Technique Of The Coup D’Etat

There is a technique to the coup d’etat, particularly one that is known not to be wanted by the people of the country upon which you performed it. As in the French revolution it always involves terror.

I’m very afraid the enemy — what do you call people who encourage you to chant “Death to America” but think the American flag is a symbol of “white supremacy”? — is set to unleash terror this weekend.

This ties up to my post yesterday which, on its face I consider one of the most innocuous and bland things I ever wrote, but which seems to have unleashed upon me the mad fury of the leftist brain washed army of trained zombies.

As in, I went to FB after I’d shared it — I honestly do not remember why, though it might have been to check on messenger if I was waiting for a pm from one of my friends — and I found about 10 pms from people who weren’t friends and who, to the best of my knowledge, I never interacted with. This started with “Please tell me you’re not the Sarah Hoyt peddling conspiracy theories” and went all the way to sending me stupid gifs which would shock me terribly if I were about 80 years old in 1950 and which proved only that a) they’ve never read my books. b) they have never read Heinlein and don’t realize that the fact I’m his fan means I’m rather innured to the idea of different marital arrangements. b) would die of shock if they knew my big treat to myself is some Boris Valejo art for my office walls.

It then translated to my page where they went all over every post. Most of them suffered from serious and extreme intellectual deficiencies, and most of their posts/rebuttals were “But you’re a stupid poopy head” or memes of the quality described above, or involving figures that they imagine are influential on the right, but which I never heard of and who are at best marginal. Yes, there was the usual accusations that I’m a Qanon follower. I’m not absolutely sure WHY the left is this insanely fascinated with Qanon. I LITERALLY had never heard of him/her/it/what? until after the lockdown, when someone accused me of following him/her/it/whatever because I opposed lockdowns and the mask of servitude. So, I asked my kids what it was. They said “It’s a personality that came out of 4chan. It’s not…. reliable.”

I went poking and, dear Lord, that’s an understatement. The funny thing actually is that Qanon did NOT oppose lockdowns or masks. They thought bought were being used to fight against “pedophiles’ or some crap, and you didn’t have to go very far back to see that yeah, the story kept changing. On that and everything else.

I’m not stupid, and I know a con artist when I see one (part of the reason I’m nt a leftist) so I backed away at speed.

So, why did the left choose this to say it’s what the right follows? I mean, most of us have never heard of it. And then it hit me: It’s not even to defeat a straw man. It’s to keep their own troops in order. They tell them that Qanon is what the right follows. And the braver ones among them will go and read it, and see it’s insane, and it will harden their adherence to the cult.

Not that most of those on my page needed that kind of treatment. They didn’t even read the post that supposedly meant I was an nonredeemable conspiracy theorist. And one of them was convinced the Doctor’s Plot (faked by Stalin) which I had a post about on my page, saying that if you don’t see parallels to it you’re an idiot, meant that “it must be the right doing it, because the winning side has no reason to.”

Some granted were a little more thoughtful, and if they ever strayed beyond ‘only the allowed’ news sources would see the stupidity of what they’re saying. They would also realize they’re not brilliant and certainly not natural geniuses that are brighter than everyone else who believes differently. They are, in general, just more gullible. They came up with things like “Sixty judges some of them appointed by Trump said there was no fraud.”


Well, maybe that’s what CNN reported. But you know, it simply isn’t the truth. The fact is cases were dismissed for “technicalities” and in the case of the Supreme Court illegally, since they have to take a case between states.

It’s possible — barely — the SOCUS thought that they were avoiding disorder and strife by doing what they did, and that they thought eventually the fraud would disappear and we’d have real elections again. Maybe. Or maybe there’s lots of pictures of all of them in unnatural positions with Chinese farm animals. Who knows? Who cares? What I care about is that all the courts dismissed the cases in such a way that evidence was never presented or analyzed.

And I don’t care who and from what party appointed the judges. I know the universities that graduated them have been griping about how the constitution is too heavy a burden for sometime now, and upholding as valid cases decided according to international law.

Bsides if Moses and Aaron and all the patriarchs came down and told me that there was no fraud, I’d still not change my mind — though I might wonder what game himself was playing and pointing out that US is not “Job” — because I saw the fraud happen in real time during the actual election. Those numbers are impossible. And while the unlikely might happen, the impossible doesn’t. Also, I know people. And if the Dems were unjustly accused of fraud, they would do what Trump did when unjustly accused of fraud: create a commission to investigate it, and make sure that the people investigating had all the resources.

What they wouldn’t do was gaslight, scream and act injured.

But I think, judging from the invasion of my page, that most of them are fundamentally followers, whether by nature or because our school system taught them there are wrong thoughts that if you have it means you’re “stupid.” (I saw that in action with my kids in school and fought as hard as I could.) If you believe that right thoughts come from above, you ave to believe the right has a great leader. Which, btw, is part of their monkey-with-stick obsession with discrediting and taking down Trump. They think that will silence us. Which, of course, is not how any of this works. Keep in mind that having come to the US and married to a liberal (he got better) I found the news sources I currently read (but don’t fully trust, because I don’t trust anything) on my own, by testing them as news sources and ignoring the shaming.

Anyway, I’m not 100% sure of the thought behind the invasion, except again maybe they think if they come over and call me “crazy” I’ll change my “mind” because it would work for them.

They should absolutely consider that after a year of their playing these games in the US, a higher than ever number of us hunched our shoulders and voted for Trump in numbers large enough that they had to commit fraud in plain sight, beyond their already massive planned fraud. Because it means that most of the US is not like them.

Which gives me hope that at this point they’re just pissing us off.

Why? Well, because their crazy story keeps changing. For instance, and for real, this is the new narrative:

Are they for real? No seriously. It started with the idea they wanted to “kill black people” (which would be a really weird objective since some of them were black.) When that didn’t take, they said the “inssurectionists” were there to kill Nancy Pelosi. As much as all of us at times felt like bitch slapping Nanzi, if they really wanted to kill her, they would have gone about it differently. I’m thinking snipers. At a distance. Not dressing as a buffalo and sitting on the speaker’s chair. Unless, you know, the generation raised on Harry Potter thinks magic is real. It’s like, wow, Buffalo Dude is going to make Nancy turn into a buffalo, or something! (That would be the coolest thing that ever happened to that insane hag.)

Now the FBI is just making up shit. Which surprises those of us who have been observing their actions since Obama re-staffed them (and before) not at all. Because guys, yes, sure. If my intent were to assassinate elected officials, I would absolutely dress as a buffallo and go tromping into the capitol. More importantly, I would ABSOLUTELY be invited in by police (we all saw the video) and walk around like a total gomer, taking selfies and staying between the ropes.

THAT totally makes sense to me. Doesn’t it to you?

The truth is that they’ve taken charge, but it’s not playing the way they expect.

They’re playing it by the book 20th century “take over and revolution.” This includes taking control of the media. In Portugal, all the fricking revolutions and counter-revolutions I lived through were announced with this music. You see, I lived in the outskirts of Porto. Which means in seventies tech that we were on a “repeater station.” I was usually on the morning shift for school (8 to 2 pm. Second shift went in in the afternoon. You had classes Saturday to compensate. Or “how socialist states get around not building schools.”) because mom would bribe or cajole anyone at all to get them to put me in it. Mostly because being nocturnal, I’d otherwise work all night and sleep all morning, which annoyed her. Anyway, this meant I’d get home for lunch and the Porto station would have been cut off sometime during the morning. This meant that the TV was playing the only thing that Porto kept in its studios: an endless re-run of green acres.

I’d come in the door, hear the music, and know that some (usually communist, though there were a few socialist counter-coups) cabal had taken over the TV and radio stations (the radio would at least be playing endless classical music. It could be worse. Imagine what they might have had on hand — actually this led to a joke, as my father got older and started inexplicably liking salsa music. I’d hear the radio turn to the salsa station and go “Be straight with me, dad. Have we been invaded by Spaniards?” — and shudder.

This meant we’d sit by the TV for the rest of the day, doing other things and waiting till the new owners of the country came on TV to tell us their ‘righteous’ cause and why they had taken over. (Yeah, I have a great bullshit detector. It was used. Often.)

The left is playing it by the book, which means kicking Trump and anyone else who might give us his side of the story out of Facebook and Twitter and completely deplatforming Parler for giving him a platform. This is to put it mildly …. not good optics. And it’s not playing internationally as they expected.

Part of the problem with these late-hit remnants of the long march is that they don’t realize in most of the rest of the world — even those like Germany still following the suicide script set by the USSR’s operatives — communism has been discredited. People were too close to it, saw it too clearly. And are sort of crawling backwards away from it, and all its techniques.

The left is also so deep in its own echo chamber that they think the entire world hates Orangemanbad as much as they do. In fact, lots of places int he world are waking up to the fact the whole of civilization is now at the mercy of China, and that the US has gone functionally insane. It’s great fun to be anti-American when America is the solid giant who will protect you forever. It’s not so much fun when America has been taken over by people like you, and will now be unpredictable and as likely to hit you as your enemies.

So, it’s not playing well. And their attempted Kristal Nacht is also not playing well. Particularly with the brighter bulbs on the left — not — like Occasional Cortex saying they need to control the press. And Jack Dorsey being captured on camera saying they’re going to censor everyone. And Facebook banning anyone who talks about the election being fraud. And–

According to polls, President Trump’s popularity has only gone up. I believe this will only extend for however long this tragic farce lasts to his entire family.

Because again, the left is not getting it: THIS IS NOT THE 20th CENTURY. Sure, you can hurt us. You can hurt us badly. My MeWe is still not in parity with my Facebook in hits, which is why I’ve stayed on facebook, even if most of it is preaching to the fish, and will stay until finally banned (it won’t be very long.) But it doesn’t mean things aren’t getting out. Even through the lockdowns, and the masks and everything designed to prevent peer to peer communication, what used to be called “Water cooler talk.”

And even people who aren’t getting the true story are seeing through the cracks in the increasingly ridiculous lies.

As one of my regular commenters, whom I can’t name because I can never spell his name right (sorry. Too Dyslexic. Schoenfield?) keeps saying, the left has been in retreat since their pyrrihc victory of getting Nixon elected. You never see it fully, because they’d captured the media long ago by virtue of doing what they had to to get hired, and then hiring only people who thought like them. (Same as the arts, publishing, and now bizarrely STEM companies. Or not bizarrely. Like most US companies, the STEM ones believe in the economic reports from China, and think there’s this vast wealth waiting for them. I’m not sure exactly how to classify that form of insanity.)

