Tiddlywinks — Threat or Menace?

Ah! It’s inequality, and it’s going to devour us all!

Okay, did I miss a memo? This stuff happens when I’m writing.

Last time I paid much attention to the-thing-that’s-going-to-kill-us-all, it was supposed to be Global Warming, I mean Climate change, I mean Catastrophic Weather Event or whatever they’re calling it this week.

All the scientific magazines screamed with it; documenting just how hot we were was made a major mission of NASA (along with convincing Muslims that they’re not cultural losers and that finding new ways to stone/hang mouthy teenage girls and gay teenage boys is TOTALLY the equivalent of coming up with new ways to build computers or a new medicine to replace antibiotics when they stop working.)

Everything from People Magazine to Scientific American was off its mind about the need to toughen up our health systems, find places for climate refugees, etc etc, because the warm was coming and it was going to be terrible. Oh, yeah, and we needed to bio-engineer chickens to survive warming (I swear I read that somewhere.)

Of course, they never explained why the warmth would be terrible, when, historically, humanity does better in warm periods. I think it was supposed to wipe us out because “shut up.” Or something.

But at least they could wave some vaguely scary things, like tse tse flies extending their territory, malaria mosquitos… stuff like that. (BTW, technically the malaria range is shrunken in our time, because in stories about the Napoleonic wars, it was possible to catch malaria in Portugal. It must have been warmer, because in my time, the only people who caught malaria were those who traveled to Portuguese colonies or foreign parts.)

That was then. This is now.

The new hotness for end of the world stuff is “inequality”. Inequality is not only supposed to be a justification for an international tax on investment, (International tax is the polite term for paying Dane Geld and it ends exactly as you imagine.) but also will cause the end of civilization as we know it, if unchecked.

And this has me scratching my head.

Look, guys, yes, some societies have been more egalitarian than others – mostly very poor societies are egalitarian because everyone is poor. – pioneer societies tend to be more “equal” because everyone is struggling, for instance. However, anyone who’s read bios of colonial times knows that some people came over with all their fortunes, some with the clothes on their backs, some people did the absolute minimum to survive, and some worked their tailbones off and went from rags to riches. As everywhere in history.

Equality? Don’t make me laugh. Not only has it never really existed, but societies that try to enforce it become blood baths like revolutionary France, or hell holes like Cuba. And even then they’re not egalitarian. Those at the top, enforcing the “equality” always end up far better off than the masses, because, well, some animals are more equal than others, right?

So, how is inequality supposed to become a civilization-ending blight?

That I remember from studying history, some of the most expansionist, thriving civilizations were highly unequal. Say, Rome. Or ancient Greece. Or England as a colonial power.

When you ask for a clarification, you get some bleating about entrenched classes. But look here, that doesn’t happen in a free society, where the state is not trying to enforce either equality or redistribution. The only places where rigid quasi feudal classes emerge are in places like the Soviet Union or, yes, Cuba, or North Korea, where the people in power make themselves aristocracy.

Yes, our clowns are trying to do that, controlling access to the best colleges, and whatever. The difference is that as long as we’re free enough (and it’s amazing how even a little freedom can disrupt these schemes) we retain the right to make their success markers irrelevant. What? Went to the best schools and have all the contacts in the old media? Watch me be more successful than you with a simple blog. Same for indie publishing, and for … well, almost everything.

This of course is why our ruling classes are beating the drum for inequality, threat or menace? Because if they convince us it is a world-ending catastrophe, we’ll give them the power to remove what remains of our liberty, our freedom of movement and our pursuit of happiness (under which falls also the ability to accumulate and spend your own money as you please) and to – in our name – make things “fair.” Which means making everyone but them equally poor.

I say we laugh at all mentions of “inequality.”

And we tell the grave, chin-stroking academics trying to make envy THE virtue to go get stuffed.

Otherwise the next menace they try to foist on us to justify taking all our liberties away will be even crazier.

I am not ready to face, without poisoning-levels alcohol in me, the dawn of the day when every magazine at the checkout is plastered with “Tiddlywinks, the End of Civilization as We Know It.”  Laugh at them now.  This can only get worse.

341 responses to “Tiddlywinks — Threat or Menace?

  1. For forty years now we’ve been no more than 10-15 years away from irreversible climatic destruction. And they call us “unscienticif” when we no longer buy it.

    • Yeah… I kinda can’t take all these ‘world ending disasters’ seriously. I discovered today that some fool in the 80s more or less declared that evolution had stopped.

      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303380004579521482247869874?mg=reno64-wsj

      The orthodoxy’s equivalent of the Nicene Creed has two scientific tenets. The first, promulgated by geneticist Richard Lewontin in “The Apportionment of Human Diversity” (1972), is that the races are so close to genetically identical that “racial classification is now seen to be of virtually no genetic or taxonomic significance.” The second, popularized by the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, is that human evolution in everything but cosmetic differences stopped before humans left Africa, meaning that “human equality is a contingent fact of history,” as he put it in an essay of that title in 1984.

      Last I checked, evolution does not pay attention to the spurious declarations of mere human beings with delusions of arbitrary godhood. It does not ‘stop’ simply because some person decided it was so. Like the rest of nature, it ignores those declarations and carries on, unconcerned by the silly notions of people. We humans are fragile things that are easily broken in completely natural things like landslides, disease, tornadoes, volcanoes, tsunami, earthquakes… and then we find ourselves suddenly greatly concerned by the dropping populations of the humble bee.

      Yet somehow, these declarations are taken as if mouthed by prophets, speaking the words of their God, and even in the face of the science they so claim to be followers of telling them ‘nope, wrong!” they cling desperately to the ‘science’ which makes them feel better about themselves, superior to the ‘religious’ and ‘conservative’ and ‘non progressive.’

      I sometimes find myself having to check who is supposedly taking things on blind faith!

      • marycatelli

        “I sometimes find myself having to check who is supposedly taking things on blind faith!”

        How to tell what the leftist are up to: see what they accuse the conservatives of.

        They accuse us of not caring about the poor and donate a lot less to charity than we do.

        They accuse us of racism and vote for a black man for the color of his skin and not the content of his character, and insist that blacks need preferences to get into colleges. (Blacks graduated from Ivy League schools in the nineteenth century.)

        They accuse us of not believing in evolution and then act as if the future belongs to the sterile.

        etc.

        • Jordan S. Bassior

          They accuse us of not believing in evolution and then act as if the future belongs to the sterile.

          This is particularly-hilarious, because the point that evolution favors those who can produce long-term viable offspring is one of the implications of evolutionary theory so intuitively obvious that even most Creationists believe it (they just don’t believe that the accumulation of variations can produce new species). Yet very many on the Left pat themselves on the back for not having children, and imagine themselves smarter for the decision.

          • marycatelli

            Basically, insofar as evolution has practical implications, those who actually believe in it (that is, act on it as a premise) object to its being taught in school, and those who want it taught don’t actually believe in it.

      • Jordan S. Bassior

        What is especially hilarious about the idea that “evolution has stopped” is that this is so plainly the belief of prosperous people living in peacetime, and ones with such a poor grasp of history that they imagine their current condition to be eternal when it is in fact that of merely a few generations at most.

        Evolution of course operates over fair stretches of time for any species. I’d say that 10 generations is a good scale to examine, since it’s a nice round number in our counting system and is long enough for some marginal advantages or disadvantages to bite in terms of increased or decreased survival of grandchildren. Let’s locate our imaginary family somewhere pretty safe — the United States of America, starting out in New York City — which I pick because I know that nothing too awful happened there over the last couple centuries. A human “generation” is around 20-25 years — if I take 22.5 as an average then 10 generations is 225 years, which puts me back to 1789.

        My first observation is that we have happily missed the American Revolutionary War, which actually affected New York City because it was fought over and at one point (accidentally?) burned down during that conflict. Indeed, during the period under examination, war seriously touched New York City only on three occasions (most New Yorkers have forgotten two of them) — namely, the Draft Riots of 1863 (Confederate sympathizers tried to seize the city, over 1000 perished), the German covert attacks on New York Harbor in 1914-15 (which included one really big explosion which fortunately avoided killing very many people) and 9-11 (killed almost 3000 New Yorkers). Compared to the population of the city, only the Draft Riots and 9-11 were significant, and even those killed and injured far too few people to constitute much in the way of evolutionary pressure.

        Of course, wars can affect you even if they don’t come knocking at your city. Three of the wars — the American Civil War, World War One and World War Two — included a draft with a signifcant risk of finding oneself in a combat zone — a risk which could be reduced in the Civil War via direct purchased substitution and in the World Wars by college educations which meant higher chances of REMF-style positions. And there was a draft during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, though one’s risk of actually being sent into combat then was relatively low — and again, there were partial or complete college exemptions. Since war kills young men, usually before they can breed, it can exert significant selective pressure against — courage? Stupidity? Slow reflexes? Poor health? (in the ACW disease caused by overcrowding in camps killed far more than did actual combat).

        Even in peacetime, New Yorkers risked death by violence. In some periods of New York history, incredibly-vicious criminal gangs were common. Having the wit to avoid involvement with these gangs, or the speed and strength to survive their attacks should avoiding them be impossible, must have conferred survival advantages to anyone living or spending any time in the slums.

        In peacetime, of course, plagues and disease in general kill far more than does warfare or even crime. All the way through 1866, New York City was semi-regularly (several times a generation) afflicted by epidemics (most frequently cholera and yellow fever) which killed thousands per epidemic (which is to say, tenths of a percent of the whole urban population. That is a fairly significant evolutionary pressure, especially when one considers that even surviving a serious bout of cholera or malaria might leave one physically-handicapped, and possibly sterile.

