Where Did All The Common Sense Go? – Amanda Green

*And I’d apologize for posting it late, but I caught a head cold my son — good sharing boy that he is — brought home from his job, so I slept till about five minutes ago.*

Where did all the common sense go? -Amanda Green

 

I’d apologize for being late with the post this morning but, frankly, I’m just glad to have gotten something to Sarah. After several years of lower rainfall totals resulting in watering restrictions, etc., Mother Nature has decided to correct the problem. That is the good news. The bad news is she has decided to do it in a very short period of time. The ground is saturated. The lakes are filling up. And my house has now flooded in three rooms for three days in a row. Fortunately, I have the routine down pat by now. Carpets are pulled back, padding is removed and set to dry and fans are going. But so are the allergies and, for the first time in years, my asthma. So, if this post makes little sense, put it down to Mother Nature.

Anyway, common sense. It seems there is a distinct lack of it these days. North Texas has seen more than one example of it over the last few days. Between folks driving into high water areas and then requiring rescue to families standing in the open with cellphone cameras rolling as tornados bear down on their location, you have to wonder what they were thinking. It is going to take a long time to forget the teenager who, along with his friend, got caught in high water, that was rising, and who had to wait an hour for the National Guard to send in a Blackhawk helicopter to rescue them. Instead of calling and talking to family and friends, the teen got on Twitter and worried about how his prized pickup was now trash.

Sorry, bud, but as water is rising around me, moving so swiftly the local emergency responders can’t get to me, the last thing I’m going to worry about is getting on Twitter.

Then there was the principal at a Georgia who went off on a very ill-advised tirade in the middle of graduation. Apparently she did not like the way members of the audience were acting during one of the student speeches. So she got up and chastised everyone. Not the best way to mark one of the most important days in a student’s life. But it got worse. After calling one of the “offending” parties a goober, and after a few other remarks, members of the audience, as well as some of the students, started walking out. That’s when she made what will probably be a career ending statement when she noted “Look who’s walking out. All the black people.” Yes, it was a statement of fact but so ill-advised in this day and climate that it will haunt her professionally for the rest of her career.

But those are minor, believe it or not. You look at the looting that took place in the aftermath of the Baltimore riots. A CVS pharmacy that had been hard fought to get it brought into the neighborhood was firebombed. None of the rioters thought about the service that pharmacy gave to the neighborhood or how many elderly and disabled members of the community it served. But I guaran-damn-tee you that when the dust settles and CVS decides not to rebuild, those same folks who supported the riots will whine and decry the company for not coming back.

Oh, and let’s not forget the condemnation for the mother who saw her son amongst rioters and went down to get him. Initially lauded for taking a stand and pulling her17 year old son out of there, she has since been condemned because – gasp – she hit him in the process. I normally cringe when I see anyone taking a blow to the face. I hate to see a parent slap a kid. (Not that I don’t believe in a well-placed hand to the rear.) But in that situation, I probably would have done the same thing. For one thing, trying to reason with him in the middle of a riot wouldn’t have worked for a number of reasons. For another, he was being a dumb ass.

It did not take long for the cries of outrage to sound. Just a day or two after the event, I started seeing comments from a certain sector claiming that her actions were why there was so much child abuse and bad behavior in the black community. How dare she strike her son!

Sorry, but they are wrong. Here was a mother proving to her son that she cared about him by pulling him out of a situation that could very quickly have resulted in him being arrested – or killed. Would those condemning her have been as proactive in dealing with their own kids were they in her position? I doubt it.

Fast-forward to Garland, Texas and the events that unfolded there as a result of the “Draw Mohammed” exhibit. First of all, anyone thinking it is a good idea to come to any sort of gathering in Texas with the idea of causing trouble ought to think again. A lot of folks down here legally carry concealed. It is also legal to carry rifles, etc., in the open. Most of our cops aren’t Barney Fife. And we aren’t completely without common sense. It was clear the school district and the local police department knew there could be trouble and were prepared for it. The fact there are two dead wanna-be terrorists proves it.

But what really gets me has been the response by some quarters to what happened. There is a movement in Garland to make sure an exhibit that might offend someone at some point in time is never held there again. That is an understandable kneejerk reaction to what happened. I don’t agree with it, but I understand it. I also applaud the district for not immediately caving.

However, the condemnation of Pamela Geller, who heads the organization that sponsored the event, shows a complete lack of foresight, understanding and common sense. Worse, it shows a double-standard the socially enlightened are trying to force on everyone. Why? Because we mustn’t do anything that might upset someone, no matter whether they are justified in their reactions or not.

To which I have only one thing to say: Bull!

If we aren’t allowed to draw comics featuring Mohammed, where do we draw the line? If those cartoons aren’t to be allowed, then why do we allow people to stomp on our flag and burn it? That is offensive to me and a large number of other men and women who live in this country. But I don’t see any of these social justice enforcers looking out for my feelings. Why?

That answer is very simple. The social justice enforcers are cowards. They know that we aren’t going to rise up and take action because they burn the flag or spit on our soldiers as they return home. That is their right to freedom of speech. How many times have we heard that and agreed? But on the other side of the equation, as we saw in Garland, there are those who will take offense and take direct action. So, instead of dealing with the problem – them – it is easier to simply limit even further our First Amendment rights.

It was Geller’s fault for provoking the action of the two men. She is a bad woman. She must be punished.

No, she was offering a forum for folks to exercise their right to free speech. Did she know there would be some who would be offended? Of course she did. But being offended does not take something out of the protected umbrella of the First Amendment, unless it is pornography. The event did not rise to the level of yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. But, to the social justice enforcers, it is easier to blame someone who will not fight back than it is to actually take a stance against those who will. This fails big time on the common sense meter because all they are doing is further empowering those who would gladly, happily take away their freedom of speech, freedom to associate and, to be honest, their freedom and their lives.

It is time to grow up, grow a pair and quit being enablers.

415 responses to “Where Did All The Common Sense Go? – Amanda Green

  1. … it will haunt her professionally for the rest of her career

    What career? She just poisoned, hanged, burnt at the stake and slit the throat of her career.

    Or do you mean her new career as a Subway employee, twittering delight at the murder of two Hattiesburg, Mississippi cops?

    • You think she could even get that job?

      • might well be like the guy who made the Chick-Fil-A video. Even after getting a position across the continent and making the move, the boss found out he “Was That Guy” and let him go.

        • If I remember the attempts to fact-check his story right, he was let go because he lied to get the job, misrepresented the cause for firing– and he’s unemployed because he won’t accept a job low enough to rebuild the credibility he destroyed with that moronic abuse of power.

          • I figured as much, because no one wanted him in any higher position because he was toxic. The only way he was going to get a similar position was either with some hackneyed place offensive to most of the population or lie about who he was to try to get in the door. Gee, a straight-up kind of guy like him lied on top of being a tool and finds it hard to get work … my heart bleeds.
            Okay, no it doesn’t

    • The thing that gets me about that kind of stupidity is that it never seemed to enter the skull of the person who makes that kind of statement (Twitter, FB, blog or in real life in front of an audience) that there is a distinct chance that what they are saying is, or will be taken as offensive. Maybe my sense of discretion is over-developed thanks to twenty years in military public affairs … but as one of my early NCOs said, in regard to being on the radio — if you have to think about saying it, you probably shouldn’t say it on air at all. The potential audience listening out there is huge, and walking back from something stupidly offensive is practically impossible, as some unlucky people have found themselves being the target of an internet lynch mob for something they thought was private.

      • The thing is, Celia, that the people making these statements don’t actually think they’re being that offensive or outrageous. And, in her world, she’s probably right.

        The real trouble is, they’re not aware of just how tiny and circumscribed that world really is.

        It’s an interesting thing that I’ve encountered with a whole lot of urban blacks, and those from the rural south where they are the majorities: They don’t actually grasp, in a meaningful and fully intuited way, that they are a minority. The word minority doesn’t mean what the dictionary says it does, to these people: They think it just means “People like me…”.

        I don’t know if I told the story on here of being on a funeral detail heading up to a small town well east of Bellingham, WA with my guys once. We had three young men who’d just gotten to the unit, and they were from what could be described as a background of “urban youth”. We got north of Seattle, made a few stops for restroom breaks and food, and they started asking “Where are all the black people at?”.

        Uh, guys… We never had any up here. Ever. Not in significant numbers…

        Cue the insistence that we’d done something with them, like driven them off, or burned them out, probably back in the 1960s with all the civil rights stuff. Seems reasonable, right? Lots of discussion ensued, lots of insistence that there just had to be something nefarious about the lack of local melanin content.

        Finally, one of my squad leaders had enough of the BS, and took the three of them back for a little education. Said squad leader was from the Virgin Islands, and definitely not melanin-challenged. It took him about 45 minutes of intense discussion and use of a big bag of M&M candies to get across the idea of just what a “minority” was, and what the real relationship in numbers was between white and black here in the US. To say that he caused a tremendous amount of cognitive dissonance in these three young men? That would be the understatement of the century. The three of them had not understood, until that bus ride, just how few blacks there were here in the US when compared to whites and other groups. And, it scared the ever-loving shit out of them, when they finally grasped it.

        That blew my mind. I don’t think I really ever saw anything comparable until running into Sunni Iraqis, who are equally delusional about their demographic relationship to the rest of Iraq. And, once having noticed it, I recognize it a lot, whenever race discussions come up. Especially with the idiots who espouse some kind of race war BS.

        • Interesting story, Kirk – and tracks something that I have been considering for a good while; that “urban yutes of color” don’t seem to really grasp that they are only about 13-14% of the US population. I posted this last December at Chicagoboyz:

          “…And I wonder, when considering the near-riots in Ferguson, and the principally black protests – especially in cities with a large black population – I’ve begun to wonder if the urban black population doesn’t see themselves at several times their normal size. A combination of self- or economic isolation in particular neighborhoods, media saturation, the results of affirmative action in hiring for everything from federal jobs to high-profile media personalities, half a century of media, intellectual and political stroking … has all this and more given African-Americans an unconscious self-visualization of themselves at several times natural size? When the average African-American thinks of themselves as part of the American public, are they thinking of themselves as a much larger and more influential part of it then they really are?”

          (rest of the essay here – http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/46920.html )

          • It’s all a matter of perspective, and location, isn’t it? I’ve been told that I couldn’t know what real discrimination is like, and where I grew up, that was true. Then I moved to Miami. Being the white guy that didn’t speak Spanish put me into a minority status, which was reinforced when I worked at a McDonald’s there. The black guys worked the grill, the Hispanics worked the counter. I was the only one who didn’t fit, so I ended up in the grill (communication being an important part of taking orders, believe it or not). And none of them knew what to make of me. Conversation stopped when I entered the break room, no one wanted to sit too close to me, people would find reasons to finish their break early…

            But compared to America as a whole? I’m definitely the leading demographic. For now, at least.

            • That is part of the cost of living in The Bubble. Life becomes like the classroom in the Peanuts cartoons, where only the voices of your kind are clearly heard and dissident voices become little more than incomprehensible noise.

              I gather that born & bred Lib Dem Kirsten Powers has a book coming out, one influenced by her tenure as a House Liberal at Fox News and a late-life convert to Christianity. In The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech, she describes the methods and tactics by which the Left protects their bubble and strives to silence the right and its outlets.

              From a Washington Examiner article:
              “Conservative women are treated as dimwitted, self loathing puppets of the patriarchy, or nefarious gender traitors,” she writes in the book from Regnery Publishing provided to Secrets.

              Ditto for blacks. “Raffi Williams, a young black conservative who works as the deputy press secretary for the Republican National Committee, told me he regularly gets Facebook comments or tweets from supposed liberals calling him an ‘Uncle Tom,’ ‘house n­-word,’ race traitor, and sellout,” she added.

              [SNIP]

              Powers grew up in a liberal family but said that interacting with conservatives, and finding God, has given her a new perspective.

              “Two experiences unexpectedly put me in a regular relationship with conservatives: working as a contributor at Fox News and a later in life conversion to Christianity. The more I got to know actual conservative and religious people, the harder it was to justify the stereotypes I had so carelessly embraced. In my early days at Fox, I can remember trying to convince a conservative there that George Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court didn’t really count as a female appointment because she was conservative and an evangelical Christian. He was horrified. I was confused as to why he would be horrified. I’m now embarrassed that I ever thought such a thing, let alone said it aloud. Such a prejudiced view was only able to take root because of the lack of ideological, political, and religious diversity,” she wrote.

              Powers added: “This intolerance is not a passive matter of opinion. It’s an aggressive, illiberal impulse to silence people. This conduct has become an existential threat to those who hold orthodox religious beliefs. But increasingly I hear from people across the political spectrum who are fearful not only of expressing their views, but also as to where all of this is heading. I’ve followed this trend closely as a columnist with growing concern. It’s become clear that the attempts—too often successful—to silence dissent from the liberal worldview aren’t isolated outbursts. They are part of a bigger story. This book is that story.”

              [SNIP]

              So pervasive is the smear that all the female commentators and anchors on Fox are dumb blonde chicks that it was actually fact­-checked by Politi­Fact. That’s not a joke. They analyzed the female hosts’ and anchors’ hair color and found the assertion “mostly false,” because Fox had its fair share of black-­haired and brunette women.
              – – –
              N.B., Powers was the first prominent Liberal journalist to call foul on the MSM coverage of the Kermit Gosnell Trial, IIRC.

              • Note, of course, that Powers is still a Lib. But if she’s recognizing the problems that many on that side have, and is willing to speak up about it, then good for her.

                Now we just need Lara Logan to publish a book about Islam’s problems with women…

                • Lib she may be, but she seems to think for herself rather than howl with the pack. That is rare enough these days that it stands out.
                  She may get so disgusted one day that she will cross the aisle — that’s what happened to me by degrees between 9/11 and the beginning of the current misadministration.

          • The thing that cracked me up about the whole thing was the level of shock my Staff Sergeant caused in those three guys. I mean that, too–We’re talking “turned them into sleepwalkers” level of shock, and they actually started flinching every time they interacted with a white guy, where before they’d been some of the cockiest guys in the platoon. It was like he’d punctured an essential part of their identity, or something. All three of those characters were notably subdued the rest of the time they worked for me, which was only a couple of months, but… Still.

            Another of the effects I’ve noticed with the “urban black” sub-population is that they don’t often get out of their self-imposed ruts, very much. I had to do a bunch of stuff with the VA when I retired, and wound up using contract facilities over around the Seattle metro area. Most of those facilities were manned by nice and professional people, but the thing I noticed was how few of the people I talked to who were African-American had one flippin’ clue about anything in Washington state outside the metro area. And, these were people who’d been born and raised in the Seattle metro area. I was late for one appointment because of really, really lousy weather conditions going over the passes, and while talking to the employees at the clinics, it became abundantly clear that they had never been outside of the metro Seattle area in their entire lives… Which flatly blew my mind. As in, “Wait… What…? You’ve never been to the mountains? Ever? Not once? Not even camping, or fishing, or… Anything?”. It was like I was telling them about life on the moon, or something, describing driving through a snowstorm in the mountains, and why it took me two hours longer than planned to get to the clinic. And, I mean that quite literally, as in I said “Late. Snow in mountains.”, and got a reply “Snow? It didn’t snow here, this morning…” with an overtone of “Who are you trying to bullshit, buddy…”. When I explained where I had been coming from, it was like they’d never considered that, y’know, real people lived up in those white-capped mountains, or might have to get through them to get there. Seriously weird experience, to me. These were people my age, and they’d never been outside the city limits. Ever.

            I noticed this a lot with my military career, but the implications didn’t really dawn on me until that experience. One of the stereotypes I picked up from being around a bunch of blacks for the first time when I joined the Army is that they usually didn’t do the things I did, growing up, like go places just to go there. Stationed at Fort Lewis, about the only time most of my black friends would go anywhere was on a unit-sponsored trip. The general run of non-black troops were always going off to Portland, or up to the mountains, but the majority of the black guys I knew just went as far as Tacoma, and that was it. If one of them ever turned out to be interested in traveling around, it was unusual enough to be really noticeable and highly commented on by everyone else–As in, “That Tyrone… He go everywhere, even when he don’t need to…”. Said Tyrone was a black guy who didn’t hang around with the other black guys, mostly because they didn’t want to do the stuff he did, like go out exploring stuff.

            I don’t know if I picked up an unfair stereotype, or not, but it damn sure seemed like this “thing” existed. Thinking back on it, I don’t remember that many black faces on the Morale, Recreation, and Welfare trips, either–Unless they were going somewhere to go with other people. The pure tourism urge didn’t seem to have a lot of evidence for existence among the black troops I worked around. Party trip? No problem… Go see Neuschwanstein Castle? Not too much interest.

            Reading this, it seems somehow horrible to mention, but it is damn sure something I observed, and I don’t think my memories are that biased, either.

