Tough Love by Dr. Karma

*Sorry, but after two weeks of construction work, I find that TYPING is too tiring. I barely got through the post on Mad Genius and it probably makes no sense whatsoever. So I should probably take a day off, or at least a few hours, and do something non-demanding, like crochet.  That way I’ll be better and able to write tomorrow.  And FYI, I’m too old for construction work.  So I have to write a million or so books, so I can pay someone to do this stuff for me. – SAH)

Tough Love by Dr. Karma

So I watching this TV movie on TNT years ago, because my parents and aunt were, and it hooked me after only a couple minutes. I would’ve been inspired if I hadn’t kinda already made the decision to head down a similar road a couple years ago. This is what it’s all about. Not coddling and excusing the behaviors of kids but toughening them up, teaching them what they’re made of.

People often complain that libertarians and conservatives have no compassion. That we simply don’t care about the less fortunate. While I can’t speak for others, I do care. Thing is, in my admittedly short time on this earth, I’ve learned the difference between acting like you care and actually caring. The dichotomy is something I’ve seen in relatives, friends, teachers, mentors…basically anyone in a position to affect the long-term behavior of anyone else in a meaningful way.

In practice, it’s quite easy to tell the two apart. One type defines caring in terms of what they themselves do. “I did [blank] for them.” Or “I gave them [blank].” The other kind of person defines it in terms of what they get others to do. The most important people in my life have always been of the latter type. In one or two cases, it took me several years to realize just how important they were.

Which doesn’t change the fact that without them, I would not have taken the path I did. I would never have known what it was like to break your own trail, to clamber over the obstacles in my way, to find the meaning of what strength is. Without them, I would have trudged down an easier path, worn smooth by the countless number of feet that passed before mine, and I would be lesser for it.

As steel must be forged in the hottest of fires, so too must the human spirit. And while there is a danger that one can go too far, becoming as brittle as the hull of the Titanic, in my eyes the far greater menace comes from not being exposed to the inferno in the first place.

We accept that the immune system is strengthened by exposure to pathogens, that muscles only grow when stressed to their limit, that without gravity, bones do not grow strong. But far too many of us deny the importance of being pushed to one’s limits when it comes to personal growth.

The key to a child’s success is not their diversity training, their self esteem, or their ability to use large words. It isn’t in making them ‘feel loved’, or in the clothes they wear. It isn’t in being passed along to get a meaningless high school diploma. It won’t be found in a four year degree either. People will only realize their potential when their success is contingent upon their own efforts.

Perhaps my biggest problem with leftist thought when it comes to this issue is that it is a mindset that consists of nothing but excuses. Why one ethnic minority can’t match the success of others. Why one sex hasn’t achieved what the other has in various pursuits. Why children of the poor are unable to achieve what the offspring of wealthier people are able to. And, as in all things, some of these arguments have merit, whereas others hold so little water as to remind me of my youth in the Dust Bowl.

The best of these are nothing more than extenuating circumstances. They explain why some people haven’t accomplished what they are capable of yet. And while they’re somewhat valid in that context, they do nothing to contraindicate the future success of these people.

Yet what the Left tends to focus on isn’t the fact that these people have unrealized potential, but rather the aforementioned extenuating circumstances. Social welfare now encompasses 43.5% of our budget. The ghetto? As large as ever to these admittedly cynical eyes. Affirmative action has before my very eyes grown to encompass some recent immigrant groups while ignoring others. Exclusionary politics and who hurt who are the rule of the day in their minds. And while righting wrongs is a noble pursuit, it does little to change what Maslow called self-actualization. While it’s a useful term, Maslow’s framework itself is exceedingly flawed. Many of the greatest figures in history never had the trappings of comfort and wealth; instead they succeeded because they were willing to push themselves. On the other hand, every one of us can point to many, many acquaintances who rather than being enabled by their wealth and comfort were instead hobbled by it.

Rather than getting their hands dirty as Mr. Clark and I do in our respective professions, they treat these symptoms, willfully turning attention away from the disease growing within. They reward people for their poor choices, they remove the sting of failure from the inability to realize one’s potential. They act like they care, but they never make the steps to actually better the lot in life of these people. They never show people what they’re capable of. And they never demand they do it.

They seek to spare us from the flames, and in doing so leave us as useless as a lump of raw pig iron.

