It Can’t Happen Here: A blast from the past take two.

It seems that the same things keep coming around.  Now, the same people who were telling us that Trump was a new Hitler and his supporters all Fascists are screaming for Trump and his party to disarm the people.  Right, like having a Fascist (so they say) disarming the populace never goes wrong.  (Never mind that if Trump is trying to be Hitler, he’s doing it wrong.

But I’ve written before on the subject of “It can’t happen here.” I reposted it just this past December second.  But here we are again because people are making the same stupid arguments.

Nothing really needs to be changed about it except what I wrote last year about depriving people of their property without due process of law, Civil Asset Forfeiture.  I’ve added a few lines here and there, but that’s about it.

Note that this was originally written in 2015, before the current administration, when people were oh, so sure that “It couldn’t happen here.”


The Second Amendment is Obsolete, some say.  The idea that the United States could ever turn tyrannical is pure paranoia, some say.  The thing is, there’s nothing but faith that that’s the case.  We’re not that far, as history goes, from the Wounded Knee and Sand Creek massacres.  And if you think that Ruby Ridge and Waco were okay because you don’t like the people who were targeted in those cases, I’ll remind you of Burkhead’s First Law of Government:  Anything government can do for you it can do to you.

So, let’s look at that. Rounding up people and sending them to concentration camps (whether called “reservations” or “relocation centers”). Check. (Treatment of Native Americans.  Japanese-American “Relocation Centers” during World War II).

Illegal medical experiments involving infecting people with diseases, not treating them, and observing the effects done on people without their knowledge or consent. Check. (Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment–and particularly interesting how that was “explained” to the victims as they were getting free health care from the US Government.)

Arbitrary searches of American citizens’ households aimed at the seizure of property without either probable cause or any kind of warrant. Check. (post-Katrina gun Confiscation)

Laws passed allowing the indefinite detention of American Citizens without due process of law. Check. (NDAA 2012) (Hasn’t been rescinded as far as I know.)

American citizens going about their daily business being stopped and searched again without probable cause or any kind of warrant (or even the “reasonably articulable suspicion” for a “Terry Stop”). Check. (TSA, not just at Airports, but at bus terminalsrail and subway terminalshighways, even High School Proms.)

“Can’t happen here?” It has and is happening here.

Tell me again how the Second Amendment is obsolete since it’s not needed to defend against tyranny.

Look, if you took all the homicides in America, not just those committed using guns but all of them.  It would take more than 5,000 years for that death toll to match the number of people killed by their own governments in the 20th century.

Our history is a drop in the bucket next to that.  If you have confidence that the people will never, not once in the next 5000 years, need the power to resist a government gone rogue, one that no longer responds to votes or any “will of the people” (for that matter, how sure are you that the “will of the people”, the majority, will have your interests at heart, will not decide that you need to disappear for the “greater good”?) then you are incredibly naive.

But “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Yet, still, “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Addendum Chicago police are instructed to shoot people for obeying the law. Background:  Illinois, the last state in the Union with no provision for legal handgun carry for self defense, had its “no carry” law struck down and was given a timeframe in which to come up with some kind of carry law before the existing law went away entirely.  So, Illinois now has provision for concealed carry.  But the Chicago police Chief vowed to train his officers to shoot people obeying that law.

Addendum 2 EPA exposes people, without informed consent, to high levels of toxic chemicals to track the effects.

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They Lie.

The anti gun troops are out in force today.  And, as always, they lie.

When they say they only want “Reasonable compromise” and “common sense gun control” they lie.

After all, they’ve said that before.  They’ve said “we just want this reasonable restriction, just that” time and time again.  And every time, they’ve lied.  The ink wasn’t even dry on the agreement when they started talking about it being a “good first step.”

When the “Brady Bill” was passed it provided for a 7 day waiting period on buying handguns so that the police could perform a background check on the purchasing individual.  I bought my first handgun (a little .22 semi) under that law.  Later, in 1998, the waiting period sunsetted, NICS “instant check” went into effect, and the background check provisions were extended to rifles and shotguns as well.  Immediately howls went up to put the waiting period back into place (and some States did so at the state level).  They had the background checks that they insisted were what they wanted, really, but that wasn’t good enough.

Nothing ever is.

When they say “just reasonable, common-sense gun laws” they lie.

When they say that gun control is to combat crime, they lie.

When the Federal “Assault Weapons Ban” was passed, it had no detectable effect on crime.  To be expected since rifles of all types, let alone those with the cosmetic features that ran afoul of this ban, were only used in a tiny number of crimes in the first place.  When the AWB sunsetted, we saw no corresponding rise in crime.

Indeed, none of the more than 20,000 gun laws currently in existence (counting Federal, and various State and local crimes) have had any positive impact on crime.  Indeed, we see that starting in the mid-80’s where Florida’s “Shall Issue” carry permit law (the permit must be issued unless there is a clear legal reason not to) restrictions on people carrying guns have lessened.  And yet violent crime is down.  If gun control were about reducing crime, then lessening that control would have to lead to an increase.  It doesn’t.

The best they can come up with is a shaky study where the States that have fewer gun laws have fewer “gun death”.  What they don’t tell you is that the largest number of people killed by gunshot are suicides.  And when a person is suicidal the availability of guns may affect choice of method; it doesn’t affect whether they’re suicidal.  Where gun are more restricted the suicides are just as dead.  They just choose other methods.

And, really, gun deaths?  You want to go to the funeral of someone who was stabbed or bludgeoned or choked to death and tell them “at least they weren’t shot”?  Please don’t.  One, I don’t want you to inflict yet more pain on the bereaved with that ridiculous “comfort” and two, I don’t want to be responsible for the beating you might receive in response.

When they say it’s about crime, they lie.

When they say other countries have “solved” their violence problem with gun control, they lie.

Anti-gun folk love to point out that X nation has strict gun control and gun bans and has a low violent crime rate.  What they don’t want to tell you is what things were like before the strict gun control was implemented.  Ask them for a case where a country starts out with high violent crime rate, passed gun control/bans, and ended up with a low violent crime rate.  At best they’ll point to Australia, where, after its semi-automatic weapons ban, the general declining trend continued.  Oh, they’ll pick a high point in the random year to year variation before and a low point in the variation after, and that can hoodwink the unwary (and is an intellectually dishonest argument).  Generally speaking, however, the whole “other countries solved their problem with gun control” evaporates when you look at what effect gun control actually affected the violence in that country.

Also, they’ll always limit their argument to “developed countries” or “western nations” or another cherry-picked list.  What they don’t want you to realize is that by doing so they tacitly admit that other factors than “gun control” are far, far more important than gun control.  They wouldn’t have to limit it if that weren’t the case.  What they also don’t want you to realize is that the difference is only in degree between the nations they include and those they exclude.

So when they say that “other countries have solved violence with gun control” they lie.

That’s the sum of the gun control movement, lies upon lies for their own ends.  Whenever they open their mouths on the subject, lies emerge.  Oh, the person speaking may sincerely believe what they are saying, they may be an honest person who simply has been misled by the movers and shakers of the gun control movement.  But those movers and shakers?  They lie.  They lie deliberately and with a straight face.  They play to your emotions to get past your logic filters to get you to accept the lie, but they lie.  The truth is not in them.  And, unfortunately, because of their play to emotion, the ever-present willingness to wave a bloody shirt to get what they want, even admitting that the laws they push won’t affect the crime that bloodied the shirt they want it passed anyway because….look!  Bloody shirt!  They are the vilest form of political opportunist.

And they lie.

 

This and That Today

Just some assorted scattered bits for today.

It’s been more than a month now that I’ve been on the APAP. I _should_ have received a replacement nose pillow for my APAP but I haven’t so I called. Turns out billing is shown as “pending”. This appears to be just a paperwork hold up and the existing component seems to be working okay still so no great crisis, just something to keep an eye on. According to the folk at Lincare, there isn’t a problem, just a paperwork delay. I want to be clear on that.

I don’t know if it’s the APAP or other stuff, but I’ve been burning up the keyboard on my writing, cranking down on finishing up the first draft of Alchemy of Shadows (other WIPS set aside while I bear down on finishing this one). Generally 2-3,000 words a day which is simply phenomenal considering my earlier productivity. This one’s going to be rather short as novels go, probably on the order of 60,000-65,000 words as Word counts them (75-80,000 using the “traditional” method).

Over on FaceBook had someone bleating the “Confiscation is wrong, we just want reasonable gun control” “Reasonable” like “universal background checks, requiring individual sellers to maintain records of personal sales for X years, ID like Illinois’ FOID, expanded background checks” yadda yadda yadd.

I kind of lost my temper:

Bullshit, (Name withheld to protect everyone). All this “reasonable compromise” and “common sense gun control” is nothing more than another step toward the eventual goal of complete prohibition. I know it. The readers here know it. And you know it however much you may want to deny it. The only question is whether you’re lying to us or to yourself when you say otherwise.

No level short of that will ever satisfy the gun grabbers. Ever. Every single time they’ve said “we just want this reasonable little common-sense restriction and then we’ll leave you alone” they lied. Every. Single. Time.

None of the restrictions they’ve ever passed have worked for their stated goal. None. Yet they continue to double down swearing “this time for sure…” They do it knowing it won’t have the effect they claim. But they keep doing it so their must be some benefit that they’re getting that remains unstated. And pretty much everybody here knows what that benefit is. You just object to people saying it.

But sometimes, in unguarded moments, you can get them to state what they actually want, times like these:

https://thewriterinblack.com/2014/09/20/nobody-wants-to-take-your-guns/

Well I, for one, have had enough and if you can’t deal with that truth bomb, you know where the unfriend and block buttons are.

