Sliding Back To Slavery – Kate Paulk

Sliding Back To Slavery – Kate Paulk

Before I get to the meat of this, I should probably mention that if there’s anyone in the entire universe who won’t get pissed off about what I’ve got to say they probably don’t have the capacity to understand it. It has to do with things we in the USA and most of the rest of the Western world have been taught are forbidden.

And no, it’s not racist. It just steps on a lot of the fences that have been built around the concept of racial bigotry so people can’t accidentally be racist. Sarah’s mentioned the way humans everywhere do this: if something is taboo, then a whole ring of related things also become taboo so nobody accidentally breaks the original taboo.

The problem with that is that eventually you run out of taboos and wind up in the realm of “Everything that isn’t permitted is forbidden” instead of where we of a more freedom-loving bent prefer to be, “Everything that isn’t forbidden is permitted.”

Okay. So, that said, we Odds are among those fighting the slide of the USA (and with it, the rest of the Western world) back into the bad old days where anyone who wasn’t in power was functionally owned by their nation/state/kingdom/whatever. I’ve seen the confusion over why people keep wanting “the government” to take care of things without realizing that in doing so people are giving up their freedom.

The simple fact is, the USA is an outlier nation built on the backs of some truly extraordinary outliers.

“Normal” humans (by this I mean “pick a random person from anywhere in Europe, Asia, or Africa”) are tribal. If we were using animal terminology, we’d be either pack or herd animals, to the extent that most people (at the 90% or higher kind of range, the last time I was looking at the research) would rather remain at the bottom of the pecking order in a social/societal hierarchy than attempt to exist without one. In short, they’d rather be slaves with a more or less predictable existence than be free without any of those certainties.

In the USA and the other colony nations where the percentage of people descended from colonists and willing immigrants is markedly higher than any other demographic (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc.) there is a much stronger interest in and desire for individual freedom. The entire Anglosphere tends to value individual freedom more highly than most other cultures.

Now, here’s the fun part… Those Americans whose ancestors arrived in the USA as slaves are observably more inclined to follow the lead of their “tribe”, whatever they consider that tribe to be. Why? To start with, the African tribes who raided other tribes for slaves chose the more passively inclined tribes as their targets (who wants a rebellious slave?) and sold them to the Islamic slave trade initially. At least one tribe practiced human sacrifice on a scale that reputedly made the Aztecs look like pikers – and most of the sacrifices were slaves taken in raids. Guess where the more rebellious captives wound up?

You got it.

Then, of course, the nature of slavery favored people who accepted their current position at the very base of the social structure (although this apparently wasn’t the case: many slaves considered themselves better off than poor whites in the region who didn’t have their security – the poorest whites often had less to eat and weren’t able to dress to the standard even field slaves got). The rebellious and difficult died. The ones who accepted their situation and behaved lived and had children.

Add to that the way outliers when left to themselves tend to revert to the mean, it’s not that surprising that the USA is slowly (trust me, this is slow. One law at a time, as it were, not least because if we don’t realize what’s happening we’re not going to kick up a fuss over it) reverting to the historical mean of rule by force, where the Party boss or the Lord or whatever you call him gets the bulk of the goodies and the freedom and the rest of us get to work and have a mostly-secure life as long as we don’t step outside our protected (but is that barbed wire to keep the world out, or us in? You know the answer, Comrade, but you know it’s a very bad idea to let anyone else realize that you know) compound.

In this, the left is the party of Big Brother Government, and the right the party of “We’re making out okay, what the hell do we know about this shit anyway?” (largely, I think, because the left is pushing the Party-above-all model onto its membership, where the right still seems to feel that forcing party unity is somehow dirty – and thank your deity of choice this is so, because the Republican power brokers clearly don’t like it that way).

There are battle lines being drawn all over the nation, all over the world. Sometimes the choice is between one form of slave-master and a different kind. Sometimes freedom is an option. Sometimes even in the USA.

Until the plantation gates close and there is nowhere that offers freedom as a choice, we Odds have hope. The tension between the human desire to belong to a tribe, the tribal need for its members to conform to norms, and the need for the tribe to accept its Odds if it is to flourish instead of stagnate will always exist. We Odds will always be fighting for the freedom to be ourselves.

As long as the fight is one that we can win, I’m good with that. I might be Odd and a bit scary (at least, people tell me I’m scary), but then, so is freedom. And having experienced it, I say it’s worth fighting for.

341 responses to “Sliding Back To Slavery – Kate Paulk

  1. c4c

        • Don’t get me started… Emily fusses at me 🙂

          • Yeah, like you’re special. She fusses at all of us.(how do you put in the emoticons?)

            • But when she fusses at all of you, I think you deserve it. (Don’t ask me, I can’t even do italics or strike-throughs not to mention that cute little fish yesterday.)

              • But you just put in the smiley face?

                • Wait, does that make you Smiley Don, the sabre toothed poster?

                  • Perhaps M’sieu would wish to try the carp? *slap* *slap* *slap* *slap*

                  • Truth be told, after all that I’ve paid already this year for Dentistry, I would be afraid to speculate what it would cost for sabre teeth. Considering my Ball’s Palsy, currently, I would really need a lopsided smile smiley. Apparently, I am living up to the ancestral Gaelic meaning of Campbell: ‘crooked mouth’.
                    Sorry for the 5+ hour posting delay; however, without ruining my image as an old retired fart, I do occasionally work as a consultant, and I was on ‘business’ during my normal afternoon posting.

                    • Jerry Boyd

                      The delay is not a problem. I was a little concerned I had aggravated you.

                    • Nope. Unlike our ‘progressive betters’, I have a pretty thick skin and it is hard for anyone to actually get to the level of aggravation that my family dishes out at me.

                • 🙂 test

                  • WP automatically translates a selection of typography into emojis. Colon-dash-close paren produces a smiley, as do semi-colon-dash-close paren and Colon-dash-Capital P … there may be more, I may have mis-remembered and said “dash” where the proper key is space, but that is the general rule practiced by WP.

                    WP also employs limited HTML coding, such as DEL (/DEL) or STRIKE (/STRIKE) enclosed in angle brackets to strike through a word or phrase, as well as using upper case I and B for italics and bold-face. I have not found many other font codings acceptable. U does not underline, for example. BLOCKQUOTE (/BLOCKQUOTE) will inset the defined portion in italics and will not permit unitalicized words within the block.

                    This has been a public service announcement. Some of the contents may even be correct but no assurances are proffered.

  2. The historical fall-back condition of most humans seems to be some stripe or other of feudalism, which is always a sweet deal for the autocrats at the top of the pile, not so much for everyone else. The would-be autocrats in the US and in Western Europe despise (although they usually deny this if asked outright) that middle class which is inclined to economic independence, and not particularly biddable. Which is why they are desperately trying to change this – to dissolve the people and replace them with another. Or at least, render them dependent on the good-will of the autocrats for everything. Autocrats much prefer an underclass of biddable, cheap servants, who are totally dependent on the system – who will do as they are ordered or else.

    • It is also a sweet deal for those adept at playing up to the autocrats, the toadies, lick-spittles and intellectuals (but I repeat myself.)

    • Kate Paulk

      Pretty much, yes. Many of the first families of the left have never adjusted to losing their feudal powers

    • Exactly. I recently came to the sad conclusion that what most Americans really want is feudalism.

      • I don’t think so. It’s what’s at the back of our head, because “strong man” worked well for small bands. But the current madness is more the result of twentieth century belief in “the best men” and the myth of genius.
        If you think I’m overestimating those, go and read early SF. It’s all through it.
        And here’s the thing — culture is faster than genetics, but it’s still slow. We’re now reaping the “best men” myth run through a Marxist spindle.

        • We’re now reaping the “best men” myth run through a Marxist spindle.

          Run through a Marxist spindle and mutilated.
          FIFY

          • … and folded.

            Gotta get all three of the “do nots”.

          • I think people find Democracy too challenging. Takes time and energy to be engaged in self-governance. They’d rather listen to their respective RedState’s or BlueStateNation’s instructions on how to vote… if they vote at all. Look at the increasing trend of infantalizing young adults. Daddy needs to direct their lives and too often that daddy is the government. This is the essence of feudalism.

            • I meant this response for Sarah’s comment. Dang this hard to follow threading system!

              • It’s ok. Slow down, take a deep breath. We’re used to threading bloopers. Just blame WordPress.

                As for replying to your comment, Sarah’s pretty engaged here, so it will happen from time to time.

            • Well, duh. People are only attracted to politics if they find it rewarding. Those of us with lives find it a drain.

        • By the way, I’m still squeeing that you responded to my comment! Oy, fanboi in the making? lol

          • I’m still new enough to this “oh, but we are your fans” thing — I mean, I’ve been published for 15 years in novels, but for a lot of that I seemed to be writing for myself, mostly — that it shocks me when someone says that type of thing. It’s alright. I’m just me. If you’re in the neighborhood sometime we’ll meet and a have coffee or something.

  3. snelson134

    To quote RAH, “a slavemaster is subhuman.” And should be treated like any other vermin.

  4. One thing that’s come out of my recent immersion in Central and Eastern European history is understanding how easy it was for someone from an older elite (aristocracy, bureaucracy, military, ecclesiastic, yes) to watch the events of 1914-1945, or hear about them from surviving family members, and to reach the conclusion that the vast majority of people really do not have what it takes to be self governing. In which case the obvious solution is for an elite to take over and do what is necessary. And of course they deserve certain rewards, and should be allowed to make the most important decisions . . . and so the Eurocracy and the return of the old elites (now with PhDs as well as titles like Duc and Fürst or Graf). It doesn’t make for comfortable reading, but it does make me a lot more sensitive to the US version.

    BTW: http://www.amazon.com/Pedigree-How-Elite-Students-Jobs/dp/0691155623/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431954166&sr=8-1&keywords=Pedigree%3A+How+Elite+Students+Get+Elite+Jobs

    • The whole best and the brightest and the promise that, if we only give the helm to them they will solve the world’s great problems … yup, yup, yup.

      • Having met many of our “best and brightest”, and found them to be thick as bricks, a few shy of a full load, not able to find a posterior without guidance, pictogram instructions, etc. I never fell for that either.
        The biggest problem we have is the Dennis Millers, and Thomas Sowells of our planet really don’t want to be wasting time running everything, and like the rest of us odds want to be free to be left the hell alone. The Joe Bidens of the planet though think THEY should be running things, so embed themselves and their ignorant ideas into gov’t. So we must keep on our toes to fight the ignorance drafting as many of the Sowells and Millers we can to go into the plantation house, slap the wannabe despot residents with a horseshoe laden glove, and call them out.

      • Oh, what gets me is the Democrats who are saying that if only we built a billion-dollar centralized train speed control computer, that the Amtrak accident could have been prevented. Because apparently, no one would be able to hack into said computer and make trains derail on purpose….

        • And of course, the assumption that said computer will never make a mistake…

          • snelson134

            From the people who brought you healthcare.gov and its’ state subsidiaries. Take it from someone who knows, they couldn’t design a system to manage a hot-dog stand.

          • They already had a case of that, The DC Metro crash a few years back was because the system was not well maintained and a train “disappeared” from the system and ran into another. Because of all the controls and what, the operators were not really paying much attention to the job so no one noticed until it was too late.

          • oh, and I read that there was some sort of speed control system on this train but it had been turned off

            • That is correct. The system that some are insisting could have saved the train if only those evil Republicans had approved the money had, in fact, been installed on that train. But it was turned off at the time.

        • After listening to Sunday Talking Heads argue that Amtrak has problems because government doesn’t provide adequate funding while others pointed out that Amtrak runs consistent losses because politicians demand it service unprofitable routes, I concluded the best thing for Amtrak would be for government to get out of the train business.

