The Steps Of Our Fears

(Oh, and I didn’t say, but it’s understood — I’d be relieved if you can credibly tell me none of these, and no combination of them are likely.  Of course, telling me “this won’t happen because socialism totally works and is teh-awesome” is not credible.)

America has never experienced a collapse – economic, order or sovereignty collapse.

The closest the US came to a collapse of the economy was the thirties, and compared to the rest of the world, as Grapes of Wrathy as it got here, it wasn’t that bad.  The closest one came to a collapse of order was the race riots, and even those one expects were more exaggerated by the media than anything else, and for many (even European) cities would be known as “Saturday Night.”

When I hear people talk about being hungry in a year or two, it doesn’t sound “right.”

On the other hand, we’ve never watched the collapse of a country as large as the US, a country that in many ways has made the other countries collapses in the last fifty years slow mo and practically painless.

There are three things to consider in collapse, no matter how the collapse is brought about, keeping in mind that economic is the one we’re headed to at speed.

Economic – an economic collapse can range from people losing all their retirement, all their wealth, and having to accept a diminished lifestyle (we’ve been in this for four years or so) to real collapse, which I understand Portugal experienced in the thirties (I only have my grandmother’s stories for this, but she claimed some families survived by boiling weeds from the side of the street for soup, when nothing else was available.  I don’t know if people actually died of hunger, or if it would have been recorded.  I know my mom grew up barefoot and gleaning both from fields after the harvest, and coal from the railroad side for cooking – heating is not an important consideration in most of Portugal.)

Order – I don’t think any of you have any idea how law abiding Americans are even compared to Europeans.  I know having grown up in a southern European country, I experienced the other extreme, but even the Northern European countries are less law abiding In The Absence Of Enforcement.  The most astonishing thing about the US when I came here as an exchange student was not how much wealthier than Portugal it was – though my jaw dropped when my host mother bought a small TV on a whim – but how people could put Christmas décor outside and NO ONE STOLE it.  And how houses had no real protective fences around them and no one destroyed the gardens.

Part of this is cultural.  The US is extreme and past Germany for this, but it is a northern-European cultural thing.  BUT part of this is that Americans have bought into their own laws… up till now.  If that changes (and it’s almost impossible it won’t if regulations keep getting piled) it will destroy the culture.  Things could get very Ugly.

Territorial Integrity – 9/11 was, other than Pearl Harbor to an extent, and attacks on our embassies, the first violation of territorial integrity.  Going along on this scale can be … bad.  Really bad.  And can exacerbate all the rest.

So, here is a scale of “fears” from the “best” to the worst case scenarios for the next four years.  I don’t claim to have a crystal ball, and I doubt ANY of these will work in exactly this way.  The thing we SF writers don’t tell you is that predicting the future is hard because – like other complex systems – there are too many variables going on to say “this will go this way for sure.”  We get away with it, when writing, by scaffolding vast portions of the world and letting you imagine whatever.

Again, I doubt any of this comes true this way.  Likely we’ll have a combination of all three, and all of it muffled under another scenario I won’t bother putting in, which is “Everything goes to h*ll but no one knows it, which looks kind of like now but worse.  AKA “p*ssing down your neck and telling you it’s raining.”  In which we don’t even KNOW everything that’s gone wrong, and things are masked by other things.)

So, here goes.

First step:

The New Normal

In many ways this is what has happened in Portugal since it pulled back from the madness of 78 and the still crazy times of 79.

It’s not exactly collapse.  Or rather, it’s collapse in such slow mo you don’t see it.  You just rearrange your mental furniture to where you expect next year to be worse than this.

As energy restrictions kick in – and please, those of you who are going to argue, google the video of the president saying under his plan “energy costs will necessarily skyrocket” and that he will bankrupt coal plants. – because the privileged children running the administration think energy is used only to run cars and planes for the sort of pleasure jaunts they undertake, they’re baffled by the side effect of EVERYTHING becoming more expensive.  Greed is blamed.  The excuse is growing prosperity and competition from the rest of the world, too.  “Everyone is becoming richer, because we’re a little poorer” will be the thought.

It’s stupid economics, but a lot a people will buy it.  This will be wrapped in declinism and in how the US has had its turn, but now…

It will be used to bring a lot of UN law and regulations over here.

Meanwhile new taxes will decimate the middle class, till we ALL can’t survive without some form of assistance.

We get attacked, but primarily abroad, and it feeds into the declinism, and into our pulling in.

As for order in our territory, it will be viewed as oppressive.  After all, people are hurting, it’s no wonder that there’s more crime.

This scenario is the most likely.  It’s also bad enough.  Look, under this scenario, people get to believe that they need the government and that there’s no salvation without “help” – it’s the “you didn’t build that” scenario.

It doesn’t look so bad from here, but twenty years down the road, the same people are still being voted in because at least they care, and the downfall is not their fault, it’s currents of history, and we’ve had our turn, now it’s someone else’s, etc.  It will all be sold in the name of fairness, and with the media spinning, those who feel bad about their living conditions will feel guilty of protesting.  After all, would you want the Indians or Chinese to be poorer so you can live high off the Hog, you greedy capitalist pig?

The fact that it’s nonsense, doesn’t mean it won’t be believed.

Twenty years from now, it means what I’ve seen in Portugal at my last visit.  MOST young people are unemployed, still living at home.  Making drugs legal at this point means most of them are also addicted to something.  The only people doing well work for the government at some level.  There are massive public building projects but the private homes are falling apart.  And even in the good neighborhoods you have to have strong fences, alarms, etc, and no one is safe.  Instinctively, people know the law doesn’t make sense, and therefore there’s a lot more crime.  Also, of course, young people have nothing better to do.

This scenario we lose our liberty on the installment plan, each pathology caused by statism papered over with declinism and “it’s their turn.”  I think this is the scenario we’re being eased towards, and whether they manage to do it or not, I don’t know.  They’ve managed this in most of Western Europe.

(BTW in most of Western Europe, the new aristocracy is descended from the old.  All the sons and daughters of “good families” became communists.  This is because if you look at the end scenario of this – maybe thirty years from now – you see these people as the hereditary bureaucratic rulers of a sort of post-industrial feudalism, managing the herds of semi-literate peasants with media and just enough food and clothing to keep – some of them – alive, but not enough to allow them to get ideas and revolt.  We could call this “they think 1984 is an instruction manual”  Brave New World too.)

There is one big difference, here, though.   Europe has managed this soft declinism because we remained the world’s police, the world’s consumer and the world’s parachute, providing aid in massive amounts all over the world.

We don’t have an America to do that for us.  (Though we’re trying by buying our own treasuries.)

So we come to scenario two, which is I think somewhat likely:

Sudden Death

This is quite possible, but if it happens it will be SO sudden I don’t know how to give you signs to watch for.

Things ratchet up until normal American families know what hunger is.  Say nineteen thirties level.  This is combined (and this is quite likely) with random interruptions of electricity, besides its being unholy expensive.

It’s the “let the bastards starve in the dark” scenario.  People can’t afford to drive to work, even if there were work to drive to.

And suddenly the government checks stop.

I think to get there, you need to have our inflation so high that government checks count for very little anyway.

Under this scenario, what I call the “glossy bastards” of the media lose their power.  When you’re rationing your electricity because you can only afford so much, you’re not going to spend the day in front of your TV.

In this case we break in pieces.  Literally.  There are food crisis, and how your local area goes depends on who is in your area.  The government has no way of maintaining order except using force, and that won’t go over well many places.

Is this likely?  I don’t know.  I’d have told you no, but the small arms thing with the UN which the administration initiated the day after the election leads me to believe THEY find it likely.

Under these circumstances, anything can follow and my fear is that if order is restored (a big if) what will follow is probably what most lefties fear.  A “law and order social conservative” regime.  Aka, kind of the anthetisis of my ideas.  The economy will be regulated, but so will social life.

I can pass under this sort of regime.  I can actually write wholesome, clean books – as some of you know – and I am technically a married housewife.  I just think we’ll lose something vital about America and are likely to stagnate.

OTOH even with economic authoritarianism, let me tell you at least in this scenario, most of us would eat regularly and there would be order on the streets.  Think Starship Troopers.

That sort of reassembly is unlikely, though, and would only come about if the American Army goes rogue and decides to establish law and order in defiance of the  bureaucratic class.  I find this unlikely almost in the extreme.

More likely would be a breakup of the US, with some portions thriving as medium size countries and others becoming Detroit.

Unfortunately though, even though adventurism abroad was started by the “progressives” we now have enough of an history of it that other countries view us as “the foe to defeat” even when we have nothing to do with their particular problem.  We’re viewed as the king that must be struck down before the rest of the world can be conquered.  Which brings us to scenario three:

Fire From Heaven

Either under scenario one or two, at some point we’re perceived as weak.

Look, like most of you I don’t like adventurism abroad.  However, if you think that we can disarm and then no one will attack us, you’re living in dream world and I suggest you do this: go into a bad neighborhood, wearing expensive clothes and carrying an Ipad, with a sign on you that says “I’m not armed and I’m a pacifist.”  When you recover, get back to me about how well that worked.

And don’t tell me, “But Sarah, under these scenarios we won’t be that wealthy” – that’s nice, dear.  We’re still 40 years behind Europe on this path, and even though we’re overachievers and can get to ruin faster, we won’t be PAST them for ten years, unless scenario 2 ensues FAST.  Also America is no longer itself but its legend.  “Everyone knows” Americans are wealthy.  Also as America collapses, the rest of the world will get unimaginably worse – trust me.  My dad says “when America sneezes the rest of the world catches pneumonia” and I can tell you that’s true – and will inevitably blame us.  They’ll blame us for not protecting them from themselves, and they’ll blame us for “stealing” from them in some nebulous way they can’t define.

And the Arab world (most likely) will sense fear.  It doesn’t matter if you say “it’s not fear.  We’re dealing with our own stuff and ignoring them.”  They’ll sense fear.

Under this scenario we lose one or two cities to a nuke.  At a guess LA and NYC.  And then all hell breaks lose and I can’t tell you what happens next.  I don’t think we’re so far gone we just sit and take it, no matter what our leaders think.  BUT after that, literally, the world is mad.

Japan, South Korea and Israel will probably be casualties of the conflagration, but so will Europe.  (I wonder if Russia still has printed street signs in Russian directing troops all the way to Lisbon.)

When this is done, those of us who survive will face a world none of us wants to imagine.

I consider this the least likely scenario, but perhaps I shouldn’t.  I now realize that my depression since Benghazi comes from seeing the beginnings of this.

The people in power will never see it coming.  They’ve been steeped in Marxism, where the only reason people would attack the US is because they’re afraid of us.  (Shakes head.)  I learned this cr*p too, but I refuse to believe it over my lying eyes.


And there you have it.  The steps of our fears.  The most likely is still scenario one.  We don’t have anyone to cushion us, but we’ve been wealthy so long there’s an astonishing amount of ruin in this nation, and it might be enough to cushion us down.

Note in all three of them I see a severe threat to who we are.

I was talking to Stephen Green the other day and he pointed out that the French (the English too, but less so) have been a monarchy, a republic, an empire, and now are a republic again but they are still French.  And that’s fine for them.  The French are a nation of land and blood.

But, as he pointed out, we’re only a nation of belief, proclaimed in the declaration of Independence, enshrined in the constitution.

It was those two documents that made us what we are, and not as our poor youth has been told, greed or theft.

If we lose that, who are we?  Where has America gone?  And can we get it back?

I don’t know.  I’d rather not lose it.  And that starts with figuring out what we can do to prevent ALL of these scenarios.  Detroit-America which is where scenario 1 ends might be better than “nuclear radioactive America” but it is nowhere we want to live.

So… What do we do, and where do we start.  Roll up your sleeves.  Let’s talk.

416 thoughts on “The Steps Of Our Fears

    1. > I’ll go with the Bard of Avon

      …who put the words into the mouth of Dick the butcher, who – I suggest – was not intended to voice the smarter arguments in the play.

        1. I’ve had Leviathan try to crawl down my throat once or twice, and it was lawyers who saved the day every time.

          Yes, most of the statist thugs in DC are lawyers…but I think that there are much cleaner, simpler, more moral answers to the problem than a generalized pogrom.

          Something surgical…in the 20 kiloton range… 😉

          ( Yes, just joking, before any of my lawyer friends have aneurisms. )

            1. See? She’s not prejudiced against lawyers, she has lots of lawyer friends, right? 😉

    2. If you look at actual the actual economics of the Great Recession, what you see is that Obama’s plans kept it from possibly being as bad as the Great Depression. Instead, the economy is slowly recovering, rather than being stuck in endless economy-killing “austerity” like much of the EU currently is. We’re doing a hell of a lot better than we were in 2008, and no it’s not back to 2006 levels yet, but recovery takes time, and we’d be doing better if the House would stop blocking attempts to tax and re-regulate the greed-heads who actually caused the near collapse of the US economy.

      The US was doing very well economically in the mid-90s (and for that matter in the 1980s) with Glass–Steagall still intact and tax rates on the wealthy far higher than they are now. What we need is to make the US look economically more like that and less like the economic mess the GOP made by cutting taxes for the ultra-rich and turning banking into a giant casino.

      As for the US looking weak, that’s beyond ludicrous. From my PoV, Obama is far too much of a hawk. I’m guess (and hoping) that he’s finally going to end that unwinnable (for anyone) mess that is Afghanistan, but he’s still going strong with predator drone attacks and similar programs. Other than getting involved in the entirely unrelated to the “War on Terror” idiocy of the Iraq War, the US is doing more to attack possible terrorists now than it was under Shrub. I worry that this might attract retribution, but terrorists attacks because the US looks weak makes no sense at all – it doesn’t.

      1. The US was doing very well economically in the mid-90s (and for that matter in the 1980s) with Glass–Steagall still intact and tax rates on the wealthy far higher than they are now.

        What else was going on in the 90’s that isn’t going on now?

        1. duh duh duh, computer boom?

          BTW I find this “tax cuts for the super rich” HILARIOUS. We had a substantial cut and at the time, combined, our best year came in under 100k.
          I also love the way tax cuts are expenditures because “we belong to the government.”

          I couldn’t answer this critter because the ONLY answer I want to post is “See MY MIDDLE FINGER? THIS for your dear leader and the way he’s butchering my country’s economy along with the constitution.”

          1. What I’ve always found laughable from this current crew is the $250,000 line in the sand…without ANY qualifications. Cost of living differences are stark from region to region and sometimes from zip to zip in the same region.

            1. yeah. Also, time of life. Right now with both kids in college, we are making more than we did ten years ago, and we’re INFINITELY more strapped. (The increase in food costs hasn’t helped, either.)

              1. The fact you are making more in nominal dollars does not mean you are making more absolutely; relative buying power of the dollar has suffered greatly.

            2. I am told there is one even better. Supposedly the “Trickle down ecomy” was nevr suggested by any economist or Republican at anytime anywhere. It is a term invented by the populat Democrat comedian Will Rogers. Since then many Dems have choked on their own joke.

                1. Thank you Sarah. I was married for 25 years before my wife had had enough of me. Before she left she said about me (among other things) that I absorbed so deeply what I had learned that I honestly did not remember the source or sources. It had all been made part of my warp and woof.
                  Let me add that I consider Thomas Sowell one of the smartest men in America.
                  He and I are connected in an odd way. I am a recovering alcoholic — Dr. Sowell isn’t, to the best of my knowledge At meeting after meeting I have heard strangers “tell my story” to all intents and purposes. I’ve heard a beautiful statuesque blonde as least 20 years my junior tell my story. I’ve heard black guys who differed from me in almost every detail tell my story. There have been many others. I am not unique.
                  Dr. Sowell is unique. In all essentials his background is like my own even to our age yet he doesn’t even drink as far as I know.

            3. I can’t source this, having read it quite some time ago, but Medicare reimbursement rates are set regionally in recognition that it costs more to live in Chicago than Prescott. One way political hacks game the system is to get their district “included” in a higher cost neighboring region. Thus, according to the article, Milwaukee hospitals got Medicare reimbursement rates equal to what Chicago facilities were paid even though their regional costs were lower.

              It would not surprise me if some of those excess reimbursements found their way back into political reelection coffers.

          2. I,m not sure of your intent but if you are attempting to reconcile Dem campaign charges with reality you might as well search on the shore of North America for a walet lost in Europe or elsewhere.
            Somewhere, it is recorded that in 1946 with the “boys” coming home and everyone sick of Roosevelt’s regulation of private affairs a Republican Congress came to power and dumped the regulations. The result was an all time, all world, peak increase of national gross product. In 1948 Truman campaigned against that Congress as a “Do Nothing” Congress and won.

            1. In contrast, Britain fell into the hands of a socialist government in the summer of 1945 that condemned it to rationing of basic foodstuffs and consumer goods until 1951.

              1. The same happened in post-war Germany. Hitler’s socialist government was reinstalled with horrible economic results until Ludwig Erhard, the chief economic advisor to the American occupation General caught his boss busy one week-end and installed capitalism. Within about two years Germany was clearly on its way to recovery.
                I was taking undergraduate economics in the Spring of 1964 at which time we wondered if Germany & Japan was going to do what they failed to do in the war — conquer the world.
                Then the German electorate decided they didn’t want to work so hard. They thought they would like to relax with a little socialism to spread things around.
                The important thing to remember is that the Democrat party is ran by the progressives. Obama is only the working out of a progressive program that began its formative phase back in the period after 1875.
                Check it out folks. Our country began its growth phase around the time of origin of the Constitution, grew at a prodigious rate until the advent of our first progressive president in 1901 and has basically declined economically since that time. But, the progressives have been a complete success in that they have steadily accumulated more and more power.

