The Need for Trauma

*First of all, apparently my doctor is right and the current flare up is an infection, ironically caused by the exam. The antibiotic is working, but because it’s horse-dosage it’s bringing issues of its own, mostly nausea and stomach pain. Also I slept too much so was late with the first dose and I do feel it.*

The Need for Trauma

Look, I’m not one of the people who denies the existence of real PTSD. All of us who were either in sudden, horrible conditions (well, getting shot at even in a crowd leaves a mark) or who lived in stressful conditions for years (eh. Twice) have the marks. They might be as little as my horror of either being in a “bowl” that people could shoot from higher buildings for any length of time, or my discomfort sitting with my back to the street. The later, I can at this point steel myself to do, but I’m still “not myself” which is why the boys and Dan visually pick the corner seat for me in any restaurant.

People who had experiences a thousand times worse than mine, have other problems. I’ve heard of men who don’t dare share a bed with their wives, for fear of what a touch in the middle of the night might bring forth in retaliation before they wake enough to control themselves. And others, you probably have heard about also.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the people who watched/heard the Charlie Hebdo murders have reactions the rest of their lives.

This is the result of a useful evolutionary trait. When you almost died but didn’t, your brain imprints the situation so you can avoid it. Think of Great Grandma Og picking berries and grabbing the tail of the tiger. Not making that mistake again might be very important for us being here. Ie she didn’t get eaten that time, but also didn’t get eaten the next time, when she was carrying a baby and couldn’t move as fast.

However these mechanisms are stupid. They don’t distinguish what makes the situation difficult. What they imprinted for grandma Og might be “don’t touch anything moving in the bush” so that when the wind rustled the leaves, she needed to close her eyes and take a moment. (Which is how she died. While she was closing her eyes, the terror chicken leapt and…)

So for me triggers are actually large gatherings of people compressed together in a mass and tall overlooking buildings. In the same way, unlike my sister in law who can NOT hear champagne popped without freaking, I don’t even have a problem with back fires UNLESS I’m in a keyed up state for other reasons (like an approaching election) in which case you’ll find me under the nearest truck, or pressed against a doorway.

Firearm sounds DO give me an issue, which makes range time… negotiated.

Anyway – the point is that the imprinting stress has to be EITHER so sudden and violent and “OMG, I almost died” that it imprints, or it’s not so much PTSD but a series of learned responses. The abused child flinches from the raised hand, because he learned, over time, to avoid a slap. This is the same as my tendency for years to throw whatever I was reading under the nearest piece of furniture because mom raised an unholy ruckus at my wasting time reading. PTSD? No, in that case learned behavior.

In either case, I can read about people being gunned down from a height. Most veterans can read articles about the war. What some might not be able to read is vivid, well written descriptions of things they lived through.

I’m not going to tell anyone how to cope with their trauma.

I have friends who went through years of abuse and who can’t read fiction where someone is in a position of abuse (spouse or child.) They can’t do it, because if vivid enough it makes them relive it.

These same people CAN read and write non-fiction on the subject, though, and often do.

What I’m trying to say here is that real PTSD exists, but triggering it is both easier and harder than is portrayed in the media.

And it is both easier and harder than the assumptions of people who want to claim “victimhood on the cheap.”

In a culture where being a victim of something is the ultimate status that prevents you from being chided or blamed for anything and which might get you special treatment depending on where and when you are, I can see why so many people want that status.

All the same, when people demand trigger warnings for scholarly texts describing abuse; or even more weirdly demand warning for things like mentioning small holes or spiders – we’ve reached the point of silly.

And then I noted, among the younger people, a tendency to use trigger as “makes me uncomfortable.” So you get “So and so triggers me.” Or “political discussion triggers me.” Or even “Saying communism doesn’t work triggers me.”

I think it’s important to understand that there is a difference between “I hate this/that” and triggers me.

Can someone trigger you? Absolutely. In the one significant trauma of my childhood (childhood is a series of traumas. That’s how we grow. But some are out of the ordinary, unexpected and leave scars) being what used to be called “interfered with” by a family friend, I had reactions to his presence or the smell of his cigars so strong that it would make me throw up. (And I am one of those people who has trouble throwing up even when she needs to.) Because my parents didn’t believe/figure it out (I didn’t tell dad because he’d kill the man, and mom has one of those minds who can’t believe people will do what she, herself, has no inclination to do. So it wasn’t till the man died a few years ago and his daughters talked that mom and dad figured it out) he visited the house fairly frequently till I was about seventeen, so if I saw his car up front, I’d take a detour and stay at my best friend’s through the night. (Even though AFAIC remember, I was too old for him at 12, and certainly by fourteen.) Even with me not thinking about it, and his not doing anything, my body would react with the full panoply of stress markers to the point it was impossible to be in the same house with him.

But the sense in which I’ve heard this used by the younger people is “I had an argument with my friend and now she triggers me.” That’s not triggering. That’s just being uncomfortable and finding a way to make the waters of social interaction smooth enough to navigate.

In the same way, the color red doesn’t trigger you, unless it was present when you were nearly killed. And the smell of cinnamon apple doesn’t trigger you if the worst thing you associate with it was that morning mom yelled at you while you ate it.

That sort of trauma is the “growing trauma” kind. Look, we’re all born not as noble savages but as nasty little savages with no boundaries. I remember myself pretty young, which means I remember my friends too. And I’ve raised kids. They will do the most appalling things because they don’t know they’re appalling. And they’re born with one prerogative: make sure I’m comfortable and taken care of.

For instance older son came from the hospital convinced (he was born in a small university hospital and we stayed for two weeks, because I was too ill to go home. For most of that time he was the only child there, being carried around 24/7 by nurses and attendants) that he would be catered to every hour of the day or night. Learning not to wake us when we slept came through our not picking him up when he screamed all night. Learning to give a d*mn that mom and dad got some rest and weren’t stumbling zombies came even later, through painful situations (like having a brother) that taught him he was not the center of the universe.

What I’m trying to say is that if you don’t expose a child to some discomfort, starting as an infant, if you cater to his every whim and do everything to stop him crying/being upset, the child will never grow up.

Unfortunately our methods of raising children, both the “no physical punishment” church (yes, of course it is possible to raise a child with no physical punishment. But before they’re three or so, a mild slap on the butt saves hours of countering attempts to do the dangerous thing, not to mention screaming fits when physically restrained) and the necessity for most parents of putting the child in daycare as soon as daycare will take the baby mean that children aren’t exposed to PURPOSEFUL discomfort.

Daycares can’t afford in our litigious society to target a kid’s behavior for a week or so and make it really uncomfortable till they quit it. And I can think of ten instances where I needed to do that – and my kids were relatively easy – from bad habits like sucking your thumb to the tendency to want things exactly the same way day after day. I had to target the child, pay close attention and make his life impossible if he did it. (Most of the time this meant scolding and or pulling the sucked thumb away. Or threatening to take away their computer cord.)

The kids didn’t like it, and I liked it less than they did, and supposing a daycare had enough personnel and detailed a person to follow little Timmy around pulling his thumb from his mouth and yelling, how do you think little Timmy’s parents would react when learning these people targeted their precious child for that kind of surveillance.

Most public-raising of kids seems to operate on moderating behavior that affects them, ignoring what doesn’t affect them (as a daycare, or a school) and never making the kid uncomfortable enough to change, just cunning enough not to do it in public.

