No, I’m not talking about my issues.  I do in fact, have a “complex” of autoimmune issues that seem to run together – eczema (severe) rheumatic arthritis (not troubling since I’ve been in Colorado and weirdly worst in my teens) and asthma (also not a problem pretty much since my teens, though living in South Carolina brought it back briefly – and is one of the reasons I’m glad we moved.)

So… I have some experience with there being nothing wrong with you except your stupid immune system attacking your own body under the misguided impression that it’s an invader.

This came to mind because the other day Older Son was babbling about auto-immune disorders (younger son is likely to go on about physics.  It’s… interesting at the dinner table.  I just achieve this zen state where I’m listening to the parts I understand, while plotting at the back of my mind.  But you know, considering all the years I babbled plot and character at them, and considering that my beloved is likely to get a notebook in the middle of dinner so he can sketch out some equations that he thinks will solve this problem he’s been having at work – I don’t think we can throw stones.)

As he was describing the basic workings of an autoimmune disease, I thought “that’s what our country has.”

From living with eczema, which is a chronic auto-immune disorder, I can tell you that it much resembles the way we stumbled through from the forties (perhaps earlier.  But in the forties, Heinlein described the communists taking over the Democratic party.  And considering it took him till the eighties to vote Republican for the first time, I don’t think he can be considered a biased source.) through to 2001 like I live – most of the time – with my eczema: it flares up in a specific part of my body, and it itches like heck, which of course means that I don’t give my full attention to anything much, but because I’ve lived like this since I was one, it doesn’t really bother me or I should say – I don’t know what it’s like when it’s not bothering me.

It can rise to the level of “argh” when it settles in a body part that’s hard to keep clean/dry and free of irritating agents.  Since it decided it wanted to live in my hands, last couple of years, I’ve had trouble keeping from having infected wounds – I use my hands for everything and kitchen work is hard when you have open sores.  (I’ve been using surgical gloves, but that makes my hands sweat, which aggravates the condition.)

The problem is twofold – first, any “aggravating factor” can cause a monumental flare up, where the condition becomes near-impossible to live with.  (Since one of the aggravating factors for eczema is stress and since the airlines live to make my life interesting, those of you who have seen me at Liberty, with eczema all over my body know what I’m talking about.  It gets so I can’t sleep and I can’t think, and it impairs my functioning all across the spectrum.)  The second issue is that, sleep deprivation and the very fact that my body is – with gonzo-like enthusiasm – attacking itself, means it’s not paying much attention to external enemies – virus and bacteria – which walk right in and settle down, leading to a never ending stream of infections.

And because there is nothing fundamentally wrong with my body, I’m treated to an never-ending stream of people – starting with acquaintances and ending with some doctors, about whom the least said the better – who tell me things like “you just need to stop scratching.”  (Trust me on this, while scratching aggravates it, and this is why – to the despair of both my mother and my mother in law – I keep my nails cut almost to the quick, the skin will still flare up – sometimes overnight – with no scratching whatsoever.)

For those who’ve been following our politics in puzzled wonder, it might help if you think of our issues as an autoimmune disorder.  Let’s for the moment forget where it came from.  Most autoimmune disorders are a bit of a mystery.  Yes, part of it was the same bad philosophy that affected Europe at the time, and some of it might have been Soviet agit prop leaking over the ocean (as someone who grew up in Europe and in a fractured country, I know most Americans ignore the chances of that.)  Part of it was a predisposition to it.  The US and the ancient Israelites are the only people I know of formed on a set of principles and engagins in detailed criticism of themselves over their principles.  (Most other nations engaged in a criticism of OTHER countries over their own principles and blame OTHER countries for their own failures.  For further study, I recommend Europe.)

Anyway, mostly we’ve been living with it and ignoring it, like I do with eczema.  The areas where it was chronic: college campuses, “intellectual” areas were relatively minor.  Even when it affected Hollywood, as long as it wasn’t flaring up too badly, most people rolled their eyes and ignored it.

When I came to the States, the situation puzzled me, sort of like it puzzles people who see me going around cheerfully with, say, the inside of my elbows looking like a third degree burn.  They flinch and go “What happened?” and I look down and go “Oh, that?  Eczema.  Never mind.”

You have to understand, I came over expecting this one of the world’s superpowers to be, if not as repressive (I’m not stupid) as the USSR, at least as defensive.  I expected it to be considered bad form to trash talk the US or talk up the USSR in public.  Because, well… that’s only sane.  Imagine my shock when – in the eighties – not just TV personalities, but people who were considered/considered themselves “high class” talking about the “good ideas” of the USSR and talking down the US and particularly “ignorant rednecks.”

It puzzled me, but I could see also that the country was sort of ignoring it.  I mean, we discounted the biases on TV and the twitches of the upper class like I discount the (normally) minor itch and skin bubbling up of the eczema. In real life, where things functioned normally, the crazy people were largely ignored.

The problem is this – the flare up continued growing.  All through the sixties and the seventies, and the eighties, and yes, of course, the nineties, the flare up of self-hatred grew.  And just like the eczema in my hands, it started affecting areas we can’t live without: K-12 schools, business, news.

