It is easy to get focused on the domestic, but don’t get tunnel vision. While most of what is going on domestically is indeed domestic, some is being driven and encouraged by other actors who do not have the best interest of the Citizens of the United States, or the Constituion, at heart. Russia remains a threat and between its activities here and at home, bears (all puns intended) considerable watching. The semi-recent nuclear exercise is but one part of the threat to the region and the world, especially given Putin’s continuing lowering of the nuclear threshold.
China, however, remains the largest threat. Keep in mind that China continues to use Iran as a catspaw, especially against the U.S. Yet more Iranians have been caught coming across the border, and I highly recommend reading this post. Chinese on the West Coast, Iranians on the Gulf Coast into Central. This is long-term, both encouraged by China, and I still ask what else besides people has been smuggled across the border? Also, don’t forget the SCS, Taiwan, and everything else China is doing to go after us.
There were things afoot well before the election that still are lurking out there in the dark. To be honest, I’m surprised (and pleased) that some of them did not take place as expected. That, however, doesn’t mean that they won’t still take place.
For all of that, I need to get back to Preparedness Pays as I think good, solid preparation is something we all need to be thinking about, for both domestic and foreign events.
While I do wish he had not called it a riot (it was not, riots are what burned so many cities over the summer), Glenn Greenwald has done a great job of listing the major lies about what happened on January 6 at the Capitol. For all that I still wonder if I didn’t shift a reality or two because Glenn has been a voice of reason of late, it is a much needed post to counter the mainstream media narrative. Go read it.
The original Happy Warrior has passed. There are others posting more eloquent and detailed testimonials, but the man blazed a trail that has brought about opportunities for so many. He saved AM radio, revolutionized the talk radio field, and did so much more. Even when one disagreed with him, he made you think and was willing to take rational disagreement and consider new information.
In some ways, I’m not surprised as there have been efforts to attack Baen and/or some of its authors before from the slime mold at the bottom of the science fiction sewer. This effort, however, has a very different and new twist that may well become the hallmark of all such efforts.
In what seems like a coordinated effort, complaints were filed with the ISPs behind Baen Books, in an effort to deplatform the publisher. Note, from the information I have right now, they not only wanted to take down the Bar, a forum that has been around for roughly 20 years now; but, to take down Baen Books so that it could not promote, sell, or give away (you have no idea how many free books and stories you can get there, but should).
I won’t link to the sleazy “author” (cough, choke, gasp, wheeze, yeah right) who is either behind this attack or fronting for it. I won’t link to the intellectually dishonest paetron story which is the public pretext for the attack on Baen. I especially won’t linke to Vile 770 which seems to be championing the effort (no surprise that slime mold central is so doing).
Now, in the interest of transparency (something more in modern journalism should try) I do need to note a number of items.
While I am not published by Baen (yet), I have known Toni for more years than a gentleman (or cranky old wolf) should disclose. Indeed, Toni has edited my three photo books from Iraq as a friend. Toni has encouraged me for years (along with the late Jim Baen) to move from science writing to writing science fiction. She’s provided feedback on my efforts to do just that.
Second, I was (am?) a member of the Bar (Baen’s Bar). I haven’t been on in years, but in my time there the only thing of which it was a hotbed was geekery. The forums and posts were wide rangning, engaging, and quite often enlightening as you had posts from scientists in various fields on topics of interest (especially to writers), a forum on theology, and even a place to share recipes. The original “no hitting” rule was in place and rarely did anyone cross that line. Not to say that some discussions did not become intense, or even fractious, but people toed the line and showed respect for differing opinions and the people behind them. It was and is the mature way to handle things, and to learn in the process. I would also note that those who “ran” the Bar were all volunteers.
Sadly, the people behind cancel culture have an emotional maturity to shame a spoiled 4-year-old. I also have to wonder if this effort wasn’t just a way to try to shut down Baen because some of it’s authors are conservative, but to gain fame and fortune (maybe someone will buy/pay for his work) in the process.
Third, I know a number of the Baen authors and consider some of them good personal friends. For the record, Baen publishes books by authors who range from card-carrying socialists to those who go far right. Honestly, Toni doesn’t care about the politics, religion, etc. of the authors, artists, editors, etc. What matters is that they write good and engaging stories that sell. Nor does she care if the stories lean right, left, or any other way. Again, good stories that sell. It’s what real publishing is all about: good writing that sells rather than messaging crap that doesn’t.
