Cultural Hold

I think part of the problem with “culture” and understand “culture” is that we cram a bunch of stuff under that poor word.

Like when people say we need to “take back the culture” they mean arts, entertainment, news, the stories, however told and by whatever means, that tell a people what they are; inform each individual what they’re part of, and what role they’re expected to play in society. (Different for everyone, but narrative should play a part in telling us where we can find a role. Roles are important because the human mind compasses millennia, but human life is brief. Part of what is destroying us is that the left has taken away everything humans could with honor consider themselves part of and leave for the future.)

The left meanwhile thinks that culture is food, clothing, language and what kind of music you like to listen to, and quaint holiday celebrations. They then proclaim all cultures the same and all subsumed to the great socialist project, (Workers of the world amalgamate! If you like your quaint sheep eyeballs dish you can keep your quaint sheep eyeballs dish.) or you’re a racist, yo. In that last accusation there’s also the accusation that culture is genetic and cannot be changed. They are in a way right while being so wrong they’re not even wrong. Oh, and at the same time they claim trying to change what they conceive of as culture as being “racist” they try to change deep inlaid culture with governmental, top down regulations and incentives, in their deranged and destructive pursuit of creating the new socialist man. Because consistency happens to other people. Oh, and as people in the EU have found out, no, you can’t keep your quaint sheep eyeballs dish. Okay, I made up the sheep eyeballs, but the socialists of the EU have been almost as crazy in Portugal to the point that you’re now only allowed to celebrate the RELIGIOUS aspects of the Saints “festas” (which happen every weekend somewhere not far off, no matter where you are, from Spring to Fall and which used to be one of the binding points of any community.) and that only until the Covidiocy, of course. The little fairs that used to be held at the same time — since…. well, since written memory. I suspect it was going on before Christianity, for that matter. The fairs sold regional goods, there were booths serving local specialties, and there were toys sold at these fairs that I swear had been made by the same families since the middle ages. I’m willing to grant that roller coasters, little airplane rides, bumper cars and also cotton candy were of much more recent vintage, but I’d also bet you there were fun equivalents before then. And look you, I’m the first person to admit that much of what is traditional in Portugal could benefit from being rubbed down with (boiling) lysol, or at least that’s my kids’ opinion of it. But making the place characterless and bland is not in anyone’s best interest, and in my opinion is the cause of “people forgot how to make babies.” (More on that later.)

The problem of cultures is that though we know they change and adapt, we have no idea how to do that to them intentionally. The left THINKS they know how to do that, but they also think humans are infinitely plastic, so you now, they are, what is that word? Oh, yeah, idiots.

The other problem of cultures is that to study them you need accurate recordings done at least week to week, moment to moment being better, and you need to be able to catalogue all the influences on a given culture, and what caused it to go this way or that.

If we had a time machine, or at least a time scope, and also AIs with infinite time and patience, then sociology could become an actual science.

As is, we can study certain aspects of culture with relative clarity from a certain point on. Like, say, from the 1700s. Most of what we can study with no prejudice are physical and economic conditions. And even those, you have to cut through the modern interpretations, mostly Marxist and crazy and go back to the raw numbers. For instance, Dickens — and Marx — howled about the dark satanic mills, and people talk about how WWI destroyed the working class in Europe. But if you actually read contemporary records, or look at similar processes in the world now, you find that the industrial revolution lifted people out of the direst poverty and expanded their horizons, and that — you don’t have to go very far, read Agatha Christie — the complaints of the upper class about the lower classes post WWI is that those dang peasants were no longer willing to go into domestic service for a crust of bread and a corner of the kitchen to sleep in, but were scarpering to the city for factory and shop jobs. Which btw, is a complaint of the upper classes going back to the industrial revolution.

There’s other and more inescapable records: like the fact that people grew more, fatter babies to adulthood. And famines slowly vanished from the west unless brought on and caused by gross governmental malfeasance.

I mean, in historical terms, everyone has been fat, lazy and decadent since America’s settling, at least.

Look, part of why I object to that “good times makes soft men” is because…. How do you tell? No, seriously. Yeah, no. Military enlistment is not a good measure, because we can’t tell why people aren’t joining the army. Sure, it could be because they’re soft pansy-asses. And you’ll find documents saying exactly that.

But here’s the problem: we don’t know why people stop enlisting. I can give you some clues, though. For instance, I’d bet you right now enlistment numbers and quality are falling. Like as of RIGHT this year.

Is it because the amount of soy in our food increased drastically? Or because we’re all so fat and calm and happy?

Well, no. It’s because no one would trust Joe Biden not to send their sons and daughters to fight on the side of the enemies of civilization. And that’s without counting intolerable impositions on the beliefs of the troops, and all sorts of violations of people’s ability to simply be and serve. Which anyone sane can see are starting and already on the menu. In fact, I’ve heard more than one person who’s served with honor and is close to retirement saying that they don’t advise anyone to enlist right now.

But let the left win (They won’t. Please, stop posting walls of text in the comments saying that sure, commies can totes feed themselves and build a thousand years of communism, because it’s bullshit. At best they can take civilization down to the neolithic, and I suspect that’s only in local areas. They don’t understand either human psychology or economics, and economics is a stone cold bitch) and history books in a hundred years will talk about how the decadence and soft living of capitalism took America down, and look, their own sons weren’t willing to defend her.

We can’t know. History is mostly written by twits, and mostly by upper class twits, and often by twits with an ax to grind.

Yes, we all laugh at the complaints from the Romans yelling about how people were decadent because life was too soft. We should. Only the uppermost crust had a soft life. Trust me on this, because I lived in what amounted to Roman culture with a few 19th century refinements, and life is only soft if you think that having to go outside to the bathroom night or day, or live with excrement in a pot under the bed is “soft”; that having to wash your clothes by hand on stone, winter or summer is “soft” and that growing most of what you eat is soft.

Now, thanks to the magic of antibiotics, I didn’t lose as many classmates as mom did, and I guess compared to grandma, who grew up in much tougher times, or even dad, who describes days of “vegetable soup” as the only food, we had it “decadently easy.”

But I think we’re conflating things that have nothing to do with one another. Starving and lacking the werewithal to live; surviving on crusts of bread and having to hoard rags so you don’t freeze, etc. etc. don’t make people strong. Physically they make them small and measurably dumber. And emotionally, it seems to mostly breed serfs.

Yeah, I know “the frontier.” Yes, people at the frontier underwent all those hardships, and it did breed a strong generation or two. But you have to look at that as most of them CHOSE to undergo those hardships. As we saw with the expansion west, in almost living memory, that makes a big difference.

Someone who has more time and has the ability to spend years on the project should sift between colonies created by force — like when they swept London of whores, beggars, travelers and criminals and shipped them to West Virginia, of all places — and those that came willingly and paid to come, and compare the outcomes, both in intangibles (“How are their descendants doing today?”) and in sheer numbers. How many died? How many survived? How productive were those who survived. Even in a country as modern and documented as America, this might be almost impossible to figure out though. Why? Mobility. And people lying. A lot of people lying.

So, while my opinion is just my opinion, and it might actually be impossible to verify — though you can probably “prove” it to the degree that anything of the sort can be proven, absent magic, or a way to see into the past or parallel words. I mean, I could probably have proven it, if I’d been chasing numbers and writing down exact facts for all the decades I’ve spent reading history books. Alas, I haven’t — I’d like to suggest that cultures have a life of their own, and that they react almost like living organisms.

While changing cultures is possible for individuals or small groups, it gets harder the larger the group is, because it’s then more of a self-actuated organism.

And I know I’m explaining this badly, okay. But I’ve undergone culture change, voluntarily, on purpose, on my own. For the individual acculturating feels like going insane, and being asked to do it twice in a life time would probably drive the most grounded of individuals nuts. Unless, of course, the incentive were massive. And even then, they might just pretend. Yes, I have seen (am related to) emigrants who returned and integrated (sort of) in the life of the “motherland.” But I don’t think they’d ever really acculturated besides trying some new foods, learning the language, and maybe wearing their clothes differently. Most of them emigrated as family groups and with intention of returning. (You can tell when people return “before the kids marry in the new country.”) Even then, I’ve been there for some odd and bizarre cultural stutters that they stumble upon without meaning to.

Anyway, you can do it alone. You can even do it as a family, if you decide you’re really going to do it. A lot of people who came here between and after the long war of the 20th century did just this: “We speak English” and “We’ll celebrate the holidays of the new country” and “We’ll fit in as well as we can, even if we really can’t.”

You can do it as a village. Sort of. I’m told that entire Italian (or Irish) villages emigrated en-masse and colonized blocks of New York City. But in that case the culture will change very slowly, and only to the extent young ones move away and marry outside the community. And even then it will take some generations. (And this is why there is no ethnographic difference between mass immigration and invasion, and why we still don’t know if there was actually an “invasion” of the Western Empire of Rome, or a fast trickle of barbarians moving in. Look, yes, I’ve seen the paintings, but I’ve also read the “overwhelmed by mass immigration” books. And, lacking a time machine, I can’t tell you what the truth was, but it could be either or both.)

Things will survive, still, in family culture. And hear me, I don’t mean cute clothing and great food. Only the left thinks anyone would mind that. I mean ways of speaking, and ways of emoting, and what you do when the worst/best happens. For instance, for some reason my husband had no idea he had any German blood. I knew he did, because one of his ancestresses was runaway Pennsylvania Dutch. (She had the same name I did before I changed mine, so MIL told me about her.) But in the …. ah strange constructions that MIL would inflict on English and passed on to my husband, you could still see the German influence. Also in diet and a dozen other habits. My host family was of Italian ancestry, and trust me, even though their parents tried to raise them with no trace of Italian culture, when they got to arguing you’d hear it. And see it. My kids don’t speak a word of Portuguese (okay, maybe a dozen words, mostly swearing. I have a foul mouth when I burn/cut myself in the kitchen) but if you see them arguing, they do not sound like normal Americans, much less like his dad’s Connecticut ancestry. In fact, I used to be afraid the neighbors would think a knife fight was about to break out and call the police. And as we tell older son every day and twice on Sunday “if you’re going to be that fatalistic, make your grandparents happy and learn to sing fados.” (To be fair, he’s very good at singing the blues.)

But those survivals are small and on the whole unimportant, because by all major measures (and it would take a whole other post or ten for me to explain this) we are still an “English” culture, possibly more English than England (which makes perfect sense, when you consider that colonies are always more conservative than the mother land. In fact, that’s how you determine which is a colony and which is the mother land if you find them as shards in the archeological record. And by “conservative” in this case you should read “faithful to the fundamentals of the culture.” For instance, the English tend to be king-killers. The French did it once and got a bad rep, but the English do it cyclically. And we seem to have inherited that.)

Of course, make the mass immigration mass enough and it’s an invasion.

And interesting things happen in invasion.

Look, it’s possible in the future we’ll discover that “culture” is just as much part of being human as the fauna and flora in our gut is part of us being human. This being the case, and culture being very difficult (though not impossible, particularly for individuals) to change, how did we come this far from the fertile crescent, or Gobleki Teppi, or whatever far, far location you choose?

Well, mostly there’s a cultural evolutionary process, known as war, conquest and survival of the fittest culture. (Not without survivals, just like you still have a photo-sensor under the bones of your skull. But that doesn’t affect you, and doesn’t wreck your chances of survival.) I mean, after Romans, Germans, Franks, Moors, Crusaders, Franks again the area of Portugal I come from still celebrates St. John with bonfires and merry making on the street, and in fact reading of the habits in certain areas of England/Ireland makes me giggle. Oh, and the fairy tales, the really old ones where the moral is murky? Are the same in Ireland and the North of Portugal. I’m not saying every contact leaves a trace. But I’m saying when cultures collide, the one that loses still passes a little bit to the future. Mostly through the women.

