Cry No More

I grew up in a country that was decaying from an imagined great height where it got to divide the world in two with its hated next door neighbor.

The height was largely imagined for various reasons, but the quickest one to explain would be that Portugal never had a mercantile empire, a manufacturing base to back their “rule of the world.”  There was no middle-class culture.  So all the raw materials from the colonies, all the gold from South America, made a  short stop in Portugal and then went on to enrich countries that did have a middle class culture, such as Britain and Holand.

In terms of a superpower Portugal was closer to Saudi Arabia with an army (or at least a navy) than to the United States.  If people came to Portugal, unless they came to study navigation, they came to work for the foolish money and then to scuttle back home.

In other words, there is more resemblance between that mythical Portugal that “ruled the world” and the Portugal of sinecures, scrounging and status seeking in which I grew up than might be immediately apparent.

That is one of the amazing things about countries, even when they change a lot in ethnicity and way of living – there is an underlying personality and in the end it tends to be more or less the same.  Perhaps the crazy ideas of language shaping the brain are true, or perhaps more is transmitted not just in genetic propensities, but in the assumptions of slang, the lore that gets embedded in proverbs and expressions.  (Also the genetic replacement/flooding is always less than we tend to think, even in terms of say ancient Rome and how it changed.  To utterly overwhelm a genetic heritage you need something on the order of what happened to the Native Americans when Europeans arrive.  Massive numbers of incoming people, all at the same time, and at least some die off from new diseases.)

But the other thing that is absolutely true about a nation is that every man jack is convinced that his ancestors were so much better, and possessed of whatever virtues the country prizes.  I about shot tea out of my nose when Robert Graves made fun of this in ancient Romans, how they talked about their ancestors who lived in caves and ate bread made of acorns.  Even by the time I read The Decline and Fall – at 12? – I knew this type of talk from Portuguese and French and had read it from Englishmen.

To hear it in America is just the icing on the cake in so many ways.  For one we can’t claim to be genetically overwhelmed.  (Yes, the people-from-above are trying to CULTURALLY overwhelm us.  But what they don’t get is that by preventing assimilation, they are also preventing their charges from becoming useful members of society.  And yet, my bet would be as things get pinched and benes for being “diverse” dry up, their charges will either go home or become American.)

We are not a nation of genetics.  We’re a nation of ideas.  And we’re a nation of ideas so contagious that not only have they spread across the world (in mutant forms, I grant you, but the thing is what the ideas had to work with.  In France they became a sort of enforced egalitarianism except for the aristocracy of the bien pensant, because France is always a republic looking for an Ancien-Regime, and in the rest of Europe they became various forms of paternalism/classism, because that is those nations’ original idea.  BUT even then they don’t dare call them absolute monarchy or empire, or whatever, because we made that impossible) but infected the mother country.  I was chortling over a book on Henry VIII that said that the ultimate revenge of Catherine of Aragon was that Prince Charles’ kids are descended from her maid of honor, Maria de Salinas.  So her maid’s descendants will sit on the throne, but not Henry’s Descendants.  I thought “Yeah, but the throne compared to what Henry held is nothing, and he would be shocked at how low its power has fallen.”  And all because of us.

So imagine my shock when I found myself at Ace of Spades reading this thing about a Republican consultant (and if he worked on the last two campaigns, will you please get a grip on reality?  I can tell you right now those were infiltrated from inside.  No, stupidity cannot explain how badly they worked. Or the fact that my yelling my head off at people in Boston got the computer system working – but only for me.)

A lot of it threads the light pathetic, with him talking about how upset he was after the elections.  Tell you what, he wasn’t alone.  But if he’s such a big heap consultant, why was he so surprised?  I was JUST a poll watcher, and halfway through the day I KNEW we were going to lose.  I knew it because the number of people who apparently suffered amnesia and had forgotten they’d voted by mail – (about 1/3, though I heard that in Denver the percentages were reversed) – told me that the fix was in.

So explain to me how:

America’s best-known public-opinion guru hasn’t suddenly gone vegan. Luntz—the tubby, rumpled guy who runs the focus groups on Fox News after presidential debates, the political consultant and TV fixture whose word has been law in Republican circles since he helped write the 1994 Contract With America—has always been a hard man to please. But something is different now, he tells me. Something is wrong. Something in his psyche has broken, and he does not know if he can recover.

This is a man who makes his bread and butter – supposedly – from politics and elections, but he missed the vast, vast elephant of voter fraud in the room?  Bah.

And then he talks about how he goes all over the country and talks to people and America has changed, and America no longer wants to be free, but wants free stuff.  BAH.

Look, guys, the proof that he’s not all there, or at least is talking out both sides of his mouth is that he refers to Peggy the Moocher as representative of America now.

The entitlement he now hears from the focus groups he convenes amounts, in his view, to a permanent poisoning of the electorate—one that cannot be undone. “We have now created a sense of dependency and a sense of entitlement that is so great that you had, on the day that he was elected, women thinking that Obama was going to pay their mortgage payment, and that’s why they voted for him,” he says. “And that, to me, is the end of what made this country so great.”

If he really believes this, what he needs is a lengthy session of psychotherapy.  What made Peggy The Moocher famous was NOT that she was representative of America, but that she was out there on her lone limb as much as the chick who thinks sex is against nature.

And why is Ace of Spades – one of my go to blogs – giving any credence to the ravings of this “consultant”?  Because he says he’s run focus groups?  Oh, please.  Part of what makes the stupid party stupid is that they believe these outfits, which are mostly owned (like most of the chattering class) by the other side.  Mr. Lunz might run the focus groups, but I bet he doesn’t pick the participants one on one.

And why is everyone in the comments falling in line with “it’s over”?  Have all of you lost your minds?

I remember, yes, on election night, I lost heart for about ten minutes.  But that is not permanent, and my reasoning reasserted itself.  (I was talking two friends down from the ledge at the time, and that must be my excuse.)

Yea, yeah, yeah, we’re soft compared to our pioneer ancestors who lived in caves and ate acorns.  PFUI.  Would you please grow up?

Humans are humans are humans.  The part of humanity that wants to have liberty and is willing to pay for it has always been a minority. The only reason this here country exists, in the thin ledge between liberty and tyranny is that that minority is much more industrious and much more willing to work towards it than the vast majority who want to be taken care of.

Listen, dunderheads, the people who fought for independence from the British were a TINY minority, much fewer than the probably 50% now who just want to be left alone to live and work.  That is because this idea of being left alone and not taken care of was utterly revolutionary back then.  It has since infected the world.

