Cassandra’s Fate

When I first read Heinlein’s judgment that Cassandra didn’t get half the beating she deserved, I thought he was unusually harsh.  Now… Well.

This week one of my colleagues over at PJM decided to do another of those posts that goes something like “they have the press, and they have the education, and they have the vote fraud machine, they have executive orders, game over, man, game over.”  He didn’t say they would have a thousand year reign but it was strongly implied in his article.

I hate this sort of thing because it makes me roll my eyes so hard they fall on the floor and then I have to find them by touch.

I’m the first to tell you – even if it really displeases one or two my commenters (sorry guys, I’ll still believe my lying eyes, over your assurances) – that the vote fraud is … epic.  I wouldn’t have believed it myself, if I hadn’t poll watched.  Forget the made up jobs in the job reports (btw are they still doing that?  Is there any reason to continue paying any attention to any numbers coming out of DC?) and the IRS suppression of tea party and patriot groups (and the first cartoon character who comes out in the comments, much less on my face book page, to tell me that both sides of the political spectrum were suppressed gets kicked.  We’ve been looking for progressive groups that were suppressed/delayed.  Not a one came forward.  Yes they supposedly were on the “watch-for” list… to be sped forward), unless my district is unusually corrupt (unlikely.  And what I heard from others was worse) this “president” is “president” as well as “president”*.

Even given that – vote fraud isn’t universal.  What I mean is, you won’t get to the polls on the morning in November, and find the doors locked, and get told that your vote has been cast for you.

Their vote fraud mechanism was just as strong when they got a drubbing in 2010.

Also, the idea that they will hold power forever and ever is based on the idea that they will be minimally competent.

What is that you say?  Well, the Nazis and the communists were in a different position.  The Nazis were minimally competent, and the communists moved in on people’s who were used to being pushed around.  (And we’re only going to consider Russia here, and maybe China, because after that they had Russia and China to help and their “takeovers” partook the characteristics of an invasion more than a revolution.)

More both had something that our gang doesn’t have: total control of the means of communication.

Yes, yes, it’s fashionable to hang your head and look sorrowful and say something like “their advantage in propaganda is overwhelming.”

I’ll give you their advantage in propaganda is very great particularly over the very, very dumb – how on Earth could a man saying that he gave preference to women’s resumes become the “binders full of women” attack the left made it?  Easy.  Chickies – and yes, these creatures are chickies, not women – want to go along with the flock and chip chip chip in chorus – but even there it has limits.

Communists and Nazis kept power (and can keep power) only by having iron control over all means of communication, including person to person.

For instance, yesterday I noted that there were the usual trolls out saying that the reason labor force participation is falling is that “the boomers are retiring.”  Let alone the fact that no boomer I know – and this includes some in NYC who really, really, really want to, before the publishing houses they work for collapse under them – is retiring. They can’t afford to.  I think at the rate our labor force participation is falling, boomers would need to be retiring at an unprecedented rate, and it would need to include my cohort who are NOT boomers and who will be aggregated to the boomers ONLY under total anesthesia.  Who also aren’t old enough to retire let alone not being able to afford it.

Again, the numbers coming out are lovely, but you’d have to believe them over the phone call from uncle Vinnie who has been unemployed for three years, despite his top skills.  You’d need to believe them over your Monster.com job search.

They can say the unemployment rate is falling like a stone, and it’s not that bad for college educated, but salaries are at best holding steady, if you browse the job adds (a good way to get the zeitgeist) for professions where you know what they pay, you see pay falling, and you know – because you’re not as dumb as a cabbage – that it’s a buyer’s market out there.

Which means you’re being lied to.

Most people might not be able to put that together, but most people know that it’s “bad all over.”  In fact that’s penetrating popular culture, despite their attempts to hold it at bay.

Because for a totalitarian government to succeed, it not only has to control the news – and it has to control the news, not just the main ones – it has to extend its power to person-to-person communications and of course, the internet.

China doesn’t have all those controls on the internet because it’s afraid its youth will get exposed to cat memes.  It has those controls because it doesn’t want people over its vast expanse to be able to communicate with each other and KNOW that what is going on in their area is universal.

As for what is going on in their area…

The Nazis started a war, which brought in spoils.  This was a marked improvement right off the bat for people who’d been taking a wheelbarrow of money to buy a loaf of bread.  There was some improvement before the last bitter years of the war when it all went down down down

In Russia, the gestalt of “kill those who have more than you and take the spoils” gave the worst off something to crow about.  There is a story somewhere on line from a survivor about a village descending on the house of the wealthiest peasant and taking the spoils.

It lasted very little, of course, but there was that initial burst of pillage and then seventy years of strictly controlled peer to peer communications.  There is a reason the typewriter – the TYPEWRITER – was controlled.  Because it allowed the fast dissemination of news and thoughts.  It didn’t avail them.  They still fell.

Look at what the internet in a controlled form, even, is doing to Chinese communism.  It’s sort of like putting a blender into a basket of eggs.

Our current clowns didn’t take over a country in such dire straights that their fumble-footed rule is an improvement.  Yes, they did what they could through the eight years of GW Bush (and well, he didn’t help much) to make it seem like we were back in dustbowl years.  But again, people know what they lived through and what their neighbors lived through.

These days most of the people on the net going “it was worse under Booosh” are either obviously mentally ill or paid to say so. (And there aren’t as many of them as there used to be.)

Worse, while all the initial successful totalitarians of the twentieth century came from what could be termed the “middle class” these precious flowers ain’t.  In fact, they are so far off the middle class, they think it’s a rethoric flourish “And the middle class.”

They are in fact from the uptiest (totally a word) of the upper crust (yes, do tell me about Obama’s impoverished ghetto childhood living with a bank manager.  Pfui.) and so out of touch with the middle class it might be a foreign land.

Their plan for temporarily – it has to be temporary.  Think about it.  It has a limited life before it all implodes – boosting the living conditions of the middle class and the poor is to print reams and reams of money, which artificially boosts the stock market.

Well, all their friends and their friends’ friends and relatives make substantial money off the stocks, so this will buy the loyalty of the people, right?

(Oh, excuse me.  My eyes rolled right out and I was finding them to put them back in their sockets.)

Oh, and their plan to buy us all with free – free! – health insurance was predicated on the idea that words are magic and that if you say something will happen, it will.  That is third-generation-level stupid for a communist country.

And that’s the other part of it.  What we’re faced with here is that most of their ranks are “third generation stupid.”  This always happens in a totalitarian system, which leftism has been in the US in all the fields they took over.  It comes from the fact that they select not for competency, intelligence or innovation, but for ideological purity.

This is how we get a Hollywood establishment that is unable to make anything new and is now mining thirty year old comic books for their best work.

In politics… well… their “stars” are all old.  Harry Reid is cunning, but he’s OLD.  The new generation is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz-dumb and Obama-pot-sure.  (And Harry Reid, to believe Heinlein, is already second generation.)

It’s all more and more incompetence all the way down.

Now, this is not saying it’s going to be easy.  It’s not.  It’s not saying that the executive orders imperial presidency doesn’t scare me.  I’m not saying the level to which they suppressed things like Benghazi doesn’t shock me.  I’m not saying the ballot box isn’t corrupt – I know it is.

What I’m saying is if they are at least smart enough to walk and chew gum at the same time, they will – before 2016 – realize the level of fraud needed means that they’ll have to give themselves away.  And if they’re smart enough they’ll let it go.

Now, it’s quite possible they’re not smart enough.  Which means it will be worse for them, because they will be inviting armed revolution.

And don’t you moan at me we’ll never do that.  Communism fell in Russia not because they were loving kind but because the game was up.  There is a level of dissonance when people know the piss down their neck isn’t rain.  And they had almost fully controlled media and much harder person-to-person communications.

Now, I’m not saying that those who want power for power’s sake don’t have more gambits up their sleeve, including and not limited to using the press to convince the Republican establishment (who I swear are the only people who still believe the press) to nominate someone that even I won’t vote for (they’re trying.  Really hard.) and to stampede the rubes away from anyone who can get the votes.  That will buy them another election cycle, maybe, but it has the same risks as fraud so massive that it’s obvious.  The reason both sides of the isle hate the tea party is that it shocked them, and it would behoove them to remember it came about because neither side was listening to the people, and the gulf was wide enough people could see it with their eyes closed.  Do that again and invite worse.

The left thinks that “immigration reform” will get them this permanent advantage, but look… not unless they’re importing Somalis by the container full.  La grande salida is not a myth.  I’ve told you before my local poky supermarket went from having Spanish magazines on every check out to having none, but more importantly, our local Walmart went from “must speak Spanish to shop” (and it was that way when my mom visited fifteen years ago.  She speaks Spanish, and was much more help than I was about asking for things)  to “nothing in Spanish except the printed bilingual signs that come from headquarters.