The amazing thing is that, raised that way, most people are still more or less functional. (Yes, we do get the ferals too, but in proportion to the population, not that many.)

But from all the “you trigger me” and “I was triggered by a discussion of snow storms by two weathermen, because I was very cold once, as a child” that the number of them who aren’t shams, the number who in fact experience debilitating symptoms, experience them because whatever mechanism records truly threatening/mind shattering experiences is broken.

If you’re raised without your level of discomfort approaching what was normal for most human childhoods for oh, most of the twentieth century – which in relation to the rest of history is already immensely pampered – you’re going to experience any discomfort as a huge trauma.

Think of it as being raised in a bubble. The first time you come out and catch the common cold, you’re going to be extremely ill, even though the people around you are shrugging off the sniffles, and making fun of yours.

Now imagine one of the kids raised in this emotional bubble, where no one is allowed to even say anything mean (because the daycare manages interpersonal conflict, to keep trouble to a minimum) to them. The real world – a boss’s scathing comments; friends who don’t invite you to a party; your artwork being less than admired – is going to seem like a series of kicks in the teeth. This is probably, partly, where the concept of micro aggressions comes from.

Something like being raped? You’ll never recover from it, never, never, never. In fact you can’t imagine other people recovering, even though we have examples all around of people who suffered horrible violations/attacks and lived happy lives afterwards, without flinching every time “rape” is mentioned. In fact, you might overreact so much that you react to a bad date as others do to rape.

So – the best thing you can do for your kids? Don’t make their lives too easy.

And if you were raised in a bubble and want to be normal? Go and read great stories of survival. Be aware of things like the survivors of Hitler’s death camps coming to America and building normal and prosperous lives. That is human resilience and more normal, throughout a human history filled with horrors, than your overreaction to everything. So be aware of what normal is and aim for it. It will hurt. Changing behavior hurts for everyone. Humans are creatures of habit. Fortunately given enough will power, humans can also do just about anything. Steel yourself and try it.

And for those excusing things like the Charlie Hebdo massacre because they were really mean to Muslims. Pah. You are no friend of Muslims. Part of the issue with Islam is that it hasn’t been hardened in a pluralistic society.

Except for oil, their lands are utter backwaters, and don’t attract immigration or a lot of mingling. They’ve been able to keep the barbaric laws all religions tried at some time, that said “no believers in another religion allowed.”

So there’s been no disputation, no argument. And their holy book guarantees that they’re superior and that everyone would believe like them, if the person were good. Yes, most holy books do so, but in their case, growing up in the midst of communities who all believed this, they can’t imagine anyone arguing.

When they move out to the real world, you know, the greater world with believers in other holy books or in nothing at all, they can’t process people making fun of their prophet or religion as anything but a deliberate slap in the face. So they react as a kid who has been mollycoddled from childhood would to being told he’s ugly and his mother dresses him funny. Even if it happens to all the other kids, to him it’s new and horrible. He can’t process it, so he reacts with violence against self or against others.

The way to stop these outbursts is not to apologize to Muslims for the mean things the “right wing” is saying. The way to stop these outbursts is for everyone to turn on them and tell them “this is beyond the pale and unacceptable. This is not how you win respect among civilized people.”

The way to stop it for everyone to mock them, until they realize this is normal, and reacting to cartoons with violence only makes them despicable, not feared.

For their own good, we must do this.

Because what we’re doing right now is like Heinlein’s description in Starship troopers of how not to raise a dog (or a child.) Every time they commit an atrocity the useful idiots go into overdrive explaining how they didn’t mean it and the victim had it coming, whether the victim is Israel or French cartoonists.

They’re appeased and allowed to feel they’re special, and there’s nothing they should change.

Lulled in this way, sooner or later a particularly gifted idiot among them is going to do something that takes out a city or a hundred thousand innocents in a western city (has to be. Look, no one is talking about Nigeria.)

And then suddenly and horribly the west will turn on them and there WILL be massacres. The US might take longer, but my sense is Europe is pretty close to this now.

This is like babying a dog, and never telling him he shouldn’t go in the house and then when he’s a full grown dog and makes a mess, you take him out and shoot him.

Dogs, children and entire peoples learn by trauma. The ideal situation is where you provide enough little traumas that the creature, person, people can live in the greater world without causing the rest of the world to want them dead badly enough.

Too much kindness is not kind. That way lies death for dog or child or entire cultures.


263 responses to “The Need for Trauma

  1. Christopher M. Chupik

    There is one episode of a popular TV show from a few years back (not I’m not revealing which one, because a Certain Troll reads these and I am NOT giving him ammunition) which I watched shortly after a similar (though less catastrophic) event in my own life. When I realized what the episode was about, I felt a physical reaction to what I was seeing. Watching it all the way through almost killed me, but I did. The second time was easier. Would I have been angry at the makers of the show? Hell no. They captured how I felt that day to an uncomfortable degree, but that’s what good fiction can do.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      I once started a horror novel that I could not finish because it involved child abuse (the kid was abused and the story involved him using a monster to gain his revenge).

      I couldn’t finish the first Harry Potter book because of how his “family” treated Harry.

      In both cases, the appropriate action was to not finish the book not sue the authors.

      Note, I was not abused by my family but the books “triggered” my memories of being bullied.

  2. That’s the most sense I’ve seen on the issue from anyone so far.

  3. The abused child flinches from the raised hand, because he learned, over time, to avoid a slap.

    Because I know there are a lot of folks here who have kids and have freaked out when seeing this behavior in their kids– it’s also a reaction to sudden movement and/or unexpected touch in the, er, accident-attractive and/or folks with vision issues, which I know is an unusually large number, here.

    I only figured this out when my husband pointed out that I do the exact same thing. (So does he, actually– it’s more of a twitch than a flinch, but it sent really bad signals to more than one physically violent guy.)

    Still learned behavior, still has to do with avoiding pain, but the source is “random objects fall on me” and “WHAT THE FLIP WAS THAT THING IN MY BLIND SPOT1?!?!?” not “I’m scared of you.”

    • Yea – I have a pretty big blind spot due to astigmatism and left eye dominant with right side dominant. I don’t always see things even after laser surgery.

    • That, in particular, is not always learned behavior. I have always been a bad flincher, have never been able to control it, even when it’s a test, and was teased about it often in school. Now, even my youngest son gives me crap about it, but I’m almost certain that it’s not a learned behavior. I certainly can’t remember anything that would have caused it.

      • I was a bad flincher. I don’t think it’s a peripheral vision issue. When my peripheral vision was tested, I maxed out their machine. Dad and my brother went to a lot of trouble to help me with it. Their enjoyment was merely a byproduct.

        • Jerry,

          Some food for thought.

          Which lead this:

          Most of the effective (actually teach them to deal with the way their brain is wired now vs trying undo what has been done. ) PTSD therapies I know of deal in training/teaching brain new counter triggers and ways to quickly bring on the rational parts of the brain as to not let the emotional (limbic system) take over.

          Your brain can never unlearn what it has learned, what makes PTSD a problem is that some of the copping mechanisms that are learned are not helpful outside of the context that mind needed dealt with. This leading to new coping mechanism to deal with the old ones.

