A Good Servant But… – Jeb Kennison

Marxist-Feminist Poster

A Good Servant But… – Jeb Kennison

[This post was originally published at JebKinnison.com in 2014]

I’m writing about the history of government thought control and the means of
restraining it by constitutional limitations on its powers. Western
governments are more and more intrusive on private decisions, and modern
activists and feminists strongly influence government policy and propaganda
from their positions in academia, government, and nonprofits. Restricting
government’s powers to interfere in private decisions and control the media
message would give private personal decisions more room, and everyone
(except the nomenklatura) would benefit.

Feminism started out with a quest for equity in job opportunities, voting,
and freedom to choose. This initial agenda (“equity feminism”) won a lot of
support from fair-minded men and women, though even then there was a strong element of
special pleading in the movement.

By choosing to notice only the bad things that happen to women in
our own time as well as other cultures and times, modern feminists have
failed to work for truly equal treatment of men and women. Instead of seeing
individuals and their rights as important, modern feminists and other Social
Justice Warriors believe that only a relentless focus on oppression of some
categories of individuals by others is the key to righteousness, and their
collectivist view of group rights leaves little space for sympathy for
anyone who cannot claim membership in an oppressed class. They believe as a
religious cult would believe that if only they explain their beliefs hard
enough to the unenlightened, the scales will fall from their eyes and
goodness will triumph. No amount of victory in achieving their goals would
ever be enough for them to end their battles, since new groups of the wicked
can always be identified to battle against; the battle itself nourishes
their egos and so it must continue. If all their enemies have been
vanquished, villainy is defined down to catch a new
class of micro-villains whose microagressions and incorrect thoughts must be
corrected.

Note that it is no longer enough that “victim” classes be treated equally by
government and in employment and public accommodations — theirs is now a
push for equal outcomes to overcome private rights of association and
contract, so women (or men!) who desire to work less or take out more time
for family would not be allowed to bargain for those conditions of
employment by asking for less pay for less work. Implicitly all employees
with the same job title and duties must be paid the same regardless of their individual
contributions or their own desires
for a lesser degree of commitment to
the business.

Equal opportunity does not imply there should be equal outcomes, because
diversity of interests and abilities between individuals and the sexes means
there will be unequal interest in career options that require 60 hours a
week of work, intense focus on mechanical problems, manual labor, or
hazardous conditions. Similarly, you will not get or expect equal interest
in the highly social, helping professions that, on average, women appear to
prefer. Efforts to force equal employment in every company by race, sex,
age, or other class are simply doomed — any company which balanced its
workforce to match these desiderata would find themselves forced to hire
less productive employees, crippling them against their competition not so
constrained. Jesse Jackson has called for Federal
pressure on high tech firms to require equal employment outcomes in tech
jobs. When you talk to a Social Justice Warrior about this, you get an
answer remarkably similar to what socialists said in the 1970s when you
asked how any country could level outcomes (“to each according to his need”)
without the productive escaping to another country to achieve what they
could without the shackles: “Well, that’s why they had to build the Berlin
Wall.” To stop the defection of those who want to be free to follow their
own preferences, this preferred system must be extended everywhere or
somehow escape must be controlled and punished by, say, walls, machine guns,
and Gulags.

So what we have is a small but highly influential ideological group,
educated, generally well-off, and embedded in academia, media, government,
and non-profit work throughout the United States. They continually agitate
for larger and more intrusive government which would employ more of their
kind, the better to regulate away all imperfect thought and behavior.
Business and profit-making enterprise is viewed as suspect because it is
partly beyond their political control, so efforts to take control of
decisions inside businesses continue, and the expanding HR departments,
lobbyist payments, and political contributions of businesses reflect the
need to pay for protection against this bureaucratic tendency. Similarly,
hospitals and schools have responded to the increasing regulation and
government funding of their activities by hiring many
more high-paid administrators
while shorting the low-level staff that
actually do the work, because they must do so to get along in an
increasingly bureaucratized, legalized, and centrally-controlled
environment. This employment of large numbers of high-paid staff that don’t
directly produce anything of value for customers has greatly increased the
cost of domestic services like healthcare and education, and the drag on
Western economies has brought economic growth to a halt in many places.

We have seen such bureaucracies before — the churches which for centuries
held both political and moral authority over weak governments in Europe
attempted to regulate thought and action to increase their own power.
Wrangling over state religion and power led to incessant warfare. The
solution to the problem of state interference in private thought and belief
was finally found in the Enlightenment idea of separation of church and state. As Thomas Jefferson
wrote in his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely
between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith
or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only,
& not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the
whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no
law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and
State.