As long as they manage the economy with their stellar brilliance, that great influx of immigrants who will vote for them is just another sign they’re drinking their own ink.

There is… War.  War is in fact, right now, their best hope to distract people/keep enough control/keep (they think) the economy moving enough to hold on to power.  But war is proving mighty hard to engineer and there’s a good – very good – chance that if we get hit it will have the effect of turning us even more against them.  I don’t think they realize that.  However in the past war gained leaders’ security because they had at least a minimal illusion of competency (again the full control of communications.)  Once that illusion was lost, so was the war.  (See Hitler.)  I don’t think these guys have that illusion going in.  Oh, they don’t know that, but I don’t think it will go well for them if they do invite an attack on us.  (And they’re trying.)  The “let’s just go to war without provocation” didn’t work too well, either.  (See Syria.)

This is not the thirties, not even the seventies.  The tragedy of the left is that when their long march was completed, so were the technologies to defeat it.

It’s not going to be easy, but what does playing the Cassandra do?  Let’s suppose it was even true and you were cursed by the gods with seeing the inevitable fall.  What would chirping on and on about it do?  Other than make everyone as miserable as you are? Or making you feel morally superior because “you see” it?

Bah.

And it’s not a dubious gift of the gods.  It’s trying to stake the claim of “I see the perils better than you.”

No, you don’t.  I see the perils very clearly.  But I also see the good signs.  I have to.  I am by nature a depressive and I’ve learned to compensate by forcing myself to see both signs.  When you live with depression every day you learn to do that, or you die.

The people who try to sound intelligent by saying the things my demons whisper to me every day make me very angry.

Yes, we’re in a devil of a fix.  Yes, it’s going to take a lot of luck to turn the corner without massive spillage of American blood one way or another.  It could still happen, but we’ll have to be very very lucky.  And if we’re not, we’re going to have to pay the oldest price of all – blood, sweat and tears.

But it’s not over.  It’s not even begun yet.

Despair is a sin.

In the end, we win, they lose.  Be not afraid.

Cassandra didn’t get half the kicking she deserved.

242 responses to “Cassandra’s Fate

  1. Funny the timing here. Yesterday, out of the blue, maybe in a dream, not sure, I came upon the most terrible scenario I can imagine. Recall that yahoo senator talking about repealing the 22nd, so the Won can have a third term? Misdirection at its best. We are not going to see Hillary, or Fauxcohontas. They are going to run Michelle.

    • That would be comedy following on farce.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Farce bordering on tragedy.

        • It just hit me about 15 minutes ago. I am afraid to even THINK it, much less put it up here, for fear they will hear this. Michelle runs with the WON as her VP, an Obama/Obama 2016 ticket. So far as I know, that would be legal. I think Dem hatred of Michelle goes away, as they figure Obama would be calling the shots. IF they win, there are two options: depending on how Obama wants to run it. First, about two months into her reign, (can’t call it a term with these jackanapes), she decides the stress is just too much for her, and resigns. Or, she rides out the term as her Manchurianess, with the puppetmasters remoting Obama running her. I’m sure Valerie is not bored with that yet.

          I think with enough ballot fraud, dead folks, and the odd immigrant or two, it is feasible. What’s the downside for the Obamas? If they lose, they were giving up the company plane anyway.

          • They speculated about this with a Hillary/Bill ticket in 1999, but the language is quite clear: to serve as vice-president a candidate must be eligible for the superior office, and somebody who has served two full terms as president is thus ineligible to be Veep.

            Not that the plain language of the Constitution is a particular barrier.

          • I think if the candidates are M Obama and C. Christie, 2016 will be “The year Mickey Mouse won in a landslide.”

            • “@Rob_Cunningham
              “Once the employer mandate kicks in they’ll be hunting Democrats with dogs in this country.” “

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              I wonder: what are Mickey’s politics?

              • He is a strong defender of intellectual property, but endorses eminent domain with regard to real property. I believe he also supports low taxation and private initiative. I don’t know where he stands on health care, but if he promises to appoint Uncle Scrooge to Treasury or the Fed he’s got my vote.

              • Not as libertarian as his older brother Mortimer.

          • mikeweatherford

            The counting had hardly ended before a bunch of folks were speculating that Obama should have a third term. One Rep (Ellison?) has already floated the idea that Congress could overturn the 28th Amendment and allow him to serve. Some people are too stupid to hold high office. Things are truly going to get interesting in the next three years, that’s for sure. We’ll see how far Obama will try to go, and how craven the Republicans will behave in letting him.

        • Life is a comedy to those of us who think, and a tragedy to those of us who feel.

          Tragicomic farce.

      • Maybe so, but it doesn’t mean they won’t do it. I think the possibility is good because they would then be able to play both the race and sex card. Further, underneath the seeming “unity” of the left I think there is a lot of deep and abiding hatred between the Obamas and the Clintons, and I just don’t think Obama will be able to bring himself to support Hillary no matter what, so who does that leave? Biden? LOL, not even the Democrats are that stupid.

    • Also about their level of “strategy”

    • My feeling is, Michelle is liked by a very thin minority. She doesn’t possess the thin charisma or speechifying skills of her husband and she masks her contempt badly. As does Hillary, regarding contempt. None of the three you mention give me nightmares, much, because they’re all likely to reduce confidence in the office. Which is to the good.

      • My feeling is, Michelle is liked by a very thin minority.

        Yeah, those who are miserable but “successful” in following her diet plans and want to inflict it on others…..

    • I would love them to run Michelle, but it’s not going to happen. Even as blind as they are, they can’t ignore the level of anger that woman has generated, even among much of the Left, especially with the School Lunch programs that are leaving students hungry and irritable.

      • We are talking about segments of the electorate that are at this moment , ON THE PJM WEBSITE, writing articles entitled “Saint Nelson.” As if necklacing never happened. We’ve already elected one African that hangs out with terrorists. I think Mugabe could run here, and get 25%+ of the vote, based on a platform of social justice and redistribution. The Stupid Party would reach across the aisle, and not bust his chops in the debates, ( anybody recall McCain telling all the world Obama was a good man?) and the MSM would make sure the LIVs did’t know there ever was a Zimbabwe.

        Reelecting Obama in ’12 leads me to believe there is no depth of ignorance to which the electorate has not sunk.

        Let Africa Sink!

        • Heck – 25% would vote for Maduro. More important is the fact that 40% would vote against ANY-effing-body with an “R” on the ballot.

          But that ain’t enough to win an election.

          • Well, Maduro is a spiritualistic Marxist with all the right failures behind him. But I think that Evo Morales of Bolivia is a better candidate. He is a Marxist, has that neat Nehru jacket and looks good in a poncho and those stupid hats that look like Jane’s Mom knitted it for him. And he sort of looks like Chispirito too, so there is the Hispanic and the millennial vote at one go.

      • I mostly agree with you but don’t underestimate the self-delusion powers of the current White House crowd. Despite the continuous criticism of the Narcissist in Chief’s outrageous self-promotion in reference to various events, they still put out a photo of Obama coming out of the Pearl Harbor memorial to commemorate Dec 7th. Either they are in a bubble that does not note how much the public has gotten tired of the self-absorption of Obama or they don’t care.

        I can just see a scene in the White House where his advisors never tell him about the reactions to their crude PR.

        • 1) He either ignored or never set up a protocol office
          2) as a result he thought an iPod filled with himself was an appropriate gift for the Queen of England

          I think he simply does not care, and those around him have either tired of saying “maybe we should reconsider” or they’ve bought into his self-regard as much as he has. Given the quotes from Jarret about how “brilliant” he is, I suspect it’s the latter.

    • G-D willing* there will only be ONE basic question deciding which of the 2016 major party candidates is elected. By then the Obamacare will have destroyed the individual insurance market, denying millions of people the insurance policy and the doctor that they liked. The employer mandate will have also kicked in, and it will kick hard, eliminating employer provided health insurance for about a third of those folks currently getting insurance at work — something like 60 million people.

      The 2016 election will be determined by the party best able to offer an alternative to Obamacare. It seems unlikely in the extreme that the Democrat candidate will promise to keep Obamacare; more likely is a promise to replace it with single-payer although significant (and probably incomprehensible) reforms might allow sufficient flash-and-dash to allow a complicit MSM to pretend it is a solution and not simply more snake-oil. The Republican candidate can probably get away with a broad non-specific repeal promise (it would be a mistake to get too specific in a proposal to replace; that would just allow the Dem candidate and the MSM — but I repeat myself — to kill the plan with the death of a thousand cuts**.)

      *Any of the alternative scenarios making any other topic the crux of the election are either too horrible — see nuclear, chemical, biological terror incident or financial collapse — or too improbable — see Obamacare works or economic revival — to be counted on. The first category might result in impeachment or (as suggested by me elsewhere this thread) military take-over; the second category would also be accompanied by peaceful alien unicorns landing and giving us the secret of limitless energy derived from their farts.