And it’s not just a little.  The news have been biased left for a long time (yes, I know the left thinks they’re biased right, but that’s because the left is to the left of Stalin, while the media are basically propping up a state-capitalism system much like China’s.)  If you consider Fascism right, then you’re darn tooting the media is biased right.  Since I consider it a misnomer, well…

But more importantly, unlike the manifestations of totalitarian impulse in other countries – Russia, Cuba, China – the autoimmune problems are NOT affecting just out governance or our industry.  It’s not a matter of destroying our industry so we’ll all be poor.  That would be bad enough.  The problem is far worse, though: the problem is that the statist ideology now in control of our government, our media, our education and what passes for “high culture” doesn’t just hate this or that part of us.  No, they’ve been told/convinced/brainwashed that what’s wrong with the world is US – that the country and its existence ARE the enemy.

It might be the first time in history where in a non-occupied country flying the flag is an act of daring that in certain neighborhoods can get you shunned by all your neighbors.  It might be the first time in history where teaching the good parts of your history in school is considered an act of defiance, and where the higher-class and all the bien-pensants push distorted histories and documentaries that run down the country that hosts them.

Autoimmune.  Systemic.

The shock of 9/11 beat back the illness for a while.  The forces of sanity rallied.  But in any autoimmune illness, the more you rally, the stronger the backlash.  And it’s come.  And it’s worse than ever, to the point kids get sent home from school for patriotic clothing.

So… what to do?

I don’t know.  The analogy accurately describes the problem, and to the extent that it applies to the recovery, I can tell you we’ll never get rid of the auto-immune reaction – not fully.  But you knew that.  The same qualities that allow us to try to improve our governance according to our principles provide an opening to the flare ups.  Like a person with a strong immune system is more likely to get an auto-immune flare-up.

But we can’t live with it infecting all of our body politic.

The only thing I can suggest – and it is not going to make me any friends – is that you beat it back wherever you find it.  We, like me with eczema, have got so used to the minor flare ups that we ignore them.  People at a party saying the US is uniquely back, say, because it was founded in genocide…  Beat it back.  Explain about germs, and about the fact that at any rate the colonization was all over the Americas and our part of the Americas saw the least abuse.  (Mostly what happened to the original inhabitants is that they died of unfamiliar illnesses and THEN were genetically swamped.  They’re mostly still here – a bit in everyone.)

Learn our history.  Learn economics.  Learn the history of ideas.  Learn about other nations.  Not the prettied up “multicultural” histories they teach our kids in school, but the real histories (the fact this feels like hitting the weak tells you how badly off we are.  We are the only ones it’s fair to hit on.)  When people start running ourselves down, do a little comparative teaches.

Apply medicine to the flare ups, big and small and try to beat the condition to manageable level.  To survive all of us need to do it (however subtly.)

The alternative is a body – or a nation – that can’t function, much less defend itself.

UPDATE: Post on Herding Ducks (and health) over at Mad Genius Club.

119 responses to “Auto-immune

  1. I would love to see you (and Tom Kratman) write Young Adult material to help teach those who are still young enough to be willing to learn.

    • It’s something in the back burner, both historical (time travel) if Toni will indulge me, and something akin to the Heinlein Juveniles with a collaborator.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Time travel – that makes me think..

        Unfortunately, darn it, I don’t have a good enough grounding in History to do it, but it occurs to me that it might be interesting to see a series of stories where a young person (or even a group of young people) is taken on trips to the past (think either Fairy Godmother, or Ghost of History Past), perhaps while sleeping (as if it were a dream or whatever), so they aren’t missed, and shown how what they are learning in school is inaccurate, and what the real story was.

        If that sounds interesting to anyone else, feel free to run with it, assuming that’s not what Sarah was already meaning.

        • You prompted thoughts of a contemporary writer mimicking Twain’s Connecticut Yankee. Send a “street smart” contemporary kid back to colonial Philadelphia, circa 1775? Perhaps an anthology? Visiting Ireland during the potato blight, Spain during the Inquisition (actual depiction, not what we have been mistaught to believe it.)

          • I remember reading one short ebook about a modern day black boy whose time travel (usual way, conk on the head or something like that) ended with him among the slaves of free black business owner in the antebellum South. Lots of shock because he hadn’t known there were free blacks in the southern states in the early 19th century, much less that some of them had been fairly well off ones who had owned slaves, as far as he had known slavery had been only whites enslaving blacks.

            No idea how historically correct the story was otherwise, nor do I remember the name of the story or the writer, but it worked pretty well as a story and was well enough written. (He got back to his own time, as far as I remember changed from a militant kid demanding retributions from all whites and expecting a free ride to one who finally decided to concentrate on his school work)

            • I swapped reviews with another author, who had her present-day kids discovering a black Confederate Army NCO – pretty much the same educational mission. Found the title: Anna Mae Mysteries:The Golden Treasure by LS Cauldwell. Looks like the only one she has done so far.

            • Until 1655 all people held in the English colonies were held under the indenture system. Most of these people were of European origin and were working off their passage. Unless they died first they were freed when their term of service ended.

              Anthony Johnson who was black had been born in Angola. He was an freed indentured servant, who was raising tobacco in the colony of Virginia. Johnson became the first legal slave holder in America when he sued to retain possession his indentured servant John Casor, also formerly from Africa. On March 8, 1655 the courts awarded Casor to Johnson for life.

        • Oh I am so sorry, I am not sure I thank you for this. For some reason I am now being haunted by the ghost of Paul Harvey.

