The Most Fundamental Right


As I’ve admitted here, I’ve been reading an awful lot about psychopaths and mass murderers. At least all of it I can get on the KULL program. (It’s not that I don’t need to read the other kind, particularly the way investigators get clues, but it’s not urgent, and for now this is just something to read “while working.”)

Anyway, one pattern stands out whenever the victims are transients or the downtrodden, like the women Jack the Ripper killed, there’s always… How to put this delicately?

I’m not saying the women deserved to die. Of course, they didn’t. Most of them were, apparently, fairly inoffensive.

But it still strikes me how weird it is that even in those days, under much worse circumstances for society as a whole, women and men who ended up in the East End (or its equivalent. I’ve read other historical stuff) were alcoholics or otherwise had behavior-control issues. Now, some of the alcoholism, at least, might have been attempts at self-medicating. And some of the behavior issues were almost certainly due to undiagnosed mental illness.

It was, in fact, the same mix we find with our own homeless/marginalized people. They might have had bad luck, and they might have been very mistreated. But in the end, almost always, it’s their own personal behavior that got them where they were.

Perhaps because I’ve been mainlining these books, while working, I really saw it when I hit the sentence in today’s book about how this poor woman, like all Jack the Ripper’s victims was an alcoholic who had left her husband and how it was almost like this place was a pocket for society’s rejected women.

Immediately, I wanted to say “Society’s rejected women. My. How posh that sounds.”

Look, I’m sore some SJW or other has written a dissertation on how what brought women to that extremity was the Victorian repression of women’s sexuality or what have you. And to an extent they were right, in the sense that a woman who transgressed and was discovered couldn’t hold up her head in that community again. (At least for a while. Having grown up in the same type of environment, I know that society had a convenient case of amnesia if the incident wasn’t repeated.)

What modern authors/academics tend to underestimate is how comparatively big and opaque that world was. Move away from that area; change your name (which all of these women seemed to do just like our transients seem to have five or six aliases) and you can start afresh with no issue.

Yeah, if your desire is to have sex with lots of guys indiscriminately with no discretion and no consequences, you might have serious trouble, but at that time and in that place, I don’t think many women would want that. Look, put way your academic hat for a moment and think about this as a woman of the time: think of the hygiene, the conditions, the state of medicine where any infection could be fatal, and, unless you were sterile, the almost inevitable pregnancy. (For the morons who believe in the “herbs” you could take that acted just like the pill. That only works in fantasy novels. There were herbs you could take (and also stuff like lead.) but they weren’t contraceptives, they were abortaficients, and carried considerable risk, particularly over time.)

Maybe it’s being me, and judging on the hygiene and the medicine and the possible pregnancy, but let me say I’d be inclined, given the consequences that any woman still hot to trot with any and all strange men in those circumstances had to have something very wrong with her head.

Not saying it didn’t happen. Just saying what drove women there was more than “society.” It was either mental illness or, absent that, their own actions and decisions.

In the case of at least three of the victims of the Ripper, they were thrown out by their families for not giving up the bottle. In one case, she seems to have separated from her common law husband, and while it’s not clear whether she drunk or not, (she was said to be drunk the night she died, but there’s evidence she was simply very ill) she grifted from her daughter so much that her daughter had moved without leaving an address.

Now, once these women were addicted, could they have broken the habit like that? Maybe not. Particularly with the nasty rotgut stuff of the time, the only “cures” known were cases of sudden religious conversion. (Though those proved it could happen, given sufficient fervor.)

Now Victorian society did indeed set standards in a much harsher way. You were either a good woman or not. But in practical reality things got fudged, as they always do, among humans.

If you want to read a completely unlikely sexual history, read the free sample (if it’s on kindle) of Our Bones Are Scattered. I can’t remember the woman’s name (great book, btw) who appears in the book, and my copy is boxed, but there was a woman, wife of a military man, who had been married something like three times and shacked up in between and while her husband’s very proper (and noble) family didn’t like her, she was still a lady and certainly not “thrown away by society.” (And she didn’t start off a lady.) The poor creatures in East end were the other extreme.

How much of that was luck? How much behavior?

I’m going to risk saying that a lot of them probably had rotten luck, but that without their choices and behavior aggravating it, they wouldn’t have ended up where they were. They might be lower class and near to starving, but not in the East End, and not selling it for a living.

Look, for drunkenness to be a problem in the lower classes of the time, it had to be a really big thing. Most people drank more than we do, and if the lower classes of that time and place were like the lower classes of the sixties/seventies in the village, weekend drunken brawls and entire families drunk off their behinds weren’t considered abnormal. Abnormal was drinking so much you couldn’t hold it together during work/child rearing hours. I’d think from the histories it was much like that.

What kind of mother hounds a daughter (who from the depositions after, did love her) so much the daughter moves to avoid being bled dry of money?

Beyond the alcohol the other thing was how many of these women had had the price of lodging earlier in the day but either spent it or somehow did away with it.

Again, they didn’t deserve to die for this. I’m not blaming them for the monstrous fate visited on them. I’m not even exactly blaming them for ending up in the East End.

It was a different time, options for men and women were not all that great; there would be a lot of medicating for undiagnosed mental or physical health problems.

I’m not saying it was totally their fault. I’m just saying it’s time to do away with phrases like “Victims of society” and “Thrown away by society.”

In any society some people will thrive, some will fail and most people will be somewhere in between. Often, at least in the west the ones that fail share mental problems, addictions, or a lack of ability to plan.

Saying “poor creature was driven to this by her alcoholism and lack of ability to plan” is one thing. Saying “Society threw her away” casts blame upon the hundreds of thousands of people who never did anything against her; who would have helped if they could; and who did the best they could in an era more harsh than we can imagine.

It is a facile judgment for us to pass, and it condemns all those people in the past who weren’t like us.

Perhaps it would be as well to remember that our own, therapeutic, accommodating age will pass, and after us will come an age that might be more or less accommodating. What are the chances the disastrous ends of people of our time will be referred to as “the victims society enabled to self-destruct?” Believe me it’s not impossible. And it’s not impossible that what we do to help the less unfortunate might sometimes hurt them.

This self-satisfied attitude that we now have all the answers and the harsh judgment passed on those who came before would be less reprehensible if our results were better.

As is, let’s admit that some individuals will always be problems in society. That is a condition of their being individual. They’re not widgets that society maliciously – or generously – casts away or keeps. They’re people who make their own decisions for good or ill. Society can lend them a hand, but ultimately society can’t make them be other than what they are.

The right to do stupid things, insane things, and things that might hurt us is ULTIMATELY the most basic freedom we can have.  You take away that right, and you’ve given someone the right to decide what’s good for you.  It always starts like that, with laws preventing you to get drunk off your *ss, say, or laws (social security) dictating you must allow your betters to save for you.  Next thing you know they’re controlling your salt intake according to outmoded theories and poking their nose into your family life.

If you’re a “victim of society” then the people who are heroic or achieve extraordinarily become “privileged” as though what they do has nothing to do with the results, as though they’re widgets totally dependent on circumstances.

Societies that fully embrace this don’t end well.

These women met horrible, dehumanizing deaths. And yes, at least some of the decisions that threw them in the path of the Ripper were their own.

They were humans. They had the power of decision, including bad decisions.

Let’s accord them that dignity.


648 responses to “The Most Fundamental Right

  1. To some extent we see this pattern today. Contrary to what you might think from watching some video drama, most murder victims are criminals themselves.

  2. I have thought about the freedom to err. Its part of the basic Ruth of self ownership. If you own yourself then you must own your choices. If you own your choices you must therefore own their consequences, both good and I’ll. Bit what do I know, it’s 0400 and I’m strung out on cold medicine.

    • The fun of making people own their own choices’ consequences is where the trouble begins.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Could you elaborate on that? I’m not understanding your meaning, there.

        • Jane Doe takes mind-altering drugs. How do you ensure that none of the consequences fall on her husband/parents/siblings/minor children?

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            The first answer that comes to mind is capital punishment. My emotions are very insistent that capital punishment is the answer with the least harm.

            Intellectually, there are good and sound reasons why these decisions are not left solely to me, and why I am not inclined to let my emotions have sole authority for my choices.

            Self medication is bullshit. Any chemical potent enough to mitigate severe problems caused by brain chemistry imbalances is potent enough that care, caution, and an outside perspective are appropriate.

            • I would say in that case, the consequences that fall on those in the immediate vicinity are not consequences of the users drug use but the consequences of choosing not to get out of splash damage range. Children being the sole exception as the very definition of child is cannot make own descisiond. That’s why child delinquent is an oxymoron

            • Define “severe”.
              Insomnia can wreck lives. But it can be somewhat mitigated by having a nightcap before going to bed.
              ADHD can have a major detrimental impact on your ability to function in modern life. But caffeine and nicotine can take the edge off.
              The literature I’m aware of (which is admittedly a decade out of date) states that bi-polar is best treated without meds in nearly 70% of cases.
              Arthritis is debilitating. There’s a reason aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, and naproxen were called wonder drugs.

              I freely admit that a full bore schizophrenic won’t be helped by self medication. (And not much by actual medication). But it’s a continuum. Most people won’t be extreme outliers.

              • Thus the adage that Hard Cases Make Bad Law. No system can be broad enough to cover all outliers while still protecting the rights of the main. Laws crafted for the exceptions will unduly burden the ordinary.

                Clearest example was the kerfuffle a couple decades ago over an effort in NY City to provide safe, sanitary (self-cleaning) free lavatories for the public convenience. This ran afoul demands that each and every (not just a reasonable percentage) such facility be handicapped accessible, a requirement which a) significantly drove up costs b) reduced the number of facilities available and c) increased the likelihood that such facilities would be used as places of professional accommodation by some of the less savory trades practiced on NY City streets. In consequence, the public got squat.

            • Capital punishment of an adult which is the provider for a dependent minor would have pretty serious consequences for the minor, wouldn’t it?

              • William O. B'Livion


                It would take them out of the home of a really, really bad person and put them in the foster system, or if people removed their cranium from their rectum, into permanent homes of people of care and compassion.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Making her “own her choices” would entail punishing her for the consequences that fell upon her family or anyone she may have harmed as a result, not in preventing that harm from happening.

            Now, if you’re talking about trying to prevent her from having consequences, then I would agree with your assertion.

          • You cannot. There is no way to keep the sins of the fathers being visited on their children. Any adult child of an alcoholic or who was raised in foster care can tell you this. It is unfair to the children, it is unfair to the spouses, it is unfair to the world in generally. You propose to remove freedom from an individual because he is hurting himself and his own. I understand your wish to stop the harm. But at what point are you going to stop? Will you also intervene at the risk of harm? The indication of harm? The possibility of harm? The potential of harm? And is the result more freedom for the individual? Is it more freedom for the public?
            Freedom to live is also the freedom to fail.

            • Yes, and what do you consider harm. And what is the greater harm? Growing up with unmedicated bipolar parent or with foster parents who simply don’t care?
              All of us are born into the sins of others and pass our son in turn. It’s called not being perfect.

              • And I can’t answer what is the definition of harm. Part of my problems have been that I have dealt with a number of sides of CPS, and the power to remove a child from a family when it is absolutely needed for the safety of the child has also become the power to keep the child from its own extended family because of badthink. And this while the system is staggering for lack of foster parents.
                When I think on this I have my bad days.

                • And of course the lack of foster parents is induced by the fact that the potential foster parents don’t want to deal with CPS. So what you end up with is a bunch of foster parents that are willing to put up with the headaches of dealing with CPS in exchange for the money they provide, and a smaller percentage that are actually in it to help the children. Those in it to help the children look at all the hoops they would have to jump through and say, “I can do about as much good by providing a place for the neighbors kid to come after school, and a place for to get a hot and sleep for the night when their mother goes on a bender, why would I want to have the government looking over my shoulder?”

                  • Those in it to help the children look at all the hoops they would have to jump through and say, “I can do about as much good by providing a place for the neighbors kid to come after school, and a place for to get a hot and sleep for the night when their mother goes on a bender,

                    My parents’ home was always the ‘safe place’ for our friends. Not all my friends or my brothers’ friends had happy families; but if they think that they’ll get mollycoddled they had another think coming. But as a result, everyone called my mom “Mom” or “Mommy / Auntie Charity” and my dad “Uncle Tony.” They accepted the rules, and authority set by them if they wanted to stay under their roof. They weren’t hard rules to follow (Be polite. Tell your parents where you are, let them know if you’re staying overnight, clean up after yourselves, and if staying for a long while, contribute with chores or cooking, etc.)

                    A couple of weeks ago we were treating the kids to McDonalds and there was a large number of kids there; about a dozen. We thought it was a birthday party, but after a while we realized that they were all foster kids or adopted. A couple of the kids were visibly autistic and one was in a wheelchair. One was a baby, and were all of various ethnic groups. The parents clearly loved them but weren’t spoiling them, and the kids were, while noisy and playful, well behaved and affectionate and caring towards each other.

                    I have to say, it did my heart good to see that.

                • Proof of systemic insanity: the British CPS (equivalent) official who stripped children from three families because the parents were UKIP supporters is also the official “in charge” whose supervision allowed the Rotherham abomination.

                  • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” remains the unanswerable question, but elimination of watchmen is hardly an effective answer.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      I do not believe the answer is Watchmen all the way down (Sorry not sorry for the mixing metaphors.).

                      For me it boils down to that there is a difference in offereing help and providing a safe place and forcing help, that someone outside looking in thinks is needed; as has been pointed out in other threads, no one is making decision with perfect knowledge, onto others.

                      Forcing a solution doesn’t actually solve the problem, just fosters a moral hazard and a dependance on the Watcher.

                      So! If there is no answer to Who Watches the Watchmen, why do we tout Watchmen in general as an answer without first defining their roles and the limits of when it’s ok to intruded into others lives?

                      I’m all for watching out for my fellow man and offering a helping hand, but I’m not for dictating to others how they should live their lives or forcing them to do so.

                    • I’m fine with not telling your neighbor “This you must do” but is there no behaviour to which you will not say to a neighbor “This you must not do”? What if your neighbors were the John Bender family?

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      Yes, I do it all the time. I not above telling you what my lines are and defending them if needed be.

                      As to the Bender Family, They proved themselves to be untrustworthy members of society. Part of living within groups is that it requires trust that those in it will follow the rules of the group and if those rules are broken then the right to live within group is revoked.

                      The Bender Family was taking the life (violating ones right to life) unjustly of others, and not of reasons valid to the community at large.

                      RES, how much responsibility is on us, the potintual future victims, to insure own safety and how much is on the community at large? Who is ultimately and morally responsible for my protection?

                      If someone or group becomes an immediate danger to me and my own I’ll take action, and because I live within a society of laws they will be within the law.

                      My problem is not with setting standards but with who is responsible for enforing them.

                      When the government passes a law it is a statement that this is worth killing over.

                      We used to restrict the law or try to anyways, to the life and death matters of Life, Liberty or Property Rights. To protect these rights for all. The Bender family violated peoples right to life and this does falls under the (Correct as definded by Bastiat) purview of the law and a communities right to protect and defenend itself. 

                      But nowadays people just fight over who controls the making of the law as away of controlling people. Group A is doing something Group B doesn’t like… better pass a law. If you are for Group A you will try to pass a law protecting them as a protected class, and if you are against Group A you will try to force them in line by making them a criminal if they continue… Stop or face incarceration or death.

                      Part of “Pursuit of Happiness” is that we each should get to chose what this means to us as long as we are respecting the rights of other in that pursuit.

                      If my Pursuit of Happiness is raping and piliging those around me then everyone elses right to Deffend their Life trumps my right to pursue happiness in that manner. I can either stop of my own accord or be stopped.

                      Not everything is life or death, but that is what we get when we use the power of government to regulate everday social interactions.

                      There a difference between trying to fix people for their own good and defending yourself from harmful actions of others in a group or individualy. Let’s not conflate the two.

                    • Elimination …. well, not immediately. But tar and feathers went out of style far too soon.

                  • William O. B'Livion

                    Link please? I don’t doubt you, I just want a copy for my archives.

                    • Rotherham: the council leaders who presided over child abuse scandal

                      27 Aug 2014 | Gordon Rayner | News

                      The woman who presided over the last five years of failure as the boss of children’s services at Rotherham Council is the same executive who removed three children from their foster parents because they were Ukip voters.

                      Joyce Thacker, the £130,000-a-year Strategic Director of Children’s Services at the scandal-hit council, is among the senior managers who are now under pressure to resign following the “excoriating” report into child sexual exploitation in the town.

                      Although she is not named as being culpable for the failure to protect 1,400 abused children in the report, as the head of children’s services since 2008 Mrs Thacker is among those whose positions now appear to be under threat.

                      The report by Professor Alexis Jay said child sexual exploitation had carried on largely unchecked between 1997 and 2013, the period she was asked to examine, but “continues to this day”.

                      Nick Gibb, the Education Minister, said on Wednesday that those who made policy decisions that contributed to the scandal “should be held to account”.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      Shoved it into the Elephant where it shant be forgotten.


                • I watched CPS remove a child from a family because the parents (immigrants) couldn’t read. This is wrong.
                  And we’d be foster parents if it weren’t for all the infernal nose-poking. Oh, and I’m full of bad-think.

                  • Jordan S. Bassior

                    IMO, CPS exists primarily to prey upon families too poor to be able to afford legal counsel, and survives because the children who enter their maw are unlikely to emerge with enough sanity and self-respect to effectively seek revenge on the CPS workers when they grow to adulthood.

                    • Or remain absolutely terrified of the same their whole lives, and want nothing more than to never see them again….

                    • In any bureaucratic system it is important to look past the formal reason for a department’s existence and perceive the informal reason that actually maintains that unit. For example, Welfare Agencies formally exist to provide aid and services to the needy but informally exist to provide jobs for caseworkers (add other even less desirable purposes as suits your level of cynicism.)

                      The supreme exploration of this duality can be found in the wonderful BBC series Yes, Minister and its sequel, Yes, Prime Minister but those programs should only be viewed by the already deeply cynical who believe their cynicism can go no deeper (it will.)

                      Many portions are available at youtube. Selected quotes can be found at,_Minister but you will wonder where the time got to.

                      [The Minister tries and gets a straight answer out of (Permanent Under Secretary) Sir Humphrey Appleby.]
                      Jim Hacker: When you give your evidence to the Think Tank, are you going to support my view that the Civil Service is over manned and feather-bedded, or not? Yes or no? Straight answer.
                      Sir Humphrey: Well Minister, if you ask me for a straight answer, then I shall say that, as far as we can see, looking at it by and large, taking one thing with another in terms of the average of departments, then in the final analysis it is probably true to say, that at the end of the day, in general terms, you would probably find that, not to put too fine a point on it, there probably wasn’t very much in it one way or the other. As far as one can see, at this stage.

                    • cf Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

                      Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

                    • See also: Lerner, Lois

                      Memo: apparatchik is a Russian term for a universal functionary

                    • “Memo: apparatchik is a Russian term for a universal functionary.”

                      Memo: apparatchik is a Russian term for a university functionary.

                      There; I fixed it for you.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      CPS exists primarily to prey upon families too poor to be able to afford legal counsel, and survives because the children who enter their maw are unlikely to emerge with enough sanity and self-respect to effectively seek revenge on the CPS workers when they grow to adulthood.

                      No, CPS continues to exist because there are a small number of truly evil or utterly horrible people who have children that they can use to justify their existence. There are a larger number of incompetent parents whose children are far better off in the foster system (it is better to be fed and unloved than unfed and unloved) . These two sets of parents give CPS the power and authority to screw up the lives of many more children who’s parents are either mildly incompetent (love and food are provided, but not much more. This is survivable) or just weird. Odd if you prefer.

                      There *are* truly horrible people out there, and there needs to be some mechanism to deal with them. CPS is not the optimal mechanism, but we have at least 45% of the population who want the government to provide SOPs or Checklists for every single interaction we have with each other, and as long as that’s the case we’re going to have agencies like them.

                    • There *are* truly horrible people out there, and there needs to be some mechanism to deal with them.

                      But the truth of the matter is, if those horrible people were to be somehow prevented from having children, such that they no longer represented that threat, the bureaucracy of CPS would disregard that success and continue onward doing the rest of what they do to people who are demonstrably not horrible parents, forever. See the EPA given the basic abolishment of the pollution practices they were instantiated to combat, now moving into the regulation of carbon dioxide, or the folks who administer the endangered species act and their reactions to attempts to take any flavor of critter off the endangered species list.

            • I proposed NOTHING. I asked how certain people were going to handle this situation by their rule. Your tirade is therefore extremely ill-judged.

              • My apologies, I was responding to your words, not to you. Be aware my tirade is based on my own life experiences, my fears, and my reflections upon them. Although it may have been poorly stated and misapplied, I do not consider it ill-judged.
                To respond to your comment more directly, one cannot stop the sun from rising for various reasons. All one can do is hide from it or pretend it is not there. If you do that you cannot live a normal life. In the same vein, injustice occurs. I remember some comment about it raining on the just and unjust alike. There is little you can do about it, besides live through it, if you can. My concern is that the mechanisms that we have created as a society to protect can also be used to abuse. It seems that the only way to reduce the scope of abuse is to reduce or limit the power to protect. And this is the deal with the Devil that is destroying us.

    • “I believe in freedom, Mr. Lipwig. Not many people do, although they will, of course, protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.”
      Lord Vetinari
      Going Postal
      Terry Pratchett

      • Mr. Pratchett is a very wise man.

        • When his world view doesn’t get in the way, yes.

          (As I’ve said before– he has this habit of coming around to the right idea by the wrong way. Very useful for natural law, very confusing for normal people.)

      • LDS theology focuses on the importance of Free Agency.

        I often define it as the right to screw up and suffer the consequences. I usually say that in a tongue in cheek fashion, but that’s merely for the benefit of my audience (whomever it happens to be at the time). I’m completely serious about the definition.

  3. Not only that, but the society accused of throwing them away? Didn’t treat them like trash after their death. They were remembered, and there was an attempt made to find who had done these horrific things. Even though they had turned their back on that society in their drive to satisfy their own urges.

    • Even if they were in the ‘down and out’ area, it was still considered wrong for them to die in such a way. If they’d drunk themselves to death or died of disease, that would have been, for the time, normal, no crime, their own choices and mistakes.

      Not someone else taking those choices away for no reason other than he thinking that they were worthless and ‘nobody would miss them.’

      • Choices are scary and powerful things… many people don’t want to have to face them especially if they don’t trust themselves to choose rightly. Hence why some will cling to ‘it wasn’t really their fault they were out there’. If it’s not the fault of these (oh so much worse than the person saying it, obviously, after all look where they wound up!) people, then the little indiscretions (pay no attention to the skeletons in the closet and on the sofa…) they commit aren’t their own fault either which means they don’t have to deal with the consequences.