            • Whilst in the Marines, my daughter totally freaked out one of the young black kids in her unit by explaining to him that Martin Luther King had been named for Martin Luther – a white German guy. It was the first time he had ever heard this little factoid. My daughter just sadly commented that he had been a graduate of an inner-city public school.

              • Yeah… Saw the same thing. A lot.

                I don’t quite know how they managed it, but the Democrats have managed to thoroughly erase memories of the fact that they were the party who were for slavery, against the Civil War, behind a lot of the Jim Crow laws, and who resisted the enactment of Civil Rights laws. And, to the point where I ran into college-educated blacks who were certain that all of the above was wrong… I’ve caused severe mental trauma in a couple of cases, when I proved the facts to them. One party came back to me about six months later, and said the most shocking thing he’d ever experienced was talking to his semi-estranged grandmother about the issue, and finding out that she’d never voted Democrat in her life, and wasn’t about to start, either. The shock stemmed from her explaining the “why”. His mom and dad, though? Lifelong Democrats, and behaved as though Republicans were Satan Incarnate.

                I don’t know if it’s true about LBJ and what he supposedly said, but if it is, the man was frighteningly prescient.

                • I wonder how many know who Jackie Robinson was, much less that he was a registered Republican? And had endorsed Richard Nixon for president in 1960 having deemed JFK’s commitment to Civil Rights “insincere”?

                  Robinson was actively interested and engaged in U.S. politics for a significant chunk of his adult life. He grew up under a Democratic Party in Georgia that was often angry, bigoted and intolerant toward his race. Like other blacks of that time, Robinson had no interest in supporting a political party with members who historically had cavorted with the Ku Klux Klan. As he wrote in his 1972 autobiography “I Never Had It Made,” “I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect.” In those early days, many Southern Democrats didn’t respect him.

                  Robinson and his family, therefore, tended to lean Republican. Arnold Rampersad wrote in his 1997 book “Jackie Robinson: A Biography,” “In choosing his middle name, his family intended to honor Teddy Roosevelt. As president, the patrician Roosevelt had inspired many blacks because of his outspoken disdain for racism.” The future Brooklyn Dodgers great eventually took his own political positions that were fairly conservative, such as his support for the troops in the Vietnam War. He supported Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 presidential election, and was a national director for Nelson Rockefeller’s 1964 presidential campaign (and later a special assistant for community affairs after his 1966 gubernatorial re-election in New York).
                  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/17/jackie-robinson-republican/#ixzz3ZrnD2KLj

                  — Michael Taube, a former speechwriter for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

                • You want to know the REALLY scary thing about LBJ? He’s only the THIRD worst racist sononabitch Democrat President of the 20th Century, after FDR and Woodrow Wilson.

                  • Yes, but, LBJ was the only one that picked up his Beagles by their ears.

                    • Professor Badness

                      I know someone who had a couple of occasions to deal with LBJ personally. Said the guy was a douche of the first order.
                      He was a big man, and would try to physically intimidate people who didn’t agree with him. That was when he was already the Pres.
                      He required his chair be jacked up higher than everyone else so he could still look down on them, even when sitting.
                      Just a horrible example of a human being.

                    • It says something about her that historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, having earned her Ph.D was an intern and staffer in LBJ’s White House and assisted Johnson in drafting his memoirs. Per Wiki: “Her first book, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, which drew upon her conversations with the late president, was published in 1977. It became a New York Times bestseller and provided a launching pad for her literary career.”

                • I’m a bit un-nerved by the mention of LBJ popping here just as I’m about to start the following for my Hillsdale Con 201 class….

                  Here. Ya’ll might like this.

                • The mass media has erased that memory.

                  • The Other Sean

                    And I find that a frightening rewriting of history. Worse, whenever anybody tries to call them on it, Democratic mouthpieces and the MSM insist that all those racists left the Democratic Party back around 1970 and became Republicans. Somehow, they never seem to be able to explain Robert Byrd. They also (the late Tim Russert excepted) seem to forget that it was the Republicans who provided the votes needed to pass the Voting Rights Act into law, because too many Democratic racists opposed it. They can certainly remember Barry Goldwater’s opposition to it, though. They also seem to forget that Eisenhower pushed for something similar late in his second term, only to end up with a weaker bill due to opposition from LBJ.

                    They also seem to feel it convenient to forget that it was Republican senators, again, who were needed to confirm the first black cabinet member, again because racist Democrat senators opposed it.

                    And any attempt by fiscal conservatives (regardless of party) to rein in social spending is “Racisssst!” So is any attempt to stop spending money on programs proven not to have any long-term positive impact (e.g. Headstart).

                    Sorry, you pushed one of my buttons. I’m going to shut up now.

                • Minor correction: The Democrats were all for the Civil War, seeing as their southern branch started the damned thing and their northern branch ran in ’64 on surrendering.

                • snelson134

                  The Big Lie, repeateed enough, works. Well.

                  The difference today is they don’t have unnoticed control of the microphone.

            • I worked at a Boy Scout summer camp and I know there was at least one troop that ran off donations, specifically for the purpose of taking inner-city youth and giving them camping experiences, because they wouldn’t have that perspective otherwise.

            • Had you concluded from this experience that this was characteristic of all Colored folk Black people Negroes African-Americans then that would be racist.

              If your conclusion that these people came from a particular, peculiar sub-culture of Americanus Urbanus that would not be racist at all, no matter how many people declared it so.

              • Y’know, I find myself wondering if I am, or not. Is making an automatic assumption about another person you don’t know based on external characteristics, and then making assumptions about likely behavior/interests/expectations racist? Or, is it experience leading you to take shortcuts to working with them, or making conversation?

                You try not to be prejudiced against people you don’t know, but I’m not really certain that it’s possible, without some sort of mechanism for casting your perceptions onto some kind of tabula rasa. Which would be stupid, because if you can’t quickly categorize people into interest groups and potential threats, you’re going to wind up finding it hard to deal with most human interactions.

                I hate to say it, but at this point in my life, I do have to say that I’m probably one prejudiced bastard. Racist? No, not really–I don’t care what your skin color is, but I’ll damn sure categorize you by your behavior, conduct, and appearance. At least, until I know you better.

                What’s sad is that so many of my general experiences with people that appear “black” have been negative enough that I automatically put unknown people sharing that appearance into the box for “cautious around until behavior and conduct are demonstrated thoroughly”. And, I can’t really help that, either.

                • “I don’t care what your skin color is, but I’ll damn sure categorize you by your behavior, conduct, and appearance. At least, until I know you better.”

                  Exactly. And the last six years haven’t improved my attitude any. There was another veteran I know – a former neighbor – who quoted the mother of one of his shipmates, who observed. “There is black, and there is white, and there is trash.”

                  Said shipmate was of color. As are my next-door neighbors; married, middle-class and respectable, pillars of their church and the parents of three fine and hard-working sons, none of whom would ever participate in a riot or thug activity of any sort. (They are really good lads – we’ve seen them grow up in the years that we have been living there. Oldest son had a fast-food job as a teen, worked up to manager, I think – just this year he bought a new car on the basis of his salary and work record.) Their grandmother would, no doubt, take over with the thrashing, when their parents got tired. The opinion of their mother regarding Section 8 recipients is enough to peel the paint off walls. My neighborhood is decent, working-class to middle-class; small houses, usually well-kept gardens, lots of retirees (military and civilian both) and small business owners. At a rough guess, I’d say maybe 15% black, 35% Hispanic (likely a bit more than that, can’t be absolutely certain) and the rest white. The presence of trashy people who can’t be bothered to keep the lawn mowed and trimmed, or the house itself from falling into slum is not tolerated very well.

                  • Old boss (black, of course) of mine had a similar construct: “There’s two basic types of people in this world: Black men (emphasized) and n*****s, white men (again, emphasized) and cracka’ trash, Hispanic men (emphasized) and…” He’d go on in that vein for a good ten minutes, with his misbehaving black soldiers, and then end it with “And, you, you… Embarrassments to black men everywhere, are acting like a bunch of damn n*****s…”.

                    He was from somewhere deep in the country around the Mississippi/Louisiana border, and just did not get along with the black kids from the cities, at all. They hated him, he hated them–There’d be a bunch of the guys in his platoon that would get in trouble, and he’d dismiss the white ones contemptuously with an “Ah don’ expect much better, from cracka’s… Or, (ethnic slur of choice)… You n*****s, stay here, tho… Y’all are a personal embarrassment, to me…”, which would invariably be followed by an ass-chewing of spectacular and embarrassing proportion, and what I have to say was some of the most humiliating and sadistic “corrective training” I ever witnessed in the Army. Half of the crap he did would have put me in Leavenworth, had I tried something similar by the time I made platoon sergeant, myself.

                    Funniest thing I saw with him was observing the reaction to hearing one of his diatribes you could hear two buildings over, and a young officer who thought he was listening to a racist white NCO berate poor, victimized blacks… The look that self-righteous young man’s face was priceless, when he walked around the side of the building and found that the “redneck, racist southerner” he’d been expecting to find was actually a very large, very black senior NCO chewing ass on his miscreants–Would have been the perfect illustration for someone attaining near-infinite cognitive dissonance, I think.

                    I’m pretty sure my old boss would have been fragged, if the opportunity ever arose. Or, maybe not–The troublemakers did have a sort of grudging respect for him, and he did know his job to a “T”. He just didn’t have any tolerance for their behavior, and took it personally. Very personally.

                    • snelson134

                      Chris Rock used to understand this point, before the PC Police kicked his ass. Trigger warning for language.

                  • For a reference point: Mark Halperin’s interview with Senator Ted Cruz does not represent racism, it was just plain effing stupidity.

                    For an alternate point of view, see: Senator Cruz, You Say You’re Cuban. Will You Rumba for Us?

                • It is one thing to assign probabilities a new person will act according to a stereotype* based on past experience with folk of similar background as evidenced by external variables such as posture, accent, clothes, hairstyle and skin colour. It is something else entirely to a) refuse to adjust perceptions based on additional evidence and b) demand that the person conform to your stereotype.

                  *Stereotype as used here describes a pre-established socio-cultural categorization process comprising a broad range of attributes and behaviours in order to anticipate response to various stimuli. Examples might include expecting a rich man to behave like Thurston Howell III or a black panther to be soothed by the singing of “I Can’t Give you Anything But Love, Baby.”

                  • Once upon a time, some SF con goers and a couple of airline pilots were waiting for the elevator in a hotel. Finally, they concluded it was broken. The con goers went off to find a stair. One airpilot turned to the other and said, “Follow the weirdos — they always know where the stairs are.”

                • I’m not racist, although I have been accused of it, because I make no bones about being culturally prejudiced.

                  And yes we all judge people by their looks, at first meeting. This is not only human, but a survival mechanism.

            • I think that might be what I call the “city kid” problem– at least in the Navy, there were guys who’d grown up in the city and never really gone outside of it. Came up because I’d never been on any bus besides school type buses before that point, and I was asking for help in figuring out how one paid and such, and we found out one of the guys who’d dropped out of the nuke program had never driven anything. (I’ve been driving as long as I can remember, and was paid for it from early double-digits.)

              The bus went everywhere he couldn’t walk, you see.

              Basically, why bother to go elsewhere when you can reach all the stuff you really want to without doing it? I’ll admit, I miss my apartment in Japan, where I could actually walk everywhere I really needed to. Never had time to get bored with it, with our deployment schedule, so I can kind of get a hint at why someone raised that way might not see the purpose of just going.

              Contrast with kids in the suburbs, who didn’t have much near their homes, and have yet a third way of thinking about it– like being willing to go out for dinner all the time, when I grew up with that being a Really Big Deal.

              • I grew up rural for almost the first decade and then suburbs the next decade. Then I went “big city” and public transportation for another decade or so in several different locations, including NYS and the UK. The differences in being able to find things to do, how far you are willing to travel and who has ever left their home town is tremendous.

                Rural people know everything from gas stations to activities to hospitals are anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours or more away. If they can get away from the farming or ranching enough (that can be hard) they will travel to see things all over the country. Suburban, if it is more than 30 minutes, sheesh, that is a long trip, we need to plan. Urban – if it is by bus and is the ordinary run to the store or a job – 2 hours on a bus is no big deal. 20 minute drive to the next big city is only for special occasions.

                And I’ve found, maybe because it is easier to stay put when everything is just down the street or a bus ride away that it is urban people, even in huge metro areas, that are much more likely than rural people to have never left their home town even to check out a new restaurant in the next town over. Doesn’t matter if the next town is 2 streets away, they are proud of the fact that they have never left their home town.

                In the UK the scale is even more dramatic. Unless, you were a white collar business man, to visit the next town over was a day trip, even if you rode the bus to do it. To me, 5 hours is a drive to see grandma. I’ve taken a day trip 7 hours one direction to pick up my brother from a job at a lodge near the Grand Canyon at the close of the season and not thought about it too much other than lack of sleep. I mean two drivers down and three on the way back, no big deal. To them, that is from the top of Scotland to the middle of England for a 5 hour trip and a 14 hour trip would put you somewhere in France.

                • The Other Sean

                  If you’re in one of the truly major cities of the US (e.g. NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco) and don’t have an interest in wilderness or certain types of outdoor activities, why would you even feel the need to travel far outside the city? Why would you need to learn to drive? You’ve got movies, libraries, zoos, museums, plays, music, beaches and/or swimming pools, colleges and universities, extensive park systems with hiking trails, bridle trails, etc. The world more or less comes to you; you’re on the tour itinerary of most major band tours, if not this year, then the next, or perhaps the one after that. Classical soloists come to perform at your symphony. Your museums will host the major traveling exhibitions. Pretty much ever comfort and amenity of modern civilization is within the city limits, or it is not far outside and the local transit system reaches it. (Even semi-wilderness, in some cases – some urban parks can be quite extensive yet reachable by transit.) If you do want to travel to some major cultural attraction, it is probably in another, similar city. And if you decide you want to see the natural and scenic wonders of the world or just the US, tour groups and package tours can leave you fairly insulated from the actuality of what life is like elsewhere.

                  • I grew up in rural West Texas and we thought of distances not in miles, but in hours to drive there. A fun summer weekend was to either drive two hours to go to Lake Spence to fish or ski or 3-5 hours chasing storms in the panhandle to catch a glimpse of a tornado…..

                    • The awesome thing about GPS machines is that I’m now able to actually get decent notions of distance from town kids– they’re not using any shortcuts like “five miles on (freeway) at (time)” or “six blocks down town at (time) on (day)”, they’ll actually say “we’re two hours out.”

                    • In East Texas, you just sit on the porch and the tornado comes to you…

              • I was actually thinking that could be a lot of it… my brother-in-law who moved to New York City doesn’t have a car and doesn’t keep up his driver’s license anymore, so… from his perspective, I think, he can get almost anywhere he’d want to be without the trouble of driving, but from mine there are a lot of places he simply can’t get to without a lot of inconvenience. (To be fair, I am not very fond of driving and consider doing getting in and out of NYC by car a major hassle all by itself.)

                • And I think I don’t drive that much any more, because I only rack up a around 50-60,000 miles a year. 🙂

                • I found in center city Philadelphia it takes longer to find a legal parking space than walking. So when visiting there I bring along good sturdy walking shoes.

                  I have driven in and out of NYC once, and did not enjoy it. It wasn’t the worst I ever experienced — that is held by the traffic out of D.C. when I-95 south of the city was being rebuilt for the ump-diddly-umteenth time.

              • Small town life is very similar to city life in that respect. When I got my first job out of library school I lived in an apartment on the outskirts of town. I could walk to church, to work, to the grocery store, the movie theater, the clinic… you name it. I only drove when I wanted to go down to Seattle or Bellingham for a major event (like Bumbershoot or a ‘con) or the airport.

                I love my husband but I surely do miss that lifestyle.

                • We have different definitions of a small town, if you think anything with a theater and a clinic is a small town.

                  • This, yes. Right now, we drive 25 minutes to get to the grocery store.

                    On the other hand, there are different ideas of what walking distance is.
                    And some of those small towns are the nexus of a wider rural area, and have all the amenities.

                  • Yeah, the small town I grew up in had 250 people, three gas stations, 4 churches, a school, courthouse/jail, one café, and a mechanic shop…..

                  • Hmm? didn’t grow up in one, but my parents had a vacation place and we would drive twenty minutes to the hamlet — which consisted of two streets, forming a T, and a traffic light, with a clinic, a theater, a grocery store, a church, the county school (all 12 grades), and various other stuff.

                  • I went to school in a small town eastern Tennessee for two years. Up the road was the town of Goose Neck, which I believe is the smallest town I have ever encountered. As far as I could determine it was a town because it had a sign that said so.

                  • It might be a matter of time– when my dad was a kid, his home town had a theater and a clinic. (50s-mid 60s)

                    By the time I came along, the movie theater had been gone for about 20 years, and the clinic kind of randomly shut down “for the last time” every few years.