** Dr. Karma is an attending physician at (information redacted). His many professional accomplishments include contributions to evolutionary biology and saving an untold number of kids from stupid adults and an even more stupid entrenched bureaucracy. His primary accomplishment remains convincing his coworkers that he’s a pediatric specialist rather than a hitman in a mere six months. He specializes in whatever he feels like that day, and his coworkers are too scared to point out that he’s ‘just a psychiatrist’. The kids get better just to get him to stop yelling, singing, dancing, or dressing up like batman. It works, so he’s good with it.


The Quest For Truth — or Who Are You Gonna Believe? – A Blast From The Past From July 2014


The Quest For Truth — or Who Are You Gonna Believe? – A Blast From The Past From July 2014

*Sorry.  I was going to write a post and then I realized how dropping-dead tired I was.  As is trying to find a post exhausted me.  So bear with me.  I’m going to take a nap, so maybe I can work. Interestingly now the press lies on the other side, or keeps silent on the good economic news or even more farcically tries to find reasons why prosperity is bad.  Plus que ca change.- SAH*


“What is truth?” a man of the world asked, and washed his hands.

And now in what was once the land of the free, we’re reading newspapers that sound like echo chambers and we’re asking ourselves, “What is truth?”

I don’t now, and you don’t either.

In some cases, like when “the truth” refers to who created the world, or the date set for the heat death of the universe, this is not exactly a problem.  At any rate, I suspect the answer to the first doesn’t filter well through time/place bound minds, and so, the best we can do is an approximation.  And, as Heinlein put it, one of these days you will know.  Until then, you and everyone else just do the best you can.

In other cases, though, not knowing the truth is a real problem.

I am the sort of person who is always suspicious when too coherent an image is presented — or as my mom puts it, I can’t see a freshly painted wall without making a little scratch to see what’s beneath — which means I never precisely fell for the glossy images the Soviet Union presented in the seventies.  Does anyone but me remember it?  The glowing production numbers, the assurance that there were no poor and no unemployment?  Why in the eighties I read a poor idiotic journalist who’d visited the USSR enthuse in the Charlotte paper about how the very simple cartoon she’d seen on Russian TV represented their embrace of simple living and sophisticated aesthetics.  When in fact it represented their penury, their old equipment and, yes, the fact that their audience had no other choice.

In Europe this sort of self-delusion was almost universal particularly among the intellectuals.  You see, they had bet their future, after WWII on a Marxist-lite mess of pottage.  To suddenly find out that neither socialism nor its big, bad cousin communism worked, would have shattered their view of the world and revealed that they’d in fact been taken for patsies and wrenched the more or less functional core of their country’s economy, and engaged in massive redistribution… for nothing.

So they couldn’t believe that, and instead chose to believe USSR was a finely tuned, humming machine of success.

They managed to believe this despite the fact that visitors to the Soviet Union inevitably caught a feeling for just how deprived these people were.  But of course, they could tell themselves that they were just rich in non-material things.  (Someone tried to make a similar point when I echoed a post by Charlie, on Facebook, in which he pointed out how astonishingly well the Free Market has done in the last fifty years, in making us massively more wealthy.  All of us.)

They managed to believe this despite the fact that escapes occurred overwhelmingly in one direction: from the USSR to the free world.

Humans can believe just about anything if it’s printed in glossy magazines and nice (wholly made up) figures.  Particularly if it tells them what they very much want to believe.

So… You’ve probably by now got the glad tidings, that our unemployment is way down, and we’re roaring…

Do you believe it?  Or does it seem like a repeat of the “roaring recovery through the summer of 12 which continued through the elections, so that smart people said that “the economic policies of the Obama administration are working.  We must give them more time” even as they made fun of us skeptics who said “uh… isn’t this awfully convenient timing?  And lookit the innards of these figures?”

Amazingly when the real news trickled out they were not only bad, but appalling, kind of like the squalor beneath the facade of the USSR.

Steve Green goes into the figures behind our “good news” here.

Is he right?  Or are the people right who say “see, cutting off unemployment insurance works?”  (Of course it does.  Drops people off the books like a rock.)

Look, I know I have my haunch.  Yeah, yeah, the plural of anecdote isn’t data.  Bah.  Do you see the job market superheated, right now?  Are your friends spoiled for a choice of jobs after years of unemployment?  Do you see the restaurants with a wait after work, as they had even ten years ago?  Do you see new shops opening?  Do you feel the economy taking off?

Or are you sitting there figuring out how to make your car limp another year, and are your friends in pretty much the same situation?  Are you tempted to cry while grocery shopping, because everything costs three times more? Is your family all out of luxuries to cut, and is now cutting into what you used to consider necessities?