Look, most of those things we associate with “decadence” mostly because we compare it to the decadence of Rome have zero to do with how hard or soft life is. What they have to do with is the culture having lost confidence. Either because they’ve been “conquered” physically or intellectually.

If you think about it, the evolutionary process for the culture to be taken over by the one that proved itself superior by winning the war (more on how that’s been corrupted, later) is beautiful. Most of the men died in the war, of course. What comes after is that most women become sluts and men become drunkards (or gay. Or bi. Or whatever means they’re not fighting the invaders.) In a generation or two, all the kids are the kids of the invaders, and though the mothers might have taught them one or two words of the old culture, some fairytales, and maybe some songs (which sometimes survive in girl children longer) the culture has BECOME the winning culture.

Now in Rome, arguably, they’d been intellectually conquered by Greece oh, and Egypt and heaven knew what else. Or at least their elites were as oikophobic as ours. So their elites at least behaved like a conquered culture. Hence “decadence.”

On the ground? The people? Depends. I think in urban areas, with a high influx of mass immigration, the story the people told themselves about themselves became incoherent long before the “fall” and caused some of the same issues. In the far flung colonies? Well, let’s say there’s some debate on whether Rome fell. My dad, if you catch him unawares, still defines himself by the culture of the Roman Republic, at least as understood and transmitted over the centuries. (SO sanitized, btw. Going through the Pompei exhibit, it was like Portugal when I grew up, but sexually insane. I mean, who the heck has a painting of children being screwed by monkeys in the living room. Outside our wealthiest elites, that is? So, in case you wonder, yes Christianity does make a difference.)

We’re kind of experiencing that, because our “elites” that control the mass media have been conquered by socialism for 100 years. Which is why we’re bearing a lot of the markers of a conquered culture, but honestly? It’s not how well we live. It’s the fact we’re being told to deny everything we think/feel/the way we do things in favor of the conquering culture.

And yeah, socialism can survive for a while. Though it too, like the terminal form — communism — can’t really feed itself/create anything. Without an America to cannibalize, Europe would be a lot poorer/more f*cked up. But still, they are, par excellence, the “conquered culture” with all the syndrome. Oh. One thing I didn’t add: if the men aren’t all dead, birth rate (and marriage rate) plummets. It did so even before contraceptives, and no one knows why. It’s possible there was rampant infanticide. Or that it’s some psychological mechanism that turns off fertility.

Again, look, when cultures clash the normal thing is for one of them to become non-functional and become subsumed to the “winning” culture.

Which is why socialists/statists are playing with fire. Let’s face it, even here, for 100 years, people have tried to impose cultural attitudes/deep beliefs/ways of living from above, and change them arbitrarily. (And for the mentally handicapped, no I’m not talking of the civil war. I’m talking since the beginning of the twentieth century with the mentality that we could have “scientific” governance. People were yanked about on what to eat, when to sleep, what to do. And mass media facilitated massive distribution of these decrees from on high, that applied to the most minute parts of individual life.)

I think our back brains understand that as “We were invaded, it’s time to die.”

To the extent America has a fighting chance at all, it is because we’ve always been fairly contrary and because the blogsphere gave us the ability to know we’re not alone.

And the problem with letting the “top down” culture win, is that socialism is death, either fast or slow. It’s “being invaded” forever, and just causes people to give up and die.

That’s what we’re facing. That’s what we’re up against. They can’t win in the sense of “last” but they can win in the sense of destroying human civilization more utterly than the imagined apocalypse of nuclear war.

And this ladies and gentlemen is why the idea if we just endure hard times we’ll emerge stronger p*sses me off. I don’t think those two things are even on the same axis. Correlation is not causation.

I also don’t know if there is some relation to fast rate of change and “symptoms of decadence”. It’s possible we’re changing our environment too fast for even us. Note that what I said above about clash of cultures seems to be designed to minimize the time of instability and achieve a new normal. That might not be possible with constant innovation and change, even if good. And no, I don’t know what that does to the back brain or the culture.

Frontier societies are a whole other ball of wax, and self-select to a great extent. Do we need one? Probably. Heinlein thought we did, and who am I to argue. (Also biologically all organisms extend their range or die.)

However the decadence imposed by seeming arbitrary dictats from above, about which the individual can do nothing will get in the way of our next leap to the frontier, because that one needs civilization and scientific knowledge.

So, let’s concentrate on what needs to change, and what needs to stop. And if y’all want to make it to the stars, that is certainly not “comfort” or “ability to treat diseases” or “babies growing to adulthood” or “people being largely well fed.”

What needs to change is us being treated like a conquered people. And responding like one.

The so called elites are stupid. The system they want to impose doesn’t work and has never worked elsewhere. Their claim of being “scientific” should (if nothing else, and you weren’t paying attention before) in 2021 be laughed out of the public square.

Let’s tell them where to put it.

Causes by John Smith

Causes by John Smith

As inspired (or triggered, anyway) by Sarah’s post “Everywhere”…

Sarah said: “Causes leading up to…” [electric boogaloo II, the releasing of the Kraken.] [Leading up to Romania – SAH]

Yes, yes indeed. Causes.

Item: went out to do some business today, stopped for sushi, went to Home Depot to get a lawn chair.

At the business, I had to call the company and have the person I was seeing come out into the parking lot to get me. Then I was escorted to a boardroom through empty halls, and seated across from the gentleman I went to see, separated by a large sheet of Lexan thick enough to stop a bullet. Masks mandatory, of course. This is Ontario, you know.

Left there, went to Fortinos supermarket to get sushi. I waltzed into the store, chose my meal, paid for it and left, as normal. Masks, of course.

Went to Home Depot. It was one of the only stores open in a sea of Big Boxes with empty parking lots. Only the outdoor section was open, the rest of the store was closed off with crime-scene tape. No lawn furniture in the outdoor plant section, of course, so wasted trip.

This shit has been going on since March 2020. Even the dumbest hick in the world can see that if I can shop freely at Fortino’s and Costco, keeping Home Depot mostly closed is lunacy. Closing other “non-essential” stores is double lunacy. Even the most ridiculous Karen out there can see that a sheet of Lexan in the middle of a boardroom table will do exactly nothing to stop an airborne virus.

Item: vaccines. Canada doesn’t have any. We are not making them here, and there are no plans to make them here. Really. Meanwhile, you can’t turn on a TV or a radio (or drive down the road, there’s electronic signs) without having a GET VACCINATED!!!!!!!11!!!! message screamed at you.

Item: immigration. While screaming that people are ignoring the lockdown rules and blaming the public for the continued spread of WuFlu, and braying that Double Mutant Indian WuFlu is a thing… the government is letting flights from India, S. Africa, Europe and etc. land in Canada with no testing of passengers, no quarantine, no nothing. But a Canadian flying back from Florida? QUARANTINE!!!! The dumbest hick in the world can see that’s insane.

Item: doctor friends in Florida say the WuFlu is not much of a thing there. Florida is God’s Waiting Room, remember? All the old geezers in North America go to Florida.

Item: housing prices. Most expensive in North America, right here in Canada. Higher than Silicon Valley. Higher than London England. The federal minister in charge of the housing portfolio admitted, on TV, that Canada will keep seeing these highest ever prices, because they want to encourage foreign buyers to buy shit in Canada. So rich guys from Germany and Arabia and China load up on Canadian real estate while Canadians are priced right out of the market.

Item: fuel costs are going up-up-up here in the Demented Dominion. I see ever-increasing numbers of rural houses with impressive wood piles out here in Hooterville. Mine’s not impressive, but I have one. What do you think it means for a society like ours when people start going back to burning wood for heat? Are those guys feeling optimistic about the future?

Item: In the Toronto Sun today, this little thing here.

Bill C-10, currently before the House of Commons, would give the government the power to regulate any content you generate and post online. Your video ranting on Twitter, dancing on TikTok, or pontificating on Facebook would be treated as a radio or television broadcaster.

 Yes, the Trudeau government’s answer to all of the above is to shut down the ability to comment on the Internet.

Fix the vaccine situation? No. Make The Phantom shut up about it? Yes. That’s what they’re going to do.
I suspect that this bill is directed at Rebel News, which has been exposing and embarrassing Trudeau and company for quite some time now. They managed to get Sun TV kicked off the airwaves, but it turned into Rebel on the internet and the CRTC can’t get them there. But they will come for The Phantom Soapbox soon enough.

Item: Have you guys looked at the Nebula and Hugo nominees? NK Jemisin’s entry basically calls for the elimination of Whiteness (that’s being generous, she may really be after the elimination of Whites.) There’s a few more equally bent in the nominations. Meanwhile they’re ripping down billboards advertising Harry Potter because JK Rowling mentioned that women are women and men aren’t.

Sarah said: “And the problem is because they have captured the centers of information that they, themselves listen to and believe, they are completely unaware that the rest of us are looking at reality and going “you’re out of your minds.”

I’ve been looking at gun control since Kim Campbell’s bill C-17 in 1991 and saying that they’re out of their minds ever since I started. It is the finest in head/ass insanity, propped up by lazy assholes lying with charts and calling it “science.” I’ve caught them at it so many times I don’t even try any more, there’s no point. You can’t have a scientific discussion with a deliberate liar.

I’m late to the party. Barry Goldwater was screaming about this shit in 1964.(Side note, nobody ever said anything about it in Canada until lately. The control of the media here is 100%.)

But here we are, 2021. Now Joe Average Canadian, the biggest, thickest hick in the world, finally sees what Goldwater was screaming in 1964 and what The Phantom has been saying since 1991. The government acts always and only for the convenience and prosperity of… the government. Joe Average Canadian finally understands that he is a SUCKER and has been played his whole f-ing life by a bunch of scammers. Played like a Stradivarius.

Joe Average Canadian is pissed.

But he’s not going to do shit. He’s going to sit there, angry, and do nothing. Until he gets hungry, and it is cold out, and there’s no fuel for his furnace, and there’s no food at the store. Then he will finally get off his huge pampered ass and go complain.

Oh and by the way. In case anyone didn’t know, or forgot, and for all you -idiot- Lefties out there who lurk here at Sarah’s: Michael Foucault was a PEDO and child rapist. A prolific one. No, you don’t get a link, Lefties. Look it up.

Stop Singing Fados

I’m getting sick and tired of that quote “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” G. Michael Hopf.

I’m not calling the author stupid, mind. I mean, he has to be leftist enough to have gotten push from the establishment trad pub, and insane enough to write post-apoc fiction, but he’s obviously a marketing genius with that quote. The quote, however, is dumber than hell.

Worse than dumber than hell, it’s fatuous and the kind of dellusion someone will acquire when he looks at Roman history from A LONG WAY OFF and then decides this is some kind of law of nature. It is not a coincidence that I have seen the idiotic pronouncement attributed to Edward Gibbon, because that’s exactly the sort of person who’d make up that kind of pronouncement, looking back on a civilization he mostly got partial accounts of, and a lot of it through the descriptions of the lives of its prominent citizens, a lot of it done by the equivalent of our yellow press.

And right now several of you are staring at the screen in wrath and shock and going, “but Sarah, how can you deny that great wisdom.”

Very easily, and if you think about it, you will too. Part of what our side is resting on, when believing that fresh piece of bull crap is “WWII was a tough time, as was the depression, and it built men who went to the moon.”

Sure. Go ahead. cherry pick the data to fit your assumptions. What are you? A leftist?