But the fight has been going against them since then. And now their masks have fallen, with the covidiocy immiserating most of America so they could “plausibly” steal an election. And their snarling disdain for everything they claimed to defend, from the common man to free speech has become visible for all but the most brainless indoctrinated to see.

(Seriously, the display of brainlessness on my page was…. astonishing. As was their insistence on doing this thing. One of you says the call to unfriend and block me had gone out. Whatevs. Of note, most of these people were not my friends. Most of them were disposable profiles — one of whom was so smart that he had in the past trying to blackmail a friend by threatening to reveal his kink… When his kink is a major part of his online persona — created by…. insane people.
The invasion did disturb me very deeply, but not the way they expected. I’m always shocked and disturbed by zombie-like behavior, and the shouting and repeating of slogans with no reasoning behind it. It’s like seeing people voluntarily turn into pigs, and both startling and revolting.)

But if we’ve seen anything from the left these last four years (and for those who’ve been awake the last 20) it’s that they always double down on a failing gambit.

They know at some level they’re not making contact, but never mind. They’re going to do it louder and harder and try to force us to listen.

In my mental map, this weekend is throbbing like a migraine. There have been pamphlets circulating (Reziac, would you post again?) that amount to “My fellow Drumph supporters, it is time to reinstall beloved leader. Bring all your weapons to DC or the state capitol, and let’s shoot the bastards, yah?”

This is not how ANYONE plans a coup. Ever. Or even a serious protest to show displeasure. Why the “bring weapons?” All the CCV holders I know carry pretty much everywhere (most of them are women and got them for self defense, because they know they can’t beat men who weigh more than they do and have better muscles.) And those who aren’t CCV holders don’t usually carry. Unless it’s a specific 2nd Amendment rally.

Then there’s this poster, which I’d guess is the masterwork of some FBI mastermind (guys, it’s not so much that you’re corrupted. You are. I don’t know how far the rot goes, but at this point, I’d disband the agency — and the CIA — root and branch, and start again, with the reminder that yeah it is absolutely necessary to adhere to the constitution. It’s more that there are some rocks who are brighter than you boys. Seriously? You think people will fall for this? Seriously. George Washington wept, people.):

“My fellow patriots, we have some pentagrams on the statue of Liberty and we made the entire poster Maoist red and yellow, which is how you know we’re true patriots! And we tell you to come armed, because we absolutely believe you’ll do that, because we think you’re that dumb. And, oh, yeah, note the “liberties of this nation.”” (Well, no. Did you get the template from China, boys? because in the US it’s the natural liberties of the individual, or man, or humanity.) Also, of course, there’s no group on the poster.

This is because, you know, these complete asshats think what worked under Clinton will work here. Ruby Ridge was … well, the murder of a small and innocent (however deluded) family. BUT it was blown up in the media to effectively shame and silence any opposition to Clinton.

So, stay away from the center of your town this weekend. There will be mayhem and insurrection. Probably antifa, of course, but they will tell you it is “Trump supporters.”

On the basis of this they hope to ram through gun control (they can’t do what they want to do to us if we can shoot them) and a terrorism bill that penalizes things like believing there was fraud. (Thoughts lead to violence, you know? Oh, not communist or Islamic thoughts. No. YOUR thoughts. Because you don’t believe the left.)

And my guess is this next week they’ll arrest everyone they think are leaders “of the right.” (Mr. Cruz, I’d be in Texas this weekend, if you’re not.) I don’t know how far they’ll go, honest, and after that invasion, I wonder if I’m on the list. Well, if I don’t post by on, 2 pm any given day you’ll know.

Of course the right doesn’t work by leaders. Most of us don’t fully trust Trump. Or Cruz. Or any of them.

We work by the fact we know when they’re pissing down our backs and saying it’s raining.

So, will the bullshit this weekend work?

Who knows? It might. At least superficially. It might work well enough to do for me and a lot of other people. After all the army has told its enlisted it absolutely accepts the election and anyone who doesn’t will be drummed out.

It might work. For a little while.

But I already know of several projects in the works to replace Facebook, twitter, Amazon. The most advanced are to replace Youtube, since most people are, after all, visual.

But we’re the creative part of the economy. And we’re creating. We need to. We also need replacements for etsy and not beholden to google (like Square) or apple. I know there’s an explicitly Christian alternative to paypal, and please, guys, post it in links. We need to gather lists of “alternatives’ when they come on line.

My project to list non-leftist writers on a page on my blog has become a project to create an alternate site that will promote/make visible non leftist writers, and is not being hosted by wordpress. (More on this as it develops, though I’ll put the page up slowly as I go, anyway. It should take a month to have something like a site up, as it’s being done by one person, part time.

Someone more rural/with more of a tech grasp than I should start a “subscription to your local farmers” site. They’d need to be rural and have a link to other rural people, mind. Yes, there’s some, but they’re …. odd and not very reliable.

In the end we win they lose because their crazy governance always results in misery, poverty and famine, in this case probably hastened by sending what food we have to China. And we have no America to feed the populace and keep it quiet enough for the idiots in power to continue their exploitation of an unwilling country.

Which means in the end we need Americans to rescue us, as they have all other countries that fall to tyranny. And we will. Through every means at our disposal, including creativity, stubbornness, and fighting by every means available (which includes warning people in advance of what they’re going to try to do. A lie predicted is a lie diffused.)

They have taken over the structures of power in our country. My prediction is that as with the dog who finally catches the car, it wont’ go well for them.

They know it, too, which is why the capitol is packed with troops with orders to shoot to kill — something never needed in America for any inauguration.

It’s afraid. But the frightened beast of totalitarianism is full of evil and hate, and trying to take as many of us as it can along with it. It will only get worse as its grip holds less and less.

If you’re in the national guard or any of the services, I know this is going to make you profoundly unhappy, but I want you to — right now — think about whether you’re willing to shoot Americans who are peacefully demonstrating (and there will be more of that in the future.) Do you remember your oath was to your constitution, not your commander? Or are you starting to understand those who answered “Befehl ist Befhel” and think they had a point? In that case, I’ll remind you how they ended.

Go forth and work for liberty.

*Oh, and because the trolls who invaded my page accused me of bullying when I hit back (duh) I’m banned for 24 hours, because of course I am. If you are on Facebork, please share my post. We really need to make it clear how stupid and evil they are, and how they’re trying to set it up to kill a lot of us as a result of both this weekend (like the antifa members who showed up ahead of a pro-Trump demonstration and started beating up locals) and the lies they plan to tell about this weekend. IF they were slightly more sentient, I’d say the purpose of the page-invasion that convinced no one (oh, yeah, and I’m scared of losing readers who don’t bother to read a two-paragraph post before responding) was to take me out for twenty four hours. I’ve gone on a preemptive banning spree (which you weirdly can do while banned) just to prevent that happening again.
Anyway, I won’t be free till 8 pm tonight, so make with the sharing. (Not to my page, because I have to approve those to make them visible, and that they won’t let me do while banned. (Rolls eyes.))
Stay safe this weekend. Keep your sanity. Don’t believe their bullshit. And tell your friends the obvious plan in advance. A lie predicted is a lie diffused.

While you’re at it point out all the free speech and thought crime bills these people are coming up with, and ask your friends and family if these are the actions of an administration that won the minds and hearts of the people.

If I’m still around next week, we’ll continue exploring this crazy time.

How To Read The News In Totalitarianism

One of the first memories I have of news and people discussing news is of my parents trying to figure out whether the president was dead.

This is because in Portugal in the early sixties, the news of course couldn’t publish anything that the regime disapproved of. When they announced Salazar was dead, and who his successor was, mom’s answer was “he’s been dead for x months” (aka since he’d disappeared form in public/or they’d noticed a shift in governance) “they just finished the behind the scenes power struggle and can announce it now.” Also much was made of the way he was said to have died, which was to fall backwards in his chair and hit his head. Well, I’d also have my doubts, right?

I guess this set me up for the way I read news. Particularly because after the regime changed from national to international socialism, I was at several news worthy events which were completely misreported in the press.

Much like the participants in the rally in DC probably are rather puzzled at the idea that they “really” wanted to kill black people, particularly those marchers who were black, or that their goal in life was to kill Pelosi, or whatever the crazy ass thing the occupiers of our capital say.

At one point, for instance, I became an entire band of armed reactionary conterrevolutionaries, though the most lethal thing in my possession at the time was The Oxford Dictionary For Foreign Learners, which frankly wasn’t even that big. And no, I didn’t do anything even vaguely violent. I just showed I wasn’t afraid to walk away from a compelled demonstration of support, and when a petite teen in school uniform walks away with an expression of disgust and something like “this is boring” the grown *ss adults find they’re brave enough to do the same.

So I learned to read all newspapers with a jaundiced eye, and was completely puzzled Americans didn’t do that, and that my host parents often thought I was off my rocker when I said “what really happened was.” Well, what really happened was indeed what I suspected, though often you don’t figure it out till years and years later.

Now that our newspapers are mostly just making up bullshit, it is very important to know how to read the newspaper.

The first step is easy:

Assume nothing you read is true. This is regardless of whether you’d like it to be true or not. This is why I never believed that Trump was going to declare emergency, blah, blah blah. For one, because if he had the army would at best be divided and start an internal fight. I wanted it. Or at least I wanted it more than what we’re facing head on, but I know the signs of hysterical hope over reality.

Believe it or not, even when everything you read is a lie, you can reason your way to the truth. Or at least know sort of the shape of the truth and where it’s hiding.

Some of it, I’ll concede it’s practice. You sense a shift in governance, the president for life is old and you go “he’s dead and in a freezer.”

But some you can learn. Here’s the questions you should be asking yourself.

Why is this being published at all? I think this is the reason that at least half of us reading the news of the DC policeman who supposedly committed suicide went “He didn’t kill himself.”

Look, I understand Foxfier’s take that he was a dedicated policeman who realized what he was being used for and killed himself. And it’s possible, of course.

BUT the question is, why would they publish — nationally — new of his suicide? Surely the suicide would reflect badly on them right?

And then the back of the head goes, “well, unless he didn’t kill himself. He confessed his doubts to his superior” got offed, and then they had to have everyone know that he killed himself.

Sometimes, particularly when it seems an admission against interest or when the news simply don’t merit national dissemination, that “Why are they publishing this at all.”

Like when son and I were shopping for an apartment for him, and in one otherwise perfect apartment complex, the very nice manager out of nowhere felt the need to tell us “Cars rarely get boosted out of our parking lot.”