                    Area was legally uninhabited the whole time. (Meaning they could ship cougars that stalked joggers in SoCal to us, and that it’s legal to practice sonic booms over the area. Win some, lose some….)

                    • It might simply be a matter of the movie industry’s vertical integration making that theatre viable.

                      Similarly with the clinic — that was a time when people mostly paid their own medical bills and the administrative overhead for a medical practice was far lower. Too, the equipment required to practice near-state-of-the-art medicine pretty much consisted of a stethoscope, BP cuff, mercury-filled glass tube, tongue depressor, autoclave and (in the fancy clinics) an X-ray machine. They didn’t even use a whole lot of rubber gloves.

                    • The Quaker boarding school I attended in eastern Tennessee was in a small town that had seen better days before the marble quarry had shut down. There still remained a small engine repair shop. It was only open by appointment on the weekends. It was run by a man who had a job in a nearby town and also did the maintenance work at the boarding school. (His wife was the principal and local post-mistress.)

                  • We have people on here who think anything with less than 30,000 people is a small town.

                    On the other hand, we have people on here who think anything with MORE than 30,000 people is a sprawling metropolis.

                    🙂

                    • Joe Wooten

                      I fall in the latter category…..

                    • “On the other hand, we have people on here who think anything with MORE than 30,000 people is a sprawling metropolis.”

                      Yep. 🙂

                    • I had lived in a northeastern city with a population of millions and was sent to school in a rural Appalachian town with a population of 575. Culture shock…

                    • Let’s see: 4000 people, 20+ churches, and the largest building in town was the Fraternal Order of the Eagles…

                      Yep: small town America 🙂

                      (The movie theater, along with an actual shopping center was the next town down, but as it was only about 4 mi. away, and a nice walk in the summer.)

            • The Other Sean

              One of my older cousins (of my parent’s generation) lives in a house in a development in the Pocono mountains of northeast PA. One summer he and his wife threw a party, and one of the party-goers was his wife’s cousin from Los Angeles, a woman in her late 40’s or so. We’re all out on the second-floor deck when a deer wanders up to a small tree down below. She stares at in, in a mixture of awe and fear. She asks if it is safe or if we needed to flee to the indoors.

              When we explained deer are safe from a distance, she relaxed and watched it for a while, utterly fascinated. After it wandered away, she returned her attention to the rest of us and semi-apologized, explaining that she’d never been in wilderness before. [snort] This was a low density housing development (avg. lot size around half acre with lots of open space), but there were paved roads and plenty of people around. You could see smoke from BBQ grills coming from several other occupied homes within a thousand feet, and you could faintly hear music from the part at the house behind my cousin’s place.

              But to that 40+ year old city girl, that was wilderness, and an encounter from the second floor with a deer down below was both fearful and amazing. Unlike some we’ve described above, she did have the sense not to run up to it to get a photo, or kick it because it was motionless for extended periods.

              • I live in the midst of Greater Suburbia, but we get wild turkeys through our backyard every so often. Great fun to point out to the kids. We get raptors in the neighborhood, too. No quail, though; too many cats.

              • Even in the L.A. area it could depend a lot on which part in which you lived, certainly during the 50’s and 60’s.

                Until I was 6, we lived in East L.A. (as it turned out, the same street where the Nightstalker was later captured. By locals.), then moved to a suburban neighborhood in Whittier. Which looks pretty much the same now, almost 60 years later.

                Directly behind our house was what we called a storm drain, a canal about 50′ wide and 15-20′ deep. Trees and brush growing in it, with a narrow stream running through it most of the year. After a heavy rain it was something else entirely, running hard and fast toward the L.A. or San Gabriel rivers. And back to normal in three or four days. I’ve seen the L.A. river, running south along Hwy 101 at the east side of Griffith Park, with rooster tails of water running above the roadway level downstream of bridge supports. For a day or two, at most. Anyway.

                Our little “storm drain” contained raccoon, skunks, possum, coyote and who knows what else with toads, snakes, lizards, birds in an out of your back yard. We did have to wander up into the local hills to see deer, and while there were bobcat and cougar up there, I never saw any.

                Then the county came in a recut the storm drain system, putting in concrete walls and floor. Put a crimp in critter sightings, not to mention our next door neighbor didn’t get to enjoy possum pie very often (he’d grown up poor during the 30’s in West Virginia) after that.

                There were, and still are, coyote living and breeding in downtown L.A., but I doubt many people living there have ever noticed one, or understood what they were hearing from the nearby foothills. If you don’t pay attention…

                • Around here, back a decade or two ago, the city fathers figured out that it just might possibly be that ma Nature knew a little something, so they established a pilot program to re-install all of those twists, bends and kinks that had been removed from city cricks only a generation before.

                  No, the water don’t run out all in a rush like it did before. But a single snag can’t turn a whole pasture park into a pond, neither. Nor does the water run off so fast, allowing more to soak into our little aquifer.

                  After a bit they stopped close-cutting the greenery on the banks, too, allowing shade and sun to interweave and help the water in there oxygenate and thrive.

                  • Ah yes, stream restoration. Because the more you armor and channelize a stream, the more energy it has once it hits the next segment, and the more it will chew out the bed and banks the first chance it gets. (Took a grad-level course on fluvial geomorphology and had to write a restoration case study for a stream, including engineering math. Another one of those things they didn’t mention in the grad school sales flyer.)

                    • *tries to mentally picture it*

                      Couldn’t you fix “all the water way above is crazy” with a creek box, so you don’t have to start at the top of the stream?

                      I’m not sure what they’re really called– it’s a cement thing about the size of a wellhouse, square, with a grate on the upper end and a cranks-up “gate” on the down-hill side, so that when the mountain really floods it hits that box and gets knocked down a bit– yes, the water also splashes in all the other directions, but it also protects the creek (and houses) below. The down-stream side has to be large and go straight up, because otherwise silt and stuff will collect; could probably make a pretty little water fall for starters.

                    • Ah yes, where they spend our tax money to put big boulders and cable down nice export logs in the creeks and rivers. Which when it floods then gather up debris and create dams. When those break you get a Really good flow of water. The year I moved away the Chehalis River (near where I grew up) took out nineteen bridges in a row, and flooded hundreds of homes that had never before been flooded… because of stream restoration. But I’ve never heard of anybody doing a case study on that.

        • One of the unexpected results of the Clinton Somalia debacle was the cognitive dissonance and distressed experienced by black American soldiers. Now they were patriotic enough to enlist, and committed and capable enough to serve with distinction…but even they had it ingrained deep into their worldview that WHITEY DID IT, that whatever the black man’s troubles in American white folks were somehow to blame.

          Then they went to Somalia, and saw what blacks were doing to blacks of their own volition, and they just could not deal with it.

          • Oh, dear God… Do I have some stories about that particular deal.

            I knew a black kid when I was still a kid in the Army. Highly anti-white, black supremacist, the whole nine yards. When I ran into him again in the late 1990s, he was a completely different person, in that regard. One senior NCO to another, I had to ask him what had made the change?

            Somalia. And, a couple of other tours as a trainer elsewhere in Africa as an attached SF medic.

            He wasn’t the only black soldier I served with or around how had that sort of thing change them, either. Couple of stories I have on that aren’t fit for sharing with polite company, either.

            One of the guys I served with during the late 1980s was the one guy from the 10th Mountain Division’s Engineers who got killed during the events they made Blackhawk Down about. I ran into another black guy who’d been with him that night, and we got to talking, comparing notes about what a lousy thing it was that he’d been killed, and… Geez. Talk about opening a vein of hatred? I heard him say stuff that afternoon that would have gotten a Grand Kleagle of the KKK some considerable censure from his fellow Klansmen for going too far with the racism. And, the funny thing was, the guy I was talking to wouldn’t have likely taken it too well had anyone suggested he was being racist…

          • I forget the name of the Washington Post reporter who returned from a posting in Africa (during the squabble between the Hutu & Tutsis) and published a memoir THANKING G-D!!! his ancestors had made it to America.

            I think he may now be managing a Quickee Mart in Baltimore. /SARC

            • Muhammad Ali only had to go to Africa once, for a match, to come back with the same gratitude.

            • He wrote an article in Reader’s Digest that was titled “Don’t Call Me An Africa-American”……..or something like that….

        • I knew two black guys from northeast of Bellingham, of course they were father and son, and likely the only blacks in the county. The father went by the CB handle of “green-eyed n****r” and the look on a friend of mines face when his dad called this black dude that was half a foot taller and a good hundred pounds heavier, that to his face, was absolutely priceless. 😉

      • “If you have to think about saying it, you probably shouldn’t say it on air at all.” I’m safe, then. I never think before speaking.

    • Oh, i was going to say her new career was going to consist of asking ‘would you like fries with that?”

  2. Here was a mother proving to her son that she cared about him by pulling him out of a situation that could very quickly have resulted in him being arrested – or killed.

    The son initially expressed appreciation that his mom cared enough about him to drag him out and smack some sense into his head. Any wagers on whether those condemning her “child abuse” are likely changing his mind, instilling resentment of his mother where there had once been gratitude?

    Odd, isn’t it, how Community Organizers and Moral Free-Loaders (those preening bastions of unearned moral superiority) so frequently drain gratitude and pour in resentment.

    • “drain gratitude and pour in resentment.” An outstanding turn of phrase. One I plan on stealing and using as soon as practical.

  3. Principal should have stated folks settle down or we end this now and everyone gets their stuff mailed to them.

    • My high school was very strict about student behavior at graduation (because we were so large – graduating classes of 500-800 every year – they didn’t want things to drag on). They held your diploma until you had walked all the way off the stage to the back to make sure you didn’t try anything.

      But that principal was an idiot for saying what she said.

      • My high school and college didn’t give you “your” diploma at the ceremony because of the logistical nightmare. You got a nice generic cover and the diploma itself was given to you or mailed to you otherwise. I think that’s fairly typical these days.

        • “Logistical nightmare”? How many were in your graduating class?

          • My high school was actually rather small, but our ceremony was planned and plotted to an astonishing degree, including ranging us by height in heels for a perfect picture. The final result, however, of having us set up that way and sitting down so that special participants (speech, song, etc.) were on the aisles meant that the order of diplomas was anything but alphabetical. By that point, it’s easier to not have a stack of carefully-sorted diplomas that could get knocked to the ground….

            • About all I recall of my (Class of ’71) High School commencement ceremonies was singing Jerusalem.


              Why a Detroit area prep school was singing about England’s dark satanic mills was never entirely clear to me.

              And did those feet in ancient time
              Walk upon England’s mountains green:
              And was the holy Lamb of God,
              On England’s pleasant pastures seen!

              And did the Countenance Divine,
              Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
              And was Jerusalem builded here,
              Among these dark Satanic Mills?

              Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
              Bring me my Arrows of desire:
              Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
              Bring me my Chariot of fire!

              I will not cease from Mental Fight,
              Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
              Till we have built Jerusalem,
              In England’s green & pleasant Land

              That, and the headmaster awarding kittens as prizes to noteworthy students.

              His (pre-pubescent) daughters spent the post-ceremony al fresco reception dashing about re-collecting those prizes.

      • Content of what she said, idiotic yes.

        Needing people to quit being (rowdy, loud, disrespectful, etc)…..

  4. Pingback: Nocturnal Lives » New Beginnings

  5. MadRocketSci


    Sorry, bud, but as water is rising around me, moving so swiftly the local emergency responders can’t get to me, the last thing I’m going to worry about is getting on Twitter.

    Devils Advocate: The perceived lack of common sense is due to a filter effect: The only people’s experience that you are going to be aware of are those who are twittering while doing something stupid. The news media preferentially propagates this, and also things that are intended to outrage you, because outraging you catches your attention better than a broad statistical overview of things that are happening.

    • Well, yes, the ones we usually know about it’s the idiots who did twitter and survived. And since people die more rarely nowadays the idiots probably don’t personally know of anyone who did die in anything like what they are experiencing right then, or if they do it happened a long time ago and/or far away. Mostly the people who do die are, to them, somebody else somewhere else they just maybe heard or read about, and then forgot soon afterwards. While the idiots who survived are maybe even famous now. So it just doesn’t occur to them that THEY might die. I mean, who nowadays does, it’s modern times, all kinds of rescue organizations with all kinds of nifty equipment, if you DO get in trouble you will of course be saved?

      • Professor Badness

        Sometimes I wonder if we do make it to easy for the idiots to survive? We seem to have removed natural selection from the process.
        This can’t be good for the gene pool.
        (I mean this mostly facetiously. Mostly.)

      • I can understand not predicting how bad it was going to get. But when it’s already bad? I can understand freezing or getting adrenaline-drunk or hysterical, but not chatting.

        • One sort of magical thinking, maybe. If you think hard enough that nothing is too wrong and it’s all cool then it will end well for you. So it’s bad, but it’s not THAT bad, mostly just really, really annoying, and while you are losing stuff and stuff you personally are safe enough (because starting to think anything else is not cool, and if you think you might get scared and that’s not cool, and besides, it just CAN’T happen to you).

          Alternatively they were just really, really stupid.

          • Once upon a time such innocence in the face of danger was the basis for the persona of silent film phenom Harry Langdon, a baby-faced comic who survived all dangers because of his total lack of awareness. That persona persisted in such classic cartoon gags as the character who runs off a precipice and only falls upon realization of the predicament.


            Langdon’s career, perhaps in illustration of this principle, crashed when he decided his “genius” demanded he take control over his films and dumped director and former gag-man Frank Capra.

            Note that the unsophisticated audiences of the ’20s recognized the inanity of such an attitude.

            • I was just struck by how much Henry Gibson looked like Langdon. Wonder how much was intentional modeling on Gibson’s part.

              • Probably a form of parallel evolution (aka, dipping water from the same well.) Each comedian was emphasizing their character’s neotenous aspects to evoke baby-like innocence.

              • Gibson may well have been aware of Langdon who, at one time, was a star on a par with Lloyd, Chaplin and Keaton. An awful lot of Red Skelton’s movie gags became more interesting to me when I learned they had been written for him by Buster Keaton, who was eking out a living as a gag-writer. It would largely depend on whether Gibson had access to the Langdon works (a reminder of how odd an era we live in, in which movies and TV shows remain accessible to the general pub for extended time.

          • Seriously, many people simply DO NOT understand that their actions can result in bad things happening to them. I might be convinced otherwise, but I’ve seen it happen too many times in things like traffic accidents and other sorts of accidents: One person, doing something utterly stupid, causes an accident, then adamantly refuses to believe that it’s their fault. They will blame the other person’s failure to anticipate their idiocy as being the cause.

            One form of this that really toasts my behind, and that’s when someone brings their children into a potentially dangerous situation, then blaming someone else for putting their children in danger when things go sideways. Example: The woman who brought her children to a protest where they blocked the doors of a building to keep the people having a meeting of some sort (don’t remember which, it was during the Occupy foolishness), then blamed the police who came to clear the doors for putting her children in danger.

            • They will blame the other person’s failure to anticipate their idiocy as being the cause.

              In fairness this was a long established legal principle in the United States, which is why one of the accepted defenses against a charge of murder was, “He needed killin’.”

              • “He needed killin’.”

                Which reminds me of an unsolved murder in Skidmore, Missouri (some miles north and east of us) back in 1981.

                Ken McElroy was the town bully. He was a child molester, cattle rustler, burglar, you name it, he did it, but he almost always got off.

                He threatened to kill the local minister.

                The next day he was shot by two different weapons in the middle of town in front of 30 to 40 people.

                No one ever came forward with any information on the murder.

                Ken McElroy needed killin’.

            • “And true to the principles of mob rule, whenever the accused appeared in court at preliminary hearings, a crowd of several hundred gathered outside the courtrooms, screaming, shouting, hurling eggs, and demanding the re-institution of the death penalty. They would have torn the accused limb from limb, had they been allowed to do so.

              “Oddly enough, many mothers saw fit to bring their young children into this melee. The children were clearly terrified, and many burst into tears, but the vengefully self-righteous crowd did not see its conduct as a form of mass child abuse. On the contrary, the mothers said they had come to demand the protection of children from perverts and monsters.”

              http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_2_oh_to_be.html

              • And the children got to see that some behavior was held by the community to be entirely unacceptable.

                • If any of those children managed to comprehend anything about why they were there, I would be astounded.

            • The reasoning almost makes sense, though– they’ve done similarly stupid things, and every other time people prevented the bad effects.

              So others not doing so this time, or not succeeding in it, means it’s their fault this time….

              • Send for the men in white coats. They can’t control themselves and pose a risk to themselves or others.

                And they’re right, we should have institutionalized them a long time ago.

                • The thing that freaks me out is that I find this mindset showing up on Catholic blogs– folks with a big sense of entitlement to other folks taking steps to avoid harming them, and no sense of obligation to avoid putting themselves in harm’s way.

