We Are NOT All One World

When I was seventeen I ran away from home in a complex way.  I became an exchange student to Ohio.

I did it for various reasons most of them “enlightened self interest.”  I thought the experience would be good and perhaps the only way to break out of my provincial upbringing as well as other issues which I do not intend to discuss here.  I thought, in the parlance of another generation, that if I went away from home, I’d find myself and could then come back and deal with things.  To an extent I was right.

Weirdly, I didn’t apply to come to the US.  I wanted to go to Japan.  The US was where I’d come – eventually, one way or another – but Japan was as different a culture as I could think of, and the idea was to sort of shock myself out of myself.

I got placed in Ohio, though, and that worked well enough.  For one, I met Dan.

But even at seventeen, I was made uneasy by the organizations objectives, which seemed to me to be a variant of wishful thinking I’d only found in science fiction novels before.

The objective of the organization – started by ambulance drivers in WWII – was to introduce young people of different cultures to each other so that they would learn to know and love each other and a war like this couldn’t occur again.

I didn’t know at the time – or until recently – but most ambulance drivers were conscience-objectors of a religious nature.  Maybe that explains the other-worldly beliefs?

Even at seventeen it seemed obvious to me some of the worst wars had been civil wars, brother against brother, friend against friend.  And then there’s the deadly hatred between Poles and Russians, French and Germans, Portuguese and Spaniards – a hatred that’s particularly strong in border areas, where mixing is also more frequent.

And thinking of this yesterday got me to thinking of that peculiar idea of mid-twentieth-century sf, the “one world administration.”

Yes, I know even Heinlein did that.  Heinlein also thought the UN was a force for peace.  Look, we’re all prisoners of our time, our place, our upbringing.  The middle of the twentieth century was the time when “progress” could solve everything and would erase cultural differences, and for that matter, the idea of a one-world governance, “scientifically” administered made sense.

Give Heinlein credit, though.  When writing the stories, one world became the place to escape from and the colonies where it was man or small group for himself the place to go to.  He was not writing a utopia.

My view of it is both more optimistic and more pessimistic.  I think a one world government would be one of those epic disasters that is almost impossible to describe.  The EEC writ large.  And the EEC is going to end in tears and will/might escape blood only because they’re out of young people to do the fighting.  Shortly and not exhausting all the reasons: humans are tribal.  A world where there’s only a huge government at the top, far away, is a world of little tribes, everyone’s hand against everyone.  Also the legitimate functions of government as they are are worse when performed from further away by a less connected ruling body.  Also a bureaucracy the bigger it is, the more it attracts bad actors.  A world-wide bureaucracy would make Chicago seem clean.

On the other side, though, I don’t think a world government can ever happen because it is one of those concepts that works well in fiction, but never in reality.  Nationalism/tribalism will never pass away.  It’s part of who we are.  And nations will fight to NOT be absorbed into the maw of such an entity.  Even if it were created, it would never work more than on paper.  Like the UN it would be a nuisance and a burr under our saddle but not “real” as a government.  And that’s a good thing.

Now the very idea is intensely American, as is the idea of the exchange students (I still think the program is worthy and I’m disappointed I can’t convince either of my kids to try it.  I just don’t think it brings about world peace) bringing about world unity.

The reason the idea is intensely American came to me yesterday as I sat in the restaurant, surrounded by people of all races and from the accents all upbringings.

It seems to us, as Americans, that there is no reason we shouldn’t all get along, no reason not to have the world a big kindergarten under the supervision of benevolent teacher.

I have no problem with all getting along, and mixing and matching is already happening.  It will happen more as travel becomes more widespread and cheaper.  Racism shall always be with us.  It’s built into the human gene.  It will just go odder than we’re used to it.  Some parts of the world maybe people with red hair will be frowned at.  Or you know, it’s those red-head-Asian fusions that are a problem.  But if this is from individual humans and not from above, it won’t be as bad.  (True racism needs government backing.)

But let’s lose the idea of one world government.  Cultures are important, if races aren’t.  Erasing cultures is ultimately erasing individuals.  I don’t mean by this the dopey “if it’s cultural, it’s fine” – I mean that people will die to defend their culture or subculture.  Stripping them out worldwide would just destroy humanity.

And of course, again, ruling people as if they were units is a problem.  Robert was talking to me about Soviet history and said “Lenin treated people as if they were things, but Stalin treated them as though they were numbers.  He didn’t seem to understand people existed outside numbers.”

A world government would treat groups of people – tribes, villages – as numbers.  We’d create a million Stalins.

There will never be a world government, because the world is not a vast America where people to an extent left behind their culture and willingly fell into the pot.  (More in other ages, and don’t get me started on that.)

But that surrender of individual culture and regional ideas has to be willing and voluntary and man on man and woman on woman.  If it’s pushed from above it’s worse than tyranny.  It’s a destruction of the individual and a lack of recognition of individual thought and reaction.  It is treating people like numbers — which always ends with destroying half of them and distorting the rest.

Let America be America.  And let the world be the world.

461 responses to “We Are NOT All One World

  1. It’s spelled O-I-H-O.

    • actually I often spelled it that way. See, as an exchange student, raised abroad, I didn’t HEAR it right. I knew there was an h there somewhere, but not where, so I just threw it somewhere random. Eh.

      • Now here is one of the places it pays to be dyslexic. I didn’t even notice it until my attention was drawn to it.

        • Well, if you haven’t grown up with the linguistic conventions of transliterating Algonquin languages into 17th/18th century English, it makes perfect sense. 🙂

          Old MacDonald had a state
          O – I – O – I – ho!

          But the typo’s probably magically dangerous to the universe, what with Ohio being the Heart of It All.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Ah, yes, the astounding things our President gets up to.

      • I’m a bit bemused by this whole kerfluffle… it seemed obvious to me from the moment* I saw the picture that they had lined up in left-to-right order, spelling O-H-I-O from their own perspective, momentarily forgetting that that would spell O-I-H-O from the camera’s perspective. So why the gleeful “the President can’t spell” mockery, when it’s a simple case of mixing up stage left vs. audience left? And why the rush to defend the President with bogus “it was flipped in Photoshop” claims (it wasn’t, and a casual examination of the picture looking at the campaign buttons visible in the picture proves it)? (And yes, I know Teh Won may not be questioned and all that… but seriously, MSM? A simple stage directions mixup and you rush to unwarranted conclusions?)

        You know, strike that “a bit” bemused and make that seriously bemused.

        * Okay, not quite from the first moment I saw the picture. It took me several seconds to figure out just what the heck those hand gestures were supposed to represent.

        • Oh, but it’s ever so much more *fun* that way! And “Prez can’t spell” makes for a better headline than “Prez mixes up stage directions” for the political bloggers.

        • Whoops… Made the mistake of relying on second-hand reports instead of checking myself. It’s not campaign buttons that prove the picture isn’t Photoshopped (there are none in evidence), it’s the lettering on red T-shirt of the student directly behind Obama in the picture.

          See, MSM? This is how you’re supposed to do it! When you make a mistake, follow up as soon as possible and correct it publically.

        • No. The president’s watch is on his left wrist, Robin. That dog won’t hunt. Did they mean for it to be seen from behind? I know I know “Most transparent” and all that. Now, spelling things with people is difficult, but seriously? Think of the coverage if it were the other side. As a dyslexic and the mother of a kid with engineer-mouth, in the interest of fairness I have to say sauce for the goose and all that.

          • Yes, flip the coverage and remember how the Dems mocked McCain’s inability to raise his arms in 2008. Live by the standards you set.

            The critical thing is that when they could have won points for character and humility by laughing at themselves for getting it confused — something we all do, at one time or another — they kicked sand over it. One can be, perhaps, forgiven for doubting they would be as generous if a political opponent made such a trivial error.

            • Yes, flip the coverage and remember how the Dems mocked McCain’s inability to raise his arms in 2008

              Unless we’re going to assume the President is dyslexic, not even in the same UNIVERSE.

              I do NOT like McCain. I still want to react in a rather extremely unpleasant manner for me (for situations not involving physical threat) to the…unspeakables who mock a man for the result of wounds inflicted because he defended the country.

              Hits about the same level as folks calling one of those poor ladies who have had acid splashed in their face because they’re accused of some sin by calling them “clayface.”

              It is just… unspeakable. Disgusting. Shows what worth someone really holds other people in, when they’re not personally useful.

              • It does rather explain the Progressives peculiar willingness to make common cause with Jihadis who execute a woman for having been so shameless as to incite a man to rape her. Shared values and all that.

                • Ron Harrison

                  The progressives are run by a small wealthy self selected elite. Their purpose is to maintain themselves in a Brahman caste. The 50% of the population that are on food stamps, etc, are just the people the Brahman are playing. Once the Brahman take their cut off the top the 50% will be left with subsistance only. From poverty the untouchables came and in poverty they shall remain.

          • Sarah, you’re assuming a fact not in evidence, namely that Obama has ever thought about something from a perspective not his own. 🙂

            As for what the coverage would have looked like from the other side, I take that as a given. The MSM’s increasing bias is, thankfully, slowly starving it of its lifeblood (avertising revenue) as it sheds readers/viewers and advertisers become less willing to pay big bucks… but that process is far too slow for my taste. So many of my friends still rely on what they read in the newspaper and are thus ill-informed about important stuff. I’ve been unable to get most of them to consider alternate sources so far, alas.

            • Lessee … the President’s reelection campaign theme is “Forward,” MSNBC’s ad slogan is “Lean Forward,” the administration spent $50 million of stimulus money on advertising on MSNBC … no, nothing to see he… Squirrel!

          • You say tomato, I say tomatoe,
            You spell potato, I spell potatoe…

            (Just sits there grinning like the Cheshire Cat.)

        • Yes, yes, it’s perfectly understandable, the thing is, we instantly got voices from the MSM screaming faintly from the president’s nether regions, “it’s photoshopped! It’s photoshopped!”

  2. We are wired for confrontation and race, ie that mix of skin color and ethnic background, just seems to be the easiest, but it’s certainly not required. In overwhelmingly homogeneous populations, such as South Korea, they will come to blows over what province one is from.

    • Scott, human beings are TRIBAL. The miracle of the United States is that we’ve somehow adopted everyone who lives here into a single tribe. There are some inter-tribal squabbles, but for the most part, we are all “Americans”. Having lived in Europe, Asia, and Latin America as well as the United States, I realize how unique this is. It’s a good thing, a very good thing. That’s why I hate to see politicians trying to divide us into groups – by race, by religion, by culture, or by politics. That is a VERY BAD thing, and needs to stop. It’s the one thing that can destroy what we’ve miraculously created.

      • It’s a Marxist thing.

        • What? You say that like it’s a BAD thing! It’s soooooo very important to have an “other” to blame for all your problems, Madame Hostess! How could we redistribute their wealth if they were really as human as we are? I’m pretty sure those nasty plutocrats (anybody making a profit in this recession MUST be stealing from and oppressing the decent, hardworking proletariat) have some sort of ichor running through whatever biological mutation they use for veins. If they were actually human, like us and our little *fill-in-the-blank* brothers, then we’d be committing murder when we have them and their childre- no, offspri- no, wait . . . genetic decedents (that’s it, yeah) disappeared or re-educated, and ALL THE RIGHT PEOPLE know that we have their best interests at heart and only want the BESTEST for EVERYBODY-EVAR. So it can’t be murder, and they can’t be human. Ipso facto, QED, n’stuff.

          • I think there’s a lot of “I’m smart and I work hard and those people couldn’t possibly be smarter or work harder than I do, and I don’t understand how they’re making money so they must be cheating honest people like me” going on as well.

      • Two factors generally overlooked in contemporary discussions of race:

        1) Until recently, the idea of a White or even European race was incomprehensible. English despised the Celts (Scots, Welsh & Irish) and all other Europeans; Portugese and Spanish mutually detested each other; French detested Germans, English and Norse, all of whom returned the enmity and detested one another. Let’s not even get into the Eastern and South-Eastern European animosities. Within Germany the Prussians looked down their noses at Bavarians, in France the Parisians sneered at the Lombards and so on and so on and so on. (Properly done, these sub-listings would be more extensive but really, who cares? and who can remember it all? Also, my apologies for not following establishe form and using the regional epithets, but again, who cares, who can remember them all.)

        2.) Except outside of Africa, Black people are not considered a single race. The evidence of the mutual antipathy of Watusi, Hutus, Zulus, Tutsis, etc. etc. etc. is present in the vast quantities of their prisoners of war who were exported to North Africa, Europe and the Americas. Had they gotten along and sung Cumbaya they would have had no captives to sell to slavers. (Those who argue that the purchasers created the market should consider that those captives were only kept alive because there was a market for them.)

        Finally, those in America arguing this nonsense about all one big happy culture need to STFU or practice what they preach and stop sneering at Southerners, Rednecks, Hillbillies, Cowboys, Suburbanites and all the benighted residents of flyover country who cling to their guns and religions. For the most part, these idiots are not saying “all cultures are equal” they are asserting that “some cultures are more equal than others.”

        • Hmmmm. to be sure, all those subdivisions were indeed regarded as racial. . .

          On the other hand, some divisions were regarded as greater than others. Even in the Middle Ages, the three wise men were depicted as a European, an Asian, and an African. Later, polygenesis was a theory that Europeans and Africans didn’t come from a common origin, not that different European groups didn’t have one.

          • Read Patricia Wentworth — mid 20th century — to be told that Portuguese are DEFINITELY a different race. Actually even in Portugal I’ve been told my kids are mixed breeds. (True so far as Dan has enough NA blood to make it so — though it’s not 100% or even 50%. It is however apparently more than we thought given the kids’ medical histories. BUT they mean because they’re not “pure Portuguese” — and there walks folly since Portuguese are… er… not pure anything.)

            • Sarah,
              The Portuguese aren’t pure anything. And, there-in lies a tale. If you develope a close friendship with a pure blood NDN you are likely to (eventually) find he has white blood. On the other hand among many NDNs it is a given that most part bloods have twice the NDN blood they think.
              A typical story is, “My grandmother was a pure blood Cherokee, or Shawnee, or whatever, I think that makes me about a 32nd. I wish I had a ten spot for every time I’ve heard that.

              • Ron – my best childhood friend found out recently that she was 1/4 NA from a California tribe. Her family hid it for years and told only a select few. They told everyone else because they had such dark hair and white skin that they were Greek.

                • Ron Harrison

                  I don’t know of those particular circumstances but the same type of thing went on in my family. A cherokee was offically supposed to go on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. Many of us, especially the Chickamauga Cherokee who were the warrior society, just faded away into the hills. Eventually the Army found out that apprehending us was just too dangerous. At that point I can imagine Sergeants going in to report to their Lieutenants, “I tell you sir there ain’t anymore Cherokee in them hills.” OTOH we learned to say we were Black Irish, Black Dutch or Black Scots. In addition a serious split within the Cherokee made it dangerous to say we were Cherokee. To a lesser extent that is still true. Suffice it to say that if you go down into the traditional Cherokee homeland, even today, we are still there. And, no, I am not referencing the Cherokee settlement in North Carolina. They are a good people but a different group of Cherokee.
                  BTW, if you want to hear something pretty, go to Youtube and look up the Cherokee Morning Song.

                  • I will do that Ron – I was born on the Bella Coola reservation so I have felt a connection to Ameridians for most of my life. I remember the first time I learned the trail signs. It was fascinating.

                    Anyway, recently I had my maternal DNA done for fun and because I had my hubby’s done for his genealogy purposes (he has some strange DNA). Anyway I found that many of the Cherokee have the same maternal DNA that I have except we were separated 30,000 years ago. My family stayed in Northern Europe and their families came to America.

                    So hello distant brother – 😉 My maternal lines produced berserkers and Scandinavian kings.

                    I am pale, pale and more pale.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Yes, they say that all of the tribes share the DNA of 4 women back about that time span. There are 4 exceptions; the Navaho, one other tribe in the SW USA, the Inuit and one tribe that I can’t remember.
                      I love teasing the Koreans and the Mongolians. Scientist say the 3 of us are very close kin. I tell the Koreans and Mongolians they ran us out of Asia. GRIN Mean rascals?
                      Here in North America I only know of a few language families among the Indians. I don’t know exactly how many exist,.
                      About being of the same blood. When the guys start their locker room talk I also like to tease, “Watch how you treat that girl. She is your cousin.”
                      Seriously if you assume 27 years to the generation and divide that into 1,000 years progression will show that you had more ancestors at that distance than there were people in the world.
                      Homo Sap. isn’t that old a race.
                      Anyway it is nice meeting another cousin.