It’s been about a week on my program of cardio exercises.  My BP (even with the aggravation) is down.  The cuff I have reads high compared to what I got at the doctor’s office, but I figure I can track trends with it even if the absolute numbers are off.

Don’t know about weight (will see next time I’m at the Dr.’s office).  Still stress-eating which may well counter any improvement from the exercise.  Still, all in all, progress.

Here we go again.

So, some asshole (no, I’m not going to name him) shot up a school in Florida.   And the instant something like that happens people come out of the woodwork citing their pet causes of the issue.

I get it.  People want some simple fix to avoid horrid things like this, but that simply isn’t the case.

First, let’s cover the big one.  Guns.  If we didn’t have guns (or “assault weapons” or “semiautomatic weapons” or whatever the cause du juor is today) then we wouldn’t have these mass shootings.

Maybe.  If you magically made all guns go away (and that includes all guns owned by governments as well) along with all the ability to make guns, then it follows there will be no shootings.   And if you had magical peace-farting unicorns flatulating love and happiness there wouldn’t be any either.  The latter is as likely to happen as the former, maybe more so.

There are on the order of 100 million gun owners in the United States owning between 300 million and a half billion guns.    Gun owners outnumber law enforcement all law enforcement, by on the order of 70 to one.  They outnumber the entire world’s militaries and paramilitary organizations by three to one.  There isn’t enough force in the world, short of leaving your nation a burned out husk to get rid of them by force.  And most of them aren’t finding your attempts at persuasion (which largely consist of name calling and accusations of everything from raping puppies to killing off the dinosaurs) don’t seem to be working.

Second, guns are not difficult to make.  I’ve dealt with that in a recent post.  Australia, for instance, is seeing homemade machine guns turning up in criminals hands.  A blow-back open bolt machine gun is one of the easiest types of repeating firearms to make.  I was twelve when I independently “invented” one (never actually built it but looking back I’d essentially come up with the Sten gun action).  That Genie is not going back into the bottle.

If a 12 year old can do it…

But here’s the thing, even if you did make all the guns go away, or were restricted to those who never, ever, ever, would misuse them. (Who that might be, I don’t know.  Are you naive enough to trust governments?  I’m not.  If you can’t trust your neighbors enough to let them own guns, how can you trust them enough to vote to decided who gets killed?)  But let’s suppose.

  • Oklahoma City Bombing
  • Bath School Massacre
  • Happy Land Fire
  • Cinema Rex Fire

That’s two bombings and two arsons but I could go on and on.  Consider some of the fires that have killed a lot of people.  Fires that started accidentally.  Fires as bad that someone could start deliberately.

Taking away one method, even if you achieve it doesn’t make the murderous stop.  It simply makes them look for other means.

Thus, attempts to ban/restrict guns simply will not work.

So since dealing with the tools won’t solve the problem, that leaves dealing with the killer.

The asshole (again, not naming him) was on depression medications, some folk say.  Look how many of these assholes are on psychiatric medicine.  Blame the medicines.

Sigh.

The people are on psychiatric medicines because they have mental problems.  Generally speaking, when people take psychiatric medications, it’s because they have psychiatric problems. And since no medication is a panacea, sometimes despite the best efforts, they don’t work as we’d hope. And, yes, sometimes they are prescribed when they shouldn’t be. And sometimes they aren’t prescribed when they should be. All because we live in an imperfect world.

Further complicating the matter is that some people behave “atypically” to any given medication. This is why the use of psychiatric medication needs to be monitored by a competent mental health professional, why people near to the person involved need to be aware of possible issues and what to look for to get the person to competent care before things explode out of hand.

Others lay the blame on “turning our backs on God.” Well, if that’s your solution, I just have to ask what restrictions you plan to put on me as a non-believer based on this “God” thing.  If “none” then I’m not seeing how this is any help.  If not “none” then, well, you might find some resistance from myself and other non-believers or, for that matter, people who are believers but simply believe differently from you.

The problem is there is no one simple solution.  There is one thing, however, that we know doesn’t work:  Gun free zones.

Nope.  Not the least bit useful.  Most of these spree killers target gun free zones.

There. is. a. reason. for. that.

All a “gun free zone” does is ensure that the bad guys will face no armed resistance.  At most, they’ll face one or two guards/”resource officers” who can be planned for and dealt with. (Old rule of planning for emergencies:  one is none, two is one.) Declaring an area a “gun free zone” does not prevent any crime and does not save any lives.

So what can be done?

First off, stop making these assholes famous.  In many cases the notoriety is a part of their motivation.  Take that away from them.

Second, yes, mental health is an issue.  As I mention above, people on psychiatric medicine need to be closely monitored to make sure both that they’re taking the medication and that it is actually helping.  We also need to make sure people close to the individual:  friends and loved ones, co-workers, teachers and counselors, know what to look for in case the medication and treatment is not working or if they’re having an atypical result (responding to antidepressants with rage as an example).  Doing this requires de-stigmatizing getting help for this kind of problem.  And part of that means we need to be able to honestly assure people that getting help with their emotional problems doesn’t permanently strip them of their rights.

Related to that is we need to bring back involuntary hospitalization for those who won’t get the treatment they need.  I know this carries a bad name to it, and rightly so, for the abuses that were performed in its name.  But we’ve gone too far in the other direction, making it near impossible to get someone whose issues make them dangerous to themselves or others into the care they need.  Due process to protect the rights of the person being considered for hospitalization needs to be in full force, but it still needs to be an available tool.

Those would go a long way toward dealing with the spree-killing mass murder problem.

The Great Cookie Monster Thread: A Blast from the Past.

Apparently people are already screaming about the Republican budget proposal defunding PBS, much like Romney suggested in his run back in 2012.

Thus, I believe it is time to bring back The Great Cookie Monster Thread.

An item that started back during the 2012 Presidential race grew into a truly epic thread.  I have had people ask me to find it again which can be hard to do with old threads on FaceBook.

Well, I found it.  Wasn’t able to figure out how to share or link to the thread itself so I figured to just copy it here. Enjoy.

It started with this picture.  Someone posted it on FB and I shared it with the following comment:

1) Sesame Street predates government funding of PBS and thus could quite well survive the cessation of said funding.

2) Even if Sesame Street were to fold, as other Children’s shows have done over the years (do you remember Romper Room? Captain Kangaroo?) in the world where cable and satellite are ubiquitous, in a world with “Learning Channels” and “Discovery Channels” and many another, it’s loss, while not without a nostalgic sadness, would hardly be the end of the world.

3) Please show me what clause in the Constitution which makes paying for educational television a responsibility of the Federal Government. I can show you the clauses that put military expenditures into that category. We’re broke as a nation and need to cut spending. Things that _aren’t_ Constitutional responsibilities _should_ be cut, certainly before things that _are_.

4) That the Federal Government can, and should cut back toward what its actual Constitutional responsibilities are is, in fact, a _wonderful_ lesson to be teaching America’s children. GARTim Covington Considering all of the merchandising/licensing involved with Sesame Street, I have a hard time believing it would ever go away. It would just move to one of the kids’s channels and have advertising scattered throughout the show instead of the 10 minutes at the end of the hour. August 23, 2012 at 7:22am • Unlike • 6

David Burkhead “ever” is a long time. Some awfully popular shows have had their day and finally went away but still, I don’t think its in any immediate danger even if 1) PBS loses federal funding and 2) as a result PBS goes away (not a certainty even in the event of “1”). August 23, 2012 at 7:34am • Like

Doug Burbey Isn’t it about time Sesame Street start using their product marketing royalties and pay for their own damn show? Where’s all that toy money go anyway? Bet it’s not back to the treasury. August 23, 2012 at 7:35am • Unlike • 5 •

Quilly Mammoth In 1977 Chil;dren’s televisdi August 23, 2012 at 7:42am • Like •

Quilly Mammoth In 1977 Children’s television workshop bought several small cable operators across the US with help from the Ford Foundation. Shortly thereafter CTW never took another grant for Sesame Street. The only funds that CTW ever took from the Dept of Ed were for studies to find how effective the process was. Info they then used to hit up the large foundations for money. August 23, 2012 at 7:45am • Unlike • 3 •

Brad Torgersen Because defunding muppets is MEAN! That’s pretty much the only argument. Speaking as someone who worked a lot in community radio, I see plusses and minuses to defunding PBS. The core question is one I’ve never been able to answer: why should public broadcasters with a political agenda be funded by taxpayer dollars from taxpayers who disagree with that political agenda? The answer is: they shouldn’t. Which gets us back to: defunding muppets is MEAN! August 23, 2012 at 9:53am • Unlike • 5 •

James L Short • 7 mutual friends So you would be more supportive of teaching children war than reading? Or just fund war more than education? August 23, 2012 at 10:03am • Like •

Gary Roulston James L. Just proved Brad Torgersen’s point! August 23, 2012 at 10:56am • Like • 2 •

Phil Sevetson I believe that PBS will survive elimination of Government funding. I also suspect that the people who are gunning for it now will start going after broadcast licenses of the stations, next. I don’t think “get government funding out of PBS” is the end-game. I suspect we’ll see in the next four years, if Romney manages to pull this one out. August 23, 2012 at 11:01am • Unlike • 1 •

Lin Wicklund I turned Sesame Street off when Baby Bear and an adult told my kids that I didn’t love them enough to want to go to work and put them in day care. That only loving mothers put their kids in day care, and the other mothers didn’t love their kids enough to go to work. August 23, 2012 at 11:01am • Unlike • 9 •

Lin Wicklund Nothing, mind you, about two-parent families where one parent went to work and the other parent loved their children enough to stay home. August 23, 2012 at 11:02am • Unlike • 4 •

David Burkhead James L Short, fallacy of insufficient options. How about teaching children _civics_ (it used to be a subject in school) covering things like separation of powers, Constitutional powers and responsibilities (including actually reading the document), and so forth. Also, defunding PBS is not the same thing as not teaching children reading. My daughter pretty much never watched Sesame Street (or any PBS for that matter). It just didn’t interest her (shocking, I know) and yet she reads well enough at eighth that “grade level” is meaningless. How is that possible without Sesame Street and PBS? Very easily, actually.