            • To many people, a child is a “get out of jail free” card.

    • The Problem of the internet: In the olden days you only had to deal with YOUR village idiot (and the occasional merchant idiot if you were on a trade route.) Now you have to deal with all the village idiots.

  6. morrigan508

    I’m with Eviestormrose. That would have been the SMART way to do it. but we’re talking about someone with an email address that ends in .edu, so I’m not expecting smart.

  7. The social justice enforcers always seem to attack one target only, d’you notice? Whatever is wrong it is the fault of conservatives and their values.

    It really isn’t much better than those justly derided ancients who blamed witches (or jews) for their crop failures, epidemics and recurring pillagings. For that matter, perhaps we ought appreciate their turning from lynching the nearest Black man for a White woman’s attack of vapours and lynching White men instead.

    • They’re gonna lynch *someone* regardless… but being intellectually lazy, they picked the biggest and most handy target rather than identifying correct targets.

    • Considering they will explicitly state that the only problem with Emmett Till and other such lynching is that the men were victims of a racism, I will save my appreciation for a more substantial change.

  8. I believe that part of the problem is that we’ve given everyone a comparatively risk-free world, and a lot of people are stupidly convinced that just about any risks are worth removing regardless of cost. If you’ve never known anyone killed by a tornado thanks to the wonders of better construction and early-warning systems, you might not truly believe you are in danger. If every time you’ve gotten arrested, you’ve been released after a slap-on-the-wrist, rioting for the opportunity to loot a TV might seem like a game. It takes a lot of work for real bad things to happen to people.

    Which means those bad things that actually pose a threat, or are perceived to pose a threat because they get play due to the neigh-omniscient media coverage, become things people are obsessed about removing and they don’t care about the costs of doing so, so kids grow up indoors because of the statistically insignificant risk they will be kidnapped by a stranger.

    • You nailed it. When risks are scarce, people don’t learn how to evaluate them, and as a result, overreact.

      https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/11/perceived_risk_2.html

    • wanderingmuses

      Bingo!

    • Cheap, automatic mercy with no gratitude.

      Sounds reasonable to me.

    • When I was a storm spotter in [rural area], the Weather Service guy looked around and asked, “OK, be honest. When we sound a warning, how many of you take shelter?” Three hands went up. “How many go to the window or outside?” The rest of the hands shot up up, and laughter filled the room.
      Wx Guy: “Why?”
      Honest Fireman: “To see if you are right.” Another gale of laughter swept the room and pretty much everyone nodded. The weather dude laughed as well, shrugged, and we continued on with the training session.

      • I think it’s logical to take a look if you’re not already receiving other feedback (ie, hearing that train sound, feeling the air, seeing the color of light change); you want to know if it’s really close, or if you’re going to be waiting a while. You also want to see if anybody else is endangered outside, so you can warn them and/or invite them in; and if you’ve got time, you might want to grab that loose thing outside and bring it inside.

        But you don’t want to be standing around. Quick glance outside, then head for shelter.

        One of the scariest times in my life was a tornado warning at Pennsic. I freaking well didn’t want to be in a forested campground during a tornado, I guarantee you. Some people understood the situation and were hysterical (so we were trying to calm them down and get them sheltered in the ditch), while other people were busy looking at the pretty clouds (while we tried to stir them up and get them sheltered in the ditch). I thank God it passed us by, because that could have been bad.

        • Tornado warning at Pennsic? That would suck. Tent city of 10,000 or so, and no real shelter. Ouch. And here I was just registering for this year’s Pennsic, too.

          • Well, it was notorious because it doesn’t happen much. Mountain/hill thing. But I’d be perfectly happy if that never happens to any major camping event, much less Pennsic.

            Yeah, I’m a wimp about rattlesnakes and tarantulas and I’m sure my firebuilding for dry conditions would stink (although I do know the theory). But Californians staring up at the pretty swirling clouds or not washing blankets with poison ivy on them? Nerve-racking!

        • That doesn’t seem to be that uncommon at Pennsic:

      • It was amazing to me back in the mid 1970’s how many crazy teen-age males went off chasing storms in the panhandle….We would cover an area from Big Spring to Follett and run into a lot of the same guys at gas stations and burger joints….

        Anyone remember Burger Chef?

    • The tornado siren does me no good any more. Long ago, when it went off, you knew to head for shelter. The new policy is for them to crank up the siren – sometimes for hours – for tornados, “conditions that might form tornados”, “straight-line winds”, and probably turtles crossing the road… and they do it across a four-county area. So when the siren by my house goes off, it could be because it’s getting pretty windy sixty miles away.

      All the TV and radio stations are in a cluster thirty miles away, and micro-focus on their own conditions. You can get minute-by-minute reports of things approaching the station… and as soon as it passes, they switch back to spawrts and to hell with any listeners or viewers downwind in their broadcast area.

      Twenty years ago, the weather service could turn on the sirens on a siren-by-siren basis, ahead of approaching weather. Now, with all the improved infrastructure, they claim they can only turn them on for multiple counties at a time.

      So tornado reporting is pretty much “the boy who cried wolf” now, and when the sirens go off, all we can do is get pissed off. I figure in a few years they’ll be cranking up the sirens for hailstorms five hundred miles away.

      • Our system is a little better, probably because people got numb. The sirens go off 1)when the storm is headed for town, and 2) within a certain distance. Tornado elsewhere in the county? Nothing, but the emergency manager does have her hand over the button. Down in Amarillo they sound the horns for specific parts of the city (Amarillo sprawls). And the TV stations have stuff that lets them go almost block-by-block if they have to. Apparently Amarillo is/was where they test new software and radar equipment before unleashing it on the rest of the Great and High Plains.

      • That’s strange! They turn on our sirens in the areas of the county where the weather is happening. Many times, there are sirens going of 20 miles south of our farm, but none here, even in the same county.

  9. People used to teach their children most of the important things. Now the public schools are expected to teach them everything about life. This is the result. It looks right now like each generation is going to be taught by the worst of the previous generation until it gets so bad the system is radically altered.

    • They’ve spent the last generation, at least, trying to get the presumption that they’ll teach the kids everything– by having the last word on any disagreement. Schools have an absolute lowest common denominator level of the basics, like ‘don’t steal’ and ‘don’t hit,’ and they can’t even do a good job on that because there are nuances that aren’t commonly agreed on. (Like if taking all the kids’ school supplies for the class closet is stealing, and if self defense is hitting.)

      I know several folks here have mentioned that they were scolded by the teacher because their kid went to school already reading and/or doing math; I know that we had a science teacher who tried to yell at my mom (once) because he’d never heard of (pronghorn) antelope and was blindly following a text book that said they live only in Africa. I’ve repaired the damage they do to fences, so you can guess how that went, especially since I’m actually interested.

      • Back when I was in kindergarten my teacher apparently complained to my mother that i asked too many questions that she couldn’t answer and talked to her like a little adult. My mom gave her a dirty look and informed her that as a teacher it seemed like answering questions from students should have been her job.

      • It may have been mentioned here, but I just read the other week where some idiot in Australia was telling parents who read to their children that they need to consider how this gives their children an unfair advantage over children whose parents don’t read to them. He then half seriously suggested that we needed to do away with families and have all children raised by the state so that no one gets an “unfair” advantage.

        • If we stay on the road these sorts of people want us on, that’s where it all ends. Self-domesticated animals, and under control of whom, one might ask…

          The unspoken thing that is never mentioned is just who they see running things. Somehow, the conversation never quite gets there, at least in public. I’m sure that if this Australian drone was ever interrogated, they’d somehow manage to set things up so that they were in charge, or others like them. It’s always the same old story–If you can’t take over the world yourself, figure out a passive-aggressive way to guilt others into giving it to you.

          That this always ends in someone being given it good and hard never seems to occur to them.

          • When you peel back the propaganda, the Progressive message is that the common people are unable to rule themselves and need a group of experts to do it for them. Not surprisingly, that’s the exact same argument used by the nobility to defend the feudal/aristocratic systems of government.

            Anarchists want feudalism via the scenic route, Progressives want feudalism with the serial numbers rubbed off.

          • Humans, historically, domesticate very poorly. We are a stubborn species with some temperament issues that just don’t breed out. We also usually figure out what’s going on, en masse and get fed up enough to do something about it at the worst possible moment for the folks trying to do the domestication.

        • I suspect that was the stalking horse to get to his real proposal, abolishing private schools.

        • One should also note that you may be reading them unapproved stories.

      • Well genetically pronghorns aren’t REALLY antelope, which is one reason we often call them goats. But I take it that wasn’t the point your idiot teacher was trying to make.

        • He didn’t even know the point existed.

        • Yet another reason I want to home school– this was an amazing opportunity to, y’know, teach. The thing he’s being paid for. Cetartiodactyla Antilocapra americana vs Bovidae Antilopinae where if it’s not an ox, goat, or sheep, then it’s an antelope would have actually been USEFUL information, on topic, and informative.

          Heck, with my kids it could morph into an English lesson, about how context is important and where jargon/technical terms is or is not acceptable when one is trying to communicate.

          Instead, he didn’t even know that the “antelope” the book was talking about were gazelle, and didn’t know how to deal with a 13 year old that wasn’t even being obnoxious, just didn’t have his absolute trust in accuracy of the book.

          • This is what happens when you get a modern degree in teaching. All too often you learn about classroom management, methods and practices. The material to be covered? That will all to be provided to you in the texts and course scope and sequence …so don’t worry about it.

            • If they actually taught classroom management that would be an improvement over what I was getting when I was working on a teaching certificate 15 years ago in CT. There was a bit of really vague theory, a bit on how to contruct lessons, and nothing on how to keep the little dears in check or how to create meaningful tests.

      • You can imagine the horror in the chemistry teacher two of my sons had when I told him about several of us kids who made explosives, including nitro in a high school lab…

        7 15-18 yr old boys unsupervised in a chemistry lab with an unlocked store room…..

        • My school fixed that.

          :/

          No chemicals. Including vinegar. Unless specifically brought in for a lesson.

        • I know some girls for whom that would have been a bad idea, even by themselves.

          A friend was responsible for an unloved principal having several flat tires upon pulling out of his parking spot. I don’t remember the substance but it was mildly explosive under pressure.

          She was also the one who knew the electrical capacitor/resistor color sequence. When the teacher asked how she remembered it she recited the mnemonic her father had taught her. The one he’d learned in the Navy.

          This was long enough ago that the teacher just sighed, and taught the class a more acceptable one, though I’m sure all the boys remembered her’s better.

        • Remember when they made wonderful chemistry sets that had real chemicals in them and you could make something go poof with a puff of smoke?
          One of my favorite Christmas gifts ever!

    • Thing is kids will find out that teacher’s can be idiots. For me it was a fifth grade teacher who sent me to the principals office on the first day of school for lying about my name — I have an odd first name. For The Daughter it came earlier.

      When her second grade teacher told the class that snakes were invertebrates, The Daughter, who knew better, attempted to explain that the class would be seeing a lovely snake skeleton when they went on the upcoming class trip, which was to the zoo.

      I was called in for a parent-teacher conference. When the teacher told me what happened I looked at her, waiting for her to finish. Realizing she had finished what she had to say I commented, ‘Well, snakes are vertebrates.’

      The teacher then explained that The Daughter was only a second grader, and she was the teacher. The teacher then explained what I had not understood, the important thing was that The Daughter had contradicted her. (Knowing The Daughter I doubt she did it tactfully.) Apparently the facts don’t matter as much as daring to make the teacher looks a fool.

      Admittedly, in this case the teacher was in a no win situation … but when things like this go on in the classroom no wonder kids determine that adults are stooopid.

      • Sure she did– blink, think, and say something like “Dang, I said invertebrate, didn’t I?”

        Same way the “no antelope in America” teacher could have done something besides picking a fight with my little brother and insisting that it’s “duck tape” rather than “duct tape.”
        (The former is actually “Duck brand duct tape,” a rather clever pun. Historically, “duck tape” is a technically precise name for a tape of duck cloth, like strip, no sticky involved; small wonder that the supposed nickname of “duck” dropped after it wasn’t used for ammo cases anymore. Just imagine the mess of trying to fix a job that was done with duct tape, when the instructions called for a long strip of duck cloth….)

  10. A short sweet cluebat to the lib/prog crowd:
    You insisted that an exhibition of “Piss Christ” funded with my tax dollars through an NEA grant was art. I should just suck it up.
    You applauded the ACLU for their efforts to have a parade permit issued to a neo Nazi group to march through a predominantly jewish Skokie Illinois neighborhood. Free speech don’tchaknow.
    Given those incidents as well as a host of others you have shoved in the face of the conservative right you simply cannot now condemn Pamela Geller for her exercise of free speech in a private venue no matter who might find it offensive.
    To put it in terms you may barely be able to comprehend, you can’t have it both ways cooter so just STFU.

    • That’s not how it works. everyone os open to being offended except the leftoids themselves, and anyone who might hack their empty skulls off the rest of their bodies

    • In truth, we should recognize that Proglodyte rejection of offensive art that offends has been long-standing and specific. Their objection is and has always been to art that offends them and/or people likely to act on their offended feelings. Case in point, the reaction to a Chicago art exhibit requiring visitors to walk upon an American flag to sign the attendance book mocking former Mayor Harold Washington.

      Their standard has always been that recently expressed by Doonesbury cartoonist G. Trudeau — it is only acceptable to mock and deride the icons of the Right people. It is a gang sign for the Progs, signalling membership in their enlightened clique.

      Imagine a painting (such as that of Mayor Washington) depicting Ronald Reagan in diaper and bonnet, talking to “Mommy” put on exhibit shortly after his passing. Anybody here able to imagine the Progs would be outraged over such mockery of the recently deceased? Anybody imagine the public treasury would be tapped to pay the legal fines imposed upon a trio of Republican congressmen who took it upon themselves to remove the painting (put “Nelson v. Streeter” in your search engine)?

      I didn’t think so — we’re SF fans and writers; we only imagine the reasonably possible.

  11. Common sense and leftists go together like oil and water or government and helpful. They’re not just incompatible, they’re mutually exclusive. Think about it: Modern day leftism is a rejection of rational thought. There is no logical basis for most of what they’re proposing. It’s all based on hate; hatred of Whites, hatred of rich people, hatred of LEOs, hatred of varying viewpoints, etc.

    The key to dealing with a leftist is to understand that everything they propose is based on hatred and a belief that people are too stupid to take care of themselves. Once you get past that you can get on with the fight. There is no room to compromise with someone who is not willing to compromise with you.

    • Are you saying that we should be able to prosecute contemporary Leftist political campaigning as Hate Speech? I’m not sure how else one describes the sort of political rhetoric which dehumanizes their opponents as “the 1%” and justifies punitive acts against such.

      I like the cut of your jib, Jim.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        1) I dislike any talk about “criminalizing” so-called hate speech.

        2) By any reasonable standard, the Lefties (who like to ban hate-speech) would be guilty of hate-speech. [Very Big Evil Grin]

        • The Proglodytes need to be taught, and on a regular basis, that if they insist on sowing the wind they will inevitably inherit the whirlwind.

          I recommend repeating the course every two years.

        • wanderingmuses

          I go on and on and on about #1 there. There’s no such thing as hate speech. It’s called being rude. If we make rudeness a crime we’re gonna need to build a lot more jails. You can’t make being rude a crime. Period.

          • it is only rude when you do it to me; when I do it to you it is speaking truth to power.

            Assertion of Real World definitions of Truth and Power is rude. Shut your hateful pie hole.

            • Randy Wilde

              “Speaking Truth to Power” deserves to be immortalized beside such aphorisms as:

              War is Peace
              Freedom is Slavery
              Ignorance is Strength

            • My wife says that the correct term is “cake hole”, you cake hater. 🙂

            • The owner of our local Pie Hole will no doubt be saddened that he or she will be forced to close their pie shop.

            • The Other Sean

              Wednesday is free pie day at O’Charley’s. I discovered this by accident a few months back. There’s nothing like deciding to splurge on a sit down lunch and then discover you get a slice of pie free (even packed up to go).

            • wanderingmuses

              Exactly, RES. So how can we make a law against hate speech? It’s too much of a grey area.

        • The Other Sean

          Indeed. If we go criminalizing speech, soon only criminals will speak.

        • I can tolerate “hate speech” only slightly better than “hate crime”. Hello? It is a crime? Does that mean if I steal from you with compassion in my heart I am somehow better than the person that steals from you for his next drug fix? Does it mean if I bash dead some gay with a baseball bat, while filled with love and compassion he is somehow less dead than if I did it because I despise him?

          The Georgia principal. Was she being hateful or simply honest? The Subway woman was certainly being hateful, but not specifically racist, since apparently she wants all policemen to be dead. Wouldn’t all the things Harry Reid says about the Koch brothers be considered ‘hateful’ if, for instance it was George Sorros instead? Iranians chant ‘Death to Jews’ and we must understand the geopolitical reality and forgive? Sounds pretty hateful to me.

