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- To Kill a Mockingbird
There is so much about which to editorialize in our open-air laugh academy of a society that I find I must pick and choose my subjects, or I forget to do ‘important’ stuff, like feed the animals, walk the dog, and scrape the cat boxes. So when Harper Lee’s lawyer got the dollar-signs in her eyes, finagled Go Set a Watchman into print, and Progressive heads exploded after Atticus Finch expressed common Southron sentiments typical of 1950’s Alabamians, I determined to see what the fuss was about.
With the exception of one course that had the sole virtue of being taught by a kindly elderly professorix, I managed to avoid the ‘Classics’ of American Literature: Catcher in the Rye, Moby Dick(now almost unreadable because of 170+ years of linguistic drift and almost that much time of dumbing down students), a short ton of titles that escape me at the moment and, of course, To Kill A Mockingbird.
My prettier half, coming from Austria, learned English on books like Mockingbird. Consequently, she was very taken with it and constantly urged me to read it. After roughly fifty years of literacy, I finally picked it up when K-Mart put a paperback copy on special.
Ordinarily, I’m a science fiction reader; what the execrable Alexi Panshin calls ‘mimetic’ fiction (I prefer mundane fiction) lacks appeal to me. Still, I sped through Mockingbird in about six hours(my speed-reading skills declined after the crack on the head that retired me), interrupted reluctantly by a night’s sleep.
My greatest praise of the book is for Ms. Lee’s clean, simple prose; a bright third grader could read Mockingbird without much of a struggle except with what words pertain to almost-forgotten Thirties artifacts and customs. She limits description to a minimum and makes it interesting, unlike some authors who lump it into their mss like globs of moldy banana pudding. She mastered the writing concept of ‘show, don’t tell’ most beautifully. The mechanics of the story are sound.
When I got into the characters, I found them believable… but oddly enough, Atticus Finch, although the best developed, proved the least credible. Atticus is no dummy, which he proves by practicing law without any sort of high school, let alone university, degree: not unknown in a time and place where home-schooling was often the default mode until truancy laws came along. He’s also a world-class marksman, but will not teach his children to use simple air rifles, and entertains(here’s where the believe-ability wears thin) pacifist sentiments. When the notorious Bob Ewell–parent of the alleged rape victim, domestic abuser, filer of false police reports, perjurer, and general piece of human debris–threatens Atticus and spits in his face, Atticus just walks away with the thought that he wished Ewell didn’t chew tobacco. (In Atticus’ place, I’d’ve opened Ewell’s mind with a .38, .45, or .357–they didn’t have the big magnums or the .40 S&W in the thirties–spat on the twitching corpse, walked home, and slept well that night. I’m sure the sheriff would’ve ruled self defense, for he shows similar common-sense procedural elasticity several times in the book. If the case made it to trial(unlikely), ‘He needed killin’!’ would’ve sufficed for a defense. Besides, it was the heyday of the eugenics movement, and Ewell was a Kallikak studying to be a Jukes but playing hooky instead of studying!) We are never told why Atticus is a pacifist; one of the characters alludes to a traumatic event that no one ever explains to Scout.
So much literary observation–at least what I read online before I read the actual dead-tree book–seems to posit Atticus as the hero because of his skilled defense of Tom, the accused and innocent rapist. He’s not: he’s a bit of a coward, although he is consistent to his pacifist principles.
SPOILER ALERT! When Scout–Atticus’ daughter and the viewpoint character–has to play a cured ham in a ridiculous teacher-written school pageant(1)(here’s another beautiful send-up of those mediocre would-be-playwright teachers, whose reach exceeds their grasp, who annually inflict their lack of talent on innocent students and parents), she and her brother Jem must walk home on a dark night with Scout still imprisoned in the ham costume. It is at this point when the morally and genetically bankrupt Bob Ewell strikes at Atticus through the lawyer’s children. The ludicrous ham costume both saves Scout’s life and prevents her escape. Ewell knocks Jem unconscious and starts in on Scout, but someone pulls him off of her. Scout, stuck in the remains of the ham costume and somewhat dazed, confused and battered, discovers–but fails to identify at first–the corpse of Ewell, then manages to wander homeward in time to see someone carrying Jem toward the Finch residence and in through the door. Liberated from her cloth-and-chicken-wire straitjacket, Scout sees her rescuer but does not make the connection at first. Only when Sheriff Heck Tate discovers Ewell dead and questions Scout about the assault does she figure it out: her rescuer is ‘Boo’ Radley, the town misfit who is never seen outside his house but leaves small gifts for her and her brother in a tree hole.
And yes, Radley is a misfit. He is barely verbal, cannot tolerate sunlight although he is not an albino, and has a savant talent for soap carving. Earlier in the book, the Radley family appointed one of their own from Pensacola to look after him after his parents died. (Today, we would diagnose him as autistic.) Boo had to overcome his shyness, his rigid pattern of confinement to the house and his sensory integration issues to save the two people he cared about the most: Scout and Jem. This Quasimodo of a man exercises more courage in one evening than the articulate, accomplished Atticus does in the entire book. In short, he takes out the trash with a kitchen knife under the sternum.
In the end, Sheriff Tate and Atticus(who thinks Jem did it) argue about the forensics, which conclusively prove that Boo improved the species by removing one of nature’s obvious mistakes. Heck Tate decides to rule the death an accident, because he didn’t like how Tom was railroaded(he dies in an escape attempt) and because the perjurer responsible is now dead. Mr. Tate decides also to suppress Boo Radley’s part in the matter so the poor shy fellow can have some peace, a small but appropriate reward for the odd, reticent man who did right by his neighbors and risked everything to do it.
Somewhere I remember Harper Lee saying that Mockingbird was a romance. You’ve got to look deep, but it’s there: Boo had a crush on Scout, but the mores and manners of his time, along with his handicaps, restricted his expression thereof. In the end, he did the noblest thing anyone could do for one’s beloved; he defended, and saved, her life at risk of his own.