        • Basically, an older Magical Treehouse. Good idea, wish I had the skill and time.

      • Imagine the shock of a skull-full-of-mush multi-culti indoctrinated kid being exposed to the Crow Creek Massacre:

        “A conservative estimate of villagers who suffered scalping is 90%, but the actual amount could be as high as 100%.”

        Date? 1325. The amount of politically correct nonsense punctured by this one archaeological site is mind-boggling.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          A child yes, but I doubt it would get through the head of brain-washed adult. One idiot on Baen’s Bar admitted how “nasty” the Aztecs were but still believed the Spanish were worse. [Sad Smile]

          • I’d love to see the look in his/her/its face if they read about how the Hopi used chemical warfare against their enemies. Pull the ladder out of a kiva or other pueblo structure, toss chilies into the fire, arrow anything that moves, and then either burn the roof down on the survivors or come back and finish them off later. I highly recommend Steven LeBlanc’s books about tribal peoples and warfare.

          • I read Bernal’s _Conquest of New Spain_ and I have to admit half-way through I was hoping both sides would lose.

            • well, yes. As Portuguese born-and-raised I have to say that we always thought Spaniards were … excessive. OTOH they never assembled people for the purpose of cutting their hearts out of their living bodies, day after day after day.

              • If you stop and think about even the most PC histories of the Conquest of Mexico, there had to be a reason why so many other Indian groups decided to help Cortez beat up on the Aztecs. And as more and more archaeological finds are made under and around Mexico City, there’s increasing evidence that Bernal and the others were not exaggerating all that much about the scale of Aztec sacrifices.

                Once you’ve studied Aztec culture and history, you can’t hear the phrase “flower power” in quite the same way . . . [evil grin]

                • You are an EVIL wench. Very weirdly I dreamed you and I (which is odd, since I have no idea what you look like) were at a cafe, discussing the soul-wrenching and twisting issues of having to lead a dual life (aka stay in the political closet.) It was VERY odd.

                  • That is indeed odd. But then so is the situation, so it fits, in an Odd sort of way.

                    Back to corrupting young minds. Today I got to remind them that the government does not grant rights. Apparently they had not fully realized this. They also decided on their own that the government can be unfair and that some federal regulations are stupid. What can I say? I’m an evil wench. 😛

          • It’s amazing how effective telling folks what the Aztecs were like– in all their “the Nazis were pussies” glory– and then responding with “the freaking Aztecs? ” when they try to go “but, but… killing off cultures is inherently more evil than killing people” and various other responses.

            Have yet to have someone wiling to actually say “yes, even the Aztecs, who were doing X, Y and Z.”

      • You know that Dr. Who was initally supposed to use the time travel aspect to have educational content?

        • Yep… and that’s one of the reasons I kinda liked some of the old Doctor Who episodes.

          There was one that sticks in my mind where the Doctor landed in a country where happiness was enforced by government decree… a totalitarian government, of course.

          Always makes me wonder if that’s the way we’re headed.

          • where happiness was enforced by government decree

            Makes me think of Genua in Witches Abroad. The scene with the old toymaker who can’t whistle is apropos.

            • But “The Happiness Patrol” was supposed to be about Margaret Thatcher, because she was so evil and everybody else was so good.

              Sigh. It’s amazing how stupid the political episodes started to be, when they didn’t have to justify their ep ideas to normal people anymore. Of course, the ultimate stupid episode was the audio play about the Council of Nicea (British spelling) in which (among other stupidities) they somehow managed to portray Arius as younger than Athanasius. (Arius was already a wealthy and popular priest with the rich folks of Alexandria when Athanasius was not even born. If you picture him as a Baby Boomer singer/songwriter opposed by a young punk and his desert monk buddies, you’ve got more the idea.) There wasn’t enough beer and chocolate in the world to make me sit through that thing, even for free, so I have no idea how much worse it got.

              • I know, but I think it speaks more about the totalitarian instinct in most lefties.

                That’s not the only leftistmedia project that was supposed to poke fun at conservatives that ended up poking fun right back at the lefties. Another one that comes to mind is Don Henley’s song “Dirty Laundry” which could easily be an indictment of MSNBC these days. “Kick ’em when they’re up, kick’ em when they’re down” could apply to MSNBC’s treatment of anyone to the right of Joe Stalin.

  2. Well, I think my next book – after the one that I will finish for release in November will HF with a Young Adult, or even a Tween orientation – and as always, with an eye towards teaching American history. Our real history, not the self-hating multi-culti pablum.

  3. This post made a lot of sense to me. It’s like those of us who talk about the freedoms we had as children, talk in whispers so that others in the restaurant won’t hear us.

    As one who experiences that onset of an auto-immune disease (mine raged through me quickly), I haven’t seen the bits and pieces you describe. I have seen it in others though. Plus now that I have to suppress my immune system, I fight infections all the time.

    If you continue the analogy– when the entire system becomes involved with attacking itself, the organism will die. I’ve seen that too.

    • ” It’s like those of us who talk about the freedoms we had as children, talk in whispers so that others in the restaurant won’t hear us.”

      Consider the jokes in “Blazing Saddles” that cannot be told today.

      Or playing with toy guns. Heck, I had a toy field gun — the front axle of an old wagon and a length of pipe.

      Or just being able to play without having to consult a calendar and arrange “play dates”.

