Liberty and Safety

It is a truth universally acknowledged that it is a bad thing – a very bad thing – to make Sarah berserk out over breakfast, which is why most sentient species, some invertebrates and some single-cell life forms have learned to avoid it.

No, this doesn’t mean Dan and the boys are in trouble.  No, that’s fine.  What happens is this – after week from hell, I was running around with a headache so bad I could barely think through it.  In case it wasn’t obvious from the rate of typo to word in the last few posts, I also could barely write through it.

As happens we found a hotel that met our low-price-to-low-flea rate and Dan and I ran away so I could get work done on the overdue Baen novel.  (It is unique in writers that our vacations involve the chance to write MORE.  Shouldn’t be a great shock, though.  Our “let’s go out to dinner” nights involved “I need to work out a novel plot.)

This was particularly needed because on top of the situation with our friend Alan – who should go home from the hospital today and start a new course of chemotherapy, so that’s good news – my kids are having beginning of school year issues.  Since it is written (I don’t know where, but if I ever find out, I’m setting fire to it) that nothing the Hoyts do can be easy or simple, they’re both adding second majors and weird ones at that, and giving the bureaucracy hissy fits.  This for some reason causes them to run into my office at the rate of a kid every five minutes, to p*ss and moan.  So, the office gets impossible to work in (also smelly.  The cats hate competition) and I lost two entire days to this.  Which also added to my blazing stress headache.

So we ran away for three days and two nights to “get writing done.”  So far so good, right?

Yeah.  Except that breakfast is included in the room special promo sale.  Which is why we stayed here.  Have breakfast latish and you don’t need lunch, so that’s one meal less to pay for.  (Hey, we’re writers.  We’re cheap.  Also, largely poor, our days of being rich beyond the dreams of average – sic – having crashed at the same time the towers turned to rubble and the tech boom collapsed.)

So we went down to breakfast.

Just when you thought it was safe to go down to breakfast…

We were in a little isolated table but separated by a curtain from a large group table.  I heard the words “They can’t expect Obama to fix everything with one measure.  I mean, things were so bad it doesn’t have a quick solution,” and I told Dan “Right then, I’m going to order an omelet, before I start ranting.”

When my calmer half said “I don’t know.  I’m kind of hoping they make you start ranting.”

So I went down to get the omelet, and I came back and sat down.  The large group of unmitigated stupid seemed to be talking lower – at least.  If I said the multiplication tables backward in my head, I could tune out the occasional break through sentence like “What we need is more business regulation.”

And then, zero to nothing, I heard something, and I started shaking – painful body-long shakes – trying to suppress the berserker.

The phrase was “the problem is we have too many liberties in this country.”  Like that.  Like that, I found I was putting my head through the curtain and saying “If you discuss politics in public, I’m going to intervene.”

I want to point out that when I’m fighting the berserker, my voice gets really weird, and my eyes get this bizarre “one step over the line and you’re dead, Mister.”

I’ve been known to make postal workers run away (true) and airline employees bend over backward to give me anything I want, while I’m being perfectly polite and suppressing the berserker.

But these people were wrapped in an invincible mantel of stupidity.  They said – I swear to Bob – “What?  This is a public space, we can talk about anything we want.”

I said “Absolutely.  And I can correct you anyway I want.”

At that point the better half who is a New England gentleman intervened. “Yes, it’s a public space,” he said.  “And we’d like to have breakfast without your politics intruding on it.  Can you keep it down, please?  Particularly if you insist on being ill informed.”  (When calmer half feels the need to put in the knife, imagine what my excitable self was feeling.)

And so I downed as much warm coffee as I could, because if you can’t find alcohol, warm liquids will help, and eventually the shakes subsided.

Too many liberties…

There are three things to take from this encounter: first, it is polite and proper, if sharing a public space with other sentient beings, to try not to say anything offensive out loud.  I tend to discuss the latest scientific developments, a novel I just read, anything innocuous.  I’ve gone to dinner with PJM colleagues and not discussed politics loud enough for the other tables to hear – and shut up when the waitress approached.

Look, guys, there was a reason that Englishmen who had servants said “not in front of the help” – it wasn’t just to avoid gossip.  It was also to avoid making another human being, not in a position to retaliate, uncomfortable.

Good manners and all that.

So, if you have politics to discuss, keep your voice down or save it to your room.  UNLESS you’re sure that the entire room is taken up with your coreligionists.

Another thing is that these people looked fairly normal.  I didn’t see any badges of the little Satanists for Stalin or anything of the kind.  This scares me beyond belief and I’m trying not to be depressed.  They really think Obama is fixing “this mess.”  I… Look, go over to the Zero Hedge guys… just read this.

A tiny excerpt:

#1 When Barack Obama entered the White House, 60.6 percent of working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.7 percent of working age Americans have a job.

#2 Since Obama has been president, seven out of every eight jobs that have been “created” in the U.S. economy have been part-time jobs.

#3 The number of full-time workers in the United States is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#4 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers now make less than $30,000 a year.

#5 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

#6 When the Obama era began, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks.  Today, it is 36.6 weeks.

#7 During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000.  That far exceeds any previous four year total.

There is more.  Oh, yes, there are 33 of these facts.  But the mainstream media won’t report it, and those who are dumb beyond the dreams of average swallow it, hook, line and sinker.  And what can we do?  I’m serious.  WHAT can we do?  This is sort of like before the French Revolution when people demanded Necker be returned to power because when he was borrowing and spending everyone was doing so well.  There are no words.  To paraphrase Heinlein, stupidity is the only capital crime.  The punishment is always death.  Unfortunately when it’s public stupidity, the death often follows on those who weren’t stupid.

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it and take the rest of us along for the ride.

The third point though…

There are few things you can say that are so HEINOUS that they send me into automatic “Must suppress the berserker” mode.  Look, guys I’ve got through entire dinners with communists without getting there, and without looking speculatively at the silverware and considering how to kill someone with a fork.  (Okay, I lie about the second one, but all the same. Thoughts are, thank you, private, and my hobbies are my own.)

But that “we have too many liberties” got under my shield and went directly to the “attack” and immediately as well to the “you can’t go berserk in a public space.  No, really.”

How can anyone think we have too many liberties?

Oh, I know.  They think that because they believe in the myth of the “superior man” who will take care of them.  The man on the white horse who knows better than everyone, and who can run everything so that no one is ever afraid or poor or sick or marginalized.

In other words, they dream of the ideal childhood.

The rest of us know that never in the history of the world, not even the calmest, has there been a time when a leader could guarantee safety, health and contentment to everyone. There will always be poor, unloved, suffering people.  You can’t help that.

You behave in a way you help those around you and you try not to be a burden, but even then at times that will fail.

Those of us who are religious believe a time will come when we will live like that, in perfect harmony and contentment with a superior being watching over us.

But last time I looked, neither king, premier, president, emperor or satrap had the power to look into the hearts and minds and judge everyone perfectly.  And no, the NSA spying ain’t it.  And none of the above were the creators of the universe.

They are all, in fact, fallible men, usually fallible men attracted to power over others, who want to run you not for your own good but for their own internal satisfaction.  And since people who crave this sort of power tend to be more broken than writers, their internal satisfaction might be something that even they don’t understand.

There is no man on a white horse.  There is, always, an old trickster, coming to town and promising eternal peace.  If you look carefully, you can see the horse is a mule that has been painted white.  And the man is just using the same old promises the human brain is wired to crave, but what he wants is quite different.  And even if he truly believes what he says, he can’t deliver.  He’s just a man.  He can’t know what each individual wants and needs.  Only each of you can know what he wants and needs.  And sometimes not even that.

Clearly the people on the next table would like to believe in the man on the painted mule.  I would too.  The idea someone will look after you perfectly is SO appealing.  But I’m grown up.  You can’t go back to kindergarten.  And even my kindergarten teacher had no clue how to handle me.

I’ll handle myself, thank you.  Even to the point of making sure I don’t berserk out at the breakfast table.  It can be done.  It’s just not easy, or comforting or pretty.

It’s a horrible way to live.  Except for every other one.  I’ll keep my liberties, thank you.  You want to give yours up, I can give you a list of destinations willing to oblige you.  It starts with Cuba.

No kings, no queens, no lords, no ladies.  We won’t be fooled again.

 

283 responses to “Liberty and Safety

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    IMO people who talk about restrictions on Liberty *never* think their liberties are the ones to be restricted. It is always somebody’s liberties that need to be restricted. Of course, often their liberties *will* be restricted because they often aren’t the persons who actually does the restricting. [Frown]

    • Didn’t you know? Everyone else is the problem. The world would be a wonderful place if only you stupid people would shut up and do what I say.

    • Indeed. There’s also the aspect of people being indifferent to the restrictions upon others:

      Again, my boy Niemöller:

      First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Socialist.
      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
      Because I was not a Jew.
      Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

      Never underestimate apathy.

    • Dorothy Grant

      Not always the case. Sometimes, they think since theirs are restricted (legally, voluntarily, or sub-culturally), and they get along fine, and they’re good people. If everyone else lived like them, with the same restrictions, then life would be so much better…

      So the carless and childless singles who ride the cleanest high-end public transportation to work elsewhere downtown, and wish they had a shiny light rail to take them to the next city when they want to go, think that everyone should give up cars, and will want the light rail that starts in their city and goes to the next city over.

      So, too, because they’ve never been threatened, they retain a childish trust in the mystical powers and duties of police, and think that because the police will protect them (they won’t) and stop crime immediately on report (they won’t), nobody but the police would ever need a gun. Politicians are distant deities, as is “The System.”