If the reader of this review has read the book he or she will notice that I concentrate on the end rather than the beginning. This is because, although Mockingbird does indeed concern itself with the shabby way decent black people in the post-Reconstruction South were treated, it is really more a story about working around the system to solve social problems as well as one can… and fighting that system whenever needful. Tom did not, though his death was tragic, die in vain; it is presumed his family carries on and one suspects(perhaps I will find out in Go Set a Watchman) that the Ewells do not fare so well; they inhabit the lower tail of the moral and mental bell curve that is humanity. Atticus Finch fought with words and legal action; he failed. Boo Radley fought with a kitchen knife; he succeeded.
Footnote (1): The title of the overblown school pageant in Mockingbird: Per ardua ad astra, or ‘By hard work, to the stars.’ It’s the state motto of Kansas. I don’t think the character knew it–and would have despised it as juvenile and childish had she known–but the Golden Age of science-fiction was then in flower, and that old Latin phrase would gain new meaning very soon. What was an expression of bloviating hubris in the Thirties became a very real human endeavor–upstate in Huntsville–within thirty years. Scout should’ve worn a space suit instead of a ham suit.
In my 5th grade year, the music teacher designed a patriotic musical, in which each grade, 1 through 6, was forced to participate. Because of her musical meddling, I still foul up on the chorus to Battle Hymn of the Republic, so I feel Scout’s pain. Thankfully, I didn’t have to be a leg of ham, although I was a revenant (zombie) in our 5th grade class production of an old Scottish ghost story.
A truly great saloon song(Category Five NC-17 warning!) came my way on YouTube .
It’s called “B*gger Off”and, if you can get past the quarterdeck language, it’s a ROFLYAO kind of ditty. Anyone who has dealt with obnoxious drunks can empathize with the sentiments of the band members who are singing it. If you try to sing it without the score, the verses fit very well with the metre of the Scotsman song, but the chorus doesn’t. Alas, my nonexistent musical talent doesn’t do it justice; just invite me on an elk or moose hunt and see if I don’t draw in a big, rutting bull with my singing voice!
So I thought: “Drunks are but a pimple compared to the plague on our species that Progressives constitute.” Without further ado, I present the result of that thought: my equally NC-17, unsuitable for ladies, children or clergy, version of “B*gger Off,” directed at the subhuman culls known as libtards, Progressives, or just plain arse-hats:
Chorus: Bugger off, Progressives, bugger off!/Bugger off, Progressives, bugger off!/ Like a herd of bloody swine/who refuse to leave the trough,/You’ll get no more tax money, so you libtards bugger off!
You’ve screwed our country to the wall since Amendment XVI/Took nigh on a hundred years but our money’s running dry/You spent it on the worthless when the stars we could’ve reached/ Well bugger off, Progressives, ’cause your hull we’re ’bout to breach!
Chorus: Bugger off, etc.
Your President/Messiah doesn’t even come from here./And all of thems as knows will say he’s a Muslim and a queer./We don’t care who makes love to him, or if he lifts his arse./But to our freedom he is both a danger and a farce!
Chorus: Bugger off, etc.
You want to take our guns and then you say its for the kids./Truth be, it’s like as not that you are servants to your ids./ You call guns phallic symbols, it’s what you often say./But what kind of a psycho wants to cut folk’s junk away?
Chorus: Bugger off, etc.
Take from the rich, give to the poor, you’re Robin Hood, you think./And then you sit and wonder why the country’s in the drink./Of other peoples’ money we shortly will run out/For the laws of economics and of math you cannot flout!
Chorus: Bugger off, etc.
You worship Mother Gaia, we’re killing her you say./And then you dump old mining waste with your goddamn EPA./How pricey is our energy, how empty is our cup!/But we know how to handle you: shoot, shovel… and shut up!
Chorus: Bugger off, etc.
I’ve sung a lot about you, my voice is getting tired./If I weren’t unemployed you’d surely try to get me fired./But having all this time to think has left me far less soft/So leave me be, Progressives, or I’ll MAKE you bugger off!
Chorus: Bugger off, etc.
I don’t care who uses/sings this, as long as he, she, rhe, or it does it with joy, with verve, and with the copious assistance of beer, wine or strong drink. I do, however, insist that it be attributed to Simon Jester of Luna City, and nobody else, in memory of Robert Heinlein!
I had stuff to do today.
The van that’s old enough to get its own Concealed Carry license drank some rainwater thanks to a a lost gas cap. I have to put on a fuel filter and purge the forward fuel line.
The futon frame that broke a week ago needs gluing and clamping. And we’re moving, so I have to pack up the house for the second time in three months.
But the world turns on, as does the stomach. Today, the Daily Mail chundered up a rich chyme of items for a blog entry: a former astronaut on extraterrestrials , and fishermen helping a baleen whale that had the foresight to ask them for help . Breitbart added this piece about the Black Panthers in Texas being stupid and smart at the same time. (The stupid part was the armed protest, chanting anti-police death-threat slogans when they were vastly outnumbered by the cops. You have to read down to the smart part, where one of them realizes that Planned Parenthood is, as Margaret Sanger intended, committing genocide against their race.)
These divers events do link together, which I shall demonstrate. Seriatim:
If you read the DM article about what Dr. Edgar Mitchell, #6 on the moon, said about UFOs, you will note that the ETs frequently interfered with missile tests at White Sands. (Personal disclosure: my father was involved with Nike Ajax, Nike Hercules, Nike X (Sprint), and later Pershing (all missile projects) in the Army and with a private defense contractor after retiring. The first three missile projects were antiaircraft or ABM; the second was a short-to-medium range ballistic that the Soviets feared and hated. When anyone mentioned UFOs, he shut up like a Tridacna clam on a pearl diver’s foot.) The level of interference ranged from observation and monitoring to destruction of test missiles.