                    • Way back when Billy Maher’s Politically Incorrect was first on ABC late night I sampled a few shows before deciding Truth In Advertising laws needed to be cited. One exchange adheres to this day: with Robbie Robertson (per Wiki:

                      best known for his membership as the guitarist and primary songwriter within The Band. … As a songwriter Robertson is responsible for such classics as “The Weight”, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, “Up On Cripple Creek”, “Broken Arrow” and “Somewhere Down the Crazy River” … of “predominantly Mohawk descent”

                      … that last element being most important in this context) on the panel, Maher made some smarmy comment about making Amerindians, “the most spiritual people on the planet” run casinos.

                      There was an indescribable joy to be had in watching the panelists unanimously rip Maher a new one … Left, Center and Right they stomped Maher’s fatuous racism into the dirt and trod on the remains, Robertson leading the war party.

                      Mind you, I am not sure there is any place more conducive to heartfelt prayer than a casino …

                    • Mind you, I am not sure there is any place more conducive to heartfelt prayer than a casino …

                      Two come to mind immediately. 1) Bathrooms, particularly after pregnancy tests, followed by 2) paternity clinics.

                    • Notwithstanding any edicts to the contrary from civil authorities low or high, prayer in school will persist at least as long as schools continue to conduct periodic exams. 🙂

                    • s long as schools continue to conduct periodic exams

                      That’s disgusting! Who’s doing these exams?

                    • RES – lol I have been in many NV casinos and the prayers are felt all around. *snort Eyes closed, hands upraised…. 😉

                    • I think I have mentioned it before but I am part indian (either 1/16 or 1/32 can’t remember right now) but I don’t know what tribe, because my ancestor that was Indian always claimed she was ‘Yankee’, because at that time and place Indian was not a good thing to be.

                      All in all it doesn’t matter, whatever my ancestors were, I am American.

                  • My grandmother’s family did a whole genealogy tracing back around 1920. In our copy of the book, a great-something-grandmother in the mid 1800’s is listed in print as “French Huguenot,” but someone has crossed that out in pencil and written “Cherokee.” I don’t know if that’s true, but I look a lot like my grandmother and we both have a NA style strong jaw and mosquitos don’t care much for me and poison oak doesn’t hurt me much, so there’s something in there. (Not to mention I seem to be carb-sensitive, durnit.)

                    • You lucky woman!!! Mosquitoes love me. UGH not so much since the chemo though. Don’t know about poison oak. If I have touched it I don’t know. I don’t get rashes from plants or wasps. No rashes or welts from mosquitoes either. Horse flies used to bite me and it would hurt and then go away.

                      There are things I just won’t eat. Peas, peas, beets, did I mention peas and beets? Carrots very rarely. But, I have a thing for potatoes and fish. Could live on those two items. Potatoes and salmon actually. No other food need apply. Not interested in chocolate cake… keep it.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      A lot of us have French Huegenot blood lines. They were among the better classes in France and it is said that France set itself back a hundred years by our expulsion. It is a pretty safe bet that even in the US they went by an alias to conceal their identity and protect their families still in France.

                    • Lot of us disguised Hugenots out there – my paternal grandfather was Scots-Irish (heavy on the Scots, light on the Irish, just because he was born in the northern part of it) but his actual family name – Menaul – is French, and the tradition in the family is that they were all Protestants, and scarpered to Scotland following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Could be true, I guess – they were all ferociously Presbyterian, even into the late 19th century. They settled eventually in Clogher, County Tyrone (although in the family it was always pronounced Cloch-aire) from which my grandpop immigrated with all speed around the turn of the last century. There are a number of other families with the same last name, all with a tradition of ferocious Protestanism, French descent, and from Clogher. Alas, it appears that the records were all burnt during the Troubles of the 1920s, so none of the family trees as recollected by the various elder members can be assembled into a coherent structure. And it seems that a lot of the Menauls were – if not given to skate around the truth – were inclined to recall it with atvantages.

                    • And it seems that a lot of the Menauls were – if not given to skate around the truth – were inclined to recall it with advantages.

                      Common to the human, to spin things in the most fortunate of lights. A bit of it is pride, a bit self-preservation. For example, when the powers that be can take your land away if you have certain heritage the family is apt to conveniently forget such bits of its past. This lies behind the Melungeons surprise to find out that they are not, generally, of Portuguese decent, even thought this had been accepted in the state courts and they had been raised to believe it for several generations.

                    • I was looking into my hubby’s line and his grandmother comes from a French Huguenot line. They went to Scotland and then to America. I don’t … only French I can claim is Normandy. I had a German distant cousin contact me because he found relatives in Normandy and then found me. It was interesting. A very nice old man with a fun hobby. (Norman, Norseman, Vikings–I am very Viking). 😉

            • Unless you want to debate whether Portuguese are members of the human race, I am confident that many are indeed “pure something” — pure pains in the butt.

            • Oh yea Sarah – and on another note, the races in America are not pure anything either. When I went to South Africa they used to laugh at the American blacks who wanted to become one with their brothers because in tribes there (Zulu and Sotho) if you have any drop of white then you are colored and not one of the tribes. American blacks were more welcome in the white communities than the black communities. This was the 1980s. (You probably know this as well as I do).

              When I try to explain this to people in America (and a few of my friends who are black), I was accused of being racist. I just said, I dare you to find out for yourself.

      • Historically this country was more divided. The Spouse would observe that prior to the late great unpleasantness we were the states united — since WWII we became the United States. You can see how we were divided in our legends and stories, look, for example at The Virginian. Then look at the propaganda from WWII designed to convince us that the guy from the Bronx, the fellow from the farm in Ohio, the Tennessee mountain boy and the gent from Savannah could all serve together. Between the propaganda and the experience we learned this was, for the most part, true.

        • One of several good things Harry Truman did (along with some bad things I won’t mention here) was to integrate the armed services. Serving together, working together, sleeping in the same tent/barracks, eating at the same chow hall, pulling the same details, breaks down a number of walls. I had no animosity against blacks as a kid, so it was an easy transition for me. Others I served with had more difficulty. The smartest man I’ve ever met in my life was a black officer. He left our unit to teach at the Air Force Academy while he got his PhD.

      • This is very well said. May I borrow it for use elsewhere online?

        • On seeing what is between I figured I’d better clarify. This is what I’d like to borrow:

          “Scott, human beings are TRIBAL. The miracle of the United States is that we’ve somehow adopted everyone who lives here into a single tribe. There are some inter-tribal squabbles, but for the most part, we are all “Americans”. Having lived in Europe, Asia, and Latin America as well as the United States, I realize how unique this is. It’s a good thing, a very good thing. That’s why I hate to see politicians trying to divide us into groups – by race, by religion, by culture, or by politics. That is a VERY BAD thing, and needs to stop. It’s the one thing that can destroy what we’ve miraculously created.”

  3. In our bicultural family two ideas compete: 1) give Texas back to Mexico (since the US stole it in the first place), and 2) just take over Mexico, all the way down to the border with Guatemala.

    Both of these ideas are floated in a mixture of cynicism and frustration. Neither would really solve anything. Both address, in a skewed manner, the border problem.

    Some people in the family believe that if the Americans would stop taking drugs, Mexico wouldn’t have the problems it does. Others believe that if Mexico would just solve its problem with drug cartels, Americans wouldn’t be tempted by drugs. Vast oversimplifications on both sides, of course.

    Having grown up in the Mexican culture, I can never be completely ‘American’ – but neither can I be completely Mexican. I think that is good. But I don’t think we can export our own version of democracy, much less let it become a hemispherical or a global government – it has too many flaws. The idea is truly terrifying. Some of our home-grown people are truly terrifying.

    I agree with our hostess that maintaining different nations and cultures is the only way to go. I do wish, though, that it were possible for those affected negatively by their own government to move to places where they would be considered assets instead of liabilities, just as we have acquired, over our history (we in this case = USA), many of the people who were unhappy where they came from – a good portion of whom made better lives here.

    The only problem – and it is insoluble – is that many of the world’s cultures depend psychologically on having an underclass they can oppress (so as to make the overclass rich, happily served, and somehow ‘better’). I can’t see them giving it up willingly.

    • I’m going to try very hard to avoid an argument here, but as a Texan I must cordially disagree with that first one.

      • Do those “give Texas back to Mexico” camp also advocate giving Mexico City back to the Aztec descendants?

        • That too. But of all the things about that “The US stole Texas from Mexico” line that get my back up, the biggest is the casual insinuation that either we didn’t actually fight a bloody war for our independence, or that it somehow doesn’t matter.

          • Oh, you’re just one of those fools who thinks that violence solves things from time to time.

            • If you use enough of it . . .

              • which we tend to be squimmish about in our great, enlightened age.

                • /eyeroll
                  And the rest of the world stares at us in incomprehension. I think a nice quick – survivable – catastrophe would be a good thing for Americans. See some death, maybe participate in some. Make some hard choices, like between survival and welcoming that troubled young person into your fold. I keep tripping back to the idea that we (American society in general) have gotten soft. I’m not sure where the “too soft to recover” line is, though, and that troubles me.

                  • Some of those project bred LA youth would be cuckoos.

                    • Cyn, I guess I am confused. I see little in the world that serves to make me want to imitate them or to be overly concerned with their opinions. So long as our system works, so long as the net migration is from there to here and so long as we act morally aren’t we above average? Ron

                    • Oh, I’m thinking of more drastic decisions, made from behind a set of iron sights. Things where there are no middle ground, unless it’s got clear lines of sight and fire.

                    • Ron – I may not be overly concerned with their opinions until their opinions start getting tagged on my buildings … even though I live in Nevada we are getting an influx of LA youth with gang affiliations. As we get more of them, our murder rates and crimes seemed to have gotten higher than usual. So I may not believe in them, but they sure as heck believe in me..

                      I carry a big stick 😉

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Cyn, I am not a pacifist and do not suggest that you should be one either. GRIN

                    • A big stick lacks range and should only be used as your back-up of last recourse once your bayonet has broken off.

                    • Our area is one of the prime locations for international refugee resettlement. About twenty years ago we were having real trouble with rival gangs of youths from Pakistan, including public stabbings. It seems no one had anticipated what they were doing in transferring to the same area two groups intent on eliminating each other and equally suppressed by their home government.

                    • LOL why thank you Ron… since I have not met you, please take this in the meaning that it is given–kind and humble. I don’t really care. 😉

                  • I think that claiming a “survivable catastrophe” would be good for Americans is seeing people as numbers. Statistics.

                    I’ve seen two brothers die. And without the right kind of medical supplies — one simple pill, daily — my quality of life drops fast, heading towards the dementia and death that claimed my grandfather. Without electricity and a special device (CPAP), my husband’s quality of life and life-span start going down the tubes, also quickly.

                    No effing thank you on the catastrophes. Find another way that doesn’t involve Generic People dying like the NPCs in a video game — and me and my family specifically, to play the odds. We’re “acceptable losses”? Them’s fighting words.

                    • yep too – I have several pills I need to take to stay healthy.

                    • I agree, Beth: I don’t want any such thing to happen. I want my parents to enjoy another thirty years – or more, prolong, rejuv, yes please? – of life. I want my children to grow up in a nation and world at peace. One, perhaps, in which they look with amusement at some of the quaint ideas expressed in the 20th. Preferably, while they enjoy FTL travel, or at least their own flying cars. Unfortunately, I watch the world and national stages and the foolish behavior on display turns me pessimistic rather quickly. I see global economics practiced with an eye for quick profit over long-term stability. Where projections using fictitious numbers are the foundation for national planning. I see an American populace deeply divided by ideologies and beliefs, and unwilling to compromise for the common good. I see genuine heroes used as talking points by politicians hoping to score off of each other in order to garner votes. At the same time, there are people (here, for instance) who are working with deep thoughts every single day – thank you, Sarah! – talking about how to build a better tomorrow. There’s plenty of hope, but I still think we’re headed for a period of general chaos. I pray we weather it and come out the other side stronger for it. I’m sorry that my words offended.

                    • And meanwhile, for the love of heaven prepare, Beth. PRAY for the best, prepare for the worst. Always. Belt and suspenders. I’ve been piling up the meds I can’t live without. I think I could survive a month or so now. (Mostly the eczema stuff. Stress makes me break out, and if I’m one long raw wound, I will not be any use to Dan or the kids.) I wish we had a country place to go to — you know, cabin in woods, but from some other collapses of modern societies, that doesn’t actually help. You’re counter-intuitively better off in town.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Why not back SENS financially and hope they learn to make the 7 repairs that leaves the human body capable of living 900 years? They claim to only be about 20 years from a solution given sufficient financial support.

                    • and they have been for the last twenty years?

                    • Ron Harrison


                    • I recall a sociology professor of mine who observed that the standard form for ALL papers included the phrase: “these conclusions are preliminary and justify further research (grant request attached.)”

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Yes, in consultancy we would stamp on every page
                      “Preliminary report, for discussion only.”

                    • @kilteDave:

                      I have to think that your view is faulty. You “see an American populace deeply divided by ideologies and beliefs, and unwilling to compromise for the common good”. Were this the case, there would be a lot more blood flowing into the gutters.

                      America is indeed deeply divided by ideologies and beliefs. But we’re also a land of compromise.

                      Half the population wants to throw the other half into what amounts to perpetual slavery for their own comfort and convenience. Knowing that they can’t get this without bloodshed and becoming themselves too much like what they hate, they wave signs, shout, post on the internet, and most of them plan to hold their nose and cast a ballot in November for Barack Obama. This is compromise in action.

                      Meanwhile, the other half of the country wants as much as humanly possible of the government, at all levels, to be shut down permanently, and most of the employees thereof to be cut off from all contact with decent society for the rest of their lives, in reparation for their many sins against mankind. (These, of course, are the “moderates”. The extremists want all the ex-bureaucrats strung up from lampposts.) Knowing that they can’t accomplish this without bloodshed and becoming themselves too much like what they hate, they go to work, grumble, post on the internet, and most of them plan to hold their nose and cast a ballot in November for Mitt Romney. This is also compromise in action.

                      A lot of Americans feel fed up with compromise. And a few of those are prepared to say so in public. But that’s simply because they haven’t thought through the implications of the alternative. The day we stop being willing to compromise will be the very same day that the killing starts. In the meantime, try not to mistake rhetoric for action. Because if we ever get to the “action” phase of not trusting compromise anymore, you won’t have any difficulty knowing it for sure. The piles of bodies will give it away.

                    • I doubt more than 20% of the population actively wants to enslave the producers … unfortunately, that 20% occupies the media, NGOs (Ford Foundation & its ilk), 75% of Congress and 90% of the bureaucracy.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      I see the split between the progressives and the classical liberals as not being ideological at all. The “little men behind the curtain” are a bunch of wealthy self designated Brahman class that has discovered a way to dominate the rest of us and perpetuate their position in society just as the original Brahman have done in India. Like the original Brahman they prefer not being the front men for their movement.

                    • I don’t know what the actual percentages are, but I know first hand that a lot of folks don’t think about what the things they want mean. 100% (or more) taxes on folks over X amount? Taking EVERYTHING from folks who have “too much”? (not earnings, but total value) That’s called slavery, moron… or “just” theft….

                    • I suspect the active percentage is even smaller, but generally while there are always large numbers happy to share the loot, few are willing to “break the shop window” as it were. But it only needs one brick.

                    • Stockpiling thyroid meds is all well and good — but their shelf life isn’t that great. It’d be like stockpiling mayflies…

                    • Yes I know. Can’t be refrigerated? I’m not saying it’s a wonderful solution and like you I hope we DON’T have a time of hell. OTOH… better to laugh as you throw stuff out, right?

                      My son calls whatever we stockpile “Of the apocalypse.” We have spam of the apocalypse. Dehydrated veggies of the apocalypse. Meds of the apocalypse. blankets of the apocalypse… etc. The four horsemen would feel crowded out.