          3. Go back and look at the graph of the Dow during the Nineties. You will notice that the slope turns sharply upward right after election day 1994. Post hoc ergo proptor hoc is not always fallacious. Balance the budget, cut Cap Gains taxes, rein in regulators and wonderful things can happen.

            1. Yes, but don’t you dare hold your breath until Bill Clinton and the Democrats say thank you to Newt Gingrich and the Republicans for the recovery starting in 1994-95.
              BTW, if you ever want to be a study in bewilderment go back and notice that the Republican congress was responsible for the post war boom resulting from the Repulican Congress in 1946. Then watch how the American public voted in 1948 after Truman labeled them a Do Nothing Congress.

              1. You would, of course, be referring to the era of Joseph William Martin, Jr., the only Republican Speaker between 1931 and 1995. A favorite ’round here is local boy Joseph Gurney Cannon, whose family moved to Illinois whilst he was still a tot. Cannon, the longest serving Republican Speaker until Speaker Hastert famously said: “Sometimes in politics one must duel with skunks, but no one should be fool enough to allow skunks to choose the weapons.

                1. Yes, you take me back to when I was practically a boy. Martin and Cannon — I haven’t thought of those name since forever.

      2. This is really utter nonsense. And that’s ignoring for the moment your false claims that Glass Steagall had anything to do with the financial crisis and your false claim that it was a GOP repeal of it (Repeal of Glass Steagal was pushed by Robert Rubin, Clinton’s Treasury secretary and mentor to Obama’s Treasury secretary Geitner), and your false claim that the Bush era tax rates were solely beneficial to the wealthy (the tax rates actually increased progressivity of the tax code as IRS data show).

        The bizarre idea that somehow a particular era of good economic growth was solely the result of a particular set of tax rates is pretty bizarre.

        The idea that Obama’s economic policies have somehow been a boon is simply laughable. His policies have given us record unemployment and the worse recovery from recession in history.

        1. I lived through the Obama years and also read Amity Shlaes The Forgotten Man. It sounded like Obama was deliberately repeating the errors that FDR personally made.
          In addition if you track what the bankers are doing with their excess cash and listen to why they are doing that the impression that Obama is extending the recession.
          Finally, why are we referring to Obama’s depression as if it were a recession. Yes, there has been a marginal improvement but is it any better than FDR’s?
          People forget that FDR took 12 million men off the streets to fight WW2. That cured unemployment but in terms of consumer goods there was no improvement until the war was over, FDR was dead and the republican congress had removed all of FDR’s economic controls.
          Please read Amity Shlaes and refresh your memory.

  1. You have expressed my worst fears. I remember stories about the Great Depression from my mother – poverty that we just don’t know in the US now. And that was a time when the average lifespan was in the mid 50s, when there were much fewer elderly to be affected. I worry for my parents, and anyone living on savings, more than myself. (I suspect our current masters will be happy to give everyone a pittance and expect us to be grateful to them for it.)

    1. I have them, through Volume 8, on the bookshelf. I hate to say it, but I’ve seen this coming, at least subconsciously, for a decade or more. Signs were starting to pop up as early as the 1980s. . . .

  2. Focusing on the word-crafting element because this is (or used to be) a writing blog:

    The thing we SF writers don’t tell you is that predicting the future is hard because – like other complex systems – there are too many variables going on to say “this will go this way for sure.” We get away with it, when writing, by scaffolding vast portions of the world and letting you imagine whatever.

    This reflects a fundamental principle of women’s clothing: It isn’t what you let the guys see that matters most, it is what you let guys think they’ve seen. As McLuhan noted, inducing the mind to complete the implied image increases engagement with the object of the gaze. They will always and forever imagine better than you could show.

      1. 😉
        Your blog, your purpose. It is all still interesting, nich wahr? I thought the particular nugget quoted worthy of highlighting … and wanted to plant the combination of Marshall McLuhan and frilly lingerie in people’s heads.

  3. Focusing on the geopolitical:

    And the Arab world (most likely) will sense fear. It doesn’t matter if you say “it’s not fear. We’re dealing with our own stuff and ignoring them.” They’ll sense fear.

    Timidity. They sense the lack of confidence required to defend one’s self and one’s values. Timidity is catnip to bullies.

    Further, knocking off the champ, even if he is old, tired and has lost the will to defend his title (especially) is the prerequisite to claiming the title for oneself. History is replete with demonstrations of this, so many that it isn’t worth offering any examples.

    1. It’s a classic trope from the Westerns — the old gunfighter who just wants to retire, but is hounded by the Young Toughs who want to make their name or just get vengeance for some perceived slight.

      1. Last time we visited Portugal, because my parents are getting old and don’t go out much, and we didn’t feel like driving around, we ended up just hanging out in the house a lot. My parents don’t have internet access which of course drove kids nuts.

        So, my dad brought out his collection of westerns and they — and us — became VERY familiar with this theme.

  4. I’ll probably get jumped on by everyone, but it’s time all right-minded people start working together–and I’m lookin’ at you, libertarians and Christian fundalmentalists. (Dives for cover.) You’re not going to get “purity” and your mindless adherence to the “right” candidate has landed us with the Great Pretender for another four years.

    Someone with money needs to establish a full-time national “activist” organization like ACORN used to be. The Tea Party is great, but that’s all volunteer. We need to get people paying positions. And we need to get working on cleaning up the voter rolls, through True the Vote or other local organizations, and exposing corruption on every level. Anyone who can should run for local elections–school board, city/county counselperson.

    In the same we there was a dicussion here about not supporting authors with an agenda, we have to make a real effort not to support any filmmaker/actor who supported BO. The tough part with that is all the stuff your kids want to see is frequently made by those people. But do the best you can to sink their films. I was a movie critic back in the 80’s-90’s and had to quit because I could not stomach watching the crap any longer.

    People laugh at me when I make those suggestions. Usually I get “you’re only one person, what can you do?” Well, a whole bunch of “one persons” can do a lot.

          1. “Vote early, vote often.”

            Early voting makes the vote harvesting much easier, more efficient.

            Early voting makes harvesting all the more economical. Fewer people on the ground can get more accomplished. At an Obama rally at Ohio State, my friends in Columbus tell me, the Obama campaign provided a steady stream of busses to take rally-goers right to the polls, one stop shopping.

            Move ’em out, head ’em up, head ’em up, move ’em on.
            Move ’em out, head ’em up: Go vote.
            Cut ’em out, ride ’em in, ride ’em in, cut ’em out,
            Cut ’em out, ride ’em in:
            Go vote!

            Movin’, movin’, movin’, though they’re disapprovin’,
            Keep them voters movin’, go vote.
            Don’t try to understand ’em, just rope an’ throw an’ brand ’em.
            Soon we’ll be living high and wide.
            My heart’s calculatin’, my true love will be waitin’:
            Waitin’ at the end of my ride.

          2. It turns out that most of that can be catagorized as “Poor record keeping” The Colorado cases are all in sparsely populated mountain counties where voters who have died or moved away were not taken off the roles. Actual votes were, in none of those cases, near to or higher than the census population. Colorado is pretty blameless here, having errored on the side of voter registration retention, which is the right way to error. You don’t want to be prevented from voting.

            The Florida case, in St. Lucie county where over 250K votes were counted for 175K registered voters clearly is a bug in either the voting machines or in the counties software that records and totals them. That’s being looked into, but nothing about it appears to be intentional.

            Ohio, specifically the 21 precincts in Cleveland where Romney got zero votes and the 22 where he got one vote,(in each of those Romney got fewer votes than Gary Johnson) along with the 10 precincts where poll workers were wearing Obama t-shirts and caps, clearly are really incompetent attempts and swinging the swing state, but the 14K odd votes registered in those 43 precincts just aren’t enough to matter.

            While there are counties in OH where the number of registered voters exceeds the census, analysis at this point appears to come out the same as Colorado. In none of those cases were more VOTES received than the census…

            There are the handful of precincts, again in Cleveland, where there was 100% turnout in an urban precinct, which I don’t believe any more than Larry Correia does. But again, it doesn’t matter, the total is too small.

            Pennsylvania, where Republican poll watchers were illegally ejected from polling places, PA I worry about.

              1. “Pennsylvania, where Republican poll watchers were illegally ejected from polling places, PA I worry about.”

                If nothing is done to the thugs running those polling places, I suspect we’ll see the pattern spread a little in 2014. And if nothing is done after that, then I suspect it will be the norm where ever possible in 2016.

                1. I did just hear that not only was the turn out lower for both candidates this time than last, but that the turn-out for Obama this time was lower than for McCain last time. Too many people just sat on their hands.

                  1. I received a notice saying that I could get an absentee vote. I chose to go to the polling station. I am pretty sure that the absentee votes may NOT have been counted. Plus if the military vote had been counted who knows what the actual count would have been. I am really sick of how our military is treated.

                2. This is not a new thing. This is an old thing.

                  Overwhelming dominance at the local level makes it fairly easy to corrupt the political system of an area. Prior to the phone, tv, automobile and such, it was especially easy to set up a nasty cycle of votes> officials > courts > votes. Individuals who are a problem get murdered, if they don’t get the hint to leave, and the investigation goes nowhere, laws that are a problem get changed, and the votes happen how the machine says.

                  I dunno how much how of a spreading factor there was when in happened at the end of Reconstruction. Steve Renfroe is an interesting research topic for this. Note that it was not able to spread in areas hostile to it. The closest it came to spreading in the North was the big city machines, who were more of a parallel evolution, joining for profit, rather than a colony.

                  They were forced mostly out of the business when it came down to the choice of either making it the law of the land, which the areas outside of the south and the cities wouldn’t tolerate, or mostly disassembling things.

                  In the current day, if the Democrats had the power to impose it uniformly on the entire nation, then they will not need to. They’ve never had that power before, and it is not at all clear that they will have it now.

                  Anyway, take a look at XKCD strip 1127.

                  There is a greater degree of continuity between the Democratic left of today, and the Democratic ‘left’ of the Civil War era than they would like to admit.

                  History also suggests that the areas were they do this will underperform economically and be more screwed up in general.

                  1. It’s only four years. I find it very unlikely we’d fall *that* far *that* fast. I expect lots of damage to the economy, yeah, but suspended elections?

              2. Not a conservative one either – so green they let the lions run around until someone got eaten.

              3. Boulder wasn’t in the list I saw. My bad.

                The largest precinct I saw at the time was a population of about 1500. On the other hand, I have yet to see anywhere in Colorado where the VOTE COUNT was over the census (as St Lucie county florida was) and I believe that Colorado counts were in fact just voter retention errors. Dropping people off the voting roles is serious business and best to fail safe.

                But you’re in CO, and you’re probably gettiing better sources than me.

                  1. Just for purposes of private debate with my Dem friends I would love to know what percentage of those counties with superhigh percentage of eligible voters were Red. Intuitively, I am betting on virtually all of them. Go on burst my balloon and prove to me that I am not as smart as I think.

                    1. After nine years of chemo, I am definitely NOT as smart as I think I am– but, I think you might be right– (not that I have even looked or know what I am talking about) *wandering off muttering to myself– dang stories

                    2. Did you mean Red, or Blue? It’s easy to get confused, since historically, Red has been associated with Communists, but in the electorate, Red is Republican.

                    3. It is a natural confusion. Red represents communists, blue represents truth, so of course they’ve swapped the labels.

                  2. Oh, my mistake. 108% of eligible voters voted for Obama:

                    At the White House website, a report in the Examiner explains, there was posted a petition seeking a recount of the race. “In one county alone in Ohio, which was a battleground state, President Obama received 106,258 votes … but there were only 98,213 eligible voters. It’s not humanly possible to get 108 percent of the vote,” the petition claims.

            1. The Colorado cases are all in sparsely populated mountain counties where voters who have died or moved away were not taken off the roles.

              Like Boulder County? Don’t be a fool, Rick, we live here.

            2. Actually, the Florida looks very suspicious. Allen West says he was ahead by around 2000 votes, when, at 1 AM, a Democratic pollster announced she’d just done a recount of the early vote, and suddenly the Democratic candidate gained 4000 votes.

            3. Rick, ask yourself this? Why is it whenever there’s a question about the voting results that makes it seem something is fishy, it’s invariably in favor of the DEMOCRATS? If it just “happens”, it should be about 55-45%, and a wash, but it’s ALWAYS in favor of the DEMOCRATS. “Once is coincidence, twice is suspicious, three times is enemy action.”

      1. I’m not laughing either – I am actively boycotting every one of those Hollywood t*urds who supported BO … AND viciously slammed conservatives, libertarians and Tea Partiers. Not one more penny of mine goes to support any of their movies, music, television shows or whatever. I want to see most of Hollywood “Dixie-Chicked” in the next few years.

        1. I’ve read people proposing to cut out cable and go to the internet, so they wouldn’t be supporting MSNBC and the other MSM stations. I’m considering it (haven’t had time to learn the technical set up – anyone know of a good easy Here’s-How site?)

          1. My husband does it. We haven’t had cable in years — maybe he’ll drop by.

            Also, I have Amazon Prime, which means I can see a lot of — mostly older — British series for free. But then I have odd tastes.

            1. Many thanks. What about recording? And anything to know about high speed internet? My choices are AT&T or the cable company.

    1. Just a note– I haven’t gone to a theater since I became ill almost ten years or longer actually. I only saw Avatar because the hubby was curious.

    2. “… your mindless adherence to the “right” candidate has landed us with the Great Pretender for another four years.”

      That’s bullshit. In every state Mitt Romney lost, adding the libertarian votes to Romney’s total doesn’t give him a single win. Romney lost because millions of Republican voters stayed home, not because a million people voted for Gary Johnson.

      Also, do you honestly believe that Romney would make a difference? He supports almost every bad thing that Obama does. The only difference is that Romney wants state-based RomneyCare instead of national ObamaCare. That lack of difference is why so many Republicans didn’t vote.

      1. Repealing ObamaCare would have been enough for me. He also wanted to cut taxes instead of raise them. And he has a clue about business, unlike our current president. Yes, I think Mitt would make a pretty big difference. If nothing else, we’d have an adult as president instead of the overgrown teen we have now. It’s not just curmudgeons like me who don’t respect him; word is, foreign dignitaries consider him an idiot, too.

        1. Personnel is Policy. Anybody who thinks that a President Romney appoints an AG, a Sec.Def., A Sec.Treas. or any SCOTUS Justice comparable to who a President Romney appoints, speak up now or forever shut your yap.

  5. Japan, NC and Israel will probably be casualties of the conflagration …

    What have you got against us Tarheels? Admittedly, as purveyors of BBQ to the world we have probably deathly offended the Islamofascists (but then, who hasn’t deathly offended them?) so that might explain their targeting us.

    I don’t think the Arabs (Persians, whatever; it would be the Islamofascists) will conquer the world; they are reivers but not builders or administrators. Once they have broken down the barriers and are camping in the ruins I expect the Chinese will march forth and restore order in a grateful world.

        1. Note communist posting below and probably thinking she’s perfectly reasonable. (rolls eyes)

          Taxing the rich out of everything, single payer healthcare, massive public works and blaming capitalism has ALWAYS worked, right? No? It will work THIS time. Her teachers told her so.

    1. I just thought the Michiganites would do it simply out of revenge for my alma mater – Appalachian State – ruining their football program for a generation. 😀

      1. THIS is also possible. Honestly, this is one of these days when there is not enough caffeine. My husband has either the flu or a head cold, and I’m headed the same way. Ew.

        1. The Red family patriarch was hit with the 24-hr stomach crud in the wee hours of this AM. It’s going around (and around, and around, . . .)

            1. I’m trying to edit, and all I want to do is sleep. Okay, that’s normal when I’m editing but this is more like “I’m so tired” not “I’m so bored.”

              1. After another vehicle breakdown yesterday, and having to walk over two miles to get to a phone (mine was at home on the charger, dangit!), and having the push the truck out of the road, plus the stress of all that, I felt the same way last night.

    2. You had me confused there for a moment. My mother spent a few years of her childhood in Japan, North Carolina. Small Blue Ridge town. At the beginning of WWII official pronunciation became JAY-pun.

  6. I’ve assumed that Islamist terrorists will strike again in the US ever since I started reading about and seeing photos of all the prayer rugs, tracts in Arabic, and other items left along the US border by people entering from Mexico.

    I see a fracture model developing, where small groups of states form trade enclaves and federations. From that we can reconstitute the US, even if some former territories are not included. But it depends on the in-between stage, and that I’m not equipped to predict.

  7. I think we’ll hit the Great Depression again, another world war will break out, and there will be enough damage that we’ll suddenly remember “Hey, wait, we’ve got all these resources!”

    We’re different from most countries in that we could do the whole production line here, we just don’t have it because of cost considerations. As our dollar value goes down, the cost goes up.

    I don’t think we’ll really collapse. I think we’ll get hurting enough that we ratchet down and the folks that built it in the first place come back in. I’ve seen it happen on lower levels several times.

    It’s not going to be fun.

  8. T/w/o/ Three things you left out. Illegal aliens and drugs. And inner city gangs. Or maybe it’s just a single problem.

    Many of the illegals who are here to work are going back home. The ones that stay have very useful skills and experience with very poor condition. And no worries about regulations and laws. We’ll all be taking lessons from them, RSN.

    My worries are the cities. With money tight, release “low risk” criminals from prison. Cut off the welfare checks. Make the job situation even worse. That leaves the drug economy, and gang warfare to control it, in control of large parts of many cities.

