Monthly Archives: January 2013


AS OF 11:40 WEDNESDAY evening, 36,000 (+) words. Tidying up some loose ends and closing a plot hole or two.

Tricksy weather these next few days. Have a care. I want to see you all hale and whole the other side of it. ‘Mkay?

How Is This Not Treason

IN FACT if not in law? And why should not patriotic Americans give the back of society’s hands to the despicable sorts who seek to bring it about?

It’s not like they’re going to be any more civil if you don’t.

You Say Protean, I Say Atomized

THE CONCEPT OUTLINED in this article in the WSJ sounds a lot to me like my notion that, in the future, we will all be cottage industrialists, forming ad hoc enterprises for specific projects, banding together and disbanding as perceived needs change in any given moment.

It looks to me like a very Human Wave and post-government future.

Anti-Gun Liberals!

DO NOT SPEAK TO ME until you have read and absorbed this article.

I feel like many people, including most liberal politicians, treat gun control like most conservatives treat sex education or climate change. Their views and thus the policies they support are based entirely on ideology, with only the most cursory attempts at studying the facts. They are blinded by confirmation bias, cherry picking factual evidence to support their foregone conclusion.

Can’t resist the urge to snark, though. I suspect the shoe’s on the other foot about climate change — nee Global Warming — which has been THOROUGHLY debunked and revealed as a massive hoax to anyone NOT enthralled in confirmation bias, cherry-picking facts to support a fairly religious belief in a phenomenon that, as defined, does not exist. (Not claiming that the planet hasn’t warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age, but that it A) isn’t catastrophic and B) isn’t anthropogenic.)

Sucky Weekend

AS YOU CAN TELL from my whingeing. But at least I managed to roll that rock up the hill a few more steps to a word count on Report that blows past 35,000. And I still have 4,000 words bagged that need to be severely edited before being permitted into the main story, so we’re getting close to that ground-rules novel length.

Just out of curiosity, what would be an Australian Rules novel?

I dunno. Five hundred thousand words For The Win? Ask Dave Freer.

Getting Old Sucks


Did Kroger today. Wiped. Me. Out. You’d think walking around a store as big as… well… a really big place for an hour and schlepping a hundred pounds or so of groceries from the store to the car and from the car to the house and from the upstairs to the kitchen (don’t ask; it’s how the house is arranged) would be a simple thing. And as recently as ten years ago, it was.

So, after breakfast (yes, at 4:00 in the afternoon), I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so I took a nap.

Mmm. Nap. Saturday afternoon in January. Under down comforter…

Not really.

Under fiberfill comforter, with a bed full of cats.

Woke up at ten ’til Seven* thinking it was Sunday morning. Brain had reset. It took me a good half hour to realize: not.

*Correction: Ten ’til Eight. Not only did I not know what day it was, I couldn’t read the damned clock in front of my face. (Of course, in my defense, it was a digital, which doesn’t understand anticipation, but only lives in the eternal now.)

Sex and Violence

IF MY CURRENT WORK IN progress could get onto network television — a dubious proposition at best — it would probably be rated TV NC17, if there were such a rating. And the advisory would include S (Sex) V (Violence) L (Language) and A (Adult Situations or whatever they call “mature” subject matter. And I will offer that warning on the print edition(s) of the thing as a fair cop. Parents need to have the opportunity to shield their children from untoward exposure to matter for which they aren’t ready. And people need to be advised of content that might not be to their taste.

But I see that as the extent of my responsibility in the matter: truth in labeling.

I do not understand these moral idiots who get their knickers in a knot over violence (and, to a lesser degree, sex) in entertainment and storytelling. People: grow up! Sex and violence have been a part of storytelling since time began. You are not going to change human nature, and you appear petulant and childish when you try. Get over it. If you don’t like it, don’t take it in. But DO NOT attempt to deny others the right to make their own decisions.

THAT, my friends, is un-American.

Progress Report

HAVE FOUND A TITLE for the novel to be marketed as The Baby Troll Chronicles: The Dolly Apocrypha, Book One, A Report from New Xenaland. That.

At this writing, 33,000 words, and slogging through the climactic set piece.

That is all.

Quote of the Week

If you are for gun control, then you are not against guns, because the guns will be needed to disarm people. So it’s not that you are anti-gun. You’ll need the police’s guns to take away other people’s guns. So you’re very Pro-Gun, you just believe that only the Government (which is, of course, so reliable, honest, moral, and virtuous…) should be allowed to have guns. There is no such thing as gun control. There is only centralizing gun ownership in the hands of a small,political elite and their minions.