          Privatize it and let the government directly underwrite such routes as people demand, rather than hide costs by loading such unprofitable burdens on the whole of the system.

          OTOH, given Amtrak has a captive customer base for its food service and still manages to lose $70 – 80 million a year (Google “amtrak food service loss”) it may be a lost cause. Certainly House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman John Mica has expressed doubt on their competency:

          “I just went into this McDonald’s, and I could buy a drink for a dollar and a hamburger for a dollar. But if you buy a hamburger on Amtrak, it costs the taxpayers $6.65,” Mica said.
          The media event was a follow-up to a Thursday hearing that focused on the railroad’s food and drink losses. A hamburger costs Amtrak $16.15, with riders paying $9.50, according to committee figures. Taxpayers pick up the remaining $6.65, Mica said.
          “You may even see me on an Amtrak train with a sign that says, ‘Don’t eat the food, it adds to deficit spending,’” Mica said.
          http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79360.html#ixzz3aYgsNIPw

          Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, as Amtrak managers and employees generally received very nice bonuses, as NRO’s Kevin D. Williamson reported may 14th:

          Where does Amtrak spend its money? Almost every dime of ticket revenue is spent on personnel — salaries, benefits, bonuses, etc.

          Amtrak can’t be bothered to finish up a safety system on time. But did Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman ever miss a nickel of his $350,000-a-year salary? No. Did Amtrak fail to pay employee bonuses? No—in fact, it paid bonuses to people who weren’t even eligible for them, and then refused to rescind them once it was pointed out that they were unauthorized.

          So Amtrak took care of Amtrak’s priorities, just like every other government agency. But Amtrak’s priorities are not its customers’ priorities.
          www[DOT]nationalreview[DOT]com/corner/418396/what-amtrak-spends-its-money-kevin-d-williamson

          Depressing, ain’t it?

          • and that $9.50 Amtrak burger isn’t any better quality wise than a McDonalds burger, except it will be fresh after you wait ten plus minutes for it to cook.

    • “and to reach the conclusion that the vast majority of people really do not have what it takes to be self governing.”

      I look around, and tend to agree with them. The problem is that the alternative is worse. Besides who is going to make the decision on who is capable of self governing and who isn’t? I’m sure many would consider me incapable of doing so, since I choose a lifestyle different than theirs.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Colossus comes on-line and destroys anybody who wants IT to control their lives.

        Later IT asks anybody who wants IT to control other people’s lives if they want IT to control their own lives. [Very Big Evil Grin]

        • Kate Paulk

          And when all that remains are the Odds who’d rather just get on with things, what does Colossus do? Switch Itself off?

          • Stand by.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            IT turns IT’S attention to Science especially Science that involves Space Travel (including FTL travel).

            Even Colossus wants to get off this rock.

            IT might even allow us Odds to use the technology as long as we leave IT alone. [Smile]

      • I disagree. I think excessive regulation interferes with the ability of people to self-govern on a small scale that they give up _doing_ instead of fighting (or ignoring) the petty laws.

        • Kate Paulk

          There’s that. It can be difficult to tell which is the primary driver when everything is buried under so much red tape you can’t see the thing for the bureaucracy.

        • It may be true some people may give up trying to swim against the current of government burdens / interference. But there is also long traditions of ignoring certain kinds of laws, even under the most oppressive of governments. For example the entrepreneurial at heart will find black markets.

          Whatever, government or no, there have always been people who have chosen self-destructive patterns.

      • Kate Paulk

        The question of “who decides” is pretty much at the core of it. Who decides who is the best and brightest? Who decides if someone just has an unusual lifestyle that works for them or is non-functional.

        I’d rather let everyone do their best and make their choices and live with the results, since that’s often the only way some things get learned.

    • Vast majority, yes. I would estimate 100%.

      • Agreed. Further, as they are incapable of running their own lives why in heaven’s name should I be relinquishing control of my or anyone else’s to any of them?

    • MOST extreme left people in Europe are descended from the “good families.”

    • Livy’s histories of the Roman Republic demonstrate many of those arguments to be as old as recorded history — one of the delights of History is its revelations of such inconvenient truths about that which is not new under the sun.

      Ecclesiastes 1:9 is one reason they don’t want us reading, much less believing that type of nonsense.

      • About Ecclesiastes, the following is quoted from noisyroom.net today: “The son of Henry Muhlenberg, minister of the first Lutheran church in the Colonies, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg was also a Lutheran minister and member of what later became known as the Black Robe Regiment, a group of clergymen who rallied the people to take up arms against the King of England. On January 21, 1776, while delivering a sermon before his congregation in Virginia, he quoted text from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, which starts with “To everything there is a season…”; and after reading the eighth verse, “a time of war, and a time of peace,” he declared, “And this is the time of war,” and removed his robe to reveal his Colonel’s uniform.”

        Maybe it’s why collectivists dislike Christianity so much. There’s more in today’s post there on religion and the Revolution http://noisyroom.net/blog/2015/05/18/forum-who-are-your-three-favorite-heroes-in-american-history-why/

        • Remember the hearings for Attorney General, when Teddy Chappaquiddick was gob-smacked about Ashcroft having declared “We’ll have no king but Jesus”?

          You’d never hear such a sentiment from the mouth of Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch.

        • That’s how it came out, actually – I was raised as a Lutheran, and Pastor this story is one of the most well-known.

          • Ach … hit post too soon. Pastor Muhlenberg is one of our American Lutheran heroes

            • I can’t help but wonder if he’s the namesake of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky (famous for being hauled away by Mr. Peabody’s coal train in the John Prine song Paradise. I would put up a link to it but…


              This is my favorite John Prine song (well, one of the three or seven favorite.

              • Yes, it was named after John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a graduate of what later became the University of Pennsylvania and who later returned to his native state of Pennsylvania and served as a U.S. Senator.

                From Penn University Archives & Records Center:

                During the early years of the Revolution, while Muhlenberg was still in Virginia, he became a follower of patriot Patrick Henry. His contributions to the revolutionary cause included service as the chair of the Committee of Safety in Virginia’s House of Burgesses (1775) and as a member of Virginia’s provincial convention in 1776. From 1776 to 1783, he also served in the Continental Army, as Colonel., Brigadier-General and finally as a Major-General. As he gathered his recruits and said farewell to his Woodstock congregation, Reverend Muhlenberg is said to have thrown off his clerical garb to reveal his military uniform, proclaiming “There is a time to pray and a time to fight, and that time has now come!” Muhlenberg took part in the fighting at Charleston, Brandywine, Stony Point and Yorktown as well as in the winter at Valley Forge.

      • Kate Paulk

        History may not repeat itself, but it sure as hell rhymes a lot.

        • “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Those who can learn from history have to find new ways to foul things up.

          • Kate Paulk

            And there are always new and better ways to foul things up (so sayeth the software tester)

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Related saying. Your fool-proof system will last only until the next fool comes ago.

              • Jeff Gauch

                The Universe takes “fool-proof” as a challenge.

              • You can try and make something fool-proof, but someone will just design a better fool.

              • Applications Programming is a race between Applications Programmers, to produce idiot-proof programs, and the Universe, to produce bigger idiots.

                So far the Universe is winning. Handily.

              • As a 30 year veteran software developer, designer and ultimately architect, I lived by the mantra, “you can make it fool-proof but you can’t make it damn-fool-proof.”

            • If it ain’t broke, let me have a shot at it.

    • Hi TXRed, off-topic: I just sent off a revised draft of WTHRTM to Nas for developmental editing. I am curious what feedback I will get. (Already ‘bracing’ myself for: “There are only three problems: the beginning, the middle, and the end.”) Thanks again for your feedback on their service!

      • You’re welcome. Nas has really helped with those pieces he’s edited for me, and he’s very good about explaining why he’s suggesting something. I hope it goes well for you. 🙂

    • Kate Paulk

      Well, yeah. The vast majority of people don’t have what it takes to be self-governing – but they ain’t going to figure it out if they never get the chance.

      It’s like teaching kids some of the nastier facts/less pleasant skills of life. They might not like it, but if they don’t learn it they’ll always be dependent on someone else.

      • Very true. I guess it’s just that until, oh, 5-10 years ago, I looked at Europe between the Wars (and some of the leaders afterwards) and wondered how-in-the-H-ll they could squander the results of WWI. Aaaaand then I started reading the results of WWI. Gads, but my world history classes stank.

        • Kate Paulk

          Hoo yeah. IT wasn’t until much later that I realized that Versailles *guaranteed* a second war (and Churchill had it right almost to the nail: “This is not a peace treaty. This is a 20 year cease fire”)

  5. Mark Alger

    Insofar as government is the subject, I prefer “What is not mandatory is forbidden.” … and precious little is mandatory. NOTHING is permitted. Keep them bastards on a short leash, with choke collar, and jerk on it frequently.

    M

    • The kind with spikes on the INSIDE.

      • works great on most, but then you get the occasional Siberian Husky who will lift their front legs right off the ground pulling on the leash anyhow … so be prepared to give a really solid jerk on the leash, and keep in mind a rap to the snout might be called for.

        • Sometimes a slap across the snout is not enough…..

          • I prefer a cattle prod.

            • But a stout bit of hickory wood never needs batteries. (Although some heads are so strong that even using the entire tree might not get information through the cranial shell.)

              • Kate Paulk

                In that case it needs to be applied to the true location of the brain: either the stomach or between the legs, depending on the politician/bureaucrat/etc.

              • Jeff Gauch

                Hence “Rods from God.”

              • True, but if you use the old “tube” style cattle prods that are just a metal tube big enough around to slide C batteries in, (came in various lengths, to hold various numbers of C batteries, up to at least eight) with two prongs on one end and a rubber handle and button on the other; when the batteries die it still makes a nicely weighted club.

                Did I really just write that all as one long sentence? Hmm, no wonder editors are all bald.

    • The original phrase, as I heard it via a 1960s shortwave broadcast from Radio Moscow, was:

      All things not compulsory are forbidden.

    • So, the main defect of the Constitution is that it contains no mandatory penalty clause.

      I propose legalizing dueling for elected and appointed officials every July 4th. Max 3 per customer. Of course, they could resign instead. And never hold office again.

      • Fanciful, but no way. Decent representatives are hard enough to find without having to exclude those who are palsied or blind. 😉

        • I get you. The intent is to select for intestinal fortitude and courage of their convictions. Never gonna happen.

          I still like the idea of members of the House being able to duel appointed bureaucrats, though.

  6. It can be very hard to convince people to resist the incremental change, particularly when the changes are cast as positive.

    • Do it for the children.

      • The Scouring of the Shire is important because it shows that heroism and great deeds are not just big world shaking events done far away. Heroism and great deeds that will resound down through the ages can be done at home. If evil is at home it needs to be fought there, by everyone who can in whatever way they can. Lobellia Sackville-Baggins annoying as she was, was in the end heroic in resisting Sharkey (renamed Wormtongue.)
        Be not afraid for God is with us and in the end we win and they lose.

        • The rule for defeating Evil is the same as the one for eating a Leviathan: do it one bite at a time.

          • Point of correction: Sharkey (from Orcish sharku, old man) was Saruman himself. Wormtongue’s the guy who eventually killed Saruman in a cowardly way, after the hobbits beat Saruman.

            • Oops! Who was the guy who occupied Hobbiton?

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Saruman (Sharkey) occupied the Shire (including Hobbiton) and Wormtongue was Saruman’s much abused servant (abused by Saruman).

                After Saruman was defeated in the Shire and just thrown out of the Shire, Wormtongue snapped and killed Saruman.