Our founders lit a great light upon a hill, and like any great light, it has attracted both imitators and moths.

The moths just want to be warmed (and a lot of them get burned and start hating everything America stands for.)

Even in winning, the compact that is the Constitution started being violated and piecemealed almost immediately after.

And yet, the other side can’t QUITE put it out, which is why they hate it.  It infected their paternalistic monarchies, which they ultimately long for.  And they can’t get us to forget this idea of being free and of an armed citizenry ensuring its own liberty.

This whole “is over” thing is just their way of trying to get you to put down arms and to accept that their stolen victories are true.  (How can I talk of stolen victories?  Well, for one we know of several where the votes just kept showing up in car trunks till the count was what they wanted.  Do we believe that this wouldn’t happen in a presidential election too?  WHY? For another, guys, sweeties, why do they fight voter ID so hard?  No, it doesn’t make ANY sense.  The infinitesimal danger of “voter suppression” is lost in the danger of your vote not counting because ten million illegal immigrants diluted it.)  They want us to lie down and go to sleep and be like the Europeans.

And the doom sayers and ancestor-worshippers are ONLY helping this.

Not that it will work.

Look, I grew up in Europe.  Forget Peggy the Moocher, okay?  Peggy the Moocher in Europe would be considered a sane, if somewhat fringy member of the polity.  This is because in Europe you BELONG to the country and the government exists to take care of you.

In America the very idea is repulsive.  Yes, yes, some of the crazier democrats think we all belong to the government, but note even the wholly owned news services didn’t give this any play, because the average Joe would point and laugh as we do at Peggy the Moocher.

The European attitude is as incomprehensible to Americans as theirs is to us, and thank heavens.

Yes, pioneers could hunt, grow, be self sufficient.  This might have encouraged a certain mentality.  Weirdly, it’s not all that different from the mentality of the self-sufficient cyber entrepreneur who is getting tired of the government’s yoke.  The challenges they faced were different, and yes, they lived much closer to the bone.  Part of that “great light” is making us all more comfortable.  But a lot of us in this prosperous future find ourselves driven close enough to the bone, partly through stupid tax policies that penalize entrepreneurs.  And a lot of us are getting right tired of it.

Yes, us hard coreliberty lovers are a minority, but we are a minority that is armed, and dangerous, and by this I don’t mean physically.  We are people who read, who talk, who work for what we want.  And because liberty is as essential to us as the air we breathe, we fight with the despair of cornered beasts.

Is it enough?  Are we enough?

I don’t know.  Less than us was enough before.  It did for the British, and it lit a great light of freedom.

Cry no more.  Stop lamenting and put your shoulder to the wheel.

Our ancestors might have lived in caves and eaten acorns.  We, thank the Lord, hope to be spared having to do that.  The culture is what you make it.  You’re part of it, not a passive observer.

Now stop lamenting and work.

196 thoughts on “Cry No More

  1. Heh. I remember reading that one the other day and thinking this was like that other piece they linked on poverty in Appalachia. Sure, if the only people you talk to are Peggy and her kith and kin you could get the idea that America is a mob of apathetic gimmie gimmies yearning for the dole and to hell with this liberty stuff.

    I can only remember precisely one poll I participated in, and that was on a day I had to call in to work because my dad broke his leg and no one else was free to look after him. Much as I might complain about those calls when I’m trying to cook supper of an evening, they may have a point. There has to be a lot of folks who, unlike me, don’t contact the office of their congressperson telling them point blank we didn’t vote for them so they could give themselves more free stuff at our expense, or folks what don’t work and don’t try to a bigger cut of our paychecks.

    If Frank Luntz wants to bail (which I doubt, in the long run), maybe his job is open? With something like 10% real unemployment, hell, I’m sure there’s someone out there who’d apply.

  2. “And yet, my bet would be as things get pinched and benes for being “diverse” dry up, their charges will either go home or become American.”

    A worse problem than illegal immigrants who are coasting on our welfare state are the citizens who feel entitled to live on it forever. I know a single mom with two kids who is living in a 2000 sq foot house, with the rent paid for her who only has to pay utilities herself. She is way behind on the utility bills, yet windows stand open all day (in the CO winter!), lights are left on, and the huge flat screen TV is blasting with no one home. She has little incentive to earn her own way since the nanny state takes care of her, and losing her job merely means she gets more handouts.

    Unfortunately our local organically grown moochers can’t be sent home.

    I want to be optimistic, but part of what needs to change is the moocher mentality among citizens and not just illegal immigrants.

    1. I got to agree here.

      My parents were helping out this woman but it became apparent that she was never going to “turn her life around”. Because she had phone problems, they had allowed her to use their phone number as a contact number. Well after she “got out of their lives” and apparently returned to Texas, there were people trying to get a hold of her after she left. We (because I was answering my parents’ phone) had no way of getting a hold of her and had to tell the people that we didn’t know how to get a hold of her.

      Final note, after Dad died, that woman’s youngest daughter tried to get our church to “help her out”. This daughter was pregnant, living with her “boyfriend” and claimed that she was attending another local church. Our church secretary, knowing what my parents went through with her mother, told her to ask *her* church for help. Our church secretary (a nice lady) told me about this because she didn’t want the daughter to be bothering Mom. Oh, this daughter never contacted me.

        1. Yep, there’s always been “moochers” but it now seems like the State encourages people to be moochers. [Frown]

            1. There are now people agents of the state whose livelihood depends on having people dependent on them. I suspect there are reasons we see no reporting on the cost of the bureaucracy existing for the care and provision of moochers. I suspect those reasons have more than a little to do with how inefficient at transmitting “Welfare” dollars to the “intended” recipients these bureaucracies are. (Assuming you are naive enough to think that providing benefits to the indigent is the goal of such bureaucracies.) Providing salaries, benefits and pensions to government bureaucrats is mighty expensive but they will almost to a man vote to protect their jobs.

              It is appalling how many even in the military view defense of our way of life as an unfortunate side requirement of their jobs.

              1. About assimilation: I’ve been told a story from an acquaintance who worked with the state human services that was dealing with the settling of some of the boat-people who came to the US in the 80’s. He was involved, not because of any human services experience, but because he spoke French, which generally the elders spoke. Once he got through to the elders that the families could go anywhere, work anywhere, and as long as they paid the taxes and obeyed the laws, there wasn’t anyone that needed to give them permission to do anything, they returned their food-stamps, said they didn’t need any more help, and mostly moved to CA where it was warm and they had relatives. The manager of the program that was supposed to be helping these refugees got in the guy’s face about what he did, apparently because they were supposed to be the manager’s special project to do until retirement. Sometimes the leeches aren’t the passive receivers of aid, but the gatekeepers that start to act like pushers to keep the gravy flowing.