BTW, the Sesame Worksho (formerly Childrens Television Workshop) is self-funded by merchandising et al. It doesn’t rely on grants. It doesn’t rely on PBS. In a world with The Science Channel, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, A&E, Nickelodean, and many more I doubt Sesame Street would be more than temporarily inconvenienced by PBS losing federal funding.

And that’s the way it should be. August 23, 2012 at 11:05am • Like • 10 •

Larry Correia Yeah, Brad… Do you still beat your wife?! Jerk. August 23, 2012 at 11:39am • Unlike • 8 •

Larry CorreiaAugust 23, 2012 at 11:39am • Unlike • 5 •

Jon Summers • Friends with Oleg Volk and 1 other I am going to use an argument I have seen elsewhere here and just change the name to fit…. “Why are *Muppets* discussing politics?!?” August 23, 2012 at 11:48am • Like • 6 •

John David Handley • 2 mutual friends James: if the only way your kids are learning to read is via a tv show, may I suggest you’re a shit parent and no amount of federal waste will correct that. August 23, 2012 at 11:48am • Unlike • 12 •

Mackey Chandler If corporations are people then surely muppets can be ‘arrested’ and indefinitely detained or rendered to other jurisdictions and questioned until the stuffing comes out… August 23, 2012 at 11:48am • Like • 2 •

Larry Correia Except Cookie Monster. Because that dude is a straight up hard core operator… Conservative too. August 23, 2012 at 11:49am • Unlike • 16 •   

Peter Barrett • 7 mutual friends Maybe Grover should get a productive job instead of having armed agents of the state steal his funding from the productive class at gunpoint. August 23, 2012 at 11:50am • Unlike • 11 •

Larry Correia And Cookie Monster is in favor of teaching war rather than reading. The dude is a freaking killing machine. He was in my mercenary company in Bosnia. I saw Cookie Monster massacre a whole village once… We paid him in cookies. August 23, 2012 at 11:52am • Unlike • 27 •

Nick Gardner Speaking for myself, I’d rather have freedom than Grover. Just sayin’ August 23, 2012 at 11:55am via mobile • Unlike • 10 •

Larry Correia It was after the village massacre in Sbrzjkhginvinia that Cookie Monster got on that weird health kick where he only ate vegetables. I think he just saw too much killing. It can change a puppet… He was messed up, riddled with PTSD. His nightmares were of blood… and cookies… August 23, 2012 at 11:57am • Unlike • 28 •

Travis Beck That crazy blue bastard has a huge switchblade that he named “Snickerdoodle”. The things he uses it for…not even Oscar deserves that! August 23, 2012 at 11:59am via mobile • Like • 5 •

David Burkhead Thank you Larry Correia. Seems after you commented here I get a number of likes from XXX (Friend with Larry Correia) August 23, 2012 at 11:59am • Like • 8 •

Dick Besser • Friends with Oleg Volk and 3 others Lots of cable and network TV shows have been axed because they are not economically viable, no matter how entertaining they may have been. Why should tax dollars support public TV which has become either not watched or a nest of liberal vipers who know that many parents are off working and partying so no one is civilizing their children who then are easy to indoctrinate with mushy non thinking emotional driven BS. August 23, 2012 at 11:59am • Like • 1 •

Larry Correia But then we pulled Cookie Monster out of retirement. Zubara was heating up. We needed his particular set of skills. Part of me feels guilty… I’m the man that put that bag of snickerdoodles in front of him. I’m the one that dragged him back in. I remember, when he looked at me with his big, sad, googley eyes and said “COOKIE? ME LIKE COOKIE? ME KILL TERRORISTS. NOM NOM NOM NOM.” and the next thing I knew, we were sitting on a rooftop, watching bad guys through the twenty power scope on top of a Barrett M82… August 23, 2012 at 12:00pm • Like • 22 •

Travis Beck Don’t forget about that firefight outside of Macaroon. The way he went after that former Selous Scout because he can’t stand crackers, that was messed up. August 23, 2012 at 12:04pm via mobile • Like • 1 •   

Larry Correia Our biggest problem in the field was that his bright blue fur stuck out in the desert… There isn’t much stealth when C.W. is working. We’d roll up fast. Hit the enemy hard. Cookie Monster is a straight up door kicker. Man… He’s quick. Last of the gun slingers we called him. I remember standing over this pile of corpses one time, and I was shaking, and I said “Why do we do this, man?” and what he said to me has lingered ever since… “C IS FOR COOKIE. THAT’S GOOD ENUF FOR ME!” Words of wisdom, man… Words of wisdom… August 23, 2012 at 12:05pm • Like • 31 •  
  
Travis Beck At one point there was talk of getting him a ghillie suit made of snuffleupagus hide. Did that ever work out? August 23, 2012 at 12:07pm via mobile • Like • 4 •

Larry Correia Yes. We requisitioned snuffleupagus hide from Locks Of Love. August 23, 2012 at 12:09pm • Like • 10 •

Nick Gardner I still have nightmares about what he did for that tin of shortbread. *SHUDDER* August 23, 2012 at 12:09pm via mobile • Like • 1 •

Travis Beck If ever a smores-eater personified “Front Towards Enemy” it was the Big C. August 23, 2012 at 12:12pm via mobile • Like • 1 •

Adam Meyers • Friends with Howard Tayler and 4 others Speaking as a professional actor, I know all the arguments about patronage and the need for art to, every now and then, seek for art regardless of whether it will be profitable or not. I also know that patronage is how once-educational programs turn into political machines, and how the quality of artwork steadily drops due to not needing to actually be good to keep being funded. If Seasame Street, after all its backing and groundbreaking, can’t survive loss of Federal funding, then maybe its time it died and was replaced by a new groundbreaking kids show. August 23, 2012 at 12:13pm • Like • 7 •

Travis Beck Wasn’t the Shortbread Protocol developed over Macho Grande? August 23, 2012 at 12:14pm via mobile • Like • 1 •

Philip Perrey • Friends with Larry Correia Travis, no, we won’t ever be over Macho Grande. August 23, 2012 at 12:20pm • Like • 2 •

Larry Correia Shortbread Protocol… It hurts to remember.

The target was a Romanian, real numbers man… Had a code name, The Count. He had the codes. We had to make him talk.

We waterboarded that puppet for hours. I can still hear their voices.

“WHAT IS CODE?”
August 23, 2012 at 12:21pm • Like • 15 •

Larry Correia “ONE. HAW HAW HAW. TWO. HAW HAW HAW.” August 23, 2012 at 12:22pm • Like • 11 •

Larry Correia “COOKIE IS NOT SOMETIMES FOOD!”

It was horrible… Just horrible… August 23, 2012 at 12:22pm • Like • 5 •

Brad Torgersen I must say, this thread is by far the funniest damned thing I have read in a long, long time. LOL! My had is off, all. August 23, 2012 at 12:22pm • Like • 7 •

Jon Summers • Friends with Oleg Volk and 1 other
If Cookie Monster and Grover are the “Front line operators” … does that mean Big bird and Snuffleupagus are the sniper team? I mean, they do already have built in ghillie suits.

I can see it now “Seal Team: Sesame Street… the mockumentary!”
August 23, 2012 at 12:26pm • Like • 4 •

Jesse Lambert • 7 mutual friends I heard CM wore a necklace made from the oatmeal raisin cookies that he took off the dead. August 23, 2012 at 12:27pm • Like • 4 •

Chris Casper • Friends with Oleg Volk and 3 others I was part of NATO forces in the Balkans. I can confirm that “the Monster” was active in the region. The after action reports were… Horror. Sheer, pure horror. August 23, 2012 at 12:27pm via mobile • Like • 4 •
Steve Gasper • Friends with Larry Correia and 1 other Awesome! August 23, 2012 at 12:28pm • Like •
Robert Langham Kids don’t need to know how to build bombs? August 23, 2012 at 12:31pm • Like •

Chris Casper • Friends with Oleg Volk and 3 others There are unconfirmed reports that the Monster wiped out an entire Russian outpost near Pristine. The Russians just disappeared overnight… Just vanished… Like cookies anywhere near The Monster. NATO HQ heard nothing until it was all over. It was a mountain facility, but the locals swore they could hear the screaming of the VDV. We found no traces except for gas masks and random scraps of equipment. God knows what happened in that hole… August 23, 2012 at 12:34pm via mobile • Like • 4 •

Anthony Sadowski • 6 mutual friends I think I saw CM in the a-stan there was word of am IAF hit team terrorizing a small remote village we were told big C was handing it Later at a shura with the tribel elders they said to thank their savior and told us they had pulled together a payment from usaid packages i never saw some many oreos and choc chip cookies in one place ever. August 23, 2012 at 12:39pm via mobile • Like • 3 •

Jesse Lambert • 7 mutual friends One time CM came to me and asked if I could do an under-barrel Easy Bake oven for his M4. I said “Sure, but why?”. And then he told me. I did it because I needed the money. I tell myself that if I hadn’t built it for him someone else would have. That doesn’t stop the nightmares though. August 23, 2012 at 12:41pm • Like • 8 •

Nick Gardner How many others are picturing Big Bird saying “The horror?” August 23, 2012 at 12:43pm via mobile • Like • 2 •

Amelia Ritner • Friends with Larry Correia Doesn’t Sesame Street make enough money in product sales to fund itself? August 23, 2012 at 12:43pm • Like •

