You Can’t Stop The Signal, Mal

As most of you guys know for many years now, Glenn Reynolds, of instapundit (where I post as the “night DJ” most nights) had done a weekly column in USA Today for years.

Frankly in light of a few off-putting moves over the years, the fact they still published the boss was one of the things that I held onto as a sign there was still some sanity at the USA Today, and it made me less p*ssed off whenever I got a “free” copy at my hotel room.

For the first, time ever, they refused to run his column. So he ran it unedited on his own blog.

Needless to say, it involved the Hunter Biden story. Which is, of course, something we peasants can’t be allowed to know in detail, because if we did, we’d also know the Big Guy is snugly kept in Fascist China’s pocket and that a vote for Biden is a vote to subjugate the US to China.

I find it interesting they decided to do this to Glenn, who has more than once proved the power of the New Media. Not the social media, not the mass media, but those of us, tyros, and independents who do this because we care about the truth. We also care about reality. Let’s show these would-be-aristoi there are unintended consequences. Let’s Streisand Effect them.

So, below I’m reproducing the full text of the boss’s column. And I ask you, all of you who have blogs, to do the same. Sure only one or two people might see it on your blog. But it’s not the size of the pebble thrown into the ocean: it’s the size of the ripples.

Ripple away. They can’t stop the signal, Mal.

BIG TECH BURNED BY BIDEN BLUNDER

Glenn Harlan Reynolds

In my 2019 book, The Social Media Upheaval, I warned that the Big Tech companies — especially social media giants like Facebook and Twitter — had grown into powerful monopolists, who were using their power over the national conversation to not only sell ads, but also to promote a political agenda. That was pretty obvious last year, but it was even more obvious last week, when Facebook and Twitter tried to black out the New York Post’s blockbuster report about emails found on a laptop abandoned by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

The emails, some of which have been confirmed as genuine with their recipients, show substantial evidence that Hunter Biden used his position as Vice President Joe Biden’s son to extract substantial payments from “clients” in other countries. There are also photos of Hunter with a crack pipe, and engaging in various other unsavory activities. And they demolished the elder Biden’s claim that he never discussed business with his son.

That’s a big election-year news story. Some people doubted its genuineness, and of course it’s always fair to question a big election-year news story, especially one that comes out shortly before the election. (Remember CBS newsman Dan Rather’s promotion of what turned out to be forged memos about George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service?)

But the way you debate whether a story is accurate or not is by debating. (In the case of the Rather memos, it turned out the font was from Microsoft Word, which of course didn’t exist back during the Vietnam War era.) Big Tech could have tried an approach that fostered such a debate. But instead of debate, they went for a blackout: Both services actually blocked links to the New York Post story. That’s right: They blocked readers from discussing a major news story by a major paper, one so old that it was founded by none other than Alexander Hamilton.

I wasn’t advising them — they tend not to ask me for my opinion — but I would have advised against such a blackout. There’s a longstanding Internet term called “the Streisand effect,” going back to when Barbara Streisand demanded that people stop sharing pictures of her beach house. Unsurprisingly, the result was a massive increase in the number of people posting pictures of her beach house. The Big Tech Blackout produced the same result: Now even people who didn’t care so much about Hunter Biden’s racket nonetheless became angry, and started talking about the story.

As lefty journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote in The Intercept, Twitter and Facebook crossed a line far more dangerous than what they censored. Greenwald writes: “Just two hours after the story was online, Facebook intervened. The company dispatched a life-long Democratic Party operative who now works for Facebook — Andy Stone, previously a communications operative for Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, among other D.C. Democratic jobs — to announce that Facebook was ‘reducing [the article’s] distribution on our platform’: in other words, tinkering with its own algorithms to suppress the ability of users to discuss or share the news article. The long-time Democratic Party official did not try to hide his contempt for the article, beginning his censorship announcement by snidely noting: ‘I will intentionally not link to the New York Post.’”

“Twitter’s suppression efforts went far beyond Facebook’s. They banned entirely all users’ ability to share the Post article — not just on their public timeline but even using the platform’s private Direct Messaging feature.”

“Early in the day, users who attempted to link to the New York Post story either publicly or privately received a cryptic message rejecting the attempt as an ‘error.’ Later in the afternoon, Twitter changed the message, advising users that they could not post that link because the company judged its contents to be ‘potentially harmful.’ Even more astonishing still, Twitter locked the account of the New York Post, banning the paper from posting any content all day and, evidently, into Thursday morning.”

This went badly. The heads Facebook and of Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, are now facing Senate subpoenas,the RNC has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, arguing that Twitter’s action in blacking out a damaging story constituted an illegal in-kind donation to the Biden Campaign, and most significantly, everyone is talking about the story now, with many understandably assuming that if the story were false, it would have been debunked rather than blacked out.

CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted:  ”Congrats to Twitter on its Streisand Effect award!!!” Big Tech shot itself in the foot, and it didn’t stop the signal.

Regardless of who wins in November, it’s likely that there will be substantial efforts to rein in Big Tech. As Greenwald writes, “State censorship is not the only kind of censorship. Private-sector repression of speech and thought, particularly in the internet era, can be as dangerous and consequential. Imagine, for instance, if these two Silicon Valley giants united with Google to declare: henceforth we will ban all content that is critical of President Trump and/or the Republican Party, but will actively promote criticisms of Joe Biden and the Democrats. 

“Would anyone encounter difficulty understanding why such a decree would constitute dangerous corporate censorship? Would Democrats respond to such a policy by simply shrugging it off on the radical libertarian ground that private corporations have the right to do whatever they want? To ask that question is to answer it.”

“To begin with, Twitter and particularly Facebook are no ordinary companies. Facebook, as the owner not just of its massive social media platform but also other key communication services it has gobbled up such as Instagram and WhatsApp, is one of the most powerful companies ever to exist, if not the most powerful.”

He’s right. And while this heavyhanded censorship effort failed, there’s no reason to assume that other such efforts won’t work in the future. Not many stories are as hard to squash as a major newspaper’s front page expose during an presidential election.

As I wrote in The Social Media Upheaval, the best solution is probably to apply antitrust law to break up these monopolies: Competing companies would police each other, and if they colluded could be prosecuted under antitrust law. There are also moves to strip them of their immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects them from being sued for things posted or linked on their sites on the theory that they are platforms, not publishers who make publication decisions. And Justice Clarence Thomas has recently called for the Supreme Court to revisit the lower courts’ interpretation of Section 230, which he argues has been overbroad. A decade ago there would have been much more resistance to such proposals, but Big Tech has tarnished its own image since then.

Had Facebook and Twitter approached this story neutrally, as they would have a decade ago, it would probably already be old news to a degree — as Greenwald notes, Hunter’s pay-for-play efforts were already well known, if not in such detail — but instead the story is still hot. More importantly, their heavy handed action has brought home just how much power they wield, and how crudely they’re willing to wield it. They shouldn’t be surprised at the consequences.

It’s All a Grand Plan (swallow this post after you read it!) – A Blast From The Past From November 4 2013

It’s All a Grand Plan (swallow this post after you read it!) – A Blast From The Past From November 4 2013

So two days ago a friend sent me this “quote”:

“America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.” – Josef Stalin

It appears it has been all over face book.  It seemed wrong to me. I mean, it appeared on the order of “Ninety percent of quotes on the internet are wrong,” George Washington.

What appeared PARTICULARLY wrong was, so to say, the “psychology” of the quote.  It’s clearly how some Americans view America, but is it how Josef Stalin would see it?

Let’s leave aside the whole question of how much he believed in communism or whether he did.  He was a psychopath, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t dress his wishes in some form of ideology, and if he did it was communism.  If he believed in communism, the idea that America was “moral” is right out.  In fact, we know he had this idea that America just pretty much was promiscuously commercial from his quote about selling us a rope.  (And that one sounds real.)

In any case, whether he believed in communism or not, he would not say that aloud if he believed it.  Think how bad it would be for someone continuously denouncing us for that criminally evil regime – capitalism – to say we were moral.

Besides, children, veddy bad news, but despite our puritan streak, no one in the rest of the world views us as moral.  Mostly because we’re more open at our weirdness than they are.  It’s like a friend tells me the Japanese are in general very straight-laced, which is why their porn is so wild.  But HERE we get the porn and the tentacle anime and… and we assume that Japanese is a seething mass of bizarre and sex.  That’s sort of how the rest of the world sees us.  If you start an internet rumor that a fad of putting goldfish in your ears for sexual satisfaction is spreading in America, they’ll believe it.  And they would probably even more so when murderous uncle Joe was alive.

The “America is a healthy body” is also something he would not say aloud.  Because again, whether he believed communism or not, that was what they were selling to the masses, and in communist doctrine no capitalist country is healthy as such.  (It’s in conflict, in contradiction, just waiting to be transitioned, you might say.)

Then we have “its spiritual life” – oh, BROTHER.  Let alone that communists are atheists, and that there is a good chance Stalin saw his god in front of the shaving mirror every morning…  Even if he subscribed to the idea that a spiritual life of some sort was good, he would look at us and think we had none.

Look, it’s unfair.  It’s like our being the prudes that everyone else thinks are the class sluts, because we wear makeup and our skirt is a bit short (meaning we don’t pretend to be holier than thou) but as much as America is more religious than other Western countries, measurably, statistically, this is NOT how the world sees us.  They see our multitude of religions.  If you’re devout, how can you be friends with people who believe differently?  Clearly, you’re not devout.  They see our crazier manifestations – and that’s mostly what they see there, the snake handling sects, the spiritist sects, and then the fake churches like the idiots who picket soldiers funerals.  It’s mostly what they see because it’s what their media finds “interesting” – and they think of our religion, here in America as somewhere between a carnival and a freak show.

Why would someone viewing that think of it as a strength?  It would be more “Keep those crazy Americans busy with their crazy religions, they’re less likely to believe we’re infiltrating.”

Of all of that only patriotism makes sense, since communism is an international creed and us such believes that undermining patriotism is essential to its spread.

So, yes, I went to snopes and the quote is fake.  Or at least “likely fake.”  (Trust me, it’s fake.)

Which bring us to why I spent so much time analyzing it.  No, it’s not to inure you about future bad quotes.  They will go around, and all of us will fall for some of them sometime.

The reason I spent so much time introducing this is that when I went to Snopes, [it’s adorable that back then I still believed Snopes – SAH 2020] I found this listed under one particular kind of lie.  The “The enemy is so clever” lie.

We’ve seen this with the Russians far too much and all through my life.  “They’re so clever, that they engineered this and that and the other thing.”  “They’re so brilliant, this is happening just according to their plan.”

Guys, take a deep breath, step back.  If this is all according to their plan, it’s the only plan of theirs that ever went right.  I mean, seriously, they couldn’t feed their own homeland with all those five years plans, but they can do a near hundred year plan to take over the rest of the world?

But Sarah, you’ll say, you say we’re still suffering from the effects of Soviet agit prop!