        Now, 1789 to 1866 is 78 years, or three generations — around a third of the time under consideration. Why did New York City get much safer after the mid 19th century? Higher technology, and greater wealth, meaning that people were living in sturdier houses ad drinking cleaner water, hence were less exposed to epidemic contagions.

        So are we past evolution NOW? I mean now we have pretty nice houses and clean driking water, right?

        This ignores the fact that the “we” under consideration excludes the extremely poor — such as the homeless mentally ill, who note may BE in this predicament in part for genetic reasons (predisposition to insanity or addiction). They die like flies every time one of those terrible New York winters hits — save for those smart or self-disciplined enough to find a good warm place to sleep, which is ALSO “evolution in action.”

        And then there’s sexual selection. Social aptitude increases one’s chance of finding mates and hence producing offspring. That hasn’t stopped because of better public health measures. In fact, easy contraception and abortion actually makes this a more significant factor, because it means pregnancies are more voluntary.

        Evolution hasn’t stopped. It will never stop. Even if we custom-design all our babies, as we may be able to do in another 50-100 years, that too will be a form of “evolution.”

        • marycatelli

          Evolution is in overdrive, because contraception and abortion hit at the root of many things.

          Evolution’s selecting for desire for children, for not using contraception and abortion to prevent birth through incompetence or distaste or what have you, and for susceptibility to pressure to have children AND living in a society that exerts such pressure.

          Those are what the future looks like.

          • Those are also (perhaps entirely) social pressures and are subject to changing social dynamics with little respect to genetic tendencies.

            While the decision to forgo offspring has real effects on the genome and may impact various traits, individual actions in the short-term are going to be very difficult to quantify. Particularly given the question of how much results from social circumstance.

            To the extent we could monitor evolutionary pressures in the short term we’d have to identify dynamics in genetically similar populations, and review what traits are subject to restriction or augmentation secondary to those dynamics and then guess what impact the introduction of genetic diversity into those populations would have.

            I’m pretty skeptical of our ability to make significant predictions about long-term processes like evolution, particularly in humanity. Too many variables, many of which cannot reasonably be quantified.

            • marycatelli

              Cultural evolution goes hand in hand with genetic evolution. But even in the most antinatal environment, there are those who have lots of children. And the future is theirs.

              • The two aren’t inherently linked, though they are responsive to each other.

                But, yes, genetically the future belongs to the childbearers. It also belongs to us, because the genetic success of humanity is not appended to any two people and their progeny and the future is not solely a reflection of gene transmission. Unless we’re boiling humanity down to base biological imperative.

                I don’t believe social circumstance is selecting for people who want to have children and against those who don’t as a particular consequence of current patterns of behavior because I don’t believe those preferences are genetically driven. On an evolutionary time scale, I don’t think the decisions of the the few in this limited time period are going to be of significance, because the bulk of their genetic record is extant through other lines. And evolution is not a matter of the success or failure of any one pair.

                • I often wish to boil humanity down. Usually right after I read SJWs.

                  • Make a nice broth, toss in some onion, celery…

                  • So Social Justice Weenies go well with mustard?

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Nope, not even catsup makes them eatable. [Big Dragon Grin]

                    • Randy Wilde

                      I learned in the Army that anything can be made edible with the judicious application of hot sauce.

                      Well, except for those damned dehydrated pork patty MREs.

                    • MRE pork Patties are . . .

                    • They make better fertilizer.

                    • Randy Wilde

                      The environmentalists would go nuts if you used an MRE dehydrated pork patty as fertilizer, and I can’t say I’d blame them.

                      They’re not only non-biodegradable, they’re almost certainly toxic as well.

                    • Let them ripen and and get extra stinky and I’m sure you could use them for alligator bait in the LA bayous during gator hunting season.

                    • You’ll want to be careful about that. If the SJW is anything like its close cousin, the Pencil Neck Geek (PNG), you’ll end up poisoning the bayou.

                      As noted by the famed anthropologist Fred Blassie:

                      One day we cut one up for fish bait.
                      Learned our lesson just a little bit late.
                      Soon as the geek hit the drink, the water turned red.
                      Next day, sure enough, all the fish were dead.

                  • Jeff Gauch

                    No, no, no. The SJW’s are human BOILS. Sarah, I know English is your 15th or 16th language, but you need to get this right. Otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time sweating over a hot stove.

            • It all hinges on how much of the urge to have children is genetic. Even among the Lefties, there are people who have one baby, or maybe two, guiltily claiming it’s just replacement level, not a desire to destroy the Earth.

              On the other hand, the social pressure to not reproduce may be selecting _out_ the people who most want to fit in. If there is a genetic basis for that, the prevalence in the population should be dropping.

              And then there’s the rest of the world.

              So I doubt we’ll have a clue for another couple of generations.

              • Rob Crawford

                “It all hinges on how much of the urge to have children is genetic.”

                Well, if your parents didn’t have sex, odds are you won’t, either.

                • CombatMissionary

                  “These men have taken a supreme vow of celibacy, like their fathers, and their fathers before them…”
                  Topper Harley, Hot Shots Part Deux

                  Oh, come on! You knew this was coming!

                • The urge to have sex is genetic. Whether there’s a genetic urge to have children or not, I couldn’t say. For most life, the one results in the other. It’s only us weird naked apes who’ve decoupled the two so thoroughly as to endanger our survival as a species.

                  • The odds of there being no genetic factors involved are too small to worry about.

              • Well, I think it’s both cultural and genetic. Aren’t they warning that the migrant populations in Europe will soon overwhelm the native populations in terms of birth rate?

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      I started noticing years ago that we only had “5-10″ years left before we reached the environmental “point of no return”. Then, 5-10 years later, it was announced we only had another 5-10 years left . . .

      • The Other Sean

        Don’t worry, the point-of-no-return and fusion power are both always in the future.

        • Fusion’s only 20 years away!

          Well, since the 1950′s anyway.

          Both CAGW research and Fusion research powered by government funding have turned into long-term PhD jobs programs – not something designed to actually produce results.

          From Ghostbusters: Dr Ray Stantz: Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*.

          • This seems the right place to address the numbers –
            …5 to 20 years away…

            Translating something in science speak in regards to predictions about research, The Daughter explained this as follows:

            5 years = it is likely we may have this down final research/testing stages. (cutting edge)

            10 years = there are some promising things out there and if everything works as we think it might we just might get it where we want it. (bleeding edge)

            20 years = we say it is theoretically possible; please give us more money. (we’ll get this sometime between now and infinity — particularly if you generously fund us.)

            • Jeff Gauch

              That last one should more properly start out “20 years = we don’t know any reason for it to be physically impossible…”

              • Don’t know. Look at the issue of Antropogenic Global Whatever-it-is-right-now. There are plenty of reasons available for it to be physically impossible. This is why The Daughter uses this wording.

                For years I had a Calvin and Hobbes single panel posted on our refrigerator, in which Calvin is informing his parents, ‘I don’t care what you call it, I say its Spinach, and to hell with it.’

      • Yeah. The southern Rockies would have no snowpack by 2010. Or so I was told in 2003.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          We were supposed to have an ice-free Arctic by last year. Not even close.

          • I’m waiting for them to use polar melt to explain storm surges.

          • The waffle on that is “They said we could have an ice-free arctic by last year, not that we would.”

            • Wayne, that’s the critical point. Whenever you read articles or see TV pundits warning us of “Danger X”, always look carefully for the weasel words: could, might, may, possibly, likely etc. And always, ALWAYS look on predictive models with extreme skepticism, because the easiest way to bamboozle the ignorant is to use mathematics — the more complex, the better. Remember, not one climate model has ever been able to predict yesterday’s weather (the ultimate test for a model), let alone any future period. And the shriller the tone of the warning, the more likely the argument is false.

      • marycatelli

        Life on earth will go extinct by 2030! How’s that for dramatic?

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          There will be 50 trillion climate refugees by 2040!

          • Speaking of funky numbers, there used to be a paper on the door of one of the stores near where I work claiming that a billion Americans were affected by poverty.

            • That’s just because We’re All Americans, right? :D

            • CombatMissionary

              Hey, that one’s true, depending on how you define poverty. In the US, people living below the poverty line will usually have a late-model car or two, air conditioning, entertainment systems, a game system and a computer, have access to education, and will be obese. How’s that for poverty?

              • You might want to consider the number I quoted, vs the number of Americans there are…

              • As it is set up, our system of public welfare, however well intended, back fires.

                First, the system from the start reduced benefits for those who have a husband/father in the home.
                This teaches people not the get married.

                Second, the system penalized those who set up saving accounts.
                Example: In Chicago high school girl whose family was in the system got a job and started saving for college. Unfortunately the system discovered this. The entire family lost all their benefits, including housing. The girl’s account was seized and the family was expected to reimburse the government with interest.
                This teaches people to put any money they get into hard goods that they can take with them if and when they move on.

                (There are more than enough examples of problems than any poster should cover.)

                The system which is supposed to be a safety net to allow people to get on back on their feet, trips and traps them instead.

                • CombatMissionary

                  It’s almost like it was a built-in feature… [EVIL GRIN SLOWLY SPREADS ACROSS FACE] Heh… heh… heh…

                • …trips and traps them instead.

                  This is why I place little credence in the dire predictions based on the numbers receiving .gov assistance. Aside from the various ways those numbers are inflated by various parties, the system cripples folks ability to break free.

                  I see that as less dire and more in need of correction.

          • John C Wright

            Women, Minorities Sure to Suffer Most from Total Earthlife Extinction!