  9. Oh. And sit and take being nuked? The government that wants to do that is going to have to get the nukes off the submarines before that happens. Or the military coup is going to be outwardly aimed, not inwardly like any sensible military takeover. Or maybe, it’ll start with revenge and end like a “normal” coup.

      1. I’m almost there already. So are quite a few friends of mine. As the government begins cutting benefits, especially for retirees, more will join the queue. Something to remember: there are more than 10 million veterans in the United States, and ALL of them know how to use a weapon. Even half of those getting angry would outnumber the current US military, which is more likely to join us than fight against us.

        1. I’ve wondered if a lot of the problems with post-Boomer kids onward is the end of the draft and fewer kids in the military.

              1. Yes – I saw it first hand in six year old boys when I was in a School-age program (basically babysitting after school)– I froth at the mouth about it– I am not the only one either–

      1. First you dump a mile of ice on Russia. Then the rains return to the Sahara. And yes, I’m mostly being facetious. But a fast natural disaster sounds so much cleaned than a slow descent into a depressed and poisoned mirror of Eastern Europe under the USSR.

              1. Oh man. I ought to dig out that weird story . . . merging universes. Thirteen of them. One with dinosaurs, one with space aliens . . . Almost six weeks until the End of the World. Or time to get a new calendar. Whatever. I ought to throw it up on Amazon, deep cover pen name . . .

                  1. That sound like my skullsweat sessions every time I’ve traveled for the past decade or so: what do I do if everything REALLY goes to pot?

                1. I wish Marsh would hurry up and build that time space portal and teleport some T-rexes into DC. Think of the fun!

                  No dinosaurs needed. Just take yon wormhole generator, position multiple opening near desired targets in DC and then open the other end near the bottom of the Mariana Trench. 15750 psi will make short work of whatever/whoever you want, plus you don’t have to clean up all the dino poo.

                1. . . . live from the Capitol Building, where just hours ago millions of horrified CSPAN views saw the Senate Majority Leader merge with a T-Rex and EAT the Vice President of the United States!”

                  “Bret, we’ve got to break, we’ve got a report of triceritops at the White House, Marty is on site with video . . . Look at the mess! I think they broke through the windows, and sometimes the walls, but the herd has stopped now to eat the Rose Garden . . . Watch, the dinosaurs are flickering, fading . . . zoom in, zoom in, to the left! Is that the President puking up rose thorns?”

              2. I would pay money to see that. Although I think allosaurs would be more entertaining – they fit in smaller spaces.

                Great. Now I have a story idea brewing when I need to be doing massive revisions to a non-fiction piece.

                “Well, Senator Gassbag, as you and your fellow committee members are no doubt aware, the evidence for anthropogenic global warming is 100% confirmed. The only thing that can save us is to allocate no less than 20% of the nation’s GDP to reducing carbon emissions and . . .”

                Whump. Screams and a strange roaring sound echoed into the hearing room and Sen. Gassbag pounded his gavel. “Order! Order I say. You,” the senator pointed to a low-level staffer. “Go see what is going on out there.”

                Two days later, the governors of Texas, Nevada, Connecticut, Maine, North Dakota, Arkansas, and New Jersey appointed interim senators, once the deaths had been confirmed by analysis of the scat found on the capitol lawn.

                1. Want to read the entire story ;-)… sorry didn’t comment for hours. Today we were out and about, yesterday I wasn’t feeling good. The stress hasn’t been good for me so I need to sit down and outline a few YA stories about self-reliance … I think set in the 70s during the recession… I am wondering if I should put in a bit of magic– ummm– still haven’t decided to play it plain or make it strange. This will give me some hope and make me feel better.

                  1. Pam, I’m re-reading Michael Scott Rohan’s Winter of the World Trilogy. One of the things in it was that there was civilizations around during the last Ice Age but they were wiped out by the rising sea levels when the Ice Age ended. [Wink]

              1. Look at the county by county red/blue voting map of TX after this past election night. Almost completely red except for a near-uniform blue swath along the Mexican border.

                I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I’m very sure any GOP presidential hopeful will have to understand it and deal with it.

            1. Yes indeedy! We do get chilly and occasional snow in Dallas. The Greater Dallas area (the metroplex) is a very nice place to live. Where in TX are you Laurie?

                  1. BTW, I’m willing to relocate to TX if ya’ll come up with a lizard abatement program. (The joke behind this — while staying in TX, I found a gecko on my bed. I have a PHOBIA of anything cold skinned, so… 😉 My friend, alerted by my scream of terror to the idea something had gone wrong in the guest room, peeled me off the ceiling while her cat ate the gecko.)

                    1. You wouldn’t be able to enter my house at night then. We leave the outdoor light on and have 9 or 10 geckos hanging around on a good night. They’re incredibly cute. 🙂 I much prefer them to the scorpions, black widows, rattlesnakes and cotton mouths we also have.

                    2. well, I don’t want to cuddle with any of those, either. 😉

                      After my first visit my husband asked “Can you see moving there.” I said “It’s so lizardy.”

                      He has promised to protect me from the lizards…

                      (I had a cat who used to bring me lizards in bed (he wasn’t allowed in the bedrooms, so I left the window open, so he could come and sleep with me, HUGE siamese tom, of the Petronius the Arbiter type) still alive, for me to kill, you know? I must have loved him, because I never killed him or locked him out.)

                    3. Just think of them as miniature wingless dragons. It’s the mold in Houston you need to worry about. I’d recommend anyone job hunt in Dallas and move south only at great need.

                  2. Inner city is, like all inner cities. Suburbs, and Harris county, are Republican and the county is a nice red spot on the map. But you still can’t get a Republican mayor here and we’re an unofficial sanctuary city. Part of the problem is the one remaining newspaper is hard hard left; no one gets it anymore, hardly, and it loses money big time, but the owneredoesn’t care.

                    1. Laurie,
                      If I ever moved to Texas, it would be somewhere between Tyler and Liberty. My brother lives in Spring, and I’ve got several dozen cousins around Sough Houston/Deer Park/Pasadena. If Colorado continues to be dominated by a Democrap Denver, I may have to move. Looking more to heading for Wyoming… Fewer people, more space, fewer laws, gun-friendly..

                    2. Looking more to heading for Wyoming… Fewer people, more space, fewer laws, gun-friendly..

                      Well, there’s that. However, Texas has it’s own power grid. The rest of the country–everyone else not-Texas–is on one of two other grids. Plus, Texas used to be it’s own freakin’ country.

                    3. Mike, I’d love to go back to my home town and buy my ex father in law’s old place. Three lots side by side and my oldest friend builds 2 or 3 bedroom homes for $50,000 a copy. It is on the Mississippi delta and has a permanent underground water table.

                    4. So your brother knows all about it here. ^_^

                      I’ve seen Colorado, and I know it would be hard to trade it for Texas – I love the people, but the landscape just doesn’t compare, and the heat is pretty awful. And no snow, though my formerly-northern friends consider this a plus.

                      But it says a lot that, despite all these drawbacks, Texas is still the place that everyone wants to move to.

            2. Maybe it’s nice and warm in your part of the state, but we were twenty degrees (F) this morning with a wind chill of “yipe!” Fall has fallen.

  10. Here’s what we should do:

    Raise taxes on the rich to the much higher percentages they’ve been during periods when the US was booming and prosperous as a result of said getting money out of the hoards of rich people and into the hands of consumers so they can circulate it in the economy. Even just Clinton levels would be a start.

    Switch to single-payer healthcare, so we can achieve what every other developed country has: providing healthcare to everyone at a fraction of the cost per person that we currently pay.

    Invest heavily in repairing, streamline, and modernizing our infrastructure so we can provide the maximum benefit for less administrative cost. We have amazing technology available, but aside from minor changes like switching food stamps to electronic debit cards (which are both cheaper and faster to distribute and easier to monitor for fraud than the old paper ones) we’re still stuck in the 50s for many things.

    Spend money on enabling the poor and lower middle class to replace their energy guzzling old appliances and vehicles with energy-efficient modern ones, get everyone’s houses properly insulated, and solar on everyone’s rooftops, as well as promoting changes in behavior for Americans. By replacing some lights and appliances, and making minor changes in habits, my mom and I reduced our energy consumption from 14 kWh/day to 7 kWh, and we could go even further if we had the money to replace our old fridge. We’d be able to conserve substantial amounts of energy and save everyone money without a crash in lifestyle.

    Reduce our military budget substantially.

    Raise minimum wage to be a living wage, so that nobody working will require government assistance because they get all they need from their jobs, thus substantially reducing our expenditures there. Ending the need for wage subsidies by finally expecting companies to support their workers themselves would be a huge savings, plus all that extra money in the hands of consumers would stimulate economic growth even further.

    Eliminate all corporate subsidies for any businesses turning a profit. There are many, many businesses raking in both profits and paychecks from the government.

    Audit all agencies to ensure that all money is going where it’s needed, versus kickbacks and too-high salaries for the high-ups.

    Essentially, there’s a lot of ways we can very easily get out of this mess, but the Republicans refuse to do any of them. They keep wages low and wonder why workers need government assistance. They give like crazy to the rich and yet ask for no payment, and wonder why we’re broke. They refuse to invest any money in our economy and wonder why it’s not growing. They let our infrastructure crumble and become outdated and wonder why it costs so much to run it. They let the high-ups fill their pockets while the people doing the actual work suffer, and wonder why we’re paying so much money for so little result. They decry public options even when they’re more cost-effective and champion private options even when they’re more wasteful, and wonder again why we’re paying so much money for so little result.

    The Republicans need to stop blaming the Democrats for the end results of Republican policies, and start staring in the mirror for the real reason why we’re failing. Not that I hold any hope of this happening, which is why I can only hope the American public will continue wising up and voting them out.

    1. Are you insane? Or is the koolaid that tasty?

      What you propose is what has made Zimbabwe the powerhouse of economics and democracy it is.

      Let me start with “raise taxes to much higher.” France is trying that and already backpeddaling. A) How are you going to keep the rich here? Most capital these days is electronic. They don’t even need to leave here to stop paying taxes here. Do you propose to close the borders? See previous.

      Dear lady, I lived under single paid healthcare. If you think that trims costs or is better, you’re insane.

      INVEST WHAT? Where do you think money comes from? I’m curious. Do enlighten us. If you took EVERY SINGLE PENNY from those evil “rich” it would last us I think three months, maybe less at our rate of consumption, WITHOUT single payer or “investments.”

      Energy guzzling. You can’t wish new energy modes into existence. The president has tried that. Google Solyndra.
      Also, while you’re at it “Great Leap Forward.”

      Reduce our military budget because… China will protect us? Or the world loves a loser? Lady, are you Obama in drag? I suggest reading History. Start with Gibbons decline and fall. Move forward.

      As for Republicans blaming democrats, the blame seems to go the other way. And if you think we’re suffering from an excess of capitalism, kindly compare Singapore and North Korea. Tell us which is suffering from an excess of capitalism. Show your work.

      Also, read The Dream That Failed. Also Read Lenin’s Tomb written, btw, by a leftist. Also read The Black Book of Communism to see WHY it’s unlikely to work this time.

      What you’ve demonstrated is a complete LACK of knowledge of history, economics and human nature coupled with a smug certainty of your own superiority, which you acquired by being perfectly indoctrinated and enough of a patsy to swallow it all.

      You are the perfect citizen the administration wants. Carry on. You do know the useful idiots are always the first against the wall, right? No? That’s because you don’t read history. Never mind.

      1. That was harsh.

        Some of the ideas seem reasonable. For example, do you really have a problem with “[e]liminate all corporate subsidies for any businesses turning a profit”? That’s free market, isn’t it, since government subsidizing business tends to be inefficient.

        1. No. I don’t really mind that, but in the middle of all the other fail…

          Also, shouldn’t it follow “eliminate all but the barest sustenance to people able to earn their own keep?”

          I bet she’d squawk at that.

          Next — what else sounds reasonable in the soup of fail? I was overwhelmed by the “raise taxes” because, you know, rich people just sit still and TAKE it.

        2. Bret,
          There are several experienced CPA qualified accountants commenting here. Trust me, corporate profits are a manageable event; costs can always be found or manufactured to prevent reporting a profit.

          But you miss the real crux of that argument; it should be “[e]liminate all corporate subsidies” PERIOD. But then, it depends on how you define “subsidy,” don’t it? When politicians demagogue asset depletion allowances as subsidies, when the leaders of a political party denounce corporate success with “you didn’t build that” then subsidies are defined so broadly as to become pornographic by Justice Stewart’s definition.

          1. Keep in mind the left has declared depreciation to be a “subsidy”. They truly believe the State has the first call on all labor and wealth, and what you keep is purely a matter of their mercy.

            1. Letting you keep your money is also “a subsidy”

              Because “we belong to the government.” Google the videos of people in the Democratic convention saying that. SERIOUSLY.

            2. Don’t even get me started on depreciation. Their understanding of it is as accurate and relevant as the idea that you can read a person’s personality and future through phrenology.

          2. Oh, is THAT what the “subsidies for oil companies” is? *eye roll*

            No one should be able to vote unless they can prove they can interpret a simple balance sheet.

            1. Short form, oversimplified: Oil & gas accounting is a different beast from regular accounting, because of insane tax laws. Oil companies are taxed as if the oil *still in the ground* were inventory, and price fluctuations in existing reserves count as profit and loss — even if the reserves are not going to be tapped for another 30 years. (This is one reason why we’ve never got more than 30 years’ reserves of oil left. Every petroleum geologist knows there’s far more oil in the ground, but it isn’t worth finding it and *declaring* it as reserves.) Since having to actually pay tax on 30 years’ future production would bankrupt any company, oil companies receive a bunch of weird special exemptions that (mostly) cancel out the tax on not-yet-produced oil.

              There is a small amount of direct subsidy, mostly paid to companies in the oilfield services business, under the usual heading of Congressional pork. Congresscritters in sugar states vote for oil subsidies, so that the critters in oil states will vote for corn subsidies, so that the critters in corn states will vote for steel subsidies, so that the critters in steel states will vote for sugar subsidies. If every tree in America were burnt to ashes, logrolling would remain a major industry.

              1. Yes, I know about requiring the stuff in the ground to be inventory, but I hadn’t seen actual subsidies anywhere. I’ve only audited a few oil companies and an energy company, and only at a low level (I’m a CPA, but I don’t really do accounting work) – I saw plenty of carbon credits, but no subsidies.

                1. I think the point here, Laura, is that these deleted euphemisms are willing to call ANYTHING a subsidy if it serves their agenda. By their logic the personal exemption is a subsidy. But loan guarantees to donor’s businesses are not subsidies, they are economic investment in new technologies to benefit the public and ensure America enters the bright new tomorrow as a leader.

                  1. And here I thought they were paying for your own campaign contributions with tax payer money, plus about 1000% interest.

                    1. I think the basic policy is “any monies your donors have is a subsidy; any money my donors get is a necessary investment in a stronger part … er, America.”

      2. Valentine I hope you’re under twenty, and never had to support yourself. There may be time for you to learn to think. Maybe. And if you’re still in college? Take some math classes. Possibly even accounting.

      3. Oh, thank you, Madame Hostess, for invoking recent Chinese history. because I wasn’t sleeping poorly enough. Really, people, if you want Worst Case Scenario, communist China is nearly as bad as I can think of. We don’t have reliable numbers for how many million their misguided efforts to preserve their empire have killed over only the last sixty years. (Oh, hey look: me preaching, you the choir) I had teachers whose families escaped the various messes. Hearing accounts of how bad things got. Breaking down your own house to meet iron and steel requirements, otherwise you get denounced to the roving bands of youth. Whole segments of family sent to the fields somewhere – probably hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, never to be heard from again. Your home – the one your family has lived in for centuries – being appropriated by some Good Party Member. Along with your sisters. It reads like dystopian literature.

        As for the cities, well, I’m planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

      4. I think you got in a bit of a rush here:

        “What you’ve demonstrated is a complete of knowledge of history, economics and human nature ”

        I believe you mean ” complete _lack_ of knowledge of…”


            1. Oh, I understood that, and thank you. I’m not actually in a bad mood to people who have commented here so long I think of them like friends. Actually I’m not in a bad mood at all, more in a “how to prepare mood” and “does this nation come with airbags?”

    2. Oh, let me copy the relevant point of reply from commenter Bill Reader to your similarly minded comrade earlier:
      Drop. Dead.

      And take the rotting, putrid corpse of Karl Marx with you. I see your hand shoved up his chest cavity and I see his lips flapping when you blather, but while you’ve got the voice right… you copy his arrogant, small-minded belief that he alone had the key to remaking mankind perfectly, G*d have mercy on your miserable, shriveled soul… he at least had the excuse of ignorance, while you are a willful dunce. Karl Marx repackaged the redistributionist ideas of the land reformers who were destroying the Roman Empire long before the barbarians rioted, and the horrific principles of the French revolution misbegotten by Jean Jacques Rousseau’s fantasies. How you can dare to stand with the souls of the MILLIONS your ideological beliefs have led to slaughter staring down on you, how you can feign your mealy-mouthed concern with the tides of their blood not yet congealed on the beaches of history, I cannot understand.

    3. Some of what you suggest is merely wrongheaded (spending massive amounts of money so that families can replace their dishwashers should NOT be the government’s job) or is less efficient than other solutions (instead of harping on energy efficiency in all things, make energy cheap and plentiful by, say, cutting through the red tape and constructing fifty new nuclear power plants in the United States).

      I agree that audits and such would be useful; it’s nice in general to know that money purposed to a gov’t agency in order to achieve Objective X is actually going toward that purpose. But it seems like your idea of how to help the economy get back on its feet is to a) introduce more regulations so that it’s harder to employ people — because raising the minimum wage does just that, b) sock it to the “hoards of rich people” (really? hoards? how the heck are you defining “rich” to get that many?) by soaking them with higher taxes and giving that money to people who don’t have as much as Somebody in the Bureaucracy decides they should.