      Some grow up. Some are killed. Some refuse to grow up. They’re human like that.

      • This describes so many people I knew in NY that it’s not even funny.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Even those will find things that they don’t even realize that they have the liberty to do, but want restricted, and will wail the loudest when it comes back to bite them.

      • Late to the part … that said, Dorothy describes to a tee so many academics and other “do-gooders” I have known thru the years. Most of these folk have been immune to discussion, observation, or persuasion. I suspect the future will be especially unkind to them.

      • Very well said, Ms. Grant. May I quote you elsewhere (by name or anonymously as you prefer)?

  2. I understand completely, I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 29 years. Even owned a business in SF for many years. My tongue is scarred from so many years of biting it, but freedom is approaching o I’ve loosened the reins a bit. We now meet friends & discuss politics (very quietly) in public restaurants.

  3. Perhaps because I’ve learned the rapier works better than the bludgeon, I have found it is often effective to start out by agreeing with people — “Yes, this country has too many liberties” — and then compound that agreement by listing some of the “liberties” which ought be restricted.

    Such as allowing ill-informed ignorant lick-spittles to expound in public upon the idea we have too many liberties. The idea that anybody has sufficient understanding of the universe to dictate to others how they must live (not how they should live, how they must) is so foul, so evil, so vapid that anybody expressing it should be publicly flogged, with words of three or more syllables.

    Keep your idols in your drawers and do not pull them out to fondle in public. If you do, don’t be surprised when others mock their feebleness.

    • Personally, RES, I find a claymore (the mine, not the sword) the most effective weapon against large groups of inbeciles that would even THINK we ‘have too many liberties’. Agreed, there’s a mess to clean up afterwards, but no one can deny the effectiveness.

  4. These sorts disdain religion, but have no idea their politics have become their religion. Their beliefs are a matter of faith which is now another word for improperly used for credulity, and there is no attacking it with logic. The stupid lies thick upon the world today. I see no cure that is not a disaster.

    • There comes a point where it’s only a choice between disasters.

      • Heinleinian “bad luck”, perhaps.

        Mew

        p.s. As it’s somewhat out of fashion, here is the whole quote: “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
        This is known as ‘bad luck.'” — RAH

        • That’s one of the ones I keep on the desktop stickynotes program 🙂
          Well, usually. I’m in the process of reinstalling the OS on that particular desktop at the moment, but when I’m finished, it’s going right back up.

        • Not out of fashion with me. I first called it to the attention of the Professor!

  5. These “we have too many liberties” types ALWAYS believe that they, and those who think like them, will retain THEIR liberties, including the right to speak publicly about politics. They believe they will be amongst the elites, the ones who are exempt from all the restrictions placed on all those pathetic little idiots who disagree with them. If only they read and understood human history, they’d see that the elites in place will always be the only elites; they are a set number, and even those lower-ranked folk who hold up the tyrant’s banner in the face of death do not get raised up to join the top tier. They remain right where they are, where they are useful and controllable. A slave doesn’t have to be in physical chains to be OWNED.

  6. The people complaining about too many liberties seem enamored of freedom from. Freedom from want, freedom from fear (hah!), freedom from responsibility, freedom from duty, freedom from individuality, freedom from decisions. They don’t want a life, they want a prison with 3G access and more supper options.

    • you forgot Freedom From religion.

    • My ancestors fought against slavery…for THIS?

        • To be fair, I have no evidence that my ancestors resisted slavery as an institution, but my point still stands.

          All of the battles that Americans fought to end oppression — it’s like it was all for nothing.

          • To be honest, my ancestors would hate me. They fought AND DIED for absolute monarchy. Yes, there were other things involved. Like… personal loyalty, tradition and locality, but all the same.

            • Interesting.

            • Oh, I think if your ancestors looked at you in the right light and posed the argument you could find agreement. An absolute monarchy will put in charge someone with the genes of the biggest crook from centuries ago diluted by the genes of the best looking females he can bed. That’s not much different from one of William F Buckley’s first 100 names in the Boston phone book. Conversely, consider a system where the biggest liars vie with each other to game the electoral system. So, I’m OK with monarchists… just one twist. Just let me be the crook who starts the dynasty, OK?

            • A lot of people saw absolute monarchy as the antidote to annoying local lords’ local autocracy. (They were wrong, but….) So maybe not so different.

              • Not so much wrong as limited in their decision space. Tyrrany centered in a distant capitol is far preferable to local tyrrany. The king can be distracted, the lord has nothing better to do than figure out ways to oppress you.

                • And local tyranny is preferable to oppression every month when a new band of robbers rides by.

                  You do what you can with what you have.

            • Absolute monarchy is worth fighting for when it is the only alternative to anarchy, chaos, invasion, and the sort of Napoleonic totalitarian state that is free from all those pesky traditions like God, honor, responsibitities…etc., holding us back from the brave future.
              I usndersnad that. I neever Absolute monarchy is worth fighting for when it is the only alternative to anarchy, chaos, invasion, and the sort of Napoleonic totalitarian state that is free from all those pesky traditions like God, honor, responsibilities…etc., holding us back from the brave future.
              I understand that. I don’t understand the idea that it is possible to forgo your rights so you can avoid your obligations. Obligations remain, they are part of being human.

            • Awk well… many of my ancestors were absolute monarchs or of the nobility. So yea– my need of freedom seems to be counter-intuitive… but I am sure that is not true. I am under the impression that some of the first families took charge so that they could be freer that some of the folks who buckled under. Also some of my family left to be free– i.e. the US… when it looked like they would have to buckle under the current monarchies. 😉

              • Plus I believe in freedom for anyone who wants it badly enough to take responsibility for their actions. The others? well if they want to be slaves, then they should go somewhere where they can be a part of that lifestyle.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                My dad’s DNA Ancestry test seems to indicate that we’re descended from a guy known as “Niall of the Nine Hostages” (apparently this is not a great distinction, because he was very… prolific). I haven’t really taken the time to look him up in detail, but what I did read seems to indicate that he was some sort of huge warlord several centuries ago. Probably some here would know more.

                • Interesting– my dad’s ptDNA goes Is rare in Europe and is traced to a group that left the Mid-East 4,000 years BC. (Don’t think it goes anywhere near Niall…). My mtDNA is very close to the Cheddar Man’s mtDNA… which according to the migration pattern so far– it was a group of people who came through Greece (it wasn’t Greece then lol) around 30,000 years ago. So both sides of my family (a very small portion) seemed to be travelers. Hunters/gatherers and eventually farmers on mom’s side (warlords and such). Craftsmen on my father’s side. Of course that is only a tiny part of the DNA at this time.

            • William O. B'Livion

              I suspect your absolute monarch was not *nearly* so interested in the everyday lives of his citizens as our current Committee for Public Safety.

              • Let us make allowances for the limits of technology. La Russe en 1839, in any of its (condensed) translations, gives a good picture of the possibilities.

                OTOH, the absolute monarch did not climb to his position because of his interest in your everyday life.

          • The War for Freedom is never won, although every age has its task to win battles. Oppression, like rust, never sleeps.

            Anybody who says otherwise is at best a fool, more likely an enslaver.

  7. This, this, is why I have to very little hope for the future. In your post on “Galt’s Network” you talked about how the local governments and so forth existed forming a framework upon which the free nation was built.

    But it’s not the forms that were the critical difference between then and now, or between then and other “revolutions” over the centuries. The critical difference was the makeup of the people. The main disagreement among colonials of the day wasn’t “should we be a free people or not.” The vast majority pretty much agreed on that. The disagreement was whether or not they could work out an accommodation with England such that we could remain free while remaining a part of the British Empire.

    Today it’s different. We don’t have the vast majority agreeing that personal liberty is the goal. I’m not sure we have a majority at all. We have the Religious Right and “social conservatives” who want to control one part of my life. We have the Left who wants to control another part of it. We have darn few who just want to leave me alone.

    “Live and let live” is not a very common philosophy these days.

    • I’m usually quite pessimistic about the future of this nation. I can see nothing but destruction, death and some very dark times ahead for the world if we continue on the path that we are on.

      Even with my pessimism, I still have a small kernel of Hope that I keep alive. A kernel of Hope that somehow, we will find a way to step off that path and begin healing what is wrong.

      Maybe we have to go through those dark times first to reach that better path.

      • I said “very little.” I didn’t say “none.”

      • This is where I am Joseph. But when my body sends kill orders to my back brains because I made the mistake to have breakfast in public, it shakes me.

        • That is why I try not to engage in speaking about politics with people in public. I really don’t know if I could control my inner barbarian when speaking to someone who would love to see my Rights stripped from me so that they could have the illusion of safety.

          It is much safer for all involved if I do it from behind a keyboard.

          • Second that! The temptation to stand up and say, “Okay! Let’s settle it right here and now, you and I,” is great. Far better, if I go out, which is very rare, to project a demeanor that discourages such noise in the first place. Thus I am only approached by others confident in their liberty and am not required to grind anyone into their constituent scums and leave an unsightly mess.

            It also keeps me from getting the snot kicked out of me at random.
            🙂

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Yep. Beyond the fact that it prevents that nasty necessity of cleaning up blood and other bodily excretions, one can revise what one says until it’s fit for public consumption. Or, if you’re like me, until it’s more coherent than a babbling 3-year-old.

