Puppet Masters

It’s not what we know that kills us… It’s the many things we think we know that just ain’t so – and which might be completely different, in fact.

Take for instance sex – yeah, this early in the day.  Let’s have a show of hands.  How many of you watched Splendor in the Grass?  How many realized it makes no sense whatsoever?

I was probably blessed in watching it now as an adult – a few years ago – and quite conscious of the insidious myths of the twentieth century, including that repressing your sexual drive will make you maaaaaaaaaaaad.  Maaaaaaaaaaad.

I’ll head things off here, and tell you right out that no, I don’t think people can be celibate life long unless they’re endowed with a special grace which is more than I – or most humans – have.  (Grace or the ability to sublimate to other things.)

Being celibate life-long might make you a little odd.  You might develop an obsession with naughty pictures, or something.  BUT mostly it will make you lonely and sad, since it’s not good for man (or woman) to be alone.  We are, by nature, designed to have a mate.

This is however not in the same realm as “you can’t repress any sexual desires at all, no matter the time, the place, your age or your circumstances and if you try to you’ll become psychotic.”

As powerful a drive as sexual desire is, it’s not magical.  Repressing it can’t make a good man into a mass murderer or a rapist.  Repressing it – temporarily, because, duh, you’re a kid and unmarried – won’t send a stable girl into the madhouse.  (If she’s the kind to go to the madhouse, then she will be in worse trouble if she DOES have sex.  I don’t think someone that mentally fragile could cope with the consequences of sex – attachment, fidelity [or lack thereof] and possible pregnancy.)

The idea that it is magical and that if repressed it will make you into a monster is the sort of cheap Freudianism that has infused society since – yep – World War One and which is at the back of much of our entertainment AND our educational policies.

In entertainment it causes people to think that stuff like Splendor on the Grass is “deep” and books with that sort of meaning are “important” (Which is why kids in YA now screw like minxes) – instead of faulty and done to death – and in education it causes people to laugh politely at the suggestion kids should be told it’s best to abstain till they’re in a stable relationship.

It’s so prevalent that the laugh is never explained.  It’s all “Oh, my dear, she believes in abstention” as though this were the ultimate stupidity.  Because everyone knows that kids can’t control their sex drive, and if they did they’d break out in pimples, or something.  Only, of course, while some kids might not be able to abstain (there’s enormous variation in human desire) most can if told it’s not going to make them go maaaaaaad.  Maaaaaad.

In the same vein, everyone knows Europe is more sophisticated than the US.  Why, my dear, their politicians routinely have mistresses.  Publically.  And no one minds.  But the rubes in the US get very upset if they find their president has a squeeze.  As if that weren’t the right of every rich and important man.

Uh…  You see, it has nothing to do with sophistication.  Unless by sophistication you mean the sort of cultural memory that goes back to Rome and knows, of course, that it is impolite to kiss your spouse in public, but quite all right to kiss your mistress.

The Europeans grant these privileges to their rich and powerful because they believe some animals are more equal than others.  They’ve been used to it. There’s feudalism in their minds.

We, on the other hand, founded on bourgeois virtues, believe that contracts are made to be kept, and if a man is married, he’s married.  He gave his word, and violating his word without remorse and semi-publically is a severe flaw in someone who’s sworn to serve the country.

Everyone also knows that all cultures are alike – except ours, which is imperialist, colonialist and bad.  This too infuses our teaching about other countries and even an entire class of politicians who think that our foreign policy should be based on self abasement and apology.

To maintain this view of the world, our schools teach what I’d call “cute brown people” anthropology.  Oh, fine, I don’t think they see it that way.  They teach the cookery of the country, and the arts and crafts, and talk about their admirable achievements (usually rather in the patronizing “and they invented a new type of clog” line.  I mean, you can’t expect little brown people to have BIG achievements, and you should praise the little ones, because wow, think about it, new type of clog.)

What they don’t teach is that every “underdog” culture was at some point dominant.  They don’t teach stuff such as that the Zulus were no more native to South Africa than the Afrikaners.  They’d immigrated across Africa in fire and blood, and got to South Africa just about when the Afrikaners did.  Assuming they’re “native” because of their skin color is the rankest racism.

What they don’t teach is that EVERY HUMAN race, culture and subtype is two things: intensely racist (in the sense of tribalist.  The humanoid band allowed us to survive.  We seek the company of those like us) and colonialist (you expand your band’s territory if you can.)

The other thing they don’t teach is that, as an extension of – and defeater – of the tribe, the nation state – EVERY NATION STATE – is out for its own interests.  Long before “capitalism” or “fight for resources” or whatever the Marxists think this is all about (and don’t get me started on THEIR illusions.  I have a book to finish) the great leaders of the French were those who were out for French interests and French domination.  (Read about Napoleon.  There were reasons he was called “the monster” – but the French STILL lionize him.)

It is what we think we know that just ain’t so – and it takes a very sophisticated society indeed to have this sort of mass illusion for so long – that is killing Western society and the US.

And it is time we woke up from the screaming nightmare we’re been in since WWI.  It’s time to realize most of these ideas are not only wrong — they are, on the face of them and stated out loud (as they never are) laugh out loud ridiculous.

Like the idea that it will do lasting psychological harm to abstain from sex while in high school.  Because… because… because… Cheese!  Also lasers!  Or the idea that people who can tan (like me) are automatically endowed with superpowers of goodness, kindness, and sinlessness.  (I prefer the open racism of Patricia Wentworth where a character is clearly a murderer because he’s part Portuguese.  At least it’s open.)   As for the idea of European sophistication, Europe is the only place where I’ve heard OPEN homophobic, racist and sexist remarks in PROFESSIONAL situations, and no one says anything.  (Of course, at least it’s out in the open.)

But out here — and in Europe, even though they’re more blunt about their own prejudices (btw, this is allowable because they “know” the US is far more racist, sexist and homophobic than they are.  It’s one of THEIR accepted lies.)  — we believe most of these things at a level so deep it filters into all our entertainment and culture, and makes itself accepted without ever being thought about.

In many ways, it’s not very different from having an alien controlling our brain – as in Heinlein’s Puppet Masters.

Go and read that book (again, if you already have).  Then take off your overcoat, kill your rider, and start learning what is real and what isn’t.

The sex-soaked, human-despising, self-destroying culture of the past century is dead and stinking.  Let’s crawl out from under the corpse of its entertainment and “news” and “scholarship” before it suffocates us.

 

392 responses to “Puppet Masters

  1. I am not sure but, I believe your ‘Fly readers killed that sucker quite some time ago. OK we gravely wounded him, Can’t kill what you don’t even know exists.

  2. Kitteh-Dragon

    It’s a bodily function. Most of us learn to control our bodily functions until the proper place and time. People who don’t aren’t accepted in polite society. People who no longer can are pitied, and there are hygienic products to help with their difficulty.

    The idea that abstinence makes a person crazy is … batsh*t crazy itself. I never watched that movie. I never read “Catcher in the Rye” either – just because it’s the first dirty book a person reads doesn’t make it “high literature”.

    • I didn’t find it that dirty, read it for the hoopla. Lousy characters with neither brains nor morals. Poor writing, no plot, no character growth. I remember reading it but , it was an completely forgetable book. Not reading it was a wise choice, not because it was dirty, because it was a poor book

      • Kitteh-Dragon

        That was what I was getting at – the only reason to read it was because it mentioned s-e-x . ::yawn:: I’d read “Hawaii” the summer before. Trust me, much better and *much* racier, from what I’ve heard ;-)

      • By the time the “educators” expected me to read it, I had already read all of Heinlein’s juveniles and the Lord of the Rings 3-4 times. I had no interest in trash just because it was labeled “classic”.

    • There was a day when a person whose sexual drive was not under control was called “incontinent” just as if he could not control his bladder.

  3. I think the Catholics (and probably a few others) are right when they say that life-long celibacy is a form of vocation. It ain’t easy, it can be valuable to the group in the right circumstances, and it often has an element of being part of a calling. And note that a “call to celibacy” is not the same as people who are, for whatever reason, asexual.

    And if repressing bodily functions leads to madness, well, every potty-trained human is off their rocker.

    • Yep. It needs GRACE. I ain’t got it.

    • Embarrassing confession: about two decades. But I seem to have a rather low sex drive, without being completely asexual (and there is the self-help method…). And I rarely admit that (when among ordinary people, but the readers of this blog aren’t) since people seem to have a tendency to react as if one really was some sort of a mutant. :)

      • it could be the northern thing– to be honest my sex drive is low– or I am discriminating. lol

        • One of my professors think that creative people sublimate their sex drives into their art– I don’t know if it is true or not.

          • Bull. Or maybe stereotypes are right, and I’m a warm blooded Southern Hussy. Let’s say mine feed off each other — which is weird considering I don’t WRITE sex.

            Or maybe we blame Kate Paulk. Her Con books universe leaks. As a reformed Succubus, of COURSE my magic would come from sex. ;)

            • lol Well– I really like what Kate wrote about you. And some magic is supposed to come from sex.

              The prof was a psychology professor who worked with chimps. He had some good ideas (women should raise their children and not let an uninterested stranger raise them) etc. But, he did have some strange ideas that probably came from academic training. Plus he was always rubbing the feminists the wrong way. ;-)

              • “Plus he was always rubbing the feminists the wrong way. ;-)”

                Then he couldn’t be ALL bad…

              • After decades of disinterested observation, I doubt that even feminists can consistently rub feminists the right way. It would at least explain the sizable body of articles and books on the topic that they have produced.

              • Plus he was always rubbing the feminists the wrong way. ;-)

                Do you know what my brain did with that sentence? :-P

                • The same thing mine did, especially coming from AtH?

                • Well– know that I think of it– lol But rubbing ___ the wrong way is a phrase that came from my great-grandfather (mother’s side). He was a farmer and a lumberjack. So I also use “chalk and love.” ;-)

          • Once upon a time it was fashionable to believe that women could not create good (much less great) art because their creative energies went into creating life.

            As to both hypotheses in the create art or life debate, I say: Bugger ‘em. Do what entertains youse, provides youse some happiness and makes you some moolah. Most art theory is primarily useful for wiping the bum, and then only if printed out on soft paper.

            • I forgot that it was once popular to believe that women could not create except through the womb… Dang it… it must be one of those puppetmasters that pop up in other forms– Thanks for reminding me.

              • Oftimes those puppetmasters operate by putting up blinders of that sort, preventing you from connecting what you believe and what you know, and shading contradictory data from your view.

                To answer the question posed by Lewis’s Professor Digory Kirke, that is why they stopped teaching logic in the schools. It is also why they like to focus on children molested in the Catholic Church in spite of the much more significant number of children molested in the public schools, or the deaths caused by “assault weapons” but not those committed with hammers.

                • Sometimes it feels like a vital piece of the puzzle is missing, but I just can’t quite connect it. Yes, I see what you mean RES. Assumptions– so easy to believe and assume.

                  • And we all know what assuming does: makes an ass out of U and ME both. Says she who assumed that she had not lowered the flaps on a Cessna 152 and who still bears the secret sign of the Cessna pilot on her forehead fifteen years later. :)

                    • *snort– yep we used that one all the time in electronics. ;-)

                    • Dorothy Grant

                      Oh, it’s a secret sign? I thought it was an initiation scar, when you joined the tribe. Sure, the solo’s signed off in your logbook, but it isn’t until you have the right amount of wary fear toward a Cessna’s trailing edge that we know

                    • You’d think that flying low-wing types would protect you.

                      Until you got in a hurry draining one of the fuel sumps…

                      Still, better than forgetting to unhook the tiedowns during preflight checks. While your instructor watches from the FBO office.

    • And if repressing bodily functions leads to madness, well, every potty-trained human is off their rocker.

      From what I see of humanity, about a third are. Most of the ones “off their rocker” can function, but a few are trying to pop a wheelie in a dual-axle Peterbuilt.

      I’m not a Catholic. Some of my relatives are, and I’ve been to Catholic mass several times, so I’m no stranger to the faith. I don’t know if I could live my entire life without sex, as the Church expects priests and others to do. It seems unnatural and against the very teachings of God. My two cents, which are worth more in the metals market than they are in the grocery store.

      • I’m not Catholic, and personally prefer married Pastors, but I see nothing wrong with having a celibate priesthood. Like you I have went to Catholic mass and have a superficial understanding of the denomination (are Catholics insulted to be considered a denomination? if so no insult is intended) My understand is that it is supposed to be unnatural, it is not normal for a person to spend their entire life devoted specifically to bringing others to God. I believe the belief is that by being celibate the priests can devote their entire attention to their ministry, without being distracted by having to support and raise a wife and family. Either the wife and family or the ministry would suffer from neglect while the priest attended to his duties to the other.

        Personally I think a married pastor can relate better to his* congregation through the experience and I would assume it would be much easier for him to relate personally in some areas of his job, such as marriage counseling. Both are I believe acceptable to God and I expect there to be both Protestants and Catholics in Heaven.

        *Note I have nothing against women in the ministry, but having dealt only with men in pastoral rules I will stick to masculine pronouns.

        • Now I have been assuming things again, and we all know what that does, so possibly one of the Catholics on here can explain how much of an a** I just made out of myself? :)

          • Well if you are an a**, then I am one too. I like married pastors/pastoresses? lol better than single. Also in the group think category, I prefer pastors and other religious people who have been in the military. Sorry– it is a preference.

            • The first reason for not-married priests was to prevent them building little empires. Contemplate the state of Europe when the church was ascendant. They could easily have used their learning and power of the spiritual side to become priest kings and then our civilization would be sort of like Egypt’s.

              Nowadays… I think given the structure of the Catholic church which gives the pastor inordinate power it is right to ask those proclaiming a vocation to give up something. (As is, the church has been invaded by those who often confuse the bible with the little red book.)

              On the relate — have you considered married pastors might relate TOO well? — the first time I saw a Baptist minister in a wifebeater I thought “oh.” It was completely unmistical.

              On women in spiritual leadership roles — sorry NO. I’m not saying that women can’t be spiritual/leaders but the current crop of women who want to be pastors/rabbis/etc seem to want to do it to prove they can.

              In the Christian churches — Heinlein had it right when he said that each man buckles under the burden of sin, and that’s why Christ instituted men with broad shoulders to help carry them. Women might have broad shoulders, but our way of carrying the load is different. I’m explaining this very badly, but it’s hard to say “Here, I’ll take your burden. Go” when you’re a woman. We’re more likely to empathize than to say “I’ll fix it.”

              BUT mostly, if female pastors are going to work it’s not till this generation of feminists has passed away.

              This is of course all personal experience/opinion. Your personal preference in religion or lack thereof might vary. Opinion only valid inside my head.

              Oh, and I also prefer pastors who’ve been in the military. Dan’s pastor growing up was a military chaplain, and when I met him later we got along like a house on fire. (I.e. everyone else ran screaming from us… But we had a great time. We got almost as theologically crazy as y’all.)

              • Well– I don’t fit in the Catholicness anyway. I do have other friends who are Catholic. I have met a priest or two and some nuns, but I was more impressed with the nuns than the priests. Sorry– just the opinion here too. I see what you mean about fixing. Men need to fix. It makes them good for that job. But, in my personal opinion, the wife adds the empathy to the man and gives him support so that he can support the congregation. Also, I know what you mean about military chaplains and military men (I have a thing for one btw). There is something different about them that attracts me. Even most of my friends (and the hubby’s friends) are prior military.

              • As for the empire-building, I saw that with generals and officers of a certain stripe. I could see it happening to the Church at the time with such power. Nowadays– not so much.