Oh, sure we are, but agit prop is not a careful plan.  Look, communism is very good at proselytizing.  Arguably it’s the one thing it’s good at.  It hits, like all other communitarian doctrines, the part of the human brain that’s both looking for “fair” and longing for a return to childhood, with benevolent overseeing parents.

Put enough agit prop over there (and they put a lot) and some of it is going to hit and corrupt the vision of other countries.  Besides, communism is so tailor made for intellectuals, explaining how things would be better if the intelligentsia ruled us.

BUT that is not a plan.  Not unless it’s in the sense of “we do this, and this just might happen.”  Witness for instance, that a plan would have come to fruition much earlier – like, before the USSR collapsed.  Also, people that good at planning would have made sure that their system worked.  (It is one of the funniest things about communism that they are central planners, but their plans never work.  Okay, funny in a bitter way.  I’m not laughing at the mass graves their delusions have caused.)

There is a tendency to look at trends we don’t like in society and things that aid ideologies we don’t approve of, and think that it’s all a fiendish plan.

Both sides do it.  The left looked at the tea parties and panicked, because it doesn’t fit their conceptual universe for people to protest high taxes.  So they invented the boogey man of the Koch brothers (rather libertarian old bachelors whom a friend who worked for them assured me are very nice.)

Soros is not on the same level – because, well, we KNOW he finances all sorts of left causes (and given his history, anyone who thinks he’s one the side of angels and works for good causes he endorses, should think again.  Once you sell out your own people as a kid, well… you’re done, morally speaking.  Particularly when you still brag about it as an old man.)  And he has more money than the Kochs ever did.

But does that mean it’s all his “plan”?  Is it all going according to his plan?  Oh, please, guys – OWS.  No, seriously.  OWS.  Yes, we all saw the ads on Craigslist, but nowhere did it say “must poop on police cars” okay?

He’s a man who wants to see the world burn and to that end tosses a lot of money at various disruptive causes.  But he does not have a detailed plan, and everything does not go according to his plan, or you’d be looking at his face in a big screen every morning, while you did your mandated exercises. (Big Soros is watching you.  Ick.)

Here’s the thing and the reason I don’t believe in the “conspiracy theory of history” except in the sense that some humans will look for power, and that the way they do it is always predictable: humans are strange.

No, seriously, humans are strange.  There has never been a satisfactory enough theory to the way the individual human mind works.  Oh, somewhat… but each school of psychology has hold of an end and no one has the full elephant.  Which is why psychology remains a semi-soft science.

This simplifies somewhat when you have a crowd, but it’s still not conclusive.  And when you have something like a country, which is a conglomerate of crowds… well…

History takes sudden turns, precipitated by events and one or two odd individuals in a crowd who don’t react the way you expect.  “Scientific history” is poppycock.  If it weren’t, the United States wouldn’t exist.

Yes, it is all explainable in retrospect, how we came to be. It’s easy to make up just-so stories about the past.

I doubt there’s ever been a human plan that worked, throughout history, and those of us who believe in a divine plan also believe it has taken some weird turns to accommodate us.  Or as grandma would say “G-d writes straight on crooked lines.” (Or for those of you don’t believe, yes, those could be “just so” stories too, but if it’s all the same with you, I’ll throw my lot in with grandma.  You see, I knew her, and I trust her judgement.)

We’re not G-d.  Yes, I know.  Very upsetting.  But we’re not.  This means that any plan that takes more than a generation will take some very weird turns, go sideways, and slide upside down, in the game of telephone that’s multi-generational belief.

Take for instance old Joe’s supposed quote above.  Even if it had been true, could he have predicted the effect of a massive demographic bulge on American culture which did most of the loosening of said culture?  I doubt it. I think the man had a talent for killing and terror, but no demonstrable intelligence otherwise.

Then why are we attributing G-d like intelligence to him?

Well, both because it puts the other side in the light of traitors and because it means we can’t do anything – see how comfortable that is?  We can’t do anything, so why try?  We can be absolute lumps and lecture all our friends still trying to turn things around and save us from a crash with “You fools.  It’s been planned for decades.  There’s nothing you can do.”  Which is very comfortable and morally superior.

I see it all the time, even now, even from respectable thinkers, about the debacle that is Obama Care.  “They planned this all.  It’s all incredibly smart.  Game over, man.”

Oh, please.  You don’t need to drink their ink.  No one in their right mind could have planned that insanity.  Did they plan for the plan to collapse into single payer?  Surely.  But not by the sheer incompetence of governmental administration.

We’re well outside their plan, guys.  They’re the gang that can’t shoot straight.  No, this doesn’t mean they’re completely ineffective.  They’re very good at destruction and destruction is half of their job.  BUT it means when their plan goes wrong (and it always does) there is an opening for us to come in, to save things, to fix things, to make things work the way we want.

Will it go exactly according to plan for us?  Oh, heck no.  BUT we can push it in the right direction and keep working.

We’re good at working and at building. That’s what we do.

This morning, I got up and I cleaned poop from the hallway.  Our geriatric cat is having diarrhea.

Being a conservative/libertarian is sort of like that.  You’re always cleaning poop you didn’t make.  And you don’t want to, because you have no interest in power over others.  But if you just leave it there, someone will slip on it and make a bigger mess.

It’s not a plan.  It’s just that you know where the spray cleaner is, and the paper towels, so you do it.  And you change what would otherwise have happened. Most of the time for the better.

Be of good cheer.  Destruction is not a plan and incompetence is not a destination.

Giving up would be premature and despair is a sin.  In the long run, destroyers always lose, and you always need the person who knows where the cleaner is kept and how to use the paper towels.

Square your shoulders and be alert.  You, those you love, and perhaps the entire country depend on you.  This is no time to go wobbly.

No, You Can’t Have “Democracy”

To the idiot children screaming and tantruming because they want democracy. No, you can’t have democracy. “Democracy” for any group larger than a family (and even in those, you might want to research the concept of designated scapegoat present in abusive families!) is an evil system.

A purely democratic system is simply rule by the majority, something that our founding fathers went a long way to avoid and the reason why our Republic has been stable and prosperous enough that you can afford to be a totally ignorant dumbass and not starve in a corner.

“But democracy” you’ll say, remembering this from something your equally dumbass college professors said “is simply government by the people. And the only reason the founding fathers didn’t like it is that they were well to do, privileged white men, and racist, sexist, homophobic.”

Yes, I know you heard all that in high school and college. Which is why the cost of your “education” should be refunded in its entirety and if they can’t give you (or the taxpayers) the money back all your professors should be thrown into debtors prison. Except that likely, they’d have to get back the cost of their education, and eventually we’re going to find the bastards who dumbed down the teaching of civics and history and started corroding the republic are dead, the cowards.

At this point the reason you idiot children — some of which are older than I — are running around with your hair on fire dreaming up “intra-state popular vote compacts” and screaming at everyone on the internet that you want your “democracy” is a perfect storm of stupidity, indoctrination and refusal to think.

Yeah, the founding fathers were imperfect men. There are no perfect men. Or women. Or beings who self identify as an ornate building and a yellow wingless dragon at the same time. To be alive is to be imperfect, to have imperfect knowledge and make imperfect decisions.

Yes, I know I’m committing the ultimate sin of telling you over-educated morons that you’re not perfect. Too bad, so sad. Most of you could pose for the dictionary definition of Dunning Kruger. You’re so provincial and mal-informed that you don’t even know how provincial and mal-informed you are.

Yes, democracy was rule by the people in Ancient Greece. But “the people” had some rather narrow definitions, that didn’t hinge on “lives here” or even “was born here” and “is breathing.” For most of the ancient communities, “the people” meant a few of the “right people.” Mostly, honestly, people meant the tribe, the center of the city state, the “good families” or whatever. And even giving the vote to those only, and considering that most of these communities were very, very small, democracies tended to be highly unstable.

Why?

Well, because in practicality, democracy means “government of the majority.” And if you think about it for a second, a gang rape is a democracy. Who cares if the victim doesn’t like it? There are multiple rapists, and they each get a vote. Or as someone more eloquent than I put it, a democracy is a sheep and two wolves discussing what to have for dinner.

“But that’s silly!” you say. “Those are crimes.”

And? They’re crimes here, partly because of our Constitution — that “outdated” document you’d like to supersede — and partly because it’s the law of the land. They’re not necessarily crimes or not the way we view them elsewhere. Note that in Islamic countries, a gang rape is the woman’s fault, or at least she’s the one who’ll get executed for it. And in many of the socialist/communist/progressive lands of the world, taking everything someone owns is considered virtuous, not a crime. Curiously, these places tend to call themselves “Democracies.”

And what your idiotic and fervid minds have come up with with these “the president should be elected by popular vote” or “We should just all have the same value for votes, and ignore how each state votes” (Yes, I know, children, what you actually mean is “I want everyone to do what I think is right.” Because you’re infants who were never given a modicum of civilizing influence) is just that type of democracy. What would end up happening is that you’d despoil the land WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING YOU WERE DOING IT.

Because states are not run according to a Republican form of government but more like direct democracies, for instance, your congeneres in the big cities run the mentally handicapped glorious bearflag people’s republic. Which is why your hairspray-model governor, from the Pelosi crime family, thinks that it makes sense to ban the internal combustion engine and throw money at trains to nowhere, even as his state budget crashes and productive citizens and businesses leave his state in droves (and u-hauls, and shank’s pony if nothing else is available.)

Why? Because Governor Hairspray is governing according to the priorities of his set, the people he lives among all the time. They all obsess about global warming, (mostly because the models on that are as credible as the computer models for Winnie the Flu) to the point of being convinced that fires are due to that, and not forest management; they all obsess about the plight of the homeless, even though the only homeless they have any contact with are the people they buy crack from; they all think that poverty and crime is due to lack of material goods (that good old, insulting and obsolete Marxist model), they all can either walk to the deli-on-the-corner or be driven there, but they imagine the peasants can take public transport.

So, why would anyone need internal combustion vehicles, except that they are hating haters who hate? Or, you know, perhaps they’re long haul truckers, or people who farm, or even someone who lives 20 miles from the nearest grocery.

In other words, the problem with direct democracy is a problem of knowledge.

Voting is a way to allow everyone to vote their own best interests. Which means, for instance, that knowing what life is like for the self-employed writers, I’d be unlikely to support measures that punish self-employed or gig workers.

This would work great in a democracy, supposing the majority of the voting pool were self-employed, gig workers. Since they’re not, a lot of states have tax penalties on the self employed because to the man (and woman, etc) on the street and for reasons known only to their psychiatrists, or perhaps the writers of sitcoms, “self employed” means doctors and lawyers, and those — again in the average person’s head — are all “rich” and “deserve to pay.” (What the actual deserts are of people making it in professions that have arduous and near impossible to finish training, much less succeed at is complicated.) So, a lot of us writers pay an extra tax penalty, because the knowledge we even exist (and not as millionaires, again, thank you TV writers for that bit of insanity) much less are self-employed is not widespread.