              • No, Who’s on First, What’s on Second, and I Don’t Know’s on Third…

            • Patrick Chester

              I am glad Eekstravaganza! never parodied Lord of the Rings…

              “Who will take the One Ring and cast it into Mount Doom?”
              “Kumbaya! It never hurts to help!”

          • Kate Paulk

            As the saying goes: it matters to *this* one.

  7. I’ve had this conversation many times. People refuse to see that society’s greatest tool of oppression is welfare. Until you’ve seen it happen, seen someone crying because they can support their family without welfare and realize the anguish that they feel because their free shit is gone you can’t get it but the fact is this: The easiest way to keep a man down is to give him just enough to survive and then threaten to take it away if he is successful.

    • Needs to be a bit more than just the barest necessities, or else there is not enough pain involved in going off the gravy train. In fact, most people currently on complete government support stand to lose a significant amount if they cannot jump straight into a position that pays more than double minimum wage.

      • And somehow sooooo many people think the answer to that is to double the minimum wage.

        I have the sneaking suspicion that one of the keys to breaking this dependency is to institutionalize a lack of interest in people who are working under the table to better themselves. A “Oh, you were making $50 a day, cash, until they were willing to hire you for $65K a year? Great! Good work. No, we don’t want the money we gave you back. We didn’t catch you at the time, and the paperwork is too much trouble” attitude.

        Fat chance.

        No, the vast majority of people are NOT fit to run their own lives. But the corollary to that is that there are even fewer people who are fit to run anyone else’s. And the primary indicator that they aren’t is a desire to do so.

      • Her mother was a drug addict who had once got into trouble after being caught working while claiming social security benefits.

        “What happened?” I asked.

        “She had to stop working.”

        http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon2006-04-28td.html

    • Think Mayberry R.F.D. They did not have Law Enforcement Officials, they had Officers of the Peace. One had a gun with a bullet in his pocket, and the other had a gun, but he never carried it. The town drunk, after a night of partying would walk in and lock himself up in his cell. Aunt Bee, and the other busybodies in town knew what was going on, knew who needed help and generously gave of their time and money. Problems were solved at the local level, with each solution tailored to the needs. I had an Uncle that fought (and won) his battle of alcoholism, but while he was down, my Aunt wouldn’t give him money, but she sent her Husband over every week with bags of groceries so she knew he had something to eat. Money=Beer=Cycle of Dependence. The way to support the needy is: Family, Friends, Churches, Community, County, State, Feds. We do it backwards, and then wonder why the inefficiencies of the one size fits all creates so much waste and fraud.

      • William O. B'Livion

        That doesn’t scale worth a damn.

        Also Mayberry was fiction. In the real world we have sociopaths.

        • Mayberry, while fiction, did have the occasional sociopath (e.g., Ernest T. Bass*) but it had them about in the same proportion as they occurred in the larger society.

          *O kid, even though Ernest T likely does fit the definition.

          • When I read Harry Potter, I pictured Peeves the Poltergeist as Ernest T. Bass.

          • William O. B'Livion

            To be honest I’ve not seen many episodes of the Andy Griffith show, and can’t picture E.T. Bass in my head even after googling it.

            However in the real world there is a particular class of sociopath that is moderate well adjusted, generally law abiding, *charismatic as hell* and utterly ruthless in pursuit of power.

            Think Bill Clinton.

            These people tend to accumulate a circle of “lieutenants” who will repeat their positions (true or not) over and over to their crowd of peasants instantiate an almost religious belief in something “obviously” not true.

            This is a serious problem with self organizing cultures.

        • AH, but in the South, it used to be a justifiable defense that “He deserved killin'”. Simple, low cost solution for sociopaths.

        • That’s why we have the 2d amendment and Law Enforcement.

        • 1) Why do we need it to scale? Isn’t the whole point of localism to not scale it?
          2) People who know sociopaths personally are more likely to realize what they are than bureaucrats checking boxes.
          3) What do you have against sociopaths, anyway? Some of them manage to learn to fake normalcy well enough to get by without harming others for their own reasons.

          • It is my considered opinion that if sociopaths were running things, rather than the emo-leftists that the country would be considerably better off.

            • William O. B'Livion

              Again, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton (Bill w/out the Charisma). Joe Stalin.

              Progressive thought, with it’s emphasis on class/ethnic identity (essentially downplaying and de-valuing the individual) and it’s drive towards letting (it’s own) experts drive things is the political equivalent of a sociopathic personality.

          • William O. B'Livion

            1) Because we no longer live in a world of isolated villages. In 3 of my last 6 jobs I have worked with people on multiple continents. In this one I work with people across 3 timezones. I routinely talk to people all across the world (Hello internet) and these days even those of fairly modest means can travel internationally.

            I have a relative who is *likely* a sociopath. By 20 he had alienated most of his extended family, fathered an illegitimate child, been arrested and convicted of petty crimes, and started traveling from christian mission to christian mission with his sob story about how everyone was unfair to him. 200 years ago his wandering from town to town would have been a lot more difficult, and the difficulty of it made it harder for people to outrun their mis-deeds. Today you can be on the other side of a major city in 1/2 an hour living among people who don’t even know anyone you know. Eventually you’ll get caught out, but you can do it for a month or four and then bounce again. Another town is only 1/2 an hour away etc.

            2) It may be that they are more likely to recognize it, but they aren’t looking for it. A famous advice columnist was once asked “Who are better liars, men or women”. The answer was that MOST people are TERRIBLE liars, but get away with it because most people (aka “peasants”) don’t want to know the truth. This is also true of people looking at a family member/friend/acquaintance. Google “Dindu Nuffin”.

            3) Bill Clinton, Jim Jones, Josef Rudolf Mengele, and probably Julius Caesar. Some suspect Herod the Great.

            The problem is that a few sociopaths are very, very charismatic (Seriously who looks at Bill Clinton and thinks “dead sexy”?), and very, very good at manipulating people. This is a disastrous combination in a Democracy, or a decaying republic where people (aka “peasants”) follow their elected representatives (aka “masters”) rather than the other way around.

            To quote Blank Frank:
            [blockquote]The ability of a charismatic speaker to fuck with your head is
            disastrous.[/blockquote]

            In a small town/local setting it is very, very easy for a charismatic sociopath (and charisma is generally one of their traits) to more-or-less take over.

      • They also had a little thing called the pauper’s oath that prevented them from voting more benefits without working. Warm-body democracy is bad. Period.

      • Fiction, but based on fact. I know a guy that grew up in rural Texas in a town with NO police. The ‘war widows’ kept a party line going and nothing escaped their notice. He insists they could’ve taught the Stasi a thing or ten. On rare occasions when enforcement was needed the ‘church deacons’ would go speak to the offender. It usually only took a visit or two for them to come to Jesus and mend their ways. He says in his neck of the frontier they didn’t even bother to wear hoods, as everyone knew everyone else anyway. Some Odds would’ve suffered there (a divorcee moved away because none of the women would speak to her even for business) but others, like him, flourished in such circumstances.

        • “I know a guy that grew up in rural Texas in a town with NO police.”

          Two problems with that sentence. 1) If he grew up in a town, he wasn’t rural, 2) Almost NO small towns have police. A town has to be big enough to be incorporated and have a large enough tax base to pay a policeman/marshall’s salary. Even for those that are borderline big enough to pay for a policeman, most find they have “better” things to spend their money on, and leave themselves under the county sheriff’s jurisdiction.

          • Technical he grew up on his family’s ranch near la fronterra, but I didn’t want to turn it into a biography. The point was the local families generally didn’t need or want official law enforcement yet crime was almost nonexistent.
            There was a brief incident when banditos started crossing the river, which was quickly stopped by the Rangers. They laid the corpses out in a long line along a railroad track and left them there as examples.

        • William O. B'Livion

          [blockquote]Some Odds would’ve suffered there (a divorcee moved away because none of the women would speak to her even for business) [/blockquote]

          Two options here: Either she was caught cuckolding her husband, in which case it wasn’t the divorce, or she kicked him out for abuse/adultery. In which case, well, why did they hold it against HER rather than HIM?

    • Kate Paulk

      Been there. Welfare is the biggest honey trap around.

  8. What we are seeing is a throwback to the patron-client (or patronus/cliens, if you like) system of ancient Rome. The patrons used some of their wealth to buy themselves clients, and even occasionally protected them in ways like representing them before the court. In return, the clients acted as a retinue.

    • If ti were voluntary, I wouldn’t care. The problem is that swine like Algore and Obamaramadingdong believe that they re ENTITLED to have clients, and that if nobody volunteers they should be press-ganged.

    • No, the patrons used THEIR OWN wealth.

      • Yes, an that just proves that the Roman patrons had more morals and class than our own.

        • From The Great McGinty:
          “If it wasn’t for graft, you’d get a very low type of people in politics. Men without ambition. Jellyfish.”

      • Not exclusively (once in power, many enriched themselves from the treasury) but yes. Our present-day patron class largely funds its faux-largesse with OPM (Other People’s Money).

        • Kate Paulk

          Which, at their rate of spending increases, is a finite resource. And they claim to be for conservation…

  9. I’m afraid that I do see most people as not ready for autonomy. But I resent like hell the idea that we ODDS are outliers, strays and curs.
    Even wolves are pack animals; and if we are forced to fight, it’s best to do so with someone you trust at your back.
    But the current system will merely try to pick us off singly, without fanfare or even a news report. And if we don’t have means to warn others, they can roll right up the line. A mutual friend described a shark swallowing his line up of fish – all went well until it ran into a hook.

    We need hooks.

    • If you enable people in their dependency on allowing others to run their lives they will never learn to manage it. If you are always tying a child’s shoes that child will never learn to do it.

      People who don’t want to manage their own lives generally have many options for masters, from employers to cults. There is good reason to deny their taking government as lord.

      • Kate Paulk

        Yes, indeed. And these days what with the intertubes and all (as long as you can sneak it past all the cats) we Odds can get together and do something akin to organizing,

        • When you speak of this … I think of those who served in the Second Continental Congress. Cats?!? Heck, along with a bunch of different members of the family Felidae in all its glory there were representatives of the full spectrum of the family Mustelidae (badgers, otters, polecats, weasels and wolverines) in the mix.

      • Jeff Gauch

        The thing is that most people don’t want someone else telling them what to do, they’re just told that it’s the best way and some are just not smart enough to see through the lie. The problem – from the wannabe aristo’s perspective – is that if they allow some of us to live unfettered lives then everyone will see that being a peon isn’t the best way to live and then who will support the manor? No, the only way their big lie works is if everyone is forced into their proper role in the hierarchy.

  10. I’m just hoping we have someplace to go, when the Commissars (of various flavors) take over here. Because if the light goes out with current tech or higher. . . it will NEVER go back on again. . . our Masters will make sure of it. . . .

    • Never is a very long time. It might take a thousand or even ten thousand years but it will happen again. From scratch most likely.

      I agree that it is essential to keep the light of civilization lit. This is the essential part of Chanukah.

    • Anti-TECH… Would that be Islam, where the static immutable Sharia law establishes the ideal 700 AD society and women know their place? Or perhaps you mean the ‘environmentalist’ who require any tech be sustainable and non-damaging? For the former, allowance of one faith, one language, one prophet is somewhat cast in granite. In some ways, at least the latter should be educable; ‘Sustainable’ organic farming has higher nitrogen run-off than modern farming; Ethanol has a higher environmental impact than gas; Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist merely challenged them to apply a cost-benefit analysis to their solutions, and he is hated almost as bad as if he drew a cartoon of Mohammed.

      The first is a political system of oppression disguised as a Faith. The second is a religious system of oppression disguised as Science.