—Stefan Molyneux

I Can’t Remember, Don’t Recall

BUT ALSO CAN’T FIND it here on the site, whether I’ve posted my uberpost on book cover design. (Confirmed: I haven’t. It’s still sitting here as an unfinished draft. And it will remain so. No time to finish. Not this weekend.) But life goes on, and here comes one Patrick Samphire, from Wales, with some tips for self-publishers designing their own covers.

Now, you should Read The Whole Thing (RTWT), without doubt, as it’s all good advice, but I’d like to focus briefly on one point, because I think it bears a little discussion.

Samphire says…

Unless you’re a Photoshop professional (and by this I mean someone who uses Photoshop to make a living, every day; using Photoshop at home or occasionally at work doesn’t count), then don’t attempt to make an image using multiple source photos. It will look bad, and it will be obvious.

Compositing photos, particularly if you’ve first had to extract part of one image from a background, is really, really hard to do well enough. Even some commercial covers suffer from bad attempts at this.

Find a single piece of art or photo that works and use that.

I don’t generally approve of appeals to authority. You can do it. You should be able to figure it out. The capabilities are not dark, mysterious, or rare, precious, and beautiful. They are a matter of knack crossed with obsession. Somebody with some slight innate ability works at a skill until it becomes second nature.

However, even then, there will be a certain portion of fooling around as a part of the creative process.

What Samphire says makes sense from a business standpoint.

In my work, handling the work of other world class artists and designers, I see people whose names you should recognize make the rookie mistakes that Samphire is talking about.

I do work in Photoshop — daily. Have done for longer than some of you have been alive — well over 20 years. I know it well enough that I can assess an image and explain to someone else how to perform the actions I envision. I did peer support on CompuServe for Adobe back in the ’90s. I contributed to the Photoshop Bible. If you know anything about bitmap editing software, you have some notion of what all that means.

I am here to tell you that, despite my faith in your ability to learn, you don’t have the time to pick up what I know in my mouse fingers about image manipulation in Photoshop. Your work will look bush league, your sales will suffer, you’ll waste your time. Listen to the man when he tells you: not.

Hire a pro or set the bar lower.

Trope It Everywhere

SO THE PRESIDENT WANTS to take away your guns and he must be afraid you’ll — you know — object or something. So he’s using a bunch of kids who were manipulated by their commie-union-pink teachers into writing to him begging him to take Daddy and Mommy’s guns away as human shields.

That’s right. President Mom-jeans is using kids as human shields. It’s despicable when Saddam Hussein does it, but it’s OK when Barry Hussein does it.

Uh-huh. Yeah. Right.

Not really.

I Keep Hearing All These Proposals

SUPPOSEDLY AIMED AT reducing gun violence (but not really), and I keep being reminded of something I’ve been saying since hearing it I-don’t-remember-how-long-ago. It’s on the subject of environmental laws and regulation and it goes like this:

Pollution is a crime against property. So how come all of the Left’s public policy prescriptions for environmental issues end up weakening private property rights?

The Left’s reaction to any putative crisis (but not really) is the same.

Mass murder is a problem of individual liberty. One person abuses it, so the state moves to take it away from everybody else.

The state keeps insisting that the proper response to the state’s inability to protect citizens is to deny them the means to protect themselves. How does this make sense?

Not really.

More: how is this not despicable — to render the innocent helpless before predators? To deny the innocent and law-abiding the means to defend themselves against evildoers?

And, no, you don’t get to pretend that allowing the law abiding to have guns is going to increase incidence of violent crime. Not when every fact on the ground says you’re wrong — dead wrong.

So, When Your Doctor Asks

YOU NOSEY QUESTIONS about guns in your house, tell him/her it’s none of his/her business. If you are told that the government requires the question, inform them that, under SEC. 2716 (2) and (3) of the so-called Affordable Care Act…

None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to-A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; (B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or (C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

On another front, you should probably investigate the possibility of minimizing Federal Income Tax withheld from your paycheck, especially if you
A) habitually rely on your income tax refund, B) may not have government-approved medical insurance at tax time next year. Otherwise, the government is going to steal your “refund.” Speak to your tax professionals.

Guns in the Wrong Hands

THOSE WOULD BE yours, Mr. President.

So the gun grabbers keep talking about having to keep guns out of the — scorn quotes — “wrong hands” instead of getting them into the right ones. Which, of course, makes no sense unless a supine and defenseless population is part of your plan.