Nick Gardner Jon, Grover is not an operator. Didn’t you ever see the films of the protests? Grover throwing his medals over the White House fence? August 23, 2012 at 12:46pm via mobile • Like • 1 •
Larry Correia Jesse… You were the one that made EZ Bake? Man… CM would just sit there sometimes, talking to that thing like it was alive. He freaked us out sometimes. Cookie Monster was never the same after Elmo got redacted. Torture Me Elmo some of the guys called him. C.M. never laughed at that one… August 23, 2012 at 12:46pm • Like • 10 •

Larry Correia Grover is a poser. Grove pisses me off. Grover is the reason we have Stolen Valor. They said we tried to Swift Boat Grover, but the only reason he got a purple heart was because HE WAS PURPLE! August 23, 2012 at 12:47pm • Like • 6 •

Chris DeBoe • 5 mutual friends When the after action report includes the word “purée”, you know it was Big Blue. August 23, 2012 at 12:49pm • Like • 3 •

Chris DeBoe • 5 mutual friends There was the occasion in Tzfrjkistan, when I was in the 120mm mortar crew. I still can remember the call: “Fire for effect, one round, double chocolate chip…” August 23, 2012 at 12:54pm • Like • 2 •

Chris Casper • Friends with Oleg Volk and 3 others Jesus, Jesse. THAT WAS YOU? Do you have ANY CLUE what you did? August 23, 2012 at 12:54pm • Like • 2 •

Larry Correia Jesse, how can you sleep at night? August 23, 2012 at 12:55pm • Like • 1 •

Larry Correia You should have seen what Cookie Monster did with Old EZ Bake when we invaded Nick Jr. August 23, 2012 at 12:55pm • Like • 5 •

Matt Sorrell • Friends with Larry Correia and 1 other I’ll never eat another sugar cookie as long as I live. I just. . . . . can’t. Not with those memories August 23, 2012 at 12:57pm • Like • 1 •

Nick Gardner “PTSD is terrible illness that can affect any person or puppet who’s been in combat. If you suspect anyone you know is suffering from it, please, urge them to get help.” This message brought to you by the letters W, T and F, and the number 8. August 23, 2012 at 1:08pm via mobile • Like • 8 •

Travis Beck CM couldn’t be trusted with sensitive intel, though. Remember what happened to that laptop we found at Tora Bora? I never could get through to him that tracking cookiees weren’t softbaked. August 23, 2012 at 1:30pm via mobile • Like • 3 •

Peter Nealen • Friends with Tom Kratman and 4 others We had to go into a village in Zaidon after CM got through with it. The blood… the crumbs… I told myself that the bastards deserved it… Still can’t get it out of my head… August 23, 2012 at 1:44pm • Like •

Tom Hamrick • Friends with Robert Langham I thought they had changed from PBS to the CSTN? And We still pay for it. August 23, 2012 at 2:09pm • Like •

Brad Torgersen (laughter, literally, big loud laughter….) August 23, 2012 at 2:09pm • Like • 2 •

Brenna McGruder Rawson • 3 mutual friends I never liked Grover anyways. I bet Snuffy is for Romney! August 23, 2012 at 2:31pm • Like • 1 •

Conrad Ray • Friends with Larry Correia and 4 others Were you there when Bert got hit? We were in this little village and Bert stepped on a bouncing betty. He was down, screaming, stuffing everywhere. We’re trying to hold him down, stop the bleeding and frantically calling for a medevac. Just as the helo’s dusting off with Bert I see CM walk into this bakery. He didn’t even go for the cookies. Just straight into the flour. He came out with it caked around his nose. His eyes were pinholes. I don’t know how he didn’t OD and drop right there. He started going from house to house, kicking doors and… it was bad. He did the whole village. He just kept saying, “If they didn’t plant it, they know who did.”

He scares the piss out of me. When he’s running on cookies it’s bad enough. When he goes straight on the uncut flour,.. man, I just don’t want to talk about it.

The thing is, he projects this image like he’s hard, like a chips ahoy. But he’s got soft layers, like an oreo. I really think he’s hurt by what he’s seen and what he’s done. Now he’s damaged goods. Just the crumbs left in the bottom of the tray. Would I work with him again? I don’t know. I just don’t know. August 23, 2012 at 3:00pm • Like • 10 •

Janet L. Pedersen • Friends with Larry Correia Ah, the muppets are upset because the Republican ticket supports the traditional definition of marriage. They’re afraid Miss Piggy and Kermit will have to go underground… August 23, 2012 at 3:12pm • Like •

John Lane • Friends with Mark Wandrey and 4 others Sometimes things just don’t make sense, because one thing is not like the others. Did you ever find the Rainbow Connection? I know you were deep in the swamp looking for it. August 23, 2012 at 3:24pm • Like • 1 •

John Lane • Friends with Mark Wandrey and 4 others They waterboarded Ernie, and he gave up the double agent. “Rubber Ducky! Rubber Ducky, you’re the one…” August 23, 2012 at 3:32pm • Like • 2 •

Megan Rogers • Friends with Phil Sevetson When the constitution was formed only white, propertied men ( like Romney) had voting rights. Times have changed. Unless you want to return to an oligarchy, the government is obligated to do it’s utmost to educate it’s citizens. August 23, 2012 at 3:43pm • Like •

Larry Correia I’m not sure who made up more bullshit this thread, all of the Cookie Monster adventures or what Megan just said there… If your children’s education is predicated upon PBS being government funded, you have my pity. August 23, 2012 at 3:55pm • Unlike • 10 •

David Burkhead Funny, my daughter, at eight, is reading at a level where “grade level” is essentially meaningless. She did that without ever watching PBS and watching, at most, three or four episodes of Sesame Street on DVD. If government funding of PBS is so all fired important, how was she able to do that?

Oh, and as for arguments based on “times have changed” I point out that those “white, propertied men” put into that Constitution means for changing it relative to changing times. It’s called the Amendment process. If you want to change it, then amend it properly. If Federal educational funding is so obviously important it shouldn’t be difficult to convince 2/3 of each House of Congress and 3/4 of State legislatures to agree. If you can’t, then maybe the “benefit” isn’t so obvious as you think.

The modern Department of Education was founded in 1979. I have seen little evidence that it’s made things _better_. PBS itself has only existed since 1970. Folk who weren’t “educated” by the federal department of education and PBS were only capable of little things like, oh, to give just one example, going to the friggin’ Moon. People who benefited from the Federal Department of Education and PBS have made such great accomplishments as, well, _not_ going to the Moon.

I remain unconvinced that “times have changed” in this instance (Federal funding of education and “educational programming”) are actually changes for the better. The evidence before the bench would seem to point the other way. August 23, 2012 at 4:10pm • Like •

Everitt Mickey That ad alone is reason to defund PBS. And I think it’s a GREAT lesson. August 23, 2012 at 4:10pm • Unlike • 2 •

T Michael Hast • 12 mutual friends Don’t you just love it when public radio and public TV do their annual guilt-trip fund drive? If they weren’t already taking my money via taxes, I might be inclined to contribute. Maybe. As it is, get bent. August 23, 2012 at 4:39pm • Like • 1 •

Philip Docfather Wohlrab Man I was a Medic on a CST in Iraq, we were heading over towards Al Assad and running through Fallujah. Little did we know CM had heard there was a stash of thin mints going through MSR Mobile in a bongo……There were bongo trucks everywhere all burn out and shit…..The stuff I was doing man trying to hold stuffing in….. I ran through my main aid bag and then had to hit up my secondary and the CLS bags. Biggest MASSCAL I have ever seen. We had the Dust offs coming in in waves an in waves. I just couldn’t do it afterwards. August 23, 2012 at 5:06pm • Like •

Jered Van Tuyl • 13 mutual friends So, what’s the downside with that poster? August 23, 2012 at 9:10pm • Like •

Megan Rogers • Friends with Phil Sevetson David, I presume that you are college educated, relatively well off, bought books for your daughter and read to her frequently. Now imagine the parent who does not even have a GED, who is working three jobs, who can’t afford books for her daughter at Barnes and Noble and who does not read well herself. This woman is likely so exhausted that when she is with her children she uses the TV as a babysitter. What do you hope her child watches? Will it be a rerun of Threes Company, a violent cop show, reality TV or Sesame Street? I know which one I would pick. Three of these junk shows belong together. Three of these shows are kinda the same. But one of these shows just doesn’t belong here. Now it’s time to play our game…. August 23, 2012 at 9:13pm • Like •  

Mark Tickler • Friends with Larry Correia Well, maybe “If you would have peace, be prepared for war” is a valid lesson as well, no? August 23, 2012 at 9:22pm • Like • 1 •

David Burkhead “Now imagine a parent who…” is going to need a lot more than PBS to make any significant difference. August 23, 2012 at 9:26pm • Like • 2 •

Everitt Mickey three jobs? wonder why she had a kid. August 23, 2012 at 9:46pm • Like •

David Burkhead Ev, it was her _right_! August 23, 2012 at 9:46pm • Like •

Everitt Mickey David…oh yeah. Silly me. August 23, 2012 at 9:47pm • Like •

Jered Van Tuyl • 13 mutual friends So why does it become the responsibility of us as taxpayers to babysit a child for someone who makes poor choices? August 23, 2012 at 9:58pm • Like • 2 •

David Burkhead Jered Van Tuyl, because it’s her _right!_ August 23, 2012 at 10:04pm • Like •

Tedd SpeakertoLabanimals Roberts The negative commentors are missing the fact that the poster basically *lies* Sesame Street is self-funded out of their own [Big Corporate] profits on merchandising. August 23, 2012 at 10:06pm • Unlike • 3 •

Tedd SpeakertoLabanimals Roberts So, if PBS is defunded – they can either stop producing their educational shows and just become a toy merchandizer – which would simply reveal the hypocrisy in the criticism above August 23, 2012 at 10:07pm • Unlike • 2 •