          • “Does it mean if I bash dead some gay with a baseball bat, while filled with love and compassion he is somehow less dead than if I did it because I despise him?”

            I’m going to have to remember this turn of phrase, the next time I’m arguing the generalized idiocy of the “hate crime” concept.

            The only problem I’m going to have is keeping myself from laughing at the image that “bashing someone dead with love and compassion” brings to mind. About the only way I can make that sound threatening inside my head is if it is referring to two baseball bats with the words “Love” and “Compassion” inscribed on them…

            Otherwise, Care Bears ™, y’know? And, those just aren’t that threatening, unless you’re a diabetic and/or allergic to saccharine…

      • RealityObserver

        http://hotair.com/archives/2015/05/11/canadian-government-weighing-hate-speech-charges-against-people-who-boycott-israel/

        No comment. (Except my normal growl about the number of ignorant commenters who think the First Amendment has any application to Canada…)

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Well, in Truth vs Pravda (on Baen’s Bar) we had an Canadian who was sure that the Canadian “hate speech” laws won’t violate the US Constitution. [Sad Smile]

  12. I stand with Samuel Clemens. I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. Sadly many, many people disagree.

  13.         Well said, Amanda.

  14. It is easier to come up with excuses than it is to come up with solutions. The truck is simple, buy GAP insurance for your new vehicle and then don’t worry if it is flooded. The principal showed her colors, but don’t blame all white people for her intolerance, just hold your head high as you leave the building. The Subway tweeter simply shows what 50 years of race-baiting progressive ‘end justifies the means’ leads to. Both women are products of their environment, and it is our common cause to eliminate the attitudes of both.

  15. Good post.

    Re: the kid on twitter. I got the impression that he didn’t think he was in any danger. Have we gotten so safe that true risk is unimaginable?

    • It’s a known phenomenon that a true comprehension of mortality typically comes on only later in life. It’s one of the reasons that teenage drivers are treated as high risk. Farm kids, youth in situations where they see life and death as a normal part of existence, not so much. Then there are fully grown adults who will cry “this can’t happen to me” with their dying breath.

      • “Then there are fully grown adults who will cry “this can’t happen to me” with their dying breath.”

        I’ve always considered that an understanding of mortality is a key prerequisite for someone being termed an adult, in the first place. People lacking that understanding are not describable, in my view, as “fully grown adults”, at all. “Evolutionary events waiting to happen”, yes. Adults? Nope, nope, and again, nope.

        Unfortunately, there isn’t any certifying agency out there for adulthood. There ought to be, but there isn’t. Personally, I kinda think we need to establish one, and make it like a Underwriter’s Laboratory for people. Can’t pass the test? Kill yourself taking it? Too bad, so sad… You’re not a legal adult, and have to be assigned a responsible caretaker, no matter how many years you’ve been alive. Might help with the voter’s rolls, as well…

        • I agree that understanding mortality is very important. Just think about the good ole days when child mortality was in the double digits and there were few effective medicines. EVERYONE, city or farm folk, saw death, multiple times. A broken leg could go septic and kill you. That is one of the reasons that death is so poorly understood today. Only old people are supposed to die so when Mom dies in a car wreck at 40 or cancer takes the 15 year old, the community is shocked. When it gets down to infants and pregnancy, there is a barrier thrown up. “It just can’t happen. It isn’t common. It won’t happen to me.” When it does happen, people assume grief is something that should last about as long as the life of the baby. “Oh, it was never alive, how can you be sad? You never got to know it. Not like so and so who lost their child to a drowning accident.” “It was JUST a miscarriage. No big deal. Just get pregnant again.” “How many kids do you have?” “Four here and one in heaven.” Awkward pause and a quick “I gotta go.”

          You can almost see the calculation in somebody’s head when they hear about a death and then hear the age and status (wife, mother, grandfather, scout, soldier, athlete, toddler) of the person who died as to how important that person was and how much grief the family SHOULD be feeling.

          • Absolutely this.

            People keep asking me why I’m never too enthused when they tell me that they’re pregnant, and I can’t tell them. It’s not that I’m against babies, or pregnancies, or anything like that, it’s just that I have had a couple of unfortunate experiences in this regard, and I no longer am willing to tempt the fates. There is no conversation as awkward as having to back yourself out of having asked how the baby is doing, after having known the couple was pregnant and being separated from them during the conclusion of said pregnancy…

            The worst one was when I asked a girl who used to work for me how things were with the baby and her husband. Cue me shoving my feet firmly into my mouth when I discovered that she’d only just returned to a working status after having lost both the baby and the husband in a car accident…

            And, about a good two hours of tears and heart-wrenching sadness, me having inadvertently triggered a flashback to the event. Ever have what you thought was an innocent bit of small talk turn into an utter disaster, as everyone around you looks at you like you’re some kind of monster? Hell, how was I to know? I hadn’t seen her in about a year, year and a half, and it wasn’t like they make you wear a warning sign for bereavement. I still feel about an inch tall, whenever I think about that one.

            Yeah. About all the world gets from me these days is a “That’s nice…” and no more questions or discussion until I’m reasonably sure the kid made it to term and lived. The other big one is when someone tells you they’re pregnant, and then subsequently decides to abort it, and you ask shortly afterwards how the pregnancy is going…

            Shoe leather and rubber can kind of grow on you, after a bit.

            • The thing I hate most about the culture of silence that we have about death is that it opens the door to these sorts of moments. You’re supposed to know that something has happened, but no one will tell you. It’s messed up.

              Honestly, I’ve even seen that come up as a topic for people who have a baby with terminal birth defects. “How do I send out cards explaining the situation?” Oy.

            • As a dumb rube in Flyover Country, I reserve the right to call anyone on either Coast any name I want.

              Stay away from my farm, my critters and my guns.

      • Even farm boys still think they are invulnerable from 14-22…….

    • I was at my folks place and they had the rescue on the TV. We were imagining the discussion between the deputy and the boys. Dad suspected it began with those classic words, “Son, what the hay-el did you think you were doin’?” And went downstream from there.

    • On the other hand, what else are you going to do? You’re trapped. Tweeting about it ranks above running in circles screaming.

      I water-skied on the torrent of water that was flooding my basement. Why not? The basement was going to flood anyway, regardless of what I did. Might as well enjoy the disaster. I did shut off the electricity, first.

      • “. Might as well enjoy the disaster. I did shut off the electricity, first.”

        I worked on a dairy farm for a while as a kid. It was placed between two rivers and while the house, and the milking parlor didn’t flood, about everything else did. I lived about twenty miles away, and so was obviously not able to get to work when it would flood, but I remember stories of events that happened while I was unable to be there quite well. The owners foster brother (39 going on 18) lived in a camp trailer on the farm, and worked there. The water was several feet deep on the road one day, so the owner took the tractor over to pick his foster brother up at his trailer, and give him a ride over to the milking parlor. When he got to the trailer there was about ten inches of water inside it… and his foster brother was sitting on the couch watching TV, while wearing his barn boots so his feet didn’t get wet.

  16. wanderingmuses

    Really excellent essay, Amanda! It hits on the main point that gets my goat these days. Sharing this one for sure.

  17. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    One thought on the “Draw Mohammed” event.

    A gentleman on Baen’s Bar thought it was provocation but thought the “provoked” got what they deserved.

    IE the Islamics got what they deserved. [Very Big Evil Grin]

    • Baiting your prey is only legal if the prey is a threat to people. I reckon this would count as a legal use of bait.

    • Of course it was provocative. It was intended to be. And those provoked were absolutely free in our nation to object, protest, demonstrate, kick up a fuss as they damn well pleased. What they were not free to do was initiate lethal violence.
      Much the same in Baltimore, protest in the street? Yeah, go for it. Burn and loot? Nope, not allowed, and those identified will be held to account.
      Way I see it the Texas thing was a very good thing. Free speech was preserved, two thugs prone to violence were eliminated from the gene pool, and you can bet that a whole bunch of wanna be jihadis might just be rethinking their positions on a few things.
      Bait, maybe so, but since our entire culture offends them how long before they decided they were obliged to go shoot up a church, or school, or mall to teach the Great Satan a lesson?

      • A fundamental precept of Western Enlightenment Civilization is that very, very few provocations justify violence, especially murderous violence.

        Murderous violence is one of those provocations.

        It has long been considered an aspect of individual maturity (a necessary prerequisite for full participation in society) that a person or persons could counter symbolic attack with symbolic response.

      • Yeah, they were perfectly free to create their own drawings in protest.

  18. HT: Steven Hayward at Power Line for this proof that not all students are utter idiots:


    Heads are probably already rolling in the Admissions Department.

    Hayward also quotes the Onion:

    College Encourages Lively Exchange of Idea
    Students, Faculty Invited To Freely Express Single Viewpoint

    BOSTON—Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” said Abrams, adding that no matter the subject, anyone on campus is always welcome to add their support to the accepted consensus. “Whether it’s a discussion of a national political issue or a concern here on campus, an open forum in which one argument is uniformly reinforced is crucial for maintaining the exceptional learning environment we have cultivated here.” Abrams told reporters that counseling resources were available for any student made uncomfortable by the viewpoint.

    See: powerlineblog[DOT]com/archives/2015/05/campus-reductio-ad-absurdum.php

    CAUTION: viewing that Oberliin Choir may expose you to many additional Youtube timesucks videos, such as –

    #SciGate, #GamerGate, and Social Justice
    youtube[DOT]com/watch?v=2XAopCmfqp8
    by Insensitive Bastard
    *much praise of some guy named Larry Korea*

    Patrick Nielsen Hayden learns about the 2015 Hugo Awards
    youtube[DOT]com/watch?v=JXxNODbC6IE
    by Vox Day
    *yet another iteration of the Hitler video*

    • EarthHotel is a comedy video channel. If you listen, it’s not a whole college choir; it’s about three or four of the comedians. They also have videos like “Gamergate Sings”.

      • Make that “HotelEarth”.

        • Oh, geeze, thanks. I had just worked that out. 😉

          Satire/ Used against Proglodytes? Os that even allowed?

          • The Other Sean

            Satire against Proglodytes is allowed, except according to the Proglodytes. They believe their cause is so just and holy that any dissent or disagreement, any obstruction, and any mockery or satire or derision, comes only from evil racisssst, sexisssst, fascisssts, and is hence automatically evil hate speech for which you should be punished.

      • So those aren’t actual Oberlin students? The Admissions Department must be greatly relieved.

        I haven’t been so chagrined about a public display of gullibility since April 2nd.

    • I love the Hitler video’s! This one is great.

  19. thewerewife

    This does look like a congenial spot for one of the Greatest Show Tunes of All Time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHKIMOgoJoU

  20. The Other Sean

    Don’t look at me, I didn’t steal the common sense. Ask anybody who knows me: I don’t have it all. Although I do have enough to not stand there filming while wild animals or tornadoes come at me.

    • Wild Animals:
      www[DOT]facebook.com/abcnews/videos/10153394621473
      812/
      (didn’t want to burden Sarah with moderation)
      A Mother black bear and three cubs on a bridge in Yellowstone. Now, anyone alive with even a grain of sense, knows that Momma bears, with the little ones in danger are a little more aggressive. My heart breaks when one of the cubs is looking over the side of the bridge, deciding if he/she should jump.
      These people are beyond idiots. The sad thing is if the bear had clawed a few pounds off their bottoms, the Rangers would have to shoot her. Justifiable Homicide? You wouldn’t want me on the jury.

      • Though I would try:

      • The Other Sean

        That story and the guy in NJ last year were the two prominent bear incidents in the news that came to mind, but I’ve also in person seen people walking closer to a grazing moose – which was only 15 feet away to start with – to get a better close-up and/or better angle for their photograph. I’ve seen them walk up to and pet a bison! I’ve had close encounters of the bear kind, and my first action is always to put distance between us as safely and expeditiously as possible. If I can get a photo from some distance away (and the bear isn’t headed my way) then fine. Really, people do need to understand the wild part of wildlife.

        • My mom has a picture taken by a neighbor who is from Seattle of a cougar under his porch.

          He woke up to it eating his dog’s food, it ran under the porch, he went and got his camera, and knelt on the porch then leaned over to get the picture, looking next to it to make sure he got a good shot.

          The short version is that my mom informed us that we had more sense than that when we were THREE.

          • I used to live in Big Bear Lake CA. We had wild burros wandering where they wished. Used to walk right by the house. Once I heard a man yelling at a child. He had sat his little daughter on a wild burro’s back for a photo like it was a petting zoo. Dad was screaming. Wild ass was twitching. Daughter was crying. Cowering Mom finally got up the nerve to rescue her daughter. Dad went ballistic and wild ass ran off.

            Daughter is lucky to be alive.

            • *TWITCH*

              He would be lucky to be alive if I saw that junk.

              I can get a little… um… over-reaction ish when people do something that incredibly dangerous.

              Heck, I wouldn’t put my kids around a TAME donkey that I didn’t know well, they have the reputation they do for a dang good reason, and the wild ones are even worse.

          • I have a picture of cougar standing on my couch looking out the front window.
            Course that one was my ‘pet’ 🙂

        • I have a heck of a lot more respect for moose than I do for bears, and I’ve been bitten by bears.

          I will give everybody one piece of advice where moose are concerned; if moose doesn’t run from you… you better run from it.

          • Absent the moose being in a swamp and me somehow being on land at the same time, how the hell is that going to work? I’ve seen those things run, and about the only way I see any human outrunning them is if they’re in a bunch of trees they can duck and dodge around. Anything else, and that moose is going to run you down and stomp you into the ground. I’ve seen video of those damn things running after cars–And, catching them.

            Then, there was that poor bastard up in Alaska that was on a mountain bike. They had a hell of a time separating him from what was left of the bike…

            I think I’ll stick to my policy of carrying at least a .45-70 around areas I expect to run into the damn things, thankyouverymuch. Running from one that’s pissed off already strikes me as a fool’s game, even more so than with the bear.

            • I thought I was going to have to use my 45/70 on a cow last spring. I unwittingly walked up on her and her calf. I had to do some rather fast dodging around trees, and actually hit her once with the barrel as I dodged away from her. Luckily after I had made it about fifty yards away she called it good and just stomped and blew snot at me as I continued to retreat.

              Sorry, all the areas where I encounter moose tend to be either timbered or clearcuts, and in a clearcut you can generally spot a moose at a safe distance. I know this isn’t true everywhere, but tend to forget that moose live in different habitats in other parts of the country. (there is just something that strikes me as wrong about all the pictures of moose in sagebrush that a friend of mine brought back from his moose hunting trip to SE Idaho.)

              • Yeah… I see where you’re coming from. If you’ve only ever encountered the damn things in brushy areas, I guess running may seem like a good solution. First in-person encounter I had with one, there was a good three hundred meters in any direction before there was anything I could duck, dodge, or dive around…

                And, yeah… There is something distinctively disturbing, when you encounter something like a moose in the midst of high mountain desert. First, your eyes kinda go right over it as you look, your brain dismissing the possibility of “moose” as a potential. Then, you do the double-take, look back, and it’s like “Damn… That is a moose… What the hell…?”.

                A guy I know did that exact same thing in his backyard, once. Went out back with a cup of coffee, and it was like “Tree, tree, bush, swing set, tiger, tree… Wait. WTF? Tiger?!?!”.

                There was an honest-to-God tiger laid out in the sun in his backyard, and he nearly voided himself there on his back deck. The way he described it, he teleported himself from the deck into his house, and got on the phone to the local authorities. You can probably imagine the response he got, being in rural Louisiana. A week later, after getting many, many more reports, and having some livestock killed, they started taking the story more seriously. Turns out, some idiot had kept a tiger secretly, and the thing had gotten loose. When they tracked it down and got it with a dart gun, the tiger had managed to roam about 40 miles away from where it started, and had availed itself of numerous large animals as feedstock. The fish and game guys who captured it were actually surprised that it had figured out how to kill for its food, since it had been kept domestically for its entire life.

                Funniest detail about that whole thing? His dogs. Normally, they would go after anything that got into the back yard. The tiger? Not a damn chance–The dogs were in the house, as far as they could get from the backyard, and refused to go out. Two coonhounds, and a German Shepherd. No muss, no fuss, no voided bowels, they just didn’t think it was their problem–“Hey… We’re fine keeping the raccoons out. We’re fine with chasing off the neighbors cats. Even that big-ass Rottweiler from down the street. A tiger? Kiss our collective asses… That’s your problem there, buddy…”. Hear him tell it, they were acting just like union labor that’s been asked to do more than their contract requires. “Tiger? Oh, hell to the no…”. The dogs weren’t acting that scared, they just weren’t going to have a damn thing to do with that backyard, so long as there was a tiger out there. And, he was morally certain they knew it was out there–They’d gone out the dog door earlier, and come straight the hell back in like it was raining or something equally unpleasant. Never barked once, never so much as even whined about it.