      • I don’t have a kernel of hope for the USA. I planned to move to New Zealand, but NZ just enacted an NSA-like domestic spying program. There seems to be little hope for freedom and liberties anywhere.

  8. Sorry Sarah, half of the people are prepared to surrender all their rights — except their “right” to live at the expense of the other half. Most of those who work to pay the bills have been duped into believing that this arrangement is legitimate by purveyors of “social justice” falsehoods. We already have a nobility. They abide in Washington and (again sorry for alluding to a topic you’re tired of) like the ancien regime are striving to deny the legitimate frustrations of those who decline to drink their Kool-ade or to suppress them via the NSA and DHS.

    • no, we do not have a nobility class, we have folks who Think that (either that they are the nobility or that we should let those so ennobled “rule”) , but it is not true, and acting as such they(both groups) bring the fall ever closer. That is the issue

    • I am not sure “half of the people are prepared to surrender all their rights” so much as they see no alternative. They have very little sense of the value of those rights, no idea how to exercise them (and rights, like muscles, grow flabby from lack of exercise) and don’t see any way to protect those rights, anyway.

      • But isn’t that called “surrender” and isn’t surrender the first step towards chains and slavery? Moreover, that looks like the hidden motive of our political class of untitled nobility?

        • Can you surrender what you don’t believe you have? Why fight for something you can’t get?

          Don’t you know you can’t win?
          You’re no exception to the rule,
          I’m irresistible, you fool, give in!…Give in!…Give in!

          There is a reason the Left defends their guys’ abuses with the argument that “everybody does it.”

          “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
          Sun Tzu

          • That’s the Tories thought at the time of the Founding of our beloved Republic.

            If you think that you can’t win, you’re defeated before you start. This is why we have several generations of deliberate miseducation.

            • Wayne Blackburn

              I’m a weird one, there. I can assess something and determine that I’m not able to win, but still will go ahead and give it my best shot. Once in a while, EVERYBODY ELSE has a bad day…

          • “He that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one.” Edmund Burke

    • I disagree, jpkalishek: I maintain we have two hereditary nobility classes in the US, plus a hereditary wealth class structure that is orthogonal: They are the Political Class (How many children of Senators are today Senators?) and the Entertainment Class (how many children of famous actors are today successful actors?). These two classes may or may not overlap with the older, and as I mentioned pretty much orthogonal, hereditary wealth class (go look up who still owns Hearst Castle, even if it’s now being maintained by public moneys), but they are the primary bastions of inheritable social standing, power, influence and access to power networks in today’s United States.

      • And in recognition of the other side of jpkalishek and of Sarah’s point – they are a nobility in the sense that they are a hereditary form of wealth, power and access. They do not as a result have any Right to Rule, at least not here, and not yet, though the Hereditary Senatorial Families thing quite worries me.

        • Which is why we should show them our middle fingers — and the road — as often as we can.

          • I agree, but the rates of incumbency — like the rates of prison recidivism — indicates just how hardheaded voters and criminals are.

            • … just how hardheaded voters and criminals are.

              A friend of mine likes to cite a case in Dallas where a county representative was indicted for, and found guilty of, embezzling funds from the county — from the voters who elected him. After this news came out, those same voters… elected him again in a landslide. Why? Because he was (minority ethnicity), and they were (minority ethnicity), and that’s all that mattered to most of them.

              Racism makes you stupid.

              (I’m not naming the ethnicity involved because I can’t remember it. And it’s irrelevant to the point I’m making, anyway.)

              • Rangel, William Jefferson, and many more …

                • If you have been persuaded the system is corrupt you will quite reasonably decide that you are better off sending your crook to steal for you, as opposed to sending a naif who thinks the system shouldn’t be corrupt.

                  • Sometimes I think its even more primitive tribalism as the bulk of the electorate in question isn’t getting anything stolen for them.

                    • Agreed — some are satisfied to see those they dislike robbed even if they derive no direct benefit from that robbery.

                      An old Russian joke tells the story of a peasant with one cow who hates his neighbor because he has two. A sorcerer offers to grant the envious farmer a single wish. “Kill one of my neighbor’s cows!” he demands.
                      http://reason.com/archives/2002/06/19/burn-the-rich

        • There is indeed a hereditary caste, one made up of the right people who attended the right schools and know to say the right things with the right accents. Others need not apply.

          You can see evidence of this in many corners of the country, in snide comments about Sarah Palin’s accent, about Rush Limbaugh’s abrasiveness, about Ronald Reagan’s ignorance (trees a major source of volatile organic pollutants, indeed!) The evidence is there in the reflexive dismissal of any challenge to conventional wisdom and in the ready denial of credibility toward anyone not meeting their social norms. “Not one of us” is a phrase with a long history in this world and it is increasingly established in America, where a prominent “conservative” political observor can determine a candidate’s fitness for the presidency by naught more than a glance at his perfectly creased pants leg.

          None of which means we peasants have to buy into it, not yet, at any rate. Remember that Andrew Jackson was dismissed as a back-country populist, Abraham Lincoln as a backwoods lawyer and Harry Truman as a back-bench machined tool.

          • William O. B'Livion

            “trees a major source of volatile organic pollutants, indeed!”

            They are.

            During the Reagan years (or slightly before) the idiots in congress passed a law that mandated state and local governments reduce aromatic hydrocarbons by x%. This was to target stuff like dry cleaning fluid, solvents in paint and other VOCs

            You know that fresh clean pine scent? Yeah. It’s an Aromatic Hydrocarbon. So according to the EPA (at the time) yes, trees DO pollute[1]. And there are (still) more trees than cars in this country.

            Mississippi and Louisiana had a fairly serious issue on their hands–they had LOTS of AHs in the air, and no reasonable way to reduce them because “cutting down all the trees”.

            And there’s this http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/25/those-dirty-trees-why-hasnt-the-epa-called-for-trees-to-be-regulated/

            [1] See also CO2 is pollution.

            • You know it, I knew it, Reagan knew it, anybody who’d ever left their car parked under a ginko tree when they’re dropping fruit knew it. But the narrative, the conventional wisdom, called for Reagan to be laughed at, so people who never park their own cars anyway believed trees don’t pollute … because they are so naaaaaatural.

      • again it is a matter of appearing to be the case, and far too many acting as if that is the case. But while we have a large number of “Old Money” in both politics and outside it in business, it is not really impossible to crack into either area. We need work on cracking this line of thought, and for even those I might mostly agree with to stop thinking such is the case as it leads to accepting it as “Just the norm”. How about we make it no longer ‘the norm’.

  9. 1. Sarah, had I known all this was going on with you, I would have been milder yesterday about the latest WordPress malfunction. Sorry.

    2. You put your finger on it: it’s not just that kook lefties don’t want to be free, it’s that they insist that no one should be free. Some kind of deep instinctual dynamic is operating which is imperfectly understood.

    3. Revulsion from liberty is becoming more explicit. If you’re out of caffeine or your blood pressure is too low, google ‘people have too many choices’. Che sweatshirts have always been around, but recently somebody mentioned seeing a Stalin sweatshirt.

    4. The malady is systemic and has spread to virtually all parts of the body politic. (This opinion may differ from most people’s here.) Given their way, both major parties would wreck the country; afaic that is more important than the fact they would head for the cliff edge at different speeds.

    • GS — wordpress burns my cookies, too. But there’s a lot of steps involved in moving, and some of them require me, which means it will be slow. I apologize for the delay, but it’s inevitable.

    • “people have too many choices”

      Wow! I’m not sure what’s wrong with nothing at all. It just means you didn’t need it in the first place. We are so twisted. Sigh!

    • Precisely.

      If “live and let live” were still a common concept, or even if it’s .. pithy alternative .. “more than one way to skin a cat” were still in common usage, we wouldn’t have this problem with the lefties.

      They’d do their thing, we’d do ours, and .. while they’d be economically deprived, we’d all get along.

      It is their insistence that we *must* skin cats according to *their* best practice that is the problem.

      Mew

      • Of course their problem with that is everyone would see how unworkable their method of skinning cats is and would stop doing it, and if nobody’s doing it their way they aren’t thought leaders, they’re loonies.

    • Neither of the two major political parties represent the “middle class”, or work to protect and expand it. They also don’t care much for promoting personal responsibility or individual liberty. That’s why I’d dearly love to see the TEA Party break away from the Rethuglycons, with perhaps Sarah Palin as its chairman. Heads all over the Northeast would explode, which would be worth it in and of itself, but it would also show how deeply bought and paid for both political parties are. It’s either that or secession, and I haven’t perfected any kind of offensive weapon that would stop the military in its tracks, literally. When I do, however, …

  10. “They think that because they believe in the myth of the “superior man” who will take care of them.”

    There is a title for that man. It is “free man”. In german that translates to “fueher”. That myth was at the heart of the Third Reich’s political philosophy.

    At this point I don’t care that I just proved Godwin’s law again. I am too coldy angry to care.

  11. This is why some days I have to walk away from knowledge of the world and do something else. Muscle clenching anger with no outlet stresses the system.

    It’s not even that they think we have ‘too many liberties.’ Though I think that’s a stupefyingly wrong thought. A concept proven wrong in every particular over too many systems to enumerate. And as many have noted above, never assumed to apply to the enlightened. That makes me seethe in rage, yes, but it’s not the worst.

    No, what crushes my head in the vise: I don’t believe they make that statement with a legitimate understanding of either liberty or rights. Their assumptions are wrong from first principles, their understanding of terminology is incorrect and their derived solutions are essentially flawed as a result. And they blithely blather on, regardless.