      **AKA, 1 Kilo-cut

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Slightly “off topic” but when I hear people trying to predict the future, I wonder how many foresaw the basically peaceful fall of the Soviet Union.

    There was a “mindset” that the Soviet Union would only fall due to a major military attack.

    Oh I agree that Reagan helped it to fall but few thought he would have been able to successfully do so..

    • The collapse of the Soviet Union was foreseen, by about everybody who ever did an analysis of the economic underpinnings. There wasn’t much “there” there, so to speak.

      What was not foreseen was the peaceful manner in which it shuffled off the world stage. That was the grand historic anomaly that I think nobody really foresaw, whether living under those idiots or in the West. I certainly never saw it coming, and neither did any of the people I served with. We were all expecting the nomenklatura to ride the whole thing into the ground in some kind of Slavic Gotterdammerung, and when the Russian successor state to the Soviets just quietly folded their tents and went away, it was more than a bit disorienting.

      No other empire in the history of the world has done that, so quickly or so thoroughly, and with so little collateral damage. Every other empire has required the deaths of millions, before it closed its books. The Soviets, if nothing else, will be remembered for that.

      What I find really disturbing is that I really can’t find a systemic reason for it happening. Some other set of leaders, besides Gorbachev? I strongly suspect the grand death ride would have happened…

      He doesn’t know it, and a lot of others don’t know it either, but he really ought to be getting a hell of a lot more respect than he does.

      • Other powerful elites managed to exempt themselves from their own dictates. The crown prince did have to obey his father, but he did not have the cowering fear that the peasants did. In the Soviet Union, the elites were were not treated as a special caste.

        Fear of the secret police does not produce the firmness of will necessary to maintain the reign of the secret police.

    • mikeweatherford

      I didn’t see the “peaceful” fall, but I predicted the fall in 1988, while serving with the Air Force in Germany. I was laughed at. By intelligence types, supposedly the brightest of the bright. I’d been watching the Soviet Union for more than fifteen years, and had SEEN the degeneration, not just of their “industrial might”, but of the way the people acted. When you start trashing your world, you’re on the downhill slide. When even militants can’t force people to keep the public areas clean, you’re in for a major retrenchment. There wasn’t a lot of public trash until the mid-1980’s in Russia. Between their disastrous war in Afghanistan and the disillusionment of their people, I knew they were in trouble. Nobody listened.

      BTW, that goes for the US as well as Russia.

  3. the fall of the soviet union was essentially predicted in 1917 by von mises economic analysis Socialism. not the timing but the basic reasons. the soviets stayed in power so long because the us propped them up.

    • And this. THIS too. It’s like Obama’s moves are completely sane — if we were an African kleptocracy and the recipients of world largesse.
      The problem with our “best educated” people is that they don’t think in any sense of the word. They have reflex actions — like Nancy Pelosi crossing herself in a mosque, though of course it’s grossly inappropriate and she’s no longer a believer in any sense. There is muscle memory there — that come from the religion of marxism/progressivism. “if a happens, then do b.” I can sort of predict what they will do because I have a humanities degree from an exceedingly good university. The thing with Syria was ridiculous — and entirely predictable, and now I think our foreign policy is “Get someone to hit us so we have a war and we can consolidate power.”

      • I think the powers-that-wish were surprised by opposition to Syria. They *know* that Americans are knee-jerk bigots willing to go off and kill “little-brown-people” at any excuse. They KNOW IT — because they tell each other that ALL THE TIME.

        What happened was the American people were a hell of a lot more savvy about war than was expected. We knew “the enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy, nothing more” — while the “best and the brightest” were convinced (or at least, acting convinced) they were our friends.

        That rocked Obama back a bit, and it’s been one blow after another since. The press has had to act shocked and outraged on a few things (IRS, NSA) just to maintain their “credibility”, so haven’t been as effective at providing cover as they’d like.

        • I think that the real “shock” in the White House was that Obama got more bluntly told off by his own party than he’s been used to for the last few years. The huge chasm between his rhetoric and reality does not penetrate very often – he seems uninterested in the details of any opposition position – and when it does you can see his surprised reaction.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Remember the “fierce moral urgency” of invading Syria? Is it less fierce now? They don’t even mention it anymore. That’s how important it was, I guess.

          • They rely on the public memory being over-written like that gal in Fifty First Dates. Heck, they’re so technically savvy they think that taking down a Twitter comment or web post actually undoes what was said.

        • Just as the White House first began its short, incompetent flogging of the Syria intervention, my wife and I went to a middle eastern restaurant we like near downtown Denver (they have the best gyros in town IMO). The restaurant is run by a Syrian family, and they had a lot of FSA banners. The server was one of their sons who told us of his recent trips to Turkish refugee camps. He was very enthusiastic to see an intervention – naturally – and very enthusiastic about Obama. I made a mild comment about not trusting Obama – my wife kicked me under the table.

          When we went back to eat a few months later, the mood was pretty sullen.

      • That may be the case, but I think the rest of the world is not going to cooperate. With Syria, the thing I keep coming back to is that Putin totally backed Obama down. He wiped the floor with him. He ate his lunch, drank his milk, and gave him a wedgie.

        Obama was totally outclassed in every way, despite having a much stronger hand (militarily) than Putin because he had to face the very real possibility that swatting Syria would put the US Navy in direct combat with Russian Navy, with inevitable casualties on both sides and a very real possibility of sunken ships. Obama may want a war, but he doesn’t want THAT much of a war.

        The rest of the world took note. I see the recent expansion of the PRC’s air defense identification zone in the South China Sea as a case where Beijing has decided there is very little risk in pushing forward. They know that Obama doesn’t have the stones to tell them not to.

  4. Actually, Paul, I did. In the early 80’s, I was the Intel NCO for my unit (as as second hat). I used to give classes on Warsaw Pact equipment and tactics, etc. Consequently, read all I could about them. I have no way of proving this short of running down one those those Marines in my classes, but I predicted , and stated in my classes, that the productivity advances brought into the Western economies by the widespread introduction of PCs was going to crack the Warsaw Pact. They were faced with a no-win situation. They had to introduce PCs, in order to have a snowball’s chance of keeping up with the guns/butter equations. However, by doing so, they would relinquish their deathgrip on international communications, thus letting hoi polloi learn how the West actually lived, and how bad Pravda had been lying to them.

    Western capitalism, turbocharged by the IT revolution, let Reagan spend enormous sums on defense, while we were still drowning in consumer goods, and the proles could see that. Well, not so much the proles at first, but the-scientists, and they leaked it. The rest, as they say, was the End of History.

    There were, of course, other factors involved, but I believe PCs were the proverbial straw that broke them.

    I make no claims to be some predictive genius. I can’t pick the NFL, the stock market, the right woman, or whether or not to toss my moolah into BitCoin. But even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while. 🙂

  5. We can take some comfort that the last predicted “thousand-year state” lasted less than a dozen.

  6. good post.

  7. And what I heard from others was worse) this “president” is “president” as well as “president”*.

    ….This is a language thing, isn’t it?

    • I think she means “air quotes” president, and President Asterisk. I was looking for a footnote at first myself:-)

      • Yes, that’s what I meant. Sorry.

      • I don’t think I’d choose Asterix to be president. Getafix maybe.

        • I really need to track down, and read, those books one of these years:-).

          But in this case, this was the Asterisk in question: http://tinyurl.com/o2ljxoq

        • President Obelix. He drops big rocks on our enemies….

          • Closer metaphor than perhaps you thought, if by “big rocks” you mean “drones.”

            But I think Obelix has a much better grasp of his own limitations than does President “Who Knew Buying Insurance Was So Complicated”.

            • You mean, President “Smartest Person In The Room”:

              “OK. On the website, I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as – the way it was supposed to. Has I been informed, I wouldn’t be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. You know, I’m accused of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn’t going to work.”

              …as well as President “In Touch With Real Life”:

              “But even if we get the – the hardware and software working exactly the way it’s supposed to with relatively minor glitches, what we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.”

              • The only way Obama’s the smartest man in the room is if he’s by himself, and even then it’s a toss-up. The man is dumb even by vile prog standards.

                • This is my feeling too. He’s not the brightest light bulb in the room. He might be a pebble.

                  • The man has never said or done anything to demonstrate a basic glimmer of intelligence. Those who find him brilliant are simply parading their own ignorance.

                    • The man can read a teleprompter like nobody else, though.

                    • Nah, Walter Cronkite did it better.

                    • He’s described himself as a blank screen that those who want can project their own images of him on – and he’s been happy to let their images ‘be’ what he supposedly was.

                      That we’ve never seen his transcripts is telling. He’s certainly not withholding them for fear of embarrassing Stephen Hawking with his brilliance.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Over this clown?

          Either one.

          Hitting people with solid things would be fun to watch.

  8. “Despair is a sin.” Please keep repeating this, Sarah. I’m encouraged every time I read it. We have better things to do than despair.