                1. Many of the boat people also migrated to the Louisiana Delta, I am told, for similar reasons, and have become quite prosperous in the fishing industry. The climate is close to what they knew in Asia and the Cajuns and they have many cultural similarities.

                  As for that supervisor … many and unreported are the tales of how the Welfare State keeps its victims charges trapped in a web of regulations that assures their continued support so long as the clients obey some simple rules, such as not allowing the father of their children to live in their state-provided house and not having a bank account — even though keeping cash in the house invites theft and encourages impulse purchases.

                  BTW – it is a stated goal of the current administration to employ Civil Rights efforts to implant their dependency clients throughout suburbia. Stanley Kurtz and the Powerline bloggers have written of it on several occasions. Such mongering of race-based fear is to be deplored, of course, no matter (especially) the factual basis for such concerns.

                2. I grew up in Sacramento, which has a large portion of the boat-people from the fall of South Vietnam. You’ll be pleased to hear that most of the first generation became successful strawberry farmers (many of those farms are still in business and the BEST places to buy strawberries), and that their children largely went into professional services, mostly dentistry. Seriously, I don’t know what the percentage of Vietnamese last names is in the dental profession, but it’s a significant double-digit section.

                  1. I have a friend who has became involved with the people in the Louisiana Delta after Katrina. He advised that there are no Vietnamese fishermen there anymore. They came, worked until they had their stake, sent their kids to professional schools and retired or started their own businesses. I understand that is the same story for the Europeans that come here.

                  2. Sacramentan here, too (I’m in town visiting, even) and I can confirm that. The best strawberries I ever ate were from a little family strawberry farm on the side of the road in the godforsaken human wilderness of Rio Linda, where the Vietnamese proprietress spoke just enough English to sell us her wonderful berries. I almost miss this place sometimes.

                3. The best seamstress/alterations lady in Amarillo is a Vietnamese woman who married a GI and followed him home. She works hard, works her staff just as hard, and does fantastic work. And always closes for Christmas, Easter, and the week of the 4th of July.

                  Amarillo seems to have collected a number of Vietnamese, Laotian, and now Burmese refugees, from what I hear.

        2. To me, the issue is that there are so many more moochers today. That would be fine if those of conscience were large enough in number to oppose them, but most folks are apathetic. And it’s that apathy that, in the end, will do the damage.

      1. I know of a similar situation. A family with the mother disabled kept asking our church for assistance. people willingly gave items and money. The church kept backstopping every problem they had.
        It all ended when the husband asked if we’d pay for a prescription his wife needed. I agreed, but went to the pharmacy in person to pay it.
        The $90 prescription he claimed was needed turned out to be less than $5 for TWO prescriptions. I had suspicions of them before, but no proof. With this proof, they never got another dime from anyone in the church.

        I’m willing to help anyone who is trying to help themselves.But since the “system” rewards helpless surrender, that’s what people go far.

    2. Call them what they are — parasites on the body politic. They drain the host’s energies, they expose the host to mostly minor but potentially injurious infections (is Socialism a Politically Transmitted Disease?) and, like ticks, are most irritating when you try to remove them.

      For the most part our inner cities are cesspools of such parasites, bred and conditioned to feed off the public weal without providing anything in return except lack of inflammation. Sadly, this is the product of a dysfunctional culture developed and maintained by patent medicine salesmen in order to keep the general, productive public dependent on their “medicines.”

      Lest anybody cry Racist and let loose the dogs of shame, the parasites described are defined by a culture and can be of any race (counting by race is itself one of the symptoms of this type infestation, distracting from the cultural problem by attempting to paper it over with a tissue of racialism.)

  3. “Yes, us hard cover liberty lovers are a minority” — that has always been the case, but it is also true that there is a vast swath of paperback liberty lovers willing to follow us if we can demonstrate the viability of our reading of History.

    Those e-book liberty lovers, them I’m not so sure about. They may burn the hottest flame, they may melt away like cheap tallow — we only find out by lighting them up.

      1. For the record, I have no objection to publishers and authors issuing their product with DRM. They are under no obligation to offer their product in a manner acceptable to me, merely to inform me in advance that my trade is not their desire.

        In fact, given the vast array of material awaiting my reading, I appreciate this early screening provided by DRM.

          1. There are those I would not even have as used ppbs (DaVinci Code, Fifty Shades) but then, I am under no burden to understand what the marketplace for books is pursuing.

        1. Unfortunately some ebook sites are getting wise and not warning readers in advance anymore (Kobo I’m looking at you)

          1. I take this opportunity to remind all authors offering e-pubs to affirmatively state when they are DRM-free, and for readers to buy no book which does not so affirm. (Oh, heck, I don’t care what you buy, just don’t be the sort of prat as assumes what should be explicitly asserted.)

            1. I’m beginning to think though, that it might be necessary in the EU market. There’s a LOT of abuse of the “Buy-read-return” rules on Amazon. (Even my little story, which has had a mere 6 sales, had one purchase and return in the UK in the space of a day, and a friend of mine watched as each book in his series was purchased and then returned in the UK one after another.). Are they keeping it after returning it? Without DRM, they could be.

              Now, even though this would represent 16% of my sales, it isn’t “OMG! They’re ripping me off!” that makes me think this way, but more a case of discouraging the European entitlement attitude. The sort of person who sees enough pennies in the penny bowl at the cash register to take them all and buy a candy bar with them, because the system has been left open for abuse of trust.

                1. Well, I have had one more actual sale since I took it off Erotica…. so I’m up to uh, 5 now, Net.

                  Clearly I need to leave out the discussions of telepathy and philosophy and politics the next time I write about a human and an alien making it in Prison…. THEN I can quit my day job. 🙂

                  Maybe add a Bigfoot and a Dinosaur or two.

                    1. No, the alien’s a girl, an insane telepath, and he’s a step beyond a Xenophobe, more of a full blown bigot. They stuck him in there hoping he’d kill her, and she intends to make him her slave. It doesn’t go well for either of them.

                    2. “[S]he intends to make him her slave” — so, we’re talking cover art depicting her in patent leather thigh high boots with six-inch heels, bustier and kitten ears?

                    3. I wouldn’t classify it as erotica (not sure what I would classify it as, SF yes, but not what subgenre). It is an interesting read, not sure I would like it expanded into novel length, but at its length it grabs your attention and holds it. I liked it even though it is a different type of story than I would normally pick out.