        • I don’t think it’s the choices themselves that bother most people. What disturbs the hell out of them, far more than anything else, is the idea/concept that they might be held accountable for making those choices.

          Which is what drives the popularity of socialism, in my mind: Most people want a safety net, and they see the institutions that come along with socialism as being that net. The fact that they’re wrong is never a choice that they have to be accountable for, either–Their grandchildren will pay the price, not they. And, in ways they never thought possible.

          • Wealth helps shelter people from reality. Western Civ has been wealthy long enough that too many people only get fleeting glimpses of reality. I think that helps make socialism more popular, as they promise to help protect them in their delusions. They they run out of other peoples money.

            • Socialism is convenient.

              We *do* have enough money to let everyone in the US live a comfortable life. However, there are problems when it is government mandated (which is one of the things that Socialism does), including –

              1.) The inefficiencies of the government
              2.) The inability to deal with people gaming the system, and other forms of corruption
              3.) The continual need to upwardly define what exactly constitutes a “comfortable” life, until we’re suddenly giving people free smart phones in the name of government-sponsored charity.

              • It’s not that we have enough money, it’s that we produce enough. Wealth does not consists in the number of Scrooge McDuck money bins; but in the number of people willing and able to work, raw materials, energy, and a man with a plan.

              • Actually it only appears that we do. the moment I stop getting rewarded for my hard work I stop working. Most people are like that. If I see people getting a free ride and doing nothing, why should I work?
                This is part of why I want to move out of California and am considering leaving the USA all together. I’m tired of supporting a dozen lazy people who should by all rights be left to starve.

                • Yes, we have gone from producer phase to eating the future phase. Eating the seed for the next set of crops only gets you through one winter.

              • William O. B'Livion

                We *do* have enough money to let everyone in the US live a comfortable life.

                No, we do not. Simply because “comfortable life” is “whatever I want”.

                We do produce enough value goods in this country such that everyone could be provided with the basics–the floor of which I’ll consider what we give our military. A (shared) room with a bed, 5 sets of clothes and 4 pairs of shoes. You got three cafeteria meals a day, and a shared TV room.

                Yeah, we could do that.

                Wasn’t there a Harry Harrison story along those lines? Everyone was born into the military and you had to apply to go into business?

        • Yeah, that’s why so many people like to bleat that they want ‘choice’ but don’t like it when people choose something other than what they approve.

          It makes them doubt the validity or correctness of their choices, even though it shouldn’t. But that’s also because they never want to ‘be wrong’ or ‘make mistakes.’

          Unfortunately, trying to avoid the last part takes a lot more effort than most people would generally like to put in.

          • True Freedom = Scary

            • Yeah. The “OH MY GOD WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CHOICES AND OPTIONS IT’S TOO HARD THIS ISN’T NECESSARY…!” reaction to the Western grocery stores we would hear about when people from behind the Iron Curtain would actually see the REAL West… really highlights that.

              • Along with the “this much abundance is wrong and you’ll be sorry for having so much when we had/have so little” reaction of pure rage. Which seemed more commonly reported among women than among men. There’s still a bit of that in the former Warsaw Pact today, mostly among the older generation(s).

      • Scary thing is, a lot of people don’t realize how unusual that is, historically speaking.

        Not having non-people, having to apply the labels to those who were just not main stream.

        • I know. Heck, I bet most people don’t realize how strange it is, what is considered normal for the West, isn’t in lots of parts of the world.

          • I didn’t until I was was in my second gig in the Navy, when I finally really started to get it through my head that the Japanese had an inherent, baseline difference. They’re close enough to what I know that I could get it. If I’d only had exposure to, say, the Middle Eastern populations? No way.

            • Yeah. The Japanese have enough similarities now that we can understand some of the stuff they do and their ‘why.’

              It takes a lot of headtilting though.

            • Meanwhile, the people who will never get it continue to scream about how we need to be more tolerant and understanding.

              • The people who keep screaming about how ‘we’ need to be more tolerant and understanding are themselves intolerant of what SHOULD be tolerable, and forgive, bend over backward to accommodate and ignore the damage done by what should not be ever considered in any way or form tolerable.

                • Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.

                • The classic minimalist claim is that all behavior that neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket should be legal.

                  Yet we have, right now, people arguing that forcing us to pay for a woman’s contraceptives is just keeping us from being forced to pay for her kids.

                • Jordan S. Bassior

                  They also render themselves deliberately unaware of what goes on beyond their safe little cocoon of middle- to upper-class America. They instead believe in a very scripted version of The Other, in which The Other is perpetually oppressed by the Americans they don’t like, and in need of help from the self-proclaimed Tolerant and Understanding, and this is the central fact of the lives of those Others. Self-motivation and indpendent goals cannot exist.

    • “It is said of him that his great respect for Gladstone as the western advocate of Balkan freedom was slightly shadowed by the fact that Gladstone did not succeed in effecting the bodily capture of Jack the Ripper.” G. K. Chesterton

      “him” being a Balkan king whose name, unfortunately, Chesterton does not give, it evidently being clear from the information he gave — at the time. (Reflecting on a certain difference in style of government.)

      • After his great success leading the Untouchables, Elliot Ness’s career was largely destroyed by his inability to solve a series of murders in Cleaveland under impossible circumstances (several of the victims were never even identified).

        • “Serial killers remain very difficult to catch. In his amazing book “Popular Crime,” Bill James notes that he started a project to catalog all the different ways that serial killers got caught, in the hopes that this might be useful to law enforcement, or at least interesting. He abandoned the project after it became clear that they all got caught the same way: A victim got away and gave a description to the police. Until that happens, the odds of catching a true stranger killer appear to be basically nil. Though with the increasingly wide use of surveillance cameras, that may be changing; witness the speed with which the Boston Marathon killers were identified and apprehended.”

          • He abandoned the project after it became clear that they all got caught the same way: A victim got away and gave a description to the police. Until that happens, the odds of catching a true stranger killer appear to be basically nil.

            K, scientist aspect says:
            Uh, DUH, kinda by definition– did they try to quantify how common that was?”

            • William O. B'Livion

              You can’t.

              You never find out about *good* serial killers, only the ones who screw up and don’t dispose of the bodies well enough.

  4. Trudy W. Schuett

    This is driving me batty. Do you mean this book?

    • It’s a fantastically good book, too – gives some of the background history of the India that Kipling knew.

      • It is an excellent book, but I haven’t re-read it post nine eleven and I wonder how I’d react to the Sepoys now.

        • I read a great book by a distant relative (cousin nth times removed) of Nicholson about it two years ago. The Wahabi-type influence was an interesting new take on events. And there’s a d-mn good reason Nicholson’s ghost is still used by Pashto mothers to scare their children into behaving. But he stopped the Mutiny almost cold in his district (something about disarming the trouble-makers and hanging the worst instead of blowing them from cannons [the more ‘honorable’ death] helped.)

  5. And yet, when I take the time to consider the ramifications of my potential actions I get accused of “over-thinking”.

    • Perhaps it is all too common for folks in this age to act on impulse. Or maybe that is an intrinsic human trait, reinforced by generations of basic animal impulse. Dunno, but it could explain why the green light at the traffic stop seems to be getting shorter the closer it gets to rush hour.

    • In an online discussion, someone asserted that you can do whatever you like as long as you don’t hurt anyone, I asked how you can know that in advance, and he returned, rather angry and sulky, that you ought to just know it.

      • Precognition and prophecy, now mandatory.

        • I have heard people who claimed that no one got hurt and were questioned about how they knew that often responded with angry or sulky declarations well they shouldn’t have been hurt and should just get over it.

          • *eyes light up*

            Oooh, Mary, you gave me a great idea for a really horrific villain, if I can manage it without nightmares….

            He defines “harm” as “lasting physical damage” and is quite strict about it– not so much as a scar or fracture.

            K, now creeped out…..

            • Hmm. I’d say I look forward to reading it, but from the way you describe it. . . .

              • Well, at least I now have a villain for the story I’ve gotten furthest on.

              • Least scary way to think about it: do you remember the episode of Deep Space 9 where Miles is “sent to jail” but only in his mind, and he’s got major mental issues because of it?

                Or have you paid attention to the in detail issue of “torture” in Catholic theology, drawing a distinction between chopping off parts and “making you think you’re having issues breathing”? Imagine that without, say, a moral issue with rape. Or using body control to move someone so they rape another person*…..

                *totally stealing the fridge horror from Embers by Vathara. Go read it, already.

                • Fixfier,

                  Ringo did this in one of his Polseen(sp?) books – not the main combat ones, but where his daughter the “wizard” fights one of the other human “wizards” – his experiments used a machine that could force people to do things they didn’t want to do. He doesn’t describe stuff directly, but in some ways the oblique way he did it allowed the nasty part of the subconscious fill in the missing spots.

                  I haven’t read the “fridge horror” – yet – but will get to it later. Thanks.


              • You know, that sounds like what one of the BDSM bloggers was demonstrating about control. He described how he’d asked for a volunteer to stand motionless on the side of the stage while he talked about safety basics (and a real-world class on ropes and safety). Three minutes later, he told the volunteer to move around if she needed to, and pointed out that he’d dominated her without using any physical restraints or coercion at all. In a less friendly story context, that could be scary as h-ll.

                • That kind of reminds me of the story about somebody asking everyone in the audience to stand up, and then saying that their doing so showed how easily they took orders and would be vulnerable to fascism. (And then yelling at them for sitting down when told to as well.)

                  • …I’m afraid I’d stand up and walk out, because anyone so stupid they can’t figure out the difference between manners and vulnerability to fascism is going to have too much drek for the gold to be obtainable. If I’d have bothered to inform him that he’s an idiot and why is up for grabs, depending on how much I’d be shaking with rage at the waste of my time and the stupidity of it all.

                    The lack of recognition of implicit promises, such as “hey, I’ll go along with harmless things that the whose speech I came for asks, just to see where he goes”– betcha the result to “give me the smallest bit of money you have on you” wouldn’t have worked even at a nickle convention– is almost breathtaking, if not for the way that the philosophy will set it up so people are actually vulnerable to radical authoritarianism by utterly destroying the normal, voluntary, low-level agreements.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      That is an ass-u-mption that the person is harmless and means you no harm. You might want to ask why and verify as to their intentions. 

                      It is perfectly reasonable to ask why before doing something when asked.

                      It is perfectly acceptable and OK to set boundaries, and enforce those boundaries as needed.

                      Betrayed by the Angel – Debra Anne Davis


                      Permission – Rory Miller


                      The Big Three – Rory Miller


                      It is OK give yourself permission to by Rude!

                    • The ass-u-mption that being deliberately rude is of zero cost, and should be the default choice, is both large and false.

                      Justifying it by a guy too freaking stupid and/or brain washed to even COMPLAIN when being stabbed by a pencil for all of school and what boils down to two articles about getting yourself to realize “violence is sometimes the answer” has zip to do with an idiot that thinks that his audience standing up when asked means they’re little proto-fascists.

                      That is an ass-u-mption that the person is harmless and means you no harm. You might want to ask why and verify as to their intentions.

                      For love of Pete, he’s giving a talk. On a public stage. Probably as a source of income. Both the volunteer and the “everybody, stand up!” guy’s audience are so far from “you can be rude when being stabbed” that it’s not even funny.

                      He’s a variation on the “but guys might rape me at any random point in time” women.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke

                      Betrayed by the Angel – Debra Anne Davis

                    • Still not even in the same zip code as listening to an actually harmless, if very mildly inconvenient, request from someone who you thought highly enough to give an hour-ish of your life to listening to.

                      “Muwahaha, you fools! You dress your girls in pink and boys in blue, so you are ripe to blindly follow orders to stone your neighbor to death by lottery as a group building exercise!”

                      The “doing anything about being stabbed with a pencil would be rude” person reads like a PSA on why hard core Libertarianism would be horrific, not any kind of support for why a non-idiot would scream at his audience about standing up when he asks and try to equate it to being nicely prepared for fascism.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      Again you are assuming the question is asked for harmless reasons, because of soscial cues and location.

                      And 99.999% of the time it’s safe to do so. It’s the .001% the black swans that bite us in the ass.

                      Just because you feel safe doesn’t mean you are.

                    • Still haven’t answered any of the objections.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      The First example is of a a Guy giving a talk about BDSM, and how easy it is to dominate someone. He does it right in front of everyone and we get indignant and call it a trick.

                      Conmen and Processes Predators that what they do appear harmless or use you social conditioning (scripts) against you. They hide what they are doing until the end.

                      You think he is just giving a talk about BDSM and he was actually practicing it.

                    • The First example is of a a Guy giving a talk about BDSM, and how easy it is to dominate someone. He does it right in front of everyone and we get indignant and call it a trick.

                      No, I roll my eyes and recognize he’s committing a category error– possibly trying to be clever. It only works if you define control as anything which causes someone else to modify their behavior in any way.

                      Inability to tell the difference between predators exploiting social standards by willful violation of them in small enough levels, of people doing really stupid things because they feel like it was expected, and “hold the elevator, please!” being BDSM is not something to praise in an “expert.”

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      I’m going to leave this conversation right here because I’m not sure what your definition of control is if not what you just discounted as being control.

                    • The one used by people who recognize differences between requests and orders, among other things.

                    • He wasn’t practicing it, he was playing semantic games. Because someone followed the normal procedure of being a volunteer, i.e. following instructions, does not indicate that the person giving the instructions was dominating them, except in the most strict interpretation of the word.

                    • Josh,
                      Idiots that shoot off their mouth in the audience aren’t being rude to the speaker, they are being rude to the rest of the audience. If I’m in the audience and the speaker walks out on stage and asks the audience to “please, stand up.” and the moron next to hollers out, “why should we?” I’m going to be more than slightly irritated. Granted if the idiot on stage calls us all fascists we stand up when asks I’m probably going to be even MORE irritated, but the first idiot is being rude without provocation, the second idiot is just so stupid that he believes he HAS provocation.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      There are at lest three choices.

                      1) You can trust him and stand.

                      2) You can ask why.

                      3) Or you can just not stand.

                      Unless there is some implied authority(?) you don’t have to do what the speaker says. Which is the point of the exercise. Because the admonition doesn’t come till after he informs you of this, that you don’t have to do what he says, and you still do reflexively when he tells you to sit.

                    • That does not jive with screaming at the audience, nor with the inability to tell “domination” from “did as I asked.”

                    • Yes. Bearcat is right, and this topic is, please G-d, over.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke

                      Sorry just read this.


                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      Crap. Me, too.

                    • Josh,
                      I think you fail comprehend the point Foxfier makes. There is a huge difference between voluntarily doing as someone (in this case the speaker) requests and being controlled. The speaker is a raving idiot if he believes that he just forced everyone to stand. Asking someone to do something (and possibly manipulating them to do as you asked) is a far cry from being in control of them.

                      As far as the BDSM example given above, I wasn’t there, but I am guessing the speaker was using that demonstration to show that it is possible to ‘dominate’ someone and get them to do what you want, without physically controlling them, and that the submissive is actually in ‘control’ of their actions, but they voluntarily give up that ‘control’ to the dom.

                      Remember there is no safe word in a fascist state.

                  • In the old days, a speaker like this would have been rapidly introduced to an assortment of rotten produce.

                  • Sounds like the kinda guy who imagines that the audience, he were to shout “Fire!”, would shoot him.

            • Okay, you now have me deeply, terrifyingly intrigued.

      • The amusing thing is that many people who believe God can’t possibly be omniscient (or not without destroying free will) are perfectly willing to believe that they themselves are omniscient, or that everybody else should be omniscient enough to understand them perfectly.

        They say it’s one of the hardest things for little kids to learn – that not everybody knows the same things the kid himself knows and feels.

        • It probably says something about how my brain is wired but, believe it or not, I was 16 before I figured out that not everyone thought the way I thought, knew what I knew or processed the way I processed. Needless to say life got a lot easier after that.

          • There are a good chunk who never really master it. The sort that say someone thinks he’s too good for them because he doesn’t join their amusements, for instance.

      • Angry and sulky; that’s more and more the default state of far too many people.

      • I have a similar problem with stupid philosophy like that of John Rawls’ “Theory of Justice” in which you are supposed to do that which is for the greatest good. He never deals with how you *know* what the greatest good is, or how to weigh different competing goods or any of the hard parts. It’s all handwavey. And hence totally bankrupt as a philosophy. But the progressives love it.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Then there’s “Enlightened Self-Interest” which everybody in a Libertarian Society follows and everybody always makes the “correct” decisions. [Wink]

          • Whereas in reality, well…

            How many of you here spent any time playing Ultima Online back in the day…?

            • Josh A. Kruschke

              Let’s not conflate Ultimate Online with real life. In real life there is no multiple lives no reset. There is no real consequence for doing stupid things.

              And on that not I’m really looking forward to Star Citizen.


            • Josh A. Kruschke


              [In Ultimate Online t]here is no real consequence for doing stupid things.

          • Hehe. I have small-l libertarian leanings myself, but when it comes to human nature… well, it’s hard not to tilt a bit conservative.

          • Could you unpack that? I can’t tell if you are winking at libertarian society, correct, or everybody.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Yes. [Very Big Evil Grin]

              Seriously, “Enlightened Self-Interest” is a IMO a buzz word with little real-world meaning.

              Libertarians seem to believe that believers in “Enlightened Self-Interest” will always act in a manner that would make their society work.

              First, since it’s a buzz word, two different people could act completely differently while both could say that they were acting from “Enlighten Self-Interest” (and believe it).

              Second, humans have a hard time living up to a standard that they actually believe in.

              Third, there will always be people who give lip-service to an ideal but show by their actions that they don’t believe in the idea.

              Finally, I believe in minimal government and personal responsibility but I also believe that humans can mess up the most perfect system.

              Too many Libertarians believe that they can create a perfect (or near perfect) system but ignore the ability of humans to mess up that system.

              ::Hey where did this soap-box come from? I hate these soap-boxes before coffee!::

              • I think the big part of “enlightened self interest” is the enlightened part. It assumes that the user has Perfect Information. If you look at all the possible outcomes to your decisions, you can make a good guess at how things will come out and make the “best” decision at the time. Part of that is whether or not a decision has better short term or long term repercussions. “If I screw this person over now, is it worth it for what is going to come after?” or “If I eat this pint of ice cream, is it worth the icky feeling and the weight gain?” or even “I really like the feeling nicotine gives me but I’m not a huge fan of lung cancer.”
                As far as social interactions are concerned, the idea (if I get it right) is making sure that this interaction isn’t just positive in itself but positive in its impact with all future interactions. “Paul? Yeah, I did business with him. He’s honest!” “Byron? I wouldn’t trust that *&%!@# any further than I can throw him!”
                So, yeah. Theory. Lots and lots of Theory.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Theory often with a great lack of practical experience and historical knowledge. [Smile]

                  • Sorry, I thought you were making a straw-man argument based on “everyone”.
                    Are you sure that enlightened self interest means “best for me, and for the utopian future as well,” instead of “my best guess of what is going to work and I’m willing to back it with my sweat, my fortune and and my sacred honor so get out of my way,” since there is a major difference between engineering a utopia and merely trying to carve out success with the best morals and best data available.

                    This split in the definition of self interest is an example of a smear on a philosophic concept. I would observe that I would not accept the definition that suggests that looking after my own interest in the way I see best is something to be disdained: the chance that a panel or some third person knows what is best for me is up there with the chance that the panel or a third person really has my best interests at heart.

                    • he chance that a panel or some third person knows what is best for me is up there with the chance that the panel or a third person really has my best interests at heart.


                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      In general I agree but in practice I can be an idiot who needs a “clue-bat”. [Wink]

                    • All of us can. On average, it’s still better than other people imposing their will on us.
                      And btw, the way to have moral behavior has nothing to do with enlightened self interest — it has to do with instilling a moral code in the young. Something western civ is failing at.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      No disagreement here.

                      IMO there’s two equally bad mistakes that can be made involving the “relationship between individuals and society”.

                      One is the “Society is always right” and the other is the “Individual is always right”.

                      While I find the “Individuals are always right” types somewhat annoying, they aren’t as dangerous as the “Society is always right” types.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      And a third choice is that individuals do not always make the right choices so lets not let small committees of them make choices for everyone.

                      There is more than two options or choices in this case let’s not fraim the debate as only having two.

                      What system limits fallible humans from doing the most damage to everyone?

                      A Constitutional Republic does a pretty good job at the beginning, but morphs and grows overtime, needing to be replaced periodically.

                      Is this the best we can hope for or do?

                      I don’t think so.

                    • I OTOH DO think so. And sometimes you have to settle for “the best we can do.”

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      “the best we can do.” or “just muddle along”. [Smile]

                      What’s scary to me are the people who look at a social system, see that it’s not “perfect”, break the old system and fail to create a new system. [Frown]

                      For all that Josh annoys me, he isn’t trying to break the old system “in order to fix it”.

                    • “We must break the old system because it oppresses me!”

                      “Kid, y’ever consider you might need oppressin’?”

                    • Josh A. Kruschke



                      I probably going to kick myself, but what is the quotes from?

                    • Not a quote, freehand dialogue cobbled to order.

                      Although I was watching Sam Elliott (The Quick and the Dead) playing a Louis L’Amour character shortly before composing that.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke

                      Ah, OK! Thought my be referencing something and I might if be missing a larger subtext or contect that the conversation.

                      And did sound or feel like I should know what it was from.

                      The Quick and the Dead (tv movie) good one. Can’t go wrong book or movie.


                    • No. But the president is.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Josh, yes we could do better but some people talk about “simple-minded head-in-clouds” solutions and don’t listen when others tell them about the problems with their solutions.

                      Oh, please don’t take this personally even if you get the idea that I’m talking about you. [Very Very Big Evil Grin]

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                    • Josh A. Kruschke



                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      IMO at its best “Enlightened Self-Interest” equals “Moral Behavior”.

                      Unfortunately, it is used by many utopian-thinking no-government Libertarians as a buzz word to explain why their utopian system would work in the real world.

                      As for your comment about “somebody else knowing better than you about your best interests”, I’ve only heard “Enlightened Self-Interest” used by no-government Libertarians.

                      IMO there are several problems with “Enlightened Self-Interest” as a concept.

                      1) What does “Enlightened” mean and how does a no-government system arrange for the vast majority to be “enlightened” in the same way?

                      2) “Self-Interest” means different things to different people and what may be one person’s “self-interest” may work to the detriment to others. How does a no-government system handle this problem?

                      3) A person may see that something is in their “best interests” that others could understandably see as not being in that person’s “best interest” and can see the harm to others that the person doesn’t see or care about.

                      4) Some people don’t appear to care about something being not in their “best interests”. They live for the moments and don’t think in long range terms. Of course, this relates to “enlightened”.

                      Philosophically, as long as individuals are living in a society there is always going to be a conflict between freedom of the individual to do “what he wants to do” and the society’s needs & concerns.