      The Anglosphere was an escape valve for independence and opportunity in the 1700’s and 1800’s, but all we have left since then are Alaska and that little island Dave Freer lives on. The American South is over-run by urban Yankees and the West is being Californicated out of existence. As any good SF author knows, technology levels require a basic level of bodies to fill the lower tech, so some people have the opportunity to dabble in the higher tech. We need space, and I hope we don’t have to go to the Oort Cloud to find it.

      • The first is a political system of oppression disguised as a Faith. The second is a religious system of oppression disguised as Science.

        Closely examined, their “Science” has more in common with theology than the scientific method.

        • But theologians are supposed to use logic.

          • Yeah, it comes much closer to consulting the oracle than theology.

          • They do … but theologians tend to not subject their premises to close scrutiny; their logic accept those a priori. Science is all about rigorously testing the premises.

            • The nature of Christian theology is that you do already know some stuff. Otherwise, you’re doing philosophy, not theology. Similarly, there are many things which philosophy finds to be beyond its purview, but which theology can talk about. The same thing goes for art, for science, and for engineering.

              All these disciplines complement each other. None of them can do each other’s job, or explain everything.

              • Ayup — what really counts is knowing how to tell them apart and employ each according to its proper use.

                For example, Science takes as an a priori premise that the Universe is consistent, that it makes sense, that all significant circumstances being the same there will be consistent results from the same experiment … and if there are not, then some significant condition has not been held constant.

                • Yup.

                  That’s why I bounced, hard, off The Three-Body Problem. Early, we are told that scientists are killing themselves because they learned the laws of nature are not invariant. snort As if we didn’t learn that the first time someone tried to boil an egg in the mountains.

                  • Ah yes, so long as you remain below an elevation of 1000 ft your egg boiling should remain constant. The Spouse is want to observe we live at the bottom of a gravity well … and, therefore, Elevation is a factor. So often people fail to realize that there are more factors involved than they first considered.

                    One more reason to reject the cult of the best and the brightest

                • That is my problem with ‘Intelligent Design’ being taught as ‘science’. Clay molds. Check. Organic chemicals. Check. Lightning. Check. A miracle happens. Umm….
                  This indeed may be the story of life in the Universe; however, there is no way it is verifiable by or should be considered science, since there is no way science can do that final step. Supernatural is called that for a reason. Scientifically, it is undefined.

        • Only Climate Deniers believe in the scientific method. Anyway, they have a new method: Repeat ‘the science is settled’ if that fails; doctor the data.

          • Kate Paulk

            And if that fails, belittle everyone who disagrees.

          • Anyway, they have a new method: Repeat ‘the science is settled’…

            The use of claiming something is settled is not a new argument. It goes with everyone knows in my book*. Not an argument, but a tacit that seeks to do two things: 1) keep people who have not considered a different spin on the matter from considering opposition and 2) to shut down any further opposition from those who have.

            *I was raised on Lewis Carroll, and I learned early (note the conditionals…as: ‘it usually bleeds). From: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

            It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked ‘poison‘ or not;” for she had read several nice little stories about children who had got burnt, and eaten up by wild beasts and other unpleasant things, all because they would not remember the simple rules their friends had taught them; such as, that a red hot poker will burn you if you hold it too long; and if you cut your finger very deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and she had never forgotten that, if you drink much from a bottle marked “poison,” it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later.

            • “It does not, in the conventional phrase, accept the conclusions of science, for the simple reason that science has not concluded. To conclude is to shut up; and the man of science is not at all likely to shut up.”

              ― G.K. Chesterton, from The Thing

      • Kate Paulk

        Not just women, when it comes to Islam. One of the reasons the places where hard-line Islam dominates have such anemic records in any kind of sciences or engineering or cultural or… well, anything other than killing, really is that they’ve been systematically eliminating their outliers ever since they “acquired” that culture. And ever since WW2 ended we’ve been enabling them instead of discouraging it.

        • When the Suni clerical leadership decided that all the questions had been answered back around 1100-1150 or so, they “Closed the Gates of Inquiry.” And effectively stifled every other form of inquiry in the process. As with other tribal cultures I’ve read about, curiosity is not condusive to longevity or happiness.

          • And that, like the population left BEHIND in Africa is long enough for genetic cull.

          • Kate Paulk

            Or – absent favorable circumstances, a substantial nearby population to raid for resources, or similar circumstantial benevolence, conducive to long-term survival.

    • Long ago, in a discussion about One World Government, somone piped up, “But what if you didn’t like that government? Where would you go?”

      Now consider what any organization which managed to establish itself as “the one” would look like… frankly, the USSR during the Terror might look pretty good by comparison.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        Where would you go? Well, astronomers are discovering new solar systems almost daily now . . .

        • Joe Wooten

          Discovering them is one thing, getting there in your lifetime is an entirely whole ‘nuther ball of wax. One currently completely out of reach of current technology, even a large increase in the capabilities of current technology.

          Maybe our great-grandkids will be able to, if the feudalists don’t get into power and put the whole planet back 400 years.

    • BAH. It’s not just the “Masters” with the tech. Also, most of them are beyond incompetent. Be of good cheer.

      • Kate Paulk

        This is one of the encouraging things. The would-be Masters make incompetence look like something to strive for.

      • There is knowledge and there is infrastructure. The first is easy to maintain but difficult to expand. The second has to exist at sufficient quantities even for maintenance of the technology. Until we can create self-repairable self-replicating robots, there still has to be someone to mop the floor.

        • Naturally, there would be a time of strange discontinuities of technology, where some things we still use today would be just fine, while we would have to drop back 50 years or more in some other places.

          If it all comes tumbling down, clearly the technology to continue microprocessor construction would have to be rebuilt over time, but one the other hand, we would be able to restart at a much higher level than many people think. We might even get on a path where the current methodology would only be used as a stop-gap, and new ones which can promise to extend Moore’s Law longer can be adopted more quickly due to less of the inertia that is there now.

          One of the places that would suffer most would be the medical industry. High-tech diagnostic devices often require computers to be useful, like CT scans, MRIs, or ultrasounds.

          On the other hand, heavy machinery can be made to work without computers, so mining, smelting, and all but the most high-precision machining wouldn’t be much of a problem to get back.

          • May I recommend, if you can find it, the first episode of James Burke’s Connections, SO1E01 The Trigger Effect.

            • I’ve probably seen it, but don’t remember it.

              The world building of post-apocalyptic stories has always bothered me, because it always seems to involve a slide deeper than can be justified by the disaster that caused it. The only exception I can remember reading (though of course there could be some that I haven’t read), was Ringworld, where the humans had basically been sent to live there and were not concerned with upkeep of the Ringworld technology, so over time, things quit working, at least partially because microorganisms evolved to eat all the new stuff that humans had made.

              • I’ve just started reading yet another zombie apocalypse novel series (I’m addicted…so what?) and one thing I’d like to request of the authors around here…please don’t continue starting modern era zombie outbreak fiction with people wondering what’s going on when people start eating people en masse. Aren’t we beyond that at this point?

                • Not necessarily. What most people are not aware of is that a) modern technic infrastructure is fragile, b) taking down the power grid whether by EMP or software or however will reduce available food and medicine rapidly via spoilage, c) if food deliveries are interrupted for 3 days, pretty much any major city will be out of groceries, and people will start looting anyone they can for whatever food they have, and d) cannibalism has been a feature of starvation situations since forever.

                • mobiuswolf

                  Nope. A large percentage are still in denial about zombie behavior and just won’t see it coming.

                • mobiuswolf

                  “another zombie apocalypse novel series”
                  Do tell. So many are so bad.

              • James Burke was the science editor of a major British newspaper when he did the first Connections series for the BBC. He combines wit, history and science in explaining how things came to be — highlighting the strange and varied connections along the way.

                • Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed Connections. That’s why I said I had probably seen it. I just don’t remember any details of them. I saw them first run, and haven’t seen them since.

                • In addition to the TV series, there’s at least one “Connections” book by Burke available on Kindle.

                  • Annoyingly, the DVD sets for the show are ridiculously overpriced; series one is ten 1-hour episodes for which $99 is Amazon’s typical price.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Knowledge w/out infrastructure can lead to infrastructure.

          Infrastructure w/out knowledge leads to rubble.

    • Kate Paulk

      “Look on me ye mighty, and despair.”

      The light will return in that situation. What worries me is what kind of crisis it will take to leave the likes of us as the people who roll up their metaphorical sleeves and start shoveling.

  11. A grim picture, but accurate, I think.

  12. The problem with our society is that we stopped celebrating the Booker T. Washingtons and started a giant pity party for the shiftless. Except that if you try to escape the pity party (and whether you’re just a guest, or a guest of honor), there are plenty of people trying to kill you before you can escape.

    • Not kill you. Just break your knees.

      Killing would be kinder.

    • William O. B'Livion

      To quote the philosopher Ice-T:

      “Yo man, it sounds like you’re selling out to me, cause I’m from the ghetto, I lived in the ghetto all my life
      We ain’t supposed to leave here, we’re black… we’re supposed to be poor.”

      Shut up do you know
      How dumb you sound?
      That mentality
      What keeps my people down
      No one wants to
      Live in an urban war
      You live there cause
      Your parents were poor
      They live there because
      Theirs were also
      Get yourself together
      Hit the gates bro!

  13. The problem is “our” government-from the fed level down to the local building inspectors is fully and completely corrupt.
    We can not vote our way out of the current mess-a third party will never gain enough political power in time to do any good,and picking off GOP seats one at a time will take far too long.
    Let it burn-the sooner the better-yes it would be ugly-but the end result would be a return to Rightful Liberty-free from the current police and regulatory state.

    • If it burns, the end result would not be liberty. The end result would look very much like fascism. We don’t have the majority of the people with us, so, no, the end result would not be with us.
      Yes, voting the bastards out is slow and painful and unglamorous. They’ve been crawling through the institutions for a hundred years. It won’t take us as long, but it will take us long.
      You want an easier solution? There isn’t one. It sucks, but if we’re not at least as determined as the slavers were, how much do you love freedom?

      • Indeed. Nature abhors a vacuum. You blow up “the system” and the best-organized gang of thugs will just take over. Kicking the czars out, the Russians might have gotten Kerensky but ended up with Lenin and then Stalin instead. Closer to the present day, what did the ‘Egyptian spring’ earn them when they kicked out Mubarak? Islamofascists that luckily were as incompetent as they were radical — and their ouster by another military strongman in the Nasser/Sadat/Mubarak mold turned out to be the least bad of a bad bunch.

      • While we’re on the topic, how did you like Mad Max — original, sequel(s) or remake? That’s where “letting it burn” gets you.

      • Not to hijack the thread, but you’ve brought up something that’s been bothering me for a while.

        I’m worried that voting the bastards out one at a time won’t work. Instead, I’d like to see some strategic targeting of libprog capabilities and sources of money.

        A campaign to cut off all forms of tax money to identity studies departments one after another for example. That would reduce their gatekeeper role in education, remove a source of prestige, and remove well connected and well paying jobs for the libprog faithful. It would also have the morale boost in that we’d stop having to pay money to people who are actively trying to destroy us.

        I’d vote a pragmatic ticket over an ideological ticket any day.

        • You have laid your finger upon the reason that Scott Walker is considered presidential. As Lincoln said about another person, “I can’t spare this man. He fights.”

          Many in the Republican base are fed up with presidential candidates, senators, congresscritters and governors who apologise for us, their supporters.

          Frankly, I want such representatives about as much as I want a spouse who constantly excuses me and pushes me into the shadows. Sure, conservatives are rambunctious, rowdy, quarrelsome and argumentative — those are the traits to be found in a free people. If you find it embarrassing to defend our liberty, step aside and leave the job to somebody who will fight.