The early history of the colonies which later became the United States is
instructive. Many of the colonies had an established church (the
Massachusetts Bay colony notoriously drove out religious dissidents and hanged the
Quaker Mary Dyer on Boston Common in 1660
) and wished to maintain their
government support for a specific religion even as the Enlightenment took hold, but it became clear that any
government uniting the colonies would have to take a neutral stance toward
religion, and enforce a set of human rights (constraints on government
action to control individual thought and choice) to allow them all to
co-exist peacefully. The great flaw of this compact, its political tolerance
of slavery and second-class citizenship for slaves, was only corrected by
the upheaval of the Civil War, which cemented the primacy of the federal
government and its enforcement of the ideal of individual rights within the
states.

Albion’s Seed: Four
British Folkways in America
by David Hackett
Fischer is an eye-opening look at the four founding British cultures of
colonial America, and how each of them continues to influence present-day
political preferences and power struggles. Other immigrant cultures (German,
Irish, Scandinavian…) were also influential, but tended to join with one
of the four founding cultures that closely represented their views,
resulting in the welter of memes of political belief now contending for
influence.

In New England, the Puritans from East Anglia settled between 1629 and 1640,
the years immediately preceding the English Civil War in which Oliver
Cromwell and the Puritan army defeated and beheaded King Charles I. Their
colony started with a rigid established church which was intolerant of free
thought.

In Virginia, settlers consisted of vanquished supporters of King Charles and
the established (Anglican) Church of England, primarily from the south and
west of England. They tended to be more relaxed about religion and more
business and trade-oriented.

Quakers then arrived in the Delaware Valley (Philadelphia area) from the
English midlands (and their religious kin from various German sects) between
1675 and 1715. Their way was strongly religious and pacifist, but recognized
the importance of freedom of conscience.

The good coastal lands having been occupied, the Scotch-Irish (referring
collectively to immigrants from the north of England, lowland Scotland, and
Ulster) settled the Appalachian hill country from 1717 to 1775. Scrappy and
suspicious of any effort to tax and control by hated distant governments,
their attitude of automatic resistance is still visible in today’s politics,
with Sarah Palin an example of the type.

Only a government which respected and mediated the difference between these
founding cultures could work for a larger United States.

As time has gone on, these Enlightenment understandings have been eroded,
and “Americanism” (the practice of tolerance and “minding your own
business,” belief in progress, self-sufficiency, and freedom of thought for
all citizens regardless of sex, race, wealth, or heritage) is less
practiced. Our Social Justice Warriors say they value freedom of speech and
thought but only for approved speech and thought; heretical ideas are to be
stamped out by denying speech and punishing the heretics. It is no longer
surprising to hear a college activist suggest that certain kinds of speech be forbidden by law.

There are signs that popular culture has taken note of the tendency toward
totalitarianism and government propaganda from the Social Justice Warriors.
Dystopian YA novels like The Hunger Games show a
population repressed and manipulated by a media-controlling central
government. The movie version of the novel The Giver takes some
shots at this mindset; a thoughtful review of the movie version in The
Atlantic
“What Is the Price of Perfect
Equality?”
gets at its politics:

Engels saw the institutions of family and private property as
deeply entwined. Part of Engels¹ objection to the institution of the family
was that it involved a ³progressive narrowing of the circle, originally
embracing the whole tribe, within which the two sexes have a common conjugal
relation.² Marxism¹s benevolent tendencies are swallowed up by concern and
preference for one¹s immediate family, which becomes the unit of basic
inequality…. Commerce and trade, it turns out, are just as dependent on
the passions as the passions are dependent on commerce and trade in The
Giver.
The true nightmare of a dystopian world is that all of these
things are interconnected, and that by losing one or the other, by
engineering it away socially or medically, nightmarish unintended
consequences will ensue.

The solution to this contention over social preferences and culture is
analogous to the separation of church and state. To accommodate all
religious and social beliefs in a framework of law and justice that respects
all such beliefs that can be consistent with universal human rights, a
government has to be prohibited from interfering when those beliefs are
practiced without harming an individual’s rights. We might call this
generalized idea “Separation of Culture and Government.”

While the modern feminists would wish to eliminate such current cultural
communities as Mormonism, ultra-orthodox Judaism, socially conservative
evangelical Christians, conservative Catholicism, and unreformed Islam from
the scene, a bargain must be struck to prevent further strife: the law will
not take a position on any social belief — it will not take sides for or
against social conservatives or Social Justice Warriors. Any individual is
free to practice their beliefs with other like-minded individuals in
voluntary association. Attempts to bring the force of the law to bear on
changing social mores and behaviors that are not in violation of individual
rights would be prevented. The law of marriage would revert to the law of
contract, with social conservatives free to enter into perpetual marriage
contracts with features like dowry, alimony, and discriminatory child
custody and support arrangements, while others would be free to bind
themselves to marriages which maintain individual property and call for
equal arrangements for child custody, with no alimony implied unless
provided for by contract. No group could punish an individual member for
behavior contrary to its beliefs except by private action: social sanctions,
excommunication, and shunning. Lobbying the central government to adopt your
preferred social arrangements by law would, ideally, occupy far less time
and attention in national politics as such efforts were struck down by the
courts.