                And, yes… He regarded them as a bunch of damn traitors afterwards. Funny as hell–I went over to grab a meal with him one day, and he’s talking trash about “tigers” to his dogs, and all three of them managed to look guilty as hell the minute he said “tiger”.

                • Yep, the problem with the 45/70 approach (which I don’t disagree with, just don’t want to use if another option is available) is that explaining that sort of thing to the fur and feathers fellers is a time consuming royal pain. And a moose is too dang big to practice the three S’s on. Well you can, but that is going to be a back breaking amount of shoveling, and you simply aren’t moving something that size without help or equipment.

                  • The thing that surprises me is that the dogs didn’t try to stop him from going out. Either they had an inflatedly excellent opinion of his Alpha skills, or they were plotting a coup.

                    My dog warned me pretty distinctively when she saw that rabid raccoon. She didn’t bark, but she got that stifflegged stance and made sure I knew there was a problem.

                    • I think it might just have been an “out of context” problem, for the dogs. I’d have loved to have known what the three of them did when they went out the door in the morning, because they always worked as a group when I saw them, with the two coonhounds kinda riding flank on the German Shepherd, who was a big ol’ boy. I kinda picture it like this, only with three dogs:
                      [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/aaz7JG0.gif[/IMG]

                    • Well, that establishes you can’t link to a .gif, here…

                      Try this:

                    • [sigh]

                      How about this?

                • wanderingmuses

                  OMG, Kirk!! I’m tearing up with laughter over here!! The way you told that is hilarious!

                  • Thanks… I really wish I could convey the sheer humor of how he told me the story, because it was epic. You have to understand–This happened on Fort Polk, in one of the housing areas that backed on the boundary for the military reservation. He called the MPs, and they sent over a car, thinking he was drunk, or something. Now, this was a fairly senior NCO, a guy who was an Observer/Controller for the JRTC, and he’s got a couple of PFCs doing a sobriety test on him at his front door, while the tiger is in back of the house. He convinces them to come see for themselves, and when they go back… No tiger. There were, however, some prodigious pug prints in the ground, which the MPs accused him of making. The orange fur caught on the top of the fence was ascribed to his kid’s stuffed animals…

                    The dogs did come out and bark at the MPs, though, so he had that going for him on a Sunday morning when he was home alone with no other witnesses available.

                    He reported it to the Vet office at Polk, to extreme disbelief.
                    He called it in to the Post Commander’s office. They still didn’t believe him. He made casts of the prints, and took them down. Nobody believed him.

                    They did, however, call his boss and suggest strongly that someone start paying attention to his mental health, and, oh, here’s the number to the clinic for an involuntary referral…

                    The tiger apparently didn’t find military life appealing, and it exited Fort Polk, stage right. Over the next several weeks, several other people called in, saying they’d seen a tiger. Eventually, after it mauled enough domestic animals, someone paid attention and they started seriously looking for it, and found copious evidence in the form of more fur and prints, so they started hunting it. Eventually, they caught it, and I don’t know the disposition on what they did with it. I’m honestly actually sort of surprised that it didn’t wind up decorating some Cajun’s living room…

                    The weird thing about the whole deal is that you’d think there would have been some official notice about all this happening, but I’ll be damned if I could ever find any. I was down at Polk on an exercise, ran into this guy that I knew from past assignments, and that’s when I heard about it. He still had the casts and the fur, and about a half-dozen other people that confirmed the details, because the guys he was working with were still ragging him about the mental health referral. And, there were people who were pissed that they never put out a warning about it, because of kids and so forth, so I’m reasonably certain this actually happened the way it was told to me. Either that, or there were a bunch of folks in on the joke.

                    But… Newspapers? Anything on the internet? Never found squat. Supposedly, the tiger was owned by someone with “connections”, and it all got hushed up in the media. Knowing the region around Fort Polk, I can kind of believe that.

                    • “Phantom cat sightings” are pretty common, and a decent number even have physical evidence.

                      They tend to get conflated with either alien sightings, or “it was a housecat” sightings.

                    • Kirk, I was working a contract in Edison NJ back in 1998, and had the news on. Story came up about an escaped tiger, complete with FLIR shots showing said tiger walking along, occasionally looking over at the cops who were shooting at it and apparently missing. All of a sudden they go to normal light and pull back. That’s when I realize that thing is out behind the mall across from my hotel…..

                • …and he’s talking trash about “tigers” to his dogs, and all three of them managed to look guilty as hell the minute he said “tiger”.

                  HAH! That would so totally be my dog.

                  • Our Border Collie would be at my side, giving me that side-eye “Are you actually serious, here…?” look she has when encountering things that are clearly not a part of her contract’s scope.

                    The other one we have, a mutt, would be out there trying to play with the kitty. And, knowing her, managing it. That dog has no sense, whatsoever…

                    • Mine goes out and barks at deer. Sometimes they run, sometimes they don’t. I got a call from older son one day – “Dad, will turkeys hurt the dog?” Apparently, she was out barking at them and THEY ignored her. A couple of miniature horses came to visit – one of them got tired of her barking and was about to go over an administer a beat-down, so I picked her up and took her inside. A sheep that was visiting charged her, looking like it was going to head-butt her.

                      Just about the only thing she can reliably chase away is a cat, and if one of those ignored her, she’d probably have a breakdown.

                    • snelson134

                      Over in Germany at Spangdahlem AB in 1994. Staying at a local Gasthaus that backed up to a fairly large wildlife preserve. It was large enough, in fact, that they allowed wild boar hunts and had the breeding herd penned up nearby. One evening, I was in my 2nd floor room and heard a commotion. Looked out and found that the entire herd had escaped and was on the front lawn. 5 minute standoff broken when some woman walked out with her Chihuahua.

                      The Chihuahua charged the pigs.

                      The pigs counter-charged right back…. and in through the front doors, throughout the ground floor, and onto the back dining patio. It took the rest of the night to get them out and repair the damages. The Chihuahua was found under some of the furniture, unharmed.

          • My brother was fishing on a bridge in Montana and the dog chased a mother moose and her calf right to him. My brother jumped off the bridge into the creek immediately and shortly afterward threw the dog into the creek for being so dumb.

      • Uhmmm. Yeah.

        Idiots gonna idiotate.

        One of the earliest memories I have is of my parents hustling me away from seeing the effects of a moron tourist who walked up to a buffalo in Colorado and kicked it in order to get it up on its feet for pictures… We’d stopped at some kind of rest stop near a buffalo ranch, where you could take pictures, and this guy apparently didn’t want to have just a picture of the buffalo laying down, so he jumped the fence and went out to kick one of the bulls up onto his feet. His wife got to film his stupid ass getting turned into a thin red paste, apparently.

        Most city and suburban types have no real understanding of what “nature red in tooth and claw” implies, at any level. It’s fascinating to watch, from the perspective of someone who grew up on a farm out in the country, and on so many levels. Whether it is some poor mom being forced to digest the fact that little Fluffy, the kids pet cat is likely coyote or cougar chow, or that meat comes from live animals, they just don’t get it.

        Where I live has steadily changed from assuredly rural to damn near HOA-level suburban, and I just have to laugh at some of these people we have around now. When I was a kid, it wasn’t uncommon to walk by a house that had deer or pigs hanging for butchering in someone’s garage. Now? The last time somebody did that, the neighbors called the cops. Literally–Called the cops and complained that someone was killing animals and butchering them in their yard. The bad part? We’re in an unincorporated part of the county, so for legal purposes, this is still “country”, for a given value of that term. The first deputy sheriff shows up, and he’s getting ready to write a ticket and reading the riot act to the guilty party, and his sergeant arrives on-scene. Cue quiet ass-chewing, apology, and the sergeant explaining to the complainant that what their neighbor is doing is perfectly legal, and that the complainant had better consider what the implications of not living in a city meant. Same idiot had called in complaints because the orchardist down the street was running his tractors during the day…

        • Joe Wooten

          It bugs the hell out of me to hear city folks from C(r)ook County move out here to a farming area and bitch and moan about farmers spreading manure on their fields, raising a large dust cloud plowing or running a combine until midnight to get the corn harvested before it rains again.

          They never stop t think the farmer was here before they were.

          • Oh goodness. We were *just* talking about that—if you move somewhere, be aware that other things (gun range, airport, farm) were there first, and you’d damned well better not try to change things so that they’re the same as the place you *left*.

            • Heh. Here in North Carolina we have a special name for folks what moves here to escape the rat race of “The Big City” — and immediately commence to demanding we enact the policies and politics of their previous place of residence.

              We call them “Yankees.”

              • We call them ‘Come Here’ people. I believe they are Calfiornicators out west. One of our ‘new’ neighbors discovered in rural VA that people shoot guns. Once, she reported a neighbor to the Sheriff for firing an ‘automatic weapon’. When the Deputy came by, I told him, yeah it was one of the neighbors, probably a semi-auto pistol, but he really wasn’t trying to shoot all that fast. Seems that when she had just complained about ‘shooting’ they explained to her it was legal here. So she upped the ante, presumably to annoy the long-time residents. HA! Unfortunately for her, our family range used to be over my Dad’s garden, but when they came and built two houses in the woods, our of consideration we switched of one of our game fields with an earthen berm for a backstop. She is the nearest neighbor. [One of Paul/Drak’s Very Evil Grins].

                • Surprised it wasn’t explained to her that yes, it was an automatic weapon, but that was still perfectly legal in VA.

              • Ah, we call them Californians. (or Seattlites, but it amounts to the same thing).

                • The current slang around here is “two-oh-sixer”. Said with a distinct amount of contempt/viciousness…

                  • I have family that you can still cause to froth at the mouth by bringing up the fact that they had “their” 206 prefix, that they had had for their whole lives, taken away to be given to some Seattlite.

              • ma’am, in mah experience, they may be either ‘yankees’ or ‘d*mn yankees’

              • In the western US, the are called “Californians”……..

                • Seriously, can we stop with that joke? California is a mighty big place, and a lot of it is getting tired of painted with that brush.

                  • Then maybe Caifornia should stop spattering other states with their drippings.

                    We’ve volunteered to act as spotters for any (further) Californians headed our way.

                    We’re working out a checklist: Prius, -3 pts, Subaru, -5 points, if you see a rectangular spot on the bumber, just turn them the hell around to New Mexico or Colorado, ‘cuz that’s where they tried to scrape off the “Coexist” bumper sticker…

                    • It ain’t so much them coming here, it is the demands that we enact policies that will make us just like what they fled. Accept our quaint ways of doing things and welcome, set y’self down, make y’self comf’tble.

                      Don’t be making us have to ask you “If you liked that so all-fired much, howcum you left?”

                      Just consider having to park five minutes whilst that reaper crosses the road a part of our local ambiance and unique local flavour. If y’all was in such an ungawdly hurry y’all should’ve left sooner.

                    • Some of us have left the left coast to get away from its idiocy. That, and being tired of being perpetually outvoted by denizens of a couple of urban areas.

                      Come to think on it, the state wasn’t bad at all until the mob of northeasterners came and settled there.

                    • Well, F me for existing, then!

                    • Oh, existing is okay, but lay off the exiting. 😉

                    • @ B.Durbin–I feel your pain. People blame the native Californians for the stuff they more properly ought to be blaming on all the fruits and nuts that moved out there and wrecked the place starting back in the 1950s. Many of whom started out in the states they’re now afflicting, having ruined California.

                      I think the problem can be blamed on the Pacific Ocean. If the idiots could only move further West, we’d all be a lot better off. Unfortunately, they hit the coast, and are now rebounding.

                      I used to love Oregon, and Western Washington. Now, I can’t recognize either one of them for the places where I grew up. I’d love to blame someone for it, but… Most of the really annoying people I know came from back East, originally. Worst of the lot are the ones who’ve got the Ivy League educations and the presumptions stemming from urban lifestyles, and who think the West is one big park for them to play in. Perish the thought that anyone should develop anything, or make a living out here, once they have their little dream house built. Asses, all of them.

                    • This is why we need a land bridge to Hawaii.

                      it needn’t go all the way.

                    • Marin County is *textbook* NIMBY. Note how utterly incensed they are at George Lucas daring to build affordable housing on his land. (One suspects he is taking great joy in annoying his neighbors that way.)

                      P.S. I have spent most of my life having one flavor or another of “home” picked on—I grew up in Sacramento, which meant L.A. and the Bay Area made fun of us for being small and the rest of the state blamed us for the things the politicians *they* sent here did. I lived out of state for a number of years and heard Californians blamed for a lot of things that the natives of whichever place were also doing (Denver, in particular, blamed certain driving styles on Californians that I had never seen in California.) And a few years ago, we got a nasty anonymous letter saying that we should be ashamed of our lawn (which was not as perfectly trimmed and greened as our neighbors’)—the year I had two toddlers and a father dying of cancer.

                      So I’m TOUCHY about “home” being picked on, particularly when it’s for the actions of some of 30 MILLION other people. There’s a word for painting with that broad of a brush. Must have forgotten it.

                    • snelson134

                      Marin County: when even the pagans think you’re weird:

                    • Oh, NB: The nasty anonymous letter was not *from* the neighbors. They’re nice enough to say it to my face and have been in the situation of not having enough time or money for careful landscaping. It was a walker.

                    • They should be required to watch the Craig Morgan video for “International Harvester” before being given the mortgage or lease.

                    • As a dumb rube in Flyover Country, I reserve the right to call anyone on either Coast any name I want.

                      Stay away from my farm, my critters and my guns.

                  • yes, but the vast vast majority of Californians fall in those areas. Just look at the margin by which Brown was elected. (or boxer, or fineswine…)

              • “from away”

          • Another good one is people moving to property next to the Expressway, then demanding that sound abatement measures be put up because of how loud it is.

            Ditto with airports.

            • Joe Wooten

              Every big airport built in the last 40 years was way out in the country when it went into operation (like DFW). People moved out towards it to be near it and now bitch and moan about the noise. I just want to throw a brick through the TV every time I hear them interview airport noise activists…..

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                The book Airport (which was made into a movie) had several scenes with the airport manager dealing with home owners complaining about the noise.

                One of the things he complained about was that the airport had put up signs warning people about the airport noise.

                But the developers kept tearing down the signs to prevent people from “deciding not to build their homes there”.

                Of course, he had no real answer (and how could he give one) when he was asked by a home owner (who had accepted what he had said) about what we do now.

                • The developers pulled a similar fast one in real life, back in the 1990s. For the period prior to them deactivating the 9th ID at Fort Lewis, the land down around the southern training areas was basically unsellable, because of noise. The division went away, and a bunch of developers started buying farmland and running up houses.

                  Cue the Army bringing back actual units to train a few years later, and, well… All those idiots were suddenly quite shocked to discover that, gee, building underneath the flight corridor for the helicopters to get out to the training areas wasn’t that smart. Plus, buying a house literally only a few thousand meters from an impact area? Noisy…They protested, anyway.

                  The Army fought a rear-guard action, for years, but much of Fort Lewis is now useless for real training. I always thought that they should have gone after the developers, to recoup the costs of transporting everything over to Yakima Training Center, but I guess I’m just an asshole. I’d have also gone out and taken the protestors over to the map, and asked them how long the base has been there, when they decided to move in, and if the second date wasn’t before the first, screw off. The idiocy of many people in this country never ceases to amaze me.

                  • What’s wrong with living under a flightpath? I grew up under a SAC bomber flightpath, about a mile from the base. Helicopters are nothin,’ compared to a giant vacuum cleaner roar up in the sky.

                    • The Daughter and I were staying in a hotel next to the flight path out of the Norfolk Naval base the week of April 19, 1995, the morning of the truck bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Building … a steady stream of flights taking off flying right past our window distracted us as we prepared to go down for a late breakfast.

                • The Natomas area of Sacramento. It’s floodplain, basically, and the locals fought the developers for years, until the developers had enough clout to get the land cleared for building. Now the feds say the levees aren’t enough to protect the area (look up Rodeo the dog from the 1997 floods for an example why) and the homeowners have to buy extensive flood insurance… which most of them aren’t prepared for, the developers having assured them it was not necessary when they bought their homes a decade or two back.

                  My mom’s degree has a nice side of geology to it, and I learned about FEMA flood risk maps when I was a kid. It’s so nice that you can check those online before buying a house, but most people don’t know that they should.

                  • Incidentally, when you hear the phrase “worst-case scenario: eighteen feet deep in water,” I’d consider that reason to look elsewhere. Natomas and “the Pocket” both have that lovely distinction. (The Pocket is basically a large peninsula surrounded by levees.)