Human societies and humans themselves are complex, difficult things to analyze. NONE of it is easy. And none of it is short and pithy enough to fit that kind of sentence. It is not a coincidence that the man writes post-apocalyptic fic, which, in general, is one of the most wanking branches of science fiction.

Yeah, I know, Americans talk about the depression and are like “we were forged in fire.” But you guys, who rest your understanding of the world on American history and that kind of hazy, unfocused idea of Roman history that comes from a great distance and scholars poring over it have no clue.

Yeah, the great depression was terrible, and it left scars in the collective psyche. Tell me, though, how many hundred thousand died in that famine? In fact, since Jamestown, how many Americans have starved to death or had to resort to cannibalism?

Guys, in historic terms, America should be the softest, most pussified country to ever walk the Earth. FROM ITS BEGINNING. Of course it’s not, and there’s a reason for that, that is a fair constant (can be destroyed, but Lord, that will take another 100 years) and has nothing to do with the pseudo-cycle above. (And yes, I’ll talk about it in a minute.)

In historic terms, all Americans have lived in “good times.” Most Europeans too, for the last 150 to 200 years, except for the long war of Europe.

I mean, let’s be honest and examine that quote in the light of the 20th century, shall we? Sure, Americans had the Great Depression and sent people over to die on foreign shores. Bully. Good for us, even if in retrospect, looking at it one wonders if WWI was a good idea. Once the dye were cast, sure, WWII was inevitable. It was really just the continuation of WWI and you could no more stop it, and stop us putting an end to it than you could stop a ball from rolling down a steep slope. And even if going over to fight and die in WWI was the result of a president who was, let’s face it, morally repulsive and authoritarian.

Meanwhile, France lost all its young men, twice. It starved. I mean really starved. We don’t have recorded instances of cannibalism, but I’d be shocked if it hadn’t occurred “a little bit, all over.” Its fields and villages were destroyed.

Do you know why every European man of the twenties and thirties smoked? Because everyone who fought the war in “Flanders” (and French) fields smoked to dull their sense of smell, so they couldn’t smell the piles of other young men rotting, just over the rise. Some of those fields, when you plow them still turn up uniform buttons and other metal bits with each plow full of Earth. Oh, and let’s not forget, whatever they grow on those fields is mostly grown on the results of decomposing human flesh.

Anyway Belgium got hammered too. Hammered so hard that according to a relative who lived there a long time, they have the genetic defects of extreme inbreeding. (I don’t know, never having researched it.)

So, you know, surely when WWII ended those two countries, where the kids on the streets starved, and saw death up close and personal were the toughest people in G-d’s green Earth, right? Snort, giggle. No. Really. Snort, giggle some more.

For that matter, if you look at countries where life is and has always been hard and people live on the edge of starvation: most of Africa, India, the vast ridiculous hell that is China, you would think it created really tough men who would build– No? Yeah, weird, isn’t it? Mostly hard times seem to create subservient, desperate people who will conform to whatever those in authority ask of them, without daring to say “boo” back.

Which is why the former East Germany is more likely to have authorities ready to stomp on your neck, Russia — a place where life has always been hellofhard — is full of peasants under whatever the tzar calls himself, and of all the countries who were put through the hell of communism, only Poland shows a little bit of a spine.

It’s almost as though hard times break people. Which is why totalitarian regimes bring hard times on as soon as possible. And soft times make people uppity and likely to talk back.

Um…. who would have thunk it? Only someone who has read history to any depth and is not going off the rose-colored glasses of conservatives who imagine the forties and fifties as some kind of golden paradise for America.

Look, sure, we were prosperous then, and it was an era of America dominance, but I’ll be honest with you, kiddies: It’s still an era of American dominance, and it will be as long as we want it. There are reasons for that. The fact that right now America is using its dominance to have protracted nervous breakdown and take the rest of the world along for the ride is not proof of anything, except that other countries will follow us, even when we lose our way. And we’re still prosperous. Though the Junta is trying to stomp that out.

We were going to have our lunch eaten, in order, since WWII by Germany, Japan and China. Except that none of those can or will supplant us as world leaders, because we are something quite new in the face of the Earth. What we are and what we do makes us capable of innovation, innovative thought, and incredible leaps of production (the Junta is having a hell of a time digging a hole even we can’t dig ourselves out of, and I’m not sure they’ll manage. For one, they won’t have very long.) And what we are and what we do makes us a threat for every old country in the world, which is why they try so hard to pull us down. (My guess is that all they’ll manage is to mutate us into something that scares them even more, but I am trying very hard to make sure it’s not something we hate.)

But for the record, the thirties, forties and fifties were not some great conservative wonderland. Just because the left claims it was, and keeps imagining they live in movie-fifties, it don’t make it so. They were in fact profoundly statist and regimented, and as close as America has come to communofascism: until now.

And all that quote does is convince people they’re caught in some great wheel of suffering, and must be punished for being “too prosperous” (in WHOSE opinion?) and too “soft” so their grandkids can be great. WTF, people? I was the one who was raised with fados. There is no predetermined tragic future, and if there were, there would be nothing gloriously tragic in it, and no virtue in enduring so maybe some time in the future — BRIEFLY — something great can emerge.

Your Dogma has thrown up Karma all over the carpet, and the fact none of it accords to lived reality makes me want to collectively bitchslap you so hard you taste next Wednesday. Which I guess is what this is.

And stop sniveling and coming back with adolescent bravado “Well, then, I guess history makes no difference.” Most of you have more degrees than college professors, and you’re not stupid.

Of course, history makes a difference. It shapes culture. But culture, like human evolution, is very slow to change. Oh, sure, it can change. And it changes faster than glacial-slow gene selection. (You are basically your ancestors, except for some very small differences. Your great grandfather, moved at birth — meaning he got decent nutrition and was raised here — here would be a normal 21st century man. So would your ggggggrandfather back in the eighteenth century. the culture has changed, not the genes.)

How slow does culture change? Well, as far as I can tell a lot of it survives even massive invasion and change in PEOPLE. For instance — and weirdly that’s what I was going to write about today, but it got tangled with this topic, so I guess I’ll do it tomorrow — the English are a violent people prone to civil wars and revolutions, and it’s amazing how much of that we’ve retained when at last half the people in the US at the time of the revolution had a good dose of non-English blood, and it’s gotten more so since.

The only really good way to change a culture is to take its people captive, change their language, forbid the use of their rituals. And yet, often, it still comes through, depending on the people you took and how strong their culture is. (Stares in Babylonian captivity.)

Yes, there are events in history that determine the character of the people. And they tend to reinforce each other.

But this idea that men are changed — rapidly — by their circumstances, and can be molded “soft” or “hard” depending on the times (and not the culture) is caca. It’s puerile. It’s unworthy of thinking human beings. It’s ABOVE ALL Marxist.

The Marxists believe humans are empty vessels into which upbringing and conditions (material conditions) pour everything, so that each human is a widget, and given the right (imposed from above) environment, the next generation will be perfect “Soviet Men.”

They’ve yet to manage it, though they’ve managed to break several generations, in several cultures. Arguably those that were already in a way pre-broken.

However, I will give the creator of that quote that he probably didn’t realize it was, in itself, designed to breed apathy and fatalism. And that he PROBABLY (maybe) knows it’s bullshit.

But it makes great sales copy.

Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

Book Promo

*Note these are books sent to us by readers/frequenters of this blog.  Our bringing them to your attention does not imply that we’ve read them and/or endorse them, unless we specifically say so.  As with all such purchases, we recommend you download a sample and make sure it’s to your taste.  If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM PETER GRANT: Take The Star Road.

Nineteen-year-old Steve Maxwell just wants to get his feet on the star road to find a better homeworld. By facing down Lotus Tong thugs, he earns an opportunity to become a spacer apprentice on a merchant spaceship, leaving the corruption and crime of Earth behind. Sure, he needs to prove himself to an older, tight-knit crew, but how bad can it be if he keeps his head down and the decks clean?

He never counted on the interstellar trade routes having their own problems, from local wars to plagues of pirates – and the jade in his luggage is hotter than a neutron star. Steve’s left a world of troubles behind, only to find a galaxy of them ahead…

FROM MALCOLM JAMESON (rediscovered by D. Jason Fleming) : Bullard of the Space Patrol

After 60 years out of print, here at last are the classic tales of John Bullard’s rise through the ranks of the space patrol!

From his first posting as a cadet on the Pollux to the ranks of Admiral, enjoy the pulpy fun as Bullard battles dunderheads within his own officer’s ranks, as well as politicians and other poltroons… To say nothing of the outright thugs and dastardly villains of the enemy side!

FROM BLAKE SMITH: The First Adventure of Sir Garamond de Crecy.

Sir Garamond- Gerry, to his friends- has been knighted for less than a month, and he’s already found his first great quest: saving the beautiful and helpless Princess Alyssia of Ollandra from the dragon that is holding her in dreadful captivity. Or so he thinks…
A lighthearted short story.

FROM JAMES Y. BARTLETT: Year of the Sheep: A Novel of the Highland Clearances

Scotland 1805
The landlord has decreed that the people of the straths and glens must leave their homes to make way for the coming of the blackface sheep and their herders.
The people of the glens, who have lived peacefully there for almost a thousand years, do not want to go.

That was the central conflict of the Highland Clearances, a sad period in Scottish history. James Y. Bartlett’s sweeping historical novel about the Clearances in Sutherland in Scotland’s Far North, focuses in on one important—and historically accurate—fact:

Both the landlord and the people being told to leave were women.

Elizabeth Gordon was the 19th chief of Clan Sutherland, and was married to the wealthiest man in all of Great Britain. The clansmen she told to leave their homes in Glencullen were mostly women, as all the men in the village had been sent off to Europe to fight against Bonaparte.

But those women, inspired by the village shaman and healer, a white witch called Mute Meg; organized by the schoolteacher Anna Kenton; and led by the almost shape-shifting outlaw known as Billy Hanks, decided to make their stand.
Year of the Sheep tells the story of this painful conflict, from the beginning at the Battle of Culloden Moor, through the chaotic events of the French Revolution and into the peaceful glens of Scotland, where the fires unleashed by the changing times threaten to end a way of life that endured over many centuries.

In the hands of noted storyteller and novelist James Y. Bartlett (author of the popular Hacker Golf Mystery series), this story of the Highland Clearances comes alive. There are no happy endings in any tale of the Clearances, but Year of the Sheep will entertain, inspire and evoke memories of a way of life that has gone forever.

ALMA T. C. BOYKIN: Elizabeth of Starland.

Stubborn as a mule? No, stubborn AND her mule.

Colonial Plantation LTD. abandoned ColPlat XI, writing the planet off as a tax loss after a series of severe Carrington-type events. Now, four hundred years later, Laurence V of Frankonia wants to write Elizabeth von Sarmas out of his kingdom, but like her Lander ancestors, Elizabeth refuses to roll over and die.

To survive, she needs to cross the continent, thread her way through a holy war, and find friends in the Eastern Empire—an impossible task for a sheltered gentlewoman. Or is it? Never underestimate a woman with a mission and a mule.

FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Witchfinder.

In Avalon, where the world runs on magic, the king of Britannia appoints a witchfinder to rescue unfortunates with magical power from lands where magic is a capital crime. Or he did. But after the royal princess was kidnapped from her cradle twenty years ago, all travel to other universes has been forbidden, and the position of witchfinder abolished. Seraphim Ainsling, Duke of Darkwater, son of the last witchfinder, breaks the edict. He can’t simply let people die for lack of rescue. His stubborn compassion will bring him trouble and disgrace, turmoil and danger — and maybe, just maybe, the greatest reward of all.

FROM JAMES YOUNG: Against the Tide Imperial: The Struggle for Ceylon.