                    • What about the fifth, Ronnie aka Kaos? If you’re lucky maybe you’ll just get: ‘the One Horseman and Three Pedestrians of the Apocralypse.’

                    • Basically, if we hit apocalypse status, I’ll need to see if the mother-in-law’s neighbors are raising pigs, so I can get the thyroids when they’re slaughtered. (I’m a vegetarian ’cause meat tastes awful to me, not because I’m not thoroughly self-centered… 😉 )

                    • A lot of thyroid medicine is made from mare in estrus urine, so in a worst case scenario….

                    • isn’t that actually estradiol? (Estrogen) for menopausal females? I thought thyroid was pretty much from the thyroid gland. Beth, go to Amazon and look up Natural Sources Thyroid. It stores well and is okay if you’re marginally hypothyroidal. In your case I suspect you’d need a massive dose, but hey….

                    • Sorry, your correct Sarah, I got the two medicines confused. Luckily I have no need for either, so as long as I’m not prescribing them to someone else we’ll all be okay 🙂

                    • Well said. Such thinking is great…when you’re not part of the folks who get hurt in that “catastrophe.”

                    • I’m not marginally hypo. I take 100mcg 6 days a week and 88mcg on Mondays. I was sick earlier this summer and not sure how the cough syrup (prescription, woo!) would interact, so I dropped to 88mcg for a few more days and crashed pretty quickly. (Fortunately, I am a “thyroid responder” and going back to my usual dose revived me pretty quickly, too.)

                      I used to be a tree-hugger. Now I still like trees, but in the mode of, “okay, to save nature, we all need to… LIVE IN ORBITAL COMMUNITIES, YES!”

                    • I’m okay with that type of nature saving.

                • Only SOME of us. The rest of us are secretly bloodthirsty savages with a thin veneer of civilization. I speak from experience. Most of the people that join the military and remain beyond one term are such people.

                  • Ron Harrison

                    Gentleman and pacifist are not synonyms. GRIN. Personally I follow the rule of thumb my old boxing coach taught us. “Always be a gentleman and never fight out of your class.” His other rule for poolhall conduct was, “I don’t ever want to hear of you swinging first or the other guy swinging last.”

                  • Some of us who only staying in one term are still savages. I blame the joint service environment run by a civilian agency for my quick exodus. Now my uniform of the day includes facial hair and kilts, and I get to call myself “writer” instead of “peon.” It’s more exciting, at least, and my health is better for the change.

                    • Stayed, not staying. More caffeine? Too much? I might blame cold fingers, too, but that makes as little sense. /sigh

                    • Some of us who never joined are still savages. BUT we watch ourselves all the time and MAKE us act civilized.

                    • One term in the Navy here Dave… but it was six years. My hubby is a Vietnam War Vet. Plus I have berserker blood so I have to watch my bad tempers because they can go into rage very easily. Thankfully bad tempers don’t happen too often.

                    • One six-year term in the Navy here, too, Cyn. To my knowledge, I don’t berserk. My rages tend to be cold, and – I’m told – very frightening. Also blessedly rare.

                      I treasure the savages in our midst. Not the barbarians, like those LA gang-bangers. Barbarians typically can’t see past the end of their own “honor.” Savages are those who can appreciate greater things, but who still possess the capability to chuck it all at need.

                    • Dave – I was double-dosed. I have the berserker rage that comes from my mother’s line, and the cold rage that comes from my father’s line. I would rather experience the cold rage because it is better for planning. The berserker rage is better for short-term action NOW. 😉

            • 🙂
              What can I say… guilty as charged

            • I’m on that side too. As Heinlein pointed out, the other side can go and talk to the city fathers of Carthage.

              • Sarah, I don’t know how this applies to your medical problems, but the survivalist solution to meds is to find the closest VETERINARY equivalent of your meds and buy them cheap at the cat clinic, or from a livestock vet. You would need advice from the survivalist books that recommend this.

                • Susan Shepherd

                  Similarly, if there’s a local (or larger) disaster and a family member gets an infection but the doctors are busy / absent / overloaded / out of supplies, try a pet store or a fish store. Antibiotics intended for ill fish are in many cases perfectly usable by humans, and you can get amoxicillin, ampicillin, and tetracycline that way, as well as metronidazole, a drug useful against dysentery. It’s certainly better than nothing.

                  • Actually many of those antibiotics labeled for fish are labeled that way simply so it is legal to sell them without a prescription. They are perfectly safe, and although their manufacturers can’t admit it on that packaging their intended consumers are either people or various pets. I tend to keep large supplies of antibiotics around for my dogs, I like to order them with a prescription, because that is the cheapest way to get them. When my old vet moved, before I found my new vet that I liked I didn’t have a vet who was willing to write me prescriptions for various antibiotics by the 500 pill bottle, so I bought quite a few of the ‘fishbiotics’, if your going to go that route the cheapest way is to order from various vet supply dealers such as KVsupply (they also happen to be where I order my prescription antibiotics). Note that antibiotics made for human and veterinary use are the same pills made in the same factory, with the same quality control. Some of the bulk bottles of pills I buy are labelled ‘for human consumption only’ when the vet puts them in the smaller pill bottle to give to you it just has the label that states ‘for veterinary use only.’

                    As well as the antibiotics you listed, ciprofloxacin (Cipro), cephalexin, and smz/tmp (a sulfa drug) are also available labeled for fish, as well as Doxycycline (tetracycline derivative) labeled for birds. And penicillin and syringes are available at any feed store.

                • If there’s a vet equivalent of the meds I need, I’d be stunned. Antidepressants, maybe. Narcolepsy meds… not likely.

            • To quote the original Texans who won their independence:

              “COME AND TAKE IT.”

          • I may remember this incorrectly, but did not Texas gain its own independence from Mexico before it became part of the U.S.?

            • The “narrative” is that those evil Americans moved to Texas and stole it from Mexico before Texas became “officially” part of the US.

            • Yes, it did. Texas is one of the only states (other than Hawaii, I believe) that was an independent nation before joining the U.S.

              We Texans are only half joking when we display “Secede, secede” bumper stickers. 🙂

              • And there’s a rather noisy segment of Hawaii’s population that desires a return to that sovereignty.

              • That is the reason Texas is so effing big: they made not being subdivided a requirement for joining the club. So now you guys only get two senators instead of six.

                Same thing with California, BTW. Yes, they were already “in” the Union, but at that time were quite ready to declare independence, and quite able to make it stick, rather than accept division. So they two are short of senators.

                Speaking of which: stipulating that Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin said something stupid, and said it stupidly, I see no evidence to think that a disqualification for Senatordom, or even the vice-presidency.

                • IIRC… Texas used to be BIGGER, and still has the option of dividing into 4 smaller states (in order to get more senatorial votes; of course, that would break down fast and you’d only have 3 wee little states chasing each other around the football fields…). Though since the Civil War, there’s some debate as to whether that option would be honored.

                  *lived in Texas for most of her pre-18 life*

                  • When first declared, the Republic of Texas claimed the entire Rio Grande watershed and extended north to the Arkansas River. Santa Fe NM, Trinidad CO, and the south side of Garden City KS would all be in Texas, as would several major modern ski resorts (which were developed by Texans but do not ever, ever, remind Colorado residents of that.) Part of the Compromise of 1850 squared off the western edges of the state, in the process leaving OK with that odd little tail known as the Oklahoma Panhandle or No Man’s Land (because it belonged to neither TX nor KS nor any assigned Indian Nation, prior to 1900.)

                • “we have to pass it in order to know what’s in it” or “are you kidding me?” when questioned on the constitutionality of a bill were said by a sitting house representative and third (?) in line for the presidency. If the worst these critters were was “morons” we’d be well off.

                • I cut people a lot of slack when they’ve been campaigning a lot and are speaking live – they’re fatigued and the mouth and the brain often disconnect, and things will be expressed poorly or inaccurately (same with radio djs who can’t allow any dead air time).

                  For example, regardless of my overall impression of our current president, I do not believe he thinks we have 57 states.

                  • That being said, I do think our current president thinks we didn’t build that. Sometimes, off the prompter and fatigued, truth will out.

                  • You know what I do when I mangle words? I laugh at myself and apologize for effing up. That is what politicians like Ronald Reagan and the Bush freres et peres and even Billy Clinton did. The kind of people who take such malapropisms as indicative of anything deeper need to be sequestered from public life.

                    • But what about the fact that President Obama can’t seem to remember what age his kids are, or that last year he was asked to write down the current year and wrote “2008?”

                    • Admittedly, for some to walk on water takes considerable support.

                    • To be honest, in this case I exonerate him. I get two out of five tries to get my kids’ names right, after calling them all the cats’ names. Sometimes it’s worse than that, there’s dead cats’ names, and female cats’ names…

                    • It is not the mistake, it is the cover-up that damns.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      THIS, THIS, THIS. This President never admits making a mistake, even when it comes to some of the more offensive things from his younger years that are detailed in either of his “autobiographies”.

                • With that stipulation, I’ll add that the meat of the statement– about lower conception rates– was uncontroversial enough to be taught in my late-90s sex ed class in Washington state, where the biggest problem with abortion as birth control was that it didn’t prevent any STDs.

                    • Okanogan, at the time, but they imported our program from the Damp Side around Olympia– that’s where most of the parents were from, and we had to “match up.”

                    • Ack. I was out in Grays Harbor for that particular training iteration. As I recall, I was reading at the time, though the particular novel escapes me. I just remember everybody being horribly embarrassed by the material, and none more than our bachelor track coach cum health teacher. Poor guy. I could practically read by his blush.

                    • Lewis county here, and what I remember most is that our health teacher reminded us all as we left class every day to be sure and “eliminate daily.” I thought she was a certifiable nutjob, and my dad who even though he attended a different school district, managed to have her as teacher one of her first years teaching, agreed.

                    • I loved the health teacher who told Robert he was overweight (back then) because he ate organic stuff. He should eat inorganic stuff like fiber, because it would get in his arteries and clean them. The thought of fiber in the arteries made Robert cringe, and his offer to eat a Buick piece by piece as a weight loss thing just confused the teacher.

                    • For those who are about to read, I apologise:

                      I knew a guy who was into inorganic food — nothing but clay. Of course, when upset he’d sh*t a brick.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      What’s funny about that to me is that I recently read an article about the history of potatoes and their domestication in South America (no, I wasn’t in South America, that’s where the spuds were domesticated, sheesh), and it said that they used to all be toxic, and that in order to eat them safely, the humans learned from animals to eat clay before (or with) the potatoes, and they would be safe. So maybe it was a South American farmer who ran out of potatoes?

                    • LOL. O, Lummy!

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  Well, I wouldn’t see it as disqualifying, but I can’t see that it has done anything but destroy his chances to get elected.

              • We Texans are only half joking when we display “Secede, secede” bumper stickers

                There are parts of the country where that would be taken the altogether the wrong way — such as the state I live in. (There is one property just off of I-40 that has a legal codicil that it can never be sold to anyone descended from a member of the Union Army.)

            • Yes we did. The Republic of Texas Rather short-lived, but the sacrifices made and lives lost to create it are no less real.

            • The Mexicans need to remember that the reason the Americans living in Texas rose in revolt was because of the suppressive tactics of Mexico became intolerable. The rest of the world also needs to remember that we do not tolerate intolerable conditions, and react rather violently when we get fed up. All that “peace and light” is a bunch of leftist propaganda, and doesn’t match the feelings of the vast majority.

              • I dealt with the Texas revolt against Mexico in my own book – Daughter of Texas. By one way of looking at it, the Texas War for Independendence was an outgrowth of the ongoing conflict between two Mexican political factions, the Federalists (who were more liberal, modern and wanted to have a federal republic of states very much like the United States) and the Centralists, who were the old-line conservative faction, who wished to govern top-down from Mexico City. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was a decorated commander and a Federalist hero, who was seen very much as the George Washington of Mexico when he became president early in the 1830s. Unfortunately, he cynically turned his coat, abrograted the Constitution of 1824 and basically declared himself a dictator … whereupon a number of Mexican states besides Coahuila y Tejas (such as Zacatecas) rose up in revolt against him.

                The revolts were put down with a great deal of cruelty – Texas was the only one of the rebellious Mexican states that made it stick. To look at it that way – the Texas War for Independence was a sidebar to a Mexican civil war. My follow-on book, Deep in the Heart deals with the decade that Texas was an independent republic. The abolitionists in Congress blocked admission of Texas as a US state for nearly ten years – and all the while, Mexico waged a kind of cold border war. San Antonio was even re-taken and occupied for a couple of weeks by a Mexican Army expeditionary force in the early 1840s. The district court was in session, and everyone there – judge, prosecutor, defense lawyers and plaintiffs were dragged back to Mexico in chains. Meanwhile, Sam Houston played a deep game, flirting with Great Britain, and making noises about Texas becoming a British protectorate.

                It was all a great deal more complicated than most people who aren’t history-obsessed realize. And saying ‘give it back to Mexico’ is insultingly simplistic. It was the Anglo settlers who came through Austin and DeWitt’s entrepeneur grants who settled the eastern half of the place … at Mexico’s invitation, because they needed a buffer zone against the Comanche – among others.

              • The first chief executive of Texas was a disciple of Andy Jackson and held to the Jacksonian attitude: don’t bother me, I won’t bother you; bother me and there will be Hell to pay.

                If you haven’t already read it:

              • Part of that supressiveness was Santa Anna’s declaration to eliminate slavery in Texas (but not the rest of Mexico).

        • if we all started giving back lands, it would never end.

          • Yes – so the Spanish would have to give back… oh yea, Mexico had a war of independence against Spain. 🙂

            • Wayne Blackburn

              I have pictures on Facebook of protestors who were at the dock in Newport, Ky where replicas of (I think) the Nina and the Pinta (It was two of Columbus’s ships, can’t remember for certain which two) were on display and available for tours inside (Tiny things, can’t imagine crossing the ocean in them). They were holding signs saying, “Tell The Truth”, and “Fuera Conquistadores!”. I guess they want all us ferriners to get out.

              • Jack Vance’s novel The Gray Prince is instructive and contrarian on the subject of giving land back. Seriously, read it sometime. (Hint: he ain’t in favor of it. For good reasons.)

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  Neither am I. Why should we start now? The entirety of human history is that of one group taking land from another group that were too weak to defend it. NOW, we (Americans) have stopped taking land (as a country, in conquest), but we should feel guilty now about the conquests of people going back various numbers of years (depending on which group of people we are talking about)? Phooey on that. Once you start that, where do you stop? The only logical endpoint is that you give land back to the first people who inhabited it. Then what do you do if that people are all gone? Work your way up until there are living descendents of someone who inhabited it as far back as possible?

                  • Okay – according to the DNA mapping I have some Neanderthal so I would like some land please. 🙂 *smiling winningly And could you put a house on it, oh yes, servants would be nice that I don’t have to pay to clean and make my garden… and a pony…

                    • With our family history we are owed so much in reparations from so many places — when we finally figure out which piece of land we get due to which claim, we should be able to develop a real nice retreat for ourselves and our friends. Meanwhile, don’t hold your breath.

      • I told you we’re bicultural – and surely you know people have very different opinions on the subject. I didn’t say I agreed with either proposition – they just float around in my mind along with everything else.

        That is the problem with being a writer, for me: to write both sides of anything, I have to be able to put myself on either side, fully and in as many of the ramifications as I can. I find it quite a shock to the system when I switch from one of my three viewpoint characters to another – and then, before I can actually write, I find that part of myself that IS the next character, with all his/her little justifications and opinions, and I’m off and running.

        But if we were all able to do that all the time, maybe nothing would get done (except writing?) in the world, but maybe humans wouldn’t kill so many other humans either.


        • But if we were all able to do that all the time, maybe nothing would get done (except writing?) in the world, but maybe humans wouldn’t kill so many other humans either.

          The ditch-diggers would take over and we wouldn’t have time to write anymore for all the digging we would be made to do.

