives-matters and the pussy hatted spectacles, and now with antifa, you don’t even have to dig very deep, or very far to see beneath the surface the money flowing in, from chartered buses to identically printed signs, to–  It’s Soros all the way down.  Which is like turtles, only malevolent, soaked in the sins of the 20th century, and either trying to avenge himself on the world for the Holocaust that stole his childhood, or seeking redemption for the things he did then and continued to do to enrich himself, in all the wrong ways. I don’t know which, and I doubt he does.

But one malevolent man can cause a lot of strife, and he can convince a lot of idiot women that the most important thing in the world is to wear a pussy hat and hit the streets to protest against whatever the hell they’re protesting against today. But it’s also obvious that it’s taking no root: Antifa only acts truly horribly in safe (to them) places like California, Oregon, the lefty East coast and France.

What we aren’t seeing is any kind of vast, clamorous, pro-communist movement, in any of these protests. No, the communists are at the other end of it, in universities and usually in government and bureaucracy, wondering why “can you hear the people rising” is not in their favor, why the world isn’t coming to them to finally crown them as rulers of the world in the bestest system evah.

So what is going on?  And this is my heretical thought: the world is returning to normal.

I confess part of this thought came from D Jason Fleming’s article yesterday. When he mentioned the domino theory, it reminded me of how it looked, back then, in the past: every revolution, every single uprising, red flags would come up, and the ridiculous shouts about “The people, United.”  And if you’d seen a few of these — thanks to Portugal I’d seen a few — you could recognize the signs on TV when they showed others.  For instance, why in hell would both the Portuguese and the Iranian revolutions wave red carnations?  And why the shouts of “The people, united, shall never be defeated” the exact same shouts in Iran, Portugal, in the various revolutions in Africa and South America in that time? And why was there a sameness to the signs?

It wasn’t anything you could point out and say “here’s proof” and DEFINITELY it was nothing you could point to people who wanted to believe. But like with the antifa demonstrations, if you saw a few of them you started getting a feeling “This is not a spontaneous uprising. This is a part of a corporate machine that creates revolutions.”

My heretical thought is that the feeling was right.

Look, it’s not even that heretical. There are books out showing how much money the USSR poured into fomenting revolution abroad.  A country with a GDP between 2 and 4% what the US had spent most of its money fomenting revolution.  This was well advised of course, because the only wealth coming in — and boy, were they broke — came from leeching from other countries that fell under their sway.  And “communist” countries of course went to the USSR because by then they’d become convinced — or their elites had — that the US was out to get them. And got stripped.  What the Russians (it was always the Russians, even when their extended empire was the USSR) did to Africa is unprintable. And mostly they did it by using Cubans as shock troops.

But what if that was all of it? All there was? What if communism really was and remains a theory so stupid that only overeducated intellectuals believe in it unless they’re being pushed, bullied, paid by trained professional agitators to buy into the illusion?

What if the entire idea that communism appeals to the dispossessed, latches on when there is a great inequality, and somehow is part of a dark current in the human mind is completely wrong?

In other words, what if the Domino theory is right, but not in the way we thought in the seventies? What if it wasn’t “They see the other countries rise, and join in” but rather “As soon as the Soviet Block (What we should actually call Black Bloc) absorbs another country, they have some solvency to pour into fomenting revolution in another country?”  And thus the hydra grew.

There is some — slight — proof of this.  Take the French revolution. It was crazy in ways that communism is crazy. Actually exactly the same, including being run by batshit crazy intellectuals.  But it didn’t spread.

Oh, sure, okay, there were “republican” revolutions throughout the world. But weirdly most of them were not like the French revolution.  They weren’t comfortable, and many of them weren’t precisely sane (I’m not actually sure, I’m sorry, that anything that ever happens in Portugal or Spain is sane for instance. And I wouldn’t put Greece, Italy or Ireland very far behind on that.) But they were not the horror show insanity the French revolution became.  Now that could be because of French culture, but I’d say Nah, bra. While crazy France is not an exception in Europe. See above. And I’m sure I’d throw other countries in, if I knew more about them.

And yet, the insanity of communism, not that much different, propagated. To wit, it propagated the minute the USSR came into being after WWII. Before that it was a cult of intellectuals and madmen.

In fact, right after the fall of the USSR there were — briefly — glimpses that the whole Communism International Inc was falling apart.

Those disappeared when Putin got power.  He probably still had his intelligence contacts, but more importantly, he’s a Russian nationalist. His take over meant the old firm was back in business.  As I said, behind the smoke and mirrors, the USSR was Russia, and their “internationalism” was Russian nationalism and supremacy.

And as much trouble as Russia is in, they still have money, and more importantly they still have the machinery of foreign contacts, of people they hold kompromat on in various universities and governments (same as it ever was) and yes, probably international corporations and tech too.

So, why is the world rising now, and rising in a distinctly non-communist way?

Oil.

No, seriously, oil. Despite Obama’s heroic efforts with preventing fracking, the US has become a major oil producer. And oil prices can no longer support Russia’s need for $$$ to foment communist (because it’s useful, and because most of the useful idiots abroad buy this shit) insurrection and (ultimate) Russian power.

Hence why they’re working so hard to overturn the US and make us “Democratic Socialist” aka communist, because that’s what they called themselves in the 70s. Because strip mining the US would give Russia and the communist machine the ability to subjugate the rest of the world. Look how wealthy we are! (I think they’re wrong, btw. We’d not only crash so hard that we’d be net drains, but the insurrection would be a net loss.  But they don’t know that.)

Meanwhile they’re doing what they can by bleeding corporations and millionaires.  Some, maybe, because they’re true believers (and dumbasses) and some because… well… the Russians always had dirt on people. That’s how they got all the aristocratic British spies.

But it’s not enough. And people, real people who haven’t grown up so privileged that they implicitly believe bullshit to make themselves sound “smart” aren’t buying this.

Even the clown car of Dem candidates has to stop and ask Elizabeth Warren “What do you mean Medicare for all? Show us the money.”

Now, it doesn’t mean the dems won’t win and bring the glories of communism here. They have for over a century fine tuned their fraud machine, and motor voter made it impossible, in fact, for us to “true the vote,” even before vote by fraud mail and the “convenience” of voting early (so the left knows how many votes they need to manufacture.) Each of our votes is maybe 1/10th what it should be weighed down by massive amounts of dead and non existent people voting.

And yep, they still lose, at least now and then.

Think about it. They control government, education, news, entertainment (at least the traditional venues.) They propagated their narrative everywhere from the courts to your local newspaper.

And they’re still losing…

Because honestly communism is such a load of fecal matter only those who REALLY want to believe can believe it.

Hark, can you hear the people rising?  And they’re not communist at all.

Whether we stand or fall (and I haven’t given up hope, yet) in ten years it will all be different. If the propaganda and fake insurrection machine manages to take over the US, it might be the final poison pill that kills them.

They ain’t seen nothing like us yet.

In the end we win, they lose. Because reality persists, past all the propaganda.

Be not afraid. Stay chill. Prepare and build. And be ready to rebuild when the smoke lifts and the mirrors are all broken.