    • I second this.

      I think that sometimes people view going on and on about how hopeless everything is as a way to motivate people. That doesn’t work for me at all. Rationally, the thing to do in the face of hopelessness is concoct strategies to endure. So I automatically start planning in that direction. It’s not a good thing.

      (Same with imagining that it’s personally motivating to be told that you suck at something… well, heck, there are no end of other things to do so the rational reaction is to give up.)

      So I definitely need the message that despair is a sin, and that there is reason to fight onward.

      • Make that thirded. *grin* It bears repeating.

        Wasn’t Thanksgiving just a few weeks past? To channel that inner grandma of mine, “Ooh, we never had it so good!” Except we did, not so very long ago- but we’re not defeated yet. A few stumbles do not a defeat make. So what if they have those tawdry little toys. We have something greater by far.

        We have the tradition of Americanism. That rags-to-riches, succeed on your own merits theme is one we cherish. We have a history of cussed, stubborn individualism. Freedom, more than any other nation in the world, is ours. We are a people who work hard, play hard, and believe we have to do the former to get the latter.

        They *need* us in order to survive- but the reverse is not true. The consequence of their ideal state is dependent on the influx of wealth from somewhere, whether this means invade-and-loot or the downward spiral of eating your seed corn by robbing selective Peter to pay for collective Paul. The consequence of freedom means, by and large, we don’t tell folks what to do. Or think. Or what things they *must* buy. It breeds independence.

        Despair denies what we still have. Before 9/11, there were few who didn’t take our safety for granted, in some way. There hasn’t been a major attack on our soil since, though I don’t doubt our enemies dream of the day they can do it again on a larger scale. Despair says don’t reach for that fruit for fear of low-flying arrows. It ignores the steady, unflinching determination of the American soul as we make it through, day by day, shoulders hunched against the coming blast.

        The things which make us great are real, and worth fighting for. To judge a man by the content of his character. To ask for no more than we’ve honestly earned. To respect the beliefs of each other, no matter what we personally believe. To follow the rule of law. To pursue personal happiness without harming another soul.

        We can keep these virtues, even in the face of the opposition that seeks to strip away freedom and replace it with tyranny. So what if they have a sock puppet in our highest office. The individual still has power, has a vote, a voice, and a purpose. So be it if they have education and a massive(ly) corrupt media. The kind of people we want for our country seek answers for themselves.

        Those answers are out there. Those who believe as I do, we aren’t alone. A minority compared to the mob that votes itself a paycheck (bread and circuses), perhaps, but they are not a single hegemony. Be strong. Steady. Be a good example of what it means to be… Odd like us. In the end, they lose because they are, essentially, parasitic. They can only take, without producing real things.

        Despair happens to all of us, sometime or other. The thing is, we pick ourselves back up, wipe the blood off our chins, and continue to fight for what we know is right and good. We can’t. Give. Up. Folks out there are counting on us. It is worth it.

  9. Thank you. I needed that.

  10. An excellent post. I too guard against melancholia and tire of the constant worry mongering, the doomsaying and the advice of pompous Republican consultants, some of whom have never won an election. You’ve reasoned through it very well; I needed this, much more than I need to hear how bad everything is. Thank you, Sarah Hoyt.

    • Even if we can’t win, I prefer a viking funeral — falling with sword in hand, a pile of slain enemies. While they may win, their victories are ever Pyrrhic.

      • William O. B'Livion

        I figure I’ll wind up going out of this world the same way I came in to it. Screaming and covered in someone else’s blood.

        Naked is, of course, optional.

      • Even if we can’t win, I prefer a viking funeral — falling with sword in hand, a pile of slain enemies.

        This.

  11. The real question remains, just how ugly are things going to have to get?
    On the one hand I’m heartened by the sheer incompetence displayed almost every day by our current crop of “leaders”, but even a blind hog can cause terrible damage while rooting around the mud hole.
    Our Schadenfreude runneth over watching the ACA debacle and the stark terror in the faces of all the usual loyal suspects. That said, I do firmly believe that both Reid and Pelosi will die in office. The question remains, via old age or lynch mob.
    A real concern in my estimation is the very low key elimination of a number of our officer corps on blatantly trumped up charges. That alone causes me to give some credence to the speculation of a possible progressive coup attempt. It would of course fail, and fail in a dramatic and most bloody fashion, but given the many examples of their stupidity I cannot entirely rule out such an action by the radical left, current POTUS and his minions included, as reality appears to be an extremely foreign concept to them.

    • Obama knows so little about the culture of the military he probably thinks whacking a bunch of flag officers will make a difference. He’d be better off whacking all the E-5s. They can still shoot. If you want a canary in the coal mine, a leading indicator, watch for the day the Marines at the WH chopper detail disappear. I wonder if even now they have loaded weapons.

      • I have heard– not sure how much of a drinking story it is, given that the military runs on stories– that Hillary is making lots of not-friends by insisting that the military guys be disarmed on military flights, and her secret service be on armed duty right by her. This is the opposite of what normally happens, and the rumor says that neither the Secret Service nor the flight guys were amused.

        Again, this “I must have please complain to me, I’ll listen” tattooed on my forehead stuff, not any sort of insider “I– er, I mean, my friend says….”

        • One, she ain’t worth shooting at this point. But two, did you ever hear the story about her callsign? I had this from a jarhead that was in a position to know, but, as you say, some stories are too good not to be true. As the story goes, on one of her junkets over to Afghanistan, her helicopter crew was using the callsign “Broomstick One.” 🙂

        • I have heard stories about Hillary (not good at all) from a couple people who did communications in the White House and a chef. She is a rude b– and her daughter is no better.

      • They are Marines. They are loaded weapons.
        As for the policy of loaded firearms by military personnel, there’s policy and then there’s reality. Most sodjers of my acquaintance will demonstrate strict compliance with standing orders, but know where a spare mag or two can be found quickly should a stray fit hit the shan.

        • Did you know that the Marine sentries in Beirut in ’83 were walking post with no rounds in their weapons, without so much as a magazine in the well, so everybody in the same grid square knew they were essentially defenseless? Only one Marine fired on the truck as it wound its way through the barriers to the building. (The 1st Sgt. has quietly slipped him one mag on the sly) They had set up correctly, but about two weeks before the site had a visit from a senatorial junket led by none other than Joe Biden. He looked at the situation, went ballistic saying our defense posture was too aggressive and provocative, demanded that things be changed. The NCOIC politely explained to our Genius VP that the senator was not in the chain of command. The junket went back to the States, Igmo Joe steaming. A few days later, word came down from HQ USMC to make the changes. The attack happened a week or so later.

          Slo-Jo was, at the time the chair of the Def Appropriation. Committee..

          The young Marine that emptied that mag killed himself later that year, from survivor guilt, thinking he should have been able to nail the driver. Some think he did, as the truck could have made it farther in to the building, but the guy was wired with a deadman switch.

  12. You’re missing the point Sarah, at least with unemployment. The fraud is already built in. The unemployment rate is the amount of people currently claiming benefits. It has nothing to do with the amount of people who don’t have jobs. An example is in order.

    The engineer you were referring to earlier will do nicely. Basically, a person whose benefits expire or who gets caught not looking for a job no longer gets paid. So your engineers benefits have expired. They’re only good for 19 months. Translation: The non-working engineer is no longer “unemployed”. He’s not working but he doesn’t count for the statistic. That’s why workforce participation matters. It’s the employment statistic.

    • Not quite. Remember that unemployment is determined by survey, not by the number of people who are receiving benefits. The official Unemployment number is the number of people who are not working, but who are actively looking for work as a percentage of this number plus the number of people employed full time.

      The workforce participation rate is the percentage of people of working age who are either working, or actively looking for work within the past 12 months. The reduction in this rate is a result of so many people giving up on looking for work, even though they are, by age, considered part of the workforce.

      http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm

      • I vaguely remember that their definition of “actively looking for work” either was the same as for unemployment benefits– submitting your resume in X number of places– or was similarly not what basic reading would lead you to believe, ie walking into places and asking “do you have any openings?”

        • I am long-term unemployed in the semiconductor industry, just passing my 36th month out of work. My unemployment benefits lasted a bit longer than the average (my cohort of layoffees qualified for Trade Assistance Act certification since jobs at my ex-employer were going overseas, and this added some number of weeks), but they are long since exhausted. I can absolutely confirm that even in Silicon Valley, where the employment market is supposedly better than the nationwide average, it’s still very much a buyers market for employers unless you are in a few very narrow specialties (i.e., if you are an Analog Designer you can pretty much write your own ticket).

          It is my understanding that reporting is state-by-state, and the Grand And Glorious State Of California (yes, we have to say it that way now) only reports the numbers that are incorporated into the main unemployment and workforce participation statistics based on the CA unemployment rolls. When I exhausted my benefits the CA Employment Development Department stopped getting regular certification forms from me saying I was still looking for work, and as a result my place in the statistics changed from “job seeker” to “discouraged ex job seeker,” even though I’ve continued my job hunt.