Now, even after the fall of the USSR, the Russians weren’t forthcoming on their missile program failures, let alone the role of UFOs in such. (We know they broke treaties like empty vodka bottles when it suited them.) This leaves me at a handicap in elucidating whether they, the French, the Chicoms, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Israelis, and now the mullahs of Iran experienced extraterrestrial sabotage of missile tests, and the DM article did not address this issue. But supposing for a moment that only the US had trouble with UFO interference in missile tests (which strikes me as short-sighted on the part of the aliens, but I’m not ET), one must wonder why this would be. Perhaps:
- We were the only nation that actually used nukes, ever. Okay: good point, since the aliens may not have understood that we preferred to make the Japanese die for their country than make our GIs die for us. But if they (the ETs) came light-years plus to study us, one would think that they had the technology to monitor and translate our electromagnetic media broadcasts as well. They were likely here already, because the sphere of our electromagnetic signature extended only thirty or forty light-years at that point. By now, it’s out about a hundred light-years, give or take twenty. Too, by 1949 the Soviets had nukes, too(thanks to a few American traitors who did not get a tenth of the abuse they deserved). So our nuclear monopoly was over and, again, it does seem shortsighted for ET to hamper us while ignoring the Soviets.
- We had the most advanced and capable rocket and nuclear scientists. (A recently broadcast episode of Ancient Aliens postulated that Wehrner Von Braun had alien help with his experiments and, indeed, we Paperclipped him and a significant quantity of V2s for testing. But the Soviets got to the part of Germany where they were working on Die Glocke before we did, and that little project supposedly involved anti-gravity… and lethal levels of radiation.) We also had numerous failures, especially with Titan, Atlas, and Redstone, when it came to the space race, plus which the Soviets reached Low Earth Orbit first with Sputnik and Muttnik (I feel for poor Laika the dog, who may still be up there, mummified in vacuum after a horrible death.) Once more, ET made a big mistake if he/she/rhe/whatever ignored the Soviets.
- We succeeded in landing on the moon when the Soviets only put up a probe. This has to be the biggest failure of sabotage since the Valkyrie plot against Hitler and, unless ET possesses Keystone Kop competence (unlikely in a star-faring culture) seems far from likely. Astronauts with loose lips have said that the first moon landing was tracked and monitored by UFOs. Was Apollo 13 an alien sabotage event that proved too little, too late? We don’t know, and NASA’s not saying.
But we turned away from the moon, to Apollo-Soyuz, to Skylab, to the Space Shuttle, and to the International Space Station. Why? The deceased Senator Proxmire, who hated NASA but loved cheese subsides for Wisconsin(guess he was disappointed that we couldn’t mine green cheese up there) wasn’t that effective. What gave?
Part of the problem for secretive governments is that people remember things. I remember a funny little grade-schooler newspaper called The Weekly Reader. It should’ve been named Pravda Jr. I remember a big article in it (big being a relative term for a four-page, small-sheet paper), with associated cartoon by the happily mostly-forgotten Herblock as I recall, about how all that money NASA put into the moon program could’ve been spent on the War on Poverty. (Dispatch from the front: poverty won, as Jesus implied to Judas that it would.) I also remember an associate of the Communist-associated Reverend Martin Luther King–noted civil rights leader, plagiarist, and serial adulterer–to wit: one Ralph Abernathy, also Reverend, who showed up at the Apollo 11 launch driving a mule wagon and lamenting the condition of his race and the money not spent on uplifting them. The Black Panthers, who provoked some otherwise sensible politicians into acceding to the Gun Control Act of 1968, were spouting the same line, with demands for reparations over slavery at a time when nearly all former slaves and all masters were dead.
(My apologies for the digression, but many modern readers are unaware of this background, it having transpired before they were born. I’m getting to my point.)
ET did not get here, light-years from home, by being Forrest Gump. We have no idea how many millennia passed while aliens went through their rise to interstellar travel, but we can safely assume that the aliens have a long history with many setbacks. We can also assume that, since there are few prodigies like the late E.E. Smith, PhD, who could, as one of his characters did in the forgotten early SF novel Spacehounds of IPC, recreate advanced interplanetary travel and communications technology from raw materials, that space travel did not spring, like that goddess whose name I forget, fully formed from the head of Zeus, or from that of Beldar Conehead. (Smith himself convinced no less a prodigy than Robert Heinlein that he could personally do what his character did under the same circumstances.) A space-faring society must of necessity be an industrial society, and that means many sapient beings working together, at least until your robot tech advances enough to make the industrial workers obsolete.
(That obsolescence is occurring today, and is one reason the Black Panthers are so upset. Some racists call black people ‘obsolete agricultural equipment:’ this is cruel but no less true, just as blue-collar whites could be called ‘obsolete industrial machinery.’ ET presumably reached that stage about the same relative time in cultural history that we have. ET may have also implemented a Sanger Solution similar to what the one Black Panther elucidated, a long time ago and in a solar system far, far away!)
Industry requires organization, and our species has produced four importantly differing forms of socioeconomic organization: simple despotism(the default for most of our species’ history) free-market capitalism, mercantilism(which we have in the US today, and what England had during her Imperial period), and command/control oligarchical collectivism as in Nazi Germany and the old USSR. (The modern People’s Republic of China is a mercantilist state with the residual trappings of an old command/control oligarchical collectivism. The United States is a former free-market state currently descending into oligarchical collectivism by way of mercantilism.)
The best-known advanced societies portrayed in popular science-fiction are Star Trek‘s military socialism (maintained by almost unlimited energy generation capability and unlimited consumer good production capability–think replicators) and Star Wars’ peculiar industrialized quasi-feudalism(Han Solo and the Weequay pirates were the few remaining capitalists there: Solo got co-opted and I get the impression that the Weequay were killed off in the Clone Wars or defending Jabba the Hutt. The Hutts strike me as mercantilists, not capitalists.) although they called it the New Republic. The Empire was pretty much a simple despotism. These fictional societies are interesting, but nonetheless remain only variants on the basic themes our sad planet has produced.