    With or without the man on the horse, they do believe that the correct externally applied pressure can perfect humanity. Align the paths to true human greatness. Blah and blech. Without ever letting the reality of 314 million people with 314 million different notions of the path they should follow intrude upon their delicate construct.

    That pushes wrath through the red curtain into despair. If our base understanding of humanity and the functioning of individuals is so irreconcilable how can we possibly come to terms with a working system?

    Short of the judicious application of tableware, anyway.

  12. A few things:

    After more than a decade of riding a register and dealing with the public, I developed something I call The Rules of Retail.
    1. People are stupid.
    1.a. Because people are stupid, they do not read.
    2. People are cheap
    2.a. Because people are both stupid and cheap they will
    buy stuff they don’t need if it’s a deal.
    3. People are always in a hurry.
    3.a. These three rules combined mean that people don’t
    know what they want, they don’t want to pay for it, and
    they want it now.

    But the ‘People are Stupid’ rule is the most important. You’re never going to fix most people, especially when they don’t want to be fixed. It’s also important to remember that it applies to you as well. The only thing that makes me different is that I admit I have a problem. I have a sponsor, go to the meetings, …ect.
    “Hello everyone. My name is Chad and I’m a moron.”
    “Hi Chad”
    “Yesterday I put the milk in the pantry, lost my car keys twice, and forgot my wife’s birthday.”

    The other important thing to remember is there have been two pernicious ideas that have been around since the French Revolution, and it’s unlikely they will ever go away.

    The first is the idea of the short, victorious war. Hitler didn’t learn from Napoleon with regards to Russia, and we didn’t learn from the Soviets with regards to Afghanistan. This mistake will be made again and again. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does stutter.

    The second seductive destructive concept that will not go away is the idea that all would be better if we just had the right, smart, scientific people in charge and give them the power to run things. All things. This is because people know ( or suspect) that Rules of Retail number 1 is true.

    “God, but there’s a lot of stupid people! There’s got to be a smarter way to do this. I know, let’s put experts in charge.”

    • … the idea of the short, victorious war.

      *cough* It is easily achieved if you are willing to do what is necessary. But these days genocide has acquired an unsavory reputation. Short of that, war is a tedious exercise which few can be troubled to do properly.

      Television, movies, books and radio dramas have conditioned us to think that all major problems can be resolved within the frame of the entertainment vehicle. And yet, soap operas, the most durable of dramatic forms, typically take years to resolve the most mundane issues.

      My main complaint about news coverage after the toppling of Saddam was that it completely failed even to address the historical perspective necessary to assess events. We should have been receiving news about the amount of time, for example, required to develop a modern military — how long does it take to develop a senior NCO corps, what is the time frame to train up an officer corps to the required level, and so on. Heck, our journalists couldn’t even be bothered to discuss historical antecedents of the time required to fully pacify a conquered nation. It is no surprise that a public so ill-informed lost patience with the “adventure.”

      • The problem with the Short Victorious War trap is usually political and leadership incompetence, not the the fault of the military asked to fight it.

      • Relatedly, surviving to adulthood, and then surviving adulthood, used to require quick wits, ability to learn, ability to remain calm in dangerous situations, and to get along with dangerous people.

        Consider just the history of the automobile. In the early days, it took quite a lot of skill and talent just to keep the things running. Later, it took skill to navigate streets and roads built for horses and foot traffic.

        Today? We’ve made driving so boring people can (and do) multi-task *while driving*.

        Life *should* have challenges. Life *should not* be safe. Safety is an *illusion*.

        Mew

      • William O. B'Livion

        *cough* It is easily achieved if you are willing to do what is necessary. But these days genocide has acquired an unsavory reputation. Short of that, war is a tedious exercise which few can be troubled to do properly.

        We had a short war in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

        It was the peace that (literally) killed us.

        BTW, Iraq wants us back in country in force.

      • It is easily achieved if you are willing to do what is necessary.

        only under the right circumstances. Japan was willing to do whatever was necessary, but from their military history, they had learned about critical battles. Both China and the United States knew that if you had enough space, there was no such thing as a critical battle.

    • I worked at Barnes and Noble for a number of years. People are stupid is an understatement. I don’t know how some of those people actually managed to get out of their homes, into the car and to the store without killing themselves or others.

    • My theory is that people no longer learn they are stupid in the group hug, pc schools and so, they never learn to keep their mouths shut so as not to prove it to the world. There’s a whole lot of squawkin’ goin’ on.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      “Yesterday I put the milk in the pantry, lost my car keys twice, and forgot my wife’s birthday.”

      I don’t put the milk in the pantry. I put the cereal in the refrigerator.

    • The first is the idea of the short, victorious war. […] and we didn’t learn from the Soviets with regards to Afghanistan.

      Immediately after 9/11, I’d argue that the prevailing mood in the US would have accepted turning the top 4 inches of Afghanistan into green glass. That war would have been quite short (what, 20 minutes or so for the first strike, then a couple days for mapping and restrikes to cover any misses) and undoubtedly victorious.

      No doubt certain segments of American society would still be in full wailing protest over that particular flavor of short victorious war, but really, any response other than the one recently applied to Benghazi has proven to not be acceptable to that segment.

      • William O. B'Livion

        Immediately after 9/11, I’d argue that the prevailing mood in the US would have accepted turning the top 4 inches of Afghanistan into green glass. That war would have been quite short (what, 20 minutes or so for the first strike, then a couple days for mapping and restrikes to cover any misses) and undoubtedly victorious.

        The amount of nuclear weapons necessary to pacify a country the size and geography of Afghanistan would put serious amounts of radioactive material into the air. This would raise the background radiation level significantly and would increase the amount of nasty stuff in the food chain.

        It’s a really, *really* bad idea even beyond extinguishing the innocent along with the evil.

    • The first is the idea of the short, victorious war. Hitler didn’t learn from Napoleon with regards to Russia, and we didn’t learn from the Soviets with regards to Afghanistan.

      Nor did we learn from Vietnam that a defeated enemy could hang on by the skin of their teeth until US public opinion (manipulated to the utmost by the Left) turned against the war.

      That particular failure to learn was noteworthy given that the Commander-in-Chief on 9/11 was a Vietnam-era veteran. The Mission Accomplished photo op gave me an uneasy feeling which subsequent developments confirmed.

      • Argh! That banner was never meant to reference the war as a whole! It was a congratulations to the crew of that vessel, who had just completed their tour (terminology may be incorrect, IANAS) and IIRC done an exemplary job. The media seized the image, attached a broader meaning to it, and proceeded to bludgeon Dubya with it forever after.

        Hey, where’d this soapbox come from? *steps down*

      • You really need to quit accepting the MSM’s views of GWB.

      • Roamin’ friends and countrymen,

        1. I’m wondering which of these interpretations you consider more accurate:

        a. Bush did not know how copiloting a jet onto a carrier and walking uniformed under a Mission Accomplished sign would be received by the nation, and nobody cautioned him. I reply that managing the politics of a war is as important to a war leader’s success as picking the right grand strategy and military leaders is.

        b. Bush really wanted to believe, and surrounded himself with people who would not disabuse him, that the military victory over Saddam would bring the peoples of the Middle East to, as it were, strew roses at the USA and Bush the Liberator. Please see my reply to (a). (My link is to Bush’s Second Inaugural Address. I still cannot believe that someone who experienced the Vietnam era would say some of the stuff in that speech.)

        2. That said, I give Bush credit for the Surge, which was an authentically gutsy damage-control decision afaic. Otoh, I have the suspicion that his deficit spending was intended in part to buy votes for his Mideast policy.

        3. In a sense, Obama is the best thing that could have happened to Bush’s reputation.

        4. Which doesn’t change my view that the American ruling class is dysfunctional across the political spectrum: dysfunctional, that is wrt the national welfare, not wrt the feathers in their nests..

  13. I said “Absolutely. And I can correct you anyway I want.”

    Had I heard this, I probably would’ve stood up on my chair and clapped.

  14. Good manners and all that.

    Judging from their choice of topic, they have NO CLUE what good manners are– because, as Cyn and I have agreed previously, anything they agree with isn’t political, let alone contentious. This somehow includes the “Brave” stands they take.

    They hide behind manners while violating them– see also, spitting on soldiers they know won’t even retaliate.

    • Every elementary school playground in the world has seen the type: the girl who doesn’t hesitate to slug a boy (usually when he isn’t looking) and, as he turns to retaliate, smugly declares “you can’t hit me, I’m a girrrl.

      Just so* with Progs, who declare their disagreement with us to be speaking truth to power but our rebuttals are rude, disruptive, divisive and verboten.

      It isn’t actually le standard double — the actual standard they apply is that they get to do what they want while we get to let them do what they want. Such is the burden borne by the enlightened** in this world of ours.

      *just so it is clear, Yes I did in fact just compare Progs to pissy little schoolgirls, which is undoubtedly an insult to pissy little school girls.

      **enlightened, in this usage, is synonymous with “full of themselves.”

      • Indeed, I was a pissy little school girl, but of the sort that tried to physically attack the bullies that targeted her, rather than the one that considered powers outside of her control might intervene. (They did. On the many years older, male bully’s side. Thankfully, my mom is an even greater power. In a downer ending, he got killed in a bar fight about a decade and a half later… as the bouncer.)

    • Don’t be so sure, Foxfier. Many of my fellow airmen have had enough. We’ve taken all the cr$$ we can stand. The first time we’re pushed HARD is going to be the last time someone pushes ANYBODY.