I’ll confess my situation and those of my friends resemble the second more than the first.  I confess after summer of recovery 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and… I don’t believe the economy is roaring back.  I confess I think this is a case of lies, damn lies and government reports.

But the the truth is as unknowable as the truth about who created the universe.  While I doubt the fact sand figures of our sad situation are transcendant and unknowable by the human mind, when you are dependent on a government for all your information, and when that government visibly puts ideology over information, you end up not knowing.

Look, it’s entirely possible that people who were dead broke in their town in the USSR, and who knew all their neighbors were broke, yet thought that maybe, possibly, in other towns the economy was roaring.  They had no way of knowing.

By making itself an uncritical lapdog, our media has made itself even more partisan, more unreliable, than the old Pravda and the glossy Soviet Life.

Which means the books are cooked, but we don’t know how far.  We don’t know if some books aren’t cooked.  We don’t know which books are cooked.

The problem is not just that absent information on what’s really happening, we can slide slowly into the abyss, as others before us — Zimbabwe, Argentina, Greece — have.  The problem the information on what is going on with the economy is vital for a hundred different decisions: which job to take; what property to buy; whether to invest in this or that.

Of course, the administration that couldn’t run a lemonade stand doesn’t know that.  They’re academics and ideologues for whom the essential ingredient for success has been fanatical adherence to progressive ideology, not rational analysis of reality.

And so they spin their numbers and they think if they click their heels three times and wish really hard, this time when they stop telling us lies after securing the election, it will really be true.  The economy will be roaring, you see, roaring.

It might very well be true, too.  Being from Colorado I’m used to massive fires, and they do roar as they consume anything of value in their path and leave only ashes and destruction behind.

Which is what I expect to be plain once this last effort of obfuscation evaporates.

But until then even sensible people are believing those glossy pictures.  Because none of us wants to see the real squalor.  It must be that we love simplicity!  Yes, and we’re really aesthetically advanced.  And besides, this is a wonderful day until we get buried in the corn field.

And we don’t know the truth.  Knowing you’re being lied to is not the same as knowing the truth.

They say the truth will set you free.  Perhaps that’s why the administration is so carefully making sure no one (not even the various departments who make up one or the other set of numbers, but assume all others are right) has it.

And meanwhile we drown in a welter of made up figures and pretend facts.

“What is the truth?” a man of the world asked.

At least he had the decency to wash his hands.





Sorry to be so late today and not to have written a post yesterday.  Yes, I was still doing home improvement work, and we didn’t even get to the tiling, though we’re hoping to do it this evening.  By the time it was time to do it, we were so tired we were a danger to ourselves and others.

When I finish this post, I’ll go downstairs to finish the cabinet work, so only the tile remains tonight.

A bitter cold has set in, so cutting the tiles outside is going to be “fun.”

We’ll warm up a little in the next week, but right now it reminds me of the ionic autumn of my childhood, what I think of when people say “November” (which accounting for differences in altitude is about the same as October in CO.)

When you say “November” I think of tendrils of cold fog, of wood smoke, of grandma in her patio, breaking wood for winter.

I think I’d been very ill, when I saw her do that, because I was surprised at how cold and dark it was, and took great comfort in knowing grandma was preparing wood for the Franklin stove in winter.

I think she was sixty three, so seven years older than I’m now, which is weird, because in my mind I’m still that little three year old standing in the doorway, watching her break wood.  I’m still startled she’s gone, every time, and she’s been gone 26 years.

Our minds don’t age with your bodies, or not the same way.  I mean, I hope I know more and am more mature than I was at three…  At least on the good days.

But I keep forgetting I don’t have the energy and the strength of my twenties.  I’m so completely not in touch with my body, that I’ve been very worried all through September by my inability to write.  I thought there must be a psychological reason for it.

That is, until I got up early on Friday to do some work for PJ and found I couldn’t, and realized it’s not block, just bone-deep weariness.

I swear I’ve not been doing that much, just a little work around the house, stuff that would have taken me a few days 20 years ago.

TWENTY years ago seems a lifetime away.

And part of the problem is that I’m now feeling better, which feels like I woke up after a 20 year long slumber.  And I’m not as young as I used to be.

It’s nothing serious… yet.  It’s just getting tired a little earlier, running a little slower, not having as much upper body strength.

If I can figure it out, I’ll be fine.  Hopefully by May younger son will be off the payroll (he already lives elsewhere.)  And older son should be fully independent by the end of the year and married early next year.