              • Military pastors are good, I have listened to a Catholic priest several times who was a former military chaplain, and used to attend a Protestant church with a former enlisted Marine as a pastor. Both seemed to ‘get it’ and were very good at getting their point across in easily understandable words, without using the sickeningly condescending ‘good buddy’ approach all to many of those that go straight into the ministry from school without spending time in ‘the real world’ use.

                • Lifelong observation has taught me that there are few things so incomprehensible as somebody else’s religion. Things typically make complete sense from the inside and no sense from outside the church. So I try not to pass judgement on things I don’t understand so much as I try to suss out the internal logic and how it works to achieve the Faith’s goals.

                  Besides, it don’t have to make sense to me if I don’t have to belong to it. So long as they are willing to permit my non-membership (which eliminates most Islamic sects and a few Hindus), are willing to permit congregants to depart (none of this “once a member, always a member” nonsense) and don’t engage in wide-scale property destruction I don’t reckon their doctrine any of my business.

                  When I am of a mind to understand the logic of the Catholic Church I sure as heck do not read the popular press. Father Richard John Neuhaus, G. K. Chesterton, some of the chaps at National Review and the current Pope are my go to sources.

                  Some folks like flaky dinner rolls, others like chewy sourdough rolls. I personally like my theology tough and substantive but understand those who prefer a more comforting and soft faith.

        • Like you I have went to Catholic mass and have a superficial understanding of the denomination (are Catholics insulted to be considered a denomination? if so no insult is intended

          FWIW, I tend to only get pushy about that when it’s clear the person is trying to diminish the Church by use of the term. It’s not totally accurate, but I’m not sure what the perfect term (other than “church”) would be and as best I can tell you mean “that group of guys over there.”

          More importantly, the Catholic Church does have married priests. The Roman Catholic part (most common in the US) of the Church doesn’t.

          But keep in mind, nothing is ever as simple as the short, common explanation. I sometimes think the thing that got my husband slightly warm on the Church again is the way that NOTHING is for only one reason.

          Even the Rites that have married priests don’t have married Bishops, though, and almost never does someone who is already a priest get re-married. (I believe that a priest with very young children can sometimes be granted a dispensation to remarry.)

          • The Roman Catholic church HAS married priests in the US — about fifty. They were Episcopal priests allowed to convert and cross over under a special program. No, I don’t know details, but I do know that, and that it was sometime in the eighties (I think. Might have been early nineties.) Anyway — it’s COMPLICATED as everything is.

            And I’m glad there’s different options for different flavors and like RES, provided they don’t want to kill me for not being of their faith, I am content with anyone worshiping as they wish. Being a small L libertarian is very useful that way. “Whatevs, dude. Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.” (Unless you’re a friend who happens to need me.)

            • True– actually, “converts from the Church of England and a couple of other groups who are already married” convert over pretty regularly, not sure if it hits the news– but I was trying to be nice. *grin*

              I seem to remember they’re forming an entirely new Rite to deal with the large number of Episcopal congregations who are converting away from their… changing… faith. (Jumping away from bombshells madly)

              • I don’t think any Episcopal congregations are converting away from their faith. The Episcopal Communion, OTOH, seems to be demonstrating Chesterton’s quip about “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

                  • I think I was not clear. I think the congregations are trying their best to remain Episcopalian, which is why they are joining the Catholic church. It is the Episcopalian Church that wants to rewrite the tenets of their faith to be more “inclusive.” If they get much more inclusive the Church will not even require acceptance of Jesus as Savior. In fact, they will probably denounce that as exclusionary.

                  • Yes, there have been several of these.

                • Eh, while I was in {other state} an entire Episcopal congregation converted to Eastern Orthodox and told the diocese to go soak its head. Married priest? No problem.

                  There have been hard feelings between the American Episcopal hierarchy and a growing part of the body of believers. The archbishop’s statement about not allowing congregations to take their real estate if they leave the official communion because she is “protecting the brand” stuck in a lot of people’s craws. (See W.S.J. “Houses of Worship” column from last October for more details). She’s, hmmm, not the most tactful or sensitive denominational leader that I’ve read about.

                • Right. The Episcopal congregations splitting away from TEC (The Episcopal Church) don’t see themselves as walking away from their faith or from TEC; rather, they were maintaining their faith and standing their ground, and watching TEC walk away from them. I used to attend one which had split away back in the 80′s, well before TEC’s policies on homosexuality had ever entered the public conversation — the last straw for this congregation was when John Shelby Spong published a book where he said he was, for all practical purposes, an atheist… and yet TEC allowed him to remain a bishop. An atheist bishop? That’s not a sign of a “church” that’s taking its theology at all seriously — and so the congregation packed its bags, left TEC (and the church property, which belonged to TEC rather than to the local congregation) and started meeting in a rented meeting hall while they worked out what to do next.

                  That story has been repeated over and over, with only minor variations (which usually involve what precisely was the last straw for a given congregation). Some congregations are going to the Roman Catholics, some to the Eastern Orthodox, and most are placing themselves under the authority of one of the Anglican archbishops around the world (usually one from Africa or South America; it seems those are the parts of the world where the Anglican church is holding to its traditional theological stances, where in Europe and North America it seems to be abandoning them. I know nothing about the Anglicans in Asia and Australia so can’t comment there).

          • The corollary is “don’t leave me alone, and you won’t know what hit you.”

          • Interesting, I knew that up until about the mid-1500′s there were married Catholic parish priests (is that the correct term?) but was not aware that there were types of current Catholics that still had them. I was aware of Episcopalians converting over in droves (also converting to Lutheranism and in lesser numbers to other denominations) but never really gave a thought to what would become of their already married ministers.

            I hope they don’t call female ministers, ministresses, that could lead to all sorts of misunderstandings ;)

      • Very odd of God to have explicitly included something in His very teachings if it were against them.

        Anyway, no one has to become a priest, or a nun, or a monk.

  4. Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

    The sex-soaked, human-despising, self-destroying culture of the past century is dead and stinking. Let’s crawl out from under the corpse of its entertainment and “news” and “scholarship” before it suffocates us.

    Well, that depends. Technically entertainment is anything that you don’t need to do for survival. So my addiction to war games is entertainment. So is my addiction to history.

    Some of the biggest and nastiest empires that existed were from Africa. Most of the rest were from Asia.

    Europe was effectively a basket case from the death of the Roman Empire until the 17th century, when the Europeans started stealing everything that wasn’t nailed down in North America, Africa, and Asia. They only managed to be capable of doing that because someone had designed a slightly better ship (for a given value of better) and slightly better weapons (again, for a given value of better).

    The reason that Europe and North America are so rich, is because we were the best damned thieves ever.

    Sad, isn’t it?

    Wayne

    • Um. I think you missed something here. Sarah’s talking about the entertainment provided by the rotting culture of the wannabe-Marxist-apparatchiks. War games are probably not part of this. History in the sense of primary documents and more or less undoctored analysis (aka not massaged into properly PC bullshit) are definitely not part of this. There’s a reason why the history taught today is so limited – if people were allowed to see the actual stuff they’d never swallow the PC tripe they’re being fed.

      Your comments about Europe and North America are a case in point: this is the kind of bullshit that the PC types have fed us for years. It wasn’t the better ship and better weapons that allowed European culture to dominate. It was the better set of cultural tools in the form of the Nation-state (as opposed to the tribe or the family – and make no mistake, many of the Asian empires functioned as families of families, not as states in the Western sense), the meritocracy (something the Brits got going, which proceeded to infest parts of Europe until it started to challenge the accepted order), and the notion of individual worth and responsibility.

      For all the British Empire’s faults, the Empire regarded everyone in it as a citizen – whether pink, brown, or any other color – and woe betide anyone who tried to harm a British citizen. It wasn’t applied perfectly, but it was there. The American Revolution formalized the notion that everyone was a citizen – although some unfortunate compromises had to happen, and let’s face it, innate human tribalism is bloody persistent – everyone looks suspiciously at people who don’t fit their mental image of ‘people like me’. Some learn to deal with it. Others don’t. But everyone has that reaction.

      That does not make the American experiment null, nor does it make what happened here “stealing everything that wasn’t nailed down”. Some of that did happen, but most of the American miracle came from enshrining in law the principle that it doesn’t matter who your parents are, what matters is who you are and what you do. That freed a lot of people to follow their ideas and interests, and ultimately fed into the American boom.

      Throw the PC bullshit out and look at the facts.

      • It’s a bit of a slog, but “The Enlightened Economy” about the background of the Industrial Revolution in England and Scotland is fascinating. Among other things, in England you had civilian engineers and tinkerers who earned respect for their work. Despite the class system, people recognized and rewarded merit, which encouraged more tinkering, which led to things like Watt’s steam engine and the canal systems. The British didn’t steal human capital, they nurtured it, albeit in a often clumsy and inadvertent way.

        For cultures and development, Cipola’s “Clocks and Culture” is a short, excellent example of the differences between Europe, China, and Japan and their responses to change, in this case to the mechanical clock.

        • The idea that the seizing of land or material wealth is what created the Western world wealth is a Marxist “not only lie but dumb lie.”
          Look, I came from a country that stole MASSIVE amounts of gold, and which is a borderline 3rd world country. All they got was inflation and a destruction of work ethic. (Beggars had slaves to beg for them. NO, I am NOT joking.)

          As for the rest of Wayne’s comment it betrays the customary lack of understanding of the principles of trade — the same thing that is being called “fair trade” and distorting (if not destroying) developing economies.

          Just because the lie is repeated ad nauseum, it don’t make it true. And that’s what I meant in the post, and thank you for the reference books. (Num.)

          • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

            And you live in a country that stole how many square miles of land from the original inhabitants? I’m not throwing stones – don’t forget I live in Canada, only a couple of miles from a large Indian Reserve. Oh, and my brother-in-law is teaching school on another Reserve.

            I think that the difference is mostly that Portugal had a spectacularly ineffective and totally unrepresentative government. The United States, Britain, and Canada, for all their faults have fairly effective, and fairly representative governments.

            If you look at anything in history, you can come up with an economic explanation for the event, including the Russian Revolution. Yes, it was an economic event. So was the takeover of China by the Communists. They’ll claim it wasn’t, but they are lying.

            Wayne

            • Kitteh-Dragon

              Wayne Borean said “If you look at anything in history, you can come up with an economic explanation for the event”

              Are you including your conception in this, Wayne?

            • And how wealthy is that country now? It’s bankrupt, or nearly. And has been bankrupt repeatedly since stealing all that gold and land. Somehow I don’t think the theft of land, gold, or any other fungible is the cause of wealth, no matter what Marx said.

              At the time of the colonies, there was no such thing as a truly representative government. The UK of the time came closest, but it was a long way from representative or fair – but for the most part it didn’t get in the way of ordinary people making oodles of money from whatever they chose to do.

              Oh, and for a counter example, Australia is a wealthy nation. Whether the land was stolen or not, there’s bugger all there that can be used without a high level of technology. It needs at least early Industrial Revolution farming and grazing techniques, highly developed water infrastructure, and advanced communications to make the place self-supporting. And yet Australia became an independent nation not terribly long after Western settlement, and was a wealthy one from the beginning. The indigenous peoples would probably never have been able to do that on their own in any time frame because they didn’t have access to nutrient-rich grains they could domesticate, large – or small – animals that could be domesticated, a climate forgiving enough to permit the development of farmland with limited technology, or any of the other natural advantages that helped to spur European technology and culture.

              If you are not speaking from your fundamental orifice, you are doing a very good impression of it.

              • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                Lost you there. Which country is bankrupt now, Portugal?

                Wayne

              • I wish there were the equivalent of the maneuver in PM where you could grab the puppet master and make it explode. Then Wayne could some day stand before us and say “I’m ashamed of what I said here when I was mind controlled.” UNFORTUNATELY the equivalent — real reading and economic analysis takes his wanting to, and how could he, when he has a rider the size of the Empire State Building SQUARELY between his shoulders?

            • Wayne have you ever heard of “By Right of Conquest?” It’s a dirty little secret none of the PC bullshiters in the UN want to admit, but by right of conquest still exists in international law, if it didn’t then we’d have to give Spain back to the Basques, and England back to the Welsh, and so on and so on.

              From a historical standpoint, which you claim to be arguing from, if you can’t hold on to the land, if you can’t defend it, it’s not yours.

              The only people who don’t actually understand that at an instinctive level are liberal nitwits who wouldn’t survive the noble savage bullshit they believe in.

              Earth to reality, the American Indians were no more noble than the Europeans who took the land away from them, and which land they had long since “stolen” from someone else anyway.

              All of this is masturbatory nonsense ion any event, we’re here, we have the land and we’re not going anywhere.

              We like to think we’re past the idea of going a-conquering, but let the Pax Americana fail and watch how quick it comes storming back.

              • Oh, G-d yes. That’s part of the nightmare fuel of “If this goes on.”

              • [L]et the Pax Americana fail and watch how quick it comes storming back.Read, for example, about current goings on in the South China Sea. Walter Russell Mead’s Via Media blog has been covering the Game of Thrones going on there quite extensively: http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/02/04/white-house-to-japan-cool-it/

                • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                  Actually if Pax Americana fails, Pax Something else will take it’s place. Cycles upon cycles.

                  Sure, you end up with the odd messy interregnum, but that’s part of the price of being human.

                  Wayne

                  • Yep, Wayne – but you’ve no basis for confidence it won’t be the Pax of a 1,000 Reich … and given the players it is entirely likely. Given the players in this Game of Thrones are China and the Mullahs, I don’t much like the odds of it being a peace of the sort that would meet your approval. But what the heck, we‘ll all be long dead, right?

              • Vance’s sf novel The Gray Prince is an exceptionally interesting book that talks all about right of conquest and the consequences of getting rid of it. (Although he uses the more benign formula about “Possession is 9/10 of the law.”)

                All Vance is interesting if you can dig into the Vancian mood properly, but The Gray Prince is a good place to start reading him.

              • Most of the American Indians didn’t have the concept of ‘owning’ land to start with. Land was just there, whoever had the strength and the desire to do so lived on it and did with it what they wanted. In reality (as opposed to what is taught in PC schools) we were playing by their rules as much if not more so, than our own. We just won, and some people have a guilty concious because they are descended from a long line of winners.

                • … some people have a guilty concious because they are descended from a long line of winners.

                  While those descended from the even longer line of losers … oh, wait a min; there aren’t any descendants from the losers. Evolution: gotta love it!

                  • Mine were mostly losers until recently. First the Vikings got the idea of ‘Kingdom’ while my ancestors were still tribal – there seems to be some evidence that Vikings avoided this part of the world because those times they didn’t not many of them came back. But as said, then they got organized on a bit larger scale while the tribes here were still fighting among themselves. Then we were under the Swedish rule for centuries, until Sweden lost us to the Russians, and Finns finally managed to slip from under their thumb when they were too busy fighting among themselves to bother with us (overthrowing the Czar and all that). But even then we were one of the poor relatives when it comes to European nations. Our national anthem has lines which claim something like ‘our land is poor, and so will stay’, because this land really was mostly dirt poor when those words were written.

                    But then during about the last half a century we did get from poor to rich, and now plenty of people here seem to have full blown white guilt. They do have to twist things quite a bit in order to justify that – when they bother to acknowledge history at all – like that we should be feeling guilty about the slave trade because the ships which were used to transport those African slaves to America probably had hulls sealed with tar produced here (the one big trade item back then, and even with that a lot but the initial production was often in the hands of Swedish born traders – we were still a part of that country then), or maybe that somehow our current riches have to be because of exploiting third world countries (Nokia? Okay, they did move a lot of production at one point, but originally the phones were mostly made here, and sold to the rich countries).