      The thing is, 90% of the population of most areas are ok. It’s that last ten percent that cause all the problems, at both ends of the spectrum. Unfortunately, we’ve been FORBIDDEN by society and our government to correct those that abuse the system, stir up trouble, or act rude and insulting. THAT is what’s going to bite us — and is. We see it in the behavior of young people today who think they can do anything they want — INCLUDING KILLING PEOPLE — without any consequences. When consequences are applied, they whine that they’re being mistreated or discriminated against.

      Heinlein said stupidity was a capital crime. I personally feel it’s more like a terminal illness — give it half a chance and it WILL kill you.

  15. Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
    Lazarus Long
    I would only add “be controlled and to control others” to this statement. And Sarah, I fully agree with the middle finger and shown the road approach, but the annoying bastiches just don’t seem to be getting the message.
    It may not be much consolation, but it’s been my experience that folks who make loud political statements in public eateries will sooner or later be served a bowl of soup that the kitchen staff has spit in. Never ever, a thousand times not, p!ss off your waitstaff.

    • You know, in all the years I waited tables in college I never, ever spit in anyone’s food- no matter how much I wanted to. It’s like loudly proclaiming ones politics in public; it’s indecent and wrong. But I know there are people who do that. Liberals probably…. 😉

    • William O. B'Livion

      I know this is heresy here, but RAH was wrong about that.

      90 to 95 percent of the population is *perfectly* find with strong controls, with greatly reduced liberty.

      The peasants and their would be lords are merely arguing over who controls what.

      The overwhelming majority of Conservatives oppose drug (not just pot, but most/all recreational drugs) legalization, are opposed to decriminalizing or legalizing prostitution, are perfectly fine with zoning ordinances, are only in favor of home schooling because they want kids out from under the progressive ideology of the teachers unions. The same conservatives who are dead set against the individual mandate (Obamacare) didn’t raise a fuss over DOMA, NCLB, etc. etc. Conservatives generally aren’t really concerned with free speech unless it’s their speech–the speech codes of the 1940s and 1950s stood in the way of the left and were torn down until they were in power.

      I won’t go into the left here–we know what they are after.

      It’s really only us freaks on the fringe who don’t want the state gettin all up in peoples grills about stuff, but we do wish they’d be a little more polite about it.

  16. That could have been half of my friends. The other half would have used less obvious phrasing, but in the end it would probably still be pretty much the same, logically thinking. There are one or two who may not be quite that far, but, frankly, I’m scared to find out so I have never really tried to.

    I’m pretty much doomed to discussing (live, internet is of course something else) just things like cats, painting, car troubles, weather…

    • Okay, there is something I want to add to that: I do believe most of the people who buy the leftist worldview probably are pretty good people. Most of them would probably not really want to restrict the freedom of others – except they would if it’s couched in terms of preventing people from hurting other people since that is so obviously a good thing, how could anybody be against that? (And either that would, of course, never concern them personally, or even if it would it would just be the price one needed to pay for a better world… except it probably would not, all those restrictions are just for the bad people, after all, and who would ever be willing to admit they might be one of those?).

      I don’t know how it is in your country, but here we have all been raised with the images of 19th century children working 12 hour days in factories, and the little match girl dying in the snow, of Dickens’ images of little chimney sweeps, of poor mothers unable to feed their children, of the poor farmer… well, you know the drill. Of the misery of all those less fortunate people who could not defend themselves until they were able to vote in representatives who forced those miserly rich owners to pay good salaries for shorter days, and used some of the taxes collected for building schools for those poor children who then could get better jobs, and so on, and look at us now, nobody starves, everybody has shoes, anybody can try for higher education, things got so much better, didn’t they, after the government started to make sure the gains became more evenly distributed? So anybody who talks about something like giving more freedom to employers is a fool, since that would, obviously, mean a return to those evil 19th century robber barons. They of course need restrictions. Too many would turn bad out of greed if they weren’t restricted by laws.

      Very pat, that story, isn’t it?

      Sounding very nice, and understanding too, can be a good weapon too, and that is something the left _is_ very good with (well, used with those who might vote for them, anyway). In comparison both the libertarians and conservatives can often sound rather… uncaring, really, especially if you have gotten used to the language used by the other side.

      And then there is the slow boil part. Even if you admit that the ultimate end result would be bad right now the water mostly just feels comfortably warm so why worry? And surely a little bit more is not dangerous, we are nowhere close to the boiling point yet, right?

      Most of us in this side of the Atlantic are so ‘comfortably’ cocooned in that worldview that I don’t really believe things here can change unless they get very obviously bad and that happens fast, otherwise it probably will just continue with that damn slow boil. But you may have some hope over there. One hopes, anyway.

      • Sounding very nice, and understanding too, can be a good weapon too …

        Some libertarians and/or conservatives are learning how to use this technique as well. To illustrate, I offer http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/08/21/obamacare-is-really-really-bad-for-you-especially-if-youre-young/ where Rituparna Basu uses a hypothetical 25-year-old named Brian to illustrate the concept of opportunity costs: Brian wants to start his own business, but because he’s forced to spend lots of money on health insurance he doesn’t need, his opportunity to start his own business is taken away from him.

        • Good. Knowing the people I know there is no chance to make the people who vote like that to listen to just facts and figures and reason, you need to engage their feelings. Of course you can never reach all, especially of those who have been raised on the leftists ideals, most of us prefer to stay with the teams we have gotten used to thinking as ours, but changing the language to something they are comfortable with has to help at least with some.

          • Perhaps one of the most obscene traits of the liberal progressive crowd is their ability to rationalize and justify the most incredibly cruel and damaging acts with the explanation that no matter the outcome their intentions were good, they meant well.
            The classic example is the idiot who will drag a crash victim from a vehicle without proper neck support because they know from TV and the movies that all crashed autos will burst into flame and explode within moments. How many folks have been permanently paralyzed by this bit of foolishness?
            Sadly, human nature seems inclined when faced with a situation to “we must do something right now” when the more prudent and effective attitude is ” first do no harm.”

            • Forgive me if I’m over analyzing here, but it seems like you’re conflating two concepts and assuming a degree of damage not in evidence.

              I do agree about the obscene trait, and the justifications. However, I think what makes it obscene is it’s usually justifying atrocious things for the greater good. Or infantilizing whole communities/populations for their own good. It’s obscene because they’re aware of the negatives but dismiss them because their larger intent is more important/pure/good.

              Your classic example does not necessarily embody idiocy (yeah, if they really expect the car to explode any second, sure…), more, it embodies a willingness to risk self to aid the other. And THAT idea should be encouraged, educated certainly, but encouraged.

              Knowing what I do about the spinal stabilization protocols and some of the incident statistics…if a reasonable person believed it was better to pull me from the accident than leave me in the path of perceived danger, I’d hope they’d be tugging my assets across the pavement.

              As you say, human nature does incline us to ‘we must do something right now.’ And we should fight that impulse tirelessly whenever it comes to governance. However, that impulse comes from the evolutionary need to intuitively assemble disparate information into a probability and act, frequently when standing around assessing the details got you invited to lunch

            • When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles scream and shout!
              Hate that. Always carry earplugs

      • Child labor had already just about ended — owing to rising prosperity — when the laws came along against it. And lo and behold, the places where children were still working (like Hollywood) were exempted.

        • As said: pat story. Who cares to start checking for actual facts and details when it all seems to hang together so beautifully.

          Besides, the teacher told you that, in school, and of course they know. Something about that may even have been in test once, and who ever doubts the answers to the test questions? Especially if you aced that test back then.

          You seem to have things slightly better in your country, there are even authority figures (guys with degrees, that is) who disagree with the official version, but here there really don’t seem to be any obviously visible cracks in the story. You can find some if you dig, but most times you have to be proactive yourself.

  17. In the Twilight Zone episode, “The Mind and the Matter,” Archibald Beechcroft read a book on how to use his mind over matter. He doesn’t like people, their noise and closeness. First using his mind, he got rid of all of the people. When he became lonely he returned everyone as likenesses of himself. Now everyone was as complaining and anti-social as he was. He returns things to as they were.

    Now leftist would certainly wish all conservatives away then whom would they blame? In the Chinese film, “The Blue Kite,” a factory meeting is held where Mao says 1 in 10 of every organization is a “rightist.” A man goes to the restroom and when he returns, he is selected as the 1.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAFOEk-IbLI @ 34:36 – 36:14

    A scapegoat will always be sought and probably found, whether too much liberty, not enough regulation, not enough taxes, not enough support, too much dissent, racism…

  18. I admire your self-restraint. That “too many liberties” idiocy would have had me going through the partition in full Gunny Hartman mode.

    It’s enough to make you want to carve swastikas in their foreheads so we can identify them at a distance. Part of me is saying it is a bad idea to model behavior on Tarantino movies, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out why.

  19. Carl Henderson

    Sarah Hoyt wrote “little Satanists for Stalin”. That’s terribly unfair of you to compare honest Satanists to supporters of Stalin!

  20. My wife will be happy to learn that you didn’t see through our disguises at breakfast.

    • They looked nothing like you. And you’d know better…

      • Shhhh, you will ruin my reputation.

      • My wife says that in fact – you are in error – I don’t know better.

      • I think she’s thinking of the time we were in a café in Boulder and we were discussing vaccine nutjobs like Jenny McCarthy and the fraudulent Lancet piece by Wakefield when a pair of twits at a neighboring table decided to tell me how wrong I was. Soon I was taking on them, two waitresses and the cook.