So, what does a space alien use for a government/economy? Good question! We can infer something by what they may be doing–and NOT doing–on our planet.
- They interfered with the US space and nuclear weapons programs, perhaps to the exclusion of all others, ultimately without success;
- They did NOT interfere with other nations getting The Bomb;
- They may have helped the Nazis with rocketry and anti-gravity;
- They operate in as much secrecy as they can, despite the fact that many people believe they exist and are here.
There is one major factor we do not know: are they working to influence the structure of our socioeconomic system? If yes, what are their motives, and is their endgame? To elucidate this we must elucidate their politics and their social and economic structures.
Perhaps our own international politics provide an answer. We tried to keep The Bomb a US monopoly. Ultimately, this would have been impossible; to quote E. E. Smith again, “what technology can produce, technology can analyze and duplicate.” However–and this is a very big HOWEVER– we could have made that monopoly last longer had we the will to do so, fewer traitors, and a long view of history. ET presumably did that not find that in ET’s best interest, because ET did nothing to help us sustain that monopoly. With a nuclear monopoly, we could have rolled up the Soviets like a cheap rug… and in a happier, slightly more radioactive parallel universe, I hope we did. Think of it: no Red China, no Castro, no Vietnam War–let alone no Cold War–no Arab oil embargo or OPEC, no Iraq War, no Taliban, no ISIS, and a much more peaceful planet. We must assume that ET, by helping the Nazis, not helping us, and not hindering the Soviets, DID NOT WANT THAT WORLD!
Either ET has something similar to the Star Trek Prime Directive, the aliens are treating our world as an unregulated experiment for the sheer intellectual curiosity of it, they see us as an experiment but are trying to jigger the results for any number of reasons, or they view, not so much humans per se, whom they could eliminate easily, but the United States in particular as a threat–not to them: remember, they could destroy us as a species–but to something else important to them.
It’s probably not religion, though it could be. If the ancient alien theorists are right, they created, whether by accident or on purpose, our major faiths. (As a Christian, I think Jesus messed up their plans, so they created Islam to keep us off balance.) But hold that thought, it’s coming up again.
It’s probably not resource extraction; the asteroid belt contains more heavy metals than have been mined to date on Earth, the gas giants hold mass quantities of organic chemicals, and the Oort Cloud is full of comets with ice and frozen gases beyond measure. Remember, these aliens presumably have automated industrial production, energy production, and resource extraction. They would have to do so just to create a starship.
Hitler wanted Lebensraum, or real estate; does ET need it? Hell no: if you can build a starship, you can build a space habitat bigger and better than Gerard O’Neill’s L5–which we could’ve built ourselves by now if we hadn’t run the dollar down a rat-hole with social spending… remember Abernathy and his mule wagon? Plus, we had this little thing called the Cold War that sucked up a terrible price in blood and treasure, leaving no room for space habitats.
Now we’ve eliminated all economic reasons for aliens to interfere with us humans, with one exception: maybe good planets are hard to find. Again, I call cow-pies: if you can build that starship that brought you here in the first place, you can terraform any of the legion of rocky planets our telescopes have detected. That’s assuming you take the long view of things–which you do or you wouldn’t’ve built your starship in the first place! After all, suns do go nova, or age and expand into red giants, then shrink to white dwarves or neutron stars, processes that kind of screw up otherwise useful planets. But, then, you’re so advanced that you don’t need planets any more, so…
Maybe it’s emotional: you want planets for the sun on your skin, the smell of forests, and the taste of salt air. Or… you have spiritual/moral principles, perhaps even religions–see, I told you I was getting back there–that value life and ecosystems wherever those may be found, and you have a real difference of opinion with us about the way we treat the planet we live on.
Trouble is, all our human attempts, accidental or purposeful, to live according to these presumed eco-friendly Gaian values here on Earth create more misery for us sapient humans. Zimbabweans crouching in their villages at night, terrified of lions, do not give a pimple on a rhino’s arse that lions are endangered, because the lions are a danger to their children and loved ones. And do I really need to mention the Government Motors Chevrolet Volt, inferior to everything on the road but a Yugo? We shut down the coal plants, as our Golfer in Chief wants, and your power bills will make a/c and heating a luxury only Al Gore and the other elite can afford.
(Personal disclosure: I lived, post head-injury, under borderline Third World conditions in a bad marriage for three years. I know what I’m talking about more than any American other than missionaries, overseas field biologists, field anthropologists, or Peace Corps volunteers. It sucked, and any fool who would force me to give up my current modest standard of living in the name of Gaia, the people, or whatever other shibboleth will receive, gratis, an extra navel or nostril upon any such attempt. I promise not to charge for the bullet the way they do in China when they execute people.)
I think ET hates America, even what little is left of us, because we of all nations resist the subjugation to their spiritual quest to make Earth a nature preserve planet. Still, by the fact of their attempts to prevent nuclear war and our continued existence as a species–and here is where I think Dr. Mitchell is correct in his surmises–they actually like humans in their non-human way, and not as dinner. Nonetheless, they share the view of ‘bioethicist’ Robert Singer that all life is morally equivalent, sapience notwithstanding to the degree that a well-bred lion is more valuable than a Downs Syndrome child. The only way the aliens will impose this is through force, because we humans are vicious, dirty-fighting naked apes who haven’t survived by being pushovers. I think the Holy Spirit, in Genesis, calls it dominion, and orders us to multiply and subdue the earth… something the aliens consider anathema to their biocentric and species-equivalent spirituality. So, to impose this tenet of their faith, they must institute among us governments receptive to that concept, and let those governments squeeze us into sustainable dystopia.