Everitt Mickey I’m wondering just how “educational’ Sesame street IS. I’m wondering if maybe they be teaching kiddo’s stuff the parents don’t really care for. August 23, 2012 at 10:08pm • Unlike • 1 •

Tedd SpeakertoLabanimals Roberts or they can take their educational programs to other outlets. They don’t have to have PBS to be educational. In fact, they only thing educational about PBS these days is the education you get when you realize that the whining fundraisers are already getting your tax money! August 23, 2012 at 10:08pm • Unlike • 1 •

Megan Rogers • Friends with Phil Sevetson I am not describing a fictitious person. My son holds a 50 hour a week factory job making $9.00/ hour. If he works there a full year he will be entitled to a half a week of vacation. A coworker of his does his same job and two others. You might think because she is poor it is immoral of her to have kids that she can’t afford. I view it as immoral of America to allow companies to pay wages so low that their workers with families are forced to work twice as hard as you and me hour work wejust to make ends meet. Also, what about the child who did not choose to be born into poverty. Do you want a government that does nothing to try to stop the cycle of poverty? Of course Sesame Street is not enough. The government needs to spend far more on programs to educate our youth. You are advocating that our government stop the programs that we know are helpful for kids. August 23, 2012 at 10:36pm • Like •

Larry Correia I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear you over all the liberal hand wringing. August 23, 2012 at 11:21pm via mobile • Like • 3 •

Everitt Mickey Megan… go to russia and see how well socialism worked…. August 23, 2012 at 11:30pm • Like •

Drew Hamilton • Friends with Larry Correia Maybe the kids should go to school and learn something there…. Hell even take the money from pbs and give it to the schools. Though parents should be teaching the kids they have something, instead of letting the tv raise them. August 23, 2012 at 11:46pm • Like • 1 •

Chuck Wohlrab • Friends with Philip Docfather Wohlrab Considering Sesame Street is worth well over a billion dollars can anyone explain to me just why Grover and his pals need to drink from the public trough??? August 24, 2012 at 12:06am • Like • 2 •   

Ted Hall • 14 mutual friends Megan: I am not describing a fictitious person. Then perhaps you ought to be doing something about it… are you babysitting now and then so the poor woman can look for a better job? Have you stocked the pantry for her this month? Do you really think that anything YOU aren’t doing for her knowing of the situation personally ought to be OUR responsibility? August 24, 2012 at 12:20am • Like • 2 •

Drew Hamilton • Friends with Larry Correia Ummmm good point Chuck….. August 24, 2012 at 12:20am • Like •

James Bell • Friends with John Ringo and 4 others So why can’t PBS sell advertising like ABC NBC et al? Where does all that money that the Merchandizing from Sesame St. makes go? August 24, 2012 at 4:37am • Like •

Matthew Bowman “I view it as immoral of America to allow companies to pay wages so low that their workers with families are forced to work twice as hard as you and me hour work wejust to make ends meet.”

I view it as silly to assume that a job meant for a single person supporting only himself should be expected to pay for an entire family. There are jobs that pay more, but you have to qualify for them. You don’t have a “right” to a job; you have to earn the pay you’re provided.

Yes, it’s hard to get one of those jobs. It’s REALLY hard in the last few years, in fact. Since — when was it? 2009? No, wait, it was the tail end of 2008, right after the stock market tanked in early November. Apparently investors got some bad news on Wednesday, November 5th.

I wonder what happened the day before? Hmmm . . . August 24, 2012 at 1:34pm • Like •

Wayne Joseph Borean Actually the United States is not broke. The major problem is that certain groups have worked to ensure that they don’t pay taxes. Fix the tax Scofflaw problem, and you’ve got lots of cash.

As to Sesame Street, and other educational programs, they pay off by improving the earning power of the kids that watch them, meaning they’ll pay more in taxes. Government supported Educational efforts are actually a damned good investment, which helps provide educated workers, and improves society.

Oh, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was socialist in name only. It was a dictatorship pure and simple, dedicated to supplying a small elite with luxuries, and keeping the rest of the population as virtual slaves. August 24, 2012 at 1:59pm via mobile • Like •

David Burkhead “The major problem is that certain groups have worked to ensure that they don’t pay taxes.” This kind of comment is _exactly_ why we need folk in office who can do math. It’s empty rhetoric, no more.

Take the growth of Social Security. Just that one aspect of the budget. Take the growth of the GDP (averaged over a long enough baseline to smooth out the shorter cycles). Put them on the same graph. In a surprisingly short time, if nothing major happens to change either curve, Social Security will pass GDP. No taxes in the world will save it then. Of course, _something_ will change before then.

“They pay off by improving the earning power of the kids that watch them.” Cite? Any evidence whatsoever for this claim? I mean, even explicit programs such as Head Start have been shown to have zero effect by third grade.

“The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was socialist in name only.” Why yes. Along with every other “socialist/communist” nation. There. is. a. reason. for. this. August 24, 2012 at 2:06pm • Like • 1 •

Matthew Bowman Socialism: an idea so popular, so efficient, so fair . . . you have to force others into it against their will!

I find the math issue hilarious. If you raised taxes to 100% on the Evil Rich, you wouldn’t even pay for a year of the federal budget — much less pay down the debt! August 24, 2012 at 2:52pm • Like •

Matthew Bowman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=661pi6K-8WQ

For those who don’t actually want to do the math themselves . . .

EAT THE RICH!
http://www.youtube.com
Is America really broke? Michael Moore (and others) tells us that there are ocea…See More August 24, 2012 at 2:53pm • Like • Remove Preview •

Wayne Joseph Borean Sweden is a socialist country. No one forced them.

As to education – a while back a Korean company that I used to deal with bought a plant in Wales. When I asked one of the North American managers why they did that, he responded that the locals were better educated and trained then the workers in Korea, and it was less expensive to operate the plant because the workforce was healthy (government run medical system), and the company didn’t have buy expensive health insurance, because the government run system was far less costly.

Sorry, can’t tell you who it was – I’m still covered by a bunch of non-disclosure agreements.
August 24, 2012 at 3:25pm via mobile • Like •

David Burkhead “as to education” But we’re not talking about education. We’re talking about “educational programming.” The claim was that “educational programming” paid off down the road.

“government run system was far less costly” Lot’s of things are less costly when you get someone _else_ to pay for them. August 24, 2012 at 3:40pm • Like •

Matthew Bowman And a lot of things are better when you start from a lower standard. Have you BEEN to South Korea? This is a country that puts warning labels on electric fans because the populace believes if you run them in a closed room it will somehow eat up all the oxygen.

My sister is from South Korea (adopted) and has zero desire to go back. They’ve got a few really modern-looking spots and that’s about it. Pretty country, fascinating cultural heritage, really low down on the totem pole of education and industry. When you’re at a fifth-grade education level and have twenty bucks to your name, almost everyone seems smarter and richer.

Also, regarding Sweden: notice how many people are flocking to Sweden? And how many people are leaving — or never getting born? August 24, 2012 at 3:49pm • Like •

James Bell • Friends with John Ringo and 4 others He is right tho, there are around 50% of US adults who in the end pay no taxes and yet still get benefits. August 24, 2012 at 5:45pm via mobile • Like •

Wayne Joseph Borean Education is partly about attitude. Sesame Street and other educational programs teach that attitude.

There are a lot of people who think education is worthless. A lot of them are uneducated. August 24, 2012 at 8:53pm via mobile • Like •

Matthew Bowman A lot of people think Sesame Street is educational. A lot of them don’t actually watch it.

I remember a very large swath of educational programs when I was a child. I see almost nothing today to even match what I enjoyed and learned from. Sesame Street wasn’t one of those. Oh, I watched it; but for entertainment, not education. And even then, there were better things on TV.

But the purpose here isn’t to debate Sesame Street’s worthiness, is it? Simply whether it might survive a funding cut for PBS. Which, of course, it would. Whatever my opinion of the show, it has full financial viability. August 24, 2012 at 8:58pm • Like •

David Burkhead And you continue to make suppositions. I asked if you had _evidence_ to back up the claim that “they pay off by improving the earning power of kids that watch them.” Evidence. Repeatedly asserting that they accomplish something is not evidence.

Look, maybe you’re right. Maybe “educational TV” is the best thing since sliced bacon. But if folk want _my_ tax dollars to “support” it (even leaving aside that Sesame Street is self supporting and does _not_ rely on government dollars, despite what the image above claims), I want actual evidence that that’s the case and not just supposition and assertions.

That’s particularly the case when another program designed to aid young children with learning, this one actually paid with tax dollars–Head Start–has been demonstrated most clearly not to work. By third grade children who have been through Head Start are indistinguishable from children from similar backgrounds who did not go through it. It has no lasting effect at all. (But just try cancelling it and watch the screams. “It’s for the children!” They say. “How can you be so heartless!” They say. The fact that it doesn’t actually _do_ anything to help the children doesn’t seem to matter.)