          The flip side of this is that the powder-puff we are raising today have no coping mechanisms at all, feel they need to be protected from all of life’s little boo-boos.


          • I certainly don’t claim to have conquered the startle response. In most circumstances, I can suppress the physical aspects. I still get the emotional hit, and given enough stimuli over a short enough period of time, my control fails. It is indeed embarrassing to go from macho man to squealing like a little girl when one spark too many burns you. (welding)

            • Jerry,

              This might help:


              In other words take deep breaths and try to find the humor in it.


              Given time you might be able to turn that stimuli into one of humor and not one of frustration and anger.

              • I already do that to an extent, but mostly I try to find a position that keeps the annoyance down to a tolerable level.

                • Jerry,

                  Cool! Well I’ve exhausted my well of my so so advice, so I must now resort to wishing you well in future endeavors.

                  Take Care.


            • Strange – I don’t get much in the way of an emotional hit. It’s almost all physical for me. A tiny bit of increased heart rate, unless it’s a real scare, but that’s about all. But this is all from things approaching my face quickly. If someone startles me while I’m off contemplating something, I’ve been known to jump completely out of my chair and have to take several deep breaths to get my heart to slow back down.

              I still would have loved to see video of the time when I was sleeping on my mattress in the living room (blizzard of ’78 – my room was COLD!), and my dog barked right by my head just as I was drifting off to sleep. I’m certain I levitated at least a foot. 😉

              • The best I can describe is that my control is an hourglass. Each spark dribbles a little sand out. Bigger spark, more sand. Time between sparks, calming breaths, all refill the hourglass. As long as I pay attention and manage things, everything is cool. A spark that gets in my ear can break the glass. (earplugs are great things)

      • To this day, I tend to flinch and freeze whenever I drop a dish in the kitchen (whether it breaks or not). My mother used to go into an instant psychotic rage whenever I spilled anything as a kid. She would beat me over the head and scream and curse because I did not react immediately by cleaning up the mess. Well, no duh, lady: I was too busy trying to protect my head. Given the choice between picking up a broken glass and preventing a broken head, I think I know what my priorities are.

      • Shooting practice cures flinching. Personal experience. Its a Zen pursuit.

        • Unfortunately, shooting gives me whanging headaches. Sufficiently elaborate ear protection might help, but frankly, I don’t have that kind of money to spend. (For that matter, I don’t have the money to get to a range or buy ammunition.) Cheaper just to deal with flinching.

    • They do tend to have a different “flinch” though. the blind spot flincher tends to then look for whatever it was that caught the eye, the abuse flincher tends to not look back up. I have seen both. I can see how they could be confused though.

  4. Apologies and appeasement are deferring an accruing response. One no one will like.

    I’m sure the babbling idiots will be shocked when payment comes due.

    • BINGO! When the world has finally had Enough. Of. This. Shit. and snaps, the Islamotwits are going to be hurting, no question. But the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives who have been shielding them, THOSE idiots are going to spend a decade of two curled up in a ball, sucking their thumbs.

      • Eamon J. Cole

        Yeah, but the kind of war we’re being pushed toward — that’s going to damage all of us. It’s going to leave scars that will not fade for a few generations, and harden attitudes that may not fade at all.

        When the entirety of Western society has to relearn some old lessons about callous necessity — I think we’ll lose something.

        It’s a luxury, sure. To some degree, it’s a weakness. But I also think it’s a quality, and an opportunity. I like that we can raise our children without girding them for war, that we can allow them some freedom in innocence. I celebrate a civilization sheltered from and thriving in the absence of brutal daily conflict. Even as the sheltered citizens frustrate me.

        If we cannot foster the civilized reformation of Islam, if we cannot bring it and its adherents into modernity…

        The organized slaughter of millions, which may well be necessary for the survival of our civilization, is nevertheless something that might fracture the better parts of that civilization.

        I am not eager to rush toward that day.

        • Nor am I. Wretchard at Belmont Club postulated the Three Conjectures some years ago. Chilling.

          • Eamon J. Cole

            Yes. And I fear, truly fear (especially after the latest round of rhetoric), that far too few of us really understand the consequences of war on that level.

            Deep, long-term and corrupting consequences.

            I naively cling to the hope that we still reside within the “Golden Hour.”

            • It will destroy a lot of who we are, honestly.

              • Violence.

                We are the stories that we tell ourselves. In survival situations we find out who we really are and often it has very little to do with what we have told ourselves.

                Not only do you have to survive the incident the created your new reality but come to grips with the new you.

                Isn’t that a kick in the teeth.

              • Yes. And the more prolonged, the more we lose.

            • IF some Islamic idiot manages to set off a nuclear weapon, in ten years there won’t be enough Muslims left in the world to form a baseball team. The West is THAT paranoid about nukes.

              Which in many ways is a pity. A nuclear bomb is a large explosion. It makes a mess. The idea that is destroys all life and all possibility of life where it exploded is hogwash. Hiroshima and Nagasaki have populations of 1,173,980 and 446,007 respectively. Both have population densities of over 1000 per square kilometer. As crowded as Japan is, there wouldn’t be that many people living somewhere lethal.

              I think it’s far more likely that a large Terror attack will set things off well before they manage to make a nuke work. I could be wrong, but I think a fuel-air or dust bomb fare likelier. And the results, while very bad, won’t quite be the extermination of the Faith of the Prophet.

              It WILL be a return of full force Colonialism, and it will be closer to the Belgian Congo than the British Raj. And if will be the fault of the imbeciles who kept us from slapping down the Terrorist model of politics when it reared its ugly head in the first place. The Liberal Left, yes, but also those who always found some reason to excuse the IRA, or any other bunch of violent swine who wouldn’t confine themselves to military targets.

        • Eamon, you have capture my fears very well. Mankind (Western generally) is far more _adult_ than the rest of the world. Most refuse/are unable to admit that Mankind at the time of Christ was at a “late toddler stage” of emotional development. Christ came along, and said (sort of). “It’s time to give up childish ways, and learn to behave like adults.” Although most *refuse* to recognize/admit it, The U.S.A. is the most *adult* form of Government Mankind has ever seen. (Yes, I know that LibProg.’s are busy trying to go back to childhood.) But, as you say, even adults have a breaking point. When that disruptive child becomes so threatening/obnoxious that we will not “take it any more.”
          To paraphrase an _old_ joke, the time will come when we “play Cowboys and Muslims.” Whether Mecca, and related sites will remain in existence afterwards, except as “glow in the dark parking lots,” is another question.
          There is genuine Historical precedent for “religions disappearing.” The American Indian, and most “Pagan” religions are essentially “gone,” from a historical standpoint. Current “Neo-Pagans” have “recreated” the worship of those “God’s.” *I* wish that we had kept some of the knowledge of the Druids, and “tamed” their excesses. Muslims, because their “History” starts and stops with the 7th Century, don’t realize what can/will happen. It won’t be “advancement of Christianity,” but “life/death of civilization” at stake. As “Christian based” as Western Civ. tries to be, it does _not_ have a “death wish.”
          I’ve hinted at, previously, and said last week somewhere, in a serious collapse/catastrophe, most of the Least and Left Coast population will simply cease to function *at any level.* At best, they will go catatonic, at worst, they will become raging beasts.

          • Walter,

            I could use this to go on a rant about what I think is the most adult form of government,,,,… but I won’t. See Sarah I learned.