          • we wouldn’t have time to write anymore for all the digging we would be made to do

            I’ve heard there is a cannel in Siberia that wants inprovements …

        • Oh, I figured that was probably the case, especially with the way it’s a ‘family opinion’ (kinda like one of those ‘ask two southerners about the civil war and you’ll get four different answers’ things). I just couldn’t let the mention of one of my pet peeves float by without poking it with a stick 🙂 Don’t worry – no offense taken at you.

        • My older son has proposed the later solution, but all the way to the tip of Brazil. Then I remind him that’s just too big for local knowledge.

          • The United States and Canada will probably eventually amalgamate, but not in this century. We have too many cross-border ties for us not to draw even closer together. The only part of that I’m not 100% in favor of is incorporating a bilingual Quebec.

            • Of course if things don’t look up, we’ll be bilingual ourselves by that time. When was the last time you called a help line and didn’t have to ‘press 1 for english’?

            • Just leave Quebec to take care of its own self as a sovereign country, I say. The only reason Canada needs it is so it doesn’t have a big break in the middle. If we got the United States of North America, you could have East Canada and West Canadalaska and not worry about it. >_>

              Though I do rather doubt that either the USA or Canada would go to the point of handing over governmental traditions to the other. Allies, yes. Amalgamate? I strongly doubt it.

              • Not unless there’s the sort of emergency neither you nor I want to consider.

                • Hmmmmmmmm. I’d actually go so far as to say that unless we’re talking “busted back about three tech levels” disaster, the USA would not want to take Canada. Canada’s next door, but it’s still Furrin (er, foreign). And the US is all about being an isolationist country whose story is that while we may go and meddle in other places, we come home after. Because who wants those other places?

                  So if the US had enough of an “upper hand” as to have a prayer of imposing its government on Canada, I would anticipate that the reaction would be to dust them off, help them rebuild their governmental seat, and go home.

                  And if the situation were the other way ’round… I really don’t think Canada would want the US. I mean, really — a bunch of entitled, grubby Americans who mostly don’t speak any French? Ew. Send them back where they came from! 😉

                  If Canada were so decimated that it really couldn’t sustain anything, while the US were relatively untouched — or vice versa — then I’d see the possibility of absorption like Boston rolling over Cambridge. Anything less, and… it just feels improbable. Like it’d be the One Unlikely Premise to hang a SF story on. 🙂

                  • IIRC, a few years back several provinces in Western Canada were rumbling about switching to states. Of course, in the meantime Canada elected Stephen Harper and the US elected Barrack Obama.

                  • “In the news tonight: The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, better known as NASCAR, through its US, Canadian, and Mexican branches, has formed a new nation, ‘the United States of North America’. When asked how they pulled it off, NASCAR’s top echelons said ‘You don’t know the France family very well, do you?'” 🙂

            • I’ve been known to joke that if Australia ever gets in seriously deep trouble, the Oz PM will be on the phone to the US president saying “Want another seven states?”

              Oh wait. This explains it! Obama is a time traveler from AFTER this happened and forgot that the Australian states hadn’t joined yet!

        • ABE- I do that too with my characters… it is also a shock to the system when I find the character there lurking in my subconscious..

    • I didn’t say the US system wouldn’t work in the rest of the world. It would. But it requires an informed citizenry which most of the world doesn’t have. If and when they have it, then they can adopt the US system.
      Mexico, like Portugal, is still carrying around the ball and chain of Roman culture where corruption was a FEATURE. Look, we should condemn the bad features of cultures, and be vocal about it. Multiculturalism if for the birds. I see nothing good in quaint customs that call for the stoning of gay young men and mouthy young women. I don’t like us being the mommy and daddy of the world, but by our position we are. OTOH we’re the type of mommy and daddy who thinks everything can be solved with a snacky and a sing along — and that’s dangerous. Our outbreaks of anger tend not to be consistent nor followed through (Rome had the same issue till it became an empire, something I’m not advocating.) We are what we are. OTOH the system as is, with people sort of kind of afraid the US will lose its temper with them is by far preferable to a “well organized international government” — trust me on this.

      (In the seventies, I sat around many a bar table in Portugal, where we decided our only best chance was to have the US invade us and rebuild us. We never figured out how to goad the US into doing it. Now, if Portugal had threatened to wish me on the US… that might have done it.)

      • You need to read “The Mouse that Roared” which is about a nation invading the US and then being rebuilt by the US. It is pretty funny.

        • YES. The British 1959 movie based upon the book and starring Peter Sellers is rather fun as well.

        • You got there before me – that’s the exact plot, a little country in Europe that decides its best plan is to be conquered by the US – after all, look at Japan. There’s even a movie version with Peter Sellers.

        • Leonard wrote many excellent satirical novels about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick

          In The Mouse That Roared (1955), the Duchy seeks to stop American counterfeiting of Pinot Grand Fenwick. Grand Fenwick’s formal protests are ignored by U.S. State Department employees, who think the documents are pranks. Grand Fenwick then plans an attack on the United States, certain this will lead to immediate defeat followed by generous American aid. The Grand Fenwick Expeditionary Force lands when the streets of New York are deserted during a nuclear attack drill. Ultimately they take prisoners and return to Grand Fenwick. One captive is the inventor of the Q-bomb, and the Duchy finds itself the possessor of the only working model of this devastating weapon. Grand Fenwick forms an alliance of small nations, the Tiny Twenty, and uses its control of the bomb to obtain world peace.

          Beware of the Mouse (1958) is set in the Middle Ages and explains the historical origin of Grand Fenwick.

          In The Mouse on the Moon (1962), Grand Fenwick beats the U.S. and the Soviet Union in a space race by using a new rocket fuel, the secret ingredient for which is found in a “premier grand cru” crop of Pinot Grand Fenwick.

          In The Mouse on Wall Street (1969), the Duchy disrupts the world’s finances. In an attempt to dispose of a sizable royalty payment from an American chewing gum company by investing it in failing companies, Duchess Gloriana finds she has the Midas touch for the stock market, and in a flurry of rumor and assumption, the Duchy becomes a financial superpower.

          In The Mouse that Saved the West (1981), it is discovered that the Duchy is sitting on the largest oil deposit in the world.

          A few lines from my sig file display the edge of Wibberly’s wit:

          From Oxford Sir Roger had taken away only two pieces of learning, acquired out of his own observations. The first was that while the pen might be mightier than the sword, the sword spoke louder, clearer and more effectively at any given moment. The second was that “Aye” might be turned into “Nay” and vice versa if a sufficient quantity of wordage was applied to the problem.
          Beware of the Mouse, Leonard Wibberly

          “… the world is not a place for timid men, nor is liberty a birthright of those who fear to fight and speak for it come what may.”
          Beware of the Mouse, Leonard Wibberly

          “It is fear that enslaves men and costs them their liberty. Doubt before battle is more powerful than any cannon, and terror has destroyed more armies than all the weapons in the world.”
          Beware of the Mouse, Leonard Wibberly

      • That scenario has been done (The Mouse That Roared, Leonard Wibberley). (CYN beat me to it, but the two books that followed, including “The Mouse On The Moon” – are must reads, also.)

        LLoyd Biggle wrote “The World Menders” (I think – long time ago). In it, he said one line that’s stuck with me: “Democracy, imposed from without, is the sheerest form of tyranny.” The way I interpreted that is that government, imposed on a people, and not of their choosing, is tyranny. That’s the same reason I oppose much of what our current president is doing – it’s being IMPOSED, and the majority of the people don’t want it. That reminds me of a Thomas Jefferson quote: “I have sworn eternal vigilence over every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

        • Yup, people have to do it for themselves – what every parent learns watching their children go through life. (In fact, I’ve decided on a rule of thumb for governments: if it’s something a parent should not do for their healthy adult child, the government shouldn’t do it for its citizens.)

          • Oh, I’m so stealing that! Pithy AND accurate. Delicious idea, thank you!

          • Yup, people have to do it for themselves – what every parent learns watching their children go through life.”

            Rephrase that, “what every parent SHOULD learn” I have seen to many parents that didn’t learn that important principle.

            • yeah, we might have flying cars, but we DO have helicopter parents.

              • I wouldn’t blame the parents as much as neighbors who’ll turn around when a kid goes bad, or gets maimed/killed, and go, “Where were the parents?”

                (In my own case, I know full well why I wear the Mommy-Beanie; as I say, I lost two brothers. I even vaguely remember when the older got out of the house, I think. I was 4 at the time, and had no interest in going out with him.)

                • Oh yes. The village was much more lax on this. Kids need to get out and learn after all. I was describing to Dan some of my more tomboyish exploits and realized that letting a kid of 7 wander off for the entire day, here, would get the lawyers on my case.

                  • In your dreams. Child Protective Services would have them out of there so fast the air would pop. The first lawyers to get involved would be the ones you (tried to) hire to reclaim your “property” — I say property because that is obviously how you view them if you think of them as “your” kids.

                    Don’t make me post more Chris Booker links from the London Telegraph!

                    • Mind you when we lived in Manitou Springs, I allowed Robert to go down to the arcade to buy hotdogs alone at seven, but even then I lived in fear. NOT that something would happen to him (5k people town, lots of grandmas working in front gardens) but that some Buttinsky would call CPS on me.

                  • Unfortunately, what my brother learned (age 3ish) was that the neighbor’s swimming pool was unfenced, and he couldn’t swim. 😦

                    (When I went out a’rambling, I was more in the age of 13+, and usually in the company of the other girls in the neighborhood. Usually.)

                    • Yes. Three is very young.

                    • and Beth, in that case, I’m glad you didn’t go wandering!

                    • Compare that to my childhood in the 1950’s: I would eat breakfast at sun-up, go play in the woods behind our house (about 150-200 acres), sometimes with my cousins, sometimes alone, and be gone anywhere from three or four hours to all day. As I grew older, I had the responsibility of taking care of the younger children (my brother, some of my cousins, a few neighbors), but we still stayed out most of the day. During the school year, most of us were home by 6:30 or so, but during the summer, there were no time limits.

                      A friend of mine used to go walking at night when I was in high school. We would walk anywhere from two to five miles, along the neighborhood roads. No one got worried about us. Today, most kids aren’t allowed 500 FEET from their homes at night, unless supervised.

                    • to be honest where we live right now, I wouldn’t like the kids to go walking after 8 pm alone. Dan and I used to and stopped a few years ago due to “unpleasant encounters”

                    • Ron Harrison

                      When my Dad was a boy he lived a half mile off the main road on a farm surrounded by woods. He was approximately half Cherokee. After church on Sundays the custom was to have several couples visit one family’s home for lunch. When it was my grandparents turn my Dad and the other boys would skip lunch and take off to the woods with matches, salt and pepper in their pockets. They would tree rabbits and cook them for lunch. When it was time to go home my Cherokee Grandmother was known for being able to make the boys hear her calling them through a half mile of thick timber.

                    • Between swimming pools and a heart defect… I had three brothers, and never met one of them, and was an only child before the age of 10.

                      Give me my helicopter beanie and embroider MOM on it. *wry*

            • Pfui – these days the government will happily pay somebody to do it for you. Hate getting up to fix the snotdrippers breakfast? They can get it at school! Need afternoons free to watch your stories? Try the FREE after school care — all we ask is you not get a job or, if you already have one, not accept a raise.

              • Oh, don’t I wish it were that easy ’round here. We’ve got a group of volunteers who are making up backpacks of food for the kids who don’t have food during the weekends. (They can get breakfast at school, and they can get lunch, but Saturday and Sunday are apparently Hungry days.) They started in the grade schools, and as they got more food-donations, have been moving up to the middle schools. From the numbers they quote, I have a hard time believing that every single one of those kids has a Welfare Mom spending her check on megabux tickets. Statistically, there’s bound to be one or two out of the around-100 — but all of them?

                • In high school, I had to protest multiple times about being put on the “subsidized lunches” list. I finally quit buying the lunch ticket because I was tired of the monthly flight, and I could pack a better lunch, and my mom let me keep half the price. ^.^

                  In all cases I’ve looked at, that is the requirement to be put on “kid needs supplemental food” list,

                  If you take your kids’ names off the list, you don’t get reduced lunch, the free breakfast, etc– and you might lose your other subsidies, depending on the are.

                  • I wasn’t on the free-food list — not in the US obviously — until three years after all our assets were frozen and it was if not forbidden “suspect” to give us jobs. Because we were political undesirables, it took my breaking the communist youth leader’s glasses for me to get on the list. See, I said we couldn’t afford to buy the glasses (true) and besides he’d baited me (also true. Of course I didn’t have to take the bait, but I was 14.) They said I had to buy the glasses. So they called mom in. Once she’d laid our financial situation before them (Brother’s under-the-table tutoring money paid mortgage and utilities, mom cleaned a supermarket after closing for the food that had gone expired and red cross clothed us) they INSISTED — suddenly fair minded — on giving me free breakfasts and lunches. Which was good, because sometimes there just wasn’t food at home. Of course, in the next six months they let daddy come back, and then six months after that he had a job. So the bulk of that time I had to go with my friends to lunch and claim I was dieting, because we weren’t the right kind of politically black listed. (BTW Red cross was the only international charity that helped. Which is why they get my money.)

                    • 🙂 … I give them my blood. I’ve got so much iron in my Hemoglobin, magnets jump on me.

                    • I used to do so — but now the imaginary mad cow plague, affecting those who lived in Europe more than six months, keeps me from donating. Or did last time I tried. Wonder if that’s changed.

                      My dad was in the Portuguese rare blood donor club, having the same blood type as Mr. Heinlein. Sometimes he got calls in the middle of the night for some accident victim.

                    • Us, OTOH, got the positive from mom, and I got the A and brother got the B — so we’re common as dirt.

                    • The family has no idea whence my RH came … but I clearly have my mother’s husband’s features. I am a negative, which many would say is appropriate. My F-in-L is AB negative, so the DU is at least a carrier.

                    • I was never on the free-lunch list at school. I did work in the cafeteria, and anyone working there got free lunch. Our school didn’t serve breakfast (remember, I started school in 1951, graduated in 1964 — from the same school, the same buildings, and in a couple of instances, the same teachers. Definitely different! 8^)) Most of the cafeteria jobs were held for those that had parents with significant financial difficulties. Money was always tight in our house, but Dad always paid the house payment, utilities, and put food on the table – even if we had to grow it ourselves.

                      I, too, am on the “Mad Cow” list. Also the Chernobyl list, and the list of those who have had malaria. Now I’m also a diabetic. I can’t even walk BY a blood bank!

                      When we were foster parents, all of our foster children were automatically eligible for free lunch. It usually took three or four visits to the school to get everything sorted out.

                    • Dang it, want to drag you all to Ricochet.com…. (email me for an invite)

                      My school rotated EVERYONE through helping at lunch. Kept everyone equal, you know. Not like we actually lost anything by being gone half an hour prior to the class ending for a week….

                    • Foxfier, I do read some of the articles at Ricochet, but am unwilling to pay a membership to comment there.

                    • *evil grin* Willing to have multiple addresses to have free-for-two-months rolling uses?

                      Yes, I’m evil, I exploit the system. I think you’d be good for it, even if you won’t spring for $30/year.

                  • I’m not sure I realized we were poor until I found out I was on the “subsidized lunch” list, and yes it is still cheaper and better tasting to pack your own.

                    Of course if your on welfare you are automatically considered poor, even though your nontaxable takehome income is higher than a fairly large percentage of the working population, who don’t consider themselves poor.

                    • You’re, ARRGHH!

                    • I’m one of those modern-pathetic SOBs who eats less than 1k calories a day and gains weight.

                      My lunch usually was carrots and reading a book, breakfast was coffee and toast, dinner was the same serving everyone else had… and I’m still fat. (well, just chubby before I was pregnant. Still.) Nothing kills the notion that fat people are fat because they eat too much like living in a family with THREE women who eat nothing but coffee and dry toast for breakfast, have nothing but carrots and ONE soda (maybe diet) for lunch, and LESS than the guys eat for dinner…no snacks….

                      Mom and sis the same way, Heaven only knows what my brother does because he plays with SEALs.

                      horrible thing is, I can’t be angry at my ancestors because they probably only survived because the ladies were really good at taking in calories.