                    4. RES: Well, the cat ears are natural…. And she doesn’t have a tail (anymore, a fact which humiliates her utterly).

                      Bearcat: Oh, that’s right, you did read it when I had it out there freely. I spent a lot of time cleaning it up over the Christmas vacation before I made the ebook out of it. The erotica thing is tough, because in some genres, like bondage and fetish, the ol’ in-out isn’t really the point. There are some folks who get off on Diesel-Electric locomotives, so who’s to say?

                      But yeah, there isn’t a lot more to tell in that story. Adding the fight that lands Alex in jail wouldn’t add too much. And when I was asked “What happens later?” I had to think of something, which would really be a separate story. Al-Natiri live longer than humans, and the why of their imprisonment is lost. When one of the caretakers comes in to see what’s wrong, and releases Aniti, well, that sets off the reign of Queen Aniti the Mad, which is tragic for everyone.

                    1. High fiving? Heck, I’m sitting here dreamily imagining Carly Simon singing it

                      Nobody’s done it Yeti
                      Makes me feel sad for the rest
                      Nobody’s done it half as good as you
                      Baby, you’re the best

                    2. Hmph. I’ve seen the condition your sandals are in. If you would just trim your toenails more than once a century you could get away with wearing a size 9.

          2. Kobo also takes its own sweet time to make books available after upload. They are rapidly earning my ire.

              1. Here you go:

                TXRed, why is only one of your stories linked to your author page? I was going to post a much shorter URL, but then I realized only ‘a cat among dragons’ shows up on your author page.

                emily, hope you feel better soon. Fuzz brain is no fun! (except when I can use it to get my husband to make hot toddies for me…)

                1. I’m on too many meds I can’t take decongestants. Also w2hen the only person to talk to is the puppy dog fuzz brain occurs. If nothing goes awry, I and the puppy will be going back to Portland with hubby after a month at home.

                  1. Here’s hoping everything goes smoothly! The longest I had to be away from my husband yet was seven months – which started two weeks after we were married. My sympathies!

                    1. If he’s not out of town he’s not working. He has hundreds of thousands of Marriott points. Also enough airline miles to pay for my plane ticket. I wish he was still working at Camp Pendleton. San Diego and its suburbs are awesomely beautiful, and have a nicer climate than Portland. The enviros are nuttier in Portland than in San Diego. We haven’t been to SF or LA, I guess we were lucky. OTOH, Portland hasn’t had multicounty blackout in the the summer.

                2. Dorothy, it’s because I keep forgetting that I have an author page. I’d like to say my new meds are to blame but 1) the don’t do that and 2) I’m tapering off of them. *looks around* It’s the cat’s fault. She forgets to remind me. Yeah, that’s it.

                  I’ll fix that this afternoon, if I remember.

      1. Oh sure, I knew that, you knew I knew that — but it provided an opportunity for a fun metaphor, perhaps made obsolete by evolution of the publishing marketplace, where hard cover no longer means “respectable” so much as it means “you desperate boobs will pay extra to get your fix sooner.”

                1. kingdom, phylum, class, order, species.

                  We’re a class? Well, then, all we have to do is absorb a couple other classes to work our way up to a kingdom…

                  Who said we don’t need no education?

                    1. This thread takes me back to jr. high biology class in SOOOO many ways. 😉 Anybody else learn the mnemonic as “King Philip Came Over From Germany Stoned?”

                    2. Never heard that one. I made up my own: King Pig Can Open Fat Gum Shoes.

                      Yes, it makes no sense, but I still remember it some 20+ years later:-).

                    1. we once all stood up and sang this at one of our teachers in the gifted form. We were lucky. Yes, she was a communist party member but one who retained traces of humanity. She listened to the end, sighed and said, “oh, sit down!” and went on with the class.

                    2. I understood that whole Pudding/Meat thing much better when I learned that Pudding in British English can mean any desert, and Meat likewise refers to one’s dinner.

          1. I maintain the reason that mammaries are colloquially called “boobs” is because that is what their presence and exposure reduces men to.

            I await the clever dick who files a hostile workplace class action against women in his office who insist on wearing distracting, cleavage enhancing.exposing garments when SCIENCE HAS PROVEN that men suffer a measurable diminution of intelligence in the presence of such provocation. Taking advantage of biological quirks to impair competitors’ performance in the workplace (for that matter, in the schools) constitutes maintenance of a hostile environment and must be redressed by the anti-sexual harassment apparatchiksus of the state.

            1. There is the [probably apocryphal] story of the state agency branch office manager who posted rules for non-distracting office wear that included, “no high heeled or open toed shoes.” Apparently the only one who was distracted was the manager, who had issues. He was eventually allowed to retire early, or go work in the business services in a non-managerial position or something.

  4. When reading Livy’s History of the Roman Republic I was struck by the degree that current political debates reiterate ancient ones. The tensions between the Patrician and Plebeian classes over roles, responsibilities, representation and perquisites seems Manichaean in its unending struggle between opposites, antithetical views, yet without the dynamism thus created there is no energy to propel Civilization forward (nor to tear down its rotting edifices of stale ideas and static structures.)

    There is great value to knowing History, which is why the entrenched powers always seek to bind Clio to their service and why those in rebellion seek to seduce her to their cause (only to bind her in turn once they’ve attained power.)

    1. Why I write historical fiction, RES – trying to teach through a pop-culture medium. Without knowing history we are in a kind of cultural sensory-deprivation tank. Without knowing history, a body of people is vulnerable to whatever the media pleases itself to tell you.
      Just to give a current example – Meryl Streep’s rant about Walt Disney being a racist, anti-Semitic woman-hater. Fortunately, there are people still living, who worked for him, and remember quite the opposite, and can testify. But when history can be memory-holed that easily … not a good thing.

      1. Heh – about Ms Streep’s screed: if she were really exercised over racist anti-Semitic woman-haters she should look more closely at Presidents Wilson and FDR. For that matter, many of the “original” feminists were staunchly anti-abortion, viewing it as a tool in subordination of women. And the few suffragists who were pro-abortion typically endorsed it on the grounds that it would prevent proliferation of “inferior races.”

        Can you imagine the exploding heads over a novel offering a realistic portrayal of such early advocates of feminism and the origins of Planned Parenthood?

        1. Shhh…the popularity of the eugenics movement in American history is a secret. Particularly classified is who was so enamored.

          You keep talking like this and people will notice.

      2. Disney himself noticed that the Communist papers praised his films — until he blocked their “organizing” the animators at his studio. After that, everything he made was a tool of oppression and all sorts of rumors were spread about him. And the Hollywood types STILL repeat those rumors today.