But, what’s scary is the idea that the government can know the right and wrong hands and can be trusted to make a just determination at all times with all manner of men in control.

I. Don’t. Think. So.

Dear Mr. President;

What part of “… shall not be infringed.” Manages to elude your addle pate?

You putrid simpleton!

(the [Little] People)

Despicable Demagogues

SOMETHING THAT’S RATHER DISGUSTING about the news reports of Andrew Cuomo’s speech the other day is how ordinary and calm they make the thing sound. “The governor called for…” That’s what you took away from it? Man! The governor ranted. The governor roused his rabble. The governor delivered a polemic worthy of Hitler himself — say, at the Nuremberg Rally, (Mike Godwin to the white courtesy telephone. Mike. Godwin.). The governor’s spittle-flecked speech last week effectively called for the abrogation of all civil rights, starting with the right to defend yourself against the government. The man was raving! The man lied through his teeth — or would have, except that his mouth was open so loud for the shouting that his teeth never got close enough for anything to pass through them. They just flat weren’t in the way. All that came out of an un-blocked pie hole.

And then there’s Bill Clinton, who pulled crime stats out of his ass. You could tell from the stink.

And Joe Biden, but who would listen to a tale told by an idiot — except it DOESN’T signify nothing. More’s the pity. But, Joe: it’s not deer you “need” more than ten rounds to hunt. And maybe that’s the point. The crooked pols are running scared because the people would be fully justified in “taking the law into their (our) own hands” and decorating a few pikes. Or lamp-posts. Strange fruit and all that.

Un. Real.

I may be behind the curve, here, but I was given to understand that the so-called “assault rifle” (a .223 caliber plinking gun if there ever were one, but certainly no assault weapon by any expert definition of the term) present at Sandy Hook, a Bushmaster AR-pattern rifle, was found, unused, in the trunk of Lanza’s car, and that the weapons used to massacre all those rendered-defenseless-by-the-state victims were hand guns. Or did I miss something? Oh, no I dit-n’t! (HT: Jesse — thanks, Bro.) Except it apparently wasn’t an AR. Oh, well, fog of war and all that.

If so, then all this ranting and raving, lying and finger-pointing about
— scorn quotes — “assault rifles” is pure, naked opportunism, and doubly despicable for being blood dancing.

On Privacy

GLENN BECK RANTED on Monday as to how stupid and despicable it is for a newspaper to publish the addresses of the owners of registered guns. He (and others) are acting as though the problem is the newspaper. I have a different take. (Quelle surprise.)

An aside, though. I recall a freedom-of-the-press work of agitprop starring Sally Field and Paul Newman called Absence of Malice. The central contention that, in order for journalism that ruins people’s lives to be reprehensible, the journalist in question must have a malicious intent. Around here, we don’t accept statements of motive as dispositive. Rather, we judge actions by results. If the publication of a detail eventuates in harm to the subject of a story or a mention, the writer is responsible — by the same principle as felony murder.

Except there’s been no crime. No — whatcha callit — predicate.

Really? Hmm. Maybe we need to address that. In legislation strengthening Fourth Amendment protections.

The problem is not the newspaper publishing information which is a matter of public record. It is, rather, that the government has and continues to improperly put into the public record information which is none of its business.

Yes, it’s a privacy issue, but the enemy is the state, not the press. The newspaper should not be able to print the information from this source because the source shouldn’t exist.

I keep predicting — partially in hopes of helping to bring about — a backlash against the constant insults to liberty and privacy. I believe that everyone misses the key point. YOU should own the information about you. What it is is nobody’s business.

My mother is a writer. (Grandmother, too. Runs in the family.) She used to write at a table in the dining room. Not the dining room table, but her own … well, call it a desk. She would, as a matter of habit, leave her current manuscript page in the typewriter. We were forbidden to read it. Absolutely.
As a matter of privacy. (Also as a legal matter. She retained and retains copyright. As a part of that is that, if she doesn’t give you permission to read an unpublished work, you are committing a Federal crime. Good luck winning in court, but the reality is there — it’s illegal to read a work without permission. The possession of a licensed copy constitutes permission. In the absence of a licensed copy, reading an unpubbed work without permission is a copyright violation. The law may not read exactly like that, but those are the basic facts.)

Anyway, I never did. It was quite possible I could have without anyone’s being the wiser. There were long stretches of time when the typewriter was unattended and the page in it easily visible to the casual passerby. But a morally strait person, respecting the privacy rights of the author would not read without permission. It’s a lesson, really, in libertarianism. The essential core principle of the belief system is respect for individual autonomy — insisting on it for yourself, but also granting it to others.