                    • Sometime earlier today I saw an article attributing the rise in childhood obesity to antibiotics. It seems that the biosphere in our GI tracts are affected by antibiotics and those intestinal flora that survive the Medicines of Mass Destruction entail certain side effects …

                      I don’t vouch for the theory, merely speculate about implications …

                    • Unlikely, in my case. I was vaccinated, but that’s about it– and only the absolutely required by law, at that.

                      Come to think of it, I never did end up getting antibiotics… the one time I was up for it, the ship was in an above-pan-demic, and they didn’t have any to spare. (Evil flu that took out 75% of the ship; a gage-tweeker was really low on the scale of worry-about-it.)

                      I just blame it on having a lot of very small, very starved ancestors, plus my mom being skinny as heck and wanting to stay that way when she had me.

                    • In individual cases the intestinal biosphere is probably seeded in utero and through breast milk. If Momma has highly efficient intestinal fauna, you too probably have the guts.

                    • *looks at ancestors* I come from a long line of folks that are REALLY GOOD at getting EVERYTHING from food.

                    • actually starving in the womb will do that. Robert is a pre-eclampsia baby which is the same and has the same problem. Of course, he now has it under control by following the taubes plan. Ditto here, btw. Would it upset you if I told you it might work for you too? And you’re talking to someone who gained weight on 600 calories a day. It ain’t the calories.

                    • My Sister-in-law was on a doctor’s supervised diet when she collapsed with near kidney failure. After much trouble she found a doctor who identified her problem — her system had become so overwhelmed that there were very few foods that it could process. Eliminating pretty much every one of the foods that are common allergens (dairy, eggs, gluten, etc.), all refined sugars (pretty much refined anything) and meat allowed her to stabilize, but she did not loose any weight until she became involved in a rigorous exercise program as well.

                    • working on the exercise program!

                    • Thank you; I’ll look into it!

                    • RES | August 24, 2012 at 12:34 am |

                      In individual cases the intestinal biosphere is probably seeded in utero and through breast milk. If Momma has highly efficient intestinal fauna, you too probably have the guts.

                      That’s backwards for my boys. The older who got formula and antibiotics for infections also has my weight problem. The younger who got breast milk and no antibiotics is a healthy weight like his dad at that age. I also had antibiotics for infections when I was young. Hubby and I were both raised with formula since that was just what was done at that time. At least in our family, early antibiotics correlate with weight issues better than breast milk.

                    • Then I am fundamentally scr*wed because though I had breast milk, I am alive now through the grace of antibiotics. HAD THEM? I lived on them. Interestingly, though, my worst weight problems have come after the near-lethal pneumonia and eleven days on continues arythromicin (sp) IV drip. OTOH I’m alive. Also, cutting carbs to a bare minimum (how bare? I count carrots. It’s pretty much green veg, nuts and meat) seems to keep me at the high end of tolerable weight. I’m not losing but for the first time in years I’m not gaining. (And I might lose if I up the exercise, which I’m trying to.)

                    • Sarah,
                      William, the bard, said something close to, “There is more to Heaven and Earth than is contained in your philosophy, Horatio.” It is really true isn’t it? We do so much using the latest and best knowledge, then we find out what we didn’t know? Just think of the advances that will come as we can get our DNA pattern quickly and cheaply.

                    • Just think of the advances that will come as we can get our DNA pattern quickly and cheaply.

                      I’m not sure that the incoming health care system will allow for this. At the present, as it is proposed, the doctor (in some cases Nurse-practitioner) will diagnose and then be required to treat according to the guidelines created by a board in D.C. — under threat of heavy fines if they dare vary from said treatment plans. Imagine your worst HMO nightmare…

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Wow, you really like to hit the key areas don’t you. I have been aware for some time that we have a new Renaissance coming at us like an avalanch. I’ve been following Peter Diamandis and such on Youtube.com
                      The truth is that we have so much really attractive and beneficial change that is hard upon us that we can’t afford to have politicians mucking around in our lives.

                    • Since I seem to have a very atypical body/reactions, this translates to “how to kill Sarah.”

                    • To be human is to be fundamentally scr*wed. Accept that knowledge and know peace, refuse it and you are fundamentally scr*wed. Strive for the best, accept that it is not always on the menu. While you read this, man seated next to you eating your cookie.

                    • Alright, that one’s going on a sticky note! I do believe I shall put it next to the James Nicoll one about the purity of the English language 🙂

                    • When I was in my late 30s I started some real weight gain, before that I was muscular, but slim. So I went on a modified Atkins diet (meaning I didn’t go all meat but added a few of my fav. vegetables like potatoes). And I dropped to 180, which was a good weight for me ( I am five foot eight inches and have always been heavier than I looked). When I left the Navy I was 174 in my daily uniform (dungarees and boots).

                      When I was put on prednisone I began to gain weight gradually. It wasn’t noticeable because I was also dealing with kidney failure which made me look like a bone. I was 150 and looked like I was a Nazi survivor from a war camp. When my kidneys were stabilized the prednisone did its thing and I went to 235 pounds, eating less than I ever have in my life. Since I am now weaning from prednisone and have changed chemos my weight has dropped from 235 to 190 pounds.

                      Even my landlady was surprised to know that I was 51 this year. I don’t look my age. But meds do deal a blow to weight loss plans. Plus there were times I was eating dry toast and a small plate of dinner (that was it), and still gaining weight on prednisone. The hunger pains were intense. Prednisone for some reason makes you think you are hungry all the time.

                    • RES I think I just experienced that from a young doctor? who wasn’t giving me any good ideas. She typed into a computer as she talked to me and then told me to get a stool kit. I ended up with 8 vials that I had to fill in two days. YUCK. I had to put the stuff in the vials myself. I cannot say how badly I am taking this… YUCK.

                      I missed my grumpy old doc who would have known instantly what my problems were. I deal with an Internist and she was a family doctor. The difference was easy for me to see. She doesn’t expect me to know my body.

                    • (There’s genes involved as well — my pre-eclampsia kid has been 5th to 10th percentile weight ever since birth (with one drop to 3rd when she was sick just before a doctor visit). Takes after her dad, who had to stand twice to cast a shadow when he was in high-school, apparently.

                      And then there’s thyroid. Razzin’ frazzin’ Hashimoto’s…)

                  • Certain Federal monies above and beyond the underwriting of the cafeteria are assigned to school based upon the number of children who are in the free or reduced price lunch programs. As a result schools are incentive-ized to see that as many children as possible are in the program.

                    You packed your lunches? Oh my. Have you heard about what happened in NC day cares when home packed lunches were found not to meet the Federal nutrition guidelines?

        • Lloyd Biggle Jr. The Still Small Voice of Trumpets. One of my ten favorite sf novels.

          • Ooh – childhood trauma. In High School I was halfway through reading that while waiting for some friends to come out of an assembly. I put it down while we talked and went off without it, only remembering it the following day. Nowadays Amazon Express (referencing prior blog post) but back then?????? It was … no, erase that, start over: IT. WAS. YEARS ere I found a replacement copy. I still have nightmares.

            Forty years on, if I inadvertently misplace the current book I am unable to go to bed until it is found, and wander the house looking through stacks, on bookcases, under papers, behind furniture, in kitchen cabinets, under floorboards …

            • Dan left a book on a beach in Portugal in the bad old days — halfway through. Took us three years to find a copy. Turns out he’d read the GOOD half. (Sigh.)

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Worst lost book trauma I had was dropping the word study book I had been given for the spelling bees I had been in and was preparing for. One of the words I would have studied that day wound up costing me the district win.

            • I win. Sorry guys. But I lost a book because it fell on the floor of the bus while I slept. And someone was motion sick.

              • I might argue that the rating requires factoring for quality of lost book, just as Diving or Gymnastics weights for “degree of difficulty” — but sick sorta trumps all. All I’ve got even in that league was the time I fell asleep reading and let my book slowly drop into the bathwater.

      • If the US of A is gonna play Mummy and Poppsie to the world, we need to keep in mind the proper use of child psychology texts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiYxWhC1omE

      • In the Sixties Leonard Wibberly wrote a wonderful little satirical novel in which Grand Fendwick tries to get the US to invade and rebuild… and they do it so clumsily they actually win by mistake.

      • “I didn’t say the US system wouldn’t work in the rest of the world. It would. But it requires an informed citizenry which most of the world doesn’t have.”

        That’s not the only thing it requires. And some of the things it requires aren’t things you can cure with a good judicial system and some textbooks.

    • The biggest problem with Mexico is that it’s still RULED by about forty aristocratic families. They make all the decisions, and the Mexican government, whoever is in power, implements them. Many (most?) are involved in the drug trade, and it won’t stop as long as they get richer from it. I have a friend that is a member of one of those families, and who came to the US because he couldn’t stand the hypocrisy.

      One of the major things that separate us from the rest of the world is our respect for private property (although that’s being eroded by politicians and judges). That doesn’t exist in most of the world (Haiti is a good example).

      One of the big failings of today’s society (especially our school system) is that we do NOT pass down to our next generation the understanding that the security of life, liberty, and property are the bedrock of our nation. If we lose this nation, that will be one of the principle causes.

      • Yes! And one of the sad things I see in many immigrants from Mexico is that they bring that class system in their heads. There’s a whole lot of “I’ll agree to be the humble dirt-eating peasant and kiss your feet but you must be the liege patron and take care of me and give me your cast-offs” still there. And when they do get angry, they turn that anger in the wrong direction and get all Marxist instead of understanding what makes the American system work (if it’s still working) – that here, you’re the equal of kings, but that means you’ve got the responsibilities of kings, too.

      • Ron Harrison

        Let me take a page from Cyn’s book and disagree both politely and humbly. IMHO, our basic problem is that in 1901 the progressives got their first president into office, Theodore Roosevelt. That represents the same system as dominates Mexico only less severe so far.
        You might like to look up Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. They will soon be starting a course called Constitution 201 dealing with the progressive movement.
        They had two prior courses on line. I don’t know if they are prerequisites to Constitution 201. In any case, I recommend all three courses. The courses are free so I am sure they will fit your purse.

        • Ron, you and I could probably discuss the “Progressive” “Republican” Roosevelt for the next decade! You may not find me in too much disagreement. Living in a western state that is half-owned by the Fed government, I’m constantly reminded of Roosevelt’s arrogance. He began the process, but it was Wilson and the Democrat FD Roosevelt that carried it to further heights. LBJ was the next progressive problem – child, and his “war on poverty” should be declared over – poverty has won. Obama is the latest manifestation of the disease, and just too dumb to hide what he’s doing – or so obsessed that he thinks he can get away with what he’s done. I firmly believe that things in this nation won’t get materially better until blood flows in the Washington gutters. Hate to say that, but truth is truth.

          • I am constantly annoyed by the fact that because Roosevelt was a hunter and pro 2nd Amendment he is passed off as a conservative. By all accounts he was a nice guy, loyal to his friends, and probably would have been a good hunting partner, but he was a big government progressive.

            • Ron Harrison

              Try being a part blood American Indian and then read TR’s description of the first time he met an American Indian while out alone. That man was dangerous.

              • It has been a few years since I read his memoirs, but I recall the huge yawning chasms between what he said and did, and what is currently attributed to him and done in his name.

                • Ron Harrison

                  Bearcat, TR had many admiral qualities but he was at heart a progressive. Hillsdale College published a book named American Progressivism. The author of AP was against progressivism and also very, very bright. To attack progressivism he wrote very little himself but instead published progressive essays and speeches. He let the progressives damn themselves out of their own mouths. That author also speaks during some of Hillsdale’s Constitution courses.

                  • I agree completely, which I attempted to explain in my first post about him. To cross it with RES’s post below, the problem wasn’t that he suggested we all needed a pinch of salt, it was that he thought the government should give us that pinch of salt.

                    He is probably one of the Presidents that that benefits the most by being looked at through rose colored glasses. I recall an author complimenting him by stating that “he was very progressive, for his time.” Very true, but that same statement, made by the same author about any other historical figure would have been issued as an insult, not a compliment (and should have been in this case, but again the rose-colored glasses said author wore concerning Teddy made everything rosy).

                    • Theodore Roosevelt moved a long way from his position in The Menace of the Demagogue attacking populism to his post-Presidential progressive address The New Nationalism. Some growth is cancerous.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      We are outside my expertise but quietly in the background doing its dirt is eugenics. That was a popular belief amongst the progressives. Some things that we think of as exemplary today were originally started by the eugenics movement for reasons that we would approve of at all today.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      OOPS, Would not approve of

                    • There was some discussion of the subject of the eugenics movement and its results in the posts under We WILL Do, the August 21st According to Hoyt.

          • Ron Harrison

            I only want to add that everything Hillsdale College puts on the Internet is an intellectual treat.

          • Not gonna defend Teddy, BUT …

            The Progressives operate under the idea that if a little is good, a lot is better. They consistently push the ratchet higher in ways the conservatives who authorized failed to anticipate: The Americans With Disabilities Act was NEVER anticipated to require Chipotle to lower their counters, for example.

            A pinch of salt is essential, but once you have accepted the premise of adding salt those @#!&*@s dump the whole shaker and demand more.

    • Panama canal. We need a solid defnsible border.

      • Don’t you and Robert start encouraging each other, now.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Aw, c’mon – it’s JUST like a moat, all you have to do is build up defenses on the northern border. Land approaches funneled through narrow approaches… sounds like a plan to me. 🙂

          • You haven’t taken into effect the jungle areas…. and how it makes a small 70 stretch cost a lot of money to keep clear every day. They have 13-15 feet (sometimes more) of rain a year. Of course the natives there welcome the US military, but the people we brought in to make the Canal and others (plus drug dealers), do not like us.

            • Napalm, use enough of it and you have a nice clear, open field of fire.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                I was going to say flamethrowers, but close enough.

                And who cares who doesn’t like us? If they create a problem, call in an airstrike. We’re talking about hypotheticals, here, we can be as nasty as we want.

                • Wayne,
                  In my dictatorship you’re the minister of nuking people who won’t leave other people the f*ck alone already.

                  • Invent force screens and I will campaign for running the Ministry of GO TO YOUR CORNERS, YOUNG SAPIENTS, AND THINK ABOUT YOUR SINS! It’d be like nuking spammer accounts on a forum, only with force screen bubbles.

                    …I might also inflict it on spammers, of course, but I hardly think anyone would consider that a misuse of my authority.

                • CACS is the minister of “explain to nasty people why they’ve been naughty until they prefer to kill themselves than hear another lecture.” (I hear it worked with their kid and I admire the technique — though with the DU they didn’t carry it to lethal points, I’m sure we can weaponize CACS.)

                  • Wayne Blackburn

                    I’ll have to ask if I can ship #2 son to them for a while, see if he loses some of his rougher edges.

                    • I’m lucky CACS is SUCH a nice lady. Otherwise she’d start using the handle: The Weaponized CACS, and then where would I put my face?

                    • I have seen my service as a permanent classroom parent from the end The Daughter’s second grade year through the end of her fifth grade year. It was during the sixth that we converted full time to Home Education. I specialize in The Daughter. ‘I am not Mary Poppins,’ I like to remind many of my friends, ‘do you see me carrying a parrot headed umbrella?’

                      The challenge is to specialize in your own child. Not all The Spouse’s and my parenting was an exercise in wearing The Daughter’s rough edges down. For some reason I feel compelled to suggest that, while you do your best to moderate improper behavior, actively try and catch the child doing the right thing and reinforce that behavior. Find the opportunity to turn the universal parental curse into a blessing, i.e.; ‘I hope someday when you grow up you will have a child and you will know how good it feels to watch someone you love struggle and succeed.’

                  • The Daughter acquired a lovely tea shirt at Neco-con that reads, ‘Weaponized.’ Being the delightfully vicious young lady that she is, she wears it with glee.

                    I believe that Daddy has already weaponized me by training me in the art of argument. He entered law school the same day I entered kindergarten. He used to set up hypotheticals for us to practice verbal jousting – just for fun. He claimed that I had the tenacity of a bull dog. (Not his exact words – a nicer expression hopefully conveying a close approximation of meaning.)