                      I don’t have the answers and I get annoyed at people who claim that they know the answers to questions that plenty of wise people in the past have searched for and not found.

                      What’s worse are the people who don’t acknowledge the questions exist or are valid questions.

                    • You know what makes you happy, Bob. I know what makes me happy. Sarah knows what makes Sarah happy. Some third party knowing what makes all three of us happy AND it’s the same thing for all three of us seems ludicrous on the face of it. But tell that to the people trying to impose The Nanny State. If I want to eat pulled pork sandwiches, eat moon pies and drink RC cola til I drop dead at 50, that should be my choice. But it isn’t.

                • Back when George W Bush was merely a candidate for president there were some interesting articles on the significance of an MB to the presidency. Much of the training MBAs get is on the making of decisions based upon imperfect (in the old sense, meaning incomplete, inadequate and unverified) information. Because we are always on the cusp of action reliant upon imperfect knowledge of conditions (indeed, this is the basis of the OODA Loop.)

              • Josh A. Kruschke



                What you fail to realize is that some of us get this, and that we don’t think that giving certain inperfect people soecial power and authority over others is the solution.

                I f’up my life I effect myself on those around me. I become President I make poor decidiotions I f’it up for everyone.

                I believe an AC society is a more Antifragile system and less likely to experiance catostrophic failures.

          • Josh A. Kruschke


            “Then there’s “Enlightened Self-Interest”…”

            …is knowing the difference between short term gratification and long term health and happiness. It’s about actually thinking about the second and third tier effects and consequences of our actions. This not to sugest that everyone will get it right all the time, but that we have the right to make our mistakes and to live with the consequenses.  I feel that now days we just do what ever we want and if negative things happen we then try to weasel are way out or turn to the Government (State) to bail us out. Instead trying not to put ourselves into thise positions in the first place.  

            Part of something I wrote I while back;

            My dad once told me, “Josh, for every decision and action you make there are consequences: some will be good and some will be bad. So every time you make a decision or take action, you need to ask yourself, ‘what will the consequences be and can I live with them?’ If the answer is no then don’t do it. If you decide to do it anyway and the consequences comes to pass don’t whine about it, don’t make excuses and accept it like a man. You will have no one to blame but yourself.”

            On to…

            “…which everybody in a Libertarian Society follows and everybody always makes the “correct” decisions. [Wink]”

            Their is some confusion that we, all libertarians, are trying to build an utopia, and mostly this us because a lot of the Social-Anarchist that call themselves (l)ibertarians promote this idea themselves. An Anarcho-Capitalistic society – a society based on Laissez Faire Free-Market principles will not be perfect or free from sufering; as it is made up of Humans, but what it will be is free within the constraints of Right-Liberty – respecting the rights of others.

            On to this specificaly, “…which everybody in a Libertarian Society follows…”

            A libertarian society, in my case an AC siciety, must be based in a culture of and on libertarian principles, because what is culture but the acceptance of underlining guiding priciples that hold a people together. Without this understanding of and acceptance of a culture is doomed.

            Questions: Does everyone understand or follow the Founding Father principle perfectly? Can anyone even articulate them anymore? (Cough… cough… “5000 Year Leap”) You seem to make the argument that in an AC society there will be and can not be any standards if conduct and decorum without a state to enforce them,… but who is enforcing cultural standards today? I’ll leave you with that thought, and…

            Paul, Please don’t conflate that all libertarians believe the same things. You want to see an interesting fight stick an Anarcho-Capitalist and Social-Anarchist in the same room.

            I won’t treat you like a RINO Big Government Conservative because Lindsey Graham or McCain are for grow government in the name of security, if you will give us the same courtesy. 

            Straw-men… *Sigh*

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Well Josh, my view of Libertarians is “two Libertarians, three opinions”. [Evil Grin]

              I have personally dealt with libertarians who use “Enlightened Self-Interest” as a buzz word that has little real world basis. Some of these “kooks” were nice people until you got them going on their hobby-horse. [Smile]

              Oh please, remember that Sarah’s a libertarian and I love her work, so it is not that I dislike all libertarians.

              Of course, Sarah’s one of the smart libertarians. [Smile]

              • Josh A. Kruschke

                Fair enough,

                But you make these broad statements about what is and isn’t libitarian thought. There is a Reason I don’t call myself a libertarian but a Laissez Faire Free-Market Anarchist (Anarcho-Capitalist) it’s as close to an acurite a label as I can get.


        • Ugh … John Rawls … I loathe John Rawls.

      • William O. B'Livion

        There are some kinds of “hurt” that you are responsible for, and you SHOULD be able to know that in advance your actions are likely to injure someone.

        There are other forms of “hurt” that simply are not your fault.

        If I go to a bar and have a drink, which turns into 10, and I get in my car and drive home, I’ve made a choice which is likely to cause someone harm.

        If I decide to leave my job for another one, and in so doing prevent someone else from getting that job, and because of that they remain unemployed and lose their home, that is a hurt, but it is not one I am responsible for.

        If I go rock climbing there’s three places (generally) I can go: A climbing gym, a place where it is *common* for people to climb, and a place where people don’t normally climb.

        If I’m on a wall that is a normal climbing route, and as a result of my actions a rock is dislodged, that is a normal part of the activity in that area, and as long as it wasn’t deliberate, it’s a risk that one accepts by going into that area. Life is not risk free, and cannot be made so. If I choose to climb in a place where that activity is NOT normal, then it is incumbent on me to mitigate risks from my activities–either be in a place where no one will be impacted by my activities, or do something to make it clear what my activities might cause.

        It is a shame that your interlocutor was an idiot, but he was in general right, in the vast majority of actions one takes the harms resulting are either plainly foreseeable as possible outcomes, are inherent in the activity. It is incumbent upon the individual to take responsibilities for his actions and to mitigate damages to others where they are foreseeable.

        But some “damages” are just part of life (the job example above for instance), and aren’t really “injury” even though there are negative consequences for someone.

        • I notice that you are talking about “bodily injury” not “hurt”.

          • William O. B'Livion

            In fact I’m not, yes, two of the three scenarios I pointed out were physical, but the middle one was about “injury” to someone’s income.

            If you wanna talk about hurt feelings, same thing.

            The issue isn’t the nature of the hurt, but the nature of “foreseeable” and what sort of hurts/injuries/injustices I can or should be responsible for.

            And yes, a lot of this is very indistinct because we’re talking about a wide range of actions across the whole of humanity.

            If I date a girl, and find another girl I think I might like better, yes, feelings will be hurt. If we’re engaged, feelings might be even more hurt. If I’ve extracted sex on the promise of marriage that might have even been actionable legally at one point, but in “modern” cultures there’s no damages, other than hurt feelings.

            But those are *definitely* foreseeable consequences on both sides.

            Unless you’re an idiot.

            The issue isn’t whether people get hurt, the issue is whether it’s reasonably foreseeable, whether we are all duty bound to mitigate all damages, and whether sometimes the answer is “that’s just life”.

            Most things are foreseeable.

            On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
            (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
            Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
            And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

    • On the one hand, there are far too many people for whom the modifier “over” could be removed.

      On the other hand, many decisions are believed to not require much thought. An example of such over-thinking might be dwelling for five minutes on the best method of cooking while spending not five seconds on the issue of whether to kill and eat your spouse.

  6. I’m a firm believer that most of our problems are cause by our own choices. In my town, for example, we have several ‘characters’ that drift into and out of peoples focus. They aren’t bad folk, but they’ve made their own choice (granted a limited ability to rationalize choices & consequences) and live with it. In nearly ever case they could get help – both area churches and state/local agencies are available. But they’d rather do it the hard way.

    I don’t want to sound hard-hearted, but Loser is a personal choice, not a societal judgement.

    • “I don’t want to sound hard-hearted, but Loser is a personal choice, not a societal judgement.”

      It very well can be.

      Knowing that data is not the plural of anecdote, I could still tell you tales of women very, very like Mary Jane Kelly or her sister victims. One a nurse who got into the meds, and tumbled down from there. Another whose only daughter had to kick her out for behaviors much as described above. Choices, consequences.

      There are few actions that very well deserve killing. Drink yourself to death? Breaks of the game. Stabbed and exsanguinated on the road without provocation? That’s a horse of a different color. It is the actions of the murderer that cause him to be judged guilty by any normal person in possession of the facts.

      That’s also part of why Utopias don’t seem to hold interest (at least for me) in the stories I read. There will always be folks that choose the path of least effort (perceived effort, that is).

      • Possible definition of “effort”– “thing I do not wish to do.”

        Ranked by how much they don’t want to do it, or would rather be doing something else.

        • Henry Hazlitt wrote a book on will power, and Jeffrey Tucker from The Freeman wrote an article about it:

          “In our minds, we rank our preferences on a value scale. What we are doing right now ranks at the top, and the cost of our preference is the next-highest preference on our scale. Hazlitt points out that gaining consciousness of this hard reality—that every choice involves a trade-off—is the beginning of the cognitive end of will-power. We need to know what we are giving up in order to make wise choices.”

    • Arguably, this is made much simpler by a society which presents clear un minimally ambiguous guidelines for determining right and wrong.

      “Thou shalt not steal” is much easier to adhere to than “Don’t steal, but it isn’t really stealing if the target is rich (use relative wealth algorithm to determine values of rich), mean (use social enlightenment algorithm to determine values of meanness, although advocacy of conservative politics always defaults to acceptably mean), or privileged (use relative privilege algorithm to determine values of privilege.)”

  7. People who can’t control themselves are at a real disadvantage. For the flip side consider Jeff Dahmer.

    Telling people not to be stupid and to take care of themselves and that certain behaviors put one at far greater risk and should be avoided is not “blaming the victim”.

    And sometimes “slut shaming” is necessary.

    There are very bad people in this world and they rarely come with neon signs on their forehead saying “I am a very bad person”.

    • How about a tattoo that says “POOR IMPULSE CONTROL” on their forehead?

      • In reverse perhaps, though I doubt it would do much good.
        Or was your intent simply to make the job of cutting such prey out of the herd an easier task for the evil doers?

      • Sorry. The tattoo is supposed to be on the head of the bad guy. Neal Stephenson reference. In the book rather than put people in jail, they tattoo warnings on their foreheads.

      • This is what bugs me about a lot of the publicly gay; they do things that just SHOUT “poor impulse control” in public and then get all pissy that it puts people off.

        I favor Gay marriage. I think that Gays should have equal rights under the law. And I think one of those rights is the right to be told you are a tacky moron if you wear bondage gear in public. It isn’t like straights get away with it and gays don’t. A heterosexual who walks down the street being led by a leash is likely to be judged to be a freak with issues.

        Cast it in letters of brass; If you act like a jerk in public, calling you a jerk isn’t prejudice. It’s post-judice.

        • “Cast it in letters of brass; If you act like a jerk in public, calling you a jerk isn’t prejudice. It’s post-judice.”


    • Even such neon lights would be of little use to those who refuse to learn to read sign — they would likely make the bad people more attractive.

      • I really offended people at work when I said that the “handsome mugshot” guy was an instant turnoff because it was a mugshot. (And he wasn’t being arrested for civil disobedience and protecting civil rights, needless to say.) Because the one woman’s favorite old flame was the rich drug dealer she once dated when she was young. (Granted, that must have been thirty or forty years ago, but still. Creepy.)

  8. The thing is, a good many of the mass of Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressive establishment that drives this kind of thinking are basically work shy bums. Tenured “scholars” who seldom publish (or have been working on one book for forty years) and whose classes are basically taught by grad students. Famous people whose fame is based on appearance plus indiscretion (I’m looking at you Paris Hilton) and whose subsequent “work” is distinctly substandard. “Journalists” who either make up stories or simply go through the motions and report the day’s narratives without question. They NEED the idea that people are volitionless automata, because if people have the power of decision, then they themselves are bad people.

    • Or maybe some of the are on some level worried where they might be if they had not been born in the right family or gotten lucky in their early lives by meeting all the right people who could then help them with their careers.

      And if it’s lucky circumstances more than their personal talents where they might end if they lost what they have now. Fortunes have disappeared and careers have died before, even for those who before seemed untouchable.

      Maybe the idea of having a society which will not let anybody fail badly enough that they end up in the street might be rather personally comforting too.

      And yes, it also makes them look like good people even if they never need any of that themselves. Especially for somebody who is famous or otherwise in the eye of the public, even just locally, having that public turn against them might be quite disastrous. So better at least sometimes make the effort to say all the right things. 🙂

      • I think a lot of it, Pohjalainen, is exactly what you’ve said, complicated by the fact that our “upper classes” DO a lot of nepotism, so these people know they’ve been helped and in their heart of hearts wonder if they deserve what they have. Something they’ll never admit.
        I think that’s a great part of the derangement of the SJWs in SF.

        • As far as I can tell it is a postulate of theirs that nobody deserves success. Pulling out lines like “wanting to be judged on his own merits in the way that only the truly privileged can”.

          And “the American dream is dangerous because it keeps people from fighting income inequality since the poor view themselves as temporarily inconvenienced rich people”. (I was not up for a fight at the time and just watched, so I was rather startled by the latter person eventually admitting Marxism didn’t work, but I never figured out what they actually want.)

          • They think, heaven help us, that it’s possible to have income EQUALITY and a functioning society. G-d have mercy on them. And us.

          • ” I have heard two teachers expound the theory that, as social mobility reinforces the existing social structure, it delays the achievement of social justice by depriving the lower classes of militants and potential leaders. Thus to encourage an individual child to escape his heritage of continual soap opera and pop music, tabloid newspapers, poverty, squalor, and domestic violence is, in the eyes of many teachers, to encourage class treachery. It also conveniently absolves teachers of the tedious responsibility for the welfare of individual pupils. ”


            • Ah, thank you. I suspected I’d previously read about about the idea of social and economic mobility as an evil preventing Real Reform, or whatever, and that was probably one of the places.

      • I remember something my father said to me once: ‘if you hang out with losers, you’ll be a loser. If you hang out with rich and successful people, you will be successful.’
        I make it a point to never hang out with losers.

  9. „These women met horrible, dehumanizing deaths. And yes, at least some of the decisions that threw them in the path of the Ripper were their own.”

    No, actually. I’d agree with your arguments, if you didn’t link them to the Ripper. He happened to choose these women in the East End, but a psycho can decide the death of others on any number of criteria. He could have killed rich Jewesses because of their opulence – or he could have killed beautiful women for being beautiful. He could have killed men who beat their wives, in a vengeful angel sort of way – or he could have killed people of any sort of category that tickled his fancy. But he chose a handful of East End women.

    You can avoid many things by being careful, and they could possibly have lived better lives by making different choices – but some things cannot be predicted and cannot be avoided as easily as others. Ending up on the street? Maybe there are things you can do about that – but getting killed by a psycho, or being assailed by a crazy person, is a pretty difficult thing to prepare against.

    • Yes, but your average psycho does choose to kill prostitutes, on the average. And it might be because of their jobs, but it’s probably because they’re standing around available to men at weird hours of the night, and hence are easily available to psychos.

      Of course, it’s been shown many times that the presence of male or female prostitutes (and johns with cash and no self-respect, let’s point that out too) out on the street seems to give a signal that nobody cares about any kind of crime or behavior in that area, so it tends to set off all sorts of crime waves in areas which before that were just bad parts of town. Psychos would just be the extreme end of the “nobody cares so let’s do bad stuff” brigade.

      • Yes, but your average psycho does choose to kill prostitutes, on the average. And it might be because of their jobs, but it’s probably because they’re standing around available to men at weird hours of the night, and hence are easily available to psychos.

        Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. There are certain occupations that are inherently dangerous. Prostitution is one of them.

        • Beg to differ. There is of course the health risk, and I won’t attempt to argue the moral aspect or the demeaning nature of allowing your body to be used for someone else’s pleasure for money, but in places where prostitution is legal and regulated the ladies are quite safe from violent harm.
          Make any activity illegal, whether it be drugs, gambling, sex, or the consumption of any substance, and you move both the suppliers and users of that activity into the sphere of criminals. And criminal activity is always inherently dangerous, goes with the territory don’t you know.
          And anyone with a smattering of historical knowledge is aware of just how successful our country was in its brief war on alcohol or for that matter its current war on drugs.

          • I’d agree that the girls at the Mustang Ranch are probably relatively safe but I’d still suspect they face more danger than most occupations.

            The argument for legalizing prostitution has facets that classic libertarianism seems break upon.

            I’m in full agreement that passing laws to make people moral are futile — i.e. there is no moral difference between a woman bestowing her favors for a gift or cash — but the idea behind making prostitution legal is that is a better way of maintaining public order than via prosecutorial discretion .

            Legal brothels mean licensing, testing etc. This means that there will be those who want to avoid these things.

            And that means there will always be illegal prostitution.

            • William Newman

              “And that means there will always be illegal prostitution.”

              Sure, and similarly the end of Prohibition didn’t mean that there was zero illegal alcohol afterwards. But the end of Prohibition does seem to have put a big dent in criminality among alcohol vendors and those who prey on them … indeed, such a big quantitative change that trying to argue it’s still not a qualitative change (because illegal alcohol can still be found in the kinds of niches you mention) seems fairly pointless.

              (Note that by limiting it to suppliers not customers, I’m trying to exclude the related question of change in alcohol-related criminality in customers after the end of Prohibition, because (1) it has no direct analogue for prostitution and (2) anyway many of the relevant statistics (like how much alcohol was consumed during Prohibition) are quite murky for various reasons.)

              • But the end of Prohibition does seem to have put a big dent in criminality among alcohol vendors and those who prey on them … indeed, such a big quantitative change that trying to argue it’s still not a qualitative change (because illegal alcohol can still be found in the kinds of niches you mention) seems fairly pointless.

                Now imagine if half the population was born with the physical ability to distill alcohol for sale to the other half. Would a serious dent in its unlicensed distribution have happened?

                • William O. B'Livion

                  It’s not giving it away that’s illegal, it’s only selling it.

                  This is the case with beer and whine…er…wine. One can make beer and wine at home for “personal use” without a license, and this still happens.

                  And yes, there is a whole group of people who engage in the “unlicensed distribution” of sex without even (obvious) payment going on. It’s called “college”.

                  • Oh, they’ll make you pay for it, if you’re a male anyway, and she decides she didn’t like it up to a year later….

                    • A man always pays for it. With a “Good Girl” it’s gifts and dancing and fancy dinners and even then you’re just buying a chance. With a pro on their other hand you pays and you gets in a clean healthy and somewhat opulent environment at least here in Nevada.

                    • I’m talking about the rash of “Rape” convictions colleges are handing out to young men instead of diplomas that would never have stood up in an actual court of law.

            • Agreed. Not to mention that in order to make prostitution safe and viable as a taxed, licensed and regulated profession and still maintain the profit levels necessary to encourage people to get into the business as suppliers, you generally have to make it considerably more expensive than the majority of actual clients for such services have typically been able or willing to pay. There’s also the problem that many of the reasons people fall into prostitution would disqualify them from a legal version of the profession in the first place: addictions, underage homelessness, prior criminal records, and so on.

              And there’s the issue that I firmly believe nobody is *willing* to discuss because of our own age’s peculiar attitudes about sex: the idea that prostitution in and of itself — deliberately engaging in emotionally meaningless sexual congress with multiple partners for money — might, for most people, bear inevitable physical, social and psychological costs that no amount of “safety” protections can forestall. It’s mostly a rom-com joke these days, but the idea of a person’s “number” still makes a difference to a lot of people; how do you react when on your first date with someone attractive, they reveal their career and tell you that their “number” isn’t 10, 20 or even a shocking 30+, but literally far enough into the hundreds that they can’t even remember the actual *number*, let alone most of their partners’ names? How could you trust whether their responses to you were real or not? Would you really be willing to take a risk on their medical cleanliness, no matter how stringent the testing and certification? (And don’t think *those* processes can’t be corrupted by financial self-interest, either.)

              I have to admit that I am genuinely doubtful prostitution could work as a legal industry, because sexual intimacy is *not* a mass-producible commodity and simply can’t scale supply to meet demand: I truly don’t believe there could ever be enough suppliers within the restrictions of cost of legality, minimum wage and acceptable health protection to even partially meet demand at the price levels most clients are willing to pay.

              • And then once it’s legal, do you put restrictions on its marketing and recruitment tactics?

                I think it quite reasonable to think that if prostitution was legal and these things are not seriously restricted, those who partake of it increase significantly, and young adult females (18 yoa) enter the profession who otherwise would not.

                • There was a memoir blog I read once by a woman who’d been a legal prostitute in Australia and Las Vegas, as well as an illegal and highly paid escort elsewhere. She didn’t have a very favorable impression of the whole thing, and she openly admitted that drugs suddenly got very attractive whenever she was sleeping around for money.

                  She also said that the legal brothels still pushed women to accept more clients per night and to offer more exotic services than what the women were comfortable with, as well as subtly discouraging them from getting out of the building much during their free time.

                  • So an employer wants an employee to work harder and sometimes at work they don’t want to do and doesn’t want them wandering off during working hours? Stop the presses!
                    BTW The exact above description applies to Boeing and Microsoft as well

                  • William O. B'Livion

                    exotic services than what the women were comfortable with

                    While I believe that the brothel owners are pushing their women to take more clients, I have trouble with the last bit.

                    as well as subtly discouraging them from getting out of the building much during their free time.

                    This is mostly to keep them from using the resources of the employer to set up outside work.

                    • Health corporations are pushing doctors to get through more patients per hour as well. It’s a result of driving for maximum profit at the cost of customer service. You see it in all industries.

                • I am having trouble not imagining the ads, not only the ones for the brothels (what, you don’t think they will be allowed to advertise on radio and late night TV?) but the ones offering “professional” instruction for aspiring practitioners. Take you basic bar-tending school ad and adjust for content …

                  Perky on-camera girl: “Hi! Just like you I used to spend my evenings watching TV and hoping somebody would invite me to a party — then I learned about Acme School of Escort Services and haven’t spent an evening home alone since! At Acme you can take classes in how to determine your best make-up, what lingerie works for you, how to maximize your earnings by building a clientele that comes back again and again, all in a short, six-week course that will have you earning great money in no time!”

                  • William O. B'Livion

                    You know how there’s those cosmetology schools that offer discounts because it’s students cutting your hair…

                • Is a job in a brothel a reasonable offer of employment, so that you can lose your unemployment for declining it?

                  • I believe that recent court decisions in Germany found it so, but it is not a topic I have closely followed.

                    Searching the interwebz suggests the story is false, appearing as early as 2005 and as recently as 2012.

                    But the question remains valid: if prostitution is a legal profession for which a person (male or female) is qualified, why should welfare beneficiaries be permitted to decline such an offer without loss of benefits?

                    Of course, if the standard prostitute employment contract is not work-for-hire but as independent contractor with pay contingent on earnings (I gather this is the standard for dancers in “gentlemen’s clubs”) then the employment offer may no more affect benefits than any other commission sales position.