Is it a coincidence that the Progressive agenda is a lot like what I’ve speculated the aliens are doing? Perhaps, when outright sabotage didn’t work, they went for subversion instead… and got what they think they want: a turning back from manned space flight, and UN Agenda 21 to reduce what they consider an excessive human population. Alternatively, they got stuck in a command economy, but managed to develop the technology for interstellar travel and high-level energy production before their society collapsed of its own internal contradictions: the Roddenberry model again, but in the actual life of their civilization.
Thank you for your patience, any readers who hung on this long, for now I’m getting to that third article, the one about the baleen whale who approached the fishermen for help. (By the way, there is some excellent video of a ‘wild’–a term I don’t like for sapient beings–dolphin approaching scuba divers off Hawaii on a night dive for manta ray encounters, for the purpose of getting one of them to use those miraculous hands and those inconceivable sharp, pointy things to remove a nasty snarl of mono-filament fish line from a pectoral fin and save itself from a near-certain death sentence. This footage can be found on YouTube, naturally.)
The whale video, and the dolphin one, represent something that has been going on since humans learned to swim. (Granted, we’ve eaten cetaceans when times were harder than they are now, but in just about a century, most humans have come to rather like them and abhor the thought of killing them. Some evolutionists think humans developed from aquatic apes, rather than savannah ones. Indeed, humans have reduced hair, thicker body fat, and better swimming skills than apes: all aquatic adaptations. One of the first species these water-apes would’ve run into would be dolphins.) However one explains it, we humans do have this remarkable affinity for cetaceans, and they for us. This goes, amazingly enough, to the point that dolphins can and do perceive us as potential sexual partners. Tripp and T’pol didn’t break the intelligent species barrier until centuries after a young Florida man and a female dolphin had a torrid affair that ended in her suicide after an extended separation. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP, at least not the part about Malcolm and Dolly: I don’t know if they existed in the Star Trek universe, and Gene Roddenberry’s dead, so I can’t ask him. (He wouldn’t likely answer: I met him when I in college, and he was a royally egotistical horse’s ass. But, then, so are most collectivists.) By and large, we humans, except for the morally and genetically defective among us, do not want to kill those they can love.
And here, I think, is our bargaining chip with the aliens: a planet with multiple sapient species, freely interacting in a society organized along free-market lines with just enough government to make sure the rights of all sapient beings are respected. We’ve got a document that can serve as a framework for that: the United States Constitution, plus the Bill of Rights, minus the Sixteenth Amendment. I do not think such a document exists or existed in whatever society (or societies: the aliens may be multiple civilizations and species playing a sort of cosmic chess with Earth as one particular square to control; I’ve simplified things a bit, yet I still think all of them share that Singerian ethical structure) the aliens call their own.
Look here, Annunaki or whatever you call yourselves in this millennium: our American Constitution, alien as it is to your presumed command and control mode of government, doesn’t allow us to pin back our God-given freedoms just for the sake of your weird Bio-religion… although you can practice it as long as you don’t break my leg or pick my pocket, to paraphrase one of the brightest humans to ever live, Thomas Jefferson. He deduced your existence in his day. He also said, “On your walks, let your gun be your constant companion…” still good advice two centuries later.
I admit that, as a species, we are crazy enough to destroy this world, because that is the genetic and cultural legacy of trying to survive on an incredibly harsh, climatically and tectonically unstable planet. That’s why our three most popular monotheistic religions–Christianity, Judaism, and Islam–showcase some very vicious behavior in their holy writings. Our ancestors did what they had to do to stay alive and pass on their genes and memes. That, to paraphrase the sexually mutilated protagonist of the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen, is what we have to work with. Even so, we managed to create the Constitution, perhaps with a little subtle help from some dissident faction of you who didn’t cotton to the command/control type of socioeconomic system?
I’d like to think so.
So here’s my proposal, ET, if you’re monitoring this: quit screwing with our freedoms through your proxies the Progressives, and we’ll create–if you’ll come out of hiding and help instead of hinder–a multi-sapient society right here on this third rock from our star. We’ll even promise to be nicer to our planet if you’ll let us put our dirty technological activities out in the lifeless vacuum, and help us make productive beings out of those idled by bad Progressive economic policy. And who knows: in the cosmically infinitesimal history of my native country, we wound up fighting and defeating some very bad people who threatened some other folks who’d themselves not treated us so nicely in the past. There are a lot of star systems out there, and some of them probably host truly nasty species, species who may not subscribe to your bioethical religion and would as lief eat you as look at you. We have some experience in causing extinctions, should the need arise.
And, as at least one whale can testify, we can be handy to have around. We might even make good dates. Dolphins certainly think we do.
So now the Feds have the famous Clinton private server with the Top Secret e-mails…
The thing to remember: the utter odium in which Obozo and Hitlery hold each other.
Obama, to paraphrase Heinlein, is a size 13 ego stuffed into a size 3 soul. (Hillary is that also, plus a heavy dose of powerlust.) He is a small, petty, misogynistic man of no character. His Justice Department, under Eric Holder’s WORSE successor, will be hard-put not to prosecute, because POTUS would just as soon sink his party and even his beloved Ayersean Progressive agenda to destroy a bitter enemy.
With Hillary out of the way, the Bill Ayers wing of the Democrats, in the person of Bernie Sanders, will be in control. (I don’t give Joe Biden much chance unless Hillary’s puppet masters want to put him up as their ‘establishment’ candidate. O’Malley et al same thing: no mo, no dough.) They are the true believers, Marxists and Fabians to the core, with USSR underwear in their sock drawer. They will nominate, and select, Sanders. He will run… but he will lose: the only Republicans who couldn’t hand Bernie his keister in a debate are Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. Since Mitt’s not running and The Donald has sucked all the oxygen out of Jeb’s room, it ain’t going to be a slugfest but a stompout.
