I just banned another commenter. This pretty much never happens unless the commenter is a spammer. That’s not the case this time. This time the commenter was banned because he advocates killing police officers.
I find it interesting that this happened on the same day that I was pointed to this article: How Social Justice Warriors Are Creating An Entire Generation Of Fascists. Excerpt:
Like the far-right that they claim to be so staunchly opposed to, the far-left is based entirely around hate. Humans are perpetual morons who always need a bad guy. To neo-Nazis, the bad guys are Jews, “degenerates”, and non-whites. To SJWs, the bad guys are people like Communismkills: not only is she a white person who isn’t self-flagellating, but she’s also a woman who doesn’t see herself as a victim of some evil patriarchal conspiracy. To an SJW, that’s heresy: all white people are evil and all women are victims. If a woman doesn’t think that she’s a victim, then she has “internalized misogyny” and she just doesn’t know any better, so she needs SJWs to speak on her behalf. Likewise, if a black person doesn’t tow(sic) the SJW line exactly, then they will be immediately labeled an “Uncle Tom” or “house nigger” by the extremely patronizing SJWs who see minorities as nothing more than political props and tools and who view all races as monoliths with intrinsic characteristics (which, ironically, is the absolute definition of racism).
Read the whole thing. It’s sickening, but informative. I’m reminded once again of philosopher Eric Hoffer’s seminal work The True Believer, and his observation on hate:
Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents. It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self, makes him oblivious of his weal and future, frees him of jealousies and self-seeking. He becomes an anonymous particle quivering with a craving to fuse and coalesce with his like into one flaming mass. (Heinrich) Heine suggests that what Christian love cannot do is effected by a common hatred.
Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil. When Hitler was asked whether he thought the Jew must be destroyed, he answered: “No…. We should have then to invent him. It is essential to have a tangible enemy, not merely an abstract one.” F.A. Voigt tells of a Japanese mission that arrived in Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist movement. Voigt asked a member of the mission what he thought of the movement. He replied: “It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.”
Another example of this came today in another article, Salem on the Thames: What Connecticut College’s Andrew Pessin Affair Teaches Us. Dr. Andrew Pessin’s story is an illuminating example of one college campus fusing and coalescing into one flaming mass of hatred. He’ll be lucky to get another teaching job anywhere. He’s been made an unperson, much like Dr. Walter Palmer, the dentist who killed a lion in Zimbabwe.
This all goes back to the piece I linked in this morning’s post, Balkanization Part II, and even more to a piece I wrote the better part of ten years ago, Reasonable People.
The fabric of civil society is has been fraying noticeably for a while. How much longer before it begins to shred? I’m not taking any bets.
So, until the last couple of days it had been awhile since I’d posted anything. Sorry about that, but in May of ’14, I did say that I was going to be cutting back on blogging and doing more reading.
Just blew through the entire (so far) 10-book Destroyermen series by Taylor Anderson. Took 12 days. Wow. That’s good stuff. It’s alternate-universe/military
Sci-Fi fantasy, (and perhaps a bit light on logistics,) but really very well done. Since one of my favorite other series is Steve Stirling / David Drake’s Raj Whitehall series, (the first five books anyway), hopefully that’s high praise.
And I just now finished re-reading Andy Weir’s The Martian, which was every bit as good the second time around. Can’t wait to see the movie. Looks like they stuck pretty close to the actual story. Well, they at least used a few of the words from the book, anyway.
I hope Andy Weir’s check was BIG.
“Flaming rage nozzles of tolerance.”If you haven’t been following the Sad Puppies assault to wrest control of Science Fiction’s Hugo award away from the tiny Leftist clique that has been running it for the last decade or so, this won’t mean much to you, but Brad’s piece really is more widely directed than at just this one battleground.
Michael Z. Williamson’s latest, A Long Time Until Now is out in Baen’s eARC (electronic Advanced Reader Copy) edition. I read the twelve sample chapters Monday, bought the book yesterday and just now finished it.
The précis is that two MRAP vehicles containing a Lieutenant and nine troops in a convoy in Afghanistan vanish from the present and end up about 15
centuries millennia in the past in the same physical location. There are natives. And later, other groups displaced from other times and places.
That was a GREAT read, and this one’s not a trilogy you have to wait two years for the next serving of. Strongly recommended.
Since I cut back on blogging, I’ve gone back to reading novels in a big way – 1-3 per week.