      This doesn’t achieve what you think it achieves. Telling businesses that you’re unhappy with their success is a great way to have fewer businesses and fewer jobs. Soaking “the rich” explicitly because you think they have too much money is a great way to make business owners scale down, retire early, or find some other way to spend their time.

      1. We already audit all agencies – it is the job of the Inspector General in every department. It doesn’t work, ads costs and simply encourages a higher level of corruption.

          1. The power of removing power from the federal government is two-fold. First, it reduces the “heavy hand” in your life, but reduces the size, and thereby removing influence, scope, ie power, also reduces the desire for others to game what’s not there anymore. Thus, corruption also shrinks with a shrinking fed.

        1. Yeah, and didn’t the IRS fail the audit AGAIN? (with no punishments, like would happen for a non-government entity?)

    4. Sarah’s made a good start – she’s more patient than I am, going point by point on why this won’t work. Bottom line s THIS HAS ALL BEEN TRIED BEFORE, MANY MANY TIMES AND IT DOES NOT WORK; IT MAKES THINGS MUCH MUCH WORSE. The policies you are suggesting lead only to poverty and suffering. EVERY TIME.

      You’ve been fed the Big Lie – that FDR got us out of the Great Depression – WRONG, he didn’t, he extended it for decades, the US didn’t come out of the Depression until the 1950s. You think Republicans are racist – WRONG, Democrats are the part of Jim Crow, segregation and their current policies of the White Man’s Burden keep minories poor and under control (and Martin Luther King was a Republican and Civil Rights was won by Republicans. So was Women’s Suffrage. Read up on your history, fergawdsake). You think if we raise minimum wage, everyone will be wealthier – WRONG, it just means the people who are only capable of minimum wage work will never get a job again, and there will be a lot fewer jobs to begin with.

      Stop listening to the Kool-Aid people. Find out the truth. It’ll hurt, you’ll have to grow up and be mature and responsible and all kinds of boring stuff, but you won’t be a destructive force. (I am sick of cleaning up the mess created by people like you, I’ve had to do it all my life.)

      1. Yes, oh yes. The president is our first echo-boomer, raised by the most irresponsible of the hippie dippie left. This is what we get.

        And in answer to Lelnet and Bret on the other thread — yes, it is the people who are the problem, but they’ve been indoctrinated and lied too by the chorus of school, entertainment and media. They don’t know any better. They’re using Howard Zin as a textbook, fergadsakes (I had to use it in American Culture, but fortunately by the third year in college, I knew enough it didn’t pass the smell test. When I caught contradicting himself twice in the same chapter I could only wonder adults BOUGHT this.)

        Our job is to unspin this nonsense.

      2. Laurie, anytime somebody looks at a mess such as this country is in and says “Essentially, there’s a lot of ways we can very easily get out of this mess,” you can be confident they haven’t a stinking clue and are (at best) arguing for rearrangement of the deck chairs.

        Just look at the list of criticisms of the Republicans that follows that statement and you will see the level of unreality Valentine inhabits. Each and every sentence is factually and conceptually wrong in at least three elements, so badly so that an entire post could be written refuting each sentence — and the Valentines of this world would misunderstand every one of them.

    5. This comment is wholly irrelevant to the topic post and is devoid of serious content, from a person who has never posted here ere now. I call troll and suggest nobody waste time addressing this.

      Frankly, anyone calling for a “living wage” has labeled himself too ignorant to be engaged with reason, facts or logic.

      I have only one question:
      Valentine, the bulk of America’s pensions are invested in corporate stocks and bonds, yet the policies you advocate would severely cut corporate profits and reduce their stock values, leaving destitute pensions upon which retirees, widows and orphans rely. My question, Valentine, is: Why do you hate widows and orphans?

        1. You know, according to leftist rules for describing enemies, for Libya alone Obama is a racist, for not conforming to the cultural values of the Mongols, and hates peace, for undermining the institutions of international diplomacy by getting an Ambassador killed. Since this happened before the election, each and every person who voted for Obama is a peace hating racist.

      1. Not to mention Valentine’s own retirement fund – she’s part of the largest group of stock owners if she has one. So she hates herself, too.

    6. What a load of horse crap. I suggest you pull your head out of your nether regions and quit buying into everything the msm says. Oh, I’d also suggest you do a more thorough study of history and economics. It might serve you well to understand the impact of what you are suggesting. In the meantime, let me see if I can clarify things for you.

      Raise taxes on the rich to the much higher percentages they’ve been during periods when the US was booming and prosperous as a result of said getting money out of the hoards of rich people and into the hands of consumers so they can circulate it in the economy. Even just Clinton levels would be a start.
      Raising taxes won’t make money for the country. What would work better is exactly what Gov. Romney and others in the Republican Party have suggested: cutting out the loopholes that exist in our current tax code. If you haven’t looked at the code recently, I suggest you do so. It is so large and so filled with contradictions that it isn’t funny. In fact, if the courts would actually take some of the challenges to it seriously, much — if not all — of it would be thrown out because of the inconsistencies within it.
      It always amazes me how the liberals want to take away from the rich without pausing to consider the impact of closing the loopholes in some of our social programs would have one our economy. Why are we continuing to keep people on the dole who are able bodied and ought to be able to find work? Oh, it might not be the work they want, but jobs are out there. But no, we continue to keep them on the welfare rolls because that is the “right” thing to do.
      Switch to single-payer healthcare, so we can achieve what every other developed country has: providing healthcare to everyone at a fraction of the cost per person that we currently pay.
      And who is to determine what entity is to administer this plan? What about the companies this would put out of business? Do we just say, “Sorry, we don’t need you anymore. Oh, and we don’t really care about all your employees. We’ll let them collect unemployment for a bit and then they can collect welfare if they qualify.” Yes, the sarcasm meter is on full force here.
      Does the healthcare system need overhauling? Absolutely. But this isn’t necessarily the right way to go. Let’s start by looking at who really needs healthcare coverage. The unemployed are covered through county hospitals that allow for no payment or lower priced payment. Illegal aliens get the same sort of “coverage”. Don’t believe me, look at the budget of any state bordering Mexico and see how much money on the state and local level goes to indigent care.
      Invest heavily in repairing, streamline, and modernizing our infrastructure so we can provide the maximum benefit for less administrative cost. We have amazing technology available, but aside from minor changes like switching food stamps to electronic debit cards (which are both cheaper and faster to distribute and easier to monitor for fraud than the old paper ones) we’re still stuck in the 50s for many things.
      And where is this money supposed to come from? Oh, I know. We’ll tax the rich even more. Sorry, that dog don’t hunt.
      Spend money on enabling the poor and lower middle class to replace their energy guzzling old appliances and vehicles with energy-efficient modern ones, get everyone’s houses properly insulated, and solar on everyone’s rooftops, as well as promoting changes in behavior for Americans. By replacing some lights and appliances, and making minor changes in habits, my mom and I reduced our energy consumption from 14 kWh/day to 7 kWh, and we could go even further if we had the money to replace our old fridge. We’d be able to conserve substantial amounts of energy and save everyone money without a crash in lifestyle.
      Guess what, there are already programs in existence to do a lot of this. Another thing to consider, all these new, energy saving bulbs, etc., have their own problems and we don’t know all they are yet. A new study has come out about the energy saving bulbs and the potential they have for causing skin cancer. Instead of worrying so much about spending money to upgrade homes that weren’t built to your definition of “energy efficient”, how about not hamstringing the country on energy production? Oh, wait, that isn’t politically correct thinking. Sorry.
      Reduce our military budget substantially.
      Let’s just hang out the white flag and surrender to our enemies then. OMFG, you are out of your mind. Our military budget is already too small. I don’t know how old you are and, frankly, I don’t care. What I suggest is that you go back and study history. Look at what it takes to protect a country, especially at a time of war. Sorry, what we are currently involved in overseas isn’t a war. It doesn’t come close. Armed conflict, sure. But not a war. And don’t delude yourself into thinking that war can’t and won’t come to this country. It can and very likely will. I don’t know about you, but I want our country to be able to respond quickly and effectively.
      Oh, still don’t believe me, ask yourself this: why did it take double-digit hours for the military to mobilize even a small strike force in response to the attack on our embassy in Benghazi? With proper intelligence and the proper placement of troops with the proper equipment, there should have been no more than a delay of a couple of hours maximum before we had boots on the ground.
      Raise minimum wage to be a living wage, so that nobody working will require government assistance because they get all they need from their jobs, thus substantially reducing our expenditures there. Ending the need for wage subsidies by finally expecting companies to support their workers themselves would be a huge savings, plus all that extra money in the hands of consumers would stimulate economic growth even further.
      And what is a living wage? Is it enough to have one new car, a computer, cable tv, etc? Also, ask yourself this question: when you force companies to pay more than they are now, what happens? Prices are raised for their products. Higher prices mean a higher cost of living. I guess then we have to raise the minimum wage again? The fallacy in your argument is the same one unions have when they want to raise hourly wages — that cost is passed on. The consumer ultimately is the one to pay the price.
      Eliminate all corporate subsidies for any businesses turning a profit. There are many, many businesses raking in both profits and paychecks from the government.
      Examples? I don’t know about where you live, but my city gives tax breaks to bring companies in. The reasoning is valid: the new company will employ local people and bring in commerce to the city. The tax break they get doesn’t impact the bottom line because the city wasn’t getting those tax dollars to begin with. However, in X-number of years, we will reap the benefit because we will be getting those new tax dollars we wouldn’t have had. Sometimes, you have to take the long view.
      Audit all agencies to ensure that all money is going where it’s needed, versus kickbacks and too-high salaries for the high-ups.
      Okay, I’ll agree to this if you agree to do it with the government, starting with every federal agency. Oh, you also have to tell me where the money for this is going to come from. If you say it is an audit by the IRS, you’ll have to forgive me for laughing hysterically. That is the very first agency that ought to be audited by forensic auditors.
      Essentially, there’s a lot of ways we can very easily get out of this mess, but the Republicans refuse to do any of them. They keep wages low and wonder why workers need government assistance. They give like crazy to the rich and yet ask for no payment, and wonder why we’re broke. They refuse to invest any money in our economy and wonder why it’s not growing. They let our infrastructure crumble and become outdated and wonder why it costs so much to run it. They let the high-ups fill their pockets while the people doing the actual work suffer, and wonder why we’re paying so much money for so little result. They decry public options even when they’re more cost-effective and champion private options even when they’re more wasteful, and wonder again why we’re paying so much money for so little result.
      And you parrot what the main stream media tells you. Get off your high horse and quit painting every conservative with a broad brush. Just as you claim every Republican is pro-business and anti-worker, I could say Democrats want to live off the work of a few. No, I could call you all moochers in the Rand sense of the word. The truth of the matter is, you can’t put the blame on any one party. Both parties share the blame. But, again, that’s not the politically correct thing to say.
      The Republicans need to stop blaming the Democrats for the end results of Republican policies, and start staring in the mirror for the real reason why we’re failing. Not that I hold any hope of this happening, which is why I can only hope the American public will continue wising up and voting them out.
      Pot, kettle. Look at Obama. He says that there has to be compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff we are about to go tumbling over. Yet he refuses to compromise on tax increases for the rich. He won’t look at alternative plans — like cutting the loopholes out of the tax code. But again, that’s not the politically correct thing to say. When are you and those like you going to quit blaming everything on the previous administration? It seems to me that you are doing pretty much what you condemn the Republicans of doing.

      Grow up, start thinking for yourself and consider the implications of everything you suggest.

      1. And although the city doesn’t tax the corp, it taxes the corp’s employees and some of their customers, and it gets sales tax for things the employees and customers buy in the city. (Sort of like using the corp as bait.)

    7. Please tell me this is satire. I find it funny that you think that we can disarm ourselves(“Reduce our military budget substantially”), hand people money(b/c, you know, it the government gets an automatic allowance before they collect taxes, right?), raise minimum wage(since businesses always fire people when this happens – I’m speaking from personal experience here – I’m curious why you hate those in low skilled jobs and want them to be unemployed), and somehow think it is the government’s job to give you an energy efficient dishwasher(b/c certainly the market couldn’t come up with something like that…nothing innovative comes from private people…they can’t build that).

      My guess is Valentine won’t even have the courage to stop in and read all these, let alone comment again. All this person has done is to prove an axiom it took me a large portion of my life to understand – there is nothing more harmful to society than a person with good intentions and no idea what they’re doing.

    8. You planning on raising the “rich”‘s income taxes to 300%? Because that’s what it would take to cover our existing budget, let alone the spending spree you’re proposing. (Perhaps higher, depending on how you define “rich.”)

      And what do you propose to do with those souls whose labor is not worth a “living wage” and so can’t find work under your regime? And why in blue blazes does a teenager living at his parents’ house need a living wage? Or is that merely to ensure that the poor stay poor by ensuring he can’t get a reference from his minimum wage job certifying he can show and do work — a reference that would be worthy many times its weight in gold to many underclass kids?

    9. While I suspect you won’t be back to read or reply to these comments, let me add this one anyway: Besides all the things the others have said, you claim that getting solar panels on everyone’s houses would be a good idea.

      This could not be more wrong. Solar energy is not ready for production of primary energy supply yet. The cost of producing and installing solar panels and storage units, plus grid tie-ins, is far higher than the value of the energy they will produce over their lifespan. In fact, without reductions in all parts of this process, it will never be viable, because the cost of installation alone is too high to justify them.

      1. The cost of producing and installing solar panels and storage units, plus grid tie-ins, is far higher than the value of the energy they will produce over their lifespan.

        That’s been “disproven” by a solar company’s scientists comparing the longest reasonable lifespan with the highest possible output vs the power used in the factories, followed by a demand that a source be shown for that “long debunked” claim.

        1. They might produce enough power to cover the power consumption used in the base construction. I don’t know. But the power consumption for building a solar panel is not the only thing that needs to be considered. There are salaries for the employees, distribution costs, costs of the other components of a full-scale system, such as the storage components and inverters to produce house current, plus costs of installation.

          On eBay, you can purchase cast-off cells from the manufacturers. Cells that have minor flaws, or are chipped on the edges, etc, which don’t affect the usefulness, but they don’t pass the inspection to be made into panels for production. I have priced these, and by buying the cells and making the panels myself, plus buying the least expensive grid-tie inverters I could find, and ignoring the storage component, since I would not need it, I found I would be able to install solar panels for a cost that would just BARELY pay for itself in 25 years, which is the warranty lifespan for the majority of solar panels. Nope, not ready for prime time. Now, if you live in California, where electricity costs are something like 3 times what they are here, it might be worth it.

          1. Ah! Found a gov’t link on it.

            Relevant paragraph:
            Most solar cells and modules sold today are crystalline silicon. Both
            single-crystal and multicrystalline silicon use large wafers of purified
            silicon. Purifying and crystallizing the silicon are the most energy intensive parts of the solar-cell manufacturing process. Other aspects
            of silicon-cell and module processing that add to the energy input
            include: cutting the silicon into wafers, processing the wafers into
            cells, assembling the cells into modules (including encapsulation),
            and overhead energy use for the manufacturing facilities.

            From the way it’s phrased, you can guess that the materials appear on-site to be processed, there is a zero percent failure rate in the manufacturing process, and all of the cells last more than the four years required to break even in current technology. (The workers, likewise, materialize at the plant.)

            Also, the cells are all located in areas with “average” output for current solar resources. I don’t have to explain that when things are expensive, they’re going to be used in the best possible places, do I? And ones that aren’t as dangerous? *sigh* Yeah, thirty years of operation is clearly a perfectly reasonable assumption for “average” lifespan.

            1. Er. Don’t want to rain on the parade, and this is merely a very cautious self-sufficiency guy talking here. Perhaps US prices are very different, and this was taking fire-sale cheap prices (which are less than 1/10 what they were 8 years ago). Because I fully expect our grid here on the island to collapse under the costs (it’s subsidized right now, but I can see even in economic bad times, let alone disaster, they might stop subsidizing 700 people on a remote island) I have bought enough solar power cells and an inverter to cover everything but our hot water geyser (which will in that eventuality run off wood) and cooking where we use bottled gas and fire and it cost me AU$2700. Yep I got a bargain or two. But our power costs ATM run about $350 (including water heating) a quarter, or without that $180-200 a quarter. Call it 170 to be conservative no power bill increases… and I’m paid off in 15 quarters – call it 4 years. Conservatively (a lifespan of 15 years) I should have another 11 years of profit, and not have to worry about outside power while the world either shakes down or doesn’t

              1. Were the panels subsidized? If so, what would be the real cost? If not, how does the price you paid compare to what you have seen as normal prices?

                I don’t want to make comparisons with liquidation/clearance sale prices, because you can’t be certain to get those prices. I just looked at eBay again, and it looks like prices have gone down there, so that the cost is now running about USD $0.50 per watt for bare cells. At the average price of USD$0.10 per kilowatt-hour that we pay where I live, that means that a cell has to produce full power for 5,000 hours to pay for itself. In this region, an averaged value of 4 hours per day is high, so it would take 1,250 hours, or almost 3.5 years. Just for the cells. If you buy cells, there is a LOT of work involved in going from that to a working system, including costs for making panels, though that is not large compared to the cells themselves..

                Panels appear to be running about USD$2 per watt, so we’d be looking at 14 years to pay back for panels. If you don’t install them yourself, we’re back to that 25 year ROI again.