I believe that this principle should be in play in the general realm of personal privacy. It doesn’t matter if you give your personal information to a business for purposes of transacting business. That is YOUR information, and the business assumes a fiduciary responsibility to keep it private.

This principle already hold sway with regard to financial information. A responsible business would no more pass along your account information to a third party (without authorization) than they would their own. Why should your address or phone number be a more legitimate target? It’s a matter of public record? Where the hell does it say that’s material? Your house number is on your front porch. Does that make it proper to print your address in the paper? Of course not. It makes you a target — no matter for whom or under what threat, it does so, and to bring that about is reprehensible. Absence of malice or not.

Now, there are laws. Banking regulations pretend to provide a framework of best practices and set limits on what information may and may not be divulged by banks to third parties. But, in essence, what has happened is that the legislature — in this case, Congress — has waived your right to privacy, without regard to your desires, or even consulting you. And it has done so in clear violation of the natural right to privacy and of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

Hey! Hold on a minute, Alger! (She said, playing the good little shill once again…) The Bill of Rights …

Is a list of limits on government — and specifically on the Federal government? Is that what you mean to say? Really?

Erm… Yes?

Well, you’re wrong. Only the First Amendment refers to an actor — Congress. The rest are absolute proscriptions — “…the right of the People…” “… shall not be infringed…” — with no reference to an actor, and no limits. The rights are seen and written of as natural, unlimited, and inherent to the individual. No actor — public or private, or at any level of government — may trammel them.

And, if you think of it, at the time the Constitution was written, there were a good many fewer agents of the state than there are today. Professional police departments, for one example, would not become common for another fifty years. I can see myriad scenarios in which a private citizen might violate one of the rights and be sanctioned for it.

But one thing is crystal clear, and that is that what we refer as a right to privacy — “… to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects…” — is enshrined and protected in the Constitution and that it should be as protected as perfect and absolute.

And that means to me that, even if you are on a public street, you have a default presumption of a right to privacy in your person, and no one may, for example, take your picture without your permission. Private entities may not use a photograph of you — even if you appear in it only by accident and are not even the subject of the photograph — without your permission in writing. Why, then, does the state — surely more straitly restricted than private entities — have the authority to observe you willy nilly via surveillance cameras? Should not there be a requirement that first a judge must rule on probable cause and issue a warrant — for every person appearing on a street in view of a surveillance camera?

And but me no buts about convenience. Liberty shall not give way to convenience, else all is lost. Also, arguments to the so-called Greater Good are bootless, for in violating the rights of a single individual for said “greater” good, you are committing the greater evil of vitiating the rights of all.

Think about it. Refine it. Pass it on.

Went to Whole Foods for the First Time

IN I-DON’T-KNOW-HOW-MANY years. First and last time Toni and I went for a lookaround, we decided that, as nice as the place was and as interesting as their product lines all look, their prices were too much to be borne.

That last part hasn’t changed, but my diet has. (Toni’s too. She’s just not as manic about it.)

I’m not eating wheat, so finding palatable substitutes for wheat-based sandwich breads is … shall we say…problematic?

Kroger has some. Mostly frozen. Well, all frozen. And what they do have is a lot of the time pretty picked over. Frex, I never see Udi’s white sandwich bread (which is the most palatable to me so far) on Saturdays (which is when I shop at Kroger).

Not sure why the wheat-free breads are all frozen. Maybe it’s preservation issue. The stuff isn’t demanded in sufficient quantity for them to turn over their inventory daily, so they have to stretch out its shelf life and freezing it is as good a way as any.

And it’s not like I don’t take a loaf of fresh bread home and freeze it anyway, so I don’t know why I’m complaining.

Anyway, Kroger has some.

Then there’s a place about as far from Casa d’Alger as is Kroger called Fresh Market which looks to me like an upscale 7-11, which should give you a handle on how wrong THAT is. Toni and my one colleague at the Patch Factory (whose family also is on special diets and who also knows this side of town pretty well) both maintain that Fresh Market is a pretty OK place. It just sets my teeth on edge.

As does the other relatively-close place, Trader Jack’s. Plus, TJ’s doesn’t have the GF* bread selection that even Kroger has. They just have better inventory of it, if you follow me.