In the same way, a popular vote election would work really well, if the US were a completely homogeneous country. You know, people were evenly distributed and all had the same resources and capabilities.

I don’t know? Maybe it’s possible to model such a country in minecraft or another computer simulation. But that’s not the world we live in.

Ultimately, our founders, faced with what to them — and compared to European countries — was a vast territory filled with disparate cultures and disparate people conceived of a way to maximize the knowledge of the voter about the relevant issues and the people the voters would trust to represent them.

And partly because the disparate territory (much larger and more disparate now) was already separate states, they decided to emphasize the power of the states, instead of the power of the federal government. Yeah, that got a bit blow out of the water after the civil war. I do realize that. And frankly a lot of the cure for what ails us would be curbing the power of the federal government. Not that any of you cartoon characters want to do that. No, you just want people to do exactly what you think is good and right.

Fortunately the founding fathers were smarter than you are. Don’t feel too bad. They were smarter, better read and better educated than just about anyone.

So, instead of making it one man one vote across this great land, they had the states have so many “electoral votes” and created the electoral college.

We can go into how that has been manipulated, etc, but you don’t want to hear my command of swearing in seven languages, particularly because I’ve forgotten the grammar for most of those.

All you need to know, though, is that if it were one-man-one-vote (and for man read woman, wingless dragon, red-hair-dyed problematic gender, etc.) we would be ruled by five cities. Because those cities contain the majority of the population in the country.

And then we too could be just like Europe — spit — where the urban “elites” think they know what’s good for everyone. So, you know, being obsessively worried about how farting cows are making everything burn up (in 12 years! This time we swear it’s real!) they’ll order farmers to dispose of herds of dairy cows that took generations to perfect. Or tell people who live in the middle of nowhere they can’t drive.

In Europe, because people don’t always obey the government, the collapse is very slow (though rather obvious in the fact that most people have chosen not to have children. That’s the ultimate vote.) Other places, where the “elites” were even dumber and running in possession of Marxism (much much more dangerous than running with scissors) the crash is much faster. See, Venezuela, or Cuba, or even (though they won’t let you see it, until it bursts like a boil in the face of the world) China.

Given that all of you little Dunning-Kruger-rands are convinced that this time you’ll do communism right, and that you have the answers to everything, you’d probably manage to crash us even faster than Venezuela.

We’ve seen what you in the big cities and the government (BIRM) got up to with COVIDiocy, for instance. The idea all restaurants must be half of capacity, for instance, makes sense in NYC (maybe) because I’ve been there. Their restaurants set tables on top of each other. Note the rest of the country already is double that distance, NATURALLY. Or consider mask mandates. They make sort of sense if you must ride the subway, carrying groceries in both hands. I mean, if you sneeze, it’s going to go all over. I hate to tell you, but we don’t even have subways. And I go up in an elevator maybe once a month, and can avoid it if I so wish.

Which means your mask mandates do NOTHING. Absolutely fricking nothing. Except cause those of us who are asthmatic or have issues getting enough oxygen to be hypoxic on the regular.

However, perhaps the Covidiocy that’s most illustrative or your rank (and it is rank) and aggressive stupidity and provincialism, is the number of you who keep insisting we can stay locked up forever or until there’s a vaccine.

Cupcakes, even if this were half as deadly as you seem to think it is, even if this were for real small pox or the bubonic plague, you only think eternal lockdowns are possible because you can do your job just as well from home, or you have enough resources to stay home without requiring the earning of more money.

That means you are something less than 20% of the population, and mostly a knowledge-worker. There’s no shame in it. So am I. And my life has changed very little because I was already a semi-recluse introverted geek.

But the people who grow your food, make the things you use, and transport them, for that matter, need to be out there, and need to be working. And before you go into upper-class-white-knight mode and tell me I can’t require the poor and less educated (note, many aren’t) to risk themselves, what you are actually saying is “I don’t believe people need food or material goods anymore. We can all live on air and airy ideas.”

Because these people need to work, so they feed and clothe themselves and others. No amount of money printing or subsidies will cause food to appear out of thin air, nor add an ounce of fabric to your frozen back.

So, while the knowledge-class votes disproportionately and also disproportionately thinks they’re capable of running everyone’s lives, it ain’t necessarily so. They mostly know their own set and the conditions pertaining to their own set.

Oh, and since you think you’re so smart, consider that most people aren’t. There is no such thing as a place where most people are smart. For whatever your definition of “smart” is. (You ain’t, kiddies. You’re just well indoctrinated.) By laws of reality, about half the people are below average. And honestly, because of the way intelligence works, 10% of the people think the other 90% are morons. (Regardless of how you define smart and intelligence.) Also, even the 10% can be brilliant in their field, specialty or area of interest and total idiots in all others. (As much as I read, study and research, my commenters routinely catch me in elementary mistakes in THEIR areas of expertise.)

You are not a perfect person. No matter what your mommy, daddy and professors told you, you can’t and won’t ever know everything. And IF you did, you’d be an extreme minority.

This means “democracy” as in letting everyone vote and having every vote count exactly the same means truly, bizarrely stupid decisions will be made. And the most productive, smarter, best motivated, and most willing to work will in fact be the sheep in that one sheep and two wolves. We’ve seen that story over and over again.

Which is why we don’t care if you’ve thrown yourself to the floor in the grocery store and are screaming and sobbing “but I wanna wanna wanna democracy.” We’re not going to let you have it.

Because the founding fathers created an oasis of prosperity and innovation in this land of ours, and that’s not common in history. To quote a man who was much, much smarter than you even think you are:

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.””

Robert A. Heinlein

If you want that “democracy” bad luck, I will personally help you pack. I think there are still flights leaving for Venezuela, but if not, we’ll be glad to arrange for drive-through rights for you to go and join their brilliant experiment. (Well, they SAY they’re a democracy. And they’re ending the way democracies usually do.)

Until then shut up, wipe your nose, and learn to live in a democratic republic.

Because we’re not about to let you destroy it.

See, we know history. And using that knowledge, we know your wish for democracy is like the dog’s wish to catch a car. He wouldn’t know what to do with it if he caught it, and it would probably kill him.

Witch’s Daughter Installment 17

*For the previous chapters, please go here. These are posted first draft, as the brain dictates to the fingers which are remarkably stupid. Also there will be inconsistencies because until September or so, the timing on these is wonky, and I’ll forget stuff between posts. Eventually it will be cleaned up and fixed just before page is made secret/taken down and the book is published. At that time I will take lists of typos or volunteers to proof read. For now, it’s written in a hurry, usually an hour before it goes up. And, let me remind you, it’s free – SAH*

Al didn’t remember ever being so scared, although the time that Aaron had hidden the other-world-captured baby dragon in her embroidery box, and it had come exploding out, blowing fire and setting the curtains in Mama’s drawing room on fire had come close. But that had been okay, because Al had cast an illusion of curtains, and by the time Mama found out it was just an illusion, the boys had already disappeared.

No illusion was going to save her now.

She ducked behind Lord Michael stuttering like Geoff on a bad day, “W-W-What is that?”

Lord Michael pushed her back, even as he stood in front of her. “It’s an automated barber-hair cutter. I built it. It didn’t work. Or it worked very well. I ran from it. My footman took it down with a shot to the magic-box.”

Al had a second to wonder at the confusion. If the machine had been destroyed, why was it here? And also, what kind of a crazy person built this machine — bristling with knives, scissors, and indeterminate pokey things — and think that it would be a good idea to give it one’s head — or face — for trimming?

The next second she realized several things. The first was that Lord Michael’s entire plan seemed to consist of standing in front of her. As though those huge scissors couldn’t cut their way through him and into her. Second, they really didn’t have any firearms. And third… She stood back and let fly with a fireball at the thing’s magic box, or as it was known, its head.

For just a second, she had hope, as the magic ball hit and sizzled, but then it disappeared.

Lord Michael spread his arms, as though to protect her better, and also possibly to stop her doing something stupid. “Don’t do that,” he screamed. “It eats magic and gets stronger. I tried it before.”

“Well, anything you didn’t try?” she said, stepping back as he pushed her, and retreated. She could only retreat so far, though, or she’d be in the place where they had come through, which was now solidly closed with a huge boulder.

“Shotgun.”

Helpful. She remembered what she’d done with the dragonette. She’d taken the coat tree and bonked it over the head, to Aaron’s screams that she had killed the poor wee beast. She hadn’t. It had been knocked unconscious, though, long enough for Aaron to take it to the cellar, which was made of stone and had nothing it could flame, until it had learned better manners. Which it had. It had disappeared when the boys did, and even as Al looked around for any stray coat trees that might have appeared in the magical path for her convenience, she hoped the poor brute was all right. It wasn’t a bad sort, even if Aaron called him Fifi.

As expected there were no coat trees. And then, after what seemed like a frantic eternity, Al realized she didn’t need a coat tree. She needed a tree. Or at any rate, a very large tree branch. And behold, there were fallen tree branches just off the path.

She lay down on the road, so she could stretch her arms, and get hold of the biggest one.

Michael seemed to only realize what she was doing as she grabbed hold of the branch and pulled it back. “What are you doing?” He said, as she managed to bring the branch up — staggering around as the weight was almost too much for her — and then “Oh,” as he understood.

At least he got out of her way, which meant she could stagger towards the now very near machine, and let the branch drop.

There was a sound like whirring and leaves and pieces of tree flew, as it whittled its way up the branch towards her, and then Michael dropped a branch even bigger than hers atop the creature.

Knives and blades whirled, and then it stopped, suddenly. The magic flashed around the magic box. Al realized with a shock that it was trying to cut through both branches and had stuck. “Let’s drop them and run!” she yelled, her voice coming out squeaky and strained.

“No,” Michael said, as if she’d suggested he kill his pet. “You do it, and run ahead. Go. I will follow.”

“No, you….”

“GO.”

She dropped the branch and lifted the bag she’d dropped, and ran, giving the machine as wide a berth as she could. not that she was in the slightest bit afraid — no, she was massively afraid — but because she knew there was absolutely no point arguing with a boy when he got that kind of tone in his voice. It reminded her of when William was trying to compose the music that would enthrall wolves. He couldn’t do it. No one could. But there was no point telling him that until he’d spent a year trying and failing.

She turned once she was past it, to see what Michael was doing. And was actually shocked by what he did. He got behind the thing, when all its scissors and blades were pointing the other way, and reached for something. The glow of magic died around the magic box, and the blades dropped, causing the branches to bounce off the road.

“A bottle or container, quickly!” he said.

And that too was like a boy all over. Being thrifty and careful, Al drank the water from one of the bottles, before bringing it over. Michael was taking something like a long glowing string from inside the machine’s magic box. He spooled it into the bottle.

“I thought you said the machine you built had been destroyed?”

“It was. One thing I remember reading… well, in a novel,” he finished spooling the glowing thread into the bottle and corked it, then asked, “Do we have a bag?”