                1. Wayne, I gather – basically – that with demand at rock-bottom from Europe, and Chinese production having just got into full swing, that I may have got the panels (in panels already) at barely cost. They’re not subsidized. I’m not trying to make a point here, just stating what I have spent and that for any other self sufficiency nuts it is worth knowing about. I got in at less than a dollar a watt, and according to my friend John who has been making his own from cells for more than 10 years now, and making a profit (and he’s more conservative than most people here), and he’s just bought a load too, because he says it is now cheaper than he can make them up. We’re hoping to set up a local tracking array, maybe. But even in winter here I will get a lot more than just 4 hours of some production. John finds 20 years safe to calculate on, BTW.
                  For me, they’re insurance.

                  1. They’re not subsidized on your end, I’ll agree. (Unlike, say, the pig-tail mercury bulbs in the store–locally, they even have the amount they’re subsidized with a little ad for the power company by them.) It’s the other end we’re talking about:
                    Chinese firms poured into manufacturing solar panels, lured by domestic subsidies meant to encourage high-tech industry and by European and American subsidies for solar energy installation.

                    Also, they’ve been accused by the EU and the US of artificially lowering costs directly, or direct subsidies on the exports.

                  2. Well, that’s fine, and I’m all for getting bargains. I was just saying that I don’t like to use bargain prices to calculate with.

                    As for your friend John… do you think he would be interested in a very simple experiment? I have wondered if laying out the cells in a slightly different configuration would produce a higher overall efficiency for the panels.

                    1. 🙂 I don’t want to hijack the thread – as you might say Sarah’s preaching to the converted with me, and I already have more stockpiles than 99% of humanity (including things that go bang). I am sure he would. John is a fascinating guy. Like Tesla, the guy has synthesia, and has fantastic machine and electronics workshop to play in. He sold his Electronics Design company a few years ago for a lot of money, and like me came over here to hunker down. But contact me offlist.

              2. My folks have used solar panels to pump water in hard-to-reach areas, as well.

                The issue is the notion of replacing a significant part of normal power use with solar.

                Heck, I’d be all for sensible use of wind power— pumping water, for crying out loud!

                It’s the attempt to whole-hog replace the existing stuff with special use technology that’s bad.

                Also, the production of the solar panels is usually subsidized, so price isn’t as accurate a measure as it should be– even for the Ugly Panels.

                1. Rare earths. Solar, wind and batteries all need rare earth metals. Well, so do computers. Right now the biggest producer is China.

                  By the way, mining them isn’t a particularly environmental friendly process right now.

                  1. 🙂 My point was not suggest them as a cheap good power source, but to point out to friends of like mind that now is not a bad time to stock up. Being able to be independent is not a bad thing. As I live (with only a mild paranoia to add to it) with roughly six months to 2 years of everything -because buying in bulk for life on an island makes sense, and enough ammunition for probably 3 years meat (and snares and crossbows after that), and enough nets, spears hooks etc. to feed my great grandchildren, having power too seems a good idea. The mining is dirty because the Chinese can. It doesn’t have to be.

                    1. “The mining is dirty because the Chinese can. It doesn’t have to be”

                      I would say the mining is dirty because it is cheaper and easier that way. If the Chinese cleaned up their mining the price of panels would go back up.

                      Something nobody has mentioned, do you know of batteries that will last 25 years, and if so how much more do they cost than the normal deep cells? I have some friends that live off grid, and the main cost for them is replacement of storage batteries every few years.

                    2. (nod) Batteries are a headache. My plan, at present, if it all works out is minimize their use by using gravity ;-). (We have hilly terrain, I hope to use excess power and just an old-fashioned water pumping windmill to pump up to a dam on the hill-top, and then run it through a small Pelton wheel, when the sun does not shine. I _know_ this is very, very inefficient, but it has a few major positives – 1) the engineering is basic, the components cheap, old and easily available, or can be made or repaired by at least 4 people I know here on the island. 2)It’s big solid KISS tech, which will last a long time with minimal work.

                    3. I have no idea what the terrain is like, but is it at all possible to use a small windmill? When you want something that can be upkept fairly simply, and built with mostly the concept, that’s a great option…if there’s any wind around, of course.

                    4. Yes that is precisely what I meant by old-fashioned windmill :-). And we’re in the roaring 40’s, so wind-still is rare, for which you have the sun and some solar power too. belt,and braces

                2. You don’t like birds and bats? The wind mills slaughter them. . . some by suffocating them, pulling the air right out of their lungs.

                  1. I think you’re thinking of the wrong windmills.

                    Not the ginormous monstrosities. Think “prop in old movies.” (Although some I’ve worked with are bigger than usually used there, none are “use a wide load simi to deliver one wing” size.)

                    Have you seen the ones that are shaped like a water tower, instead of a fan? I can’t see a bird dumb enough to fly into one of those, and they don’t have to lock down when winds get high for fear of shivering to death.

    10. Raise taxes on the Rich. — please define “rich” — Please explain how you will keep the assets of the “Rich” in the US in an internet age where assets are mobile.

      Switch to single-payer healthcare. — Please cite your example case. Please ensure that your example case involves a system tracking over 100 million people. Please estimate scaling costs to a 300 million system.

      Rebuild Infrastructure — I am absolutely for that. Great idea. Whose going to pay? Are you going to use commercial contractors or set up government contracting programs like in the ’30’s? Who’s going to audit it?

      Replace old appliances — Please estimate the out-of-pocket cost and the ROI and estimate a time to pay-back this from energy savings. Please explain how your program will work, a sliding scale of reimbursement based on income? Outlawing incandescent bulbs? What?

      Reduce military spending — Uh, are you nuts? The Chinese are practicing touch-and-goes on their first aircraft carrier using their home-built home-designed advanced technology fighters.. They just announced the investment of over 300 billion yuan in a multi-year program to develop a Chinese jet engine industry. Their military budget is larger than ours. Over the past 70 years, the rest of the developed world has abdicated their security to us. Europe, South Korea, Japan, none of them have military forces capable of defending themselves against Russia or China, and in many cases could not defend themselves against an islamo-fascist attack. Without Turkey standing in the way, and even that is becoming problematic, Europe is vulnerable to an invasion from the south east. India has two aircraft carriers with more under construction, they have two nuclear submarines with 3 under construction and intend to keep a fleet of siz SSBN’s at sea at all times along with the existing 14 diesel-electric subs with primarily anti-shipping roles. The plan is by the end of the decade for them to have 150 active naval ships with the stated intention to be able to use the navy for force projection outside the traditional Indian ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Over the last 70 years the developed nations handed us the chit for their safety and we picked it up. Whether or not that was stupid, it’s irresponsible to sit it down without warning them.

      Raise minimum wage. — Have you ever run a business? There are jobs which aren’t WORTH $10 an hour. Given the choice between paying that, and leaving the work undone, it lays undone. Much of this is things like infrastructure maintenance. A business can not spend more than it takes in. If we have a certain amount of income from our productivity, and we have to pay our workers more, then we have to lay off workers. I run a small business. I’ve laid off people who worked for me for more than a decade because I could not afford to pay them. It isn’t fun. Raising the minimum wage is a mugs game. It sounds good, but it doesn’t work out.

      Eliminate corporate subsidies — OK, cool. Please define what a corporate subsidy is so I can be certain you’re not talking about “Preventing companies from making a profit.”

      Audit all agencies — we (or rather, the GSA and CBO) do that now. I suspect you’re talking about auditing companies that take government contracts. The problem I have there is defining “Too high salaries.” What’s too high?

      1. One thing I could get behind — but which I suspect the left would go barking mad over — is requiring non-profits and unions to conform to the same accounting and reporting policies as publicly traded companies. The “people” give the Tides Foundation a tax break, so the “people” deserve to know where every penny the Tides Foundation launders, er, “donates” goes.

        1. requiring non-profits and unions to conform to the same accounting and reporting policies as publicly traded companies.

          Non-profits, unions, and the federal government. And the federal government. AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

          If the federal budget had to be reported by GAAP standards, there’d be no more of these lies about the deficit being “only” $1 trillion. It’s much, MUCH worse than a mere trillion dollars per year.

          1. And yes, I meant the word “lies” — a materially false statement deliberately intended to deceive — in that paragraph.

          2. Though I should clarify that most people talking about the deficit aren’t lying about it, because they don’t understand the sheer scope of the problem. It’s the politicians who are lying about it, for the most part. A few economists, too, who understand the problem but try to minimize it for temporary political advantage. I can’t accuse most TV reporters of lying about the deficit, because they’re so utterly clueless about economics that they actually believe their own bulls***. To quote from a certain politician.

              1. Would this help?


                Facts are stubborn things, but not nearly as stubborn as fallacies.*

                On Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 10:05 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                > ** > Laurie commented: “I think most politicians are too stupid to > understand the deficit, too.” >

        2. If we’re spending tax dollars on rebuilding desperately need infrastructure It would be very helpful to suspend Davis-Bacon for all such projects. That would create more jobs and spread the wealth more broadly.

      2. Rich = all the people who make more money than I do. I’m just under that threshold that should be taxed b/c I’m too productive/poverty striken/cool.

        1. Perhaps we should propose it’s being over the median income.
          Then we should point out that about a billion people live on less than a dollar a day, and between two and three live on less than three, so the very poorest people in America are rich fat cats and should face high taxes.

    11. A minor fact generally ignored by proponents of “raising taxes on the rich” is: just how much money would that actually raise? Figure it over the next ten years. Feel free to use CBO figures.

      It would barely cover the next four years of Barry & Michele’s entertainment budget. We could probably realize more savings if we just stopped Obama from any more “green” investments.

      1. Hey, what a great idea, if we eliminate Barry and Michele’s entertainment allowance we won’t have to raise taxes.

        What do figure the chances are that Obama would veto such a bill, if it was passed?

      2. “A minor fact generally ignored by proponents of “raising taxes on the rich” is: just how much money would that actually raise? Figure it over the next ten years. Feel free to use CBO figures.”
        Please pick up a copy of “The Millionaire next Door” and notice that millionaires typically pay a much smaller percentage of income taxes than the middle class. Better yet, dig out the summaries of the tax statements by Kerry, Bush, etc. While you are at it look at the taxes paid by Buffet.
        Those percentages quoted on the tax tables are window dressing. What counts is the percentage they actually pay after all the loopholes are covered.
        Guys, (I don’t want to pick on you, RES) the progressive leaders working through their political hacks are past masters at playing “rope a dope.”

        1. Ah “loophole” — meaning a provision of the law you don’t like.

          You imagine they were put in the code for giggles?

            1. Sarah, reading The Federalist Papers is eye opening. As designed by the classical liberals there was no income tax. The Army was sized only to hold off the enemy long enough to mobilize the militia. In fact the only contact most folks had with the law under ordinary circumstances was the local constable and the county sherif. Except for elections ordinary people gave little thought to federal officials.
              Then the progressives decided we needed improving and that Constitutional government needed replacing by a bureaucracy.

                1. Mary, I’m trying to remember. Was the income tax prohibited or did it just lack the authority? It comes to the same thing but I can’t remember which was which.

                  1. IIRC, lacked authority, depending upon how you mean “lacked authority.”. Which, back in the old days before mad scientists brought the Constitution to life, meant prohibited. A quick Wiki-check indicates that to be the case. Wiki asserts

                    In Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., the Supreme Court declared certain taxes on incomes — such as those on property under the 1894 Act — to be unconstitutionally unapportioned direct taxes. The Court reasoned that a tax on income from property should be treated as a tax on “property by reason of its ownership” and so should be required to be apportioned. The reasoning was that taxes on the rents from land, the dividends from stocks and so forth burdened the property generating the income in the same way that a tax on “property by reason of its ownership” burdened that property.
                    After Pollock, while income taxes on wages (as indirect taxes) were still not required to be apportioned by population, taxes on interest, dividends and rent income were required to be apportioned by population. The Pollock ruling made the source of the income (e.g., property versus labor, etc.) relevant in determining whether the tax imposed on that income was deemed to be “direct” (and thus required to be apportioned among the states according to population) or, alternatively, “indirect” (and thus required only to be imposed with geographical uniformity).[12]

                    which, along with the remaining discussion of the Amendment,suggests the issue here was not the ability to levy the tax but merely squabbling over division of the spoils.

                  2. That which it was not authorized to do, it was prohibited from doing. Certainly once we ended it with the Bill of Rights.

          1. No, Mary, loopholes are not put into our tax laws for giggles. They are put in by the leaders of the progressive party to disguise the real tax rate.
            Consider the statement that we are going to use a higher tax rate “for millionaires” making over $250,000/year.” The people getting clobbered by high taxes are people who are just starting to get wealthy.
            I suspect they are small businessmen and professionals who have no place to hide. No, I don’t have the data to know for sure.

                1. Give up on that. Look, most of the people I know who use loopholes are working writers where one spouse’s job is to keep their money by all legal means possible. We don’t have that luxury. Dan works too. So… we don’t use them. But I don’t want them closed so my friends pay more.

                  IF we must have taxes — and something can be said for the common defense meaning a lot more now — then I’m all for a flat tax. Just the time/effort freed by not having to fill the stupid forms would unleash a tsunami of growth.

                  BUT under the current administration we might as well be asking if we want the soup falling from the sky to be tomato or chicken.

                  1. Sarah, I didn’t advocate either additional or increased taxes. I attempted to explain why we can’t take the publicized tax rates as indicative of the real tax rate paid by the wealthy who lead the progressive party.
                    As to a flat rate tax you can forget about that. So long as the progressives run the Republican & Democrat parties they will keep the present system as it allows them to hide their very low tax rate from people who aren’t in the know.
                    Look a lot of very literate people are not numerate if that is the right word. I mean they do not react to numbers by analyzing them. Example, during any election season pick up a presidential candidates tax declarations. Find his gross wealth in cash, investments and yes his house. Just as a rule of thumb I assume that his financial managers had best be making him 5 to 10 % on his money. I use that as a gross income. Now look at his final income tax bill. Calculate his real tax rate.
                    Now do the same for yourself. Ask yourself who is paying the higher tax rate.
                    Everytime I’ve ran those calculations my tax rate was way higher than the candidates.
                    Believe me, I am on your side. I don’t totally understand why you should be paying any income tax at all. I do understand that allowing you to go tax free would require a major re-structuring of our national government; but, it does seem like a worthy goal.
                    One last comment. I haven’t checked this since the 70s but at that time, based on my memory, the total income tax accounted for about 39% of our national budge. The transfer payments in the national budget was almost exactly the same. I have no idea what the numbers are today. I don’t expect the income taxes to even cover the transfer payments — but, who knows. My tenative conclusion was that in reality the progressive leaders were transfering all of the transfer payments to the middle class.

            1. Yes, Ron, the proposed higher rates would mostly apply to businesses too small to incorporate, people reporting business income on their personal tax returns. Subchapter-S corporations, partnerships and the like all file business income as personal taxable income. So increasing the tax burden on such businesses significantly restricts their ability to grow and create jobs and wealth.

              The tax code has as a primary benefit, the effect of pulling up the drawbridge, restricting Wealth to the “right” sort of people. Just as taxing estates encourages the wealthy (such as the Kennedys and Rockefellers) to establish foundations and trusts, ensuring that later generations enjoy the benefits of wealth without the burden of it.

              1. “The tax code has as a primary benefit, the effect of pulling up the drawbridge, restricting Wealth to the “right” sort of people. Just as taxing estates encourages the wealthy (such as the Kennedys and Rockefellers) to establish foundations and trusts, ensuring that later generations enjoy the benefits of wealth without the burden of it.”

                That is right, RES. I would like to amend your statement by adding “. . . has as a primary benefit ‘to the progressive leaders’. . .” You need to add a lot to that statement. All of it designed by the progressive to feather their nest and to reduce you to servitude. All of it resulting in the social, economic mess that we are in hence part of this analysis of why this last election turned out so catastrophic.
                This progressive dystopia has to be defeated at the ballot box, in the schools and in the market, including the job market
                BTW, please don’t assume that the Ford and other foundations turn liberal contrary to the wishes of their founders. Ford & Rockefeller were founding members of the progressive clique..

                1. Ron, in the sense you use “progressive” the ship has sailed. They are the “people in power” PERIOD.
                  You’re confusing everyone with that use. It has gone through THREE changes like a bad restaurant that poisons customers. Right now Progressive is the extreme wing — i.e. Obama. And don’t tell me there is no difference, there is. They didn’t take over all at once, and we don’t get it back all at once.

                  1. Sarah, you wrote, That in the sense I mean progressive the ship has sailed. Progressivism has a long history going back to a self selected group of elitist in about 1875 AD. They are important in that is approximately when they began selecting academicians, politicians, etc that agreed with them and financially supporting those people as “frontmen.” Like The Wizard of Oz they have normally been the little fat man behind the curtain. Over the years they have morphed into different forms. Who is to say if the financial “angels” are the same group of men throughout history or whether their program has morphed along with them. Is George Soros the modern day equivalent of Andrew Carnegie and if so in what sense? Is the fact their agenda has gotten more and more radical acidental or have they revealed more of their program as they have achieved their current goals?
                    We do know the school system was their first target. No, not the American School system; the British school system. From there everything spread until it is apparently world wide by now.
                    Sarah, it is true there are many questions to which I have no direct answers. I will comfort myself by realizing I am addressing the questions when so many are clueless.

                2. I concur in the amendment with the recognition that any effort to craft wholly comprehensive arguments would require comments of such excessive length that a) nobody would actually read them b) occupy so large a portion of Mrs. Hoyt’s bandwidth as to require I get my own blog for their posting where, I am confident, nobody would read them.