If the world doesn’t fall apart between now and 11/16–which it very well might, but that’s another subject–the Democrats will reveal their true Marxist roots. It hasn’t been Scoop Jackson’s party since the ’72 convention, and the New Deal is a distant memory, fading as the people who lived through the Great Depression die off. 2016 is the Year of Reckoning for this nation; the year we decide once and for all: are we the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, or the land of the Freebie and the home of the Slave?
This post is one of those posts that, distasteful as it may be, one simply has to write, due to a nasty personal experience in my youth intersecting with the recent capitulation of the Boy Scouts to the Rainbow Fascists in allowing active homosexual scout leaders.
I must sadly disclose a personal experience from my own Boy Scout experience; a Patrol Leader attempted to play hide the salami on camp-out with me when I was in my teens. A machete, brought by me against the rules, preserved my virtue, and I had to shed no blood, although I would have done so upon necessity. This experience informed my personal opinion about victim disarmament as well as about male homosexuals.
As a libertarian, I didn’t care if he bent over for the whole football team, but as the intended target of his lust, I found the prospect unspeakably repulsive. I didn’t report him because I didn’t know you could and because his father was a member of the troop leadership clique. Instead, I quit Scouting for Space: 1999 , a decision I’ve second-guessed but never regretted.
I seem to remember a recent undercover video where denizens of gay bars admitted they weren’t born that way so much as they were molested or recruited by an older homosexual. This was common belief, even among mental health professionals, until homosexuality was removed from the DSM soon after Stonewall, one of the first great moonbat street battles. I would bet it’s still true, political correctness or not, except for that 1% of the population that’s just wired wrong from birth.
Warning: EVIL THOUGHT EXPERIMENT to follow. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, OR IN ANY COUNTRY NOT ENDING IN ‘-ISTAN.’ Since 1% is only about 3.15 million in today’s population, you know they’d soon die out if they didn’t recruit, and hookups would be tough in small towns. Furthermore, AIDS reduced their population significantly until antiretroviral drugs became available. It’s recruit or else for them. Now they’ve just opened up a whole new pool of potential recruits.
Culturally, male homosexuals are still over a barrel. If they go with the ‘born that way,’ trope, they open the door to eugenic abortion of babies with any putative gay-associated genetic code, for which they can thank their liberal pals and Roe v. Wade. The estimated 3.15 million who made it past Planned Parenthood could be managed epidemiologically with quarantine or euthanasia (logistically speaking, Hitler put paid to many more than that). If they go with the ‘choice’ stance, then they open themselves up to a revived criminal code against sodomy in a future, more moralistic society. I doubt many of them consciously understand this dilemma, but I’m sure most of them are aware of it on a subconscious level, hence their screeching moonbattery, unpleasant militancy and unsavory triumphalism.
To write this, I had to suspend my moral code long enough to think like a Progressive(or rather a Nazi, although I’ll grant you that there isn’t much difference between the two except that the Nazis dressed sharper and persecuted different groups). I don’t recommend this mental exercise and, as for the actual program, it falls under the category of ‘Modest Proposals,’ understood as logistically feasible but morally reprehensible.
Years ago, a homosexual tried to recruit me; as I wrote above, the thought grossed me out and I defended myself with a weapon. Anyone who is uncomfortable with this event would also be uncomfortable with females defending themselves with weapons from unwanted sexual advances. Either way, the scenario involves an initiation of force by the sexual aggressor, which is something no libertarian can condone. A woman today has the de facto right to hurt, with or without a weapon, a sexual aggressor; I should’ve had the same right to draw blood from, or inflict pain upon, that former Patrol Leader. The only difference between my experience and a female’s similar experience is the sex of the intended victim.
I suspect that much of what passes for anti-homosexual ‘hate crime’ consists of forceful resistance to unwanted advances, but the mavens of Political Correctness attempt to obscure the true moral issue here, which is the right to refuse unwanted association. We males are not accustomed to sexual aggression aimed at us, whereas almost every woman could relate her own particular experience or experiences in that unsavory realm. It wasn’t fun for me, and I’m sure it’s no more fun for females.
Here is another of the legion failures of Political Correctness; it accepts a woman’s right to say no, even with a swift knee to the groin, to a frisky male, but condemns the male who slugs another man who grabs his butt or his crotch. In the sphere of sexual relations, no should mean no, regardless of who says it to whom and how violently… even on Boy Scout camping trips.
Every time I think the American Oligarchical Collective has surpassed itself in silliness, along comes something like this: http://www.mrctv.org/blog/feminist-writers-office-air-conditioning-sexist-part-overbearing-patriarchy#.epwnrk:O8sR
I read it, and the goosies who started this teapot-typhoon got one thing right:
“Dvorak suggested men should “step up and rage against the jackets and ties constricting your lives and leaving us shivering all summer.””
Perhaps it’s my Asperger’s and accompanying sensory integration issues, but business suits and ties have to be the most senseless attire since Turkish balloon pants, which were designed to contain the products of defecation lest some prophesied religious figure, who was supposed to be born of a male, be lost down the outhouse. Ties choke off blood flow to the brain–come to think of it, that explains so many supervisors from my past employment–and itch. Suits come in many fabrics, all of which are too hot for summer and too cool for winter. But together they look gooooood!
Back in the Eighties and on into the Nineties there was a book called Dress for Success. I read it; it made me think about the old black man, forced into a vasectomy by his wife, who wore a tuxedo to the procedure because “If Ise gwine be impotent, Ise gwine look impotent!” Essentially, Dress for Success should’ve been titled Climb the Corporate Ladder Without Brains or Skill, Using Appearance Only, or How To Dress Like a Popinjay and Advance Your Career Despite Having the Wits of a Blank Wall. (One erstwhile boss insisted that neckties be worn in 100-degree-Fahrenheit weather while augering soil bore-holes in the full Florida sun; he was cured of that stupidity–but not others–the first time he had to do it himself.)