      • Exactly– and why “play dates?” When my parents tried to do that to me when I was around eight, I rebelled. It was always so boring. The child that they wanted me to foster a friendship with was soooooooo boring. It was more fun to make my own friends.

        • Wait wait wait, what?! I used to read about “play dates” and assume (yeah, I know) that they were something remotely sensible (yeah, I know, again) like two kids’ parents getting together and planning their over-busy schedules so that their kids, who were already friends but lived too far away to see each other routinely, could get together for an afternoon to play.

          Now you’re telling me that it’s more a case of “Guess what, honey? We’re going to make a new FRIEND today! Won’t that be SPE-cial?” (Read that in the most annoying Dolores Umbridge / kindergarten teacher voice you can think of, and you’ll be hearing it the way I was hearing it in my head when I wrote that.)

          … The mind boggles. I know I shouldn’t be surprised anymore at idiots being idiots, but darn it, I just keep on being surprised. I still haven’t absorbed Muggeridge’s Law.

          • Exactly– my father who actually was against a lot of the nonsense still believed that children were blank slates and could be “programmed.” If that isn’t Marxist propaganda. He was usually against anything that smacked of socialism (I think that was what they went by then– communism was out of fashion I guess). Anyway, he thought that he could pick my friends. He felt that the children next door (not of the proper background or religion) were bad influences on us, hence the play date. I am not one to take it well, even then.

          • nah. It’s socializing with the “right” kids. I had a couple of “obligation friends” of this type because a couple of the local rich families had kids who visited once a year or so, and who played (wanted to play) with the “select” kids in the neighborhood, which boiled down to my best friend and I (who generally were scapegraces and got each other in trouble — but our parents thought we were at about the same social level, which is very important in Europe.) Let’s say those play dates never took. One of the kids I HATED with a passion (I hear she’s a very nice woman, but as a kid she was spoiled and MEAN) and the other I was meh about. I saw her when the parents herded us together, but we never tried to even talk after. Eh.

          • planning their over-busy schedules so that their kids, who were already friends but lived too far away to see each other routinely, could get together for an afternoon to play.

            That’s what I always hoped for. Mind, when the most local kid that my kid remotely likes is stuck practicing {sport} EVERY DAY AND ALL WEEKENDS when the family isn’t off traveling on vacation, it’s… Argh, let me beat my maternal head against the wall.

            (It wasn’t so bad in elementary when they could play at recess, but there’s no recess at middle school for reasons dubious (“moar edumacation”) and less-so (“building a fence around the only free land, so they don’t shove each other off a 6+ foot drop through poison ivy, into the river, costs too much money and the space isn’t big enough anyway”). And do parents RSVP on birthday invitations? NO, THEY DO NOT. We invited 7 people, and ONE showed up. We had one parent call in a “can’t make it,” and two other kids told ours they couldn’t make it, and one said she could come — but her transport is notoriously unreliable, and the other three? Nada.)

            At least she talks to people on the MineCraft server. *sigh* Sometimes Online Electronic People are more “real” than the ones nearby.

  4. So does anyone have a recommended reading list for history books that don’t truckle to PC? I’m always up for adding new titles to my “to read” list.

    • Try the aptly-named Politically Incorrect Guides. They cover a lot of topics in a “For Dummies” kind of way.

    • I enjoyed this book…. Solid American history.

      i would also recommend Road to Serfdom if you haven’t read it. it should be part of high school reading even for those who don’t agree with it. Would be interesting to see them make coherent arguments against if if they can.

      Also Main Currents of Marxism: The Founders – The Golden Age – The Breakdown by Kolakowski. The last one is a lot of work and quite dry since the author meant it as a catalogue for academics for what he thought was finally the end of Marxism but happily for all of us….its topical!!!

    • You might be interested in “The Federalist Papers” library. They have about 35 free books for download, plus a lot of early papers from the founders. Also anything from Thomas Sowell. You might also take a look at Hillsdale College. They offer a couple of online courses and a pretty excellent bibliography.

      • Sowell’s Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? is a short stupendous defenestration of the claims that the 1964 Civil Rights Act (or any other government plan) made the nation stronger.

        Release date: December 17, 1985
        It is now more than three decades since the historic Supreme Court decision on desegregation, Brown v. Board of Education. Thomas Sowell takes a tough, factual look at what has actually happened over these decades — as distinguished from the hopes with which they began or the rhetoric with which they continue, Who has gained and who has lost? Which of the assumptions behind the civil rights revolution have stood the test of time and which have proven to be mistaken or even catastrophic to those who were supposed to be helped?

    • For some great polemics attacking liberal icons, I love Thomas Fleming.
      His “The Illusion of Victory” tells the stories of just how oppressive and illiberal Woodrow Wilson was esp. during WWI. (Contrast what Wilson actually did with what GWBush was accused of). His “The New Dealers War” shows the reality of how incompetent and how fascistic FDR and his cronies were during WWII.

    • Patriots’ History of the United States, Larry Schweitkart et al
      Twice as thick as the King James, and good in all parts.

    • I’m really glad I asked! Now to add a few dozen new titles to my Amazon wish list:-)

      • Never come here unless you’re ready for your wish list to expand. 😉

      • Paul Johnson is a historian who makes liberal teeth grind. Entertaining and politically incorrect (i.e., telling it honestly.)