                    Got to love that. We are white, western and now rich, so we HAVE to feel guilty, no matter what. Because obviously just being white, western and rich makes one guilty when there are people who look different and aren’t rich. Or something. Maybe because it shows we haven’t done enough to help, if we had those other people would be rich too? Okay, I’m afraid I have never quite understood the reasoning.

                    • To be perfectly honest you are probably descended from winners also. Throughout history winners tended to leave a trail of pregnant losers in there wake.

                    • True. But I was mostly musing about these western guilt feelings, I guess. I don’t see much point to them for those people either whose ancestors were directly involved in the slave trade, or taking land from some other people, or getting rich exploiting some different looking people. Most western white guilt talking people would probably call you nuts if you told them that they should now pay some compensations and apologize to some white guy who is kind of poor because some of his ancestors treated some of the poorer white guy’s ancestors badly, maybe somebody in the family even killed the other guy’s great great grandpa when the kids were still small and so being could be said to be directly responsible for the poverty of the more recent generations.

                      But they do seem to think there should be responsibility when the victims looked different. Even for those people who actually don’t have ancestors who did anything of the kind (not to the ancestors of any of the designated victim groups, whatever they may have been doing to each other and more nearby neighbors) as long as the current descendant look similar and have similar culture as the descendants of those people some of whose ancestors did do those bad things.

                      And never mind that those bad things were pretty much exactly the same bad things as the victims were doing to each other (including similar looking nearby neighbors), perhaps just less efficiently and on a smaller scale.

                      In most ways the whole damn thing is so absurd.

                    • Look, white guilt is insane. Do you think OUR ancestors left Africa voluntarily? Bet most of them were pushed out by the ancestors of people who stayed (of course, in my case good chance of ancestors on BOTH sides, but never mind that.) So — they pushed us out, we bought slaves from them and took them out. Let’s call it even, right? And start clean. We won’t mention our ancestors’ dispossessing, they won’t mention the slavery thing. We admit we’re all just people and — to quote Fox — humans are awful (even when we try.)

                    • True. But how on Earth could you get that point across to the white guilt people?

                      Okay, probably no way to many of them. But at least explain the whole thing to kids and others you meet who aren’t perhaps yet totally brainwashed?

                    • Absolving White Guilt is easy. Those who suffer it must first resolve to eschew government redress as impersonal and insufficient.

                      Next they must give me all their money and possessions. Yes, I am willing to take on the burden of their guilt because as the descendant of Africans, Hispanics and Amerindians I am uniquely qualified to absolve them.

                      Finally, they should resolve to go and sin no more. Preferably they should go far away and absolutely they should keep their stupid mouths shut lest they sin some more and have to further transfer their possessions to my stewardship.

                    • “Nokia?”

                      You’ve expiated all of that guilt now that Steve Ballmer screwed you over by planting Stephen Elop as the saboteur in Nokia.

                    • Heh. Well, nothing lasts. But now we have Rovio and Angry Birds. Must be some guilt there somewhere.

                    • Ummm RES… how thoughtful of you. I think I am one that wants to go Viking on someone when they try to stick me with “white guilt.” (Yes, I used it as a verb)

                    • By the way, for me the part which actually got me thinking about it was that ‘but the ships transporting slaves used Finnish tar’ part. Never really thought much about the whole white guilt thing before it – I was young, lots of other concerns then – but that caught my attention. I should be feeling guilty about the slave trade because some Finns made their living producing wood tar a couple of hundred years ago? Because they were one of the major producers at the time, and so some of that tar probably did end up in the hulls of those ships? Even if those primary producers probably never sold that tar directly to the ship builders or ships owners or whatever, and knew of Africa and Africans and slaves, if they knew of them at all, mostly as rumors, stories or perhaps as something written about in a book? Because some then were making a living on something that you can tenuously, sorta kinda, connect to the slave trade, I should feel guilty about it now?

                      That just sounded stupid enough to make me start thinking about the whole concept.

                • How sad it is that people can be taught to feel guilt over being descended from the winners. It proves just how insidiously effective the Marxist brainwashing can be.

                • Land was just there, whoever had the strength and the desire to do so lived on it and did with it what they wanted.

                  After you work like crazy for five years to build up a decent little farm, head out to town to sell the early harvest and return to find your family dead or missing, the crops taken or destroyed and the animals slaughtered with the easiest to eat bits missing– the difference stands out.

                  From the (most common) Indian perspective, nothing wrong with that; from the POV of actually building a culture and…well, all that horrible Christian-flavored European stuff that we still have around, LOTS wrong with that.
                  IIRC, the tribes that did improve areas made dang sure to always have lots of defense and strong alliances, and it still often didn’t work out. (Wow, that’s a packed little phrase….)

          • For a look at what led northern Europeans to develop better boats, I highly recommend “Fish on Friday” by B. Fagan. Don’t agree with all of his premises, but he has a gift for tying neat history together. Hint: carp ponds are not good for human longevity.

      • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

        Kate,

        I have to admit to largely ignoring video American pop culture. It’s just too damned boring. My fiction reading is mostly SF&F, Mystery, and Horror, hardly the things that the Marxist-apparatchiks are likely to bother with, and even there I read a lot of British and Canadian stuff, which has a totally different set of standards and backgrounds.

        As to the technological marvels which let our ancestors conquer most of the world – you underestimate their impact. Most people do. Most people don’t understand how those marvels were developed.

        When you are poor and desperate, there is a lot of incentive to invent ways to make your life easier. That’s how better ships came about. Even cutting two days off a trip would make a huge difference economically to a ship owner. If the ship owner happened to be lower middle class, and often the people to adopt the new ideas were, he then moved into the upper middle class, and provided an example for others to follow (I’m using men as an example here, because during most of this period women were regarded as chattel in much of the world).

        The English Kingdom was just as repressive as every other kingdom un Europe – until all the nouveau riche forced change by simply having so much damned money that the ruling class had little choice in the matter. Mind, the ruling class still could have sent in the army, and they do deserve kudos for being smart enough to avoid that idiocy. Consider Richard the Third – a totally murderous SOB, but he did some damned smart things too.

        As to the ‘American Experiment’, you do realize that the only reason that the Southern States suddenly began to back rebellion was that in England slave holding had been made illegal, and without slaves, the Southern aristocracy, like George Washington, would have been unable to survive in the style to which they were accustomed? The Northern States had been pushing for independence long before. In fact I’m surprised that they waited as long as they did, because they had serious grievances against England.

        It is rather funny. George III is remembered fondly in Britain. In the United States he’s considered a horrid tyrant. In Canada he’s mostly forgotten, except by maniacs like me who love history. Who is right?

        Wayne

        • Okay. Which universe are you living in, because it sure as hell isn’t this one. Haven’t you read any of the many posts where Sarah’s talked about the lefter than left publishing establishment? It doesn’t matter which side of the Atlantic you’re talking about, the Marxist-apparatchiks own publishing (Baen excepted). They own and will not publish anything in Mystery, Horror or SF/F that doesn’t fit their little ideological box. When something slips through the gate the way Sarah did, they do everything in their power to kill that career while making as much money off it as they can along the way. For all the good and ethical reasons, of course. (That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t realize).

          Your presumptions about historical events and people are equally ignorant, but if you can’t see what’s been stated repeatedly, in small words, then nothing I say will dent your PC-infested suppositions. I’d recommend craniorectoectomy, but I suspect that you’d find the real world impossibly scary.

          • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

            I’ve read them. I’ve never met any of the people she’s talking about, but then again when I used to travel to the USA a lot, I was dealing with major corporations, like Toyota, GM, Nissan, and John Deere. We didn’t discuss ideology, we discussed the best technology, at the best price, and on-time delivery.

            As far as ideology is concerned, I’m mostly an anarchist. But an anarchist needs weapons, and the best available weapon for an anarchist is a strong court system. A strong court system can hold your enemy’s feet in the fire for you.

            The other thing an anarchist needs is a strong government. Remember Heinlein’s story ‘Coventry’? Without something to set the rules, the strong have this nasty tendency to rule over the weak. At the same time you have to keep the Government weak enough that it doesn’t rule over you. It is a fine balancing act.

            Wayne

            • Nice try at changing the subject. You claimed that SF&F, mystery and horror are not infested by Marxists. I pointed out that Sarah has said repeatedly on this blog that the Marxists control all publishing including SF&F, mystery and horror. That state of ignorance makes everything else you’ve said questionable at best.

              So now you try to switch to some personal anecdotes and “oh, and I’m not a lefty”? Doesn’t wash, Wayne. I don’t care what your personal ideology is. I do care that you’re spouting with apparent belief the kind of Marxist twaddle that’s destroying the future I used to hope I’d have.

              • HOW on EARTH anyone who thinks he’s not a leftist can simultaneously believe all property originates in theft, I don’t know. Except of course, fish probably don’t realize they’re in water.

                • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                  I didn’t say that. I did say our ancestors were damned good thieves. And they were. How else could a small number of ‘settlers’ take over an enormous pair of continents?

                  Superior technology, superior disease resistance, and a willingness to push the natives out of the way. Which isn’t saying the natives were saints. They weren’t. You should read some of the archives of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The things that the early company representatives witnessed would have curled your hair.

                  Our ancestors got to be ancestors by being tougher and meaner than everyone else. Personally I think that’s just fine.

                  Wayne

              • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                Um, you think that James H. Schmidt, Robert Heinlein, David Weber, Janet Morris, David Drake, and Andre Norton are leftists? Because that’s the sort of stuff I tend to read.

                Wayne

                • Certainly you do not expect us to believe you agree with everything you read? Besides, as has been noted elsewhere: Some read Atlas Shrugged* as a cautionary tale, others as a manual.

                  *Feel free to substitute 1984, Brave New World, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court or any other book of your inclination.

                  • Why is he mixing in Baen authors and non-Baen authors? And yeah, Heinlein WAS to begin with a Fabian Socialist. Just not a stupid one, so he shifted his views over time…

                    • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                      Because I read a lot, and I read a variety of writers.

                      Heinlein, even in his earliest stuff never struck me as a Socialist. He was too sensible. H. Beam Piper was another sensible guy.

                      I really like P. C. Hodgell – but she writes mostly Fantasy. Fantastic writer. I like Tanya Huff too.

                      Wayne

                    • Heinlein’s very first published story was anti-corporate.

                  • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                    You’ll have to explain to me how being anti-corporate has anything to do with being a left or right. Corporations aren’t people. People are people.

                    I’ve argued that corporations shouldn’t be allowed to own anything, because they really don’t exist.

                    As to Atlas Shrugged, read it, wouldn’t bother to re-read it. Rand should have been charged with practising medicine without a license, for providing soporifics without a prescription.

                    No, I don’t agree with everything I read. I seldom agree with anything I read. I have this devil on my shoulder screaming ‘the writer screwed up’ all the time.

                    Wayne

                    • The Atlas Shrugged was in reference to a frequent quip by Instapundit, where Sarah has been known to guest post. You might have noticed I proffered several alternate novels?

                      As to your view on corporations, I’ve neither time nor inclination to explain the fundamental logic of corporate law and have little cause to believe you would understand it. The whole “Corporations aren’t people” bit makes clear how much you would first have to unlearn. Suffice to say, it is appallingly ignorant.

                      For starters, corporations Don’t own anything — they hold title to property as representatives of their shareholders; thus the actual owners are the shareholders in the corporation, some of whom may well be other corporations or trusts,or similar legal constructs. But in every case ownership of corporate assets actually devolved to actual people — it is just that saying so every time one addresses such topics is tediously cumbersome.

                    • Robin Roberts

                      “I’ve argued that corporations shouldn’t be allowed to own anything, because they really don’t exist.”

                      Aaaarrgh. Now you are pushing my buttons, Wayne.

                    • Sigh. Wayne is either off his meds, or his brain is more scrambled than I thought POSSIBLE.

                    • “Corporations aren’t people. ”

                      Sure they are. They’re groups of people, working together. Who do you think owns corporations? Who do you think works there?

                • You. Are. Not. Paying. Attention.

                  Of the modern authors here (as in, alive and currently published), Weber and Drake are primarily Baen. Which is the ONLY publisher that will knowingly publish a non-left author. As for Morris – the other modern author – if you can’t see her political leanings you’ve been brainwashed to think that’s “normal”.

                  The rest got into the industry before the Marxists took over during the “New Age”. And were either squashed or eased out if they didn’t have the good grace to die and save the Marxists the trouble of removing them.

                  • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                    Sorry. ADHD.

                    Um, I know Janet. I wouldn’t consider her left wing. Not in the slightest.

                    Of course Canadians define Left and Right differently than Americans. Or rather say we define Conservative and Liberal differently. We expect our Conservatives to Conserve, and to protect society against great sweeping changes. We expect our Liberals to defend and expand Freedom.

                    For the most part they do. I was damned proud of John Baird, the Conservative Foreign Affairs Minister, and his calling out the Ugandans on their anti-gay law. You can read his speech here. John Baird was protecting society by doing this. We’ve had Same-Sex marriage for nearly ten years, and it has been good for Canada.

                    He got the Ugandans damned upset. One of their politicians fired back that ‘they weren’t a colony of Canada’. Well, if they aren’t capable of respecting human rights, maybe they should be.

                    Wayne

                    • He got the Ugandans damned upset. One of their politicians fired back that ‘they weren’t a colony of Canada’. Well, if they aren’t capable of respecting human rights, maybe they should be.

                      Un-effing-believable, Wayne. That you perceive no contradiction there says it all.

                      The privilege of defining what will be considered Human Rights is the first abrogation of the tyrant. Then they start debating who and what are human and entitled to Rights, and shortly thereafter they start imposing their will on anybody who doesn’t share their prejudices.

                    • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                      Depends upon your definition of Human Rights. How do you define human? I’d consider extending the definition to include whales myself. It seems very likely that they have a culture, based on the most recent science we have.

                      Are the great apes human? I don’t know, but I’d really love to know. Washoe the Chimpanzee learned American Sign Language. Does that make her human?

                      How about cockroaches? I’m pretty sure that they are nothing but a bundle of automatic reactions myself. Same with house flies.

                      Dogs? I live with two absolutely adorable muts. My girls are intelligent. Are they human? Damned good question. I know they can make decisions based on very little information, and get it right surprisingly often. Does intelligence equate to humanity? If so, how much intelligence do you need?

                      Cats? Hard to tell. Cats don’t interact the same way as dogs. They have a certain intelligence, and are capable of really interesting feats. We have a polydactyl who is incredibly adept at manipulating the world around her. We also have a big orange moron, who seems more like a pillow than a living being. Are they human?

                      To me there are more questions than answers about what exactly is human. Some things, like cockroaches are easy. Other things, well, I’d really like to see more science done.

                      Wayne

                    • My definition generally includes, oh, I don’t know, Homo Sapiens Sapiens? While I might be willing to argue that Whales, Dolphins and possibly Chips are sapient beings, at least nominally, it takes a complete moron to say they’re human.

                    • And yet, Wayne, you want to deny the fundamental Human Right of self-rule to Ugandans merely because they do not share your prejudices regarding gays “marrying” (I use the scare quotes because in the Ugandans view gays cannot marry, they can merely mimic the rite of marriage.)

                      This is, some will note, a view they share with the Iranians, Egyptians and Islamic culture overall, yet you only call for conquering the Ugandans to force them to comply with your perception of Human Rights.