Well, here’s to hope that my gamble is correct. For if I am wrong, I may truly regret this decision.Vice Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi, commander of the Kido Butai

July 1943. When the United Kingdom was torn asunder under a hail of German firebombs and nerve gas, the distant outpost of Ceylon was an afterthought for both Allies and Axis. Now, one year after King George VI’s death, the small island off of India becomes center stage for a titanic confrontation.

For Vice Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi, the Commonwealth forces on the island sit astride Japan’s sole reliable source of oil. With the Dutch East Indies’ refineries damaged during the Imperial Japanese conquest, Axis crude from the Persian Gulf and rubber from Ceylon’s plantations will be critical to the Japanese Navy’s ability to continue the war into 1944. Yamaguchi knows challenging Vice Admiral Andrew Cunningham may end poorly. Still, the Kido Butai is undefeated, and with good planning the Commonwealth’s Far East Fleet will have to face Yamaguchi’s carriers alone. With the Empire’s lifeblood on the line, the Japanese must roll the dice.

Across the Indian Ocean, Lieutenant Eric Cobb is  bewildered to be operating with the Commonwealth against Axis forces in Africa. Along with an Asiatic Fleet contingent that includes Captain Jacob Morton‘s Houston, Vice Admiral Fletcher’s forces set out to rampage from Madagascar to Mogadishu. Unfortunately for the Allies’ plan, the IJN’s unexpected attack forces them to immediately respond.

When established foes clash in a wholly unexpected location, brave men and violent execution will determine whether the Commonwealth holds Ceylon…or succumbs to the Tide Imperial.

Against the Tide Imperial
 is the third novel of the Usurper’s War series. As Allied and Axis warriors are faced with a completely different conflict than the one planned for decades, their actions will chart a new course for the Greatest Generation.

“Great stuff. Authentic, plausible, and action packed.”-Taylor Anderson

FROM CELIA HAYES: THE QUIVERA TRAIL

The Quivera Trail is intended as a sequel to the Adelsverein Trilogy,
 following the second generation and Dolph Becker courting and marrying Isobel Lindsay-Groves. Desperate to marry, Isobel and her personal maid, Jane Goodacre embark at Southampton for a new life in a new land — a place entirely alien, when compared to the gentle hills and established estates of England. Slowly but surely, the two women begin exploring their new country … and what they themselves are capable of achieving.

Dolph Becker’s uncle Hansi Richter, the ‘cattle baron’ as he is now called, has plans for Dolph and Isobel to establish a new ranch near the Palo Duro, in the
Panhandle region. Once the winter refuge of the Comanche, the Palo Duro
is now open to ranchers and settlers like their neighbor, Charles Goodnight. Dolph and Hansi Richter have an English investor for this new  property – but after a long-trail drive to get there and the labor of establishing it from the ground , they discover that not all dangers of the frontier are banished. The Becker and Richter families are soon embroiled in a vendetta with a vicious rustler gang.

Jane, meanwhile, finds a new outlet in teaching school – and a romantic attraction to Dolph Becker’s artist brother, Sam. She makes friends with Lizzie Johnson, school-teacher and cattle baroness in her own right, and with the formidable matriarch of the family, Magda Vogel Becker. Can  the friendship between Isobel and Jane remain unbroken in the face of these new possibilities?

FROM CEDAR SANDERSON: Pixie for Hire: Omnibus Edition

He’s a pixie for hire, and she’s just another job.

Lom is a bounty hunter, paid to bring magical creatures of all descriptions back Underhill, to prevent war with humans should they discover the strangers amongst them. Bella is about to find out she’s a real life fairy princess, but all she wants to do is live peacefully in Alaska, where the biggest problems are hungry grizzly bears. He has to bring her in. It’s nothing personal, it’s his job…

Lom lay dying. Bella was tasked with not only the job she never wanted, but the one she did. Could she keep Lom alive long enough for him to come to the rescue when their kingdom needed them? And what did Raven, mysterious trickster spirit and honorary uncle to Bella, want with them? If the threat was big enough to have the trickster worried, Bella knew she needed to have Lom at her side. Underhill might look like a soap-bubble kingdom, but Bella and Lom knew there was a gritty underside. Why else would fairyland need a dark man willing to carry a big gun and be the Pixie for Hire?

This omnibus edition includes the full text of all three books in the Pixie for Hire trilogy: Pixie Noir, Trickster Noir, and Dragon Noir. With a new author’s foreword, you’ll be introduced to the books and then plunge into the world Underhill.

FROM PAM UPHOFF: Double Dragon.

Lieutenant Scarlet Magana was trained as ship’s crew, but it’s a good thing she also had dirt-side scouting training . . .

A distant planet. A damaged hyperspace colony ship. Lieutenant Magana and the rest of the crew discover that not only are they not the first arrivals . . . they may well be the third.

And then there are the dragons . . . and a serial killer.

FROM BECKY R. JONES: Academic Magic

Zoe has found her dream job at a small liberal arts college teaching the history of Medieval witchcraft and magic. Academic life is exactly what she expected it to be…until the squirrels stop by to talk with her and her department chair and best friend turn out to be mages.

Zoe discovers a world of magic and power she never knew existed. She and other faculty mages race to stop a coven from raising a demon on the winter solstice while simultaneously grading piles of final exams and reading the tortured prose of undergraduate term papers. But first, she must learn to master her new-found powers.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: CHIEF

Janet and John Edit RNA – by Francis Turner

Janet and John Edit RNA – by Francis Turner

A.k.a. John Ringo is a prophet and probably about as well appreciated as Cassandra and the various biblical prophets in their own country.

Mr Ringo did a speech/facebook post almost 10 years ago called “The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse”, which is depressing and which you should go read. I was reminded of that post when this UPI story popped up at Instapundit recently.

‘Universal’ coronavirus vaccine may protect against variants, common cold

By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter

An experimental COVID-19 vaccine could potentially provide universal protection against future COVID-19 variants as well as other coronaviruses — maybe even the ones responsible for the common cold.

This experimental vaccine takes another tack. Researchers genetically engineer E. coli bacteria, removing the parts that make people sick and adding the coronavirus spike protein target to the surface of the bacteria.

The bacteria are then killed off and injected into the person or animal, where the immune system recognizes it as an invader and mounts a defense. The bacteria itself prompts the immune response, rather than something produced by human cells.

“All that you need to do that is you take your bacteria, you grow it and then you inactivate it with a little bit of formaldehyde, and that’s your vaccine,” Zeichner said.

Genetically editing E.Coli is something I know a fair amount about because about 20 years ago that’s what the startup I was working for was doing. We modified the bacterium so that it created interesting enzymes that could be used to create drug pre-cursors and the like. If we’d known anything about viruses and the need to create vaccines we could have created this one just as easily. At the time it was a moderately fiddly process to get the modified DNA to work, our scientists were exceptionally able and got the process working most of the time. These days it’s something that can be done by a moderately competent lab tech with 95% reliability. More to the point the equipment needed to do the whole thing now fits on a single lab bench and there’s no need for complicated sterile environments and the like.

The article mentions that a 1500 liter vat could make correctly modified e.coli very very cheaply and that is absolutely correct, all you need is a bit of warmth, water and some nutrients (sugars and minerals) and a week or so for the bacteria to reproduce to eat most of the nutrients (but not all, if they eat all then they die prematurely and that’s NOT GOOD for QA). You then filter the bacteria out using a large coffee filter (well OK a slightly better grade filter than that but not much), add the formaldehyde to kill them quickly and bottle the result which you then store in the fridge. You could, almost as easily, create a continuous process that pulled out liters of concentrated bacteria every hour at one end while adding new nutrient at the other. Once you had this going the cost of the process would be similar to the cost of brewed beer (i.e. well under $0.10/liter in bulk and you’d be able to make several doses (10? more?) per liter so the raw cost per dose would be under a cent) and the cost of packaging and distribution would be greater by orders of magnitude than the cost of making the vaccine.

Assuming the vaccination bit works, this really is trivial to produce in bulk with today’s technology and given that killed whole-cell vaccines have been a thing for a century or so we know that it’s going to be safe (as long as you actually kill all the bacteria – see the Cutter incident with the Salk polio vaccine). In fact if you copy this for other viral families then this will allow us to create vaccines for most viral diseases. You just need to find the common bit in the viral family to express on the E.Coli outer membrane and the DNA needed to get E.Coli to reproduce with that change. Given that the E.Coli genome is one of the best known to science once the scientific research that explains how to create the Coronavirus spike protein has been published any halfway competent PhD student will be able to modify it to see how effective it is for some other viral disease.

In a decade or so, presuming this and/or some similar efforts work, I would therefore expect that most people will be vaccinated against most know viral diseases (from Ebola and Wuflu down to the cold) and the cost will be something like $1 per person for the lot.

That’s the good news.

But Mr Ringo was predicting bad things, and so do I or at least I want to warn about the possibility of bad things. So let’s think how things could go wrong.

There’s the obvious failure to properly kill the bacteria. Now, unlike injecting live polio, injecting live E.Coli probably isn’t going to lead to death, but it’s not a good thing and especially when we get to the point that the immunizations are given to children it’s likely to cause serious side-effects. It could also result in the GM strain getting out into wild where it could mix and mutate with other produce interesting hybrids.

This won’t necessarily be a problem in the developed world because the QA processes in place should catch this kind of failure before the vaccines get distributed, but in other parts of the world that is not necessarily the case and once a hybrid strain gets out it can (will) spread worldwide. Note that both the Russian and Chinese wuflu vaccines have been notably less effective than the four western ones and one wonders how much of that is due to QA not catching errors like the one in the US where some morons mixed the up AZ & J&J vaccine ingredients and thereby trashed several million doses.

But then that kind of accidental error is not the real issue – the real issue is a deliberate different modification of E.Coli. Recall that some E.Coli strains are a normal part of the microbiome in your digestive tract. The question to ask is not, how can this vaccine effort go wrong? but rather, what have Chicom/Russian/other research facilities already done to modify E.Coli? and what happens when those E.Coli are released? Someone who brought in a vial of live modified E.Coli stuck them in a 100l tank with the right heat/nutrients and then caused the output of that to be spread in the misters of various supermarkets could cause a lot of fun. Precisely what would depend on the genetic modifications, but while zombification probably wouldn’t be one, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

As I know from my own former career, it’s not too hard to create E.Coli that produces pretty much any enzyme you want, and quite possibly any number of non enzymatic chemicals. So you get this E.Coli living in your stomach and it produces some kind of slow acting poison or something that (say) converted vitamin A to something useless. Then you and everyone else exposed would gradually go blind. Figuring out that this was caused by a mutant E.Coli would be a pretty long term project and in the mean time you have thousands of people who need intravenous injections of Vitamin A.

That’s the subtle attack, but you could go for the less subtle version. If, for example, the Chicoms really wanted to get rid of the Uighurs the right e.coli distributed in the rations could do the trick nicely. As John Ringo notes, if done correctly, it could attack something that Uighurs are genetically susceptible to but Han Chinese are not.

But then there’s the problem of evolution and the related problem of accidental release of it where it wasn’t meant to be released. E.Coli is a remarkably adaptive bacterium and the targeted bioweapon is likely to evolve to one that is less targeted. So once it’s wiped out most of the Uighurs it might evolve to wipe out lots of other humans too. And this assumes that the developers of the mutant E.Coli got the genetic susceptibility right in the first place which is likely not as easy as the developers of such a mutation might hope for. What this means is that if someone develops a mutant poisonous E.Coli as a weapon it is likely to spread widely far beyond the target population. (See also rumors about the origin of Wuflu and note how THAT bug has mutated in the last year)

The final problem is what happens in another 20 years when the Moore’s law improvements to Genetic Engineering take the current lab bench sized equipment and turn it into something the size of a food processor. At this point creating your own strain of E.Coli is the sort of thing high-school students do as a final year project. And this is where John Ringo’s warning really hits home, because now we see the pretty much inevitable release of thousands of GE strains of E.Coli into the wide world where they can mix with each other and more normal strains to produce who knows what. Fun times.