So I want evidence, not just nice sounding claims. August 24, 2012 at 9:01pm • Like •

Wayne Joseph Borean There is evidence, but to a certain extent what it shows is that a lot of American “educational” programming is garbage. Did you know that “Little House on the Prairie” is considered educational?

http://www.childrennow.org/index.php/learn/educational_tv
Children Now—Children’s Educational TV
http://www.childrennow.org
ChildrenNow is a national organization for people who care about children and want to ensure that they are the top public priority. August 24, 2012 at 9:22pm via mobile • Like • Remove Preview •
Wayne Joseph Borean And this:
http://www.education.com/reference/article/studies-support-benefits-educational-tv/
Studies Support Benefits of Educational TV for Reading | Education.com
http://www.education.com
Recent research has shown that educational programs, including Sesame Street can help to boost reading scores for early readers. August 24, 2012 at 9:25pm via mobile • Like • Remove Preview •

David Burkhead Sure, and Head Start helps a bit in first and second grade too. But by Third Grade the difference vanishes. The claim was “earning power” (and therefore what they end up paying in taxes). Still waiting for evidence of what you actually claimed. August 24, 2012 at 9:31pm • Like •

MockingBird TheWizard • Friends with Leo Champion grover doesn’t actually support obama, he was a bit nervous after seeing predator drones flying overhead right after he was “requested” to do the Ad. Because, y’know, the bombs Obama built can be used without congressional approval or court order. August 25, 2012 at 2:01pm • Like • 3 •

Wayne Joseph Borean David, I’d really have to get my wife involved to explain in detail, she’s the education specialist. According to her if it is done right (which means The Learning Channel does not count), it can make a huge difference.

Thing you have to remember is that Hellions are different. We have the urge and intelligence to learn on our own. Most people don’t.

Another issue is the Educational system of the country. Most Canadian companies I know avoid hiring Americans, because they have to be retrained. As a traveling salesman I spent a lot of time in the Continental states. Americans a not stupid, but they are badly under-educated compared to Canadians on average. The Brits are bad too, except the upper class types.

Basically you need a holistic solution, and most countries (including Canada) are not willing to spend the money to get it. August 25, 2012 at 8:18pm via mobile • Like •

Nora MacFie • Friends with Johan Ahrgren and 3 others @Wayne: Just a quick response about Canada as opposed to America in education. One of my son’s classmates last year moved here from Canada and the standards had been so low in Kindergarten that he’s having to repeat first grade here in Southern California. August 28, 2012 at 11:02pm • Like • 1 •

Brad Torgersen Late to the thread. It’s a shame Obama doesn’t have a positive record to run on. However, since Obama’s record is terrible, we have distractions. Distractions, distractions, distractions. Trillion dollar deficits? No, wait, Romney wants to cook Big Bird in the oven for Thankgsiving! I say, pass the salt and the gravy boat, brother. October 26, 2012 at 5:35pm • Like • 1

Then there was a spin-off thread over on Larry’s timeline:

Larry Correia-Holy crap… I’ve got tears in my eyes from laughing. Everybody needs to go read David Burkhead’s FB post about Mitt Romney canceling Sesame Street. I’m rewriting the Expendables with Cookie Monster.
60532Like · · Share
Lin Wicklund, Brad Torgersen and 58 others like this.

Shirley Sissy Moen Lok!
August 23, 2012 at 11:09am via mobile · Like · 1

Joshua Hill read it, loved it.
August 23, 2012 at 11:09am · Like · 1

Shirley Sissy Moen I mean lol!
August 23, 2012 at 11:09am via mobile · Like · 1

Antonio Jones Read it lol.
August 23, 2012 at 11:09am · Like · 1

Lin Wicklund I was reading that and I think I hurt myself
August 23, 2012 at 11:09am · Like · 2

Lin Wicklund I’d threaten to sue, but I know you’d send Cookie Monster after me!
August 23, 2012 at 11:10am · Like · 3

Larry Correia Okay, this calls for a new episode of Tom Stranger. I am totally rewriting the Expendables starring Cookie Monster.
August 23, 2012 at 11:12am · Like · 11

G.h. Metz I’m laughing so hard my head is going to explode… laughing with a head cold is PAINFUL. *goes to read it again*
August 23, 2012 at 11:13am · Like · 2

Ryan Horst It’s a good thing there were no customers in the gun shop these last five minutes, because I’ve been laughing my ass off! LOL
August 23, 2012 at 11:16am · Like · 3

Oz-Aaron Ozminski You have a “children’s” book in your future.
August 23, 2012 at 11:16am · Like · 4

Jason Ritner That is one of the funniest damn things I’ve read in quite a while. My co-workers are staring at my cubicle…
August 23, 2012 at 11:23am via mobile · Like · 2

Nora MacFie I just read that thread and it’s hilarious. Cookie Monster will never look the same to me again. He’s sexier. A lot sexier.
August 23, 2012 at 11:26am · Like · 2

Travis Beck Remember that crazy Latina demo chick? You never knew what she would pull out of that rucksack. She was practically psychic. One time she planted a charge at the base of a minaret and we’re all like, WTF? Later, though when we started taking fire from that position she just squeezed the clacker and whispered, “Sniper no sniping!”
August 23, 2012 at 11:27am via mobile · Like · 12

Ryan Horst Wait a minute, Travis… aren’t they making a movie about her?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnpTcrtsN

3UDora the Explorer Movie Trailer (with Ariel Winter)
LIKE us on: http://www.facebook.com/collegehumor The “Modern Family” star breaks…See More
August 23, 2012 at 11:29am · Like

Kurt Schneider Remember Sadr City? When the Count told Charlie-Mike that the tango had a cookie inside him? I thought they’d never get the stains out of his fur… And his eyes, crazy as always, bobbling around as he made that godawful ‘Nom nom nom’ sound. But sure as stuffing, the other guy started talking. The Count was one hard-assed CO.
August 23, 2012 at 11:37am · Like · 5

Travis Beck Ryan, it will never be more unbelievable than the truth. This cartel leader, Chico Jorge, he really likes to hurt people, likes to make them cry. But his karma caught up with him when Dora the Exploder got into town!
August 23, 2012 at 11:40am via mobile · Like

Anthony Sadowski Bad Larry bad I just about squirted redbull thru my nose
August 23, 2012 at 11:41am via mobile · LikeSteve Weinberg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-A5_kT5m

YYGreenstorm Ruins: Dora the Explorer
Sniper no Sniping! As always, If you enjoyed this please like it, share it with …See More
August 23, 2012 at 11:41am · Like

Travis Beck Kurt, that’s when we started keeping the kid out of the interrogation room. Every time the Count would ask a prisoner a question he’d shout out, “Elmo knows! Elmo Knows!”
August 23, 2012 at 11:52am via mobile · Like · 2

Branden Draper It was great! I also like the way you shut down Michael.
August 23, 2012 at 11:54am via mobile · Like

Travis Beck The Count is hardcore! Even Oscar learned to never let him get all the way to five. One thing I never understood about Oscar; why did we have a tank commander in an infantry outfit?
August 23, 2012 at 11:58am via mobile · Like · 2

Patrick Mathews Yah! More Tom Stranger
August 23, 2012 at 12:02pm · Like

Kurt Schneider Oscar? There was one sneaky little bugger. You’d be stuck behind some Afghan hoopty, taking rounds from an alley up the street, when a green flash erupts from that trash can you thought was too filthy to be an IED, and there’s nothing but silence and your own ragged breathing. Haji didn’t even have time to scream. Screw his attitude, that filthy green bugger saved my sorry ass more times than I can count.
August 23, 2012 at 12:04pm · Like · 2

Larry Correia To Oscar. I hope he’s enjoying his garbage can in the sky.
August 23, 2012 at 12:05pm · Like · 4

Travis Beck Kurt, did you ever share a tent with him? Faugh!
August 23, 2012 at 12:05pm via mobile · Like · 1

Kurt Schneider No, dude. Didn’t you see how I was the guy holding the hat we pulled names out of?

To Oscar. All we found were bits of galvanized steel and one black eyebrow.
August 23, 2012 at 12:06pm · Like · 1

Anthony Sadowski Larry what was the name of the counter sniper team? Everyone called them B and E i think it was Bernie and Ernie or something all I know was those 2 did everything together :I mean they had to have their beds side by side. And that song Ernie sang every time he took a shot ” Rubber duckie your the one”. I swear he took that duck every where even on missions
August 23, 2012 at 12:09pm via mobile • Like

Larry Correia Bert and Ernie. Good guys. Though don’t ask, don’t tell.
August 23, 2012 at 12:12pm • Like • 5

Travis Beck B&E were damned good infiltrators!
August 23, 2012 at 12:12pm via mobile • Like

Nick Gardner A couple of real back-door experts.
August 23, 2012 at 12:15pm via mobile • Like • 2

Travis Beck Kurt, I really thought Oscar was gonna take out that bunker until that Kiowa gunship showed up. I never thought he’d buy it from Little Bird friendly fire.
August 23, 2012 at 12:16pm via mobile • Like • 1

Chris Smith In surprised you guys don’t remember Col Big. Everyone thought he was crazy, talking about some big hairy dude that no one every saw.
August 23, 2012 at 12:18pm via mobile • Like

Travis Beck Chris, I’ll just say this up front, Colonel Big was yellow through and through. His name was struck from the rolls. Don’t believe that Bravo Sierra about a section eight discharge.
August 23, 2012 at 12:22pm via mobile • Unlike • 3

Anthony Sadowski Hey was anyone near the port of basrha? And that crazy amphib wetwork type Kermit I swear I get a shiver every time I hear someone say hideeho. I dont know what he did to the insurgents after he said “hideeho its Kermit the frogman”. But damn if you said hideeho to a local you got mad respect.
August 23, 2012 at 12:32pm via mobile • Like • 1

Travis Beck Last I heard Kermit was running a heroin smuggling ring from Helmand to South Beach. Called it the rainbow connection or some damn thing like that. Still with that fat hooker he found in Manila.
August 23, 2012 at 12:35pm via mobile • Like • 6Travis Beck Whatever happened to that giant SEAL with the white hair? What did we call him? The Swedish Chief!
August 23, 2012 at 12:43pm via mobile • Like

Nick Gardner Did anyone ever bag that IED expert? They never knew his real name, his code name was Crazy Harry
August 23, 2012 at 12:44pm via mobile • Unlike • 2

Travis Beck And that hairy M-60 gunner, Fuzzy. I got really tired of hearing “Dakka Dakka” as a punch line but he could lay down a beaten zone like nobody’s business!
August 23, 2012 at 12:46pm via mobile • Unlike • 1

Anthony Sadowski Trav it was Fozzie and damn he could make a 60 sing
August 23, 2012 at 12:48pm via mobile • Like • 2

Kurt Schneider “This is rich.” – Tom Servo
August 23, 2012 at 12:52pm via mobile • Like • 1

Bradley Lydon well worth the time, read about the hard core full on killer that is the cookie monster. William Jesse Hogue, Lance Fabian, Andrew Rose, Kevin Robertson
August 23, 2012 at 1:01pm • Like • 1

Chris Smith Scariest guy i ever worked with was a chemical engineer. Benson. Didn’t look like much, big glasses, bald, happy go lucky demeanor. Always wore a lab coat.