And the PF colleague keeps plugging Whole Foods on me. Every time I complain about Kroger’s inventory, the first two words out of her mouth are, “Whole Foods…”

Aside from their prices, which are really high (did I mention?), the closest Whole Foods to Casa d’Alger is in a veddy upscale shopping center at the edge of Hyde Park, in Norwood (Remember the Kelo-like case where a whole neighborhood got swindled out of their homes by developers? It’s that development, albeit a whole different part.) It used to be a factory (Og! It was R.K. Le Blond machine tool.) and a lumber yard. The streets thereabouts were never planned for that kind of traffic. The traffic is on Cincinnati streets, while the tax base is on Norwood land, so there’s fuck-all cooperation on the matter. The streets are overcrowded, rutted, pavement buckling, the intersections poorly-designed, and traffic is, well, traffuck. The county ends up stationing Sheriff’s deputies on the main drag and directing traffic in and out of the one entrance (of three).

Oh, and did I mention that two of the three streets that bound the place are also feeding to-and-from Interstate 71? Yeah. Right off the expressway exit, between the I and the bedroom communities of Hyde Park and Oakley.

Add to that the fact that, for the past two months, it’s been Christmas — first the leadup, then the after sales. Drivers looking for parking spaces begin to resemble schools of circulating sharks. No space is open longer than it takes the prior occupant to pull away from it. Only the fact that this is a whitebread, middle-class suburb prevents there from being knife fights.

Although, you have to admit, that could be kind of hot. A couple of foxy soccer moms going at it…

Sure, Dolly. It’s all fun-and-games until somebody gets punctured out front of Smith and Hawken.

Er, yeah. Did I say that out loud?

ANY wayyy… Needless to say, the locals avoid the place like the plague this time of year.

But, in my brilliance and perspicacity, this weekend, I bought a thing of angus corned beef at Sams and then forgot to get rye bread at Kroger. And, in the what-to-do-about-it afterthought and recriminations, I decided — finally — to go and check out the bread situation at Whole Foods.

I tell you that to tell you this:

I expect the place to be wall-to-wall granola-and-bean-sprouts types. No big surprise there. And, despite my recent victories on the weight front, I fit in with that crowd about like a beached whale at Jones Beach Fourth of July weekend. No problem. I’ve never been the social butterfly anyway. I’m more the dress-in-black, stand against the wall, snark-sniping with hip and ironic bons mot type. That kinda shit rolls off me like Daffy off Bugs.

No, what amused me was the observation that all of the male employees beards looked exactly alike as to length and shape. As though they had a beard inspector who went around at morning check-in with a plastic mask he laid over their chins and made them either shave or glue on additional hairs so everybody had the same whole-wheat-and-chambray uniform appearance to match the store’s corporate theme.

That and the fact that everybody acted stoned. Especially my cashier, although I wasn’t mean or quick-witted enough to fuck with him. I wondered if they all did a doobie before going on shift — maybe sang a couple of choruses of “Kumbaya” as they passed the jay.

I almost wanted to wave a new bill at him to see if he fixated on the holographic ink as it sparkled and hue-shifted. But I’m not that mean. Or, as I say, quick-witted.

*GF=Gluten Free. Yes, I’m sans wheat, not gluten, but, in today’s market, the two are functionally identical.

Campaign Finance

GLENN HAS AN ITEM up this morning on the subject of money in politics.

As I’ve always said…

The only way you’ll get the money out of politics is to get the power out of Washington.

(Substitute your local capital to make the slogan appropriate at your level.)

The country needs this trope. Tell all your friends.

I Don’t Mean to Be Silent

I’M WORKING ON AN UBERPOST about book cover art. I’m also playing with ideas for the cover of “Report from the Field” (still looking for a better title). And I’m still looking for a better title for “Report from the Field.

The problem with that last is that the “original” title for the Apocryphal story on which the canonical one is based was so cool and apposite — Report from New Xenaland. But, of course, I have to strip out all allusions to Xena: Warrior Princess in that vein. (I’m wondering if the trope in which Witchlet, who’s a Xenite from the word “Go!”, buys six dollies on the day they’re available in Hong Kong… (not released, mind you, just available, which implies they may have been pirated, but give the naive fan a break) (but I degrease) …wondering if that trope is too infringing. Don’t want to get crosswise of NBC/Universal.)

And I’m trying to get actual wordage on “Report…”

But — see — my feet hurt. The kind of pain they make graphics of for TV commercials. Got a pain killer for it, but it works only sporadically. And I can’t seem to get into a comfortable posture that allows me to work at a desk.

So, while I’m wrestling with that, no free ice cream for you. Sorry.