That’s not so hard to get used to.  I’m ready to stop being mommy (though I’ll always want to see them) and pay more attention to my writing, my career, and, most of all, my husband.

I can see glimmers ahead of a new phase in life.  Grandma lived to 88 and was clear and able to the last week of life.  I’m hoping (at least) for the same.  And I’m looking forward to it, in a way: to a time when we’re just responsible for the two of us, and can come and go as we please, and be spontaneous if we wish.

The natural preserve behind the house is full of gold and red as the leaves turn.

Yes, Autumn was always my favorite season, and as my life is about to enter it, I’m trying to figure out how to make it very good indeed.

But now I have some cabinetry to finish.  Before the snow comes.


Things you hear when Jane Austen Fans Do Home Remodeling

“I am in no mood to give consideration to drills that get their cords trapped under the fridge.”

“Shelves in a cabinet, who would have thought?”

“It’s okay to put the chipped board here.  The cabinet goes on top of it.  Lady Catherine will NEVER know.”

“I hate this varnish.  I send no compliments to its mother, it deserves no such respect.  I am most seriously displeased.”

Yeah, we’re still installing and refinishing cabinets. Should be done tomorrow.  Aka: the Tilening, this time it brings a wet saw.  Eh.

I Blame the Sarahs! – A Review of the Opening of Hope Never Dies, an Obama/Biden fanfiction by Amanda S. Green



*And I blame RES.  I’m not gratuitously evil… much, but when he sent me a link to the book, saying he’d found it at Sam’s club, I was both bewildered and confused. What was this liberal wet dream of bullsh*t doing in a middle-America hub?  Then I started suspecting it was a really bad book, probably written by one of us under cover, to make money off the crazy – Amanda says nothing to dissuade me. The author might be under DEEP cover — his bio is a liberal wet dream — but I’d bet you under cover he is.  No one can be this bad by accident, particularly no one who has written more than one book. As for the people buying this, sucker, born every minute, etc. – SAH*

I Blame the Sarahs –  A Review of the Opening of Hope Never Dies, an Obama/Biden fanfiction by Amanda S. Green

Last week, I said I’d start a quick review series on The Coddling of the American Mind. That had been my plan until two days ago. By Wednesday, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do a post this week. Without going into too much detail, my 87-year-old mother underwent reverse shoulder replacement surgery. While she is doing remarkably well, it still means I am having to help her with every day activities right now like getting out of her chair, walking more than a few steps (the anesthesia did a real number on her), etc. Worse, I am now the one getting up at o’dark 30 because of the idiot dog. I was ready to beg off of a post this week when Sarah, the first Sarah, the evil but beautiful space princess Sarah, tagged me on Facebook all but daring me to snark Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery. I didn’t even look the book up. My immediate response was not only “No” or even “Hell, no” but “There’s no way unless someone bought me the book and supplied much much booze.”

I should have kept my mouth shut. Or at least left it a “no”. I really should have turned off FB notifications. But I didn’t and Sarah the Second, Sarah C., started posting single quotes from the first chapter—I assume it was the first chapter. OMG, I didn’t know whether to run and hide, drink heavily or snark—or do all of the above.

In the end, instead of taking the week off, I needed something to point and laugh at and this book seems to be it. No, I haven’t bought it. No, I have no intention of buying it. I am completely opposed of putting any more money into anything associated with Obama than we as a Nation already have. So, with fair warning that there is no redeeming value to this book that I’ve found so far beyond being totally snark-worthy, here we go.

And we will start, not with the book but with the product page. The first thing you see after the title, versions, etc., isn’t the blurb for the book but this:

The New York Times Best Seller

“[Hope Never Dies is] an escapist fantasy that will likely appeal to liberals pining for the previous administration, longing for the Obama-Biden team to emerge from political retirement as action heroes.”—Alexandra Alter, New York Times

Now take a moment to wrap your mind around that. Mind you, I know comic books have been trying for “diversity” and would probably love to have a socialist superhero in the mold of BHO, but what would Joe Biden’s superpower be? Able to grope from far distances? Grope and flee in the blink of an eye? The mind truly does boggle, doesn’t it?

But let’s continue.

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in this high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon’s Murtaugh and Riggs.

Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.

Part noir thriller and part bromance, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.

Oh, my.

Now remember, anything that happens after this is Sarah’s fault. She started this. She taunted me, challenged me to do this. Along with her cohort, Sarah C., they have forced me to read at least the free sample. I’ll warn you now, continue reading at your own peril.

