Unthinkable

Hopkins: In all my years, I never seen, heard, nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about. Hell Yes!! I’m for debating anything!! Rhode Island says Yea!” – 1776, the Musical

My life is a well written novel, with careful attention paid to the threading in of sub-plots and themes. Or perhaps my being human (shuddup. I checked.) I notice things in clumps that make sort of sense together. (Since whatever else the human brain does, every human brain is really good at discerning patterns.)

Kate’s post on Monday happily stomped into “forbidden territory,” i.e. the idea that human behavior might be shaped by heredity and that, in turn, by selection.

Although I disagree with her in the particular instance of the American population with more African ancestry being shaped in a certain way, she could be right. I mean, I think she didn’t take some factors into account and also that this population has more in common (genetically) with the white population here at the time than is acknowledged. (Not that I disagree both populations were affected by natural selection – duh – just the extent of it and how long it takes for such effects to be visible.)

But the important thing about this is that I don’t know, and neither does Kate. Why not? Because there are no large scale population studies, not even at the most rudimentary level.

This is almost astounding, given that we have the capacity to sequence the human genome and how many private individuals are paying for a report of their “deep ancestry”.

You’d think someone with a grant would already have waded in and there would be something like “x percentage of American people descended from African slaves also have significant/more than x percent genetic material from Northern Europe.”

If those exist, they’re buried so deep in geneticists journals that no peep has leaked into the popular science publications. And I have trouble imagining those wouldn’t hit the papers, either as evidence of the “rape” of African populations. (Wags hand. Debatable. Morally rape, perhaps, since there was a strong imbalance of power, but if we’re going to use that gage, then almost every human copulation is rape, since there’s never a perfect balance of power. And women are hypergamic, so they gravitate like magnets to the most powerful man around.) or as proof that ebony and ivory should live together in perfect harmony, or that it’s time to avenge past wrongs, or what have you.

Either the lack of such reports or their being buried deep would come from the same issue: race as a genetic factor, and not as a collection of physical characteristics; race, particularly as it might affect cognitive or genetic characteristics is a huge, horrible taboo.

Part of this is the fear of eugenics, the fear of the human brain assigning a value judgement to statistical racial characteristics.

At the same time, Marxist dialects requires that there be classes of people that struggle against each other, and modern Marxism has substituted races and some cultures for “classes” (the whole third world model of Marxist revolution which turns the people of the “underdeveloped” nations into the proletarians that so disappointed the Marxists.) You’re supposed to be interchangeable with anyone the same race and sex (sex as a class exists, of course. As everything else it’s a “construct” – a biologically illiterate perspective that denies science and also a contradiction that makes my head hurt) and stand in solidarity with them. (This is the basis of calling people race and gender traitors, because you’re enlisted into these neat little armies at birth. I really think progressives suffer from self-induced profound Aspergers. Kind of the opposite about how many people in the spectrum study to appear and be normal. They study on how not to understand human individuality and see only categories and ranks. Go figure.)

Imagine the disarray to this theory if you figured out that those neat races, regardless of expressed characteristics, are not anywhere near as uniform as you’d think. Some people might look like they belong to a race and have more genetics in common with someone of another apparent race. Horrors! Confusion! It would be the proving planned economies are inferior to free ones, all over again.

Anyway, so the same day that Kate broached this “forbidden” topic of genetics as they touch behavior, I happened to traipse onto a forum on a subject I’m marginally attached to (would you believe crochet?) and found a micro-cosmos of the battles in Gaming and Science fiction.

A more subdued micro cosmos, mind, in that someone had stated an “unacceptable to the left” opinion, and this was spreading in ripples through the community.

I don’t know anyone in the community, and the opinion was mild (that 19th century designs are superior to the modern ones) but the pattern of behavior was clear. (And if I could remember the fargin site, reached after searching for one particularly pattern of cherubs and birds which I lost two moves back, I’d link it.)

Someone had said something unacceptable and people who I presume are extreme left (since who else would bring up European “aggression” and “colonialism” in conjunction with filet crochet) were not only denouncing the person who said it, but also denouncing everyone who was INSUFFICIENTLY VITUPERATIVE while referring to this person.

It made me blink, and stare at it. I’ve seen it often enough, of course, and many times I agree that the ideas stated are incredibly repulsive. I always tend to have trouble denouncing the PERSON saying it though, and I often will say something like “Yeah, but the person is just bringing it up for discussion” and thus I end up getting lumped in with the “insufficiently vituperative.”

This of course happened with the blog that shall not be named and the misnamed organization (unless the initial S stands for Socialist-Fiction.) I can’t get anyone on the other side of politics to UNDERSTAND that there are no unacceptable thoughts, and there are no unacceptable words. There are unacceptable actions. But that’s something else. Words, no matter how horribly offensive are not in themselves a crime. (Also in that particular case, if you’re going to criminalize certain class of words you have to do it regardless of who says them. Or in that particular case, if you’re going to throw one of the sides of a stupid argument out, you throw out both of them.)

It’s very important to me that there be no word-crimes and no thought-crimes.

Before you say “but you block some people for saying certain things.” Why, yes. My blog is my living room, and the commenters are my guests. To allow certain discussion in this PRIVATE venue, owned by me, is to invite the sort of chaos and unpleasantness that will drive off decent and well behaved commenters whom I prefer to have around.

OTOH the things I ban people for aren’t things I think it should be illegal to say in public venues, or to promulgate in one’s own blog.

Look, it’s not that I don’t think there are ideas so horrible, so evil that my mind shies away from them. Say child-rape. I think it’s a horrible, atrocious idea which makes me cringe and which I frankly don’t want to listen to.

It was also a “respectable” psychological opinion in the seventies, in Europe at least. If you read psychological journals at the time (yeah, I was an odd kid) you’d come across the idea that having sex with adults was good for children.

The root of it wasn’t hard to find, either. If you were serious about the various bastardized versions of Freudianism and believed that most neurosis came about through sexual repression much of it pre-puberty, you’d believe that helping the children not be sexually frustrated was good for them.

In various ways, and sometimes painfully, we’ve since found this was very, very wrong and the results of such things horrific.

So, should the topic not be discussed at all and no studies ever done on it? No.

Part of the reason that this became an acceptable “scientific” theory was that sex has always been sort of taboo so no serious studies/literature had accrued to it, and so it was easy for the bastard children of Freud to tell just so stories about ‘sexual repression’ being the font of all ills.

As horrible, as evil as the topic is, I don’t think it should be shut down, particularly if it’s a topic of discussion, not endorsement. If it’s a topic of endorsement, provided the person endorsing it is not acting on it, it too is not a reason to shut the person down.

Yeah, it’s horrible. Yeah, it would offend me. Yeah, it might convert some soft custard-heads into thinking it’s a reasonable thing. BUT it gives the sane people a chance to counter it, and, more importantly, to sharpen ones arguments against it.

If it’s never discussed, then in a hundred years it will be all new again, and no one will have any ready arguments or examples against it.

To the extent that science fiction (as opposed to fantasy) serves a useful societal purpose (not, understand , that I believe literature has to be useful to be good. That’s a stupid Marxist concept. Literature has to be felt at a deep, resonating and universal level to be what I consider good, but it doesn’t have to “be good for society” or “the community” to be good. Mostly because, who the h*ll judges what is good) it is the examination of these, otherwise difficult topics in a construct that allows people to think of them as they would not be able to otherwise.

In science fiction you can examine such things as “would the involuntary sacrifice of some individuals be worth it if it bought happiness for all other people?” or “Would an alien species have the moral right to replace humans with something more acceptable?” or “Would it be acceptable to eliminate all males/females in the cause of universal peace?”

All of these ideas are or should be difficult and repulsive to many people, but all of them involve moral judgements that each generation needs to stay clear on.

Because when you stop talking about evil, it sneaks in in another way, wearing moustache and sunglasses. Our obsession with (great) evils of national socialism, for instance, allowed many to blind themselves to the equally great if different evils of international (which somehow always means Russian-national) socialism. Our horror of eugenics allows things like abortion which targets certain ethnic neighborhoods to fly under the radar.

I don’t think there is any circumstance under which child-rape would be considered good. Now maybe future humans will think this is my own cultural blindness. I’m fine with that. I don’t think there is any way to consider it good and would be deeply suspicious of any society that endorsed it.

But not barring discourse on it makes it possible for us to keep our thought on why it’s evil sharp and prevents that (imho terrible) child-rape-condoning civilization from arising.

It’s curious that the left thinks it should not only disapprove of but shut discussion on anything they disagree with. It’s curious that they suffer the totalitarian impulse to persecute people for “thought crimes.”