                    It would be interesting to see the legal briefs for this.

                    • Whether a dancer is considered an independent contractor or not depends a lot on the jurisdiction. In Oregon dancers are automatically considered employees due to the Bureau of Labor and Industries definition of an employee; an exception would be a headliner touring clubs, who’s employment is classed as independent contractor (and I won’t go into the Economic Realities test for determining that status).
                      A lot of clubs apparently treat the dancers as independent contractors and charge a “club fee” to perform, making it a employment situation akin to a taxi-driver, where the dancers were compensated directly by the patrons. This was litigated in the 90’s and it was determined then that dancers are employees under all definitions of the term.
                      This mostly means that dancers are eligible for minimum wage and overtime and cannot, because Oregon is not a tip credit state, have their tips counted against their minimum wage earnings.
                      Clubs (venues?) don’t like this because it makes the overhead so high, and apparently a lot of them still pay dancers as independent contractors because the dancers tend not to make wage claims out of fear of being blacklisted. (which is also illegal)
                      I would fully expect the same claim/determination/evasion scenario with legal brothels.

                  • In NV if the compensation is equal or better than your last job, then yes.

                  • If the previous company paid what they would pay in unemployment insurance to the employee in wages, instead of having to give it to the government, this wouldn’t be an issue. If said employee went out and blew it at a gentlemen’s club rather than saving it against the day they might need it to tide them over, well that would be their fault and their responsibility. Then the job offer from the brothel would be able to be judged entirely on it’s own merits.

                    Current society and government are actively punishing financial prudence.

                  • Is a job in a brothel a reasonable offer of employment, so that you can lose your unemployment for declining it?

                    If there is no spiritual aspect to existence and sex is no different that shaking hands, why not? And if a certain type gets the authority to declare such, it is pretty hard to believe it wouldn’t happen as such.

              • The Nevada brothel owners disagree with your dismissive assessment of their profitability, but are too busy counting the cash to argue. Interestingly, the major brothel failure here have happened after the fedgov has taken control of them. It appears that government can’t even sell sex profitably.

                • The fedgov can screw anything up.

                  • Anybody that can screw up selling sex is fundamentally flawed and their organization should be excised for the betterment of all mankind.

                    • I gather the problem was the imposition of union seniority rules for the staff.

                      Well, the mandatory pre-coitus reading of relevant OSHA regulations probably wasn’t helpful.

                • “The Nevada brothel owners disagree with your dismissive assessment of their profitability, but are too busy counting the cash to argue.”

                  That’s because (like Germany and the Netherlands, mentioned below by Mr. O’Blivion) as one of the only legal suppliers in a global/international market, they can afford to charge the prices that people capable of travelling there specifically for that purpose can pay. If it was legalized everywhere, I’d be willing to bet that the resulting competition would drive the profits down past the point of sustainability, and the black market providers who don’t have to pay taxes or benefits or answer for their workers’ age or medical safety would pick up the slack.

                  And the brothel owners’ profits have never been a good guide to the profitability of the industry: there’s a reason they call it “exploitation”.

                  • Like it or hot, you’re always paying for it. In Brothels at least the negotiations are up front and fair, and you won’t be accused of rape some random date later on if you ‘break up’.
                    Many women oppose legal prostitution, because it takes away the one thing that they’re the gate keepers on: Sex. There are men that will pay for it for simply because there are less hassles, and less strings attached.

                    As for the arguments here about how it hurts society et al, well I say ‘bunk’, look at the amounts of rape that go on where prostitution is legal, I think it’s still 0 in those counties of Nevada, I know it is very low.
                    Sometimes a guy just wants to get laid without all the drama and ‘take me out and spend lots of money on me first’, BS or the ‘Guess what? I’m Pregnant’ surprise. And of course the ever popular: ‘You raped me!’ card played at some indeterminate date later.
                    As long as many women believed that they are owed something for allowing a man between their legs, we will always have prostitution. Personally I’m all for legalizing it, because those men who don’t want a commitment won’t be forced into one that they have no intentions of honoring at all.

                    • Sometimes a guy just wants to get laid … or the ‘Guess what? I’m Pregnant’ surprise.

                      Two things:
                      One, yes: sex makes babies. Water will wet you, fire will burn.
                      Two, this can’t be too true, or vasectomies would be far more popular than they are.

                      As long as many women believed that they are owed something for allowing a man between their legs, we will always have prostitution.

                      The bigger problem seems to be women, and society in general, thinking that the man should be responsible for the child they are so eager to join in the creation of– but not any other aspect.

                      The human desire to wish to feed expensive tastes while someone else foots the bill, does the work and cleans up the mess is a rather poor basis for action, although as the ongoing popularity of socialism shows it’s quite popular.

                    • I think you missed the points of the comment, I also can tell you really don’t understand men.
                      First off, few men like the idea of getting castrated. And while YOU may not think that getting ‘fixed’ (a vasectomy) is the same as being castrated, that is how 99 percent of all men view it. It takes away their masculinity. And I don’t see any women rushing to get sterilized either.

                      Yes, sex can cause babies. But only if you want it to.

                      What your argument boils down to, is this: Men are the only ones responsible for women getting pregnant, women are irresponsible and can not be trusted with birth control, their bodies, or really anything at all.

                      Men have been hearing this argument for decades now, and feminists all just love it, it’s OUR (men’s) fault when a woman gets pregnant, she’s just an innocent, incapable, bystander. And personally I’m sick of that argument.

                      The fact is really this: Getting pregnant is the WOMEN’S choice, and ONLY her choice – men have no say. She has access to cheap/free birth control, she controls who she sleeps with, and she knows when she is fertile. She also can say ‘No’. Fifty years ago, things might have been different, but today? No, men have little to no say in the process of making babies, we’re just handy sperm donors who are along for the ride, women control it all.

                      Why do you think there are so many single mothers out there? It’s not because the father didn’t want anything to do with it, it’s because the father wasn’t even consulted. As long as they can be forced to pay for a child they had no say in conceiving, men in today’s world will be considered immaterial by most women.

                    • And while YOU may not think that getting ‘fixed’ (a vasectomy) is the same as being castrated, that is how 99 percent of all men view it.

                      If you think that 99 percent of men are idiots on that level, then I don’t think your belief that I do not understand men is something that needs to be defended.

                    • Not to mention that a vasectomy is, as currently practised, rather expensive microsurgery, and completely reversible.

                      Oops, mentioned it.

                    • I have two cousins who are old enough to be out of college who were born after their dad had his reversed.

                      The most cheap options, sure, hard and expensive to fix– but not as bad as, say, “cutting the tubes” for a woman.

                    • Just checked; Planned Parenthood says they’re ten times the price of the depo shot, and a hundred times more effective.

                      Price includes all followup for the vasectomy, and doesn’t have to be redone every 12 weeks.

                    • If they prioritize melodramatic nonsense about castration over not conceiving a child, that’s their problem, and their choice. It means they are responsible either to not satiate their desire to just get laid, or deal with the consequences.

                    • Vasectomies are much cheaper than having tubes tied; unless they already have the woman opened up to do a C-section. Kind of like changing the throwout bearing at the same time as you do the clutch, all the work is in getting there, if you are already that deep it is no big deal.

                      I was hearing commercials on a Montana radio station this spring for some sort of non-invasive tube tying surgery. I admittedly wasn’t paying much attention, since I’m obviously not eligible for such an operation, but it seemed like they inserted something up the tubes with a string attached, then pulled the string causing the object they inserted to open up and block the tubes. It was supposedly much cheaper and safer, but that was the people performing the operation that were advertising that.

                    • yes. they can do it via laparoscopy .

                    • It is not a topic I have given much research into, but there it seems to me there is one additional distinction between a vasectomy and tubes being tied.

                      After a vasectomy the sperm is absorbed back into the body with no particular consequence in the vast majority of cases.

                      With tubal ligation, the ovaries continue to pump put eggs, menstruation continues with attendant risks of complications, including certain types of uterine cancers. There is also a minor continued risk of pregnancy, and an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

                    • John,
                      As a man I don’t want a vasectomy, but then I’m man enough to keep my pants zipped, or deal with the consequences. There is a huge difference between a vasectomy and getting castrated, however (all jokes about being cut, or becoming a steer, aside) With a vasectomy you produce everything, you are still getting the male hormones that make you masculine (ever notice the huge muscular difference between a steer and a bull? That is because a steer doesn’t produce the hormones a bull does.) And you can still get it up, this is why a lot of married men get vasectomies, they don’t want any more children, and they want the freedom to make love to their wife whenever they want without having to bother with any of the various methods of birth control, all of which have a certain rate of failure. (so do vasectomies, but that failure rate is entirely the fault of the surgeon, there are 0 random failures). Eunuchs (castrated men) on the other hand cannot perform sexually, nor are they masculine, because they don’t produce the hormones. I knew of a guy who was ‘castrated’ due to testicular cancer, he had to take hormones daily to replace the ones his body no longer produced.

                    • Go do a survey of men about the subject.
                      As for keeping it zipped, well if women aren’t, why should men? Though I do admit I myself am careful about who I sleep with.
                      But again, why is it always the man’s fault? Especially when the man has no say over any part of the process after conception (which he shares responsibility with the woman on – despite what everyone says), but the woman has say over every other aspect of it? (And sometimes even the conception aspect).

                      I’m just tired of the argument everyone keeps making that basically says that women are incapable of making their own decisions. If I was a woman, I’d feel pretty insulted by that.

                      How about instead of telling men to keep their pants zipped, we tell women to keep their legs closed? Oh wait, we can’t, because THAT is sexist.

                    • bah. I think both should and could keep their legs crossed/pants zipped outside of a significant relationship.
                      We are more than the appetites we share with dogs. When sex means no more than going to the bathroom, it’s about as significant emotionally.

                    • “How about instead of telling men to keep their pants zipped, we tell women to keep their legs closed? Oh wait, we can’t, because THAT is sexist”

                      Actually I’m one of those chauvinist pigs who do tell women to keep their legs closed or be prepared to deal with the consequences. It is a two way street, both men and women are responsible for conception, and both should bear responsibility for the results, they also should both have a say in how those results are dealt with, but that is a can of worms that I probably don’t need to open again. (something Foxfier and I have went rounds on here before).

                      As for your assertion to do a survey on the subject of vasectomies vs. castration; well considerably more than 1% of the men I know HAVE vasectomies, and they do NOT consider them the same as castration. I have heard that the machismo so common in Latino communities does think that, but 99% of average American men most assuredly do not. In fact I have never heard them referred to in that manner, other than in a joking fashion (until today) and no 0% of men personally who do believe so. A lot of men are decidedly nervous about letting someone go slicing around down there, but they do not consider the results of a properly performed vasectomy to be “the same as castration.”

                    • “As for keeping it zipped, well if women aren’t, why should men? ”

                      The women are if they don’t want to deal with the consequences. Welcome to equality.

                    • But its not equality if only one side has to deal with the consequences. If the woman doesn’t want to be pregnant, she isn’t.
                      If the man doesn’t want it, too bad, pay child support for 18-22 years or go to jail.
                      If the man does want it (even if married) too bad, you don’t matter.

                    • yes. that part is terrible. No one seems to realize that because men CAN’T carry babies “Her body, her choice” is the most damnable inequality. IOW we’re trying to right the “inequality of nature” by creating greater inequality and destroying future generations.

                  • Josh A. Kruschke


                    Explotation. Fuck you do realize this is the same argument used by the left and Unions of all stripes as their justification for doing what they do.

                    “We are to stupid or weak or what ever to protect ourselves. So, we needed the State to come in and protect us with laws and unions and morality police… oh wait we haven’t got to the last part yet. Hey, but it works for Saudia Arabia… Right?”

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      ::Feeling Like Banging Head On Desk::

                      Josh, this isn’t a matter of “helpless humans needing the God State To Protect Them”.

                      There can be times that *individuals* need the help of others to get them out of a mess.

                      Most of the time, it can be done by concerned citizens giving a helping hand.

                      Other times, it does require Society’s Strong Man (ie Government) to get individuals out of a trap.

                      Only a Fool believes that Government is the only way to help individuals in trouble.

                      But only a Fool believes that Government is *never* needed.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      Ah, I though we were talking about should adults be allowed to determine what services risk they are will to undertake. Not if it is morally right in the eyes of the Lord.

                      I’m against slavery in all it’s forms. Most people only see this as when others are forced to do something. You can be just as much a slave or dependent when others are forced into not doing something.

                      Being allowed the freedom to make only those choices others agree with is not freedom.

                      (Yes, we have the right to stop others from harming my or your rights, and I believe in the pick your pocket and break your leg standard.)

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Sorry Josh, there is the “right to make a mistake” but that doesn’t mean leaving somebody trapped because of a prior bad decision.

                      If you’re in big trouble and can’t get out of it on your own, do you want people to say “you made a mistake, you have to live with it”?

                      Especially, if with help you can get out of the trouble and have learned from your mistake?

                      Intelligent people know that there’s a difference between “making sure people can’t make a mistake” and “giving people the help they need to get out of trouble”.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke



                      We were not talking about helping people, but whether not prostitution should be legal.

                      If we want to help than we needed to do a better teaching young women (and men) self-reliance and there are better options.

                      How is making it illegal helping, those you fill ate trapped, by putting them in jail, or are you sugesting only John’s and pimps should be prosecuted.

                      I’m all for prosocuting those who force people to do things against others will, and I don’t give people a pass just because they feel they are doing the forcing for the others own good.

                    • “If you’re in big trouble and can’t get out of it on your own, do you want people to say “you made a mistake, you have to live with it”?”

                      No, but then I don’t think it is anyone but mine’s responsibility, I made the mistake, it is my responsibility. If someone else helps me out of it, that is either charity (if they never expect to be repaid) or a debt I owe. And I do not expect it to ever be the governments job to get me out of trouble, unless it is their fault I am in trouble in the first place.

                      “Only a Fool believes that Government is the only way to help individuals in trouble.

                      But only a Fool believes that Government is *never* needed.”

                      True, if we are talking in absolutes, but you are really going to have to stretch to find an example of when Government is really needed. My first thought of such an example was a foreign hostage situation. My second thought was Iran Contra, which proves that while our Government SHOULD have helped those in trouble, they weren’t actually NEEDED.

              • William O. B'Livion

                I have to admit that I am genuinely doubtful prostitution could work as a legal industry, because sexual intimacy is *not* a mass-producible commodity and simply can’t scale supply to meet demand: I truly don’t believe there could ever be enough suppliers within the restrictions of cost of legality, minimum wage and acceptable health protection to even partially meet demand at the price levels most clients are willing to pay.

                Thus completely ignoring that it has been working in Nevada, the Netherlands and Germany (that I know of) for several generations.

            • William O. B'Livion

              Which has more risk of injury over time, a prostitute working in Vegas/Amsterdam or a professional fighter, professional athlete, coal miner…

              There are ways to mitigate risk to the oldest profession, and chief among them is legalization.

              Yes, prostitution is icky. It’s morally problematic, but I’m pretty sure it’s near universal culturally (I’m having trouble seeing how the inuit or some african tribes would handle it, but that may simply be my lack of imagination).

              • There are ways to mitigate risk to the oldest profession, and chief among them is legalization.

                If you have legal prostitution it will be regulated via government not according to rational voluntary self-interest, which is my point about libertarianism.

                And of course, you will still have highly dangerous illegal prostitution occurring based on voluntary rational self-interest.

                Regarding the relative danger involved in legal prostitution, I would not be surprised if it should turn out to be more so regarding risk to life as opposed to limb in comparison to the professions cited.

                I agree that it is universal and the Bible actually cuts prostitutes quite a bit of slack.

                Of course, it is also universal that prostitutes end up looked down upon and it’s obviously a profession few of us want daughters and wives to enter, or husbands to use.

          • Jack the Ripper’s victims are exactly those who would be shut out from legal prostitution, on the grounds that no brothel wants a drunk with no impulse control. And they would not meekly take this. They would resort to illegal streetwalking.

          • Just for contrast, Taxi drivers are engaged in a legal profession and are frequently at risk for crime. I drove a cab in Philly in the late ’80’s, at night, in my last years of college. While I was never directly robbed, someone was every week, and there were always those who would skip out and run. And my cab got totaled once (And it takes a lot to total a Crown Vic.) People did drugs in my cab (disturbingly young ones), Prostitutes got changed, or got a ride to leapfrog the cops, and I was often offered stolen goods in exchange for cab fare.

            So when it comes to the statement that some professions are inherently dangerous, they don’t have to be illegal. But being on the street at night certainly is risky for anyone, regardless of what they’re doing.

        • In those places where prostitution is illegal. I add this as a codicil from Nevada.

    • No, but getting them in the East end and in his path — particularly when they knew he was stalking the area (which the later ones did) and when they’d had the money for lodging and threw it away — yeah, at least partly their doing.

      • Yeah, the later ones should have known better indeed, since there was a precedent. Then again, if there were five, the first one couldn’t have known. Still, Mary Kelley was killed in her bed, so she definitely wasn’t out at night… It makes things a bit more complicated, along with the fact that one of the other murdered women had given her name and address to the police, claiming she was Kelley. The case was definitely a tangle.

    • I respectfully disagree with you, because you may not be able to prepare against a specific psycho or sociopath, but you can avoid being where and being what most of them choose to hunt. Criminals want to satisfy their own basic impulses and desires in the easiest and most direct manner possible – and given that they’re often so self-centered and narcissitic that they don’t care what other people think, feel, or want, they take and hurt as they want to. However, they don’t want to get caught, so they go after the easiest prey that won’t struggle or be immediately missed.

      This is why it’s stupid, sometimes fatally so, to be a lone female hitchhiker in a known hitchhiking spot. It’s why it’s breath-takingly dumb to be a lone single woman, drunken and giggling, wandering several blocks from the bars to your car or the train station, especially going through the alleys. This is why you should never make a habit of wandering alone around a city park at night with your little dog and your ears covered in Beats headphones, staring at your smartphone as Muffin drags you around and into the side paths and bushes.

      When we look at known serial murderers who got away with it for years – they went for the people who wouldn’t be seen when they’re taken, and wouldn’t be missed. Of course it won’t prevent any of us from falling prey to the madman who decides to start shooting everyone in the Sikh temple, but it will drastically lower the odds of becoming a “missing person.”

      • Perhaps of some interest is Sweeney Todd, both the musical and the Johnny Depp movie. After Todd goes (even more) nuts (than he already is) and starts killing everyone who comes into his shop, people are seen to emerge unscathed when they are part of a group.

        He may have been crazy, but he wasn’t stupid.

      • Yeah. One Covenant House newsletter points out that the news stories about stranger abductions of children tend to be about children whose parents report their being missing. In reality, probably a great number vanish off the street.

    • Except that if he had chosen any other criterion, he would have a lot harder time getting near his victims. All those rules about maids and chaperons and no decent woman goes out alone did have the effect of severely limiting anyone’s ability to kill them randomly.

  10. Somewhat aside from the topic:

    I was just reading a very sad story where they were reporting that a lot of women in science had reported being sexually assaulted vs men in science (no report of how “sexual assault” was defined, of course, but it’s probably reasonably true, if you don’t count the current bizarre trend of women who force sex). The person writing an essay about it had been horrifyingly raped in a town in Turkey, for about an hour, while a geology fieldwork trainee more than twenty years ago. She did have the gumption to report it to the police, but it’s not clear that she reported it to anybody in the expedition. (Naturally this meant she didn’t get any help from the expedition or her university, much less her friends and relatives.)

    Her suggested remedy was not that all fieldworkers should have a security plan, or at least that naive young women should not be left by their employers and mentors to hang out all alone in Turkish towns when there’s this helpful thing called the “buddy system. No, it was that every expedition should have someone designated for people to tell. (Other than the clear candidates, like the boss, or anybody with an ear and a mouth, or the old standbys like screaming out what happened to everybody in earshot.)

    Because clearly the way to go is to leave the barn door open, but to appoint someone to carefully document every animal that gets out, is stolen, or is killed.

    • And Lord knows we wouldn’t like to suggest that women arm themselves and be psychologically prepared to take a would-be rapist out of the gene pool.

      • Yeah, Victorian women on expeditions usually brought weaponry as well as the statutory pith helmets….

        I don’t like to generalize, either, but I think of geology folks as tending to have a lot of implements of destruction like guns and knives about their persons, just because they’re often out in the boonies with animals around. Plus a lot of knives and mallets and hammers and huge muscles used to moving heavy things, just because it’s geology. So this particular woman must have really been having a non-standard day, poor kid.

        • Rock hammer, and in Turkey, given the harness of the rocks there it would be a mini miner’s pick on one side with the hammer on the other side of the head. (I own the one for soft rocks, not as impressive, but still effective.). Unfortunately if she was in town she may have left it behind, especially if she wasn’t thinking of alternative things that might need to be hit.

          • That was what I was thinking; that women brought up in the Liberal Establishment part of society are not accustomed to thinking about weapons.

            • No, they are brought up to expect the Liberal Establishment to condone and enable any activity that strikes their fancy, then protect them from its consequences. And to be very vocal in their outrage when that protection is nonexistent, if they’re lucky enough to survive that is.

            • They’re actively discouraged, it would seem. The concept of self-defense is suborned to a ‘I should be able to do whatever I want whenever I want without any repercussions of any sort’ mentality that isn’t really suited for actual hard reality.

          • I haven’t practiced any geology for over two decades (well, I still look if I see something interesting, but that does not happen often) but I still have my rock hammer, Finnish style with a long handle. Usually I keep it in my car, sometimes I take it with me for walks on the countryside whether I intend to look at rocks or not because as something which is not an official weapon it is quite legal to have it with me.

            (Okay, I have told this several other times, but in case of new people: Finland – you can not legally carry weapons in public unless you are a cop or in other such profession – in practice firearms are just for cops. Anything else, well, nothing which looks like a weapon and is not obviously needed for any legitimate purposes, so a knife would be okay for somebody like an electrician in his firm’s uniform because he’d maybe need it in his work, but not for a woman who is shopping for groceries. And I could, for example, carry a blunt-edged practice sword to and from classes in swordfighting, preferably still in a bag or otherwise hidden, and maybe even openly if there was some sort of medieval market type thing going on. In forests it’s more lax. Something like a knife etc should be okay then even if you have no obvious immediate use for it. But loaded firearms for anybody except police: only if you are a licensed hunter and it’s area or near area where you are allowed to hunt at that time. So, yes, one has to get a bit creative here if one wants to have anything which might be useful for self-defense. Some other European countries are more free, for example as far as I know it’s possible to get a carry permit for a handgun for the purpose of self-defense in Estonia, but a few are even worse.)

            • This, I understand, is why there are so many odd weapons in Asian martial arts. The ruling classes declared the peasants were forbidden to carry weapons, so they made weapons out of flails, well handles, and other implements at hand. If Finland invents “heavy-purse jutsu”, you’ll know why.