        Richard Brookheiser has several very good biographies of members of the Founding Fathers.

        • I’ve just discovered Paul Johnson and second that recommendation. Particularly Intellectuals.

          • Paul Bede Johnson’s Intellectuals is so … honest … an appraisal of them that it may actually have you feeling sorry for intellectuals.

            Not sorry as in letting them continue their efforts, but sorry as in locking them away where their ideas can only hurt themselves (as opposed to alternative treatments involving tar, feathers and rails or lampposts and their entrails.)

            I understand their Mommies and schoolmasters told them they were smart & clever. They told them other lies as well.

            Johnson was a speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher and is quoted at Wikipedia:

            “I was instantly drawn to her,” he recalls. “I’d known Margaret at Oxford. She was not a party person. She was an individual who made up her own mind. People would say that she was much influenced by Karl Popper or Frederick Hayek. The result was that Thatcher followed three guiding principles: truthfulness, honesty and never borrowing money,” Johnson said in 2004.

            A History of the American People is a history book written by Paul Johnson, collaborating with Blake Almond. First published in Britain in 1997 and nearly 1,000 pages in length, the book presents a sweep of 400 years of American history from the late sixteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. Almond first came to Johnson with the idea in 1991.

        • Ahhh, PJ. Read a chapter or two of him for a history class this semester. (midterm mañana. *looks at clock* er, today. dagnabbit. ) He’s no Marxist, that’s for sure, but sometimes his not-marxism can seem kinda… knee-jerk. (Marxist “historians” everywhere: robber barons eeeeevil! PJ: Colonel Fisk paid a regimental band’s cornet player 10k a year! yaaaay Fisk.) He *is* an entertaining writer, though, and, as you say, leftists can’t stand him. I’ll add Brookheiser to my reading list. (if it gets any larger, it’s going to start attracting satellites..) Right. Going back to my notes, now…

          • He is a conservative, not a libertarian.

            The knee jerk: I get like that too. It’s so enmeshed in your own thinking — and mine — that you catch yourself thinking something before you go “Hey, that’s not so” and then you get kneejerk.

    • Ron Chernow’s recent biographies of Washington and Hamilton are excellent. If you can find them in audiobook form they help pass household chores and car trips much more productively.

  5. It seemed to me, about a year after 9/11, that the Left in this country was displaying a sensible* sort of dysfunction of the type you’ve described. They had stared into the abyss of Islamofascist** hatred of Modernity (i.e., them) and recoiled. It was too much, it could not be faced.

    So they refused to face it. Their intellectual Maginot Line was focused on the Right, they only understood how to critique the Right, to attack the Right … so, confronted with an enemy they could not comprehend and could not bear to face, they attacked the Right. The immune systems of most of them (Roger L. Simon, Andrew Klavan, David Mamet and a few others excepted) could only resist the Right. So they went into full on assault against the Right and into denial about Islamofascism, even though (especially because) the Islamofascists gave them the screaming heebie-jeebies.

    It was simply easier, given the structure of their psychological defenses, to attack the Right and excuse the Islamofascists as having been provoked by the Right. Their immune systems, kicked into full gear by the existential threat posed by Islamofascists, cannot defend against the Islamofascist critique of the West, and so it over-produces antibodies against the Right.

    *sensible for certain values of crazy, that is.

    **WP doesn’t think Islamofascist is a word and wants to substitute Scholasticism. Sometimes WP makes weird sense.

    • In his book “Future Jihad,” Walid Phares said that if Bin Laden had waited another three or four years, America would not have responded to the attack because the vile progs would have finished, as our hostess might put it, neutralizing the nation’s immune response.

    • They became anti-anti-Islamofascists just as they had been anti-anti-Communists.

      Bluntly, I suspect it’s because they’re bigots.

      • Bigots? The people who are tweeting attacks on Senator McConnell for his wife’s ethnic heritage?

        In a Feb. 14 Twitter message, [Progress Kentucky] says: “This woman has the ear of (Sen. McConnell)—she’s his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!”

        Absurd! It is people who would be fine with Hillary Clinton nationalizing Health Care or George W Bush running trillion dollar annual deficits but object to a Black Man doing it who are the bigots.

  6. A big part of this is the party machine corruption of the blues. With the USSR in play there was a sense of common defense against the Left. Now with that factor gone the sense is alls fair in corruption and greed. American constitutional politics is a hedge against gov’t and so hedges corruption. Leftism makes gov’t the big hope and shoves tax money at everything. It is like adding oxygen to a wildfire. All the local Dem machine slobs now sound like college radicals.

    I think 9/11 made things more Left and not a respite. Unlimited access to corruption made people enraged that another war might mitigate their greed. Went for the gold and not the Red White and Blue.

  7. When my girlfriend and I got our hair cut a week back, our barber—who is a friend of our—talked about a biography of Jiang Qing that he had read (though he called her “Mme Mao”). I remarked on finding her marriage to the greatest mass murderer in history disturbing, and he told us about some of his fellow students in a history class reacting that way when he did a presentation on China, and the instructor saying, in effect, “We don’t regard Mao that way.” Apparently the pravda is that Mao did great things for progress in China, and the deaths were regrettable but unimportant.

    I suggested that the same argument could be made for Hitler’s role in bringing unity and progress to Germany. He didn’t think his instructor would have considered them comparable. This led me to quote “No enemies to the left.”