“Sure, but it’s full of of food. And no, I’m not dumping all the food.”

He made a sound of exasperation, but then removed his jacket and tied it in a way to form a rough sack. He put the bottle into it, and then started putting pieces of the machine into it. “Anyway, in that novel it showed someone walking a magical path, and their mistakes would come back to haunt them. This was one of my mistakes.”

“But you think it exists? I mean you’re keeping the pieces.”

“I think they’ll remain as long as we’re on the path. And I can use them to make things and get us out of trouble. I wont’ take the shell, because it’s really large and heavy, but we might want to choose the blades and take them.”

It took a long time, but when they were done, Michael had a jacket full of pieces and each of them had a sword-length knife strapped by their side with strips that Al cut from her skirt.

She was trying to think of mistakes she had made that might come back to haunt her when ahead she saw a flash of green and then a flash of yellow.

“Fifi,” she said with a sinking feeling.

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. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM T. L. KNIGHTON: Army of the Forsaken (The Champion’s Cycle Book 2).

Korr has watched as the young, exiled King Darvos is coming into his own, but he still has much to learn. That education is interrupted by a threat to the Bohgan lands they have called home.

Meanwhile, Duke Orlandis continues to seek Darvos, the last real threat to his claim on the Altrian throne. To find him, he’s enlisted the most despicable allies possible.

When these forces make a mistake that could threaten a budding alliance, Princess Lauranna and Darvos find themselves knee deep in a fight of their own.

FROM SARAH D’ALMEIDA: Death of a Musketeer (Mostly because I FINALLY put new covers on this series!)

When D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis discover the corpse of a beautiful woman who looks like the Queen of France, they vow to see that justice is done. They do not know that their investigation will widen from murder to intrigue to conspiracy, bring them the renewed enmity of Cardinal Richelieu and shake their fate in humanity. Through duels and doubts, they pursue the truth, even when their search brings them to the sphere of King Louis XIII himself and makes them confront secrets best forgotten.

FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Dragon Blood: A Collection of Short Stories.

(Someone said, having read The Glass Shoe, that he could tell I had improved a lot since I wrote Darkship Renegades. Actually, I suspect if anything I’ve regressed a bunch since then, because there was illness and not writing much for years. It’s just that some styles are more to people’s tastes than others, and of course fantasy and short story is very different from space opera and novel. However it occurs to me most people might have no idea that I write in half a dozen different styles, depending on the genre. So I thought I’d start pushing some of my older collections. And yes, truly, the novels ARE getting finished. 2020 has just been brutal.)

From the trenches of WWI where the Red Baron just can’t help turning into a dragon, to the desert sands of a future world where humans have become something else, from a coffee shop between worlds where magicians gather, to a place where your worst nightmare can love you, let Dragon Blood take you on a series of fantastic adventures.

With an introduction by Pam Uphoff

This collection contains the stories: Rising Above, From Out The Fire, Yellow Tide Foam,
Hot, The Blood Like Wine,The Least Of These Little Ones,
Scraps Of Fog,Something Worse Hereafter,The Littlest Nightmare,Dragon Blood

FROM MARY CATELLI: Magic of the Lost God

The ruins held an ancient magic.

Alice Ladybird learns that her stepsister learned it.

And is using it without shame or pity.What she has not learned is how to stop her.

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: INCOMPETENT

I Will Do A Chapter Tomorrow

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I am alive. We woke up insanely late (as in after 10 am, which hasn’t happened to me since I was a teen, unless I was on an international flight the night before) were updating Daz 3-d content and stuff on my computer most of the afternoon (We hadn’t touched it since we set up the computer in March) and then we went out to dinner….

And then I found I was too out of the adderal effect to write. I’ve spent the last three hours bouncing all over the net, instead of writing.

So, I will do a chapter tomorrow. Probably go to bed in the next few minutes, so maybe I won’t wake up insanely late tomorrow.

This is the biggest waste of a day in months. but hey, Daz is updated and I did a render to test the new textures….

Before We Fall

I have heard it said that if you look carefully and take the correct action before an accident you can sometimes be all right. It will still hurt. It will hurt like hell. But it will be all right.

I have had friends save their brains from injury because they “knew how to fall.” I have had other friends who, just before a car crash turned their cars just so, so that it wouldn’t kill them. Heck, we did in fact pay through the nose (2k per kid) to send our sons to a driving program (Master Drive, in Colorado Springs, if anyone is interested) that teaches that kind of technique and others, like how to avoid a crash at all. We went on payments for both kids, so that we could do it (we did not have 2k extra laying around, no.) and in at least one case it proved worth it, when son went spinning out on an iced major street, and managed to right the car and himself without hitting anyone. He didn’t even think about it. They train you on a skid pad.

I hate to tell you this, but metaphorically speaking most of you don’t have training on a skid pad. I do — sort of — but not on a street that has been deliberately and thoroughly iced and when someone cut the brakelines and possibly unscrewed the wheel. We’re going to need an amazing amount of luck to get out of this. At this point I hold about a 10% chance the Democrats/Socialists/Communists (interchangeable now that the masks are off) don’t fraud their way into full power, pack the court and rip our system apart, to install (yet again) a form of communism. This is complicated by the fact that a lot of them are in China’s pockets. Or rather, China has been filling their pockets for a long while. We might find ourselves working for racist, hegemonic overlords, besides suffering all the ills of a descent into communism. (By the way, they’ve already been doing this to some extent to the less fortunate countries, including most African countries. The left in the US and Europe believes this is benevolence. And that Chinese aren’t racist. I wouldn’t believe it, if it hadn’t been said to me over and over.)

There is maybe another 25% of chance we’ll find ourselves in CW II, now with even more foreign interference. What comes out of that, G-d only knows, and I’m not Him. Which is good, because I have trouble enough being me.

And there is a very strong chance that even if Trump wins the White House, besides continuing to have to drive a car where the wheel is disconnected (the extent of which I wasn’t even fully sure of until this month) he won’t do more than delay the crash.

Sometimes here, and particularly at insty, because I tend to do that really late at night when I’m exhausted and less able to control my moods, you’ll catch a hint of how hopeless I feel our situation to be.

In fact since the lockdown, I’ve been feeling we were screwed. That the lockdown was imposed all over the world on such flimsy evidence, that countries and churches, and every cultural institution not only submitted to it but kept telling the people how much it was needed sent me into a deep depression from which I haven’t fully recovered. (Again, the evidence that this virus was MAYBE as bad as the flu has been before our eyes since the beginning. You don’t need special equipment to see it. The homeless were congregating and not dying in droves. The people in slums in the third world weren’t dying at a higher rate than usual. And there were the numbers from the Diamond Princess. Which some idiot here tried to justify with “but they got the best treatment.” In a floating petri dish. With no special equipment. May G-d have mercy on the soul of every idiot who bought that bullshit.).

This last week, on the other hand, I’ve been feeling like I’m at the end of a Bond movie, and the villain is telling me his big master plan and how Western Civilization is tied to the train tracks and can’t escape.

Oh, not the massive corruption of the Biden crime family. I mean seriously. Any of you who didn’t know already that Crackhead McStripperbang wasn’t being paid for foreign countries for his services must have been living under a rock.

Not even the ridiculous, immediate coordination with which our tech overlords moved to clamp down on that information and preventing it from reaching the virgin ears of most of our willfully and willingly ignorant countrymen.

No, what discouraged me most was the “sexual preference” suddenly becoming a slur and Webster dictionary falling in line. (Seriously, guys, sexual preference goes way beyond orientation. For instance, my sexual preference is monogamous and with someone I love. If you think that there’s no preference involved, you must think people have absolutely no control over their impulses.) Because that bullshit couldn’t happen, even in the most totalitarian of conspiracies.

And that’s the terrifying thought. These people are no more conspiring than your breaklines being cut are a conspiracy not to stop the car.

They are a result of deep inlaid propaganda and misseducation which cause a lot of people to try to fall into line with the “word from above” and be “right” with those they view as the smart people and the masters of society.

I’ve lately started considering whether the decadence and nihilism we associate with the Weimar Republic was as we’ve been propagandized, the result of “capitalism” and a weak government, or the result of this sort of corruption, deep-inlaid. I don’t know enough of German history pre-world-war-one to tell you. Because I suspect the process would have started then.

But– And this is important– I haven’t fallen fully into despair. I haven’t for two reasons: first because in the back of my mind, Jerry Pournelle keeps saying “Despair is a sin.” (Some people just don’t know how to quit. Death seems to make no difference. I keep expecting to open email and have him yell at me to buck up and grow a spine, only more politely, because he has finally figured out how to hack heavens email.)

The other side of it is that I have watched a lot of Bond movies, and read a lot of mysteries. When the villain goes into his soliloquy, and shows us the extent of his plot, he usually is two pages away from being stopped. And sure, the situation seems hopeless, but the seeds of the villain’s own destruction have already been laid, and also, let’s be real, when you start showing your hand and dropping the mask, you’re no longer a sane or in any way competent villain.

Look, they’ve been working on this a looooooooong time. It started I’d guess right after WWI, with inroads into the institutions, which they more or less fully captured after the sixties, due to credentialism. Outlawing competency tests for jobs was really a bad thing. Yes, some people might have used them to enforce racism and discrimination. But market forces would have prevented its being general. It would have worked itself through. Instead we handed control over giving people the piece of paper they needed to get hired to the already deeply compromised universities. It was a single point of failure, a small and claustrophobic culture which has always existed mostly on prestige and where people think disproportionately well of their own intellect. In other words, it was ripe for being taken over by Marxists, even if it hadn’t been already. (If you don’t believe me, read the early Heinlein depictions of college professors in the juveniles.) Since then people have been going through “training” at least half of which is indoctrination. The softer the science the more intense the indoctrination, but — much as I hate to tell you — even the hard sciences get hit with this.

More importantly, because the “learned people” are the ones society admires, everyone who makes it big, even in a tech field — Bill Gates, I’m glaring at you — immediately starts signaling and acting more left than left, so as to be perceived as high class.

Which is why not only all our institutions, but our organs of government are deeply infiltrated and corrupt. Everyone in the FBI, CIA, etc has learned, in their education (some in the best possible American colleges) that America must be reined in, that communism/socialism/etc. had some good points. BUT more importantly, they’ve learned to respect the POV of the “learned” people which are all, uniformly hard Marxists and corruptocrats.

This is before you drop China and its money in. It’s play money, sure. It’s money by fiat from a country that has no control over whatever the government wishes to proclaim. But we accept it as real, and this allowed them to corrupt us.

EVERYONE who complains of Trump’s hiring should be aware he’s hiring from the set that have the credentials and knows how to get along with the other people needed to do the job. The shit show you’re looking at is what credentialism has created.

So…. So, I don’t know. We have maybe a chance in a million. And maybe Pratchett was right about those. We have to hope.

