Concrete Lies

The Brazilian author Lucia Benedetti wrote a book about WWII called Three Soldiers. I discovered this book when I was eight, I think, and conceived a great fondness for it, which is weird, considering most of the characters in the book are rough men, and the book revolves around both the necessity and the horror of war, and how it changes men.

(Later on, in the states, I found she had written other books, and those were available here. They were a disappointment being infected with both man-hating feminism and America-hatred, but Three Soldiers, at least in my head is untainted by those. I don’t know if this is true, because I haven’t read it for thirty years, having left it behind in dad’s library and since it doesn’t seem to exist in English translation.)

Three Soldiers is where my fondness for war stories originates, and there are many scenes I remember very clearly, such as when the three (Brazilian) soldiers insist they’re not going to visit the tower in Pizza. At the end of the day, much the worse for the drink, they’re climbing the tower with (I think) an equally inebriated American, all the while shouting “no tower.” And there is a scene in which they dig a shelter in the ground which becomes a “nightclub” of sorts. There are also, of course, scenes of battle.

I no longer remember where in the book, but there is a conversation, when the guys are on leave, and none of them can understand why their officer won’t sleep around. They all have cozy arrangements with Italian girls and they ask him why he doesn’t. He says he’s married. And they say, “Oh, but so are half the men.” And then he tells a story.

He says there was this man who decided to build a house, but instead of cement he decided to use excrement. And all the people around, instead of telling him it was folly and stupid and smelly, applauded and lauded his intelligence until the whole thing collapsed in a smelly heap, and then they moved away from him, looking disgusted. He says “that’s what it’s like building a marriage with adultery.”

The parable seems accurate for adultery, but that’s not what this is about.

When reading the news today, from the Lena Dunham craziness, to the unraveling of the VA campus rape accusations, to Hilary telling us that we should have “empathy” for our foes, to the insanity that is the international situation, to the further insanity that is the national situation, I keep thinking of that house built with excrement.

Look, “liberalism” started with good intentions. I’m not talking here of classical liberalism but of that more active, more ah… “positive” liberalism that has at various times called itself “progressivism.”

Okay, the intentions weren’t very good, but they dressed up as good. In Sweden they instituted socialism because they were afraid the proletarian revolution was inevitable, and here too, I guess. Prizes and accolades should be given to that great fabulist Marx who convinced half the world that the masses were about to revolt.

Anyway, the idea at its root was for the upper class to keep control by controlling the doling out of socialism, so they didn’t end up like the Tzar of the Russias.

But it was dressed up in good intentions: care for the poor, universal education, keeping people from starving, enlightening the masses, etc. etc.

Only the dressing doesn’t matter when what’s underneath is just a wish to keep control and also when it’s all funded on a crazy lie: the idea that classes have cohesiveness and will rise and fall on their own and that these great social changes happen spontaneously like yeast.

There were other lies too, behind it: the idea that the economy is a fixed pie and wealth can’t be created, only endlessly redistributed. And the idea that there was some beautiful, innocent, pre market time when people owned everything in common. That was Rosseau, not Marx, but it was there, at the root of the ideas that went to forming this hodge-podge we’ll call progressivism.

It didn’t work as planned.

I mean, either doled out from above or by violent revolution, socialism or its darker red shade, communism, which have different details but both of which are based on reverence for the collective and disrespect for individual property and striving, this regime formed on supposed good ideas and aiming for supposed utopia proved a disaster.

And so, like all the cults, when the end of the world/messiah/spaceship from the Magellanic Cloud fails to materialize, it elaborated reasons for its failure and conditions it needed to meet for utopia. This is how the idea that revolution would come from third world countries came about, and recently the idea that revolution is from the downtrodden, among which the funniest “downtrodden” class is university educated, white, pampered women.

The problem is this – the progressive movement, when it started, was in fact using “good ideas” or “good sounding ideas” to cover up the fear of communist revolution and to help the elites hold on to power.

But the ideas were no obviously risible. Marxism offered itself up as a scientific view of history and therefore predictive of the future, and since that was the great age of science in other realms, who was to say that it wasn’t true? It might need to be tweaked – Darwinism has been – but it could be essentially true and right. Besides, it stripped from history the random appearance of great men who dreamed great ideas and the chaotic events that happened just because things happened to fit a certain way and made it sound like given certain rules things would happen.

That idea has been dead a long time. These ideas died in the mass graves of communist dictatorships. The idea of a top-down creation of a great society died even in Nazi Germany. What’s more the idea of the great proletariat revolution died with a technology that emphasizes mass production less and less.

Many people aren’t aware Marxism is dead and gone, an ideology walking around in its naked bones, all of them rotted.   That is because before death was obvious, this zombie ideology had conquered campus and the press and even our entertainment and had slid, unnoticed, into people’s thoughts.

And what’s worse, what is truly horrible, is that when the rot became obvious and the lies plain, from the lie of the beautiful pre-historic communes to the rot of the soviet union, our press didn’t report it, nor our entertainment dramatize it. Instead they made excuses. It wasn’t communism, it was China, Russia, it was Cambodia, it was Cuba, and in the end, it was fallible humanity, which was not worthy of the great progressive project.

To keep believing, to keep holding on to their future utopia, and more importantly, to keep feeling superior to the rest of us, the progressives invented post-modernism.

This is sort of the equivalent of the kid whose *ss has been handed to him in a playground fight coming up with rules that prove he can’t lose and you can’t win.

Oh, I’m sure you’ve been in this situation, all of us have. The kid says his father is eight feet tall, and when his father shows up he’s five eight. And then the kid says, “Well, in my mind he’s eight feet tall, and you can’t say otherwise, so there.”

In the same way the post-modernist project insists there is no objective reality. Reality is what you say it is.

This is when they started building their house with excrement.

Instead of looking around and saying “Okay, this sounded like a great idea, but it doesn’t work in the real world” they held onto it, tighter and insisted the flaw was with the real world.