  8. Perhaps the problem is that things got good enough that many people started to expect perfection, and got angry when they then realized the system after all wasn’t – so lets destroy it, and change for something which promises that perfection. And never mind the other system works even less well in real life, it can be made to sound better and especially since they have no hands on real experience with it good salesmen find them easy to fool (and lots of those salesmen are fooling themselves too).

    Well, that’s pretty much the general impression I tend to get from the more vocal complainers – let’s say you say something about how women or homosexuals are badly treated in some country, and they counter with how men beat their wives or girlfriends here. Never mind that domestic violence is a crime here, and in that other country women can’t even vote, and homosexuals are hanged, it seems enough to them that some domestic violence exists here – we are not perfect so the fact that we may be better doesn’t count.

    • See also “pinkwashing”. It’s apparently a crime to compare the treatment of homosexuals in Israel to their treatment in the Gaza Strip.

      Think of it as a reflex allowing multiculturalists to ignore the ways cultures aren’t all equally valid.

    • I agree with pohjalainen that a large part of the problem was that we had made so many advances on so many fronts that we began to think that we could create a perfect world. I do not think that everyone who joined the liberals in the 1950s and 60s had evil intentions. There were things wrong with the country. Ofttimes the solutions they chose created more problems than they solved. What else is new?

      It is said that man is the one animal that finds the need to practice self-justification. Humans beings have blind spots and can be hypocritical — from any political standpoint. As a child I grew up on one side of this countries great political divide, I rejected my upbringing and landed on the other side. I have mentioned that one of the things that forced me to change was the realization that man is not self-perfectible. But they think we can achieve perfection, and so they will continue with their actions for our own good.

      And that leads us to a quote from a November 1952 letter of C. S. Lewis (published 1966):

      Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

      • Yes.

        Another scenario – let’s take something like the gun haters and a case where a young child dies and a gun was involved.

        It’s pretty much inevitable that sooner or later something like “if it saves even one child”, or perhaps “even one is too many” will enter the discussion.

        The ones who bring those phrases up first may very well have (okay, very likely they do), shall we say, impure motives. But many of the ones who buy their argument probably don’t. Once upon a time there would have been far fewer buyers – the fact that people died, including children, was something that happened, accidents were something that happened, guns were tools in common use and far too useful tools to ditch. But now they are more often hobby tools – still very useful tools which no sensible person thinks of ditching, but not something a good percentage of the populace needs almost daily since most of us don’t need to subsistence hunt or to protect our crops from vermin. And not that many of us have had to deal with the death of somebody close to us who wasn’t old. Children don’t usually die now. So shouldn’t it be possible to make the world into something – or if not the whole world, at least our corner of it – where no children die? Shouldn’t we at least try? And guns, guns are an easy target since they are not something which usefulness most have probably personally witnessed. No deer eating the crops and having to be put down if people want to have something to eat during the winter scenarios in this part of the world. Bad people, yes, but aren’t the cops around for that? Again, since not that many have ever had to face that kind of threat personally, or know somebody who did, the idea that the police will protect you can sound pretty good, especially since you see it happen so often on television where the hero cops/feds/whatever are usually always on time to save this week’s guest star. So who really needs guns? If things seem to be getting more dangerous just vote for those who promise more cops.

        The world is pretty good already, how hard could it be to make it perfect? We just have to try a bit harder and perhaps we’ll get there. And it seems easy in this particular case… toys for adults at the price of a few children’s lives, or get rid of the toys so no child dies by them? Choose.

        So ‘lets get rid of all guns and all children will be safe’ gets bought.

        • A world where no children die is a world with no children. Abort ’em all.*

          *This message brought to you from the Dark Side. Management accepts no responsibility for anybody taking the prior statement seriously, nor for any computer equipment damaged by expelled fluids.

        • Of course no one wants to think about incidents where children were saved because someone had a gun. Consider the Georgia mother, who, on hearing someone break into her house took her children up into the attic to hide. She called both 911 and her husband. The intruder found them and left only after she emptied a gun into the him. The police arrived in time to collect the intruder after he passed out and crashed his car into a tree.

          Deer? There are deer jumping onto cars on interstate 76 going into Philadelphia. 76 comes into the city from the west cutting through Fairmont Park — said to be the largest city park in the world — paralleling the Schuylkill River. The deer don’t always respect the traffic when going down from higher ground to the river. (Neither the deer nor the cars prosper.)

          • Rutting bucks are a huge issue in CO in the fall. Around Oct. Nov. we’re always VERY careful. It’s better now on the highway because there’s enough traffic/it’s been there long enough even rutting bucks rarely dare, but we got a demonstration in this when a buck jumped in front of a truck five ahead of us on the highway, the month we moved here. Fortunately the truck was large enough — and the way it hit — the deer messed up the front end, but didn’t kill anyone. But it was a wreck.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              A guy I knew in the Denver area talked about time he was out riding and a male moose started to act “interested” in his horse. He was armed (IIRC a rifle) but didn’t need to use it to “discourage” Bullwinkle.