Currently modern feminists have won considerable power to use government
support and propaganda to free women of some of the obligations of the
patriarchal culture they wanted to replace. Not only to correct injustices
in law and employment, but to increase government spending and regulation to
provide support that women formerly might have had to negotiate and serve a
partner or employer to obtain. Both ever-expanding social welfare states and
the failed Communist states reduced individual accountability and replaced
allegiance to family and employer with allegiance to the state’s goals, and
that is the model modern feminists prefer and are now working toward in the
US.

Under such a controlling regime there is far less reward for striving. Hard
work is replaced by contentious committee meetings and political struggles
for pieces of a shrinking pie. The increasing numbers of academics,
government workers, and nonprofit workers operate detached from practical
considerations of serving customers. It becomes easier to slack off, and so
more people slack off. The endpoint occurs when the productive have fled or
chosen more leisure over work, and the economy collapses after years of
stagnation. In the family sphere, we already see the endpoint in entire
communities where single mothers struggle to raise children without benefit
of a father to help and guide, young men are either in prison or involved in
gangs, and intact families with bourgeois values are forced to move away.
Women are taught that they are victims of oppressive males, and the enlarged
State will take their side in any disputes and support them directly if they
have children. What had been a safety net for people in tragic circumstances
became a way of life for millions.

Men and women who don’t want to take the role offered them in the culture
they grew up in have the choice of not doing so, or bucking their culture to
find a partner who more closely reflects their chosen values — this is
America, where you can be who you want to be! But under a government that
micromanages social arrangements and decides family custody and support
decisions based on “victim feminism,” men are never safe from rape
accusations, your children can be taken away from you easily, and the
population of women one might productively partner with has been programmed
to see themselves as victims entitled to use government to win any disputes
that might come up. If you are hardworking and successful on your own, you
are taxed heavily to support other men’s children and fund the politically
correct bureaucrats who harass your business. This thumb on the scale of
justice makes marriage a negative-sum game for many men (especially the poor
and disadvantaged), and the elevation of bureaucrats and academics above
workers in the private sphere damages men’s career prospects, unless of
course they adopt the conformist ideology.

The limited government crowd doesn’t want no government. It is generally
recognized that externalities and free-rider problems can only be handled by
a government; defense, civil justice and policing, pollution regulations,
and public health regulation (quarantines, vaccination requirements, etc.)
are areas that can only be handled by a monopoly state. But political
decision making is a blunt and inefficient mechanism, and those matters
which can be handled by private business and voluntary social organizations
should be, both for efficiency and freedom of choice. The libertarian and
smaller government crowd wants a government that concentrates on effectively
and efficiently handling matters only it can handle well. The expansion of
the government sphere at the expense of the private sphere is analogous to
Microsoft’s destruction of most competitive software applications companies
in the 1980s: using its near-monopoly in operating systems and the enormous
profits to enter the applications market, marketing its mediocre
applications and funding them when any normal company would have given up.
Eventually competitors were worn out and stopped funding new development;
Office products took over, ending most of the progress in the field for a
decade. Using the power to tax and the lack of any mechanism to disband
failed government programs, mediocre government-funded services (like
monopoly elementary and secondary education) crowded out the
privately-funded community schools, and after a century of increasingly
centralized control, local parental control of schools and their curricula
has almost vanished. Education is now heavily influenced by modern
feminists, and children are indoctrinated in feminist and anti-masculine
ideas.

It took generations for feminists and Progressives to capture the commanding
heights of government, media, education, and non-profit foundations. From
their perches they have directed a campaign to change the culture and
enlarge the State, and they have won. Federal government authority has
expanded to directing university handling of rape allegations and defunding
men’s sports teams under Title IX. Meanwhile, antiquated family law (as in,
for example, Massachusetts) remains
unreformed, designed for an era where the woman was assumed to be a fragile
flower needing protection, and forever a ward of her husband even after
no-fault divorce.

Some of these problems of feminist excess are now getting more mainstream
attention, but the best solution is the libertarian one of limited
government. Both major US parties are flirting with libertarian ideas like
an end to the War on Drugs and government surveillance excesses, but the
bureaucratic underbrush that limits freedom the most has been a part of our
lives for a long time, and few see how damaging it is becoming.
State-by-state reform of divorce and alimony laws is happening, but slowly.

