Thanksgiving, Reading List, and Florida Recounts

As we approach Thanksgiving, a holiday sure to feature SJWs protesting the existence of white people, or something… there is at least some good news. Gillum and Nelson both conceded finally, and Brenda Snipes – the prolific vote manufacturer in Broward – has finally resigned, several years after first being called out to do so. Not, it should be noted, before she managed to tilt at least one election in Florida: that of the Agriculture Commissioner. This is a post which, in Florida at least, has a considerable amount of power outside of what a normal person might consider the purview of agriculture. Including, it should be noted, concealed carry permit approvals. I expect some shenanigans as a result of this.

But at least Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis managed to hang on by ~10,000 and ~40,000 votes, respectively. My state grows to be more of a nail-biter every year.

In more positive news, there are a few book releases and specials I wanted to call attention to. First off, if you haven’t read A Pillar of Fire By Night by Tom Kratman… get on it. Provided, of course, that you’ve read the first books of the series. I think every time Tom sells a book, a Progressive dies of apoplexy. In any event, it’s a riveting series in a strangely parallel, but different, world. And a little bird told me there may be an anthology in the near future…

Also on the list this week, Francis Porretto has released a sequel to Innocents (which, by the way, is itself free until the end of the week), called Experiences. Pick up Innocents if you haven’t already started the series ($0 is a nice bargain, wouldn’t you say?), then on to Experiences.

It’s kind of funny that, of late, I’ve read very little new fiction that isn’t either published through Amazon, or through Baen Books. It’s not something I did on purpose, mind you. But the declining quality out of publishing houses like Tor these days has driven me away almost entirely. I’ve little interest in reading the latest Social Justice fantasy thinly disguised as fiction. In fact, the only Tor books I’ve purchased in recent memory were by David Weber. I am occasionally surprised that they keep him around.

I also wanted to call some special attention to TripleSphinteredWombat’s long screed On The Slopes of Mount Parnassus. Like myself, TSW has an affinity for long arcs, so to speak, trying to put the overall decline into words. An important quote, and a sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly:

Nassim Taleb believes the root of the problem is that our world is run by self-proclaimed ‘experts’ who are in fact not anything of the sort, since their ideas, efforts, programs, policies and principles are based in elegant theory, not reality; furthermore, the damaging consequences of their errors do not rebound on them, but on the rest of us, as these ‘experts’ have no skin in the game and thus suffer no consequences for their failures.

Elitists do not suffer the consequences of their errors. We do. So those in power can rationalize any dumb or ignorant thing, or just blindly experiment on us by trial and error. We are the monkeys, to be disposed of when the experiment fails. They believe themselves to be naturally superior to us. Not the tone of journalists on CNN, the attitude of Leftists on Social Media. They are convinced they are more intelligent, more moral, and just plain better than us.

Read the whole thing. It’s a great screed, and really cuts to the heart of the problem.


Major Changes Coming

The Declination has long been a sort of philosophical dumping ground of sorts. Sure, I comment on current issues, but I’ve usually spun them around larger points surrounding the decline of the West, the culture wars, and otherwise. This has been good and well – and some of the concepts, such as Weaponized Empathy, have gained traction. They’ve helped at least some folks understand why the Left acts as it does, and how the manipulation really works.

But more is needed. So to my regular readers and commenters, I’m asking for volunteers. For what? Well, some of y’all write some pretty long and involved comments. Very well written material. You could post it on the front page instead of buried down a few levels in the comments.

Before anybody asks, no. There’s no money involved. I do NOT run ads on The Declination. I don’t receive one cent from anything here. I did this deliberately. Despite higher traffic to the site of late, I have a loathing for news and editorial sites that load up with dozens of browser-freezing ad banners for Chinese crap nobody wants. What you get if you volunteer, and I like you enough, is an editor account. You can write posts as frequently or infrequently as you like. You can leave whenever you wish.

No more, no less.

Obviously, I have to know you. So if you I know you in meatspace, or in one of the various forums I am a member of, that will suffice. Alternatively, long-time commenters may be accepted as well. So if you’re interested, either comment below, contact me with the form, or hit me up in meatspace or one of the forums/groups. Also, don’t be offended if I say no. It’s probably because I don’t know you well enough. Very few of my readers are idiots – and most of those are Leftists coming to troll me – for which I am profoundly grateful.