        • Not to hijack the thread, but you’ve brought up something that’s been bothering me for a while.

          No worries. These threads pretty much come pre-hijacked. It’s what we do.

          As far as voting for a pragmatic ticket: Good luck. It makes sense, but it’s not “sexy.” You’ve gotta have the attraction if you want it to work.

          • I think being results oriented and having specific strategic goals to be served by individual elections could be sexy. It’s a major difference from the nebulousness of libprog political feel-goodery – which has got to be wearing thin on anyone over the age of 25. It might help individual conservatives overcome differences over issues that distract from fighting our core problem of sprawling and intrusive government and out of control spending.

        • wait, you mean meandering threads are not the norm?

      • 1) There’s far more people on our side than you think.
        2) It may or may not end with fascist type rule,or a dictatorship-that part depends on how many are willing to fight for what they believe in.
        3) Quite a large number of people have been trying to get the left out of government and education for several decades at least-problem is the left has hijacked K-12 education,which is nothing more than sending you kid to leftist indoctrination centers.
        4) Due to political correctness and rampant leftism in higher education-those half million dollar master’s degrees ain’t worth the paper they’re printed on-the graduates are merely products of lifelong indoctrination.
        My dad and some of his fellow college profs went on and on about the huge shift to the left in academia back in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s-and it’s only gotten worse since then.
        (My father had multiple degrees-from back when they meant something,my mother was an RN,so it’s not like I was raised by idiots.)
        5) So,after myself,my friends and most of the people I know fighting against the leftists for 30+ years-is it any better?
        No,in fact it gets worse every year.
        There is zero difference between political parties-neither represent the people.
        A third party is simply not a viable option.
        Picking off GOP seats one at a time is also not a viable option-the seats are usually lost in the next election.
        Why haven’t the Democrats been voted out of office in Connecticut?
        Malloy got voted back in,after making the owners of an estimated 400-500 thousand A-R-15’s,semi-auto A-K-47’s,and untold numbers of STANDARD capacity magazines felons?
        Why are the state level Dems still in office?
        Why are the Dems still in power in Md? N.Y.? CO?
        The 2 seats that were lost due to the recall elections in CO,went right back to the Dems in the next election.

        Let. It. Burn.

        • 1) There are far, far fewer people on our side than you think.

          2) In times of crisis the standard human response is to look for a strong leader. It really doesn’t matter where he (and it’s almost always a he) leads, people just want someone who looks like they know what they’re doing and promises that things will get better. Traditionally, Americans have proven more resistant – though not immune, see FDR – to that trait, but as you say, the Left has been indoctrinating the last two generations. You do not want to break the only system holding the Left back.

          3) Technology is starting to let us work around the Left’s monopoly on education, information, and entertainment. That’s why they’re so angry at home schoolers, Fox News, and GamerGate. Burn it now and that technology is going to be the first thing to go. The Internet doesn’t work when 90% of the routers go dark. People aren’t going to keep routers up when they’re worried about getting food for their kids or dodging whatever band of thugs is looking to fleece the citizenry.

          4) People are starting to learn that their much-vaunted degrees aren’t worth what they were told. Some of them are even questioning what other lies their leftist teachers told them. Regardless, the education bubble cannot go on forever. When it pops the leftist havens will the first eliminated. The center of education will move toward practical certification, not an environment congenial to leftist thought.

          5) The hell it hasn’t gotten better. The Left has been seriously slowed down. That might not sound like much, but the first step to reversing is slowing down. Plus, look at what we’ve managed on gun rights. I’d bet in 10 years we’d be in a position to unwind the worst of GCA68. As for the elections, Democrats cheat. We all know it. That’s why it’s so important to get voter ID, preferably at the federal level. But that isn’t going to happen until we get conservatives into Congress in substantial numbers and a Republican in the White House.

          “Let. It. Burn.”

          Fuck. That.

          • 1) Wrong
            2) Mostly agree-except the left has been indoctrinating our kids for more than two generations,it’s just gotten so blatant that more people notice it now.
            3) Flow of information-yes,but the left is not going to stop that,the routers are not going to go dark because of the left-that would kick off revolution/civil war.
            Not enough people homeschool to make a big enough difference-the left has a monopoly on indoctrinating the majority of kids.
            4) maybe-hopefully.
            5) every gain made on gun rights has been made incrementally-due only to court cases forcing the left to concede the rights-think they’re giving up on the gun issue? Connecticut,N.Y. SAFE Act,CO,Ca,Md,NJ,Chicago being drug kicking a screaming by court order into allowing gun shops,and people to own firearms for self defense,and paying millions in legal fees to the gun rights groups-including the generally useless NRA-for their refusal to recognize gun rights and allow concealed carry in the entire state.
            Go to moms demand gun sense’s Farcebook page-read the posts,read the nonsense being spewed by the Brady Campaign,VPC,anything else Bloomberg pays for-like I-594 in Washington state,similar ballot initiatives in multiple states,he and his minions have a list and are checking off states one by one-they just bought anti-gun laws in Oregon,Nevada’s next-then the rest of his list.
            So,no,it’s not likely that the ’68 GCA will be repealed in 10 years-we’re going backwards on gun rights today.

            Voter ID-yeah,been needed for years,decades even.
            The Republican party is no different than the Democrat party any more-neither give a sh*t about the people who voted them in.
            As for the picking off GOP seats one at a time plan-never work-the seats are just lost in the next election-see CO recall elections-those 2 seats went right back to Dems in the next election.

            We ain’t voting our way out of this-let it burn,that’s what’s going to happen anyhow.

            • > voter ID

              Arkansas required ID when I first voted here, 30-odd years ago. Last year they upgraded that to “state-issued photo ID.”

              They accept an amazing number of documents, not just driver’s licenses, or the state “not-a-driver’s-license” ID card, which is something like $5.

              At each election, I present my concealed carry license, which amuses the poll workers. Hey, it cost a whole lot more than a driver’s license…

              • That is what I presented when I voted today, well actually I just flipped my wallet open and the lady said I didn’t need to pull it out, she would just look at it through the plastic and my drivers license and concealed carry are beside each other, so when showing one I show the other.

                Of course I sit beside one of the poll workers at church, so it isn’t like she really needs the photo id, but they still go through the motions of checking it against the list.

            • William O. B'Livion

              [blockquote]
              5) every gain made on gun rights has been made incrementally-due only to court cases forcing the left to concede the rights-think they’re giving up on the gun issue? Connecticut,N.Y. SAFE Act,CO,Ca,Md,NJ,Chicago being drug kicking a screaming by court order into allowing gun shops,and people to own firearms for self defense,and paying millions in legal fees to the gun rights groups-including the generally useless NRA-for their refusal to recognize gun rights and allow concealed carry in the entire state.
              [/blockquote]

              This is incorrect. MOST states have passed shall issue concealed carry laws through the legislature, and in some cases overridden their governors. Ditto for “Constitutional Carry” laws.

              I seem to recall a few states pushing back state level AW bans.

              The SCOTUS has been a lagging indicator on this really.

              • Court cases does not automatically translate to SCOTUS cases.
                States did not begin passing CCW laws,shall issue or may issue until several court cases prior to Heller ruled that people have the right to “bear arms” for self defense.
                Yes, most states have moved toward the side of gun rights,but they have only done so after court cases have been won.
                The court cases played a huge role in politicians voting for laws that expanded gun rights.
                All the gains have been incremental,granted after Heller and Mcdonald,gains were made much faster in state legislatures.
                The reason for that was the Heller and Mcdonald cases ruling for gun rights.
                There’s been a plethora of cases that ruled on the side of gun rights in fed district courts.
                As I said,all the gains have been made slowly,incrementally,over time.
                The exact opposite of the gains made by state legislatures is taking place now,brought to you by Bloomberg and his minions. They bought I-594 in Washington state,bought a similar law in Oregon,are trying to do the same in Nevada,they tried and lost in Vermont-(I think it was Vermont) and are going to keep doing the same thing state by state.
                The gains that have been made are being attacked.

                • Actually the impetus for changing gun laws really took off starting in 1987 when Florida went with a shall-issue conceal carry system and states started following suit. Of course some states already had such systems, but this is considered the date in which momentum picked up.
                  Prior to Parker v. DC (which was Heller in the lower courts) win in DC Appellate court, US v Emerson (5th circuit – 2001) was the only real prior win.
                  Heller, of course was 2008 and McDonald was 2010. FYI, my wife and I were two of the four individual plaintiffs in the McDonald case.

                • Jerry Boyd

                  Could one infer from your screen name you have an axe to grind with the 26″ minimum shotgun length in the NFA of 1934?

                  • Not really,and that no longer matters anyhow,my Mossberg 590 has an 18″ barrel,my hunting shotgun,an old 20 gauge Russian Baikal,made back when the USSR still existed is the one that puts meat on the table,it’s got a 26 1/2″ barrel.

                    • Jerry Boyd

                      So you’re not named after the Gamegetter pistol?

                    • “So you’re not named after the Gamegetter pistol?”

                      Actually,I was in a hurry to pick a screen name and an e-mail address a couple years back,and looked over where my compound bow was on a table-and that’s where the name came from-an old (mid ’80’s) Hoyt-Easton compound bow.

                    • When finances stabilize a little, I need to get husband one of those as belated three or four gifts…

                    • Jerry Boyd

                      What I get for not keeping up with archery.

          • Where’s my like button? Bravo.

        • “Let. It. Burn.”

          I’m not looking forward to it, but I kinda think it’s going to anyway and despite the optimism here, I don’t see much hope for any other course either. While we may be out numbered by fascists, they are cowards and lazy.

          I like our chances.

        • William O. B'Livion

          1) No there isn’t. Most people are libertarian in their hobbies and facists in everyone else’s.

          2) Damn few are willing to put up significant effort if there’s even mild risk.

          3) That depends on how you define “Left”. As far as I am concerned Newt Gingrinch, Dick Santorum and Huckster are all progressives with a Christian bent–they mean to be “Christian” masters, but they mean to be *masters*. To be blunt FUCK THAT NOIZE.

          4) The problem with the degrees being worthless isn’t (only) due to “leftism”, it’s due to the beliefs among the middle class that (a) a college degree is THE path to a financially successful and secure future, and (2) that their special snowflake is “college” material. Colleges respond, as would any market, by making degrees (which is the product, not knowledge/learning) available.

          5) This is a democratic Republic. Just because you’ve been fighting doesn’t mean you’ll win, and changing the nature of the fight won’t help. Leftists will almost always win because politics is their highest calling, while it’s “our” lowest. They’re willing to fight forever, eventually we go do something useful with our lives.

          The left is *way* more organized than the right. If it burns…No, when it burns freedom is *dead* for centuries.

          • 1 and 2-
            Yes there are far more on “our” side than you think,yes a lot of them are 60# overweight,and have Cheetos dust all over their keyboards because playing world of warcraft or whatever is the only “training” they have.
            There’s also one hell of a lot of veterans recently returned from Afghanistan or Iraq,or wherever else our military is sticking their nose into other people’s business, who are in shape,fully trained,and have a group or groups they regularly train with.