            • Here it’s Eurasian elk (or moose, whichever name you prefer, both seem to be used for the ones on this continent). Nowadays also white-tailed deer (planted species, from about a hundred years ago, but they are becoming common only now) and roe deer (spreading from the south, also becoming common only now), but most of the accidents still involve elk. A friend’s brother had an encounter, with his girlfriend, on a motorbike a couple of decades ago, but they were pretty damn lucky, both lived. No permanent injuries either, although it took him nearly a couple of years to recover fully. I have had a couple of close calls, once right next to where I live now which is, technically at least, inside the city limits, and you see them almost every year around that time of the year if you drive a lot during the early or late hours. Good meat, but I would prefer not to try hunting something that big with my car as the weapon (I did once eat a pheasant I hit though, since it was in a good enough shape to be used why waste). Too hard on the car, not to mention potentially fatal for the driver.

          • Clearly there is a desperate need for bans on assault deer and signs declaring roadways to be deer-free zones.

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Please don’t remind me of the woman who called the Roads Dept to try to get them to move the Deer Crossing because it was inconvenient to her.

            • It’d help if you moved the deer crossing signs from the busy highways to much more quiet roads. 😉

              On Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 10:22 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

              > ** > RES commented: “Clearly there is a desperate need for bans on assault > deer and signs declaring roadways to be deer-free zones.” >

          • Wayne Blackburn

            (singing) “Where the deeeeer and the Impalas plaaaaayyy!” (runs)

        • When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            The problem with saying that is that the people who need to understand it, don’t get it. I’ve told people that, while discussing guns, and they just smile and nod with a look like, “Yeah, so what’s your point?”

  9. “a non-occupied country”

    This is a hypothesis that many of us are increasingly coming to find unsupported by the evidence.

  10. For Sarah a book, “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf.

    The science of:

    Prof. Loren Cordain:

    The key to health of any system is the same. What are the building blocks taken in and do they support the system or break it down.

    Right now what is killing and in fecting the US is that the *Left* has control of education. We can try fight this after the fact, when the symptoms appear in early adulthood. We can try to manage the symtoms and make ourselves comfortable in the disease, or we can go to the root of the problem and take back control of our youths intelctual diet. Putting them on road to health and Happiness.

    My 2 cents,

    P.S. Sarah have you try an automune protocol? Like:

    Just a thought take care.

    • Paleo for Autoimmune Illness
      Written by: Ann Wendel


      Other recent research from Ganesh et al (2011) shows that the changes associated with the disease process of autoimmune thyroid disorders (AITD) are brought about by inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines serve as the software that run the immune system. A number of studies have now established that dysregulation of immune cell function causes AI such as lupus, arthritis, thyroiditis, carditits, and diabetes. It is highly likely that cytokine dysfunctions are the first step in the onset of these self-reactive immune responses. – See more at:

  11. Autoimmune disease is tiny proteins attacking much larger cells. It’s not the best medical analogy for what’s been happening. The better analogy is cancer: mutated cells that grow and shove aside or kill healthy cells. The cancerous left-wingers have been growing and destroying non-cancerous people for decades. Now, the body is dying because the cancer cells outnumber the healthy ones. We can be cured only by radical surgery and high-dose chemotherapy. I doubt that the non-cancerous populace will accept either treatment. So, the cancer will grow, the nation will die, and someone may clone a healthy cell and regrow our country. Unfortunately, it’s just as likely that a cancer cell will be cloned, and the destructive process will recur.

    • I DON’T think they outnumber us. Not even vaguely. I think the 24% who are attacking the system are tiny cells attacking things they don’t even get.

      • They don’t outnumber the sensible people, and they know it. That’s why so much of their energy is spent on closing lines of communication.

  12. There have been studies on the geographic occurance of auto-immune diseases, food allergies, and specifically multiple scerosis. The studies (and I am obviously cherrypicking here by only using my memory) seemed to indicate that these disorders show lower frequency in tropical regions. The thought was that the occurance of these disorders was inverse to the existence of human parasites in these areas- some studies looked specifically at hook worm. The theory is that the body has a set amount of attention to set aside, immune-wise, for coping with parasites, and when the stress of dealing with them is taken away (modern sanitation keeps them away, thank God), the immune system can start to improvise on what it wants to react to next. Hookworms have a specific ability to travel through human tissue to the lungs, without setting off massive systemic shock; guinea worms have a similar abiltity.
    There was a fellow, I think from England, who decided to combat his horrible allergies by walking bare-foot through a cess field in central Africa -a popular way of catching hookworm- and he claimed it cured his allergies.

    I only see this as relevant since the attitude that “Amerikkka is bad, like way bad” seems to come mostly from people who haven’t got a clue, don’t know how to get a clue, and wouldn’t understand a clue if it crawled up their leg and bit them, and the “bush is hitler” and “freedom is slavery” stuff is just something to care about while they figure out how they are supposed to feel about not having a clue.

    OH, and hookworm is a fascinating critter with an amazing life-cycle. And Guinea worms are just disgusting.

    • “the “bush is hitler” and “freedom is slavery” stuff is just something to care about while they figure out how they are supposed to feel about not having a clue.”

      And now that we have Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, as President, not only is freedom slavery, war is peace (“A decade of war is ending”) and ignorance is strength (Obamaphone).

      • “entitlements don’t sap our resolve, they strengthen us”

        • Quoth Obama on the news today: “No country ever cut its way to prosperity.”

          Spending money they didn’t have on crap they don’t need never made a country rich, either.