The only good news is that the techniques that have led to the current Wuflu vaccines can be used just as easily to counter all the plots of the mad mullahs and other would be killers and that, as with technology in general, there are a lot more smart people on the good (or at least the “don’t want to kill everyone”) side than on the genocide.

*Francis asked I add this link:


Brazil rejects Sputnik V vaccine, says it’s tainted with replicating cold virus. – SAH*

The Measure of Man*

And here we go with IQ again, and how incredibly predictive it is for…. everything.

And here I go saying “Not that you can see it in reality. And anyway, who do you trust?”

Look, it’s not that you know you’re “smarter” than most people. If you’re a regular on this blog, this feeling has been with you forever. It’s more “what does ‘smarter’ mean?”

Most of us on this blog think faster, more accurately, or at least have more tendency to be correct in our analysis (not always. I giggled at the quote Mary put in about the thinking man and the feeling man. As though we’re only one of those. Humans are both, and there are thoughts we can’t think without disintegrating. Different for everyone, of course, but the most addled human is intellectually right sometimes, and the most thoughtful will be wrong. It’s what humans are, right?)

We’ve known — partly because of public schooling, which — btw — has introduced a bunch of distortions into human thinking and civilization some of which worry me greatly, because …. well, sometimes there isn’t a RIGHT answer; there is no way to do the “work right and succeed” in about 90% of life; and heck, no someone more educated and older than you doesn’t always have the “right” answer. I suspect that’s the origin of “trust person in charge” in our psyches. Or at least it has been reinforced. But that’s a whole post, and that’s not this post — anyway, we’ve known since we entered school that we were faster, more creative, more capable than our classmates. (As kids, this probably also had to do with our nervous system developing, not more rapidly but weirdly. So we had capabilities our classmates didn’t have.)

Some of us didn’t have to learn to study until some ridiculous level of education, like college. I did have to learn SOME study skills in 8th grade because they put me in something that was like a proto IB. I later on found out I had more than Freshman-in-college knowledge of math, physics, chemistry and … well, everything we studied which was a lot. This was inflected on two forms, not the entire class. But to stay afloat I had to learn to study. The amount of things they poured into our heads those 2 years saw me through the second year of college IN MY SPECIALTY. To this day I don’t know if the experiment was to see how much you could teach gifted kids, or an attempt to make troublemakers drop out. The one thing I’ll tell you is that my “form” (that’s how you study in Europe, 20 some, or in our case 32 people who go through every class together) and our rival form had all been the best students in their previous forms, forever. Oh, and also that we were all born trouble makers. How much trouble makers? Well…. We broke up sponsored demonstrations (in solidarity with communists in Africa. I wish I were joking.) And we once hacked the electrical system of the school. And other things. Most of them stupid and harmless.

But after that I didn’t really need to study till I hit post-grad levels.

And I don’t think I ever actually stressed at an intellectual task until I had to write a novel in two weeks. And then I realized it was easier — but that’s another story.

So, it’s normal of course for most of us to value IQ — a lot of us do really well at it, and we know we’re smart and capable, so of course we do — but it’s also important to realize how weirdly it fits into patterns of success and failure. And its limitations, as the limitations of EVERYTHING THAT MEASURES HUMANS.

(*A good place as any to say that “Man” above stands for “Human” but “Human” does not sound as good as “Man” and that by ancient and accepted linguistic tradition of our people (though not of all people’s there are languages in which the words used for humans are all sex-neutral. Humans are weird) “Man” stands for all humans. Don’t like it? Too bad, so sad. After bullshit like womyn and latinx and other linguistic abominations, I am done. Not an inch. You’re not going to achieve any kind of equality of women — and why would women want to be equal, anyway? And to whom? — by raping language. You’re just going to achieve a bastardization of concepts. Shut up. Adults are talking. They’re not at home to the tantrums of people who don’t understand symbolism and that symbols aren’t the thing.)

There is a joke — oh, heavens, I HOPE it’s a joke — in Portuguese that goes something like “Could you eat a whole cow?” to which the answer is “Only with a lot of bread to push it down.”

You know, I’m not sure it’s a joke. Like many cultures recently out of agrarian subsistence, Portuguese EAT. Older son says that oncologic patients who have trouble gaining/retaining weight on chemo should be sent on a gastronomic tour of Portugal. You gain weight. you can’t help it.

(Though I’m not sure about that, even. In fact, Portuguese eat on average ten times what we do, and don’t gain weight. No, there is no other way to explain it. These days most of them don’t walk/exercise more than we do. I have a theory. It’s a stupid theory, but it fits facts, like I gained 30lbs in my exchange student year, and couldn’t lose them till I went back to Portugal. I lose weight whenever I go there, even though all we do is sit around and feed our faces. BUT I don’t lose weight if we take the kids and I spend most time speaking English. My theory is that English speaking makes you gain weight. I told you it was stupid, but it fits the available facts.)

One of the tragic things of Portuguese feasts, mostly weddings, the time comes where even with only getting one bite per course, you stop being unable to eat anymore. At this point, people eat bread, to push it down. And then they eat more.

I’ve tried it, it works. Now, does it work because I grew up in the culture and expect it? I don’t know. Does it work because it’s a certain type/composition of bread? I don’t know. Does it work because there’s some magic to Portuguese bread? I don’t know.

Can a Portuguese eat a whole cow? I don’t know. Logically it’s impossible. There simply isn’t enough room. But eat a whole cow over how long a period, and how prepared? And what if he can?

So–

Measuring humans is hard. Oh, you can probably get inches of height and girth right, maybe. And perhaps weight. Unless you’re dealing with young son who has the magical ability of hiding three inches, somehow, so his measurements diverge over 3 inches depending on the day. And as for weight, sure you can measure that. But try translating that to “prescription” and you go seriously arry. When I was young, and you could count every rib THROUGH MY CLOTHES, I weighed 129 lbs. I once dipped to 110 after pneumonia, and I looked ILL. All the charts at the time said my weight should be TOPS 107 lbs. And my classmates my height (not many) ranged between 90 and 107. It might help that dentists and anyone who has occasion to examine my bones for density say my bones are basically dense as granite, even now that I’m menopausal. (We get that from dad’s side. Mom was osteoporotic pre-menopause.)

And this is why the Feds have been wrong every time — assuming humans are widgets — they make prescriptions for what you can eat, how much you should weigh and what you should do about…. anything.

Because it’s hard to measure humans, and the more abstract the measurement, the harder it gets.

For instance, take the nonsense about eating a pound of meat a month, or whatever the heck the Junta has dreamed up.

It will work for some people. I know many, very skinny/healthy people who eat like humming birds: all sugar and carbs. For a lot of us it will be florid disaster and probably kill us.

Heck, I have to be extremely careful with fold meds and supplements. Remember when one of the doctors who comments here recommended ginger to tamp down my auto-immune. I remember because I came across the jar of ginger capsules the other day. I took it for a week and then had to go on prednisone for two weeks, before I died or something, because there was no part of my body with no eczema, I couldn’t breathe, and every joint felt like it was full of ground glass. Now, I eat (and love) Chinese food. But it was the quantity, I think.

Humans are not one-size fits all. We never were. We never will be.

This is mostly forgotten by those who think instructions from above is how everyone should live. Oh, yeah, and btw, I HAD a laugh when people gave me books like “raising the strong willed child” because none of their prescriptions worked on mine. And heck, what worked on older son would not work on younger. Also they weren’t strong willed. They were stubborn. And they reacted badly to attempted manipulation. (They were also fun, but that’s something else.)

The most abstract what you’re trying to measure is, the more you’ll have to fudge, and the less able you are to figure out exact measurements. Throw in things like despotic governments with a vested interest, or leftist governments also with a vested interest, and what you have is a dog’s breakfast of insanity that doesn’t reflect much of anything except the inside of some dreamer’s head.

Heck, we can’t tell what the worldwide population is, or how many widgets are made in x city. But you think we can trust how smart people are in this or that country? And that they’re smart by our definition of “smart”? Ah. Hey, do you happen to be interested in a bridge in Brooklyn? My cousin got it off a guy for a dollar and I’ll sell it to you, today only, for $1000. It’s a bargain, but I need the money to buy books.

So what am I saying? Don’t we have some idea of how smart people are?

Well, no. Worldwide we don’t. Individually and for those we interact with, we usually do.

I’ll confess when I was very young I thought that each human’s intelligence was infinite. That we could do anything, be anything, each of us a renaissance-man/woman.

Ah.

Yes, I was a lunatic and should have known better. I knew very well I had hard limitations. Like, despite the fact that rope-jumping or “the elastic game” (Where you jump, touching or not touching an elastic stretched between two people, and create increasingly elaborate jump-patterns) being essential to social standing growing up, I simply couldn’t do it. Stupid kids could. …. EVERYONE could. But me. It was a relief when I found that neither dad nor brother, nor dad’s mom could ever master even the simplest form of rope jumping or riding a bicycle. All of which, of course, argues for it being genetic. (I now know it runs with the lowest “hit” of autism, which is just sensory/spacial/movement issues.)

I also had trouble coloring within the lines, or doing any craft that required small-movement coordination till my late teens.

So I knew there were hard limits on what I could do, and no amount of trying or effort would fix it. But intellectual effort always paid off and you could learn and do and be anything.

Ah! Pull the other one. It plays jinglebells.

But the thing is I didn’t even realize my own limits until my thirties, and then it was often conditional. Like, I could only do so many things in the day while raising two kids and my husband working 15 to 16 hour days. Or I could only draw/write so well with no time to practice. After I hit my head and got severe concussion, I found limits to what I could remember. I often run into things I’ve forgotten which is amazing, because it never happened before.

Since indie came about, I’ve found I don’t THINK visually. The best way to drive me to incoherence is to make me deal with a MAC interface, which is designed for visual people. And dang it all, some of the self-publishing platforms require visual thinking, too. I usually wait for younger son to be free and make him do it.

BTW this means I can do things like draw or sculpt, but I have to do it/make the error/try again. Takes longer. Which is a problem when you’re busy.

Anyway, the point is, I know I have limits, some of them hard like “My mind just doesn’t “bend” that way.” Some of them “that would take so long I could never do it.” And some of them because there’s a flaw in the brain, which is why I am dyslexic and also transpose digits. Oh, and this thing people can do where they tell which direction they’re facing? Must be magic. Never even came near it.

And I know other people have limits. And that some aren’t the same as mine. This is the biggest issue, btw. Everyone assumes that what they do easily can be done easily. But we’re all very different. And educating kids is heck, btw, because you can’t always tell when they’re being lazy and when they “can’t.” Even your kids can be very different from you in what comes naturally.

I think the biggest strife in my marriage was realizing that. Heck, Dan didn’t realize I didn’t move dishes around the cupboards to mess with him, but because I genuinely didn’t remember where they went. Which brings up another thing: culture. Mom had magically moving dish cupboards. Not drastic, but cups could be in one of three places. So I never thought dishes had to be in ONE place. So–

I mean sure, okay, nowadays my dishes still move, but very slowly and usually the less used ones. Like the collander is in one of five places…..

Again that brings us to another thing when we try to measure people: what did they learn growing up?