        • oh, if the idiots hadn’t backed down, that’s what I was going to do, too. LOUDLY. I’d now probably be back home, having been thrown out. You should have seen me in the audience at Shakespeare in Love.

          • Decorum is my middle name.

          • I’ve been thinking about this for a bit, and I’ve got the perfect solution — start quoting Shakespeare, beginning with the line “First, we kill all the lawyers…”. Have Robert or Marshall answer back from “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long”. I’m sure both know some of the passages by heart — if not, carry the book with you. If that doesn’t work, have Dan start talking about the 82nd (Airborne infantry division) alumni association meeting that you need to go to, and you need to hurry and finish your breakfast. I’m sure by that time at least one of the “gentlemen” would have had a coronary, or at least a severe case of apoplexy.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            I think I’d have talked with Dan a while, then loudly let out, “Can you believe there are actually people so f*&^ing stupid that they claim we have too many liberties?” As if you hadn’t heard them at all, just happened to comment on the same thing, but opposite.

        • “in Boulder and we were discussing vaccine nutjobs…”

          Well, there you are right there. Boulder is one of those privileged communities that has bought into the vaccine scare in a big way. (Other locations are San Diego, Whitby Island, and Ashland… alas. I love the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, but I can no longer count Ashland as a place where I’d like to retire. Unless we actually get a Pandemic like Connie Willis (whose daughter is an epidemiologist) has theorized.)

          There is almost nothing guaranteed to push my buttons more than anti-vaxx sentiment. I occasionally follow one of the links some of the anti-vaxx types post, and I’ve come across such gems as the idea that these diseases declined naturally, at the same time as these scary, scary vaccines.

          SCIENCE. TRY USING IT.

          • We got a million Boulder stories.

          • When I was a kid and your parents talked about not getting you vaccinated you were treated like your family wandered the streets ranting incoherently about Purity of Essence and Fluoridation and the anti-Christ. Granted, my older sibs had classmates who had polio, so that put an edge on the whole thing. However, there are parents today who are having their parental rights suspended and being prosecuted for child abuse for suspending treatments like Chemo and such for their kids on religious basis. How is not getting your child vaccinated for DPT because it might infect them with Autism different? You aren’t religious?

            • Cutting off your kid’s chemo doesn’t entail public health consequences, either.

              • Termination of parental rights is a serious issue, and is generally done because the conditions in the family are so dangerous as to be certainly damaging to the child, usually because of drug use or inability to keep the child from abuse of one sort or another.
                I cannot understand a system of thought that embraces late term abortion and assisted suicide, makes it nearly impossible to get a child out of a potentially dangerous or fatal living condition until serious harm has been done, embraces the idea that drug abuse is just a sympton of economic or social discrimination, fears to innoculate their children against common lethal childhood diseases, and hammers flat families that believe more in the benefit of prayer and faith in God than materia medica.

                • “Termination of parental rights is a serious issue, and is generally done because the conditions in the family are so dangerous as to be certainly damaging to the child”

                  We were threatened with having our children taken from us by child welfare. Our crime? My wife driving me to work an hour after child welfare failed to show up for their appointment with us.

                  They wanted to examine our children for signs of sexual abuse because someone told them my wife was literally a witch, and that as part of the witchcraft was sexually abusing our children.

                  After getting that threat, I recorded every phone call and meeting we had with them so I would have evidence if we wound up in court. Fortunately they backed down. That experience left us with lets say a less than respectful attitude towards the “child welfare” bureaucrats.

                  • Actually, if you are dealing with anyone from an enforcement or regulatory agency it is important to take names, notes, times, dates, and to get everything in writing from them. The phrase, “can you send me this in writing so I have a permanent copy,” is a good thing to say. Any correspondence you get from them will be evidence in any proceedings and they have to type it up in reports anyways. And it may keep them honest and on their toes.

                    • An excellent point! It gives me an idea too. I think I will start demanding of any functionary I run across, “Show me your papers!”
                      And if two people do it, two people shouting, “Show me your papers!”
                      …and can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day shouting, “Show me your papers!”, and they may think it’s a movement.
                      And friends that’s what it is! 🙂

                    • mobiuswolf

                      Reminds me of the time I was playing that at full level through the church PA when my church organist mother came in. She was NOT amused :>)

                    • Why, she was no fun at all.

        • “we were in a café in Boulder”

          I just got back from a PowerLine meetup in Boulder, and yes it was great to to sit around in the Biergarten with a bunch of great conservative / libertarian folk in Boulder. Steven Haywood organized this. He is starting on the faculty of CU Boulder as one of the 40 political science professors. He related how thrilled the head of the department was when he offered to teach the class on the Constitution. None of the other professors will teach it, and they usually try to get a grad student to teach.

          Steven will also be teaching a class on free market environmentalism. That should cause some heads to spin.

          One young lady (unfortunately I did not get her name) writes mysteries and is published by one of the NYC firms. When I asked her if she keeps her political views hidden, she said that if they knew she would never get published. She also said that Sarah and Larry Correia are two of her heroes. When I mentioned Baen she just sighed :>)

          So don’t give up. Even in the darkness there are lights.

  21. Laws, sister! Preach!!!

    I know all about the job situation. My husband and I are both painfully unemployed. We both have college degrees, and no one will hire us because they don’t want to pay a living wage. I’m watching companies downsize and cut hours to avoid having to pay for health insurance Obama style. My better half does magic over people’s finances with his mad accounting skills and the best he can get salary wise is like 28,000 per year IF he can actually land the job.

    I’m not generally a berserker. It requires more energy than this introvert likes to spend on stupidity. But that might have done the trick.

    • Try contract work. Not the best way to go, but companies will often use an independent because there’s no FICA, no health insurance, pension, employee savings account w/matching, sick pay, paid vacations, etc. Business dries up? You’re gone. No separation, no lawsuits. Just pay the invoice once a month.

      Calculate an hourly or daily rate–whatever works for your field–that minus what you pay for double FICA, medical insurance, brings in more than you earned before. $28K! Go for at least $50/hr.

      • Thanks, Pam. I do some freelance writing – guaranteed to not make your purse too heavy. Sometimes it’s good, the past month is has been nothing. It should pick up again in October, but in the meanwhile….

      • “Try contract work.”

        Since I was laid off last year, I have been slowly building up my consulting business. The startup was painfully slow. My first client took 6 months to pay. Since then things have been more like 4 to 6 weeks.

        “Calculate an hourly or daily rate–whatever works for your field–that minus what you pay for double FICA, medical insurance, brings in more than you earned before.”

        I have that part down pat. The only problem has been finding folk who need my level of expertise. They are out there, but I wish there were more of them.

        I am also writing in my technical field for a major publisher. My actual pay probably does not make minimum wage. However I made sure to get a better contract this time that gives me much more rights. I am considering how the indy publishing idea might work in my field.

  22. Yes– I have heard folks talking that way when we were out to eat. I just say loudly to the hubby that there are a lot of stupid people in the world. They glare and I glare back. I was taught a good brush off from a Panamanian lady (she was a class act) who came from some of the upper class of her society. I have used it there and I am using it here… It kind of stuns certain Americans who think they KNOW best.

    • Birthday girl

      Is that something you can teach us? Would love to know …

      • First you need to look down at her… (usually women are the rude ones btw). You don’t have to be taller… just more attitude. Sometimes the eyebrows and the eyes say: are you stupid? Then you take your left hand and brush your right shoulder while giving her a freezing look. 😉 No need to use middle fingers (although I use those too when driving lol)

        It does help that I automatically do it now when I am treated disrespectfully. Just a warning: it doesn’t work on druggies… the other person needs to be slightly sane.

  23. Ok….. but did you like the omlette?

    Ralph

  24. All of those things wrong with the economy make me ask:
    What *should* the government have done to improve the economy?
    Which branch of the government should have done it?
    Why didn’t that branch do it?

    Just saying it is bad is insufficient. Assigning blame without proposing alternative(s) is insufficient.

    • Howard, creating a massive mandate on employers with idiotic incentives was predictably stupid. That has plainly suppressed much of economic recovery. The corrupt porkbarrel spending misleadingly called “stimulus” has also distorted our economy if it didn’t actively cost jobs as at least one study suggested.

    • Sorry, Howard, but you need to refine your questions significantly. Nobody here has time to give you the equivalent of three years college economics just so you can pick the answers apart by focusing on awkwardly phrased explanations of complex interdynamics. If you actually want to understand the source and solutions to the economic problems we’re experiencing I have three suggestion: read Thomas Sowell, read Walter Williams, read John Ransom. If reading is too hard for you, I suggest you go out and play elsewhere.

      I believe there is a large highway near you.

      • If those are beyond you read Eat The Rich by PJ O’Rourke.

      • I would include Bastiat in there.

      • You forgot Hayek. (Friedrich, not Salma). Never forget Hayek.

        • No, I forgot neither Hayek nor Bastiat, nor many another writer on the dismal science. I chose writers whose works are abundantly available online in easily digested dosages, who have demonstrated a talent for explaining economics with such clarity as to place before mankind the common sense of the matter in terms so plain and simple as to command their assent.

          The fact that Sowell and Williams are melanin blessed simply denies disputants the ability to call them racist (not that such critics let that stoop them) while John Ransom’s columns at TownHall have proven his ability to suffer fools, if not gladly at least entertainingly.