But before we crash, hard or soft (and please keep in mind given the amount of money printed for the various stimulus and to keep people from starving after the government destroyed them and society, we’re going to crash, or at least enter an inflationary free-fall.) there are some things to keep in mind:

We got here because of credentialism. There is a good chance your kids don’t actually know how to do what the establishment ostensibly taught them to do. In fact, if they do know, because they’re the fighting kind and studied on their own they’ll probably be resented by the entire credential system and might have trouble getting through it.

And most kids are in debt. Bad debt. The trap Obama ran them into, making student loans federal and non-dischargeable in bankruptcy? Yeah.

Years ago, a young woman came to a Huns dinner. This was at a time when I was very afraid she’d come for quotable quotes, so I gave her the cold shoulder. But she has been proven right. She told me antifa, and everyone young writing for lefty sites, etc? Young people were broke and desperate for money. They’re in it for the money. And they feel robbed. Partly because they were.

Of course, they were robbed by the machinations of deeply-inlaid socialists, but the rest of us cooperated with it.

Coming out of college with crushing debt and with no prospects for a job, a lot of them went back in for more education, thereby forging thicker shackles.

A lot of you — and me, in principle — oppose forgiving student loans. Look, guys, yeah, I get it. These people willingly fell for the snow job. But how could they not, when all of society cooperated in it? And when frankly, they did need those credentials, because our “free” national education is no longer a guarantee that they can read and write? (I’m here to tell you, having taught college as well as tutored high school students, that most of them can’t. They know a few words, but the effort of writing those is so immense that none is left over for making sense. People who are extremely fluent verbally can’t write or read their way out of a paper bag. This is because the “free” education mostly followed fads designed to be useful for teachers, not kids. If you have kids in school, at any level, the most important thing you can do is make sure they read well enough to read for fun, and then feed the elephant child. And trust me, phonics work. I’ve used them with both kids.)

And yeah, I read the parents indignantly saying they paid for their kids’ educations, and why should other people be given free money.

Look, you’re either going to have to forgive those loans, or — frankly — you’ll be stampeded into communism by a generation shackled to poverty — and the left — by their indebtedness. Sure, maybe they should get some punishment for being stupid. But their whole lives?

After thinking about it a long time, the only way we heal long term, supposing Trump wins, is to forgive student loans and set the kids free to become productive citizens. Mind you, if anyone near the president is reading this: I’d make forgiving the loans contingent on their proving they have an “employable skill” which might take allowing them to take more loans for training programs (as in for instance, to learn to code, or repair cars, or even construction work) which are then forgiven when they become good at it and work at it for a year. I would also make it a condition that they show they can read and write proficiently. Not just enough to piece some sentences together, but enough to be as coherent on paper as they are orally, and to be able to read and interpret text and subtext with no difficulty.

So if we don’t crash right way, I suggest you put your indignation away at the idea of student loan forgiveness. Seriously, it has to come if we are to have a future. No, I don’t like it. Yes, we paid half the undergrad for each of our kids, stripping ourselves of savings in the process. BUT the alternative is not “we don’t forgive loans, and everyone is happy.” The alternative is “the young people remain resentful, willing to do anything even support communism because they’re in an untenable position.” We all pay. One way or another. And hey, if we forgive them now, the government can recoup a great part of the funds by suing the useless universities out of their endowment. Before they lose it completely, because frankly the covidiocy they enthusiastically embraced was the death blow for them.

The other part of this is say goodbye to any guarantees of a comfortable old age. Say it now. Explain to other people why it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen because there’s no money. Because the money was squandered on stupid lockdowns and grand schemes by half-mad statist (Marxist) villains. Look, I’m four years from technical retirement age. Of course, being a writer, I expect to work till I drop with my hands on the keyboard. But of course, my husband has a conventional career…. and he too expects to drop with his hands on the keyboard.

If you expect a broke government to keep paying out benefits, all you’ll do is take the value from the savings of those who sacrificed and saved.

Oh, yeah, that’s the other part. Those of us who sacrificed and saved, fixed houses and sold them at a higher price, and invested, and —

Yeah we’re screwed too. Best case scenario, we’re still going to lose most of it.

The crash is going to happen. Damage will be extensive. We’re going to hurt. Badly.

The best we can do is protect the essential, and prepare to survive. As a society. (If the left wins this November I don’t expect to be around for the survival. As you guys know, Denver democrats endorse shooting the opposition.)

Partly this means, stop fighting the inevitable, hang loose, make the best you can out of what you can. And don’t fight the driver trying to take us in to a less damaging crash.

The other part means, accept that the evil villain lecturing us has corrupted most things. But while he’s talking, test the cord with which they tied our hands. There’s usually some give.

I.e. our greatest weakness is communications. People smarter than I need to start working on it now. Yes, it’s late. We’re going to hurt. BUT you must do everything you can to remedy that, including peer-to-peer of some sort.

The other part is we need a drop failsafe for Amazon. Well, that’s disproportionately important to me, because in the unlikely event I survive, that’s my bread and butter.

We also need other systems of “social media” where we can talk. (Be leery of parler. I have it on good authority China has whole knuckles in it. And their terms of service are hideous.) Herb, or someone, we need to talk about systems to sell things. (My big issue is figuring out taxes.)

The villain thinks he has us tied down. It’s time to fight back. And start rebuilding while they’re gloating, and while they think there’s no chance ever of us escaping.

We’re the last hope of mankind. If America falls, civilization falls.

Yes, we’ll have to eat live frogs and work our butts off and there’s no certainty of success. What, you thought it would be easy?

But if we manage it, we win the future. Even if most of us won’t live long enough to see it.

The Glass Shoe

The house looked familiar and reassuring. It was six years since Aimee had last been here, and yet it looked exactly the same as when she used to stop by to see grandma right after grandad died. When she was fourteen. And then less often though highschool.

It was a blue Victorian, set back from the street. There was a tall birch in the front yard, and a bench on the front porch.  Reaching back to memories, before grandad got sick, she remembered them sitting on that bench on Sundays, reading.

She remembered it so hard that she could almost see it: both of them sitting there, smiling at her as she approached.

When she was very little grandma’s house had meant cookies, and malted milk, and being indulged in a way her parents would never do.

Now—

Now she was afraid of what was inside that door. She’d called grandma, once a month or so, the last six years. But it wasn’t the same.  And now Mrs. Jones, who looked after grandma said that she was losing touch with the real world. That she might be gone any minute.

The truth was that Aimee had problems with death and ending. Not just death and ending of people but of everything. Cats, dogs, relationships.

She’d thought the world was safe and predictable until ten years ago, when mom and dad divorced. Then there had been her high school friends, until the group dispersed as if it had never been.  Then—

Then college friends for a little while. And then work.

Until the last year.  In the last year, it seemed to her half of her friends had got married and half had left for parts unknown.  The last year had been hard, between moves and breakups, and–  Well, Brad!

And on that moment, as she sat, parked in front of the house, her cell phone rang.  She watched, without answering, as Brad’s name came up on the screen, and that goofy picture of him that she’d taken a year ago, at breakfast at the diner.

After a while the phone stopped ringing, and there was a ping, announcing he’d left a message.

Right. She was going to go in and see grandma. Mostly because it would it would be easier than listening to that message.

She slipped the phone into her pants’ pocket, picked up her purse, and got out of the car.

***

Mrs. Jones was around fifty years old, and a widow.  She lived down the street.  Mom had told Aimee about her, and how she was perfect to watch grandma, because she had training as a nurse.  And then the other lady, whatever her name was, stayed with grandma at night.

Mom had arranged it all by phone, from California.

Aimee couldn’t really throw stones, since she also hadn’t been back to see grandma in much too long.

Mrs. Jones greeted her with a smile, anyway.  “You must be the granddaughter, Aimee.”

Aimee smiled, as Mrs. Jones stepped back into the cool hallway with the marble table by the entrance, where the mail used to be set down. It was now clean, gleaming.

Mrs. Jones led her across the living room.

“Does she know I’m coming?” Aimee asked.

“Well…. Yes, we told her.  But she’s talking about the ball again.”

Aimee blinked.  “The ball?”

Mrs. Jones looked over her shoulder, a diffident smile on her faded countenance. She reached up, to pull strands of salt-and-pepper hair back from her face.  “Yes.  I mean, you know,” and then, obviously realizing that Aimee didn’t know, added, “She is in her right mind, you know, but—”

“Yes?”

“But lately, this last week or so, she’s been talking about the ball, and she’s been trying to find her shoe.”

Aimee stared.  “She lost a shoe?”

“Well, some things have been given to goodwill, yes, but—” She sighed.  “I don’t know.  I gather she went to some ball with your grandfather? Sometime ago?”

Aimee didn’t know. She remembered her grandfather as a kind gentleman who smelled of pipe tobacco and always had a sweet about his person for her.  That and crispy five dollar bills, which he dolled out like he had a printing press in the basement.

Which she was almost sure he didn’t.  It occurred to her, as she went up the dark stairs, with family pictures – mom and dad’s wedding, her baby picture, the picture of her brother who had died ten years ago, just before the divorce – that she really didn’t know that much about her grandmother.  Despite all the times spent in this house, eating cookies, reading comic books, talking about what fascinated her at the time, she really didn’t know much about her grandparents.  They’d always been old, in her mind. Though she supposed they’d only been in their late fifties when she was born. And that was not old. Not really.

***

Grandma’s room was bright. The windows were open, and the late spring air blew through.  If there was a smell underlying it all, it wasn’t the smell of sickness so much as the smell of chemicals. Grandma’s old dressing table, by the door, the one she remembered playing at when she was still a toddler, had been divested of all its sweet-smelling powders and floral perfumes that used to fascinate Aimee, and instead was crowded with medicine bottles.

And grandma was by the open closet, rummaging.

She didn’t look like she was dying, despite what grandma had said on the phone.  She looked older, of course.  Like time had taken all the spare softness from her, dried her out, leaving only essence of grandma.  Like she’d been dried and toughened and reduced to her absolute central core.  But she was standing on her on her own feet, and looking through the closet.

She turned and smiled, “Aimee.”  She came close and hugged Aimee, in a fluid movement, and that close she smelled like the perfumes, of roses with a hint of lavender.

“Grandma.”

“Let me look at you.” Smile. “You’re all grown up. You remind me of your mom when we met her.”

“Mrs. Jones says you’re looking for your shoes? Something about a ball?”

Grandma looked as if she’d been caught out in something she hadn’t meant to be discovered. “Let’s have some tea,” she said.

And Aimee remembered that’s what they’d done, last time she’d been here, just before she left for college. They’d had tea and the special, “for good” bought cookies that came in the tin. That’s how grandma referred to them, and she always thought they were better than the ones she made.

This time, the tea was the same, and very sweet. Grandma got the good teapot out, and the saucers cups and plate from the matched set.  “This was my wedding set,” she said. “I’ve put it down in the will for you.”