Sure, Africa is mired in tribalism. But is that because they aren’t “smart” or is it because tribalism is stunningly successful for pre-industrial societies, and they haven’t been industrial that long (or most places at all?)

Historically, it is eschewing tribalism that is weird. And assuming it is an advantage might be …. premature. After all substituting tribe and tradition with government and state caused the long wars of the twentieth century. And might swallow civilization.

Sure, we are stunningly successful at feeding and making the world wealthy. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m a fan of western civilization and free trade.

But …. But that also means we’re very different from every other polity which makes evaluating them almost impossible. And as for evaluating individuals who are part of them? Forget about it.

Also when measuring Africa, kindly remember we’ve been screwing with them from when we landed, and that some of the worst ravages were done with good intentions, like submerging them in our cheap goods and food, which killed their local production, or taking their brightest young people into our universities, teaching them victimhood and socialism, and then sending them back home.

More germane is that — like people eating a whole cow — humans are stunningly adaptable, and it’s very hard to take acquired-habits and tell if they’re natural or not.

Sure, traits that correlate with IQ are genetic. We know that from animals, though it’s not allowed to be studied in humans. Traits like conscientiousness and application surely affect learning and therefore IQ.

But humans aren’t just brains floating in space.

For instance, and for a strange example: Portugal is a stunningly ADD country. One of the kids said that on a visit, and suddenly I saw it. Fads sweep through it faster and more crazily than through Hollywood, and are then forgotten never to return. It’s considered normal to be obsessive about “new thing” (which can be a book, a song, or a project) and then move on, never having finished and forget all about it. It’s considered impossible to remember to put in PUNCTUATION with any regularity when writing a book (one of the funniest things was my family’s shock that I don’t “have someone” whose job is to punctuate my writing.) Things like building or writing or making something the same way twice are considered beyond the ken of man.

I’ll mention that even for Portugal I was considered too absent minded for words. And both the kids and I are ADD and at times ADD AF. But is it culture or genetics?

I don’t know. I suspect in our case it’s a bunch of genetics, but my having been raised in the culture can’t have helped. And frankly the culture was probably shaped by the genetics. So, there you go.

We know that it’s possible to change someone’s culture (with extreme difficulty, granted) and that people who come from dysfunctional cultures can have highly functional kids in the west. But we can’t tell where it all links up.

Humans are very difficult to measure.

Sure, we all have limits, but our limits might not be immediately obvious. As Bob pointed out — and most people who study the brain agree — there are impairments that come the higher you go in IQ. And some of them are neurological (the sensory thing seems to be one of them, btw. At least it seems to be); and some of them are because our society reveres intelligence and therefore, when you know you are smart you think you can do anything and it takes years to find out you can’t do some things; and some of them are because you don’t exactly understand other people, and they don’t precisely understand you.

So, very, very smart people aren’t stunningly successful because they often socially miscue. The world was built for people who are just slightly smarter than normal. Slightly enough that normal people instinctively think “very smart” instead of “he’s crazy, get the torches and pitchforks” which is what they tend to think of someone very far off-normal.

Of course, some very smart people learn to imitate normal humans to a high degree of perfection. (I used to be able to do it, I did. Then my giveadamn broke.)

And in the end the truly exceptional rarely have much to do with the development of the future. Because, well– It’s not our future. We’re not normal humans. The world wasn’t designed by or for us.

And Foxfier notwithstanding, (Well done, that Fox. We have great hopes for the kits.) we usually make less of a genetic contribution to the future, too. If at all. Don’t believe me? Look up the exceptional people of the past. Not the warriors, but the intellectual ancestors of the west. If Shakespeare left any descendants who are still around with us, they’re illegitimate and never recorded. DaVinci? Well, ditto, if he felt experimental once in a while. Though probably not, he’d have recorded it, somehow.

So does IQ measure something? Sure. It measures a tightly focused grouping of abilities and tendencies which correlate well to academic success….. uh, unless it’s too high, because teachers are human and humans are social apes.

But you really can’t trust it if it’s measured by people with vested interests. And almost everyone has vested interests.

And even if you are an ATH reader, which seems to be a free-form method of IQ measuring, well…. you know better than anyone that it doesn’t correlate with material success. Some of us do okay. Better than we deserve given how scattered we are. But you know…. it’s not exceptional success.

Now would we trade who we are?

Well, given the amount of fun I can have with an internet search or a bunch of very old books, no. But then again I value that kind of fun, I value what I can find in that, because I’m me.

BTW the easiest way to punish me is to force me to be very bored. My parents never discovered time-out (thank heavens. It would have broken me) which is why mom says I’m so stubborn I’d rather break than bend, and that no one yet found a way to make obey.

I like — perhaps need — to verify, learn, do, learn new ways of doing things, discover new things to do. It’s part of who I am. Is it better or worse than the conscientious craftsman who can do the same thing time after time with a great degree of perfection? Depends on the thing, right?

Which is why IQ in the end isn’t highly relevant for humanity. It is highly relevant for an individual human — supposing you know that IQ was well-tested — in terms of figuring out his or her inclinations, interests, blind spots, and the way in which they’ll succeed or not. (Also the way to punish him/her.)

But that’s it.

Because you can’t measure humans. And the persist insanity of believing you can and that you can then force them into the pattern you want, has caused more mass graves than anything else in history. If nothing else, because it’s a major component of the statist philosophies of the 20th century, both of which measured humans and then decreed their death, in batch lots, by the numbers.

True liberty, true civilization begins when you accept humans aren’t widgets. And letting each human find that they can do and be the most productive they can at it.

This is best for families, for couples and for society in general.

Now stop staring at me, and go do your stuff.

Open Floor

Okay, guys. So yesterday that post was…. epic. And really hard to write.
So, today I’m sort of taking the day off.
Post links to anything you want me to see.
And if you can post funny/interesting links.
Or tell me how you’re coping, and what you’re doing to get by.

Because I’m not going to lie, it’s tough right now.

I’m going to try to do some writing. You have the con.

Everywhere

Yesterday I came across an opinion by Michael Yon that violence has already started, this month. I don’t know what he’s referring to specifically, because I’d either put it at a year ago, or perhaps further back. But then I’m not plugged into his networks.

He does see civil war coming, inescapably, and like me he puts the conflagration very close.

Okay, it’s …. right. Like this: I perhaps don’t see it as close as it sounds. Yes, there’s been a ramping up of violence, largely on purpose, because the idiot left thinks they can scare us and cow us into letting them rule “forever.” Those are…. what I’d call the phase of “causes leading up to” I expect that in June (July at the latest) if you’ve read Pratchett’s Night Watch, we’ll get our Morphic Street Conspiracy and our Dolly sisters’ riot. No, the January 6th event wasn’t either of those, though the media and the left (But I repeat myself) has tried to paint it as such. But there will be at least two eruptions, real ones, that will be put down very rapidly.

And if I’m right, what is going to shock, surprise and send the MSM and the Marxists (BIRM) scrambling and foaming at the mouth is that they’re not going to get the buy in from the right that occurred right after they demonized the January 6th demonstrations. And I want to point out right here, that as bad as they painted those, if you’re on the right and you fell for the “must condemn” you might want to revise that tout de suite. You might also want to learn not to be a patsy in the future.

This dance, of the right has something bad attributed to them (mostly lies, or actions definitely not of the “right” in any sense of the word) and all the prominent figures on the right rush to condemn it is how we got to where we are. It is one of the things that is now pushing us to open civil war. Actually, multiple civil wars, worldwide.

Anyway, given how fast the Jan 6th narrative has fallen apart — and no, don’t assume your neighbor, or the guy at your work buys what the MSM is selling. Again, I say onto you, if people were actually buying it, instead of just mouthing the words because it’s safe, they wouldn’t have needed to fraud in pain view on election night — my guess is the next two people will not even mouth the words. People don’t like being patsies.

This, incidentally, is why the criminal media is trying to dox people who donated as much as $10 to the Kyle Rittenshouse defense fund, why they are keeping demonstrators from Jan 6th in solitary confinement, and why they are generally acting like crazed tyrants on steroids.

It won’t work. Sure, they will inflict a lot of pain and damage, but it won’t work long term.

Part of the reason this post is late is that I woke up early, to a snow storm, and I lay in bed thinking through something.

Last night, before going to bed, and I can’t remember where, anymore, I came across a post saying that France is on the verge of a civil war, as well.

Look, France has been unstable since the French revolution, and is several, weird kinds of political colors, so it doesn’t translate directly to us, okay? But we’ve seen the burning, the looking, the throwing of Smart cars at the Arc du Triomphe with catapults, and I’m told that while a lot of these have been put down, it has done nothing to cure the fundamental unrest.

In fact, the only thing that worked to some extent to stop the riots is the covidiocy lockdowns. And if you’re saying “things that make you go um….” you won’t be wrong precisely.

Anyway, the reason I lay in bed trying to work it out is this: I assumed I knew the reason for our turmoil and ferment, and why we’re in fact on the verge of …. well, the Morphic Street Conspiracy, with the rest of it to come shortly thereafter.

I thought it was the passing of the “mass everything.” In a way the “Mass media/mass communication/mass production/mass entertainment” was the culmination of an era, in which it it was just so much cheaper to produce things in quantities. So people did. And the world changed to accommodate it.

This was made easier by the European long war. To what extent the transition itself caused the long wars, I leave to people with more time and more caffeine in their veins to figure out. I will say, though, that mass media helped the rise of the Hitler regime, and a monopoly over communications helped them sell the big lie.

I presumed the reason everything is upside down, sideways and sometimes tiltawhirl is that in the US this has transitioned to the “indie” era. Economies realized by the ability to communicate from private person to mass audience, or to manufacture highly personalized merchandise fast and cheap (this is yet at its beginning, but then so was mass everything when the long war started) is upending a picture of the world and a system of ideas that to most of us who grew up with it is “just the way things are.” (Seriously. We think in clothing sizes. Having been born and raised in a village where those were an innovation in the 70s, I see perhaps more clearly how bizarre this is. (Though I still do it.) And we miss stuff like “It introduced the idea of normal sizes” (Something I’m very conscious of since in Portugal, for my generation, I was “too big and too fat” at 5’6″ and wearing a size 7. They just didn’t make my size. It was abnormal.))

The cognitive dissonance of changing society wide systems usually results in revolution and violence. So, I assumed that’s what it was.

And maybe it is, except for one thing: I have a feeling in my water this isn’t going to be just our civil war. Or the French civil war. This is going to be worldwide, all at once, and — well, if you’re not setting aside food, fabric (a few patterns wouldn’t hurt. Even a monkey can sew clothes with a pattern. Though you can use an old piece that fits you well) and other possible necessities for five years or so, do it, now — very very disruptive, very very bad.

But Europe is far behind us in the Indie revolution. Notably, they’re far, far behind us in blogs and new media. For reasons (and I could speculate but I won’t) those things are mostly in the anglosphere.

So, what gives?

I think I know, but to understand it fully, you have to see it from the other side. It’s not that the conditions have changed for the people on the street — or rather they have, but by fiat — it’s that the structural elites, those with power in government, communication, etc can’t STOP PUSHING. And that the more they push, the more it becomes obvious they’ve become divorced from reality.

Take the covidiocy. A world wide lockdown because “it seemed to have worked in China” (not a reliable reporter) really? I said then, if people don’t see bodies piled in the streets by the end of this, authorities are going to be in real trouble.

From the beginning, my generation was the first to wake up. (Though for a while there, I felt like the writer crying in the forest, who just wasn’t heard.) And follow along why: because we have been through so many doomsday. Though never one that called for this kind of destruction and infringement as an attempt at mitigation.