          • Wayne, have you ever experienced that area? I spent two years there in the late 1960’s. The back of the housing area was a JUNGLE, complete with wildlife that liked to come indoors. The worst was the fer-de-lance, a small snake that’s the deadliest in the world. The Security Police were routinely called to the housing area to get rid of them. There’s also the slight problem of the fact that the Canal doesn’t run east-west, but north-south (more or less). As Cyn said, it rains FEET, not inches. It takes just about all of Panama’s road-building resources to keep the Pan-American highway in halfway decent condition and free of jungle. The highway ends about fifty miles east of Panama City, where it enters a swamp. There’s a reason the US Jungle Survival School was located there.

            • Would a giant dam of some sort be feasible? Insanely expensive, of course, but it wouldn’t have to be as big as a lot of the ones in the US….

            • The reason I advocated napalm, just like explosives remember Factor P.

            • READ Yellow Eyes by Tom Kratman, in which he describes the defense of Panama against John Ringo’s posleen.

            • For a science-fictiony introduction to why Panama, outside of the Canal Zone (and even only mostly there) is testament to the fact that human beings are too bloody stubborn to admit there are just places where they’re not supposed to live, try John Ringo’s Yellow Eyes, which is a Posleen War story set in Panama. The mystical living ship I could do without, but what happens to the Posleen in the Panamanian jungles shouldn’t happen to a… to a Posleen. And that’s saying something.

          • Col. Kratman would probably accept governorship, given sufficient autonomous authority, of Panama.

      • I may be wrong, but I was under the impression the Panama Canal was liquid?

    • Umm, you seem to have forgotten that Texas was it’s own country for a period of time between being owned by Mexico and being owned by the USA.

  4. “no reason not to have the world a big kindergarten under the supervision of benevolent teacher”

    Kindergarten teachers can generally be counted on to be benevolent simply because they don’t get paid very much, don’t have very much social prestige, and the only people who have to obey them are five year-olds. It takes a special sort of benevolence to want that kind of job…indeed, I’d argue it takes a lot of benevolence to take on such a job without a _gun_ to your head.

    If we could make a government where political office were underpaid and didn’t come with social perks, and everyone over the age of six was free to completely ignore it, then we could probably have “the world a big kindergarten under the supervision of benevolent teacher”, because only the sort of people who in our world become kindergarten teachers would be tempted to seek office in it. But then, that doesn’t really answer to the description of a “government”. 🙂

    Some people who’ve worked in governments have been good people. But the fact remains that government as a category is disproportionately — indeed, almost irresistably — appealing to the worst sorts of people. To anyone who doubts the inevitable consequence of this, I’d commend an extensive study of 20th Century history.

    On the other hand, I’m a lot more forgiving of folks who didn’t have access to the extensive study of 20th Century history at the time they were writing, because most of it hadn’t happened yet.

    • aye! With both hands and feet.

    • … because only the sort of people who in our world become kindergarten teachers would be tempted to seek office in it.

      What, you mean like Nancy Umbridge? No wait I think I meant Dolores Pelosi. Which one was the fictional character again? I’m getting mixed up.

      • Er. I will say this: having seen my kids’ kindergarten teacher go into the classroom with 20 or so under-5s, I thought “OMG. You couldn’t pay me ENOUGH.”

        • Oh yes. Because once small children sense fear, you are dooooooomed.

          • Could be worse — US kids could take up… KANCHO…. >;)

          • There are those who will argue that I am certifiable crazy. I enjoy 9-11 year old highly academically gifted boys. (Shut your dirty minds — arhhhh.) At this age they have enough information to ask really good questions and they have not yet been assailed by the educational system for long enough to convince them that learning is stoopid (at least as they get to see it practiced).

            • Ron Harrison

              LMHO, I am one of those who as boys was “over small and over smart” to quote L. Neil Smith. I have one other distinction. I am the oldest of 8 children but have 3 big sisters in the form of 3 very young Aunts. I thought the oldest Aunt was grown. She tells me that I was a constant source of questions. The world was my oyster and I wanted to know every last thing about it.
              The 1st grade used to be let out of school early. I would go down to that Aunt’s 5th grade class and sit with her listening to her class.

  5. When a government covers such a large are that it is no longer in touch with the citizens, it is covering too much ground. Right now, the US is teetering on the brink. To improve the situation, a whole bunch of functions need to return to the state level. Education being the most obvious.

    The only things that the Federal government _ought_ to concern itself with involve “Big Ideas” items such as civil rights, commerce assistence in the form of money and highways, and relationships with other countries, AKA diplomats and armies. It ought to be starved of funds so as to never be able to exceed its proper arena of activity.

    A “One World Government” would similarly need to be limited, with the majority of laws and regulations being made at least two geographic divisions down from “World-wide.”

    And it’s still a bad idea. Because Civil Rights will always mean different things to different people, and until ET makes contact, we have no need for a world-wide military, other than to turn it upon ourselves.

    • Agreed, we need way more local control, local responsibility and local consequences.

      • thumbs up – when State’s rights were violated by the Federal government and most of our control went to Washington, we started to see some pretty dramatic breakdowns in our local governments (police in particular) …

        • A hundred voting citizen is a problem. Half a million is just a statistic to be controlled with TV ads.

          Each congressman represents, or will once the 2010 census is factored in, over 700,000 people. For _any_ actual local input, we need at least ten times the number of Reps, and better to have a set size to the represented not the number of representatives.

          Speaking of outdated answers to problems . . . they don’t need to fit into the Capital building and have offices in DC. They just need good internet connections, and a rotating bunch of observers in DC to keep the counting honest.

          • keep our Congresscritters out of Washington DC so they don’t get infected with the politico disease – They could vote by internet

            • In Texas, the legislature only meets every other year, so that’s 50% less opportunity to screw things up.

            • No one’s life, liberty or pursuit of happiness is safe while the legislature is in session — Robert A. Heinlein, though I think he stole it from Mark Twain or someone else.

            • Put a bounty on Congresscritters, say .01% of the spending they’ve authorized.

              • Start with a tenth of their salaries, and work up to the spending part once their salaries go down a tad.

                Putting out a bounty on CEOs, based on salary, might be amusing, too.

            • “The Beltway protects our governing body from whatever chance infection of common sense might occasionally waft in from the country at large.” Larry McMurtry, “Roads”

              • I found a DC quarter* a few weeks ago, and kept it for the next time I’m challenged to a coin toss. I’ll win every time by calling heads. If the coin lands heads, great. If it lands tails, I’ll launch into my explanation. “See how this is a DC quarter? Well, it’s a well-known fact that everyone in DC suffers from recto-cranial impaction, which is medical-speak for saying that they have their heads firmly up their, ahem, ‘tails’. So even though this is the tails side of the coin, it’s also the heads side, which means that I win the toss.”

                * Did you know that besides the 50 state quarters, they’ve also made quarters for DC, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana? I’ve found all of ’em except for Northern Mariana.

                • That’s only 56 states, where is the quarter for the 57th?

                • Actually, I like it. Most Americans don’t realize that the United States is a “colonial power”. 8^) A few are beginning to realize that the US has some Virgin Islands, and most know about Puerto Rico, but very, very few know about Guam or the Marianas.

          • I was and am terribly fond of the …drat, libertarian author, blanking on name… system where you had the various representatives who’d gotten themselves X number of people saying, “You speak for me; go speak,” and then as the representatives spoke about an issue, people would add their “vote” to the rep, take their vote away, give it to another rep, etc. The numbers each person represented were constantly updated in realtime, on big screens.

            We’re nearly at the tech where that would be workable — probably already there, though someone’d have to be willing to put in the programming to make the numbers visible to everyone “playing at home” so they could compare notes.

            • Heinlein?
              I think I remember hearing he did a story sort of like that…. (I only read a few of his; not idealistic enough to be a hardline libertarian.)

              • Neither was Heinlein. And I outgrew it in my 30s. Because I do believe that if you want Peace, prepare for War — no matter how much we’d wish otherwise.

                • Thing that broke it for me was “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” where women were treasured and respected for being rare in a highly armed society.

                  I didn’t have the historical knowledge to know why that sounded wrong, but it rang false.

                  • Actually that is correct — he was going off colonial Australia. Their women were armed too, don’t forget that. The opposite, where women are oppressed for being rare is insane. I read a “romance” like that. You don’t want to know.
                    I meant I outgrew pure libertarianism in my 30s. And Heinlein was never a pure one. He never bought into the “pacifism” side.

                    • I remember what it was supposed to be based on, for what it’s worth. I also remember getting tired of his personal obsessions. Same with the “romance” of being a marketable item, instead of “having” one. Pick your dehumanization. *shrug* But that’s me dragging it off topic…..

                      There’s a reason I differentiate between a hardline libertarian and more normal ones. A lack of idealism on my part is nothing to brag about. Sometimes idealism is right, after all. Such as the idea that if you leave the right size of groups alone, things shake out for the best.

                    • I believe it also applied in the American West, a milieu with which RAH was certainly familiar. Louis L’Amour, who extensively researched his Westerns through diaries and letters, certainly supports that supposition.

                    • Re: west: In some cases, it worked– but those cases where were there was some kind of a decent baseline in place. (Armed military is a nice start….) It doesn’t matter if YOU are armed if there isn’t someone to watch your back when you sleep, so to speak, and if the baseline assumption is that you are for rent and just dither about the price…it gets ugly really fast and easy.

                      Part of my great grandparents’ work was educating both male and female Indian kids were educated enough to get work with the non-Indian community, thus removing them from exploitation. (GGDad being a Scott, it was a rational charity: even if they didn’t end up working for him, they would be kindly inclined to him and all his children, who were taught right next to them. One daughter ended up marrying a quarter Indian from the other side of the country… and the scandal was that his dad as English….)

                    • Ah, I see RES beat to both the American West, and the Louis L’amour references. Which should that if enough of the male population believed that the women were rare and should be protected and treasured, the rest of the male population acted that way, in fear of reprisals from the former, if they didn’t.
                      Obviously this is in reference to the ‘non-indian’ population, the current fad in books to show the noble savages as treating their captive white women so much better than the civilization they were captured from makes me sick.

                    • Bearcat, there are many different kinds of Indians — we are not even close to being monolithic. I once knew an Indian girl that was beautiful in mind, body and soul. The Cherokee were a warrior tribe. Her tribe was very much a group of poor subsistance farmers. She did not act like a woman in my view and I was never her idea of a man. That sort of thing just goes on and on.

                    • Ron, never claimed you were monolithic, but the vast majority of Indian tribes, much like the vast majority of tribal peoples the world over, did not treat the captured females of enemies well. Until modern times (and even now only a few western cultures are the exception) rape and oftentimes slavery was the common, accepted use of enemy women in war.

                    • Right, and you don’t want to know of the treatment we sometimes dealt out to female captives.

                    • Not disagreeing with you Ron (Wounded Knee comes to mind) I was just pointing out one of my pet peeves about the romanticizing of the noble savage. That and pointing out my major peeve with people totally rewriting history to agree with their ideology.

                    • Bu, bu, but, if we change the History then our ideology is demonstrably correct. And really, who is to say what History was? You say savage, we say noble — isn’t all just a matter of point of view, perspective and proper framing of issues? Your insistence on “fact” based History is just another tool of the patriarchal dead white male hegemony attempting to over-ride the meta-narrative.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Isn’t your rejection of the “Dead white male” narrative just an attempt to substitute your favorite narrative? I think reliance on either narrative us a short term affair. Didn’t Allen Bloom tell us that to become broadly knowledgeable we can specialize or generalize? Either approach eventually leads us to knowing more and more about less and less until that in turn leads us back out into the broad world to fully understand our specialty. In short those dead white males lead you to those other viewpoints and vice versa. Rejection of either narrative leads us to a lopsided view of the world.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Bearcat, we are not in opposition. I can romanticise my Indian and European ancestors with the best of them but ethnic Indians and Europeans are what was raised with inside my circle of family and familiars. I love those people but I have no illusions.

              • As below: L. Neil Smith, Probability Broach and sequels. Definitely not Heinlein!

            • The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith.

            • Pleasant though this idea might be to ponder, once well considered it gives me chills. We have enough trouble with our politicians playing to the camera and the crowds. Jefferson, it is said, observed that the country would work only so long as the mob did not discover that they could use the government to pick other’s pocks for themselves – and decide to do it.

              The French had mobocracy during the terror. A great deal of good it did them. And when they were done and exhausted they turned to Bonaparte for relief. Even more good that did them, as well as all of Europe and parts of the rest of the world.

              I reference 1776, Dr. Lyman Hall, representative from Georgia, had walked out of the Continental Congress with the south over the possibility issue of slavery being condemned in the Declaration. His state was for slavery, he was against it:

              Hall: I’m sorry if I startled you. I couldn’t sleep. In trying to resolve my dilemma I remembered something I’d once read — “that a representative owes the People not only his industry, but his judgment, and he betrays them if he sacrifices it to their opinion.” It was written by Edmund Burke, a member of the British Parliament.

          • We are caught between a rock and a hard place. If we retained the earlier ratio of congresscritters to people the body would likely qualify for representation of its own. There is such a thing as unwieldy.

            It has been said that the real downfall of Washington, D.C. came with the advent of air conditioning. Summers in D.C. are typically unpleasant – very muggy. Before the air conditioning those who could liked to get out of town. So, I suggest in a measure to conserve our nation’s energy resources and green the capitol we cease to supply them with air conditioning.

            • Yes. And make them sit on toaster racks. uh… too far?

            • One of the ways to keep them out of DC is to force each member to pay for his own office and staff offices. As for quarters, provide a dorm complex for the members and a few staff, everyone else is on the member’s dime. As for the dorm? Not palatial suites, but not freshman college either. Sensible apartments that any normal person could easily function in.

              That would keep them away.

              • Making them pay for office and staff would impose an undue hardship on less than wealthy Congresscritters and limit their ability to service constituents. But certainly a limit on the stipend and a ban on drivers. I endorse the dorm idea, but wonder how they would be assorted – organise the dorm by party, by region, randomly?

                Simplest thing might simply ban all liquor sales in the DC metro area. Or perhaps brand each Congresscritter and make it illegal to sell them alcohol or restaurant meals?

                • oh, oh – yes brand the Congresscritters. I am for that…

                  • If the best candidate for office is one who wouldn’t really want to do it, the best thing the system can do is to make it as intolerable and rationally possible in order to hold the office. In other words, you have to make it a chore.

                  • Well, I guess branding might be going a bit far; even the worst miscreants sometimes reconfigure their lives, and there must be some people in Congress who are trying to adhere to the ideal of a self-governing nation. So: tattoos? Can we develop an ink that fades away after two years? Gives a whole new dimension to the phrase tramp-stamp.

                  • Can I do the branding?! /jumps up and down and waves arms?

              • My personal suggestion is for the STATES to pay the salary and expenses of their representative, and supply housing for them. Get tired of the BS of a representative? Withhold his salary, and the salary of his staff. Get someone living too high on the hog? Cut his salary and expense allowance int he next budget. Got someone you really like, that works well for you? Give him a bonus. It would return at least a LITTLE control to the States they lost from the 17th Amendment.

                • While I can see some problems with this, that is the case with any solution and this has significant advantages. I suggest one tiny little tweak, however.

                  Make their budget subject to a quarterly review (means to be determined) and adjustable up or down by 10%. Of course, the (for example) might target their voting effort to punish and reward …

                • Exactly – then the Senators would be representing their States instead of rolling over for the Federal government. More checks and balances… I am all for it. Great idea – Plus I still think the 17th Amendment (thanks Mike) should be reinstated.

                  • OOps I meant the 17th Amendment should be struck down like the prohibition amendment.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Check it out. I anticipate that the Founders had good reason for electing the Senators via the state Legislature but that the progressives wanted a direct election of Senators to serve their purposes.

                    • Yet another opportunity to highly recommend reading The Federalist Papers. Even if it does not answer any particular question you have it provides great insight.

                  • I think you meant the 17th Amendment should be repealed.

                    • Thanks CACS when I am sick, plus meds… some words that I don’t use often kinda slip away. (I would add menopause, but that seems like overkill)

              • Perennial favorite topic in my geek groups. (all military or married to it)

                Favored solution, simplified: CongressCritters are locked in to an E-5’s pay, there are Military housing, they get military health care, the office is provided, and their staff is paid for by their state. States can pay their reps more if they’d like, but they get E-5 pay. (Some of the nicer guys suggest making it E-5 with ten years in; all agree on not increasing the pay based on how long they’ve been there.)
                The really nice guys say “Air Force housing,” while the meaner ones say Army or Navy.