            • Josh, and we might get there eventually, but I fear not in my lifetime or yours.

              • Sarah, I agree; though we will never get there if people like me don’t push us along.


                Though I believe there will always be conflict and by extension violence. We will push it down to the individual responsibility level. It will no longer be governments responsibility to protect us and provide for our security but our own.

                (We will build our first Antifragile society.)

              • I don’t think so. It would require too great a change in human nature. However, if every philosophy/culture had its own planet, that might make for an interesting tour for the well armed traveler.

                • Emily,

                  “[P]hilosophy/culture” are constructs of the mind and often times have very little to do with human nature (How ever we define it).

                  How much of us is nurture and how much is nature?

                  If it’s nature then it stands to reason that we need to use that part of our nature we call reason to better control or understand the baser parts of our nature that get us into trouble.

                  If it’s nurture then it stands to reason that there is something deficient in our current system that needs to be addressed.

                  Unless you are trying to say this is the best that we can do, and I find that a very bleak thought indeed.

                  • Any attempt to build a society wherein we all use our reasons to control our baser nature has crashed and burned.

                    As for the something deficient, it’s quite possible that the deficiency molds into a form that makes it impossible for us to amend it.

                  • This isn’t the best we can do. However I believe that human nature doesn’t change. Cultures to some extent do. What you are saying is creeping me out because sounds too close to aiming for Utopia which leads to oceans of blood.

                    Basic human nature hasn’t changed since Cain and Abel. I am a constitutionalist. Our Constitutional Republic is a new thing in governance. It for the most part self-governance with as small a government as possible. Some gov’t and laws are needed because we are men not angels.

                  • What I think she is saying (and what I know I am saying) is that any number of things were hard wired into us by evolution, which isn’t really concerned with anything except “that which allows us to pass on genes for species survival is good.”

                    Yes, we use reason to control the baser impulses, but those baser impulses are there for a reason, and while they can be overridden they are not gone. The problem with progressive thought is that it is convinced that because they wish something be so, it will be. If it isn’t, it’s because everyone isn’t wishing for the right things.

          • As “Christian based” as Western Civ. tries to be, it does _not_ have a “death wish.”

            Unfortunately, too many view restraint as weakness. Inside and outside our borders.

        • Eamon,

          The sad reality is you can’t protect people (or kids) from reality without making them vulnerable to it. The best we can do is try to keep it from breaking them while they learn and grow from it.


          • I once was in a discussion where people were defending absurd diagnoses of learning disabilities by saying a parent would do everything for a child, and I pointed out that you could not, since preparing the kid for the real world is incompatible with the sheltering they were defending.

          • There’s the reality of America, and the reality of America at (active) war with a significant fraction of the world.

            I’d prefer kids come to grips with the first, and never know the second.

    • Eamon J. Cole

      Toss a turtle assessment in here, since I made the first comment from my phone.

  5. It makes a lot of sense. Plus it has taken me years to recover from my years with my parents. I don’t have an unreasoning hate anymore when someone says the word “mother.” 😉 Plus I never went on a serial crime spree from “trauma.”

  6. “Go and read great stories of survival. Be aware of things like the survivors of Hitler’s death camps coming to America and building normal and prosperous lives. That is human resilience and more normal, throughout a human history filled with horrors, than your overreaction to everything.”

    Yes. This.
    A good portion of the hysterical reaction to everything is that most people have no sense of perspective whatsoever, either in comparison to other people in the present or in comparison to those who lived in the past.
    Any attempt to point this out is met with “But I feel bad.” Note, by the way, that your feelings about things do not matter if you should disagree.

    • Agreed – this. Sometimes I think it all has to do with expectations. A society where you are expected supported and encouraged to be strong and resilient in the aftermath of a devastating experience makes it easier in a way for individuals to recover and rebuild. Oh, there is always damage, and recovery is likely never easy or in a straight line – but I believe it must be healthier in the long run to pull up your socks and get on with it. I’ve read a lot of memoirs of hard times, cruel times, savagely destructive events, written by survivors who seemed to have achieved some kind of balance, one way and another.
      It’s not a good thing to expect survivors of some kind of trauma or another to spend the rest of their lives irretrievably and un-mendably broken. There was an account I read of the horrific Boxing Day tsunami that hit Thailand and southeast Asia ten years ago; a group of volunteer professional therapists who arrived, all ready and eager to minister to traumatized survivors … and then made the discovery that the traumatized survivors didn’t much feel the need of therapy. They were OK, they told the therapists; they had grieved, buried the dead, retrieved what they could … life is like that. They pulled up their socks and got on with it. The therapists were a bit miffed, I think. They fully expected everyone to fall apart and need loads and loads of counseling.

      For most people, I think that trauma is a bit like a case of the flu; you’re going to get over it. Scarred, but you will get over it.

      • There’s a great little book entitled _One Nation, Under Therapy_ that makes that exact point. It was written about 10 years ago, before the coddling-culture took over everything.

        Like other people here, I dealt with my “hang-ups” (more “back away slowly and get out of the room/cross the street”s). It took several years, but the day I could stay in a Cessna 150 cockpit (very, very cozy) with a good-looking Latino check airman – without panicking or trying to claw my way out at 2000 AGL – was a major triumph. Which I didn’t tell anyone until after I passed the ride. Now, I still don’t care to be around groups of teenage males in dark areas late at night, but I call that a survival instinct rather than a relic of stress.

        • Indeed, teenagers are feral animals.

          • No. Small children are feral animals. Teenagers are semi-feral; they know just enough of civilization to want to game the system, and not enough to know why they shouldn’t, or how much it is likely to hurt if the succeed.

            Teenagers are a lot more DANGEROUS than simple feral animals.

      • I got a lot of flack a long time ago when I suggested that there are some folks who what to make various things seem even MORE traumatic than they are for political power/Victimhood reasons. A lot of people seemed to agree with that, until I suggested that Rape was one of those things.

        • I can see how that’d be unpopular.
          Sadly true, but too many think the truth is misogynist/racist/evil

          • Absolutely. But there are examples of a woman basically shrugging off an attempted rape and all these others trying to “Help” by trying to convince her that she’s just suppressing how REALLY traumatized she is and she should really see some kind of councilor.

            (Hell, just look at how much they trigger on Friday.)

            • Slowly I turned, step by …wait, that trigger is Niagara Falls

            • Double stupid.

              If she was actually suppressing it, then it’s a protective measure and they’re destroying it. Unless it causes damage otherwise, they are hurting her.

              • That may be the point, Foxfier. To create more victims. Because Progress or something.

                • Because it’s not real until you have a massive breakdown about it and “they” get to help you. Until then you’re just suppressing, or repressing, and not really aware of how badly you need their help. It’s a form of false consciousness, your not wallowing in whatever it is you are supposed to wallow in.

                  • Exactly my point! Thinking the way they want you to think includes how you deal with Trauma. You must the Traumatized so they can use you as a proper victim.

                  • Because it’s not real until you have a massive breakdown about it and “they” get to help you.

                    There’s more truth to this than you may realize.

                    For some of them, it’s like Munchausen, or at least by proxy.

                    Think of all the useless, pointless hashtag campaigns, but they get to FEEL useful.

                    if you’re not breaking down in tears, they don’t get to FEEL helpful.

                    Even if what they’re doing isn’t.