                    • Juxtaposition:

                      As for Morris – the other modern author – if you can’t see her political leanings you’ve been brainwashed to think that’s “normal”.

                      with

                      I know Janet. I wouldn’t consider her left wing. Not in the slightest.

                      Q.E.D.

                      Demurral =/= Rebuttal

                    • Considering that you spout Marxist nonsense without appearing to realize this, I question your ability to recognize one. Note that “left” as used here refers to wanting more government control over everything. Liberal is a misnomer because those who claim themselves to be liberal are usually busily expanding control. So are those who claim to be conservative.

                      Same sex marriage is nothing but a distraction in this context. Who gave government the right to decide which marriages are legal? Assuming they have that right gives them the ability to ban any marriage.

                    • Thank you. Government out of marriage!

                    • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                      Considering the number of LGBT friends I have, I don’t consider, and never will consider, Same-Sex marriage to be a distraction.

                      Wayne

                    • So you are biased in favor of your friends? Nothing wrong with that. Asserting your bias is a universal Human Right is a different thing. Denying your biased standard is still another thing. Proclaiming you occupy a moral high ground is yet another.

                    • I have a lot of Lesbian and Gay friends, but his never made me want to invade Uganda. It DID make me want to level Iran because of the picture of those poor little boys (early twenties) being hanged for FALLING IN LOVE. The sex they could forgive, the love never. It wasn’t manly. What do you do with Barbarians? I know what the Romans did…

                    • With the exception of Baen and indie authors, and not all of either of them, practically all SF and fantasy is leftwing, Marxist, bullcrap. (to quote Generation X) That is not to say some of it isn’t well written, interesting, bullcrap. Anybody who can’t recognize the insidious Marxism in it, is either to young and ignorant to see it, a Marxist theirself, or has drank so much of the Marxist kool-aid that they can’t see the poison at work; which amounts to a combination of the first two. Well possibly without the young, but in all likelyhood they were started on the koolaid before they were weaned, so young will fit regardless of current age.

                    • You know until you posted I was not aware that their were still people in the world other than the extremely racist ones who questioned what was and was not human. I thought the science for that was pretty well established myself. The standard definition of a species is a group of animals who can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. Therefore I would posit that Jews, Zulus, Koreans, Irish, Canadians, and Americans are human. If you wish to experiment with producing viable offspring with a whale, I don’t want to hear about it.

                    • Some pro-abortion groups and euthanasia promoters argue that their preferred targets are not part of the human species.

                      Outside of those rather… limited… groups, the only folks I know who debate what “human” is are rather geeky religious folks who find it fun to try to figure out of Neanderthals were human, and the impact that would have on their moral standing.
                      (Basically, the only way we’d find out there’d have to be debate on if they were Neanderthal or genetically maimed normal humans first…but the probability that we’re related to them makes it pretty solidly “yes, they’d be human, unless we somehow ended up finding some and they’re not rational beings.”[before someone gets snarky, it's Catholic theology, so 'rational being' has a specific meaning])

                      I find the second kind really fun, but realize it’s a specialized entertainment.

                      The first kind is often a matter of sloppy thinking that says “human” when they mean “person,” and then being pig-headed about it because of the emotional implications. (Who was it, lately, that made groups of humans non-people? Uuhh, make that famously did so, and picture me sketching a crook-armed cross in the air.) Simi-famous example, the book “Is Data human?” IIRC– and I’m too lazy to walk over and check– the guy answers “No. But he might be a person.”

                    • In reply to Patrick Richardson’s comment (which I can’t reply to directly because I use the WordPress comment interface instead of email):

                      While I might be willing to argue that Whales, Dolphins and possibly Chips are sapient beings, at least nominally, it takes a complete moron to say they’re human.

                      I found this typo hilarious — it made me picture a bag of potato chips screaming “No, don’t eat me!” in high-pitched, squeaky voices. Like the disturbing-in-implications M&M commercials featuring the talking M&Ms.

                      … I apologize to anyone whom I’ve just given nightmares, though.

                    • Heh, I saw that just as I hit post. Upon reflection however, chips are probably smarter than Wayne as well …

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      I once kept a college chum from eating his lunch by doing that while he was trying to eat his french fries…

                    • Your friend would starve in our house.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      It was really unfair. He was from Taiwan, and wasn’t used to the type of humor he found here. But he did get acclimated.

                    • LOL. I thought COMPUTER chips.

                    • (Who was it, lately, that made groups of humans non-people? Uuhh, make that famously did so, and picture me sketching a crook-armed cross in the air.)

                      So what do ya got against Hindus and Buddhists, huh? Huh? ;-)

                      (For anyone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about: read). Living where I do in SE Asia, I encounter this symbol reasonably often. Don’t know if it’ll ever stop being jarring, but being aware of its real history does help.

                    • My mother-in-law’s name– technically nickname, but she’s been using it since she was in diapers– is the same as a very dismissive insult in Japanese.
                      That said, I seem to remember the Japanese– who also sometimes used the symbol– were not nice to non-persons. Like every other group of humans, honestly, just more recent than most of Europe. In theory.

                      Symbols have power because of people, not in themselves.

                      (…clearly, I need more coffee– or more time. I just had a half-formed mythology about The Cross [crucifix] vs a cross [t shape] being part of why God became Man; it falls apart, because humans aren’t the only people in that theology, but…wow, I love the random stuff that comes out of reading here)

                    • To clarify, that last comment was in reply to Foxfier’s comment from 12:19 AM.

            • The other thing an anarchist needs is a strong government.

              Uh, I do not think that means what you think it means…

              • No. He really, really doesn’t.

              • I didn’t know how to reply to that statement myself, other than to pick my jaw back up off the floor and examine it to make sure it hadn’t broken by hitting the concrete that hard.

              • The other thing an anarchist needs is a strong government.

                Uh, I do not think that means what you think it means…

                Well, it kinda works if you are cynical enough about the survival chances of the folks who tend to self-identify as “anarchists” and the rationality of that philosophy.

                “Destroy everything” only works if there’s not a chance in heck that you could even destroy a tiny fraction or do serious damage; then it functions as permission to do whatever you want.

        • you do realize that the only reason that the Southern States suddenly began to back rebellion was that in England slave holding had been made illegal

          Geeze, Wayne – in what year did Britain abolish slavery? 1770? 1775? 1780? 1833?

          without slaves, the Southern aristocracy, like George Washington, would have been unable to survive in the style to which they were accustomed?

          Annnnnd we discover Wayne is ignorant of George Washington as well. The only reason Washington kept his slaves was the cost of freeing them was too high; they had laws against just dumping surplus people off the books. He probably could have afforded to free them had he not spent so much of his life in service to his fellow colonials.

          … maniacs like me who love history

          You may love History but clearly you don’t know History.

          • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

            Technically England never had ‘Slavery’ as there were never any laws enacted to regulate or legalize it. However in 1772 a slave was freed by a court, in part because he’d been baptized.

            In the Southern colonies there were laws regulating slavery. It is possible based on the English court ruling that those laws could have been vacated, and the abolitionists would have pushed for the English court ruling to have been applied.

            Since the rebellion was successful, that never happened.

            As to George – I don’t know what American law was like then, so I don’t know if freeing his slaves would have cost him. I do know that he could!’t have economically worked his plantation without them, at least not until modern powered farming equipment became available in the 1900s.

            I grew up on a farm. I know how much work is involved, even with tractors.

            Wayne

            • Wayne, hired hands were cheaper than slaves, could be hired when wanted (harvest, e.g.,) and could be fired when superfluous. A slave was a significant capital investment that required constant maintenance and expenditure. And you had to support them until natural death.

              As you acknowledge you “don’t know what American law was like then” it would behoove you to eschew statements drawn from your presumptions.

              As for the idea that English Courts would have vacated the laws regulating slavery in the American South, that is rank speculation without any evidence in its support. Given how the English exploited their Southern American colonies by paying them low prices for their crops and charging high prices for English goods sold them in turn (while barring them from selling and buying outside the English trade), most of those slaveowners were deeply in debt to British banks who would likely have lobbied the Crown to save them from bankruptcy of their debtors in the same way our modern banks have argued themselves too big to fail and in need of regulatory protection.

              BTW – please cite your source on the freeing of a slave on the basis of acceptance of the Christian faith. I know of one such case in Virginia, which the House of Burgesses enacted laws to prevent any recurrence. But that bill was passed in 1667, which suggests the English court’s decision would have not been enforced in America.

              • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                The English did the same to the Northern colonies, as well as not allowing any manufacturing to be set up in the Colonies, so that raw materials had to be shipped to England for manufacture, and then back to the Colonies for sale. This nearly broke the rebellion, because there wasn’t enough capacity to make weapons.

                The case in England was R v Knowles, ex parte Somersett (1772) 20 State Tr 1 according to Wikipedia. While Wikipedia says it only held true in England and Wales, the Abolitionists would have pushed for it to be adopted elsewhere.

                As to his faith, to quote Wikipedia:

                Three people claiming to be Somersett’s godparents from his baptism as a Christian in England: John Marlow, Thomas Walkin and Elizabeth Cade, made an application before the Court of King’s Bench for a writ of habeas corpus. Captain Knowles was ordered to produce Somersett before the Court of King’s Bench, which would determine whether his imprisonment was legal.

                What I’d read a while back had lead me to believe his baptism had a direct impact on the case. According to this it didn’t, except that people who claimed to he his ‘god-parents’ from his baptism were involved in trying to free him.

                Curiously the other article I read was on Wikipedia too – the one on Abolitionism. It says:

                The African slaves’ legal status was unclear until 1772 and Somersett’s Case, when the fugitive slave James Somersett forced a legal decision. Somersett had escaped, and his master, Charles Steuart, had him captured and imprisoned on board a ship, intending to ship him to Jamaica to be resold into slavery. While in London, Somersett had been baptised; three godparents issued a writ of habeas corpus. As a result, Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of the Court of the King’s Bench, had to judge whether Somersett’s abduction was legal or not under English Common Law. No legislation had ever been passed to establish slavery in England. The case received national attention, and five advocates defended Somersett.

                From the bolded part I’d concluded that the baptism had been considered to have an impact.

                Still, it is an interesting case. Groups like the Quakers, who settled Pennsylvania, would have tried to use this law against slavery in the South. At least I know if I was them, I would have tried to use it.

                Wayne

                • First, Wikipedia is a notoriously unreliable source.

                  Second, as you note the fact of his baptism was not decisive. We are told that many Southern slaveowners justified their slaveowning on the basis of bringing slaves to Christ, which would suggest a) they did not view baptism as conflicting with slavery or b) the history we are taught is wrong.

                  Third, slavery was practiced in Britain from time immemorial, and certainly commonplace at the time Alfred the Great unified the country. As Britain’s legal system derived from case law and common practice it is no surprise they would have not had any laws establishing slavery; likely the practice was so accepted at the time that few legal challenges were brought by which law would be made. Certainly the wide availability of cheap labor and the practice of indentured servitude countered any practical application of slavery in Britain and Wales.

                  The Northern colonies, groups like the Quakers and Ben Franklin’s antislavery society, would have had much less leverage against the Southern slaveholders absent the rebellion and would have found it difficult to use their precedents in Southern courts. They were wholly independent polities, the Crown being mostly interested in their economic exploitation and largely indifferent to what customs they practiced in in their home colonies. Mostly the Crown wanted them ruly and remunerative, and would likely have discouraged other colonies interference in the internal affairs of the Crown’s most profitable possessions.

                  • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                    First, Wikipedia is a notoriously unreliable source.

                    Actually it tends to be pretty good. There are inaccuracies in it, but there are inaccuracies in Britannica. I’ve found them – admittedly in really specialized stuff. Wikipedia’s articles on emission control systems are more accurate than Britannica’s. I know, because I wrote a good chunk of them, and I monitor them.

                    I used to design and sell catalytic converters, before my body gave out.

                    As to the rest of your comment, you could take either of our arguments and make one hell of a novel. Set it on a moon of Gliese 876 C, and you could call it SF.

                    Wayne

                    • Robin Roberts

                      Really, Wayne, you don’t want me to get started listing the many ways in which Wikipedia has embarrassed itself with partisan edits, bizarre edit wars etc. Wikipedia is indeed very unreliable in any controversial subject – and given human behavior, all subjects are controversial.

                    • Wikipedia’s errors are most prevalent in areas where there is not already widespread agreement, e.g., politics, history. They are quite good at widely accepted “facts”, scientific principles, biographical data and the like. It is in the interpretation of such data that much mischief is done, however.

                      You do realize that you just asserted in their defense that their articles on emission control systems are reliable because you agree with them? Have you never learned about tautology? Does it not strike you that your contributions to Wikipedia undermine your attestation to Wikipedia’s accuracy as you can not claim to be a disinterested party?

                      Regardless, those are essentially factual articles on essentially settled science. Try them on anything over which there is widespread dispute and you will learn that opinions may differ.

                    • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                      No, I said that the articles on emission controls are accurate because I’m an expert in the field, and qualified to make that call.

                      Wayne

                    • Nonsense, Wayne. You said:

                      I know, because I wrote a good chunk of them.

                      Emphasis added.

                    • Also I would be very careful to NOT use Wikipedia for information on chronic illnesses. I had a personal example where a doctor had outdated information about a disease that I deal with daily. When I tried to get the information to the doctor, he told me I was a patient and he was a doctor. He wasn’t even a rheumatologist (the kind of doctor that deals with this type of disease). Also, he had never treated someone with the disease. So at this point, I’ll look at the wikipedia references, but I will not take their word on any subject.

                    • Re: RES and Robin Roberts’s comments –

                      Ditto re: Wikipedia’s unreliability on anything controversial. I’m quite happy to rely on Wikipedia for things like the technical specifications of Intel processors, and in fact I’ve found it a very useful source for that sort of thing. But for anything even remotely controversial, unless you check the editing history of the page, you can’t be certain that what you’re reading isn’t spectacularly (and, sometimes, almost invisibly) biased. I still remember reading the Wikipedia article about one non-profit organization I was involved with and learning that they had (according to Wikipedia) been complicit in helping oil companies steal land from natives in the Amazon jungle — when the actual facts were quite the reverse: the organization’s representatives had done all they could to help the natives resist the legal bullying by unscrupulous businessmen. (Please note that not all businessmen doing business in the Amazon were unscrupulous… but these guys certainly were.)

                      I’d like to say that the Wikipedia page for that organization is now better, but when I went to check it just seconds ago, I discovered that Wikipedia is currently down(!) due to a technical problem. (“Unable to open /usr/local/apache/common-localwikiversions.cdb.”)

                    • P.S. I’m deliberately vague in the above comment because the organization I mentioned does a lot of work in parts of the world that don’t particularly like Christians, and I don’t want to mention any specifics that might come back to bite someone else years down the road.

                    • I will credit Wikipedia with being very helpful for those of us who like knowing the “correct” order for reading an author’s oeuvre — having come late to the Dresden Files, for example, I rely on Wiki’s listing of them. This has proven handy for several other authors as well, and for distinguishing between different of their series (for example, I like Robert Parker’s Jesse Stone books but have no interest in his other works.)

                    • Wayne, Wikipedia has a policy of not accepting citations of primary sources. A history professor tried to update one of their entries — about a US court case — by citing the trial transcript. Wikipedia rejected the update. He had to write a paper, get it published, then cite his paper — a SECONDARY SOURCE — before they would accept the correction.

                    • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                      Rob,

                      I’m quite well aware of Wikipedia’s policies. I also know where all the documents are buried for emission controls. Hell, I’ve read them all, at least up till those published in the last three years.