            • marycatelli

              Actually, the place where I recently ran across that was the blog of the woman who think women can talk to plants. All how the horrible, horrible, horrible men caused this, and how the women will suffer. Given her general paranoia (she dislikes getting hits, which mean that they’re out to get her) and her pathological hatred of men, she really had a ball with it.

              http://witchwind.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/it-seems-the-end-is-to-come/

              • Of course women can talkto plants (men as well for that matter). It’s getting the plants to talk back that’s difficult. ;-)

                My plants never live long enough to start talking to me.

                • marycatelli

                  Mine are, like me, introverts. We just hang out and don’t bother talking. 0:)

                • Mine scream “Get me out of this woman’s house. She kills us.” :-P

                  • And trying to convince people that “Please don’t give me a plant, I’ll just kill it,” means “Please don’t give me a plant,” not “Take this plant. You can’t kill this one.” Hah! Watch me!

                    • Well, it took me 14 years to kill a pot of Wandering Jew. It finally happened on our last move (having survived three moves, one of them interstate.) After we’re all through moving I might buy another plant.

                    • I brought home a “Peace Lily” from my dad’s funeral. Oh, my, did I make a mistake! I have to water the thing every other day!

                      The only reason it’s still alive is because it sits on the kitchen windowsill, and I can see the flower stems start to droop.

                    • This is why I like sweet briar. Smells good most of the year, supremely hardy, lovely pink flowers, crimson hips, and eats passing joggers and slow dog walkers. (It’s the old rose Eglantine, R. rubiginosa.) Houseplants come to my place to die.

                    • Sweet briar? I think that’s a bit like dog rose. Ours has pearly white flowers, same iron-nails hardiness, and laughs at the term “thicket.” It’s kept trimmed down to 8 feet high and fourteen wide with threats of napalm and liberal application of saws and shears.

                      Come to think of it, I have neighbors that like to walk through my yard to get to theirs, often dropping trash along the way. I believe I’ve found a quite legal and elegant solution to that. *grin*

                    • Use your powers of hedge wisely. Remember, that which deflects your neighbor hems you in.

                      If you find yourself fleeing the forces of evil in the middle of the night you want to be careful of that which might pull you up by the short and curlies…

                      Just a thought.

                  • I live well within city limits of the third largest city in North Carolina, and we get these animals we call giant rodents. Last year one of them, an otherwise lovely doe we nicknamed ‘Preseasoned Venison’, killed what remained of my herb garden. I know they aren’t supposed to do that, but no one had told her. I really was not very sad to see that she had chosen to cross a street at an inopportune time.

                    I am only beginning to replace it now. Used some chervil and some mint yesterday. Yum.

                    • My bad.

                      Replace the herb garden.

                      No, I do not now or ever wish to replace Preseasoned.

                    • Rob Crawford

                      My brother lives in a medium-sized college town in Ohio, and tried to have a garden. It was devoured by the giant rodents. He mentioned this to a police officer, who recommended he shoot the danged thing. Brother then gave officer his address — “Oh, no. Forget what I said.”

                      I’ve recommended a crossbow, but he’s just given up.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      Rob:
                      My next rifle, if I stay here in Colorado or some other more-or-less free state will be a Sig 556 in 300 blackout with a short barrel and a suppressor.

                      I’d suggest, if Ohio laws are amenable, that something like this, while expensive, is (a) exactly the tool to solve his problem, and (b) nifty as a nifty thing.

                • I talk to my lawn.

                  I tell it it’s not going to get aerated, watered, or fertilized, and it MAY get cut twice, three times a year, so it better make the most of what it gets.

                  So far it’s gotten three poodles from across the street. I may break down this year and buy a bag of fertilizer before it starts getting the local kids.

                  • Depends on the kids, doesn’t it?
                    ;-)

                  • William O. B'Livion

                    Ok, I STR, but I can’t remember the name of the book/story.

                    • None that I know of – unless you want to see it as a spinoff of ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ aka ‘Little Lawn of Tragedy…’

                      But I don’t like lawns at all, due to allergies – and the neighbor across the way DOES have some small white yappy poodles. ;)

                    • Poodles are magnificent animals if properly breed and raised. My best friend from the Christmas I was ten to the day I left for boarding school five years later was a cinnamon beige ‘gentleman’ sized poodle. Momma was a ‘dog whisper’ and that dog was well trained and beautifully behaved. (Poodles require a firm calm leadership. they are smart, can be independent if not attached to an owner they view as the pack leader. They will ursurp the lead if they find it wanting.)

                      He learned that he was not woof (too big to yap, he had a deep woof) for no reason, although he would announce comers to the door. If he know you, he would simple give a woof or two, but we always had to warn first time guests before they came.

                      If that dog didn’t know the person/s at the door, and thought it suspicious, he would start at the top of the stairs, run full tilt straight down, woofing all the while and hurtle himself at the door at full height. This produced an astonishing boom. People who really had no legitimate business coming to our house rarely remained long after that. If the dog concluded the they hesitated too long on our front stoop he would go back up the stairs and repeat this performance. To my knowledge he never had to do it a third time.

                      We lived in a row house in Philadelphia at the time, and the neighbor remarked that with our front door next to his front door he had little fear of break ins. ;-)

                    • CombatMissionary

                      This fall I’m probably going to get a PTSD dog. I’m going to get a German Shepherd from the German lines; too many hip problems with our inbred American lines. My mom raised German Shepherds when I was a kid. They were always smart, affectionate and good with kids. Plus they were protective of the family and of the truck. I miss them.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      No, it had a guy trying to kill the weeds in his lawn with more and more agressive weed killer and it attained some semblance of sentience and started chasing him. There was also an afterlife w/out genitals, and multiple layers of “after life”, each getting successively grayer and more primitive etc.

                      I think I probably sent it to the recycler (aka “used book store”) a decade ago.

              • *squints at the username* Isn’t that the serious headcase who said that all consensual sex was rape? And no, I’m not going to bother with her insane ‘distinction’ of type of sex. Basically, any heterosexual sex, consensual included, was always rape according to her, and she vomited some fake sciencey sounding crap about this is because of the female reaction to sex, and that a woman’s sexual organs weren’t meant to accept a man’s, though somehow, at the same insane time a woman is meant to carry babies and birth them.

                That crazy critter?

                • Yes, it is. The evil patriarchy (and women with Stockholm Syndrome) we are responsible for the continuation of the species. We should all refrain from PNV sex and humans would evolve into history/herstory in just a generation.

                  • marycatelli

                    Read this article, and you will see that she says that since males are solely responsible for the impending death, it is insufficient for some to kill themselves — they must slaughter all other males first to make amends.

                    What’s worse is that she gets comments in accord with her. Lack of opposition of course stems from serious banning and deletion.

                    I observe that if you don’t want to give her the hits — she doesn’t actually like them. She thinks it shows that men are out to get her. (One wishes that the avalanches she’s gotten could break through her paranoia — but I doubt it.)

                    • CombatMissionary

                      Glad I didn’t marry one of those. I was too smart to spend any time with idiots like that, even when I was just a stupid teenager. My wife finds women like those to be complete morons. :D

                    • I find them to be pernicious and evil.

                    • I agree with your wife. They are complete morons! I don’t see how they manage to function when they are so far out of touch with reality.

                    • CombatMissionary

                      I think my wife classifies them as “How do they remember to breathe?” ;)

                    • They have mastered the dramatic sigh, gasping and hyperventilating.

                  • If she thinks that she’s the prime specimen for a monogender species, I’m glad she can’t reproduce on account of refusing to have sex.

                    And if she has offspring, which I highly doubt, and I pray she does not, I pity them.

                • Isn’t that the serious headcase who said that all consensual sex was rape?

                  Oh, dearie, she’s hardly the first one to claim that. She was merely perpetuating the insanity.

                  • that’s why I identify her as the one who thinks women can talk with plants. It’s more of an identifying trait. 0:)

                • marycatelli

                  that’s her. also, it’s always violence because it appropriates women’s reproductive powers — and may get her pregnant, which is harm.

                • Yup. “Trauma bonding!!!” My wife was MAD at that lady for quite a while when I pointed her to the site.

                • Was just thinking – I wonder how many of the people agreeing with her are secretly reading romances/erotica or even watching pron when they are not pretending to think like that?

              • You’re still following that blog? Ouch. I mean, ouch. Yes, occasionally good for eye-popping “get a load of this chica” value, but… wow.

                What I thought was interesting was her proposition that men have irrevocably poisoned the earth, and that all life on the planet would end by… 2030. So, sixteen years left. Mark your calendars.

                Oh, that and the reference to men as “homo rapiens”. That’s lovely.

                • Homo rapien sounds awfully homophobic if you ask me.

                  Maybe she needs a hug.

                • I don’t follow it. Every now and again I search on it and check out what insanity she’s come up with next.

                  She reminds me of something a doctor observed about paranoiacs: when you successfully treat one, you have to watch carefully, and be ready to swoop in and treat their clinical depression, because the discovery that people aren’t so interested in them is depressing.

                  • Yes, it’s morbid curiosity.

                    It’s not like she’s even good research material for villains. Too implausible.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              Well, that’s the reason evil white men (pardon the redundancy) are ruining the environment, don’t you know?

          • And if they all gave the government three months wages, we could pay off the national debt.

        • Yesterday at noon. And that’s my final offer!

      • Secular Jehovah’s Witnesses?

  2. Inequality is what makes things happen. Total Equality in other words is total entropy, the heat-death of the universe.

    • But the world of Harrison Bergeron was *such* a pleasant place! Who wouldn’t want to live there?

      • Nearly twenty years ago the Wall Street Journal printed Harrison Bergeron as an editorial.