We were undercover in Mexico, gathering Intel on the cartels, when word came down that the Big Guys would be meeting at a bar in Guadalajara.

We got there early, set up in an abandoned building across the street, and settled in to wait. Benson got up, walked out if the room, and came back ten minutes later. Never saw where he went, or what he did. Didn’t think much of it.

The Cartel guys filtered in over the next hour, quietly, a few bodyguards
each. The place still had a good crowd.

The whole time we watched, Benson just sat there grinning, occasionally breaking the silence with a giggle, like he was hearing jokes no one else could. I thought the pressure and boredom was getting to him.

Then the ambulances showed up, and the bodies started coming out, draped with sheets. Every cartel boss, every bodyguard, stone dead. Not one other person affected.

And Benson, smiling wider and laughing harder with each gurney.
August 23, 2012 at 1:14pm via mobile • Like • 3

Brad Torgersen Larry, you’re on a roll, sir.
August 23, 2012 at 1:15pm • Like

Kurt Schneider Y’all ever chat with Sgt Hooper in supply? That old coot’s been everywhere; ask him about the night he smuggled a dozen hookers into in Phuc Hu on a deuce and a half. I think I still owe him a hand receipt for some TA-50.
August 23, 2012 at 1:31pm via mobile • Like

Richard Partain Snuffalufagus: the ultimate commando.
August 23, 2012 at 1:48pm via mobile • Like

Steve Weinberg I thought Hooper was an LT? Didn’t he insist on being called MISTER Hooper?
August 23, 2012 at 1:53pm • Like

Sean Newton Then there was the succession of crazy guys, all of them called Beaker. Never take one of them with you on a quiet mission, because they’re always letting out whimpers and freaking out about every little thing. Then again, with the stuff Bunsen kept feeding them I can understand why, they were freakin’ berserkers. Whatever it is, it turned their hair bright red after a week. They’d run down the street taking fire and not even feel it, they didn’t care about getting hit. They were like crazed zombies on PCP. I saw one finish out a mission with his jaw blown off before he dropped, and all it did was change the “mememememe” noise to this sorta wet clicking sound.

Kirk Pfau I remember the time a marine kc-130 was going to deliver A.D. a bunch of care packages in the ‘stan. The After action report determined an unfortunate wind shift, and weak 10K tie down chain being used to restrain CM during transport resulted in a near total loss of the aircraft(Class A Mishap), a total loss of the care packages, and some poor bast*** loadmaster that was finishing tying down the load will never walk the same again.
August 23, 2012 at 3:39pm • LikeKurt Schneider Steve – Hooper was just a sergeant. He always used to tell the cherries he was an LT. Did he ever ask you to get him range fans or flight line?
August 23, 2012 at 3:47pm via mobile • Like

Peter Nealen Anybody ever run into that really weird, hook-nosed guy? I ran into him out by the Syrian border. Most everybody just called him G. Just listening to him you could tell he wasn’t right. We were looking for this guy Abdul al-Rukh al-Barhuk al-Falemkh. We figured he’d be easy to find, since he was supposed to have red hair, one arm, one leg, and one eye. How many red-haired, one-armed, one-legged, one-eyed Iraqis could there be? But the guy was a freakin’ ghost. Drifted across the Syrian border, did his work, and disappeared, just leaving bodies. We were stumped. Then this guy G showed up. Somebody said G stood for Gonzo, cause he was nuts. Crazy b_____d just left the wire one day, went into the local market and disappeared. Showed up two days later looking like he’d been tortured, laughing ecstatically and holding al-Falemkh’s head. He’d gotten himself kidnapped just to get the target.
August 23, 2012 at 9:52pm • Unlike • 3

Bill Sayre Of course, everyone just forgets about Cookie’s bout with PTSD… My God, what he did to those poor Girl Scouts who knocked on his door. A box of Thin Mints and Tagalongs shouldn’t have been a death sentence, man…
August 24, 2012 at 2:09am • Like • 2

Sean Newton Then there was that pair of old snipers, Waldorf and Statler. Never knew how those old guys managed to get where they did, but they always managed to have a perfect line of fire on the tangos. Most of the time a team is a sniper and a spotter, but these guys were sniper and sniper, spotting for each other with their rifle scopes and just generally tearing up everything. I remember early on, when they were still hauling big truck loads of insurgents with rifles, they spotted one coming down a surface street. One of them opened fire, then the other. They just kept going, walking their fire down the line and picking off guys on the truck until they finally took the driver. It must have looked like Saving Private Ryan’s beach scene to those poor devils. Half of the bodies lay in the street where they’d fallen off the truck, and the other half were just a pile in the back of the truck.
August 24, 2012 at 2:18am • Unlike • 1

David Selby Pretty crazy although I don’t agree with Burkhead’s opinion. I think it’s a freaking good idea to turn cookie monster into a bad ass. Maybe in a mhi book ? hahaha

So, there it is, the Great Cookie Monster Thread.  Hope you enjoyed it even half as much as I did.

What are They Smoking?

So, there was this picture from the 2018 Winter Olympics:

Suddenly the Intertubes were buzzing with the way that North Korean Minister of Propaganda and Agitation (although they generally left out that part) Kim Yo Jong was “stealing the show” from United States Vice President Mike Pence.

Look at that again:  People were raving over the North Korean Minister of Propaganda and Agitation.

Another picture making a lot of appearance is this one:

180210090712-01-kim-yo-jong-0210-super-169

Okay, she’s reasonably attractive, that is if you go in for North Korean Ministers of Propaganda and Agitation.

Perhaps you might want to consider this picture:

image

That’s the casket of Otto Warmbier who was part of a tour group in North Korea, accused, arrested, and then convicted of stealing a poster containing a propaganda slogan from his hotel.  He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor.  For a poster.  That was in January of 2016.  Seventeen months later, on June 15, 2017, negotiations finally secured his release–but too late to do him any good.  He was returned to the US in a coma where he died on June 19.

But the North Korean Minister of Propaganda and Agitation “stole the show” from Mike Pence.

Then there’s the report of North Korea executing 80 people for crimes ranging from listening to South Korean entertainment broadcasts or owning Bibles.

But the North Korean Minister of Propaganda and Agitation “stole the show” from Pence.

Last year (in fact, a year ago today as I write this) Kim Jong Nam was assassinated with VX nerve gas while traveling through the Kuala Lumpur airport.  Kim Jong Nam had previously been considered the heir apparent to Kim Jong Un but had a falling out.  One of women who sprayed him and held a liquid impregnated cloth on his face say that it was supposed to be a prank, instigated by four men who told them what to do.  The case is still under investigation but, all fingers point toward North Korea in this.

But the North Korean Minister of Propaganda and Agitation “stole the show” from Pence.

What is wrong with you people?  I look around and I don’t see any concentration camps.  All the people criticizing and vilifying the President and Vice President?  None of them are being rounded up.  None of you are afraid to speak up, and you’re entirely justified in that lack of fear because there are no violent purges happening.  There is no Reichstagg Fire.  There is no Night of Long Knives.  You speak in full confidence that you do so in safety.

And you gush over the North Korean Minister of Propaganda?  A regime that does have concentration camps, that does purge political opponents (not even enemies, just opponents), that arrests and imprisons people for wrongspeech, for wrongthought, That tortures a young man to death for stealing a poster?

What. is. wrong. with. you?

The Hordes of Chanakra: A snippet

I have, from time to time, posted snippets from the sequel, which is in progress.  Here’s a snippet from my published novel “The Hordes of Chanakra”

$2.99 in Kindle Store, Free to read in Kindle Unlimited, $14.99 in Paperback


Shadow was beginning to fall over the valley when Faron returned.  Kreg looked up at Kaila’s pause to see him sitting astride his pony observing them.  He rode over and dismounted next to them.

“You are teaching him the shashyn?” Faron said. “I was not knowing the true shashyn were made outside of Aerioch.”

“Nor did I,” Kaila said. “When first I saw the sword in the swordsmith’s shop in Trevanta, I thought it but an imitation, but whether by chance or by skill it is sound and seems to be made of true God Iron.”

“Longsword and shield are easier for a beginner to be learning, are they not?  Better for the battlefield than the dueling style?”

“But, Faron, I…”

“Peace, Kaila.  You are doing well enough.  Kreg seems to be learning swiftly under your tutelage.  And yet, his play is not without faults.  If I may…”

“Please,” Kaila bowed and stepped back.

Faron held out his hand to Kreg, “If you please.”

Kreg nodded and handed Faron his training sword.

“The first fault is the greatest.  Kaila’s strong hand is her left.  She is grasping her sword with her left hand at the hilts. Her right is near the pommel.  You are doing the same.  Your strong hand is your right. Your right should be grasping the sword at the hilts. Be letting the left guide on the pommel.” Faron demonstrated. “When you are striking, you are swinging too much with your arms.  Punch out straight with your arms.  At the last instant, be using your left hand on the pommel to guide the sword in the direction you choose.  Observe.” Faron launched a series of fast attacks, each one angling in at different directions from the previous.