“Grandma, I don’t—”

“Oh, I think I’ve used it maybe a dozen times in my life, most of the time with you. It doesn’t matter. You should have it.”

Grandma poured two cups, but she seemed to just wet her lips with her tea, and not really drink it. She didn’t eat any of the cookies. Aimee didn’t know how to ask about that. Mom had said, “She’s stopped eating. Since you’re in Denver for the new job, you should go see her. It might be the last time.”

Aimee offered the cookie box, feeling stupid.  Mrs. Jones had made herself scarce.

Grandma smiled, “No, thank you, honey. I’m not hungry. Tell me about you. What are you doing? Your mom said you had a job?”

“Uh…. Yeah. It’s just an entry job, you know, executive assistant, and… well, that’s what it is.”

“And there’s a young man, your mom told me.”

“Well, there was…”

“But?”

“But he wants to get married.”

“And you don’t?”

“Well, not yet, not at twenty four,” she said. “I mean, it seems like we should…. Do things, learn who we are first.”

Grandma wet her lips with the tea.  “You’re running down the staircase,” she said.

Aimee had no idea what Grandma was talking about.  And it got worse from there.  Mrs. Jones ducked in and said something. Her sister had called, she had to go. Could Aimee stay a few hours? She gave Aimee her phone number in case of emergency.

While they were talking, grandma made it back up the stairs.  It seemed to Aimee if she were dying, she wouldn’t be able to walk all over the house.

But Mrs. Jones looked worried about leaving her alone, and Aimee smiled and said, “Never mind, we’ll be all right.”

Then she went up the stairs, after grandma.

Grandma was at the closet again.  “The problem,” she said turning to Aimee. “Is that I can’t find the shoe.  And I don’t think they’ll let me in without the shoe.”

All right. Aimee had no idea what that was all about, but then – she glanced at the dressing table – all those tablets must have weird side effects. Aimee remembered how she had hallucinated all sorts of odd stuff when she’d taken pain killers.

“All right. How about you sit down on the bed, and tell me what you’re looking for, and I’ll look? What do these shoes look like?”

Grandma’s closet was scarily large and very full.  One shelf was taken entirely with sweaters, which she remembered grandma wearing all the time, except in the height of summer.  But there were things hanging that had to be older than her: A beaded skirt, a beautiful embroidered dress.  The shoes were under everything on the floor, she knelt down and started shuffling through them, then stopped when grandma said.

“Not shoes. Just one. He has the other one. And it’s glass.”

“Like Cinderella’s?”

“Exactly like that.” She paused a while.  “You see, I went to the ball and met your grandfather.”

“You met him at a ball? Or was it prom or something?”

“No, no, listen, not this world. The real world.  It was a ball. He was the prince, and he sent a notice for every young lady to come, so I put on my glass slippers, and I went.”

“What? No fairy godmother?” Aimee asked, feeling discomfited.  She’d read somewhere that when people had dementia you should just humor them. But Grandma didn’t have dementia, or at least no one had said she did.  Still. What was the use of arguing.

She looked over her shoulder and grandma looked pensive. “No,” she said. “I think they added that in afterwards. I just had to find my glass slippers, and I stepped through and…. It was beautiful, Aimee. Really beautiful. There was this castle, which was made of glass, only it was white glass and…. Well, it sparkled, all of it sparkled.

“And everyone wore these wonderful gowns, but he came walking through, and he chose me.  We danced all night.” She paused.  “Only I knew that I couldn’t stay in the real world.  Sure, no one dies in the real world. But no one lives either. There are no babies born. There is no time… So, I chose time. And when I chose, the clock struck. And I ran.  I lost a shoe. And the other one, I kept. It’s in the closet. It should be in the closet.”

Aimee, knowing it was crazy dug through the closet. There were leather pumps, and crocodile-skin shoes, and a pair of red patent leather stilettos she couldn’t even imagine grandma wearing.

“He came after me,” grandma said.  “That’s how you know he loves you. He comes after you to this world.”

Aimee looked over her shoulder again, and grandma was looking straight ahead. She sighed. “It was a good life, Aimee. Even if your brother left us much too early, and then your mom and dad couldn’t deal with it.”

“And then dad died this summer.”

“Yes, but that’s the risk you take, when you leave the real world. And it’s still worth it.”  She sighed.  “Only now he’s waiting for me, you know? He’s gone back to the real world, and he’s waiting for me.  At the passage. He has the other shoe, but I have to take the one I have. It’s the only way to go over.”

At that moment, Aimee’s hand touched the thing.  She knew it before she pulled it out from the corner, where all the skirts hung to the floor and hid it.  She felt the glass, cool and very smooth, and pulled it out, and there it was. A pump. Size seven, like the other shoes.  But all made of glass. Only it couldn’t be glass, could it? It had to be crystal.

“You found it.”

Aimee was very careful with it, handing it over.  Grandma took it.  She was speechless for a moment, then she said, “I knew you’d find it. Probably just like your own pair.” She turned it over and over in her hand, then looked up.  “I think I’ll rest a little bit, before getting ready for the ball.”

When Aimee left the room, Grandma was half-sitting half laying against her pillows, holding the glass shoe.

Aimee went to the kitchen, and washed the tea things, then listened to Brad’s message. “Aimee, please call.  If you want me to move there, I’ll move there. I don’t need to date other people. I know what I want. I want you.”

That’s how you know it’s real, Grandma had said. They come after you.

She felt suddenly very sleepy and lay down on grandma’s sofa, like she used to do when she was little.

***

She was putting glass slippers on.  She was sitting up and putting glass slippers on. And grandma was standing there.  She was barefoot, but holding her slipper.  And she had on the beautiful embroidered dress.  It hung kind of loose on her frame, but it still looked beautiful, all white and gold.

Grandma smiled at Aimee. “I thought you could wear my wedding dress,” she said. “I’ve saved it all this time, and I thought maybe you could wear it.  You can’t go to the ball in jeans.” But she didn’t have any wedding dress. She just stood there, waiting, as if the two of them were late for something.

So Aimee got up and followed her, and grandma was moving like she was much younger, towards the little room at the back, past the kitchen, the one with the books and the sewing machine.

But there was a great light there, and the sound of voices, and music.

Aimee saw grandma step through what looked less like a doorway, and more like a big tear in the wall.  Someone she only saw as a shadow was there, and he handed grandma something. It must be the other shoe, because grandma stopped and lifted her feet to put shoes on, and then she gave the man – yes, it was a man and he looked like pictures of grandad when he was young, tall and straight and dark haired – her hand, and the two of them stepped through into the crowd. They both looked young and beautiful.  They turned to each other, and–

“Grandma,” Aimee stepped after, walking into…

It was a glass castle, only the glass was also light.  And her own glass slippers tinkled on the floor as she walked. Looking down, she saw that she was wearing a white lace dress.  Se could feel something like a tiara in her hair.

“Aimee!” It was Brad’s voice, and she turned to him.  It was Brad, but also it wasn’t Brad. It was Brad as he would be if he were perfect, wearing a tux of a deep sparkling blue, with a crown on his blond hair, which for a change lay perfectly straight, instead of half up in the air, as always.

She forgot grandma, and grandad, and she danced with Brad.

She didn’t know how long they danced, but everything was perfect. And she, who could never run without falling was dancing the waltz as if she’d been doing it her whole life.  Around her were beautiful, happy couples.  She thought she saw her brother.  Only John had died when he was single, but here he was dancing with a beautiful young woman, a stranger.  Then she caught a glimpse of grandma and grandad, enthralled, in each other’s arms.

And the dance was more than a dance. It was being together, really together, as you couldn’t be ever in life.  It was…. The real world. Where everything was magical and perfect.

Someone stood up from a throne she hadn’t seen before, and a voice rang out.  It was male, and in her mind she knew it was the voice of the king.  He said something about all the couples here, all perfect, all forever.

“But But no one lives either. There are no babies born. There is no time… So, I chose time.”  Grandma’s voice sounded in her mind. And Aimee realized she could stay here. Here forever, in perfect harmony with Brad. But she’d never live.  Yes, sure, she’d never lose him. She’d never lose a child as she’d lost her brother. And they’d never divorce like mom and dad had done.

But they’d never live.

“So, I chose time.”

Time. There must be time. A place ruled by time, where love was far more perilous, but also… grew. And there were children, and laughter, and a good life.  It was worth it.

She heard, somewhere, a clock strike, and everyone stopped in their dance.

Time. She had to choose time. She had to leave the real world.

She pulled away from Brad – it was the hardest thing she’d ever done – and she ran.

She ran across the beautiful ballroom and down what seemed like an endless staircase made of glass. She lost a shoe halfway down, and saw ahead of her, the rent in the real world that led to grandma’s sewing room.  She plunged through it, and felt the second shoe come off her foot as she rang through.

And there were sirens.

***

After the ambulance had taken what remained of grandma, Mrs. Jones made tea, “There’s no reason for you to blame yourself,” she said.  “She went in her sleep. And you slept too, and that makes sense, seeing as how you drove all the way from Denver.  But there’s nothing you could have done. She stopped eating three days ago, and she didn’t drink either. It was just her time. Se missed your grandad.”

Aimee nodded, dumbly.  “Did you… They didn’t take the glass shoe, right?”

“A glass…. Shoe?”

And Aimee thought she’d probably dreamed that too, just like she’d dreamed the ball and grandma and grandad twirling together.

***

While Mrs. Jones was washing up, Aimee went up the stairs. She couldn’t imagine the paramedics taking the glass shoe in the ambulance. But it wasn’t anywhere in the room. She looked everywhere, even under the bed.

She must have dreamed it.  It was all a dream.

Her cell phone rang, and she picked it up, and turned it on without thinking.  It was Brad, “There you are,” he said.  “I’m coming up. You’d best give me your address, or I’ll go door to door with these glass shoes till I find you. And there’s a lot of doors in Denver. It could take forever.”

“Glass shoes?”

“You lost them, in the staircase.”

“But that was a dream,” she said.

“Maybe,” he said. “But I was also in the dream. And I have a pair of glass shoes.  Your grandmother told me to tell you she’s okay. And that I am to come to you and stay with you. Because it’s worth it. I wouldn’t dream of disappointing her.”

“You can’t have had the same dream I had!”

“No? then how do I know what happened.”

“Oh,” she said.  And she gave him her address.

There was time enough for the real world. She’d keep the glass slippers. But meanwhile they’d live and love, and have a few babies, maybe.

And some day she’d find the glass slippers again and step through to the ball that never ended.

These Are The Crazy Years a Blast From the Past from July 17 2013

BREAKING NEWS, PASS THIS ON BY EVERY CHANNEL AVAILABLE TO YOU: Emails: Top Ukrainian Exec Asked Hunter How to ‘Use Your Influence’ on Burisma’s Behalf AND Facebook, Twitter ‘Reducing’ the Distribution of New York Post Story on Hunter Biden Emails (And by reducing the distribution, read “banning.”) Pass it on: email, phone, your blogs. Just pass it on. Show them they can’t silence AMERICANS!