        This was back when we were first hearing a lot of talk about ‘outcome based education’ Ok, a diploma should mean something more than having more or less served a 12 year term. To get it you should have learned to read and cipher, along with a basic exposure to history, civics and literature. Opportunities should be give to do even more. But as I listened it sounded more and more like they wanted everyone to have the same thing and the same result.

        The Spouse and I got copies of the Harrison Bergeron editorial for each member of the local school board.

    • marycatelli

      You know the veil of ignorance argument? The one where you’re supposed to draw up ethics in ignorance of what you will be?

      You notice that you are allowed to know that you’re human, instead of trying to make what you would like regardless of whether you were a flower pot, a tiger lily, a tiger, or a human being. Which is to say, inherent in the premises is the proposition that the only important thing is being human.

  3. I’m flat broke right now. My family is struggling something fierce. Do I look at someone like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet with a certain amount of envy? Sure. But for me, it’s not a “they shouldn’t have it” kind of envy. It’s an “I want it too” kind.

    In a free society, people can look at that and decide that they want more, and it’s up to them to work their butts off and get it.

    However, the SJW’s who drone on about inequality are the people who have convinced burger flippers that they deserve $15 an hour. $15 per hour for what? I did that job for $5.15 per hour, and I was probably overpaid even then.

    When you try to force equality, you remove the motivator to be more. If Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and I were all at similar levels, what would I look at that would tell me “I want that too”? Not a blasted thing.

    • $15/Hr is what an entry-level machinist makes at boeing putting airplanes together. It annoys me to no end that these people think that “You want fries with that?” is worth the same money.

      But the Socialists in Seattle (especially the actual Socialist they elected to the Council) want it, and they want it Now. They will get their experiment, and hopefully it will prove before the rest of the country goes too far down that path that it is the road to economic ruin.

      • I pray it does. This seriously has dire implications for the very people it claims to help. I’ve been a business owner. I had one hourly employee (everyone else was commission). I paid her $10/hour. That was well above minimum wage for Georgia, which only has the federally mandated minimum.

        If $15 per hour and shown up during that time, I’m afraid I would have had to lay her off. I just couldn’t justify a 50 percent pay raise for anyone. She was a good employee, but I was already paying her what I could. Her job wasn’t even very difficult. She uploaded articles written by others onto our website and answered the phones. I’m sorry, but it wasn’t a $15 per hour job.

        There are a lot of places that are going to have to make those same decisions. A lot of people are going to be out of work because of such a drastic increase in the minimum wage. If not, then prices are going to skyrocket.

        I’m sorry, but it’s one or the other. A lot of small businesses, which are a significant percentage of employers, just don’t have the margins to eat the new costs.

        Not that the crusaders give a damn.

        • It’s been shown that the higher the minimum wage goes, the more people get laid off or never hired in the first place. When the government mandates wages or prices it interferes with the supply and demand curves.

          • I’ve an Aunt and Uncle who own a small Deli. They used to have a few part-time employees, and a manager on the payroll. It was a summer job for several kids in the little town it is in, and the manager was one of their Nephews’ ex-wife.
            Michigan passed laws to “help” those kids and the manager by raising the wage minimum, and mandating what benefits they had to have and now the place has my Aunt and Uncle working there and no one else working there … they cannot afford it.
            It isn’t just the additional wages either. Social Security payments go up. and the tax burden goes up. So the jump in wage is only part of the increase in costs to the employer.

            • It’s where I’m stuck as a small business owner. I could work way more and make tons more money but I can’t afford a house cleaner or a secretary. I COULD if it were just money or even money and “species” — i.e. say they could eat with us (for college student hired as secretary) or could go with us to cons, or whatever — but it’s the social security payments that break the deal.

              • and like in the ‘paradise’ that was the Soviet block, it will get more and more underground. Make the laws stupid enough and folks start to ignore them wholesale.

                One of Russia’s biggest issues (outside of Tzar Putin) is now that they are a somewhat capitalist system, the ones with the most experience working that way are the ones who did it illegally before …the mob… and they still have all the bad habits and mentality that brings with it.

                • marycatelli

                  The Soviet Union had a special problem with its theories about productive labor: it abused household work so thoroughly that women refused to take jobs as servants, meaning that the women in productive labor had to do all the housework, too.

                • I think we’re already starting to see signs of that. Regardless of feelings about how proper the cause of that Bundy character out in Nevada, it’s hard to deny there’s quite a few people out there who are fed up with more and more regulation for less and less perceived benefit.

                  (At least, to them. Someone’s getting rich, whether it be politicians and lawyers or their cronies.)

              • The people who are always advocating for higher minimum wages don’t seem to be able to understand that they are legislating jobs out of existence. The problem is that those are the very same kind if jobs that the poor need to get a leg up and the rest of us need to be as productive as we could be.

                • The problem is that those are the very same kind if jobs that the poor need to get a leg up and the rest of us need to be as productive as we could be.

                  This is seen as a feature, not a bug, by the few who do know this is doing this kind of damage.

              • Actually, if you work as a self-employed contractor who hires out his own services, you pay your own darned Social Security taxes. This would simplify negotiations a lot on the Hoyt side of things.

                I’m pretty sure that working as a contractor at Hoyt Enterprises would be educational and worth any extra tax burden.

                • This is what I did for a few years out of college.

                  I generally had to pay State/Federal social security, Medicare, and self-employment tax (yes, there is/was a tax for that where I live). You get a much better appreciation for business owners doing all your own work like that. And, as an added bonus, you tend to hate anything that raises your tax burden all the more- because it is presented in vivid living color every year (if you are lazy) or every paycheck (if you stay on top of things).

                  Darn sight better than sweeping floors or loafing around on the dole, I’d say.

                  • marycatelli

                    Err, was that a self-employment tax on top of the federal one that’s the half of the SS and Medicare that’s allegedly paid by the employer?

                    • Ack, got that wrong. Mostly social security, very small amount medicare (it’s both together). Been ten years since I had to calculate that. Mea culpa!

                      I think SS is something like 80%, Medicare 20% or so.

                  • Yes, when you write a check to the federal government for a third of your annual income, then another one to the state (yes I live in a state with income tax) it causes serious raises in blood pressure when someone claims you should pay “your fair share.”

                    • And then your city takes one percent on top of that . . .

                      On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 6:33 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > bearcat commented: “Yes, when you write a check to the federal > government for a third of your annual income, then another one to the state > (yes I live in a state with income tax) it causes serious raises in blood > pressure when someone claims you should pay “your fair share.”” >

                    • And then the city takes one percent on top of that…

                      Only one percent? Wow. Are no county taxes?

                    • Sales, property, and personal property taxes of course, but not income taxes.

                      On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 9:17 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > CACS commented: ” And then the city takes one percent on top of > that… Only one percent? Wow. Are no county taxes?” > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > New comment on *According To Hoyt * > > > *CACS* commentedon Tiddlywinks > — Threat or Menace?. > > > in response to *Jasini*: > > And then your city takes one percent on top of that . . . On Thu, May 8, > 2014

                    • marycatelli

                      By fair share they mean 300% or more — which is the amount needed to cover what the Leviathan currently spends.

              • Note that our would-be masters are notorious for hiring “off the books” household help.

                • Rob Crawford

                  The most doctrinaire leftist I ever met (in college — he inherited his politics from his parents) demanded higher taxes while bragging about working off the books.

                  He also made remarks about voting in the local and state elections, despite being a Californian going to school in Illinois.

                  (Odds are his vote was swamped by those of the dead and felons. Illinois, after all.)

                  • Robin Munn

                    At this point, if I heard someone making such remarks, I would pull out my digital audio recorder and ask if they’d be willing to repeat those statements for the record. Their reaction would be very instructive, especially to any third parties listening to the conversation.

                  • Robin Munn

                    I will note, though, that I was in a VERY similar situation: I went to high school in California, and college in Illinois. And I voted in Illinois, because I considered myself a resident of Illinois, not California, at that point. Whether I was legally allowed to do so, I don’t know; it’s possible that I was voting in the wrong place. But I will note that I did NOT vote in California, nor would it have ever occurred to me to do so.

                    So it’s possible your leftist acquaintance was not knowingly cheating by voting in Illinois. Which is another reason why his reaction to a digital recorder would have been instructive: if he had said “Sure, of course,” then maybe he didn’t double-vote and didn’t believe he was cheating. But given how many people have been recorded bragging about double-voting, my guess is he’d have been one of them.

                    • I left home at fifteen to go to boarding school in eastern Tennessee. I only returned to my parent’s home, for short visits after that. I worked the first summer as a counselor in training at a camp in Camptown in upstate Pennsylvania, near Binghamton NY. The second summer I stayed in Tennessee and worked as a mother’s helper on a farm. My parents had separated that summer, so from the farm Tennessee I moved to North Carolina for college. When it came time to vote for the first time I had not resided in Philadelphia for several years.

                      I registered at a voter push on my campus, held just after I became of age to vote. Pictures of my registering made the front page of local papers. (Only time I really did not mind having had my picture taken.) That ended up being important, as at first I was informed that I had never registered and then it was claimed that my paperwork was lost. In the end, with the help of the local college leader of the party I did not support at the time, arrangements were finally made for me to vote the national ticket at the local North Carolina polling station.

                      (I did not double vote. I had no intention of double voting. Double voting is wrong.)