“Kaila, be attending,” Faron said.

Kaila stepped forward and took a ready position in front of Faron. “Be remembering, Kreg, when fighting with the shashyn always be guarding the center line.” He nodded to Kaila who attacked. “Halt” he said in the midst of the attack and Kaila froze. “When you are parrying, do not be striking your sword to the side. Thrusting forward, toward your opponent.” He pushed forward and the angle of his blade forced hers out and to the side.  “Be continuing forward to strike.” With Kaila’s blade driven out of the way, Faron made a simple turn with his wrists and laid his blade alongside her neck.

Faron stepped back, returning to the position where he had just blocked Kaila’s attack. “If your opponent is driving your blade aside you no longer are guarding the center.  You must be regaining it.  Kaila.”

Kaila shifted her weight and drove her own sword forward, this time pushing Faron’s back and out.  Faron responded by stepping back and to the side.  Once again, he had his sword square in front of him, guarding his center line and Kaila was suddenly in a position where she would find it difficult to defend against his attack.  Kaila responded with a circling movement of her own and, once again, they faced each other.

“Continue,” Faron said.

Kaila moved, striking with serpent-like speed.  Faron moved, giving ground before her superior strength and speed.  Yet always she found the path for her sword blocked.  Mindful of Faron’s words, Kreg saw new complexity in the movements, a dance far more elegant than the simple bashing of metal bars that he had thought swordplay to be.

At length Faron raised his blade in salute and bowed to Kaila.  He returned the sword to Kreg.

“That is enough swordplay for tonight, I am thinking,” Faron said. “There is something else I would see.”

He studied Kreg, “Kaila is telling me that you have some skill without arms.  This I would see.”

“I thought you might,” Shillond said as he ambled up to them. “I have seen the way Kreg fights and so I’ve cleared an area of stones.  I think neither of you will damage the other more than my ability to heal.”

Kreg hesitantly followed Shillond to the area he had prepared.  He had marked a circle in the grass about 20 feet across.  Faron took a position at the edge of the circle and Shillond indicated to Kreg that he should stand at the other.  He then waved Kaila to the center.

“This contest shall be by tournament rules,” Kaila said once she had reached the center. “It shall be ended when one cries ‘Hold! Enough!’ or when it seems to me that one cannot continue.”

Kreg looked at Faron warily as Kaila backed toward the edge of the circle.  He was older, perhaps not as old as Shillond, but clearly at least in his fifties.  Even so, he was still strong and fast.  His bout with Kaila had proven that.  He was shorter than Kreg, but broader.

“Begin!” Kaila called from the edge of the circle.

Kreg stepped cautiously forward.  Faron charged across the circle at him and caught him around the waist with both arms.  Kreg felt steel in those arms as they closed around him, cutting off his breath.

Kreg stepped back and bent at the waist, letting his chest press down on Faron’s shoulder.  He reached down and took his own grip around Faron’s waist, then let his weight fall backward while heaving upward with his grip around Faron’s body.

Faron lost his grip as his feet left the ground.  He landed hard on his back behind Kreg, the breath knocked out of him.

Kreg rolled to his hands and knees but saw that Faron had recovered quickly and he, too, was rising to his feet.

This time, Faron approached more slowly.  From a distance of just beyond an arms length away, he stepped forward suddenly, hands outstretched to grab Kreg’s tunic.

Kreg deflected Faron’s hands while catching his own grip with his left hand on Faron’s right arm and stepped forward himself.  He reached forward with his right leg, intending to sweep Faron’s left leg from under him, but striking that leg was like striking a tree.  Kreg shifted his weight and swung his foot back across to the left.  He caught the back of Faron’s right heel with the inside edge of his own foot.  Faron’s foot skidded forward and Kreg’s pull on Faron’s right arm combined with a push against his left shoulder twisted Faron so that he fell hard on his back again.

Before Faron could recover, Kreg dropped to the ground beside him, still retaining his grip on Faron’s arm.  He used his legs to immobilize Faron while trapping his upper arm between Kreg’s thighs.  He brought his right hand up to join his left in grasping Faron’s arm.  Kreg pulled on the wrist, extending Faron’s arm straight and beyond, increasing the pressure against Faron’s elbow.

Kreg had just decided to release his hold, not wanting to injure Faron’s arm regardless of what Shillond might have been able to do with his healing, when Faron called, “Hold! Enough!”

Kreg released his grip, untangled his legs from around Faron and stood.

Kaila clapped at the edge of the ring. “Splendid.”

Faron came to his feet and held out his hand to Kreg. “You fight well, youngling.”

“‘Well’?” Kaila said. “Kreg, know you that Faron was five years the champion wrestler in all of Aerioch.”

“That was being many years ago, child,” Faron said. “Still, I am thinking few could be besting Kreg in such a match.”

#

Although they had seen no hint of any pursuit by the army that had besieged Elam, they had set watches through the night.  Kreg had the last watch and so, as the sun began to peer into the valley in which they camped, he used took advantage of the time to stretch the soreness out of his muscles and to begin packing their gear for the day’s climb.

As Kreg had surmised, the step along the fault line was their path to the top of the cliff.  It was only wide enough for them to pass up it single file, each leading a pony.  Once the four had reached the top, Kreg and Kaila descended the cliff again to bring up the pack ponies.

The streambed at the top of the cliff was narrower and more rocky than it had been below the cliff.  The valley was also narrower and the walls on either side steeper.  Tufts of grass were more scattered, seeming almost defiant in the rockier terrain.  Occasionally, smaller rivulets would trickle down the walls on either side to join the stream.

Soon after Faron had left them in his daily hunt for meat, Kaila reined in her pony and dropped back to Kreg’s side.

“I have been thinking on the shaman’s words,” she said. “He said I must learn the lesson of bending.”

“I remember,” Kreg said.

“You say your fighting style is called the Way of Yielding.  Perhaps that is what he meant.”

“I don’t see how,” Kreg said. “My fighting training never came up while I was with them.”

“But if the Gods spoke to him through the smoke?” She shook her head. “Such things are beyond me. Could you tell me of this way of yielding of yours?”

Kreg shrugged. “If you wish.  On my world the Far East is famous for having many organized fighting styles.  On one small nation there were many styles which had an element of softness, of yielding, to them.”

“What do you mean by softness?”

“Basically, it means moving along with your opponent’s actions. Think about when Faron attacked me in the circle and grabbed me around the waist.  I stepped back, in the same direction he had been moving.  This pulled him off balance and kept him from picking me up.  I kept moving, rolling backward and was able to throw him to the ground.”

“But what does my knowing this have to do with saving untold numbers from suffering?”

“I don’t know, but the founder of the The Way of Yielding said there were two great principles to the art.  One was mutual welfare and benefit.  The other was maximum efficiency with minimum effort.  The principles were supposed to go beyond the fighting art itself.  Students were to take them into their lives.  Perhaps that’s what the shaman meant.”

“But…bending? My mother survived because she didn’t bend.”

Kreg leaned forward in interest, “Your mother?”

“She was married when she was very young,” Kaila said. “Raiders came across the border of Zantor on her very wedding day.  Her husband, the Duke of Zantor, rode that evening, before even he could bed his new wife.”

When the silence had dragged for several seconds, Kreg said, “and then?”

“The Duke’s army was ambushed.  Archers on horseback, much like your nomad friends, attacked from the trees.  The Duke fell in the first attack.  The Duke’s forces fled.  The raiders harried them all the way back to the castle.” Kaila’s pony started at some falling rocks and she reached down with one hand to soothe it. “I know not what would have happened had my mother not been there.  She spoke defiance to a council frantic with fear.  And people rallied to her voice.  She was…small.  And yet her courage and will spoke to people’s hearts.  Or so I am told.  And when the remaining forces sallied against the raiders, my mother rode with them.  She was barely able to sit a horse or lift a sword, but she rode facing death alongside those she sent into battle.”

They rode in silence for a bit then Kaila said, “They were unable to break the siege themselves.  The forces remaining to Zantor were too weak, the raiders too strong.  Still, each time they sallied, my mother rode with them.  And each time they returned to the castle, she rode back.  In time, an army came from Norveth, the capital of Aerioch.  Shillond rode with them.  The raiders had no wizards of their own and so Shillond was able to drive them away.”

“And your mother remained as Duchess?” Kreg asked.

“Things are not so simple,” Kaila said. “There was no heir to the duchy.  Zantor had always been first in battle and so many of its men died young, courageously, to be sure, but leaving no heirs.  Indeed, my mother’s father had perhaps the best claim to the Duchy but no one is certain.  In the end, it was Shillond who decided the matter.  He was smitten, you see, with my mother and prevailed on the King to rule that my mother would hold the Duchy until she produced an heir of her body to become the new Duke.”

Kaila laughed. “How disappointed the nobles at court were that my mother soon wed Shillond and, one year later, their firstborn child was me.  My mother had continued to take up arms and received training with the best arms masters in Aerioch.  Soon after I was born, she left me with a nurse and rode with a peace envoy to Shendar.  One of the Barons of Shendar struck the envoy most treacherously.  A witch in the service of the Baron captured Shillond and all thought him dead.  The rest the Baron and his men slew, including my mother.  And so there was no heir of her body but me.  The King, nevertheless, held to his sworn word and I became Duke and a peer of Aerioch.”

From a bit ahead of them, Shillond called, “Kreg, Kaila, we’ll be camping here.”

“There are still hours of daylight left,” Kaila called back.

“The trail is more difficult up here.  There’s no guarantee we’ll find a suitable spot before nightfall.”

“As you will, father.”

Before Kaila could ride away from Kreg, he reached out a hand and touched her arm. “Thank you for telling me that.”

Kaila smiled, and then her face grew stern. “It is as well that we stop early,” she said. “Once camp is set we will continue your training.”