I mean, I’m glad. it’s better than the alternative, but why tell us that at all. (Btw, we later found out cars often got boosted from that place, so she was trying to warn us without breaking her contract or whatever.) And that is your first signal. Why tell us that?

The all too perfect choir. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to something happening and we’re immediately informed by every outlet that it was because of “thing someone on the right said or did.”

Like you know, Gabby Gifford’s shooter was inspired by Sarah Palin putting a target over the district (like everyone does, mind.) And not, as he turned out to be a leftist Satanist with issues.

Or you know “Donald Trump incited the riot.”

When they’re all screaming in unison, particularly when it’s way too early for them to know everything (and they never know everything) you know not only that they’re not telling the truth, but also that they want you to believe THIS.

The inconsistencies. The inconsistencies are why I never believed “Trump is going to do x” because none of the stories made much sense. “No, no, he’s letting them certify the votes, and THEN he will reveal–” Sorry, no that doesn’t make any sense. The structures and habits of power have a heft, and once they’re in motion they’re hard to stop. You stop them before they get in motion, or never.

In the same way the capitol death of the other policeman it was a heart attack/he died at the scene/he was hit/he died at home…. Uh…. what? (And why tell us this at all?)

And then the “the protesters were virtually nazis.” “they just wanted to kill blacks” (Says someone who thinks guam would tip over. Mind you he might believe what he’s saying. I get the feeling is non too bright except at graft.) They wanted to kill Nancy Pelosi.

And the fact that the streams looked like nothing of that.

You’re not allowed to dissent: As the FICUS (Fraud in Chief of the US) puts it “Don’t you dare call them protesters. They’re rioters. Insurgents” etc. etc. etc.

Real news can be and are debated. “Don’t you dare” and “How dare you” is a sign they’re afraid the lie won’t stick.

The wording ain’t Right! That “call to arms” that Reziac linked which I now can’t find, in which the supposed patriots said “We won’t stop until we have our president.” Said no one on the right ever. The whole demonstrations, and anger is over the fact the elections were stolen. (And please don’t give me crap they weren’t. I remember. My memory is more than 10 minutes.) We’re used to dem fraud and having to beat the margin of fraud. But when the fraud is blatant, pervasive and the courts refuse to even look at the evidence, all that is left is for us to demonstrate. And when they make that impossible– Well, they should keep in mind that breaking the fire alarm doesn’t mean the house won’t catch fire. They won’t but they should. Anyway, real patriots would say “until we get the elections straightened out and an assurance our votes will count.” Not this nonsense.

People acting at variance with what is being reported. I’m sure my mom knew the president was dead because everyone in power was suddenly acting nervous or sniping at each other. (To be fair, it was possible he was unconscious for days, but you know.)

In the same way, the current clown car coming into DC tells us they totes won, with the most votes ever, but the way they’re acting, tamping down all dissent, screaming the big, and ridiculous lies, and trying to get us to accept they’re totes legitimate or be punished if we don’t?

That’s not the way legitimate winners act. That’s the way nervous (and stupid) embezzlers act, when they don’t want you to open the package and find out it contains cut up pieces of newspaper, instead of bank notes.

I don’t expect their powers of deception to get much better.

Unfortunately, angry and stupid people who are scared can do a lot of damage.

May G-d have mercy on our souls.

Perma Book Promo

Ladies, Gentlemen, small dragons, confused otters and other according-to-hoyt friendly creatures.

I’m tired of watching the sh*tshow this country has devolved into, and as always when I’m depressed, I try to counter it by doing something nice for people who need it.

Are you a to-the-right-of-Lenin indie author, who is not ashamed/afraid of being associated with this blog and the people who frequent it?

Email your name, and maybe a link to your Amazon author page to:
bookpimping at outlook dot com

If you look up, the blog has now sprouted a tab for perma book promo.

Right now it doesn’t have anything in it, not even my own books. Be patient, as I will be doing half an hour of posting on it an evening, so it will be slow and some of you have a lot of books.
Other than my own (I’m not that altruistic) the books will be in order of genre, and then alphabetic by author. I’ll put instructions on how to search the page when it has contents.

So, announcement made. Return to your pre-scheduled and routine ebullience.

Eventually this page will transition to its own site, but for now, this is easiest.

Communicating in an Insurrection: Amateur Radio and You – A GUEST POST BY Nathan Brindle, KC9YTJ

Communicating in an Insurrection:  Amateur Radio and You – A GUEST POST BY Nathan Brindle, KC9YTJ

Amateur (or, in common parlance, “Ham”) Radio is an oft-overlooked piece of our national communications infrastructure.  With the rise of cellular telephone service, coupled with “smart” phones connected to the Internet, most folks under 50 these days may have heard of amateur radio only in the abstract, or because they happened to catch an episode of Last Man Standing, or saw it used in a movie like Frequency (2000).

For us older chaps and chappies, we’ve either been hams for years, or radio may be something we knew about in our youth, but never got involved in due to cost or other considerations.  I wanted to get involved in my teens, but Dad demurred given the startup price (even from Heathkit).  So it wasn’t until 2013 that a friend who was an amateur told me there was no Morse code requirement anymore, the test was multiple choice, and you could buy a dual-band VHF/UHF Chinese handheld and get on the repeaters for only about $35.  So I picked up the ARRL’s Technician Class License Manual and away I went.  I was first licensed in April 2013, upgraded to General Class in June 2013, and upgraded again to Amateur Extra Class in November 2013.  (I always thought it fun that my first Amateur Extra Class license was effective as of my birthday that year.)

For the even older chaps and chappies, they probably read stories like The Year When Stardust Fell, by Raymond F. James, which is merely the first such that happens to come to mind.  I seem to recall also that amateur radio got a nod in Heinlein’s Rocket Ship Galileo.  More recently, ham radio got a significant nod in a YA series I read by Sarah Lyons Fleming (Until the End of the World).  (Minor spoiler:  The kids mostly didn’t know how to use it.  A couple of them figured it out.)

Point is, amateur radio is still out there, and there are still a lot of licensed hams, with new ones coming in every day, men, women, boys, girls, kids of all ages.

Getting Licensed

It isn’t hard to get an amateur license.  The Technician license is the first step.  If you have any experience with electrical things, can deal with a little basic math, and have a reasonable dose of common sense, you can pass the test with ease.  Even if you don’t have all that (except, we hope, the common sense), it shouldn’t be that hard with a little study under your belt.  All three of the license levels require a separate test, and upgrading gives you more privileges.  (Unremarkably, this is known as “incentive licensing.”)

The tests are multiple-choice (or “multiple guess” as we used to say).  The test questions and answers (“question pools”) are publicly-available and can be studied in print format or online.  Sample tests using actual questions from the pools are available from multiple sources.  It is entirely possible to memorize the 400-odd question pool for the Technician test and simply regurgitate the answers when you have your 35-question test in hand, but it’s better to spend some time actually learning the material – particularly if you want to upgrade later.

When you sit down to take the test (in person, or in these days of WuFlu, there are even online testing sessions), you’ll be handed a test that contains 35 questions more or less randomly picked from the Technician Class question pool.  You have to get 26 of those questions correct to pass the test.  Yes, all you need is a “C” to pass.

If you upgrade to General, it’s another 35 question test, this time chosen more or less at random from the General Class question pool, and again, you need get only 26 correct.

If you really want to bleed from the brain (kidding – sort of), the Amateur Extra Class test is 50 questions from the Amateur Extra Class pool and you have to get 37 correct to pass.

Want to look, or try your hand, at a sample test?  See http://aa9pw.com/technician-license/ .

Tests are administered in your local area by testing teams consisting of at least three members who have passed another test and are known as Volunteer Examiners, or “Vee-Eees” in the common parlance.  The VEs are certified by what’s known as a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator, or VEC.  The three most common VECs in my experience are the ARRL VEC, the W5YI VEC, and the Laurel VEC.  The VECs in turn answer to the FCC, which long ago decided it didn’t have the manpower or the time to bother with testing amateurs.

(In the bad old days, you had to go to the FCC field office in person and sit for an essay examination.  AND you had to be able to send and receive code at a certain speed.  AND you had to be able to draw a schematic from memory.  AND none of this was available to the public for pre-study; if you were lucky you might find a tutorial somewhere, but the tutorials were “officially” frowned upon.)

Typically there is a fee of up to $15 for each test.  The fee is intended to reimburse the VEC for its actual expenses incurred in offering the test.  (Laurel VEC does not charge for testing; ARRL and W5YI do.)  In general, the $15 gets you one test, but if you pass that one test, you will be offered the next level test for free (if you take it right away, same day, same testing session).  If you can get studied up all the way to Amateur Extra, it’s possible to take and pass all three tests in one day and immediately become an Amateur Extra.  It has been done in the past by some folks; I don’t necessarily recommend it.

In addition, as a result of the RAY BAUM’S ACT in Congress a few years ago, the FCC was required to charge fees for just about everything, starting no later than 2021.  Consequently, the FCC recently (December 2020) announced a fee of $35 for each new license application, upgrades, renewals, and “vanity” call signs.  These had all been free for some years, so-called “vanity” licenses being the last to have fees removed just about five years ago.  So the bottom line is, expect to pay around $50 for each of the “incentive” license steps.  (It’s still unclear how the FCC fee is going to be assessed for new and upgrade licenses – will it be charged at testing time, or when your application is entered into the licensing system by your VEC?  My guess is you will have to pay the FCC directly in their Universal Licensing System (ULS) before they will issue your license.  Since the FCC also no longer prints physical licenses, you’ll have to use ULS anyway to print copies of your authorizations (what FCC calls a license).)

It should be noted that amateur radio licenses are good for ten years, so you’re only going to have to pay the $35 renewal fee once a decade, once you’re licensed.

So, Why Get Licensed?

I can hear a lot of folks asking that question.  What’s the point of bothering, and spending all that money, if everything goes to hell in a handbasket?

Well, for one thing, we’re not in the handbasket yet.  And becoming a part of the local amateur community is a good thing – you’ll create friendships and alliances, learn more about the hobby from those who have been there and done that, and even be able to assist your community if the shit really hits the fan in a non-political sense.  For instance, severe weather is one of amateur radio’s main briefs.  You may or may not be aware, but there’s an NWS program called SkyWarn that teaches people how to recognize and report on severe weather events from the field, because NWS can’t rely entirely on its own people and radars to see exactly what’s going on at ground level when heavy weather is happening.  So in most Tornado Alley counties, for instance, volunteer hams who’ve taken the SkyWarn training will stand up a SkyWarn “net” to gather and coordinate reports from their local hams when severe weather is threatening.  Likewise, states on the hurricane coasts have hurricane nets.  There’s even a “Maritime Mobile Service Net” on HF (14.300 MHz) daily to assist mariners on the high seas, not just during weather events, but for general breakdowns and other problems folks in ships and boats might encounter.  And you’d be surprised at how many land-lubbers take part in that net.