It is almost as though they believe their ideas are a fragile construction that will only survive so long as it doesn’t come in contact with opposing opinions or even with any evidence that reality might, in any way contradict them. And that they’re so hyper-sensitive to it that they wouldn’t allow even discussion of things in which they are probably right, as according to a vast swath of rational thinking people.

Because, you see, robust philosophies with broad contact with reality and how things work, encourage discussion which can only prove them right.

It is lies that are so frail the slightest breeze of dissent will blow them away.

As though they’d never been.

310 responses to “Unthinkable

  1. I have long reached the conclusion that National Socialism and Bolshevism were but two brands of the same evil (totalitarian collectivism) competing for the same market segment. Radical islamism is a third brand. They are as “opposite” as an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy, and a Blackberry.

    • Yep. And the libprogs are falling for the third brand because “little brownz peoplez” can’t be evil. As an evil (I’m told) spun gold person I get very tired.

      • In fact, one of the writing projects I hope to be able to tackle after I have some experience under my belt/acquired some characterization etc. skills is an alternate history in which the 1939 Nonaggression Pact held, and Hitler and Stalin (y”sh both) try to divide up the world between themselves — with the third player being the despicable Haj Amin al-Husseini trying to set himself up at the head of a revived Caliphate.

        • And I have a story taking place in the near future where the schwerpunkt is the Nazis attempting Operation Sea Lion and failing due the the timely arrival of the U.S. Navy… and all that entails.

          • Actually, I think the precondition for both Schwerpunkten would have been Hitler (y”sh) being replaced, or (psychologically impossible for him) relinquishing strategic command to somebody who actually knew what he was doing.
            This is aside from what would have happened if July 20, 1944 had succeeded — now *that* is a timeline I’ve been willing to write about for ages…

            • in this particular story, WW2 in Europe was over by then.

              • Of course — the July 20 remark referred to a different scenario altogether. But the conspiracy inside the Wehrmacht goes back at least to 1938, possibly earlier. The “Hossbach conference” was something of a tipping point for OKW types that were paying attention — this occasioned the cashiering of a few senior commanders, in one case on trumped-up charges of homosexuality. (Col. Gen. von Fritsch was actually exonerated even by the Nazi court, but then it was conveniently “forgotten” to reinstate him in an actual command. He committed ‘suicide by enemy fire’ during the Poland campaign.)

      • I don’t seem to know how to comment on the essay, so I guess this has to go as a reply although it isn’t.

        The original goal of the British eugenics society was to encourage bright people to have more children; a goal I cannot think monstrous. Their early activities mostly were to encourage early marriage of the brightest students, thus inevitably — in those times — producing more children from bright couples. From what I have read of Galton he would have been horrified at the notion of involuntary sterilization.

        Later Eugenics societies were concerned with restricting the numbers of various groups, and that appears to be what most people understand eugenics to be, but it wasn’t their purpose.

        Galton’s Genetic Studies of Genius concluded that there was a higher than average chance that the children of Great Men would become Great Men, but most Great Men were not the children of Great Men; at least that is my recollection. I have Galton’s book, but it’s upstairs and they don’t allow me to go up there yet.

        When I was in graduate school most professors would not say “The stupids are outbreeding us” except in private but a fair number of them believed it and said so in graduate seminars.

        I think science fiction stories on that theme used to be popular, but I suppose they are no longer.

        • I think I’ve said elsewhere is that where Eugenicists went wrong is when they stopped trying to breed the superman, and started trying stop other people from breeding.

          (As for the breeding of the stupids, I assume you’ve seen “Idiocracy”?)

          • Try Incompetence by Red Dwarf co-creator Rob Grant, a

            dystopian comedy novel by Red Dwarf co-creator Rob Grant, first published in 2003 with the tag line “Bad is the new Good”.
            Wikipedia

            Human Rights legislation forbidding discrimination against the slow, dumb, lazy and flat-out incompetent has finally been enacted to end the persecution. Makes it hard to solve a murder.

          • As for the breeding of the stupids, I assume you’ve seen “Idiocracy”?

            I think I’ve mentioned before that any movie where the “smart” people are too stupid to figure out to reproduce even a single child is already starting from a falsely negative view of humanity.

            Can’t even claim ignorance, since at least one of them was a doctor and thus presumably had extensive exposure to the way that the human body changes over time.

              • *wry* I can remember the first time I heard that song…I was young and single, and still thought: “Y’know, it sure seems like I only hear the ‘only stupid people are breeding’ from people who feel the need to justify being selfish….”

                Thinking of folks who were in earnest, of course. Beats the alternative I’ve run into since then, with people not reproducing even though they want kids because (ideology).

                • The two reasons that make me crazy (even though I would never say anything to them about it) are, “I really don’t want to bring children into a world this bad”, and “I want to have my fun and not be burdened with taking care of children.” Granted, a lot of the ones saying the latter would make terrible parents, but some of them would be great parents, if only they would.

                  • Seems to me that the reason many people don’t have children is because that would mean they themselves must become grown-up. That they don’t understand the joys of being grown-up is evidence they shouldn’t have children.

                • When I first got out of college, probably before you were born, Foxfier, I was child abuse investigator for the State of Missouri. So, yeah, unhappily, it does seem like only the awful people are having enough children.
                  I wish I could have had more than one. 😦
                  We would have adopted when we were younger, but since we own many guns, social services would not place a child with us.

                  • Nobody ever notices the people who are doing things right. (Unless it’s to tell them that they’re doing it wrong.)

                    • You are so not kidding. I stayed home with my son until he was seven. I was afraid to leave that colicky child with any daycare provider as I had seen too many colicky babies abused and even killed by babysitters.
                      We had only one car, rented a crummy house in a crummy neighborhood and ex-coworkers of mine gave me incredible grief about not doing what was best for me and of course, for my son.

                      Idiots. Sacrificing for your children is completely worth it.

                  • I wish I could have had more than two.

                    • Sometimes, it seems so unfair. I had an aunt who had five children and made no bones about not wanting any of them. My mom could not have children and she and daddy adopted my sister and I. My mom was great, she could have had 5 kids and been a wonderful mom.

                      I remember the last time I miscarried – a ‘helpful neighbor’ who had five children said, oh, it’s no big deal, you can have another kid. Until she developed MS and had her own miscarriage. She came to me and apologized for being so unconcerned about my losing a child.

                      I started wanting to be a hermit at about that time. 🙂

        • Eugenics consists of both positive eugenics and negative eugenics: encouraging selected people to have children, and discouraging other selected people. One notes that any scheme that hopes to change the population probably will necessarily need both.

    • The Other Sean

      Consider the rapidity with which East German who had been committed Communists became Neo-Nazis after the Wall fell. I think there is something about collectivist totalitarianism that attracts certain types of people, whether it wears an Internationalist or nationalist guise.

      • The Nazi anthem, the Horst Wessel, was named after a member a Nazi of the same name who was killed. His death was convenient for the Nazis, so they declared him a martyr. What the Nazis never brought up was the fact that Horst Wessel was, in fact, considering switching his allegiance over to the Communists when he died.

        • His choice of profession was also adequate: procurer. (WP may censor the more common English p-word.)

        • Several years ago I was pawing through the foreign-language books at the local Friends of the Library sale when I found two NSDAP-issue books, one the official hagiography, er, biography of Horst W. The other was something bureaucratic that at one time had a pretty cover on it (colorful binding). I suspect someone’s grandfather picked them up as keep-sakes on his US Government paid walking tour of western Europe back in the early 1940s. I bought the Horse Wessel book mostly to have as a prop for class. It’s deadly dull, as you might imagine.

      • Jeff Gauch

        My standard response to the Nazis=right wing idiocy is “What part of National Socialist German Worker’s Party sounds right-wing to you?”

        • “National” and “German”–it was socialism combined with radical nationalism, which is generally not left-wing.
          Sad part is that Hitler and his merry band of maniacs probably had a better grasp of economics than Marx did.

          • Errr… Nope. Nope. And, again, nope.

            If you think the Nazis had a better grasp on economics than Marx, you really need to read The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy by Adam Tooze. Extremely well-documented from the beginning of the Nazi era right through to the end of the war, and he makes a damn good case that the war happened largely because the Nazis ran out of internal sources of revenue from looting, and had to resort to going international in order to get the money to keep the house of cards standing. If the German public had had any idea just how badly the Nazis flubbed everything, they’d have been out on their ears.