          I don’t know if other states somehow poll the folks who are no longer getting benefits to see if they are still looking for work so they can report things more accurately to the Feds, but I’m certain no one has ever so polled me, and I’ve never heard anyone else getting that question, or indeed any contact at all from any level of government, either.

      • Also they are apparently making up people saying they have jobs. (No, I’m not joking. At least one of their clerks admitted it.)

        • I’m not sure they were making up people saying they have jobs. I’m sure the census clerks routinely pad their numbers when they can’t hit their response goals. The question is if they pad their numbers with employed “people” to help Barry, or do they say “well, about 93% of the responses I do have say they’re employed, so I’ll keep the proportion with the made up ones.”

          The latter, while not good, would have a far lower impact on the accuracy of the numbers.

            • But the important question, and one I haven’t seen a definitive answer to (because that’s going to take an in-depth, probably Congressional, investigation) is what was the job status of the manufactured responses. If all of the made up responses were said to be employed, then the unemployment rate would go down. Likewise, if they all were said to be unemployed, the unemployment rate would go up. Frankly, I think the most likely scenario is that these surveyors, under pressure to meet their quotas, simply took the employment rate of the responses they already had and extrapolated that to their manufactured responses. I have too much beer and too little statistics in me to fully analyze the effect that would have on the top-line unemployment rate, but I suspect it would “only” increase the margin of error.

              • As I recall, the actual numbers of tallied unemployed by the federal government, on that last count before the 2012 election, was found to be .66666666667 of the non governmental (ADP?) report. Statistically impossible. That is why retired GE CEO Jack Welch went out on a limb and called that particular unemployment report a fraud. He knew what he was looking at.

      • Sarah’s point, though, applies to both of your (vosso) points: The numbers are completely bogus. Regardless of what the supposed definition is, the numbers are useless because the true definition is “Whatever we think will be useful to tell the rubes.”

        • There’s a solid bureaucratic reason for doing things this way – by simply dropping the folks who are not finding work off the denominator side of the employment stats, the publicly available performance numbers improve without actually doing anything to help anyone find a job, or even do anything not actively hostile to job creation.

          As for the stats, they are being pretzeled all over the place. Ever since Newt Gingrich made a deal with Bill Clinton in 1994 to exclude "long term unemployed/discouraged job seekers" from the unemployment numbers, you need to dig around to find out what's going on. Shadow Stats calculates their own unemployment numbers using the pre-1994 methodology, which yields a current unmplyment rate in the 23% range.

          Zero Hedge comes up with some alternate numbers under the current methodology. Using the long term 30 year average “worker labor participation rate” of 65.8% instead of the current 63%, the unemployment rate comes out well over 10%. If instead of that estimated and infinitely adjustable “worker labor participation rate” one were to use the U.S. population not in prison or otherwise institutionalized as the denominator, the current unemployment rate is 11.5%

          And finally re the unemployment numbers: Pay close attention to the revisions. There’s been a pattern of significant revisions, usually in the ‘bad’ direction, during the entire Soetoro administration, including some special revisions that PURELY COINCIDENTALLY came out just after the 2012 election.

        • Yes They are bogus.

          • And I’m sitting here remembering when I was studying Russian, back in the late 80’s. Aleksandr Zinoviev (author of _The Yawning Heights_) visited our campus, and one of the things I still remember from his talk is how he repeatedly made the point that in the USSR, all the statistics were bogus, to the point that nobody knew what was really going on, and as a result no useful planning could be done.

            I don’t think we’ve gotten to that point, but the books are most definitely being cooked, and it’s going to have serious effects on any sort of planning or analysis.

            • This is why I think the various Inspectors General offices should be pulled out of their relevant departments and consolidated under one cabinet-level officer. One whose entire job is to ferret out and expose the shenanigans perpetrated by the bureaucratic caste.

            • It reminds me of a late-Soviet joke: A man stands in line all day for bread, only to have the baker come out and say there is none. He loses it, and begins ranting about the government. Eventually, a man in a trench coat puts a hand on his shoulder.

              “Be careful, comrade. You know, in the old days, it would have been …” and he mimes a gun pointed at the head.

              The man walks home, dejected. When he walks in the door, his wife takes one look at his face and drops the plate she is holding.

              “What’s wrong, Ivan? Were they out of bread?”

              “It’s worse than that. They’re out of bullets.”

  13. Christopher M. Chupik

    (Oh, excuse me. My eyes rolled right out and I was finding them to put them back in their sockets.)

    That’s a problem I’ve been dealing with of late myself. 😉

  14. I just saw a reference to 19 months of unemployment, but where I live it ran out (including the emergency from the federal governement in 9 months. But I had enough saved when I got laid off in March that we can still survive. ( I wish I coul travel to denver for thanksgiving dieer with the Huns, but I have to save.)
    Meanwhile I will not despair, even when I see some of my Obamabot relatives still preaching the eyes wide shut propaganda about how great it is (while they got cut too.)
    Thanks for reminding us to keep purshing and believing is USAians.

  15. NY Post business columnist John Crudele, who has been doing a pretty fair job of reading the statistical entrails of government data for a couple decades, advises
    Warning: Jobless rate may be rigged
    The most curious thing of all about the November jobs report released on Friday was the huge drop in the unemployment rate — and the fact that the Labor Department chose not to disclose that the data going into that figure are under investigation for falsification.

    On Nov. 19, I broke the news in my column that the Census Bureau, which collects data that goes into the jobless rate on behalf of Labor, had caught one of its enumerators fabricating interviews in 2010.

    The culprit said back then (and to me during an interview) that he was told to do so by Census supervisors who were in the position to instruct others to make similar fabrications.

    In fact, a source who I haven’t named but who is familiar with the Census data accumulation process has told me that falsifications have been occurring on a regular basis.

    The Census Department surveys that went into the November jobless rate actually took place during the week that included Nov. 5 instead of the normal Nov. 12 week.

    The Labor Department did put in a note about the survey week change in its November report.

    But it should also have included another line that said: “The data for the unemployment rate may have been compromised. Lots of people are looking into the matter right now. We’ll get back to you on whether you should believe these numbers or not.”

    Why didn’t the Labor Department include a note like that? A source who knows the department well says the concept of data being falsified is so unprecedented that the bureaucrats just don’t know how to react.

    They had better figure it out soon. That drop in the unemployment rate might be the straw that sends the Fed into tightening mode.

  16. Clark E Myers

    Any lessons from the Carnation Revolution to apply to a wag the dog diversionary war?

    Given the public distribution of things like Michelle Obama’s Senior Thesis at Princeton she would be a very divisive candidate with no claim to brilliance. When it comes to a compromise candidate chosen to avoid a power struggle stranger things have happened.

    Agreed that anybody with access to normal gossip in the Berlin Brigade and elsewhere could forecast the fall of the wall with more precision than Henry Kissinger’s reported pessimism. Folks might hope for a recognition of reality on the ground however much others might rue missing the chance to be a trench raider with a tomahawk when the Soviet forces hit the end of their logistics leash and dig in – I don’t suppose a Grundig in the living room was as much a marker of European service in the former USSR as it was for my generation here but when their command began to put the secrets of speculation above the more conventional security that was a hopeful sign.

    It’s a matter of record that Jackie Kennedy thought the armed security should be so much furniture – face the wall when the family goes past in family quarters and keep the concealed guns concealed – much as proverbial lower level servants. It’s also true that when visiting friends in California with outer perimeter security by local law enforcement Ronald Reagan personally brought late night coffee and schmoozed with folks who reported he seemed a nice guy and a lonely man. Pays to be nice to the Praetorians and also to be careful in defining the ones the ones that matter.

    On the Cassandra bit and despair is a sin more generally I think – but it’s my gloomy nature as I age and see that the Shire will be scoured – we are more arguing over the size of the free remnant – which could in fact be a majority – than forecasting either a universal libertarian reign or universal extinction.

    • servants. It’s also true that when visiting friends in California with outer perimeter security by local law enforcement Ronald Reagan personally brought late night coffee and schmoozed with folks who reported he seemed a nice guy and a lonely man.

      Heard one of his secret service guys break down crying telling about when he had to be the guy telling the former president that he couldn’t go riding any more. Reagan– even though it was his condition that was requiring it– figured it out and ended up comforting his guard.

      Man, I wish I could remember that guy being in office…. (too young)

    • The most likely event sufficient to triggering a wag the dog occurrance is probably another terrorist attack, likely a nuclear (if when Iran develops a device, anybody doubt they would deploy it through one of their puppet organizations?) or BCW attack.

      I suspect the first response of the American People would be to shoot the dog that failed to bark in the night, then raze a country or three, then reboot the Constitution, eliminating most amendments after the 15th.