  7. “And if you were raised in a bubble and want to be normal? Go and read great stories of survival. Be aware of things like the survivors of Hitler’s death camps coming to America and building normal and prosperous lives. That is human resilience and more normal, throughout a human history filled with horrors, than your overreaction to everything. So be aware of what normal is and aim for it. It will hurt. Changing behavior hurts for everyone. Humans are creatures of habit. Fortunately given enough will power, humans can also do just about anything. Steel yourself and try it.”

    The people who liberated the Nazi and Japanese camps had worse outcomes than those who liberated them. My grandfather’s outcome (lifelong functional alcoholism) was pretty good, all things considered.

    • AARGH. “Those who liberated the camps had worse outcomes than those who suffered through them.” Is what I meant to say. Last sentance.

      • Some of that, I suspect, has to do with the survivors of the death camps tending towards being stronger-willed than the average schmuck.
        Not to say the soldiers who liberated the death camps were weaklings, mind, but the winnowing process they underwent wasn’t nearly as brutal.

        • Eamon J. Cole

          They’re also faced with the shock and empathy in one blow without the hardening process the captives were forced through. Elements of the survivor’s guilt process.

          Human’s are phenomenally complex.

          • There was a documentary several months ago about Jewish groups in this country who banded together to help find jobs and homes for Jewish refugees, Displaced Persons, concentration camp survivors, etc. They were very practical about it to a very striking degree, and so there was a lot of “instant community” for Jewish people who ended up in the US.

            So yeah, I don’t think WWII veterans got quite as much of that, although I’m sure a lot of the various veterans’ groups did their best.

            • Eamon J. Cole

              From what I know, a lot of those vets would’ve turned it down, suggesting that others needed it far more than they. Not being “tough” or anything, but genuinely believing the survivors deserved the resources far more than they: “They had to live through it, all I had to do was see it. Help them, I’m fine…”

        • One study found that the survivors lived longer than matched control groups. Winnowing is a chief suspect.

      • I have to say, that is one thing that has always struck me about the Arab attempt to obliterate Israel in 1948;

        “Really? You’re going to start a war of extermination against a population with a large number of survivors of the death camps? And you expect to WIN? What are you going to do for your next trick? Try swimming in a volcano?”

        • Oh, shit.

          Pardon, but I think I just figured out part of why they’re so pissed at Israel.

          K, I’m absorbing the difference in world view between tribal culture and J-C culture, and think it’s fascinating, so I keep trying to figure out how it applies. One big differences is that in our case, WE don’t see “stronger, thus will attack”– we think restraint is something to be prized.

          I was going to say that they thought they’d win because Israel was clearly full of losers– if they were tough, then they would be in Germany or wherever, slaughtering the clans of those who had attacked them.

          Since they were not, then they were running away.

          That meant they were weak, a good target.

          Then the people assuming this made a public attack, and lost.

          They got their tails handed to them by a smaller group that their world-view insists MUST be weak. They were dishonored. The only way to fix that is…to destroy the one that dishonored you.

          This may also explain the “great Satan/little Satan” thing, since it gives them an excuse for why a group that HAD to be weak beat them, by insisting that it didn’t, it cheated, it was really THOSE GUYS over THERE….

  8. Opponents of Christianity often site passages of the Bible that call out terrible acts, slavery, execution, incest, ignoring or at a minimum glossing over the fact that those are all found in the Old Testament. Early Christianity was a product of its times, bloody, and to modern day eyes a good bit evil. But it went through that period known as the Reformation where focus was turned to a kinder, gentler New Testament attitude. Islam has yet to experience any such reformation.
    To borrow from Cato the Elder, Islam Delenda Est, Islam must be destroyed. Or more properly, that old testament part of Islam that condones, even celebrates, any evil done to the unbeliever, must be excised from modern day Islamic practice. Or we just kill them all.
    It’s a simple choice: we are all enslaved, they die, or they clean up their act. Long term we only get to pick one.

    • For that matter, large portions of the OT are “Hey, guys, see this thing I’m talking about? Don’t do this thing.”
      For that matter, early Christianity (33-312 or so) was frequently persecuted, reviled, and generally mistreated. Now, as one moves forward from there, especially after Theodosius declared it the state religion in 385, things get ugly.
      Early Islam, by contrast, got kicked out of Mecca, then came back with an army within a decade.

      • A lot o f the issue is that they can’t recognize how much of a change Christianity wrought in the culture compared to what it was– they assume that it’s basic human nature.

        Which is why all the non-Christian, non-Jewish cultures screw them up so badly.

        It’s a whole lot easier to live in the manner they believe everyone should when you’re safe in the middle of a huge sea of culture that holds to, say, humanity being all that’s required to be a person. Not a good person, but a moral being with basic dignity….

        Look at how many complaints about Israel can be boiled down to “they don’t act like I can at home!” (Well, Mr. Protester, if they had cops to protect them and nobody that specifically wanted them dead or worse, maybe they’d act differently….)

      • A huge chunk of the problem is in that term “state religion”. When the religion is the state (and Islam is exactly that, from the beginning to this day), and vice versa (see socialism) then any deviation in anything becomes blasphemy and treason. The Reformation started the process of breaking that connection, which reached its’ ideal in the United States.

        What we’re seeing now is the Left’s attempt to reverse that decoupling in favor of their own faith.

    • I’m teaching the book of Judges in Sunday School — really, REALLY depressing book. But it has lots of applications to today’s world in that the early Jewish nation brought calamity after calamity on themselves, then had to have a Strong Man bring them out of distress. Of course, sometimes the strong man would be nearly as bad as the original oppressor ….
      But the point is, when they had their focus fixed on what they should be doing, they prospered. When they started to compromise with the groups surrounding them, they fell. And because they apparently never bothered to teach their children about the mistakes they made (as well as the Commandments they’d received) they perpetuated the error over generations.

      I detest that book – but it offers so many profitable lessons to dwell on (and lots of interesting rabbit trails, too!)

    • Foot binding was deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. It was wiped out in a single generation. Not by outlawing it per se. But because a Chinese ambassador came back and informed the Emperor that the rest of the world looked down on China becasue of the practice. So, coming from the elite down the stratas of society, footbinding became a shameful practice that only the ignorant would engage in.

      The imans, ayatollahs, and every other variety of religious leader in sharialand are not going to make their practices shameful. They’re ingrained into and are an integral part of Islam. Methinks we’ll eventually have to follow the Roman example and kill them all, or General Sherman’s example and kill enough. But killing is going to be involved.

    • Opponents of Christianity break down into two major groups, plus outliers;

      1) Followers of Islam, who are in no position to complain about anything done in the Old Testament, because they do all the same things.

      2) Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives, who are, to one degree or another, followers of Marx and all his diseased children. And they are in ABSOLUTELY no position to criticize anyone, having in ONE CENTURY racked up a litany of mass murder, misery, and destruction that makes every monstrous Christian in history look like a mildly vexed boy scout by comparison.

      It may be possible to establish an Atheistical society better than the Protestant Christian societies of the 19th and 20th Centuries, but the Atheists wore out any benefit of the doubt that they might have coming to them by 1932, when the Soviet Famine under Stalin really got going.