Oh, Boy!

THERE’S A NEW OH, JOHN Ringo, No out! Yay! Can’t wait ‘til it’s in MMPB. I am not among those who decry the rampant randiness of the Kildar series. I rather enjoy it, and I’m not afraid to say so. So there.

And, as you know, this blog, while not as aggressive about it as Instapundit, is an Amazon affiliate. When you shop at Amazon via our links, you help defray the costs of keeping this site afloat at no additional cost to yourself. Thank YOU for your support.

If You’re Not Utterly Fact-Challenged

YOU SHOULD READ a column by St. Ann. She doesn’t even get shrill once.

And, of course, if you are fact-challenged on the subject of guns, you’ll probably ignore this, because you prefer to remain stubborn in your invincible ignorance than maybe possibly admit you might be wrong.

And, by the way, unlike the New York Times, Ann’s facts can be independently verified.

A Meme to Go Viral

BY WHICH I MEAN it should.

Ben Shapiro was on Glenn Beck in the last segment on Wednesday and advanced a meme we should all spread far and wide.

Speaking of the “civility” whinge from the Left, he says there is or should be a sort of Geneva Convention on civility. In the Geneva Conventions agreements, if you operate on the battlefield in uniform, you’re OK, and you’re covered (in theory) by its provisions. If you operate out of uniform, you are an unlawful combatant, (or a spy), and subject to — among other sanctions — summary execution. (Which is why the supporters of Islamist terrorists should be careful what they ask for when they object to the U.S.’s indefinite imprisonment of unlawful combatants.)

In the case of civility in American political debate, one should say, if we agree in all comity that we are all interested in the success of the American experiment, and the benefit to the American people, then, fine, we can have a civil debate. But if you oppose provisions of the Constitution, if you operate outside the bounds of common decency (Democrats, I’m talkin’ about YOU, Baby), then you’re beyond the pale and not entitled to civil considerations.

That is, to say (and not to put too fine a point on it), if you propose gun control — particularly bans, restrictions, or punitive taxes or fees — you’re an enemy of the people and are dead to us. Fuck off and die. (FOAD)

Quote of the Day

…[T]he way that you think of a dog, is the way that the left thinks of you. When you misbehave, the left looks around for your owner.

Daniel Greenfield

Mead’s Main Failing Is That He’s Too Liberal

IN THE SENSE THAT HE is too kind to people he really should view as enemies. Take greens for example.

He writes as though he actually takes the modern green movement at its word that it’s actually concerned about the environment. Couldn’t be further from the truth. Take for example the undeniable fact that their pressing for biofuels WILL result in diminishing the world food supply, WILL result in higher food prices (or, rather, already is), WILL eventuate in greater starvation among the world’s poor.

Mead seems to think this is an — scorn quotes — “unanticipated” consequence. (Which, as we have, I think, pretty well demonstrated, is a logical nonentity.) Far from it. It is not a bug, but a feature. Just remember, the eco-marxists in the modern international green movement WANT to kill off large swathes of humanity. We should encourage them to show the depth of their commitment by telling them, “You first.”

You Should Keep This In Mind

WHAT WITH ALL THE who-struck-John about the gun control conversation, with people seeking to restrict your liberty because — doncha know — you’re a child, with impulse control issues, and can’t be trusted with dangerous tools or sharp implements.

Has to be about that, because, as has been conclusively demonstrated long ago, there isn’t anything you can do with laws restricting supply or access that will lessen gun violence because, you see, criminals don’t obey laws. The only benefit to be derived from the attempt is to enhance the ability of the state to know who has guns for the purpose of rounding them up and shipping them off to the camps.

And, no, that’s NOT over-the-top. Not when we have an example in-hand within living memory. No.

The Rich Get Richer

WHILE YOU GET POORER. And by “rich,” I don’t mean somebody who makes a dollar more in annual income than you do. I mean people such as the Kennedys. The Morgans, the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts. People who have serious wealth, who — in the current generation — haven’t really earned it (not that there’s anything wrong with that). People who have serious investment in businesses such as tentpole banks, with significant share in the Federal Reserve. (No representations made as to the accuracy or objectivity of the linked article.)

What? (You say, astonished.) The Federal Reserve is a private entity?

Yup. That’s right, although the power elite try to fit it with all sorts of fig leaves. Now, it’s true, banks have nearly always been private. For some reason, kings and bishops have been poor stewards of public monies. Go figure. But that’s not the way we’re supposed to be set up. Which is why Alexander Hamilton’s name is a dirty word around here.