  17. Clark E Myers

    On the never attribute to malice rule might remember that seasonal adjustment is both necessary for the numbers to make any sense at all and absolutely positively impossible to do perfectly.

    This implies that when seasonal adjustments are larger – as they are Christmas seasonal jobswise – so are error bands – especially before backward looking adjustments.

  18. “Well boys, we got three engines out, we got more holes in us than a horse trader’s mule, the radio’s gone and we’re leaking fuel — and if we was flying any lower why we’d need sleigh bells on this thing. But we got one little fudge on them Ruskies, at this height why they might harpoon us but they dang sure ain’t gonna spot us on no radar screen!”

    • *massive grin*

      • It’s my version of “despair is a sin.” For every problem there is a solution. The solution may involve truly gratuitous amounts of chewing gum, baling wire, Bond-O, and duct tape, but it exists.

    • Ah, the dreaded only-five-engines-running bombing run. <g>

    • “Survival kit contents check. In them you’ll find: one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days’ concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings. Shoot, a fella’ could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.”

  19. May I put in a plug for my book RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY, available from Amazon? It’s a primer on how to conduct an armed revolt.

    A handbook is where you go when you know you need a specific piece of information. A primer is where you go when you don’t yet know what information you need. This is a primer.

    • If there is to be an armed revolution, it will be from the Left. From the Right we might have an armed resistance, but unless they fire first what we are more likely to see is a breakout of folks going Galt.

    • It’s also on Barnes and Noble for those who, like me, have memberships and would prefer to save a bit of cash while still ensuring that the author gets his normal cut. Nothing against Amazon but if I can do all of the above why not?

  20. Erhm. While I agree with the substance of your post – Cassandra’s curse was to always prophecy correctly and not be believed. The problem with the article referred to is that it’s the inverse of that: It’s incorrect, but believed.

    • Yes, of course. I made a passing mention. EVEN if they were right, they’d still deserve a kicking. As is, well!

      • I wonder if before Cassandra was killed by the gods if she ever felt as frustrated as I did after 2008 when I said that electing Obama was going to be a punt gun to the economy. There are times when I hate being right. My biggest frustration right now is that I know that things do not have to be the way they are. I know that all over the country people are champing at the bit to be let go and really enrich themselves and the rest of us. Obama’s goal has been to hitch us with bigger chains to the post.

        • YES. I felt like that too back then, but we COULD have done something.

        • My sister-in-law was near ecstatic over his win, because it meant that ‘Stupid Sarah Palin’ wasn’t going to be anywhere near the Presidency.

          And in 2012, much as she loathed Obama (she’s not a stupid woman) she just couldn’t bring herself to vote for the Republican.

          Yes, that branch of the family’s a bit odd…

  21. “Is there any reason to continue paying any attention to any numbers coming out of DC?”

    It isn’t just the political and economic numbers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hasn’t been trustworthy since the early 1990s when Clinton turned it into a political organization. The CDC has pumped out many lies and biased statistic over the past 20 years (just like the anthropogenic global warming advocates). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been similarly tainted. I know of only one health-related federal organization that hasn’t been politicized: the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). This group develops guidelines related to screening for disease, and its guidelines are, for the most part, outstanding. That’s only because almost no one, including physicians, has heard of it. If it were well-known, it would have been politicized by now.

  22. For January, we will be reading a Classic Fantasy novel.

    Please nominate candidates here:
    https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1604472-january-2014—-classic-fantasy

  23. I think that we have to realize that because we are used to being in small groups or more or less independent we, on our side will always be inside their decision loops. In 2008 there was no Tea Party. Two years later the TEA party elected a bunch of people to Congress. True, the election of 2012 was lost, but that was due to the establishment pushing Romney out front and then not letting him be himself when a little change in rhetoric would have been a big motivator. I think that the establishment was too worried about what would happen if the candidate would be able to motivate the general public. They did not want another Reagan, who could connect to the people and use that to upset the apple cart the establishment is so attached to. The Problem is that the establishment doesn’t realize that the applecart is an old rusty thing that has no real relevance in the real world anymore.
    On Progressive side they are stuck in the mistaken ideals deriving from a basic bad set of ideas. They cannot understand that a command economy won’t work in the information age. For all that they may use the tools to win elections the can’t make them work. Obamacare demonstrates how poorly that works.
    This piece from ED Driscoll sort of explains what is going on:
    http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/12/07/ludditecare/
    I don’t think I could find a better image for the clunkyness of Progressive than the video from “Brazil”:

    I have no trouble seeing the thinking of Progressives running as clunky as that information building in the movie, rigid and unable to change. Everything the Progressive do has to be tightly coupled to together. There is no room for change, which is why they are going to fail.

    • They did not want another Reagan, who could connect to the people and use that to upset the apple cart the establishment is so attached to.

      People forget that Reagan was the outsider spoiler. He made a pretty good run at getting the 1976 convention to dump Ford, and in the 1980 primaries he was not the insider favorite, with three Ford-wing candidates in opposition (Baker, Dole and Bush the elder), though all but Bush dropped out after the first primary votes.

      The R insiders are why after Reagan the electorate was presented with GHW Bush, Dole, GW Bush, McCain and Romney – each anointed by the contry club wing, with not one as the result of an outsider push into the primaries.

    • I just watched “Brazil” again after a period of years. It is eerie how parts of it that were farcical at the time, are now reality. Just finished reading “Catch-22” as well. An awful book, really, as it (tries to) ennoble incompetence and mock capitalism. But beyond the Snowden references recently brought back to mind by our friend Edward, setting up housekeeping in Russia, another prominent recurring item in the book is the shouted statement “what difference does it make?” Hmmmm….

  24. Thank Sarah for your post, as an American of the dark skin variety, living in Chicago,IL despair is quite easy to get into.

    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Obamandias, President of Presidents:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  25. The problem for the progressives is that anyone who pays attention sees that they’re being lied to, and massively. Most places jobs are scarce, and only part time, the “millennials” view the current crop of liars like they would a bear gnawing on their leg. Only the truly stupid or willfully ignorant believe the lies and the lamestream media’s blather.

    While I sometimes despair, mostly that I’m too old to do too much anymore, I think that things go in circles, and that there are enough freedom loving people in this country that the progresso-commie machine will fall apart. Maybe not tomorrow or next week or next year, but they’ve told too many lies to people with good memories to survive for very long.

    JMHO though.

    • There is much that you can do, sir. Words are your weapons – craft them well and use them wisely where the enemy feels safest… in their echo chambers.

      Pop into a liberal discussion board, and play the provocateur. Agree with them, get accepted and then… doubt. Just a little, raise a question that can’t be ignored.

      Rather like… “Obamacare in California’s a GOOD thing, and you’re glad to see people who haven’t been covered get coverage.

      Damn shame some of those doctors are going to be bugging out. Just because the reimbursements under Obamacare aren’t going to be enough for them to stay in business, the greedy bastids….”

      Phrase it properly, they’ll accept the premise… and blame the doctors. But maybe one or more will start to think about the fiscal fallacies involved. They will not like it, and you may be banned… but the seed’s been planted. How long would they expect a doctor to work without being paid?

      Don’t attempt to refute their thinking… get them to expand it, and think outside their box.

      Words are all you have? Then make the words your weapons… and use them well.

  26. And the Boomers retiring? On what?

    Their savings haven’t earned squat for ages, when they all expected it to double during their last working decade. The better they did, salary-wise, the bigger the house they bought. Most of them thinking they’d sell for a tidy profit and buy something smaller when they retired. Glub, glub, glub!

    A sizable chunk of wealth that the retirees ought to soon be spending, never happened or disappeared. It’s going to take the economy a long time to recover from that.

    • For us – I would save money and then we would move (that cost money) or I became ill (that cost much more money). *sigh. So yes, a sizeable chunk of our wealth ahs disappeared… plus what the last fifteen years the interest on my savings as dropped to almost zero–at least a few pennies a month.

      • And thanks to inflation our savings are watered worse than the two-drink minimum at a Nawleans strip joint.

        But we won’t have to worry about one illness making you bankrupt — we’ll be bust well before that happens.

        • Yep – I am hoping to make it through this life w/o becoming bankrupt… it is not looking hopeful– 😉

          • Oh, yes. And I left out the part about the already retired who actually managed a sizable nest egg living _not_ on the interest on their life savings, but on the capital. At some point you run out of your own money.

            • Yep– no interest so yep

            • Of course, “they” don’t think of it as your money, merely that money which the State has allowed you to hold in trust. They’ve been bleeding it away through rampant inflation so there’s no need to tax it and make more apparent to you how you’re being bled.

              Every time I pull up to the pump I wonder how much gasoline has gone up versus how much the dollar has gone down. I think it is mostly the latter but find the research required to support my conclusion just too dang depressing.