            It’s also pretty clear from the book that despite decades of desperate denials, the Nazis were socialists, through and through. That was why their economics didn’t work–They kept trying to follow ideology, and having it fail on them. Tooze lays out a really good case for the true cause of the war being the idiotic socialist games the Nazis were playing with the economy. I read this book again, at the dawn of the Obama era, and the parallels are frightening, particularly with regards to the constant and consistent failure of crony capitalism under both regimes. Calling Obama and crew a bunch of Nazi bastards isn’t too far off the mark, considering the incredible degree of contiguity with the two sets of economic practices. And, interestingly enough, one of the very first things both regimes did was grab control of the organs of economic data, so that they could publish whatever they wished in the way of statistics. The only thing saving Obama is that the American economy has a whole lot more “ruin” in it than Weimar Germany’s ever did.

            • Thanks for the reference [scribbles] I’ll see if my library can snag that one through ILL.

              I’d always assumed the NSDAP operated under a Soviet-style top-down planned economy, plus Goering and others personally appropriating anything that looked profitable. I’ve read Speer’s account, but it only covers the war effort as far as I remember.

              • The whole thing was schizoid as hell. You have to really read Tooze to get a feel for just how far out of touch they were with reality. Hitler, like Obama, seemed to feel that all you had to do to make things happen was make a speech, and wish hard enough. Worked for Peter Pan, right?

                When you go back and look at things, the Nazis were perhaps the biggest practitioners of crony capitalism, ever. Just look at the sweetheart deals Hitler did for the rights to his portrait and Mein Kampf. He was getting a very generous set of residuals on both, and from the German government. Every postage stamp with his image? He got a cut. Every copy of Mein Kampf? He got a hell of a cut, and made the German government pay full rate for every single copy they bought to hand out. Quite the industrious bastard, wasn’t he? And, they’d accumulated a bloody fortune by the end of the war, to the tune of billions of Reichsmarks.

                There was central planning, but then there was also a certain amount of favoritism, which vastly affected the conduct of the war and procurement of weapons. It’s mind-boggling what they did–There were superior planes to the various Messerschmidts and Focke-Wulfe designs, but they never went into production because the wrong people were behind them–Despite clearly demonstrated superiority. And, it may have cost them the war, in that I’ve seen speculation that if Kurt Tank’s designs which were competitors to the Me-109 had been adopted, the Germans might well have won the Battle of Britain–Simply because the Tank design had better range, and more potential for improving that range.

                Top to bottom, Nazi “management” of the economy was fundamentally insane. It was as if you put someone who was color-blind in charge of painting something, and that doesn’t even really do justice to the simile you’d need to use to properly express how far out of whack they were with reality.

                • It was as if you put someone who was color-blind in charge of painting something, and that doesn’t even really do justice to the simile you’d need to use to properly express how far out of whack they were with reality.

                  Color blind and not caring?

                  There are several photographers who are colorblind– probably some painters, too. Got a relative who’s totally color blind and does amazing color photos.

                  They do it by recognizing that there are some things they can’t detect reliably… which is what made me want to respond, because that rather hits it out of the park, no?

                  It’s one thing to be unable to see, and another to insist that what you can’t see isn’t there.

                  • It has been many decades since last i read Herbert George, but this has remained in memory:

                    While attempting to summit the unconquered crest of Parascotopetl (a fictitious mountain in Ecuador), a mountaineer named Nuñez (prn: noon-yes) slips and falls down the far side of the mountain. At the end of his descent, down a snow-slope in the mountain’s shadow, he finds a valley, cut off from the rest of the world on all sides by steep precipices. Unbeknownst to Nuñez, he has discovered the fabled “Country of the Blind”. The valley had been a haven for settlers fleeing the tyranny of Spanish rulers, until an earthquake reshaped the surrounding mountains, cutting the valley off forever from future explorers. The isolated community prospered over the years, despite a disease that struck them early on, rendering all newborns blind. As the blindness slowly spreads over many generations, the people’s remaining senses sharpened, and by the time the last sighted villager had died, the community had fully adapted to life without sight.

                    Nuñez descends into the valley and finds an unusual village with windowless houses and a network of paths, all bordered by curbs. Upon discovering that everyone is blind, Nuñez begins reciting to himself the refrain, “In the Country of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King”. He realises that he can teach and rule them, but the villagers have no concept of sight, and do not understand his attempts to explain this fifth sense to them. Frustrated, Nuñez becomes angry, but the villagers calm him, and he reluctantly submits to their way of life, because returning to the outside world seems impossible.

                    Nuñez is assigned to work for a villager named Yacob. He becomes attracted to Yacob’s youngest daughter, Medina-Saroté. Nuñez and Medina-Saroté soon fall in love with one another, and having won her confidence, Nuñez slowly starts trying to explain sight to her. Medina-Saroté, however, simply dismisses it as his imagination. When Nuñez asks for her hand in marriage, he is turned down by the village elders on account of his “unstable” obsession with “sight”. The village doctor suggests that Nuñez’s eyes be removed, claiming that they are diseased and are affecting his brain. Nuñez reluctantly consents to the operation because of his love for Medina-Saroté. However, at sunrise on the day of the operation, while all the villagers are asleep, Nuñez, the failed King of the Blind, sets off for the mountains (without provisions or equipment), hoping to find a passage to the outside world, and escape the valley.

                    In the original story, Nuñez climbs high into the surrounding mountains until night falls, and he rests, weak with cuts and bruises, but happy that he has escaped the valley. His fate is not revealed. In the revised and expanded 1939 version of the story, Nuñez sees from a distance that there is about to be a rock slide. He attempts to warn the villagers, but again they scoff at his “imagined” sight. He flees the valley during the slide, taking Medina-Saroté with him.
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Country_of_the_Blind

                    Were it not that Wells rejected Christianity as such, one might see a metaphor in this tale.

                • Kirk,

                  Kurt Tank was a lead designer at Focke-Wulf and designed the Fw 190…

            • The confusion comes from the Communist Party identification of the Nazi’s with Fascism. Mussolini was a Socialist all his life, but to the extent that he had a describable philosophy of Fascism, it was this: they believed that class warfare was inevitable, as had Marx; but where Lenin proposed the dictatorship of the Proletariat, Fascism opted to make the classes cooperate under the leadership — Duce — of the State. Mussolini opposed the German annexation of Austria, and prior to his alliance with Hitler had many Jews in his government in quite high places.

              Hitler and Stalin allied in the late 30’s, which was when many American Communists left the Party; the Party Line was when France fell to the Germans, you were invited to toast the victory of the working class over the bourgeois (see Fred Pohl’s The Way The Future Was, an excellent autobiography. Many of the defecting American Communists after the Hitler Stalin Alliance became Trotskyites and some formed the magazine Commentary which over time became a leading neo-conservative journal in the Cold War. They survive in the Weekly Standard now.

              Mussolini was famous for making the trains run on time, not for nationalizing the means of production.

          • No. About the same.
            And there’s no reason nationalism can’t be left wing. USSR just encoded Russian nationalism as “international”. It was at best a thin disguise.

            • Marx and Engel held that there were world-historic peoples, whose task was to bring about Communism, and the rest, whose task was to perish.

          • Though note that Marx and Engels were two German social philosophers who built on the work of other German philosophers to construct a system which, until World War One, was mostly favored by German philosophers.

        • Here’s a checksum for this question: Ever wonder why the left is so emphatic to assign the Nazis to the right? Why are they so vituperative about the issue, and why is it taught and argued with such vehemence?

          Yeah, that’s right: They know they’re telling a lie, even if that knowledge is merely subconscious. The vicious nature of the Nazi-Communist fight wasn’t because it was a left-right conflict, it was because it was between two essentially left-wing systems. The passion wouldn’t have been there, otherwise.

          This is one of those “big lies” the Nazis always talked about; the left has been telling this one since the honeymoon between Hitler and Stalin fell apart the day Barbarossa kicked off. Hell, all you have to do is go dig up Hitler’s speeches, and you should start to get cognitive dissonance with the idea that the Nazis weren’t fundamentally socialist. That’s all he talked about, the glory of the Volk and the worker.

          The real right-wing party in Germany at that time was the Christian Democrats, and if you run down the party platforms, it gets real obvious, real quick, that the Nazis were selling socialism with the serial numbers filed off and replaced with their own interpretation. There wasn’t a damn bit of contiguity with the Christian Democrats, except on the issues of national pride and independence. The Christian Democrats were a tad bit muted on the subject, there…

          • If you watch The Triumph of the Will, pay attention to the narrative in the part where the workers do drills with shovels.

          • snelson134

            Sure. That’s why they go into low earth orbit when reminded that Jim Crow and the Klan were Democrat ideas, and that LBJ came up with the Great Society to keep the blacks as slaves, only to the state rather than individuals. They’ll always be the Party of Slavery.