                • The meanest would say Marine housing. I say this as a former resident of the Air Force’s newest (at that time) dorm, located in the completely awesome Eglin AFB. Even better…while most Air Force bases had their E1-E4’s do “weeds and seeds” duty, ie lawncare, we had a Federal low security prison on base…and THEY did it. All I had to do was show up for duty from 0700-1630, M-F.

                  It was tough, but someone’s got to hang out with those hot Air Force chicks.

          • Wiki on the history of Congressional apportionment:

            <BLOCKQUOTE.During the period that the current U.S. Constitution has been in effect, the number of citizens per congressional district has risen from an average of 33,000 in 1790 to almost 700,000 as of 2008[update]. Prior to the 20th century, the number of representatives increased every decade as more states joined the union, and the population increased. In 1911, Public Law 62-5 raised the membership of the U.S. House to 433 with a provision to add one permanent seat each upon the admissions of Arizona and New Mexico as states. As provided, membership increased to 435 in 1912.

            But in 1921, Congress failed to reapportion the House membership as required by the United States Constitution. This failure to reapportion may have been politically motivated, as the newly elected Republican majority may have feared the effect such a reapportionment would have on their future electoral prospects.[8][9] Then in 1929 Congress (Republican control of both houses of congress and the presidency) passed the Reapportionment Act of 1929 which capped the size of the House at 435 (the then current number), but allowed temporary increases upon the admission of new states which were to be reverted upon the implementation of the immediate subsequent census.

            In truth, the rules prohibiting legislative entrenchment would allow any subsequent legislature (after 1929) to increase or decrease the membership of the House of Representatives if such legislature so desired.

            One more reason to dislike what the progressives did in the early twentieth century?

        • The direct election of senators killed any effective control of Congress by the States, and the end of States’ Rights. That was its intended purpose, and Wilson succeeded. We will never have functions returned to the states until the 17th Amendment is repealed.

    • Your last paragraph is spot on.

    • The advantage of Federal Control over education is that we are able to apply the top experts to the problem, determine and define best practices and establish effective rules and guidelines for the education of ALL youth, eliminating the shameful discrimination which has afflicted so many in the past.

      THIS WAY we ensure that nobody can look across a state (or even county) line and say: Hey – those folk are getting much better education for much lower cost!

  6. Try looking up George Gilder on Youtube and getting the content of this discussion expanded. His discussion contains a whole different set of initial assumptions. For example, did you ever consider to what extent unfettered capitalism was responsible for bringing down the USSR instead of US government action?

    • I was in the military, in intelligence, when most of the collapse of the Soviet Union began. What Ronald Reagan did was create a military that could defeat the Soviets. The Soviets responded by spending themselves into oblivion trying to catch up. The stupidity of the “Peace Dividend” and reducing the US military only gave China a chance to try to do the same thing with us. If the United States manages to pull out of the worldwide economic calamity we’re otherwise headed for, China, too, will collapse. Free enterprise – unfettered free enterprise – outproduces, outgrows, and out-develops ANY OTHER form of enterprise, especially state-controlled enterprise.

      • Ron Harrison

        That is the bare bones of what happened. If you add the reference I provided you will get some very insightful flesh added to those bones. I haven’t seen it anyplace else.

    • Back in the ’50s, some US high functionary (forget who) was asked “if you could put one book into the hands of everyone behind the Iron Curtain, what book would you choose?” (The expected answer was “The Bible”.) The functionary answered, “The Sears Catalog — when they folks see what they’re missing out on….”

      Said, and done. Even under socialism, people vote by their wallets.

      • cf. earlier discussion re: Federal role in education — if everyone is getting cheated by the schools, it is much harder to detect the cheating. That is one reason they finally had to break down and re-norm the SATs.

      • CF, I live surrounded by Russian immigrants. I’ve had them tell the a different version of the same story. They told me they had no idea of how wealthy we were. They were amazed to be living in neighborhoods this up-scale. Believe me by American standards it “ain’t” all that great.

  7. I’ve been playing with a fan fiction for a couple of years… set in Star Trek, where the main character is from an AU. Not the “everyone is FreakyEvil” AU, but a people don’t form one-world governments, and cultures aren’t world-wide, they’re more gloopy type AU. Result: it’s both more fractured– there isn’t a “Federation,” but there’s also not a “Romulan Empire,” or a “Klingon Empire”– and more mixed. (It’s established that most humanoid species in Star Trek can reproduce, and that those hybrids can reproduce….so the main character is a Space American, with a lot of different species in his genetic makeup.)

    I don’t have any writing skill (which is why I’m playing with a fan fiction) but it’s a fun mental exercise.

  8. [comment ping]

  9. I wonder if, rather than knowing each other personally, it would be better for everyone to be a little distant and think of other nations as sort of fascinatingly exotic and vaguely benign when not poked with sticks…

  10. world government would treat groups of people – tribes, villages – as numbers. We’d create a million Stalins.”

    One Stalin is a tragedy, a million Stalins is a statistic.

  11. Holy Freaking CATS! This blog went viral with responders. I think it wandered over nearly every important topic in life. Good to know there are other genealogists and American Indians on here too. (My share of Choctaw and Cherokee blood is very small, but very important to me. And I am married to a card carrying, honest to heaven, Creek Indian.) Topics for stories, wow, you guys have some doozies, and I can’t wait to read them. I am envious of your talent and dedication. Envy isn’t very pretty, but it is part of everyone’s life one way or another.

    • Karron,
      Let me run something by you. According to the estimates I’ve seen about 25% of whites and 1/3 of blacks have some Indian blood. Of course I haven’t seen any estimates but I assume that Mexicans run about 100% with some Indian blood. I then went to the CIA pages on line and got the % of each ethnic group in the general American population. Based on those numbers a little over 90 million of us in the US have some Indian blood. That is surprising but apparently accurate.

      • A DNA test can tell you pretty quick. Genealogy research can also tell you, but it might take more time to find out if you are Indian, how much, and what tribe. It will also tell you just how much African blood you carry. Because a lot of the Indians intermarried with runaway slaves, or enslaved them for themselves.
        For me, it was the genealogy trail. After years of research, digging through dusty old books and files in city basements across America, I found out that John Rolf was one of my first European Ancestors to set foot on this land, but Pocahantas, the other half of my family, was here to greet him.
        Through the years, with travel, intermarriage, and the trail of tears, my family is aligned with the Choctaw on Mom’s side, and with the Cherokee on Dad’s side.
        I think a lot of families have family lore that has someone who was an indian in the family. Generally a maternal ancestor, but sometimes a male. With the Mexican connection, most of the population has some Indian blood since the majority of people were technically Indians when the Spanish came over. I would love to see a DNA project on that topic.

        Thanks for the stats!

        • Ron Harrison

          Yes, in my family my Cherokee line it is easy to figure out visually. If you saw my beautiful Cherokee Grandmother you wouldn’t hesitate, “She is an Indian.”
          Grandpa like to play baseball on his town’s baseball team. They went over to an ajoining town where he saw her. I’ve seen pictures and I understand him completely. His family had social pretensions and didn’t like the marriage at all. As the kids say today, “choosing between her and his birth family was a no brainer.” GRIN i have copies of the love letters he used to court her. After reading the letters I can also understand her — Gramps just had a very sweet personality.
          We can follow the Indian lines back but as they also had white blood and European names genealogical research is almost hopeless.
          There is one interesting quirk to that Indian line. It was founded by a cobbler from northern England that married an Indian. The family name was Hathcock. As they got tired of hearing the dirty jokes about their name they often changed it. As a result I can see Indians with an obvious variation on the basic name and know I’m probably seeing a cousin.
          Among them is apparently the Marine Corp’s best sniper from the Vietnamese War. Also the Army Officer that led irregulars and tied up so many North Vietnamse in Laos.
          Whick leads to an observable difference between the Indian society and the larger white society. We know who our warriors were that fought for us and we honor them.

          • Understand the shame thing. My parents and grandparents will deny until the cows come home that there is Indian blood in our family. It was a shameful thing for a white man to marry an Indian woman. However, in my husband’s family it wasn’t a stigma at all. His great grandfather was Creek, (we have the genealogy of that line back about seven generations, as far as we can go.) and he was very proud of his heritage. When his daughter was born, he wanted her to be proud too. Her mother was white, which was a bit unusual back then. So that sense of pride was handed down right through to our grandchildren, who are all card carrying Creek Indians.

            Have you tried to locate the family names on the Dawes roll? It was the finite document for Indian registration throughout the tribes who moved to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears. You can also check through the tribal headquarters for genealogy information. They are usually very helpful and excited to see new research. If you family didn’t relocate, then there will be a record of them somewhere back east where they came from. Also, some of the Cherokee settled in Mississippi, along with the Choctaw, and some stayed in Arkansas.

            Our greatest warriors are those who go to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. My dad served in Korea and Vietnam. My brother and son served in the Marines. My step grandson is a Marine. I have had family in every war from the Revolutionary War right up to now. Hal’s grandfather rode with Teddy Roosevelt on San Juan Hill, and chased Pancho Villa all over Mexico. Super proud of our military heritage.

            Names are funny things, they morph in spelling, pronunciation, and length and meaning. Vandenburg is my maiden name. It is also spelled, Vandenberg, Van Den Bergh, Vandenburgh, and several other variations. It is no wonder tracing family lines can be daunting. Add to that the fact that most Indians did not use surnames until well after the settlements moved further west of the Blue Ridge, and it gets even more confusing. But what bugs me most it that the same four or five names for men and women are used in every generation MULTIPLE times making the only way to discern which John belongs to which Mary is by using birth and death dates. grrrrrr….. (no imagination at all!)


            • On Ancestry….
              My dad’s dad’s side dies out at his grandfather, because that grandfather came over with three brothers after being kicked out of England, then France, and coming to the US. They changed their names, swore never to meet again lest they put the rest in danger, and went their ways. My branch choose Hitchcock, and the son of the criminal married a lady who was either Indian or half Indian– there’s no record. You look at her and it’s obvious, but she was the Preacher’s Wife, and that’s it. There really is nothing else to find, no matter how much money my ancestors poured in. (Her name was Maud. Or Maude.)
              Two of their sons came to Modoc County and did an amazing job, one becoming the best Banker ever (bias alert!) and the other FORCING Modoc Power and Light to work properly.

              My personal it-sounds-good theory is that she was the survivor of one of the many “let’s wipe out the other tribe” fights who decided to say “screw this for a lark!”


              Personally, I’m skeptical about DNA proof that someone is this or that.
              Mom has lovely, blue-hazel eyes. We’re talking orbs that would start a poet into talking about “fractured sapphires with woodsy brown veins” type stuff. Dad’s are pure hazel– you really can’t say they’re brown, or green, or blue, or gold, just hazel. It’s kinda impressive, says openly biased I.

              Me, I got ones that look like really pretty swamp water. I like green, but they’re green hazel brown sorta.
              My eldest got sky-pale sapphires, while my second got eyes that look like the sky during an eclipse– blue to blue-gray with a starburst around the dark circle of the moon.
              Their daddy has sapphires that, depending on emotion, to to stormy sky.

              Sure, the odds are equal, as a whole, for a kid getting evidence of X, Y and Z ancestors.
              In specific, though….

              • The information one gets from DNA depends on the kind of test you have. The more you want to know, the more it costs, so most people just go for general knowledge of race and place of birth etc. I am saving to have the whole thing done, soup to nuts, one day.

                I think one branch of my family grew from mushrooms or something. They just turned up, and finding a background on them is making me crazy. I am to the point where I need to go to the local area and research in some dusty basement of city hall. (spiders and silver fish . . . shudder.)

                I took me SIX years to sort out *one* many times great grandmother. But I finally did it. Somewhere is the answer to your family line.

                • I want to get the autosomonol DNA test (soup to nuts)… I have the MTDNA (the most expensive lol) which tells me my mother’s line. Plus I was able to contact a cousin in the same line who had the PTDNA line done (Y-soups to nuts lol) where we found that we left the Mid-East 4000 years ago. There is a small amount of this DNA in England (rare), but the major majority of the Y DNA is in Palestine, mostly Arabs and a few Jews. It seems we may have been Sumerians on that line.

                  The autosomonol DNA should tell us the percentage of what we are… My grandfather heard that one of his grandmothers was Amerindian, but I have never been able to point a finger. We do have one great-great-great grandmother with the last name Fox. She claimed to have come from England. She was an interesting lady because she married and divorced several men (including my great-great-great grandfather). The pictures of her were black and white, but she was a handsome lady with black hair and brown eyes. She is described as dark. That is it… I haven’t found anyone else in our lines that would even twig the Ameridian radar. 😉

                  Oh btw just because you don’t have the outer description of a certain group, doesn’t mean you are NOT part of that group. The human body has many mysteries. I have found that the body will camouflage so that it can fit better in communities after a few generations. Skin and eyes lighten when you live in northern climes. They darken when you move to southern climes and so forth.

                  • Holy WOW! Sumarian!! That is utterly cool. Doing research after a bit would be rather difficult. (I won’t get into the whole, there is no country called Palestein thing.) It is great that you have that much DNA information. No one in my family wants to know because they may have to face up to some difficult information. Choctaw’s did keep slaves, and they did intermarry with escaped slaves from plantations in the south. Not all their slaves were black either, plenty of white folks were carted away too.

                    • I know–it is easier to say Palestine instead of other ways I could describe it. They have so much history.

                      Too bad your family Karron don’t want to do the DNA. It is informative. However the DNA shows that we are one big family at the roots. I like that–

                • well, take Dan’s dad who was big into genealogy. He said the people who founded the city his ancestors come from — seven families — one was French and in the course of things, of course they all intermarried, so he had some French blood. In fact, the rumor had always been that. We thought French Hugenots because it was the right time period.
                  Me, researching for Plain Jane. Book written by current Lord Seymour. Jane’s last surviving brother, staunch puritan, after the Tudors had decimate his family one way or another, moved to the new world and founded this city with these six other guys. He changed family name to the original at time of the conquest Saint Maur. “French” family. Plot of land right next to this family called Hayte. Who are now Hoyts. Which lent piquancy to reading Jane Seymour’s description as being “so white she looked green in certain lights.” Bingo! My FIL. no one else in the family is that pale, but he caught a strong recessive there. 🙂 Anyway, so, there you have it.

                  • Wayne Blackburn

                    Still trying to figure out what aliens are responsible for my sons. Talk about getting recessives! My eyes are so dark brown they are almost black, my father’s were the same way, my mother’s were a more normal brown. My wife’s eyes are (she says green) a blue-hazel base with light brown patches, and yellow highlights. Her parents both had dark brown eyes. Our sons? Both of them have ice-blue eyes. She glares at me when I ask if it was the mailman or some random stranger – I wonder why? 🙂

                    • Dan and I COULD have kids with blue eyes. As is, people stare at us and our very tall, much darker, curly haired son and ask if he’s adopted…

                    • *digress* I still can’t imagine this.
                      I grew up with several girls who were adopted, from China, by honey-blonde couples; it never popped into my mind to ASK about it.

                      If it were true, then they were well loved in a situation that was of unimaginable levels better than they left; if not, then they were examples of how amazing human genes were, and asking would hurt them deeply.
                      I’d have to be damn near family to ask if someone was adopted. Possibly because the family members that pop to mind were “adopted” as children from a daughter, but still– you you do not screw with family.
                      Seriously, please can the gutter jokes, it is a rage button.

                    • It is not a gutter joke, people do ask — partly because Marshall is way taller than us. So is Robert, so if the four of us are together people don’t get startled. BUT seriously — honestly — people ask the most bizarre stuff. They have asked Dan and I if we’re brother and sister. Even though it’s obvious in that situation that we’re married. (Having dinner late at night, with our toddlers, while we wear matching wedding rings.) No, I have no idea what goes through people’s heads — I just find it funny because the alternative is to kill them and that’s illegal.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Sarah – it took reading that comment about 4 times, because I didn’t see it at first (and I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m wrong), but I believe she meant jokes about the “you do not screw with family” line at the end when she talked about “gutter jokes”.