They could believe this because all the channels that informed/educated/entertained the public had been taken over by their co-religionists and were repeating their beliefs at them.

I watched mass media turn the minor recession of the first Bush years into a major crisis and what’s more blame it on Reagan’s policies which had brought us out of the severe Carter contraction and malaise. I watched them call again and again for higher taxes and more government, because that was the only solution. And people bought it, because what else were they going to do? Go outside respected media sources? But that was insanity.

In the same way, I’ve watched in fascinated horror as they try to pull the same trick – now to pave the way for Hilary – with everything from shows about women executives to the “war on women” and the campus rape crisis.

I’ve watched them inflate a so-so jobs report, which is propped up (as I predicted when Obamacare passed) by low-paying temporary jobs into “major good news” just as I’ve watched the summer of recovery one and two and three and four and five, and whatever many fall flat.

I’ve watched them puzzle over why it’s not working.

It’s not working because they need full control of all channels of information.

In other words, the only way the man who builds his house with excrement can pass for sane and shrewd is if he has full control and can make everyone around him clap and admire, or at least seem to. The minute there is even a guy going “Ew. You’re trying to build stuff with sh*t” the people who were thinking it smelled mighty foul are going to say “Ew” and next thing you know people are disgusted, or pointing and laughing.

Which is what fabulist Lena Dunham who became the “voice of her generation” on nothing much but proclamation is finding out. That’s what the woman who wrote about the UVA case, is finding out, as it’s causing people to dig into her older reports and realize they’re not even good Lifetime Movies. It’s what Vagina Vigilante Rose Eveleth found out when she made a scientist cry for wearing a cool sf-babe retro shirt, and people told her she was full of sh*t. It’s what the SJWs are finding out across the board. Their antics either puzzle people, or make them laugh or – at worst – disgust them. It’s what the president is finding out, as he goes into profanity-laden rants at the press which has fallen on their swords for him. It’s what Michael Man is finding out as people discover that, yep, climate disasters can be not-man-made.

And these poor cultists don’t understand why. It’s not just that they have for years built fortresses around their lies, with hype, and with giving each other accolades and prizes, and with no one else being able to puncture their echo chamber, no. That’s part of it. But the worst part is post modernism. You see, it’s their truth, so how can it be wrong. We should believe accusations of rape automatically for instance, because you see, they fit the Marxist narrative, and so being true in reality doesn’t matter. If reality doesn’t agree, it’s reality that’s wrong.

Pity them, my friends. They’ve built their house with excrement and lies. It’s now collapsing on them and they have no idea why. Pity them, but laugh and point, else they’ll convince themselves that you’re somehow making their perfectly sound home fall down.

In the smelly mess that ensues, it might be too late for them, but perhaps a new generation will learn the difference between sh*t and cement.

In the mean time we’re all going to see more sh*t and if we’re very unlucky more blood than we wanted to.

But in the end, we win, they lose.  Has to be, because sh*t is a lousy building material.

Be not afraid.



227 responses to “Concrete Lies

  1. The only problem I have with your narrative is the conflation of elites. The Social and Political elites who were seriously worried about Communism by and large didn’t fall for Progressivism. What happened, so far as I can tell, is that they were shoved aside by a combination of the self-nominated Intellectual Class and a smattering of leftover previous elites; the hand-wringers over the Industrial Revolution (who are mostly disgruntled landowners, or people who fondly believe that they would BE landowners if the world was run right).

    See, the Social Elite of the post Civil War – pre WWI era worked in practice but lacked a unifying theory. Of Social Darwinism held sway for a while, bit that boiled down to “You’re poor because you’re a work shy bum” (which was usually true) added to “I’m Rich because God loves me” (which had replaced “I’m Rich because I work my tail off” when the sons of new wealth came up).

    The Progressives were a concatenation of surplus-to-actual-requirements Intellectuals; when a blue collar worker has time on his hands and nothing useful to do he tinkers with stuff and gets drunk.When an Intellectual has time on his hands and nothing useful to do he tinkers with ideas and gets drunk on worlds.

    And while this was going on the Common Folk did what they almost always do; they kept their heads down, did their chores, and concentrated their leisure time on stuff that mattered to them, like Football.

    The Social Darwinists were among the least harmful elites on record; they patted themselves on the back for being Rich, considered the very poor and those who champion them as superior to be social menaces (which is largely true), and built nice houses and useful industry. When they meddled with other people’s private lives they usually did so with small groups that could, from certain angles, be considered volunteers (like their own employees). They were shoved aside by the Progressives for “lacking Uplift and Breadth of Mind”. And while much of their self-importance deserves to be mocked (I never ran into ANY elite that didn’t deserve to be mocked), they don’t deserve to be blamed for Progressivism.

    • I think your argument works for the US, but at least in central Europe, it was Bismarck and some of the Imperial German aristocracy who started the social benefits, old-age pension system, and so on, as an attempt to cut the legs out from under the Social Democrats and weaken their political power. Their philosophies differed (although not always, since you had some aristocrats leaning toward stateism along with the Progressives) but their actions dovetailed, and you have academics floating ideas that blend the two groups. Between 1918-1955 it gets . . . messy. (There’s a fat, but relatively readable, book called _Atlantic Crossings_ by Daniel T. Rogers about how Progressives in the US, Britain, and Europe influenced each other prior to WWI)

      • Oh, and the aristocrats were against the industrial revolution and for agrarian beauty and blah blah

        • Of COURSE they were against the Industrial Revolution. It put a pretty obvious period to their ascendency, unless they were willing to engage in TRADE (horrors!). And the social and historical weight given to tye “reformers” like Dickens who bemoaned it traces back to their influence.

          The Progressives, no matter what they may say, have always been about keeping the Workeing Man in his place. Bloody Aristocrat wannabes, every damn one of them.

      • Do they mention the Communist general that the Confederacy managed to capture at the Battle of Stone’s River?