        • Google the Twenty-Five Point Plan. Much of it (not the racial supremacist garbage) could have been copied verbatim from the manifesto of any Socialist party of the era. Once on power, the economic policies followed have been described even by left-leaning people as “broadly Keynesian”. Götz Aly, a firebrand German historian who used to be a far leftie (and whose work is available in a good English translation on Kindle), basically argues that NS Germany was the first modern nanny state (for Aryans, that is) — financed by a combination of “soaking the rich”, dispossessing the Jews before killing them, and wholesale plunder of conquered territories. He uses the term “Gefälligkeitsdiktatur” (dictatorship of complaisance) in the original.

          • Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State by Götz Aly

            One reason why they could not stop the Holocaust is that it did not just consume resources — it was the major source of war funding. Notice that when Jews were removed from Berlin, it was to make their homes available for war widows, newly weds, and people homeless from bombing.

            Partly influenced by having drunk their own Kool-Aid, and convinced themselves they had lost WWI because of the home front; therefore, they had to keep the home front happy. They were considerably worse at pressuring wives to take on factory work, for instance.

            • Yes, that is the book. It is an eye-opening read — even for a WW II history buff like me.
              Götz Aly got interested in the subject when he had a disabled child himself, was looking for a dissertation subject, and ended up writing (against faculty advice) about “Aktion T4” (the code name of the mass euthanasia program, after the address of its headquarters at Tiergartenstrasse 4)

      • Absolutely. Check out The True Believer, by Eric Hoffer.

  2. Christopher M. Chupik

    Well, maybe you think there should be no word crimes, but then we wouldn’t have this gem:

  3. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Nothing we can imagine is “unthinkable” because if we couldn’t “think” about it, we couldn’t imagine it. [Very Big Grin]

  4. OT. Sorry, I saw something about you attending Denver Comic Con, but can’t remember where.

    Sarah, I saw you will be on some panels at Denver Comic Con on Sunday. Will you be there on Saturday? I would love to meet you and thank you for your writing and your blog.

  5. If you believed that only you and people who thought like you were smart enough to understand what was going on then cracking down on speech makes sense. If everyone else is too stupid to understand then the ignorant masses shouldn’t be exposed to thoughts too lofty for them. As a kindness.

    Because if everyone is either too stupid or too evil to think like you then they shouldn’t be allowed to talk, or think.

    Duh!

  6. … you’re enlisted into these neat little armies at birth

    Not enlisted; conscripted. The Proglodytes are very big on conscripting when it is done by them. Of course, their opinion on just about all things is that it is different when the Proglodytes do them.

  7. The proper response to a charge of “being insufficiently vituperative” would seem to be the coutner-charge that the accusers are being overly judgemental.

    Go ahead, drop the F-Bomb: call them Fascist.

  8. That PBS show about famous people’s genealogy also included DNA studies. There were some splodey heads going on, I guarantee you. I seem to recall it turned out that Sally Fields was some kind of anything goes DNA magnet, and likewise one of the darkest black guy rappers on the show wound up being heavily Scandinavian and Irish/Scottish in ancestry. (Which isn’t surprising, if you have _any_ Scots-Irish or Northern Irish in you.)

    Btw, in re: ongoing search for Portuguese fairy stuff, I understand that the playwright Gil Vicente has a lot of magical and fairy folklore in his plays? (I swear, I find out more stuff about Portugal by reading Spanish lit books than by trying to find Portuguese lit books. Of course, this is because I don’t read Portuguese, but still.)

    • Back a few years ago when those Swiss guys sequenced the Neanderthal genome and compared it to H. Sapiens I expected to see some “Scanners” style exploding head action. Instead… crickets. Not even much on the way of follow-up reports, last I checked. Which I found quite interesting, considering how useful DNA has been to anthropology in recent years.

      • The Other Sean

        There’s now an entire subfield of biological anthropology known as molecular anthropology, based upon work with human DNA. The university I was at hired its first molecular anthropologist shortly before I finished my degree. I was disappointed that course schedules and work schedules didn’t sync up well for taking any of her courses.

      • I remember reading about this. Not only is modern H. Sapiens about 20% Neanderthal, but the Neanderthal genes seem to cluster in areas relating to mathematical and higher reasoning ability. Sapiens genes were more common in areas associated with social ability.

        • Jerry Boyd

          You’re saying that nerds, i.e. high math ability and low social skill, are Neanderthal?

        • I remember reading that, also. I suspect I must have a fair amount of Neanderthal DNA because I am as unsociable as one can get without being a hermit.

        • I believe the numbers are actually 2-4% Neanderthal or Denisovan, not 20% (per testing companies like 23andMe). But yes, it’s there in all human populations that actually left Africa.

          So the only 100% fully modern humans with no Neanderthal/Denisovan admixture are sub-Saharan Africans.

        • Meredith Dixon

          Hold on; are you sure about this? If so, do you remember where you read it?

          As far as I know, it is indeed known that those of European descent are homo sapiens x homo neandertalis, but I question the part about the Neanderthal genes being associated with mathematics and higher reasoning.

          A story was published in a popular science magazine a while back that claimed just what you’re saying -it had a researcher with Asperger’s telling a normal colleague that results had been run on the genome that had indicated that high IQ and mathematical ability were linked to Neanderthal genes, and that Asperger’s was as well, and I got quite excited about it for a few moments, but then I realized that it was being presented as science fiction. I’m wondering whether this might have been what you read.

          If there’s any factual backing to the idea, I would be delighted and I would very much want to know, and there could be; I’m not an expert in the field or anything. Do you, or does anyone, have an actual source on this?

    • Plays – Not the ones I READ in school. They were painfully Catholic. And I mean PAINFULLY.
      Yeah, when Larry said he had a lot of English? Irish? ancestry I thought “So, typical North of Portugal.” — because trade since the 4th century plus a few times they just came in wholesale.

      • Well, apparently he also did a lot of plays with witches in them doing witchy things, occasionally with fairies involved. (Here’s the webpage info):

        “…his alcoveteiras… are single women, without family, who build a profession on their knowledge of charms and powers of persuasion…

        “In The Auto of Hell’s Ferry (1517), the dead alcoveteira Brízida Vaz… is a woman of the crossroads, who has done abortions and procedures restoring women’s virginity and arranged mistresses for priests. She complains of the state of her shoes from the constant walking required by her profession…

        “The shoes of Branca Gil in Velho da Horta are also shabby from use. She is another alcoveteira who has chronic brushes with the law. Branca inveigles money from an old man infatuated with young women. She ruins him while acquiring fancy clothing, jewels, and new shoes. She ends up being mitred, whipped and possibly burned…

        “The heroine of the Farsa de las Fadas is the witch Genebra Pereira. Forty and single, “without husband and without nobility,” she helps people suffering from love. She is wise in the use of healing herbs and drugs. Her repertoire includes toad venom, a hallucinogen often listed in demonologists’ recipes for witches’ flying ointments. In fact, the play is salted with diabolist themes: invocation of demons, magical use of cadavers. Genebra is shown flying naked on a goat and wearing a star-of-David inside a black cat’s heart around her neck as a charm against the evil eye…

        “At times Vicente provides more authentic glimpses of the folk-culture of ordinary witches. In Comedia de Rubena, a parteira-bendicedera (blessing midwife) runs into trouble with a woman in labor. She calls in a witch who invokes four “devils,” lights candles and prepares a magical mix in a clay pot. This witch becomes godmother to Cesmina and helps her attain her destiny by calling on three faeries… The playwright tells us that this witch had been flogged for witchcraft….”

  9. Personally, I’ve long been intrigued by the notion that “human behavior might be shaped by heredity and that, in turn, by selection” – and the various twists and turns that various ethnic groups have taken over time and given various stimuli … but to honestly get very far into it brings down the harpies of politically correct and the terminally butt-hurt shrieking about raaaaacism. I would just like to know, since there are so many anecdotes touching on various possibilities. So would lots of others, I guess, but the shrieking is hard to endure, so only a very few researchers want to go there.

    • When you consider the personality effects of intestinal flora (ingested with mother’s milk and at mother’s table) the line between nature and nurture becomes increasingly blurred.

      • I’m personally convinced that we don’t even know what we don’t know, especially in regard to the biological aspects of causation in human behavior. Maybe it’s not that it’s our genes telling us how to behave, maybe it’s that there are subtle effects based on the various micro-biomes within ourselves, and what we think is an artifact of human genetics or culture is actually caused by the steering effects of various microbiota?

        We know what Toxoplasmosis Gondii does to rats, mice, and little old cat ladies; what if that’s just the tip of the iceberg, and there are cultural effects derived from exposure/colonization by other organisms or groups of cooperative organisms?