            • In Finland, where I was told the standard length of a pukko was “two inches longer than the thickness of a Russian winter uniform.”?

              • This has gotten a lot worse during my lifetime. The possibility to get a permit to carry a handgun was quietly taken about 13 years ago. Before that it was possible, if very hard, and from what I have read there are still about 2000 people with that permit because at least they figured they couldn’t take it away retroactively. No big news about it when it happened, I found out only a few years later.

                When I was in my late teens and early 20’s my friend had a brother who was a gun nut (still is, he later became a gun smith) who sometimes used to take us shooting in a field near their home – back then it was okay, the local police knew about (and it was a safe place, on a hillside, not much chance of the bullets ending up anywhere but inside the dirt) but if anybody tried that now they’d probably at least lose their permits, you are supposed to shoot only on official ranges (although I’m fairly sure people in the country still use their fields).

                And when I was working in Lapland I went to a restaurant to eat a few times with a puukko hanging from my belt, and nobody lifted an eyebrow because it was quite normal there then. Now you’d probably get arrested.

                20 to 30 years ago. And I thought the laws and regulations were tight then… but the hoplophobes among us have been chipping on. A little bit there, a little bit here, lots of talk, especially to kids and younger people, of how bad guns are and how nobody now needs them, and this is were we have gotten. And they still want tighter laws. And our gun owners and users just whine occasionally online, but then submit.

                Our people were always something of a contradiction. We have, at the same time, a tradition of personal independence, but we also have an unhealthy respect for authorities, especially once those authorities are people we have chosen ourselves – democracy, you know, everybody voted and the majority has spoken, too bad, nothing to be done now… and then we grumble, but don’t do anything else. And part of that may actually have to do with the spirit of Winter War, there is the thought that we have to stand together and should not try to undermine our leaders or sow discord. Except now it seems that standing together and quietly submitting to what the majority chosen leaders decide may be what is going to take away most of those freedoms our grandfathers fought the Soviets to keep.

                • sounds like Sisu is slowly dissipating over there due to over regulation.

                  • One can hope it’s only getting temporarily buried, and can still be dug out under the right circumstances. But I’m afraid I may not live long enough to see that, unless there is some really bad shock, bad enough to reach pretty much everybody here. Right now, well, it might need something like a Russian invasion to find out if we still have it as a nation (which I’d rather not see, we got lucky once, we might not get lucky twice and even if we did the price would be unbearably high – and besides, what if we now really don’t have it anymore?).

                    • But yes, over regulation is lethal in so many ways…

                    • For your sake I hope it doesn’t come to a Putin incursion. Much like us, most of what made the people who become heroes has now been made illegal or just too hard for enough to do to be useful in such situations.

                    • I think that Finland is safe from Putin for now. His focus seems to be on dominating all of the territories in the old Warsaw Pact. It’s notable, imo, that the recent threat he issued to the Ukrainian president was focused on the capitols of the three Baltic States, Poland, and Romania. The three Baltic States, of course, were part of the old Soviet Union. Poland and Romania were part of the Warsaw Pact. And all five are a currently a part of NATO.

                      Finland was left out of that collective threat, even though it borders Russia. That suggests, to me at least, that Putin is not currently thinking about his northern neighbor.

                      Now if Putin were to manage to successfully invade all five countries in a very short period of time (which would also demonstrate that NATO is now useless), then I’d get worried.

          • The thing is, it doesn’t matter what kind of tool you’re carrying, if it depends on size and strength, you’re going to lose if that man really wants to rape you. Because men are larger and stronger, and any man looking to rape a women is going to look for one he can easily overpower.
            That’s why I like the idea of women carrying handguns.
            And as one person said a while back ‘how many times have you been stopped and searched by the police in your life? It doesn’t matter what the laws are, carry concealed and just don’t act like an idiot and no one will ever know.’
            I had to admit he had a pretty good point.

            • The key there is ‘easily over power’ I know there’s no magic bullet (not even a bullet will prevent EVERYTHING, though it’s got a really good track record). It’s about being a hard target. Be alert, you’re less of a target. Carry a large hammer and look like you remember it’s there, you’re less of a target. Travel in groups, less of a target. Good shoes, less of a target. Don’t be intimidated by anyone (hard to pull off because it doesn’t work unless you’re a consummate actor or really aren’t intimidated), and you’re less of a target. Walk with a purpose, less of a target. None of these completely eliminates risk, but they help. Determined attackers are rarer than opportunistic ones. Even in situations where you might actually run the risk of being searched and going to jail for your concealed fire arm there are steps you can take. I don’t have details of this woman’s case, but the point isn’t that there was a perfect solution for her, but that being aware and responsible for your own safety and evening the odds in anyway available to you is a better option than even the most perfect of reporting procedures..

              • Don’t be intimidated by anyone (hard to pull off because it doesn’t work unless you’re a consummate actor or really aren’t intimidated),

                Having a culture where a man doesn’t physically threaten a woman unless it’s a situation where the woman can puff up and go “you mother loving son of a female dog–!” and charge in with a reasonable expectation of those around joining in is part of that.

                I’m a came-of-age-in-9/11 type, and I can expect that– largely because of who I am. I didn’t figure this out for years, in part because I was raised that it didn’t matter– if I die because I think that the bastard right there needs to be taken out, it needs to happen. Folks pick up on that, subconsciously. Saved a podmate’s life, because her stalker ex boyfriend tried to take me… none of the guys could face him, because “his” girl wasn’t theirs, but me? when he did the chickenshit half-charge and I was willing to fight… meant he had to face all of them.

                incidentally, took me a month, minimum, to figure this out. Shaw was probably doing it because it was right, but the rest? Who wants to be shown up by a runt girl too young to drink…..

                • If I get scared I get angry. If I get angry there is a good chance I’d go berserk if pushed even a little farther – I have always been able not to attack no matter how angry I get (but I do get angry enough to scare myself, which is the reason I prefer not to do even verbal fights) but if the other person did… I have, also, a few times been able to do what seems to have been a fairly good impression of ‘completely nuts’. I don’t talk, I just look (without outright staring – I will not provoke because I _don’t_ want to find out what I’d do if I went full berserk) and think where I’d bite or gouge. Nobody has ever bothered me as an adult beyond some yelling from a distance.

                  What I’m most worried about is getting in the way of a group of thugs or an attacker who actually is nuts. Or somebody feeling macho enough that he has to prove himself and/or companions a short, fat woman (and now very obviously getting older one too) can not intimidate him after he had maybe thought or said something about doing something to that old biddy like maybe taking her wallet… Especially because of that going berserk part. I don’t know if I could retreat if I had gone far enough with that even if given the chance – I think there is a good chance I would not notice that chance at all – but no matter how crazy I got I would not have that much of a chance in a fight against a man, especially a younger, healthy one. I’d probably be able to hurt him but it’s pretty damn certain he would win in the end.

            • Correct on size and strength differential.

              • That’s handguns were invented.
                God Created;
                Colt made them equal.

                You shoot the bastich properly and he won’t rape anyone anymore!

      • I find the stigmatization of self defense by the left to be perverse and contra survival. L. Neil Smith in the Probability Broach (graphic Novel available online at big head press) has some interesting dialogue on the subject. At the beginning of chapter 7 or 8 I think.

        • Of all the things over there i found that one hard to follow and kinda boring after the first few chapters.

          • Smith is one of my favorite writers, I need to say that first, and I laugh at people who say it is unrealistic, that societies don’t work like that. I also wonder if they read to the part where the president is actually a gorilla, and if they have spoken to an Fifthp recently.
            But yes, the attitude that society exists to protect you is a poor attitude to have and an ungrateful one as well. Better said that you can keep what you can protect, and if you can agree as a society to protect its members it is really good, but you also have to be willing to protect yours and your society as a whole on your own stick. You owe it to yourself, your family, and those around you to end an existential danger when one presents itself.

            • Smith turned me on to libertarianism. He pounded home the idea that if I am to be free, youust also be free. I am proudly a selfish libertarian minarchist trending anarchist.

      • William O. B'Livion

        You do that in turkey and you’re in prison.

        Then you’re really f*ked.

    • I have not heard of these goings on in my department, but I have heard of them in some of the other science departments where I’m at. I am friends with one gal who has had to deal with sexual harassment and sexual assault from members of her department. She has never reported it for fear of having her career and research sabotaged.

      I keep encouraging her to do more than just carry a folding knife, she needs to learn how to use it. But her experiences have left her so twitchy around strange males that I worry she won’t ever find a martial arts school she’ll feel comfortable in.

      I would teach her myself, but I no longer have the time to do so.

      • I have a friend who graduated magna cum laude in Metallurgy. She was a really pretty red head. She stayed in the field about 10 years before she got sick of the crap she had to put up with. Apparently it was acceptable to ask if the carpet matched the drapes in a professional setting. She now runs a knitting web site.

      • William O. B'Livion

        But her experiences have left her so twitchy around strange males that I worry she won’t ever find a martial arts school she’ll feel comfortable in.

        If there’s a Dose Peres school around, try that–it’s a variant of Escrima, but in the classes I was in there was very little hands on contact between training partners–you basically swung sticks at each other. There was a lot of focus on keeping your hands up and defensive use.

        This gets a twitchy student over *some* of the issues of self defense, and after a while they develop some physical self confidence and *at minimum* learn to get there g*d d*mn hands up.

        Also look for a Krav Maga class taught by a woman. Most of these are aimed at people like your friend.

    • I was having a chat with one lady and the subject of taking reasonable precautions against sexual assault came up. She was asserting that telling women not to get drunk and to take reasonable precautions was “promoting a rape culture”. I mentioned the signs I see around shopping malls that read “Lock it. Hide it. Keep it” and asked if they “promote a burglary culture”. She said those signs were probably only there for legal reasons, as if that made what they said any more or less true.

      I guess in the modern paradigm, women are just as smart and responsible as men, but asking them to demonstrate it is misogyny.

    • This has been on my mind. I like Regency romances (with a strong preference for Georgette Heyer). But a lot of the modern writers give their characters a ‘modern’ mentality (something that has been discussed on these blogs before). They have the female lead characters doing things that females of sound mind just would not have done in that time period, like going out on the streets of London alone in the middle of the night! And they give the male characters modern sensibilities, too, but that’s another story. Right now, in our western culture, it’s usually fairly safe for a female, even a young and attractive one, to go out of the house alone (depending on where she lives, of course). That was not the case in past eras, and honestly it probably won’t be the case in the future in our culture. We live in an aberration, thanks to a rapidly-being-spent capital of good morals and laws that make at least the United States a relatively safe place to live.

  11. This one hits a little close to home.
    My middle brother was a real trouble maker his whole life. Highly intelligent, gifted with anything mechanical and fairly charismatic. He got into drugs and alcohol early in his life and did a lot of risky and stupid things. After one interaction with the law he skipped the state and fell off the face of the earth for four years. He called on our mother’s 60th birthday to let her know he was alive and she had another grand daughter. He was married to a wonderful woman and was employed. But he eventually threw that away and ended up living on the streets. He’d pop up every once and a while and the last time he was in town he managed to completely alienate my youngest sister who had always been his champion. When I got the call from my father telling me he had met a bad end, I wasn’t surprised. We’d all saw it coming but nothing we could do helped change his fate. I know he had mental issues. From what I understand he went through rehab at least twice. He was completely estranged from his daughter and the family. How much of that was fate (read: genetic disposition toward mental illness) and how much of that was choice? I don’t know.
    The do know that one of the things that makes me the angriest is when I see someone with potential throw it away. I’m relatively certain he was the smartest of a bunch of really smart siblings and he just threw it away.
    I sure as hell don’t blame Society for his end.

    • I read an alternate history Regency in which a seduced woman was thrown out on the streets by her quality family.

      Yeah, right. True, she would never again be part of Society, but in Mansfield Park, the woman who eloped with another man after her marriage was still supported by her father in some out-of-the-way place.

      (Hmm. Unless, of course, they were lying to the young ladies, just as rural 19th-century America claimed that pregnant and unmarried women who didn’t force a shotgun wedding drifted to the cities and took to prostitution, when in reality, they were sent off to distant relatives and claimed to be widows.)

      • In the late 1700’s an ancestress of mine became pregnant out of wedlock. The man refused to marry her (and had to pay a fine as a result of his refusal). So she was sent to Canada (from New York) to live with an uncle, and raised her son there. She didn’t end up in prostitution. But I have to admit that I’ve always wondered about both the man and the woman in this case — what kind of people they were. Was she so difficult to live with that the guy couldn’t bear the thought of being married to her? Or was he just a total jerk? Or? Who knows. One of those mysteries of history.

      • Unless, of course, they were lying to the young ladies, just as rural 19th-century America claimed that pregnant and unmarried women who didn’t force a shotgun wedding drifted to the cities and took to prostitution, when in reality, they were sent off to distant relatives and claimed to be widows.

        Or the child might be put up for adoption before the woman returned home to her parents.

        • This was the favored method where I came from. Take a holiday at the other end of the country, or abroad if you have family there, then come back and be miraculously a maiden again.

        • There were cases where the girl was/cast herself off. For those who read Pride and Prejudice, how difficult is it to imagine Mr. Whickam casting Lydia off, and she being too stupid to figure out how to get back/contact her parents or thinking London is more fun and eventually at forty or fifty ending up a low-paid whore?

          • Lydia’s aunt and uncle lived in London, so I don’t imagine that cluelessness would have kept her from getting home in the scenario you describe.

            But the rest of it isn’t hard to imagine (and, in fact, the text indicates that Wickham would have eventually cast her off if Darcy hadn’t intervened).

            • the crux would have been whether she was too proud or silly to make the appeal. . .

              Compare Colonel Brandon’s account:

              “‘But can we wonder that, with such a husband to provoke inconstancy, and without a friend to advise or restrain her (for my father lived only a few months after their marriage, and I was with my regiment in the East Indies) she should fall? Had I remained in England, perhaps—but I meant to promote the happiness of both by removing from her for years, and for that purpose had procured my exchange. The shock which her marriage had given me,’ he continued, in a voice of great agitation, ‘was of trifling weight—was nothing to what I felt when I heard, about two years afterwards, of her divorce. It was THAT which threw this gloom,—even now the recollection of what I suffered—’ . . .
              “It was nearly three years after this unhappy period before I returned to England. My first care, when I DID arrive, was of course to seek for her; but the search was as fruitless as it was melancholy. I could not trace her beyond her first seducer, and there was every reason to fear that she had removed from him only to sink deeper in a life of sin. Her legal allowance was not adequate to her fortune, nor sufficient for her comfortable maintenance, and I learnt from my brother that the power of receiving it had been made over some months before to another person. He imagined, and calmly could he imagine it, that her extravagance, and consequent distress, had obliged her to dispose of it for some immediate relief. At last, however, and after I had been six months in England, I DID find her. Regard for a former servant of my own, who had since fallen into misfortune, carried me to visit him in a spunging-house, where he was confined for debt; and there, in the same house, under a similar confinement, was my unfortunate sister. So altered—so faded—worn down by acute suffering of every kind! hardly could I believe the melancholy and sickly figure before me, to be the remains of the lovely, blooming, healthful girl, on whom I had once doted. What I endured in so beholding her—but I have no right to wound your feelings by attempting to describe it—I have pained you too much already. That she was, to all appearance, in the last stage of a consumption, was—yes, in such a situation it was my greatest comfort. Life could do nothing for her, beyond giving time for a better preparation for death; and that was given. I saw her placed in comfortable lodgings, and under proper attendants; I visited her every day during the rest of her short life: I was with her in her last moments.'”

              You notice, however, that she did get an allowance, after being divorced for adultery.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          There was a short story that I read years ago. This woman left town to go look after her sister who was having a child. She later returned to her town with her nephew who’s mother had died. The story tells about his growing up and going to war. The woman learns that he’s died in battle and travels to where he’s buried. In tears, she wanders the graveyard and through her tears she see a man. She asks him to show her where her nephew is buried. He responds “Come woman, I’ll show you where your son is buried”.

          • That would be “The Gardener” by Rudyard Kipling. It’s in DEBITS AND CREDITS

            That is a very good collection of stories, and includes some of my favorites;

            “On the Gate, a Tale of ’16” a conversation between Death and St. Peter about the difficulties The War is visiting on their administrations.

            “The United Idolaters” a Stalky story

            “The Bull that Thought” about an intelligent bull in the bullring


            “The Janeites” about a man who was “inducted” into a secret society based on the writing of Jane Austen as a joke, but who believes that the society is real because if you can quote Jane at will, other fans will help you when you’re in trouble.

      • Miss Manners described how, in her distant girlhood, young ladies who got a bit chubby would be sent away to live with relatives, then come back looking slim. If a bit exhausted …

        • Such social penalties as accrued typically were a result of ostracism by the ladies of the community.

          The men often welcomed such experienced women.

          • The intro to the original ‘Stagecoach’ comes to mind, when the old women in the town are escorting the *cough* nurse *cough* to the coach.

      • One unexpected side benefit to having wars every few years is new crop of these conveniently dead surprise husbands. Can be entertaining if specifics are used and the war dept. was wrong

        • As I recall, such a story was floated regarding Billy Jeff Clinton’s descent. The supposition was that Ginny turned out pregnant so the local kindly doctor/JP turned up a recent travelling salesman car accident victim who had been smitten by & tied the knot with her shortly before having to drive off to his unfortunate conclusion.

  12. Yes, being homeless, or living on the streets, is very much a choice. I know because I’ve been there. There was a point in my life where I lost pretty much everything I had, and I was reduced to couch surfing at friend’s houses in return for doing work on their property.

    That was when I learned how to feed two people for 20 dollars a week.
    This lasted for about a year, the economy was down, my profession was pretty much completely dead in the US, and when I tried to go back to school I got very ill (almost died) and was limited to staying in bed for several weeks by my doctor. That circumstance pretty much did me in financially.

    During my copious free time at that point I met a lot of homeless people living on the streets and learned a lot about who they were and why they were there. And basically they were all there because they wanted to be.

    I most certainly did not want to be there, so I started making deals with people for places to sleep. I started doing little jobs here and there, and using the money I got to buy and trade things. Mostly I’d buy broken crap, fix it, and sell it for a profit using my electronics knowledge. That got me back on my feet, in an apartment, until I finally found a job that let me pay off my considerable debt that I had accrued on the downward slide.

    It took two years to get back on an even financial keel, have myself settled in a new professional area, pay off all my debts, and start over again. And with the exception of one trip to the food bank, I never once applied for welfare or any other type of aid. I was determined to fix my life and get it back on track, not wallow in my misfortune or my misery. And especially not coast from day to day on handouts and welfare, getting drunk and doing drugs and not taking responsibility for my own actions and choices.

    So when people tell me that they don’t have any choice, I tell them they’re full of Sh–. Because I have been there. You always have a choice.

    • There are some good reasons, depression, real, clinical depression for example can rob a person of their ability to do much of anything useful. Some other diseases and disabilities seem to also exist which are not necessarily particularly or at all obvious to the outside, and for which it can also be very difficult to get a diagnosis from most doctors (or help to get to an expert who could give that diagnosis) especially by a patient who is not, or is no longer able to push for it because the symptoms and sings are obscure, maybe the disease is rare or not well known or it has not yet proceeded to a point where it would be obvious even to some doctor less experienced with it, but which still are bad enough to make the person more or less unfit especially for long term commitments, maybe because they affect the brain.

      And if somebody like that has no champions in the form of family or friends, or maybe sometimes official helpers like social workers they really may not have a choice.

      But even with them, some will be lost mostly because they give up at some point and stop looking for help or even refuse it even if they could later get it.

      • And even with something like serious depression – there are some limits, I think, of how far you can expect the people trying to help that person to go. Especially if they have other family to think about too. And I have seen victims of depression who pretty much seemed to be content to just wallow in it, with no obvious attempts to even try to deal with it, or who just took the pills and expected a miracle recovery just because of them, with no other effort. That thing does need work, the pills help but they rarely are enough all by their lonesome (admittedly I didn’t know either one well… no idea how they ended up either).

        Even if somebody is initially injured by something not their fault, how long can you be expected to try and drag them with you if they no longer make any attempt at all to help themselves, or to make things at least a little bit easier to whoever is trying to keep them afloat?

        • Speaking as someone who fights depression – YES.

          There are times when even if you’re trying to fight it you can’t – but after enough of a breathing time (depression isn’t constant: it ebbs and surges) you can find the fight coming back and start to pick up again. But without someone to support you during those low times… I was lucky.

        • I can’t remember if I said it before– but with depression, family matters. Tradition is for a reason.

          I’ve slowly been realizing that a lot of stuff my family does is to fight the Black Dog.

          The point it really got slapped in my face is when I told my mom– who didn’t know I’d told anyone else– that we lost the baby in July. She paused a moment, then said in the odd voice: “at least you don’t have to tell everyone that you lost him.”

          The…implied stuff is hard to translate to text.

          Family tradition is that we don’t tell “anybody” that a child is “coming” until the first trimester is over.

          I found out that she (guessing from other patterns) had died, a lot earlier than anybody else would have; if I’d been telling my family—outside of “accepted” cheating zones like my mom and sister– then I would’ve had about fifty folks to tell. One by one. That we’d lost the baby.

          Instead I had less than five points of communication, and the result was shock, not… the inky pulling I can see, but that can’t reach me, because I’m over here.

          Sorry I can’t say it better, but… that’s how it is, here. I can see the dog, I can hear his teeth snapping, I can feel the foam from his mouth…but he can’t bite me. I’m just outside of the stretch of his chain.

          • Oh yeah. This is why I don’t pre announce potential book deals or other possible good things. And mom heard Marshall was on the way when I was EIGHT MONTHS GONE. And only because my cousin dreamed I was pregnant and told mom, who asked.
            But yes, there are things you do. Having meals together helps. Sunday walks help. (Not the normal exercise walk, but leisurely and all of us.) The new tradition of “appetizers on Friday night” helps, because it’s not something you gulp down. You sit around and eat a bit of this and a nibble of that, and TALK.

            • I don’t know if I want to talk about the things I do to deal with it here, I suffer from it, for me it tends to be cyclic. About every three years, normally mid to late winter, I go down some very deep and black holes. It really is a chemical thing I believe.
              Sometimes I write notes about it, thinking maybe I’ll use some of it in a story some day, but I’m not sure I want to poke that with a stick just yet.
              However I have learned how to deal with it, and what I need to do if it gets too bad, how to get help. My partner is also invaluable with helping me deal with it. Having a sane voice around when things are at their darkest is very valuable.

              • Part of it is knowing what is real and what is memorex. That is, if I’m berating myself for something I can fix, or just berating myself because something is wrong in the thingy in the brainy.

              • Oh man. I’d gone through some seriously deep black holes myself, and Rhys is the reason why I made it through them, without going to too much detail. He’s the sane voice of reason when I’m upset.