Your local ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service) volunteers are also available for local emergency response, and also serve the community by providing radio services during public events such as marathons, walkathons, and so forth.  If you’ve ever participated in a marathon, the guy standing in the water tent with a handheld is probably an ARES volunteer.

And the point is, other than being a non-ham SkyWarn volunteer, you can’t get involved in any of that unless you are a licensed ham.  Most ARES operations require only Technician Class license privileges, too, so don’t think you have to take all three tests to become eligible to participate in ARES events.

If the SHTF and the government falls, nobody will care that you have a license (or don’t).  But until the SHTF, if you want to get into radio, the best way is to get licensed, become part of the ham community, and participate in various exercises so you KNOW you will be able to help if times get troubled.

Traffic Handling, or How To Communicate When The Lines Are Down

One of the things the amateur community does, and has been doing ever since the beginning, is traffic handling.  Traffic handling is the relay of messages, using standard formats, through what are known as traffic handling nets.  These nets are usually on HF (so they require General or Amateur Extra privileges to participate).

Ham radio really grew out of the idea that messages could be passed from station to station faster than by mail or even telegraph.  And of course these messages would cost nothing, because they would be handled by volunteers.  Hiram Percy Maxim founded the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) in 1914 in part because of this function.  The League provided early hams with something useful to do with the radios they were building and experimenting with.  In those days, radio was all CW (Morse) and all radios were of the “spark gap” type which was outlawed in the 1920s (because it spattered noise all over the spectrum and made the newer commercial AM voice stations problematic to hear).  These early radios did not have a lot of range, particularly in the daytime.  So station operators joined the League and formed the early wireless relay system that could pass messages from New York to California in less than a day.  And by and large, other than during the two World Wars when amateur radio was shut down, these relay nets have evolved and remained active to this day.  They’re wireless, so they don’t rely on the phone lines or Internet fiber; they’re volunteer-run, so they don’t rely on corporations timid about handling communications by certain elements of society; and they are perfect for sending short messages packed with information of the type that might be needed in a crisis – any kind of crisis.  (Think Superstorm Sandy and how long it took to get telephone service back to coastal areas that were hardest hit.)

There is a National Traffic System run by the ARRL that acts as a “backbone”, and handles most traffic passed in the US.  They’re always looking for new traffic handlers.

But You Can’t Send Memes Over The Radio!

Au contraire, mon frère.  Have you ever heard of packet switching?  It’s a big deal at the base of the Internet, where Ethernet TCP/IP is all packet-switched.  “Ethernet” is actually a radio protocol that runs on wires, thus its name.  There is an IP protocol called AX.25 that can send IP traffic over the air.  (See the Linux packet radio link in the next paragraph for a little more information on AX.25.)

Hams have been doing packet radio since forever (there are hams out there still running Windows 95 systems with ancient Packet BBS systems on them).  There used to be a lot of packet BBS systems where a ham could get on the air, log into the BBS, and send and receive mail and other files.  I believe computer BBS systems evolved from that.  Packet BBS systems still exist, but they are sort of few and far between.  Linux seems to be the OS of choice these days for newer systems. 

There’s also an amateur radioteletype protocol called Olivia, which uses “multiple frequency-shift keying” (MSFK) to communicate.  One use of Olivia is in amateur emergency response, as it is well suited for use with NBEMS (Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software).  NBEMS is a suite that allows the sending of large data files over the air.  Typically, software such as Fldigi (and the associated Flmsg, Flarq, and Flamp applications) is used for Olivia and NBEMS.  There are a couple of PDF presentations on NBEMS found at the ARRL.  Olivia is an example of a “mixed mode” protocol where one can both chat AND share data files over the air.

If you just want to chat, older modes like PSK31 are still around.  And RTTY, though I’ve never been a RTTY guy myself.

Finally (and kind of hilariously), one can indeed send memes over the radio.  There are several programs that are specifically designed to send images (and even video) over the ham bands.  That’s all lumped together under the moniker “Slow Scan TV” or SSTV, and typically the folks who do it congregate at 14.230MHz and 14.233MHz in the 20 meter band, but it can also be used in the other bands.  Sometimes the hams on the International Space Station beam pictures down on VHF/UHF frequencies.  There’s more about SSTV here.

What About Antennas?  Aren’t They A Giveaway That You’re A Ham?
-or-
My HOA Would Have A Fit!

Maybe.  You could also be, like a friend of mine, an “SWL”, a Short-Wave Listener, who doesn’t actually have a license or own transmitters.  But you’re probably thinking about people who have antenna towers in their back yards with big beam antennas and rotators at the top.  Those people either have big bucks or bought the house with the tower.  Last I looked, it’s about $5K to install a halfway-reasonable tower.  Plus the time and money you have to spend getting your tower approved by your local building authority.  (No, you can’t just put one up, unless you live way out in the country where the zoning people don’t have any authority.)

Most hams, though, are probably are like me, and have a wire antenna strung between two trees and maybe a dual- or tri-band VHF/UHF antenna on the roof.  You have to look hard to see my antennas.  But there are other hams who live in neighborhoods infested by homeowner associations and have to get inventive when it comes to antennas.  An entire sub-culture of hams has developed that is dedicated to “stealth” methods of hiding antennas that can still be used at just about any power rating.  They put their antennas in PVC flagpoles, or in their attics, or on fence lines around the property.  Some even run coax to the back of their property, if it backs up into a wooded area, and run their antennas in the trees.  There are telescoping masts that can be used at night when nobody is looking, and couldn’t see them anyway.  There are even people who run HF in their vehicles and run a coax into the house when they’re at home to run their base station off the vehicle antenna.  Bottom line, there are a lot of ways to stealth your antenna installations.

So What’s It All Mean?

And I imagine you’re now thinking, that’s great, what happens if the government starts to crack down on speech, and happens to notice a bunch of USAians communicating on the radio?  Did I just waste my time and money on an amateur license and a bunch of potentially expensive equipment?

For the reasons stated above, no.  I don’t think it’s a waste, any more than investing in, say, guns, ammo, and range time is a waste even if they threaten to take away your guns.  Being legally licensed and learning the forms and protocols of the amateur radio community is hardly a waste.  We still have to live in this world and this world has a tendency to throw genuine emergencies at us.  As the Scout Motto puts it, “Be Prepared!”

But it gives rise to other lines of thinking.  Say it’s a Red Dawn scenario and the Chinese invade.  Or say it’s just the premise of Divided We Fall.  They’ll undoubtedly monitor the radio waves and use direction-finding (DF) equipment to smoke out patriots who are still trying to organize that way.

There are ways to get around that, just as there were in every 20th Century war where radio was a factor.  And no, I’m not talking about Hogan’s Heroes and the antenna in the flagpole – though that was certainly innovative.  But:

  • Keep your transmissions short, and wait a while before you transmit again.  If the people trying to DF you can’t get a fix, you’re still not entirely safe, but you’re going to make them work for it.
  • Move around, if you can, to help prevent them DFing you in the first place.  Mobile setups are great for this.  Even HF radios are small enough to be installed in vehicles, if you can get the right antennas for them.  If you can move around, drive several miles from home before transmitting, and keep moving while you do.  (In most if not all states that have cellular phone bans for drivers, ham radio is explicitly exempted.  Or use a headset mike.)
  • Use some sort of cipher.  Sentences from the Beautiful But Evil Space Princess’s novels that have been previously assigned other meanings by our crowd.  Or, you can’t go wrong with things like the classic “East Wind Rain” (though it’s questionable that signal ever existed other than in the mind of a certain Navy intelligence officer).  “The Face of Zuckerberg Appears Not In The Mirror”, maybe.  Or, “Corn Pop and me, we’re like buds.”  Or just be a numbers station – page number and word number on that page of an agreed-upon book.
  • Break the rules.  Once it’s illegal to be a ham, who cares that you can’t legally encrypt data over the air?  Use NBEMS, compress and encrypt your files, and share the public key to decrypt them only with people you trust.

I’m sure you can think of more.

“What if they jam us?”  They’re not going to do that.  First, if they do, they can’t find you.  Second, if they do, they can’t use the spectrum themselves.  Okay, I’ll grant that if they feel they have a real infestation and know where the culprits are, they might jam hell out of the frequencies used by those people, but that makes it pretty obvious they’re on to you and it’s time to skedaddle.

What Not To Rely On

When the political SHTF, my guess is VHF/UHF will be useless for anything but line-of-sight, local communications, because the opposition will shut down the repeaters.  Which will make ham radio’s 2 meter and 70cm bands line of sight, as well as GMRS (which is also effectively a 70cm service and has repeaters, though not in the numbers the amateur service does).  And when you remove the repeaters from the equation, even 2 meters becomes a very short-range band.  FRS (bubble-pack Family Radio Service radios) won’t be affected because they don’t use repeaters, but they share space with GMRS and are designed to be short-range radios in any case.

Granted, in a situation like that, it may take some time before killing the repeaters happens, but who knows; many repeaters are physically located in commercial broadcast facilities, and it may or may not be immediately obvious to the political commissars to order the station engineers to pull their plugs.

If you’re into DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) because it’s “poor man’s HF over the Internet” and you can talk all over the world with it, you’ve got two strikes against you right off the bat.  First, the repeaters, as above (and they can be cut off from the world by the simple expedient of cutting off their Internet links).  Second, even if you have a personal DMR hotspot and don’t rely on the repeaters, you’re screwed just as hard if the Internet goes down.  And it wouldn’t necessarily have to be a complete Internet shutdown, either, it could be only the master servers that do all the actual routing for the DMR networks being cut off.  At that point you are left with radios that can talk peer-to-peer, line-of-sight short range.  This is not to say that I don’t own two DMR handhelds, but they also do analog, and they’re nice robust Alincos, not throw-away Baofengs.  (Though I also have several of those.)

Like DMR, I imagine other high-band digital modes like IRLP, Echolink, D*Star, and WIRES are going to suffer the same problems, since they’re dependent on repeaters and the Internet being up.

This is why, to me, it’s the HF side (6 meters and up) on which hams who are interested in staying in contact nationwide need to concentrate.