        Kinda puts a whole new light on that methodology of the Chinese, when dealing with invasive species like Mongols, eh?

      • Wouldn’t it be cool if they could figure out what kind of intestinal flora and/or fauna could make someone better at music, or more empathetic, or more athletic, and what if they could figure out menus based on these attributes, and what if there were restaurants that served food to enhance things like writing ability or being able to balance the darn checkbook.

        So free will would still exist – you could decide what you want to be based on what you eat.

        Or maybe we really are what we eat in a way.

  10. > Because when you stop talking about evil,
    > it sneaks in in another way, wearing
    > moustache and sunglasses

    I’m more familiar with evil walking up openly, with a smile and a welcoming handshake.

    • Jerry Boyd

      Doesn’t it usually have a tie and a briefcase?

      • Immense variety, actually.

      • Good indicators. But when you hear the words “for your own good” you know for sure.

        • “For the children” is also a good indicator (unless it’s part of “If anyone has any old oatmeal boxes or shoe boxes, we’re collecting them for the children’s department summer craft program.”)

        • Nah, it’s the unsupported assurance of a Good being moved forward, pay no attention to the cost.

          Kids and yourself are just very popular “good” things.

        • “I’m A Good Christian” come out a lot too.

      • I have always heard that the Devil wears a blue dress.

        http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Blue-Dress-Walter-Mosley/dp/1480589853

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Depends on the person. Evil always tries to be attractive to its victim. If you trust people with a tie & briefcase, then that’s how it’ll enter. Otherwise, it’ll take another appearance.

        • I don’t think so. I read that the Devil always appears in red long-johns, has horns, tail and carries a pitchfork. I think it was in a book called the Wormwood Letters or something like that.

          • That’s what he wants you to think.

          • Randy Wilde

            According to Terri Gibbs, the devil sometimes wears blue jeans. I suppose they could be over the longjohns, though.

            • I don’t know, but I think it’s a rumor, that Hillary sings herself to sleep every night with a booze-slurred rendition of “Whatever Lola Wants…”

              • The image of Hillary attempting seduction brings several images to mind of wayyyyyyyy past ripe women plying wiles they long since lost, at least one of them involving Norma Desmond.

                • BTW:


                  Sighted near ABC News in New York.

                  • who’s the guy?

                    • Stephenopolous, he of the “let’s grill this guy who wrote a book about the outright bribery in the Clinton Foundation, and not mention I’ve personally donated $75,000.00 to it…”.

                      Dude’s got a 150 million dollar contract with ABC, and that’s mostly based on his connections as a former Clinton press secretary. And, they were going to have him referee the debates… Interesting, no?

                • snelson134

                  Oh, I ran across a reference to an interview of her “reading like Hilary fanfic.” There’s something I hope I NEVER see…

                  • I think I’ve managed to fine-tune the image and identify its source: Hillary as Belle S. Darkin, 2000 edition.

                    Although … I see her played by the middle-aged Shirley Booth …

                    BTW – in data checking my memory I found this at Wiki:


                    “Well the fastest was — I’ll have to explain. When we were living in Colorado there was snowfall. Our cat — I’m a cat man — wanted to get out of the house so I opened a door for him but he wouldn’t leave. Just kept on crying. He’d seen snow before and I couldn’t understand it. I kept opening other doors for him and he still wouldn’t leave. Then Ginny said, ‘Oh, he’s looking for a door into summer.’ I threw up my hands, told her not to say another word, and wrote the novel The Door Into Summer’ in 13 days.” Heinlein interview with Alfred Bester; pg 487 Redemolished ISBN 0-7434-0725-3

        • Eh, it can be unattractive, too, to be “honest”.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            To those who can see the truth yes, but to trap us it attempts to be attractive. [Sad Smile]

            • One consistent element of its aspect is that it appeals to short-term interests and holds out the possibility of shortcuts to desired goals. Its concern tends toward ends and never-you-mind the means taken.

            • There are those who persuade themselves that crudity and unpleasantness are attractive in their honest unattractiveness.

      • I think it’s a tan jacket and deerskin suitcase. Can’t seem to remember his face, though.

      • These days it’s a rolly bag.

    • Great teeth, too. Whatever you say about Evil’s retirement schemes you have to give them credit for great dental.

    • Oh My … Richard Petty is the devil?

        • I know several folks who’ve been helped by The King when he didn’t know them in the least (like giving them phone number contacts for folks at Dodge while he still drove Pontiacs). Just don’t drive slow in the fast lane in front of him.

        • Of the Kids the Sister was the best driver … First time I Dale Jr. drive he couldn’t drive a dog from the kitchen. But he was learning in the hard school of Nashville because Dad figured it worked for the Waltrips, Hamilton, the Greens etc, and got him away from some friends who were assisting him in getting in trouble around home. I guess it worked.
          Same race day was the First Truck race at Nashville, and Skinner (down lap{s}) took out Harry Gant while Gant was leading. The guy a few rows back from us was offering some rope he had in his trunk. Later, watching the replay on TV Benny Parsons said the move was akin to slapping Santa Clause and commented on how angry the crowd was.
          Skinner was actually escorted out by security for his safety.

  11. > It is almost as though they believe their
    > ideas are a fragile construction

    Sort of like the way a certain group thinks of its customers / readers / fans; drones who will mindlessly vote for a “slate” they saw on the intarwebz. Obviously incapable of reading and judging for themselves, they must be guided by elite and competent hands…

    • Funny how quickly those elite and competent hands attempt to excuse away any attempts of “the drones” to prove that they might be just as elite and competent. I watched Scalzi try to disqualify two GGers who started in on his (self-)assumed superiority in intelligence by showing test results that equaled or bettered his. (They also called into question the validity of the tests.) It wasn’t pretty for him.

    • Joe in PNG

      Ah, yiss, the Left (and us, at times) has always believed that people are mindless sheep, easily moved by slick propaganda- here swayed by the ominous fear of the Other, there enticed by consumerist images of the unattainable.
      The old “false consciousness” of Marx the moocher.
      And, it’s all canal water. Just look at the sales figures of New Coke, Crystal Pepsi, and every big budget, over marketed Hollywood flop.

  12. From my favorite book of 2014, Kindly Inquisitors by Jonathan Rauch:

    “No one will be punished for the beliefs he holds or the opinions he states, because to believe incorrectly is never a crime.” (p. 158)

    If I was in charge of America I’d make everyone read this book during their first semester of college or before their 19th birthday, whichever comes first. 😀

  13. Can’t help but observe that under Islam relations between an adult male and a 9 year old female are permissible, some would say encouraged, and given the legal premise that such a child is incapable of informed consent so such relations must be considered rape if only of the statutory sort, I can only conclude that you are anti Muslim. FWIW I approve.

    By the way, have I told you lately how much I appreciate you allowing me to hang about here in spite of my snarky and twisted sense of humor.

    • And the contortions that certain defenders of Islam twist themselves into trying to explain that 9 years old was different, that it was a longer period of time back then, that the word doesn’t mean what the book in question says it means, and so on. reading or listening to that sort of thing reminds me of watching a ball of garter snakes, but without the entertainment value.

      • Joe Vasicek

        To be fair, though, childhood is a rather modern invention, and you have to look at the historical/cultural context in order to get the whole picture. Not that I’m justifying taking a nine-year old bride, or saying that that’s not repulsive. But was it only a Muslim thing? I think not.

        The thing about Islam is that most Muslims are still living in the seventh and eighth centuries. That was the golden age of their religion, which is why they want to go back to that time.

        • We also tend to forget that in “ancient” times children were often “married” to cement dynastic ties … although that doesn’t seem to apply in the instance of Mo’s better bride.

          • Isn’t that part of the problem with translating marriage vs betrothal?

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Not sure. I always thought those type of noble/royal marriages were not consummated until the girl was over sixteen.

              • snelson134

                Something like that. There’s also the idea of diplomatic hostages which might or might not come with nuptials — nuptials more likely in the case of a female hostage for any number of reasons.

    • aw shucks. You’re family.

  14. Leftist discourse is actually an oxymoron. The bottom line is that what Sarah describes is normal. This is just the way the left acts. It is the core of the current movement to ban “hatespeech.” You can’t say it if the left doesn’t approve. We have to fight this movement.

    I know the phrase “slippery slope” is overused her, but it applies. How long before “free speech areas” are closed because they are “threatening”? How long before challenging the Marxist narrative is “hatespeech”? It’s well past time to draw the line.

    • Jeff Gauch

      The pendulum is starting to slow. Have you seen the stories about the “Pretty little liar” posters springing up around Columbia regarding mattress girl?

      • What’s her explanation for carrying around a mattress?