*Uh Uh. Well. You know, reading this I thought “oh, honey child. You didn’t know what a crazy year even WAS. – SAH*

It’s become a thing among Heinlein fans, writers and readers alike.  We get together for a good talk, and a glass of wine, and one of us will mention something nuts and the others will go “Well, these are the crazy years.”

Things like the girl who had to remove a decoration from her purse before boarding a plane because the decoration was in the shape of a revolver, though about finger sized and evidently cut in half lengthwise.  The TSA thought the ban on guns applied to this too.  (Of course, she’d flown with it before, so it was just this TSA station, but nonetheless its rulings were absolute.)

Things like the little deaf boy who can’t sign his name because one of the letters looks like a gun.

Things like kids getting in trouble because of a fictional story they wrote.  Things like my younger son – it’s a theme, yes.  The boy is lightening rod on his mother’s side.  More on that later – getting sent to the school psychiatrist because he used the following sentence in an essay “Some people think I’m crazy.”

Then there is the shooting in the Aurora theater, which doesn’t even make any sense, except in a culture where it’s better to be famous for killing people than to be obscure.

There’s half (half?) of our literature and movies, which glorify behaviors that in real life get you killed or make you a bum.  There’s the fact that being thrifty, hard working and honoring your contracts makes you “uncool.”  There the fact our women are taught to hate all men and men are finally learning to avoid women.  There’s…

You say it in groups of Heinlein fans, and people go “Well, these ARE the crazy years.”  And you move on.

I’m here to tell you these are not the crazy years, these are the fracking insane years.  Yesterday I went for a long walk and because I didn’t have my son – he was volunteering at the hospital – and therefore had to stay off the more interesting parts of downtown, I took an audio book to keep me company.  The book, because I’m writing space opera and trying to internalize his rhythms (and also because I really am trying to avoid using his terminology, etc, by reminding myself what it is.  I grew up with it, and to me it just means “science fiction” but of course it’s more than that), was Methuselah’s Children by Robert A. Heinlein.

When he hits the description of the Crazy years – you know, kids striking for less homework, more pay (for going to school) and eating clay sandwiches and such, I thought “Brother, you didn’t know from crazy.”

Part of his explanation – built into his world building – was that the crazy years were brought on by population pressures.  One must give the man one strike, and that’s a big one, but it’s one he shared with every scientist of his time.

At least he seemed to have a clue what really was at the bottom of it.  “Semantic confusion.”  Semantic confusion is a big big issue, and it is what is at the bottom of our own insanity.

Heinlein believed that semantics would become an exact science.  Since he based his beliefs on the scientific magazines of his time, I’m going to assume there was research into this.  But it seems to have come to nothing.  Or did it?

Was this one of those sciences that was never published?  One of those things that were considered too dangerous for people to know?

Let me put it this way, if I say “Women should sleep around with every guy possible, because guys want to have women available to them with no strings attached” most women figure out that’s bad, right?  But if I say “Women should sleep around with every guy possible so no man will hold strings on them and they can be free” this is liberating, right?  Semantics.  Not looking beyond the significant for the signified.

But the emotions know, if the head doesn’t.  Pretty words can beguile women, and tv shows can show the wonderful joys of the slutty lifestyle, but every one of a us knows a woman who is turning forty and fifty, still raising the fist of liberation but finding fewer and fewer takers and, let’s face it, sinking into a pit of quiet despair.

Because men and women are different, and studies prove this.  You shouldn’t need studies.  It’s evolutionary.  It benefitted men to sleep around and so those who did it with no issues were the ones who left most off spring.  It did not benefit women to sleep around.  It benefited them to have a guy know (or think) the kids were his, and therefore bring her the best hunk of mammoth from his hunt.  Her kids survived.

Studies have shown that though in both cases sex creates attachment, the effect is much stronger among women.

There’s other stuff.  We won’t talk about the human papilloma virus, now endemic in populations, which apparently causes interesting forms of vaginal, penile and mouth cancers.  The widespread dissemination of it requires that most people have MANY partners.

BUT at the heart of it, guys enjoy the hooking up culture, women don’t.  I’m not saying there weren’t always women who enjoyed it – of course there were – but statistically speaking, women favor attachment over hooking up.

How in hell did “liberating women” turn into “make them available for men’s fun with no pressures and no commitments?”  How can we believe “Men and women are exactly the same, despite different evolutionary pressures, despite the fact we can see and hear they aren’t?”

Semantic confusion.  We confuse equality before the law with equality.

How did not teaching your kids to read – whole word, making the classroom fun, “new methods” of learning for something that has been done in a mass setting and successfully since at least the Roman Empire – become “pedagogy”? and “Desirable”?  Semantic confusion.  We think “new” is better and trust “new discoveries” to make learning “less boring.”  (Almost all basic learning is mind bogglingly boring.  But it opens your wings to the sky.)

How did “Question Authority” become “Question all authority except your hippie teacher?”  Semantic confusion.  The teacher is after all cool and still behaves like an adolescent and assays your fears of growing old and unhip.  And he says the authority are those other people.  You know, the unhip ones, like your parents.  And you don’t think that the teacher has power over the classroom.  That he has his own authority.  And that he’s using it to manipulate you.

How did “Speaking Truth to Power” become saying platitudes that are already enforced from the top down in our laws and in our societal assumptions.  You know, things like “Anyone could be homeless.  They just need compassion.”  (Actually this is true, but for the long time homeless compassion should come in the form of making sure they take their meds and at least moderate their behavior enough to live in society.)  Things like “Women are exactly the same as men and any differences are cultural.”  (Actually women are driven by different hormones which shape thought, which shape – oh, never mind.  Yes, some women are more masculine then men, but not the vast majority.)  Things like “You should be able to make a living at whatever you want to, whether it’s something other people want or need or not.”  Things like “What’s wrong with capitalism is that it doesn’t distribute money equally.”

This is “Brave and courageous” I suppose because they can give you your very own TV show, for parroting what the authorities want people to believe.

But the thing about semantic insanity is that words aren’t the truth.  Words are just words.  Our lying eyes still insist on telling us where reality differs from the words, and things start cracking up.

The first symptom is an amping up of insanity.  Do women feel used and treated like dirt?  Do they get upset because younger women (DUH) attract more men?

Well, you get screams of “harassment” at mere words said in passing; and you get “lookism” and its being considered a bad thing to note someone is in fact female.

They could step back and think that perhaps sex for its own sake is bad, and perhaps there is a reason for mating for life and having support in your middle or old age.  But that would require real talking truth to power.  And that they can’t do.  Because everyone knows married people are unhip.

Is your kid failing to learn to read by the new spanking shiny methods?  Well, then he must have a disability and it must be the fault of something that’s tragically unhip, like irradiated food.

… But insanity can only be amped so much.  After a while even the crazies know it’s crazy.  And then, there’s the fact that semantic insanity encourages the sort of behavior that makes things worse and takes society apart faster.

And then the crash comes.  The normal result of the crash is a strong man regime, and maybe that’s where we’ll end up.  Only not the current strong men, because they’re semantically insane.  The very people trying to speed up the crash are the ones least likely to survive it.

Because most of them are third generation indoctrinated and unable to think of the signified beneath the significant.

I’m an odd duck.  I’d prefer no enforcement of even the old morals.  It makes most of us Odds distinctly uncomfortable, when any societal normal is rigidly enforced.  And it makes it difficult for creativity and invention to flourish.

But that’s where we’re headed if we don’t rein in this semantic insanity, because a strong-man regime that’s closer aligned with the majority of people is better than what we have now, which is only aligned with the reality inside people’s heads.  (Or at least the kakistocracy’s heads.)  It will allow people to survive better.

Or we can turn back now, and try to think clearly and believe our lying eyes and not the pretty stuff we want to believe.

As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,

The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

There is a new post over at Mad Genius Club. 

Read this and Consider It

It’s two weeks and change to the election. And we’re all worried.

I’ll confess to you I’d not be the least bit worried if it weren’t for the fact that I know there will be fraud.

We saw enough of that in 18 when polls were kept open much later than they should be, until “the right people won.”

And to those of you who are shrugging and saying “both side cheat.” Yes, I AM sure some Republican somewhere cheated. In fact there seems to have been vote fraud some years ago by some guy running for the equivalent of dog catcher in some backwater place. I know, because it is the instance brought out every time we say the left has committed fraud.

I will just say this: if you want to look for where the fraud is, look for those who facilitated it. Go no further than Motor Voter. “But it was a way to encourage people to vote” you say. “It removed a barrier to registration.”

It removed many barriers to registration. I have an accent you can cut with a knife, and never once, when registering to vote after moves have I been asked if I am in fact a citizen, whose fate is inextricably bound up with this land and these people, and not a casual, passing visitor. (Note that yes, Francis is a friend. I might in fact have asked him to link this because the other ones I read about — all very similar, including a Japanese journalist here on a brief visa, who had to fight not to be enrolled to vote — were in the paper, in the two or three years after the passage of the motor voter law, and all of them are now out of reach.

“But the voter is supposed to know he can’t vote” you’ll say (if you’re not so crazy as to think everyone should be able to vote who lives here however briefly.) Perhaps they should, but they don’t. I would say that our schools no longer teach the rights and duties of citizenship, but if they did it would be overwhelmed by TV shows who show it as “you’re in the US, you’re American now.” I actually heard some idiot saying we can’t put barriers in the way of people becoming citizens as soon as they land here, because “it used to be you came off the boat in NYC and voted the next day.” Maybe so, because the NYC machine politics (weirdly even then not Republican) were always corrupt, but they shouldn’t have voted and were not legally entitled to vote.

I don’t know when the knowledge was lost, but my own MIL, the year I got here asked me if I’d registered to vote, since “you’re an American now.”

That’s not how any of that works, and not informing people that you need to be bound up with the destiny of the US, you need to have skin in the game, you need to know that what you vote for you will most surely experience. Otherwise you’re voting for things with the interests of other countries, or your family abroad, or whatever in the mix. (I confess to the extent that the US holds up civilization and prevents it from being under the boot of China and communism/fascism (the two have blended in China and most of the modern left) I will fight for the US not just for my family here, but for my family abroad.) I only became a citizen when I was at the point that I had acculturated enough that my home was here (I took two years beyond the point at which I was eligible, because I took it seriously) and my loyalties were here. And even though Portugal allows dual citizenship, the US doesn’t. And I had become American and had no divided loyalties, so I mailed the passport back.

The point being, I’m not even sure people with dual citizenship should vote, much less visitors or people passing through. But the Motor Voter facilitates that. How many non-citizens vote? I don’t know. What I can tell you is that if that hurt the Democratic party, Clinton wouldn’t have rammed it through.