        • The Other Sean

          Fascinating. Some of the folks back then had such interesting life stories. For example a Navy lieutenant named Samuel Carter was released from professorial duties at the Naval Academy for Army service, was promoted to general during the war, returned to the Navy after the war, and was ultimately promoted to admiral before retired. And outside the top generals, men like John Wesley Powell and Washington Roebling left their semi-normal lives behind, served honorably (sometimes even critically), then went on to do great deeds after.

    • Actually, at least in Europe, they weren’t shoved aside, they CHANGED. And I think here too. Think Vanderbilts and their ilk, they are now the reddest of red. They were worried, and convinced the revolution was coming, and so their children co-opted the revolution to keep them safe and became “leaders”

    • Do you have any citations for ANY of this. This just the same old smear against the financiers of the late Nineteenth Century that I keep seeing over and over with no attribution. Here’s a clue. It’s wrong. There were NO social darwinists, spencerinans, or any of the philosophical strawmen that the left uses so much among those guys. If they had any philosophy at all, it was mind your own business and stay focused on it.

  2. C4C

  3. Pingback: Women and Children First | Cedar Writes

  4. Is it bad that the first thing I though of was adobe?

  5. Well put Sarah, Well Put

  6. I don’t believe leftist ideology is based on concern for the “collective,” no more than I believe American leftist care for Blacks. As proof, I offer the real-world effects of their policies. The workers and peasants in communist countries not only lost what little property they had, but starved if they were lucky enough to escape the attention of the secret police.

    And Blacks in the US have been ravaged by the family- and community-destroying effects of welfare and urban renewal. With friends like that …

    • No, they don’t “care” about them, but they do think of them as a class, and expect them to act as a whole. Note their outrage when one escapes and dares to speak out against them. They “care” that they behave “properly.”

      • *channeling Marxist* Blacks are a class of themselves, but still need to be constantly reminded that they are a class for themselves. *stomps on Marxist* Toss in a little Gramscian tap-dancing about the influence of the narrative and cultural hegemony, bake at 350 for two hours, light fuse, and throw into closest business window.

    • Of course they’re not. But that’s the lie they told — to us and even themselves.

      • What it really amounts to is a pack of grifters latching onto a convenient narrative in support of their real goal, to gain power, control, and wealth for themselves and their associates.

    • It always, ALWAYS, comes back to the iron belief that they are placed upon Earth by Providence to tell the rest of us how to live our insignificant little lives. Call them what you will; Kings, Aristocrats, Priests, Progressives, Revolutionaries, Environmentalists. They are driven by the awful fear that they are not so special after all. They deperately co-opt the creators and builders whenever they can, amd deeply resent those who won’t join their wondrous selves.

      Guillotine bait, the lot of ’em.

  7. The Left is in serious denial. They can’t believe that truthiness isn’t enough. “My ideas are beautiful and profound! How can you be so stupid as to question them?”

  8. Christopher M. Chupik

    Yup, Rolling Stone ran an unbelievable rape story, not because they thought it was news, but because it supported the leftist narrative about a college rape epidemic.

    BTW, I can’t be the only one to see the irony in the Left claiming that colleges, which are intellectually dominated by their side, are hotbeds of rape.

    • No, you’re not alone. I find it freaking hysterical.

      And really, the journalist in me cringes when I see all the places that Rolling Stone article fell apart. I mean, just some rudimentary researched would have told the writer that something wasn’t working with that story. But no, it was much more important to run a sensational story.

      The thing is, I had amazing stories drop in my lap. Only one of them actually panned out well enough that I wrote on it. Why only one? Because all I had were sensational stories. I kind of wanted some kind of evidence. You know, that whole “journalistic integrity” thing.

      • the latest “hotbed” I read about is that evil right wing U.C.-Berkley /sarc

        I did read a question asking “Gee just how often do these rapes happen at Hillsdale?”

        • That’s because the problem isn’t conservative, liberal, libertarian, anything else. It’s because all men suck.

          You didn’t get the memo?

          • no, no. Only some men su– Oh, you mean the other way? Nothatthereisanythingwrongwith either way. Well, maybe the other way. 😉

            • Define your anatomy, you may find more men sucking than you originally suspect.


            • I believe what our esteemed colleague Mr. Knighton was alluding to was how All Men Are Evil and as such are The Cause Of All Misery.

              Of course if I understand their position correctly, it isn’t ALL men, just Straight White Men. So, ya know, if a male engaged in certain activities he might prove his Not Evilness. 🙂

              • Not if he’s libertarian or conservative and engages in those activities. Then he’s, of course, demonstrably Satan.

                • But doesn’t being libertarian or conservative automatically make someone a Straight White Male? Isn’t that what happened to you? 🙂

                  • Um… to me…. um… mwahahahahahaha. I have some emails to write. If you hear some explosions around the country, it will be my gay friends’ heads!

                    • Every time I’ve seen a non-straight/non-white/non-male libertarian/conservative say something, the people on the left essentially say “You don’t count because…” and the because basically turns them into Privileged Straight White Males hence Satan. Of course, that may just be my perspective.

                    • it is a Horrible Crime for a female or a non-white person to announce support for GamerGate because it undermines the narrative that it’s all racist sexism — or sexist racism.

              • Don’t forget the evil white women who protect and enable those men because they are stupid boy crazy barbies (usually well made up and dressed in form fitting clothes and wearing high heels, I think – not a sure way to recognize them, though, as some good women have needed to adopt those looks too for noble reasons). The difference being that those women might still be liberated if they can just be made to see their stupidity.

                • I have read a purported feminist complaining about the white people she always got on covers — or, as she put it, “blond bimbos.”

                  Yup, folks, it’s feminist to judge a woman by her hair color.