        • Jeff Gauch

          It’s “performance art” in protest against Columbia not expelling a fellow student whom she accused of raping her, both the police and the university investigated the incident and concluded there was no evidence of rape – and for a university board to clear a man shows how specious the claim was. She turned into a bit of a celebrity around the time of the campus rape moral panic a few months back (the Rolling Stone fabrication of rape as a fraternity initiation was part of the same panic).

          • I’d say attention hound. She probably had lots of time to kill. If she was taking a full load STEM courses and working part-time, she wouldn’t have the time for that bs. I’d like to get rid of “performance art” too. That phrase dignifies bs and attention whoring.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            OPPS! Wrong girl. I thought she was the gal in the Rolling Stone article.

          • Besides, she gets class credit for doing it. This is one of the causes of action against Columbia in the lawsuit her victim has filed.

            • The posters get taken down. She gets class credit. There’s a little problem here.

              • Class credit for acting like a mentally deficient entitled feminist tool? Class credit for possibly ruining someone’s life? Joy unconfined.

          • It gets better.

            The guy she accused of rape was accused three additional times of sexual assault. All three of those incidents (one of which involved a male) were deemed spurious by the campus. And in all three incidents, it was noted that there were connections between the people bringing the charges, and mattress-girl. i.e. it appears that mattress-girl and her friends decided to keep trying to get the guy charged with rape even after her initial attempt failed, and kept inducing new people to accuse him in order to do so.

            He has now filed a law suit claiming that the university implicitly encouraged mattress-girl in her defamation stunt, and that it knowingly allowed her to violate a confidentiality agreement that had been part of the settlement at the conclusion of the investigation into the initial rape claim.

          • snelson134

            Oh, not only that, but she or one of the “advisors” apparently conspired to have at least two others accuse as well.

            Nowadays, whenever I hear of these kinds of charges, the first thing I look at is the background of the accused. If, like Cosby, they have a background of annoying SJWs, I call for an extra saltshaker.

            • Thus the demand that accusers’s identities be kept secret. Anonymous denunciations: what could possibly be bad about those?

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          She claimed that Columbia “ignored” her rape but the story she told to Rolling Stone quickly broke down.

          IE Not only didn’t the rape happen, the person she “claimed” raped her was no where near where she claimed to be raped.

          • As you noted above, wrong girl. That was the UVA rape case. Mattress-girl actually did have sex with the guy she accused of rape. It’s believed that she thought this would get her into a relationship with the guy, but he was never interested in anything long-term with her. When she finally realized that, she apparently came up with the rape accusation in order to get back at him.

  15. A long quote on the “denounce the speaker” thing.
    What is tolerance? Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience towards evil, and a forbearance that restrains us from
    showing anger or inflicting punishment. But what is more important than the definition is the field of its application.
    The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to
    truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error.

    What has just been said here will clarify that which was said at the beginning of this chapter, namely, that America is
    suffering not so much from intolerance, which is bigotry, as it is from tolerance, which is indifference to truth and
    error, and a philosophical nonchalance that has been interpreted as broad‐mindedness. Greater tolerance, of course,
    is desirable, for there can never be too much charity shown to persons who differ with us. Our Blessed Lord Himself
    asked that we  ʺlove those who calumniate for us,ʺ for they are always persons, but He never told us to love the
    calumny

    http://northamericanmartyrs.org/pdf/Plea-for-Intolerance.pdf

  16. You have to wonder… Most human behavior, even the most aberrant, can be interpreted through the lens of behavioral biology–In other words, even the strangest stuff, like cannibalism, can usually be explained by things in the environment, like a lack of protein sources, influencing behavior. So, you look at a lot of environments where cannibalism has been prevalent, and you find that, indeed, the sources of protein in the environment have been somewhat deficient. Which explains, not excuses: We’re supposed to be able to rise above our biological imperatives, in order to be fully human.

    So, that leaves the beggared question: What the hell is the utility of leaving a behavioral trait like pedophilia in the population? If it was truly inimical to survival, wouldn’t it have been long since eliminated from the general population? Most things, like the cannibalism example I outline above, I can work through to figuring out why we still have it. This one? WTF? How does that even work, from the standpoint of biology? You breed the females of most species too young, and you start seeing problems, which is why the signalling (going into heat, etc.) is so strong–Most species don’t come into heat until the female is ready to bring a new member of the species to term. Why are humans different? Why has this trait/behavior not been eliminated, if only because the resulting children from it are usually very damaged and not fit for survival? Or, is it even a hard-wired behavior?

    In some cases, you have to wonder if there isn’t a situation going where the aberrant behavior, such as this one, aren’t tied into the genome in some bizarre lateral fashion, such that eliminating it would result in damage to other, better-adapted hard-codings. If that were the case, perhaps there might be a prophylactic measure that could be taken to prevent it actually being expressed?

    • It’s almost as if there is something uniquely wrong with humans. Some sort of, I dunno, twisting of our nature tied specifically to sexual behavior in some way. Like original sin or something.

      I know, that’s just crazy talk. Sorry I mentioned it.

      • Were one to evaluate things from the standpoint of religion, it’s yet another example of fallen man’s evil.

        On the other hand, I do find it useful to try to look at things from entirely different starting points, and I’ve found that to be valuable in understanding things–The mental equivalent of leaving a puzzle in your pocket to be fingered and touched, to better grasp its inner secrets. So, now and again, I discard faith and try to think in terms of purely mechanistic “why does this work this way” secularism. Sometimes, it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This may be a case where it doesn’t.

        • It strikes me as likely that such flaws as you speak are not inherent, not genetic, but instead represent a maldevelopment (as with a recent article* I saw about a woman who got pregnant through anal intercourse, sometimes the software loads improperly) and the end product is flawed. We can act to reduce the population which is particularly subject to such developmental errors but it is unlikely it can be wholly eradicated.

          *Sigh. Somebody here is certain to ask, so: http://nypost.com/2015/05/15/this-woman-got-pregnant-from-having-anal-sex/
          Key point for those wanting to know Wha??? but not interested in the article:

          The woman was born with what’s called a cloacal malformation. Meaning: When she was born, she didn’t have a urethra, vagina and anus. She just had one hole, called a cloaca. (FYI, birds have them.) The condition is incredibly rare, occurring in about one in 25,000 female live births, says Steixner (and it only occurs in girls — lucky us). While no one knows what causes it, it’s usually diagnosed at birth and repaired right away so that the baby has a separate urethra, vagina and rectum.

          That’s what happened in this woman’s case. However, something went wrong. Either the surgery was botched or in response to the trauma of surgery, her body formed a fistula (an abnormal connection between organs), and her uterus fused to her rectum. So every month when Aunt Flo came to town, she had her period rectally. Meanwhile, her vagina was a dead end leading nowhere.

          Crazy, right? During Steixner’s conversation with the woman, he says she mentioned that she exclusively had anal sex prior to getting pregnant. Well then, that would explain it: She got pregnant through anal sex. “It blew my mind,” he says. A few months later, she had a C-section (the doctors didn’t think she should attempt to “poop” out the baby), and the child was healthy, he says.

          BTW: Caution — article may contain links to things you just don’t want to know about (if the article itself hasn’t already moved you into that space.)

      • No, it’s not unique to humans. I’m a farmer. A horny goat in rut will go for anything on four legs, even a very young doeling.
        And I’m sure you have had or seen a dog humping some poor person’s leg – not at all fertile.

        And then there are ducks. OMG, Drakes are simply rapists. They will rape ducklings.

        • Dolphins are notorious for raping anything that… uh… swims… as well.

        • Joe Wooten

          Same with some roosters…..

          • Interestingly, my peacock was very much a gentleman. He danced and danced for the approval of our peahen, and did not attempt to mate until she acquiesced.
            Unfortunately, a bobcat got him last fall. Leaving us with a very sad peahen, trying to entice my guinea fowl and my drakes.

            • Joe Wooten

              I used to keep quite a large flock when I was in jr. high and high school. I’d keep several roosters of different breeds to try out crosses and see what hatched. I had one big game rooster who tried mounting every duck or turkey hen he saw. He’d go nuts when he’d see one of the other roosters mounting a hen when he was penned up.

              That was one mean-ass old rooster. I saw him spur a feral cat bloody one Saturday.

              • I had a freaking bantam rooster who spurred my leg anytime I wore shorts.
                Now, I’m not the kind who kills critters, but after about 5 years of Acorn’s antics, I whacked him with my shepherd’s crook and broke his back and he died.
                Despite having several scars on my shins and calves from that nasty roosterling, I cried that I had killed one of my critters.