Also, the site design is going to be changed significantly, and may even be rebranded. One thing Rightists generally don’t do very well, much to our detriment, is marketing. Think about it, if Leftists can make Communism seem sexy, they can market just about anything. Beto is challenging Ted Cruz mostly due to marketing. His real name isn’t even Beto – that, too, is a calculated marketing ploy. Colin Kaepernick and Nike… marketing. The trumped up charges against Brett Kavanaugh? Marketing – no conviction would even be possible, even supposing any of it was true.

It’s all about image, marketing, brand identity – they did this with Obama, a relative unknown. Suddenly he’s at the forefront of everything. Ocasio-Cortez is likewise a constructed brand. A lie. She’s not working class, and in her photo ops, she’s wearing a $3500 outfit with only the best brands. Marketing, marketing.

Now I won’t lie, I won’t sell you bullshit – I don’t do that. We cannot, however, escape marketing. If anything, for us it should be easier – we actually believe what we say, and they generally do not. But Rightists just aren’t inclined to do this sort of thing, generally. Getting a bunch of individualists to cooperate on mass marketing is like herding cats.

Nonetheless, like a soldier slogging through mud, we have to do it, no matter how unpleasant. So many changes are coming. I’ve thought this for a long time, it’s time for me to get some skin in the game.

A Dog Story

I debated whether or not to post this for some time, now. I’m sure we’re going to take our share of shit for all this, but the story has to be told.

4 years ago, we adopted Bandit, a little lab puppy, from the local Humane Society on Armenia ave (3607 N Armenia Ave, Tampa, FL 33607). He was a hyper dog – never did really grow out of it – and very stubborn with training. But he was also very loving, attentive, and you could tell he WANTED to obey, to please. We loved him a lot.

Unfortunately, as our firstborn Jacob entered his toddler phase, we discovered that Bandit was not good with little kids. Whereas our other dog, Duncan, would generally tolerate toddler foolishness, or at worst grumble a bit and leave the room, Bandit was confrontational. He had a right to whatever he was doing, to his toys, to his space, and the toddler better listen. Understandable, mind you, as toddlers are exhausting to parents too. But it was also unacceptable. We had a number of close calls with snapping.

After a while, it became clear we could not train this behavior out of him. It was ingrained. We began to look for a new home for him. We posted a bunch of stuff on social media, contacted a number of rescues and agencies, and put the word out at the Vet office Jenny works at. After a few months, there were no takers, and we suffered another very close call.

It was time to consider more drastic options. We called a local no-kill shelter – the very Humane Society shelter we adopted him from, in fact. We discussed the situation with them, and Jenny dropped him off at their intake center on Tuesday. She brought with her all of his history and papers (she is meticulous about that sort of thing) and explained that he would make a very good companion for adults, or for older children, but that he was just not tolerant enough of small children. They were understanding and reassuring – he would get a second chance.

That night, we realized that we had forgotten to bring his favorite toy with him, and so the next morning I grabbed his toy and drove down to the shelter on my lunch break from work. I got a very strange runaround when I showed up. First, the front desk told me that they could not give me any info on Bandit and suggested I should call the intake center myself, or go directly to the intake center. So I went down, explained why I was there, and waited. I waited a long time and got a number of strange looks. Something was clearly very wrong. Whatever. I loved this dog, and he should at least be able to keep his favorite toy, right?

Eventually, a woman came and explained that he had been put down shortly after we dropped him off.

Naturally, this was a tremendous shock. We did not bring him to this shelter just to see him killed within the hour. The worker’s excuse was that they did not know his history, where he came from, his temperament, etc… I call bullshit on this. Jenny arrived with a mountain of paperwork, and he came from THEIR shelter originally. Then the worker tried to tell me that he bit someone, something that I found extremely unlikely (naturally, they did not produce the person supposedly bitten). He was a very loving dog, and unless you were doing something you shouldn’t (which, unfortunately, our toddler DID do some of the time – hence the problem), he was a perfectly good dog.

I left profoundly angry and confused. Jenny, naturally, did not take it well.

Jenny left a scathing review on their site, confused that they would just betray our trust and kill him like that – and not even contact us. This was especially confusing to her given that she emailed them after she dropped Bandit off, expressing that if there were ANY problems, we would come back, pick him back up, and take him someplace else, or try something else.

Yesterday, Jenny got a call from their director of operations. They claimed to have had IT problems, and that they did not get her email until today. Furthermore, she provided a THIRD story about what happened, this one at least admitting some fault.