The Humorless Harridan Hoplites actually hit upon a problem; business attire, both men’s and women’s, is uncomfortable as hell in any season… but mindless conformity and equally mindless dress codes keep it that way. If I were a manager, I’d rather have a diligent office worker who came in wearing a tee-shirt sporting the lyrics of Axel the Sot’s “Moose” over a perfectly dressed cretin who could be replaced by a store-window mannequin with no loss to productivity. This may just be my relentless Asperger’s immunity to social convention… but I wonder how many people would prefer to dress for comfort rather than appearance while on the job. The answer, I suspect, is most, especially in climates where air conditioning makes the difference between productivity and heat stroke.
So a hearty encouragement to you feminists who want to ditch the ludicrous men’s raiment known as the business suit and the necktie; both should’ve been burned with the bras and garter belts y’all cremated back in the Sixties. Please add pantsuits to the new pyre. Time to make up for lost time, eh what?
As a frustrated writer who’s been creating novella/novel-length science fiction since before graduating ninth grade(but publishing none of it, probably because of Asperger’s–now called Autism Spectrum Disorder), I’ve been half-gratified and half-horrified to see some of my predictions come true over forty years of writing and looking back.
By and far the most horrifying of my predictions was political correctness. I’ve watched this mind-virus spread ever since the ninth grade, when the government-school inoculation/indoctrination program–a course called ‘Prejudice and Discrimination’–failed to immunize me against thinking for myself. (In retrospect, they should’ve put me into the House of Lords, where ‘if they’ve a brain and cerebellum too/They’ve got to leave that brain outside/And do just what their leaders tell ’em to.’ Thank you, Sir W.S. Gilbert, for Iolanthe.)
Most of my reaction was likely sheer adolescent cussedness(well, say 90%). Sturgeon’s Law tells us that ninety percent of everything is crap, and that was the ninety percent. However, the ten percent that wasn’t crap stuck in my head. Unpleasant experience taught me that whatever that school administration wanted us to think was probably more for their convenience than our benefit.(They proved this when both the principal and the vice-principal got caught skimming the soda machine and snack bar revenues; I seem to remember that both went to jail.) I found the course material so objectionable that I wrote, mostly during class time in that agitprop class, a dystopian novel about a future when that form of indoctrination became compulsory, being administered through government re-education camps very similar to those the Communists were using at the time. (I wish I hadn’t lost the manuscript, but it was in longhand and there was only one copy, in smudgy pencil.)
The evidence of my life, viewed through an Asperger’s lens, told me that most of what they taught in that course was, to quote a great and almost forgotten writer, E.E. Smith, PhD, ‘…soft-soap, balloon juice, and flap-doodle.’ (Not surprising, as that school couldn’t teach algebra either: I’d’v’e struggled a lot less if someone had told me the algebraic sequence in eighth grade instead of leaving me to figure it out in 12th grade Calculus.) Those life lessons: most black kids were dumb as lighter knot, (except for the ones in ROTC, who were on my level) oriental kids were smart but as socially clueless as I was, and Hispanic kids fell somewhere above the blacks, but generally below whites and orientals. (I could’ve written a reasonable facsimile of The Bell Curve in my senior year if the statistics were available, but the Internet was still reserved for keeping real-time communications open between our strategic military sites, the best civilian computers were Sinclairs, Radio Shack’s Color Computer, and Commodores, and even dot-matrix printers were a primitive, expensive joke.)
In college, I learned that the indoctrination program had a name: Political Correctness. I was too busy studying to give it much mind, but I kept my eyes and ears open. I watched it spread through the softer majors(journalism and sociology in particular) and marveled that people could be that stupid; calling a skunk a dozen roses didn’t make it stink any less. The evil genius Stephen J. Gould brought out a bunch of popular books–nobody seemed to remember he was a Communist–and the PC beat went on, until E.O. Wilson wrote Sociobiology and caused a kerfuffle because his theories about the heritability of intelligence couldn’t be disproved.
Two degrees later, I struggled along with work, well under my potential because the Asperger’s kept me from playing the social game. I wound up, much to my personal shame and sense of failure, working for state government as a health inspector until I finally retired. All this time I wrote to keep my sanity and to escape from a nigh-incomprehensible world. And all this time I watched political correctness grow, now more a cancer than a virus, choking honest discourse out of both politics and private life. We got a brief respite in 1994 with the publication of The Bell Curve, a book which, had it come out in 1978 or sooner, could have strangled the satanic abomination in its befouled, collectivist crib.
The century turned. Steven J. Gould died, nastily, of cancer, and researchers picked apart his work over its overt ideological bias. Then at some time in the ’00s, a Chinese geneticist named Bruce Lahn, working in the US, discovered that a gene modulating brain structure and efficiency entered the human population 32,000 years ago. He suggested, but could not prove at the time, that the source was a Neanderthal in the woodshed. He did observe that this gene was rare in Africa but common in the rest of the world. Political Correctness could not let this stand, and the fever-swamp that passes for modern journalism belched forth its miasmic bombast, ultimately claiming, in a peripherally related skirmish, the head of James Watson, Nobel Laureate and co-discoverer of DNA.
But the evidence just kept rolling in, when the Neanderthal genome was sequenced in 2010 and re-sequenced in 2012-13. Neanderthal admixture appears to have occurred right around the time Lahn’s work predicted, if not slightly before, in populations ancestral to both Europeans and Asiatics, but NOT Africans. The evidence was there but, as with the deceased Gould, “…ideological stance was supreme(Partial quote from Ralph Holloway, one of the six researchers who analyzed Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man, and found Gould’s methodology deficient).’
Political Correctness when, as always, found wanting on the facts, resorts to misdirection, calumny, and rioting, hence the recent and unpleasant controversy about the Confederate Naval Jack. PC, plus lack of critical thinking skills, has led the more mentally impoverished members of the Professionally Aggrieved class to assault, property damage, and threats toward those who carry that Prog-abhorred symbol. (Confederate Flag Backers Upset With Treatment, Panama City News Herald, 7/28/2015, page B1; oddly enough, I can’t find it in their website) Supposedly a nearby Deputy Sheriff did nothing to stop this criminal behavior, which occurred in Okaloosa County, Florida.