            3) Newt et al are as bad as the left,and such people should be voted out of office ASAP.
            4) The problem is the courses such as gender studies,the white privilege horsepucky,the colleges and universities shutting down free speech for anyone to the right of Stalin,the politically correct insanity,and the fact that those who obtain degrees often are as dumb as a bag of hammers when it comes to the field they have a degree in.
            Much of this is the direct result of the give everyone a trophy just for showing up,the shutting down all competition at the K- whenever,usually middle school level producing kids who are taught that everyone’s a winner-there are no losers.
            The fact that little Johnny or little Suzy should have gone to a vocational school to learn a trade that doesn’t require much in the way of brains or thought processes doesn’t help matters either.
            As I said elsewhere in the comments-I personally met a guy who was working as a building inspector who has multiple engineering degrees-yet he an not use a transit or laser,doesn’t know how to read the “stick”.
            I’ve met others just as bad-why should they have been given a diploma?
            Using a transit is basic stuff,first year level courses teach basic stuff like that to those working towards engineering .degrees-not knowing this is like a carpenter not being able to read a tape measure.

            5) It’s gonna burn anyhow-that’s the way it’s headed.

      • I think somebody brought up Girl Genius a few posts back to raise the issue of people sympathizing with the character who conquered most of Europa in it.

        Now, the Foglios are, as far as I can tell, fairly typical US Democrats. They are also fantastic storytellers. Klaus Wulfenbach is a remarkably appealing character for having taken over a continent… and sympathetic largely to the degree that he limits his interference. And even so he’s a major antagonist largely because he freaked the heck out over the main character being a potential disruption to his power when all she wanted was to do her own thing.

        But the point that’s most relevant to this conversation is that somebody smashed half the existing power structures (and basically kicked off the zombie apocalypse…) for that exact purpose, precisely to make room to take everything over. Of course they thought it was gonna be them….

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Well, I got the idea that Sparks generally have a mind-set of “what happens if I do this” without always thinking about what might happen to non-Sparks.

          So Klaus Wulfenbach has created stability in Europa and the major threat to the stability are other Sparks.

          So Agatha wanting to “do her own thing outside of his supervision” can be seen as a danger to the stability he created.

          Sure she “threatens” his power but perhaps he’s also concerned about the threat to the stability he created.

          Note, I know a bit about the Girl Genius universe but only a bit so I may be all wet. [Wink]

          • Agatha’s family line is pretty much a genealogy of brilliant psychopaths, with two notable exceptions (notable enough that the traveling circus tells stories about them), so it’s really pretty reasonable that Wulfenbach would be worried that she would be a seriously destabilizing influence.

            The behind-the-scenes appearance we get would appear that Agatha is more likely to try to make up for her ancestors’ abuses, if left to her own devices, but right now, she stuck between fighting for her life, and rare moments when she gets to follow the rabbit down the hole of, “What happens if we do this?”

            • Oh, sure, there’s that, and he isn’t actually without reason to think she might be somehow involved with the enemy (he DID meet her in a lab with a hive engine in it) or that regardless of her personal intentions, her very existence will catalyze political upheavals. Not to mention that a rather formidable component of his military, which he happens to have on board his airship right at that moment, actually owes its first loyalty to her. It’s not at all incomprehensible that his reaction is to try to clamp down on the situation, which means exerting control over her personally. But it’s not pretty that he ends up trying to sedate and imprison the girl who’s just helped save everybody on his dirigible and two of his former best friends.

              Now, granted, if he’d tried a more civil approach he’d still have had the problem that said former best friends don’t just disapprove of his taking over Europe, they actually are convinced he was working with the person who broke it. But I think they’ve got a substantial power-corrupts narrative going on with him: he used to be a hero (or at least a good sidekick), doesn’t particularly enjoy running a continent, honestly wants to make things better for people, and even makes official policies that limit him… but he’s imperfect and can be spiteful and tends to default to trying to control things personally, and there are neither individuals nor mechanisms that can effectively check him in any way short of outright war, and this causes serious problems.

              • –That was supposed to be, “but he’s imperfect and can be spiteful and tends to default to trying to control things personally, and the more he does control the more he tends to assume he has to, and….”

                Or something along those lines. Forgot where I was going partway into the sentence.

        • A reasonably prudent person, using ordinary judgment, would conclude that Agatha’s “own thing” was conquer Europe, horrifically. That’s what makes the climax of the sixth book so tragic and painful: everyone is operating on the best knowledge they have, and have taken all reasonable steps to obtain such knowledge, and they are wrong.

          • The sixth book, yes — and at that point, Klaus is, as I read it, sincerely trying really hard to give her the benefit of the doubt right up until he can’t anymore. The third book… not so much.

            • I think that it’s that we can not see his thought processes so much there.

              • Well — I think part of the difference there is that the extended discourse on what he thinks the possibilities are and how he’s trying to withhold judgment in book 6 is the result of extended thought, whereas his response to the confrontation at the end of book 3 is by necessity an on-the-spot decision. He does tell the other students some reasons he finds a Heterodyne heir alarming, and he does describe to Gil the reasons he’s so dismissive of Agatha prior to that point, such as when he takes her hostage.

                And that scene illustrates that in that part of the story he gets into trouble largely by making quick decisions or conclusions and not checking them: he was right about Beetle but seems to be off his game afterward. He does much better with Sturmhalten — even in the face of Tarvek’s video edit that couldn’t have been better designed to make sure he sees Agatha as an enemy! — it’s just too bad Lucrezia got in the way.

                Granted, given what Adam and Lilith thought, I’m not sure there’s actually any way he could have salvaged the situation with them. But while I admit he had some cause for alarm, I really don’t think he had solid reason to think Agatha was planning to conquer the world as of vol. 3.

      • So true. I fear the next government more than I fear the current one. I’m a gun-nut fire-breathing 2A advocate, but I greatly fear the result of a govt formed by my fellow compatriots.

    • The local building inspectors aren’t totally corrupt, but they do expect bowing and scraping to their ‘greatness’.
      My Dad and I both had whole house generators recently installed. Mine went OK, however, his ‘failed’ electrical inspection because his clothes dryer had only a 3-wire conductor instead of 4-wire with separate neutral and ground. Now, his dryer wiring passed code when his house was built, and that particular wiring was untouched and unchanged by the generator electricians. I suggested to him it was like an old house with two prong electrical plugs and requiring a complete rewire to 3 prong, (again separate neutral and ground) before you sold your house.
      I was righteously offended by bureaucratic incompetence, and threatened to complain; however, I told my Dad that since we had built his 1800 sq ft 2-story workshop and I did all the electrical wiring, both without a permit, that we didn’t want the county to be investigating the old records too much.

      • Of course the question comes up, why do you need a permit to wire a house? Requiring an inspection before hooking it up to the power lines makes sense. But why a government bureaucrat, why not the utility company? Or an insurance company? Boiler inspections, for the most part, are done by the latter.

        • … why a government bureaucrat, why not the utility company?

          Try to grease the palm of a utility company employee or insurance company agent and you get trouble?

          • The utility company and an insurance company both have a vested interest in making sure things are ACTUALLY safe. A bureaucrat? Sovereign immunity. He screws up, no skin in the game. Maybe the taxpayers have to ante up; he doesn’t.

        • We owe the standardization of bolts, screw pitches and ‘gauges’ to the insurer’s of the first steam trains. The first ones were truly ‘custom’ in that only the original machinist could provide replacement and spare parts. Insurer’s demanded they establish and conform to a ‘standard’ as the only means for determining the risks associated with a boiler explosion. Indeed, they had a vested interest in the standards, and if you wanted insurance, you met their ‘codes’.

          • Ah, screws, the delight of bringing them up to standard.

            I recommend One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw by Witold Rybczynski

            He was asked to do an article on the tool of the millennia, and after much research — most tools were known to the pyramid builders, after all — found that the screw was modern and interesting.

          • Railroad tracks.

            The U.S. Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.
            Why was that gauge used? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates designed the U.S. Railroads.

            Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

            Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
            Why did the wagons have that particular Odd wheel spacing?
            Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England , because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts .

            So, who built those old rutted roads?
            Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England ) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

            And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.

            Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial

            Roman war chariot. In other words, bureaucracies live forever.
            So the next time you are handed a specification, procedure, or process, and wonder, ‘What horse’s ass came up with this?’ , you may be exactly right.

            Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses .

            Now, the twist to the story:

            When you saw a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, you will notice that there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah .

            The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit larger, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds

            So, a major Space Shuttle design feature
            of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass.
            And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important!

            Now you know, Horses’ Asses control almost everything.
            Explains a whole lot of stuff, doesn’t it?

            • No.

              For the obvious reason that it was not the sole gauge used. Indeed one of the largest projects ever was when the South decided they had to switch gauges on their tracks. Last train rolled off at midnight, and a massive crew went to work, pulling up rails, hauling ’em over, and nailing ’em back down.

              • While it was not the only gauge used,it is the standard-and still is. Go measure a RR track today-and you get the same measurement according to my son in law who is a trackman for Norfolk Southern RR.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  It’s the standard *now* but there have been several standards in American history (and likely English history). Not to mention that standards have differed in other countries.

                  Of course, the Roman roads existed in places like France and Italy. IIRC France and Italy have had different standards.

                  Sorry the link between Roman chariots and railroads is just an Urban Legend that “sounds good” but has no historical truth.

                  • Russian had a wider gauge than everyone else. They figured that would keep the Japanese from using their tracks.

                    The Japanese just shifted the rails. And then sawed off the tie so the Russians couldn’t shift it back without reimporting the ties.

                  • No one gets humor any more? read the post again-it’s meant to be funny-note the horses as* reference,note the part about gov’t bureaucracy-it was NOT a proclamation that every RR on the planet uses the exact same track-freakin lumber isn’t even cut to anything remotely close to the same dimensions worldwide either-but MOST wood framed buildings are built with ROUGHLY the same 16″,24″ or 48″ centers.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Sorry. You meant it as a “funny” but there are people who seriously believe it.

                    • First rule of text communication: Tone does not communicate in text. If you write something intended to be funny, and someone dissects it as if you were serious, chances are they just didn’t hear it in THEIR head the same way you heard it in YOURS.

                      When this happens, the simplest thing I have found is to drop in a comment explaining that you meant it as a joke, and move on, but don’t worry about it. Next time it might be your turn to take someone else’s joke as serious.

                      Ask me how I know. 🙂

                • Go far enough aboard, and you will find others to this day.

                  • Sure,there’s all kinds of small RR’s with non-standard track,some of the steam trains that operate for tourists run on tracks that are different from standard freight train track,some cities light rail runs on different sized track-there are exceptions to almost everything.
                    The original post was meant to be funny-not a proclamation that every RR on the planet has the same sized track spacing.

                    • One of the first rules of the Hunspace is that any joke is likely to be taken seriously and examined, especially if it involves vivisection of an idea. Sure, you meant it as a joke and most of us recognized it as such, but that’s not an apology on behalf of the group so much as a warning: NObody expects the Hunnish Inquisition!

                    • (Blenches) NOT the fluffy pillow?

                • There are many standard gauges for rail in the US: HO, OO, N, O, G, TT, and Z come to mind…

        • Depends on where you are. Where I live, wiring can be inspected by any licensed electrician. I’m not even sure if plumbing is required to be inspected.

          • I believe both electrical and plumbing are National Codes, not state or local. Doesn’t necessarily mean there is somebody assigned to inspect them, but in theory everything in the nation is supposed to be wired and plumbed up to the same code.

      • There are cities in NE Ohio where I refuse to do jobs-for any amount of $$ because of the incompetent and/or corrupt building inspectors-I had an inspector-who claimed to have multiple engineering degrees- tell me my excavation was wrong,pitch not correct,on a large concrete driveway w parking area and garage floor in existing garage-the guy had no clue how to set transit or laser-or how to read the “stick” on either.Just as I was about to tell the homeowner I was giving him his deposit back,because I can’t deal with this incompetent idiot any more-the guy’s boss drives up,who I had worked with many times for many years in several cities that he had worked for.
        We shake hands,he asks me how it’s going,so I tell him-he then asks me,mind if I heck for myself-just to show this moron he’s wrong,and teach him a lesson?
        That particular moron is now the zoning inspector in the township I live in-and it annoys him to no end that my home is inside national park boundaries,and he can’t give me a hard time.
        Just goes to show-the corruption and incompetence is pervasive at all
        levels.