                    • I came to Sacramento in the 80’s for work (Grumman sent me here). I moved back in 2001 for work again, and was shocked that they had built all those houses on a major flood plain.
                      There were some serious bribes floated down at city hall to make that happen, and it’s sad that none of the people involved ever went to jail.
                      Not only will they get 18 feet of water there if any of the levies go, but they’ll have about 15 MINUTES to get out of there. That’s how fast that place floods.
                      Personally I’m sort of sorry I came back here, it’s gone downhill since the bases closed, and I made the mistake of buying a house here. Which I haven’t been able to sell for a while now. The only question I have is where to go next? I went back up to Oregon for six months just recently, and well, it’s being pretty well run into the ground by a government incredibly corrupt and an electorate incredibly stupid. Kitzharber proved that.

                    • You’ve had trouble selling a house in Sac? Last I’d heard, people were having difficulty buying due to lack of inventory. Of course, it all depends precisely where the house is and so forth.

                    • Yeah, that’s pretty much not true, there is still a lot of inventory available, the problem is, most of it is where you don’t want to live, or for people looking to sell, the price the market is willing to pay is still below what they owe.
                      The only houses in Sacramento that aren’t ‘underwater’ price wise, are the ones that were foreclosed on, or the ones bought over thirty years ago.

                  • I long ago realized that politicians are drawn from the ranks of lawyers and real estate developers, the next most hated professions.

                    Journalists tend to become campaign consultants and press spokespersons which represents a step up in integrity.

                  • “My mom’s degree has a nice side of geology to it, and I learned about FEMA flood risk maps when I was a kid. It’s so nice that you can check those online before buying a house, but most people don’t know that they should.”

                    Sorry, anybody who doesn’t check a FEMA map before buying a place is too stupid to breathe without written instructions.

                    • Wouldn’t have help much when the one two punch of Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd hit the Carolina coast in mid September 1999. (A month later Hurricane Irene added insult to injury…) In many areas the water well exceeded the 500 year floodplane…

                    • Aargh! Spring thunderstorms, just made my power flicker just long enough to reboot my computer before I could hit Post.

                      Sometimes you just draw the short straw, like with your hurricanes, and sometimes, like when they fill in the floodplain to build a new Walmart and parking lot, somebody cuts your straw off for you. Still there is no need to cut your own straw off, and not checking to see if the place you are buying is in the CURRENT floodplain is just stupid.

                    • First apartment I had at Flat State came within an ace of flooding one Sunday morning when rain upstream and a mud-filled diversion pond conspired. Literally, I had one of two ground floor units not inundated (it stopped 6″ from my door). I looked into getting flood insurance, because it was going to happen again, but no. I wasn’t in an official floodplain despite the water 200 yards from my door. Four years later, after I’d left, it struck again and this time every ground-floor apartment was under five feet of water. Meanwhile, developers built a huge housing tract on the floodway below a dam 10 miles or so away, a dam that happens to have some problems. But that’s different.

                    • Part of the trick around here is that the biggest flooding risks are from local sources, because when you live in a dry climate and the ground is clay soil, it saturates fast. So people may think they’re safe, but the local creek is too close for comfort.

                      Or sometimes, it’s even being the low point on the street. I told my husband we’d never consider any house with a street drain in front of it, and he thought I was crazy.

                    • I got lucky, when we moved to the Damp Side we were delayed by several days because the Seattle area was flooded.

                      He’s listened very carefully to my horror at many of the housing complexes and even houses where I look around and go “It’s beautiful, it’s green, there’s no chance in HECK I’m living there.”

                    • Recalled due to TXRed’s response to this (It is past the reply links. 😦 ):

                      One of the many times the government rebuilt one of the interstates through town they did a nifty job of mucking up the surrounding area’s drainage when they ‘improved’ the access/egress at one intersection. Come the spring rains and they were using boats to take people off of the second floor balconies of the nearby apartment complex. Again, when the late summer rains came — it was one of our wet years. So they reengineered it again.

                      The owners of the apartments changed their name and offered deals. Eventually memories dimmed and people moved back. For several years it was fine, and then the interstate was widened and…

                  • snelson134

                    There was a neighborhood in Montgomery where they essentially trucked in enough fill dirt to raise about 30 acres to a height 3 inches over the definition of a flood plain. Oh, Hell No.

                • There’s a 3/8-mile dirt track a couple of towns away that has been in operation since the early 1950s. It was out in the county when it opened. The metro area has gradually expanded to surround it.

                  They run Friday and Saturday nights, IMCA, alcohol sprints, Late Models, etc. Thirty Modifieds coming around Turn 3 is like being slammed with a pugil stick.

                  It’s wonderful…

                  Of course some developers bought some nearby land, and even before they started building they were all over the zoning people trying to get the track shut down. Everyone was pretty sure we’d lose the track – it has happened often enough to other race tracks nationwide.

                  The zoning commission, which was mostly developers, said the track had to go. The track owners sued and got it into county court, where the judge chastised the developers before essentially laughing them out of his court. “If someone builds a house next to a race track, they’d better like listening to it!”

                  The houses went up anyway, and I’m sure their owners are bitter, but the races go on every weekend.

                  • Real Estate Developers are evil. They want development everywhere, no matter what they have to do to force a landowner to sell their land.
                    Way too many of these people go into politics.

                    • Hence the building on prime farmland in California, instead of that lovely scrub a little ways away.

                  • The biggest crime is the way they’re doing that to small airports. ISTR that we’re losing them at a rate of about 1 a week.

        • May have posted this before. Game park in Africa at closing hours, and one tourist car still had not left. Employees went in search, and found it parked near a tree, but no tourist in sight. Videocam is sitting on the hood, pointing toward said tree. Employees review the last clip – wherein said tourist tries to get a video of lions moving around, but they are enjoying the shade. So he puts the camera on the hood, walks over, and slaps a lion to get him to move. He succeeded.

          • Yeesh… Sounds about like the guy our Forest Service liaison told us about up at Glacier National Park. He and his wife were out early in the spring, when the bears were coming out of hibernation up there, and found a group of bears eating a bunch of winter-killed elk by the side of a road. The bears were not perfectly visible, so the husband decided to get out to get better pictures of the bears. Wife got to watch him get added to the menu, and since he’d had the car keys with him, there wasn’t too much she could do until the Park employees found her. From what the liaison told us, there was some really excellent footage of what a grizzly charge looks like from the perspective of the victim on the guy’s video camera…

            • That needs to be a tourist warning video. “Last seconds of ——, who approached the bears.” Cut it before anything gruesome, of course, and show it on a loop at the gate, ten seconds plus a text warning of Wild Animals Are Dangerous, Stay In Your Car.

              We just went to Yosemite, and at the visitor’s center they had alternate 20-minute documentaries showing every half hour. One of them was preceded by a mini PSA, with interviews, about someone wading and going over a waterfall. (Water is the biggest killer in Yosemite, even over falling.) Wild space is dangerous and you forget that at your peril.

              • The Spouse indulged me with a trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway recently. For years the BRP and surrounding parks have had displays explaining the necessity of be cautious around bears. Now, at Waterock Knob there is a new display explaining why one needs to be cautious about the eastern Elk — which are being successfully reestablished.

              • There was an argument between Mitchell and Clingman on which of their namesake mountains were higher. So up Mount Mitchell went Mitchell, an experienced climber, to measure it one more time. His was the higher. On the way back down he met a waterfall and traveled no further of his own accord. He is now interred on the peak of that mountain.

          • Patrick Chester

            *facepalm*

        • When Deb and I first moved to Texas, our first and firmest rule was NO HOA.

          We found a property several miles outside of town. (Not a huge town, but it has everything we pretty much need. Of course, it has only one of everything…)

          Our realtor, a lovely lady, actually asked us if we would be okay with all the quiet. I explained to her that where I lived in Los Angeles, I was routinely awakened by police copters circling my building with sun guns on full bright and frequent gunfire, on more than one occasion full-automatic.

          So yeah, we could handle a rooster and the occasional cropduster. And around here gunfire means feral hogs in the creekbed, not gangbangers in the 99¢ Store.

          In fact, the most regular nighttime noise is the country-western-song-distant sound of a train horn passing through town…

          • My goal had been to own enough land that i could post signs around the perimeter declaring “If I Can hear You I Can Shoot You” — with clear evidence of having zeroed in sights for the range.

            I always admired Emily Sackett Talon’s having those range markers laid out on her property.

          • Joe Wooten

            What town?

          • I’m still confused as to why anybody needs an HOA for anything other than management of public space such as a clubhouse or pool. But you know, maybe that’s just my assumption that non HOA neighborhoods can look just as nice (or nicer, since they aren’t limited by arbitrary paint choices or landscaping) just through pride of ownership.

            Like every neighborhood I’ve ever lived in…

  21. The term “common sense” is a complete non-sequitur. The quality it describes is neither common, nor in accordance with the sensibilities of the majority. This being the case, I would propose that we come up with a more accurate appellation for this concept. I’m open to proposals, and suggest that being able to accurately name the concept would be helpful in demonstrating the value of things it describes for our idiotarian majority.

    Perhaps something along the lines of “anti-idiotic”? “Non-mentally challenged”? Both are awkward; perhaps one of us has a more mellifluous turn of phrase?

    Common sense: So rare that it’s damn near a super-power.

    • The Other Sean

      Abnormal sense
      Rare sense
      Supersense
      Supernormal sense
      Not-riding-the-short-bus sense

    • Common Sense
      Situational Awareness

      Must I explain?

      • Yes! Precisely so.
        And no those who would understand already get it. No explanation necessary for them, and none possible for the clueless.

      • Sara the Red

        Oooh, I like that as an alternative term for common sense! 😀

      • ❤ "situational awareness"

      • RealityObserver

        Precisely.

        I’m not an electrician – and I’ve seen a “professional” electrician get blown off of a live circuit.

        I’m not a welder – and I’ve seen a “professional” welder start a good-sized brush fire.

        I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had the green light – and NOT been T-boned because I looked both ways before going through the intersection. (Yeah, rear-ended pretty good once, but not T-boned like the poor woman in the right lane.)

      • That’s what I was thinking.

    • You might enjoy C.S. Lewis’s Studies in Words.

    • Gene pool survivor (vs gene pool chum)?

    • It’s from a now antiquated form of “common,” as in “commoner.” A closer phrasing would be “peasant sense.” As in, “the peasant that knows better than to be on the same side of the fence as the bull.”

      Also note that by historical standards, we’re all nobility—even most poor folk—so the eroding of common sense seems to follow.

      • Huh. Where are you getting that from?

        Everything I just spent ten minutes researching says that the term is derived from what I’d always assumed (or, been taught and forgot where/by whom…), which is that “common sense” is defined more-or-less as “originally the power of uniting mentally the impressions conveyed by the five physical senses, thus “ordinary understanding, without which one is foolish or insane” (Latin sensus communis, Greek koine aisthesis); meaning “good sense” is from 1726. Also, as an adjective, commonsense.”

        I can only find one reference online to anything even close to the interpretation you are suggesting here, and that one is from non-specialists commenting on a site new to me called StackExchange, located at:

        http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/104483/in-the-phrase-common-sense-in-what-sense-of-the-word-is-common-used

        Oh, and thank you for helping me find another time sink, damn near equivalent to TV Tropes… Beware, all ye who read here, of a site called StackExchange.com. With particular attention to the English Language & Usage list…

        Oh, and I’m not trying to make this anything antagonistic or sarcastic–I’m genuinely curious, now. This is the first time I’ve ever heard that interpretation of this, and I’d like to widen my knowledge base.

        • I’m sorry, most of my references are on the order of “I read it somewhere…” 😀 (IOW, if you have information proving me wrong, I’m wrong and will freely admit it.)

          Basically, if I were creating a research document, I’d document the heck out of my sources, but sometimes I just act as a general synthesist, spreading information and misinformation on the internet.

          (However, I am still pleased with my theory of how Ullrich von Lichtenstein made it so that most people without a decent knowledge of history place King Arthur in the Middle Ages. That one came with a hefty dose of “there’s nothing new under the sun.”)

        • Actually, that’s only one of the several meanings that contributed to “Common sense.” This is why I recommend Studies in Words.

        • I don’t know where I got it, I just grew up “knowing” that Durbin’s definition of common sense was the right definition. I don’t know that it was ever actually explained, that was just the way that everybody I grew up around used the term.

        • C. S. Lewis talks about sensus communis and koinos nous in Studies in Words, which is why Mary is mentioning it!

    • I believe that common sense refers to the sense of the ‘common man’ as compared to his ‘betters’. Generally life experience trumps education.

    • I use NAFI, Not A F*&&^ing Idiot.

  22. We all hear about the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ all the time, and everyone is always watching for them. But what we don’t hear about is the fifth, the guy in the back on the pony, his gig is a simple one: Stupidity.

    Now Stupidity used to kill them pretty young, so he never really got the recognition that the main four got, while they picked off tens or hundreds of thousands at a time, he’d be picking them off piecemeal: one here, two there, sometimes maybe he’d get luck and get a handful. But he was constant, as a kid I knew lots of other kids who didn’t make it to adulthood, because of stupidity.

    But then they started to protect stupid people from killing themselves, and now we have a population where easily a good twenty to thirty percent are really just ‘too stupid to live’. And they’re all gonna get a surprise when good ole’ number five comes riding through, no longer on a pony however, but upgraded to a nice charger of his own.

    Then we’re going to see people dying by the millions, and they’re all going to die because they’re just stupid friggin’ idiots.
    And I suspect we’re going to be seeing it pretty soon too.

    • I must admit that I have not yet read your comment. I decided I had to reply as soon as I realized I had read your name as “John Van Stir-Fry”.

    • Now to your comment: There are certain jobs I would never attempt to get into, because I am too prone to errors, and anything that puts someone’s life at the mercy of my being right all the time is simply not a good idea.

    • Two comments:
      First, unless you’re really unlucky (or “unlucky”), stupidity very often gives people multiple chances before he takes them these days. It takes multiple screw-ups to really ruin your life. However, those screw-ups don’t necessarily have to be yours, which leads us to…
      Second, when stupidity kills, it doesn’t always kill the stupid. Sometimes it kills someone else entirely. Occasionally, it kills a lot of other people. Stupidity is stupid that way.

      • So, you’re saying that Stupidity is a cat, liking to play with her intended victims?

      • Everybody’s heard of the Darwin Awards. There’s actually an official group for them, aside from the general people who cite urban legendry as “Darwin Award winning.” The official group has a stipulation: Kids aren’t eligible for the Award, because what is stupidity in an adult is often just ignorance in a child (and I count lack of understanding of physics through exposure (such as how cars move at speed) to be ignorance.)

        Anyway. I’m always on the lookout for others’ stupidity, and make it my business to minimize the risk from that as well. One trick that has probably saved me a lot on the road is simply sufficient following distance (they say two seconds but I say three, partly because people do fencepost errors when counting seconds mentally.) I saw a car hit the median and flip onto its roof in front of me… about 200 feet ahead. Plenty of time to slow down and not get creamed from behind, or hit the car in between us. Single-car accident, simply because the rest of us on the road were playing safe.

        • RealityObserver

          Yep. See above…

          Durn near failed a “defensive driving” course once (required for my job, not getting out of a ticket). Instructor asked how far ahead you should be looking – I said “as far as you can see.” We got into it, too, on whether to check the rear-view when you are just driving along in the right-hand lane…

          Never been in the military – but a vet acquaintance once told me that I drove like some guy trying to get through a meadow that’s surrounded by snipers.

          • Okay, I think you’ve brought this up before, but I remain completely baffled. I was specifically instructed in my driver’s ed courses and by my parents to look as far ahead as I could see and check the mirrors every three seconds. What was wrong with your instructor?

            Then again, I still think the Connecticut driver’s manual makes it sound like they have green lights on both cross-ways at an intersection…. I think they were actually just trying to acknowledge that a lot of people run red lights there.

            • The Other Sean

              After visiting my parents in Connecticut numerous times I’ve come to the conclusion that Connecticut drivers consider the laws regarding stopping at stop signs and red lights as more in the way of gentle suggestions than as actual laws.

              • A fellow choir member when I lived in Dublin was English, and one Sunday on the way in for service, he commented that he was always amazed at how the lights that he had been taught were rules/laws were taken as merely advisory on that side of the Irish Sea.

                If you want to become very religious very quickly, be driven around Dublin by an Italian in a very tiny Fiat. I recall even Liberato being totally appalled. Of course they’d only had driving tests for a couple of decades at that point. If you saw a large black Moris Minor coming towards you you got the hell out of the way, because those things were tanks, and the odds were good it was being driven by an old Irish farmer who had never taken a test or even a lesson in his life; his license had merely been grandfathered in. Though they did get so far behind on testing in the earlly ’80s at one point they just gave everyone who had renewed their learner’s permit by a certain date a full license.

                • Having owned one of them myself, I can’t quite get my head around “large” as a modifier for “Morris Minor”. I suppose it depends on what you might be driving inn the vicinity of one.