  27. “There were, of course, other factors involved, but I believe PCs were the proverbial straw that broke them.” <– I know this was WAY upthread, but I thought it was black market VCRs and satellite dishes. Once they could watch ANY western show, and watch them live, they finally knew with _certainty_ that they were being lied to. I remember Yakov Smirnov (the emigre' comedian), talking about how overwhelming it was to be in a supermarket and see it with his own eyes.

    ================================================
    " Only the truly stupid or willfully ignorant believe the lies…" But the problem is that they are still ACTING as though they believe them. It's one thing to be sure you're spouse is cheating, it's another to come home and find it happening IN YOUR BED. I think most of them are still at the "gut feeling" but haven't had that 'in your face', completely undeniable moment yet.

    And there is another group that only ever hears the lies, doesn't recognize them as lies, and if they do, they think they are alone. WE all have alternative information sources. WE all read people who give these sorts of things THOUGHT. We have people who help us remember, and help us see thru the manipulation. We're part of social groups (even if only online) where it is _normal_ to do these things.

    I'm sure there is a large group out there that has NO IDEA places like PJTV exist or that there are online [I]salons[/I] where people with knowledge, information, well formed opinion, and deeply held beliefs can have discussions about the state of the world (yep I'm talking about here.) How do we get those folks involved? How do we get them to WANT to be involved?

    In books, the viewpoint character gets handed a book or manifesto that he actually reads, or a friendly character throws an arm over his shoulder and takes him on a "gee whiz, look at how cool all this stuff is" tour, and 34 pages of explication follow. I'm not seeing that work out too well IRL…

    And I do despair. Not every day. But often enough.

    zuk

  28. It isn’t despair — at least not as you see it. It’s the simple fact that despite all the data staring them in the face, no one is willing to do what must be done to stave off collapse; and thus, the inevitable outcome must be “This America Shall Fall”.

    On another forum, I am running into the old “The Soviets won WW2, because they had the bigger body-count, and the Germans said so” lie.

    First: A high body-count is not the sign of a war-winning strategy; in fact, it usually means Someone Has Fucked Up Badly. (Hint: “Winter War ’39-’40”.) Pu tit this way: Everyone talks about Stalingrad — now ask yourself: How would a *US* army have fought that battle? Let the Germans get wedged into the city — then put a siege ring around it, and let the air forces firebomb the place (think Hamburg or Dresden). Same result for the sausage-suckers; for the winning side, not really.

    Second: As has been noted, the Germans running WW2 — as indeed the Germans in general — were a pack of Fucking Imbeciles. They didn’t remember why they lost the first go-’round (hint: Alfred Thayer Mahan); they didn’t remember they beat the Russians in that go-’round *without* actually invading Russia; in short, their opinion of the East’s importance was more a result of Dear Old Uncle Adi’s desire to murder untermenschen than based on any realistic notions.

    But the Soviets played up their fatalities (most of which were self-inflicted) to justify grabbing as much of Europe as they could, and subsequent actions; and their Useful Idiots have been repeating the Lie loud and often, to the inevitable effect. Meanwhile, our side responds to any suggestions of taking the battle to them with “Well, we can’t do that — we’d be just like them, then”. NO FUCKING SHIT, BUCKWHEAT — IN CASE YOU HADN’T FUCKING NOTICED, *IT* *WORKS*!

    I mention WW2 — how many Allied cities did the Germans firebomb? One — Coventry. Now how many did the Allies firebomb? Now, who won?

    Reality is a street fight, not Marquis-of-Queensbury-rules; unles and until our side is willing to start breaking kneecaps, and using folding chair on skulls, the most we’ll ever be able to accomplish is picking up the debris left after the other side finally blows it all up.

    • CF – Stalingrad represented the high water mark of the German invasion of the Soviet Union. From the summer of ’42 to the beginning of ’43, just how many German troops were the Western Allies fighting? How many were the Soviets fighting?

      Now part of the problem is that German record keeping broke down toward the end of WWII but some estimates of German casualties (dead, missing and POW):

      Eastern Front: 2.1 million plus
      Western Front/Med: 800K

      The Soviets did the majority of the combat. They did so at great cost in lives because of their organizational and logistical weaknesses. And the Soviets downplayed how much logistical support and material the US and Britain gave them. The Soviet Union stopped the Germans at a time when the US and Britain were just learning how to fight the Germans.

      • Moreover, it just doesn’t matter. The real answer to “Who won the war?” is found by looking at the question: Who was in the strongest position post-war?

        After WWII there can be no doubt: the USA won the war. Arguments to the contrary reflect a fundamental misunderstanding.

        • I don’t know … the Russian got to keep their pet Germans longer than we got to keep our pet Germans.

        • More seriously, by your criteria, it was the British that lost the war.

          • Yeah — along with France, Italy and most of Eastern Europe — your point being?

            To be fair, in Britain’s case it was a largely self-inflicted wound. Clement Atlee??? Really?

            To be fair, it was a close run thing here in the States; we nearly got stuck with Henry Agard Wallace, FDR’s vice-president until the fourth term and Progressive Party nominee in 1948.

            In a speech on April 12th 1946, as Truman’s Commerce Secretary, Henry Wallace said that “aside from our common language and common literary tradition, we have no more in common with Imperialistic England than with Communist Russia”.

            Of course, to again be fair, when Wallace ran in 1948,

            his platform advocated friendly relations with the Soviet Union, an end to the nascent Cold War, an end to segregation, full voting rights for blacks, and universal government health insurance.

            Quotes courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_A._Wallace

        • I think everybody here is confusing “won”, came out in the catbird seat, with “won” did more fighting and dying. The US, the former, the Russians, the latter. We were the only developed nation left with much in the way of infrastructure. The Germans won the grand prize by being able to lose militarily AND do a massive amount of fighting.
          How about we all just admit this – had hitler not made the insanely bonehead mistake of backstabbing the Russians, and opening up the Eastern font, there was NO WAy an Allied assault on the Continent. I don’t remember, and don’t care to look it up, but the Reich had hundreds of divisions in Russia on D-Day.
          At the same time the only reason the Russians could tie up so many divisions and bleed them white was our military aid.
          We tend to exaggerate the fighting on the West because those are the movies we saw. Ir reality, the battles on the West were popcorn farts compared to what was going down in the East.
          I essence, it was like a bulldog holding a boar by the nose, so the rest of the pack can kill it. The bulldog can’t do anything other than hold the boar, but held it is. The east paralyzed the Nazis until we could grind them down with the air campaign and blockades.
          Makes no sense to debate whether we could have won it by ourselves. That isn’t how it went down. My murky crystal ball says had Britain come to terms, and they were within a hair of doing so, (HT- Churchill ) it would have been a fait accompli, and there would have been shooting war between the US and the Reich. We would have the bomb, the Reich shortly after. End result? A Cold War, with different dance partners.

          • Hmm, mostly true. Although there is some exaggeration about the effectiveness of the Allied bombing campaign against Germany. It was not as effective against German industry as its made out to be.

            The true effect of the Allied bombing campaign was to bring the Luftwaffe into the air beginning in 1943 to fight and be destroyed. That paid off in late 1944 when the Luftwaffe was basically combat ineffective and not a factor for the rest of the war. It also drained a lot of industrial capacity in filling Germany with anti-aircraft guns and gun crews that were strategically off the board.

            • Also cutting transportation. The Germans had good manufacturing and got good at moving factories, but towards the end they could not move things around. Ammo does no good when it stacks up at the factory or railhead.

              • In a lot of cases this had more to do with the Holocaust than it did with the Allies. Germany wasted a lot of time/rolling stock transporting Jews to gas chambers when they could have been moving soldiers/ammo around.

            • The air raids are often judged ineffective because production kept increasing. Would production have increased more if the resources used to rebuild (and rebuild as hardened rather than efficient) been spent on increasing production instead.

            • Why the Allies Won by Richard Overy has some interesting stuff on this.

    • Reality is a street fight, not Marquis-of-Queensbury-rules; unles and until our side is willing to start breaking kneecaps, and using folding chair on skulls, the most we’ll ever be able to accomplish is picking up the debris left after the other side finally blows it all up.

      Do you speak in metaphor, or in earnest?

      Either way: who, specifically, do you propose our side should be exerting violence against?

    • Stalingrad was a bloodbath, any half-baked historical idiot knows that. As you pointed out, we would have (hopefully) handled it differently and spent less lives than the Russians did. However we value lives more than the Russians, soldiers were their cheapest and easiest replaced munitions; that were effective. So that is what they spent.

      Also Stalingrad was in large part symbolic. It was symbolic to the Germans, they could have invested it in a siege, simply to hold the Russians back and bypassed it, without trying to take it. But they wanted the symbology of taking Stalin’s namesake city. This was stupid of them, and backfired badly when they failed to take it, but once they made the attempt they knew they would lose face if they backed off, so they kept throwing more assets into the meatgrinder. Which had the effect of changing what had been the defense of a largely symbolic city for the Russians, into a viable aspect of breaking the Germans advance.
      Sure the Russians went through their soldiers like a drunk goes through cheap vodka, but Russia is a BIG country, with a LOT of people, and as the saying goes, “quantity has a quality all it’s own.”

