HRC: Turning Mourning into a Movement – by Amanda S. Green

HRC: Turning Mourning into a Movement – by Amanda S. Green

Or how many sides of her mouth can she talk out of at the same time?

I knew when I saw the title of the next chapter in Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened,  that I’d be chewing nails, real nails made of metal, before I finished. “Turning Mourning into a Movement” could mean only one thing. This was going to be Clinton’s attack on several things I hold dear — our first responders and the Second Amendment. Boy, was I right. Unfortunately, I hadn’t anticipated just how hard she’d try to cast herself into the role of the only person in the country — and possibly the world — who could end gun violence in the USA.

For four pages, Clinton describes meeting with different mothers who lost their sons or daughters to police shootings. The bravery of these women in not only surviving but persevering in the face of such loss is touted as if no other mother had ever lost a child. For four pages, we are left with stories that basically let us know just how Clinton feels about police officers and other first responders and it isn’t good.

Finally, on the fourth page of the chapter, Clinton writes,”Treating everyone with care and respect is especially important for the men and women charged with keeping us all safe.” Especially important for the men and women charged with keeping us all safe. Think about that for a moment and then think about how she doesn’t say anything about how those they serve and protect should treat them with respect and care. Yes, there are bad cops but the good ones far outnumber the bad ones. But that doesn’t figure into Clinton’s narrative.

Just as I was about to launch the book against the wall — yes, yes, I know. I’ve had plenty of opportunities before this but this chapter was really getting on my nerves and I was only five pages in now — I came across this:

One hard truth we all have to face is that we all have implicit biases. I have them, you have them, and police officers have them: deeply ingrained thoughts that can lead us to think “Gun!” [w]hen a black man reaches for his wallet. (Pg. 177)

On the surface, one could almost feel a touch of hope for Clinton actually having a clue. Not only does she admit everyone has implicit biases, but she admits SHE has them. Wow, could it be that she is finally admitting she isn’t perfect?

But wait, what if it’s a trap? What if she’s just trying to lull us into a sense of brotherhood — oops, sorry. I used the wrong word. I should have said “sisterhood” — before she drops the other shoe and tries to bury us?

So I looked at the quote more closely than I had on first reading. Yep, that niggling in the back of my mind was right. Clinton, or a very clever editor, set those clauses up in such a way it becomes an indictment of cops. Cops, all cops because of the way she phrased the first sentence, have that implicit bias. It doesn’t matter who the cop is, what his or her racial background might be or their training or the circumstances in which they find themselves. It all comes down to that bias. Riiiight. Pull the other one, Hillary. And congratulations, you almost got me to fall for your line of crap. But I’m on to you now. Let’s see what else you have to say.

Acknowledging this during the campaign may have cost me the support of some police officers and organizations who seemed to think my concern for dead children and other victims showed a presumption of wrong doing by police. (Pg 177)

Now why would any officer ever think that, Hill? I can call you that, can’t I? We’re “sisters” after all. Surely, they couldn’t have taken your words at face value and come to the reasonable conclusion that you would happily sacrifice them upon the altar of political correctness and social justice cause du jour? I’ll note here as well that she does not answer this so-called misconception by officers that she might have held a “presumption of wrong doing by police.” Instead, she continues on and it finally becomes clear what the purpose of this chapter is: She is positioning herself for holding office again — or going to work for a PAC of some sort, be it the Clinton Foundation or more of her high priced public speaking engagements. This chapter is her setting herself up as a champion of those done wrong by the police and, I know this will shock you, the leading advocate for gun control.

She is subtle, unless you really take time to consider her words, in this chapter. That means police officers and all of us doing everything we can to understand the effects of systemic racism that young black and Latino men and women face every day, and how they are made to feel like their lives are disposable. It also means imagining what it’s like to be a police officer, kissing his or her kids and spouse good-bye, every day and heading off to do a dangerous but necessary job. (Pg 177)

Hmm, cops and their families and those who support them have to “understand” this “systemic racism”. Implied in that is that we have to give them breaks others won’t get in the same situation. Funny how Clinton only mentions blacks and Latinos. What about Native Americans? What about others who have come to this country looking for a better life? I guess they don’t count because they aren’t of the right skin tone or country of origin. That sounds pretty racist to me. How about you?

Anyway. . .  Cops are to “understand” and yet all she wants the other side to do is “imagine” what it is like to leave for work at a dangerous job. Hell, the way she described the job, she could be talking about a coal miner, a fire fighter, a pilot or construction worker or many other professions that have nothing to do with law enforcement. It is another subtle way of showing how little respect and concern she has for the cops who put on the uniform each day and risk their lives to protect us.

As I flip through the pages of this particular chapter, I come across a note I made in preparation of writing this post. Simply put, I quit counting the number of times she wrote about meeting with the mother/daughter/sister/wife of someone killed by a cop. The way she frames it in this chapter, it’s amazing she ever had time to meet with anyone else on the campaign trail. Of course, it was all a lead up to her real point — gun control and her positioning herself as the only politician to ever stand against the NRA and al those against gun control even though she knew it might not be a wise political move.

After these searing political experiences, (the NRA funding of campaigns to oust a number of Democrats in the late 1990s and then Al Gore’s defeat in 2000) it became conventional wisdom that it was safer for Democrats to say nothing at all about guns and hope the NRA stayed away. (Pg 180) What? Does she remember the same Democratic Party that I do? When did they ever stay silent on their pet project of gun control?