          • … writers whose works are abundantly available online in easily digested dosages …

            Good point. Hayek, Bastiat, et al are tough enough to chew on that I have to admit to not having really started on them yet. I forgot who your advice was aimed at: someone who demonstrably needs the beginners’ course and doesn’t yet have the capacity to digest the tough stuff. It was not my intention to insult you by implying that your memory was faulty, and I appear to have done so. My apologies.

            • Pshaw — no insult perceived, non taken. I expected it was a simple case of wanting to suggest additional reading (all lists are incomplete or too long to be useful) and over-looking the target for the recommendations (not that I harbor any illusion that Howie will sully his mind with additional knowledge (he reads Krugman under the impression that being in the NYT and winning a Nobel indicate some sort of guaranty of competence.)

    • A few minor questions, Howard: Why do you believe the government *should* have done anything to improve the economy? Why do you think the government *could* do anything to improve the economy?

      Just saying there is a problem is insufficient. Saying the government should fix a problem without specifying what steps it should take and how those would have addressed the problem is insufficient.

      • The only thing government can to do “improve” the economy is to stop doing things that make it worse.

        • During the run up to the first massive bailout (TARP? I forget, but GWB was still the office holder) I was known to say after hearing the rant “We got to DO Something!” my reply was “Sometimes doing nothing is what needs to be done” OR the parable of a fuel truck with a very minor leak from a slightly loose fitting, instead of just tightening the flange those folks were demanding a blow torch in an attempt at welding it shut and then trying it from inside the tank … what could go wrong? We Gotta Do Thomethin!

      • What branch? Executive.
        What action? Take a directory of all Federal employees, fire 25%.
        Done.

        Mew

    • Oh, I have an alternative. DON’T REGULATE THE ECONOMY TO DEATH. Which department? All of them.

    • Howard. Howard. Howard.

      The government should get out of the way– so that businessmen and businesswomen can build businesses and make new products… the economy will grow because of individuals and not because the “gov-mint” did anything. The first thing the gov-mint should do is “lower taxes.” It is a good start.

    • The government is a consumer of wealth — it produces *nothing*. As others have said, we need fewer regulations, lower taxes. The whole meme of “how much do we need to raise taxes” to pay for whatever — is a sick joke, A market is the best way to allocate finite resources, A *free* market.

    • What *should* the government have done to improve the economy?

      Nothing. Next question, please.

      About the only thing a government can do to improve the economy is make sure everyone’s playing by the rules: enforce contracts, make sure no monopolies get created, etc. And even that last point is dangerous, because bureaucracies have a natural tendency to want to grow and so the definition of “monopoly” will grow ever larger until it includes “any business large enough for us to tax into oblivion”, no matter how many viable competitors that business actually has. Which is how you end up with bureaucrats in the position to squelch a merger between two major cell phone operators on antitrust grounds, despite the existence of two other major competitors in the same market plus dozens of minor competitors.

      Would that merger have ultimately been good, or bad, for customers? I don’t know — there are way too many factors for me to know. And the same applies to the Federal Communications Commission. They cannot have known the outcome; it’s too complex for anyone to know. (Google “the knowledge problem” some time.) In the absence of knowledge, they should have held off and let the market decide. If a post-merger AT&T hiked prices as the FCC said it might, customers would have started leaving in droves to Verizon or Sprint, or one of the smaller cell phone companies. But doing nothing is not something bureaucrats are naturally inclined to, because doing “something” looks better on their end-of-quarter reports.

      There are lots of other examples: bailing out the banks in 2008 was a major mistake, too. It rewarded bad behavior (giving out loans to people who you know can’t afford to repay them). But if the banks who’d done that had been allowed to fail, the news might have come out that those banks hadn’t been given any choice in the matter of giving out bad-risk loans (google “Community Reinvestment Act”), and that might have been bad for the politicians’ careers. So to cover up their mistake, they killed the economy.

      Government intervention in the economy started this whole mess, and now people are calling for more of it? They’re either fools who don’t understand economics, or wannabe tyrants who do understand economics but think they can put themselves on top of the heap by squelching their competition. Large businesses, for example, always end up supporting government regulations in their field of business — regulations which, it just so happens, they can afford to spend millions of dollars to comply with, but their most dangerous competitors, the small businesses who can turn on a dime much faster than the large ones, can’t afford to comply with. Result: competitors put out of business, large business can continue to be inefficient, everyone wins! Except consumers, but who cares about them?!? Not the politicians, demonstrably.

      I’d better stop now, or I’ll be at this all day. I have better things to do today than raise my own blood pressure like this.

      • Aaaaand that merger being unapproved by the Justice Department after they approved it was why a lot of folks, including me, got downsized by AT&T. Because the merger contract came with a penalty clause that made AT&T pay Verizon big cash, and the big cash had to come from somewhere. Like totally unrelated divisions of AT&T. Our part of the company downsized by 10% of the employees, so it wasn’t even just me, but many of the other co-workers I knew and loved.

        Ooh, thank you, DOJ. Please may I have another?

        • Verizon got a huge $ penalty for the deal’s collapse??? Any idea where Verizon’s political donations go?

        • Verizon, or T-Mobile? The Wikipedia article mentioned AT&T paying T-Mobile (or rather, Deutsche Telekom, the owners of T-Mobile) a huge chunk of cash after the deal fell through, but said nothing about Verizon. I’m assuming you misspoke mistyped and meant T-Mobile, but I’m not willing to rule out the possibility of Wikipedia being wrong — I mean, this is Wikipedia we’re talking about, there’s a history of it being wrong before.

    • A short list?

      Drop the IRS, institute something simpler.
      Let the states run education again, lose the federal Dept. of Education.
      Put politicians in the same basket as every other citizen, health care wise.
      Get rid of the NSA.
      Repeal Obamacare.
      Let businesses fail.
      Stop stimulating failure.
      Start at the level of local government and take a good hard look at what positions are really necessary. Cut as needed. Work UP.
      Enforce the laws on the books. Yes, this *will* help the economy.
      Look for ways to encourage small business. Specific agencies vary, but all who have a hand in regulations could use a good dose of common sense.
      Stop incentivising joblessness.
      Take a good hard look at what’s left of the budget, and what we expect to take in revenue- those last three words mean “what we take out of the free market economy.” Balance it.

      Better leave it at that, I said a “short” list.

    • First, that’s the wrong place to start. The place to start is with the question “What CAN government do to improve the economy?” The answer to that is VERY complex, but it boils down to the following:
      1. Stop subsidizing anything. If it’s worth doing, it need to pay its own way. If it can’t, then it either should be allowed to fail and get shoved aside, or downsized until it CAN support itself.
      1a. This includes Government. We have at least twice the government we truly NEED. Go back to what the Constitution says is the duty of government, trim the government back to that, and get rid of the excess. Also, quit using very broad brushes to paint everything, so “everything” is subject to government encroachment.
      2. Pare back or eliminate dozens of government departments and offices we really don’t need. There are something like 2900 government agencies. Do we really need all that overhead? I doubt it.
      3. Go back and rewrite every government law and regulation that is intrusive, insensitive, and blatantly unconstitutional. Then cut what you have in half. Anything else is too much.

      Our founding fathers were very wise men. They limited the size and scope of the Federal government because they knew from experience that too much government was the major cause of failure, and that too much government control stifled growth, development, and liberty. They wanted a light hand on the nation, not this leviathan that strangles freedom in its cradle. That may end up being the lesson those in power will be FORCED to re-learn, if they’re not careful.

      • Ah, finally an answer that says something real.

        All of those changes are fighting what politicians from both parties have been doing (they love power), for over a century.

        • As I said before, the government consumes, not produces. The Dept of Energy does not create an erg of energy; the Dept of Education spends money but educates no one. Detroit is an example of a “successful” union town, supported by the Dept of Labor. HUD housing is infamous; no one who has a choice will live there. The EPA wants to limit CO2 emissions, *You* emit carbon dioxide just by breathing, Your activities emit more. A measurable number of “environmentalists” feel that the Earth would be better served if you, me, and everyone else is dead. The Department of the Treasury has routinely spent more money that we take in, It has been reduced to borrowing money to pay our debt. How long would you last if you used one credit card to pay off another? Medicare and Social Security are both insolvent — we have to borrow billions to make the payments; both programs are heavily in the red decades ahead of predictions, Do the math!

          • I’ve been listening to a lecture by Ralph Raico on the roots of Marxist class theory. Where Unka Karl listed his contrasting classes through history, “freeman – slave, Patrician – Plebe, etc – etc” Raico points out that these are principally LEGAL divisions made in the establishment of the social order. Classic liberalism, on the other hand, using a functional definition, sees two classes; those that produce things (food, clothing, services) and those that consume without net productions. The latter type includes government, thieves, and beggars.
            This is mostly an observation of how things are, and there is nothing wrong with this…well, nothing unspeakably wrong…well, it is how the world works today. The problem comes when the consumer class takes more than the producers make, or take more than the producers can afford to lose out of their production if they want to keep producing. In sustainability terms, the takers are taking the producers’ seed corn; or in ecological terms, the conditions are that the primary producers are being required to “eat the forest” in that they are compelled to take more out of their financial and economic ecological system than can be replaced. Either will inevitably lead to systemic crash, or economic desserterification (Depression, long-term malaise, whatever you want to call it.)
            Release the stress on the economic ecology and it will regenerate. Increase the stress and it will collapse.

            • MOOTERS AND LOUCHERS!

            • Desserterification? Is that where you get covered in hot fudge and whipped cream? Doesn’t sound too bad.