    1. Doom gets a bit dull after a while. You might as well hope. It’s much more fun!

    2. Fomenting rebellion against a nation with an army that was eight weeks away, that had only a small army in the colony, and was led by a fool of a king is easy compared with fomenting rebellion from within where the national and state governments are massive, the big businesses are tied to the governments via cronyism and bribes, the military is huge and is unlikely to revolt or even stand aside, half the population either works for the government or gets big benefits from the government, and most of the other half of the people are sheep. Anyone who thinks we can create even a half-way libertarian society under these conditions is delusional. The non-revolt nibble-away approach also will not work. It’s always gone in reverse: nibble-more bureaucracy, nibble-more cronyism, nibble-a chunk of the Bill of Rights is gone, nibble-more nanny-statism. The only nibble that has gone our way in decades is gun laws.
      Some readers will call this pessimism. I call it realism.

      1. Pessimism? No, few here will call it that.

        Realism? That is one word for it. Defeatism is a more accurate one.

        Sun Tzu — ‘Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.’

        Robert A. Heinlein — ‘Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet you can’t win.’

      2. Ah, yes, how do you love the heavy hand of the IRS agents enforcing Prohibition? And it’s a shame, isn’t it, that all that cheap housing we’re buying on the west coast really belongs to the citizens locked up in internment camps – but hey, at least we’ve solved the problem of lunatics and shell-shocked soldiers by lobotimizing them, and the airlines are nicely regulated in routes and fares to ensure that the right amount of service is provided to the right places.

        Of course, can you believe some people tried to make Teapot Dome a scandal? That’s just the cost of doing business!

        Thhbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbppppppppppppty. 😛

            1. I’m not following. I love this place = accordingtohoyt.

              I was responding to Dorothy Grant’s subtle (was it?) response to the impossibility of change, or at least positive change, in our society. I may have misread her…

              1. I was responding to the person who talked internment camps and lobotomies for lunatics. I know you didn’t write but I thought you were responding to it. If no one wrote this. Then I’m just paranoid.

                1. Paranoia is a survival trait. Until you start setting the bear-traps in the bathroom. Then you either need help or better tactics.

                1. Emily is fuzz brained. It could be the pain meds or the nasal congestion or who knows what?

                  What was said?

                    1. 1920s (Prohibition), 1940s (Internment camps [WWI also for some German-speakers/German immigrants IIRC], pre-1978 airlines (darn you to heck, T. Kennedy and American Airlines), and 1920s-1950s.

                    2. Whenever someone tells you that the world always moves in a Progressive direction, the correct answer is to retort that that is because they rewrite history so that the things that failed are not Progressive any more. Like involuntary eugenic sterilizations. Nazis were convicted at Nuremberg for programs that were modeled on American programs that were still going on at the time of the trials and often for years after.

            2. I’m sorry; the raspberry blown at the poster above me bemoaning how policies are always changed for the worst and not reversed didn’t carry over clearly enough as poking fun at his gloominess while pointing out that many bad policies have been reversed.

              I should have quoted him, probably, and then inserted a few eye rolls and flailing hand gestures, to convey the lighthearted poking fun more clearly.

              But this isn’t an Alternate Universe – this is history! Our history! Everything mentioned happened, right along with the eugenics-led forced sterilization of ‘lunatics and other undesirables’ and the Jim Crow laws! And now – now they’re all past history, to the point we’re in danger of whitewashing the past into some mythical time when men were men, women were women, and politicians were honest. Heh. It’s always been dirty, desperate, sordid, and filled with humans being human – and we’ve managed to consistently build a better and brighter future anyway!

              For those who think civilization is in jeopardy, well, I’ll take “We’re going to come out better in the end” for $200, Alex.

              1. People always forget the past, when talking about how bad it is, today. And, they forget that something changed for the worse, can be fixed tomorrow.

                Every time I hear someone complain about how bad Obama is, I ask them if he’s confiscated everyone’s gold, yet. That always gets stares, and looks of confusion.

                At that point, I gently point out that that was one of FDR’s signature moves, and one that wasn’t completely rescinded until well into the 1960s.

                Look up Executive Order 6102, as an example of how bad things can be.

      3. MingoV, I _sort of_ agree. A libertarian society will not “spring up.” Neither will an LP state overcome us. 1) There are an _estimated_ 300 *million* guns in private hands. *Total* US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marines, AF, CG) is ~2.7 million. My SWAG for Left/Least Coast pops is a follows. 150-175 Million. 10% have guns and admit it; 20% have and *deny* it; 10% criminal (non politician); 5% Criminal (Politician); 20% go into hysterics at the _sight_ of guns; 20% will never use guns for any reason, but NOT have hysterics; 25% can be taught/become useful. “Flyover Country” stats (another SWAG): Pop. 125-150 Million; 25% have guns (admit); 30% have and if pressed admit it; 11% (non-pol) criminals); 4-5% (pol) criminals); 20% have hysterics at the thought of guns; 30+% trainable. Living VN vets (100+K), Iraq/Afghan vets, (200K?). Non-Vet survivalists/”Renaissance people” (I include Ren. Fair/SCA/Associated), 500K-1 Million. Allowing for overlaps, that means 500K to 1 _million_ potential “Fifth Columnists” in the “Flyover” states. Figuring each as “Sergeants (overseeing 25), that means *potentially* 25 Million, against << 10 Million for Gov't.
        3D printers, and associated tech, means "big Bus." is in deep poop.

      4. That huge army has spent the last thirteen years unsuccessfully fighting an insurgency in a country of 30 million. Yet you expect that they can successfully fight one in a country of 300 million that is full of citizens that are more tech savvy, better educated, better armed and better shots. I’ll add better led because their are retired and current military service members that would fight for freedom.

        As for the non-revolt approach. The statist’s are running out of money to continue the buying of votes thru entitlements. Currently medicare goes break in ten years and social security in twenty and the lunatics want to spend even more money. Honestly you expect them to destroy everything the hard working people support and yet at the same time continue to reap the same rewards from them after their destruction. How is that realistic?

        1. Well, the mean reason they’re not being so successful is because they have rules of engagement that don’t allow them to do what they need to do to win, which is to say, Kill people and break things. They get to drive convoys around in a “Show of Force” but a show of force is not a show of force if there’s no force to back it up. It’s just IED practice for the Taliban.

          1. Oh yes I could write paragraphs on the stupidity of the current RoE’s. But doesn’t really effect my point- if they won’t use sensible RoE’s against those murderous savages I don’t see them using them in the US in the highly unlikely outbreak of massive armed resistance.