                • one of my dad’s earliest memories is holding his grandmother’s hand while they walked across the barnyard and the rooster coming at them. Nanny had just finished off her coffee and had the cup in her other hand, she eased my dad aside with one hand, clobbered the rooster with the cup, and said “looks like it’ll be chicken soup for dinner tonight”.

                  When I was 3 or 4 my uncle had a rooster who spurred folks randomly. Mom got it one day and dad went out and not really chased but just followed the rooster to harass him. He eventually started to cackle and scratch like the hens, trying to blend in, but it really didn’t work as he was a big red, while all the hens were whites. It disappeared and my uncle figured it got ate by a bobcat, coyote, mink or something. Years later my cousin admitted to my dad to shooting it after it had got him, my aunt, and a friend of his all in the same day. He and his friend took it out in the woods and dispatched the beast.

                  • You folks really make me appreciate the zero tolerance policy my family has to animals that attack people…..

                    • Joe Wooten

                      The same mean-ass old game rooster I mentioned earlier went after a cousin of mine when he was 5. Cork loved going out to the chicken pen to watch the momma hens and their chicks and one time the rooster was out and decided to attack him. He came in crying and I told him to take a stick next time and hit him if he attacked again.

                      I should have seen the light bulb going off over his head, because about 5 minutes later we ran outside to the pen after hearing a god-awful squawking. Cork went looking for trouble and cornered the rooster and was beating him.

                      The rooster survived…….

                • Yes, birds are a lot more fragile than we sometimes think.

    • Teen pregnancy: IIRC, they were able to show most of the negative effects of young child birth are either environmental (a mature woman with the same situation would have similar outcomes) or eventual problems for the mother. (similar to why you don’t breed a cow on her first cycle)

      It’s just not useful for the “sterilize the youth” campaigns.

    • It’s probably tied to brain chemistry and architecture, which is immensely complicated stuff, and the reason it hasn’t disappeared is because tinkering with the brain is a finicky process.

      There’s also the fact that child-rapers (spit) are not usually exclusively so. At least not in historic terms. Genome gets passed along; there’s just collateral damage along the way.

      ‘Scuse me while I go get the brain bleach.

      • One does feel the need for a bit of bleach after contemplating such.

        Stuff like this is what makes me a little dubious of the purely mechanistic view of behavioral biology, but I’ve had these discussions before where the folks arguing for biological causes have been able to convince me that there are likely adaptational advantages for the things under discussion. In this case, I can’t even begin to even… But, that’s my conditioning/instincts kicking in, and those are almost never useful for analyzing and understanding things.

        Of course, some things aren’t up for either, and just need to be stomped upon. I think this is one.

        • We can see a case where reproducing right at the first possible moment is a survival benefit to the species (most obvious to me is the low-genetic-diversity scenario where the most likely to produce genetically viable offspring male is two or three generations older than the female, which fits nicely with the homogeneity of human DNA and the bottleneck theory, but there are probably others) and since ovulation in humans is not blatantly obvious there is a benefit to starting early, but there are all sorts of other human sexual activities that have no possibility of reproduction.

    • Jeff Gauch

      Not everything in the phenotype is encoded in the genotype. Especially when it comes to human behavior. We have very complex brains, the wiring of which is only loosely controlled by genetics. It’s not uncommon for that wiring to get screwed up by purely environmental factors – you don’t see much schizophrenia in the animal world. With humans, sex is an important part of our social structure, so it’s regulation is much more complicated than in some other animals. That means there’s more to go wrong, and little of it would be encoded in DNA. Remember, evolution cannot act on it unless it is transmitted between generations.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Seems simple enough. Look at the human body as a self assembling, self wiring, self programming machine. Defects are unsurprising.

      Child rape and child rape/murder are just another flavor of sexual targeting disorder. Thankfully relatively rare.

      Before someone starts a repeat of the discussion from when I said something similar about regular serial killers: We have birth certificates. We can evaluate somewhat how many people born die before the age of, say, ten. We don’t have a majority being killed for sexual purposes before reaching that age. I’m neglecting abortion here, of course.

      I have heard that a lot of the old indo-european warrior traditions incorporated a specific sort of pedophilia. One explanation is that a lot of pre-Christian warriors might otherwise have little reason to let a youngster hang around, and not kill them. Muscle weapons do need a lot of training, perhaps from an early age. Absent family sentiment, or a dedication to the future of the community, why tolerate someone who cannot match up or contribute? The seeming counter-argument is ‘what about China?’

      If you really want to pick a fight, speculate that there is a very significant statistical difference in mechanisms of sexual targeting disorder between males and females. Or that a set of such mechanisms varies with genetic differences between populations?

      • I’ve got a cat right now who’s clinically obsessive compusive, I’m sure. We’re fighting for room on my computer desk. I push him off, he bounces back up without a moment’s hesitation. Up down up down up down (doing it right now, in fact). Apparently I am unclear on the concept of cat-space.

  17. Hey, apologies here… Possible thread-hijack in progress…

    I just had an old friend email me this video:

    The book series in question was never really a part of my life, coming after I was in the target demographic for them. However, both of my brothers were in that bracket, and remember these as being the “Berenstein Bears”. Both were severely weirded out when I showed them this…

    What saith the Hunnish tribe? Is this a legitimate thing, or was everyone always just overlooking the actual spellings?

    • I didn’t watch the video, but I’ve seen discussion of the situation here:
      http://woodbetweenworlds.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-berenstein-bears-we-are-living-in.html

      I’m pretty sure the author of that page is (mostly) joking. I’m also pretty sure that the author of this page is not:
      http://mandelaeffect.com/berenstein-or-berenstain-bears

    • I remembered it as having the “e” but I will note that it tends to be the complicated “a” with the tail up top (so that it closely resembles an inverted “e”, especially for those just learning to read or those with various flavors of dyslexia.) It’s entirely possible that a generation is misremembering due to the fact that “Berenstain” is a variant spelling rather than the common format.

    • Birthday girl

      It was always spelled with the a.

      • P) In your world, maybe…

        Swear to God on this one: I am someone with a scary sense of spelling. I can usually glance at a document and pick up misspellings without really reading it, and when there are misspelled words in something, it will grate on my nerves like someone was/is scratching a chalkboard with their nails. Think of it as a built-in spell check, one that does have a couple of blind spots. But, not this one word…

        Anyway, I’m driving down the street one day, and I suddenly got that spidey-sense “Something is misspelled…” thing from a sign at a business I’ve actually done trade with. All of a sudden, their damn sign reads “Something-something Vacuum Sales and Repair”. No biggie, right? Well, it damn near caused me to have a collision, because I hadn’t noticed that before, and it is something I would have noticed when I was in the store having my vacuum repaired. At first, I put it down to “Oh, I must have missed that…”. Then, my next stop was the Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond, where I casually walked by the damn vacuums and suddenly realized “This ain’t right… All over…”. I literally stood there in front of the displays, staring at the tags and the boxes, going WTF??? for about a good 30 minutes. That’s how far out of it that this took me. I was stunned.

        And, why? Because I have very clear memories of one of my grade-school triumphs, winning a spelling bee with the correct spelling of the word, which I clearly remember as being “Vacuam”. There was only ever one “U” in that bastard, as far back as I remember. Which, given my early fascination with the space program and science fiction, was a long-ass ways. And, then… Suddenly, there were two “U’s”.

        I even remember the derivation of the spelling “Vacuam”, which was supposed to be from the Latin “vacuus”, which I remember as being spelled “vacuas”.

        Frankly, the whole thing weirds me out, to this day.

        • Wait- what??? You didn’t get the vacum => vacuum memo?

          Man, why do you think our language has so many peculiar spellings? It’s all part of a strategy, like the way USSR maps were always wrong. The purpose is to help us identify Time-Travelers by randomly changing spelingz every so aften.

          • LOL… Nope, I was left off the distro list, apparently.

            I’ll be honest with you–If someone were to come up to me tomorrow and say “Hey… You’re not really from here. You belong a few universes over, where they spell vacuam right…”, I really wouldn’t be that surprised, and I’d find the person telling me that completely credible.

            That’s how sure I am of my spelling abilities, in this regard. I may, from time to time, screw up things like “their”, but those are sort of like miskeyings I tend to skip over. Vacuum for vacuam? There is simply no way in hell I’d ever get that wrong… Until I did, one fall afternoon in 1993 or so. Some people have perfect pitch, I’ve got whatever you’d term this is. And, I swear to God, I never noticed it before that day, so… If I had it wrong, somehow, it was a huge blind spot I just can’t reconcile with everything else. To this day, I have to stop and think about how that word is “really spelled, at least around here…”.