Here’s where her disconnect with reality once again rears it head. She takes time to explain how she understands gun ownership is important to many in this country. For some, it is ingrained in their culture. For others, it reminds them of the pioneering spirit of the Old West. Others look at it as a right (Duh. Second Amendment, anyone?) Yet, later in the chapter, she gleefully recounts how she pounded on Bernie Sanders because he voted against a certain gun control bills because he knew it was how his constituency wanted him to vote. I never thought I’d be one to step up and defend Sanders but I have to here. He, at least, remembered that he represented the people of his state in the Senate. That means he has to take into account what is important to them. That’s something I’m not sure Clinton has ever taken seriously. She has an agenda and she’s going to follow it and damn anyone who gets in her way.

On page 184 of the book, Clinton did what I feared she’d do. After spending page after page describing all these cases where cops killed civilians, usually young black men, she decided to find an instance where a cop was killed to help sell her point that we need stronger gun control laws. What incident did she choose? The ambush in downtown Dallas in the summer of 2016. Five officers from DPD and Dallas Transit Authority were killed. Nine more were wounded, as were two civilians. Not once in the single paragraph she mentions the ambush in does she say anything more than they were killed by a sniper. She conveniently left out the fact that sniper was an African-American male who set out to kill not just cops but as many white cops as he could. That didn’t fit her narrative. All she cared about was using the deaths of these officers, and the three killed two weeks later in Baton Rouge to make her very limited political point.

Bitch.

I could go on, but you get the gist. No matter how much she protests in the chapter that the voters misunderstood her message about gun control, that the NRA took what amounted to a political hit out on her to keep her from office and that Trump is evil because guns or something, her message was all too clear. She wanted to do away with what she called a “loophole” in the law that allowed sellers to release guns to purchasers if, after the three day waiting period, their background checks had not been returned. In other words, she wanted to give the government the option of simply sitting on background checks indefinitely, effectively preventing people who could legally own guns from purchasing them.

If that’s not enough, she wanted legislation that would allow victims of gun violence and their relatives to be able to sue not just the shooter but the seller of the gun AND the manufacturer. Now, I can see being able to sue the seller if you can show negligence in how they conducted the sale or if they had reason to believe the gun might be used for illegal purposes. But the manufacturer? Think about the chilling effect on the making and distribution of firearms in this country if that became law. How long before liberal judges started handing down monetary judgments so high the manufacturers could not afford to remain in business.

Or look at it this way: Joe Blow walks into the local Cabelas and legally purchases a semi-automatic weapon. It doesn’t matter what make or caliber. It’s a gun and goes bang. He passes the background check. He buys his ammo and takes it and his gun home. A year or more down the road, something happens and Joe decides he’s had enough of his neighbor getting up at 0630 every Saturday and mowing his yard. So Joe loads his gun and walks outside. Five minutes later, the neighbor is down, shot by Joe. The cops are called and Joe is arrested. He stands trial — or pleads out.

Now, that neighbor or his survivors file suit against Joe for shooting him. That’s their right under the civil statutes of the state. But they know Joe doesn’t have any real money. So they file suit against Cabelas for selling him the gun. Oooh, then they realize someone has even deep pockets than the store and that’s the manufacturer. Neither Cabelas nor the manufacturer had any reason to suspect Joe would do something illegal with the gun but, under Clinton’s gun control legislation, they are liable.

So, when are we going to start arguing for the same standards to be applied to knife makers and car makers, etc? We aren’t. Why? Because Clinton and those like her aren’t interested in making sure the victims and their families are financially recompensed. No, they are interested in doing all they can to not only limit our right to bear arms but to drive firearm manufacturers out of business.

But we misunderstood. After all, she kept telling us, “I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”

Riiight, like criminals are going to worry about getting a fun legally. All her proposed laws would do would be limit the availability of guns to those who will jump through the legal hoops to buy them.

With each day that passes, with each page of her book I read, I am more and more grateful she was not elected President. This time, the American electorate got it right.

(You can find the other installments in this series at the following links: What Happened or How I Suffered for this Blog and had to Share, Grit and Gratitude, HRC Gets Caught Trying, A New Deal, A Square Deal or How She Wanted to be the Next Roosevelt, and It’s All His Fault.)

[I know this is hard to watch, imagine what it must be like to read the book.  If you want to help finance Amanda’s liquor bill and at this rate eventual liver transplant, use this address  Send the woman a drink-SAH]

Facts are Facts

I think most of us were raised with a saying that goes “if ifs and ans were pots and pans, we’d all be fed.”  Or “If wishes were horses all the beggars would ride.”

This is very important to remember.  Particularly when our wishes seem to be “real.”  Particularly when forming our vision of the past and the future.

Look, we can’t trust any of our institutions of learning.  We can’t trust most of the research institutes, particularly in the softer sciences.  The price we pay for allowing the left to take over the respected institutions, flay them, kill them, then wear their skins demanding respect, is that these institutions are not the ones you respected, and everything they say must be examined.

The downside of the death of prestige is that you can’t assume that anyone who has a college degree is literate; you can’t assume a “scientist” understands the basics of the scientific method (as proven by all those who think science is made via “consensus”); you can’t assume any statistics bandied about were collected in any rational way; you can’t afford to believe that even if the underlying statistics are right, the reporting of them is (take that thing about women losing ground, or whatever that went around; most of what it seemed to show is that when women can afford to they stay home with the children.  I don’t think this is a problem, and neither should you.  And if you do, you should ask yourself who died and made you the arbiter of strangers’ lives.); the census has been corrupted by counting “invisible” populations, mostly to hide the decline of big cities, and well… we know we can’t rely on economic numbers.  All of this without going into the whole “hide the decline” boondoggle.

Part of the problem is that the left has “conquered” all the think tanks (well, the overwhelming majority) and all the educational facilities.