Strangely, You Haven’t Mentioned Citizens’ Band

Yeah, and there’s a reason for that.  Legal CB uses spectrum just below the amateur 10 meter band, so in theory, it ought to give you some distance, like 10 meters does when propagation is good.  The problem is, the FCC limits CB equipment to 4 watts or less (unless you use SSB, for which they allow up to 12 watts).  At legal power, you’re going to get no more than a few miles out of your radio (and that may be stretching it, depending on local terrain, surrounding buildings, etc.).

Illegal CB power is another question, but in most cases, and because they’re illegal, the amplifiers the freebanders build and peddle for CB are mostly junk, and as likely to burn your house down as get you a distant contact.  I’ve seen some of the builds on those things.  They make the electrician in me shudder.  Please, no, just get a ham license and buy good equipment.

So CB is not a good choice, no matter how many truckers use it.  If the SHTF, realistically, how many truckers are going to be on the road jabbering away on Channel 19, good buddy?

Okay, But Why Voluntarily Add My Contact Info To A Government Database?

Like your contact info isn’t already in hundreds of government databases already?  Admittedly, this one is searchable by the public, but damn few of the public even know it exists.  And you can use a PO box or a box at the UPS store for the address if you must.

I have heard this argument in the past from people who ought to know better.  What’s one more government database among fiends? [sic]

You’ve Convinced Me.  What Now?

Find an “Elmer”.  That’s what we call a fellow ham who can help you learn what you need to know.  If you don’t know such a person, ask hams you know online if they can point you to someone local.  Maybe someone in your neighborhood has one of those towers behind his house with a beam antenna on it; ask him or her.  Or find the local amateur radio club; most large cities have one or more, shoot, a lot of rural counties have one or more.

If you can’t find an Elmer or a club, see if you can find a class being held locally.  Doesn’t matter who runs it, if it’s a class aimed at getting you licensed as an amateur, first of all it will have hams involved – and you may find your Elmer there.

Check the ARRL website.  Lots of resources for becoming a ham, and learning how to do the things we do.  Actually, that’s the FIRST thing you should do, but some folks prefer the personal touch.  Note that there are a lot of hams out there who talk smack about the League and claim it just wants your money, just like there are a lot of gun nuts out there who talk smack about the NRA and claim it just wants your money.  Admittedly, in the NRA’s case, that’s probably more true than we like to think about.  But the League is out there trying to protect your rights as an amateur.  You can’t influence the FCC and Congress all by yourself (well, you can try, good luck with that), but the League with its 160K members and its lobbying arm can (or can try awfully hard to do so).

That’s all I’ve got for now (4000+ words isn’t enough?)  So have fun out there, and as we say on the radio, “Good luck, and seven-three!”

Line Dancing: How To Be A Scary Moron

Okay, yeah, this is a weird thing to teach isn’t it?  But I know you guys and while you can be so sharp you cut yourselves, you really, really suck at playing it dumb.

And you have to. You absolutely have to in some circumstances. It not only could save your life, it will sow confusion among the enemy.

Read this article if you don’t believe me.

Look, a great part of what you’re having to do is called a White Mutiny (no, it has nothing to do with race. It’s the opposite of Black Mutiny which is the kind that leaves the deck littered with bodies.) It can also be called “Irish Democracy” though that’s more complicated and involves things like paying people under the table, to starve the beast which is NOT entitled to your taxes. It also doesn’t come naturally to Americans. Though I suspect we’ll learn.

It was quite a shock to me, when I first read Have Spacesuit Will Travel to find that the IRS (and therefore, logically the Portuguese equivalent) could NOT require you to keep records. They couldn’t even require you to know how to read.  And that you could in fact pay your tax bill in nickels, dimes and the odd penny.

Now, the IRS in the US has gotten into their own version of malicious compliance in responding to that sort of thing. You’re not forced to keep records – the government can’t even make you learn how to read! And many people don’t know how since the government got into education – but they an by default assume you owe them everything.  When playing stupid games, make sure the stupid prizes are things you’re willing to risk.

However, connected to that: the government cannot require you to be smart.  Nor do they have any reason to think you are. In fact, the default mode of lefties is to think that we are completely stupid, and that’s the only reason we don’t agree with them.  To mangle a meme “Shiny. Let’s be morons.”

Right here, I want to stop and recommend that (in addition to the linked article, you find and read Comrade Don Camillo, which is a manual for subversion while surrounded. I linked it on Amazon.)

Depending on the circumstances, you can in fact be UNBELIEVABLY stupid, and they’ll probably still believe it.

They want you to write a confession? Ask for help spelling words, and then consistently misspell them. And I mean unreadably. Or confuse words with their close cousins.  They want you to spell expected? Spell expel and refuse to understand what you did wrong.

This is actually very, very hard, so I recommend you practice it and play act it with a friend.  In fact, I recommend you practice and play act all the techniques with friends.

Stupidity is very very difficult to do if you’re not stupid. It also is both infuriating and confusing to anyone trying to make you do something.  It is said against stupidity the gods themselves strive in vain.  These people aren’t gods. They’re really very naughty mental children.

If you read the article linked above, you see that stupidity also gives you the right to change your story/abilities and not be held to it. I mean sometimes he pretended not to know how to write, then he wrote, then he didn’t know how to write again.  The thing is you run into this sort of thing with truly stupid people, and now we can do it, too.

Remember the attitude: very eager to learn, very impressed by the enemy – tug on forlock, yesssur – but a hopeless, bumbling fool.

They want you to sign something? Misspell your name. Or do weird handwriting. This too can be practiced.

They want you to tell them something? Ask for clarification. Then ask for clarification again. Then ask for clarification on the clarification. Rinse, repeat, wide eyed and just wanting to help, really, if they just explain this one simple thing.

Oh acquiring sudden religious mania and explaining to them “Doesn’t the good book say bend your knee to the superior man” (no fear of quoting scripture in vain. You just make up sh*t. They won’t know scripture if it bits them in the nads.)  Or, “I really want to sign this confession, but doesn’t John 578 say “never affix your name to document you don’t compass with your mind”? So can you explain it to me again?”
Because they believe we’re all religious maniacs, stupid and (inexplicably) Southern. I can’t do accents to save my life, but if you can, practice your Southern accent. That way if you DON’T normally have one, and they videotape you confessing to something, we will KNOW.

One side step of this, and honestly very good at saving your life in an emergency is to act completely and utterly nuts.

Look, don’t do this to a mob. You scare a mob too much, they will kill you.  But if it’s just one or two people and they’re stronger/better armed than you? Being utterly insane will make them leave you alone or run away.  I speak from experience. I’ve used it to make feral homeless run away.

Again, this sort of nonsense doesn’t come easy, so you might want to practice shouting “Butterflies, all the dragons are here. You did it. You did it. It was you!”  If you can make spittle fly, it’s perfect.

An extension of this, and the reason that I want you to read Comrade Don Camillo is to make them explain their beliefs.  No, I’m serious, fun for all ages.  The caveat is the you probably can’t do it in your own persona, and why someone’s suggestion for creating a bunch of fake online personas is great.  This falls under “sowing doubt and dissention” in their ranks, while being perfectly normal.

You might need to do this in person, and of course, then you have to trust they don’t know you have degrees or whatever, because you really have to play “dumb and willing.”

Fortunately, you’ll be helped by the left’s certainty that not only are we all dumb, but that everything including colleges teaches as it did in the 50s. So they won’t realize we’ve heard their shiboleths and code words before.  I do however suggest playing this online, under an assumed ID before you try it in person. It is a technique and ought to be practiced.

Say they accuse you of white supremacy. You act all confused and tell them you don’t know what it is. When they explain you ask them how this can be since you are not white/are not married to a white person/don’t even know why THEY think whites are superior. If they say “educate yourself” ask how. If they recommend books say “Well, that seems like a difficult read. Can you explain it to me, in your own words?” When they explain you say “Are you saying that people should think whites are superior because—”

Make them unpack the insane assumptions behind their actions/doctrines.  This btw, is difficult, because you’re going to ask them “isn’t that what Hitler believed?” and that will just stop the conversation and make them suspect you, without it really going into their brain and wreaking havoc.  Instead try “Isn’t that a belief from long ago? That people are born good or bad, and only good people should have babies, or something? Something like the Eugene theory, I think?”

BTW this also can work to deprogram teens who have gone wrong. They think you’re a dumbass, anyway, it’s part of being a teen. So play to it and make them “educate” you, and in the process sow doubts in their heads. Be the hopelessly out of touch parent/grandparent, and ask unbelievably dumb questions.

That’s all for today, my friends.  Go practice being obstinately, bottomlessly, brilliantly dumb.

I Have a Post Scheduled for Tomorrow

But I promised you guys things you could use to ah… make our point. Note the picture above is merely a decoy, so FB maybe won’t ban it the minute I post. And anyway, our aim is to hold a candle in the darkness, right?

These were designed for Avery labels, but some of them heck you could cut a stencil for.

At any rate, a very talented friend made them, and I’m fulfilling his wish to pass them along that they maybe be used.

Real post with words and everything tomorrow.

Dance to the Line

Were any of you brats, when you were little? Or did you ever observe natural-born brats in action?

Because I had a natural, massive problem with authority. Which had its issues, because you see, until my heath got better at about 9, I was a little, forever sick kid who weighed nothing, and if she launched herself at someone would have a massive asthma attack and probably die. (Not that I didn’t court death a few times.) But at around six, I discovered that people couldn’t get inside my head and make me do things. They could beat me, they could hurt me, they could yell really loud, but they couldn’t make me do things, or even say they were right.

And then I found techniques. Like, you use the fact bullies can’t stand to be defied against them. And you make sure when they hit you it’s right in front of everyone, and that you “weren’t DOING anything.” Remember that. this is very important.

So, say, the playground bully drew a line with his toe on the sand and said “you can’t cross this.” Okay then. Fine. Right and proper. You dance right up to the line, and then moon walk (even if I didn’t know what that meant, back and forth along it.) You’re not actually crossing the line, but you’re depriving the bully of what he really wants: your fear and submission.

The bully can’t help it. The longer you’re doing your moon walk and grinning at him, the more it’s going to aggravate the living daylights out of him. And he knows — he knows — people watching the scene are laughing at him. So he’s going to hit you. Now, if you’re smart you’ll be ready and duck, which makes him look even worse. And if you duck long enough, he’s going to take off running after you. And if you do time it just right, it will be when the teacher has just come out of the door, to call you in from recess. And she’s going to grab you. And everyone in the playground will say “she wasn’t doing anything.”