Few candidates for office believe voters will support a pledge to do less.
Efforts to reduce bureaucratic and centralized control of people’s lives
have been politically difficult, until perhaps now when the incompetence and
waste of large government projects has become more obvious. While there is a
temptation for men to join feminists in playing the victim card (“Men are
victims, too! Help us!”), men don’t need special programs to regain
fairness; they need a government that stops interfering and lets organic
social relations between men and women resume a more natural course.

The Substrate Wars series (Red Queen and Nemo’s World) is a
fictionalized account of a revolution that tries to put this kind of limited
government in place for an expanding humanity.

Who’s Jeb Kinnison?

Grew up in Kansas City. I read everything I could in the school and town
library, and discovered science fiction in second grade, starting with Tom
Swift books and quickly moving to Heinlein juveniles and adult science
fiction.

When I was twelve, I discovered the collection of city telephone books in my
local library. I pretended I was doing a paper and called Isaac Asimov; we
spoke for a long time, and he sent me a postcard encouraging me to write. So
thank you, Isaac, wherever you are, for being so kind and generous with your
time. Robert Silverberg had no time for that kind of nonsenseŠ.

I studied computer and cognitive science at MIT, and wrote programs modeling
the behavior of simulated stock traders and the population dynamics of
economic agents. Later I did supercomputer work at a think tank that
developed parts of the early Internet (where the engineer who decided on ‘@
Πas the separator for email addresses worked down the hall.) Since then I
have had several careers‹real estate development, financial advising, and
counselling.

I retired from financial advising a few years ago and have done some work in
energy conservation (ask me about two-stage evaporative coolers!) and
relationship issues. My books on attachment theory have done well enough to
try fiction again, and the Substrate Wars series is the result.

I recently visited the Mormon genealogical web site, which shows me as a
descendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Edward I Plantagenet (King of England!),
William the Conqueror (who you might remember from such historical events as
the Norman Conquest of 1066), and Rollo the Viking. It appears that my
ancestors in between lost track of their money, lands, and power, so I was
brought up in ³reduced circumstances.²

Visit my web site at JebKinnison.com for more: rail guns, Nazi scientists,
the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the 1980s AI bubble, and current
research in relationships, attachment types, diet, and health.

70 responses to “A Good Servant But… – Jeb Kennison

  1. Would it be possible to correct all the dead links in your article? I’m one of those weird people who actually go to links and read them. 🙂

  2. The really great part of the post is that Nemo’s World is out 🙂
    I have noticed that the scolding to “man up” by which the SJWs blame their inability to marry on young men has fallen off in recent times. Dr. Helen and others did logically point out that a cost/benefit/risk analysis of modern marriage shows it is a fools choice for men. Perhaps the college rape epidemic is taking the SJWs oxygen? They started out well there, the ‘accused’ is always the ‘victim’, he said/she said is whatever she says is 51%, he says 49%. We don’t need no stinkin’ due process.
    Ultimately, we all become ‘victims’ and then, like every other socialist nostrum, we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. What happens when we run out of China’s money?

    • Donald: And I didn’t pay you to say that! Working on Nemo’s World has taken up all my time for two months. I tried to send you a message so I could get an advance copy to you, but you don’t respond on Facebook… which is a wise choice, I guess.

      As for the ‘victim Olympics,’ it all goes back to political control of basic education. Diverify education and you’ll see a big improvement in attitudes. Keep knocking down achievers and elevating victim status, and we’ll be a backwater in another generation.

  3. Speaking as a divorced man paying child support, Jeb is right. The courts are all on the woman’s side. All of them. It’s really crazy and if anything, I don’t think he takes things far enough. Then again, if you’ve never been a man in a court room and had a judge tell you that it’s your fault you don’t see your kids enough because you’re working two jobs and the reason that you’re working two jobs is because the court is taking so much of your money…

    *SIGH*

    Yeah.

    Anyway…

    The screams of “institutionalized sexism” make me want to vomit. I saw something posted on Facebook the other day about how women cannot be sexist because they don’t have “political, economic or cultural power.” Can we examine that statement for a minute?

    Political power: Title IX anyone? The ability (as Jeb mentioned above) to close down men’s sports programs because there are too many men playing sports is POWER. The ability to have men expelled from STATE RUN institutions without due process is POWER. Etc. I’ll leave the fact that a woman has the legal authority to either abort a man’s child or offer it for adoption without his permission alone. That’s another rant for another day.