                  Sometimes comprehensiveness needs must be sacrificed for concision, and I often lack time to write briefly

                  “Je N’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parceque je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.–I have only made this letter rather long
                  because I have not had time to make it shorter.” Pascal. Lettres provinciales, 16, Dec.14,1656.

          2. Ah yes, loopholes. The higher the marginal rate, the more incentive for financial managers to seek “loopholes”. Like the one allowing you to deduct interest paid on your mortgage which demonstrably saves you no money and encourages higher nominal mortgage rates. Keep in mind that the interest is ONLY deductible to the extent it exceeds your standard exemption, which for the average taxpayer/homeowner is … not much. That is because in order to take advantage of that deduction by itemizing your deductions you must waive your standard deduction.

            Frankly, I liked Romney’s suggestion of a cap on net dollar deductions allowed, although I did not invest any time analysing it as I assumed the proposal would change significantly before enactment. But it would facilitate elimination of the AMT and reduce the incentives to push for additional “loopholes”.

            1. RES,
              Yes, financial managers search for tax loopholes. The important loopholes are the ones designed into the system by the progressives. Read Carnegie, etal; it is very plain that the progressives were originated by the super rich. You might look at American Progressivism by Ronald L. Pestritto.

              1. To be fair, the super rich were also supposed to pay up into, wasn’t it as high as 90%? With the loopholes, the actual tax burden was something like 50%, about what we have now. We’d have never had the boom of the 50s if the full taxes had been collected.

        2. Who said anything about using tax rates. We’re talking about actual tax revenue collected by the IRS. The top earners (who mostly aren’t the people being looked at when we talk about “the rich”, who are considered rich because they’ve already earned their money), pay an enormous percentage of the tax money collected in the country.

          If you don’t want to believe the numbers for taxes collected, then I don’t know what to say to you.

          1. Also, go watch Bill Whittle’s video, “Eat The Rich!” on YouTube. No matter how you tax the “rich”, the money simply is not there to cover the deficit.

          2. Wayne, that isn’t the problem. I’ve heard Rush Limbaugh and others repeatedly cite the taxes collected data. I have no reason to doubt their word.
            On the other hand when I see the data on the percentage of the individuals gross income paid in taxes something doesn’t add up.

        3. Congratulations, Ron – you managed to entirely miss my point. The issue is not what tax rate should “the Rich” pay, the issue was whether raising the nominal tax rate on “the Rich” could raise anything like the money Valentine (and Obam & Co.) are asserting it would.

          The CBO figure says no, that (even employing static analysis, the invalid assumption that taxpayers would not alter their behaviour in response to rate changes) the additional taxes collected would be the Federal government equivalent of chicken feed. Therefore Valentine’s argument was nonsense, twaddle, ignorant BS and just simply wrong.

          Rather than spend my time addressing the arguments you make, Ron, which I admit do not much interest me, please allow me to point out that you are commingling several different issues in one pot of stew. You are treating marginal tax rates as if they were no different than net tax rate, and conflating taxes paid by various “classes” (e.g., the Rich, the Middle Class) as if the groups were of comparable scale. There are other issues with your analysis, as well, which (as previously noted) I don’t care to go into because, frankly, they bore me. For example, tax rates should recognize that income derived from investments (dividends, cap gains) has been previously taxed before it is received by the end tax reporter.

          As for Warren Buffett, the man built his fortune selling tax avoidance schemes to the Rich, so his advocacy for higher tax rates is not entirely altruistic.

          1. Thank you, RES. You ride a high horse very well. While acknowledging your superiorty I will stick to my guns.

            1. You will find yourself less troubled by a stiff neck if you take the chip off your shoulder, Ron.

              I wasn’t attempting to assert superiority merely pointing out you were addressing a point not in contention while failing to address the point that was being argued.

              1. RES, after having you repeatedly tell me I was boring it is only justified for you to claim I have a chip on the shoulder. Please don’t think I am offended. I am thorougly used to have someone show up trying to sidetrack me anytime I say anything critical of the progressives.
                It took a little over 100 years for the classical liberals to elevate this country to world leadership. It has taken almost exactly the same length of time for the progressives to turn us into a basket case. Naturally the progressives try to sidetrack any discussion of their shortcomings.
                BTW, I only scratched the surface on the documentation of the case against the progressives.

                1. Ron– you have the wrong idea about RES. She is a classical liberal and you should listen to her corrections (hope I got the gender right RES). She is as against the progressives as you seem to be–

                    1. Properly, RES is Latin for “Thing” which would seem to be gender neutral. My two years of High School Latin occurred back in 19mumblty-seven and I was an indifferent scholar (I would have done far better had Heinlein published his juvies in Latin) and no longer recall what gender the Romans assigned res. But I rather think that the externalities of the matter are primarily the business of the Beloved Spouse and would prefer to not air them here. 😉

                    1. CACS is she.

                      Look, guys, we’re in enough trouble. Gender reassignment surgery is expensive. Do not start giving it away randomly. (Runs. FAST.) OF course, since one commenter accused me of being an old white male, I’ve been personally confused, so…

                    2. Does it help to know that I’m a “dried up, bitter old lesbian who’s never gotten any in her life”?

                      (Husband got a hoot out of that, and made me promise not to tell our kids.)

                    3. Since we’re talking about gender, for future reference, I’m a she. 🙂

                      I also have a husband, two kids (both teenagers, awk!), and one big black dog.

                    4. You didn’t tell us the gender of the big black dog.

                      Gender wise, while using a CLEARLY FEMALE NAME ON LINE I was several times accused/assumed of being a gay male. (I got nothing. It’s because I don’t shave my legs in winter, isn’t it?)

                      I am female. I turn fifty on Sunday, curse it, which means I’ve been spending these flu-dazed days trying to prepare a gift for you guys for Sunday (don’t even ask.) I think I should get a postponement for good behavior, but maybe not after this week.

                      I have a husband, two sons, three male cats (two of whom are a gay couple — judge them, why don’t you) and a female cat.

                    5. My dog is a neutered male. LOL.

                      Of far bigger concern to me is that he’s an escape artist. 😉

                      Happy early birthday!

                      I turn 47 in precisely 3 weeks (and in exactly 3 more weeks is Christmas).


                      Facts are stubborn things, but not nearly as stubborn as fallacies.*

                      On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                      > ** > accordingtohoyt commented: “You didn’t tell us the gender of the big > black dog. Gender wise, while using a CLEARLY FEMALE NAME ON LINE I was > several times accused/assumed of being a gay male. (I got nothing. It’s > because I don’t shave my legs in winter, isn’t it?) I am female. ” >

                    6. I’d guessed from the eyes….
                      I actually started using my current icon because I was tired of telling people “I’m a she, actually.”

                      It’s “subtle” enough that the crazy lefties don’t notice, or assume I’m a guy who likes werefoxes in bulletproof cheerleader outfits. Wonder what they’d think if they could see her minigun. (….it was that kind of RPG, alright?)

                    7. Werefoxes with miniguns? That sounds like a rollicking good time. (Well, I’ve actually never played a table RPG before. But it sounds fun!) Believe it or not, *my* icon is completely unrelated to my name. It’s the (literally!) background character from the Digger webcomic dubbed “noir lizard” by the comment section. I didn’t even *realize* I had a lizard theme going on until a couple days ago.

                    8. It was. I ended up teamed up with a ninja who had a demon in his stomach, and a Gnoll samurai. We were collecting artifacts for a succubus who wanted to become the new war god, although we didn’t know that.

                    9. I guess I need to get my own blog. I haven’t gotten any of the good insults yet. 😦

                    10. Oh, I got these long before I had my own blog. In my blog I’ve just been called androgynous. I can still reduce ALL the guys to tears of laughter by saying “I remind you I’m androgynous” — those of you who’ve met me know why.

                  1. Cyn, you misunderstand me. I am not angry at RES and accept that she may be as much a classical liberal as I am. Who knows, from where I sit she may be better informed than I am.
                    However, Cyn, we are almost all (99.99+% est) products of a very progressive school system. As such RES, you and I will occasionally get off the track and be unwittingly serving the progressive cause. Believe me when I catch myself getting suckered it does bother me. Naturally, I do speak up when I hear others doing the same.
                    I hope I haven’t been overly bruising. If so I apologise.

                    1. Sorry Ron– RES is a he 😉 I understand that you and many of us are feeling extremely bruised by the last election. For me it is because I thought people would vote after their experiences of the last for years (by the way I am female)…

                      I wonder if the cause of the inability to critical think is because many of them were drugged with Ritalin in their childhoods. (It seems to be a common problem in our Utopian schools now).

                      Let’s try to keep the bruises less amongst ourselves please.

                    2. Cyn, to the extent I am bruised it is in listening to you and others. Let me carefully explain that I am not feeling animosity at you, singular or plural. Like you, Res, Sarah and others I was one of those (boys in my case) who were undersized and over smart. Again like you my time in school was wasted by a group of teachers spreading the progressive gospel. Today, when I hear some person innocently repeating that gospel I react badly. Poor RES innocently thinks that a discussion of marginal tax rates is just the analysis we need. No, we need to be hearing about the harm done by the progressive school system, progressive control of both major political parties that prevents us from making needed adjustments or even finding out the truth. There are many other subjects but we need to be striking at the heart of those who suppress us.

                    3. “Poor RES innocently thinks that a discussion of marginal tax rates is just the analysis we need.”

                      Ron, you are assuming too much. My comments on marginal tax rates were in specific rebuttal to a claim that raising the top marginal rate on the Rich was the solution to our national fiscal problem.

                      Addressing the world of hurt imposed by Progressivism is a larger topic and fails to recognize that, even stipulating the Progressives’ premises their arguments are codswallop. Going after their root cause fallacies did not seem conducive to their specific claim.

                    4. RES,
                      The basis of progressivism is extremely easy to dispose of. It is only necessary to trace their history to its origins and learn what their premise is.
                      Andrew Carnegie explained their premises very clearly. Mr. Carnegie was a fairly prolific writer.
                      The group making up the progressive clique were wealthy in the period from roughly 1875 to 1900 AD. They felt, as enunciated by Mr. Carnegie, they were the most successfull people in America and were best fitted by that obvious fact to direct America.
                      Mr. Carnegie goes to some length to explain how rediculous it was to let the common folk have any say in the the direction of America. Additionally he felt the wealthy business owners should keep the common herd working as cheaply as possible to maximise the profits of the wealthy. That would provide the wealthy the funds to improve the country.
                      Stephen Davies, John Taylor Gatto, Dr. Larry Arn of Hillsdale College and Andrew Carnegie are all known to me to have written on this subject.

                    5. Ron,
                      Yes, I found Mr. Gatto charming and discussed the issues with him at length when we met some … oh, fifteen years ago. I even was able to point out to him that, according to a prominent German sociologist, the Nazis were an inevitable product of the Prussian educational system which the Progressives introduced to America.

                      I am familiar as well with Dr. Arn and his admirable work at Hillsdale and the Claremont Institute. I am sure you are aware that Jonah Goldberg addressed the origins of Progressivism thoroughly in his Liberal Fascism.

                      You still miss my point: the rebuttal I made was tactical, not strategic. I do not believe it is necessary for every tactical move to reveal an overall strategy.

                    6. Ronald–
                      As someone just said in the comments of “Athwart”– and in other posts, because the marxists (you call them progressives) have tied up the school system, media, etc, we will have to go around them and use technological advances to teach and communicate. The Marxists have their handshakes, their secret clubs, and their propaganda. A person trying to break into that culture so that they can bring back better ideas is either shut down because they aren’t quite one of them or spend so much time becoming one of them that when they do try to change something they have lost all credibility.

                      The progressive school system is NOT innocent. BTW most of my schooling was either home schooling or military schooling (not counting the English degree– I was old enough then to hold the ideas and then shuck them when I could. It took longer than I thought it would). So my schooling is very far from the progressive track. Just because RES doesn’t hold the exact views that you have– make no mistake– does not mean he would EVER lead anyone down the progressive path even innocently.

                      The lot of us here come from varied backgrounds, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. We have a common goal– bring back the Constitution and live under a minimal government. Many of us will not have a choice whether we accept health care or not. I have a serious chronic disease called Wegener’s Granulomatosis. I do not have the choice about accepting doctor’s care or medication IF I want to live.

                      So shake — be friends— some of the little things are not important besides what the next few years will bring. We will do our best to use what we can to make this a better place for our children and grandchildren.

                    7. Cyn, God bless you and give you peace. I believe if you check the backtrail I didn’t attack anyone, they attacked me. I haven’t called anyone a bore, they called me.

                  2. Cyn, I prefer to leave the gender ambiguous because I have found that, when debating certain strains of progressives, they conflate plumbing with authority. Thus, rather than be told my views on abortion don’t matter because a) there’s no womb or b1) I am a gender traitor or b2) just wait until you’re in that position, I like to deny them that particular fig leaf.

                    1. I see RES– yes, I have been accused a gender traitor– doesn’t bother me in the least. The ones doing the accusing were quite silly in my humble opinion.

                    2. And that stops them? I was once posting under a nickname “ms. ” and someone told me that I held a view because I couldn’t get a woman to reproduce with.

                      Like, no kidding, we haven’t got that kind of tech.

                    3. It doesn’t stoop them but it does make it easy to tie them up in the inherent contradictions of their ideology.

                    4. Sigh. Delete stoop. Insert stop.

                      I DO NOT wish to discuss the things to which such people will stoop.

                      I gotta get new fingers.

                2. Ron, I don’t recall telling you that you were boring, merely that you were sidetracking the rebuttal of Valentine’s argument that if we merely raised tax rates on “the Rich” all our economic troubles would dissipate.

                  While I would ordinarily happily join you in exposing Progressive’s sins, I still don’t think it advances the particular rebuttal of Valentine (and lord knows, Val offers so very much to be rebutted.)

                  I trust we can agree that the general argument against Progressivism is not especially germane in this specific instance?

                  1. RES, Sir, you used the term boring twice; I counted. If you don’t recall consult your copies of what you have written. The over arching subject on this list as of the past few days has been the election results and its causes. Please don’t waffle. I liked you better when you were firm. .

                    1. Ron – a quick CTRL-F review of this thread does not reveal the term boring put up under my name; I will have to check others before commenting further on the matter.

                      As you might have noticed, the last few days of email engendered by this site make searching for terms in my received mail extremely … boring.

                    2. Sorry, Ron – a review of the last several days here does not reveal the word “boring” under my byline in ANY instance, which was a bit of a surprise as I distinctly recall advising Mark Whipple that his arguments for a monarchical form of United States government had become boring.

                      I did a quick, less thorough search for my byline on this thread and the closest I can find to calling you boring is a comment to the effect that you were bringing up a topic in which I was not interested — which would be properly taken as the topic bored me, not that the person raising it was “boring.”

                      So I cannot withdraw, cannot rephrase, cannot double down with arguments devastating or specious. If you can provide something more concrete I will happily address it, even if only to say “Oh, that? Sorry – I was bored.”

            1. Ron, I believe you must be in the Central time zone, yes? Thus your 10:39 will appear as 11:39 on my version of this thread. Who knew?

              As to your specific complaint, this is, I think, the part you found objectionable:

              Rather than spend my time addressing the arguments you make, Ron, which I admit do not much interest me, please allow me to point out that you are commingling several different issues in one pot of stew. You are treating marginal tax rates as if they were no different than net tax rate, and conflating taxes paid by various “classes” (e.g., the Rich, the Middle Class) as if the groups were of comparable scale. There are other issues with your analysis, as well, which (as previously noted) I don’t care to go into because, frankly, they bore me. For example, tax rates should recognize that income derived from investments (dividends, cap gains) has been previously taxed before it is received by the end tax reporter.

              In the first instance, I stated that the arguments you made “do not much interest me.” It strikes me as rather thin skinned to take the dismissal of your arguments as an opinion of you. Moreover, I did not use the term “bore” so I trust you will understand my failure to spot the issue.

              The second case, which does indeed use the word bore (note: as a verb, not ad hominem label) again refers the other issues I had for rejecting your analysis. Note verb tense and number: they bore me. Reviewing the matter, they still bore me.

  11. How you experience an economic or political collapse can depend on where you live. My mother came to Gastonia from the Blue Ridge Mountains, her dad killed in a workplace rage incident, family moved to Gastonia for mill jobs. My dad, with his defective heart, ended up supporting his family after his dad drank all the money and land away. They married in the middle of the depression and… they really didn’t notice it much. The depression was something you heard about on the radio. Gastonia was centered around a product the rest of the country had to have–clothing. And every time a grocery story or department store or big farm badly needed a loan and got turned down, the main man went back to the bank accompanied by the executives of the local mills, who said, “We know times are tough, we see the reason for this decision, but… give our friend at least part of what he needs or we pull our money out of your bank and deposit it in a national bank.” The big cheeses really felt like part of their community.
    In an extreme circumstance, in which the military is forced to choose whether to rebel or suppress the people, you’ll have one of those emergencies in which the great military leaders will emerge. And the Law of the next few decades may depend on what a few Lieutenants might decide, for instance, “Yes, some of us committed atrocities and must be punished, but dammit, it will be up to us to decide guilt and punishment.” Or, “We must protect and maintain the Traffic AND ALL IT ENTAILS.” Even if I have those fairly wrong, an SF fan should recognise them both.

  12. Regarding race riots in the United States, I dunno about the media overstating. I know of one incident where some hundreds ended up murdered, the bodies hid in mass grave, and both state and local government, and the media were pretty much silent for decades.