              Sorry, you have a good point, but the typo was too much to pass up.

    • William O. B'Livion

      What *should* the government have done to improve the economy?

      GTF out the way and stop trying to pick winners.

  25. forgot to check notify, dang it

  26. I run a website that is nominally a forum for authors to show their work. Over the years, a solid core of us partake of political dialog. Most of my members are older but we do have a few progressives that make for lively discussions,
    But this is and is not about politics. One thing about my site is that it is free, One of the problems that authors who give away their work face is the feeling of “entitlement” of fans. They tell us what to write, when to write and get quite testy when you don’t leap to obey. I thought I was immune to that, but it’s the death of a thousand cuts. And it is why a good many of the writers I know have given up writing (at least that is the explanation).

    You can see the “entitlement” mentality throughout society. It is one of the reasons I expect a *very* rough patch ahead, Like Sarah (and others) I don’t see it as the end of days because civilization doesn’t behave like that, but I can’t see so many members of our society giving up their Obamaphones and free money peacefully. The Soviet Union collapsed with a minimum of blood shed but those were people who had been ground down for generations, suddenly offered more than they had dreamed. I don’t think it will be that easy going in the other direction.

  27. My response to “We have too many liberties here” would be to politely offer to move the person who made the comment to communist/socialist country of his/her choice. Seriously. If they want to live in a country with fewer liberties, there are PLENTY to choose from.

  28. Too many liberties. Makes me wonder, what is it that they’re so afraid of? It sounds to me like they don’t really know what that means. And my grandma always told me you should never throw something away until you know it’s no longer useful. Good advice from somebody who lived through a rather nasty part of the Great Depression.

    Liberties are pretty simple. They cover the many things we do everyday, without constraints or some form of coercion on the things we do. Everybody knows this, right? Except when I hear some folks talking about liberties (rights, freedoms, etc), it sounds more like a speeding truck with no hands on the wheel. Danger! No control! So, in order to bring things back “under control,” they think we’ve got to get rid of some freedoms. That’ll fix things.

    Except it doesn’t. It never has. It’s the myth of perfect control (also used as perfect enforcement) in action- if only we make bad behavior illegal, nobody will do it, ever. It’s a djinn that needs to stay in the damned bottle, no matter the pretty promises he makes. Because perfect control ultimately means death.

    The confusion over what these liberties really mean and what they really are makes it close to impossible to talk to that sort of person about it. Part of why they got so confused, I think, is that they have never experienced what those things we call freedoms really are. Freedom means responsibility, means consequences, means accepting the fact that you’re going to make mistakes. A free life is a difficult one. But it breeds courage and self reliance. A man that’s truly free knows the worth of things, because he’s had to earn them, most of the time. And there’s times he’s failed and had to suffer the consequences through no fault of his own- the universe isn’t fair.

    While it would be nice to say “if you want these controls, then fine. They only apply to you,” that’s not how it ever happens.

    They are afraid of us. To them, we’re the truck with no steering and no brakes. Those liberties, themselves, will incite unto deeds of violence! It is that irrational fear that defeats understanding. No matter how many or how often those things remain harmless, or even bring happiness, safety, and prosperity to most people, the very fact that sometimes those freedoms are abused means they must be destroyed. *shakes head* Rather than summoning a zeal to uphold the laws of the land (the ones we’ve already got!), they fail to see where the responsibility truly stands: In the hands of he that did the deed. Swift justice is the right thing to do, not lets break something before it has a chance to work.

    What we truly have too much of is cumbersome bureaucracy and short-sightedness. ‘Least that’s what this dumb hick from the sticks thinks… *grin*

    • Hill-billy!

      • Ayup. Well, I do own a pair of boots and actually wear them, so I’m not really a good hillbilly. And I don’t smoke or chew. Maybe I gotta turn in my redneck card now? *grin*

        • Nope! My husband doesn’t use tobacco either and he’s a certified redneck from AL. High Tech Redneck that is.

        • You should have at least one pair of boots tween all the cousins, but you aint a hillbilly unless you tell time by the sun and the date by the moon.

          • Dang, I need to get my certification, then. *grin* Telling time by the sun is fairly simple (ya just gotta know where north is and can see the sun), doesn’t everyone know this? Synodic months don’t mean much to me, other than Shiner’s moon, Runner’s moon.

            • 🙂
              There’s a critical difference between “can” and “do” there. I’ve sort of slid off into my Okie roots and feel right at home up here in the hills.

              • *chuckle* how’s this then? I don’t own a watch or a cell phone, and a good part of my job is outside. My truck’s old enough that it never did have a clock in it. How else am I going to tell when lunch is?

                There’s a certain type that’s going to feel right at home where the blacktop ends. Glad you found your place, sir.

                • That would be it! 🙂
                  You too. Keep your powder dry.

                • Old Indian saying: White man crazy, look at clock to see if hungry.

                  • A valid point.

                  • Saw a clip of that from Dr. Quinn– while I happened to be cooking.
                    Growled at whatever Indian Fabio’s character name was:
                    Some of us work hard enough that we wouldn’t notice we were hungry until we were very hungry, and put enough craft into our food that it both takes more than five minutes to make and tastes different if you leave it standing for too long.

                    Seriously, did that character ever DO anything besides walk into an area looking exotic, and eat something besides honey and jerky when he wasn’t at the Qwinn’s?

        • TINS. A friend asked if her family counted as rednecks since her dad was (at the time) a rabbi as well as hardware store clerk, and they make fried chicken and fish using crumbled matzo or toasted challah for the breading. Since we were sitting on the porch drinking sweet tea and discussing sweet-potato latkes, I think they count. 🙂

          • I’m pretty sure it’s non-denominational. 😉

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Sweet-potato latkes? Sorry, I can’t… wait. I guess that’s actually more traditional*, isn’t it?

            * Not that I know any significant amount about Jewish traditions, but I do know that Yams were Old World food, while the Potato is New World.

  29. I heard the words “They can’t expect Obama to fix everything with one measure. I mean, things were so bad it doesn’t have a quick solution,”

    So that we don’t leave the lesser stupidity untouched …

    WE never expected Obama to fix everything with one or many measures. WE knew he was selling snake oil and would only make things worse. WE knew that the reason “things were so bad” was idiots had been trying to use the government to fix things that the government is incapable of fixing: expecting the government could solve the problems afflicting our society is like expecting to fix an excessively salty soup by adding salt.

  30. Thank you for your “beserker” moments. We need more of those from all the people who believe in liberty. “We have too many liberties” is a thought expressed by people who believe in their own liberty, but snobbishly want to withhold it from “the rabble”.

  31. recently went bezerker mode myself, but was luckily at home wi DH who joined in when I read him (interspersed wi a great deal of obscenities which I don’t usually use) this article = http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/21/school-will-no-longer-require-students-to-kneel-down-before-principal-like-a-king-for-dismissal/
    What the hell are we coming to?! Too many liberties?! Move then! blankity blank blank…..muttering as I wander off to find my spaniels to pet and calm me down….

  32. I’m not sure the pressure buildup from restraining yourself is all that good for you. Me, I’ve never been in such a situation. But I do fantasize about deliberately — well, on purpose, anyway, it would be anything BUT deliberate — getting thrown out of a place, just so I COULD go off on a full-frontal rant at people, starting with a 90 deciBel YELL — WHAT? ARE YOU HIGH ON DRUGS? YOU F**KING MORON! and descending from there into incomprehensibility. But I never was noted for my subtlety.

    And if it started a knock ’em down, drag ’em out brawl in the local Longhorn, well… um so besser.

    M

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Me, I’ve never been in such a situation.

      Well, we do need to remember, we live in an area that’s 20 years behind the rest of the country.

  33. “Too many liberties.”

    Terminally stupid. Seriously.

  34. I see that story, and think: “Well, yeah — anyone *THAT* *FUCKING* *STUPID* clearly should not be allowed outside without Adult Supervision”.

    But then, that’s what they want, isn’t it?

  35. Holy crap. I live in California and haven’t even heard that level of stupidity in public before. I’m sorry you had to deal with those idiots but damn, I wish I had been there to see it. Even the short interaction you describe would have been a beautiful sight.

    One thing I am seeing is more people like us who are willing to speak up in public. That’s rare here in my state because we’re so used to being shouted down. But ever since Obamacare passed I see fewer people who are willing to be polite about the ruin of our country. Too little too late? Maybe. I hope not.

    • I suspect the collision of high-minded ideals with the family budget has something to do with it. Even if I were a true-believer, sitting down and discovering that I gain almost four thousand dollars a year if I drop my insurance and pay the fine instead would make me think hard. Especially if my employer then said “Your hours are being cut. Here’s list of other places hiring part-timers and that are willing to work with your shift schedule here.”

      • I think we should thank the Obama administration for effectively ending a major portion of FDR’s signature legislation, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1935. Now instead of mandatory overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a week, everyone will have two 30 hour jobs, work 60 hours in a week, and will get no OT. I think a nice golf-applause for the president is in order, yes?

        • I worked ‘part time’ at the airport fueling. Just 14 days a month.

          Um it was 84 hours a week, week on week off. Loved it. It’s like having a vecation every other week. Add the vacation time to it from the second place and you could get a week off (well, 80 hours) and be gone for 3 weeks..hello,, What is my job again and how is it done?
          The first company paid straight hour pay, the second gave 4 hours OT and if a holiday landed on your week they Time and a Halved the the holiday.
          If I could I would still do it for the straight pay if it was the second company management … it got ruined by a buyout.

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