            • Ooooooooooh, did I walk into that. 🙂

          • I feed their memos to my fire to keep the carbon up

      • OT but kind of related, have you noticed how quiet the MSM is about the Democrat created board of inquiry finding no wrong doing for Chris Christie on Bridgegate? I’m amazed I actually saw anything about it in a news feed. (And the one story I wrote went on to say what was going to go wrong next with his campaign.)

        • Of course they don’t want to point out when they are in the wrong. Journolist is just for friendly chat, after all.

      • William O. B'Livion

        Simply asking to photograph her back would have given the reporter all the information they needed to know.

          • Except that would have compounded her trauma by appearing to doubt her experience.

            • And healthy skepticism is wrong when rape is involved.

              It’s fine for anything else, but rape? Nope.

              • Yeah. I realize that in many ways rape is worse than simply getting beat up, but to say that the instant a woman (or one resumes non-straight, non white male) cries “rape” they are now inviolate and their word is unquestionable even if they did not tell the police or anyone else and it is the last hour of the last day to file a claim on campus . . . erm no. Guess I’m just a traitor to my sex and all that.

                • No doubt it’s horrible. I can only imagine how bad it must be, and women got a bum rap for YEARS when dealing with the aftermath of rape.

                  However, these people can’t understand why people like you and I are both saying that removing the “innocent until proven guilty” measure is a bad thing. I mean, are they unfamiliar with the Salem Witch Trials? After all, that’s what will come back if they get their way.

                  • CombatMissionary

                    This makes me think that future generations will look back and shudder at the historical records of the post-Millenial University Rape Trials.

                  • They are only familiar with the Salem Witch Trial in so far as they are familiar with the parallels draw between them and the anti-communism of the 1950’s. They probably know whole passages of THE CRUCIBLE, but next to nothing about the actual trials, their aftermath, and context.

                    And why would they care if they did. As with so many things they deride about generations past, it isn’t the unbridled power they object to, it’s who is wielding it. THEY would NEVER convict an innocent, the way the Puritans did. THEY are enlightened Liberals, whereas the Puritans were religious bigots, only slightly roomed from the Spanish Inquisition.

                    And if you inform them firmly that they, the Puritans, AND the Inquisitors are all religious bigots together, they will sputter like a roman candle.

                    Pity they are too healthy to die of apoplexy.

                    • Except of course that the Spanish Inquisition distinguished itself by the gimlet gaze it turned on witchcraft accusations. “This woman bewitched you and you fell sick? So you fell sick? People do that, you know, all the time, no witchcraft needed — and even if the sickness doesn’t look natural, how do you know it wasn’t some other witch? Or a devil acting on its own?”

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      While there were early witchcraft trials (IIRC mainly in parts of Spain near France), the Spanish Inquisition did quickly take that position on witchcraft.

                      Even when they went after Heretics, “secret Jews” and “secret Muslims”, they insisted on seeking out hard evidence.

                      They had a better record in term of investigations than Protestant Europe had at that time.

                    • The Inquisitions were famous for using actual state-of-the-art-at-the-time techniques of evidence finding and case building. What was state of the art developed quite a bit over several hundred years, with a big difference being that they actually tried to identify abuses and correct them, something that mobs and possibly corrupt local gov’ts are not known for. Speaking of….

                      It was the freelance, civil and local ones that are closer to what we see in pop culture– the Spanish Inquisition suffered greatly from being under political control. When people would deliberately blasphemy so that they would be turned over to the Inquisition, which would investigate the truth and then let them go with penance if they recanted, it’s rather impressive testimony to what it was like.

                      Also, I think I’ve mentioned recently– the German areas were flippin’ NUTS. They took the issues in other areas about using religion to justify their politics and desires and so on, and turned it up to 11, with some really harsh traditional beliefs. (Was it MaryC or SuburbanBanshee that pointed out a lot of early saints did works along the lines of saving accused witches from mob “justice”?)

                    • Foxfier, the other thing the Germanies did that England did not (because England had better proprty rights in the law) is the Germanies gave the witch hunters the right to seize the property of the accused. Civil Asset Forfeiture, in other words. The results were entirely predictable. The favorite targets became the upper middle class. There are several accounts of the witch hunter of the district riding a better horse, etc. than the local lord.

                      Reading those accounts is where I got my absolute loathing of the whole asset forfeiture scam.

                    • Believe me, they had crazy waaaaaaay back before that.

                    • Oh, I know. But asset grabbing was a major factor. As in compare the records of recorded trials between the two and the Germanies had on average a number of witch trials 1,000 times more during the time frame of the witch mania. Look up Robbins “Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology for an example.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      IIRC the main reason that people would deliberately blasphemy to be taken by the Inquisition is that Inquisition prisons were more comfortable than the Spanish secular prisons.

                      In addition, there are Inquisition records that contain “complaints” of members of the Inquisition concerning too many prisoners in their prisons but they didn’t think the prisoners deserved to be sent to the much harsher secular prisons.

                    • Someone over at NRO made the explicit point that using their desired standard for rape convictions meant that the Scottsboro Boys deserved hanging.

                      Scratch a Leftist Democrat find a Klansman.

              • Patrick Chester

                No, skepticism is wrong when directed towards any of the Progressive Narratives.

      • Funny thing about some of those stories that fall into your lap: no matter how solidly sourced, no matter how valid the data, how genuine the evidence, nor how clear the linkages between hypothesis and conclusion — if even one thin dime of that counter-narrative research (or even the git wot gave you the story) can be tied to a oil man/tobacconist/Koch brother then the whole thing must be thrown out.

  9. Martin L. Shoemaker

    Today, “politically correct” is used about as accurately as “fascist”. People use it to mean “Words I don’t want to hear from people I disagree with.” But recall the original meaning, as I once saw explained by a very earnest true believer: “There are facts that are true, but they don’t support our agenda. They are correct, but not POLITICALLY correct. Therefore they must not be spoken or allowed to be spoken.” I was appalled then: not by the idea, but by how open he was about it.