    The issue is that the school/media narrative is focused on selling the killings as something other than killings bringing advantage to the Democratic Party and having some degree of political motivation. This leaves oral history and directed research. If you don’t have connections carrying the specific oral history, you are out of luck. If your oral history comes by way of folks who supported or were merely neutral to the organizations, then there ends up being a fair amount of legitimating narrative that way mixed in. If it comes from enemies who keep quiet enough to avoid being killed or driven off, well, there is a decent chance that you are kin to those sources. I only had the insight to do my directed research due to what I’d learned to what I’d learned from reading history beyond the curriculum, oral history, and a guy searching for bodies around the time the government admitted that it had actually happened, and made a big to do about apologizing.

    The best and most credible case that I can make right now against what your are saying goes ‘Democrats will be Democrats. They are essentially the same, and doing the same things as they were and did during Antebellum and Jim Crow. Obama is comparable in his weakness and wrongheadedness to Jefferson Davis. As America survived Davis, it will survive Obama. The consequences will be no worse than they were for those times and places where the Democrats gained a similar ascendency. (Note that the post WWII prosperity seems to coincide with the foundations of Jim Crow no longer being viable, and the Democrats abandoning it over most of where they had it in place.)’

    One area that is often overlooked: Should America die or be killed, how would it be appropriate to mark the passing? I think there is a case for killing as many people as possible. One, the world’s population minus the population of America is about the right size for America’s station. Secondly, spite and deterring people from seeking to profit from murdering America.

    Maybe ‘attempt to enjoy watching the world burn’ is not the best treatment for being depressed over the Obama Administration.

    1. That being said, I’m not much of a prepper…small “p” at best and I call that common sense. But if POTUS starts taking up the violin, I’m buying gold and land out in the boonies.

        1. though I’ll bow to other people’s knowledge, since history of music is NOT my forte.

          …sucking your air out of a witty euphemism, on the other hand… (/runs)

        2. And here I thought he has talking about Jefferson Davis’ taste in musical instrument.

    2. okay — I meant race riots, not official suppression of race problems. As in, you know, burned buildings and stuff. I wasn’t going further back than that. I was going for civil unrest, not “battle with authorities.”

      1. Oh, I’m talking about a race riot. The attacking rioters raided the hardware stores to resupply, the defenders ran out, the wealthy neighborhood was burned, many who weren’t killed fled, and after it stopped the official newspapers under reported things. The governmental cover up was after the fact, but I figure they wouldn’t have bothered hiding stuff if there wasn’t something for them to gain. Again, Democratic controlled state and local government, and the rioters, at least the ones who won, would have been mostly Democrats.

        Of course, maybe I’m reading too much connection between the Democrats who lynched, burned churches and carried out night rides, with the Democrats in government that saw that the first group didn’t see any legal consequences, and the Democrats controlling the newspapers that hadn’t been driven out, which didn’t see anything, or spread word to other areas about what happened.

        1. As I said elsewhere, my experience of the press is that any time I was there they were wrong — though that was mostly abroad. It’s only becoming obvious now with the new media. Keep video recorders handy.

          1. Yes. Quite.

            Note ‘hundreds dead’ and ‘decades’.

            There is a reason why I have been known to say that I am unconvinced that there is any real difference between the Democratic Party of today and the Democratic Party of 1850, 1870 and 1920 and so forth.

            Besides the whole thing about how Critical Race Theory implies that the likes of Sharpton, Farrakhan, Jackson and Obama are White Supremacists.

            Anyone who says that this conflicts with the color of their skin is racist. 🙂

      2. They evolved from horrible incidents in which white people burned down black minicities to horrible incidents in which black people burned down black minicities. Soul Beer is one of the rarest collectable beer cans because the Watts riot destroyed the prospering black-owned brewery that produced it.

        1. Evolved may be the wrong word.

          Consider that in both cases you tend to have a:
          1) Elected Democratic monopoly on at least local government
          2) Subsequent set of policies enforced, if not outright governmental collusion or conspiracy, which allows
          3) favored mobs and vigilantes to carry out acts which terrorize the demographic
          4) so that Democratic officials are elected.

          The case may be made that the differences are merely cosmetic.

  13. Hello Sarah. I haven’t read any of your books yet, but if you like Heinlein, you must be my kind of writer, so i will remedy that. I don’t know what your personal history is, but I gather you are from a country that was taken over by Marxists, or something. I got to know about you from the Instapundit blog and you interest me.
    Particularly, I am drawn to your passion for opposing Obama and his enablers and the destroyers of our country and way of life.
    I share your fear that they are winning and taking us to bad places. Places that will be bad for us and, little do they know it, bad for them! It is so easy for me to get angry, fiercely angry, and indeed, to hate. Mostly this is from fear. I don’t see any percentage in giving in to fear or anger though, so i am keeping my eyes open for a chance to win, instead. So, let me join you in the hope that we will somehow pull out of this.

  14. Comments on a few details:

    As for order in our territory, it will be viewed as oppressive. After all, people are hurting, it’s no wonder that there’s more crime.

    That’s how it might go down in Massachusetts, or NYC, but it won’t sell well in most of the country. And here the virtues of our federalism really shine: policing is a local matter. Unlike, say, the U.K., where NuLabor’s Tony Blair removed much or most of the police from areas with cultures he explicitly said he wanted to destroy, like the rural areas (anarcho-tyranny, where the ruling class tacitly allies itself with the criminal class, a variation on the old theme of the rich and the poor against the middle). Plus, unlike the U.K. especially, most of the country retains the Right to Keep Arms, and the vast majority of the states and most of the people are also allowed to Bear them outside of their homes and businesses. And in most states self-defense is respected.

    I’m not terribly worried where I live, although I might start routinely wearing my concealable body armor in addition to my carry pistol.

    In the first scenario you’ve also left out the regional warfare angle: the middle, Red State part of the country is much more dependent on the coal fired power plants Team Obama is obsessed with shutting down. Although unless they terminate the fraking revolution, it’ll be a race between that and new gas fired boilers or plants getting constructed. But there will be consequences if the middle of the country is “enjoying” rolling blackouts while much of the coastal areas are fine.

    Overall I think this scenario is unlikely because I expect our ability to borrow enough money cheaply or to monetize debt will end sooner than the scenario really sets in, since there’s no one above us to help out, no Interplanetary Monetary Fund as I commented elsewhere.

    Of course, the Constructive Republican Alternative Proposal will be to smoothly manage this decline….

    The small arms thing in the UN is a perpetual effort that I think was only renewed after the election by the UN to avoid bad pre-election news. The NGOs are pushing for such extremes—they’re very upset the Syrian rebels have any weapons—that I think it will continue to fail due to other countries vetoing it. And even if we were to ratify it, it’s not self-executing, absent the Congress passing enabling laws it would just decrease imports of guns, gun parts (bad) and ammo, but our domestic industry is healthy enough and even more foreign companies would set up or expand their US operations, since the US consumer is one of the best customers for their products (much more reliable than post-Cold War military budgets subject to political winds).

  15. I think you are definitely in the high probability zone here – look at Argentina for an example of prolonged collapse. But Argentina does not have the military power the US does. If they did, I would not want to be Chile or Brazil.

    If you extend the concept of a full governmental embrace of Kleptocracy with the comment in another thread that (paraphrasing) “when a Republic falls, you get Empire”, and taking into account the current estimates of oil and gas reserves as the main proximate “wealth” in our neighborhood, you get “Hey, hows about we take our neighbor’s stuff too?”

    How about a history-rhymes replay of the late Roman Republic/Early Empire? Economic failure leads to universal conscription as a youth-cohort “jobs” measure, then to keep the general population distracted and give the commanders of those millions of new troops something to keep their eyes away from the seat of power, we go on a little conquest tour. “We need energy to sustain our economy? Hey, look! Canada and Mexico right next door, with huge piles of energy reserves! And nothing military that can stand in our way! We’re not really invading them, we’re really only taking both those countries over to help them manage their resources more effectively. And we’ll reduce their pollution! Invading Canada is a Green Job!”

    Plus we could keep up our debt payments to China.

    Certain folks always complain about US Imperialism – I don’t think they’ve ever really thought through what a real Imperial United States of America would look like.

    Frankly, if things get bad here, it’s really going to be a challenge to explain to starving Americans why all that military might they paid for should not be used to Do Something, and fetching tribute is definitely Something.

    1. “Invade your neighbor” does seem to be a common activity with revolutionary totalitarian governments, doesn’t it.

      1. Now consider, even WITH that the USSR — communism’s own bucket of fail — still couldn’t provide a decent life to its people. This makes communism different than Napoleonic France AND Imperial Rome and makes it its own universe of oh, so profoundly fail. (But this time it will work. Just ask Valentine and her ilk — spit.)

        1. My fear is we’re headed for Empire no matter what happens now – either the side in power now or the side not in power now will end up going in that direction without regard to their philosophies, just to retain power.

          We’ve managed to stay in the political metastable zone for the last 236 years, but with the changes in balance of power the perturbations are getting too extreme and the feedback is getting too positive. You can roll an egg around in a bowl forever if you accept it not staying precisely in the center of the bowl and are somewhat careful about not pushing too violently one way or another, but if you push too hard in any one direction, or just hard enough at just the right time in opposite directions, the egg will undoubtedly launch right over the edge.

          In the late Roman Republic the Senate occasionally suspended civil society and elected a Dictator, but they were very aware of the dangers and careful to push back hard to limit the time the Dictatorship was allowed to persist. That’s a large part of the opposition to Julius Caesar that led to his assassination – opposition to the changes he forced through bypassing the Senate, and his reliance on direct public support. Afterwards when Octavian won the civil war against Antony he carefully constructed the fiction of a return to normalcy, only taking offices and titles that had previously existed and carefully observing and retaining many of the public forms and protocols of the Roman Republic, even though He as Imperator (i.e. Emperor), not the Senate in the name of the citizens of Rome, really held all the power.

          Mark Twain said “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” For us, my best guess is a trip through New Normal heading for Empire, albeit an Empire that tries very hard to follow the public forms of the old Republic.

          1. Tsk! As if we would _invade_ another country. Mind you our neighbor to the south is having an awful lot of trouble with those drug gangs. We may need to go _help_ them. And if those Mexican states thereafter petitioned for statehood, especially the ones with untapped oil reserves . . . well, it’s a free world, isn’t it? We’ll have an election, show them how we do it up here . . .

            1. Pam, the reason we don’t have oil has little to do with our Oil reserve but with the fact that our politicians don’t want us to have it. Obama has denied drilling permits, denied authority to build a pipeline to supply us with Canadian oil, has stated plainly that he will find ways to break and coal company that tries to mine coal. How much more information do you need to properly analyze why we are short of energy?
              Since 1901 we have had two Presidents that were not progressives. How many more people have to run for Congress as Republicans and then disappoint us in Congress before we catch on. The Dems and Reps certainly compete to see who gets the “perks” but they don’t compete over gut issues — they are on the same side, the progressive side.

              1. Sorry. I failed to put in the sarcasm markers. I live in Houston. I have fond memories of my years working for British Petroleum, and my husband is still in the industry. I know all about the road bumps. Yes, more sarcasm. With a wince.

  16. I’m not worried about collapse in the short term. I’m worried about our national government’s power increasing, individual rights disappearing, and a greedy majority extracting benefits from a shrinking minority. This pattern eventually will lead to an economic collapse, but I’ll have emigrated before that happens.

  17. Having experienced a nation’s collapse up close and personal
    (Cambodia 1975), I can tell you that inflation, then rampant inflation will be the first order of the day. When people buy today because tomorrow’s price will be higher, then you will know the end is near.
    Oh, and that country’s ending is something no one would ever wish to revisit.

    1. Oh, yeah, Portugal — 100x more expensive in 78 than in 74, and most salaries still the same and that was if you HAD a job. It was cushioned by everyone having a mini-farm in backyard. Not true here.

      And Cambodia was the place they scared us with “There are children starving in Cambodia.”

      1. Inflation is my primary fear. All the “quantitative easing” has to have a huge effect. I know it’s mostly sitting in bank reserves, at least the first of it, and thank goodness the banks aren’t lending it out. But food prices are already rising, and they’re only going to go higher. A friend who’s a buyer at Sysco says watch for beef to go really high – though that’s as much from the drought as anything else.

        1. But also from people slaughtering herds because feed for the winter is too expensive. We’re burning it for bio-fuel which is killing our car engines. How fail is this? FAIL.

          And these days I get out of the grocery store and I want to cry. We’re feeding four adults, two of them juvenile males. I think soup is going to be a HUGE staple this winter.

          1. Stew too– add meat, add cabbage, add O’Douls for flavor, canned tomatoes, potatoes if you don’t have cabbage, a few carrots, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic salt, oregano, bay leaves. Let simmer on the stove from 10 a.m. to dinner. It is my winter delight food.

              1. I use wine for the flavor, usually leftover from the (once a week or so) we open a bottle for dinner — or REALLY cheap wine when it’s on sale. I’ve been known to do this with lamb and add feta and olives.

                  1. I just wait for the gallon of Franzia to be around $6 when the neighborhood store has a sale. Add the amusement of coming in with a huge wine jug.

                    For drinking we buy Portuguese wine which tends to be really cheap.

                    1. Oh, goodness. Don’t tell my wife. She’ll get kittehs on the brain. Again. Hers (not mine, not yet at least) resides with her parents in Montrose. Hopefully she’ll get her fix when we’re there over Thanksgiving. (Aside: still a lot for which to be thankful, and I’ll be preemptively thankful for enough time to adequately prepare.) As per the kilt: yes, indeed. Since my release from federal service until the purchase of a motorcycle as my primary means of conveyance a brace of months ago, the kilt has been my primary garment. I’ve accumulated several, including a feileadh beag in a tartan my family can claim (legitimately claim? well, we’re American Scots: YMMV) and several contemporary kilts in different cuts and materials. I’m especially fond of my Workman’s model from Utilikilts in blue denim. It’s just getting to that broken-in jeans stage. And yes, I’ll be wearing my kilts in Colorado in a couple of weeks. As for what is worn under the kilt? All is in perfect working order, to which my lady wife will attest.

    1. It’s legal, therefore it’s no longer really tracked. It’s not the addiction rate they tracked, it was the “crimes related to drugs.”

      If it is down — I haven’t done a survey — it’s not in the area I came from! And I don’t blame the kids. I mean among the near thirty a job delivering pizza is relative success. At least in my time we started craft businesses and sold stuff on the sidewalks (not me, I was too young to hit that, and also in college, but people a little older than I) — jewelry and woodcut stuff and such. People got cheap “luxuries” and the unemployed supported themselves. But now, the country is better “organized” and you can’t sell without a license and…

      Mind you, I’m all for legalization if nothing else to drain the swamp of the illegal trade, but there’s no doubt governments throughout the ages have used easy narcotics to keep the young quiet.

  18. The scariest thing I’ve read was an article (which I can’t find now) quoting Obama as saying that “Climate Change” was as much of a threat against “National Security” as terrorism, and that the government should have just as much power to fight it as they do to fight terrorism.

  19. I have thought of a number of these myself…my biggest fear I think is the “weaker, smaller America” being overtaken by the “Big Bully” – as I tell friends who insist I’m having a mental breakdown…go watch a playground…when the kids decide to…or when the teacher tries to have the kids “all get along” – it isn’t long before a big bully comes in and takes over the passive, weaker kids…Obama’s vision for a “smaller, more world-friendly” America is all very “utopian,” but it’s going to get our butts kicked by the big bullies……and, as I keep asking my more liberal friends, how’s that “freedom to marry who you want” and “freedom to have an abortion” going to work out for you when there’s a despot in power who jails or executes you for “breaking THEIR law”?

  20. Making words is work; beyond the durable challenge of the two-fingered hunt & peck keyboard enthusiast, TBI notwithstanding: Good deeds are their own punishment. Folks expect you to persevere and get nasty when age and titanium brings your volunteerism to an end. BTDT, fifteen years in rural EMS.

    People expect aid whenever they dial 911. Dotgov has become the padded domicile of the mind where there is no personal responsibility, no intrinsic demand for excellence, courage, strength, or initiative – just let us know what we can do for you.

    To fix what has failed, perhaps it really is necessary for the pendulum of sociological mores to complete the slow swing at the expense of a generation or two. I cannot successfully abet and dissuade the pudding-butt entitilist millenial from apathy and credit abuse when the option is a work ethic and embracing the joy of a goal beyond all boundaries of reason – because it is owned as a vision that requires focus and choices that aren’t immediately self-gratifying.

    The propaganda machine has become the swarm of box jellyfish in the seas of consciousness.

    What is the delineation of the mindset hoarded by the ten million who did not vote for anything, anything at all? Without that answer, there’s going to be a lot of punting down the river Styx in the dark, I think.

    Recounting how I survived a nearly catastrophic head injury, from homelessness and foraging garbage cans to rehabilitating myself through to a semblance of social transparency and self-identity overwhelms without hesitation. Many ask, “Why not just take the free residence care when it was offered repeatedly?”

    Never could I have imagined I would see the Republic forwarding such a concept as normal and rinsed, repeat it sullenly.

    Demonstrate success and be loathed for manifesting self-discipline and risk violence with displays of personal pride in moderation and civility, even unto tithing charitably. Who dare we emphasize the difference?

    The denouement of our struggle against the rise of the Marxist may well be the examples of dominoes Europe, large format: there may remain loopholes in the censorship because of New Media – and perhaps it will open hearts as millions ahead of us suffer.

    Not a cheery hope, but at best the example may not be wasted, timely enough to avid foundering utterly.