Someone here once accused me of everything I said (for a while) was “They taught you this and it was a lie.”  BUT we’ve all been taught an awful lot of lies.  And when the lies aren’t outright lies, they are framed in a narrative that is.  And some of these narratives are seductive even to libertarians.

If you’re attuned to the psychological state of the left, which is more or less that of a collective organism (not because they’re not individuals, but because their narrative at the moment is proclaimed by myriad institutions all speaking in unison, because their opinion is “what the good people believe” and because it fits in the overall just-so story of Marxism, so that Marxist narratives are the path of least resistance) you can kind of trace what is likely to be a lie.  For instance, when something calls for more government oversight/control it’s likely to be a lie.  (Not always, but likely.)  When something is in detriment of the economy/the US/humanity/civilization in that order, it’s likely to be a lie, and a favored lie of the left at the moment.

Since ninety one they’ve been experiencing a state of disconfirmation of their cherished beliefs and between denial and resentment, they’ve come to hate more than the US and wealth, which they already hated, humanity as a whole.

So we had the person here yesterday defending the POLITICAL SCIENCE professor who claimed civilization was a mistake because becoming non-nomad agriculturalists “exposed us to illness” and “crop failure.”

Sure, it did that.  To an extent.  More people together exposes you to illness, but at the same time it gives you resistance to illness.  You have only to look at the meeting of Europeans and Amerindians and see who weathered it better.  It wasn’t the hunter gatherers.  By the sole yard stick of “who survives” the agriculturalists (for a definition of agriculturalism) did better.

As for crop failures, they happened when we were gatherers.  As did sudden game death.  At least as agriculturalists, we had some control and EVENTUALLY surplus which is what buys us freedom.

Yet there are many libertarians who also think pre-history was some mythical land of freedom.  It’s easy to put the paradises of communists and libertarians in pre-history, due to the simple fact there are no written documents and though anthropologists tell us potsherds aren’t culture, people forget that.  You can project all sorts of things to grave goods, forgetting we find a tiny minority of graves and often don’t know what those MEAN.

One thing we do know, though: Pre-historical people WERE PEOPLE.  And before they were people, they were great apes.  Creatures of the band.  AND every band has a big man, eve when the man is an ape.  Sure they range from monarchies to outright tyrannies, depending on the big man, but none of them is big on freedom.  A lot of people — mostly men — don’t recognize familial tyranny, particularly when the big man is a woman, and leading from behind the scenes, but it can often be the worst kind of oppression.  (One of the reasons I love Patricia Wentworth is that she GOT that.  Which says nothing good about her upbringing, but there it is.)

It’s tempting to imagine this mythical individual freedom existed somewhen and that when we’re fighting for it, we’re not building something new with inadequate materials.  But it goes against the (admittedly few) facts we have.  And it dovetails neatly into the left’s “We’ll destroy civilization because it won’t let us have paradise.”

Reason and more than enough reason to be suspicious. And when you get suspicious, dig.  Most of the narrative cannot survive a good probing.  It’s built on air and bullshit.  Dig.  Find the facts.  Do not tolerate contradictions.

IF a narrative is too seductive, it’s reason enough to probe it.

If our neolithic ancestors were so well off, why did they change?  If Amerindians lived in harmony with nature, why were ecological systems way out of balance in the US?  If only the US is evil, are other people not human?

Look behind the lie.  The truth is usually not even that well hidden.  And even if all around you believe a lie it doesn’t make it true.

Surviving the mess ahead REQUIRES telling falsehood from fact.  And some of the mechanisms to reinforce the lie were planted in our head by our education.  Some we’re not even aware of.

But humanity will not survive, certainly not with technology, by going with pretty lies.  We need the truth to steer by.

“What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” – Robert A. Heinlein.

(Sorry this is so late.  WordPress was acting WEIRD.  I speak advisedly.  It outright refused to post for a couple of hours.)

 

Not Dead

But this morning has medical stuff on the slate, so…. there might or might not be a post.

It’s a Schrodinger post.

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And if I’ve never said that before, why did Schrodinger pick on cats? Even dogs would be better, but why not pick on opossums or raccoons or something?
Stupid ailurophobes. Somewhere, in the after life, Heinlein is putting Schrodinger in boxes over and over again.  And Heinlein’s cats are helping.

Massed Confusion – Now with Footnotes

No, that’s not my life.  Why would you ask, other than the fact that I woke up with a non-functional computer and then got sidetracked into a million other things?  And this is really late.

Okay, fine, massed confusion IS my life, but it is not the kind of confusion I wanted to talk about.

Richard Fernandez was talking about the death of prestige on PJMedia.  He viewed it as a side effect of the recent sex scandals, but I think the sex scandals and the disintegration of our “respect” for people and institutions are more the result of two twin things: first the fact that the left has been undermining established society for a long time, initially because once “capitalist” (which is to say normal) society vanished, paradise would magically appear, and since 91 in a sort of mad fury that they can’t have their little red wagon*; second the same left was, at the same time taking over all the institutions.

Their lack of respect for the institutions they took over, their complete inability to see what’s in front of their eyes, and the fact that their entire philosophy is based on resentment and envy — which means they’re convinced everyone else, everywhere else is getting away with stuff, and so they might as well — results in the “take over a respected institution; kill it; flay it; wear its skin and dance in front of the horrified people involved in that institution, demanding respect.

By institution in this case, you’re to understand “industry” as well.