    Economic power: Government institutions are now required to buy from a certain percentage of businesses owned and operated by women. Yes, I know about the fraudulent techniques commonly used, but at the end of the day, when a woman is making money based on the possession of a vagina, she has the economic power. When a woman can walk into a courtroom and demand a man’s money based on gender, or a man is considered to be the “primary breadwinner” for his children in a divorce because gender when his now ex-wife makes four times what he does, that’s economic power.

    Cultural power: Um, hello? Gamergate anyone? Rape culture anyone? Male shaming anyone? Think about it: Wiscon is the feminist con. Can you name a masculinist con? When was the last time you heard the phrase “deadbeat mom?” Yeah, the women have the cultural power at this point too.

    • If the man in a divorce has a sex-change operation does the Judge stop requiring alimony?
      It is especially nice since now, you can ‘declare’ yourself to be a woman without having the operation. I read some article about some politically correct gym chastising a woman for complaining about a man in the ladies dressing room because, even though he was a man, he ‘identified’ as being a woman.

      • And revoking her membership when she talked to the other women about it.

          • That incident is especially useful in untangling people’s ideas about identity. I personally do not base my identity on my sex — strange notion, I’m about solving problems and understanding things, more like Sarah than not.

            I’ve known several trans sorts (one a high-level NASA scientist) and I’m sympathetic. I don’t care myself, but they do, and this puts them in a difficult position — wanting to play a different role but attacked and treated badly if they do. It’s wrong to intentionally make people uncomfortable by appearing in a space you’re not welcome in, but it’s also wrong to attack people who just want to be left alone. Not knowing the individuals involved, I can’t judge this case, but it sounds like the complaining woman was like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, pointing and trying to get an outrage mob going, which is just rude. Lockerroms are for changing clothes and studiously ignoring everyone else’s equipment. It would be different if there was any evidence the trans person was staring or otherwise doing something to make the woman uncomfortable, but I’m not going to second-guess gym management when they are more familiar with the behavior of the parties involved.

            • I noticed in the article that the ‘locker room’ has total privacy for showers and dressing and other bodily functions, so exposure of private parts seems unlikely. I have experienced ladies using the gents room a couple of times. I was more the don’t ask don’t tell sort, and everything worked out fine in the end.

            • There’s a little bit of information about the individual in question. I don’t remember the details, but iirc there are valid reasons to suspect that this person wasn’t someone who should be in the women’s locker room.

      • If the man in a divorce has a sex-change operation does the Judge stop requiring alimony?

        Interesting question. I doubt it, but in today’s world you never know. I’m not aware of anyone having tried either. Sounds like a story possibility though.

        • I suspect, based on some stories I’ve heard about homosexual divorces, the court would rule that since the individual was male when the alimony was incurred, for purposes of the court, he is still male and still has to pay. Although the CA courts might disagree. *shrug* I suspect there’s been a family law review article about it somewhere.

        • Courts rarely change anything, because they are (in most states) supposedly unbiased already, and just try to get them to admit a mistake — there are people in prison despite exonerating evidence because of this unwillingness to admit error. I recall one MA case where the ex-husband was penniless and still required to pay despite the ex-wife living with a new man and bringing in a good salary.

          • That happens a lot. Many couples in this situation will live together and NOT get married simply because the woman would lose her alimony if she married a new man.

    • “Can you name a masculinist con?”

      Libertycon?

      • Not really. Libertycon is certainly a male-friendly con but it does not specifically works to promote the cause of men.

      • Oh hell no!
        Equalitarian, libertarian, welcoming of all with the possible exception of buttheads, but masculinist? Nope.
        As I recall Uncle Timmy turned control over to his daughter a couple of years ago, Toni W. is a significant presence, and Sarah does her thing as well.
        Of course the SJW would say otherwise. Liberty is sadly lacking in social justice for not shunning Timmy, and allowing people like Weber, Ringo, Williamson, Kratman, Drake, and all those other Baen troublemakers to attend and even sit on panels and spew their misogynistic message. Which is why I always feel like I’m coming home when I arrive.

    • My husband occasionally reminds me of the “principle of least interest,” which is that whoever cares less in a relationship has more power. If you look around at who is trying to get into which groups, it’s clear that women are constantly trying to get into the boys’ clubhouses (popular sports, video games, clergy, etc.) while men typically don’t try to go into women’s spaces (with bathrooms being a notable and still controversial exception). Nothing seems to irk some women more than a “no girls allowed” sign.
      Going the other direction, men typically don’t want to get into our romance-reading book clubs, scrapbooking meetups, ballet rehearsals, etc. If they show up, we’re pleased and sometimes a little suspicious (especially if the event is a breastfeeding nurse-in). We women, rather than hang up “no guys allowed” signs, invite all to come–especially eligible men if we happen to be single.
      Since women are on the whole more interested than men in not being excluded, women will always feel like they have less power in the world. I don’t know of any way for that ever to change.