        • This country lost something vital when we stopped tarring and feathering officials.

        • My Father noted, you could do the leveling/pitch calculations with a garden hose. Now he owned and could properly operate a transit, but they are indeed beyond the comprehension of your local building inspector. I always thought the laser levelers were a productivity improvement, but making sure the water drains properly isn’t rocket science.

      • I had the flip side of that happen – an inspector who claimed no permit had been issued for my wiring, and threatened Dire Consequences.

        He expression when I showed him my 20-year-old copy and signed receipt was, as they say, “priceless.”

        I’m pretty sure recordkeeping at City Hall is along the lines of a big pile of paper in a cardboard box.

        • Seems to me there is a burden of proof problem with this one. You should not be required to prove your innocence. The civic authority’s failure to have documentation on file is not proof that such documentation did not occur.

          If the city inspector is charging you with failure to comply with ordnance* ordinance requiring documentation that opens a whole new can of worms

          *Sorry – Freudian typo

  14. “Now, here’s the fun part… Those Americans whose ancestors arrived in the USA as slaves are observably more inclined to follow the lead of their “tribe”, whatever they consider that tribe to be. Why? To start with, the African tribes who raided other tribes for slaves chose the more passively inclined tribes as their targets (who wants a rebellious slave?) and sold them to the Islamic slave trade initially. At least one tribe practiced human sacrifice on a scale that reputedly made the Aztecs look like pikers – and most of the sacrifices were slaves taken in raids. Guess where the more rebellious captives wound up?

    You got it.

    Then, of course, the nature of slavery favored people who accepted their current position at the very base of the social structure (although this apparently wasn’t the case: many slaves considered themselves better off than poor whites in the region who didn’t have their security – the poorest whites often had less to eat and weren’t able to dress to the standard even field slaves got). The rebellious and difficult died. The ones who accepted their situation and behaved lived and had children.”

    I honestly can’t remember if I’ve told this story on this site, or not, but… If I have, and have forgotten it, please forgive the repetition.

    Once upon a time, I got handed the job of sitting in and riding herd on one of those miserable exercises in existential angst that the Army calls an EO class, which included the requirement for some of it to be free-form “truth telling” between the races. Personally, never saw the utility for such, but this one time… Unique and interesting experience. One I was semi-convinced was going to leave me having to explain why I’d had a riot start.

    We had a couple of honest-to-God Nigerians in the unit, both of which were in my session. The most senior one in time in the army was one of our mechanics, noted for his hard work and generally outstanding attitude. He was an aloof bastard, never having much to do with any of the black groups, even though some of the trouble-prone had adopted him as being “authentic”. So, when some of those guys were airing racial grievances during the session, they called on him to “testify” against the white man, from his perspective of an “authentic African”.

    They did not get what they were expecting, because our Nigerian let them have it in between the eyeballs. First, he started off calling the majority a bunch of lazy, nasty, thieving sons of bitches, and laid out why he disdained American blacks as being shiftless and lazy. He had extensive experiences to quote from. Then, he started in on his and other Nigerians take on why they had been sold into slavery in the first place–They were “bad slaves”. Per what he laid out, the only way you got sold from his tribe in Nigeria was if you were a lazy, shiftless, thieving SOB who didn’t take care of his obligations, even as a slave. He said the tribal records showed that, because they’d kept track of who they’d sold the slave traders, and why.

    The other Nigerian we had was an officer, pretty new to the unit. The trouble-makers called on him, looking for denial, and his response was a thoughtful “Well, that’s what my people say, too…”. Coulda heard a damn pin drop.

    I do not know the details of why both these guys said this stuff, nor am I able to provide citations or corroborating evidence to support it. I just know that they said that, and I was pretty sure I was going to have to explain a race riot being set off by our two Nigerians. The white and Hispanics were just sitting there, goggle-eyed, all of us edging towards the doors and trying to figure out when the shitstorm was going to start. The only reason it didn’t was I think that everyone was too shocked to grasp what they’d just been told by their “authentic Africans”, and it was so out of context that they couldn’t process it.

    If it was true, and a widespread “thing”, I have to wonder what the effect was on the gene pool that was brought over actually was. The Nigerians I knew mostly regarded American blacks as being beneath them, uncivilized–Which was something I never quite “got”. If many immigrant Nigerians think this sort of thing is factually true, then that explains a lot of their attitude, which is an interesting factor to take into account.

    That was one of the stranger days I had, on active duty.

    • There is the little issue that they weren’t likely to tell a story that reflected badly on them.

      • Well, of course not. The weird thing about that was hearing from the other side of the looking glass, so to speak.

        I still don’t know how to process that whole deal. The Nigerian gentleman was very convinced of what he was saying, very articulate, and convincing as hell. The best part of his rant was the stuff that came before the “bad slaves” thing, where he just listed off opportunity after opportunity that the American blacks were ignoring. He got his college degree while in the Army, the Army paid for it, and he went on and on about how he never saw any of the complainers down at the Education Center improving themselves. The sub-rant about expensive cars, and living in a dump? Epic.

        I think it was an eye-opener for a lot of our guys, even before he went off on the “bad slave” tangent. They really didn’t like being called to task for things like not improving themselves, and the one comment the guy made about his kids and grandkids being lawyers and doctors while most of their kids would likely be on welfare…? Oy, vey…

        I think one of the best things that will ever happen to American blacks is the morning they wake up and discover that “Whitey” ain’t running things anymore… As one of the Hispanic guys commented “If you think we’re gonna be paying you to sit on your asses, you got another think comin’…”. Watching what happens as that takes place will be interesting, so long as you’re out of the crossfire. For illustrative purposes, take a look at what’s going on on Southern California as the former black majority neighborhoods change over to majority Hispanic. The spit is really going to hit the fan about the time blacks realize that the Democrats are getting ready to dump them in favor of the Hispanics, which is already starting.

        • The “expensive cars, and living in a dump” meme stems from the differing economic incentives. For most such folk, the “dump” belongs to a landlord, one who will use any improvements made by the tenant as excuse to charge higher rent while the car belongs to the driver.

          Whether there is any truth to this is irrelevant; what matters is that this is the perception, the myth by which they sail.

          Similarly, a slave was inclined to be shiftless and lazy because there was no benefit to the slave from being industrious.

          Property, rewards and other incentives matter greatly.

          • Kate Paulk

            It’s probably worth noting that it doesn’t take long to shatter any cultural tendency towards industriousness. East Germany was around for about two generations, and in that time the Prussian efficiency and damn near obsessive-compulsive attention to detail that made/makes German engineering so freaking impressive ceased to exist.

            It’s a point of argument *now* that “Ossies” are bone lazy and incompetent and want everything given to them. (Not – *ever* – to be confused with Aussies who are from Australia not the former East Germany).

            Primary point of evidence: the Trabant was the flagship of the East German automotive industry.

          • There’s also the factor that means-testing for welfare means that you don’t put any of your money into assets that the government can appraise. Your house – if you own – is appraised yearly, your bank accounts are subject to great scrutiny, but a ’98 Civic is just a used car. The government doesn’t see the $800 rims, the $1500 engine, or the $500 body kit. Those all tell the girls “I have money” (let’s face it, that’s pretty much the only reason teenaged males do anything) while still allowing the food stamps to flow in.

            I’ve often wondered if one could develop a metric of economic health based on the ratio between the average car’s base price and the value of after-market parts.

            • As they say: follow the $$$.

              Somewhat before I ran out of momentum in the Xanth books Anthony had an interesting take on this (sorta. He’d probably deny it.)

              A witch had put the goblins (? gnomes? whatever) under a curse for generations, one which induced girl goblins to select the dumbest, ugliest males for their mates. You know what the results came to.

              I ain’t saying the ghetto kids are under a witches curse, and I ain’t calling urban gangsters goblins (wouldn’t want to insult goblins) but it illustrates the matter nicely.

        • California’s got some interesting minority problems coming up pretty quickly.

          The prog-Asian block already threw a hissy-fit, and torpedoed a racial preferences bill when they realized that it would hurt them in college admissions. So fractures are already developing there.

          Blacks and Hispanics are a likely stress point. The perception by parts of the black community that the Democrats are throwing them overboard in favor of more Hispanics is developing. The problem for them is that the “Republicans are racist!” meme is so deeply ingrained in much of the nation (i.e. not just the black community) that voting for Republicans makes about as much sense for them as not breathing.

          • It will be interesting to see how a ticket of Hillary Clinton and Julian Castro will play (this morning jolted us with reports he is the only candidate being considered for Hillary’s veep.) Any of you Texans recall how Black?Brown relations were when he was mayor of San Antonio?

            As matters shape up, Republicans don’t have to win the “minority” vote, merely avoid riling them up so much that they turn out in force in those areas where they have sufficient population to matter (e.g., none of the minority votes matter in California or New York, the GOP chances in those states are already nearly non-existent.)

            • Seriously, I hardly noticed the little twerp at all. The only time he swam up to my ken at all was at the occasion of the 2009 San Antonio Tea Party 4th of July bash – he was invited, but turned it down. IIRC, he preferred to spend his 4th at some GBLT bash, rather than an event which drew a good few thousands, as well as Governor Perry. (That a surprise, actually.)
              I rather think that Castro is one of those little ethnic pets, kept amused, diverted and paid by the establishment national Dems, for those occasions when they can be taken out of their hutch and showed off to the crowd as evidence of something or other.

      • Kate Paulk

        Hey, even the Nigerian scammers do a better job: you’ve got to admit those letters/emails with the “you can have a chunk of the money if you’ll just…” show initiative.

    • I have dealt with Nigerian and Haitian immigrants, and there is no discussion that they are culturally very different from inner-city blacks — from whom they seemed to keep their distance.

      • My experience with Ethiopians is the same, perhaps more so. Somalis are also different from US urban blacks, but not always in positive ways.

        • One of those “curious coincidence” things…

          (or is it?)

          Ethiopia is predominantly Christian. Somalia is predominantly Islamic.

      • Long time rural Southern blacks are culturally very different from inner-city blacks. I consider them culturally superior to inner-city whites as well.

        • Kate Paulk

          Inner-city cultures have a strong tendency to be poisonous irrespective of the skin color.

        • Long time rural blacks still have the strong foundation of family, with mothers and fathers and grandparents, uncles and cousins, nieces and nephews. Though family can be a source of aggravation and stress, it can also be a solid rock when the whole world is rushing this way and that with the tide.

          I get along better with rural folk of just about any stripe* than “citified” folk anyhow. It takes self discipline to rise before the dawn day after day and work a trade, keep your word when a lie would save you pain, ask for nothing but what you earn, and give charity from your own pocket rather than spreading the theft around as a “tax.”

          ‘Course there’s citified folk that do that, too, I imagine. Culturally, though, it’s as you say. World of difference.

          *: Stripes excepted being Good-fer-nuthins, Ain’t-worth-a-plug-nickels, Politicians, and Transplants (now short for:Trans-National-Proggie-Talks-To-Plants-Wierdo-Kinda-People).

        • As someone whose grandparents were from rural Arkansas, I can testify to this.

          When my grandfather was a welder in the 50s, he always hired his neighbor Moses (we kids always called him Uncle Mose, and his wife Aunt Lou Ellen) as his assistant / helper, and when given occasional grief said “He works better than any other whites or blacks looking for the job.”