            • That is what happened with my father’s garage here during the 70′s – he used to have one or two guys working for him, but then the social security payments and the paperwork needed (done by my mother) got to the point where it made more sense for him to work alone. Who knows, if that hadn’t happened, maybe he would have even expanded a bit, but with the new regs and expenses it just wasn’t worth the bother to my parents (and mother’s health was starting to deteriorate too),

          • D. W, MacKenzie has an article on Mises.org, “Mythology of the Minimum Wage”
            (actually they do a lot of articles on minimum wage, it is a wonderful example of market distortion and its consequences)
            The stated purpose of minimum wage laws is to “make the market fair”. The actual purpose appears to be income redistribution.
            The actual result is reduced employment among minorities and the young who have fewer skills and experience.
            He also adds that prior to minimum wage laws national employment rates could be below 5% nationally. It can be argued that current minimum wage rates keeps unemployment at least 3% higher.

            https://mises.org/daily/2130

            • marycatelli

              You notice that they invariably argue that the inflation adjusted minimum wage would be higher based on what it was in 1968. They never argue it would be lower, based on what it was when it first started.

          • Of course. However, the Left believes that what will really happen is that business owners (because we’re all filthy rich and greedy to boot) will eat the increased expenses.

            But the truth of the matter is that a lot of businesses are just getting by. I ran a friends video game story for most of last year. He got 20% of the profit, because it was his store, and I got 80%. Good deal, right? Nope. My part time, minimum wage employee made more money last year than I did.

            But they think raising the minimum wage will be all puppies and daisies.

          • But the powers that be refuse to see that. They flat-out deny that any such correlation exists – and apparently think it’s more important that they get the good press for being the fools who raised the minimum wage than be the people who – by (gasp) lowering the minimum wage put thousands back to work.

        • This whole bullshit is based on the idea that bosses want to “exploit” workers, because they’re “greedy.” In fact most business owners make less than hteir employees. they do it for the dream. AND most of the time, they fail.

          • Is there a way to get the government out of the wage setting business? Can we get the gov’t off our backs? Not only does the gov’t set a minimum wage, but there are other cases where the gov’t forces private businesses to do uneconomical, even injurious, things through its power to compel.

            I wish the gov’t wouldn’t mandate the production of gasohol. We are burning in our gas tanks plants that we could sell around the world.

            The gov’t shouldn’t set goals for fuel efficiency.

            History shows that market actions are more efficient, more nimble and better for most people than using gov’t force.

            I am not a libertarian, but I do believe that a free market, as lightly burdened by the gov’t as we can make it, creates prosperity. The freer the market the more prosperity. Prosperity is not always. There are still and , always will be business cycles. There will always be booms and busts. The only way out of recurring highs and lows is stagnation, which is worse.

            • William O. B'Livion

              Is there a way to get the government out of the wage setting business?

              Yes.

              Develop cogent, sound explanations for your ideas.
              Find like minded people to help you with money and assistance.
              Run for Local Office,
              Get *more* funding,
              Convince people you have the right ideas, and that they should vote for you.
              Convince MORE of the people in your district of this than your opponent(s) (because you’ll be fighting establishment republicans && progressives, but I repeat myself).
              Get elected.
              Fight against the bad legislation, for the good legislation.
              Get re-elected.
              Run for higher office.
              Rince, lather, repeat, in the process staying true to your beliefs (meaning don’t cut any deals that don’t get you more than you give away).
              Find a couple thousand people who want more or less what you want and convince them to do the same thing .

              No?

              This is why one of the other folks here calls me a “doom fetishist” or some non-sense like that.

              There are paths out of this mess, they’re just not *possible* paths out because they require people to do exactly what they don’t want to do.

              In the category of “Tilting Windmills”, for a while I was a pro-gun “activist” in the S.F. Bay Area. Gave time and (a little) money to a local NRA chapter that was (more or less forcibly) spun off into a stand-alone organization.

              We could pack a 200 person dinner hall monthly. We could even collect a fair bit of cash.

              We couldn’t get people to knock on doors or run a phone bank for local pro-gun politicians, but we could get people to stand up at a meeting and SCREAM about how their rights were being violated.

              Hell, the table we staffed at the gun show was the same 8 or 10 people every time, and you got FREE entrance to the show if you worked the table for 4 hours.

              You get what you work for, and sitting at home typing away on web forums is not “working”. And yes, I know that’s exactly what I’m doing. I just don’t expect it to accomplish anything.

              • Bingo bango bongo. I was at a meeting of fairly conservative/libertarian people on Tuesday, talking about things that could be done over the next couple of years to have an impact on our lil’ area of Texas. Some good things being done by good people. At the end of it, the question was raised by the (fantastic) lady who’s been running our happy little organization over the last couple years as to what we wanted to do next – continue planning without her as she’ll be out of the state for a month, or… “marinate”.

                “Marinate” was selected. Which was kind of a self-conviction for me, because I’d been out of the group for a while.

                We don’t get results if we aren’t doing something.

          • Nine out of ten small businesses (and that’s where they all start out) fail in the first five years. Of that one percent that survives that period of time, nine out of ten fail during the next five years.

            That means .1 percent of all small businesses even survive ten years (provided I didn’t screw up my math). That’s a decimal place in front of that one, in case anyone missed it. That doesn’t even get into the ones that only last 11 years, or 12 years.

            Meanwhile, the employees work their 40 hours (or whatever) and go home, leaving work at work. The owner doesn’t get that. I remember waking up at 6 in the morning, being in the office by 8:30 – had to take my son to school and all that first – and working until 11:30pm almost every Monday night. Sometimes, it was later. My deadline for the paper was 7:00 Tuesday evening. If I missed it, I had to drive an hour and a half to pick up my papers and bring them back to town on Wednesday morning, which delayed my carriers.

            I remember working late every day, trying desperately to find competent sales people who would work their asses off to sell ads for me, and having them literally disappear as far as I could tell. No phone calls, no answering of phone calls, nothing.

            But hey, let’s pay the employees more, because we’re all a bunch of fat cats sitting on piles of money. And people wonder why so many small business owners don’t vote democrat.

            • marycatelli

              I think your math is off. nine out of ten would give you ten percent, not one.

              • My math is wrong, but ten percent are those that survive the first five years. The next five years kills 90 percent of those that survive. That leaves one percent of all small businesses surviving a decade.

                • Your figures are wrong, too. Digging around a bit, it looks like half of new businesses fail by year 4, 2/3 by year 10, and about 25% make it 16+ years.

        • In the middle of the Soviet Depression, Yeltsin raised the Russian minimum wage to 15 Rubles an hour. We all know how that turned out. If we want the idiots to crash and burn quickly so that we can get the country back, maybe…

      • Beth Martin

        I read an article about a very high minimum wage leading to unanticipated consequences.

        Paris (France) has established a minimum wage of $18 for restaurant workers. Since then 70% of French restaurants out-source their food prep & serve pre-cooked food. Restaurant employment dropped.

        France has a huge minority population of Arab-French who are unemployed. Wouldn’t it have been better for the restaurant wage to be lower and more jobs available for people who would start in the kitchen, and continue learning until perhaps they started their own business one day.

        Oh well, unemployed French Arabs find other things to do – like burning cars in the banlieues. Quelle domage..

      • I was a technician in Las Vegas and was paid 10 dollars an hour to fix copy machines. (15 dollars an hour when I was working on systems). At the same time, secretaries– yea, secretaries, who just answered phones were making ten dollars an hour too and didn’t have to drive from place to place. They also didn’t have the schooling that I had either.

      • I’ve seen serious analysis that says somewhere around $12.50 an hour is where it becomes practical for fast food restaurants to automate their burger flipping. If these kids don’t think it will happen, they need to wake up to the two (or is it three?) systems that have been demonstrated for doing so. And you’ll never have to worry about some PO’d kid spitting on your burger when the machine cooks it, stacks it and wraps it and all the kid does is stuff it in a bag.

        • I can easily envision a time in the not so distant future where most fast food joints become essentially huge vending machines. The customer enters their order on a touch screen, swipes a card, and the food is delivered automatically. No register jockey, no production crew, just a manager and a tech or two. Perhaps one traditional register for the few who insist on a cash transaction, but expect that to fade over time.

          • Like the burger joints in the Stainless Steel Rat ;)

          • JOHN MARBLE

            Even cash transactions are handled at my local grocery store self scan checkout; if there’s no crew, there’s no need for a mangler…

          • No need for a register even for cash transactions. There are plenty of vending machines where I work that accept both bills and change. No reason a larger vending machine couldn’t do the same.

          • Jerry Boyd

            All the burger chains have been putting research money into automation since back in the Eighties. Lately it looks like they’re getting somewhere.

      • We can reasonably expect it will cause urban flight out of Seattle city limits of most businesses that have entry-level positions, and think they can survive a move.
        Coffee shops in downtown Seattle may be tied to their customer bases (certainly there’s plenty of competition anywhere they’d try to move to!), but THEIR customers won’t mind paying another $1 a cup, right?

      • William O. B'Livion

        They will get their experiment, and hopefully it will prove before the rest of the country goes too far down that path that it is the road to economic ruin.

        You know what you say to a Socialist with two black eyes[1]?

        Why bother, he didn’t get it the first two times, why bother a third time.

        [1] Yes, recycling that from a MUCH less PC version.

    • marycatelli

      The real minimum wage is $0 a hour.

    • Young’n – I did that job for $3.35 an hour (runs away from older guys swinging canes and yelling for me to get off their lawn)

      • Birthday girl

        Well I gotcha beat — $2.35/hr as a bank teller … handling other peoples’ money at minimum wage is … tempting … for some people. Fortunately, strict controls prevented anyone I worked with from taking advantage. Still, I think it’s a bit surreal in principle …

        • They have pretty strict controls for people sorting the mail at the IRS, too. At least they warn new hires that they will do things like insert envelopes with money in them into their boxes of mail before they start the job.

    • CombatMissionary

      They’re the reason why Applebee’s is installing Ipad-like ordering devices so they can cut their waiting staff by 80%, and why McDonald’s is going to completely automate their restaurants when labor gets too expensive. They’ll “$15 per hour” their way out of employment.