            1. Obama and Holder have already demonstrated willingness to employ far harsher measures against domestic opponents than foreign; any assumption they would use “kid-glove” ROE strikes me as highly optimistic. These are people who denounce Gitmo and Abu Ghraib but defended the Branch Davidian and Elián González raids.

        2. Erm. That huge army has spent the last 13 years being hog-tied by the Rules of Engagement. If reasonable RoE were in place – maybe something along the lines of “kill them all and sow the earth with salt” there wouldn’t be much of an insurgency.

          All of which is utterly irrelevant because the vast overwhelming majority of shooters in the modern armed forces will simply refuse to fire if ordered to do so. If troubles were to start, desertion and mutiny would RAPIDLY become issues, because largely they agree with us. We, most of us, love our country. Our issue is with the government. The same government that is treating them like so much garbage.

        3. Also, remember that the military is sworn to the United States and its Constitution, not the President. One can hope they remember this.

          1. There does however seem to be an ongoing effort by the administration to down select flag level officers resistant to blind obedience to POTUS. In a different forum it was remarked that they were targeting the wrong level, it’s the noncoms that will rise up and slap them down should they attempt any unconstitutional acts.

        4. …spent the last thirteen years unsuccessfully fighting an insurgency in a country of 30 million.

          But what a country! Arguably over the last 2,300 years (i.e. post Alexander), exactly ONE non-native polity has successfully subdued the tribes of Afghanistan, and the Mongols did it in their usual thorough manner, by killing pretty much everyone that didn’t submit completely to Mongol rule. It took the Khan basically two campaign seasons to completely and utterly demolish the Persian Khwarezmid Empire (everything across modern Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and the northwestern half of Afghanistan) (Lesson Learned: Do not kill the Khan’s Ambassadorial trading mission, even if you think they might be spies).

          Fighting an insurgency in Afghanistan is a pretty high bar, and the resulting experience gained there and in Iraq (where, note, the US won the insurgency, subsequent idiocy notwithstanding) leaves the U.S. military pretty darned good at doing that counter insurgency thing, albeit latley perhaps less good at all that other land warfare stuff (though I don’t see anyone lining up to test that possibility)*.

          On the other hand, positing an insurgency here opens all kinds of worm cans, including all those veterans now out of uniform who, having learned counter insurgency, by necessity had to learn insurgency really, really well. There’s a reason the same Green Berets get sent in either to lead counterinsurgency work (as in the southern Philippines since 9/11) or to instigate actual insurgencies, as dictated by the needs of the moment.

          On the gripping hand, I don’t it pays to get too far into this line of thinking – despair is a sin, and by deciding all is lost and the only thing left is to kick off Gotterdamerung, one misses the vitally important non-combat fights that still need to be fought before then, which could very well turn our future away from that dark and bloody path.

          * Note that LtCol. Kratman has been known to pop in here from time to time, and as the Colonel has both made the study of arms his life’s first work and has studied the vast scope of the Afghan thing as backdrop for his books, his views would be far more informed and valuable on this than mine. (Yes, this is a transparent lighting of the ‘Col. K’ signal spotlight up on the roof – if he’s not too busy we can hope that in he might be chiming.)

  5. I mam not sure where I read this, but during the revolution about 1/3 supported independence, 1/3 did not, and 1/3 didn’t want to get involved. After the war many of the 1/3 loyalists moved to Canada.

    The moochers have always been with us, but frontier life demanded that you were self sufficient. So the moocher class tended to stay in the cities.

    1. I believe that 1/3 analysis was from John Adams but am not motivated to search out a citation. Frankly, it seems optimistic in its count of supporters of independence; I would suspect that of the 1/3 cited something like 2/3 would appreciate independence if it was given them but would not much exert themselves to wrest it from the Crown.

      1. The historian Alfred Young got similar numbers when he compared small groups of people in different parts of the colonies, looking at letters, who left for where and when, pamphlets and so on. Some areas were different, for different reasons (NC’s Regulators, the Hudson Valley anti-patroon voters, as two examples).

          1. The host of that site is the blogger who broke the Fast and Furious ATF debacle to the public. He’s been a thorn in their sides for many a year now, bless him.

  6. I suspect a great deal of the agita at AoS and other places is everyone is willing to work hard–but they want that hard work to be effective. Being prepared, stocking up on beans and bullets doesn’t *do* anything to cause change, it just makes it easier to survive change. It would be nice to have some measure that gives feedback. We tend to be the doers–but what can we do in an active way, here? (I am not in the camp of the hand-wringers, BTW. I intend to fight to the end and if I fail, die with my jaws clamped around an enemy throat.) Americans also tend to be impatient. We see a problem and want to fix it NOW, not next week.

    1. Being armed and well stocked IS action and scares the hell out of the progressive/communists in this country. That’s enough reason to justify it right there, and while “prepping” may seem passive, it is actually active self defense as it limits their freedom of action. Obama is the best gun and ammo salesman ever, and buying firearms is taking action.

      1. And an even better salesman of used guns. Ever notice how used guns in good condition are going for the same price to some times slightly more than new? That is because there are a lot of people like myself who believe they won’t keep the information and paperwork on sales of new guns when h@!! freezes over.

      2. There’s a bizarre dichotomy in the government message about “prepping”. The agencies responsible for dealing with disasters — FEMA, etc — encourage it. The “law enforcement” agencies most driven by politics — the “anti-terrorism fusion centers” — have put prepping on their list of signs you’re a dangerous extremist.

      1. Good thing he does that whole build-your-own-egg thing, eh? I know, I know… (hangs head). It’s not the combustion that’s a problem, it’s the lack of air circulation caused by lots of people being opinionated….

  7. Tangential, perhaps, but this made me think about my religion and why I stoutly persist in it. My son, the teen believer-turned-atheist-turned-deist, asked me why I believe what I believe. I told him that at my lowest ever point, the time period when I looked longingly at the 18-wheelers in the oncoming lane and envied my uncle for his stage-4 cancer diagnosis … during that time I asked myself the same thing and realized that I choose to believe because, at root, I don’t so much believe it IS true as I WANT it to be true. I couldn’t bear to go on in a world that was just a deist’s mechanical toy or even just random crap. So that makes me a poor believer, but I”m told there’s grace in wanting to believe also.