I mean, I’ve listed them once, and I can’t list them all without forgetting half a dozen, just in my life time: ice age, nuclear destruction, alar, loss of all potable water, global warmng…. it just goes on and on and on.

In the early days of the “pandemic” and before widespread mask mandates, I would see people my age barefaced, and the young kids masked up and looking terrified.

This is not their fault. The left took over the education and those who haven’t gotten very far from it, don’t know how many times their predictions have failed. So of course they were terrified.

However…. There are no corpses on the streets. And even in locked-up Colorado, people are starting to be mostly just really angry at the deception perpetrated on them.

Now, I have this theory the reason the lockdown was embraced with such alacrity, other than of course that a lot of Western leaders are in China’s pay, is that the left saw it as a way to stop the revolution against them. Only approve riots! Everyone else locked up!

They never think things through, you know?

Not only did they mostly scare their own followers out of their minds (what minds they have) but they provided a really big demonstration, even for the kids, of the fact that they’re head-up-ass crazy. That the things they confidently predict not only never work, but make things way worse.

And right now they’re hitting that point again, where they can’t understand why “it” for any given definition of “it” isn’t working.

In the States, they’re becoming alarmed people don’t want to take the vaccine. I actually have a theory why this alarms them, and it’s part of my reason not to get the shot: you see, this was their plan for dismount. Get everyone vaccinated, and after a few months declare they “won” with no questions asked about how bad it would be otherwise.

Except…. it’s not working. And they’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off, acting increasingly more like lunatics in public.

I don’t know what’s — really — happening in other countries, because their media is still controlled by the global left. But the rumblings I get? Whatever is happening, the global Marxist monster is scared. Really scared. And letting its inner bully out to stomp in an attempt to “get power forever.”

But it won’t happen. What we’re seeing is a philosophy that went up its own ass so far that it’s forgotten where reality is.

Marxism in a way was custom made for the “mass everything era.” If you only had a few major sources of information and they sang in the choir, of course you were going to believe them. A lot of what we think we know about the history of the 20th century is therefore Bushwah. Though in the states that is breaking with things like The Forgotten Man.

I often say that if Obama had got power in the eighties, we’d consider him one of our great presidents. Because that’s all you’d ever hear. From everywhere.

As is…. Even their attempt to portray Reagan as really bad for history never “took” and their demonization attempts since just keep falling apart.

But more importantly…. It’s the philosophy.

The left very rapidly captured all the centers of power and mass everything, and started pushing their theories will all their might.

The problem is Marxism isn’t functional to any degree — that’s number one. You can’t run a society on Marxism, unless someone else if feeding you, or you have a world you can plunder — and also that, like its ancestor, the French Revolution, it requires a permanent state of “struggle” against “injustice” by the “oppressed.” So you must find things to topple, and step further and further out on the limb of your theory.

Which is why, as all predictions fail, Marxists find themselves defending things like “you can print money forever, it doesn’t affect anything” or “You can change reality if you believe it’s different.”

And the problem is because they have captured the centers of information that they, themselves listen to and believe, they are completely unaware that the rest of us are looking at reality and going “you’re out of your minds.”

Things like the failure of appeal of their mass entertainment should sound an alarm, and it does, they just can’t figure out why. Because the “class in power” is truly insular and incestuous. They went to the same schools, studied the same (false) information, follow the same fashions, listen to the same “information” and “entertainment” and vacation in the same spots — worldwide. To them, they ARE the world. And they don’t get that from the interior of America to Europe besieged by foreign cultures that don’t even pretend to adapt, and unable to afford to live where their ancestors did, people are looking at their predictions and their actions and going “Well, it doesn’t work that way.”

Reality has a way of breaking through. The elite, however, have insulated themselves from reality so well they’re the court dancing while outside the sullen peasants gather, pitchforks in hand. They know something is wrong. They know they’re not working the way they should. But they can’t understand WHY, and they’re sure just a little more of that good ol’ repression and stomping will fix things forever.

And part of this is that since the USSR (itself not a western power) fell they have had China as their beau ideal. Which means they’re now convinced what works in China — or what China SAYS works. Yes, they believe China. They’re dumb that way — will work here in the same way. So, you know, lockdowns and orders to unperson those who oppose you.

They have no idea.

We’re almost at Morphic Street Conspiracy O’Clock. …. everywhere.

There’s going to be a brief and horrific convulsion. How brief? How horrific? I don’t know. I keep getting “brief” but seriously, in revolution/war terms two years are brief. So are five years. For the record I don’t think it will be as long as five years. Maybe less than two years. I don’t know. Once the ball starts rolling so many things will break, it’s hard to tell.

And keep in mind the “brief” is for the US. In the rest of the world this might be playing out for a generation.

As for horrific? VERY.

Yes, I think the US will unfuck itself faster. Followed by Europe for values of “unfuck.” This is not chauvinism, but the fact we are much younger, in population than the US. And yes, I do realize that at least allegedly we’re not as young as Africa or the Middle East. But beyond the fact that we can’t trust statistics, there is the inevitable theorem that it’s harder to unfuck yourself when you’ve never been in an unfucked state.

I do expect we’ll return to functioning (for values of functioning) society within two or three years. I mean, by that, to the place where you can find most of your necessities reliably, at least at a local level.

Europe…. Well, it’s going to be interesting. And I won’t exclude the idea that they’ll just get right back to where they were when we intervened in their long war.

The third world…. oh, boy. There the horrific is going to result in millions of dead.

And frankly, just about everywhere will be worse than the US outside major cities. I can feel it.

If you’re in a major city and I like you, I beg you, with tears in my eyes to get out as soon as you can (and yes, we’re working on it.) Some neighborhoods and places will be safe-ish, but in the US the brunt of the horrific will be in big cities, because that’s what the left thinks MATTERS and where they’ll concentrate their effort.

Forgive me for corporate speak from the nineties, but in this case it applies: their paradigm is broken and they can’t see it because they’ve done everything possible to insulate themselves from input coming from outside the paradigm.

When this happens and the people of the dead paradigm still have some power, the result is kind of like when you fill a container with gasoline, then drop a match in. It’s best to be in the places they think don’t matter.

Other than that: well, you don’t know how interconnected the world supply chains are, until they break. These last two years have been a lesson and no mistake. When I say we’ll unfuck ourselves relatively fast, it doesn’t mean we’ll reverse disastrous globalization in an eye blink. We won’t.

Try to have the things you think you’ll need for five-ten years. That includes newish computers (the silicon crisis is real) perhaps more expensive than you’re used to buying, and raw materials for what you’ll need, from fabric to…. I don’t know. Probably not clay. But now might be a bad time to downsize and get rid of that “for company” dish set, depending on your rate of breakage of the everyday one. Lay by paper, too. If we start getting electricity brownouts and blackouts, having stuff you want to keep printed might help.

Food. I don’t need to say it. I think I have maybe enough for a year and a half, though at the end our diet would be mighty strange. But we’re already hearing screams of food supply failure. (I want to get us moved, and start laying in more food. The delays and set backs are driving me nuts.)

And what about the stupid laws proscribing wrong thinkers? For now? Nothing. If you’re hidden and submerged stay that way. Look at it this way: if the people who hid Jews in their attics had come out early to defend them, they too would be in the camps and unable to help. We’re already past the point where “a brave stand” will help. The left knows they’re losing. They can’t understand why, but they know they’re losing, and they’re angry and murderous because of it. And they won’t let go, until it all explodes in their faces. So if you are hidden, stay thus, and get ready to hide people in your metaphorical attic. Because those like me who are exposed, if they have a good bit of luck, just might manage to make it there.

Just prepare, prepare as hard as you can.

You’ll be blindsided. We all will be. Seriously. Books that go through this lie. It’s always more complex and more difficult than you can imagine, and you will be caught off guard.

If you’re lucky, the things you’re caught in won’t kill you.

If we’re all lucky we’ll come out the other side alive and well, most of us. Which is good, because we’ll be needed if we want future generations to grow up under a constitutional republic.

The rest of the world? Foggedaboutit. Not a chance. They’re going to try to crawl back to pre-English enlightenment. Some areas will manage it, too.

For us? I don’t know. There is a chance. Honestly. A chance is all we can ask for.

So, let’s survive and be ready to push the odds. Because the destruction will be everywhere. But the re-building must begin in America.

Come On, Take It, a blast from the past from January 2014

Come On, Take It, a blast from the past from January 2014

Yesterday, on a private forum a friend of mine who here will go under the name Sam Anderson said the following:

Patriotism is good. Nationalism through a patriotic lens, seeing your country as worthwhile, as having prospects and things to be proud of, is not only acceptable but necessary for the health of any nation. But MOST especially the United States, because it’s one thing for the French to be ashamed of being French, but at the end of the day, they’re still going to be French. France is established on ethnic and historical foundations, and even if the French think they suck, there can still be citizens of France. Just not very long, since self-loathing aligns you, first metaphorically, then inevitably in practice, with enemies who ALSO loathe you.

But an American just CAN’T believe in nothing, CAN’T reject the philosophy underpinning America, and be one. Philosophy IS America. There’s nothing else to base it on, and there’s no “philosophy on the side” option. There’s no “shared values” or that bullshit. There’s a piece of paper that lays out precisely how the government functions, tells it what it doesn’t get to do, and tells YOU to go shift for yourself. Now yeah, maybe you can quibble with a point or two of it. Lots of people did then, too. But people who reject, wholesale, that that makes sense as the foundation of a country- who complain about negative rights, who call the constitution outdated- de facto, aren’t American, the same way you couldn’t be a Catholic but not believe in G*d. Aphilosophical American is a contradiction in terms. The most they can do is live somewhere between Mexico and Canada. We’ve got a lot of that kind of “American”.

But nationalism is only a problem when it starts to supersede rather than represent a people. The American people, left mostly to their own devices, with most of their own money and most of their own time, even if they only SORT OF try to adhere to their founding principles, can turn the world upside down. It’s not because of any particular genetic, ethnographic, economic, or so on reason. You could do it with anyone… they’d just have to agree to the challenging but rewarding terms of freedom, which historically much of humanity would rather trade for security. But America, the national body- the government bureaucrats meant to represent the people, who increasingly act in contravention of same- that America cannot find its ass with both hands. It’s just the resurgence of a far inferior product coming back under a much more successful and respected brand.

One of the lines you can draw between right and left is, when a conservative roots for America, they mean the individual entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and scholars- the millions of little people who even now, every so often, by the grace of determination, judicious risk taking, and hard work, manage to do a few really big things. When a liberal roots for “America”, they back the bully-boys in the government with the private jets… the big institutions that nevertheless manage routinely to fuck up thousands of little things.

THAT’S the form of nationalism that’s toxic.

Let’s go back to what Sam said “Philosophy IS America.”  If you don’t believe in the founding principles, you’re not an American.  You’re at best a permanent resident who grew up here and behaves generally within the law.

We’re a volitional citizenship.  Yes, if you were born here, you are LEGALLY an American.  You can legally be a lot of things that you’re not even close to being in reality.  Take all the college people running around screaming they want to be protected from micro-micro aggressions.  They are legally adults.

My younger kid is also legally an adult, and although closer to an adult than most of the micro-aggressed, he still lives at home and has never had to provide for his daily upkeep.  He’s a legal adult, but not an adult like say any of you who have to work for a living.  (We let him only because he’s taking two stem degrees concurrently and not taking accommodations for his sensory issues.)

Do I think it was a mistake of the founders to allow citizenship of birth in a nation of volition?  You bet your beepy I do.  They got so much right, though, and they were only human.  They couldn’t believe anyone born here, enjoying the blessings of liberty could possibly wish to believe that a system where “we belong to the government” is better.