      • I think Chili’s or one of those has the at-table ordering thingie also.

        Of course, a lot of diners used to have at-table ordering, via intercoms to the kitchen.

        • I want the charming, chatty AI diners of Simak’s books.

        • 3 or 4 years ago I was at a Chili’s or On The Border in Indianapolis and they had a thingy on the table that when you were ready to order, you hit the button and the server came over to take the order. Then it would update you on the status of your order. When you were done, you used the same device to swipe your card and print out your receipt.

        • Yep, Chili’s is doing the at-table ordering thing. It has games, too!

      • Yep. And the left won’t realize they’re hurting the very people they claim to be helping. They’ll blame Applebee’s and McDonald’s.

        • It’s a psychological quirk that allows them to believe that they’re the good guys no matter what. Bad results? They had good intentions, and that’s the important thing. Good results? (Vanishingly rare…) They take the credit and preen.

          And they consistently believe they’re smarter than anyone else. Again – that quirk allows them to justify all they do.

        • You must remember that if they actually helped those people, they would run out of mascots to use for their campaigns. Therefore, the best projects, in their eyes, entail harming those people while giving them the moral egoboo of thinking they are helping them.

          • CombatMissionary

            Reminds me of the pilots’ union strikes of the 90′s. When times were good, the pilots got a share of the gravy. Soon as times were bad, they’d rather see their members unemployed than taking a small pay cut or contributing to their own retirement, because we’re going to stick it to those eeeeeevil corporate fat cats who gave us all those wage increases to begin with.
            When you’re a union member, you’re expected to fall on your sword and live on an unemployment line for the good of the cause. You’ll work when the union is darned good and ready to give you permission to go back to work.
            Unions: paying $250 monthly for the privilege of someone giving you permission to ply your trade.

        • CombatMissionary

          The future is going to be heck for people who don’t have skills. Glad I know how to rebuild cars.

          • I don’t want to spend time figuring out how to check out my groceries. That’s what cashiers and baggers are for. Bagger is a low skill job.So is cart cowboy. Well, what else would you call the person who corrals carts?

    • The thing that the theorists advocating for a higher minimum wage forget is that the employer is going to have to extract the value of that higher wage from the employee, one way or another. How does that happen? Either they automate and reduce the number of jobs, essentially transferring the labor from five unskilled line cooks to the one guy who maintains and repairs the burger-making machine, or they work the hell out of fewer workers. There is only so much money available for a given transaction–People will not pay $10.00 for a Big Mac, no matter how much solidarity they want to show with the minimum-wage worker. So, what’s the end effect? Far fewer people get employed, and fewer services are available.

      The idiots in Seattle will learn. I expect that the end result of this is going to be a bunch of restaurants relocating outside the city limits, followed by trucking the pre-cooked food into the city with one or two high-wage employees handing it out. Or, they’re going to automate. Whatever happens, it’s not going to be the paradise the idiots think it is.

      The Seattle metro area has a lot to answer for. Frankly, a lot of us who live outside it here in Washington state kinda suspect there’s a tsunami or similar denouement awaiting. You don’t build up karma like they have over there without something coming due…

      • Either outcome, the left will invariably blame “greedy” owners. I mean, business owners are supposed to take losses, so long as the worker rules!

        Freaking idiots.

        As for Seattle, there’s a part of me that needs to go to Seattle. More and more though, the rest of me has gone from “I’d love to visit” to “maybe Seattle, maybe North Korea”. It’s a shame, because a dear friend loved that city, and I’d like to visit for her sake.

    • I don’t “envy” Bill Gates/Warren Buffet. Why? They, and their grandchildren will need *bodyguards* all their lives. $15/hour, I did it for $1, when I was that age (under 21).

  4. Seamus Curran (Majestic_Moose)

    Well Stephen Jay’s Theory about no evolution is easily disproved just look at white skin, blue eyes, ability to drink lactose into adulthood, etc. All attributes that did not show up till after we left Africa.

    • marycatelli

      Cosmetic. Because they emerged after we left Africa. Q.E.D.

      • Jordan S. Bassior

        Heh … I wish I had the “cosmetic” ability to metabolize lactose properly. I love milk and milk products, but have to avoid most of them.

    • Jeff Gauch

      I think Gould was thinking in terms of species. In that case, he’s correct. We haven’t speciated since we left Africa – the moron in the White House is proof enough of that.

      Then there’s the fact that evolution is driven by adaptation to environment. The discovery of fire slowed human evolution drastically. Clothes did even more. Central heating and modern medicine has pretty much stopped it.

    • Robin Munn

      I’ve been informed that ability to drink lactose into adulthood tends to go along with *doing* so. I.e., if you stop drinking milk as a teenager, you tend to become lactose-intolerant, but if you continue drinking milk, you retain the ability to do so. I’d be very interested to learn if there have been studies on this, or any anecdotal evidence one way or the other. (I.e., if someone says “not for me — I love milk and never stopped drinking it until I started noticing that it gave me terrible gas, so the intolerance developed BEFORE I quit drinking it” that would be interesting, and a LOT of such anecdotes would approach the level of data.)

      • Hmmm. That probably explains why I developed a mild intolerance to milk. I stopped for a while because I didn’t like the taste of the milk where I lived, but before that I was fond of milk. I haven’t gotten that problem with cheese thank goodness, or I’d be very unhappy. Just drinking milk.

        I wonder if I could force it and regain lactose tolerance… I miss milk.

        • It’s possible. I was not drinking mil regularly for some time, and whenever I did drink a glass, it, ahem, made bathroom visits “interesting”. Now, however, since I decided to give birth to a bouncing baby ulcer, I’m drinking at least a quart most days, and after a week or two, things pretty much went back to normal.

      • I started becoming lactose intolerant in my 20s, despite regular doses of pizza and hamburger helper.

      • Robin Munn

        I’ll note that this theory (you lose lactose tolerance when you stop drinking milk regularly) does fit with what I’ve observed in Thailand. Most Asian cultures don’t drink milk as adults, and there’s a high level of lactose intolerance in Asia.

        For example: when I was studying Thai at a language school, one teacher asked me once how much milk I drank. When I told her I went through about two gallons per week (and she knew I was single living alone, so it was clearly me drinking it and not, say, my kids), she was flabbergasted. She could buy a 1-liter bottle of milk for her and her husband, and it would still be half full by the time it reached its expiration date after a week or two. Now, I didn’t ask her if milk does anything to her digestion — it wasn’t that kind of conversation — but it wouldn’t have surprised me one bit.

        • Not enough Mongol in them. If they had descended from people whose traveling rations were mare’s milk and horse’s blood, they wouldn’t have lactose intolerance.

      • I don’t have an actual intolerance– I drink my mochas just fine– but I cannot STAND the taste of milk. Fresh or sour, it tastes the way sour milk smells to me– has since I was a kid.

        There may be an element of that, since I’ve also been told that hating the taste suggests a lactose intolerance, even though we eat cheese by the loaf.

        • If the lactose has been broken down by heat or fermentation (cheese, yoghurt), it won’t have any effect. Fresh milk, ice cream, real whipping cream, those will get you (although the fat in the cream probably hits long before the lactose does). I have a mild intolerance that developed in my late teens, and probably traces to a non-European ancestor on my mother’s side.

          • that’s how we started dairying a millennium before the mutation. Cheese and yogurt and butter.

      • No, it’s a specific mutation that about one-third of humanity has. Interestingly enough, we were dairying for a millennium before it occurred, but it spread like wildfire — faster than they had known it could spread.

  5. Well actually I saw an article yesterday that there had been a comeback of malaria and dengue fever in Venezuela, surprising no one but the folks on the Left. So I guess if you posit the wholesale move to socialism they do to ‘combat this crisis’ then increases in plagues are inevitable.

    • But…universal healthcare will save us all [/eye roll]

    • I suspect the increase in malaria can be tied closely to the “threat” to wildlife scare that has caused the banning of DDT for mosquito control. Funny isn’t it how the left can cause tremendous harm, literally be responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands, and deny all responsibility because their intentions were good. Seems they’re never in the wrong, it’s always that those of us who objected got in the way, didn’t care, didn’t provide enough resources, yadda, yadda, yadda. But you can only pull that one off for so long until people start to do the math and see what complete and total screwups you are. Just so long as there is an open and honest media to report the facts. Oh, never mind.

      • marycatelli

        Oh yes, that’s established fact — far better established than global warming. Rachel Carson belongs among the greatest mass murderers in history.

        • You used to be able to catch malaria or yellow fever in Ohio — probably in Colorado too in lower places. It wasn’t about “tropical.” It was about skeeters spreading disease vs. skeeters not getting to breed.

          Freaking polio’s coming back too. Let’s now turn to #63 in your Kipling hymnal and sing “Natural Theology.”

          • Primitive

            I ate my fill of a whale that died
            And stranded after a month at sea. . . .
            There is a pain in my inside.
            Why have the Gods afflicted me?
            Ow! I am purged till I am a wraith!
            Wow! I am sick till I cannot see!
            What is the sense of Religion and Faith :
            Look how the Gods have afflicted me!

            Pagan

            How can the skin of rat or mouse hold
            Anything more than a harmless flea?. . .
            The burning plague has taken my household.
            Why have my Gods afflicted me?
            All my kith and kin are deceased,
            Though they were as good as good could be,
            I will out and batter the family priest,
            Because my Gods have afflicted me!

            Mediaeval

            My privy and well drain into each other
            After the custom of Christendie. . . .
            Fevers and fluxes are wasting my mother.
            Why has the Lord afflicted me?
            The Saints are helpless for all I offer–
            So are the clergy I used to fee.
            Henceforward I keep my cash in my coffer,
            Because the Lord has afflicted me.