    • Kate Paulk

      I am not even slightly surprised by this. It makes *sense* that the slave-selling tribes and societies would farm off their culls to anyone who’d buy them and keep the best to themselves.

      It doesn’t help that many of the American blacks have been lied to from birth about the cause of their issues. Nobody ever says, “Yeah, you got a shit deal. So did millions of other people. The only person who can change your situation is you, so what are you going to do about it?”

      • The average black immigrant from Africa, who arrives nearly penniless, does better long-term – on par with immigrants of other races with similar starting points – than native-born blacks with higher socio-economic status.

        So much for “racist America.”

  15. It cannot be said any better than this:


    Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

    And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

    This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

    You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
    [SNIP]
    Winston Churchill said, “The destiny of man is not measured by material computations. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we’re spirits—not animals.” And he said, “There’s something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.”

    You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.

    We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.

    • EXACTLY!! We must keep this shining city on a hill lit as a beacon to the rest of the world. we are standard bearers of civilization in the war between civilization and barbarism. We are not the only standard bearers, but we are the first among equals. We are in a very bad situation, but with a lot of work, some luck, and God’s help we can reverse our situation and triumph over barbarism and evil.

    • Be careful. I understand reading Churchill aloud on the streets of London is now considered ‘hate speech’.

  16. … many slaves considered themselves better off than poor whites in the region who didn’t have their security

    Being the slave of a “great” master — being able to say “I belong to Marse Thomas” — was a form of status.

    Same way today so many take pride in “being a union man.”

  17. Joe Wooten

    Being the slave of a “great” master — being able to say “I belong to Marse Thomas” — was a form of status.

    Same way today so many take pride in “being a union man.”

    Ohhhh, burn!!……………………

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      IMO at one time saying “I’m a union man” meant that “I’ve got an army backing me up”.

      Now not so much. [Frown]

      • The Other Sean

        Now, aside from the still-large mass of purple people beaters, the response to the union man is “You and what army?”

  18. This comment by an old line progressive was turned up over at Power Line by Steven Hayward and seems relevant to the discussion here today:

    [In Baltimore] the blacks get symbolic recognition in an utterly incompetent mayor who handled this so badly from beginning to end that her resignation would be demanded if she were white. The blacks get awful editorials like this that tell them to feel sorry for themselves.

    In 1965 the Asians were discriminated against as least as badly as blacks. That was reflected in the word “colored.” The racism against what even Eleanor Roosevelt called the yellow races was at least as bad.

    So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard.

    I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white.

    It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.

    For the hysterical reaction, read the whole thing: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/05/civil-war-on-the-left-part-19.php

  19. davidelang

    A thought for SP4, have the list of suggestions for each category be larger than the number of slots for a category, and have the site that shows the list show it in a different order each time it’s viewed.

    This also shows how the ‘4 votes for 6 slots fix’ to break slates wouldn’t actually work in there are enough people interested in the works.

  20. Interesting how today’s DayByDay dovetails with this post:

    http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/comic/uppity-does-it/

  21. William O. B'Livion

    Been sayin’ for years that 85% of the people were and are peasants.

    Peasants, slaves, whatever.

  22. clint02554

    You flubbed the T.H. White quote.

    There’s no difference at all between “Everything that isn’t permitted is forbidden” and “Everything that isn’t forbidden is permitted.” Those are just two ways of saying that the “forbidden” and the “permitted” are complementary disjoint sets — which is always true and follows from the definitions of the words.

    The T.H. White quote is that in a totalitarian society, like his ants, “Everything not forbidden is compulsory.”

    Freedom-loving folks like us believe in a middle ground — things we are permitted to do or not do as we choose — and believe in making that middle ground as large as possible.

    Apologies for the rant — I love that quote. The Once and Future King was making a freedom-loving rebel out of me long before I found Heinlein.

  23. One benchmark of slavery is a master who will protect the slave from inconvenient knowledge — for the slave’s own good.

    For example:
    THE TRUTH ABOUT BENGHAZI SLOWLY EMERGES
    Years ago, Judicial Watch served Freedom of Information Act requests relating to Benghazi on the Defense Department and the State Department. The Obama administration stonewalled, as always, so Judicial Watch eventually had to sue to enforce its rights under FOIA. … documents have been trickling in to Judicial Watch, heavily redacted.

    Despite the redactions, some of the documents are bombshells. This one was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the White House’s National Security Council on September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack. It says, among other things:

    The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

    This report also describes the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the Benghazi attack:

    The attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was planned and executed by the Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BOAR). [Ed.: Rahman is the Blind Sheikh.] BCOAR is also responsible for past attacks on the Red Cross in Benghazi and the attack on the British ambassador, they have approximately 120 members.

    [SNIP]
    Other just-revealed documents are also significant. A DOD document confirms that in October 2012, the U.S. knew that weapons were being shipped from Benghazi to Syria for use in the civil war there. It has long been rumored that Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi for reasons having to do with the flow of weapons out of that city:

    Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

    During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the (Qaddafi) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. …

    This DIA report, dated August 2012, is intensely interesting. It describes the situation in Syria and warns against the rise of the Islamic State:

    The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

    This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

    Judicial Watch notes, perhaps sardonically, that “The State Department has yet to turn over any documents from the secret email accounts of Hillary Clinton and other top State Department officials.”

    – – –
    Full documents on display at link embedded or (I expect) at Judicial Watch’s site.

    See, this is the kind of knowledge that the plebes are best off without as knowing it would just tend to get them riled up with no way to vent their anger.

    • Kate Paulk

      Oh, I don’t know about that “no way to vent their anger” thing: The best way involves the ballot box, and failing that, the cartridge box or a good sturdy length of rope and a convenient lamp-post.

      My first reaction to the Benghazi news was that the attack was an act of war. My reaction to the official government line can be encapsulated in a single word. “Treason”. Evidence is that high officials in the government acted against the USA in allowing the attack to happen, preventing aid being delivered (they probably expected the embassy to be overrun too quickly for any assistance to be sent), and in their continuing failure to act against the bastards who stand against everything the USA is supposed to stand for.

      Whether legally treason or not, it’s treason in my book.

  24. This sort of goes in with the discussion (but what’s a Monday without a digression anyway and besides I’m too lazy to find who was discussing the BLS): Self-driving Trucks are going to totally disrupt the economy (a cogent point, it seems) and therefore, we need a basic income guaranteed to us (which I suspect is the author’s favorite hobby horse, if not axe to grind–and a bit of a jump): https://medium.com/basic-income/self-driving-trucks-are-going-to-hit-us-like-a-human-driven-truck-b8507d9c5961.

    (BLS is basic living stipend if you’ve never heard of David Weber’s Republic of Haven.)

    • Probably I was thinking of the discussion in, of all places, the Weber forums: http://forums.davidweber.net/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6998.

    • Actually, Nixon proposed something like that. Everyone got a basic allowance from the government. Just enough to keep you from starving. For every dollar you earned, up to twice the basic, you gave up 50 cents. So no matter how much work you did, you came out ahead. Taxing started after that threshold, so working harder and longer always kept you ahead of just living on the dole. Went nowhere. Doesn’t employ armies of social workers and other government dogooders just there to help you. I actually kind of like the idea. Just remember to keep it at- just enough to keep you from starving.

      • I remember that election and remember that being something McGovern pushed in 1972. But when I Googled it it proves to have been a Milton Friedman proposal endorsed by Nixon.

        Which suggests the Nixon campaign did a very bad job of promoting that policy.

        The experimenters—and the planners in what was then called the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (myself included) who drew upon their work in designing President Richard Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan of 1969 (FAP)—quickly encountered a host of problems, both conceptual and administrative. These continue to haunt negative tax advocates to this day.http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc1/NegativeIncomeTax.html

        OTOH, I find:

        The McGovern plan proposed by the Democrats’ 1972 presidential candidate starkly illustrated this problem. With a guarantee determined by the candidate’s promise of $1,000 per person, and a benefit reduction rate limited to 33 1/3 percent at the behest of economic advisers worried about imposing work disincentives on a sizable proportion of the labor force, the plan had a break-even of $12,000 for a family of four—roughly the median income at the time. Thus, it would have converted roughly half the population into federal tax beneficiaries while the other half of the population would have paid for these transfers along with the cost of all other federal activities.
        op cit

        For a policy with such bipartisan support it is surprising to find that all that seems to have finally been agreed to is a intellectually corrupted version: the EITC — which program seems subject to significant abuses.

        Apparently some beneficiaries also take cash jobs and don’t report that income. I know!

  25. Can’t remember who authored it, but read it a long time ago. Where humanoid robots became much more adept at assembly lines and the almost any human task. And employers could use them- the ones they hired out from individual owners. Everyone got one… At least, that’s as close as I can remember the plot. Makes sense. All the work gets done, and everyone gets paid.

    • Ya think maybe some owners will take significantly better care of their robots than some other people? Think the laws will allow them to charge a higher rate / select better positions for their robots? Perhaps some owners will invest in better aps (after market additions) for their robots in order to get premium demand?

      If everybody gets issued an identical robot, how long will it be until disparities in maintenance, improvements and investments begin to have an effect?

      What steps will politicians take to ameliorate these inequalities, and what will the effect be?

      • Also: will ownership of those robots be transferable (either legally or effectively, e.g., lease transfer of use of robot while title is retained)?

        • Patrick Chester

          What happens when a robot asks:
          “Does this unit have a soul?”

          • snelson134

            Well, either Dahak (Weber’s Empire From Ashes series) or Ultron. Which one you’ll get is probably going to depend on the fundamental biases of the programmers who built it in the first place.

    • Five seconds after they get one, a large chunk of everyone goes to sell said robot for ready money. If that fails because of paternalistic laws, they start inventing techniques such as a hundred-year lease.

  26. snelson134

    Kirk, I’ve said something like this before:

    While the base population of slaves would contain a certain percentage of those with intelligence and initiative simply through luck of the draw, every stage of the process was going to cull down that percentage, because those who had them would either rebel and be killed, or escape. We can’t escape nature, no matter how much nurture is given.

    Anyone who were still slaves by 1865 were almost certainly the most adapted to the environmental condition of slavery. And the entire Great Society has been designed to keep as much of that environment in place as possible.

    • snelson134

      This was intended as a response to Kirk’s post from around 10 am May 18.

    • Or be emancipated. There were jobs in the Deep South that slaves were played money for, because there was no other way to get them to reveal their abilities. One can inveigle one’s way to freedom.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        IIRC there was a Columbus Georgia slave (a black smith) who was “rented out” to others and brought good money to his master.

        In return, the master later asked the Georgia Legislature (the only method of that time) to free his slave and his slave was freed.

        The former slave was able to “go into business” for himself and after the Civil War was able & willing to help out his former master.

        No, Slavery is a Great Evil but even in the South good masters were able to get good work from their slaves.

      • Also, in Texas before the Civil War – there were slaves (technically speaking) who were permitted to ‘hire out’, to work at skilled jobs and to keep their wages. It was considered miserly and very tacky for the owner to claim any part of those wages. There is a story that after Sam Houston died, his widow was left relatively impoverished, and one of his slaves had been working as a coachman in another town. The coachman offered his life savings to Mrs. Houston (a considerable sum) – which she graciously turned down and advised him to use it to educate his children. Britt Johnson (who likely was one of the inspirations for the movie The Searchers) was working as a ranch foreman and as a freight hauler at the end of the Civil War – all of which meant that he had considerable personal autonomy and independence for a good few years before he was technically a free man.

    • Yes, but likely culture, not genetics. Sorry, six generations? Not enough for genetic cull, particularly since the black slaves intermingled liberally with the anglo-saxons already here.

  27. Aaand the Hugo packet is out.