Fourth, I will admit that Baen not only helped with arrangements but assisted in covering the costs for me to do a series of video interviews with some of their authors a while back. You can find those somewhere on the Baen site (at least I think you still can) or at the Blackfive YouTube Channel.
I suppose I should be furious about this dispicable effort to de-platform Baen by a group of philisophically and morally bankrupt people who’s intellect makes a cherrystone clam shake its head. The fact is, they are not worth that level of attention by me. In fact, I will simply say that I hope their actions bring them what they deserve.
Oh, and if you want to claim that Baen and its authors deserve this; or that Baen has caved by taking the Bar offline temporarily; or any other silly virtue signalling that actually only calls out your, ah, shortcomings to the world, take it elsewhere. If you do try to come here, I will savagely mock you and your physical and intellectual shortcomings. You are warned.
Laugh at the first group, and buy from the second. So easy anyone can do it.
Sorry for the lack of posting, but life has been interesting but that includes good interesting as well. More soon. Meantime, enjoy this repeat of Tris the Wolf. If interested in more of my photography, check out my photography site (which needs work, I admit).
Any further proof that the Rule of Law, and the attendant Innocent Until Proven Guilty, are dead, check this out. A major bank, with no warrant that we know of at this time, scanned customer transactions to identify anyone who was at a given location at a given time, and gave it to the government. The government then proceeded to use this data to investigate all those people though they were accused of no crime. It was simply an effort to tie them to a crime without any burden of proof. Then, read and think about this. I would add to this, my questions about the status of Ashli Babbitt’s body and if her autopsy would be/has been released (no sign of it that I can find). Again, if you are counting on the military to do it’s sworn duty, read this (HT Sarah A. Hoyt at Instapundit). As stated before, if faced with an illegal order to take action against the Citizens of the United States, I think it will shatter with catastrophic damage to the Republic. Also, watch for the lie that it was only pro-Trump supporters who broke and/or were let in to the Capitol. They were not alone, and it is interesting that known BLM and Antifa there have either not been arrested or let out without bail. Interesting, no? There is a lot we don’t know about what happened that day, or in the days before (pipe bombs anyone?) and no one in LE or the government seems interested in providing those details.
Both in the world and in life. The latter is keeping me from writing here, or on anything, more than I would like. The former, well, if you are not reading Instapundit several times a day, you are missing out on a lot. The authors there cover a lot of ground, and it is well worth the time. Also, since the media detests Project Veritas with a white-hot passion for daring to do real journalism, and they and Big Tech suppress accordingly, check out the latest work by them in regards Facebook. If you are still there regularly, you are part of the problem. I left a couple of years ago, and am glad I did so.
And, yes, I am doing what I can to divest from Big Tech. I just switched cell phone providers as a part of that, since AT&T wants to go political. Hoping the new provider is far less political until I can do more research and see if the small independent provider I’ve looked at can grow and keeps doing as it’s doing. Meantime, I’m saving a good bit on the cost of my service. I’ve divested from Amazon on several levels, though I am keeping my books and stories there for now. That said, I’m also withdrawing my works from Kindle Unlimited despite a financial hit for so doing. Next up is YouTube, where I will be both pruning back use and am looking at removing my content as well. Now to find something better to replace it.
It’s actually not a question, but rather that I have a suspicion about what is driving her increasingly paranoid and, frankly, deranged comments and actions.
Let’s start with the fact that Nancy and far too many in Congress and government have little to no contact with reality. Like her compatriots, she comes from a political family and is used to living a life of wealth and power. She has steadily expanded that wealth and power throughout her years in Congress. The worries of the “little people” about missing a paycheck, unexpected expenses, putting food on the table, and all else that is real life for the majority of citizens isn’t real to her. She runs in circles where this is the norm, and the worst she has to face is running out of her favorite ice cream and not being able to eat it for a day or two.
Her contact with the proles is carefully limited, usually scripted, and designed for her to signal rather than to actually engage. She has no use for those proles, and holds them in contempt — including the troops currently helping guard the Capitol. Keep in mind, this is the woman who won’t fly commerical but demands Air Force transport that over the last couple of decades has cost hunreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to avoid being anywhere near the proles. She’s smart and cunning within her own world, but, again, that world has little to no contact with reality. For two good takes on this, read this post and then this post over at Sarah A. Hoyt’s site (which you should be reading everyday).