                I agree about the cycling and possibly chemical.

                I’m getting better with dealing with it, and I’ve found that I feel better after crying about something – like a heartwarming story, or a particularly emotional romance novel, Sherlock’s self-insulting wedding speech for John at his wedding. Little things that let me get tears out and have me reaching for the tissues. I read somewhere (and no longer remember where) that crying has been linked to releasing chemicals of stress buildup. That might be true or not, but it helps.

            • Yes. Among pilots, you don’t talk about job offers until the contract’s signed. 1) Don’t p1ss off your boss, 2) don’t jinx it. I suspect #2 is a lot stronger motivation, if the truth were ever told.

    • I know a woman who used to work in a homeless shelter who concluded that 75% of their clients didn’t want to leave the streets.

      • My sister works for a domestic violence support agency that helps shelter battered women and find them jobs and housing. The rumor I’m hearing from family is that she’s burned out because she’s learned that a lot of these women are a) abusers themselves, both towards their children and their husbands, and b) constantly going back into these dangerous situations, convincing themselves that “this time he’s changed” or that they’re better off even with the abuse.

        • Oh, yes. It gets ugly. Theodore Dalrymple observed that battered women (in his sample) reject non-violent men as intolerably cold and distant.

  13. I’d have to disagree on part of this– the right to screw up is the most basic social right. The right to not be unjustly killed would be the most basic. Where there’s life, there’s a chance that you can get away from the help, or “help;” those who are dead can’t exercise any of the rights.

    Oddly, though, that doesn’t detract from the bigger point you made.

    • I strongly suspect that very few of those who die consider their deaths just.
      The “right to life” is one that is constantly being violated pretty much everywhere in the world.
      In fact the phrase “death and taxes” is only half correct. One may avoid taxes, but no one avoids death.

    • Some people only learn from their mistakes. (He said, looking around and whistling in a somewhat embarrassed fashion…)

      Eventually, I sat myself down and started thinking and analyzing, trying to troubleshoot my life like I’d troubleshoot a computer with intermittent errors. I gradually came to the realization that the things I was told (as a teenager growing up the late 60s, early 70s) that I SHOULD be chasing after… were not the things that I needed or particularly wanted.

      Then I started trying to find what I DID need, and want. About three, four months later, I met my lovely bride of 21 years. (Anniversary was on the 17th, in fact…) When the small and crunchy (now smart and crunchy) son was born, I ‘lucked’ into a stable job (tech in Atlanta was notorious for a long time for 18-24 month jobs.) and have been in it since.

      So, I’ve learned from my mistakes. Only lost about ten years or so doing it…

  14. If you’re a “victim of society” then the people who are heroic or achieve extraordinarily become “privileged” as though what they do has nothing to do with the results, as though they’re widgets totally dependent on circumstances.

    There’s a superstitious variant of this that still exists in some parts of the world today, particularly in Africa. If you’re living out in a small village, and your farm does better than the surrounding farms – say, because you figured out how to build a windmill to pump water out of the ground – then obviously you’re a witch.

    • Case in point, eight international Ebola aid workers were just found killed in a village in Guinea. Seems the villagers needed someone to blame for the outbreak of the disease and the aid workers were handy, and “not from around here,” that always makes a big difference.
      May the good Lord forgive me, but I’m of a mind to seal the borders and leave them all to rot.
      Ignorance can be cured with effort and persistence. Stupid lasts forever and is always ultimately fatal.

      • There was a nasty case in American history where the Cayuse attacked missionaries treating measles victims because their white patients tended to survive, and their Cayuse ones did not. . .

        • The Whitman Massacre in Walla Walla.

        • Link, please?

          A friend of a friend is being attacked because she commented on the fact that Washington place names sound like jibberish, and thus she’s to be maligned for every wrong that ever was claimed to happen to “native peoples.”*

          *do not, for the love of all that’s holy, get me started on the worth of “native cultures.” The whole “chop out your neighbors’ hearts for rain” thing is just a start.

          • The Northwest indans did not do much of the human sacrifice but they were into slavery.
            Washington state names are Chinook jargon and the other languages like Haida and Nisqually and such. They are not easy to wrap one’s tongue around without preparation.
            The Whitman massacre was caused in part because the indians thought Whitman was causing the local outbreak of measles, and it grew into the Cayuse war, which pupped into a series of wars up to the Bannock war in the 1870’s.
            On the Whitman Massacre
   (from Or Hist Soc)
   (from Or Hist Soc)

            This one is more of a narrative

            • oops. Multiple links. Sorry Sarah

            • Thank you!

              The primary attacker already nuked it by making it clear that they were fully aware they were misrepresenting a three-quarters-of-a-century-later claim as the norm, and didn’t care because OUTRAGE!!!!!, but I’m storing the links away anyways– grew up knowing some of the kids of the last massacre in California. Frozen Grass, I think it was?

          • If you want to watch pointy heads explode, just casually insert into a conversation the fact that there are no native Americans.
            That vast assortment of ethnic groups and tribes collectively referred to as the American Indian are simply the descendants of Asiatics who got here before the Europeans did. Granted, quite a bit before, but still only a blink of the eye in geological terms.
            Expect the true believers to sputter a bit then either get quite belligerent or quickly change the subject. Do not expect any rational discussion of the subject.

            • you may want to look up the Smithsonian article on the Kennewick man. Very interesting.
              A very very old skeleton was found in Washington state. It appeared to be not related to any indian tribe. There was some difficulty in getting them studied. He probably wasn’t a local

              • They’ve recently studied him. He wasn’t. only group he’s now related to is Polynesian. But hell, there might have been ANYONE here before.

                • I remember watching a BBC special where they compared some ancient paintings in South America with similar paintings found in some Polynesian boat cultures. They also found a few “Native Americans” in the southern tip of South America that had genetic markers found in Polynesian boat cultures. The Asian invaders probably wiped them out. There have also been findings that compare to ancient European tool craft that also predate the Asian migration. Our ancestors got around a lot more than we think.

              • A current local, anyways.

                And the gov’t agency that found it was colluding with the local tribe to cover it up.

                • It wasn’t the group that found the remains that was obstructing their study. Locals found the remains, and turned them over to local law enforcement. When word got out about the remains, the US Army Corps of Engineers took control of them.

                  Supposedly, the reason why the Engineers attempted to block the study of the remains is because they frequently have to deal with Native American tribes around the country for their construction projects. Keeping on the good side of the tribes (say, by blocking the study of remains that appear to pre-date the local tribe…) make it more likely that the tribes will approve construction projects that the Corps wants to engage in on tribal lands.

                  • The massive amount of money that the tribe throwing a fit has, and is willing to throw around to get what it wants, had (of course) nothing to do with it….


                    • “The massive amount of money that the tribe throwing a fit has, and is willing to throw around to get what it wants, had (of course) nothing to do with it….”

                      Of course not, the only way you could conclude something like that would be through racist reasoning.

                  • I’m still in shock that any of the skeleton survived to be studied.

                    • iirc, a university kept the skeleton in storage while the court case was resolved. Presumably seals were placed on whatever container the skeleton was being stored in to ensure that no one took a peek while the case was being heard.

                    • It took something like two years for the museum to be given the remains. When it was first found the tribes were supposed to have taken custody and “reburied their ancestor” in “privacy” because obviously he had to be an ancestor, their tradition says they were the only people who’d ever been there.
                      Ie, destroyed the evidence of them NOT being the only people ever there, nevermind that nobody in their right mind thought the current local tribe was the only one to way back.

                      This is the Smithsonian story mentioned, which has some slight allusion to the attempts to destroy the evidence, actively and passively.

                      Note how the femurs went missing and were randomly found in, IIRC, the police office after several years MIA.

            • word-crime: Getting the skeletal remains studied.

            • Ah yes — they were able to immigrate here because of the land bridge exposed due to global warming.

              When dealing with pointy-headed true believers I expect no rational discussion of any subject. My cat is more capable of rational discussion, and he’s been dead seven years.

            • I’m a native American. I was born here.

              Native:: being the place or environment in which a person was born or a thing came into being:

              We have to stop letting sorry morons take over the language.

              I mean I am literally i.e. dictionarily definitively a native American.

              • I have checked that box on more than one form where you are absolutely required to fill out race (otherwise I leave it blank or write in human). Can somebody please tell me why it isn’t racist for the federal government to require your race, before you are allowed to buy a firearm?

                • Can somebody please tell me why it isn’t racist for the federal government to require your race, before you are allowed to buy a firearm?

                  If I tried real hard I could probably come up with an answer. But then I’d be lying through my teeth.

                • What race? How about the 100 meter dash 🙂

                • I still want a check box for Septentrional-American.
                  It means I can flash our gang-signs and make suggestive comments about t-shirts with logos while considering the constitution and coin operated car washes.

      • And whenever The Doctor shows up in his TARDIS, trouble breaks out.

        • Her husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months yet she stayed by his bedside every single day. When he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he said, “You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business fell, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you gave me support. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. Well, now that I think about it, I think you’re a jinx!

    • There’s a superstitious variant of this that still exists in some parts of the world today, particularly in Africa. If you’re living out in a small village, and your farm does better than the surrounding farms – say, because you figured out how to build a windmill to pump water out of the ground – then obviously you’re a witch.

      Aleister Crowley has defined magick as “the art of causing change in conformity with the Will.” By that definition, using a windmill to pump water and increase farm yields is “magick” and the person doing it is a sorceror, at least.

    • oh, the morons here have a similar superstition. It’s called “you didn’t build that.”

      • Oh how I hate those LYING IDIOTS!! Government doesn’t build water systems, roads, electrical systems, and in most cases sewers. These things are build by private companies. Electrical companies and water companies are private concerns, or were until they got taken over by the government (and not willingly either). Roads and sewers are usually built by whoever is doing the development, or by the locals. Yes the government does take over roads and maintains them (and in all fairness they did build the interstate highways), and in some cases they built the sewers after everyone voted for it (but not storm sewers). But the reality is the ‘you didn’t build that’ is one of the biggest lies Obama and others have told, right up there with ‘you can keep your own doctor’ and ‘healthcare will cost less than your cellphone’.
        And yet people still buy this stupidity.

        • It didn’t matter whether it was true or not. All that mattered was whether it was persuasive to the gullible.

          And you don’t have to be stupid to be gullible.

        • Ultimately they are paid for by taxes. And taxes have to come from somewhere originally. That somewhere is called “Private Industry” either through direct tax, property tax, income tax, licensing tax, et bloody cetra. GOVERNMENTS DO NO CREATE! The most they can hope to do is transform and it’s a push on that. (To be fair, the space program did force a bunch of tech but how much and in what way?)

          Good question. If it hadn’t been for the space race, would we be where we are with computers and the internet? Would they have happened eventually anyhow?

          • Oil industry and seismic modeling pushed a lot of processor advancements. (last I heard ExxonMobil installed, roughly, a pixar render farm worth of computer cores and the guy commenting said it should tide them over for about 3-4 months as a scale reference).

            • Right now, they are pushing the expansion of memory on GPUs. See, it ends up that 2880 CUDA cores on a Tesla is a bit faster than 18 cores on a Xeon (yes, i *know* the cores aren’t the same thing, tyvm) if only the GPU can load their datasets….

              • My layman’s (computer wise) understanding of the problem with trying to offload seismic calculations to the GPU is most GPUs flat do not have the memory to handle even a 30 GB survey and talking back and forth between the RAM side and the Videocard side tends to kill the speed advantage. The cost is also not in favor of the exchange at the moment. A small processing shop can add more boxes with lots of RAM more readily than more video cards. Power draw and cooling become issues as well, but yeah a lot of R&D dollars go into ”make the computers do these calculations faster”. Most of the math we deal with is nothing new. But get a big data set and it can take a week or more to run some of the calculations. Then again, when my dad started this less 20 or 30 MB was huge.. but they were using punch cards and tapes at the time.

            • William O. B'Livion

              I used to work with a guy who’d spent a lot of time in that industry doing Systems Administration.

              He considers 4-5000 servers a “normal” sized cluster. They’d have several of these in various states at any given time.

              • Yeah, I work in a small processing shop so we don’t have NEARLY the computing power that the big shops do. There was one survey (back in late ’08 so things have gotten better/easier to cram more cores in a box) that had 20k cores working on one process and it took a month for the turn around (and that was considered a good turn around.) It was, I believe, a time lapsed depth migration, but it’s been a while since I read the paper on it.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Computers? Probably. Lots of other drivers of computer tech: Weather prediction, engineering analysis and modeling, games, porn, etc.

            Where the space program really pushed technology was in things like materials science and some kinds of engineering.

            • But how much time would it have taken and what would the end result be? I know that a lot of the basic integrated circuit stuff was private but how much did the cold war push it? And what would it have looked like at a slower pace? The hole reason DARPAnet was born was to share files between gov research institutions. Just wondering.

              Actually, I lie. DARPAnet was developed for the military so they could trade porn while living in their bunkers after the Nuclear Holocaust. The other story was just a convenient cover. 😛

              • Wayne Blackburn

                I don’t know. The internet is in the realm of one of those things that may have gone faster (albeit gotten started a couple of years later) if it had NOT been started by a government agency. DARPAnet was created when we barely had the tech to make it at all, and if it had waited until Universities created something to share research data with (which was one of its early non-Defense uses), it might very well have taken off even faster than it did.

                I like your alternate version of the reason it was created, though. There may be a germ of truth in that.

              • Darpanet wasn’t the first however, there were other networks out there at the time (FIDOnet anyone?). Also the government didn’t build any of the backbones in use today, all of those were built by private industry, primarily for their own use. They just linked them up to make them work better.
                Darpanet became milnet, and milnet was pretty much shutdown around the late 80’s or very early 90’s, as the military got rid of it’s personal telephone network (I forget what it was called), and sold everything off to private companies.
                I’m not even sure how much of DARPAnet was invented by people on the government payroll, versus college grads and profs doing it for their own fun. I got onboard with it in the 80’s, just before the big boom, and we used to watch as each new network was hooked together. I think there were 5 major competing internet networks, AOL owned one, Sears owned one, Fidonet of course, and a bunch of others I can’t even remember the name of. AOL was the last one connected, and the one we all hated the most!
                Then they had to go and add that ‘World Wide Web’ thing to it, and the internet has never been the same since.
                Goodbye Archie, Veronica, and Jughead!! 😛
                (Points to anyone who knows what those were)

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  DARPAnet was started 14 years before FIDOnet (1969 vs 1983, at least according to Wiki, though I thought ARPANET came a year earlier), but probably its most important contribution was the TCP/IP protocol, as that’s what the Internet is based on. My consideration would be whether or not a better protocol would have been created if it had not been done there.

                • Military phone system: Autovon. Designed to survive if Bell syatem went down, and rumor has it abandoned when miltary found that Bell system phone switching centers were harder targets and more EMP resistant then Autovon switching centers. And more reliable.

                  • My Dad worked for the bell system, and I remember when they upgraded the wiring in the microwave towers to be able to survive nuclear blasts. He worked on that. The buildings were already built to withstand one, and the operators (you know, when you dial zero?) all sat in a bunker 60 feet underground.
                    He also worked on the autovon system, which the phone company installed for the military. A friend of mine now owns one of the switching stations (A hardened bunker underground) he sells rack space out of it.
                    Of course now that the bell system has been broken up, who knows if it is as strong as it once was. Putting battery backups in everyone’s house so their phones will work was not the brightest idea in the world.

          • The space program did not invent Tang or Teflon, though we did figure out how to bond it to metal. What we did was push development of very small efficient electric motors which lead to the whole cordless tool industry. We pioneered the development of electronic biomedical sensors, leading to all those mysterious devices in common use in hospitals, clinics, and ambulances everywhere.
            I can remember the days when video from Europe was shipped film or a very poor fuzzy feed over transatlantic cable. Then we watched Apollo 11 video live (almost, given system latency) from the surface of the moon.
            One of my many jobs during my career was leading the team that gave you all those live action videos of astronauts doing stupid physics tricks in orbit. By then industry had taken what we’d learned and expanded and enhanced the handling of all types of data through satellite transmission.
            Without the space race we’d still have GPS, or at least the military would, but it would be top secret and forbidden to the public.
            Had a friend with the Agency who did a traveling road show on NASA tech transfer. It was always well received wherever it went. So naturally headquarters killed the program.

    • co-worker is a refugee from Cambodia due to being the son of one of those better than the average bear farmers. His dad was almost always able to get his crops in faster, grow more, and grow better quality, than the other farms surounding his. There were apparently grumblings of witchcraft as well. When the Rouge took over, his fellows pointed them to him to have his farms taken. He left one step ahead, the neighbors didn’t, thinking they got rid of a more successful rival, and later suffered the standard fate of the farmers in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge

  15. Society’s rejected women. My. How posh that sounds.

    Turn it about and it becomes more informative: Women who rejected society.

  16. Wayne Blackburn

    And you don’t have to be stupid to be gullible.

    Quit making fun of me! 😛

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Hrm, that was, of course, supposed to be a response to Jerry Lawson, above.

      • I would not call anyone here gullible, or stupid. Even you! 🙂

        And gullible doesn’t necessarily mean stupid, either. My father, a very smart man in many aspects, was constantly tossing $10-20 at various get-rich-by-mail schemes. Despite decades of trying, he never made his millions. Then one day he got a phone call from someone purportedly from a major bank – all he’d have to do is send me $10k by Western Union, and he’d get $100k delivered to their house.

        Took Mother and me three hours to persuade him it was a scam.

        When someone badly wants to believe in something for nothing, they’ll find a way to justify their belief in it.

    • A friend of mine’s sister (who I once briefly courted in my college years), was an incredibly brilliant mathematician. But when it came to common sense she was as dumb as a bag of rocks. Used to be pretty funny at times.

      • Being gullible has nothing to do with intelligence — history is replete with tales of smart people falling for foolish schemes. I expect a strong argument can be made that smarter people are more gullible as they are more susceptible to appeals to intelligence, more easily flattered and less prone to asking questions that might make them look foolish. Look at the underlying premise of the film Being There.

        Once a smart person accepts the premise of the con the target is highly likely to “fill in the gaps” in the pitch without help from the con artist.

        Intelligence is to credulity as a fine singing voice is to foot speed.

        • I would take issue with that.
          History is full of people who thought they were smart, but in fact they weren’t, it was just hype.
          Truly smart people are not Gullible, because they possess critical thinking skills. And as House always says: Everybody lies.

          • If smart is high IQ — brother. Attend your local Mensa meeting sometime, then come back and discuss it.
            My rule of thumb is “the kookiest the cult, the more obviously stupid the claims, the smarter the following.”

            • Clearly there is an issue in definition of the term “smart.” The standard definition seems to be “in agreement with conventional wisdom” — which these days almost guarantees the person is not actually particularly discerning. If you use a definition based on John Van Stry’s standard, truly smart people are rare.

            • “You need a college degree to convince yourself of something that stupid”
              I think that was about one of the dumber AGW predictions … or it might have been about a marxist ideal. I forget what brought it out of me.

              Yeah, I had one Mensa fellow ask me to join …. he was one of the milder weirdos in the group and I didn’t like dealing with him … so to keep from having to off the whole lot, I said “Oh Hell No.”

              • One of my friends took exception to having heard someone described as, “Too educated”. Saying that if they didn’t understand something, that meant they hadn’t been educated enough. I tried to explain that it was a colloquialism, indicating someone who had had too much theory and not enough real-world experience, but she insisted that that experience would be part of his education.

                (Sigh) She’s one of those very smart people who has a hard time understanding such humor. She IS one that I would like to have around when SHTF, though. Besides being a medical researcher, she kicks serious butt on the heavy list field at SCA events.

                • I think the phrase is a short version of “educated beyond his intelligence.”

                  Your friend probably wouldn’t understand that, either.

                  I had some trouble deciding whether the phrase is properly “educated beyond his intelligence” or “educated above his intelligence” and in running through the search engine found this simple description:

                  It is simply that for some the garbage forced into heads over the course of their lives obscures the otherwise obvious facts of life.

                  • Good heavens. That just rubs in my face what liberal rags the local papers are here. Not only would the local papers (including several papers of record) not allow that past the editor, any columnist would be terminated, and if printed as a guest opinion the tempest following that would make the editors write bland comments about freedom of the press but the paper wouldn’t be printing such hate speech in the future.

                • yeah … if’n you don’t get the joke, then it is likely the joke is on you.

            • IQ has nothing to do with smarts. Remember it is a test designed to test problems in mental people.
              My sister, who has an IQ of over 148 got sucked into one of the worst cults you’ll ever see, and was in it at least a decade. I met the cult leader and in ten seconds I knew he was a scumbag, lying, screwed up, mental case. And I couldn’t understand why NO ONE ELSE could see it!
              Oh it came out eventually when he was caught molesting young boys whose parents were in the cult (and frighteningly enough, even after that was proven, as well as that he had lied about his history AND had been in a mental institution) about a quarter of his followers stayed with him.
              No, the current definition of ‘Smart’ is anything but. If the crafty and the sly and the downright insane can take advantage of you, you’re not Smart. Idiot savants can play a piano like a master, does that make them smart?
              Of course not. Smart is about being able to live life well and deal with the things it throws at you.
              Being smart is not falling for everything that comes down the pike. If you’re gullible, you are by definition, not smart. This is why they don’t teach critical thinking skills in school anymore, they don’t want smart people. Just ‘educated’ ones.

          • You’re forgetting REALLY smart people can TALK THEMSELVES into the most stupid beliefs. While dumb people just go “no, that’s dumb.”

  17. From Heinlein: Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as “bad luck.”
    Covers a lot of what’s been said here.

    Islam delenda est!

    • One of my favorite Lazarus Long quotes, and I love your tag line, been using it myself for quite a while when the occasion merits.
      Islam must experience a reformation, rejecting and excising its radical components, or it must be erased from this Earth. They have left the rest of us with no other choice, not by our wishes, but by their terms.

      • Islam must experience a reformation, rejecting and excising its radical components, or it must be erased from this Earth.

        Based on an admittedly small sample of religions, the ones that are reasonable and tolerant seem to be so because they went through periods of serious oppression, where people tried to erase them from this Earth. Maybe Islam needs to spend a few generations confined to ghettos and walking on eggshells lest it offend a majority willing to start a pogrom.

        • Based on an admittedly small sample of religions, the ones that are reasonable and tolerant seem to be so because they went through periods of serious oppression,

          The ones that are reasonable and tolerant start off as reasonable and tolerant, get oppressed by unreasonable and intolerant, overcome them, become authoritative, then go through periods of hypocrisy and fidelity to the starting benchmark.

        • the ones that are reasonable and tolerant seem to be so because they went through periods of serious oppression, where people tried to erase them from this Earth

          If I may correct slightly, ‘People still are trying to erase them from this Earth.’

  18. There was a lady I used to work with for a couple of weeks. Did well in the Air Force. Came out, worked hard. Bright, beloved by her coworkers, kind, would do anything for her kid.