And really, there’s no excuse for it. NONE. I wouldn’t be offended if people asked me for proof of citizenship. I KNOW I HAVE AN ACCENT. Anyone so fragile as to refuse to sign up to vote because they might be embarrassed by a question, shouldn’t do it. “But Sarah, people who are racist” (Do you want to add sexist and homophobic too) “Might use it to make people who are darker jump through hoops.” Sure. People are dicks. They might also, in areas that are predominantly black make blonds show proof of citizenship. AND? The solution to that is not to ask NO ONE to prove citizenship and thereby at best clutter our rolls with thousands upon thousands of people who never vote, and thereby give us thousands (millions?) of harvestable ballots. At worst, it’s giving people who don’t understand us and have nothing to do with us, and who get their news of the US through the peculiar game of telephone that is the MSM a say in how our country is run. The solution is to ask EVERYONE to show proof of citizenship.

NOTE NO OTHER COUNTRY LETS ONE REGISTER TO VOTE WITHOUT BIRTH CERTIFICATE OR PROOF OF NATURALIZATION. Not a single one. Because they are not stupid, and not infiltrated to the degree we are.

Other things that facilitate voter fraud, like mail ballots…. Note which party is pushing for that. No other country does this either. Given the convenience — hello Colorado — of registering on line, without seeing anyone/proving you exist, and then getting a ballot automatically mailed to you, I wonder how many imaginary people vote. And I kind of am ashamed of myself that I haven’t registered Havelock and Valeria Hoyt to vote. I mean, seriously, at least they exist.

How do we know this was intended for fraud or that it helps the left? Well, after Coloradan voters soundly defeated the idea of all-vote-by-mail the barely majority Democrats used it to make it a thing. Over our heads. And since then — strangely — no Republicans win.

Kind of like, have you noticed, when forgotten ballots are found in the trunk of someone’s car, it’s always for the left.

This was all fun and games while it was restricted to Chicago and other hell holes, but now they’re playing for all the cookie chips.

And if you bother — and those of you on the left won’t, I know. You like to be “smart” by taking all your opinions from your betters — to read the program on Joe Biden’s campaign website, you’ll find that yes, he’s all on board for the Green New Deal. And if you read the Green New Deal and you’re mildly sentient (say like my cats) you’ll find that the Green New Deal amounts to the government controlling everything you do, from how you heat your house, to how far and when you can travel, and what you can eat. Worse, if you read Joe Biden’s history, his family has received millions of dollars from China (Yes, Ukraine too. If you allow yourself to read the truth) and China has hegemon ambitions. You know, China, the place ethnically cleansing minorities and starving their own people. Did you know why Wuhan was so vulnerable to the flu? No, do you want to know? Then read this.

And read or ask people who have relatives in Africa what China has done to Africa. If you think being a Chinese colony under the boot of communism is a good idea, you might be insane. For the young who’ve been sold an idea of communism, you’ve been lied to. I’ve seen communism close enough (though it never kept a hold in Portugal) and its cousin hard-international-socialism which is only degrees away from it. You don’t want either. You might not starve, but there are good chances you wish you would. Let’s say I have family in Venezuela.

Yes, I know, but Orange Man Bad and he’s “packing the court.” Get your head out of AP’s ass. They are running their game for their international overlords. Choosing judges of the president’s own ideological stripe is not packing the court. There is no obligation to actually “balance opinions”on the court. If thee were, we’d vote for judges every four years, and/or the court wouldn’t have been PREDOMINANTLY leftist and at times crushingly so for many decades in our past. Packing the court is adding judges of the president’s own strip to it in such numbers that we become an effective one-party state. What FDR that great fascist the left reveres (no? Look into his philosophy) tried to do and Biden has said you don’t deserve to know whether he wants to do. (Oh, but they’re selling it already.)

Speaking of packing courts, that’s exactly what Chavez did in Venezuela, thereby ensuring only fraudulent elections in the future. I have family in Venezuela. Not many now. Most have run. Some even with more than the clothes on their back.

What I want to ask you is this: if you think Orange Man Bad is “trampling the constitution” (Mostly by doing exactly what it prescribes. Yes, he sent federal troops to the cities, but ONLY to defend federal property. Note that any other president would have had pacification troops in the horrible flare outs. But of course that was the trap laid for him. And yes, he nominated a judge. Well, so did Obama. No, the Republicans didn’t vote on it, because they could not vote on it. Also, because a self-declared communist can’t fulfill the roll of adjudicating on the US constitution. Thank heavens you escaped that bullet, and move on.) and that things are so bad evil, horrible (note that the lockdowns were imposed mostly by democrat governors, and if you think that your RINO governor is a bad person for joining in, you have no idea what you’re talking about. None. I traveled across the country. The worst GOP governor is more lax than te best democrat. Possibly because the PURPOSE of the lockdown was to destroy our economy and defeat orange man bad) you have no idea how much worse than can be. So, when you have electricity two hours a day, when cancel culture becomes “the law” and you can be arrested for speaking out of turn, when the court is packed and you can’t vote yourself out of hell…. where are you going to go? Where will you run to?

Spare me fantasies of France or Sweden, or wherever your fervid brain thinks paradise is. Without the US to defend them, those countries are done for, and will fall under the same boot we fall. Besides “climate change” is a global crisis. You wouldn’t want to use electricity and risk setting the Earth on fire, would you? (Brought to you by the same people who said COVID would kill millions of Americans.) So no traveling. You want to drive to the next county? Well, first of all, why do you still own a private car, and second, show us your papers determining you have a necessity.

And if you think I’m exaggerating, consider the Covid lockdowns as a dress rehearsal. And consider what they already did: Airlines, deprived of the ability to fly anywhere have already started scraping airplanes. When/if air travel comes back, if the crisis is ever allowed to end, it will be as expensive as when I was a kid, when only the rich dreamed of traveling abroad. In an increasingly isolated world, the state will OWN you. And you won’t even be able to complain about it.

All of this is promised AND PREMISED in the Biden/Harris program. They have taken in Bernie and Occasio Cortez as advisors. Those are openly communist. They want the state to control your every breath.

Sure, Trump is Trump. His style doesn’t bother me, probably because I’m old enough to remember men like him who weren’t bad people, just brash and uncouth males with chest hair and leers in the seventies. Note that for all his faults, the most they could find on him that wasn’t obviously money-seeking was his saying “women are hypergamic” in a blunt and uncouth way. For a man who’s been married three times? that’s amazing.

As for his twitter, has it ever occurred to you he needs that as a distraction, so he gets to do some actual work?

However this election we’re not voting for men. We’re voting for systems. If you like the Western world and civilization, vote for the Orange one. We don’t even have room for third party votes — and I say this as someone who was a registered Libertarian for 20 years — because the clash is fundamentally this: Do you want to save the Western world and everything we have (And yea “unjust” comparing to what, tovarish? Because compared to any other system in history it has the most opportunities and gives even the poor the best life ever) or are you going to go chase the mirage of communism, which like some infernal creature will not let you go, no matter how much you want to escape?

When I say this is no election to vote third party, even in “safe” states, it’s because, listen up: the fraud is going to be massive, huge, unimaginable.

Take it as read that the people who were willing to lock us down for months and destroy the economy, the people who say that we don’t need electricity all the time, the people who say you don’t deserve to know if they’ll pack the court will stop AT NOTHING to take power. That’s what they’re in this for. Communism/Socialism/Authoritarianism has two classes: the rulers, who own everything and live very well indeed, and the rest of the populace, who don’t even own their own thoughts.

But here’s the thing, our congressmen fill their pockets enough (look at their worth sometime) and the leaders in communism live worse than our city mayors. So why do they do it?

Because they want power. They want power more than anything. Most of them are mediocrities and know they are. But they need constant adulation and power to convince themselves they’re worth something. AND they need other people to be totally in their control.

And if you don’t give them control? Well, they’ll cheat and break their way into it.

The left has already told us that there will be a “red mirage” in which Trump seems to win, but then mail in voting will “reverse it.” Question. How do they know mail in voting will reverse it? Well, because they plan to reverse it with mail in voting. I mean, it’s not that their partisans are too stupid to get the vote there in time. No, it’s a matter of knowing exactly how many votes they need, and then mailing more than that in. As every time the left is allowed to get away with this.

And if they still can’t win they’ve promised to burn, look and murder their way into power. “No justice, no peace” is not a demand for justice. It’s a hostage situation. Because justice has two sides. But if you don’t decide things their way, they’re not going to give you peace.

Are these the people you want in charge? No?

Then secure your vote. Because we’ve never been in so much danger. If 2016 was the Flight 93 Election, this is the aftermath. We’re in the cockpit, but the terrorists who seized control of our bureaucracy and machinery of state are still clinging to the controls and trying to fly us into the ground.

If we can win this election by a RESOUNDING MARGIN above the fraud, perhaps we can take those controls back and even — with immense luck because after 2020 it will take that — maybe save us and our beloved country, the beacon of Liberty to the world.

They want to extinguish the beacon, because then it will just be a boot stamping on the human face forever, all over the world.

I wrote how to secure your vote. Note I’m reversing myself on something: Vote as soon as you can. I presume the Trump campaign is prepared to stop endless recounts and forever-mail-in-vote. But it’s really hard to prove your vote was stolen and even if they let you vote again, the other vote will already be in the system, diluting or canceling yours.

From the article, the essentials:

VOTE AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE YOUR BALLOT.  I know I’ve encouraged you to vote on Election Day, in person, but considering how many arrive there only to find out they already voted and that Trump’s campaign – who probably knows better than I – is advising “as soon as possible voting,” do that. At least it obviates someone voting in your place. And maybe the campaign is prepared to fight the “red mirage” scenario. Maybe.

Find out your precinct’s voting rules. If they issued you a mail-in ballot, and you can vote in person, destroy it and vote in person ASAP. If they issued you a mail-in ballot and you can’t vote in person, drop it off ASAP. If they close all polling locations, drop it off in a mailbox in an affluent liberal precinct (to avoid the post office trashing ones from R districts wholesale).

Ensure you have been removed from the voting rolls at previous addresses. You don’t want to find you voted twice! Do the same thing with loved ones who have recently died– it’s painful, but we’re dealing with people who will happily take advantage of the dead.

Also, check with your county registrar and ensure you don’t have any cats or dogs registered to vote– I keep hearing people complain about it, and while it might be rare, we need to plug that leak.

Find your loved ones who have dementia or are very old in general Find out how they’re getting their ballot and how the place they live usually fills them out. If you don’t like the answer, put yourself in the middle. Make sure YOU are the one who helps them fill it out. If your batty aunt wants to vote for Biden, just ensure she’s doing it under her own recognizance, not because someone is guiding her hand.

For the rest of it, and some more sophisticated ways to protect your vote go here.

Whatever you do, if you choose communism, choose it with your eyes open. Don’t virtue-signal and bullshit yourself into it, only to end up finding that yeah, it’s really communism, and it’s not what you wanted.

Because if we fall now, it will be our children or grandchildren attempting to fight back, barefoot, by candlelight and starving. And if there is an afterlife, you have all of eternity to blame yourself.