At the risk of gloating, I’m forced to say, “I bloody well told you so, yer feckless wankers!” That language is reserved for the left-wingers who pooh-poohed my concerns back in the day. Some of them haven’t lived to see my predictions play out, and I don’t remember most of their names(Asperger’s will do that to you). I care only in that their ideological ‘correction’ of the language facilitated, and continues to facilitate, the political perversion called oligarchical collectivism.
At heart, I hate politics, but I’ve learned over the years to ignore it at my peril, much as those who live in the vicinity of an active volcano–if they have enough brains to pour water out of a boot–pay attention to what’s going on up on the peak, even though they’d rather be doing almost anything else. We as a nation have arrived at the point where a piece of colored cloth can get you assaulted, battered, and eventually worse(this was a peculiar danger, common in the Third World, but here confined to members of street gangs and those who lived in or passed through areas they controlled, at least until lately), although I don’t know of anyone in this century or the last who has been killed over the Confederate Naval Jack.
It’s time to push back, whatever your opinion of that venerable banner. If you suffer assault, theft, and property damage related to Political Correctness, report it to the police and lean on them until they act. If you carry concealed, and live in a Stand Your Ground state, use your weapon… as long as you have fear for your life, have favorable witnesses, and are paid up on your legal insurance. Sadly, honor doesn’t play well in court, and you can be sure your assailant has none: where’s Lt. Worf when you need him?
Please note that I am advocating neither criminal behavior nor initiation of force here, merely appropriate action in defense of life, limb, or property. Political Correctness recognizes no right to self-defense for we the politically incorrect; nation-wide, however, if enough of these bucket-heads stop a projectile, a blade, a tire iron, a 2×4, or even a fist, this cancer on the body politic will eventually wither or explode into violent overreach. In the latter case, it’ll be time to make Progressives give their lives for the political abomination they lust to fasten upon us all.
Some Progressives count on fomenting a violent insurrection to provide an excuse to deprive us of our Constitutional rights but, lacking the ability to predict consequences of actions and the future-time orientation that would require, those wights never foresee that their head might be the one curb-stomped or that their neck might be the recipient of a flaming tire(Nelson Mandela was famous for that little trick, but no Prog will admit it, because that would mean that their hero had feet of clay… or some other, more redolent substance!).
Thomas Jefferson had a quote about the tree of liberty requiring blood fertilizer, the source of which being patriots and tyrants. I’d add simpletons to the mix, since it is with the simple that Political Correctness seems to most easily take root. Sadly, it appears that, in the near future, the only correction fluid that can correct Political Correctness may be spilled blood.
Hulk Hogan got Paula Deened yesterday.
A Paula Deening is defined as an event whereby a public figure, whose opinions Progressives don’t like, is caught in the Progressive Thought-Crime Justice system, usually by saying or doing something at which Progressives take umbrage, which Progs do so often that there is very little umbrage available for anyone else. Sponsors are hectored, commercial enterprises are boycotted, and eventually the victim, facing ruin of finance and reputation, does a groveling mea culpa before fading forever from public life.
In Paula Deen’s case, she failed to fade forever, and put her name on a reasonably priced line of cookware that heats efficiently, cooks food nicely without burning, and has a superior non-stick coating. (Please note that I receive no remuneration from Paula Deen or her company; I’m just a happy customer who likes her product.)
I bought the Paula Deen cookware to replace a worn-out, mismatched amalgamation of ill-assorted pots of doubtful beauty, sketchy quality, and missing lids, but I purchased the new set, not so much because of its attractive coloration, superior functionality, and quality construction, but because I wanted to do something substantive, if small, to poke my metaphorical finger into the equally metaphorical eye of political correctness. Paula Deen was bully-ragged out of public life–and nearly out of business–because she exercised her First Amendment rights in a way that offended Progressives. My purchase of items from her cookware line is my way of voting–with my money–against political correctness and for free speech.
Before I retired, I participated in this kind of economic warfare by purchasing a gun any time the victim disarmament bunch made a big hullabaloo. (This is called, at least by me, the El Neil Gambit, in honor of L. Neil Smith, its originator.) I plan on protesting the nascent Confederate Flag censorship by buying and flying one or several historic flags from that period, and woe unto the fool who attempts to intimidate me into removing it or them.
The process I am resisting, with a big fat middle finger in the face, originates with Saul Alinsky, a Communist fellow-traveler who wrote a book, Rules for Radicals, about how to destroy a society’s political and moral consensus by attacking its symbols and institutions. (To give the reader some idea of how he thought, he dedicated his book to the Prince of Darkness.)
Returning to Hulk Hogan: I recommend that he read, however be it repulsive to contemplate, this execrable work, not only to understand what happened to him, but with the mindset of how to mount an effective resistance and counterattack. Paula Deen lay low, regrouped, and re-launched, but the Progs went digging into her social media stream and found more stuff that they could use to suppress her again. This is a weakness any public figure must address. Hillary Clinton, no stranger herself to Alinskyite tactics, is attempting to choke off any unflattering emanations from the penumbra of her media image. (She failed big-time with the roped-reporters flap; I think she’ll ultimately fail in her Presidential bid.) Hulk Hogan has a deep reservoir of popularity upon which he can draw, more than Ms. Deen had and more than Hillary will ever have; a large number of his fans are plain-spoken, working, country folk who despise the Progs and their Newspeak. His period of exile should be short, and he has plenty of venues available to him while he plans his return, where Paula Deen did not.
Hulk, you hang in there. Your tormentors have no sense of proportion or humor. Besides, you could pulverize any ten of them put together without breaking a sweat.