    Here we see the other side of the same view: there are lies that are false, but they support the agenda. They are incorrect, but they are POLITICALLY correct. Therefore they MUST be spoken, and any refutation of them must be denounced.

    And these people are openly saying this in high-profile venues across the land. Lying sacks of shit…

  10. Ascher Goodrich

    Too many insane articles… So much cognitive dissonance. My head hurts now.

  11. The problem is that when the house collapses, the excrement is going to fly all over the place and hit a lot of innocent people. The emperor never had any clothes.

    You can ignore reality but reality isn’t going to ignore you.

  12. CombatMissionary

    You know, I had to laugh when you mentioned college-educated White women. I’m pretty sure that John Wayne gave us a good cure for that attitude at the end of McClintock.

    • CombatMissionary

      Come to think of it, Mrs. McClintock is a good metaphor for that type of feminism. Remember how they worked together, suffered through cold, heat, drought, etc. to build our life? Remember how she trudged ten miles through the snow to trade her daddy’s medal for condensed milk to feed the baby? Remember how he got thrown on our doorstep with an arrow in his chest? All so they could build a life and a family together? And then suddenly she wants to divorce him and take his daughter away, and give up everything they worked, bled and struggled for so she could socialize part of the time in London, part of the time in Paris, and Newport in the season with a bunch of stuffed shirts.
      Well, modern feminists are giving up everything women struggled, bled and died for so they can run around in a stuffed-shirt mutual admiration society in New York, London, and Paris.
      I think a lot of them could use John Wayne’s cure. 😀

    • Yep, and The Quiet Man as well. Always loved both those movies. My ex never saw their value though. One of many reasons she’s the ex.

      • She probably got turned off by the little old lady in The Quiet Man that ran up to Thornton and said, “Here’s a nice stout stick to beat the pretty young lady with!” 🙂

        I think the world might be a better place too, if people would follow McClintock’s financial plans for his daughter – give her a solid start, but not the entire empire. Think how that would have changed/impacted the Kennedy’s.

      • CombatMissionary

        Having not seen The Quiet Man and McClintock!: forgivable.
        Not seeing their value: prima fascie evidence of not being worth dating.

  13. Comment for comments.

  14. “If reality doesn’t agree, it’s reality that’s wrong.”

    I think part of this mindset is an intense paranoia. Most people I know with leftist sympathies do believe in an objective reality. Their problem is that they are reflexively skeptical of any assertions about that reality until they know who’s making the assertion and (think they) know what the asserter’s motivations are. Which is not in itself always a bad practice: yes, somebody telling you your house is about to fall down may be giving you an honest warning, but if they then offer to sell you a better foundation material at a discount, asking a question or two first might not be amiss.

    However, the problems set in when this reaction goes beyond rational, practical skepticism and becomes reflex rejection based purely on political evaluation (“Nobody who votes that way can be trusted to tell the truth!”) or psychological delegitimization (“Anybody who thinks that way can’t be trusted to see the truth!”). And the flip-side of this reflex is reflex acceptance based purely on political or ideological purity, where simply believing the right things is taken as proof of the believer’s assertions.

    This kind of shortcut level thinking is universal to humans, but cultural Marxism seems to be unique in its argument that evaluating claims about reality by the claimer’s bias is not only inevitable but appropriate. It’s also why self-condemnation is so valued in cultural Marxist thought: statements against interest are perceived to be the only kind that can be accepted at face value as honest.

  15. The minute there is even a guy going “Ew. You’re trying to build stuff with sh*t” the people who were thinking it smelled mighty foul are going to say “Ew” and next thing you know people are disgusted, or pointing and laughing.

    It’s — um — a pungent metaphor…

    And I love it!!

    Also: True.

    Going to be busy all day, into the evening, will check in later.

  16. About those jobs numbers, the NY Post business columnist has looked inside the (reported) data and revealed:

    Fed job data adds up to one big crank call

    Money grafs:
    The report that 321,000 new jobs were created in November was nonsense. It was wrong. It was the result of a seasonal adjustment quirk. … Before the adjustments were made, there were 497,000 more jobs this November than there were the month before. That boiled down to the 323,000 headline figure that the Labor Department reported after the seasonal adjustment.

    But look at November 2013’s figures and you’ll see the problem. Back then, 523,000 new jobs were reported before the seasonal adjustments were made. That figure, however, boiled down to just 203,000 new jobs after the adjustments.

    So how can a higher unadjusted number (523,000) in November 2013 give us only 203,000 jobs when a lower unadjusted number (497,000) in November 2014 gives us a much larger number after the adjustment?

    The two November adjustments should be consistent, but they aren’t.

    • Some of them aren’t. There has been a bunch of part-time non-seasonal hiring- as people that used to be ‘full time’ are cut to 28 hours a week, they need to hire more part-timers to fill in the schedule.

      As I’ve said previously, anyone working low-end jobs in VA in the very early 90s can tell you that was expected to happen. (VA passed a law requiring benefits for anyone working ‘full time’, defined as over 30 hours per week. BAM! My literal McJob went to 28 hours from 34.)

      • And then normal human beings need two jobs. I said what would happen too, in the post about drinking their own ink.

        • Unless you’re lucky enough and have an in demand enough skill set to actually get hired fll time, which as you have said, will likely diminish…

          or we’ll all be ‘contract workers’

          • I suspect contract workers, yes.
            And then the rat bastards use the “nominally more jobs” to claim things are better. And because they drink their own ink, they EXPECT them to be better, and can’t figure out why we’re furious.

    • The adjustments never add up. I’ve followed this for many years, and every single time I have looked into an announcement, subsequent revisions, and reporting they never made sense except when I looked at them as an obvious effort to steer the news. The main wonder is that the bureaucracy even bothers to “adjust” the fake too-high daata releases back down towards reality at all.

      Even before the Ascension of the One, the jobs and other national statistical announcements tracked best if I applied the assumption that the bureaucracy that was releasing the numbers was actively attemppting to undermine the then-current R administration.