They were wrong.  In a way, again, understandable, since they’d given their life, their fortunes, their sacred honor for this endeavor and many lost it.  (Read a book called Signing their lives away, if you haven’t yet.)  On the other hand, not understandable, since they knew how revolutionary their system was.  Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness?  You must be mad.  The government as a servant to the sovereign citizen?  Cooee, what world do you come from?  Separation of powers to make it difficult to “get things done”?  Mister, you must be one of them escapees from the asylum.

And yet — and yet — some of us are very much citizens of the volitional nation.  We embrace the vision of the founders, we work to protect the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.  We took an oath, and we keep it.

Come on.  Go ahead and take it.  Take it by yourself in the privacy of your heart; take it with your family; take it with a co-worker. Re-take it if you already did it. And mean it now more than ever.
Go on and take it!

Take the oath.  Then keep it.

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen [or a moonstruck admirer for those on the right and left who think those people abroad have a better idea- sah]; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

The Junta’s Abolition of the Constitution

I linked this at instapundit some time ago. But from the fact that a friend sent me this link today, I presume it’s not widely known. The link I put at instapundit was from American Thinker. And for once their title was the most accurate thing ever: Executive Order Canceling the Constitution.

If you’re wondering how that is possible, wonder no more. You know how our government freezes assets of enemy governments? Like Iran’s assets that the FICUS is dying to unfreeze ASAP?

Well, the veneer-thin coat of legality on this bullshit relates to that. At the same time that Dementia Joe and The Commie Ho are giving money and actual nuclear tech to declared enemies of the US, they are declaring US citizens who so much as dare talk against them as enemy collaborators and traitors. And because they’re owned by China (though anyone who thinks that stopping fracking and the keystone pipeline is not a big sloppy kiss to Putin needs their heads examined. It’s in fact the kiss of life, since the only thing Russians have worth anything is oil and they were in deep trouble before China stooges stole our elections) they are of course doing it by screaming Russia, Russia Russia!

Contrary to its title, this EO is not about Russia. It is designed to allow the Biden administration to deprive American citizens and organizations of their rights and property by arbitrarily linking those persons to real, imagined, or vaguely defined activities of the Russian government.

The Biden administration unilaterally makes the determination and requires neither criminal acts nor intent. The punishment is blocking assets and a prohibition on any dealing with the accused person. Spouses and adult children of individuals found guilty by accusation under this EO are punished, too.

The EO was preceded by some distracting maneuvers, both diplomatic (hostile rhetoric toward Russia) and military (sending naval ships toward the Black Sea and recalling them back, as if dealing with Russian threats). Thus, many people assumed that the EO was directed at Russia, and completely missed the fact that it is directed at dissent here, at home. 

Over the past four years, the Democrat Party, Fake News, and Big Tech have been frequently portraying their opponents as Russian trolls or Russian misinformation operators. The Russian collusion narrative, initially invented to overthrow the Trump administration, has been used to smear many conservative movements. Now this effort has been crowned by an Executive Order. 

All they have to do is make a list of those they consider to be Russian agents. The executive order itself says you can’t dispute your inclusion in this list.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Oh, yeah, all your property will be impounded, and everyone is forbidden from doing business with you. On the say-so of corrupt agencies and people who have been lying to us for years.

And there’s nothing you can do, and anyone who helps you faces a similar fate.

This is completely fair, because on the FICUS say-so, you become an enemy of the state, and a Russian agent. Totes. Even if there’s no rational reason beyond “Russia ” (And more so China) have an interest in dissension in the US. But if this is the case, the Junta should immediately consider itself Russian agents. (They’re already China’s.)

This was signed on the 15th of April. Do you think there aren’t already things going on to make this work? Do you think that we’re not all already on that list?

Do you think it’s a coincidence you’ve not seen this bullshit anywhere? (And btw the link on top is to the government itself.)

Now, if they were sending goons to collect you, those of you who haven’t lost all your guns in a tragic boating accident would shoot, and it would be on like Donkey Kong.

But that’s not what will happen, and that’s why I’m writing this and asking everyone of you who has a blog and who knows they’re probably already on the list to share it. Or of course if you’re brave enough not to mind if you’re on the list. Note the “your spouse and adult children” too, which is intended to stop you doing anything, for the love of your kids.

I’ve seen this before. Very few people know that the “revolutionary” governments in Portugal froze bank accounts and assets of anyone who spoke out against them. One day you’d go to your bank to remove money, and you couldn’t. Your bank account was frozen as an enemy of the state.

Oh, you have a mortgage? Kids in school? Bills to pay? How terrible and sad it is that you are now functionally a pauper.

As for suddenly finding no one would give you a job, I never even figured out how word went out on that, and I don’t if anyone ever did.

Now, the times we’re living in? Will anyone notice a large number of people becoming suddenly unemployed, and/or having their house foreclosed upon? Help? Well, all they have to do is send a few people who look like government agents to your neighborhood and ask your neighbors (and friends, and associates) questions while strongly implied you’re a traitor working for a foreign power.

Your weapons? Well, then. Surely, you’ll sell them long before it comes time to …. well…. to starve I suppose.

Oh, but surely states will oppose this?

If it’s done the way it was in Portugal, most people won’t even be aware it is going on. Whatever the mechanisms are for flagging foreign enemies in the US — and they are there, and have been, from when our agencies were slightly less corrupt than they are now — will just be deployed, as they have always been, but against anyone who publicly and loudly disapproves of the Junta.

FYI that’s you and me. And anyone who believes in the Constitution and has made this clear in public at any time.

“But that’s a lot of people!”

Well, I imagine right now they’re going for “vocal”. It’s still a ton more people than they can get at gun point (where they can maybe get a 100 TV people and Trump ex-officials.)

And the thing is it will be done behind the scenes, quietly. Through extorsion, and cancelling and whisper campaigns, to discredit and destroy their enemies, and taint them with the label of foreign agents, all without a legal process or any sort of ability to confront their accusers.

At some point, they’ll “notice” the ten million or so new homeless, (hell, the opening of the borders might disguise this, rather neatly, too) and out of their “humane concern,” they’ll create places you can go and be housed and fed.

Do I need to tell you it’s a trap?

This is just a way to round up desperate people. It might also in the end be a way to get rid of the homeless, which rest assured they intend to, once they’re done using it to drive the country’s cities to shit.

Paranoid? Did you read that Executive Order? If not, go do it, I’ll wait.

Now will this be applied ruthlessly and efficiently? Guys, this lot couldn’t shoot a lame fish in a barrel. No, but it will be applied irregularly, annoyingly, and deployed as an instrument of terror to make a large number of people shut up and go along, for fear for their livelihood, their kids, their friends.

It will be, as what they’re already doing to the military and police, a shit show designed to cow people into silence and into fear of losing everything.

Will it work? Oh, for a while at least. I mean, it is working on our military and police.

In my case it puts me in a bit of a pickle, as I don’t like camping, and I’m not young enough to survive long out there. But that’s okay. Personal survival is desirable but not important.

Will it make the left win and rule forever and ever?
Snort. Giggle. They probably think so, but you’re not that stupid. Or at least I hope you aren’t.

These people can’t run the country. They can’t.

The big fatal flaw in their plans of destroying the US is that they can’t survive anywhere else. And they can’t survive in the US after they utterly destroy the economy.

I wrote this at insty yesterday, in this post:

I feel very much about this, as I felt about the early covidiocy, when I was screaming from the rooftops “look at the Diamond Princess numbers. This mostly affects the very old, and even with them it’s not that contagious” while people were coming up with creative reasons that the Diamond Princess wasn’t representative, my favorite of those being “you get the best medical care possible in a cruise ship.”  Uh. No. You don’t. Of course you also don’t in our hospitals, when doctors put you on ventilators without regard for the effects of forced ventilation on the very old, which is why the death toll is what it is, but never mind.

Listen to me now, please: the democrats are not at the beginning of a 1000 year Reich. They’re not even at the beginning of a 70 year USSR. Or at the beginning of the decade-plus of Nazi rule.

What all totalitarian regimes have in common is that they screw up economies beyond belief.  And I mean that. If you haven’t lived through it, you won’t believe me, but let’s say that communists managing the desert will run out of sand. And socialists will too, but slower. (And our current afflictions are not socialists. No. Shut up. Don’t care about the textbook definition which, at any rate, only the Marxists ever cared about. For all practical applications, communists are socialists in a hurry. And boy, is the Junta in a hurry. Because they are scared. And they should be.)

Do you know why the USSR and the other tragic post-World-War II Marxist regimes survived as long as they did?  The US.
Because America is wealthy and can’t stand to see people starve, through humanitarian aid (and the usual traitorous would-be socialists here) we sent aid to those regimes. We kept them afloat.

In doing their best to take over the US all the left is managing is to kill the golden goose. Even if everything they plan came to pass, their regime woud last less than 5 years, because Americans will not starve peacefully.

They don’t understand that because — since China pays a lot of them directly or not — they think China can replace the US in financing their lavish lifestyles and our not-quite-starving.

They don’t get that China is already in American terms close to starvation themselves.

This is because to the left economics is not real. It’s a fantasy they can spin any way they like, and it will keep them going on unicorn farts and dreams.

But if you’re not a leftist, you know economics is “the study of how humans live and eat.” And the democrats are breaking that.

Which means it will get very, very bad in the US. Probably briefly. It will be much worse in the rest of the world.

And the left is bringing this on us, because yes, they believe they can set up the new USSR.

What I can’t understand is why the right also buys into this illusion. Just as I couldn’t understand why no one was looking at the Diamond Princess numbers.

Looking, being scared and buying into apocalyptic scenarios can be fun. Briefly. But we don’t have time for that nonsense. We have a Constitutional Republic we must rebuild. Because otherwise we’re going to be in serious trouble. Not communism, but communism is not the only kind of bad trouble.  And for the rest of the world, civilization will be over.

Be not afraid, and do understand that even if the left gets everything it wants — or rather, for sure if it does — it will lose very fast.  But we still need to win.

So, I know in the long run they can’t win. In fact, the harder they push, the faster they fall.

BUT–

If this goes into action, as stupid and imperfectly as it will be implemented, it will hurt and perhaps kill a lot of people.

If you’re at risk:

1- Have an alternate identity if you can. I don’t even know how to go about that, except perhaps a ring around the rosy of dbas, trusts and corps. Remember, they’re not nearly as efficient or good at tracing things as they think they are. Our secret services were redesigned by a man who can’t figure out how to go through a gate with an umbrella. And he hired people who think he’s smart.

2- Be ready to decamp at the drop of a hat, if it becomes obvious your financial life is frozen, and there’s nothing you can do for money.
Decamp where? Well, not abroad. As I pointed out above, if the wheels come off here, they’ll come off and explode abroad.
If you can own something outright through a trust or a corp or something, this might be a place to go. If you can’t…. have you considered winter camping gear?

3- Don’t leave yourself defenseless. Don’t sell weapons. Don’t consign yourself to the tender mercies of the government.

Oh, yeah, and keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

4- Other than that? Find a way to keep being heard. If all you can do is paint the words in blood on phone poles do so. But again, they’re not nearly as smart as they think they are. Find new identities and new ways back on line.

All you have to do is survive this for a year, maybe a little more. And the way to survive it is not to act the way the left would, which is the way they expect everyone to act.

Don’t surrender. Don’t give up. Don’t ask for help.

And keep coming back when they least expect it.

If that EO doesn’t show you they’re not Americans, they’re insane, and they mean to be dictators, I don’t know what will.
Make sure people know the powers the Junta is arrogating to itself. Make sure they can’t do this quietly.

And may G-d have mercy on America.