                    • Oh. Okay.. I thought it was the “is he adopted” — I mean, what EXACTLY are they asking.

                      But our friends who insisted Marsh and Robert would be “between you and Dan” in adult height, when CLEARLY they wouldn’t were wrong. They’re my dad’s height (Robert) and a little taller (Marsh.)

                    • *nodnod*
                      And not worried about you doing it, as someone else seeing a possible joke opening and taking it.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      People are bizarre. My favorite is when we see a couple get married. No matter how soon or how long it is to the birth of the first child some of the bride’s best girlfriends will claim they were there and “that child” could not be a 7 month baby. There may be exceptions but in my experience they have all screamed, “Hanky panky.”

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Yeah, in England where they have villages and graveyards that cover several generations the scientists have documented the Marital relationships and then by using the graveyard have documented the biologiical relationships, and of course, compared the two.
                      Guys, if you are a strong alpha male the ladies will often be interested in you for the day or two they are fertile each month. Otherwise they have a strong preference for their non-alpha husbands. Do you see how that works? GRIN

                    • Wayne, if you have to ask why she glares, then you are really in deep.

                      My son is a redhead, he is classified as an American Indian. He has greenish eyes, and he looks Irish. My older boy had blond hair, dark brown eyes, and his daughter is very blond and has golden eyes. (Her mother is part Chippawah) My siblings have hair from dark brown, almost black, to red and have everything from light blue to dark brown eyes. (My sister Vickie could be taken for an Indian. She has the right skin color, hair, eyes, build, and facial markers for it. She HATES it, go figure. )

                      I guess between my red headed, dark skinned, blue eyed mom, and my light brown headed, medium skinned, green eyed father, it is anyone’s guess what the kids would look like. I’m a throw back. I look exactly like my great grandmother did at my age. Good thing she wasn’t horrid to look at.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Wayne, if you have to ask why she glares, then you are really in deep.

                      *sigh* I never seem to be able to deliver sarcasm correctly in text.

                    • ONLY time I said anything of the kind was when the school tried to tell us Robert’s IQ was 107 — they tested him without permission and used a set that MAXED at 107 — and had learning disabilities. (He was reading … everything in kindergarten.) My answer was “Sorry. No dice. He’s not the milkman’s son.” (of course, the fact we didn’t have a milkman…)

                    • Be fair, he did have a learning disability … that school.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Well… when it comes to IQ, anything CAN happen, it’s just reasonably likely that your children will be in the same general range, rather than far off from both. And with him reading everything that you said, it’s rather unlikely that he’d be in the outlier group on the low side. Either way, 107 is NOT substandard, what were they thinking?

                      On the other hand, I’m generally skeptical when anyone tells me that their IQ is higher than 120, because it’s statistically unlikely to meet so many people that high. I suspect that it’s because people don’t understand distribution curves, largely because I’ve talked to a fairly large number of those who don’t appear all that bright who seem to scoff at a “mere” 120, which is actually a rather good score (I use 120, because that’s the number my mother thought she remembered for my score. Which, by the way, used to be a standard test they gave to every student. They didn’t need permission. Online tests have given me up to a 145, but I’ve heard that even the better ones add 10-15 points, just to make people feel better).

                      OK, lots of rambling there. Upshot is that a lot of people think that normal IQs are extremely low, and *I* believe that most people inflate their numbers. Sometimes, they are actually one of those that are good test-takers, and the numbers they give are the actual ones they received, but usually they will tell you that they are probably too high. But all in all, I have NO idea what your son’s teachers were thinking.

                    • Yeah. I know the average IQ is around
                      100. BUT they thought 107 was “slow”. (Shrug)
                      Well, I know why I meet people on the high end. All my fans are brilliant. And again, most of the IQs given by schools are unreliable.
                      We did get a genetic miracle with the kids’ IQs but in the other direction in that we hear how their IQ is “estimated.” What the psychologist told us though is that to have a kid or a sibling more than 1 standard deviation above (or below) the rest of the family, it’s how you use it.
                      Incidentally in the online tests I get er… seriously low numbers. My numbers are so low for visual reasoning they skew everything down.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      It has been reported that many schools use tests that don’t distinguish pupils with an exceptionally high IQ. Then they can say they don’t have a program for high IQ children because they don’t have any.
                      That only adds credence to the view that the progressive movement being led by wealthy backers who designed the public schools to maintain the Brahman status for the wealthy. In their view instead of properly educating the high performance students it is better to frustrate them into passivity with slow classes.

                    • *can’t respond to Mrs. Hoyt’s response*

                      Good heavens! I’m sorry I wasn’t clear, I meant them making gutter jokes about the milkman and such!

                  • Interesting – when the schools gave IQ tests when I was young, I had a sky-high IQ. My parents have no idea what it was. They moved and put me in a lower school. *snort I only know that at eight I was reading on an 8th grade level. I tried to take the online tests too, but it was during the time I was on cytoxan. It showed 120. My brothers have taken the tests and all four of them were one or two points away from 140. I do believe that the chemo has taken away a few points of my IQ.

                    Since I can’t think and dream in a more rarefied air, it has made it easier for me to write. 😉 When I could feel the IQ disappear, I panicked. It is the worst feeling in the world.

                    • Oh and I was bored all the time in school. So I kept a book with me at all times when I finished assignments. Up to 6th grade, I never took homework home. I finished it in class.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      I’ve never understood when people tell me they did their homework in class. We never got a chance to do that. We got homework at the end of class, and a few minutes later it was time to move on to the next class.

                    • I didn’t do my homework if I could help it. It’s not that I COULDN’T it’s that after I was ordered to, I would rather do anything than my homework. (Okay, fine. So I had SOME issues.) So, instead of doing my homework, I spent my time devising ways to FAKE doing my homework. This included creative excuses and reading from a blank page. It occurred to me today — pondering the boy-girl thing again, thanks to the ever more Onionized NYT — that I was a BAD girl. I was the sort of girl who gave feminist theorist nightmares. Which now I think about it… um… plus que ca change.

                    • It probably says something about me that, in an act of sheer rebellion against the monotony of memorizing multiplication tables, I basically reinvented algebra, in the fourth grade. (It runs in my family…when he was a kid, my uncle Denny invented the crossbow, and was positively heartbroken to discover that somebody else had beaten him to the idea by hundreds and hundreds of years.)

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      I didn’t actually have anything against doing homework, I just had bad problems starting it. Then I also had trouble with finishing all of it. I don’t know why, but I would get a couple of subjects done, and it would be like I had burnout. I would start to get bad grades in the subject I wasn’t getting done, and my mother would tell me to work more on that. Then another subject would suffer, kind of in round robin effect.

                      The only one I could fake was math, where I did the problems in my head as the teacher went down the rows having each student read of the answer to the next question. This was in the fourth grade, mind, when problems were multiplication and division, not something like factoring algebra problems.

                    • LOL – see you were in a better school. We would have 15 minutes at the end of class to work on problems. I would do them all then. When I made it to Junior High (7th grade). It changed. However I had a reading class that every student had to take. They tested my reading skill, but since every student had to take the class so I would do my homework there. I had more homework that I would do at home, but most of the time I would do it on the bus (45 minutes). If I had any left over and the parents wanted me to clean house, I would finish on the bus (45 minutes to school). No, my parents were not the kind of people who would help us with homework. It was our homework and our grades.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Well, yes, I would have to say my school was pretty good. Even if there were a couple of teachers I really disliked. One, I hated with a purple passion. But years later, when I was thinking about taking a program at a trade school just to have the certificate that went with it, I told them i had not done well in English in school. They tested me and came back and told me I should be able to TEACH their English class.

                      Of course, rather than reassure me that I was more skilled than I thought, that mostly gave me the shivers thinking how poor their class was, and how low their expectations were. I didn’t go back.

                    • That would make me shiver too… Wayne. We had kids just out of high school who had to go to the pre-college English classes so they could learn grammar and then learn to write a basic paper. Isn’t that what you should have learned in K-12?

                    • I never did homework, I can’t recall ever doing it a single time, I always did my work in class (I have been known for throwing a rigging fit when teachers assigned work as you left class, I wasn’t wasting my time out of school by doing schoolwork 😉 ) I might do work in one class that was due in the next one, (if your busily writing on paper the teacher seldom looks to see that your actually working on math in english) but most of the time unless it was assigned as we were leaving class I had plenty of time to do it in class, or the passing period between classes. I regularly wrote entire essays in the five minute passing period between classes. My english teachers would get flustrated at seeing me rush into class, flop down at my desk, pull out paper and scribble out an essay by the time the bell rang. Of course I used to get docked for penmanship, especially when it was supposed to be typed, but I got around the typing requirement by explaining that we didn’t own a computer (true home pc’s were still not that common) or typewriter (untrue, but they couldn’t check) and since I lived 20 miles out of town and had to ride the bus, I couldn’t stay after school and use the schools computers (which I would have refused do anyway’s since it would have to have been on my time, not the schools).

            • I believe Ron said somewhere that his ancestors were some of the undocumented Cherokees that stayed behind; if not him someone else on this board is descended from ‘over-the-hill Cherokees but I can’t find the comment right now. There were actually quite a few that stayed, both those that could pass as white (often claiming Irish ancestry, which truth be told was probably partially true) and those that went ‘over the hill’ and hid out, often in Virginia or West Virginia for a time.

              I’m actually surprised there are any Cherokees left in the Carolina’s, I thought they had all moved West. At least every Tarheel I know, out here, claims to be Cherokee;)

              • Ron Harrison

                There is more truth than fiction in those stories about families having Cherokee blood. Folks their was a violent and often bloody split between the Oklahoma Cherokee and the stay-behinds. As nearly as I can figure out the stay-behinds were mostly from the Chicamauga Cherokee warrior society. If you go into the traditional Cherokee heartland of Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennesee and Kentucky and start asking around you will find more part bloods than you ever wanted to meet. Further the removal was about 1835. Beginning sometimes after about 1775 individuals and small groups of Cherokee saw the handwriting on the wall — they removed themselves. You will find their descendents in California, Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Heaven only knows where else. The Oklahoma Cherokee have to be given credit. During and after the Removal right down to today they have tried valiantly to preserve the Cherokee Nation.

                • Because my husband is a Creek, we receive a lot of information on tribal news. It is heart breaking to know that so much of the culture was lost over the years that the tribes were forced into European ways. To see it coming back, including the language, is great.

                  Some of the Choctaw stayed behind too, but there are a LOT of them in Mississippi, Arkansas, and, especially, on the reservation in Oklahoma. They moved themselves too, but many fought to stay in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. They, of course, either ended up in the removal, or hiding out in the mountains of Kentucky.

                  It is always the warrior classes that try the hardest to stay Indian. Since the Creeks are matriarchal in their organization, there is less of that. I find it hilarious to see the tree huggers and other romantics depict the Indians as peaceful, loving, compassionate, nature lovers. Ever read Last of the Mohicans? Warring on each other was a way of LIFE! Stealing each other’s women and children and killing the men is what a lot of the tribes all across the US did to ensure growth of their own tribes. The only exception, I think, are the West Coast Indians, they pretty much lived a hunter gather existence barely above the level of cave men. They could be blood thirsty though.

                  • Google “carlisle vs. army 1912”

                    This was subject of a recent book, telling how the Carlisle Indians football team, coached by “Pop” Warner* and starring Jim Thorpe toured the country a scant 20-some years after the Wounded Knee Massacre, defeating the powerhouses of American football … until they met the Army eleven, starring Dwight David Eisenhower and featuring Omar Bradley.

                    * if you don’t know football, look him up, but Warner was the coach who pretty much invented modern football as Babe Ruth invented modern baseball.

                    • I grew up in the US Army, I know who Eisenhower and Bradley are. I grew up in a house with a dad who loved football – even though he had four girls, we all know who Pop Warner is. I know all about Jesse Thorpe, because my parents were kids when he played and when he went to the Olympics so he was a childhood hero. But I didn’t know about the football games. I will go have a look.

                    • Ron Harrison

                      Thorpe’s daughter wrote a blurb telling how much she admired her father’s masculine grace. When she got to a certain age he taught her to dance — for which she was eternally grateful.

                    • eisenhower and omar bradley vs jim thorpe? that sounds like one of those “immovable object meets unstoppable force” jokes 🙂

                    • Ayup – Eisenhower was the star linebacker for Army, Thorpe was Carlisle’s main running back. And the forward pass had only been made legal in 1906:

                      The Early History of Football’s Forward Pass | History & Archaeology
                      The forward pass was ridiculed by college football’s powerhouse teams only to be proved wrong by Pop Warner and his Indians.

                    • Well then. Has anyone made a movie about that? Because that would make an *awesome* movie. And usually I don’t even like sports movies!

                    • Surprisingly, no film. Probably because America hates football and it bombs at the box-office. /Sarc

                      And of course, Hollywood has never had any interest in plucky underdogs (Carlisle’s Indians were an average of 4″ shorter and 25 lbs lighter than their Army opponents; Jim Thorpe was 6’0″, 190 lbs) or oppressed minorities getting their own back. /Sarc

                      A very entertaining book (Carlisle vs. Army: Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower, Pop Warner, and the Forgotten Story of Football’s Greatest Battle, by Lars Anderson) tells the story of this meeting, and several articles recounting it are available on line —

                      It was an audience steeped in frontier lore, raised on blood-curdling newspaper accounts of “hostiles,” Western dime novels like Mustang Merle, The Boy Rancher and, of course, on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The rising popularity of football had closely followed the ebbing of the frontier wars. Harvard, Princeton, Yale and Columbia had formed the Intercollegiate Football Association on Nov. 23, 1876 — just four months after the annihilation of Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s troops at Little Big Horn. By the 1890s Victorian America was intensely preoccupied with the sport as a new male proving ground and a remedy for the neurasthenia of the age. On quadrangles across the country, collegians slammed into one another until the blood and spittle flew, and leviathan stadiums were built to accommodate the growing pastime.

                      One of the campuses most obsessed with football was West Point. Participation in the game was almost a requirement for the truly ambitious Cadet; the Army locker room on the day of the Carlisle game contained no fewer than nine future generals. And the Cadets loved the most bullying form of football. They were a squad of imposing brawn: Army’s captain, Leland Devore, stood 6’6″ and weighed 240 pounds. In the backfield was an iron-legged halfback named Dwight David Eisenhower, who was known for punishing opponents. The coach of the 1912 team, a martinet named Ernest (Pot) Graves, had looked at a steamroller parked outside the West Point officers’ club and said, “There is my idea of football.”

                    • RES, they made this movie; I think it was called Remember the Titans or some such thing, about a first biracial team, happened back around the time they integrated the schools. It was a real flop, probably why nobody has been interested in making a movie about the Carlisle Indians. /sarc/

              • Not every Tarheel who claims Native American connections claims Cherokee. The state recognizes eight tribes, including Lumbee. (For fun look up The Battle of Hayes Pond.)

            • Ron Harrison

              As I said, sometimes on the Dawes rolls I will see Indians that are no doubt avoiding the name Hathcock and changing it to something slightly different. However my line of Indians are traceable through the census records in Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee and I have done so. The problem is in calculating % Indian. You often don’t know who is Indian and who is from the white side of the family. The white Hathcocks are a large and respectable family. There is also a prominent Indian chief named Bowls that can easily be documented as being in our family. However despite the documentation we believe we are looking at an accident of names.

    • My Creek ancestry goes back to William “Red Eagle” Weatherford, 1765-1825, on my dad’s side of the family. I also have a large dash of Caddo from my great grandmother, who was supposedly full-blooded, on my mother’s side. I say supposedly, because there are absolutely no documentation to back it up. Granny Williams (the Caddo) was a firebrand, though. She smoked a cigar and drank about 8 ounces of whiskey every night before going to sleep. She lived to be 106… The Caddo were one of the mound-builders that inhabited central and northern Louisiana.

      • My husband’s line goes back to Suscony Islands, daughter of Joseph Islands, and Nimrod G. Doyle, both Creek Indians. Mine goes back to Coleman C. Cole, and Chief Atoka on the Choctaw side. Still researching the Cherokee side of the family. And I am related to Pocahantas via our relationship to John Rolf, who married her. We descend from their only child, Thomas. I love genealogy.