(Yes, it is in fact a minor miracle I reached adulthood and the edge of old age without anyone drowning me in an acid bath, isn’t it? But be patient, it might yet come.)

So over this weekend the left went after Parler for the high treasonous crime of letting Donald Trump have an account. They deplatformed them completely, removed their net access (Ah, Amazon); their lawyers quit; their advertisers and providers walked. They must be obliterated, you see, for allowing the POTUS to address the people of the US.

The Potted Plant pretending to have been elected as President then went further and claimed that no, we can’t talk about the protesters, because they’re rioters, insurrectionists, the worst possible in thing in all the possible worlds.

Which means the pseudodent will need to do very serious stuff to stop this very serious insurrection. (And btw, if you believe word ONE about the protesters breaking things, graffitying things or POOPING on things? You’re an idiot. We have footage. Or we did before they removed it. Also, there wasn’t ONE WORD about any of this on the day or after. It trickled out afterwards, like the bully explaining why he lost his mind and chased the skinny kid. You see, we weren’t horrified at what to them was an obvious desecration of their rule and majesty, so they just kept making up shit. Literally.)

What serious stuff? Well! This is a quote from the linked article:

    [Wall Street Journal] “Don’t dare call them protesters,” Mr. Biden said in remarks from Wilmington, Del. “They were a riotous mob. Insurrectionists. Domestic terrorists. It’s that basic. It’s that simple.”

    Mr. Biden blamed President Trump for inciting the violence, saying he had “unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of democracy.” The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.     […] Mr. Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them.

This link will give you all the times Trump incited violence, which is none.

So as you see, the bully can’t help himself and is throwing punches. Sometimes you’re going to get hit, like Parler — Hey, Parler guys, seriously? JUST open it up for us to fund you. I’ll buy stock, or even just throw $100 at you. $100 here, $100 there and pretty soon you have real money (and no, I can’t, but yes I will anyway.) And yeah, I know payment processors are refusing to process payments to conservative causes. So? Give me an address. I’ll send you a crisp $100. Getting hit is an accident. Going down is a choice — and sometimes …. well, I don’t even know what to say. But you should be aware that the last threat from the Potted Plant means he’s going to criminalize our ideology, because it leads to violence. They mean, our dissent is violence.

In other words, all is proceeding better than we could possibly have imagined.

Oh please, wipe that look off your face. Think about it. First of all there is something you should be aware of. The way they’re moving this fast doesn’t tell me there was fraud — I already knew that, because I’m not stupid and there’s proof everywhere, so much proof our corrupt courts had to pretend NO ONE HAS STANDING, otherwise the proof would come out in discovery — no. What it tells me is that the fraud was much, much bigger than we imagine. So massive in fact, that they know they’re an unwelcome and resented minority trying to hold on to a majority who doesn’t like them, doesn’t want them and has had just about enough of their sh*t.

All these massive, repressive measures? To quote one of you “It’s afraid.”

Which is very good news. You see, we thought that they were rational. We thought they were going to boil the frog. Perhaps keep the mask order in place (even though we all now know what a ridiculous piece of crap that entire thing is) and try to hector us about saving the Earth, but not make any fast movements. Because …. well, because for four years now they’ve been telling any human being in and out of the United States what a horrible man Trump is, and all the “crimes” he’s committed, but it’s all extremely vague. They tried to push him to give them a casus belli — that’s what all the burn, loot and murder, and standing on highways was ALL about. They wanted him to send troops. But he never did. In fact, he tolerated them, and let the locals deal with them or not any way they wanted to. People saw that. And if asked, they’ll have real trouble coming up with something he did that was that bad.

I mean, he picked on them constantly on Twitter, by saying things that while not illegal the left will cancel you for. Things they forbid de facto, if not in law. They had all those lines, and he was hopping back and forth across them. And it led them to crazed madness and made all their masks fall.

You know…. that’s what we need more of. Since they like Maoist sayings so much, let’s modify one of them: let a million Trumps bloom. Do you know how many people out there are itching to have a proxy war with the Bitchy Bolshie Bullshit Bandits.

Particularly since Queen Grey Goose Bitch Nancy The Hairy One (what, it’s what her surname means. Curiously, also a medieval term for the devil. I calls them as I see them) is already saying the protesters went to Washington because they love their Whiteness or some such bullshit. (Because, let’s. Yeah. Let’s take what is still — not on paper but de facto — the overwhelming majority in this country and demonize them. It’s the Vodka, innit? It’s killed half her brain cells.)

Our problem, of course is that only some of us are seeing all of this (although frankly, considering how badly they lost the election, it might be a very substantial majority.) We need the majority of the country to see it. We need them to see the evil, the horror these people are, and how desperate for power and how — honestly — raving out of their minds crazy they are. We have to keep the heat up. We can’t let up.

Okay, so, let’s make this clear: Ladies and gentlemen, strategy Dance to the Line. Or, you know, if you’re of a more earthy bend, strategy Braveheart which means dance up to the line, turn around and moon them.

There are three things to remember when dealing with the left: three irrational, absolutely visceral, inescapable impulses they have and they can’t do anything about. This type of trait in every movement is the thing that opponents can exploit to bring it down. Even one of these is bad enough, but they have three. Three glaring vulnerabilities. If we don’t push on them, we’re idiots.

1- They have a desperate need to be respected. You saw this in their outrage that conservatives dared — dared — walk into the capitol. Into the domain the left has claimed! How dare we! (Note that the capitol is routinely invaded by leftwing protesters that do all sorts of bad things, but this was terrible, because these protesters didn’t RESPECT them.)
Heinlein said (of petty government drones) that they demand respect because they have no self respect. I don’t think he was right. The left has both a brittle, inflated self-consequence, while at some level they know they are frauds. Their politicians fraud their way in, their professors don’t know anything, their women…. well, if you have to wear a vulva costume to tell us you have one, you’re doing something wrong chicky-honey.
In other words there’s a gaping hole inside them (no, no. It’s not a bad allusion. The vulva is the external part!) which they attempt to fill by demanding continuous and extravagant deference from everyone else.

2- They can’t tolerate dissent. No, seriously, they just can’t. They have absolutely no ability to tolerate it. Like the playground bully, they can’t just see you moonwalking back and forth on the line and go “whatevs. It’s not my job to deal with idiots today, and it’s just a skinny little girl” and turn their backs and walk away. Nope. They have to make you obey, otherwise they lose face, and there goes all that respect. Which they don’t have, from anyone, but think they do, and their captive media helps them keep the illusion. To themselves. They don’t know the rest of us see through them clear as day.

3- They have no clue who we are. The reason they had to resort to massive fraud, is that they keep campaigning as though they were in a country well to the left of Sweden. And sometimes as though they were talking to Chinese peasants. The divorce from reality is massive and yawning, and I don’t even know how to explain it, but it’s there. And when they come across a large enough dissonance from their beliefs, they try to destroy it, even if it’s a minor thing, like the fact say that a first generation Latin immigrant is in fact anti-Marxist. (They’ll foam at the mouth and say crazy sh*t, like “she’s a white Mormon male.”) They react in the ways the normies and LIVs see, and which make them start walking backwards, making the cross sign with their fingers.

This btw, is so baked in to the left, that they really can’t help it, anymore than cats can help chasing a moving string. Which is why it’s okay to share this and talk about it in public. Because they can’t help reacting in these absurd ways.

So, here we go:

So they insist on making a grab. They want to hold us? Okay.

Here’s what we do.

We know, very well indeed, that the Left cannot tolerate differing opinions. Moreover we know that their central drive is for control. We’ve seen this very clearly with the mandates to wear masks much thinner than their own studies justify– mandates that they themselves break anyway. We’ve seen this with mandates to stay home while Cuomo dances with his wife in Times Square. This is about control, and only about control. It’s the way they’re broken in the head. And it will be the way we break them.

Right now people live in the spaces between Leftist rules. Those of us who work side by side, undercover among the Left, know well that they themselves cannot live up to their own rules. That’s the point of all the rules– is to allow arbitrary enforcement on anyone by making virtually everyone a criminal. See the quote about the impossibility of governing honest men.

But there is a way to turn that tendency against them. Dance on the edge of the line.

BECAUSE the rules are about the feelings and desire for control of the rulemakers, they’re not grounded in any physical fact. For that reason they can and will be adapted when the feelings of the rulemakers change. The surest way to get rules expanded is to walk right up to the limits of the line and taunt them from there. For example: let’s say you live in a place where gatherings above a certain size are banned. Well, then you know the exact number of people to have over every night you possibly can.

Say they tell you to wear a mask in an establishment– “no problem, how about this Deadpool mask? It does indeed cover my nose and mouth”. You get the picture. The more ridiculous the rule, the better– find the weak point and work it. (This, btw, is why posting stickers challenging them is completely acceptable. You’re not doing anything wrong, truly. But they’re going to overextend themselves trying to stop you. With luck they’ll make rules where you have to show your ID to buy labels, and annoy the crap out of everyone who buys them for work. Just PLEASE be aware the game is fun but very serious. Yes, they could catch you and kill you. Or worse. This is a war. And they are not patient. But we still need to do it.) Remember, the goal is to stay as firmly legal as possible, but taunt the shit out of them in the process. The taunting is what they’re not going to be able to stand, and five’ll get you ten, they’ll give chase and expand the rules. No problem. Find the next edge and dance.

This isn’t about us. It’s about the people living between the rules. As this process continues they gradually are going to feel more and more of the pinch. (Under “know thy enemy” this is why Lenin said “the worse, the better.”) Odds are that some subset will resent us. Those people are utterly domesticated and would NEVER have been winnable so no loss. Another subset will in all probability join us once they see what we’re doing. But most? Most will get the point– that their leaders don’t give a shit about their well being or the liveability of their lives, only about dominating their enemies. That, in turn, shifts public opinion against the people in power. That, in turn, makes their position even more tenuous than it already is. (And judging by their behavior, it’s thinner than a gauze mask.) It would of course be very unfortunate if the few random hotheads statistically impossible not to have in any sufficiently large population were among those who are pushed to the brink, and I dread to think what they may do, (and do not fool yourself, please. You’re in a war. Some of us are going to get hurt. Say after me “better dead than Venezuela.”) but this is the most viable way of fighting them that we have right now.

This is how we win against the leftists without burning the country down beyond hope of recovery. We get them to play Napoleon Bonaparte to our Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly. They’re trying to push us into open battle, but the winning strategy currently is to retreat and burn the ground behind us until they’re too committed to the attack. Then we hit them with everything we have when they’re overcommitted and we’ve got a majority of people fed up with their sh*t.