So when they took over say publishing, or movie making, they didn’t take over with the intention of making movies like the ones they loved (well, the younger ones might, but that’s another and more complex matter**) but in order to “reform” and make things “good” (where good is  value of “effects social change in the way Marx and his successor determined it should happen.”  So, tons of social critique and angst and our good friends resentment and envy of everyone and everything else.)  This means that just about everything they get control of turns to sh–  I mean, becomes less popular.  Because most of these critters are ind–  educated in the best*** universities, they view their failing efforts and are sure — SURE — it is just because the masses aren’t ready for them.  The masses are too stupid.  They are the special snowflakes they’ve been waiting for.

On top of that they also believe wholeheartedly that everyone is dirty, and everyone is taking advantage of the system/institution/industry.  This is part of their twin obsessions with “getting away with something” (from Clinton’s fantastical corruption, to the grab-ass of Hollywood moguls) and wanting the state to regulate everything.  Because they’re convinced without close and continuous supervision everyone is “dirty.”  Hell, they think of themselves as “the good guys” and look what they do.  SURELY the bad guys are worse?  (Rolls eyes.  Or, you know, those of us who oppose them, which is as far as their toddler-like understanding of bad guys goes, have internal moral compasses and aren’t out for all we can get.)

Given this, yeah, we have the sex scandals.  We also have an economically/governmentally/ideologically unravelling society.

Sure, it’s happened in the past — the French revolution; post-WWI, etc — and that’s what gave the left the chance to take over respected institutions to begin with.

So, are we going to do the same?

Well, the problem is when you take over institutions, whatever your political color, the people who take over are people who are attracted to power.  Now, some of them have moral compasses and are therefore better than the left. ****

But at the same time we’re caught in the middle of a technological change.  And at this point it’s hard to tell if the change is just technological or if the directions the technology took is being driven by the attempts of the left to push Marxian paradise down our throats and the resulting and concomitant chaos.

I mean, if the publishing industry had continued trying to make money (sure, but it’s subordinate to “hiring the right people” (meaning left) and “pushing the right point of view” which means they’ve been crashing print runs for forty years and calling it good) by any means available, and hiring and pushing the people most likely to do it, would Amazon’s ebook coup d’etat have succeeded?  Would it have so completely shattered the status quo?

And if the people who are still workingTM weren’t doing the job of three or four people as well as fielding the unreasonable regulatory burdens (on child care, on tax-reporting, on–) we are, would distance shopping or delivery of groceries be accelerating?

If our news reporting and our local social hubs hadn’t been thoroughly corrupted by left-politics would this forum even exist?

At some point it becomes an egg chicken, dinosaur thing.  If the respected institutions hadn’t decayed already, the meteor of new tech might have taken another form, and the current chickens might not have come home to roost.

But the chickens are here, the dinos are if not dead profoundly ill, and we’re in the middle of revolt, ferment and upheaval.

Should we take over the moribund institutions and make them respectable?  Or should we go our own way and do what we can?

Shake the magic eight ball.

My guess is most of us aren’t in a position to take over institutions.  But we’re in a position to work harder, smarter, faster, and to cast an eye to how things are evolving and how we can benefit from them to keep civilization going.

Just because we removed the active wrecker from the top of the pyramid, don’t delude yourself the rest will hold.

Between the left’s massive, breath-holding temper tantrum and their inability to build or create anything, or even to keep something going without undue mucking it up, hell is empty and all the devils are here.

Sure, we bought ourselves a little more time in November.  But it will take way more than that to sustain the shocks ahead.

Build under, build over, build around.  Build our parallel decentralized structures.  Be ready to take the weight of civilization when it rests on your shoulders.

Sure, Atlas can shrug.  But then it doesn’t go too well with Atlas either.

You got this.

Be not afraid.

*This morning, in the news pushed at us by microsnot, there was a professor of politics saying that civilization was a mistake.  Maybe for him it was.  In a tribe in the middle of nowhere, even if he’d been born, he’d probably have died/been killed long before proclaiming such nonsense.  But it’s come to this.  The big hope of the left now is “destroy civilization and we’ll have primitive communism”.  Which only exists in their delusions.

** When you’ve been trained to think that “good” means “preaches the social change we wish for” the end result is to train your tastes to stuff no one else likes.  Yes, it’s possible.  Humans can be trained to like practically anything, including the extreme conditions in Venezuela, if they’re convinced that’s what’s “good.”  Since for three generations our colleges have been preaching that “good” is “brings about social change” college-educated, non-questioning people have imported that into publishing and movie making and other entertainment fields.  Which leaves them rather pathetically flabbergasted that their “good” work isn’t appreciated.  Fortunately they also hook up on the myth of the misunderstood artist (not realizing that it’s a myth and that if artists were that misunderstood they wouldn’t be known centuries later) so they do have that to hug to themselves as consolation.  It’s lovely warm superiority, and since most of them inherited or slept their way into wealth, they ain’t starving, either.

*** That is, the prestigious educational institutions that were among the first victims of the long march, because those drawn to power are also drawn to prestige like ducks to water.  Makes since since the later used to lead to the first.

**** This is why Trump is better than Hillary.  It doesn’t even matter what his moral compass is.  It might just be “I love the US and want it to be wealthy” (in fact this is quite possible) but the fact he’s not suffering from the built in envy, resentment and opportunism of the left is enough to make him better.

Sunday Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike – Slim and Beautiful

Sunday Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike – Slim and Beautiful

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: petite

Post not happening today

I’m sorry.  This is the first night real sleep I had in weeks, so of course, I have a ton of stuff that needs to be done, including stuff for Baen.

I’ll try to get a DF chapter up tonight or tomorrow.
And I promise to become better at posting regularly.

It’s All His Fault – by Amanda S. Green

It’s All His Fault – by Amanda S. Green

Or how “Sisterhood” should have, but didn’t, win the election.