From an editorial point of view, reading the first page (e-book edition) of a book subtitled “Obama/Biden fiction” and written in first-person, I should be able to figure out who the narrator is. All I know for certain is the author is trying really hard, too hard actually, to sound noir. We know the narrator is in a “black Irish mood”—and I won’t share my first thoughts on reading that. VBEG—and was apparently watching Youtube or its equivalent.

Then we get to this: “The camera panned down to the white-capped waves in the harbor. An impossibly long speedboat entered the frame, cutting through the surf like a buttered bullet.”

OMG. As someone on FB in the infamous thread that birthed this post commented, “Did Chuckie Wendig write this?” It reminds me of the opening scene of one of his Star Wars books where the ship (tie-fighter, X-wing?) weebled and wobbled. And now I’m going to have the theme song for “weebles wobble but they don’t fall down” in my head the rest of the day.

My second thought was that the narrator had to be Obama. He might have been Commander-in-Chief, but he never served in the military. I doubt he ever fired a gun. He might not see anything wrong with a “buttered bullet”. But, we’ll see.

Oh, wow, click for the next “page” and we finally find out, maybe, who the narrator is. At least we find out who it isn’t. You see, that boat isn’t alone in the shot. It is towing a parasailer behind it. “The camera zoomed in on the daredevil’s face, and I saw that my old friend Barack Obama was having the time of his life.”

Okay, so unless the author is really off on some sort of mind trip, we know the narrator isn’t Obama. Could Obama be the “friend” mentioned at the beginning of the chapter as having died? While my first reaction was to hope so, it would make for a short book since this is a bromance/mystery starring both Biden and Obama. Besides, remember, this is the fantasy Obama fans have been hoping for. So, unless they are going kill Obama off early and deify him and have him come back as a god to rule Earth, he doesn’t die off this early.

“Unencumbered by his dead-weight loser vice president, 44 was on the vacation to end all vacations.”

Well, I can agree with the author about the “dead-weight loser vice president”.

“Barack even had the gall to tell People magazine that we still went golfing together on occasion. To save face, I repeated the lie. The truth was, there hadn’t been any golf outings. No late-night texting. Not even a friendly poke on Facebook.”

Pardon me while I laugh. We know, probably, that the narrator is Biden but it still isn’t for sure. But, day-um, that last passage sounds like a pouting teen girl who wasn’t asked out on a second date. Still, that could be the former VP. He’s gotten the whine down pretty good over the years.

Without quoting, because I frankly don’t have the stomach for it, Biden’s sitting in his office and it’s getting dark. He glances outside and sees an orange pinprick of light. It doesn’t take him long to figure out it might just be a cigarette. So, talking to his dog, he goes to his safe where there are only two items: his Medal of Freedom and the Sig Saur he bought himself over his wife’s objections.

Now, here is where we go off into the land of make-believe again. He takes the gun out of the safe, tucks it under the waistband of his slacks and pulls his Polo shirt over it. Think about that for a moment. He doesn’t check to see if there’s a round chambered. He doesn’t even check to see if the magazine is in place or if there is ammo in it. Then there’s the whole putting it in his waistband and pulling his shirt over it. Not only is he risking the Sig falling down his pants unless that waist band is pretty damned tight but how in the hell is he supposed to get to the gun quickly if he’s pulled the shirt over it?

Well, no one has accused Biden in real life of being the sharpest tack.

Let me ask you this: if you are home at night with your wife and you suspect there might be a prowler—or worse—outside, do you go out without letting your wife know and suggesting she call 911? Well, our daunting narrator does just that. He calls out to “Jill”, who is in another room watching TV, that he’s going to walk the dog.

Oh, and where the HELL is the Secret Service detail? If he no longer has Secret Service protection, where’s his private security? Better yet, where is his common sense?

Of course, that assumes he ever had any.

It keeps getting better—or worse, depending on your point of view. The dog races outside but the motion detector light doesn’t come on. It’s burned out. The bulb is old and old bulbs are supposed to burn out. Yes, we actually get told that in the book.

Now, if this was a mystery and the narrator was female, I’d be saying she was too dumb to live. I’m screaming it right now at this noir wannabe. So far, the only thing separating this book from the slasher movies of the 1980’s is for our narrator to go running into the woods in high heels.

And we finally get the answer to where the Secret Service is. Our intrepid narrator comes upon a “vertically challenged man”. Then good ole Joe identifies him as Secret Service. Except then we’re told his detail had been dismissed several weeks before the opening of the book. So why is there a supposed Secret Service agent on-scene, much less flat out on the ground?