Now, add in the fact that she is slipping. Her famed skills in politics are not what they once where. She is challenged within the party, and not always by AOC and the new crew. Her badly thought out video interview was not really aimed at the proles, but rather those in the bubble in part to remind them she is still rich and powerful, and to signal her “concern” for the average person rather than to do anything for them. Remember, within this class, signalling is far more important that doing something that works. The signal is what matters, not the results.
For Nancy, I suspect her rise to power and the effort to put the “elites” in permanent charge has been what might be termed an adacemic or intellectual exercise. Yes, people would pay a price for what she wants to see happen, but any financial or other price — including the loss of lives — would be others, not her and hers.
Then came the riot at the Capitol. The proles (on pretty much every side) broke in. They broke in to her office. In her mind, they attacked her. This was no longer academic, or even professional politics: this was suddenly having to face reality and she’s handling it badly. Her brush with reality has instilled a sense of panic if not outright terror, because she suddenly realized that her actions might actually have consequences for her and her family. That she could pay that price of loss of money, freedom, or even her life.
Students of history, much less those who have worked with intelligence matters including trying to figure out what others will do, can recognize the signs. It’s not new, as it has happened many times over the ages. Even Hollywood has used it, usually with some right-wing type tyrant killing off those around them for fear of treachery. Though, for my money, one of the best depictions of it was done by Tom Clancy in The Sum Of All Fears.
The person in power suddenly realizes that they could die or otherwise pay a price. Instead of reacting in a professional manner, they make everything personal because to them it is personal as everything revolves around them. They focus in on that aspect like an electron microscope. Everything else is dropped. The decisions they make are based on that, not on reality or even reality within the bubble. Those decisions are always, always, bad. They make the situation worse, and in reality it often leads to bloodshed and violence that could have been prevented. My one gripe with the late Mr. Clancy (who was a very good host btw) in his book is that the intervention he described is good fiction, but not well based in reality.
Look at Nancy’s actions since the riot. Look at her reactions and body language. This is the face and actions of someone in power who has suddenly realized that this is real, and is terrified. In her mind, all those who came in (right, left, Anti-fah, BLM) were coming for her. In her actions and comments since, that idea seems to have grown and consumed a large part of her mind and thoughts. The troops can’t be trusted, since they are proles, but we need more troops to guard us. Set up machine guns to gun down the swarms who will attack on inauguration day. Why, Republicans and maybe even others in the House are looking to gun us down on the floor of the House. We need more loyal people to guard me/us.
These are not cool, calm, professional, or even rational comments and concerns. They are, however, a fairly typical response by narcisistic leaders and tyrants when they suddenly realize that they might actually pay a price. I also strongly suspect from what I hear and read that she’s not alone with this slide into paranoia and fantasy. They just are being more quiet about it and/or don’t have her platform. It’s also why they truly believe it to be an insurrection, rather than using that line as a Big Lie for gain. That’s happening, but I suspect that Nancy and others really think it was, because in their minds it was aimed at harming them. Also keep in mind that any thing done to thwart them is now a personal attack on them. That’s the way this type of thinking works.
Leaders, heck, anyone, in this condition make bad, very bad, decisions. Given that their decisions were never based in reality to start with, what happens next could go not just badly, but extremely badly. Look at history to see just how badly. Look also at The Killing Fields, the Gulags, the Camps.
Now, to make your day even brighter, look at our military. Do you think that the military will hold, and do it’s proper duty to refuse illegal orders? I don’t. I suspect that at best, the military will shatter. In it’s current state, it can not and will not hold. The consequences of that, however, are preferable to implementation of what is being discussed openly: vetting the troops for proper politics. In other words, purging the military of anyone not progressive enough and creating a praetorian/republican guard organization loyal not to the Constitution, but to those in power. In any way, shape, or form, this is a very bad idea.
Part of me hopes I’m wrong on this, especially as I have no faith in the professionalism, honor, or integrity of most people in DC — especially those in leadership positions. If you can prove I’m wrong, please do so. Otherwise, where this goes is likely downhill and fast, on a slope greased by the innocent.