Yep, you guessed it, we’ve finally come to where the real blame lies in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump. It wasn’t because she might not have been the best candidate for the job. It wasn’t because of Russia or her e-mails or Benghazi. It wasn’t even because of that damned electoral college that stole the election from her. “This has to be said: sexism and misogyny played a role in the 2016 presidential election. Exhibit A is that the flagrantly sexist candidate won.” (Pg 114)

That one sentence sums up what is, so far, the longest chapter of the book. It is telling that it is also the one chapter that has any emotion to it besides bitter frustration and anger. For the first time, Clinton seems to warm up to her topic. Of course, that topic is herself and her role in advancing women’s rights over the years. But, before she can really get to all that, she has to spend some time talking about herself. In doing so, she manages to not only come across as superior but she also shows a distinct lack of understanding that what she sees as a challenge for women in politics is what women in the working world face on a daily basis.

“I want to put to paper years’ worth of frustration about the tightrope that I and other women have had to walk in order to participate in American politics.” (Pg 112) When I first read that, I wanted to take out my red pencil and start marking up the chapter like an editor should have. The sentence would have read much better if she had simply aid, “the tightrope women have had to walk…”. But no, she had to interject herself into the equation, as if not sure her readers would understand she had faced challenges along the way. My second thought was to wonder why women in American politics. Is she saying women in politics elsewhere around the world don’t face the challenges she claims she did?

After that opening statement, she moves away from her thesis to tell us that the personal narrative is important in politics. After spending a whopping two paragraphs describing the narratives of her husband and Obama, she moved on to her narrative. She spends two pages writing about her background — and then admits she isn’t “great” about talking about herself. Before that, however, she described a childhood that wasn’t anything “special”. She grew up in a two-parent home, went to church, always had a roof over her head, etc. “It’s a story that many would consider perfectly ordinary. . . But my story—or at least how I’ve always told it—was never the kind of narrative that made everyone sit up and take notice. We yearn for that show stopping tale—that one-sentence pitch that captures something magical about America; that hooks you and won’t let you go. Mine wasn’t it.” (Pg 112)

That illustrates how far removed she was from the voting public. She doesn’t get that the voting public — outside of a few states — didn’t want glitz and glamour. They wanted someone who could identify with what was important to them. They wanted someone who wasn’t part of the political establishment. They wanted someone they could trust. It had nothing to do with the fact she was from an upper middle class background.

Reading on, the reason Clinton had a hard time giving that quick version of her narrative that would engage people was because it wasn’t important to her. The first glimpse of anything coming close to being engaged in her topic comes when she writes about the women’s movement. Then she fully embraces her topic and goes on and on and on and on again. But, according to her, she didn’t want to be known as the woman candidate. Funny, I seem to remember her trying to drill it into everyone’s head that she was the first female nominee by a major party for President and how that meant we should vote for her.

But the biggest reason I shied away from embracing this narrative is that storytelling requires a receptive audience, and I’ve never felt like the American electorate was receptive to this one. I wish so badly we were a country where a candidate who said, “My story is the story of a life shaped by and devoted to the movement for women’s liberation” would be cheered, not jeered. But that’s not who we are. Not yet. (Pg 114)

Is it me, or is she basically saying that we’re too dumb, too backward and so much below her vaunted view of how things should be? Sorry, but I want my president to be interested in more than just women’s rights issues. If this is the only thing she willingly hangs her hat on as defining who she is, I’m glad she wasn’t elected.

But wait! She backtracks again to the “it’s not easy being a woman in politics” bit. According to her, the moment a woman announces she is throwing her hat into the ring, she is put under a microscope where everything she does, everything she says, etc., is analyzed and what comes out of it “can be incredibly cruel.” (Pg 114) Of course, her solution for this is to get the sexism out of politics. I might buy that if she hadn’t been one of those who stood by and watched her own party do to Sarah Palin and other conservative female political candidates what she now cries foul about. In this, HRC is a walking billboard for the old saying of “do as I say, not as I do”.

She goes on about how unfair life has been to her — remember, this after saying her life had been nothing spectacular and how she’d been happy, loved, etc — because she was called “four-eyes” in  elementary school or because some of her classmates in middle school or high school made fun of the fact she “had no ankles”. I hate to tell her this but that had nothing to do with sexism. It had everything to do with kids being kids which means they can be cruel sometimes. Nor does it mean her experiences were unique. I bet every one of us has known or been the recipient of nicknames like four-eyes in elementary school. There are no crueler creatures on the face of the earth than middle school girls. And, if you read this chapter, you will see that she very carefully says how “some of” her classmates made fun of her lack of ankles, not that her male classmates did. That means she had to adapt her story to fit her narrative. Gee, are any of us surprised she would do that?

In my experience, the balancing act women in politics have to master is challenging at every level, but it gets worse the higher you rise. If we’re too tough, we;’re unlivable. If we’re too soft, we’re not cut out for the big leagues. If we work too hard, we’re neglecting our families. If we put family first, we’re not serious about the work. If we have a career but no children, there’s something wrong with us, and vice versa. If we want to compete for a higher office, we’re too ambitious. . . . (Pg 119)

For someone who swears she is all about the woman’s movement and understands what women face on a daily basis, that statement blows holes in the claim. What she says women in politics have to do is exactly what women wanting a career outside the home have had to face for decades and longer. But it isn’t limited to just women. You can turn it around and find those who condemn men who want to be the caregiver at home, who want to put their families first. Why isn’t HRC rallying for them? Or does she think they’re weak because they don’t want to be king of the hill in the business world?