I’m a relatively eclectic reader, though I love Science Fiction the most. Not a huge fantasy fan, but there’s some I like. Mysteries are OK, though again not a huge fan. Let me list some of my favorite authors in no particular order:
Robert A. Heinlein,
Lois McMaster Bujold
John D. MacDonald
Robert B. Parker
David Weber (most of the time)
I’ve said elsewhere, my personal and political philosophy is in large part due to Robert Heinlein’s entire catalog, John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels, and Robert B. Parker’s Spenser. I think if I had to pick one very finest Sci-Fi novel ever written, it would be Frank Herbert’s DUNE, though I don’t think much of the sequels or really anything else he wrote. I’ve read most of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, all of Jim Butcher’s Dresden books to date, all of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books, most of Isaac Asimov’s Sci-Fi and much of his non-fiction work (not a big fan of the Foundation trilogy). I’ve read (I think) the entire Berserker catalog from Fred Saberhagen, but liked his Empire of the East series much, much more. I’ve read all of Sue Grafton’s “Alphabet mysteries” so far. I just finished all of Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder mysteries, and a couple of months ago I finished all of Lee Childs’ Jack Reacher novels. (Good, but don’t hold a candle to Travis McGee.) I’ve read W.E.B. Griffin’s Brotherhood of War novels through The Generals, and his The Corps series. Liked those, but the repetition got a bit old. I’ve read the entire Stephen Hunter Bob Lee Swagger catalog, and a couple of his non-Swagger novels.
So, anything out there that’s knocked your socks off? Couldn’t put down? I’m pretty open to anything short of bodice-rippers and Mack Bolan knock-offs.
Recently, Gerard Van der Leun posted a quote from Fred on Everything:
Fools say, “If you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.” This might be true, or partly true, or sometimes true, or occasionally plausible, if government were benevolent. It isn’t.
The feds—whatever the intention of individuals—are setting up the machinery of a totalitarianism beyond anything yet known on the earth. It falls rapidly into place. You can argue, if you are optimistic enough to make Pollyanna look like a Schopenhaurian gloom-monger, that they would never use such powers. They already do. The only question is how far they will push. What cannot be argued is that they have the powers.
Please do read the whole thing.
I was reminded once again of a quote I pulled off the Geek With A .45’s blog back in 2004 (sadly no longer available from the source, but I’ve still got it) and have repeated here often:
We, who studied the shape and form of the machines of freedom and oppression, have looked around us, and are utterly dumbfounded by what we see.
We see first that the machinery of freedom and Liberty is badly broken. Parts that are supposed to govern and limit each other no longer do so with any reliability.
We examine the creaking and groaning structure, and note that critical timbers have been moved from one place to another, that some parts are entirely missing, and others are no longer recognizable under the wadded layers of spit and duct tape. Other, entirely new subsystems, foreign to the original design, have been added on, bolted at awkward angles.
Others pass by without a second look, with no alarm or hue and cry, as if they are blind, as if they don’t understand what they see before their very eyes. We want to shake them, to grasp their heads and turn their faces, shouting, “LOOK! Do you see what this thing is? Do you see how it might be put to use? Do you know what can happen if this thing becomes fully assembled and activated?”
Bill Whittle, interestingly, weighs in on the subject as well in his latest Afterburner:
Jonah Goldberg caught a lot of flak for his 2008 book Liberal Fascism, but they say when you’re catching flak it means you’re over the target.
If we have to live in a Stephen King novel, why did it have to be The Stand?
Seen on Facebook.
I posted about a week ago that Boo, my 19 year-old cat died. Nineteen years is a long time to share with another creature, and loss is painful. If you’ve ever had pets, you’ve almost certainly gone through it.
Another blogger lost her best buddy not too long ago. Brigid lost her black Lab, Barkley back in February after almost eleven years.
Each of us deals with loss in different ways. I’ve been blogging for a bit more than eleven years now, but I’m a good technical writer. Anything other than posting an announcement of his passing is pretty much beyond me.
I’ve been reading Brigid since she started blogging. To deal with her loss, she wrote The Book of Barkley, and it is everything she is online and more. It is the story of her life and the portion she shared with Barkley. Brigid is an artist. Words are her medium. She paints with them – still lifes, landscapes, and sweeping frescoes of words. Some are dark, some are cheerful, some are funny and some are startlingly beautiful and poignant.
She has used the proceeds from the sales of her book to help other bloggers, donate to Lab Rescue, and help out her dad who is 94 and in poor health. Want a good book? Pick it up on Amazon or wherever good books are sold online.
I’ve said before that I became an American by reading Heinlein books. This is true at least to an extent, though I’d be at a loss to explain the process to you. I mean, if you knew how to do that, book by book, chipping away, so someone starts out wondering what’s wrong with all those Americans who don’t like taxes (don’t they know taxes are civilization? And have always existed) and ends up thinking getting a Don’t Tread On Me tattoo is a brilliant idea, even while immersed in a socialist, communitarian system, we’d have no problems. We’d just use “the process.” – Ungovernable — a blast from the past post from December 2012
And I’ve said before that my personal philosophy was heavily influenced by three authors: Robert A. Heinlein, Robert B. Parker and John D. MacDonald. Interesting that it works on people in other countries, too.
So, back when I posted about my semi-retirement from blogging, one of the reasons I gave was “I’ve got a stack of books that need reading.”
I just blew through fifteen volumes of The Dresden Files in fifteen days. I guess I need to get the book of short stories next.
Good stuff. If you’re into “urban fantasy,” Jim Butcher does it very, very well. And I like his main character, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Reminds me a lot of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser. Who wouldn’t like a wisecracking wizard Private Investigator with a gun?