      • ‘Chick-Flick’ movies: that is one of the scariest. Romance novels are a close second.
        Of course, I have always believed that a man’s place is in the waiting room when the baby is delivered.

      • Heh. That reminds me of our general conference family traditions. All the boys too young to attend the 12 and up Priesthood session were considered honorary girls and taken out with us to dinner or a movie.

    • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you got screwed, everybody in your unchangeable group did.

      The bad actors tend to get the upper hand; those who try to do the right thing tend to get screwed.

      Example: my ex brother in law just tried to take full custody of the son he has with my sister, even though he has violated court orders left right and center (simple ones, like “you cannot claim him on your taxes this year, you did it last year,” and “you have to pay your wife back for the money you took,” or “do not park outside of your wife’s rental unit for hours, follow her to work, and be waiting when she gets out of work at midnight”).
      His paperwork was nonexistant, and he chose not to have a lawyer. So the judge moved the hearing back to give him time to prepare…for the court action that he’d initiated.
      This isn’t the first time, either; he has a habit of not showing up to court, and of scheduling them for weeks that his ex-wife has the boy.
      Even though the kid has been sunburnt so badly that the school called in CPS to investigate, he sends threatening text messages to his ex, he’s a serial drunk driver and the boy is showing behavior issues, he sure isn’t being discriminated against.

  4. “I recently visited the Mormon genealogical web site, which shows me as a
    descendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Edward I Plantagenet (King of England!), William the Conqueror (who you might remember from such historical events as the Norman Conquest of 1066), and Rollo the Viking.

    COUSIN!

    • Distant cousin! I shall feud with you! (I’m Scotch-Irish myself.) 🙂

      I recently found a close cousin via 23andMe genetic testing. My uncle had lived in LA and had four kids with two different wives, Hollywood types. Then he killed himself. (implication of causation not intended.) The first wife wouldn’t tell her children anything about That Man, so they had no idea who their relatives on their dad’s side were.

      One of the sons (my first cousin) had a daughter who got him the test. In this new world of genetic knowledge, we’ll actually know who begat who. And to connect all this back, the line through King John is apparently not all accurate and in accordance with church records — some of the children were by (gasp!) men other than the listed fathers. So we’re almost certainly cousins somehow, but maybe not through King Richard….

      • I’m fine with feuding, since I have a lot of Scotch-Irish as well. I’m a mutt, for the most part. Just a European one. 😀

        Most of my genealogy was done by my grandmother who devoted much of her life to the subject. She found all kinds of awesome stuff on that front. 😀

        • My dad was like your grandmother. He has records back to the boat from Scotland. With an unbroken male line, he was able to show his Y chromosome was inherited from the original Campbell. An unbroken maternal line can use mitochondria DNA. Hopefully, we can soon trace based on the whole set for the predecessors.
          With so much more genetic related health issues (as we no longer die at 30 from living in the good old days), it is kind of cruel for a parent to withhold important genetic info.

          • Most of the genetic information can be more effectively considered if it’s actually checked, rather than going by “it’s possible” things like ancestry.

            I’m actually getting this from two directions, right now– we recently got word that, no, as a matter of fact my family is not prone to reoccurring breast cancer. We “knew” that we were, because some ancestress up my mom’s line (I’m iffy on who) had a sister who had breast cancer early, survived for a while, then had it again and died. (Back when living for a while at all was impressive.) My mom was sure that she would die for exactly that reason– thank God she’s a stubborn, pig-headed, contrary type of person that doesn’t trust doctors all that much, or she’d have “sured” herself into the grave.
            Well, my aunt was recently diagnosed, and we were all terrified– unlike her sister, she does trust doctors.
            They actually did the genetic test, because it’s standard now… and she doesn’t have it, which makes it almost impossible that her sister or my sister and I do, and impossible that her daughter or grand-daughter does. Basically we went from planning her funeral to her chatting with the reconstruction folks about rebuilding the ‘girls’ a bit smaller, so they’re not as awkward.

            I just finished a gestational diabetes test, which we “knew” I’m prone to because… my grandmother had diabetes (in conjunction with a ton of other health issues) and my aunt “must have” had it with both of her pregnancies. (because of the size of the kids; they didn’t actually test her blood)
            Not only did the test indicate that I don’t have gestational diabetes, it indicated that I should not under any circumstances skip meals or try to live like a humming bird, because my blood sugar was just barely above baseline normal when we started, and even after the sugar water drink it didn’t shoot up as far as it should have. (at one hour I was something like six over the normal for two hours, and at the end of the test I was more than thirty below “normal;” yay verily, it sucked!)