    I think a lot of doom-sayers might feel kinda that way … not sure if the good is true any more, but can’t stand the alternative … maybe I’m reading too much into my own navel …

  8. One thing about buried history and traditions, is that they can spring back up pretty quickly. Ann Applebaum’s book “Iron Curtain” looks at how people survived in Poland, E. Germany, and Czechoslovakia under Stalinism, and one thing she points out is how resilient ideas about self-reliance and volunteerism were. Stalinism couldn’t crush the churches or old mutual assistance ideas, and one of the first things to reappear after the Iron Curtain fell apart were voluntary aid groups (before the German and other central govts shut them down or put heavy limits on what they could do, natch). Things are rough and ugly now, but the ideas about self-government, the value of the individual, and helping our neighbors are still a live in large parts of the country, just not as prominently as I’d like for them to be. Yeah, Detroit’s a mess, but the UP and central MI still have hope. Ditto Chicago vs the rest of Illinois, and so on.

  9. One of the biggest traps we fall for (me, frequently) is the squeaky wheel phenomenon. We hear about the squeaky wheel, they interview the squeaky wheel, some folks have an agenda that revolves around the squeaky wheel (surely not!) — after a while, the squeaky wheel is all we hear, everything else has been subverted by that constant, annoying distraction. It gets to the point that we might be willing to sell the whole car to be rid of that squeaky wheel.

    But there’s a lot more going on and getting done than the squeaky wheel accounts for. And with 314 million people in this country, there’s a whole lot more than moochers. Most of the immigrants (legal and not) came here, not for welfare and mooching, but for a chance for their labor to matter to their lives. There’s a whole political class that exists to court them, seduce them to their side, but that doesn’t change the core motivation that brought them here. Witness the boat people discussed upthread.

    To our esteemed host’s point: hard core lovers of liberty are a small portion, seekers even smaller. But the number of people who are believers in liberty? That’s a huge chunk. A pretty big chunk of the people trapped in tentacled grip of .gov assistance are believers.

    What ought to be happening is not surrender. No doom and gloom. But enhanced resolve, and louder conversations.

    One of the seductions of the democrats (Ignoring progressives, their greatest trick was convincing the world they didn’t exist. That was somebody else, you say? Same diff.) is telling the large under-informed chunk of the population that they’re helping people. Many, many democrats fall in this group. They’re not seeking anything for themselves, but they want to ensure the less fortunate benefit from this great nation. They don’t quite grok the true costs. Obumblecare has illuminated the problem for quite a few people. They didn’t want it for them, they wanted it for those untold (because the progs are tired of having their numbers challenged/demolished) masses. But — it’s going to cost what??

    It’s not time sell the car. It’s not even time to worry about the wheel. It’s time to put on the enthusiast’s hat and talk about how this baby can run!

      1. Ah! That explains why the title didn’t make sense. Sense as in following the previous pattern, that is.

  10. In between my active duty stints, I worked as a juvenile probation officer for a short period in California in the early 80s. I was appalled at the number of ‘children’ on my caseload who were third and fourth generation welfare recipients. Their role models were the local drug dealers, who had the money, flashy cars, etc. that denoted ‘success’. The social workers who oversaw the programs had absolutely NO incentive to help these folks get out of the system. Each entry level case worker had a load of 50-60; for every X entry level workers, there was a supervisor; for every Y supervisors, there was a manager, etc. all the way up the bureaucratic food chain. The only metric used to determine the size of the workforce was total number of cases, not how many were helped to transition out of the system. Thus the entire workforce had a huge incentive to keep as many in the system for as long as possible. And they enlisted the help of various ‘rights’ groups to help keep the politicians giving them more funding.

  11. What’s wrong with you weenies here. I retired out of a metalworking business at 65 and have now spent three years developing a Low Power FM radio station that will begin broadcasting an educational Conservative message in my community within a couple months. Things can be done. Things can always be done. Just get at it and start doing them and never be caught helping run up the white flag.

    1. Exactly! To paraphrase Richard Weaver “Here I’ll take my stand.” We ain’t leavin’ and we’ll do what’s necessary when necessary.

        1. So that the entire world is a Socialist “paradise” and kill the space program so that no one can ever leave.
          I used to think that John Ringo was creepy. You are creepy too.

          1. I think that even if Athena Hera Sinistra lived today she’d be as disturbing. I could see Kit as a pilot/engineer and AHS as a Tea Party Activist, hunter and athlete. She might even be be friends with Ted Nugent.

            Sorry RPF is quite objectionable and fan fic in the presence of the author, almost as bad. I could see her as one of those dynamic Dallas women, though..

            THWAPP! The carp hits me none too soon.

            1. I don’t think I would be allowed to allow fanfic, and I live in fear someone will accuse me of stealing her idea, but as a fellow fanficker, I wish I could allow it. I would like to totally open my musketeer mysteries novels to fanfic, for instance.

              1. How does Eric get away with it for his 1632 series?

                Can they give you a dollar in royalties for use of characters? Can they do it for a dime? Howabout if they pay you a dollar royalties and you pay them a dollar for publication rites?

                1. um…. Actually if/when I get the stupid page ready, I’d like to have a page for fanfic. I’m supposed to see my lawyer tomorrow. I wonder if there can be a form in which you hold me harmless if I steal an idea/character. (I’m not likely to. Most of the time I won’t read it. The fear is that I and a fan will both write the same character and I’ll get sued, without my even knowing it was there, if that makes sense. there’s of course also the fear I’ll read it, then forget, then come up with a twist on it three months later, without knowing I read it. So, a contract holding me harmless would be essential.)

                  1. I’d like to see the kindle worlds contract; from all accounts, it seems the fanfic author is pretty much signing a work for hire just like the franchise writers. By several accounts of people who have done that, they’re pretty happy with the results.

                    1. Um… I’d be okay with that, too… But I doubt Baen would be — unless I edited the stuff. Once I dig out from under and actually give in the LATE stuff, I’m hoping to talk Toni into letting me do a Shifters fanfic.

                    2. Sooooo, if characters are driving from Ft. Collins to Las Cruces and one suggests stopping at this diner he’s heard about in Goldport, it’s OK, but the prof at the steering wheel had better insist they keep going because they need to get through Raton Pass before the chain requirement kicks in.

                    3. No. That actually won’t bother anyone, I think — it’s an homage. But if you want to do it, send me an email and I’ll clear it with Toni just to be sure. OTOH I’m 88% sure it’s fine.