      My answer to a LIRP criticism of Christianity is “Christianity has learned, over two millennia. It has made mistakes, and some of them have been horrible. Islam, however, after making some progress, most of it under some degree of Christian duress, has backslid to the 9th century or earlier. And Atheism has spent the last Century trying, and sadly all too often succeeding, to exceed the horrors of the Belgian Congo.”

      They either splutter or slink away at that point.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Linking Atheists with Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives is a “good” way to get into a nasty fight here or elsewhere.

        Not that I haven’t (when very annoyed) linked Atheism with Communism. [Wink]

        Nobody here is going argue against the evils of Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives but there are going to be arguments against the evils of Atheists.

        Let’s not get into an Atheists vs Religious People fight here. Sarah’s not feeling good and likely isn’t in the mood to watch a fight here.

        • Paul,

          All ideologies have had their bad days. Islam is in the middle of theirs and Atheists don’t like to admit they have had one.

          *Nonchalantly walking off whistling with my hands in my pockets.*

          • Stalin? That was a hellofabadday.

            • Yep, when Atheist make that claim that nothing’s ever bad happened in the name of Atheism or that all Religions should be abolished I just send them this link:


              And ask them, “Like this?”

              • P.S.


                Is it ok for me to address Mary and Emily’s points. It will be involved you know how I can get on a certain subject.


                • I’d prefer you don’t. Sorry, I’m nauseated already. Don’t make me stop this blog and come back there.

                  • ooh .. is that a Frozen Carp? Yikes!

                  • Yeah, she’s already swerving it all over the road! Must be driving with her — um — stick-shift. Again.

                  • Sarah,

                    No problem and no need to be sorry.

                    On to… Stupid antibiotics. They think they are all special because they are lifesavy and stuff.


                    • You know, I had a thought, considering how they are now finding out how important our gut bacteria are, I wonder if there’s a correlation between antibiotics and obesity and other diseases?

                      Because you all know what happens to your digestion when you’re on antibiotics, and damn never everybody has taken them at one point or another.

                    • Dr. Mauser,


                      Because you asked.

                      (Though you have to wait for part 2 for it to address the roll of gut flora.)


                    • Part 3 (The End! Or is it but the beginning of your journey down the rabbit hole of nutritional healthy living??????


                    • Sorry i can’t take any paleo diet stuff seriously…

                    • Draven,

                      May I ask why, or what lead you to come to this conclusion?

                    • why i don’t take ‘meticulously researched’ fad diet #1138 seriously?

                      We are not cavemen, we do not live the same way they did, we use our brains for totally different things than they do. Our activities are different. Why should we endeavor to eat the way they did?

                      Their diet is great… if you’re hunting and gathering. Have you chased down a stag with a spear tipped with chipped flint lately?

                    • We are not cavemen, we do not live the same way they did, we use our brains for totally different things than they do.

                      Don’t worry, cave men didn’t live that way, either. (There are some epic rants out there on this topic; I got mine face-to-face, so no link.)

                      The just-so story can be highly useful for motivating people to pay more attention to what they eat and make food special again, though.

                    • Foxfier,

                      It’s OK, I asked Draven why and he told me.

                      Draven asked, “Why should we endeavor to eat the way they did?”

                      I’m going to try to answer this a shortly as I can without going into genetics or bio-chem.
                      I’m going to do this by using an example of awhile back I linked to story of a vegetarian that almost kill her new little kitty. Or would you try to feed only meat protein to a cow. But I say we should eat like our ancestors and some how that’s crazy talk.

                      We have only been cooking (processing) our food for around 100,000 years. We only been eating a grain based diet for around 40,000 years = 400 centuries @ 5 generation per 100 yrs = 80 generations (much less if you are one of the last isolated native hunter gathering tribes.) that means 80 rolls of the genetic dice, which evolutionarily speaking is nothing. This is all vs the 1.2 million years we eat only a hunter gather = 2,400 generations.

                      Within the last 100 yrs we this processing of our foods has increased. Leading to the consumption of a godawful lot of stuff we just are not evolutionarily adapted to eat.

                      Draven, If you went to the Doctor and they said We need to put you on the Autoimmune Protocol would you balk, because it is virtually the same though even more highly restrictive than the standard Paleo Diet recommendations on what you can or can not eat.

                      The three articles are a publication of Matt Baran-Mickle appendix at in his review of the literature on autoimmune disease and a link to diet (What we eat.). as stated in this quote from part one, “During my undergraduate studies I had the opportunity to complete a literature review investigating the links between diet and autoimmune disease, including as an appendix an overview of the immune system and some of the most important findings in recent immunological research, intended for an audience without a background in immunology.”

                      The articles I linked are not even about Paleo, but what does the Scientific Literature have to say on the subject of is there a link between what we eat and autoimmune disease.

                    • I am aware, I was just making the shortest argument I felt like typing.

                    • Erm… something happens to your digestion when you’re on antibiotics? How come no one ever told me?

                      Just kidding (sort of – I had heard of it, just never experienced it) – until the past couple of years, nothing has ever interfered with my digestion except “stomach flu” (yes, it’s in quotes because some people say there is no such thing. If the symptoms primarily are focused in your stomach, then it’s “stomach flu” – 😛 ).

                    • “Stupid antibiotics. They think they are all special because they are lifesavy and stuff.”
                      Right? WHO do they think they are?

        • well atheists and Atheists!!!!11!1! are two different animals. I R an atheist.
          Evangelical Fundamentalist Atheists give me the hives.

        • Socialiss are not atheists; they simply worship the state and themselves instead.

    • Early Christianity was a product of its times, bloody, and to modern day eyes a good bit evil. But it went through that period known as the Reformation where focus was turned to a kinder, gentler New Testament attitude.

      On this particular subject, you need to learn some real history. The Reformation was not kinder or gentler in any way; it was marked by the bloodiest religious wars and the most bitter theological disputes in the history of Christendom. And one of the most salient characteristics of the Protestant Reformers was that they laid increased stress on the Old Testament, and vilified the Catholic Church for focusing chiefly on the New.

      Or more properly, that old testament part of Islam that condones, even celebrates, any evil done to the unbeliever, must be excised from modern day Islamic practice.

      ‘Old testament’ is not a term that has any application to Islam. The part of Islam that celebrates evil done to the unbeliever is simply Islam itself. It’s in the Koran, and a fixed and literalistic belief in the perfection of the Koran is the principal founding tenet of Islam. Many religions claim that ‘there is no God but God’, but only one religion adds that ‘Muhammad is his prophet’. As long as Muslims believe Muhammad was inspired by God, they will believe that it is right to do evil to the infidel. The moment they give up that belief, they will no longer be Muslims at all.

      • guy walks into a cave without food or water for days and walks out claiming to have seen and heard things only he sees and hears … yeah, that sounds like a reasonable case of hallucination due to dehydration.

        • And that’s if the Muhammad of tradition really existed, which several scholars have come to the conclusion is, ah, not quite true. But that’s a mess for a post elsewhere, since there are critters Sarah doesn’t need to deal with, since she’s fighting other, slightly smaller, critters.