            I am looking forward to further customization instead of approximation– because based on how explosive my reaction to a B-complex supplement was, and that the results were somewhat echoed by my mom, I suspect that the “diabetic tendencies” of my family might actually be a tendency to being inefficient with that complex of vitamins. But I only figure that based off of guess work from a very small sample group with a good chance of the same genetic tendencies.

            • The government is insisting that any stem-cell treatment based on your own stem cells has to be treated as experimental. EVERY TIME. Because it’s always different stem cells.

              I think they are trying to choke off individualized medicine.

              • I think it’s more to try to force folks to use fetal stem cells– less effective, more nasty side-effects, but patent-able and helps justify/normalize another interest of some folks with deep pockets– but the secondary effect of removing individualized treatment probably doesn’t hurt, based on the theory that whatever seemingly random thing they accuse others of is likely a thing they’re doing.

            • Note: They actually advise you to not skip meals under any circumstances when you have gestational diabetes. It’s actually timed and you’re supposed to be eating every three hours when you’re awake, because they want your blood sugar to stay nice and consistent. (Meal, snack, meal, snack, meal, snack, bed.) That was actually annoying, since that late-night snack meant I had to get up no fewer than nine hours later, and I wanted more sleep.

              What they do regulate is your carbs. You have to have the carbs, because they help grow the baby, but you can’t have more than 30 per meal and 15 per snack. Which is a PITA, because carbs are EVERYWHERE. They’re in vegetables, even.

              But salmon is encouraged, so it’s not all bad.

              • Unless you get idiot doctors like I did, who minimize the minimize of the minimize of an initial minimized guideline…. I was told not to have tuna more than once a month.

                • There are definite benefits to having medical insurance through an integrated group like Kaiser. Nobody tries to be a specialist outside their discipline—when you need nutritional advice, they send you to a nutritionist, no obnoxious paperwork (or lack of coverage) required.

                  • The advice is based on the worries about mercury. The original problem was identified in women eating long-lived predator fish pretty much every day of the week, it just mutated into pregnancy pamphlets (and doctors, and obnoxious “helpful” people of the sort that get upset about women eating at a place that serves alcohol) reducing and reducing, and simplifying, until I was worried sick about having eaten skip-jack tuna every Friday for a few months before I knew I was pregnant. (they live, according to Alton Brown, about three years; low risk and good source of Good Stuff for the kid)

              • I wasn’t in the habit of skipping meals in the first place, since that triggers nausea for me and I don’t like worshiping at the porcelain throne. ‘S why I was so pissed that I had to do the three hour test at all….

                • oh, yeah. It triggers nausea for me too.

                • Any time they don’t require fasting ahead of time (which the three-hour test does require, I hated it), I “cheat” by having a large dose of protein right before the test. It makes that glucose drink sit much better.

        • The Other Sean

          So is that “Euro-mutt” or “you’re a mutt”?

  5. Argh! The wonky formatting is my fault — I dumped HTML into email and it got mangled. I’ll send Sarah a corrected version, if she is in shape to put it in! All links work at this version: http://jebkinnison.com/2015/03/12/culture-wars-co-existence-through-limited-government/

  6. Post WWII “Feminism” got off to a bad start with Betty “not really a housewife” Friedan and THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE. While it has achieved some worthwhile goals it has always lender to skew Fashionable Progressive/Radical Left, and when it does so it rapidly becomes deranged. It is now firmly in the “Do as we tell you, peasants!” camp of the Progressive Left and like the rest of that spectrum badly needs to be overrun with fire and the sword.

  7. *sad* As ever, the issue with the idea of protecting rights is who gets to define what a right is, and how much give there is. There cannot be an absolute prohibition on violating the individual rights of others, because that just protects those who will violate them– when a guy decides that he has a right to my property, especially if he shows intent to claim it by harming me, then his individual rights lose their protection– to the point, heaven forbid, of my having to kill him to stop him, or his freedom being removed should he succeed and be caught.

    The philosophy is alright in and of itself, but it’s also dangerous– the formation implies that there isn’t a culture to the government of a nation, and that is false. Worse, given human nature, that means that it’s even more prone to abuse. (Notice the attacks on cultures that you mention are generally in the name of preventing the “establishment” of religion.)

    Safer would be to go to a more Natural Law inspired public philosophy– ie, ‘life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”– with strict limits on how far the gov’t could go.