          • Michael Brazier

            We have a pretty witty king
            Whose word no man relies on
            Who never said a foolish thing
            And never did a wise one

            • Want a laugh? [SEARCHENGINE] Woodward, White House, email

              • Oh, boy, Charlie Martin tweeted that. Head>desk.

                • 🙂 It came up on the Fox News Special Report Online panel and Charles Krauthammer, Stephen Hayes, Mara Liasson and Brett Baier all but fell out of their seats laughing. Because everybody in DC knows Bob Woodward has a history of caving to political pressure.

                  It was a toss up over whether they were more astounded at the effort to threaten Woodward or the fact that is was done in an email, leaving a document trail.

                • What? That the left’s attitude towards Obama reeks of Fuhrerprinzip?

                  I’ve ranted about that probably half a dozen times in front of Charlie…

        • Reynold’s Law: “Subsidizing the markers of status doesn’t produce the character traits that result in that status; it undermines them.”

    • Yes. Also intestinal worms have had some success in curing a host of such maladies. Only… I grew up in a country where everyone had them (human sewage used as fertilizer) and had REALLY bad eczema from a child. I have this theory that I’m just screwed up.

      Maybe America is likewise screwed up, but like about me, I’m prejudiced. I think it’s worth saving.

      • Sorry, I would as much suggest you get infected with hookworm as I would suggest it to my two sisters who have similar issues. They’d skin me probably, and their husbands would make sure of it. I only mention it because it is interesting in a really disgusting way.

        I don’t think we are as much screwed up. In Madrid on the 23rd they had a march and rally to protest cuts and privatizations the goverment is proposing. The organizers called it Marea Ciudadano Feb 23 – in memory of a failed military coup in the 80’s that occured and died on February 23. (They are protesting that the cuts are a form of economic coup, but I am unsure how, outside of Mao’s cultural revolution, a government can lead a coup against itself.)
        Here, we have demonstrations demanding government cuts and privatizaton.

        Oh, and Marea Ciudadana does not mean urban nausea, it means citizen’s tide. I think they mean Popular Front, but the last time they used “Frente Popular” Franco wound up in charge.

  13. Sarah — Maybe you should try finding gloves that don’t make your hands sweat (like thin leather ones) and put the surgical or latex work gloves on over the other gloves. Then if the overall warmth isn’t too much, you should be able to let your hands breathe and get work done too.

  14. Liberals cannot think. What they call thought is nothing more than a steaming pile of unfounded assumptions, logical fallacies, and inchoate emoting. This poses us with two problems. The first is that liberal “thought” is far easier than the real thing, there’s no need to ponder what could go wrong or risk of realizing you were incorrect. Since people are lazy (some say efficient, but that’s too long a word) they will gravitate toward the path of least resistance. The other is that you cannot reason someone out of a position they weren’t reasoned into in the first place. If you confront them with facts and the consequences of their positions they’ll either dismiss your sources or walk off.

    The only reason this state can exist is because our forefathers built strong levees holding reality at bay. The good news is that those levees are crumbling, and when reality comes rushing in the surviving liberals will be ready to learn how to think. Yes, that’s the good news. We’re that screwed.

    • Thank you, Jeff. I was sleeping before this. Not.

      • Great, now the next time you don’t post because you’re tired or under the weather the denizens are going to blame me. I can think of places I’d rather be than in the cross-hairs of a horde of hyper-intelligent, irritated Odds. A guard dog training facility wearing a bacon suit, for one.

        • I exonerate you. (No, RES, I didn’t SAY incinerate.)
          I confess the Great Depression is making a come-back, and I wish I could figure out if it’s real or if it’s the combination of virii departing and just how tired I am. But the Hagel confirmation has NOT helped.

          • At least you don’t have to work for the guy. Still, I at least enjoy the advantage of knowing the people running my organization are idiots intent on its destruction. Most cogs just suspect it.

            When I was in the Navy I held the attitude that if the rods were up, the shafts were spinning, and nothing was on fire I was doing my job. Everything else was Someone Else’s Problem.

          • If the great depression returns let us hope that we do not take the same lesson so much of the world took last time, i.e., capitalism is broken we will embrace some sort of socialism as a solution. We best keep on our toes, as there are several groups that are waiting with their solutions.

            If we want to convince people that a return to the ideals and principles that were put forth by the founding fathers would be worthwhile we best become articulate in defending them. We need to be able “To place before mankind the common sense of the subject in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.” 😉 *

            *In a letter to Henry Lee dated May 8, 1825 Jefferson wrote:

            …this was the object of the Declaration of Independence. not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we [were] compelled to take.

        • We don’t shoot messengers ’round heah, Jeff. We know where the problems lie and where the liars are the problem.

  15. Would disposable cotton gloves that seemed to be used all over Japan be of any help?

    • Um… might be, except of course when I have to get my hands wet. Um….

      • Okay… thin cotton gloves, big plastic bags rubberbanded around your forearms or elbows, and enough air inside the bag (wouldn’t take much) to keep your hands from sweating.

        • Why, yes, I did break my arm once and have to keep the arm dry for a couple months while still taking showers. Albeit I didn’t break my hand, so I don’t have super-good kludges for you….

          • Mine was a broken bone in an ankle. No cast, just ace bandages. I took showers sitting on a stool, with a plastic bag on the injured foot which was sealed with rubber bands. I survived, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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