    But she dated a scumbag and kept dating him, and this spring he (and his other girlfriend, the one he’d been dating for years) kidnapped her and her kid, stole all her money out of the ATM, and murdered her. They still haven’t found her son’s body, but they did find hers next to the river. The boyfriend shot himself when the police came after him, and the girlfriend refuses to say what happened to the little boy. They don’t know if she was even their first victim, or if they’d done it to other women.

    They just put up her gravestone this weekend. It stinks. Don’t date scum.

    • Oh, there are ways to make her say what happened to the little boy. But you’d have to free her from jail and let her fall into the hands of people who squeamish about how they get answers. And we all know some people like that, even if we don’t admit it.

    • I want to know why women are attracted to scum. I do not understand the bad boy effect.

      • The general suspicion that I’ve come across is that it’s related to hypergamy.

        i.e. “jerks” demonstrate that they’re powerful because they’re able to get away with that sort of nonsense, and that attracts women.

        • It’s seriously become a contra survival kink.

          • True enough. Though I think that some signals have been crossed– on both ends.
            For example, my father had friends. Retired military friends, who probably had a rough life. But they decided that they were going to do good and look badass doing it. They were excellent honorable people, and would have made great dating material. But… it would be hard to know where to look to see the difference between them and a wannabe jerk who does all the wrong things– assuming you had never seen the former kind. And honorable tough guys are thin on the ground. Sadly sane women are even rarer, and I say this as one.

            Because the women think they have to have either mr. nice (boring but safe), or mr. bad boy. They don’t even know how to identify “the good tough guy” because our culture has lost that vocabulary. I was fortunate, in that I had plenty of examples though both family and friends.

            Second, women today who want a tough guy have been conditioned (yes, trust me) to reward the wrong behavior. A nice line I’ve seen around lately, “the women go bad, and men follow them.” They don’t even know what to look for, save a rebel without a cause. And that’s where the trouble starts.

            • Don’t forget the fun of some of the “nice” guys who just act like dish rags because they believe it will get them into the girl’s pants, then throw fits because the girl they’re trying to manipulate goes for the guy who’s direct about it.

              How “nice” came to mean “will not stand up for ANYTHING” is beyond me; it’s a good thing my husband figured out that he cared enough about being with me to risk losing me as a friend, or he’d have “friendzoned” himself.

              On the upside, the folks that get it right go off the market, so what’s left are the folks who didn’t get it right yet.

              • I think older son is in the process of doing that, because he hasn’t figured out he cares enough. THIS is my feeling.

              • Foxifier – there’s a subtle but profound difference between “act like dish rags because they believe it will get them into the girl’s pants” and what’s actually going on.

                In general (yes, there are entitled assholes who’ve gone full retard in that vein), it’s more like “Guys who’ve been told by their moms, many of their sisters, TV shows, magazines, movies, teachers, female friends, and all the leading lights of society as portrayed by such that ‘this’ is how you treat women – and that if you do that, then you will find one who will appreciate everything you do and be attracted to you.”

                No – I’m not kidding. Think of the term “happy wife, happy life” that is widespread even in the “conservative” evangelical community (or, as heard in Tyler Perry Flicks and plays – “If mamma aint happy….”). Think about how utterly nuts that is. To be happy, subsume yourself to the whims and transient emotional state of another – in general, as shown by brain scans and such – tends to be more emotionally rooted than logical compared to men.

                Think about the utter temptation that kind of power would give even a saint.

                Think about the recent “gamer gate” stuff – what’s the solution per our leading lights? Why – BELIEVE women when they say they’ve been bullied. Interestingly, the worst bullying and nastiest head games I saw in middle school was from girls, and with my kids at that age – between girls. I’ve seen someone state flat out the facts don’t matter as to whether someone did something wrong, her feelings were hurt.

                One of the longest running shows on TV is L&O:SVU – who’s writers make it their life mission to make sure that no matter what circumstances MAY make it look like the girl is stretching the truth – she’s right all along. The guy is evil (except for the shining few in the department, and even they have issues). Everything else is “mansplaining”

                SO yeah – these guys can be passive aggressive in the worst ways, and toxic to themselves with all sorts of implied “if I do this, things will work ” magical covert contracts with the people and world about them, and need their asses kicked a little bit by the guys around them and reality. (Incidentally – the book I mentioned else-thread is a pretty good starting point) These attitudes cause them all sorts of relationship problems – business, work, other men as well. But very few of them are “entitled” to think that “just because you’re nice to a girl she’ll give it up for you.”

                A lot of that anger is actually the realization of the bill of goods we’ve been sold all our lives. That time after time, the girls who come to you and complain about how much of a jerk the last guy they dated (for the fourth time) was, won’t show you more than mild affection or sleep with you, but they keep giving far more for, and pining for, the jerk.

                At the realization that how you were told to behave by nearly everyone around you did not get the results you were told, and that reality and the stories you were told are far, far apart.

                And now – to add insult to injury, the same guys are now told they’re entitled for trying to behave the way they were raised to behave.

                And there are so few places that teach men to be MEN. So again – yeah, mamas boys and passive-agressive sh*ts who won’t stand up for themselves but will bend over backward like a wet noodle for any girl that says hi.

                The worst men take their anger and blame everythigng on women. Many instead start learning to fix themselves, take responsibility for themselves, and have a very non-PC take on the differences between men and women, taking both as they present themselves in deed and word.

                • Small problem: it’s not a “small” group that believes that “being nice” means that they’re entitled to no-strings sex, and whine like brats when they don’t get it.

                  • Yeah. And these are the guys who’ll even turn to the same idiotic arguments that allow real predators to prey more easily on women, because they’ve bought the whole modern radfem double standards on EVERYTHING.

                  • I think we nay have to chalk this up to a difference in perspective.

                    Whining about “I treated HER nice and SHE didn’t sex me up” is entitled – I agree with you.

                    And no – it’s no longer that small a group – and they are, as I acknowledged, a hazard. Whether they’re male “more feminists than feminists” or social justice types who turn the other way for fear of being called “wacist.”

                    Nevertheless – it aint that simple. The single instance complaint is a point-in-time symptom of a larger SYSTEMIC problem.

                    And I need to make one edit.

                    Where I said:

                    And now – to add insult to injury, the same guys are now told they’re entitled for trying to behave the way they were raised to behave.

                    should read:

                    And now – to add insult to injury, the same guys are now told they’re entitled for trying to behave the way they were raised to behave, and complaining they not only didn’t get the results they were told to expect, but that quite the opposite appears to be true.

                    • Some of them do, and are “engaged” for a decade or more, then shocked when the woman gets tired of trying to get then to do anything and leaves.

                      Women are told they’re supposed to prefer dishrag guys because it makes them “strong,” then– golly shock, being the man when you’re a woman rather sucks.
                      Doesn’t even matter if their parents tell them the right stuff, in some cases; my sister manages to find dishrag-spines that are still jerks!

                    • There are some rather sadly funny NYT articles complaining about just that – women who hate their househusbands.

                      Women were sold a pack of lies too. Ignoring men as useless when the men in a woman’s life (father, brothers) are probably far better able to sniff out “dishonorable cad/asshole” from “he doesn’t what he wants and won’t drop his projects whenever I want something”. And we’ve been selling women on “marriage sucks” since at least WWII.

                      The following is from a Margaret Sanger radio transcript from July 19 – after D-day, before the breakout, as soldiers were dying in droves on the beaches:

                      …she was beginning to feel very bitter toward her husband because she said that she could tell from his letters that he was actually enjoying the ↑excitement of↓ war! Already he had been to Iceland, England, Africa, and Italy! Oh, she was willing to admit there were plenty of hardships connected with it… but what had she been doing all this long while? Just staying home day after day minding the baby! “When he gets home,” she told me, “he can just sit with the baby for a while and she what it’s like. I’m going out and have some fun!”

                      I could see her point of view… what woman couldn’t. You don’t have to be a war bride to feel trapped… many a house-wife gets that feeling just watching her husband go off to the office every morning while she stays home facing the same meals, dishes, and children. How many divorces have their beginnings in just this very feeling of imprisoned futility.

                    • Ignoring men as useless when the men in a woman’s life (father, brothers) are probably far better able to sniff out “dishonorable cad/asshole” from “he doesn’t what he wants and won’t drop his projects whenever I want something”.

                      Really sets things up neatly for the users, doesn’t it?

                      I haven’t watched the movie, but I did laugh at a trailer for “The Croods” or however it’s spelled. The father tells his teen daughter to look out, she blows up; her love interest says to look out, she’s instantly all careful and wide-eyed “oh, ok, if you think so….”

                      Easy to break stuff if you aim at human nature– jealousy, sex, “you ain’t the boss of me!” and so on.

                      And the horror of all this is that women whose lives were ruined by believing it tell it to the generation next, because if they don’t get others to do it and the others are happy, then maybe they screwed up….

                    • I have to comment again, because looking at that sanger quote (from here….. ) makes me want to throw up.

                      On the one hand, some of the follow-on advice actually suggest the wife grow and change to help …

                      My little friend on the train, for instance, who was building up such a fine resentment toward her husband, because he was having an exciting time, while she was stuck at home, needed someone to point out that the very fact that he was enjoying the war, ↑(↓ in spite of the horror and hardship ↑)↓ showed that he would come home a more interesting, entertaining companion than he had ever been before. It meant that he was getting something from his new experiences, adding to his knowledge, enriching his philosophy. Instead of resenting it, that young wife should have been trying to keep pace with him… she should have been broadening her own horizons, acquiring new knowledge and accomplishments if possible, so that ↑on his return↓ he too would find her a more stimulating ↑& entertaining↓ companion

                      It is so important that wives whose husbands have been gone for long periods in camps or overseas, realize that they will come home changed in many ways. They must not expect them to settle back into the same old patterns and routines. They must be ready to change with them if their marriage is to grow and flourish ↑strengthen↓ .

                      Leaving aside the creepiness of deferring to experts, and of “well planned families” further down her radio broadcast, what strikes me is what’s missing.

                      A wife who is at home safe and sound is kinda-sorta told to do something more productive with her time than be resentful. The fact that he husband is likely to have experienced visceral, brain-bending horror is kinda-sortof acknowledged.

                      The woman’s boredom at not having such an exciting life is “understandable”- and Sanger focuses on all the exciting new experiences he’s going to have had – what the wife is already jealous of.

                      The fact that the wife wanting all that imagined “excitement” without the price – in all likelihood death – her (likely drafted) husband has to pay is never addressed, and is never told anything remotely like “You’re an adult. If you’re bored, that’s not for someone else to solve” is chilling. Only a child expects to be entertained like that. “He gets to go to europe – no fair!” *pout*

                      In reply to a “I’m bored and trapped, why can’t I have any fun” scenario, that “but honey, you must work harder for him to be just as interesting as he will be” answer would actually be the most perfect passive-agressive undermining you could imagine, if you wanted to deliberately shiv a marriage in the back. Perhaps I’m cynical.

                      Ladies and gentlemen – the infantilization of the western mind started a long time ago at the hands of such as these.

                    • …She was selling mass murder on the installment plan as a route to “freedom” from consequences and duty. Of course it’s horrifically short sighted– the husband is out of sight, and thus is a non-person.

                  • With all due respect, I doubt that the number of guys you know, plus the number of guys your female friends know, constitute a significant sample of American males. Your thesis may be correct about their behaviour and even about the abundance of such males — but you are making an assumption not supported by data.

                    Even all males in the Navy and the SF/F community fail to constitute a significant sample, representing as they do less than 5% of the Y-chromosome Community.

                    • That complaint applies equally to the person making the counter-claim.

                    • Incidentally, I wasn’t drawing off of guys I know– that was part of where I started looking, but it was more being tired enough to pay waaaaaaay too much attention to “Friend Zone,” notice the sense of entitlement, and then testing it against those I know, the guys that my guys know, and various groups on the internet.

                      Mostly an excuse to post the video:

                      Do you have any idea how annoying it is to work around to a realization and have a guy go basically: “uh, no s**t, Sherlock. Also, water is wet. Girls DON’T already know that’s common?!?”

                • I’m glad you put words to what was bothering me about Foxfier’s statement, because I couldn’t think of how to put it. Oh, not that there aren’t guys who think it’s supposed to work that way, but for the most part, they’re in for the whole thing, not just sex.

                  I’m a little too close to this for comfort, frankly, because the main reason I wasn’t one for at least a while, is because I didn’t hang out with ANYONE from school. But that gave me the perspective to understand that another one of the drivers behind it is poor self-esteem. Probably coupled with an overactive sex drive. It gives a young man who is desperate for the approval of someone of the opposite sex a drive to please them. Saying no to anything they ask is almost impossible, and being there to comfort the object of their affection when they have had difficulties is a source of pleasure all its own. Or any other somewhat desirable female, too, for that matter.

                  • Wayne – I know I mentioned it upstream – but one of the books that really opened up my eyes to the stupid crap I was doing, exactly that passive aggressive crap and clearly showed the difference between ‘assertive” and “asshole” (though the former will get you called the latter – especially from people used to a doormat), was “No more mister nice guy”

                    And while anyone can read it – it really is for guys. Especially those of us who didn’t learn the actual rules of interaction, instead of the ones teacher and TV taught us.

                  • *points at husband* Only reason I got that lucky is that there are genuinely good guys who are just making a mistake in how they go about trying to build a courting relationship.

                    Your reasoning sounds right to me– and comforting the ladies you care about is a traditional male strength.

                    I know there’s got to be a female version of the “entitled to sex” thing for women, but I can’t put a finger on it and it worries me. The sexes are complementary, even in our flaws, and the “I like my men to be like Kleenex- strong, silent and disposable” thing doesn’t seem to fit.

                    • Because the female sex drive expresses differently I don’t think there would be a direct equivalent (besides, the exchange dynamic is quite different) so I would look for that sense of entitlement in other social venues. Plenty of females in America seem to feel entitled to “a man who works himself to death for her benefit,” for example. I have known many a man to complain that women are only interested in the size of his “package” — by which I mean wallet/bank account. It is certain that many a woman feel entitled to a man who caters to her.

                      I’ve no idea whether these feelings are broad enough to qualify, of course, and simply proffer them as possible areas for exploration. Nor do I speculate on whether these are reasonable and legitimate standards for expectation. The crux of the question would seem to be to what people feel entitled.

                      Assuredly we all agree a person is entitled to be treated with respect, but many of us may have idiosyncratic notions of what constitutes such respect.

                    • Hm…. that makes sense, and explains why I wouldn’t see it– the common accusation against housewives is that we’re only there because we’re lazy leeches using the guy so we don’t have to work, after all, but then one of the modern justifiable reasons to get married is for money, and the “using to fullfil a primary need” (physical intimacy, security) is complementary.

                      Figures, I absorbed too much of the modern notion about what constitutes using someone for money to see it; thanks for the windex.

                    • Dr Helen Reynolds has worked mightily to present the male perspective for female readers. There are many reasons men are not very good about such explanations, not least of which is lacking the vocabulary of emotion that many women possess.

                      Metaphorically, I find most men are working with the 8-colour box of crayons and are able to distinguish amongst the 16-colour box (with a small percentage able to employ the 32-colour selection) while most women are working comfortably with the 64-colour box and are able to slide up to the 128-colour assortment if necessary. This tends to render communication very awkward as the man says “it was blue” and the woman demands to know whether it was sky-blue, navy-blue, prussian-blue, azure, cobalt, cerulean, cornflower, turquoise …

                      Oddly enough, if you can associate the shade with a sports franchise — Carolina Blue is readily distinguished from Duke Blue by nearly every male in the Carolinas. This also works with car paints for men interested in that arena — Bugatti Blue is readily distinguished from Chevy Blue, for example. So men can distinguish between the shades but lack the vocabulary to express the distinction.

                    • Hollywood actress once said something to the effect that a real man was one who earned money faster than the wife could spend it, and a real woman was one who could find a real man.
                      And some people consider Hollywood as a source of role models.

                    • William O. B'Livion

                      And some people consider Hollywood as a source of role models.

                      People don’t consider Hollywood a source, it is a source of role models. What conscientious adults *should* have done was to make sure these people behaved as good role models. There’s lots of reasons why this didn’t happen (deliberate sabotage by the Soviets via the American Communist party, a complete lack of moral adults in Hollywood, whatever), but it did.

                      Role models aren’t (usually) something we deliberately pick. Humans are, for most of their lives learning, at least passively. What we see around us is what we take as normal. This is why trash TV is so destructive.

                      What we see as children and young adults is what we try to model. Those guys that get the “best” gurls, they show us what we need to do. Good, bad, that doesn’t matter–success is what counts.

                    • Hollywood – particularly TV – tends to set the base line expectations. See enough of a certain type behaviour from a particular type of person and you subconsciously expect “those people” to act according to stereotype.

                      People who get outraged over negative portrayals of certain minority groups as criminal seem quite complacent about the general portraits of business executives and religious people.

                    • Hollywood is a source of role-models– and some idiots started acting like it’s the actors, and massively screwing up the stories.

                • Passive-Aggressive behaviour is typical of folks who believe they are in a “can’t win” situation. Guys who are told they are wrong to demand anything of women are going to protect themselves by suppressing their own desires and principles. Why enter arguments you know you will lose. Thus the many young men who retreat to gaming, sports and other hobbies.

                  The hissy fits thrown are a consequence of being sold a false solution. We’ve created a situation whereby both sexes are guaranteed frustration because both are conditioned to act in modes contrary to their natures.

                  • We’ve created a situation whereby both sexes are guaranteed frustration because both are conditioned to act in modes contrary to their natures.


                    Not only is each sex told to act like the opposite one, they’re supposed to act like the negative aspects of the other sex– women are told to be cads, men are told to be catty and passive.

                    • Not only is each sex told to act like the opposite one, they’re supposed to act like the negative aspects of the other sex– women are told to be cads, men are told to be catty and passive.



                  • Read in another thread, another site: when I don’t do something she yells at me for not helping;when I try to do something she yells at me for not doing it right. If I’m going to get yelled at regardless of what I do, I will take the option requiring the least effort.

          • William O. B'Livion

            Not really, you just hear more about the bad end of the curve because it’s harder to run and it’s the sort of thing that draws eyeballs, and hence advertisers.

      • If you go to one of the Game sites – where the pick up artists share their secrets and tell you how to get any hot woman you want in bed (For free, they don’t charge for this), you will quickly learn how it works.
        Women have filters, to sort out the hundred average guys that hit on them all the time. When a guy ‘negs’ them, basically little put downs and ignores them, they get by the filter and the woman automatically thinks that this guy must have something on the ball and is used to having women better than she is.
        So now she wants him and will chase him.
        It’s genetics, it’s millions of years of conditioning, and women in our current society are highly susceptible to it because it’s all about the alpha male and getting laid by him, not raising a family. They only want mister ‘right’ when they all ready have kids cause mr. jerk dumped them and now they want security.

        • is one of the Games hierarchy explanations. They don’t seem to acknowledge civilized men and women exist. Not all women are attracted to the gameplayers, else I wouldn’t be happily married for the last 36 years.

          • DUH. Exactly. Also it applies very badly to outliers.
            I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a mathematician.Yes, I wanted babies, but I wanted to get married first.

            • Marriage before babies???….how counterculture, you wild radical 🙂

              • You THINK you’re joking, but choosing this and a church wedding profoundly shocked my brother’s generation and my brother tried to guilt me: “My generations fought so yours wouldn’t have to do that stuff.” (He’s ten years older than I.) “But I want that stuff.” “You can’t want that stuff. It’s bad. We fought against it. Don’t you want to be liberated?” “I am liberated. I tread my own path. Following yours is not being free.”

                • Josh A. Kruschke


                  • Also – if enough women in a society put off having kids/abort them in favor of career first instead of later, and thus we have too few kids to sustain our culture – the selfsame “women can do what they want (except have kids and be hausfraus) culture breeds (or more to the point – NOT breeds) itself out of existence.

                • Only semi-joking. Ran into the “do your own thing” during the youth movement of the 60’s-70’s. It always seemed to really mean “do OUR thing to show that you are liberated from having to do someone else’s thing”. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss – sigh.

        • I hate to say this. What the Game guys don’t get is that this works on guys too. No, trust me. You can get a man to propose by doing the exact same techniques.
          For example of how to do this, look at Anne Boleyn vs. Henry VIII.
          I kept doing it without meaning to, because I didn’t respond to Portuguese guys social cues.

          • Marriage (definition); What occurs after a woman catches the man who has been chasing her.

            Your comment reminded me of that old joke. Or is it a joke? There’s a lot of hidden truth in humor.

            • LOVE, n.
              A temporary insanity curable by marriage.

              MARRIAGE, n.
              The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.

              Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

          • You won’t get any argument from me on that one. I’ve had women try to game me because they thought I was wealthy.

        • And btw — a lot of women aren’t looking to “get laid.” I wanted to get married since I was about 14. So a lot of what they’re looking at is not genetic. It’s cultural.

          • I’m sorry, I thought I’d made it clear that this is a new cultural thing. Goes back about 20 years, 30 in the major cities. The whole ‘sex without consequences’ thing. The term ‘F*ck buddy’ wasn’t even around when I was a teen or a young man. And women especially would never have been the ones to have used it.
            Now? They get on FB and Twitter to brag about it.

            • F buddy- one of the unforeseen changes caused by reliable birth control. All new technologies, and all deliberate societal changes (ie, declaring single motherhood the same as widowhood) have unforeseen consequences. Wll, not entirely unforeseen. Moynihan was ignored when he said what was going to happen.

          • And even three or four generations into being assured that we really, really do want sex as nothing more important than tennis– we still don’t.

            • Oh, well. They’ve convinced a lot of women to want it. But then a lot of women are on psychiatric drugs. (In fact almost all the young women.)

              • Yeah, just that alone makes me despair for my son… or any other children I will have.

              • This raises the question: does the BC pill make women horny?

                I vaguely recall it works by sort of convincing the womb there is already a bun in the oven so that a new one won’t implant. Many women have reported a phase of heightened sexual desire during the early stages of pregnancy, ergo the pill The Pill may increase promiscuity not simply by taking the risk out of being close.

                I lack time for pushing that through a SE, so those more conversant with such things feel free to shoot it down or pump more hot air under its skirts, as appropriate.

                • I… okay, bear in mind, this is my own unscientific observation. We’d get women of various ages often asking us questions related to the pill because my mother and I were considered more… well read and educated, and our opinions were trusted.

                  Talking to friends about the pill, I ran into two interesting results.

                  In the West – particularly in the US and UK, more and more women were on it because it helped them with their hormones – periods were less painful, more regular. In short they got the positive effects. For some of them this also resulted in clearer skin, feeling better in general, and even some emotional positive effects. (most of these anecdotes are from women I spoke to, or from men who observed their women – friends, sisters, families, etc, and were used to chatting to them about health stuff.) Only very few would get the negative effects.