                      This gives me a solid basis to find the references needed to correct the inevitable mess ups.

                      Wayne

                    • “Wayne, Wikipedia has a policy of not accepting citations of primary sources.”

                      Because we all know primary sources are the most unreliable?

                      Wikipedia tends to be good on biographies unless the person happens to be a controversial historical figure, then it usually depends on who has done the last edit as to which way the bias leans, and how blatant it is.

                    • “Inaccuracies” doesn’t generally mean “is known to be edited extensively by supporters of false-to-facts biases, and frequently has good scholarship deleted for unsupported folklore, and is notorious for innuendo or simple false information being defended in spite of multiple corrections by the person involved.”

                      Britannica isn’t perfect, but it won’t argue with someone over where they were born when offered perfectly normal evidence for a correction.

                    • “I know, because I wrote a good chunk of them”

                      This reminds me of a boss I used to work for (he has since retired and sold the company) surveying. We would be looking at control around a new job and he was famous for saying, “I know these are right, I did it myself.” The guy I worked with and myself would get nervous whenever he said those words, because we knew how poor a surveyor the boss really was. It got to be a joke among us and a couple of people working in the office, whenever they asked us about something questionable, we would reply, “I know that’s right, I did it myself.” After making sure the boss wasn’t within hearing of course, although like Wayne he was so oblivious to the possibility of himself making an error, that he probably wouldn’t have got the reference.

                    • Robin Roberts

                      I repeat that Wikipedia is unreliable for any controversial subject. And among humans, all subjects are controversial.

                  • Not to put too fine a point on it, there’s nothing in the New Testament that conflicts with slavery specifically; indeed, there are several verses which suggest that slavery was just one of those conditions anyone could find themselves in and one way to witness was to be “the best slave you can be” while attributing your superior performance to faith.

                    • At the time, it was a state anybody could find themselves in; the obligation to love your neighbor as yourself– and the way that included slaves or masters– planted the seeds of death for slavery. (IIRC, there was a Jewish custom of freeing your slaves after some number of years; am I confused?)

                      While I disagree with those who believe that a similar development has happened with the death penalty, it’s the same idea– at one point, it was required; at some point, it will no longer be. You deal with what is, not what maybe idealistically could someday be.

                    • The topic of Jewish traditions regarding slavery came up here a few weeks back. While I am too lazy to [SEARCHENGINE] the information in Leviticus (? Numbers?) as I recall it allowed for enslavement for a period of seven years, repeatable until Jubilee (after 49 years) at which point all contracts became void. Some particulars may be off but that is the general gist.

                    • Jubilee! That would be what I had in mind!

                    • My impression of the Bible’s dealings with slavery is that it’s rather analogous to the eye-for-an-eye part; not to require behavior that would not have existed without it, but to moderate existing behavior. To the modern world, an eye for an eye and people being enslaved is horrific; in ancient times, those rules kept people from taking, say, the lives of the offender’s entire family for an eye, and gave slaves protections that, while scanty by our standards, they had not had before.

            • Robin Roberts

              Many of the slaves referenced to regarding George Washington were not actually his property but were Martha’s and his stepchildren’s. George did not have the authority to free them.

              • BTW, for those who like actual facts with their History, Ron Chernow’s Washington: A Life is an excellent read. It accompanies and expands upon the work he did in his biography of Alexander Hamilton to present a vivid picture of that era.

                • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

                  Thanks. I’ll add that to my list. Which has gotten so damned long, it’ll probably take me another hundred years to catch up.

                  Of course that’s better than the alternative – no interesting books to read.

                  Wayne

            • Sure it had laws. They had manumissions, and sales, and the Doomsday book recorded a good number of slaves.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                Er… Domesday.

                I only point this out due to the magnitude of the distinction between the two words.

          • My understanding of it is that the situation was a trifle more complicated. As I recall, prior to the Dread Scott case, the states individually decided whether to permit or prohibit slavery. In particular, if someone brought slaves into a free state, they were no longer slaves, so slave holder stayed out of free states.

            After that decision, slave holders could transport saves across state lines into free states, and they would still be considered slaves. This essentially moved the free state/slave state debate to a national level, at which point the pro-slavery coalition discovered they didn’t have the votes to keep it, so they seceded instead.

            • Sorry – I am disinclined to take time to provide proper citations, but essentially it was even more complicated than that. A slave changed status only after a specified minimum time in a free state, thus George Washington could take a favorite slave to Philadelphia to act as his butler while President (remember, the capital did not move until the Adams administration; before that it met in New York and Philadelphia) and (to Washington’s discredit) return with him to Virginia to prevent his manumission.

              It was less Dred Scott than the Missouri Compromise that caused the problem, but the entire thing is vastly more complex than all that, involving Northern pressure for tariffs on finished goods (their exports) but cheap duties on raw materials (their imports) while the South took a rather opposite view. Add in desire for expansion to the West and ambitions about taking over Mexico and you have more than plenty of threads pulling the country apart.

      • It’s kind of interesting to read this at this particular time. I’m in the midst of downloading a bunch of free stuff from The Federalist Papers website. Some of it is quite interesting: Machiavelli’s The Prince, Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and about a dozen other books, plus a hoard of primary documents relating to the Constitution and the early colonies. Here is the link. I’d suggest creating a new folder to put all this in, because it’s a TON.

        • Machiavelli should be required reading – but not as an instruction manual.

          I’ll have to attack the rest in pieces. I doubt my husband would appreciate me vanishing into reading material for months at a time.

    • Raymond Jelli

      Not really. The true raiders like the Mongols were the biggest thieves and biggest killers and didn’t create Constitutional government. The Turks were no slouch in the take what is not nailed down department and you can go on and on. Those improved sailing ships were technological marvels and the navigational tools were extremely impressive. I wouldn’t undercut what they meant.

      If you want a villian how about the rotation of the Earth? Many of these older civilizations like China would have dominated the world even if winds and currents weren’t against them. Maybe they would have been worse or better. Well never know but their modern equivalents are not exactly

      I wouldn’t judge USA so harshly. I have no real hopes for the world if it declines and a lot of people who hate us now will be looking at us as a golden age.

      • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

        I don’t judge the USA harshly. I just think it is ridiculous to pretend that the United States is the greatest thing to have happened to the world.

        Personally I’d argue that England did far more for freedom.

        As to China – even if the currents had have been in their favor, I suspect the rigidity of the culture would have prevented them from taking advantage. Expansion is destabilizing, and tightly controlled Imperial cultures can’t handle instability.

        The same thing applies to the Soviet Union. After World War 2, further expansion would have destabilized the system, and I suspect the Soviets would have fallen apart even sooner than they did. Of course this is coming from hindsight. I didn’t think they’d fall apart when they did.

        Wayne

        • Raymond Jelli

          Well, if you are strictly secular and not religious then the US is the greatest thing to happen to the world since it has served as an outlet for those wishing to start anew and was a bulwark against the two great totalitarian schemes that Europe came up with (sing song – elementary school voice Thank You Miss Europe). You could make the case for England as having made a long term contribution to the concepts of rights but the US was the first to put that into action in a political playing field that did not break up into nobles and commoners. I think we are heading into a US system of nobles and commoners but only because our 2 party system is more electoral professional wrestling than a clash of collective minds.

          • “I think we are heading into a US system of nobles and commoners”
            Not while I am alive. Or even a zombie.

            • Raymond Jelli

              I never said it was a good outcome but at what point do you simply say we can’t dislodge the idiots so we are now at odds within our own country. I would rather hang the Royal Order of the Bullseye over our party machine elected politicians and yell class war….and oppressor. Might be fun and more accurate.

          • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

            I thought that was Canada. The United States only admits 3.3 immigrants per thousand population. Canada admits 8.4 immigrants per thousand population.

            A heck of a lot more immigrants per capita come here, even though our weather tends to be a bit more extreme than yours does. Extreme as in they won’t even sell ‘Minus 40′ windshield washer anti-freeze where I live. It would go solid. Heck, it does go solid, I’ve had it happen.

            I wonder why so many people (280,685 against a population of 33,476,688) came to Canada in 2010, as compared to the United States (1,042,625 against a population of 315,271,000).

            Figures are from the OECD Migration Database.

            • … wonder why so many people … came to Canada in 2010, as compared to the United States

              Probably because Canada has elected a Reaganite government while the United States has opted for Trudeauism.

            • Those figures don’t include the illegal immigration.

            • If one million went to Canada and only two-hundred thousand to the States, you’d have a point to claim preference. To claim any sort of preference because only 5 times as many immigrants entered a nation with 10 times the population of yours is willful blindness.

        • Irrespective of the USA’s faults, the notion that ordinary people can and should control their own destiny was so completely radical that not one other nation has come to this conclusion. Most of them – including Britain and Canada – have a kind of ersatz benevolent nanny mindset instead.

          The Declaration of Independence and the US constitution, however much honored in the breach it has been in the time since it was written, remains a shining light for the world and a reminder that no person has to be ruled by another.

          Nothing else, anywhere, has done more for freedom. The founders of the USA pioneered the notion that any person is equal to any other in the things that matter (their worth as a human being). They did this at a time when the idea that women could do many of the things men do with equal facility was utterly unthinkable. They did this at a time when it wasn’t uncommon for some people to own other people (of course, there’s never been a time when that hasn’t been the case – including the present).

          Without that, there would be no free citizens, only subjects. And subjects are always subject to someone. Citizens are not.

        • “I don’t judge the USA harshly. I just think it is ridiculous to pretend that the United States is the greatest thing to have happened to the world.”

          Ok, boyo, I won’t pretend, because the USA _is_ the greatest nation this world has ever seen and that is empirically true, and can be proven by pretty much any objective standard you care to name.

          • Patrick, I can think of one difficult objective standard: governance by the wise, just and enlightened.

            • OTOH, I think we can reasonably amend the operative statement as follows: “I just think it is ridiculous to pretend that the United States is the greatest thing to have happened to the world since its Creation..

            • Decent government derived by pitting the stupid and venal against the wise, just and enlightened and against the people who are just normal? So much better a system than one generation of governance by the wise, just, and enlightened.

            • Define wise, just and enlightened. A more subjective, and dangerous, standard you could not find.

            • Why not go whole hog and call for governance by (unfallen) angels?

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                I suspect that’s what the Puppet Masters think they are.

                • Paul, you don’t know the half of it.

                  http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/339866/yearning-tyranny-moral-enhancement

                  Take your Blood Pressure meds before reading.

                  … I think it is worth listing the harsh techniques that the would-be enhancers apparently believe the state should be allowed impose (in some cases) on its citizens to make them “moral:” …

                  • Actually something I realized while writing DSR — deal. I think THROUGH fiction, a lot — that being ruled by an angel or a saint would be a terrible thing. Angels don’t get human frailty, and saints might not be aware others don’t have their grace.

                    • “Angels don’t get human frailty”?

                      Maybe your angels don’t; mine do and it depresses the he!! out of them.

                      Human greed, OTOH, makes no sense because they see where we go when we die and what baggage we can pack in our carry on.

                    • Reminds me of a joke.

                      A man got permission from God to bring one suitcase full of whatever he wanted from earth to heaven. He thought long and hard about what he should bring, and finally decided on the most valuable thing he could thing of, gold bullion.

                      He gets to the heavenly gates, and St. Peter informs him that he’s not allowed to bring anything in. He replies that he has permission, and St. Peter asks to see what’s in the suitcase. So he opens it, and St. Peter says, “Why did you bring pavement?”

                    • Not if they enjoy the virtue of prudence — and if they don’t, we’re not talking about a unfallen angel or a saint.

                      To be sure, it would be a rather painful thing because with the virtue of prudence, they would have a much better notion than the rest of us what is really our frailty and lack of grace — and what isn’t.

                • That’s why I suggest government by them, not by people who think they’re them.

              • Most of them are too smart to want the job?

                On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 5:51 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                > ** > Mary commented: “Why not go whole hog and call for governance by > (unfallen) angels?” >

          • I should point out, Pat, that Wayne is THE Canadian Nationalist. I think he’s protected under the endangered species act.

            • I would agree, my personal opinion of the Canadian government is slightly lower than my opinion of natural fertilizer, which admittedly is much higher than my opinion of most of the worlds governments. But the admittedly limited number of Canadians I know would all tend to agree much more with me than with Wayne.

              • Maybe not quite that low (they did manage to balance the budget for at least a little bit, which most countries seem unable to do). However, that suggestion a few days ago, for a group specifically to get rid of already made laws, sounds like something we could REALLY use.

    • Kitteh-Dragon

      What a bunch of Marxist **tripe** served on a platter of BS. Wayne, your bizzaro-world idea of what passes for ‘history’ is the very problem Sarah was talking about. How nice of you to offer yourself as the “mothers, don’t let your kids grow up to think this way” sacrifice.

    • Eh, they kept the Muslims from colonizing them so not quite a basket case.

  5. Raymond Jelli

    Yup…..what is called Progressivism is really Euro-supremacism. I noticed that true Leftism started to rise as the U,S. economy tanked. A lot of sad white kids were scared for their future, frightened to see minorities succeeding and also too beaten down by PC views to be able to step forward and rightly say what about me? So instead they turned into a little vicious Leftists, pretending to care about multiculturalism while pushing European socialism to the max. A brilliant bait and switch. Once European ideas are accepted as superior accepting the European and those from Europe as superior naturally follows.

    It is why they love Obama. They know the real Obama they care about is the Obama Mama who looked and sounded just like they do. They’ve got the right book with the right cover and they just need volume 2 wherein the cover of the book changes to the person they truly wanted all along.

  6. Sarah– you make me think. In 1988 when I joined the Navy, I took the opportunity to kill one puppetmaster. (As their are people who believe– I won’t name names, but it caused me much misery.) I was looking for another of course. The Navy gave me a confidence and were the first group that didn’t try to tear down my intelligence. I did have to leave the Navy after six years because it was too constricting for me and because the new President (Clinton) was using the military for experiments (imho).

    It is hard to tell nowadays what is a puppetmaster and what is not. I was watching TV with the hubby the other day and I realized that the storylines were so PC that I was uncomfortable with every storyline I was seeing. (Brown people are all righteous and white people will stab other people in the back if they can get a chance.) I just remember what I saw in a human genome DNA project. We all came from Africa if we look at the migration patterns from our genes. That skin color is just one mutation– (the fair-skinned people are the real mutations)– and that we all have the same desires and abilities.

    I was in South Africa in the early 1980s and I know what you mean about conquerors and that strangers in any language is the other word for enemy. I try to make friends. I found that the one that throws around the word racism is usually the one with the problem. When I was in bootcamp, we had a girl in our group who was treated pretty badly by the darker-skinned people of our group. She was tall, slim and quiet. (and fair-skinned). One day we were talking and she laughed about the accusations about racism from the other girls. Then she showed me a picture of her husband. He was a basketball player that had darker skin that her accusers.

    So a lot of things are not as they appear.

  7. Richard Posner argued, a number of years ago, that Sweden (for example) had a higher rate of teenage sexual activity than the United States . . . but a lower rate of teenage pregnancy. And I have to say that at any rate, trying to prevent teenage sexual activity is pretty much guaranteed to have a high failure rate, given the facts about human endocrinology.

    • No one is talking about “trying to prevent it” — we’re talking about pointing out to teens they can control themselves, instead of “if you control yourself, you’ll go MAAAAAD”

      And I’d be very careful of “Sweden the model” — Swedish teens having a lower rate of pregnancy correlates to Sweden having THE WORST infertility problem in the Western world, something known in the eighties and much talked about in Europe. So… to our purposes, nothing.

      • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

        Hum. You should check out what happened in Quebec after the Quiet Revolution. The birth rate dropped so low that the Government started offering large sums of money for women to have children. To quote:

        In May 1988, the provincial government of Quebec instituted a payment schedule of new birth allowances. It is explicitly a cash bonus for having children. Parents receive US $500 for the 1st and 2nd children and US $3000 for each additional child paid in 8 tax exempt installments over 2 years. In addition, there are income tax cuts and interest free home loans for parents. Quebec also pays monthly child allowances until age 6 (up to US $500/year).

        This managed to push the birth rate from 1.59 to 1.74, not exactly what I’d call a stellar success.

        According to some estimates I’ve seen world population could drop to as low as 1 Billion in 2500. I don’t think that would be good.

        Wayne

        • When you quote a source, please provide a citation, otherwise you are merely making stuff up and putting it in a sock-puppet’s mouth. Or plagiarizing, using without attribution. In either case, you are practicing the sort of poor hygiene that causes others to avoid you.

          • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

            Here’s the link I used.

            LINK

            I live five miles from the Quebec border, so I’ve heard a lot about it from friends and neighbours. I also live far enough north that we’ve had snow on the ground since early November…

            Wayne

            • “I also live far enough north that we’ve had snow on the ground since early November…”

              Glad to see we have something in common, but not sure how it relates to the birthrate. Other than the fact that I have couple of friends who claim their kids are the result long winters, and long cold winter nights. Obviously Quebecans have a different method of keeping themselves warm and entertained however ;)

              • Didn’t have the annoyance fuel left to point out that in the decade+ I lived in northern California, I can remember one Halloween that there wasn’t snow. It usually left shortly after Easter. “Far enough north to have snow in November” isn’t very far!

                • I was a few miles too far south for the regular snow (Sac Valley), but we didn’t have to go far to get to it every winter. I’m quite a ways south of America’s Hat still, but we usually start snowing about the end of September or beginning of October.

                • I had to check, since I’m in Missouri, and we haven’t had snow last all winter in the 20+ years we’ve lived here (though it is possible to get the first snow in October. I think it happened once). And sure enough, portions of California are north of Missouri. Who knew?

                  • IIRC, elevation and wind currents plus the terrain have a lot more to do with it than how “north” you are– Seattle’s weather is a LOT milder than even when I was living in Death Valley. (not exactly in Death Valley, but close enough for bombing runs)

                    I don’t usually look at the (really really really simplified) weather patterns for that area of the country, but I sort of remember the Great Lakes acting as a “barrier” for the winds/air currents/whatever, so they don’t whip down that far.

                    • Yes, I may have snow all winter, but in 40 minutes I can be in Lewiston, and they usually only get snow a couple times a winter, and then it seldom stays for more than a day or two. On the other hand I don’t have rattlesnakes, or nearly so many triple digit summer days.

      • One notes that fertility problems have a way of resolving themselves through non-perpetuation.

        Many treatments of the future fail to notice that they are predicting the most sterile cultures to win. Oddly enough, the authors tend to be the sort of people who have VAPORS over the very idea of not teaching evolution in the the schools.

      • In the United States I live in, there are laws making sexual activity with an adolescent of either sex a criminal offense. In many states, those laws apply just as much to a sexual partner who is also an adolescent as they do to one who is an adult; and they are often linked with laws requiring that such people be listed on “sexual predator” registries for the rest of their lives. (There was a case along those lines in Utah a few years ago, involving a girl of 13 and a boy of 12—and whatever the folly of their being sexually active, calling it “sexual predation” was a bit much.) That doesn’t look to me like “no one is trying to prevent it.”

        Of course those laws are not applied to all sexually active adolescents—but if you think about it, that makes it worse; selective law enforcement is a really bad idea.

        I would also suggest that if you are concerned about declining fertility, trying to prevent adolescent pregnancy may not be the optimal strategy. Increasing age at first pregnancy has a definite correlation with decreasing reproductive rates.

        • Oh, don’t get me started on the various laws and on the “you’re a pedophile unless proven otherwise.”

          I didn’t say ANYTHING about adolescent pregnancy. YOU brought the subject up — in a post that was, btw, self-defeating, since you pointed out that in Sweden young people have more sex than here which given everything means here they control themselves more?

          ALL I brought up was that we should not go on the assumption that controlling oneself makes one less than human or at risk of going mad. GO. READ. POST. AGAIN. You were the one that seemed to imply more sex = less fertility = a good thing. (It is actually true that girls who have indiscriminate sex early are at higher risk for infertility later. BUT that’s besides the point. THE POINT was personal self-control and responsibility and the myth no one has any which the people concerned with teen pregnancy buy into, making them laugh at abstinence.)

          • As we learn more about the hormone cocktail that is seminal fluid* it is becoming clear that we need to distinguish between frequent sex with one partner and frequent sex with a variety of partners. In the first instance, the female becomes attuned to the partner’s chemistry, in the latter case she is actually less likely to “accept” insemination from other partners. More likely to acquire interesting sexually transmitted diseases … more likely to transmit them, too — but less likely to get pregnant.

            *A fascinating field of study that, combined with the effects of the female hormones in the pill strongly indicate that the best form of birth control is “unprotected” sex with a single partner in a committed** relationship. Pregnancy avoidance is a different matter.

            **Committed means marriage; anything less is not actually commitment and, sadly, these days marriage is not the commitment*** it once was.

            ***A moral and ethical commitment; screw legality it only dresses up an underlying actuality.

            • Raymond Jelli

              She blinded me with science……sorry I just had to work Thomas Dolby into this.

            • A moral and ethical commitment; screw legality it only dresses up an underlying actuality.

              There’s a REASON that Marriage is one of those things that the Catholic Church accepts from anywhere; the legal angle is just because people suck, property exists and kids need to be raised.

              • Yes – no law nor ritual nor spouse can make you married, only you can make you married.

                • I would dispute that on theological grounds, but The Mistress seems to get annoyed when her guests do that. :) It all depends, I suppose, on what you mean when you say “married”. It is sadly not as self-evident as it would seem.

                  • There are plenty of people who get married in a full church ceremony who are never married in their hearts.

                    • IIRC, that’s basically what annulment is– figuring out that what seemed to be a marriage, wasn’t, really.

                      But the broader point of “depends what you mean by marriage” is worthwhile.

                      Ah, semantics; that much dissed but incredibly important part of communication. (Hm. On consideration, probably dissed because it’s important– if you’re held to the meaning of the words you used, you might have to think about what you say.)

                • What I heard was that it was a “self administered sacrament” — if done reverently and inviting Him in. In fact till the 4th (?) century the vows were said on the church steps, no priest involved, (though the community witnessed, which I THINK is important for helping those rough early years. “I’m working this out. I’ll be danged if I admit defeat.” Then again, maybe it was me, and changing cultures that made it rough.

                  • The way it was explained to me was that God had established marriage when He made people– the reason the Church has so much other stuff with it is to strengthen it. (Which is a nice way of saying “because people suck.”) Kinda like how there are baptisms of intention that can be given even by folks who aren’t Christian…but a real baptism is better, because it shows a will to be part of the Church.

                    …Says the gal who still hasn’t gotten her brood down to the Godmother’s parish to get said baptism done.

                  • That would have been a trick and a half, seeing as the first Christian church was St. John Lateran — fourth century.

                    The church steps was a medieval innovation, stemming from aping the royal practice (the queen would be crowned, so she did need a church). The vows were an imposition by the Church as part of shifting it from an agreement between families to between two individuals. Yes, the priest would be one of the witnesses on the church steps, but the vows were the essential. Even completely unwitnessed vows were a valid marriage until the Council of Trent.

                    The Knight, The Lady and the Priest goes into excellent detail.

                • The decline of marriage has been heavily the result of people thinking that their feelings rather than their acts determined what they are bound with.

                  I note that we would reject that notion with scorn in any other department of life, and anyone who acted upon it.

        • BTW the law in most states is more than four years age difference between younger and older member, if one is under age. As the mother of boys, I KNOW this.

          • Robin Roberts

            Someone’s been checking ID at the front door …

            • Have you ever had your ID checked before you headed out for a date?

              I am NOT kidding. Had it happen.

              • Robin Roberts

                Dude, its been so long since I was on a “date” that I can’t remember.

              • No, but in my younger years I once signed a shotgun shell. That way, her father explained, if anything happened he had a shotgun shell with my name on it.

                • I’m so LUCKY we have boys. Dan wanted to have anatomically correct er… male parts mounted on plaques framed around the living room and NEVER refer to them to the prospective date…

                  • Wayne Blackburn

                    That would be hilarious! Everyone I know settles for cleaning their gun when the boyfriend comes to pick the daughters up.

                    • Once was at a friend’s house with a Garand disassembled on the living room table when his daughter arrived home with a date. She never believed it wasn’t intentional.

                    • Just because it’s the standard (I vaguely remember a country song where the chorus was something like “You’ll bring her home by ten, won’t you son? I’ll probably still be up, just cleaning this gun”) doesn’t mean it’s not effective. As I recall, the verses of that country song were along the lines of “When I was a teenager, going to pick up my girl for our first date, this is what her daddy said to me” then progressed to “And now that we’ve been married twenty years and have teenage girls of our own, this is what I’m going to say to their dates.”

                      If anyone knows which song I’m vaguely (actually, make that “desperately” now) trying to remember, I’d appreciate a link to lyrics or a Youtube video or something.

                    • Robin, that would be Rodney Atkins’ “Cleanin This Gun”. I also strongly recommend his songs “Watching You” (for more parenting perspective) and “If You’re Going Through Hell” (for old fashioned sticktuitiveness).

                    • “Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)”

                      The declaration of independence
                      Think I can tell you that first sentence
                      But then I’m lost
                      I can’t begin to count the theories
                      I had pounded in my head that I forgot
                      I don’t remember all that spanish
                      Or the gettysburg address
                      But there is one speech from high school
                      I’ll never forgot

                      [Chorus:]

                      Come on in boy, sit on down
                      And tell me ’bout yourself
                      So you like my daughter, do you now
                      Yeah we think she’s something else
                      She’s her daddy’s girl and her mama’s world
                      She deserves respect, that’s what she’ll get, ain’t it son
                      Now y’all run along and have some fun
                      I’ll see you when you get back
                      Bet I’ll be up all night
                      Still cleaning this gun

                      Well now that I’m a father
                      I’m scared to death one day my daughter’s gonna find
                      That teenage boy I used to be
                      Who seems to have just one thing on his mind
                      She’s growing up so fast it won’t be long
                      ‘fore I’ll have to put the fear of god
                      Into some kid at the door

                      [repeat chorus]

                      It’s all for show, ain’t nobody gonna get hurt
                      It’s just a daddy thing, hey believe me man, it works

                      [repeat chorus]

                      I distinctly remember the line about having her back by ten,
                      lets say nine… thirty.

                      But I believe it was an ad-lib line done while recording one version.

                    • Free-Range Oyster: Thanks, that was the one.

                      I’d heard so much growing up about how country music is _______ (fill in the blanks with various negative stereotypes). Not from my parents, but from the culture in general. (The left-leaning culture, that is — but at the time I didn’t have the experience to draw that distinction.) But then came the time when I had to drive from Chicago to Dallas in a car with a working radio but no ability to hook up a music player, so I was limited to what I could find on the radio as I drove past — and along most of the way, the local radio stations were 90% country. So on that 16-hour trip, I heard a lot of country music whether I wanted to or not… and I discovered I really liked the messages being conveyed in some of them. E.g., the one in which a married couple of 20+ years sings about how much they still enjoy their active sex life just as much as they did before (some line about “chasing each other ’round the bedroom” is the only one I can remember from this one — and again, if someone knows which song I’m talking about, I’d appreciate a hint). Or the unapologetically pro-America vibe a lot of them gave out (which I strongly suspect is the real reason the left-leaning culture despises country music, because the “wrong kind of folks” like it).

                      Oh, and I also like “Last Name”, by Carrie Underwood, not so much for the message it conveys as for the nice little surprise that’s lurking in the last verse. Made me guffaw the first time I heard it.

                      If I had a point in this rambling mess of a comment, it’s basically not to let anyone else determine your tastes for you — figure out for yourself what you like. Which is pretty much preaching to the choir here, of course. :-)

                    • Merle Haggard, Let’s Chase Each Other Around The Room. Probably re-done quite a few times, though.

                      I grew up listening to this stuff, and can still remember having to ask my mom to explain some of the stories and symbolism. (From a Jack to a King… from loneliness to a wedding ring… I played an Ace and I won a Queen, that makes me King of your heart….)
                      Which left me with a mind that identified that a large number of popular songs consisted of a guy singing “give me sex, now, or I’m going to whine and call you names. No strings, too– you’ll like it just as much as I do, so I’m doing you a favor.”

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      The one thing I always thought when I was younger, when someone would talk about that, was that I would talk to him about the gun before we left.

                      I never got a chance to put that thought into action – the father of the one girl I dated for a short time already knew me well, and the one I eventually married had no father at home.

                    • Robin, that would be “Check Yes or No” by… (checks Bing) George Strait. Funny thing, I haven’t listened to a country station in years, but some of the songs stick with you. For a much blunter approach to the continued attraction theme, there’s “One Hot Mamma” by Trace Adkins. Not my cuppa, but there you are.

                    • Free-Range Oyster: Nice song, but this one wasn’t the one I was thinking of.

                      Foxfier: That was it — “Let’s Chase Each Other Round The Room” was the song I was remembering:

                      Let’s chase each other ’round the room tonight,
                      Let’s play the games we played on our wedding night.
                      To lock and bolt the door is only right,
                      Let’s chase each other ’round the room tonight.

                      Also a great first verse, too:

                      Seems like lately people love to play with fire,
                      The other games they play are just as bad.
                      I’d rather stay at home and feel your burning lips,
                      And play the kind of games that make me glad.

                      A celebration specifically of married sex? Hard to find that in the left-leaning culture! (Which seems to think that sex stops at marriage — and for too many people who don’t have their priorities straight, it does. Which is immensely sad, but I don’t have time right now to get into all the reasons why this happens nor its consequences on the next generation.)

                    • While it does not get the media attention, there is ample research demonstrating that married couples have better sex lives and that the longer they are married the better their sex.

                      It makes a sort of bizarre sense: a more experienced partner knows how (and for how long) to stroke you, can differentiate between your moans of pleasure and your moans of pain, and offers greater confidence that you will not be judged a pervert for wanting to introduce chocolate sauce, lime jello and goldfish to your boudoir.

                    • The left leaning culture also disparages country music because so many of them are ballads, and they disparage ballads, ‘because all they do is tell a story.’

                      Personally I think this is just another example of their preference for gray goo, if the song doesn’t mean anything, or tell a story, it is just some pleasant (or not so pleasant, depending on your tastes) noise. For some reason when disparaging ballads they always point to country music as examples, ignoring the fact that most rap, a significant portion of rock (particularly classic and southern rock) and metal are also ballads.

                    • As a rule of thumb, Rock music is about Saturday Night: all juiced up and eager to go places and do things. Country music is about Sunday Morning: hung over and forced to deal with the consequences of what you did last night, which include facing up to people whose trust you betrayed. Country also deals with Saturday night and Wednesday Afternoon — it deals with all of life’s many turns. It is about Love, Honor, Parenting, Hunting & Fishing, and hiring a whino to decorate the house. Rock mostly is about Teen Lust (sexual and other kinds, teens of all ages.)