    It’s a lot harder to make mischief when you’re given a specific job (HARDER, not impossible!) than when you’re given guidelines, like the implied “protecting rights” one. Far too many people want lots of rights, with no responsibilities.
    A delightful example from a book I recently read, a young woman is complaining about folks disliking her boyfriend. Her mother points out that he invited himself at a very busy time and was incredibly lacking in tact when he pointed out something another said he didn’t care for; the girl defended it by saying that the guy was old, and just didn’t understand that young folks speak their mind directly. The daughter then complained about the horrible things her brother had said about the boyfriend; the mother dryly pointed out that she understood that the younger generation spoke their minds directly, and shouldn’t be considered rude for it.

    • The girl in your example is trying to invoke the right to have it her way. 🙂 Which of course is not a right. Americanism is an individualist idea – that we all share a commitment to honoring and respecting the strivings of others. The “mind your own business” party would be elected in a landslide, but the people who go into politics tend toward the “we will give you stuff” party. The kind of confusion this girl suffers from is now endemic — get me my subsidies, my rent-controlled apartment, my free healthcare, so I can pursue my dream of being an artist/activist. Someone else should pay, because it’s my right!

      There are things only governments can do — defense, justice, etc. When you have a government intruding into nearly everything, you sap the spirit of independence necessary to innovate and create. Drive long-term rates to zero and make most big efforts subject to political veto, and you get stagnation like we have now. No wonder young men are opting out.

      • The girl in your example is trying to invoke the right to have it her way. 🙂 Which of course is not a right.

        We know that– now persuade a minimum of half, probably more like three quarters, of those who care enough to be active in politics.

        Incidentally, the example is from a Dorthy L. Sawyers novel that was released nearly 100 years ago. I suspect it’s a “human” issue, not a “philosophy” issue– which means that, like many other really awesome philosophies, “gov’t should be absolutely neutral” won’t work with humans.

        • Clouds of Witness to be precise.

        • No one expects government made of humans to be perfect. But we have a regime now that allows government schools to expel children for eating a sandwich into a gun shape or having possession of a leaf which some functionary thinks looks like marijuana, or threatens ot take children of parents who reasonably allow them some responsibility to walk home by themselves.

          These periods of dysfunction are usually ended by a wave movement. I’m just hoping it’s liberty-oriented and not fascist.

          • It’s not a regime that allows the thing; the problem is that nobody gave a @#$ until the schools were left with no option to exercise sense, because if they did they’d be defenseless in the face of the parent(s) who just want them to be zero-fuss free daycare.

            And now that people are actually doing something, no matter how mild, they get grabbed on to by the same SOBs who got us this far as another path to what they want.

            Who was it, the National Review guy that noticed that any organization that wasn’t explicitly for a very specific thing would eventually become a force for liberalism?

            I’ve been burnt way too many times of late by folks who are promoting an abuse…and then when you actually check it out, they were holding back information that made the reaction not at all startling. And when the extra information is pointed out, I get attacked, too.

            When we should be figuring out if maybe, just maybe, the problem could possibly be that automatic systems don’t work, rather than trying to make a more mechanical system to fix the problem?

            To switch over to cooking– it’s a well-worn example of when you have a dish and you salt it a few times, but it just isn’t tasting salty, you’d better add a pinch of sugar quick– because the longer you wait, the more hideously over-salted it will be when you finally do give your perception the context it needs to recognize that you don’t need more salt.

      • Somebody needs to put across the idea that you always have an absolute right to starve for your Art.

  8. This video interview of Camille Paglia just showed up in my feed, and speaks to the same points: the modern feminists and SJWs are the opposite of free thinkers. Entertaining. http://reason.com/blog/2015/03/19/video-everthings-amazing-and-camille-pag

  9. Take a look at this: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-sacred-beliefs-of-the-left/
    which starts, “Here’s a fascinating essay by a Canadian progressive gay activist who uses the pseudonym Aurora Dagny, in which she criticizes her own side — and, as she admits, her younger self — for pursuing their goals with a zeal Dagny now finds frightening and monstrous. Excerpts:”

    According to my dad’s sister-in-law, I’m related to a Finnish king back around 900. So, really, really, really (to at least the 32nd power), distantly related, assuming 100% accuracy. And I wouldn’t bet on that.

    I identify as a black Indian Jamaican lesbian transsexual from the Isle of Wight/Wong, but you wouldn’t know that to look at me. I am a mon from Chrome, Jamaica, so “I’m a mon o’ Chrome, Mon!”

  10. Reblogged this on Things I Discuss With My Cats and commented:
    An erudite discussion of modern feminism and governmental control of social mores. I must follow up on this man.

    • *snicker* So… someone found an effective response to the outrage!!!1!1 at the idea of the Joker— post “darker and more psychotic”– treating Batgirl in a nasty manner.

      *snickers again*