Part of our problem is that people don’t actually believe that the left is going to go full Soviet/Maoist extermination. (And I know. I know you think I’m crazy. But the left is insane and sending the National Guard with live ammo to Washington DC in response to what was actually a mostly peaceful protest. They’re following the footsteps of their totalitarian forebears.) They can’t believe it, because normalcy bias is a thing. They’re more awake than ever though, because Trump basically used the strategy of finding where the line of the left’s influence is and standing just on the other side of it and being a loud and obnoxious person who refused to comply with any of their requirements. When the left got more aggressive and got more influence, he took a couple of steps back to the other side of the new line. Every time a new line got drawn and he moved back, the left moved forward and rolled over all of the people in that new space. It’s how Walk Away got started. As the left was getting increasingly aggressive, they started turning people against them. In four years, the left lost more social capital than they have gained in twenty. (And guys, we’ve seen this in science fiction. Only in SF the idiots can’t kill us.)

This is the social equivalent of Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly’s slash and burn strategy when Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia. He got the Russian army close enough to be seen by Napoleon’s forward observers and retreated while the French advanced, burning the ground behind him. Napoleon had to chase him, because he needed a decisive victory against the Russians in order to obtain his objectives and get the Russians to sue for peace. What he failed to understand is that the Russians were never going to sue for peace under any circumstances.

I must ask you, please, and seriously to be very very very brave. Know in advance they can hurt you and kill you, even for silly jokes and defiance. Face it. Embrace it. And go on. Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor.

We must also be unwilling to sue for peace, (peace? I hate the very word. As I hate hell, all fraudsters and thee!) and yet we also need people to see what the left is really doing, and what they really are. To achieve this, we weaponize Irish Democracy. We engage in malicious compliance. We stick our thumbs in their eyes by boldly telling the truth.

When they start to push us off a platform, we spread the word and leave it in a mass exodus and taunt them the entire way. We take our money with us. Failbook and Twatter can’t make money without eyeballs on their platforms, and if all we buy from Amazon are ebooks, they’re going to be a sad little Amazon. In the end as in their beginning. Whatever they want to believe, there are more of us than there are of them, and we have more buying power. When they pass some outrageous new law, we simply ignore it and continue talking about how stupid it is.

We don’t give up our guns. We don’t stop speaking out. However, we don’t fight either. We laugh and joke, and back up a step at a time, and pull that wave of totalitarian behavior that they can’t help but engage in over more and more people as we do. When we’re off their platforms, they will attack innocent bystanders and each other because they still have to prove dominance. When we fail to follow their dictates, they will ramp up enforcement efforts. The only direct clashes we should have at this point are skirmishes that we can’t avoid because they come after us. When someone has their back to the wall, they fight like a cornered cat and go all out. Take an honor guard.

Yes, we are going to lose people doing this. They’re after power and they aren’t playing around. They’re going to come after people where they can, and we need to make sure that they can’t do it in secret. Get on other platforms. MeWe, Parler, (TRULY GUYS. CRISP $100. To the PO BOX of your choosing.) Minds, whatever. Make phone trees and Signal groups. Get Proton mail, and make it a name you don’t use for anything else.

Keep in contact with people, and if your back is to the wall and you can’t avoid the fight, start livestreaming it to your groups and make people aware of what happened to you. Do not go gently into that good night, and make your last words to the world known. Others will spread the videos around and make sure that it gets seen. This is a war, and there will be causalities. Make plans now for what happens if you end up becoming one, and remember that history is very clear on the fact that your family and maybe friends will get purged with you, no matter what the leftists say. Don’t believe them when they offer to spare your loved ones if you cooperate. They won’t, because they can’t leave people alive who might tell what happened or come after them later.

The only thing I think that needs to be added in is that we follow all the stupid bullshit rules-barely and if possible incredibly stupidly (pretend you’re an utter moron) while taunting them, but no one should surrender any resource. Not guns, not food, not information. Give them nothing that they want. If they want to take something from you, make them come for it in person.

This is asymmetric warfare, and they prepared the ground for it over a long period of time. Don’t just think about this in terms of brass and beans, but in terms of the social connections that actually make a community and a nation. If you could kill every Marxist on the planet, you have still lost if those social connections are broken beyond repair. Give up who you have to, but fight like hell for those you can save. If someone you know sees the light at some point, don’t say, “I told you so.” Say that you’re sorry they had to find out the truth in so difficult a manner. Rebuild, educate, branch out, and create converts to the American cause. You are a missionary. Some of you have practice in this. Speak up, loudly and boldly. You will be despised. They will try to destroy your life and maybe kill you. If you want there to be an America left to save, that is the price you will have to pay. It’s the price we will all have to pay.

And trust me, guys please, it’s much, much better than communism.

As this war progresses, perhaps over a couple of months, (yes, it would normally be years. BUT the Covidiocy has everyone one edge, and I AM NOT JOKING, I want you to spread this to every single friend who might join in. We need a lot of us to do this before they bring famine and destruction to the land) the left is going to overextend themselves. They can’t help but do it. They will continually lose social capital by being the tyrannical monsters that they are. They will be more desperate, and more vicious. Support your friends and neighbors. Get everyone you can connected with one another, and armed. Don’t ever allow the idea that they’ll leave you alone if you cooperate to go unchallenged. They will reach the point that they are chasing us into our strongholds where we are prepared and they are weakened and separated from support. Then we destroy them from those prepared positions.

This isn’t a fast strategy. It’s not a pleasant one. But it’s one we can rebuild from, when it’s all over. You need to remind yourself every time you have to step back and allow them to keep attacking you that you aren’t giving up; you’re leading them to their doom.

Now go. Make your gut into a new heart and dance. Dance to the edge.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike and Book Promo and Some Blather By Sarah

So, because you can’t have your pudding until you eat your meat, let’s start with BLATHER FIRST! (If you really don’t want to read The Blather page down to Book Promo)

Some Blather From Sarah

A lot of you are furious at Amazon for joining the unconscionable censorship of Parler, which btw is still relatively small and all innocuous, other than, you know, allowing Trump a platform (Because as invaders, the left can’t let the president of the US address the nation, of course.) Look, so am I. I’m even more furious because I have no way out of the trap.

Yes, a lot of you — yes, I’m looking at you — have raged at Amazon for years and told us it would come for us and that we should get out now. This was not only misguided (I’ll explain why) but also it’s kind of the equivalent of poking a chained prisoner and saying “run.” He really wants to, but all you’re actually doing is torturing and wounding him.

However, since last night, this has TRULY become an emergency, not because of what Amazon will do or won’t do to ebook fiction (more on that) but because a core of my readers will now refuse to buy from Amazon under any circumstances, which means that I’m going to lose a lot of my income (and Amazon won’t give a flying fig. But I get your outrage, I understand, and yet you’ll only hurt the writers, UNTIL WE HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE.)

In the mean time I really need one or more of you to find a Newsletter Subscription service (I sign up for it, people subscribe for $ and it gets mailed out, so I can implement my very own “pay for Sarah’s writing by the week” system to try to stem the bleeding that’s about to hit.
Some people turn their nose up at substack, because they say it’s lefty (is it? I do very little on line that doesn’t relate to blogs or writing. It hosts a bunch of right writers, but…) most of the others I’ve found are either video oriented or brain damaged (no formatting is an immediate no for me) and I don’t know what to do. So, if you have suggestions PLEASE email them to me or put it in interesting links page (tab at top.) Comments are annoyingly non-searchable, okay? Because WPDE.

Okay, so below I explain the bind we’re in. (And as a side note, yes, I remain wordpress hosted. Yes, plans of mirror/escape are being made, but we’re hampered by fact I’m technically declined, and the tech in the house is working 12/7 at his main job, and has a second one. Should I disappear, which I consider more likely — but not likely — than Amazon removing my fiction, give it a week, I’ll be back.)

For the record a few things:

1- Amazon data service is much bigger and not at all like ebook sales.  I know, yes, Amazon as a whole is touched by evil, or at least Bezos is a political idiot and we shouldn’t feed the beast.  But objectively the ebook business is maybe 2% of its income, if that much. It’s vital for us, but it doesn’t do that much for them or against them to stop it or curtail it. DATA OTOH is YUGE. I mean vast companies rent their data storage service, okay? It’s probably 50% of their money making. Which is why they can afford to ban relatively small players like Parler.

2- I don’t expect them to go after ebooks for a long while. Not because they don’t WANT to – they do – but because it’s too involved. They’re using Chinese and such censors, like everyone else, and nuance in fiction is hard. Consider someone read Darkship Thieves and thought it was communist feminist literature and gave me a good review along those lines. Even the more pedestrian level of “has a name of someone on the right on the cover” (and some of us have secret names)…. as those trying to find me on MeWe know, there are Sarah Hoyts everywhere. And, well, if they haven’t taken Glenn Reynolds down, I’m at NO risk.

3- All that, plus the fact that where we live with the lockdowns and stupid masks and how dangerous the streets are getting, we MUST buy stuff like…. Vacuums from Amazon means I agree with your outrage, but I can only hurt myself by giving in to it.

Do not tell me to go to the other ebook sales services, because going wide costs me KLL money, which is 90% of my pay (people are broke, so they’re borrowing, not buying.) And the other services, besides having almost no reach are part of the same tech-left all of us have problems with. (And Smashwords is more left than you can imagine. Also sucks at accounting/paying.)

If you can and know how to get around the obstacles and create an ebook service that doesn’t preclude those signing up for it from doing any business with Amazon — where most readers still are — I’ll be behind you 100% .

But right now, quoting from memory from The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and probably wrong: “Everyone does business with Authority for the same reason everyone does business with air.”
Which is where we are.

Otherwise I’m going to ask you NOT to carry on this boycott. We right-leaning-indies are going to lose half our sales. That’ll hurt Amazon, sure. Kind of. PROBABLY honestly at the rounding error level. But it will KILL us indie writers who have a contingent of conservative fans.

So, until people come up with the solution, I beg you not to kill us indies on the right by boycotting Amazon on their least profitable service. It’s bad enough I feel the need to wash with Lye and a wire brush for not being able to get away. Doing it while also starving will really piss me off.

And meanwhile, to prevent other indies from starving, see promo below. – SAH

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 KAL SPRIGGS: In Death’s Shadow (Angel of Death Book 1),

Ari lives in the shadow of death.