                      While some Rock bands have tried to push the genre, mostly they’ve been pushed back. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzocrN1zUE8

                    • Country music is folk music. It covers everything that folks are interested in singing about.

                  • Hmmm, … I figured out early on that any boy dating the Daughtorial Unit had best be prepared to protect those on his own and didn’t need warning if he wasn’t already aware.

        • Kitteh-Dragon

          Stoddard, you have a reading comprehension problem. Either that, or everything in your life revolves around you getting your penile unit to penetrate an underage target. Stop it. The post was about the idea that *not* giving in to sexual urges as an adolescent is not a path toward madness. You, evidently, exist to prove the opposite – being over-sexed makes people demented.

    • BTW, in our culture, any child old enough to have sex who doesn’t know about condoms, shouldn’t be having sex by reason of being mentally slow. No, seriously.

    • Er. What in the name of little apples does teen sex rate (which as I recall was self-reported – and what teenage male DOESN’T exaggerate his sexual prowess when asked?) vs pregnancy rate have to do with the idea that you can in fact control yourself and not go insane?

      Funnily enough teen sexual activity has been successfully prevented rather a lot by – among other things – social disapproval and disgrace, norms that say that bonking anything that doesn’t run fast enough is NOT an approved thing and can in fact be bad for you, and numerous other methods, some of which are still in use in some places.

      Endocrinology is powerful, but it is not everything. If it was, there would be no virgins over the age of 16 – and this is manifestly not the case. Humans have the capacity to override, subvert and ignore the signals from our glands, and many of us do. It’s what distinguishes human from animal.

      If you’d rather let your glands control everything, go right ahead and be an animal. I prefer to be human.

      • We have nice, secure institutions for people who can not control themselves and pose a risk to themselves or other — such as spreading fatal diseases.

      • “and what teenage male DOESN’T exaggerate his sexual prowess when asked?”

        The one who is asked within hearing of his parents?

        • Or, more importantly, the one who is asked within hearing range of his date’s parents.

          There is a joke ending with the punchline “That was before I found out your dad ran a drugstore.”

          • Pretty much, yes. Of course – referring to the posts up thread a ways about cleaning the gun when the Boy returns with the Daughter – if he returns with the Daughter and responds to the gun cleaning with “Oh, wow, is that a [insert brand and caliber]. That’s a NICE piece.” Daddy knows the Boy is a good one.

            (Has a friend who owns a sword and plans to be sharpening it when the inevitable Boy returns from date with Daughter)

            • “Oh, wow, is that a [insert brand and caliber]. That’s a NICE piece.”

              Been there, done that. :)

              • Yes, but it leads to the date being really upset when The Boyfriend is spending more time with dad down in the gun room than upstairs in the living room with her…

                • Caution to all young men (if any) reading this: BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT ALL PRESENT UNDERSTAND “That’s a NICE piece.” REFERS TO THE FIREARM!

                  Truly, that bit of information CANNOT be overemphasized.

                • Been there, done that, too. It makes for a very annoyed girl, at least until she figures out that if you make friends with her parents they are much more likely to trust you and be more lenient with things like her curfew if she is with you.

  8. (Which is why kids in YA now screw like minxes)
    I saw what you did there. ;)

  9. Has everyone forgotten the 70s and 80s– where there was a lot of screwing like minxes? It was the uncovering of the AIDS epidemic that stopped a lot of the parties etc. The kids today think they are discovering something new, but they are only following their parents and grandparents imho. GEEZ. I remember that when I had a first date I was pressured for sex, which was one reason I didn’t date much until I met my hubby. Plus in our little community (very religious) 2/3rds of the girls had babies out of wedlock. In our community the babies were adopted instead of aborted.

    So I guess I am pointing out that “it is not new.” And, there was a lot of STDs even then. I haven’t seen an improvement with forced sex education in school either. Self-control is a “laughed at” solution. I think that it should be taught as the number one method.

    • For everything. “You are NOT an animal” is a good message. Yes, we are animal — partly — but we are different. Society is built on controlling animal impulses — which means that if we all revert to “happy animal” civilization dies. Our species won’t last much longer either. Which I THINK is what the Puppet Masters want.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IMO, after a “Time of Trouble/Crazy Years”, civilization would return. Of course, it might not be a civilization any of us here (or the Puppet Masters) would like.

      • I agree– w/o society and rules, what are we?

      • *sings with Jimminy Circket*
        You are a human animal!
        You are very special breed!
        For you are the only animal/
        who can think
        who can reason
        who can reeeeeeeaaad!

        Tell me again why we need grey goo instead of cheery and uplifting songs for the kids?

        • Oy, Fox, you know the reason. Because if you can’t control YOURSELF, you’ll be looking for someone to control you…

          • If I can’t control MYSELF, because I am human and humans can’t control their sex drives without going mad, why would I be looking for someone who is either not in control of themselves, not human or not sane to control me?

            We’d have to create some form of suprahuman entity, a bioengineered “person” with extremely high intelligence but no sexual desires — would probably have to make them mules — to govern society? What could go wrong with that?

            To find out, run, do not walk, to your preferred book dealer and purchase Darkship Thieves, Darkship Renegades and pre-order the sequel A Few Good Men. This message is wholly independent and has not been solicited, promoted or encouraged by the site’s proprietor.

          • “Because if you can’t control YOURSELF, you’ll be looking for someone to control you…”

            Great, you do realize that you are now advocating for a Fifty Shades of Gray civilization, don’t you?

    • I remember an Instapundit link to a piece about drug-resistant STDs requiring a “new morality”. My thought was that we already know what that morality looks like — the one we had before we had drugs that turned most STDs into inconveniences.

      As for why self control is not taught… Self-control means delayed gratification, and somewhere along the line, delayed gratification became a bad thing. There are some nasty “race” theorists who will tell you that delayed gratification is a “white thing” (along with “planning for the future” and other elements of the Gods of the Copybook Headings). And people who delay gratification — save up, plan for the future, whatever — tend to be more resilient and less dependent.

      Cultivating dependency is a critical part of the Crazy Years Theology.

      • I see what you are saying Rob– it just doesn’t make much sense. Have our philosophers gone crazy? “New morality?” Geez… we need morality and planning for the future and delayed gratification. We have already seen what happens on the other side. It just seems like they area getting crazier thinking that if you do something that doesn’t work more or harder than they will eventually succeed. It is insanity.

      • Also, if you control yourself, you demonstrate it is possible, which shames those who consoled themselves with the thought that their incontinent behavior was inevitable.

  10. “Which is why kids in YA now screw like minxes”

    When I read this, I had a modern YA series where it’s NOT true pop into my head. The “Tomorrow, When the War Began” books, from Australia. Maybe it’s because they’re Aussie?

    (Good books, BTW. And, oddly, the movie was a good adaptation.)

    • I shall find it. I also read a series from Romania (!) that was quite good when I was little, and I’ve been trying to remember it. Despite the communism in the country at the time, the series was NOT communist, except that these were “thrown away” children of very few people. BUT it squared with Romania’s history, and there was no ax grinding. I wish I knew the name.

      And on the sex thing, yeah, OZ is better/less soaked in “can’t help myself.”

      • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

        May I suggest that you watch ‘The Mighty Johnsons’ if you get a chance. Rather fun TV show from New Zealand with the Norse gods being born into a family there.

        It’s really fun. No special effects, just some decent writing. It’s pretty hilarious. I DVRed it a while back, and I’m watching an episode a day this week.

        I’m mentioning it because there’s a fair bit of sex. Implied, not shown.

        Wayne

        • Somehow I got the impression Sarah was advocating sex in YA, or possibly NONE. Not “a fair bit.”

          • I was advocating NO sex in YA. I don’t think it’s needed.

            • Uh, that was supposed to read less or none, emphasis on none, I have no idea where the less wandered off to :(

              • Words do that to me ALL the time. They just go off on their own business and then I get a note from my publisher saying “Sarah, what does this sentence mean?” (Sigh.)

                • Obviously you don’t pay them enough. (A la Humpty Dumpty.)

                  On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 10:42 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                  > ** > accordingtohoyt commented: “Words do that to me ALL the time. They just > go off on their own business and then I get a note from my publisher saying > “Sarah, what does this sentence mean?” (Sigh.)” >

    • I can contribute a hearty second on the “Tomorrow, When the War Began” movie (produced and shot in Oz) being quite a good one. Very enjoyable, with none of the kids doing anything stupid that wasn’t in character. They even got the firearm and the (very brief) flying stuff correct ins spite of a modest production budget, and I’d call the general tone of the piece very human wavey.

    • That’s a series? I saw the movie sometime in the past year and liked it. Running off to Amazon, now.

  11. You know an urge even more primal than sex’s drive? The desire to kill the mucking foron in the SUV yakking on a cell phone who just slid across three lanes and cut me off without even using a turn signal.

    Instapundit has had great fun pointing out the number of gun control advocates who seem incapable of managing their own rage and assume the rest of are as un-self-governed as are they.

    • I get that urge whenever I drive.

    • Several bloggers have opined that upon reaching the age of majority, every human not judged to be mentally impaired should be granted permission to terminate one bad/careless/inconsiderate/d@mn rude driver per lifetime, penalty free. Such a policy would do wonders for the behavior of everyone else on the road. ;)

      • I have argued (albeit tongue in cheek, which is normally where I keep it because if you store it in a pocket it gets all fuzzy with lint and tends to make soggy anything else in that pocket) for going on forty years now in favor of a rule allowing every citizen one free murder. I am not surprised to see the idea catching on. Certainly it would be an inducement to politer interactions with fellow citizens.

        • Robin Roberts

          Let’s assume that this “one free” is assignable … how much would you sell me yours for? I got a long list to work on.

          • No, non-transferable … although how that could be practically managed I don’t know, given the opportunity for Strangers On A Train arrangements.

            I was wont to pose it as a thought experiment … largely to see who in a discussion was capable of thought.

        • I remember reading a science-fiction novel where anyone awarded the highest civilian honor of that setting’s government (“Hero of the Empire” or “Hero of the Federation” or whatever it was) was granted one free murder, or other crime on a level with murder. I believe the reasoning was anyone who’s proven their good judgment by doing something that won them that particular award would probably be choosing to murder someone that really “needed killin’” but that the normal justice system hadn’t been able to touch. I thought it was an intriguing idea.

          • Oh, John Ringo, No! comes to mind in rebuttal. ;-)

            Still, given the nature of government, there don’t hardly seem a one in that line of work who don’t need killin’.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Along that line, there was a story where if you wanted to “legally” kill somebody, you spent a certain period of time in a dangerous profession. IE you served your “punishment” before you committed the crime.

            After the main character served his time, he decided that he didn’t really want to kill the other person. So he decided that he’d commit lesser crimes (like trashing a bar) and so get off for those lesser crimes. [Grin]

          • Didn’t Heinlein have one of the alternate worlds in “The Number of the Beast…” have a judicial system that was explicitly eye-for-an-eye? The example was if you committed a hit-and-run, they strapped you into the middle of the road and had someone run over your leg…

          • Disappearing Act by Margaret Ball, except that a free crime was only one possibilty. One winner asked for a moon, and got it.

          • H. Beam Piper’s novella, _Lone Star Planet_ comes to mind: Killling a politician is not forbidden in of itself, but forbidden if it could be shown that it was not deserved. At the beginning there is a trial in which a citizen had hacked a polititican to death with a machete on the capitol steps for proposing a gun registration law. The quibble was whether the defendant normally used a machete in his daily work or secured it for the deed and if the polititian had it coming.

            Anyone who thinks Piper was a lefty or a modern liberal needs to be taken out and horsewhipped.

            (almost his entire works is available in the old Ace paperback and on Gutenberg.org)

            • Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter

              Lone Star Planet was a classic. Also there was the novella set on Freya which John W. Campbell didn’t like, because the Freyan’s were interfertile with humans. In that novella the penalty for loosing an election on Venus was to be jailed for political corruption.

              Always liked that idea myself.

              Wayne

              • *sigh*

                Wayne, we have applied hints with subtlety, with a hammer and with a 2×4. And yet you still speak.

                Sir, please, please just go away. I’m utterly stunned you haven’t been banned as a Troll before now.

                • The main reason I hadn’t banned him — at least for a while till he recovers from the obsession — is that I was functioning so poorly I was afraid of banning the other Wayne by accident. However, your comment about his mating with a whale did it. I’ve been gazing past his comments, but that one is totally insane. So, no. He’ll have to stay banned for a while, and maybe calm down a bit.

            • “Anyone who thinks Piper was a lefty or a modern liberal needs to be taken out and horsewhipped.”

              …. which is why he had to be re-written.

              • Sigh. And is not fashionable.

              • And Scalzi’s effort was … well, not worth it.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  I couldn’t finish it after I “met” the “card-board” corporate big-shot.

                  • To Scalzi’s credit, the corporate attorney (one of them) was a decent and honourable guy.

                    Small credit. The book was tolerable but abandoned all the charm of the original.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Just look at the “re-imagining” of _Little Fuzzy_. Both had company planets with the company threatened by the existence of native sapients. Piper’s head of the corp was a “real person”. The head of the corp in the “re-imagining” was a “card-board character” straight from “central casting”. I wasn’t able to finish the “re-imagining”. [Frown]

                • Scalzi’s effort happens to be my only experience with Piper. Amazingly enough Scalzi wrote some good books (admittedly I probably took away a much different lesson than he intended) but that wasn’t one of them.

                  • The thing that killed me was that Piper had fun making most of his Little Fuzzy characters older people, including one of sf’s few elderly hero-protagonists. So first thing he did, Scalzi ditched all the old people.

                    I worry about Scalzi’s retirement. Seriously, he’s got some kind of thing about getting old.

  12. When I was a senior in high school, the largest newspaper in the state ran a news page on April 1 of all fake news. My favorite headline was on “New Birth Control Method Acclaimed by Pope and Planned Parenthood Alike!” The laryngeal method involved placing the tip of one’s tongue against the roof of mouth while exhaling, and then removing the tongue, and, while continuing to exhale, pursing one’s lips. This means that for many years, now, I haven’t been a proclaimer of abstinence. Instead, I’ve proclaimed the laryngeal method. Uh-huh.
    And in the meantime, our kids – and their friends – can finish the quote. “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we were meant to rise above.”

  13. For using his inimitable voice in their Superbowl ad I can nearly forgive Dodge for being on the government dole*, and I can give heartfelt praise for it inspiring somebody to put this up today, when it fits in with our puppetmaster discussion:

    “If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’

    “To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’

    “And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

    “If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
    [MORE, with Youtube link: http://spectator.org/blog/2013/02/04/the-paul-harvey-excerpt-that-w ]

    *In fairness, had GM been allowed to go bankrupt, the Dodge Ram division would have probably been sold off for a very pretty penny, and freed of the burden of financing its underperforming relatives and nutty uncles (e.g., Dodge Volt) would have prospered.

    N.B. – a prize to the person able to provide the source of this little speech without referencing the link, Google or other search engine.

    • The Volt is a *General Motors* (Chevrolet) product, not a Chrysler Corporation product. Dodge, and Ram Trucks, is Chrysler Corporation.

      “And I thought ‘irony’ was just a description of how the local water tasted.” [Red Green]

      • Thanks for the correction … although I am no more fond of Chrysler’s bailout than the GM atrocity, at least it was a straight sale of the company. I stand by the rest of my analysis until proven in error.