            Material

            I run eight hundred hens to the acre
            They die by dozens mysteriously. . . .
            I am more than doubtful concerning my Maker,
            Why has the Lord afflicted me?
            What a return for all my endeavour–
            Not to mention the L. S. D!
            I am an atheist now and for ever,
            Because this God has afflicted me!

            Progressive

            Money spent on an Army or Fleet
            Is homicidal lunacy. . . .
            My son has been killed in the Mons retreat,
            Why is the Lord afflicting me?
            Why are murder, pillage and arson
            And rape allowed by the Deity?
            I will write to the Times, deriding our parson
            Because my God has afflicted me.

            Chorus

            We had a kettle: we let it leak:
            Our not repairing it made it worse.
            We haven’t had any tea for a week. . .
            The bottom is out of the Universe!

            Conclusion

            This was none of the good Lord’s pleasure,
            For the Spirit He breathed in Man is free;
            But what comes after is measure for measure,
            And not a God that afflicteth thee.
            As was the sowing so the reaping
            Is now and evermore shall be.
            Thou art delivered to thine own keeping.
            Only Thyself hath afflicted thee!

            • Did you write that? That was AWESOME!

              • No, I wish! Kipling, “Natural Theology.” That’s why I said the silly stuff about the hymnal. :)

                And there is at least one song tune to it, written by Leslie Fish. Apparently not over on YouTube, though.

                • What with this and “Gods of the Copybook Headings” old Rudyard may just have had a few good ideas for his time. Or ours for that matter. Man knew how to comment on the human condition did he not?

                  • marycatelli

                    I also recommend “The Three Decker.” Of astounding relevance to recent kerfuffles.

                • L. Fish has three tapes/ CDs of Kipling. One is based on the historical stuff (“Puck’s Song” is worthe the price of admission), one on assorted things (“Bridge Guard at the Karoo” is magic) and I’m not familiar with the third one. http://www.lesliefish.com/cds.htm

                  Hmm, I don’t see the “middle” CD (with “Boots” and “The Old Issue” and “Karoo”) . It may still be tied up in the Firebird Arts&Music rights mess.

          • Freaking polio’s coming back too…”

            Yeah. I heard “IIIIIIIIII’MMMMM BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!” after reading this: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/06/who-s-to-blame-for-global-polio-emergency.html

            • Here’s the critical message in a nutshell:
              “Polio, like any vaccine-preventable disease, requires a moderately stable public health infrastructure, as well as a modicum of trust and flexibility, to assure that children are vaccinated. (Children are the ones at risk for the dreaded disease because immunity is conferred for life, either by the disease or the vaccine.)”
              As a child I recall getting the Saul injection then a year or so later our entire town lined up and was given the Sabin oral vaccine. A blue tinged sugar cube if I recall correctly.
              The World Health Organization would gladly provide the vaccine and the trained personnel to administer it if only the folks at risk would cooperate. Does seem to be the sort of thing that over time corrects itself, or as the saying goes, “evolution in action!”

          • In Finland malaria killed people well into the 19th century. The reason it disappeared seems to be assumed to be due to improving living conditions among the poor – primarily things like smokestacks and building separate shelters for livestock.

            Can’t have had much to do with climate or climate changes anyway. The last epidemic was between 1853 – 1862, according to what I could find online. Just before the last great famine years here. Which happened because for several years the yields were bad due to cold weather. Rainy summers, hard winters, late springs, early frosts in late summer… yes, 19th century was a lot colder than the 20th. And there can be no doubt that people died because of that. During the 19th century.

            • Okay, looks like the northernmost case of malaria during the 19th century was, possibly, on Utsjoki. (69°54′N 027°01′E :) )

              The theory seems to be that before those smokestacks and separate barns for the animals the small cottages where the poor lived with their animals pretty much had subtropical microclimate inside throughout the whole year, and that made it possible for mosquitoes carrying the parasite to live long enough, and breed early and late enough, for the parasites to prosper. Plus the local variation of malaria was – or is – a bit different, including the ability of the parasite to lay dormant for longer periods of time that the more southern varieties are able to.

          • Right now there’s an outbreak of friggin’ Mumps in Ohio.

            • Mumps to the right of me
              [Columbus]
              MERS to the left
              [Indiana]
              Here I am, stuck in the middle again.

              There were also Amish and college student measles outbreaks in Columbus/Delaware Co.

  6. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    “The World’s Going To End Tomorrow! The Poor, Blacks, Women will suffer most”. [Sarcasm]

  7. You ever read Michael Chrichton’s “State Of Fear”? He addresses this issue quite well, with devastating prose… I think it was his last book too.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Nope, he had 3-4 books after it. But Hollywood, you notice, did not leap to turn that one into a film. If they did, the plot would be changed so the bad guys were working for evil corporations trying to create eco-disasters for evil and profit. Mostly evil.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        In fact, I can’t think of a single Crichton adaptation the past few years except for that awful Andromeda Strain remake. Not only did they add all sorts of useless SF clutter to the plot (like time-travel), but also tons of leftie crap (including Bush-bashing, which is Totally Not Dated now).

    • I actually disliked State of Fear. Preachy message-fic isn’t any better when it agrees with me. He should have turned the ideas over to Sarah – she’d have done it right. Or Larry, or Brad, even Mad Mike is more subtle than that. Crichton is good, but that book was not up to his usual standard.

  8. Ah, malaria, the scourge of . . . Poland, and northern Germany, and Russia, and the Dakotas as well as the tropics. Oh, and parts of Italy before the draining of the swamps. Engineering and drainage ditches have done more to stop the spread of malaria than most prophylaxis has. It appeared in northern Europe in the mid-Middle Ages along with carp ponds. Even during the Little Ice Age. Not that I want to give those of watermelonish persuasion any ideas, but world jet travel and cargo shipping are better vectors of tropical and “exotic” diseases than AGW, Manmade Climate Disaster, or whatever the flavor of the week is.

    • Prediction; the moment the Pretty People in Manhattan and LA find out that it’s possible for them to get fought up in an epidemic of mosquito transmitted disease, suddenly SILENT SPRING will be out the window and DDT will be back in use.

      • I don’t think the shining tower types are that smart. They’ll ride that garbage to the grave.

      • Colorado Alex

        Not likely. They’d rather wallow in filth and bedbugs rather than use any chemicals that might actually work to get rid of them. Poor widdle Austin might ingest trace amounts and get TEH AUTISM!!!

        • Oops, didn’t page down far enough before commenting. Sorry about the above post, but the song still is good.

        • Maybe have to wait until a few widdle Austins start to die of completely and easily preventable diseases. Especially the Austins of some really high profile celebrity types. That might work.

      • Jerry Boyd

        My question is, speaking as a non-chemist, DDT doesn’t look any harder to cook than meth. Where is my black market DDT?

        • The materials for synthesis are hard to get, including one controlled substance. There are other pesticides that can be made easier, or so some garage chemists I’ve looked up have said.

          • Jerry Boyd

            I remember reading about a pharmacist during WWII who came up with a way synthesize DDT without using any materials considered war critical. It’s been long enough I have no idea how to find it again, but that’s why I asked.

  9. From Chaos Manor:
    “Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free”

  10. Inequality? This is the greatest scourge of mankind?

    Aside from everything you discuss, such as the inequality of people’s willingness to put in an effort…

    Inequality is built into the earth’s system. The Sahara is using an unfair share of the sunshine and has been passed over when it comes to water. Iceland, something about the name should cue one, gets more than it’s share of cold and water. Farming practices aside, the plains of Russia has far more inconsistent weather and that has lead to more frequent crop failure when compared to the plains of the U.S.A..

    Inequality is built into our products — pricing aside. Any woman can tell you that one size fits all is a myth. Ask the mother of a friend what it took her to find dress pants for a son who wears a 38″ inseam … Thank G-D for the internet.

    So – equality? The Daughter has suggested that the only way to make everyone equal is to make everyone dead.

    • Pope St. Greg the Great explained somewhere that God didn’t pass out all gifts to all humans for the same reason he didn’t pass out all kinds of crops and resources to all regions — because otherwise, nobody would need to deal with other people and other lands. Differences promote communion.

      They also promote humility among good folks, because they are impressed by other people’s gifts and learn humility. Unfortunately, proud people tend to be overly impressed with their own gifts and see no value in the gifts of others, so it doesn’t promote communion among people who don’t want it.

      (Don’t remember if that was from Moralia in Job, or Homilies on Ezekiel.)

      • But I forgot. Having a diversity of gifts was good when we were all “diversity!” Now diversity is bad, and the animals must all be equal in exactly the same way. Except those which are more equal, of course.

        • Ah, yes, ‘All animals are equal’ becomes ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

          The principle of equal opportunity is becoming an insistance for equal outcome.

    • A 38″ inseam??? Oh, Lord, I have enough trouble with a 34″ inseam (and a 50″ waist – if I get back to a 40″ waist, I’m good).

      • Short legs, long torso: I’m 5’10″-ish, with a 28″ inseam. Pain in the neck to find trousers that don’t bunch around me ankles. Makes me long to go to a kilt full time, it does.

        • I support this plan.

        • William O. B'Livion

          They have these people called “tailors” who really are seamstresses (usually) who can, for very little coin, fix that problem.

          And no, they are not TPrachett “seamstresses”. They all own *several* needles and usually their affections are non-negotiable even if you wanted to.

          • If there’s a military base around, ask folks for recommendations.

            The ladies who do emergency “I just found out my rank insignia on my dress blues is out of date and I’m getting an award tomorrow” folks are usually a good bet. (If anyone’s around Seattle, that’s why my husband takes his to a place between Lewis and McChord– and to heck with eh drive, he has to be there for duty weekends anyways.)