                  Talking to women in the Philippines (most of them in the lower socio-economic sectors to a number middle to high socio-economic sectors, and I include myself in this sample) there was a high incidence of the negative effects happening instead. Bloating, pimples and bloating. Their periods stopping entirely. Extreme dryness that made sexual intercourse with their husbands painful (and bear in mind, most of them don’t use artificial lubricants to fix that) or experienced not being able to feel pleasure. That’s if their libido didn’t abruptly DIE. Some women had a constant period that was gut wrenchingly painful. MOST of the people I talked to said they didn’t like how they felt on birth control emotionally – they recounted constantly being irritable and angry, when that was against their normal personality before. Several described that they felt like they were completely different people after going on the pill, and only started going back to normal after – if the effects ever really wore off, or it took them at least months to years to return to normal. Several women had problems losing weight that was put on while on the pill, or had their metabolisms change to the point that they could not lose weight (and subsequently had fights with their husbands because they got depressed and upset because they were no longer happy.)

                  Very few people got the positive effects. I think out of all the women my mother and I talk to (I’d give it a ballpark figure of over a hundred) only two had positive effects described (weight loss, becoming ‘prettier, improvement of skin texture and positive emotions.)

                  I … don’t know why there’s that huge of a difference.

                  It’s almost like it’s a completely different drug. (I personally got the libido death, dryness, painful periods, a period that lasted a month and a half before stopping entirely for several months, and a very, very abrupt change in metabolism that I think I’m only now starting to shake off.)

                • William O. B'Livion

                  There was at least one study (meaning the information doubtful, but follows logic, so who knows) that suggests that taking the pill alters the sort of men that woman find attractive and why.

                  It seems that when *not* pregnant women have a preference for aggressive, virile men who make strong, healthy, active babies. However when they get pregnant women tend to prefer good *husbands*, guys who will stick around and pay the bills and not go out and do the sorts of things that aggressive, virile genes make one want to do.

                  Since the pill make women have “pregnant choice” all the time…

      • There have been numerous studies determining that as women cycle through highest fertility the degree the are attracted by alpha males increases, and as they cycle through the downside their desire for such males decreases. High levels of testosterone correlate with aggressiveness and other traits that often characterize such scum.

        So, hormones.

        • There’s the judgement thing, too– kind of like how some women can’t tell the difference between being assertive and being a bitch.

          • Foxifier – I really do wish far more “strong grrrls” would understand that difference….. for far too many thin that “bitch” is what guys call women who are demanding, without realizing that a guy who came in acting the same way would likely get far worse treatment.

            Male interactions and gang/club/team work are a huge blind spot for a lot of women – not helped by societal propaganda about how doofy/non-communicative men are (because we don’t talk like women). They are a) very real, and b) self regulated in a way that many women – especially those who pride themselves on being strong and independent and will tell you so – simply don’t understand. They don’t realize their combative body language when they come in and start making demands. Many don’t seem to “get” honor, duty, etc. in the same way that guys do – thus the aforementioned issue that to a lot of girls, it’s difficult to discern between loser/jerk/asshat and confident reliable assertive guy. Both will ignore you if occupied with doing things or their friends, and not be the dishrag you complained about elsewhere, but one will be loyal and work with society when needed.

            • See, I benefited from being brought up with a bunch of male values: Honor, Duty and noblesse oblige. This is why, I think, I get better along with guys. It’s also why I’ve wanted to throttle every single female character in recent movies and far too many books.

              • This. Very much this. Picked up from parents and really picked up from reading military history and Kipling as a kid. And the right kind of fairy tales and fantasy (the Coloured Fairy books, not the PC pap).

                • Yep colored fairy books, though those were more “girlish values” sometimes.
                  And the countess of Segur, of course. (Older son going on about Swedish guard in Vatican, I presume because of Ninja nun Me “you realize in some countess of Segur books becoming one and dying heroically was the reward for good little boys.” Him “Your childhood reading scares me.” 😛

                  • I’ve read books where dying heroically in the distant future worked well as a reward. But it usually was added as a postscript. He gets accepted to Swiss (Swedish, really?) Guard. Postscript, twenty years later he dies heroically holding the gates while others escape in the famous [blank] defense. He held the gates for thirteen hours by himself, with a sword wound through his small intestine, an arrow in is right thigh, and his left arm amputated just below the elbow, etc., etc.

                • SWISS guard. NOT Swedish.

            • I get it – about males, and self-organizing – because of military, and all. And having brothers, and male friends where there was not a speck of sexual interest involved. I think most sensible women do get it – but there is the shrieking harpy element.

              One of my enduring memories of the military is of a male acquaintance, a classmate at the AF NCO Academy, who was married to a woman he obviously adored. He was one of these country guys, who chewed tobacco and spit – urgh! But when he came and talked to me in the school barracks after school hours – he never came farther than the doorway. He had a sensitivity and a courtesy about him that I appreciated. He was a big guy – but he took such care to stay out of my space.

    • William O. B'Livion

      You know, I’m all for not torturing confessions out of people.

      That’s bad business.

      But once she’s convicted and had her appeals give me some time with a roll of duct tape and a box of those nice, thick rubber bands, and some closure can be achieved.

  19. Ducks. Why does it always have to be ducks?!

  20. Back when I was on SSI (long story) I got to know Health and Human Services rather well. There was a guy I kept encountering who did not have a nose, he had a bloody gash where his nose should be. He would just stare at people on the bus. It was highly disturbing.

    I knew he had other disabilities, so I asked my case worker about him. She said that he refused treatment, and that there was nothing anyone could do. Some people do not want to be helped. The SJWs seem preternaturally incapable of understanding that.

    Another guy I ran across (a homeless guy in Chicago) had feet that looked like elephant feet. HUGE. Swollen and disturbing. I tried to convince him to come to a doctor, (I knew if we went to the right place he’d get free treatment) and he absolutely refused. But he did want to drink my beer. (not that I had any at the moment.) Sigh.

    Charity can be a witch with a b, sometimes.

  21. I’m researching Victoriana for an RPG Steampunk setting I’m building, and it’s astounding to me how much of what we are taught about past societies is utterly false. Indeed, it is so pervasively and provably false, I can only conclude people want to believe the falsehoods.

    Why? It buttresses their self-righteousness. It makes them feel superior to others who don’t believe as they do. It gives them excuse to feel smug.

    Accepting the truth would undermine all that, which is abhorrent. So, more lies.

    At least some people are telling the truth. 🙂

    • NEVER underestimate the influence of Marxism, either. It’s necessary the past be “worse” and the future more “progressive” in EVERY aspect.

      • Critical Theory has poisoned the soul of the West. #GamerGate is just the latest battle.

        On a happier note, do you have any suggestions for reference works on the Victorian Era? Specifically culture and society?

        Any suggestions would be appreciated.

        • Good heavens, I DID — the problem is my head is made of cheese and the books are packed. Keep fingers crossed we move faster than expected, and ‘ll send you names as I unpack.

        • Josh A. Kruschke

          My thoughts:

          For how to act I would go with:

          “Routledge’s Manual of Etiquette”  by George Routledge.

          Kindle adition is free or you can go here for text:

          A good place to start to look into the history I’ve found is:

    • Try researching actual Puritans’ actual attitudes towards sex if you want to find a contradiction.

  22. Late again – as usual.

    Neal Stephenson’s “The Diamond Age”. Fantastic book. It was, in many ways, about the endurance and importance of culture (very baldly stated right up front…). One of the key premises was that society had broken down by cultural boundaries rather than geographic ones, and had world-spanning patchwork enclaves based on those. One of the most successful enclaves was based on the values of the Victorian Era.

    Like you said – no, despite the standards people tried to meet – or at least took a stab at maintaining appearances, not all was perfect on the inside, and people had vices they shouldn’t. Nevertheless, certain standards of decorum/etc. helped keep things going, and things could be, and were, overlooked if the person in question was a “good bloke” or otherwise helpful.

    Eccentricities were allowed – even encouraged at times. Especially in the cultural heroes.

    Standards – AND an acknowledgment of humanity. And not everything personal was also political. Now, even private thoughts expressed to the wrong person can lose one their livelihood. Brendan Eich/etc.

    In “the Lost City of Z” (about the british explorer Percy Fawcett) it’s observed by the author (hardly a rabid right-winger) that in many ways, the victorian era almost allowed for MORE true eccentrics/etc., and was more tolerant of or even fascinated with real outliers.

    IN a discussion on anime, one guy brought up that japanese culture isn’t as accepting of homosexuality/etc. as it may appear from Anime (no, this wasn’t about hentai… THAT is apparently a whole other thing….) – and that if you look carefully, you realize that yes, there are many non-straight characters, but that is often their eccentricity or quirk, they otherwise fit in, and don’t make their sexuality a club to beat the people around them with. To the extent characters are disrupting the social order – it’s usually for other reasons.

    • A suitable quote or paraphrasing that applies to Victorian culture even more than it does to the Japanese the speaker was referring to:

      “A world in which private things are kept private.” – instead of everything being in-your face and worn on one’s sleeve..

      • Yes indeed.

      • I’d love to live in a world like that.

      • The love that dare not speak its name has turned into the love that won’t stop shouting in your face.

        • And they just can’t seem to figure our that i just don’t care

          • Same here…

            And at the same time, I think, something precious as been lost.

            • Maybe there’s something wrong with me. I have no interest in what two consenting adults do to each in private. I really just don’t care. I don’t have the will to power either, I’m too bone idle to micromanage someone else’s life much less everyone’s. I do get hot about being managed. Let me go to hell in my own way and we’ll get along fine.

              • I don’t care what two consenting adults do either, as long as it’s freaking private and not shoved down my throat or forcing me to acknowledge or constantly accept it or forcing anyone else to acknowledge or accept it, or demanding participation if I want to ‘prove I’m really tolerant’, or constant, endless respect to the point it’s no longer equal treatment.

                For some reason though lately that seems to be equated with ‘insert-sexual preference here’ phobia, or intolerance, or whatever ‘against’ it’s supposed to be, not ‘leave me alone.’

                • Some people are not content to let a sleeping man lie. They also forget that liberty is a two way street. The freedom to associate is also the freedom not to associate.
                  I sometimes think that they act this way because their previous fights were won too easily and they find themselves at loose ends.
                  And just for the record, marriage is not the business of government. Neither is precious anything else

                • Accept; or approve – while jumping up and down while clapping your hands and shouting “Goody!!” ??

                  • For those that demand it there’s no difference between acceptance and approval. For either of those to be ‘valid’ in their eyes, ‘support’ is required, and in some extremes, even that is not enough, but I have to participate.

                    So they get none of that, and have to deal with ‘I don’t care what you do with consenting adults.’ But again, that’s ‘not good enough’ so, rinse, repeat.

                    The ones who don’t demand it, get treated like normal human beings, the way I do anyone else.

                • “I don’t care what two consenting adults do either, as long as it’s freaking private and not shoved down my throat or forcing me to acknowledge or constantly accept it or forcing anyone else to acknowledge or accept it, or demanding participation if I want to ‘prove I’m really tolerant’, or constant, endless respect to the point it’s no longer equal treatment”

                  I honestly don’t care what you do (well if the ‘you’ were my kids it would be different) but I don’t want to see it/hear about it, this includes heterosexual as well as homosexual relationships. Private lives should be…. private. On the other hand I don’t care what you try, I’m NOT going to respect your sexual preference/exploits. Sorry I just don’t see anything sexual as deserving of respect, no more than I am going to respect you because you slept last night and ate breakfast this morning.

                  • This this this oh Gods this. I don’t need to know the explicit details of any person’s sex life. Sexual preferences isn’t a ‘reason’ for ‘more’ respect over anyone else. If my treating a person as they deserve to be treated – like any OTHER HUMAN BEING: based entirely on how they behave towards me and mine and those around them, and treat others, or is a good person or bad person – isn’t ‘good enough’ then that’s pretty much a sign they’re not interested in treating me as a person either – so why am I supposed to keep being nice?

                    Respect and civilized treatment and behavior is a two way street. It’s not a right, it’s not an entitlement. Those things are earned. I’m polite by default, because good manners and right conduct, but refusing to abide by the same rules of conduct = I don’t have to abide by them either to the person rejecting them.

                  • Part of i may reflect a form of prolonged adolescence, a failure to move past that point at which finding somebody who is attracted to you becomes a milestone that must be shared.

                    For an adult your sexual activity is as about as interesting as your bowel movements — so long as there;’s no blood there’s nothing to be interested in, and if there is blood you should not be talking with me about it but with a specialist.

                    • I have a friend who says it’s a desperate attempt to show mom and dad they’re alright and mom and dad should accept them. Since my friend is gay (and doesn’t have that issue) I give weight to his opinion.

                    • I’ve heard that taking a good dump is one of the under-appreciated events in life…..however, I vaguely recall that the other event was a little more interesting.

                    • I have heard of people going months without sexual release, but have gathered that even a week without the other kind of release is torturous.

                    • I dunno – do you really want to take advice from people who are full of it?

                • I have yet another question:
                  What does homosexuality have to do with St Patrick’s Day?
                  (Granted this goes in with what makes someone want to march in a parade.)

                • I’m only interested in what two consenting adults do in private if they’re both very attractive and I paid good money to watch! 😉

                  (Forgive me lord…)

              • Until they agree to restore the provision that insurance companies are not liable for STD treatment, it’s private until we have to foot the bill.

            • Perverts* have a sad tendency to believe everybody else shares their obsession. This was recently addressed by Stephen “Vodkapundit” Green in a post explaining for the benefit of New York writer and self-proclaimed kink (NTTAWWT!) Jillian Keenan that because some people get a sexual thrill from spanking, not ALL people do and that spanking a child is not, not, repeat N-O-Effing-T “somewhat pedophilic.”

              G. Gordon Liddy, in recounting his prison experiences, would tell how the child molestors would eagerly spill their tales of their activities, confident their audience shared their lust.

              Society needs desperately to make a greater effort to tell a greater number of people — of ALL orientations — to just S-T-F-U!

              *To be clear: I am N.O.T. declaring homosexuality is perverse; what is perverse is insisting everybody else know of and endorse your sexual hijinks.

              • *To be clear: I am N.O.T. declaring homosexuality is perverse; what is perverse is insisting everybody else know of and endorse your sexual hijinks.

                *agrees* But ‘TMI! TMI!’ seems to apply to emotions not sex hijinks for people – if we’re to listen to the people interviewed for the same surveys that say that women prefer jerkasses.

                (I am so glad that I don’t fall into that group. Thank you any and all Gods that endowed me with common sense.)

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

            • Hmmm – Lost….Precious….are we in a cave at the bottom of a mountain?

          • Not caring is not good enough. You must embrace them and support them, no matter if they are good people or the biggest a**holes for a hundred miles around.

        • Moderation does not appear to be one of their strong points.

  23. Josh A. Kruschke

    Violence happens in perdictable places and for pradictable reasons to predictable people… mostly.

    • AH! Statist Josh! believe it or not, I was about to put out an APV to see if you were all right. You’ve been gone so long.

      • Josh A. Kruschke


        Ah, just been lurking and work got busy.

        Also, trying to not get into long winded internet fights with people I mostly agree with (Radical I know. Don’t tell RES!).


        • Oh. Good. Just okay that you’re alive.

        • Hee, glad to see you’re okay. *hugs!*

          • Josh A. Kruschke


            Sorry! If I thought people would worry I would have spoken up sooner.

            • Of course we worry– you’re not a bad guy.

              • Josh A. Kruschke

                I’m kind of surprised to hear this as I was thinking I might have over stayed my welcome on the last couple of disagrements I’ve had here on the blog.

                Iteresting, A shatering of perception.


                • As a general rule of thumb, once the discussion has been against the blog’s Right Margin for more than five comments it is unlikely anybody has anything worth adding (or, perhaps more accurately, anything to say that will be read.)

                  This is especially true of comments that run more than a half dozen lines.

                  This does not apply to such discussions as the dangers of O2 addiction, which is scarcely more than indulgent silliness.

                • I didn’t get that impression, myself.

                  I’ve watched a few vehement fights and disagreement in discussion, but I did not get a sense of ‘go away troll’ at all. And you’d been here longer than I have.

                  Besides, I don’t think they would have bestowed the moniker on you if it wasn’t to reassuringly tease. (Again, my impression.)

                  • Josh A. Kruschke


                    Perceptions inside and out.

                    I guess there was some projection too. I was tired of hearing myself, so everyone else must feel the same way.

                    As Sarah hadn’t dropped the ban hamer, I new on a gut level I had real crossed a line, but as Wayne illustrated I hadn’t associated that with people might worry if they don’t hear from me.

                    RES, I’ll try to keep that as a general rule or guideline.


                    • Josh, on your writing/spelling, if I may speak without upsetting you. Being dyslexic, I find the only cure not to revert to a spelling mess is to read and write a lot. Older son finds that too.
                      I’ve noted in yours too, you get better when you’re around more.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke


                      Not offended, and I appreciate the thought.


                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Nod, with Josh it’s “I hope he doesn’t get started on *that* again” not “I wish he’d go away”. [Smile]

                  • He’s not a troll. And all of us get weirdly vehement on some points. Besides, Statist Josh gives me mommy feelings, because he could be me fifteen years ago. And when he remembers to back off from never-ending arguments he can be fun to have around.

                    • oh! Oh, no, I wasn’t trying to say Josh’s a troll; rather that I did not get the same impression of ‘go away’ that’s clearly displayed when there IS a troll. The difference between a vehement discussion and someone trolling is not that difficult to see. Josh isn’t displaying any troll traits at all!

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Hey, it can be annoying when you “go off the deep end” but we like you anyway. [Smile]

                  Oh, there are subjects where I can “go off the deep end”. [Wink]

    • Dunno. Never had much interest in homosexuality. Basically an early gestation style developmental disorder…no reason to hassle someone.

      Madness though. I’m not sure where the balance lies. I mean, sure, freedom of choice has consequences. But, some consequences of madness aren’t visited on the madmen. And are fairly predictable. Like, an acquaintance with a schizophrenic son. Who left his facility (choice) and went off his meds. (Choice again). And whose parents warned the facility in question that he really shouldn’t be unsupervised.

      And who is now in jail after killing a man after going looking for a princess in a castle. Now sure, the son is now being treated. And probably won’t be released again. And, well, the guy in question exhibited poor sensitivity and judgment by getting within arms reach of a crazy person. But I wonder if letting the son run loose was wise.


  24. OT but I’m back in the land of the internet, if not coherent yet. (been awake since 0300 Budapest time Saturday. It is now 0330 Sunday, Budapest time.) I’m just going up unpack the launrdyyyyyyzzzzzzzzzz……….

    • so were you in Buda, or Pest?

      • She’s a nice girl, don’t go implying things like that!

        /runs before TXRed can reach through the computer and slap him/

      • Budapest was named after Buddha, by his friends.

        • So even his friends thought he was a pest?

        • Psaw. Budapest was named from the fusion of two cites, Buda and Pest. This was akin to New York being made up by combining the cities of New and York.

        • Hmm. I didn’t hear of that … I’ve heard, as the town Buda was formed by Celts who were not known for their Buddhism nor, if one of the stories is correct, were the Huns who named it after Attila’s brother Bleda also called Buda. There are also a bunch of Romanian villages named Buda. Did it autocorrect you? My spell correct doesn’t recognize Buda.
          Pest, (with an sh sound “Pesht”) means Furnace or Cave (it might be like Gatto in spanish …it means Cat or Jack ala hydraulic jack) and again there were Celt and Roman settlements there for a very long time.

          • Well, I stayed on the Pest side (east) and visited Buda (two were separate places until the construction of the Chain Bridge in the 1830s.) Humans have been hanging out on Buda and Gellert hills since the neolithic (at least) and the Celts built their oppidum on Gellert Hill (just south of Buda Hill). The Romans took the low ground on the Buda (western) side, then a few places on the Pest side, but after that the two remained pretty distinct and separate, with the nobility on Buda and a farming and trade center on the lower, boggy, regularly-flooded Pest side. Apparently the human urge to claim the high ground goes back a looooong way. But if you want to have views of the castle from your hotel window, stay in Pest.

            It took a bit to get used to directions, because the Danube flows north-south instead of the east-west I’m used to.

            • East bank west bank… I used to live in New Orleans…West Bank Orleans Parish is northeast of parts of East Bank N.O.
              And there be no high ground thereabouts.

            • Celts always take the high ground, but they tend to have friends in low places.

            • Ah, this site. History lessons in compact form!

              • I suspect a lot of Hungary’s problems stem from having a touch too much history. Everybody who was anybody went through there, usually bumping off a goodly swath of the previous inhabitants as they did so. Although since the start of recorded history in and around the area, the Mongols may be the winners in terms of acute population reduction. The Ottomans win for the longer duration, but wow, the Mongols really thinned out the Carpathian Basin in a hurry (the conservative estimate, based on archaeology as well as reasonable written sources, is 50% long-term population loss. Some other sources bump the numbers up to 80% of the humans gone, gone away).

                Bohemia seemed to do a bit better, although they “enjoyed” the Wars of Religion starting in the 1410s through 1650.

        • Who were a bit of a pest.

    • Oh, how we’ve missed you!

      • Thanks. 🙂 I’ve missed you too, when I wasn’t writing down ideas ans scenes from the wrong book and trying to figure out IRL who’d strayed and was about to miss the bus this time. The trip confirmed my suspicions that a democratic government acting like a bunch of autocrats is jut as bad as an autocrat. Imagine that.

  25. Louis L’Amour and Sam Elliot – that’s two Correia’s in units of awesome.

  26. Josh A. Kruschke

    Wayne, Bearcat, Foxfier,

    I’m going to move this down here.

    Wayne, “…i.e. following instructions, does not indicate that the person giving the instructions was dominating them, except in the most strict interpretation of the word.”

    Who playing semintic word games?

    Control & Domination have very simple difinitions you guys are the ones and the qualifier of “by force” or “lack of choice.”

    So, guys what they are doing isn’t valid because they are not playing buy your rules or defining and using words as you think they should be used.

    You want to know the number one way of getting someone to do what you want?

    You ask them to do it.

    It’s not control or domination if we are given a choice… this is the counter argument… right?

    Tell this to Darren Brown or Penn & Teller or half a dozen other “mentalist and illusionists.” But those are the good guys they would never use their “powers” for evil.

    Illiosion of Choice – You want everyone to stand up you ask them too. And if someone doesn’t or asks why they should, they’re the ones being rude. Who wants to be the sole person not standing? It’s just easier and better if we just stand up and not be different. 

    What’s the harm?

    • Wayne Blackburn

      *SIGH* The setting was a BDSM demonstration. There is an implicit understanding in those circumstances that when one is “controlling” another, there are unpleasant consequences for not following instructions. This was not the case in the example given, therefore it was not a valid example.