Instead of asking, instead of wanting to see ID, our narrator comments on how it’s a nice night for a walk and keeps walking. Worse, he walks in the direction the man he assumes is Secret Service indicates.

And there, deeper in the woods, he hears flint striking metal and instantly identifies it as a lighter. A moment later, he finds himself face-to-face with his good buddy (yes, I use that term loosely based on poor ole Joe’s whine earlier) BHO. An Obama who, even though they are in the trees/woods, is dressed in a “black hand-tailored suit” and his white shirt unbuttoned at the collar.

And, after telling us that Obama is never in a hurry, our author ends the first chapter and I no longer have to explain to my mother why I’m alternating between wanting to throw my laptop against the wall and laughing hysterically.

My eyes aren’t bleeding—yet. My blood pressure isn’t soaring. This is fiction, after all, and not the actual writings of either Obama or Biden. But damn, this book is bad. Worse, it is bad in that train wreck sort of way. You know you shouldn’t read more but you can’t help it. You have to see if it gets any worse.

All I know for certain is I want to know what the author was smoking, drinking, snorting, whatever, as he wrote it. I’m not sure if I want some of it or if I want to make sure to avoid it at all cost.

And, as much as I hate to admit it, this was exactly what I needed after this week. No, I’m still not going to buy it. So, if you guys want me to do more from the book, someone needs to loan it to me. Sorry, but that’s my price. VBG

Until later. Now to find the brain bleach so I can get back to my own writing and not have this novel infecting it.

(To cover Sarah and myself, all quotes not attributed to the product page on Amazon came from the first chapter of the book.)

(Help Amanda drink enough to keep snarking the left’s descent into madness.  We’ll collect for her liver transplant later. Hit her Pourboir jar now! – SAH)

Almost The End of the World


Even though we’re routinely accused of being “angry” — I don’t see how anyone can look at the replacing of our constitution with the ideals of the French revolution, sometimes in its more Leninist or Maoist incarnations and not be outraged — I’ve very rarely seen real anger among conservatives and libertarians.  Outrage, sure, particularly when our civil liberties are invoked or when they try to bring here the policies that have failed everywhere they were tried, but not anger.  Not personal, seething anger that must find an outlet.

Honestly, the reason that hasn’t happened is for the same reason we’ve failed to do our own long march: libertarians and conservatives don’t tend to make politics their religion.  We already have a religion, thank you so much, and other, richer sources of satisfaction and fulfillment than politics.

We have family and work, hobbies, and a rich life beyond politics.

Or should I say we did?

In the relentless drive of the progressives for a totalitarian society, one that controls every aspect of your life (because they think that’s why their paradise has failed to materialize.  If only they can control everything we think, do, and every way we express ourselves, and all our sources of amusement or achievement, this time they’ll win for sure.), they have come for our families, our jobs, our hobbies.

I suspect I don’t need to expound on the hobbies, not with this crowd.  Sure, this is my job too, at least for now, but it is also my hobby.  I’m one of those weird people who don’t play games, don’t watch (much) TV, but read a lot, even while doing the other things I do, like furniture refinishing, art or sewing.  Often in audiobook to leave my hands free.

And we know what is happening to our hobby.  We’re not allowed to read (or write) unless we do it in a way that furthers the coming of paradise. And if we try to do anything about what is considered “good” or looked upon with respect in the field, all out war breaks out and we are vilified and our character destroyed in unimaginable ways via rumors and hate campaigns.

I understand it’s the same though, even in hobbies that though I engage in I don’t participate in fandom, like fiber arts.  And I know why I dropped out of my last art class five years ago.  It was an adult class, so a hobby.  We won’t go there.

Then jobs… I don’t need to expound on that, do I? the latest was the scientist who pointed out that talents and INTERESTS don’t have the same statistical distribution in males and females.

Any of us, particularly any of us who are statistical anomalies, know that.  I have always had mostly male friends because of my interests in space, politics (not of the females uber alas persuasion, but the individual freedom persuasion) and economics.  I don’t dislike females, nor do I avoid making female friends.  There are just a limited number of females who are interested in what I’m interested in.  I’ve always had women friends but usually one or two at a time.

Is it culture or genetics.  At this point, what difference does it make? The undeniable thing is that the distribution of interests and abilities is not equal across genders (or regions, or places of birth — science fiction readers were few and VERY odd in Portugal, even without adding in the female thing.)  It just isn’t.  To treat humans as though they were widgets and demand equal numbers (statistically) of everything is a form of insanity.