As I’ve long maintained, from the founding to the Nixon administration, inflation was pretty much flat.

Although, if you look at the chart here, you’ll notice that, although inflation really got busy in 1971, and has essentially meant negative growth in wages and salaries (in terms of buying power) in the double-digits for forty years, thus the need for nuclear families to have two income sources and raise their children via social institutions, rather than in the bosom of the family, thus causing the disintegration — note the roots: dis + integration — of both the family and society. (Don’t even try to argue it; it’s irrefutably true, and you know it.) (Wow! What a digression!), if you look at the movement of the line on that chart, you’ll notice that there were periods where prices doubled — in other words, buying power was cut in half — over a short time, which would be terrible enough.

I’ve had this rule I call the Candy Bar Rule. That is that a candy bar that cost me a nickel when I was a kid cost 50 cents today — or whenever I was talking. A ten-times increase in price, or a 90% degradation in buying power. But, in reality, it’s worse — far worse — than that.

Your dollar today is worth about four (4) cents — $0.04 — in 1970 buying power. Yes. The 60s were a better time.

And this has been brought to you largely by Democrats, although they managed to wrap Republicans’ hands around the whiskey glass for the crime scene techs to find and dust for prints.

Tell me again why you support these criminals?

It Seems Obvious to Me That Gabby Giffords

SUFFERED SOME BRAIN DAMAGE from her late shooting, and we should cut her some slack when she witters such nonsensical and anti-democratic nonsense as her latest that we should match the reach and influence of the NRA with a countervailing force.

Leftist statists (BIRM*) keep getting this wrong. The reason that the NRA has the reach and power and influence it has is because of its members. You know, “We, the People”? Of course, the Democrat party has always been about governing against the will of the people, so where’s the surprise in that?

*But I Repeat Myself.

Learned a New Term of Art from Charlie Martin Today

IT’S “CHUNKS”. It’s a technical, writer thing. You wouldn’t understand.

I actually did work on the story Saturday. But, because mostly it involved cutting stuff, I actually had negative word counts. So, technically, I didn’t work today, but I did. Sort of. I think my average 1,000 words of new fiction per day is standing up pretty well despite that, since I’ve done 10,000 words in 5 days.

Not only that, but I actually did add 4,000 words today. It’s just that it was a … a chunk from the first draft — “Report from New Xenaland” — which can’t count until it’s been properly integrated into the current story. I am merely saving myself some time, as I intend to bring it in virtually unchanged as it is, only changing the matrix of story around the parts of the chunk. (These are all technical terms of art, by the way.) Yes they are.

I have also made several strategic decisions concerning the climactic set piece(es), which will speed the writing of that|those considerably.

So the official Scrivener Project Stats word count stands at 30,618 as of 1AM Sunday.

For Those of You Following Along At Home

WHEN LAST WE LEFT OUR intrepid protagonist, he had 28,529 words on the page of his latest story, “Report From the Field” (still looking for a better title). At this point, I suspect I should acknowledge the thing is a full-blown novel and it will have to go to 40K to be finished in that regard — not to mention finishing the actual — you know — story thing.

As of 2:15 Friday afternoon, when I broke for lunch, I had 29,900 according to Scrivener’s Project Stats, for a net gain of 1,371. (Remember, I have a daily goal of 1,000 words minimum.) Tonight, after dinner, and until shutting down for bed at 1:30 AM, I brought that daily production number up to 2,313 words, for a new grand total of 30,842. Yes, indeedy, folks, we have broken 30K. Since the beginning of November. Not great, but not bad, either. So, to make it to official, league-rules minimum novel length, I need a round 10,000 words more. And, looking at the scenes yet to be done, I suspect it’s quite doable.

Not going to do it before I go back to work at the Patch Factory, but I think I’ll be handing the story off to the Alpha Reader within a week.

Then we get to work on the cover art. (Cue dramatic music.)

The Insolence of the Law, Office’s Delay…

HAD A TRAIN OF THOUGHT running through my mind lately. This article at Forbes puts me in mind of it. It strikes me that the complaint that this action or that by the government is a violation of the Constitution is bootless without some enforcement. It seems as though it must be the duty of an attorney — any attorney, all attorneys — to resist, indeed, to strike back.

Why on earth do lawyers exclude from juries candidates from the pool who know and understand the notion of jury nullification? Would not a counselor to an unjustly-accused, a truly persecuted defendant wish the jury to agree with him? And wouldn’t it make sense that, if somebody came in with that knowledge and belief, there would be a better chance to persuade?