                • Joe Wooten

                  My company does not allow employees to rent a car in China. They provide everyone with a driver there. There are a LOT of folks there who never drove a car until 5-10 years ago, and now the freeways are full of poorly trained idiot drivers.

                  If a foreigner driver, especially an American, is involved in an accident, he/she is automatically guilty and is charged and arrested.

                  • That makes sense — they are Chinese roads.

                    I just wish it weren’t that in America, If a foreigner driver is involved in an accident with an American, it is the American who is automatically guilty and is charged and arrested.

                  • Worse, even the drivers who are trained are trained in how to drive in Asia.

                    Japan’s drivers are amazingly sedate and polite for that driving group, I think because of that big “enforce all the laws HARD” push a few decades back.

                    The one time I took a Japanese taxi I made the mistake of mentioning that my parents are ranchers, which the driver realized meant cowboy, and we went several blocks with him turned entirely around and leaning over the seat to talk to me about how they were like “Chon Wayne?!?”

              • There is a reason that tapping your brakes when coming up to a stop sign and slowing down enough to glance both ways while you go through it is called a California stop.

                • And on the other end of things, apparently somewhere near where I live, there is a town or county that has a law stating that you must stop for three seconds at a stop sign (I know someone who got a ticket for not waiting long enough).

                  • I believe Washington state has that one, because someone somewhere successfully argued that their car had stopped moving entirely by the wheels, the appearance of motion was just forward momentum and shouldn’t count.

                    Hit the breaks, one two three while looking, go.

                    It’s actually rather useful when you’re in a hurry and might be dangerous otherwise, too.

                    • Question: did Washington get rid of the “free right turn” law, or did they just remove all the signs they used to have saying so?

                    • Right on Red?

                      It’s legal after a full stop unless posted otherwise– problem being, even the cops don’t know that a right-arrow means “no right on red.”

                    • Of course, finding out what is actually legal is a big fight in Washington– whoever writes up the driver’s guides tells you what you “should” do, with no distinction between “it is illegal” and “the current hot experts think it’s a good idea.”

                • Or an American Stop in parts of Ontario, Canada.

                  • In Ohio, we blame Michigan drivers. In some parts of Michigan, they blame Toledo drivers.

                    But it is Boston drivers that strike fear into my heart.

                    • Rhode Island drivers scared the heck out of me back when I traveled everywhere for work.
                      They would turn left in front of oncoming traffic the second the light turned green. I have never heard of that before.

              • Oh, I have to be just, they actually stop with some regularity at red lights! I only rarely saw more than four or five go through in a row after one changed.

              • It went that way in Arkansas about ten years ago. Lights and signs are generally ignored now. Which is one reason I went from a motorcycle to a large pickup truck.

                When my light turns green, I pull out. Arkansas is a right-of-way state; I don’t have to “yield to avoid a collision.” (which makes sense, because if someone has to yield, then they don’t have right of way, do they?)

                It’s interesting how many people blowing through a stop sign get ANGRY when there’s a huge Dodge truck obstructing their traffic misdemeanor…

                • Got flipped off last night because a guy wanted to tap his brakes going through a four-way stop, and ignore my turn signal, I’m guessing because he wanted it to be his “turn” even though he hadn’t even reached the white line before I was fully stopped.

                  Seriously, the folks who are most rude and entitled are the ones breaking the traffic laws.

            • To quote my driver’s ed instructor: “When the light turns red, does a barrier come up? So what keeps some idiot from running a red light? “

              • I tell my kids that ‘the painted lines on the road don’t hurt the tires at all.’

              • OTOH, there are those who have said — I have heard them — that you should wait five seconds to ensure that they aren’t running it.

                Me, I make use of these strange abilities called peripheral visions and turning my head.

                • That mostly works, yes. Occasionally you get times like when I almost got hit halfway through an intersection by someone who apparently hadn’t noticed there was a light at all, and approached the intersection at full speed from several hundred feet away. (Soundwall blocked full view of that road, or I would have seen him prior to entering. I did have a clear view of multiple car-lengths back.)

                • In my city, the light now turns red, and the perpendicular crosswalk light turns green a couple of seconds before the stoplight turns green. I suspect that this is to avoid accidents with people who try to beat the light. Pedestrians tend to be a bit more cognizant of cars coming from the intersection (they have to deal with people turning right, after all), and so should hopefully manage to avoid any serious accidents from those sorts of drivers. The cars, though, have to wait a couple of seconds before they can pull out into the intersections.

                  And making the pedestrians wait would likely just encourage people to try beating the light.

          • I survived a drive up route 195 in CT because my driving instructor the year before in Iowa had taught me to pay at least as much attention to the car in front of the car in front of me as to the car directly in front of me. Turned out the guy in front of me that day didn’t have any working tail lights.

      • Usually, it kills other people.

        It’s amazing how even very stupid people can frequently identify “this will result in ME being harmed.” It’s making the jump to “and shoving it over here means it hurts someone else who doesn’t know what I just did.”

        • Recent case of drunk driver doing a head-on collision in the fast lane of a freeway, driving the wrong way. I think the driver survived, but the three occupants of the other car didn’t. Yeah, that stupid hit other people hard.

          (NB: Apparently there are a lot of people who don’t know that after one or two in the morning, it’s not a good idea to drive in the fast lane, because drunk drivers who get going the wrong way go in what they think is the slow lane. So I’m telling you this, in case you haven’t heard it before.)

          • I was always taught to be in the center lane after dark because of deer, if there wasn’t enough traffic to sway things either way– there are a lot more places you can dodge if you’re in the middle.

            • Deer aren’t a concern here, but I do know someone who totaled a truck on a busy freeway because some scared dogs were running around on it. (Thankfully, we’re talking the kind of “totaling” that happens with certain frame damage rather than anything to damage the occupants too badly. I once totaled a car at a speed low enough that I wasn’t even bruised. And it wasn’t my fault, either, so no insurance hit.)

              • The last time i hit a deer, it would have totaled out my car, simply because the car wasn’t worth enough that the repairs wouldn’t have cost more. I barely noticed the impact, but not only did it kill the deer instantly (the headlight basically hit it at the base of the neck), but it would have required replacing the hood, fender, headlight, and the driver’s door, which had hoofprints in it.

            • I do wonder how many of those wrong way drivers were english speakers.

              • Given the details, I know which ramp he took. Stoplight, right-angle junction, multiple lanes—entirely possible he mistook it for a road.

                But he would have had to cut across at least FOUR lanes of traffic to get to the fast lane in a mile. It’s really wide there because there’s not only a freeway split, there was an interchange planned for a freeway that got chopped the first time Jerry Brown was governor. (It may have been as many as six lanes; while I’m very familiar with the area, that’s the Home exit, so I don’t know the stretch under Watt very well.)

    • You know one difference between left-wingers and right-wingers?

      If you show a right-winger a picture that involves dangerous or disgusting things, they react more quickly than if it were one of pleasant things. Left-wingers treat all images alike — and are lucky they aren’t dead.

    • Professor Badness

      Funny, I always thought of Stupidity as one of the Deadly Sins they forgot to list, (along with Hypocrisy.)
      Or are they one and the same?

    • For years, even before I worked with EMS, I’ve maintained that motor vehicles are nature’s adaptation to the absence of large animals when it comes to removing the egregiously stupid from the gene pool. Alas that the b*stards keep taking innocents with them.

    • I’ma gonna offer a quibble…

      The quality we’re really looking for here isn’t stupidity. A truly stupid person will go through life without doing half the damage (to self or others…) that a smart person without wisdom will manage.

      I think the real additional horseman ought to be the one named “Folly”.

      When you consider the number of otherwise intelligent people that do things a wise person would look at and say “Wow… That ain’t going to end well…”, it is truly something to be awed at. A stupid person wouldn’t do those things, simply because it would never occur to them. The smart, but very unwise person, on the other hand? They’ll not only conceive of the idiocy, they’ll actually be able to argue in favor of it, and sway others to their cause. Witness the latest foolishness with the Iranians. That’s not stupidity on display, that’s sheerest folly in its purest, most refined form.

      • I think the real additional horseman ought to be the one named “Folly”.

        I knew him by his old, Greek name: Hubris.

        Stupidity is more of a problem when it presents in smart people.

        • Okay, I’m going to officially dub these two comments as brilliant. Somebody use this discussion as a writing prompt.

        • Exactly right. It’s not just the failure to think. It’s the failure to realize that thought might be necessary. Or even advisable. Or even just a half-way decent idea.
          It’s a combination of willful ignorance and pride. And no one can be more full of willful ignorance and pride than someone who’s been well educated in a narrow field.

  23. Hello everybody:

    I uploaded most of the remaining chapters of “When the heart rules the mind” at http://wthrtm.wordpress.com The password required to read any page is the last name of our esteemed blogmistress, with leading capital H.

    There are some placeholders for omitted scenes in the draft, and I will almost certainly add additional scenes for color, but the frame of this “topsy-turvy college romance with Odd twists” has been raised,

    Comments, hate mail, addition/rewriting suggestions,… welcome here or commenting on the chapter pages there, or by email to ancienbelge AT gmail DOT com Based on the collected suggestions, I will prepare a revised draft.

    Cheers!

    PS: while this isn’t sci-fi, I could not resist putting some references in there, including some Heinlein quotes.

    • Heinlein quotes are apparently all the rage these days. I was astounded to see political columnist Mona Charen preamble one of her columns recently with one of his quotes (Man is not a rational animal. He is a rationalizing animal), and have learned through Instapundit that Popular Mechanics is citing Starship Troopers as the 21st Cent’s Art of War, which leaves me wondering whether RAH or Sun Tzu would be more surprised.

  24. Initially lauded for taking a stand and pulling her 17 year old son out of there, she has since been condemned because – gasp – she hit him in the process.

    Agreed that it was hard to see the woman slap her son. Agreed that the circumstances were not those conducive to reason. Agreed that he was being a dumb ass.

    The boy was 17. This occurred in Maryland. Maryland has a law (however unrealistic it might be) that hold parents responsible to see that all children under the age of 18 have adult supervision at all times. So, what about all the other under age rioter’s parents who under that law, by failing to keep their children under supervision, had recklessly endangered them?

    And while the ‘voice’ of the public wants to condemn her for a slap, it seems disinclined to condemn the actions of the rioters, even justifies and makes excuses … Hell yeah, were did all the common sense go?

  25. I think it may not be only that they know our reaction won’t be a threat to them– I think it’s also that they consider a disproportionate reaction some kind of proof that you’re justified, because if you do a proportionate or an understated one, you’re not driven beyond all control by the situation and thus should be held to a higher standard.

    Look at how they treat folks who publicly disagree with them, in polite ways. Answer “no” to a ridiculous what-if like catering a homosexual marriage ceremony, or donate money against changing the definition of marriage to be sex-neutral, and they will try to destroy your life.

    Openly slaughter men accused of sex and you’ve got crickets.

    ****

    Of course, it may be an “and” situation rather than an “or,” and there’s other additional possibilities– cost/benefit in how much risk vs how likely it is to change anyone’s behavior, for example.

    • There is perhaps also a psychological defense mechanism at work that I’ve seen time and again with managers that were out of their depth: faced with problems that were beyond them, the would obsess about some 10th-order minor issue, present that as a problem, and then engage in an all-out attack on it in order to achieve something they can fool themselves into believing is an achievement.

      • So a misfiring of that old prioritizing joke?
        Do the difficult, first, and deal with the impossible later?
        The idea being, of course, that if you get a lot of the stuff that you know you can do out of the way, you at least have that done and can focus on the thing you have no idea how to do. AKA, one step at a time.
        It makes sense that there’d be a defense mechanism that amounted to cleaning an already clean desk when you’re putting off your taxes…..

    • One thing is to never answer a Media question; always respond with a question of your own (if not many such questions.)

      For example, if asked whether your small (tiny, really) pizza place would cater a gay wedding, both “yes” and “no” are the wrong answer.

      The correct answer could be:

      Are you gay? Are you interested in having your wedding catered by us?
      (followed with demands to know why not, what the reportorette has against gays, against pizza, against the particular business, against pizza for a wedding reception, etc.)

      Do you think there is much demand for wedding receptions being catered by Pizza parlors?

      Would you ask that question at a Muslim pizza parlors? What are you, Islamophobic?

      • Most people are polite, though; they don’t expect others to be out to get them for a personal advantage.

        • The Other Sean

          I think this brings us back to the societal trust issue that’s been brought up here in the past. There is still enough societal trust that in general most people don’t expect others to be out to get them. OTOH, trust of certain occupations seems to be on a downward trend, and with some justification, although the extent of this decline varies among groups.

          • Evidence: how incredibly far off the polling was in the UK.

            • The polling error seems to be, in part, a consequence of a general acceptance that being Tory was “not polite” and therefore Cameron’s supporters remained largely subterranean.

              We see a similar phenomenon in our exit polling, with Liberals eagerly running up to the pollsters to announce their votes and conservatives largely ignoring pollsters or telling them to buzz off.

              And yes, that is partly a reaction engendered by conservative convictions of having voted for a lesser evil.

            • That’s easily explained: witness the riots after the results. Many would keep quiet when faced with that attitude earlier.

          • Exactly — there is no obligation to be polite to people whose occupation is shoving their noses into other folks’ business. The media exist to be used as a tool, and in any interview either they’re using you or you’re using them; the only question is which shall it be?

            Heinlein demonstrated this in his depiction of Kip (Have Spacesuit, Will Travel) Russell’s appearance on television with his prize. Similarly he shows (again) how it is done in The Moon is A Harsh Mistress when Prof tells Manny how he should have fielded a question about whether Luna wanted people on Earth to starve.

            Carly Fiorina is apparently conducting a Masters Class in trolliing the media: Carly Fiorina continues to troll the media.

          • I learned a great deal about societal trust in school.

            The bullies and mean girls were real. Whatever the reason they have determined that they gain by tearing others down. Some repent, but some simply gained more polish over the years.

            And there are those who learned the art by being the former victims…and they pursue it with a vengeance.

      • If you think about it, you realize that the left is actually training the right to lie to everyone about their beliefs and intentions. This is not going to end well, for anybody, because the fact that they are forcing this stuff underground is horribly distorting to both parties. They think they’re in the majority, looking at the polls–When, in fact, they are not, and their policies are actually loathed. The right sees the polls and thinks that the left is ascendent, and tries to “fit in”, never realizing that the reality is actually far different. This set of effects leads to horrible distortions in public policy, and it’s all driven by the small, overly-vocal minority on the left. Where it ends is likely to be in some form of disaster, because I can’t see a system functioning without honest feedback and discourse.

        Ah, well… They will reap what they sow. As will we all.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          It is easier to force someone to shut up than it is to change their mind.

      • Joe Wooten

        Would you ask that question at a Muslim pizza parlors

        Not much demand for mutton or goat pizzas……..

    • “You and I remember Budapest very differently.” Any kid in my family would have cheered that woman on; we got our ears boxed when then deserved it and we turned out all right. The only thing I thought when she walloped him was “good for her.”

      And part credit too for the little thug not hitting her back; he may not be all the way gone.

    • Patrick Chester

      They’re bullies. They attack people who won’t hurt them in return.

  26. Just a note on the misperception of minority status – if one goes by the media, Hollywood, television, advertising and news one would think that blacks make up 30-40% of the population, and gays a solid 25%. These minorities are significantly over-represented and urban minorities and low information individuals may believe this is reality rather than a politically motivated (IMHO) distortion.

  27. Amazing what a little punctuation will do. Am I the only one with visions of Clint Eastwood saying “Draw, Mohamed” ?

  28. Patrick Chester

    One of my usual sayings is “common sense isn’t all that common, and what is called common sense usually isn’t very sensible” or similar.

    Though the Deadpool image further up says it better. 😉

  29. Old joke about obliviousness:

    A Yuppie is driving around in his Convertible Mercedes, in typical LA Asshole mode, one hand draped over the top of the wheel, the other arm hanging over the door, when he gets T-boned by a minivan.

    As the Paramedics are preying the cars apart, the driver is moaning, “My Mercedes… My Mercedes….”

    The EMT says to him “Look buddy, you’ve got bigger problems than your car, your arm is trapped here.”

    Still in shock, the Yuppie looks down at his arm, and starts moaning, “My Rolex… My Rolex….”

  30. If I were more energetic i would take this post title (less a word or two) and see how it could be fitted to this song:

    Where did common sense go
    To help them try muddling through
    The shepard who is ailing, the milkmaid who is glum
    The cobbler who is wailing from nailing his thumb
    When they’re beset and besieged
    The folk not noblessly obliged
    However do they manage to solve their weary plot?
    Oh, what do common folk do we do not?

    I have been informed by those who know them well
    They find relief in quite a clever way
    When they’re sorely pressed, they just use common sense
    And thinking seems to brighten up their day
    And that\’s what common folk do
    So they say