  17. Regarding books about war, I think I learned more from the works of W.E.B. Griffin than from all the history books I encountered over the years. As with any fictional account you want to follow details up with research to confirm that the author didn’t just make stuff up, but Griffin’s “The Corps” and “Honor Bound” were series that gave me insights into the reality of WWII actions in both the Pacific theater and in South America.

  18. Blast. “Tres Soldados” sounds like a book I’d love to read, but there’s no sign on line that it was ever published in English, and Amazon has never sold the Brazilian edition. Brazil sent an elite mountain unit to fight in Italy, in the Alps (Brazil has mountains?) and that seems to be the subject.

    • It’s one of the few books I’d be tempted to translate. Maybe if dad’s copy still exists when I visit I’ll abscond with it. Getting whatever legals to publish a translation might be harder.

  19. At work, and on Amazon, so I jumped there to look it up. I can pretty much confirm it was never published in English, and that Brazilian edition is quite rare here.
    About Hillary Clinton’s call for empathy for the enemy, the word “empathy” is actually used in writing on military strategy and planning, to mean getting in the heads of the generals and battlefield commanders on the other side to predict what they will do and how they will react. And “We Were Soldiers” and many other war memoirs suggest that good warriors always have some empathy for the guys on the other side/

    • Yeah. And you think that’s how the Hil used it, do you?

      • If we in U.S. have empathy for those who wish to kill us there will be no war and my little pony poop will rain from the skies.

        • CombatMissionary

          Friendship IS magic, after all.

        • Just charmed by that odd usage of “empathy” in military jargon.

          • Funny. That’s the definition I grew up using, and have been thinking for years “they keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means…”

        • “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them -”
          “You beat them.” For a moment she was not afraid of his understanding.
          “No, you don’t understand. I destroy them. I make it impossible for them to ever hurt me again. I grind them and grind them until they don’t exist.”

          -Ender & Valentine, Ch. 13: Valentine

          • CombatMissionary

            They need to make all our military leadership memorize THIS.

            • I think most of our military has; it’s the politicians in and out of uniform who need it tattooed on their bodies… with blunt needles.

              • CombatMissionary

                As we’ve talked about previously, I think every politician needs an angry sixty-or-so-year-old Catholic School disciplinary nun following them around to whack them once in a while with the Board of Education and shout, “How about a little more common sense, you moron!”

                • when we moved to this neighborhood it was divided half and half Catholic grandmas and Jewish grandmas. It was one of the safest places on Earth and no adult or kid was safe from a tongue lashing for acting like an idiot.
                  Now the dear ladies have died or been moved to retirement homes. The neighborhood is not nearly so nice anymore.

                  • CombatMissionary

                    Sometimes we ALL need an angry grandmother to take us by the ear and tell us what’s what. 😀

      • I long ago decided that since neither Clinton cares about what they say, neither should I.

        Hillary’s speech was a product of the Blatherometer, a device which manufactures political speeches out of Shakespeare: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

        Or rather, signifying all things to all listeners — strength to hawks, compassion to doves, pretension to intellectuals. Such rhetoric is the ultimate in deconstructionist speechification, allowing every listener to think the speaker has expressed values consistent with the listener’s own.

    • Hillary is a political whore, as her choice of husband clearly shows. Further, she is a whore with no limits and no standards. Most sex-workers have lines they absolutely will not cross, if only out of self preservation. Hillary? IF she thought it would get her elected President and she had a 10% chance to,survive, she would disembowl herself on National Television. She would roast her child alive in a hot second.

      If I were Bill, and Hillary looked like she was going to get the nomination, I would,soend the rest of the election cycle in a bunker, and have my food tasted.

      The point of this rant? When she said what she said about empathy, she meant “I want to be elected”. Every word out of her mouth means “I want to be elected”

      God help us if she manages the thing.

  20. Oh, no, I know exactly what she meant.

  21. Professor Badness

    Does anyone else ever get tired of coworkers that have bought onto the Politically Correct bandwagon? People who should know better?
    It’s makes me wish I could just get published and work from home.

    • Publish yourself. If you write mil sf and are fast enough your wish might be granted in as little as a year.

    • I call these “Otherwise Intelligent People”. Those who have the capacity to think logically and analyze problems, but when confronted by a problem that has had a political solution proposed, inevitably listen to the loudest voices.

      • The smarter you are, the easier it is to dream up rationalizations.

        • Foolish people rationalize, too. Trust me, I have empirical evidence of this, I have seen the bad decisions in real time…

          But that does not make them *good* rationalizations, or coherent, or internally consistent. They may make just as many simpler ones.

          • That simply illustrates the difference between Wisdom and Intelligence: smart enough to rationalize, but not wise enough to know it’s foolish.

          • Sure, but smart people do it better.

            There are very few skills, from brain surgery to ditch-digging, where smarts are not an advantage.

            • Qualitatively, couldn’t agree more! *chuckle* Smarts livens up the dull drudgery, flavors the challenging, and challenges the “good enough” to do one better.

      • OIPs. The perfect acronym. When I see them, I shall run away shouting, “OIP! OIP! OIP!” (Or is that stand back and point, shouting? Hmm.)

  22. C4C

  23. Professor Badness

    Science fiction, yes, military, no. My stories tend to focus on a few individuals, rather than an entire star nation/confederation/hegemony/empire/whatever. (That list makes me wonder if I read to much mil sf.)
    I write what I know, which is people. And sf. And some fantasy. I try to create characters and situations that are engaging, but they fall short of epic.
    And it’s hard too find unbiased readers too get good input.

  24. Larry Patterson

    Only the dressing doesn’t matter when what’s underneath is just a wish to keep control and also when it’s all funded on a crazy lie: the idea that classes have cohesiveness and will rise and fall on their own and that these great social changes happen spontaneously like yeast.