                    4. It’s a story that’s still very much in the so-rough-it-makes-sandpaper-squirm draft stage, but I’ll see how it goes and send it along. Maybe before December, even! 😉

              2. Sarah, who has the authority to forbid you from “allowing” FanFic?

                1. Toni. They have a lease on the copyright for Darkships and Shifters. I know this is complex, and yeah, legally I might win a case, but I also don’t want to damage the goodwill of Baen (besides being PERSONALLY fond of Toni.) I know my older son is considering a “powerpod gathering game” and I mentioned it to Toni to get her permission. (Computer game.) Even though it would be free. For the indie stuff no one can stop me, but I’d better talk to my lawyer first, or he’ll yell and I’m a sensitive plant.

                  1. Point. Although considering the success of opening up the 1632 universe, you might talk with Toni about “opening up” the Shifter universe to FanFic with the “prize” that the best FanFic gets published in a short story collection. Obviously, the writers of the stories published would get a “piece of the action”.

                  2. “I’m a sensitive plant”
                    Ah, that explains the sometimes high incidence of organic fertilizer present on this blog. We’re a food source.

                    1. As I recall childhood myths lessons, the Amerindians taught the early settlers to plant corn including two fish with every seed planted.

                      I don’t recall anything being said about whether the fish were sardine sized or tuna size, but in considering the amount necessary for even a moderate plot of corn I reach two conclusions: a) if you’ve got that much spare fish you probably don’t need to worry about planting crops b0 a carp trebuchet for mass planting might prove useful.

                    2. Not speaking for anyone else, but I DO have brown eyes*. So I need to vent some now and then.

                      *In my family, the saying goes, “You’re so full of sh*t, your eyes are brown.”

                    3. …a carp trebuchet for mass planting might prove useful.
                      Thus the old saying, ‘When you have a Carp Trebuchet, every problem looks like a punster’.

        2. As long as we exist they have somewhere to go. As well as proof they don’t live in “the best of all possible worlds.”

        3. No alternative to statism can be tolerated. It makes the powers that are look bad. Among other things it might put bureaucrats out of work and you know what a tragedy that is.

  12. About the voter ID issue and why Democrats fight so hard to oppose it:

    The ones who are benefiting from vote fraud, sure — they’ll fight as hard as they can to keep their phoney-baloney jobs. But there are also plenty of Democratic voters who don’t know anything about vote fraud, would be horrified if they knew how much it happens, and yet still oppose voter ID, because they’re completely bought into the “Republicans are evil” idea. Republicans are pushing for voter ID even though no significant amount of vote fraud occurs*? Why, that must be because they have some evil motive. What could it be…? Well, they probably want to suppress the vote among minorities, who’d be intimidated by showing ID to vote. (Yes, plenty of people truly believe this nonsense, because they’re thinking only at the surface level. The inherent contradictions in their positions — like how those minorities never seem to be intimidated by showing ID to do anything else in their daily routines — never occurs to them).

    Basically, we have to keep in mind when arguing voter ID, or any other position, that only some of the people objecting to it are dishonest. Plenty of people objecting to it are only objecting because they’ve bought the lies they’ve been fed, and we need to tailor the approach we take in arguing people depending on whether they’re liars or honestly mistaken.

    * They’d concede that there will be a few people who cheat here and there, but they truly believe it’s not happening in significant amounts, because otherwise it would be on the news. The obvious rebuttal to this argument (the vested interest the news services have in burying the story) never occurs to them.

    1. I think most democrat voters are now or about to fall into the TWANLOC category. Most of us who read or post on this blog take the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence very seriously. It’s clear that most democrats and most RINOs do not. The voter ID issue is an example. This is a fundamental division every bit as serious as that at the time of the first American revolution. It’s time to lead, follow, or get out of the way. Fun Times!

    2. I think a better explanation for the perceived lack of voter fraud simply lies in the nature of the crime.

      Imagine an electorate of 100 voters. Come election day, the votes are counted and there are 150 ballots. Obviously at least 50 of those ballots are fraudulent. Which ones? Obviously somebody committed voter fraud. How many? Did 50 people vote twice, or did one person slip and extra 50 ballots in somehow? Who did it? If you can’t even identify the number of perpetrators how can you possibly determine names. So of course there will be no prosecutions, which means that those who deny voter fraud can point to the lack of convictions as “evidence.” All of this gets even more complicated in the real world where turnouts rarely top 2/3rds of eligible voters. Are 66% actually voting, or is real turnout only 50% with 1/3 voting twice?

      1. Politics may be the only significant field where “absence of evidence” equates to “evidence of absence.” Think any drug companies could get away with doing no testing for side effects and claiming there is no evidence of harmful side effects? Does the SEC accept financial statements simply on corporate claims “they’re good.” S’pose your local fast food window refused to allow food safety inspections because “nobody has gotten sick”?

        Is it not odd that the parties which insist on regulation, licensure and certification for virtually every activity in our society deny there is any need for meaningful regulation of voting? Sure, requiring voters to produce ID is inconvenient, but when has inconveniencing the citizenry been a deterrent to their demand to require permits even for kid’s lemonade stands?

        With virtually no effective means of detection of vote fraud defenders of the current system insist there is no fraud. This is akin to people who never count their change received insisting that they always get correct change.

  13. One plus side: people who aren’t moochers tend to be more resourceful (even if not rich) and eventually get better education (formal and informal). In the long run, brains win. Much of today’s work is intellectual, so the non-moocher side is literally evolving away from the eloi. We won’t even have to go back to eat them, just watch them try to comprehend the increasingly complex world and fail at it.

  14. Robert Graves wrote well, but the man had no wisdom at all. Ever try GOODBYE TO ALL THAT? Weirdest war memoir of them all. He starts by making some snide cracks about a kid he went to school with, so odd.

    His description of trench life is illuminating, and the account of the Battle of Loos is gripping. Makes it worth the read!

    But the lessons learned from the war are just dumb. He sees Lloyd George and considers him the Face of Evil. Thinks big, impersonal government got them into the war, and that socialism will fix that. (Eyeroll.)

    He writes of his life after the war, and what a prat he was! His mom bankrolled a general store for him and his wife, and he ran it into the ground. He confesses off-handedly that he cheated his customers: if he ran out of 7-pence tea, he’d just sell them the 5-pence tea for 7, and nobody knew the difference!

    Heavy on the celeb pals – a chapter devoted to sitting with T. E. Laurence in armchairs at Oxford, another to banging on Thomas Hardy’s door and being granted an interview.

    His own father published a riposte to the book! Funny. I, CLAUDIUS was good, sequels not so much.

  15. Sarah, from your first paragraph, I thought this was going to be a discussion on the treaty of Tordesillas

    1. My mind works in weird ways, but I haven’t read on that in the last… 10? years, and the expertise I acquired on it while researching in the 9th grade is long gone. Some other time, mayhap?

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