Ari is a combat veteran who has chosen to leave the military behind and live a quiet, normal life. He’s got a few problems though. For one thing, the cops think he’s a serial killer. For another, a vengeful politician has put Ari in his crosshairs. To make matters worse, Ari has a guardian angel… and not just any angel, Ari’s protector is the Angel of Death. When his life is in danger, people start to die, and Ari’s guardian can sometimes be indiscriminate whose life he takes when protecting him.

That’s not even the worst problem. Death wasn’t assigned to him by mistake. An ancient werewolf wants Ari dead and even with death on his side, Ari might not survive.

Ari needs to find a way to stay alive, to clear his name, and most importantly to get out from under the shadow of death and live a normal life… even if it kills him.

FROM DAVID BURKHEAD: The Unmasking (Dhampyre the Hunter Book 1).

No sane person believes in vampires.

And that’s exactly the way the vampires want it. For centuries vampires have existed among us, hiding solitary in the shadows, preying on an unsuspecting humanity. Secrecy is their weapon and their security. In times past when humanity discovered them, vampires relied on their other weapon–fear–keeping humans too terrified to use their superior numbers and ability to walk the day to exterminate the vampires.

Dani Herzeg is a dhampyre, born to a vampire mother for the express purpose of serving as an aid and daytime guard. Instead, she hunts vampires. Only now some vampires are no longer hunting alone. Combining into gangs and going on bloody killing sprees, almost uncaring of keeping the secret of their existence from the larger world.

With Indianapolis police detective James Ware her only ally, Dani must try to stop the bloodshed before humanity learns the Secret and vampires launch a campaign of terror against the human world.

Or is it already too late?

FROM MARY CATELLI: Sorcery and Kings.

Tales of wonder and magic.A fire master must find a magical starter of fires.A mysterious queen holds a ball in a city filled with magic.Magic of roses and gold are needed to fight a dreadful war.An oath keeps a ghost captive.

FROM MICHAEL HOOTEN: We Are All Enlisted (Enlisted Book 1)

Peter Wright joined the Navy thinking that he could do his time in a nice, quiet billet somewhere on Earth. The Navy had other ideas. When the asteroid miners claimed their independence, Peter finds himself getting sent to space on a warship headed straight into the combat zone. He has to get used to everything: zero gravity, standing watch, and being the only Earth-born in his crew. And he has to be ready for the biggest battle the solar system has ever seen.

FROM PAM UPHOFF: Double Dragon

Lieutenant Scarlet Magana was trained as ship’s crew, but it’s a good thing she also had dirt-side scouting training . . .

A distant planet. A damaged hyperspace colony ship. Lieutenant Magana and the rest of the crew discover that not only are they not the first arrivals . . . they may well be the third.

And then there are the dragons . . . and a serial killer.

FROM NATHAN C. BRINDLE: The Lion of God (Timelines Book 1)

John Wolff has been handed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Again.

He’s already saved the love of his life from an early death – thirty years after she died.

Now, a beautiful young woman, who is clearly his daughter, has appeared from the timeline branch where that same love of his life survived and married his counterpart.

She says they need his help fighting off invaders from the far future. Who, by the way, are looking for him. Why? Because they want the starship drive he and a friend invented, the precursor to their time machine. Problem is, in her timeline, it hasn’t been invented yet.

What man can resist a cry for help from his own daughter?

Particularly when the invaders think she’s a saint. Or possibly, a devil wearing saint’s clothing. And they’re looking for her, too.

Thus begins the Timelines Saga, and the story of the Lion of God.

FROM SAM SCHALL: Vengeance from Ashes (Honor and Duty Book 1)

First, they took away her command. Then they took away her freedom. But they couldn’t take away her duty and honor. Now they want her back.

Captain Ashlyn Shaw has survived two years in a brutal military prison. Now those who betrayed her are offering the chance for freedom. All she has to do is trust them not to betray her and her people again. If she can do that, and if she can survive the war that looms on the horizon, she can reclaim her life and get the vengeance she’s dreamed of for so long.

But only if she can forget the betrayal and do her duty.

This new edition contains new material not included in the original release of this book.

FROM ANNA FERREIRA: A Summer in Scarborough: A Pride & Prejudice Sequel

Miss Anne de Bourgh was delighted to receive a letter from her cousin Georgiana, explaining that she would be spending the summer by the sea, and requesting the pleasure of her company. A glorious few months of balls, shopping, and walking by the sea awaits- a wonderfully diverting holiday for Anne, who has rarely left Rosings before.

But Anne is a de Bourgh, and life is never simple. Before long, she finds herself caught between the attentions of two very different men, and must choose if she will follow her heart or disoblige her family. One must be disappointed, and Anne has never been very practiced in the art of disobedience. Must she give up everything she has ever known, will she find the strength to search for happiness elsewhere?

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: Outgoing.

Night Terrors

So the crazy years are here.

The problem with having a completely unreliable media who were raised in an educational establishment which taught them objective reality doesn’t exist, and reality changes according to what you believe, is that they’re trying very hard to create a narrative: a story.

They’ve been doing this forever, of course, but they used to do it “in the service of the revolution”, knowing it was their duty to lie. Now they don’t see it as a lie, but as “making the world a better place” by inventing reality and replacing reality they don’t like or which might have made them feel better with their crazy stories.

There are three problems with that. The first is, because they don’t believe there is a reality outside the stories they tell themselves, they believe that once they have put the story in place it is true, and they believe in it themselves.

Second, of course their bullshit spinning doesn’t make it reality. It just makes it …. strange and bizarre and incredibly non-functional. Reality is reality. Just because you believe oil is bad and solar can provide all the energy you need, it won’t work like that. Or that the white race is the repository of all evil, and if you kill them you’ll have paradise, none of that is true.

Third they’re really really really bad novelists. They don’t know enough about the world to tell a lie that makes any sense or accounts for any factors. They don’t know how to integrate the narrative. (To be fair, as I told some fledglings last week, it is almost impossible to. Because the real world is very complex, and other people aren’t widgets. I mean, my characters have a mind of their own, but I’m only dealing with ten or so at a time. And only for at most a few years. I assume I’m not telling you all the complexity that is there.) Actually they don’t know a heck of a lot about real life. And they tend to expect people to act according to their “class” or “race” or whatever. As a friend said this morning, we’re living in a strange world where flying the American flag is simultaneously a government sanctioned display and a sign that you’re a white supremacist.

Their lies can hold. Or at least pretend to hold, for a little bit. It’s really hard to tell which, because humans are social animals and will mouth what they have to, to go along and survive. I don’t know how much their much more competent forbears sold the lie to Russians and Chinese, for instance, and how much of it was going along to go along.

I do know that after a while — I’d guess the COVID will kill us ALL lie is wearing thin, so they’re casting around for better lies — the lie wears thin. Moreover, the next lie doesn’t take as well.

And you have a population — I’m not alone, though I’m part of a minority. But they estimate that 1/3 of American citizens has at least one foreign-born parent, and I can guarantee to you, given the twentieth century that at least half of us came from commie-sosh-bullshit wonderland — that is already ahead of this, that are seeing the lies for what they are, that are smelling the fear in the air and going, frankly, a little insane.

The compelled confessions yesterday got me. Or compelled denunciations, or whatever. Sure, perhaps the video of the President saying to be good boys and girls and be loyal to China Joe and the Ho and that killing commies in batch lots should never even be thought of I mean, that a protest by mostly desperate people was evil and violence, wasn’t obtained with a gun to his head. MAYBE. But it was obtained with a different kind of gun to his head. He has a wife and a son. And I want to scream through the screen that Louis XVI put on a revolutionary cockade. It didn’t save him. Or his wife. Or his son.

And then Betsy de Vos, and I’m sure others, standing there and resigning — with 13 days to go — because you know she must denounce Trump for inciting violence…. in a parallel universe, or perhaps because he didn’t immediately surrender to the commie fraud revolution. She thinks she’ll be spared.

And then supposedly Giulliani was considered for Biden’s attorney general. Of course he wasn’t. It was always going to be Merrick Garland, communist party member, and Obama’s failed pick for the supreme court (and to the people saying it could be worse, stop it or I’ll beat you. Though of course the supreme court doesn’t actually matter, their being in “well be good commie servants, if you eat us last” mode.)

And I’m now sure that Trump had no clue of the depths of evil he was facing. He’d only seen the evil in NYC pretending to be at least somewhat normal and civilized. I doubt he ever read the history of communist take overs. And his wife is too young to know or tell him.

All that Hopium that people latched onto, because he was arranging things to give the president mroe power? That was because he couldn’t imagine such a bizarre and fraudulent election standing.

But the worst part of all this is that as the pseudo reality breaks, as people realize these idiots will kill everyone, yes, even the traitors inside Trump’s circle, the ones who delivered this shit sandwich to the people, Trump had arranged for some things for his second administration that are giving China Jo and Commie LaWhorish more power than any president yet has had.
It’s going to get very very bad. And I expect rivers of blood.

I lay in bed, wishing I’d never existed. I lay in bed, unraveling my life to the beginning. Maybe I should never have made such an effort to come out of the continuous day dreams I was addicted to. If I’d stayed in them I’d have stayed in Portugal, where I’d be aging looking after my parents, and at this point, probably, having no idea there WAS a real world. Maybe I should never have worked to do well in school. At least I’d believe the lies and not know what was coming. Maybe I shouldn’t have worked so hard for the next breath, when I was three or four and lying in bed thinking I’d die before morning. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I curled up in bed, scared of the illusions being spun around us, and of what people will do in the grip of them, but most of all, in horror and utter pain at the death of my country, the last hope of mankind.

Afraid that I too will break. That I’ll confess to crimes I’ve never committed, to prejudices I don’t hold. Most of all afraid I’ll lie, I’ll forget the truth. Just to live.

And then I found a raft in the dark sea.

I believe in G-d, the creator. I believe He desired and ordained that man have free will, so that we might come to Him willingly, and not compelled.

I believe for the furtherance of those intents, He willed, Helped, Pushed and Cajoled the United States into being, that we might serve as a beacon of individual freedom to the world. I believe H will not allow us to be extinguished, not forever.

I believe the constitution of the United States of America, though flawed as all human things, is the best instrument yet devised for the governance of mankind.

I believe I and every other human being, of any color and any sex and any orientation and anywhere in the world was born endowed with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe any curtailment of those rights by earthly governments are an artificial and evil infringement upon G-d’s will.

I will not forget. I will not forswear. On the other side there’s only debasement and ultimately a bad death.

If death must come I will die an American.

And until death comes, I will work for the restoration of the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America.

And there onto I pledge my life, my wealth, my sacred honor. So help me G-d.