I’ve been called divisive more times than I can count, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why. Politics is a divisive business, it’s true, and out country has gotten more polarized with every passing year. . . Why am I seen as such a divisive figure and, say, Joe Biden and John Kerry aren’t? . . . I’m really asking. I’m at a loss. (Pg 120) Oh my, let me count the ways. I could write a book on it as could, I’m sure, everyone here. The fact she can write that and, if she really means it, shows how out of touch she has become. Since this chapter basically deals with her dedication to the women’s movement, let’s start by mentioning the way she did her best to derail the accusations of sexual harassment against her husband, steps that included doing her best to throw mud on his accusers. Then there is the apparent double-standard she holds when it comes to the treatment of female politicians. It’s all right to attack Republican women but not Democrats, especially not her. Let’s not forget those other pesky issues of her e-mail server and Benghazi, just to name a few.

But it gets better. The pity party really begins on pg. 126:

It’s not easy for any woman in politics, but I think it’s safe to say that I got a whole other level of vitriol flung my way. Crowds at Trump rallies called for my imprisonment more times than I can count. . . What in the world was this? I’ve been in politics for a long time, but I was taken aback by the flood of hatred that seemed only to grow as we got closer to Election Day. I had left the State Department one of the most admired public servants in America. Now people seemed to think I was evil. (Pg 120)

I’ll give you a moment to clean up the coffee you just spit out. Now reread that. She thinks she had it worse than Palin or others her party has sliced and diced over the years. But the ego and lack of awareness about how much of America viewed her when she left State is amazing. “One of the most admired public servants in America.” Riiiight. Not. People didn’t trust her, certainly not with the security of our country or those public servants dedicated to protecting it. Not after Benghazi. People wondered why she wouldn’t cooperate with the email investigation and why all those emails were deleted before they could be handed over to investigators. This was more than a few minutes of tape being erased ala Nixon. This looked like a massive coverup on her part and middle America wanted answers she still refuses to give.

Now we get to the debates. She writes about how Trump followed her around, breathing down her neck and how it made her skin crawl. She makes sure to let her readers know this was just days after the story about Trump and Billy Bush doing their “locker room talk” about women broke. But she didn’t know how to handle the situation. She writes that she saw her options as staying calm and carrying on “as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space.” (Pg 136) Another option was to “look him in the eye” and tell him to back off. She chose the former.

I’ll admit, from the moment she started talking about this after the debate, I had questions. Why hadn’t she said something to Trump? [Particularly since they were friends for years and she attended his wedding – editor’s note] She could have asked him to back up some. She could have done it nice and then, in the way of any good Southern lady, mocked him mercilessly and in such a way she never seems anything but reasonable and genteel. But no, she waited until after the fact to comment and condemn. She excuses her lack of action in the book by saying, “[H]ad I told Trump off, he surely would have capitalized on it gleefully. A lot of people recoil from an angry woman, or even just a direct one.” (Pg 137)

I know the Weinstein sexual harassment claims had not made the news at the time HRC wrote the book, but I find it ironic that she whines about how Trump would have “capitalized” on her standing up for herself when so many turned a blind eye to what one of her big supporters had been doing for so long. It is also disheartening that she can write something like that in the face of what she did to those who accused Bill of inappropriate behavior that went far beyond what Trump did to her by “invading her space”. But it comes down to something even more fundamental to me. If you set yourself up as this huge champion of women’s rights, you have a responsibility to stop behavior like what she accuses Trump of doing. This wasn’t a situation where he had political or economic power over her. They were equals in the debate. If she hadn’t felt comfortable saying something to him directly, she should have talked with the debate organizers or even her own campaign staff. Bless her heart, there was so much more she could have done that what she did.

HRC wants the world to think her a champion of women’s rights and, in a way, she has been. But the reality is now she champions only those women and those rights who can help her in some way, be it because they are in the Democratic Party or it is the “right” issue. Frankly, now she seems to be using the cause as an excuse: an excuse for why she lost, an excuse for why she didn’t stand up for herself and an excuse for why America was too backward to elect her. Yet again, she has failed to admit she might have done something wrong or might have miscalculated what the voting public thought important.

But when you are “one of the most admired public servants in America”, I guess you don’t have to worry about little things like facts or logic or issues important to anyone but yourself.

On a personal note, I’ll admit my sanity and my liver almost didn’t make it through this chapter. Thankfully, my son listened to my rantings and kept pouring the whiskey. I think he was amused and wanted to see how much I could put up with before I exploded or passed out. Another run to the liquor store is now in order. At least the next chapter doesn’t have much worthwhile to discuss. So it will be on to the chapter after that.

[I know this is hard to watch, imagine what it must be like to read the book.  If you want to help finance Amanda’s liquor bill, use this address  Send the woman a drink-SAH]

Thanksgiving

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This blog is officially off for Thanksgiving.  Even though one of the many things I’m grateful for these days is you guys, today is #2 son’s 23rd birthday and we’re celebrating as a family.  Having him all to ourselves is becoming rarer, so I plan to enjoy it.

Amanda’s continuing dissection of Hillary’s book continues tomorrow, Dark Fate on Saturday.

Love each and everyone of you.  Now go and have a happy thanksgiving.

The Last Alchemist and the Appeal of Conspiracies

As some of you know because your gift helped us do it (Thank you.  No, we’re not broke, we’re just trying to support two young men in very long courses of study, and in he case of one we were informed we’re going to bear the full cost of tuition until and unless he gets an internship) we went to a hotel in center-Denver for the weekend.  Mind you, we live less than half an hour away in the burbs, but if I’m home, I’m always cleaning/cooking/trying to figure out how to FINALLY get cat pee out of the carpet (the previous owners’ cats had spots, and you know what that did once our cats came in) etc.  There’s a million things that need doing, and usually I can’t stop myself doing them, not even to write for 10 hours a day, (which I need to.  This month has been very bad for various reasons not for a public forum) and I love writing.  It’s harder to stop myself working when it’s “just” my birthday and I’m supposed to relax.