Sure, feminine interest in STEM — or lack thereof — could be a function of culture.  Though so far the scandinavian cultures who’ve bent more out of shape to be gender-impartial are also the ones in which more women are turning their backs on stem.  Because they can choose.

Is it a matter that can be debated.  Sure.  Is it a matter that should lead a scientist to be fired for expressing an unapproved opinion.  No.

We’ve in fact reached the levels that if you express an unapproved opinion, you might as well be a recusant in Tudor England.  They won’t tear you limb from limb and your entrails burned before your eyes while still living (yet) but they will make it impossible for you to earn a living (and have made it quite clear they’d do the other if they could.)

Families…  The new generations have been poised, men against women, and the women convinced that all their reverses are because of men.  The birth rate is plumeting, and gee, I wonder why. This is probably the most lasting wound from the philosophy that hates humans and wants us all gone.  They won’t get their way. Barbarism will come first.  But we don’t know how many people it takes to maintain civilization, and how many of those MUST be sane. They’re striking at both ends.

Then there’s the economy.  Yeah, we’re doing fine.  But how long can we continue improving and producing when companies all over have become convinced they have to hire statistically by exterior characteristics, because that’s the diversity that counts?  Never mind.  Every industry I know is teetering.

None of which means we’re going quietly into that good night.

Because we’ve awakened.  Not too early.  Probably not too late.

You see, there’s still more of us than of them.  And we look at the world and people as they really are, which, as they spin further and further from reality, is almost like a superpower.

We’ll find ways.  Like indie for publishing, other avenues will open.  Because we’re strong, we’re creative, and we’re not going to give up.

It would be stupid to give up in the face of people so blinkered that they believe humans are widgets or that silencing people changes their thoughts — instead of making them angrier and more determined than ever before — or that if only they can control every aspect of our lives everything will be paradise, when they’ve failed to bring about paradise in their lives, their jobs or their hobbies.  (On the contrary.  There’s ever more place settings at the cannibal feast.)

And yes, now I’m seeing anger on the right.  A lot of it.  It’s a quiet, determined anger of the “this is mine, and you can’t take it” variety.  It grows in the centers of our greatest loves in family and jobs and hobbies even.

The left is juggling lit torches near powder barrels and thinking they’ll somehow stay intact through the explosion.

And we’re trying to avoid the explosion, but also determined not to let them have their way.

This is ours. You can’t take it.  Besides, you’d just destroy it.

We’re bracing, digging down, getting ready for impact.  When it all falls down around our ears, we hope to have built enough around, over and under that things will go on with minor glitches.

This nation will survive.  Civilization will survive.

Because this is ours.  You didn’t build this.  And you can’t destroy it.






*Part one was published here.  I thought this installment was more appropriate to ATH than MGC. – SAH*

Todd Henderson is one of the only conservative law professors at the University of Chicago Law School. He’s the author of Mental State. This is an interview with freelance book editor, Elaine Ash.



They came like punches to the face. Message after message spitting hate, calling me vile names and wishing I were dead. Threats against me and my family—“You should die and your children too because you’ve probably polluted their minds with your racism.”


Elaine Ash: What’s it like being a conservative at the University of Chicago?

Todd Henderson: There are just a handful of professors at the top twenty law schools who would identify as conservative. Almost all of those are libertarians—pro-choice, for open borders, and pro-gay marriage. Social or religious conservatives on law faculties are like unicorns. Americans are split down the middle. So too are America’s judges and elected representatives—the people who make the law—and yet nearly every faculty member teaching future lawyers what the law is are far-left Democrats.

EA: That’s kind of shocking to me.

MTH: I’m not the only conservative here, but I am the most outspoken. I like and admire my colleagues, and almost all our students are extremely bright, hardworking, and decent people—but my habit of saying what I think has gotten me into trouble on more occasions than I’d like to recount.

EA: What’s the difference between you and a left-leaning professor?

MTH: I approach law very differently than a liberal does. I believe in individual liberty and view government actions under a presumption of error. When a liberal looks out the world and sees something falling short of Nirvana, they want to remake the world to fix it. They imagine remedies for it in their own mind—as if a single human can design a system to solve our social problems. Amazingly, these solutions always involve more government power. People are hungry—the government should feed them. People are ignorant—the government should educate them. People are sad—the government should make them happy. I am skeptical of government power, because at its core it relies on violence.

Liberal professors see the word as perfectible, while I think man’s ability to remake the world as largely a fool’s errand.

EA: Violence? Please explain.