And why do not attorneys (again, assuming this to be their duty to the law under the law and officers of the court) challenge the constitutionality of every law as a matter of best practices?

Why do we always understand it that government officials are immune to prosecution due to sovereign immunity? If an official enforces a law which violates the letter of the Constitution, where is his cover? Should not he be liable for prosecution — individually, privately, not as an officer of the government — under the law which is purported to govern and circumscribe his actions?

Why does not the practice of making several charges in the case of a single act constitute double jeopardy?

Why does not the concept of precedent and stare decisis come under fire when such violates the letter of the Constitution? As I’ve said in other cases, I have two words for you: Dredd Scott. At one time, that was — scorn quotes — “settled law.” Not any more.

Why don’t attorneys police their own number? Why do feckwitted “con-law” professors such as this Seidmann [sic] character not face disbarment procedures? Why aren’t they hounded from their positions — hell, from the country?


PLUGGING AWAY TODAY at Report From The Field, (still looking for a better title). Started Thursday after breakfast with a count at 26,417 and ended at 1AM Friday with 28,529, for a day total of 2,112.

Just induced a plot twist. Oh, joy. I thought I was close to done. This damned thing might break 40K and turn into a novel after all. We’ll see how many words it takes me to do the climactic set piece. AND… what it takes to get there.

Everything is on Wikipedia!

THEY SAY YOU’RE NOT supposed to talk about your process on your writing blog. So I’m not. Reporting word counts on the Work In Progress doesn’t count.

By the way, the count for Wednesday, (Jan 1), on “Report From The Field” (Looking for a better title.) is 24,730. I have a very few scenes to go and this puppy is done. Thirty. Send it to print. Well, the editors.

But I was thinking about running jokes and character stuff and… In all the stories, Dolly makes allusions to photo shoots with erotic photographers, such as Bob Guccione (PBUH), Suze Randall, Helmut Newton, et. al. So it occurs to me that, maybe, they should make a Fleshlight of her. I checked on Wikipedia, and the thing was patented in 1998, the Dolly stories start out in 1999, so the fit is almost perfect. (Pun intended.)

I think I’m going to write that in somewhere.

You NEED to Listen to Both

OF THE audios at the link.

If “feminist” liberals gave a flying damn about women, they would want them to be able to defend themselves. But their only genuine objective is to increase their power at the expense of individual liberty.

Need? It’s Not About Need.

I KEEP SEEING all these quotes from Senators arguing in favor of a gun ban asking, “who needs x, y, or z?” To which, I have a couple of observations.

First, needs are a piss-poor determinant of deserts. One can tell a corrupt politician, accustomed to buying votes with money from the public till by this emphasis on needs. It’s not a matter of what someone needs, it’s what they deserve that matters.

Second, the first ten amendments to the Constitution aren’t a Bill of Needs. They are a Bill of Rights. They are also a part of — it says so right here on the side of the box — the supreme law of the land. They are, in a sense, inalienable.

And each and every officeholder, elected or appointed, at all levels of government swears an oath or affirmation to preserve that law.

So let us talk about NEEDS. Congress NEEDS to understand that it is skating on thin ice. The President NEEDS to understand that he does not have lawful legislative authority, and that Executive Orders carry absolutely ZERO weight. The people NEED to make the point that this goes no further. Once the government crosses that line, of directly abrogating the Constitution in the way presently contemplated, they have essentially repealed all of the laws presently extent in this country. We instead become a jungle, ruled by brute force and ruthlessness.


I GUESS I SHOULDN’T be amazed, but I am. In 45 minutes, give or take (5:40-6:25), I have added my daily goal to “Report from the Field” — 1,020 words. This after having spent the day procrastinating, flogging the hog, and taking a nap. Think what I could have gotten done if I’d sat down this morning and worked straight through. But it took all that prior effort to realize where I wanted to go and what steps I wanted to take, storywise, before I could actually write the scenes.

Dunno why that is, but I find it annoying and I want to break the tendency.

Total word count now stands at 21,785.

2013: Resolved

WRITE AT LEAST 1,000 words of new fiction every day.

PUBLISH AT LEAST one work of at least novella length each month. (Starting with “A Report from the Field” this month (January).

DROP AT LEAST 100 pounds by the end of the year.

GET ALL MY WEB sites in order.

WORK ON DRAWING CHOPS using my Bamboo tablet and Auto Sketch.

Happy New Year.