So we went up to a hotel on a romance package, which meant champagne and strawberries the night of my birthday and breakfast in the room in the morning.  Only it didn’t work out exactly that way, but more on that in a moment.

We took advantage of “two twenty year olds coming in on a romance package is to be expected; two people in their mid fifties is endearing” or rather we didn’t, but they gathered it was my birthday, plus the romance package, so they gave us a top floor room, with a panoramic view of downtown Denver.

It was glorious and mostly we sat/lay around reading/talking/etc (well, we ain’t dead yet.)  We also went to the zoo, the Natural history museum and the botanic gardens, so we got in a bit of walking, and we went to our favorite “hole in the wall” grill.

It was very nice, and no complaints.  The one small thing marring it is that the only way to order the in-room breakfast was via the TV which had a connection to the kitchen, or something, so we had to go down to the buffet.

But because we’d paid for in room breakfast, we first had a guy come in to our room, to try to fix it.

I could resent that half hour, I could.  Except it made me realize how far off “normal” people we are, and how strange normal people can get given our haphazard system of education.

The man wasn’t stupid, and he wasn’t even uneducated.  He had been a hardware technician for a computer firm before the tech implosion.

However, in the half hour, he suggested at least five new “there ought to be a law” the only relatively valid one (relatively valid, because it can lead to physical crimes against innocents, though there are psychologists who dispute that, and very valid against that generated from minors, but not valid against CGI.  Eh.  Just because I find something despicable, it doesn’t mean a law against it makes sense or is enforceable) was “people shouldn’t be able to watch child porn on the computer.”   And we couldn’t convince him that law already existed.

Among other ideas he vented the idea that we all should have a… electronic signal on our thumbs that we use when we start any computer, so the government would know everything we were doing online.

He also told us that if we were sure we were good, we had nothing to fear from such a code.

And just as I was sitting there in shocked horror, he then let it slip that he thought our government controlled our net access as much as China does (!) and that this was why he couldn’t find any information on how to make gold or diamonds online.

Needless to say, ladies, gentlemen and echidnae, that’s when he walked into the upcoming Dyce mystery as “the last alchemist.”

However the combination of believing you could make gold “in your garage” if the government just stopped blocking your access (and when we told him that was impossible he gave us that smart-fool look of “yeah, that’s what you’d say”)and wanting the government to have a lot more power to control you seems insane.  It is, of course.

But both ideas are very old, and a cherished part of the human psyche.  The first is that you can have something for nothing and that you’re so clever no one else has figured out — throughout history — how to do this, but you, you will use this “one clever hack” and set world financial markets on its ear.  And it combines with the conspiracy theory: the urge to believe someone REALLY is controlling everything not even necessarily for our own good.

They both of course merge well with what I call “the special few” theory: the special few who can make gold, or achieve enlightenment through drugs, or read ancient Sanskrit the first time you see it, or whatever, which make you special, even when you’re not.

The truth is, it’s less frightening to believe that someone — even an enemy — makes everything happen “for a reason” because then there’s rhyme and reason in the universe and someone is “in charge” (anyone remember the pink gentleman who kept asking us who controls society?)  If someone is in charge, you can overturn them and it can be you.  And then you can eliminate “evil” (whatever your definition) and bring about paradise.

Of course it’s not like that.  The world is a chaotic system; society is a chaotic system; we, ourselves are chaotic systems.  That which brings great benefit can often bring evil, and our greatest qualities can be used against ourselves.

Sure there are little conspiracy theories among semi-closed professions (jornolist!) but a vast conspiracy theory?  Our government controlling all our communications?  Bah, even China doesn’t have perfect control, and they have culture on the side of the oppressors.

The world is a dangerous place, though sometimes liberty and prosperity flourish.

Go out there and make more of both.  (The last alchemist notwithstanding.)

 

Why Are You So Angry? – A Blast From The Past from July 2015

Why Are You So Angry? – A Blast From The Past from July 2015

 

It never fails, at the end of a trollish attack, (btw even when there’s no evidence of anger anywhere) we get the question “Why are you so angry?”

Part of this is that our opponents seek to home in on a “feeling” they can use to discredit our thoughts, and when they can find no feelings in the writing, they presume “anger.”

Remember, there’s absolutely no reason to disagree with the holy writ of Marx and Engels, unless you’re angry. Or stupid. But when one admits to membership in Mensa (long since lapsed, mind, since well… the local chapter is not about beer and bad puns as was the one I joined for) it’s hard to use stupid. So we get “angry.” Mind you, some precious snow flakes also accused me of not knowing enough US history to “understand.” Yeah. It’s true that US history only became a topic of interest about five years ago (before that I was studying other areas/times) but that just means I haven’t delved into the details available only in doctoral dissertations. I would still stake my knowledge of history against theirs any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I actually am not angry. Sometimes I am mightily irritated, but the only time I was even vaguely angry was when someone took my publisher’s words and twisted them to rally his drooling followers who couldn’t carry reading comprehension in a microscopic bucket. Oh, and before that when the Middle School carried on a full court covering up for the harassment of younger son by making him clinically depressed. Note both are specific and the precipitating incidents involve people I care a great deal about and in my publisher’s case respect immensely. (Oh, I respect the boy too, but he’s my son. The main emotion is protective.)