          • “Needlewomen” as he put it in Night Watch — which contradicts the early works about their number. Maybe we can blame the History Monks.

  11. Salamandyr

    Aside from transforming Envy from one of the Seven Deadly Sins to a virtue, the tumult over inequality provides cover for all sorts of redistributionist power grabs in the same way that they previously did under the mantra of “diversity”.

    Because economies don’t work the way they claim they do…and when they can’t fool themselves otherwise, they know this. But it suits their needs to have the rest of us convinced that wealth is an effectively limited commodity, and if your neighbor has more than you, you’ve been somehow taken advantage of.

    • Recently ran across a character who overtly stated that his taxes are charity, and that conservatives are the greedy ones.

      I pointed out that he’s of one mind with Scrooge, with Scrooge carrying off the moral superiority because he did not sneer at people who gave as greedy.

  12. John Pepple

    There’s plenty of inequality in academia, despite the fact that it is dominated by liberals and leftists. By now, I hope everyone has heard of how awful things are for adjuncts and how no one at the top is concerned about it. Take any prominent academic leftist you like — Noam Chomsky, Martha Nussbaum, or Bill Ayers — and you will find that they have said and done nothing about it. In other words, their preferred solution is a market one, despite their insistence that they hate market solutions.

    Moreover, the exploitation of adjuncts is taking place in the non-profit sector, so there is no more reason to complain about profits anymore, or capitalism, for that matter. 175 years of leftism has gone down the drain, due to the inaction of leftists.

    By the way, if you are talking about Picketty’s book, let me say that pretty much the only parts that are good are those dealing with Jane Austen. Still, the fact that, as he argues, even people with several times the average income weren’t that well off back then doesn’t persuade me that things are that awful today. Back then, someone like Wickham could have made 150 pounds a year — through investing the 3,000 pounds he got from Darcy — and that would have been five times the average income for that time, yet it still wasn’t enough for him to own a carriage. But today even the poor can have multiple cars.

    Things just aren’t that bad these days.

  13. For decades I have argued with The Usual Left about taxing the “rich”. The core of my argument has been “Think of the silliest, most wasteful use a billionaire is likely to make of his wealth. Now; how likely is that to damage society MORE than the same amount of money in the hands of the government?”

    You wouldn’t think that would give so many of the pause, but it does.

    • the only “loophole” to your argument I see is George Soros, but it gets closed when you realize his harmful spending is to achieve the so called “equality” these same folks are working towards, so leftoids will ignore the inconvenience of wanting to get the several orgs pushing “Thousands of Koch dollars” out of politics being funded by someone who dumps many millions, probably billions into politics.

      • marycatelli

        The Koch brothers are 59th on the list of political donors. They just don’t like money going to Republicans.

        • there is a reason all the “Get money out of politics” bills hurt the freedom loving and also work to make it much harder to unseat incombants.

      • The Koch Brothers are the Democrats Emmanuel Goldstein.

        They intend to run on “Koch Bros.” this midterm election cycle because all of their policy nostrums have failed catastrophically.

        • and also why they prefer the ignorant voter over those with the ability to think

        • Rob Crawford

          In the middle of October, the Kochs should buy network time to air a “fireside chat”/interview where they explain their views and what they’ve done.

        • Patrick Chester

          The Koch Brothers are the vileprogs Emmanuel Goldstein of the moment.

          They seem to have a legion of them to point and screech at.

  14. Unrelated: Is the novel listing now two wide on purpose?

  15. Christopher M. Chupik

    This reminds me of a book I saw at the library the other day, claiming that war and inequality were caused by . . . the domestication of animals. Didn’t know if I should have laughed or wept.

    • That reminds me of the line in Hitchhikers’ Guide about how some people thought the whole coming down from the trees was a bad idea, and others through coming out of the seas was a mistake.

    • marycatelli

      Agriculture is more likely. Hunter and gatherer societies opt for cutting down the tall poppies because there’s too much variability in the food supplies, you need the goodwill to smooth out the dumb luck. Also, you have to move every few years, and it’s much more economical to have one axe everyone uses because if we all have axes, we have to carry them all every time we move, but that means we need to work out how to share them.

      Agriculture made things more stable and didn’t need so much moving.

      It also allowed forming actual armies with the surplus.

    • Jordan S. Bassior

      I read that book!

      I think the author had a point that domesticating animals forced us to become more ruthless (though this exaggerates the non-ruthlessness of hunters), but that the point was taken way too far, and some carts got put before some domesticated equids.

    • There’s an excellent chance that Global Warming was caused by agriculture.

      Ruddiman’s work on atmospheric methane concentrations showed that about 8,000 years ago there was a sharp uptick in the gas in the atmosphere… and oddly, it seemed to arrest a slide into an ice age.

      http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Ruddiman2003.pdf

      If it weren’t for agriculture and animal domestication, the remnants of humanity might be fighting polar bears for penguins around the equator.

      • marycatelli

        of course, there was the downtick before then, when humaninty was first introduced to the Americas and slaughtered the methane producing megafauna with glee.

      • I skimmed through a book that maintains (among other things) that the tundra in Siberia is tundra because humans killed off all the mammoths, mastodon, and wooly rhinos, and that let a layer of peat develop that destroyed the arctic grasslands. Pure Martin’s “Overkill” hypothesis, skipping a bunch of contrary evidence, as part of his “humans are a giant super-organism just like an ant colony but if we hurry we can stop killing things and become part of Gaia.” But with more nuance and data. I don’t think I’m going to finish the book. (A book that draws heavily on Dawkins, E. O. Wilson and James Lovelock, with blurbs from Jared Diamond and Terry Tempest Williams, is probably not aimed at people like me.)

  16. Larry Patterson

    We are all equal at birth. The only time after that is why we die. In between, we should strive to do our best, to make a difference, in other words, to be as above average as we can.

  17. Quoted from the Dictionary of English as Understood By the Left. Written by I.M. Wrong. Published 2014 by Dewey, Cheatham and Howe, New York, New York, USA

    Equality (Ee-kwol-e-tee) n. 1. A state of being in which all persons are of the same income level. 2. The belief that all people are created equal, with the exception of whites and men who have privilege and are therefore scum. 3. The act of taking things from someone who has obtained them through effort by government coercion. 4. The ostracization of anyone who disagrees with this definition, thus curbing the free speech of people who agree with us.

    There you go. Just act in accordance with the above diktat and everything will be ok. Should you choose not to, you shall be in jeopardy of corrective action. This shall take whatever form chosen by those who do believe in equality and you shall have no say in the process.

    • Fortunately, most “corrective action” is embodied in books of Policies and Procedures, which by their nature cannot cover all cases, leaving room for the truly inventive to find ways out or around. Thus does individual liberty survive, ‘tho imposed upon.

      • Rob Crawford

        The amazing thing about rules is that the shortest, simplest sets have the least loopholes.

        The Golden Rule — in both the idealist and cynical versions — has remarkably few, while the endless reams of regulations churned out to make the world “more fair” are more riddled with holes than a baby Swiss cheese.

  18. Something that those looking for “equality” tend to overlook when they bring things up like the aristocracy in Europe (and other places) is that while the aristocracy itself was there and had great influence, the individuals occupying the “coveted” spots constantly morphed. Did you know that the vast majority of the people occupying places in the Royal family tree of England are actually commoners? It has always been like that. A butcher is conscripted, does a great deed, gets knighted and may end up with a noble title. His oldest child (if a son in the old days, or any gender now) retains the title but ALL of the rest of the kids are technically commoners. Three generations was the average stay in the nobility. Obviously, some lines stayed longer than others but often times the 12th Earl of Whatever was the commoner 3rd cousin of the 11th Earl because either the 11th Earl had no children or (in the old days) only female children. Maybe that is why England and other countries are holding on to their aristocratic traditions. It is way more accessible than people think. And the thought that maybe someday, I could end up there too, is a good dream for some to have. Whereas if it is abolished, there is nothing left to dream about.

  19. “Inequality,” like “Education” is our modern version of a dam.

    “I can see from your expression you don’t know what a dam is. You think a dam is something you put a lot of water in… A dam is something you put a lotta concrete in… and it doesn’t matter how much you put in there’s always room for a lot more… and any time you’re afraid it’s finished there’s always a crack in it and you put some more concrete. And in the third place it’s always behind a mountain somewhere at the top of the state where nobody could find it in the first place.”

    McGinty: “What’s the matter with the old dam?”

    The Boss: (Giving him a look) “It’s got a crack in it.”
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/05/25/political-wisdom-preston-sturges

    No matter how much money, no matter how much liberty we cede them to fix inequality, they will always come back for more.

    • Of course they will! They want complete control of you. They want no liberty for you and total liberty for themselves.

  20. Pingback: Tyrannical Equality | Rebel Yid - Ideas beyond the left/right, red/blue, and liberal/conservative thinking

  21. The headlines that day were grim.

    “Tiddlywinks, The End of Civilization as We Know It.”

    I grabbed a copy of one of the papers just to see what they were gabbling about. Sure enough, some buffoon in office had put out a profusely illustrated infovid claiming that Tiddlywinks were dooming civilization, and warning that we need stronger Tiddlywink laws now. Why, he had charts showing research proved that Tiddlywink users have been involved in 93% or more of every crime in the last decade, and that people who play Tiddlywinks are a clear and present danger to the economy, as well as a growing threat to the environment.

    Needless to say, the nets were rabid about the threat of Tiddlywinks. Already several major business owners had been accused of being closet Tiddlywink players.

    That was the day the Tiddlywinks went underground.

    (to be continued, or maybe not…)