  29. Try googling “La grande salida” or its english equivalent. Where are the articles? Where is the evidence percolating around? Trust me, you’re spotting something that’s not on anybody’s radar screen yet.

    • It’s been mentioned, and it’s a rumor — it’s also been denied by the powers that be, but unless my state is an aberration, it is there.

      • Coming back to this a bit late.

        In Indiana, I continue to see more and more Hispanics around. Maybe they’re legal and maybe they’re not, but there’s been more “hispanic grocers” sprouting up and I run into a lot more people speaking Spanish than I used to.

        It could simply be that I’m “getting out” more and noticing more, but it looks like we’re getting more Hispanic folk here than had been here previously.

        For whatever it might be worth.

    • I’ve posted this before, but here is it again:

      http://www.truethevote.org/news/how-widespread-is-voter-fraud-2012-facts-figures

      Of particular note is the part near the bottom of the page about the 1982 New Jersey Consent Decree.

      There are multiple stories of people having publicly admitted, because apparently somehow they thought it was perfectly ok, to voting multiple times each.

      It’s not out there because the media refuses to report it. I can only put one link in a comment, but it’s really easy to search them out.

    • Mostly blogs.

      Myself, I notice that the places that were full of really obviously illegal pickers* when I was a teen (late 90s) are now putting out signs in spanish saying that they’re looking for workers; the ones that had obviously legal workers* (some of our best ranch hands among them, especially the [legal, of course] Mexican and -decended ones) have the same sort of cars they always have.

      * it’s hard to exactly describe how you can tell– it’s kind of like a preponderance thing: cars will look like they’ve been totaled at some point– usually, they have, and then were driven by folks who don’t have to worry about insurance or tickets; they’ll be entirely Mexican or Indeterminate Scuzzy, but mostly Mexican; the ISes will be notably older, and are likely to be seen using pickup artist tactics at local cheep bars, or being put in jail for failure to pay child support.
      In contrast, the legal pickers will mostly be driving old cars, some of which are beat to heck, but they almost uniformly show a lot of upkeep being put into them, front and back plate will match and the year sticker is up to date. There will be a bigger range of ages and both sexes, though still mostly young males or middle aged men, plus sometimes really old guys that look like some of the men. (I’m guessing owners.) Some of the cars will have kids seats, and there are a lot fewer cars.

  30. Despair is a sin. Absolutely.

    Personally, I’m just grateful that I have access to places like this where really smart people discuss these issues. Mostly, I’m in awe of the intellectual firepower that comments here regularly.

    I’ve heard people say that “Republicans need to win elections” for the country to be governed conservatively, and while that’s true, it’s an effect of what really needs to happen, which is that the populace has to be convinced that classically liberal positions including freedom of speech, thought, movement, industry, etc., and their attendant responsibilities get us closer to success and prosperity than does the so-called “liberal” positions of today, which require ever more strictures of thought, category, and rigid, unthinking, unquestioning compliance.

    If we ever do figure out the way to get that message home to people, we win. Because freedom is better than slavery, industry is better than indolence, and wealth creation is better than sucking at the public teat.

    • No surprise, Milton Friedman said it well:

      “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or it they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

      And, because when you go looking for a quote you often find others en route:

      “A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it … gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

      “Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? . . . And just tell me where in the world you find these angels who are going to organize society for us.”

      “I say thank God for government waste. If government is doing bad things, it’s only the waste that prevents the harm from being greater.”

      “With respect to teachers’ salaries …. Poor teachers are grossly overpaid and good teachers grossly underpaid. Salary schedules tend to be uniform and determined far more by seniority.”

      “There is still a tendency to regard any existing government intervention as desirable, to attribute all evils to the market, and to evaluate new proposals for government control in their ideal form, as they might work if run by able, disinterested men free from the pressure of special interest groups.”

      http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/5001.Milton_Friedman

  31. Mostly, I’m in awe of the intellectual firepower that comments here regularly.

    Yeah, it’s a great place to keep my ego in check.

  32. While I do not cop to despair (for one thing, I win or lose, I intend to go down swinging if and win), I don’t think the picture is all that rosy. For one thing while the socialist/communist/progressives may suck mightily at building, one thing they excel at is destruction. They may not be able to build their New World Order, create their New Soviet Man, or simply put together a health care system that works, they are pretty good at leaving charred and smouldering wreckage in their wake. The other is, funny you should mention the fall of the Soviet Union. Yes, it fell. But how much better is what is left in its wake? One kleptocracy (going by the name “Socialist”) replaced with another?

    And, so if the people of the US rise up and throw off the leftist yoke, that doesn’t mean they won’t put something as bad or nearly as bad, if just in a different way, in its place. That does seem to be the pattern historically and worldwide.

    • The people of Russia didn’t have any memory–living or institutional–of a benign government and a barely regulated capitalist economy.
      We do. And that is all we will rebuild, if we fall.

      • I mean, it’s not a given. We’ll need to work. But it’s way premature for giving up.

      • It’s also worth noting the differing character of American culture. We aren’t peasants roped into creating our own prison under a failing ideology. While there are undoubtedly cracks in the culture, it’s not shattered, and the makers and the builders are our people.

      • The people of Russia didn’t have any memory–living or institutional–of a benign government and a barely regulated capitalist economy.

        Sarah has said before that in times of trouble a nation tends to revert to its “origin story.” The problem as I see it is that the Left, which has thoroughly infiltrated the schools and universities has been asiduously working to _change_ the “origin story” so far as people know it. A great many, possibly most people, have grown up with that edited origin and an edited mythos to go with it.

        I’m not so certain that the majority of Americans want freedom, real freedom. They’re too wedded to “there ought to be a law” about anything of which they disapprove and to “goodies that other people pay for.” This is Left and Right both (as well as several of the “alternative” choices). The main difference is what things of which they disapprove and what goodies they’re after. As for what remains, what? Are they going to impose Liberty by Force? The cognitive dissonance of that would strain even the White Queen and her impossible things before breakfast.

        That’s why discussion of a Constitutional Convention terrifies me. The folk sending people like Pelosi, Reid, and Schumer to Washinton are the same folk who would be sending delegates to any such convention.

        • The general principle is “More freedom to do what I want, less freedom to do what you want.” Because what you want is dangerous and a hazard to the public order, while what I want is simply reasonable.

  33. You want to make sure and wipe your eyeballs off well, before reinserting them. Grit in the sockets can be very irritating.

    • If this is a frequent occurrence you might want to consider investing in a handy Popeil Pocket Ball Washer — using a mild detergent and soft brushes, the Popeil Pocket Ball Washer gently rinses all foreign matter from the grotty ball, cleaning it for future use. Order now and get the special leatherette carrying case, a classy addition to everybody’s wardrobe. Operators are standing by.

  34. Even though there are only 4 days left, I hope I meet the fundraising goals, for FBN Turd Polish (http://igg.me/p/604375/x/167336). The Dumbocrats are doing a masterful job of selling it for me. I could make a metric Butt load of money. from it, the way things are headed. If it fails, I’m tempted to rerun it as a campaign to send every member of Congress, “Pres.” Obama, and VP Joe “the Brainless,” a jar. So they can get to together and “polish up their images.”

  35. I feel about America the way we used to feel about Russia. Russia is too primitive or corrupt or whatever not to have any system but what it has. Nobody and nothing can save it. Ditto America. It’s exceptional, sure, so much so that normal rational rules don’t apply. It’s just in absolute decline like the entire country is under some inescapable malevolent spell. It’s astonishing how quickly terminal US decline has set in. It simply cannot now be reversed. When did the Democrats become so massively corrupt, irrational, immoral, and willing to do ANYTHING to retain power? I literally would not live in America now even if I was offered a no-strings $150,000 annual stipend. American decline is now accelerating, it’s like watching a sped-up rerun of Detroit’s 40-year history playing out at the national level. And nothing can be done. That’s the kicker.

  36. Pingback: Cassandra gets her drubbing | Association of Free Citizens

  37. Hmm. Makes me think of this:
    “Because he is allowed to be pessimistic as a military adviser he is being pessimistic as a recruiting sergeant. Just in the same way the pessimist (who is the cosmic anti-patriot) uses the freedom that life allows to her counsellors to lure away the people from her flag. Granted that he states only facts, it is still essential to know what are his emotions, what is his motive. It may be that twelve hundred men in Tottenham are down with smallpox; but we want to know whether this is stated by some great philosopher who wants to curse the gods, or only by some common clergyman who wants to help the men.” — G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

  38. It’s not so easy to remember that we do have a chance, albeit a thin one, when we see so much bad.