    There were other lies too, behind it: the idea that the economy is a fixed pie and wealth can’t be created, only endlessly redistributed.

    Reminds me of Reagan saying that liberals know too many things that just aren’t so. Well, not only liberals.

    Marxism is shown to be a lie, but can we say that Darwinism has ever had any substantiation? I’m amazed at the way the climate change doctrine has been preached from the pulpits of its priests such as Dr. Mann. But the advocates use the same line as do the adherents of the evolution dogma.

    Democracy has not turned out not to be a lot better. Bush 41 said in 89 or so that there was a new world order. The Russians etc. had democracy and everything from then on would just be peachy keen. Yeah, right.

    Amazing how people accept without question these tropes, from “to each according to his need . . .” to “”making the world safe for democracy” and to “If you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane.” (Richard Dawkins)

    In the 60’s the motto was “Question authority.” So few actually ever did though . . .

  25. Larry Patterson

    Just remembered to add the other Great Lie of the past 100-150 years, environmentalism. The earth is for us to use. If it’s abused, it will heal itself in many cases. Aral Sea notwithstanding, most of messes have cleaned themselves once the pollution diminishes. The rest of the messes are beyond human means to clean, probably. Such as the Sahara or the Mediterranean basin.

    But Gaia is a false god. Sacrifices on her altar are useless and a disgrace to the real God who gave us enough intelligence to know better.

    • Be that as it may, that should be no excuse for humanity to be profligate in its consumption. Just because the earth can renew itself doesn’t give us an excuse to beat the hell out of it. Here I’m not talking about “one square of toilet paper” so much as simple things like recycling things that are easily recyclable, using just what you need of some item or not wasting energy. (Granted I grew up in a house with two parents who went through the depression.)

      One of the things that makes me craziest about the Useful Idiots in the environmental movement is they tend to talk one game and play another. If you drive your car to the oil company protest, what did you just prove? If you talk about carbon foot print but leave your thermostat at 74 all day every day, does that make sense? They want to make the world a better place but don’t even think about making them uncomfortable in the meantime.

      Ask the average environmentalist about the waste foot print of creating a solar cell and they’ll look at you funny. Tell them windmills rarely make back the energy it took to create, transport and hook them up and they call you crazy. Tell them that nuclear works and can be safe and their heads explode. I guess research is hard but talking about Important Issues is easy.

      • Professor Badness

        I believe that we have been placed in stewardship of this planet, and all that the title implies.
        We are to make good use of the resources, but not be wasteful.We are to preside over something that, in the end, is not ours.
        And we will be held accountable for it in the end.

        • However, our first duty is to our own species, and to use whatever resources we must to give everyone a better life. It doesn’t involve putting humans in misery over something as unscientific as Glowbull Warming.

          • Professor Badness

            When I say steward, I mean like someone in charge of a self sufficient community. Yes, people come first, but that doesn’t mean we give them everything they want.
            We need to be smart about how we use resources, and we’re not. Our quality of life could be easily maintained, but with less damage to our world.
            But there is no money in doing smart things. Only politically expedient things, (and that just for power).
            At yes, it is Glowbull warming.

            • “but that doesn’t mean we give them everything they want.” You mean politicians have been lying to me? Everyone can’t have an above average income?

              And it isn’t Glowbull warming it’s Glowball climate change. Easier to be less wrong about. Especially considering some scientist are talking about a solar minimum and a mini ice age.

              • Heh. Put “Lima climate conference carbon footprint:” in your search engine.

                The wonderful thing about concern over Anthroprogenic Global Warming Cooling Climate Change Whatever is the justification it provides for thousands of bureaucratic functionaries to fly to exotic locales to drink expensive booze, eat splendid cuisine and preen.

                Pass regulations requiring they meet in Kansas City or Omaha, drink nothing but water and eat on $5 a day and the concern over this “problem” will dissipate like ice cream on a summer sidewalk.

          • Stewardship is a responsibility to our species. To those members of it not yet born. The idea is to leave nature in better shape for those who come after.

            • Better as defined how? and by whom? and on how much real science?

              • Traditionally, it means leaving your farm better able to feed the family of whoever winds up farming it after you, i.e., not overgrazing, controlling erosion, etc.

            • Please tell me the optimum temperature of the Earth? or optimum CO2 level? Show your work.

              • Dr. Pournelle has demonstrated on various occasions that determining the current temperature of the earth is practically impossible. Determining some theoretical optimum is going to be orders of magnitude harder. You seem to be confusing stewardship, which is simply wise management of resources, with environmentalism, which is a political movement bent on central control of all resources.

                • The two have come to mean the same in common usage, because one man’s stewardship is another man’s eco-rape. Sorry.

                  • Professor Badness

                    I meant stewardship in the Biblical sense. I apologize for any confusion.

                  • No harm done. The old hillbillies tended to be emphatic when explaining the concept of stewardship to us no-account younguns. Some things stick with you.

      • It’s more complex than you think, though. For instance paper recycling creates more waste than harvesting trees grown for pulp…

        • The bleaching process is horrible environmentally.

        • That I didn’t know. The big one for me is aluminum cans. The amount of energy it takes to get aluminum out of bauxite is nasty compared to recycling.

          Now you have me wondering if I should be recycling paper. Hmm.

          • Paper recycling is ok if it is done with the understanding that recycling such a product is going to give a less than optimum result, and being ok with that. For instance, newsprint can be recycled into home insulation with out the waste, lots of cardboard can be made from recycled paper without all the processing that creates the extra waste (and neither requires bleaching), or it can be simply shredded and used as packing filler. Recycling paper into white typing paper, OTOH, is ludicrous.

            There are a lot of ways to reuse and recycle many of the things we use today, it’s just that the envoroloons want to take it to extremes which are unsupportable regarding their stated aims of being “better for the environment”.

            • Yeah, this. Recycling/repurposing can be very useful, as long as the assumption of a return to virgin base stock is discarded (outside of metals).