Her version of events was that the intake lady had been lazy about paperwork, and not followed protocol, which is to have the dog acclimate to the new (scary!) environment for a few days before messing with him, and that a worker had attempted to enter his holding area, and that Bandit had lunged at the worker. That part I can almost believe, given that Bandit loved to jump up on people and lick them (that was something we never could quite train him out of). That was not an attack. The director claimed to have video footage, but naturally she did not see fit to share the footage with us. She did, however, at least admit that the rest of the footage showed Bandit as a friendly, happy, sociable dog. The person who put him down did so flippantly and too quickly – again, against protocol – and was supposedly fired, with the intake person demoted and/or removed from duty as well.

Meanwhile, I cannot help but suspect that had I never showed up the next day trying to give him his favorite toy, they never would have told us any of this. And, furthermore, their donations are highly dependent upon their nature as a “no-kill” shelter. They say on their site that they are no kill for “space or resources.” So what I think happened is this. They DO kill for space/resources, but spin it as something else. When they get a dog via intake that they suspect will be difficult to adopt out, an excuse is manufactured, and the dog is quietly put down. Can’t have it be known that they are really a kill shelter – and, worse, they don’t even give the dog a few weeks, like kill shelters usually do. They just cart off the hard-to-adopt ones and quietly kill them.

To be fair, that’s just a theory. And maybe my cynicism has gotten worse with age and I’m totally off base. Whatever the case, we trusted them to help us find a home for Bandit, and they just killed him about as fast as humanly possible instead. I feel violated and wronged. I was lied to multiple times. Three separate stories, and a lot of run around and bullshit excuses.

Instead of finding a new family – one without toddlers – he’s dead, and I’m furious.

Two of New York’s finest are dead, and I am furious.

There is a lot that I can say. But there are a few who said it far better than I could summon the vocabulary to do so.

It may not be in the spirit of The DecliNation, but it is in the spirit of the Warrior.

First, from Pat Rogers, formerly New York’s finest and one of the most respected gunfighting instructors of our time;

The problems are not one of race- though some are intent on making it so in order to gain power.

It is about two broad cultures.

On one side is the culture of the Thug Life

These are the entitled one- those who do not perform and honest days work, who breed like rabbits, who suck the nations coffers dry with their ever burgeoning population.

They believe armed robbery is “Getting Paid”, as that is what they believe is owed to them.

They are the ones that commit the majority of crimes, are the majority of the people arrested, and complain when Cops are sent into their bastions to force them to cease their Thug Life.

They are the ones who commit crimes and bitch about being arrested.

They complain about cops killing them, to the point they hoist on their shoulders the carcasses of Thugs who made the decision to rob or assault Cops, and create martyrs for their twisted cause.

I am sure that some of the recent ones will be Canonized in the church of The Thug Life for their resistance to The Man.

Then there are the Good Guys.

They are responsible. What a concept!

They contribute to society, rather than suck it up.

They go to work. They have families. They support them.

Some members of this group prevent the Thugs from flourishing in their criminal actions.

They populate the gangs, the organized criminal enterprises that fortunately reduce the population of other like minded Thugs.

Shocking, I know.

Other extinguish fires started when the entitled ones burn their houses so they can get into better housing.

Or they try to save business that the entitled ones burn in their communities that make sense only to the Thugs.

There are two cultures.

Good Guys and Bad. Not Black and White. Or Brown, Yellow, Purple or whatever moniker the Thugs want to place on them.

Consider carefully who you want to be associated with.

That is all…


And another, from an NYPD wife who chose to vent her thoughts on a simple backwater blog;

I was driving to a Christmas party when my phone rang. I heard the words and my heart felt shattered. Every fear, every worry, every feeling of panic came rushing into my throat and I couldn’t stop it. I had to stop it. My babies were with me. I was about to meet new people and see old friends. It was a party. Everyone’s supposed to be happy. My heart felt ripped to shreds. I kept looking at my phone, even though I knew there would be nothing good to see. My face kept smiling, my mouth kept speaking but my heart was racing and the tears were always right beneath the surface.

Today it was them. You don’t know them. They’re just names to you. To some of you, they are symbols of heroism and honor, but to many of you they are symbols of “oppression” and “brutality.”

Today, they kissed their families goodbye, they went into work,  and they were sitting in a car.

They died tonight – slaughtered – bullet after bullet pumped into their bodies. Not because of crime, not because of fear, but because of the uniform they wear. “Going to give some pigs wings tonight,” the killer boasted on social media, before taking to the streets.

They died tonight… and you let them.

You – sitting in your safe house with your enlightened thoughts and your selfish politics.

You – every one of you who supported the “protests,” the riots, the Sharptons and de Blasios of this nation.

You – sitting smugly behind your screen, commenting on police policies, the “unnecessary force,” the “racism” of the police.

PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos.

Remember their names.

You let them die tonight.

My heart is aching with sadness, loss, fear. I can’t stop the tears. My body is shaking and my heart is broken.

Tonight I am so angry.

You betrayed them!!!

You chose to honor the criminal and demean the innocent. You chose to make a thug like Michael Brown and a career petty criminal like Eric Garner the names on everyone’s lips, while the names of those who die protecting your freedom and your rights are soon forgotten.

You betrayed them.

More lives taken – but no one thinks THEY matter. More blood shed – heroic blood, not criminal – but no leader stands up to mourn them. Two more widows and fatherless sons, days before Christmas – but no one will be rioting or marching in the streets.

Men and women – HUMAN BEINGS, REGARDLESS OF THEIR COLOR – are being slaughtered, dying to protect your right to speak, to live, to march – and you choose to honor the criminals because of their color!?

You betrayed them.

People are indeed being targeted for who they are, but it isn’t the police doing the targeting.

My husband has been literally getting spat on as he walks into work – but he’ll still be standing there protecting your right to hold a sign saying “I Can’t Breathe.”

What did you think was going to happen? Who did you think you were supporting? Or did you not bother to think about it at all?

You betrayed them.

Tomorrow my children could wake up without a father.

Tomorrow the light could leave my own heart, even as I must go on living.

Tomorrow that knock on the door could be the one I dread.

Tomorrow the hands that calm my soul, that fill me with life and love and passion – tomorrow they could be cold forever.

So by all means, march through NYC, scream in their faces, call them pigs, threaten their families, deface their tombstones, mock their pain, and ignore their sacrifices.

But acknowledge the truth of what you are doing.

You have blood on your hands tonight, every one of you.

RIP, Blue Angels. You are now in a far, far better place.

There’s nothing more to say.

Two men were murdered. For no other reason than the outfit they wore, and the profession they chose. Killed while trying to grab a quick bite to eat, while covering for their brothers who were stretched too thin in that particular district, and desperately needed some rest.

Is this what you wanted? Children denied this Christmas, and every Holiday after, because their father chose to wear a particular shirt?

Hands up, don’t shoot? Fuck you. The thugs of America, regardless of skin color, are lucky I’m not declared Grand Warlord of the United States just yet, for this, I would paint the streets in their blood.

Ruminations on a Monday Afternoon: Bad DVDs and Lazy Superheroes.

Someone recently told me that I have an “old soul.” I don’t really know what this means except that, perhaps, I am viewed as something of a curmudgeon. If so, I suppose I’ll take it as compliment. Cynicism does tend to increase with age. But I am not always negative. Just mostly. Most of my favorite bloggers regard themselves as curmudgeonly, namely Francis over at Bastion of Liberty. I could hardly be in better company.

Last night, with the house all to myself and nothing productive to do, no beer at hand and not a cigar to be found, I wound up watching a mediocre movie unearthed from a pile of dusty DVDs in the corner. A bottle of whiskey was my only companion.

Unbreakable was not a particularly good movie, though far from the worst I’ve ever seen. It does tend to demonstrate how movies by M. Night Shyamalan can really only be watched once. Does the man have any schtick past some kind of random twist at the end? Though, in all fairness, any movie with Bruce Willis in it probably follows a similar pattern, minus the twist.

Mostly, it was a mindless affair, but one scene did intrigue me in a thoughtful sort of way. Bruce Willis’s character was bench pressing a successively greater amount of weight. Each time he struggled, as if at the very limit of what he could lift. Each time he succeeded in lifting it, much to his surprise.

As a deconstruction of the superhero genre, I suppose we should expect this. Superman effortless lifted planes, buses and buildings. Bruce Willis’s character was the opposite, a superhero who might be able to lift anything, but always had to fight for it. He never learned this because he always stopped at the point he really had to fight for it.

Bad DVDs aside, how true is this for most of us? How many of us stop right at the point of greatest resistance? How much of your own potential is undiscovered because you GAVE UP when things turned sour on you? It would be easy to blame your muscles, poor fleshy things that they are, for failing you. Blame the genetics, blame the weights, maybe just give up out of exasperation.

When you do that, your true potential is untested, and that’s something that bothers me greatly about our dying civilization. People encounter racism, or sexism. They fight the government or some lousy corporation. Or, maybe just run across some cynical, curmudgeonly bastard like me telling them they should give up… and they give up!

When, in reality, just past that point of greatest resistance, you might find you don’t have any limits.

Or maybe I shouldn’t drink whiskey while watching overrated movies. You decide.

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