          • I regard that kind of ‘scholarship’ with the darkest of suspicion. Somebody wrote the Koran, and somebody founded Islam, and there is abundant evidence for the existence of them both within a few decades after the accepted date of Muhammad’s death. Koranic verses have been found inscribed on coins dated as early as A.D. 697, and in inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock, which have been dated to 694. Moreover, the whole Muslim empire began to break up in civil and religious war early in the 8th century, so that if the scriptures had been invented or forged by one of the warring groups after that date, the other groups would surely have rejected them out of hand. The very weakest conclusion supported by the evidence is that the Koran in approximately its present form was compiled and edited in the early eighth century from earlier texts, and that the earlier texts, on cultural evidence, must have been already in existence by the time the Arabs invaded Persia and Byzantium in the later 630s.

            If Muhammad never existed, then who was it that united the Arab tribes between 622 and 632, and how did it come about that they were filled with zeal for a brand-new religion when they came boiling out of the peninsula in 636? A religion does not invent its own inventor, least of all in four years’ time. We are reduced to the same position that the skeptics are said to hold in the joke about Shakespeare. At most, the Koran was not written by Muhammad, but by another man of the same name.

            • Tom, it comes from then-contemporary non-Muslim sources, and uses textual evidence, coins, language analysis, and archaeology. Ping me at my e-mail and I’ll pull together a book list if you are interested.

              • TX — I don’t suppose you can find me a book or a list about army structure in the civil war. Just ranks, who reports to whom and who can decide stuff?

                  • And do you need Yanks, Rebs, or both?

                    • Yanks, probably. I want to use it for the army structure in the dragon books. The dragons got to be REALLY bad trouble just after the civil war, so I figured it would port?

                    • Yanks, then. I need to check exactly when the US Army got away from regiments formed and officered by the state governors, which is why most if not all the Civil War ones had names like 20th Maine.

                    • The US Army got away from that during the organization for World War I, and even then not completely–many of the divisions were based around National Guard formations, which resulted in incidents like the 42nd Division being called “Rainbow” because its regiments each came from a different area of the country.
                      Administrative organization for the Union Army during the ACW was as follows: General-in-chief at the top; then the Military Divisions of the Middle (West Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Northern Virginia); the Mississippi (the Appalachians to the Mississippi); and West Mississippi (western Gulf Coast, Mississippi River to the Rockies), as well as various independent Departments. There were also departments under the Military Divisions; the Military Division of Mississippi, for example, contained the Departments of the Cumberland (western Tennessee, northern Alabama and Mississippi), the Ohio (eastern Tennessee, Kentucky, and southern Illinois), and the Northern Department (the Great Lakes states).
                      The armies were divided between the departments, although many departments had, at most, a division’s worth of troops.
                      Within the armies, there was the usual corps–division–brigade–regiment division. Regiments tended to be brigaded with regiments from other states, although there were exceptions.
                      I could blather on, but I think that’s all you want.

              • I’ve seen ‘scholars’ use textual evidence, coins, language analysis, an archaeology to ‘prove’ that the period from roughly A.D. 620 to 920 never happened at all. All the people and events from those three centuries – people including Charlemagne and Charles Martel, Ali and Harun al-Rashid, Alfred the Great and Alcuin – were simply made up; or else they are fictitious doubles of real people and events from earlier or later eras.

                Any form of historical revisionism that starts out with ‘Major historical figure X never existed’ is overwhelmingly likely to be bollocks. You might as well file them all next to the Moon Hoax.

            • Yeah, I read a book on the topic and kept noticing a certain — credulity on it.

              For one thing, it parroted all the Victorian claptrap about Jesus never existing as if it were new. Also, it would do thing like point out that the root for Koran means “lectionary” as if it were conclusive evidence that the Koran was in fact a lectionary, a selection of readings from a sacred work, as if semantic drift did not exist.

    • Someone mentioned the ‘they did this and it was a bad idea’ theme through the old testement (‘ and each did what was right in his own eyes’ was a BAD thing. Akin to the modern ‘i can do anything I want and you can’t tell me otherwise!’) was God civilizing a tribal, barbarian culture. A lot of the old testement is context… enough so that 9 months in Iraq had me going ‘Oooooh! So THIS is why that law existed in the Old Testement!’ Things like ‘eye for an eye’ existed to reign in the blood fued mentality. The culture in large portions of the middle east does not seem to have substantially changed since the time if Isaac and Ishmael.

  9. Having spent a great deal of time in the ME I can tell you that some of those folks – unfortunately a rather large number – just need killin’. The real problem is going to be whether the weeds can be pulled before it becomes necessary to burn the field to keep them from spreading. The good news is several of the more enlightened leaders over there are starting to realize this.
    And I have a great many friends over there from embassy drivers and store clerks to one man who is probably one of the richest men in the world.

  10. +1

  11. Reblogged this on The Wandering Witchling and commented:
    Sarah, like me, is not impressed with the trivialization of things like PTSD. I can’t stand fakers. They make life hell for me. Fakers trivialize the PTSD *and* the events that caused it. *grits teeth*

  12. Good to hear that they’ve figured out some of what’s been ailing you. In regards to stress reactions, when I was in college I visited a college in Texas and spent one evening talking with a rape victim. One item that struck me – at the time it happened, she had to talk back down to earth all the gals she spent time with. They were all freaked out; she was already in the process of handling it, and was able to help others.

  13. Very much on topic I think.

    FWIW, my startle triggers mostly involve large animals or disturbances in the water nearby – think sharks or being caught inside of a big set.

  14. I had an incident I later realized caused the civilian form of PTSD. That term wasn’t in use at the time. I had to figure it out and fix it myself, and one of the things that helped was the book Deep Survival:Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. The human reaction to truly life-or-death situations (vs. “microagressions”) is amazing and weird — and reading those stories, some of the things that happened to me made sense. Or at least I no longer thought part of my brain was defective. By sharing their stories, which can’t have been easy, the survivors helped me.

  15. Comedian Blake Clark, a Nam combat vet himself, used to do a routine about PTSD; Guy’s a cook at Da Nang, what does he have PTSD about? Does he wake up in the middle of the night screaming “PANCAKES!”?

    • All I know is that most depictions of PTSD I’ve seen on screen are “off”…. and the more progressive the viewpoint, the worse it was.

      • Why, don’t you know that PTSD is the way progressives can simultaneously belittle the troops and feign supporting them?

        • I think it’s more a failure of imagination and (despite all their talk about it) “nuance” on their part.

          Though I agree they actually dislike soldiers, and would leap at the chance to use them as victims in a way that allows one to get rid of the job “soldier” and “war”

          Nope. Killing is bad. Period. So bad that they won’t stop a killer by killing him, but insist on trying at all costs to subdue him via “non-lethal” means even if not practical.

          So war is bad. Of COURSE it scars any person who’s not a sociopath. And of COURSE it scars them in ways as to completely break them rather than just make this or that aspect of life more difficult.

          • The left looks at the Military as a Welfare system with Uniforms and Guns, and if they could do something about the Guns part, they would.

            • Worse, they send people into the military with this mindset– the gal that turned 32 in bootcamp with me (cutoff age) was perfectly open about the fact that she was there so she could get a paycheck, and because they’d pay for her kid.

            • I think that is a pretty huge truth right there.

              Think about how many times you’ve heard a liberal argue that both welfare recipients and soldiers were getting paid taxpayer money – as if there was an equivalence.

              • 😦 I hear that from the right, sometimes, too– usually more the Ronulan-leaning folks who really don’t think gov’t has good uses.

              • Yes, and they routinely accuse the “red states” of being moochers because they count the money spent there for military installations as “welfare.”