    1. And — they are even going to end up miserable themselves. Stupor can drown out only so much.

      The children themselves eventually come to know that something is wrong, even if they are not able to articulate their knowledge. Of the generations of children who grew up with these pedagogical methods, it is striking how many of the more intelligent among them sense by their early twenties that something is missing from their lives. They don’t know what it is, and they ask me what it could be. I quote them Francis Bacon: “It is a poore Center of a Mans Actions, Himselfe.” They ask me what I mean, and I reply that they have no interests outside themselves, that their world is as small as the day they entered it, and that their horizons have not expanded in the least.

      “But how do we get interested in something?” they ask.

      Full essay here

      1. The writer John Taylor Gatto has a book The Underground History of American Education. He explains how our western education establishment was designed by a young Englishman who wondered how the Brahmin Caste in India kept its power. Following that young Englishman’s lead we designed our school system to dumb down the students and fit them to be clerks and soldiers.
        Mr. Gatto’s conclusion is that our schools achieve the purpose for which they are intended.
        I believe you can find his book on line for free if you do a Google search.

  21. The unintended consequences are always the parts that no-one spots – and one of them, as you correctly point out, is the breakdown of an intrinsic respect for law. Just look at Zimbabwe: they’ve been through collapse have barely crawled microns out of the gutter… and won’t for years. Because ‘law’ is now ‘as far the enforcer can see’, which means most times and places are lawless. And EVERYONE from the sweetest churchgoing old lady to the policemen… has broken the law, if they’re alive. It’s a border-line, once crossed, which becomes increasingly permeable. I don’t see total collapse for the US, BTW (I hope I am right, because many, many people will die) but more like slowly cooking lobsters putting them in cold water and turning the heat up. It’s ever been the favorite way of the left, to erode, weaken, destroy bit by bit, because if you drop the lobsters in boiling water they thresh, splash (often burning you) and even sometimes escape.

  22. I think you have failed to take into account a major factor. Carroll Quigley wrote a book outlining the cycles that all of the civilizations recorded to date have gone through. According to his theory it appears that Western Civilization has come to the end of a cycle. We are obviously tired of maintaining our civilization and are going through our crazy years while shutting down.
    From here there are two ways to go:
    1. To close down and continue to stagnate. Eventually we would be replaced by a new world class civilization by someone else. However if we continue to follow Obama there will be no resurgence of Western Civilization and no technical-scientific progress. That is over.
    2. According to Carroll Quigley there is a possibility of a resurgence but not arising out of the current philosophy that produced Obama. If we go to and look up Peter Diamandis, The TED Lectures and others we will find we have a renaissance coming at us like the headlights on a 747. If we by-pass Obama-ism that renaissance movement has sufficient power to kick us off into a new resurgence. As to overcoming our current difficulties, we and other capitalist economies have done so in the past. The collectivists are correct in saying it is impossible. It is impossible for them but not us.
    Let me indicate just two new technologies that are in our developmental pipeline.
    The same group that developed Space Ship One are also developing a sub-orbital ship to link all of the major global cities. Believe it or not economic studies indicate there is enough high tariff freight to make such a net-work pay off. Read about it.
    3-D printers. These will be used to manufacture parts that today we can’t manufacture at all.
    It is time for we Science Fiction and technically minded people to forego the doom and gloom of the neo-barbarians. We are facing a renaissance but a renaissance always means strife as the macro-forces acting on the society get realigned.
    If we take the long view of history the Classical Liberals wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In a little over one hundred years we went from being 13 small states huddled between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean to being the economically most powerful nation on Earth. Then in 1901 we got replaced by the first Progressive President Theodore Roosevelt. Since then we have had just two Classical Liberal Presidents — Coolidge & Reagan. The result has been a long slide into weakness, ineptitude and impotency. It will get worse.
    During this last nearly 100 years we have made tremendous progress but it has all been technological. It is time to recognise that our political masters are totally misguided. Let the discussion begin.

    1. I’ve read several analyses over the last few days talking about this election representing the end of the First Republic, but optimistically predicting the rise of the Second Republic with some basic changes to make it possible.

      In line with my prior comments I’ll note that in French history something existed between those two entities, with a guy named Napoleon involved.

    1. THE DISSIDENT FROGMAN! Dude, i had him bookmarked like 5 years ago, lost the address due to computer issues, and have been googling around trying to find him again for *years*. I finally thought the blog had gone defunct or something. Thank you! (and I somehow completely missed your comment until the email for clamps showed up in my inbox. how’s that for weird?)

        1. I don’t twitter per se, but I did have a nifty method of getting twitter accounts into rss feeds. Alas, it seems to work much less reliably these days – the ones I’ve already manhandled into rss keep updating, but I’m having a devil of a time trying to get new ones to connect.

            1. heh. I do enjoy the way the new leftist hashtag du jour is habitually hijacked. And, funny thing, I ran my twitter rss formula through the this rss tester just now and it worked fine. put it directly into thunderbird, and it worked just fine. apparently, the only thing that was having an issue with it was google reader, which tries to open any rss feeds in the address bar automatically. huh. nice and frustrating at the same time, there.

              Oh:{USERNAME} if anyone’s interested (username does not include the “@”, by the way).

            2. gah. got caught in moderation – think I tripped the link limit. Anyway – I do like the way the leftist hashtag of the day is consistently hijacked and mocked. And, on a different note – I ran my twitter->rss recipe through a rss tester, and it worked just fine. put it directly into thunderbird – worked just fine. apparently the only reason it’s been spitting errors at me for weeks is that google reader tries to auto add any feed in the address bar, and *it* doesn’t like my recipe, even if everyone else does. -.-

                  1. Yeah. If it’s more than one url, I need to approve it before it shows. It puts me in charge and you completely at my merc… er… I mean, it holds spam down. (I’m not mwahing, I swear I’m not.)

                1. Hm, yeah, it has. I think they may have fallen victim to the “must fix that which ain’t broke” disease at last partially. My collection is in need of pruning anyway, and since I’ve been figuring out how to do the rest of my internet content – comments, Twitter, Google groups, etc – in thunderbird, i may just take the ones I’m going to keep and move them over here.

                    1. I like it because I can do everything from one program. I’ve got a couple different email accounts, and instead of having to check them individually (and keep logging in and out of the different gmail-based ones) I can read them all right here in one inbox. Also, back when I tried to remember to check them all online, I was *awful* at it and never got back to people on time. I can also do folders, and filters to automatically move emails into those folders, so I don’t have a hundred “new comment: blogpost” emails filling up my regular inbox :). I can back emails, and what have you, up to my local files, so that if something goes belly-up on the servers I haven’t lost my emails. And, it plays nicely with rss feeds, which i adore. If you’ve ever used microsoft outlook, it’s rather like that, except where outlook is a web of security holes and malware vectors held together by snippets of code masquerading as an email client, thunderbird is everything an email client ought to be and more 🙂 Has all sorts of handy little things – if you type some variant of “attached” it brings up an offer to add an attachment at the bottom (or it’ll remind you to do before you send). you can embed stuff like links and images and tables without having to wrestle with code. It’s made by the people who do firefox.

                    2. Oh, and it does calendars, too, with the lightning addon. I use it with the calendar for one of my gmail accounts and it’ll sync straight to my phone. Has a delightfully complex custom “this event repeats…” option that makes it a breeze to put my class schedule into it.

  23. Time to read Rudolph Rummel on the concept of “democide”.
    Hard to imagine it happening here, but I’m sure those in the Ukraine and Cambodia felt the same way, not to mention lots of folk in China. Other than war, democide is the leading cause of violent death among humans.

  24. I think Rummel pointed out that there really isn’t much difference between democide and war. If they declare war on you and start killing you, it’s still war even if you can’t or won’t fight back. Democracies don’t fight war against each other, and democide and genocide have been part of the war plan of most non-democracies.

  25. One small factual issue here:

    “Territorial Integrity – 9/11 was, other than Pearl Harbor to an extent, and attacks on our embassies, the first violation of territorial integrity.”

    I think all the Americans killed, injured, or burned out of their homes during the War of 1812 *might* dispute this point. (As might the Colonists similarly treated during the Revolution; and depending on how ones views the Confederacy, folks in “Bleeding Kansas” and certain other border territories — Chambersburg, PA, for ex.)

    Now, on to the crux of the matter:

    “The fact that it’s nonsense, doesn’t mean it won’t be believed.” — last panel:

    “Petey:Tag, do you honestly believe that a U.N.S. civil war could be prevented by destroying “Reality Television?”
    “TAG:That does not matter. What is important is whether or not human Governments believe it.”

    And therein lies the source of the Republicans’ failure. “The party of Businessmen” can’t find an effective means of advertising its product such that it can convince the 90% (as in Sturgeon’s Law) to buy it. The Left, if nothing else, are masters of Advertising.

    “But all the media outlets are owned by the Left” — and none of you Business-types can figure out how to *buy* one or more of them, or create your own? Oh, wait — you tried the latter with Fox News; see how well *that* worked. Could it be the problem is: You are hopelessly ineffective at Communicating? Hint: Do you remember what the last Great Republican Leader was called? (And that’s before we get to mentally-deficient filth like those two senile retards who made the cracks about rape; *that’ll* put butts in seats — the other side’s seats.)

    The Right is spending entirely too much time going on about “what the left did”, and not nearly enough time looking at how badly they fucked up the ’12 elections. I will close with one of my favorite quotes from the _BattleTech_ universe, attributed to Elizabeth Steiner:

    “Doesn’t the fact that we stand on the brink of extinction suggest to you that perhaps we were doing something wrong?”

    1. I disagree. Congress is still solidly Republican, and the election was extremely close – considering all the ballot stuffing and fraud that’s just now being uncovered, the election was certainly even closer than it is now. Sounds like the message still got out, to those who were ever going to hear it.

      Our real problem is that Obama had access to money way back in the spring for his little hate campaign against Romney. Romney didn’t have access to any money until after the nomination and it was too late. The debates helped. It also didn’t help that Romney was a moderate, not a conservative. And so much of the media being against him was a major obstacle. And Obama phones and all the other bribes Obama could give, having hold of the nation’s purse-strings.

      “mentally-deficient filth like those two senile retards who made the cracks about rape”

      This is vile of you to say. Quite vile and untrue – oh, the gaffes, as they were presented by the MSM, definitely hurt, but it was a complete distortion. I am pro-choice, but I respect the pro-life view. And I know how to treat a campaign gaffe when people are tired and word things awkwardly (I do not believe Obama thinks we have 57 states, either. Perhaps you do.) This statement of yours sounds like you’ve allowed your little mind to be twisted by the bigots at MSNBC.

      1. Have you noticed how it is ONLY Republican’s gaffes that matter? Sure, Akin (and later Mourdock) saif something stupid. BFD. I cannot count how many times Democrats in the Senate have said things that couldn’t rise to stupid with a forklift. What, you gonna say Joe Biden only started spewing nonsense once he became Veep? Want to defend the wit and wisdom of Harry Reid? In forty plus years of watching politics the only time I can think of a Democrat being called out for a gaffe was Robert “Kleegle” Byrd.

        1. Yes what Akin said was stupid and poorly worded, especially for a politician running for election. It was also a scientifically proven fact, however. (if you translate ‘legitimate rape’ as voilent rape, which was obviously what he meant by context)

            1. Sorry haven’t heard that gaffe, so I’m not sure what your talking about. At a guess though it sounds like something Biden would say.

              1. At a March 25 meeting of the Armed Services Committee, of which Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) is a member, the esteemed congressman had an interesting discussion with Robert Willard, commander of the United States Pacific fleet. The topic: Guam. Specifically, how an influx of Marines and their families may cause the tiny island to “tip over and capsize.”

                To be fair, this is a House member, not a senator. Other famous House Dem gaffes include

                Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat from Texas, is always entertaining. In a speech in which she talks about American dead in the Vietnam War, Lee talks about the two Vietnams “living side by side.” Of course South Vietnam was conquered by the North in 1975. Sheila Jackson Lee, by the way, famously asked a NASA guy back in the 1990s whether the Mars Pathfinder would be able to image the flag Neil Armstrong left on Mars.

                And, of course, there is the Democrat senator who racked up this impressive score on the gaffe-o-meter

                [H]e claimed that Kansas tornadoes killed a whopping 10,000 people: “In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died — an entire town destroyed.” The actual death toll: 12.

                “Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go.”

                [He] showed off his knowledge of the war in Afghanistan by honing in on a lack of translators: “We only have a certain number of them and if they are all in Iraq, then it’s harder for us to use them in Afghanistan.” The real reason it’s “harder for us to use them” in Afghanistan: Iraqis speak Arabic or Kurdish. The Afghanis speak Pashto, Farsi, or other non-Arabic languages.

                Since committing those gaffes he has left the senate but has continued to commit such doozies as referring to a Navy Corpsman as a Navy Corpse-man at the National Prayer Breakfast.

        Akin deserves to be reviled because he should have stepped down, knowing he’d been besmirched. The other man, no he didn’t. He was talking about his personal, difficult belief that the baby is the wrong one to punish. Want to argue that, CF? Do you think you have no rapists in your ancestry?

        THE MEDIA is filth that decided the narrative was abortion and contraception way back, as a way of giving the election to Obama. And there are no words for women stupid enough to fall for that. American women are used to being told they’re so speshul that at least half of them function at a 12 year old maturity level.

        ALL the republicans should do about this is in the future don’t answer a single question on those topics, just say “When my opponent defends his position that it’s okay to dismember a child up to the hour before she’s born because the mother changed her mind, I shall answer that.”

        STOP with the idiocy. Women would have voted Dem even if no republican had said anything about abortion. The “in girls” like the view created the atmosphere that the republicans were anti-vagina and these poor spoiled children want to be “in”. That’s all.

        What will change that? Well… the wonders of seeing the country their tantrum creates might. Or it might not.

    2. “The party of Businessmen” And, please tell us who that might be. The progressive party was established by Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller and later Ford; along with many others. They never were a conspiracy; they were just a bunch of wealthy men that believed they were the most successful and therefore best fitted to rule the nation.
      If you will notice the first progressive president was T. Roosevelt, a Republican, while the 2nd was W. Wilson, a Democrat. the 3rd was Hoover and the 4th was F. Roosevelt.
      Coming up to modern times if you check it out Obama was Wall Street’s choice based on how much they donated to each party. It is said that most of the bail out money went to Obama’s donors.
      I am not trying to make a case stating the Democrats are really the money party. The progressives are the money party and they control both major parties.
      Sometimes the progressives split along party lines and fight but when they do it is over perks not principles.

  26. …so *that’s* why I stopped getting emails for the other threads! Everyone’s over here! and all the trolls have already been thoroughly stomped, too 😦 Ah, well.

    Y’all hear about these secession petitions that have been put up on the white house websites petitions section? I’m opposed, personally – for one, I’m not ready to give up on the US, and for two, I don’t think it’d be nearly as easy for a state to function as an independent nation as some people seem to think. Not to mention the fact that actual secession is, y’know, pretty much impossible. Still, I suppose it does make the point that there’s a lot of people who are so worried about the future of the country that they actually think they’d be better off without it, which, whether or not they’re right, says quite a lot.

      1. Now there’s a thought. ^_^

        No, I don’t see it happening for real, even though Texans have never forgotten Texas was once an independent nation (even those of us who weren’t born here) and we’ve been half-joking about it for decades (though only half).

      2. I firmly believe that states should have the right to secede from the union if they wish. On the other hand we already fought that war and lost,so obviously I’m wrong.

        Now expulsion on the other hand, hadn’t thought of that before. Should we start making a list?

          1. The problem is, do we have to kick out entire states? Think of the improvement if we could chuck out NYC and Southern California. They could emulate Singapore and Hong Kong, and the rest of us could ignore them. Win-win.

            1. I don’t remember whose idea it was originally, but someone somewhere suggested that the proper remedy for bankrupt states was to return them to territory status and not allow them to return to statehood until they had it sorted out.

              1. Return to Territorial status . . . I like that idea!

                Or, perhaps, like a failed bank, the feds could arrange for a successful state to take them over. Imagine: California being run by Texas.

              2. I do like this, though plain old bankruptcy should be enough. (What to do about Californians who flee the state – should they have to prove they weren’t part of the problem first?)

                1. Oh yea– serfdom– I shouldn’t say this but (lol) they should have to pay their share of the debt before they can move— sounds like what MAP-21 will do to students with loans…

  27. Dear Ms. Hoyt (and may I call you Sarah?),

    As regards nightmares of what may happen, I’ll see you, and raise you. This one, though, is a subset of your ‘Sudden Death’ scenario, and it goes like this:

    1. Emperor Obama continues to fiddle while the Mideast burns, interferes with Israel’s impending attack on Iran, and allows Iran to obtain weapons grade material to make four thermonuclear weapons.

    2. Two of those weapons get smuggled into Tel Aviv and Haifa; the other two are loaded into Shahab 3 missiles that have been smuggled into Cuba and Central America.

    3. On the eleventh second of the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour on the morning of 9/11/13 (Israeli time), the bombs in Israel are detonated, and soon after, the two Shehab 3 missiles are launched, with near space detonations which flood the continental United States with a massive and fatal electromagnetic pulse. Israel is destroyed, and the USA is paralyzed.

    4. The remaining Israelis proceed to make good on their ‘Samson Option’, (do please feel free to google that) and use their stock of 400+ nuclear weapons to turn the entire Arab and Iranian world into a self-illuminating parking lot.

    5. The consortium of Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan in response make use of their 80+ weapons to detonate and destroy all the major seaports and river ports of the world, hiding the weapons in cargo containers.
    I leave the explication of what happens afterwards as an exercise for the student.

    Sweet dreams.

    1. A year ago, I thought Pakistan and India would go nuclear first, now I figure it’s a toss up.I don’t think we’ll get hit until the end game when/if Russia and China jump in. Of courese, there’s always S Korea.

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