  14. What they don’t teach is that EVERY HUMAN race, culture and subtype is two things: intensely racist (in the sense of tribalist …)

    (Emphasis mine).

    YES! What a lot of people call “racism” these days is really “culturalism”, which is tribalism that’s put on a nice suit and tie and gone to college. To take one example, most Americans wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a Tutsi and a Hutu if they saw them standing side-by-side (heck, even I couldn’t, even though one of my very good friends in high school was a kid from Rwanda). But the ethnic hatred between these two groups was one of the primary causes of the Rwandan massacres in 1994. (There were other factors like politics and economics, but even those often boiled down to “they have power and we don’t”.)

    Or take an example closer to home. Have you ever met someone who appears to have a prejudice against African-Americans, but is just fine with actual immigrants from Africa? I have. This person I know (I won’t name names) is prejudiced against a culture, not a race. Or take another example. There’s an often quoted line about how “Sunday morning is the most racially segregated time in America,” referring to the tendency in, say, Baptist churches (the kind I have the most personal experience with) to have “black churches” where you rarely encounter any Caucasians, and “white churches” where you rarely encounter any African-Americans. Yet again, the difference is culture, not race — there’s a very different culture in “black churches” and in “white churches”, and someone from one of those attending the other will feel very much like a foreigner. The fact that Baptist churches in America are so often racially segregated has much more to do with culture than with race. (Not that you won’t find some racists in Baptist churches — I’m not saying that — but what I am saying is that the thing most often quoted as evidence of racism in churches has almost nothing to do with race.) My own personal experience when I attended a “black church” while visiting the town of L______ bears this out: I experienced no hostility at all. Their style of worshipping God felt very foreign to me and I was in full-on cultural-adaptation mode the whole time I was there, but I experienced no barriers of racial or cultural hostility. And some African-Americans attending “white churches” have reported the same thing. (Not all — as I said, there are still some racists around, and all it takes is encountering just one to turn a good experience into a bad one — but some.)

    As for the rest of Sarah’s thesis: 33-year-old virgin here. And not because I have a low sex drive, but because I’m choosing to wait until marriage. If I wanted to go out and have sex, I could find plenty of women willing to have sex with me — in our modern culture, that’s not hard as long as you’re reasonably attractive and not a complete social recluse. But because of my beliefs that sex is much better in the context of marriage, I’m not willing to settle for anything less than that, and so I’m looking for a woman who holds the same beliefs. So I’m quite happy to present myself as a demonstration that celibacy, even if you don’t have the “gift of celibacy”, doesn’t drive you crazy. (Though, counterpoint: I am a fairly regular commenter on Sarah’s blog, so perhaps I shouldn’t proclaim my non-crazy status too loudly… ;-) )

    • Robin Roberts

      “Or take an example closer to home. Have you ever met someone who appears to have a prejudice against African-Americans, but is just fine with actual immigrants from Africa?”

      Amusingly yes, the owner of a gas station near where I live. He and I were chatting one day when he started off on a tear about how lazy, no-good etc. etc. with respect to the local african-american population.

      The owner was himself a West African immigrant.

      • *laughs* We had a third-generation American, Juan, who was one of the better ranch hands– largely because “English as a second language” (ie, 99% Spanish…based on his name, basically) education had made it so that a rather smart guy couldn’t get most jobs.
        I broadened my vocabulary by overhearing him talk about “F*ing Mexicans.”

        • I went to school with both a multigenerational American named Lopez, and a first generation named Edgar (with a very heavy accent, due to the fact his parents didn’t speak comprehensable English) who had the exact same attitude about “F*ing Mexicans.” :)

    • About those segregated churches …

      White churches insist in singing on the beat. This peculiar predilection does much to keep Black folk out of such churches and confuses the White folk when they visit a Black congregation.

      There are also large numbers of people who will leave or choose a Church based on people raising their hands to Heaven while praying/singing.

      Thomas Sowell has cogently argues that what is passed off as “Authentic Black Culture(TM)” is in fact Southern Redneck culture, both in values (e.g., aggressive defense of honor) and linguistically (e.g., use of the present tense,)

      If you doubt it is culture, observe how our enlightened leadership reacts to a Southern, Appalachian or Minnesotan accent the way most folks do to nails on a chalkboard. Doesn’t much matter what is being said — their knees would jerk if Larry the Cable Guy was reading the Gettysburg Address. Git-R-Done, Union.

    • Maybe we need shirts with “There are Odds, and then there are AtH Odds.”

      A friend of mine maintains that race and class still dominate things here, and I hold that culture is what determines what you do and how you are educated, how you speak, your hobbies, et cetera. The big difference between class/race/tribe and culture being that you can choose your culture and can choose to change cultures in the US. Not so true with the others, depending on where you live.

      My current place of worship has a number of Burmese and African refugee members (Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia) who say they prefer our more formal services to the less liturgical, more emotional worship in other congregations. That deflating sound is from yet another stereotype that got shot down. :)

    • Another example:
      Just try to tell an Irish Catholic from a Protestant one….

      On culture: somehow, I ended up in the “Vietnamese/Samoan” parish in our area. I haven’t done any kind of actual survey, but I’d say about half of the parish at the English services are No Quickly Identifiable Race, about a quarter some sort of Asian (I know the little girl that plays with my eldest is at least partly Korean) and a quarter Samoan.
      Being Catholic, this means that the song selection goes by the Samoan chorus leader’s preference, and the Vietnamese ladies go wild on decoration (think our church’s namesake statue, just short of life-size, practically buried in amazing flower decorations– a mix of cut and living flowers for thrift), basically specifically to deal with that human trait.
      The wood is the same, just the decoration varies…which can go a very long ways to make folks feel at home while not making them feel isolated.

      • Funny you should mention Samoan, I was thinking when reading Sarah’s post that very few people who actually opened their eyes would call Samoans “little brown people.”

        • *looks towards neighbor’s house*

          I have been known to make jokes about how I don’t think they especially need firearms, given that the nine year old girls are my size….

      • You can try to tell an Irish Catholic, but you can’t tell ‘em much. :)

        Re: telling Irish Catholics vs Protestants apart, it’s something that comes up more in Ireland, and particularly in Norn Ireland/Belfast. Those last folks make a career of being able to tell each other apart; and to be fair, there are some fairly clear separations that wouldn’t be immediately obvious to strangers. But unsurprisingly, both Catholics and Protestants in Belfast tend to take a gloomier view of God than their compadres elsewhere in Ireland (although that’s an old survey and may have changed), so in a lot of ways they’re more alike than different.

        OTOH, my (Ohio Irish) Protestant dad fit in perfectly with my (Ohio Irish) Catholic mom’s family.

        OTOH, Boston Irish apparently can’t identify Ohio Irish as Irish at all! Very hard on the ego for both!

        • You’re in good company; my grandfather was able to short circuit rumors of a Catholic Revolution in their very Irish county because nobody at the mill realized he was Catholic, and he invited the foreman and some supervisors to come with him when he heard them gossiping about the “armory” that was supposed to be in the basement of St. Pat’s. (Most outrageous things there: pool table, Father’s whiskey, dust bunnies.)

          By family lore, anyways.

  15. Kitteh-Dragon

    Attention, Wayne Borean:

    Wayne Borean, please shut up. You are ignorant by choice. You have the personality of a Brillo pad. Your bleatings are causing our hostess to rip her hair out, because not only can you not take a hint, you are incapable of perceiving a blunt statement when directed upside your head.

    You have the distinction of being the first commenter to EVER get Sarah to CURSE at you. Do you want the distinction of being the only long term commenter to ever be told to fuck off TWICE?

    Stop this Marxist drivel now.

    • Sarah, in light of Kitteh-Dragon’s post to Wayne Borean, please troll hammer Mr. Borean. I think that he meets the criteria of being a bonehead. In fact he exceeds those criteria to be an actual troll.

      • Um…

        I’m hoping he gets on his meds. He’s usually tolerable, if a little goofy. The marxism burns though. If I’m still seeing double (headache — it’s approaching thunder, I swear) after dinner, I’ll hammer.

      • He was specifically mentioned in the Bonehead post (not by name) due to the fact that he periodically goes off his meds. At which times he causes us all to look for the largest convenient blunt object.

  16. Wayne Blackburn

    It took far too long for me to identify the disconnect with Wayne above, so that it’s past the possibility of making any impact, but I’ll offer it up anyway: In stating,

    The reason that Europe and North America are so rich, is because we were the best damned thieves ever.

    He missed the distinction between acquiring the land, and keeping the land. Clearly, there have been “thieves” just as prolific as our forebears in history. Large-scale conquest is common when looking at a long enough timespan.

    The difference is what happened after. It’s probably true that the size and abundance of the New World contributed considerably to our early success. However, the establishment of a government that protects the rights of the average man (albeit not so well in recent times) was the reason we were able to extend our influence across the rest of the world, because we are not subjects, and do not require edicts from on high to get things done.

    • Alexander the Great was possibly the best conqueror ever… but…

      • The Khans might argue with you, but they were admittedly a dynasty that took a much longer period of time to conquer their Empire. They did however do a much superior job of governing it once it was conquered.

        • IIRC, they mostly used local labor. Still dissipated within a Century or so. Same thing with Tamerlane. The Ottoman Turks might be a counter example, but overall the premise remains: conquest is different from occupation.

          The Amerindians held this continent for millennia, Western Civilization developed it. Naturally, the enviroleft dismisses the achievement.

    • Wayne Blackburn | February 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Reply
      > He missed the distinction between *acquiring* the land, and *keeping* the land.

      I was wondering when someone would twig to this.

      In the words of the Great Man: “Possession may well be 9/10 the Law; but it’s the other 1/10 — Keeping It — which matters.”

  17. Dorothy Grant

    If a person believed repressing your sexual drive will make you go insane, then it follows they believe every quadriplegic and paraplegic who can’t feel anything in the region must be insane, as well as any partner who stayed married to them…

    Once again, reality blows that theory to shreds. Proving, too, that if you believe it enough to defend it in public, you’re discriminating against the disabled. Heh.

  18. I’m just throwing a comment in here because I keep forgetting to subscribe to comments, and I’ve got to get some sleep. Good night all. Oh, and Luna must be free.

  19. Man, Sarah, you sure called this one.
    And the worst bigotry I ever saw in my life (and I live in the BUCKLE of the Bible belt)? On the metro in Paris, where the fact that I’m a paranoiac who did his student-travel in Europe with half a length of pipe in his coat was all that kept a quiet little Indian guy from getting monkeystomped….for daring to be Indian in Paris.

    Hell, I’ve met actual White Supremacists in the US who aren’t that far gone.

    • Europe is WAY more tribal. They can be. My mom was the only person to stand up with a friend of mine who married an African, but even she, visiting the US informed me we were a “mingled people” and she couldn’t find a national look. I tried to tell her the national look was “we’re talking really loud and walking really proud” but sigh, I’m not sure it’s true anymore. It’s more like the great (psychological) depression out there.

      • Well, to be fair, that happens when you’ve got huge structural unemployment caused by banking issues that most people can’t follow and literally need to sit down and read for a couple of *hours* just to understand.

        We’re still doing the assimilation well, though. After five years in Texas, my wife can hardly go back to her home town in Hungary any more.

        • I’m thoroughly foreign in Aguas Santas

          • Anna’s getting that way, fast.

            • huh?

              OT: How do I subscribe to the comments without making one?

              • Wayne Blackburn

                Whew! Looks like they changed the interface since I did it for myself.

                Go to the “W” symbol in the upper left corner of the screen (assuming you have the wordpress toolbar at the top), and when the list drops down, click “Reader”.

                Once there, there is a selection on the upper right called “Blogs I Follow”. For me, there is an “Edit” link next to it. If you don’t have any, you may need to click on the name itself.

                If you are already following this blog, click on the “edit” link on the description line in the list, and in the toolbar that comes up beneath it will be, “Send new comments by email:” Click the “On” button below that and you should be set. For posts, you can also choose to be notified instantly, daily, and weekly.

              • My wife’s name is Anna, sorry. She’s having a hard time going back to her home country without feeling like she no longer belongs there at all.

                Can’t help on the subscription part, sorry.

      • I work at a national call center.

        Oh, heck yeah, the furriners are still a lot more different than the Murricans are. You can pretty much tell how long people have been immigrants to the US by how likely they are to call BS on you in the proper American style. :)

        I have to say, being exposed to lots of Americans from lots of different places and cultures just makes you tend to love America more. We are a crazy, crazy country, but really and truly, we are still pretty darned good as a people.

    • Do you live in Montgomery, AL happy crow?

      • Live, no, been, yes. I’ve seen some totally unrighteous behavior in both AL and GA, but still nothing compared to the casual bigotry I heard on every corner in France.

        Now, since I *don’t* live there, maybe I was only getting “Alabama decaf.” Totally possible.

        • My husband grew up in a suburb of Montgomery, He called it the Buckle of the Bible Belt. We lived there 2001-2006. It’s ok, but I much prefer Dallas. Dallas is as religious as Montgomery but it’s a vibrant large city, with an amazing variety of people, restaurants and interests. It supports two literary SF cons a year. The state of Texas has an amazing number of sf cons (of many varieties) and fen.

  20. Have not had my first cup of coffee of the night and am still waking up but other than the splenderfication of a few stable girls in the grass I am not sure what we are talking about. As far as abstinence goes my mother is a militant sharia catholic who believes it is the only way and birth control is a sin. My sister proved the concept wrong, I proved it wrong (in every way I can think of and still come up with new ideas from time to time) and now my niece has proved it wrong all by the time we reached our early teens. Yet she still takes a hard line. I try to tell her its better to let the birth control/protection thing slide than for her (my niece) to end up pregnant or with something chlorox cant cure by the time she is 15.

    I know living under such repression made me the hedonist I am today.

    • I fail to see how you proved wrong the assumption that abstinence works by not practicing it. Short of divine intervention there are only two 100% effective forms of birth control, abstinence and permanent surgical sterilization (as in removal of the ovaries or testicles, I have known of both vasectomies and women getting their tubes tied that have failed).

    • Somehow I don’t think so. CLEARLY you guys knew birth control existed. The fact she didn’t approve of it couldn’t make you a hedonist. I think that was bred in the bone.

  21. Oddly, I see examples of European Class Bigotry every day — it’s reflected in how they run their auto racing: For “Nobility”, insert “Factory Team” or “Works Team” (as the name suggests, these have the backing of the manufacturers); for “Peasants”, insert “Independents” (who aren’t, and usually are running 1-or-more-year-old sell-offs from the Works Teams). Now, guess which group wins all the races, and gets all the prize money; and which group is left to squabble for the scraps left over?

    And then they wonder why, whenever the economy drops in the shitter, the Independents disappear, cutting field sizes down to practically nothing; which then either kills the series outright (See “Canadian-American Challenge Cup”), or forces the series to be rebooted in a cheaper (and thus more-independent-friendly) form (see “FIA GT1 World”). (The average life-span of a European, or European-style, as some folks in the US try to run series this way, is around 12 years before death or reboot.) Pissing off 75% of one’s population is how most royal families end up with their heads on pikes, Teh Stoopud — it gets spiked.

    The real bitch is: They have a choice — and an example of how to survive the Seven Lean Years — but it’s a series run by those dratted Americans (and worse: *Conservative* *Southern* Americans!), so *clearly* they can’t know what they’re doing; and so they Repeat The Same Actions And Expect Different Results….

    • Well it would be immoral to imitate a series developed from a bunch of moonshiners outrunning the law. Cigarette boat racing on the other hand, well at least it was European smugglers outrunning the law.