              This is where I think some profit could be found for various recycling schemes, as well. But the focus and the incentives are in the wrong place.

              Of course, the reality is that the major movers and shakers in the environmental movement aren’t interested in progress on the process, they’re interested in the power to dictate, so these things get discarded.

              I have seen various repurposing schemes greeted with appreciation by the rank and file, only to be swept away by the leadership, subsequently to fall out of the public eye. Not enough opportunity for graft and corruption…

              • Aside from metals, there are a fee other materials that can (or so I understand) be returned to their original state; #1 plastic – coke bottle type. Also, most glass, although color can be a problem.

                Back a whole ago THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC did a whole issue on what kimds of recycling make sense. That was so lomg back that the venerable organization had not YET been completely taken over by Greenies, so the infrmation was pretty solid.

                Plastics other than #1 generally cannot be heated up enough to sterilize them without breaking down.

                What I’d like to know is, who coloects old clothes for making paper? I’ve been reading lately that clothes collection for the Third World is crippling their textile makers (makes sense when you think about it), so I’d like another way to repurpose clothes I can’t wear anymore.

            • And the demand that half of each book printed be on recycled paper (Thank you, Clinton) doubled book prices over night. Bad for authors, bad for the environment. Just say NO MORE CLINTONS.

          • Well, after reading about it, I stopped doing so.

        • Professor Badness

          Really? I didn’t know that either. But it wouldn’t be the first time that being “Eco-friendly” was bunk.

      • How many folks who don’t buy into environmentalism are promoting– or even just living– “let’s be wasteful, it doesn’t matter”?

        I know most of the stuff that enviros I know brag about doing in their daily life, I never did because it’s wasteful.

        I don’t do the “make a statement” things, like driving a “fuel efficient” vehicle– instead I have a minivan that gets better mileage than a lot of cars, and I can fit the whole family in rather than needing two vehicle to do it. I don’t buy “eco friendly” stuff, and I will royally piss people off by pointing out facts about how much spraying is done vs traditional agriculture, and that’s on a per-acre, not by yield. I’ve actually worked on both wind and solar powered units… in places where they make sense, specifically pumping water in the middle of nowhere, Nevada, and on electric fences where it would be difficult to get power to it otherwise.

        I also don’t try to force everybody else to try to do what I feel is most efficient, and won’t even mention it to them unless the conversational opening comes up.

        • I’d really like to see some places advertise something along the lines of, “Eco-Friendly? I suppose so, but that’s just because we made something to save time and money.”

          • You would’ve liked my grandfather. Somebody was trying to sell him an “energy efficient” house, and it took a while for him to understand what the heck was meant through all the buzz words.

            According to family lore, he put an arm around the kid and said “Son, if the only way you can get someone to buy a house that costs less to make more comfortable is to try to make ’em think they’re saving the world… you’re in the wrong line of business.”

        • Ayup — most envirotwaddle is just religious superstitioin, a fact I realized during the 1980’s debate over disposable versus cloth diapers*.

          As for recycling — nothing wrong with it as a practical policy, employed intelligently. Waste is an expense we ought avoid, no matter our societal wealth. But when you see that in Germany and Japan, probably the two societies most anal-retentive about compliance with government edicts, recycling of steel cans (arguably the easiest product to sort) is only slightly above 90% effective … well, you might begin to suspect that America’s diverse polyglot culture is never going to successfully achieve practical levels of household waste sorting.

          Now stop and consider that if household waste is not sorted above the 95%** level, ALL of it must be re-sorted at the waste recovery facilities. Anybody here want to put money on the over-under of Americans successfully sorting 50% or our household recyclables? Personally, I think the whole purpose is to accustom Americans to obeying moronic government diktats and actual recovery of goods is irrelevant. But I am told I am cynical and thus discount my suspicions.

          *Hint: it matters where you live. Nevadans should go with disposable, Louisianians opt for cloth. I leave the reasoning as an exercise for the reader.

          **Frankly, I think the 99.9% level is necessary, but will allow the possibility that minor tainting won’t matter.

          • I can see several mechanical ways to sort the trash– most of it involving water, which would limit things a bit. Plastic and paper floats, at least relative to metal, and they need to get the paper off of everything anyways, so a hot water bath would be good…

            Meh, most of it assumes that recycling is practical. I’ve been told by a family member that’s totally into recycling that it’s actually more expensive than refining it in the first place, barring a very big confluence of factors. No, can’t remember what they are– I’ll just push for not giving gov’t money to recycling, and let folks do it if they make money. I don’t GET my way, but I’ll push for it!

            If they really wanted to make it so the junk yards didn’t get filled, they’d make it easier for the various GoodWill type groups to pick over furniture and such before it’s dumped in.

            Instead, they make it illegal to have a “I don’t want it” dumping ground by the dump.

            • CombatMissionary

              First, burn everything as fuel to recover the energy.
              Second, separate everything ferrous from the ash using magnets.
              Third, separate the ash from the non-ferrous metals with agitation and air blasts. Use the ash for fertilizer.
              Fourth, Turn everything else into pot metal.
              Crude, but fairly effective and cheap.

          • CombatMissionary

            What? A CYNIC? HERE? [FAINTS FROM SHOCK]

          • And… having a recycle bin is mandated here in CA. OF course, they didn’t bother mandating that the localities actually do with said recyclables. Many localities, including supposedly ‘green’ areas, simply pluck out the aluminum cans and everything else is routed to the main trash bins.

  26. Egregious Charles

    Thanks, Sarah, for the encouragement you provide in these essays.

  27. Speaking of concrete lies, in response to the Rolling Stone’s article on a woman named Jackie supposedly assaulted at UVA.

    “University (of Virginia) President Teresa Sullivan announced the formation of an ad hoc committee on public safety Monday.”

    David Weber, call your office. Wonder if she’ll provide a guillotine?