                • They tend to count the cost of the federal gov’t being the biggest land-owner in the state against them, too.

                  In states like Washington, same stuff– plus roads!

  16. Hmm. I have led a remarkably sheltered life. But I still hope that I’ve learned enough that I could help myself and others when times get rough. And while I startle easily and get anxious too often, I’m not triggered by anything.

    • I must point out that there was indeed a large amount of “kill ’em all’ attitude toward Japan. Some just in rage. Some pointing to the declared Japanese willingness to fight to the last Japanese, and wondered whether extermination was the only course. (Remember, virtually every Japanese on Saipan died, including the civilians.)

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Born decades after the war, and having a significant interest in anime and manga, I can still muster a “kill ’em all” attitude.

        They were at war with us.

        We had broken Purple. We knew how honest their attempts to negotiate were. They’d started the war, had carried it out fanatically, and gave us little room to hope we could fight them merely to the point of collapsing their government.

        I hold that the world can be divided into the house at peace with the constitution, and the house at war with the constitution. Imperial Japan was actively waging war against the constitution, much like the Confederates, the Communists, certain Indian Tribes, and whatever taxonomy one defines within the Muslims. It isn’t too much to kill such.

        • I don’t think it is necessary to kill all or even a large percentage. I think even the most radical would reconsider if Mecca, magic stone and all went away in a blinding flash of light. The strong horse model. A lot of people would die, but it might avoid the genocide inherent in the 3 conjectures, or the wreckage of Western civilization by barbarians.

          • ah, but ISIS wants Mecca to go away and would like to make it glass themselves

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            “Kill ’em all” in the above was purely in reference to WWII era Japan.

            Despite being fairly distant in time and culture from WWII era America, and despite having a certain amount of sentiment for Japan, the Japanese, and various products of Japan.

            It is not clear to me either that we need to exterminate on a wide scale to settle the current matter.

            In none of the cases mentioned did we fully extinguish a category before the war ended or the matter became contemporary.

            I think we must keep the option in mind, and be willing to do it if it should prove necessary.

      • Yeah, and from the sound of it, a lot of the soldiers nearly had PTSD after watching them kill themselves.

  17. We’ve gone from “defining deviancy down” (as Sen. Moynihan warned) to defining trauma down. In our hyper-competition to be “more sensitive” than one another we’re making the Princess who slept on a pea look the model of toughness. There is a word for people who can’t suck it up, shake it off and get back in; it rhymes with wussy. Just so was there a word for any of our ancient ancestors who called a time-out if they developed a stitch in the side while running from a lion.

  18. Oddly, one of the very same people I know that is the most likely to excuse the oversensitivity of islam, race baiters, whatever, also is one who once forwarded a story about how a butterfly must struggle to break out of its chrysalis – if it does not do so, the wings fail to develop properly.

  19. OT – except for what you get from people raised in a bubble.

    Have relatives in the entertainment biz, so i was around to see part of the GG awards on TV. Best song – Selma won – called it without even seeing the movie, because, y’know. Civil rights.

    Started digging around. Most of the shows and movies I never even heard of – or barely.

    I’ll also note we have TWO “genius movies”. While I agree Turing is a worthy subject, they still needed to jam in at the end a “and thousands of gays were unfairly jailed” in a story about turing and his accomplishments.

    Hawking is also a worthy subject.

    But compared to genius and groundbreaking scientists of the last decade, you could easily have put up einstein and Feynman as well. Actually, as a character, Feymnman was FAR more relatable, and worked across many disciplines. Utterly devoted to his wife until her death, and would do papers at strip clubs.

    What do Turing and Hawking have in common? “Diversity”. Gay, and handicapped.

    The comedy category surprised me – not that a “diversity ” series won it, but because the nominees in general: 4 out of five were diversity:

    Orange is the New Black – Lesbians/bi girls in prison. Of course only the whit chick is at fault.
    Girls – Does anyone watch this who isn’t arrogantly full of how clever they are?
    Jane the Virgin – Latina artificially inseminated
    Transparent – Transexuals
    Silicon Valley – the only one on straight white guys (guess which one didn’t win)

    Oh, and interstellar was only on for “score” – and lost that one.

  20. History never recorded how Grandma Og died. I am horrified to learn it was a terror chicken.

    But was the terror chicken African or European?

  21. I have a couple of different friends who suffer from PTSD. What I have observed with them is that their mechanism for defusing stress is broken. Both of them build up stress and build up stress and build up stress until they essentially explode. A normal person can do things to defuse the stress and not just build it up without defusing it.

    So yes PTSD exists but I have my doubts about some of the special snow flakes claiming it.

    • The special snowflakes are experiencing something similar, because they grew up in world where everything was covered in bubble wrap to keep them from hurting themselves, likely were never denied anything, and thus they never developed the mechanism you describe.

    • PTSD can present symptoms in multiple ways. I’ve heard of cases where it is triggered by hard and sharp incidents, but I also have a friend who has a very specific and very hard to hit trigger – he didn’t even find out he had such a thing until he was in a tight press of bodies in an SCA wargame, where he basically melted down like a claustrophobic in a crowded elevator.

      • If you follow Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet series — the hero of it, after many, many, many battles, starts flashing back to his first one after a very specific incident is very like it.

  22. It can be quite hard to not molly coddle your kids. I know my instinct for mine us ‘if he cries I must give comfort’. He’s only 2 months old and his father and I see still working out when to cuddle and when to let him cry it out. Fortunately he and I have different reactions and thresholds so we balance each other out, for which I am grateful. I do not want him to be one of the bubble babies.

    • What has worked for us, so far:
      if they cry, first thing you do is check all the possible causes– wet, cold, hungry, bored. (In this process you’d also identify the very unlikely “hurt, but not doing pain screams.”)

      If you find a problem, fix it.

      If nothing needs to be fixed, and you have other things to do, leave.
      When they keep crying, and you check on them again– what? It’s not like “just don’t do it” is going to waste less time than giving in carefully– use a mirror so baby can’t see you.

      That said, we tried to make sure that if we were doing something where it was possible, the kids were in the same room. Just seeing mommy seemed to help a lot.

      • The first thing I’ve tried on crying babies is to smile. If the baby stops crying and smiles, they just needed some reassurance that all is well

      • Worked for me, too – check for diaper, make certain not hungry, too cold, too hot, no incipient gastric upset — all the usual reasons for baby discomfort. Eliminate all those? Likely boredom. Although there was that one night when the Daughter Unit screamed for 45 minutes straight in her crib. As it turned out, she wanted to be with me. Curled up under the covers in my bed with me. Other parental mileage may vary.

  23. If there is a need for trauma, this kid is being provided it….

    • At that age, the child is so busy being flabbergasted by all the world that such a bed wouldn’t even register. I have seen children rather older than that spending long minutes staring at a puppet, trying to assimilate it.

      • If it were my children, I would have said, “We’re gonna need a bigger bed.” (Oldest was over 10 1/2 lbs at birth)

      • Heheh… The Baron got a toy truck from his doting aunt.

        If you roll it, it starts going around on its own and talking.

        He’s almost two, and still runs and hides behind an adult any time it gets activated, looking at the adults with an expression like: “IT’S POSSESSED!!! Why are all you lunatics standing there, STOP THE DEMON TOY!!!”