In fact, most of the people I know on this side of the fence aren’t angry. Anger is a very specific emotion that clouds the mind and in my case causes a berserker attack (you really don’t want to test that in person. No. Seriously. At least not without my husband nearby, because he can hold me back. He’s the only person who can. Every other time, if I start crying and my voice gets really high, and particularly if I’m trembling, you want to clear the area. This is not a brag. It’s a fricking nuisance. Holding those back hurts. D*mn the great great (etc.) grand who arranged to trip when the Vikings raided.)

Normally I don’t rise above “peeved.” This is on purpose, because if I go over “peeved” I’m in territory where it’s hard to control myself. The circumstances in which I lost control either were very sudden and without warning, or where I couldn’t get idiots to stop pushing after I started shaking and crying. Some idiots think this means “easy prey” and not “I’m fighting like h*ll not to kill you.” And peeved might look very scary because I’m a Latin female, yes, and frankly just a little annoyed can lead to yelling and screaming and peeved can lead to throwing things (usually books, usually at my sons who btw tower over me by a head and besides I’ve got lousy aim.)

But I think the trolls who as “Why are you so angry?” though it’s mostly an invalidating technique are also aware that we have reason to be angry. H*ll, they’d be angry if they were us, right?

And so… and so, I’ll give the reasons we have to be angry.

  • We’ve been lied to since we were born. I’m fifty and all through my education, in Portugal and here, I was told that government could fix everything, that I shouldn’t trust private individuals, that having the “best men” in charge would lead to paradise.
  • Evidence of the mendacious nature of the above has been hidden. The cesspool of corruption and evil that was the Soviet Union, not to mention its satellites gave the lie to all such notions that if government were all powerful life would be perfect. However, the news media in most of the world never reported it, and chose instead to continue with the lie.
  • The lies were pervasive, all encompassing and utterly divorced from reality, and media, entertainment and government still cling to them.
  • They do this because they want power over us. The socialist and communist regimes always end in total and pervasive control over everyone. A sort of neo-feudalism, but, unless history really lies, less effective and more hellish than the real feudalism. Possibly because devoid of noblesse oblige. When communists, socialists or the democratic party say “we care for the little people” and “we’re against the rich” what they really mean is “we want to own you. We want to control your every decision.” That makes everything they do and everything they say a scabrous lie. It doesn’t even matter which of them are in on the lie and which are stupid enough to believe it. The whole fiction is a stomach-churning horror.
  • Their mucking around with the world as if their lies could be made into truths by being repeated often enough have caused not just the 100 million deaths of communism, but probably the same number from lost wealth (turns out, yeah, a rising tide raises all boats. Or in other words, no, you economic illiterates, our poor are NOT worse off than medieval poor, and let’s not consider further back), lost scientific advancement, lost medical advancement, lost opportunities. The one thing socialist regimes, from the pinkoish fringe to the deepest red are good at is creating stagnation. And stagnation kills and prevents the saving of lives that could have been saved. It also casts a greyish patina of dreck over everyday life. I’m not sure that ranks up there with death, but it does create a lot of miserable lives. I know that adherence to socialist poison has destroyed a lot of arts. A minor ill? Perhaps. But man doesn’t live by bread alone.
  • Anyone who goes against the Marxist line and points out that they’re lying gets persecuted and there are attempts to destroy them, ranging from professional to real destruction. Peter Grant and I should be grateful all they did was tar us with racist, sexist, homophobic and neo-nazi, particularly when those accusations are risible to anyone not deep in koolaid guzzling territory.
  • They’ve taught lies to children. I remember vividly when my younger son – then 6 – on a grocery trip broached the difficult question “Mom, how come none of the girls I know are like girls in shows and movies? They don’t want to have adventures, and they don’t want to play rough.” Um… yes. That was the beginning of explaining the “big lie” to him. He’s smart. He tumbled on to the economic and ecological and all other sides of the lie on his own. (He owes me posts, but he’s worse than I. His post on the engineering of climate is 7k long. I promised to help him shorten it. Ah!)
    Not all kids see through the lies. So you end up with a generation that thinks communism is a really good idea and just never had a chance. (And for the record, communism is a good IDEA. As a thought experiment, it’s just about perfect. Who wouldn’t want to end poverty and strife. It’s just that in practical life it would need angels to administer it. We don’t have angels. Fresh out (idiots in my future history try to CREATE them) so what you end up with is corrupt bureaucrats pretending to be angels and acting like the other sort of angels. The charred ones who smell of sulfur.)
  • They point out the flaws of the system we live under, not to fix them but to invalidate the whole system. This while hiding the giant flaws of their proposed system.
  • They will attack us while protecting horrors like Isis and the Cuban dictatorship whose systems are a million times worse, because their intent is not to improve the world but to bring us down, so they can have power.
  • They keep acting like their intentions are pure and this makes them untouchable. This might have been believable before the fall of the USSR, but now? All I see through their smug “purity” is their hands dripping blood.

“Why are you so angry?” Well, I’m not. I’m righteously indignant. The difference between the two might escape you, if you’ve never had righteous principles that are non-negotiable and not subjugated to the party line.

But here, in the place where there is right and wrong and where a system (and its subsystems) that has brought nothing but death, suffering and oppression to the human race definitely should NOT be given another try, no matter how much you like the shiny power it would give you, there is such a thing as indignation as injustice, oppression and most of all d*mned stupid waste.

I have children. I want them and their children to inherit the stars, not the dull stagnation of the system that allows apparatchiks to lord it over all other human beings.

You should wish I was angry. That boils over and passes. It’s just an emotion after all.

Instead, I’m coldly, rationally indignant at your lies, your boorish disregard for others, your piggish greed for power.

And I tell you that you shall not pass.