MTH: Every law and every government action works only when people are threatened with the loss of their liberty or their life. If you don’t pay your taxes, you go to jail. Something as trivial as parking tickets are ultimately backed up by the violence of the state—we could ask Eric Garner, but he was choked to death by officers who found him allegedly violating a law against selling cigarettes without tax coupons required by New York. Laws ultimately rely on coercion and violence.

By contrast, I have more faith in families, associations, and markets. These things are more likely to capture all the information we need to make the world as good as it can be. And, most importantly, they are not based on threats of violence. Liberal professors see the word as perfectible, while I think man’s ability to remake the world as largely a fool’s errand. I think these instincts seep into my book, just as the instincts of liberals do when they write fiction. But, at the end of the day, the book is entertainment. People want to enjoy themselves not be lectured at.

EA: Ah yes, your novel, a political thriller. Any pressure from UChicago regarding that?

MTH: Yes. Many people told me not to publish the book, claiming it would hurt me and hurt the University. These requests came after people apparently received an electronic copy of the manuscript from others. They wanted me to change aspects of the plot and the details of characters and scenes, all as the book was about to go to press. The bad guys in the book are not straight from central casting—a female Democrat president, an ethnic minority nominated to the Supreme Court, and so on.

EA: That must have raised some eyebrows.

MTH: University administrators are scared. They were worried about the backlash from the PC police. Barbarians are at our gates. I’m still getting worried glances and expressions of concern about how people might freak out at a work of fiction. Publishers told me the book was too risky. Agents told me the book wouldn’t sell—not because of its quality but because of what it says. These days the bad guys can only be on one side.

EA: What side is that?

MTH: The side that’s not the left. Based on my tribulations, anyone who tries to push back against the cultural hegemony of cultural and political leftism is going to have a tough row to hoe.  Don’t challenge liberal dogma if you want positive attention from the media. But, at the end of the day, the book is entertainment. People want to enjoy themselves not be lectured at.

EA: Tell me about the death threats.

MTH: On Twitter, I dared to compare Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee, with Sonia Sotomayor, seated Supreme Court justice, in a discussion about how their personal lives and characteristics might be relevant. It didn’t go over well. I don’t get many voicemails at work anymore by virtue of email and mostly using my cell phone. And when the red light on my office phone is flashing, at most there are one or two messages—maybe from my mom or a reporter looking for a legal expert on a topic. So, when I went into my office a few weeks back and heard that I had nearly fifty messages, I knew something was afoot. I sat in my chair, pen in hand, and pressed play. They came like punches to the face. Message after message spitting hate, calling me vile names and wishing I were dead. Threats against me and my family—“You should die and your children too because you’ve probably polluted their minds with your racism.”

EA: Who were these people?

MTH: A Twitter-fueled mob so filled with hatred that they would try to rid the world of anyone who thinks differently than they do. Just imagine disagreeing with someone about something they said, then looking up that person’s phone number, calling them, and yelling obscenities at their answering machine. These are the minds of seriously disturbed people, and they are all ages, all walks of life, and all over the country, best I could tell from the messages.

EA: Are you going to shut up, then?

MTH: No.




“Exciting and compulsively readable, Mental State marks the entrance of a striking new talent on the thriller scene. Todd Henderson’s confident debut draws the reader into the unfamiliar worlds of academia, the law, and backroom politics, while providing a fresh take on more familiar thriller ground like the world of law enforcement. The Professor’s murder mystery delivers the rough and tumble goods, and it will leave readers wanting more.” —Kurt Schlichter, lawyer and bestselling author


Mental State is fascinating, detailed, and a pure page-turner. It’s a must-read if you love the country, the Supreme Court, or just a book that will keep you up at night.” —Ben Shapiro, public intellectual, talk-show host, and bestselling author


“Todd Henderson has written a taut, suspenseful and powerfully entertaining legal thriller against the backdrop of a transformative Supreme Court nomination and baroque academic intrigue, which he describes with convincing details and an insider’s knowledge.  The novel moves at breakneck pace, as a rogue agent uses forensics, guile and not a little force to make sense of the mysterious murder of his brother.”

—Supreme Court Reporter, New York Times
“Try as I might, I could not put Mental State down. It’s terrific. At times hilarious, always interesting, and in parts truly disturbing. I loved it.” —Michael Seidman, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.


Elaine Ash edits the novels of career authors as well as emerging talent. A defender of the right to free expression, she serves writers of all political stripes. Her nonfiction book, Bestseller Metrics: How to Win the Novel Writing Game, is also a patent-pending software in development for the publishing industry.