            Couple of things I note, looking at that site devoted to what they’re calling the Mandela Effect: One, I had a near-death experience not too long before this happened to me. This is connected in that many people report similar things in connection with their particular “dislocation”, if that’s what it is. So, there’s that. Now, the second question that I have is that if I’m somehow a version that was pushed over “here” from “there” when I died in that plane crash, what the ever-loving hell happened to the “me” that was here? I swear to you all, I have no memory of meeting my doppelganger and then killing him. Or, of hiding any unexplained bodies that might have resulted… So, what the hell happened to him? Or, did the memories I had from that version of me that lived where they spelled it “vacuam” just overwrite the memories of the version from this weird place where they spell it “vacuum”?

            Existential, man…

            • Maybe you’re the time traveler. I consistently misspell it ‘vaccum’, but I wasn’t trainable in spelling (Mom tried so hard, and the harder she tried the worse I spelled) and only spell check has made a dent-the truly odd thing about vacuum is that I am consistent at misspelling it. In fact, my lack of ability to spell has influenced my word choice: I try very hard to avoid the n-word. (Is it ever neseccary? neccessary? nesissary? nesessery? to use the word ‘necessary’? Perhaps mandatory or required will do instead.)

              Yes, I have an add-on in my browser for that.

            • I have that effect, too, except not quite to that degree, and it’s not as sharp as it used to be, though I remember spelling “vacuum” the same way since before *I* won a couple of spelling bees in grade school (for some reason, they had more levels of spelling bees the year I did it. Somehow it was related to the bicentennial, though I don’t know why, but I managed to get through three before they asked me a word I had never seen before, and THEN gave the other guy a clue by cutting me off as soon as I got one letter wrong.

              I’ll be honest with you–If someone were to come up to me tomorrow and say “Hey… You’re not really from here. You belong a few universes over, where they spell vacuam right…”, I really wouldn’t be that surprised, and I’d find the person telling me that completely credible.

              In context with this conversation, this story is pretty creepy:
              http://www.e-reading.club/chapter.php/75689/3/Niven_-_All_The_Myriad_Ways.html

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Some years ago, I read a story where the Main Character believed that he belonged in another world.

                Then somebody showed up to say “Yes, you were born in the wrong world. I’m here to take you to the correct world and to your proper place in it”.

                Unfortunately, the Main Character’s “proper place” was as a serf. [Evil Grin]

                • This is why, whenever someone asks the question “What fictional world would you like to live in?”, my first response is, “Would I be naturalized as a character of that world? And would I have any control over where I landed?”

              • I had thought of that, but then my brain slipped over to Lord Kalvan.

                Now I am trying to recall a mid-60s SF series derivative of the Bond novels, about a “secret” agent of [the Time Police? Weren’t they a Cheap Trick song?] whose assignment was protection of temporal continuity. His Artemus Gordon assistant was a sentient ball of about twelve pounds of protoplasm which typically took the form of a cat (“because a 12-lb dog is just useless.”)

                Sigh. I hope when I wake up in the middle of the night and shout out the name the Beloved Spouse lets me live long enough to look it up online and learn who the writer really was.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Ouch! Post caught in moderation.

                  Check out Agent of T.E.R.R.A. #1: The Flying Saucer Gambit by Larry Maddock in the Kindle Store.

                  It may sound familiar.

                  • Thanks — I plugged it into the search engine and the covers fit the recollection.

                    Given my adolescent willingness to read almost anything I hesitate to revisit those old friends for fear they will not bear up well under my more mature gaze.

                    Hannibal and Webley travel from the year 2572 to Kansas in the year 1966 to investigate the death of a fellow T.E.R.R.A.’s Resident Agent … killed by the sinister legions of Gregor Malik’s E.M.P.I.R.E. to keep him from reporting their new secret weapon, a device that turns people into babbling lunatics.

                    Wasn’t network television invented well before then?

                    Waitaminnit! When did Star Trek debut?

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Not sure but “Lost In Space” is a better candidate for “turning people into babbling lunatics”. [Very Big Evil Grin]

                    • Would explain the 60’s.

                • Was it maybe Poul Anderson?

                • snelson134

                  “the Time Police? Weren’t they a Cheap Trick song?”

                  That would be Dream Police….

                  • Oh, great. Now I have an ear worm. The earworm police are inside of my head.

                    • Having trouble finding the precise words to express how annoying an ear worm is?

                      Try:

                      The Wheel of Feelings stands ready to help all of your emotional expression needs! The inner circle contains all terms most men need in their daily activities, the middle circle provides the terms desired by all Sensitive New Age Guys while the outermost circle offers the emotional terminology ladies need most!

                      Available as an app for your phone; emojis cost extra.

                      See: mentalfloss[DOT]com/article/64182/improve-your-vocabulary-wheel-feelings for details.

                    • ORDER NOW and get this handy Emotional Table thrown in free:

                      Slight additional charge for shipping and handling.

                      Product manuals available at robbsdramaticlanguages.wordpress[DOT]com/2014/07/31/

                    • N.B. – the Credit Where Due Department (where all billing includes free cooing) reminds me to tip the hat to Jonah Goldberg and his G-file column of May 22, 2015 ( http://www.nationalreview.com/node/418794/print )

        • I always read it as “ein” as well. Well, now that I’ve been thinking about it, I think I saw one many years ago (they had been out for some years already) and noticed the “ain” spelling, and assumed it was a typo.

          It could be that since few polysyllabic last names end in “ain”, that we just auto-converted it to “ein”.

          Or maybe we DID drop into a parallel universe.

  18. allowed many to blind themselves to the equally great if different evils of international (which somehow always means Russian-national)
    ——————-

    Except for when it became Chinese-national.

    But the Chinese haven’t had the same luck dominating their neighbors that the Soviets did, fortunately.

    And, of course, Khmer-Rouge? They were communists?

    • But the Chinese haven’t had the same luck dominating their neighbors that the Soviets did, fortunately.

      They’re making up for lost time.

      • They’re trying to.

        Thing is, they’re in a position somewhat similar to the Soviets in 1940. The Soviets could dominate any of their neighbors (even the Finns got hammered after the initial Winter War), and started to bully their way to get what they want. But they didn’t really establish their empire until the end of the war. The excuse of “liberating” their neighbors from the fascists provided a way for them to get in an subvert the ruling governments.

        That opportunity isn’t available in China’s neighbors – or at least, not yet.

        • They do have the “protecting their land” excuse, though– and they’re building the islands to support it.

          • Jeff Gauch

            You know, you’d think that the Chinese would study the history of places like Henderson Field before they start building these things. It turns out that the USMC has a bit of practice at taking things the enemy has built on islands and using them against him. What matter is it that the entire island is constructed?

            • The Other Sean

              That’s part of their secret plan. They’ve hidden a nuclear self-destruct device in the sand of the island. As soon as our troops approach, they push the button, and then it is KABOOM! (At least they would if I was running a secret island base program, and there were no volcanoes around to trigger the eruption of.)

              • Jeff Gauch

                Unfortunately for that plan, step 1 of taking an island reads “Pound the ever-loving crap out of it.” Nuclear weapons aren’t exactly robust. While getting a full-yield blast out of an implosion device is tricky, it’s not hard to render it completely inoperable or to trigger a nuclear fizzle (not healthy for anyone in the immediate area, but not nearly as bad as a big KABOOM!)

              • snelson134

                One of the stories in Vox Day / Tom Kratman;s anthology “Riding the Red Horse” had Taiwan taking that approach…. except they put them about halfway across the Strait of Taiwan, figuring the Reds would take the shortest approach.

            • That only works if you believe that the US Marines might be sent in to secure your artificial island. They don’t seem to think so (there’s a headline today about the Chinese threatening a US spy plane in one of the areas that they’re claiming). And under our current feckless leadership, I’m pretty sure that we wouldn’t.

              Speaking of which, I watched ‘Last Days of Vietnam’ last night. Put me in mind of the current situation in the Middle East with ISIS and Iraq.

              History repeats itself…

              • History repeats itself…

                Well, sure — if you keep letting the blind* guys drive!
                Well, sure — if you keep letting the drunk** guys drive!

                *There are none so blind …
                **On their own moral sanctity.

              • Jeff Gauch

                The Chinese have always threatened our Freedom of Navigation exercises in the South China Sea, and we keep conducting them, because we know that China wants a war with us even less than we want one with them.

                Those islands are no threat. They aren’t going to be ready before the next administration, which is almost certainly going to be less feckless than the current clown car (bit of a right-wall issue, there), and they’re going to be roughly as capable as an aircraft carrier, with the minor disadvantage of not being able to move. We could deconstruct the island back into a reef from 200 miles out. Or we could take it as a small unit exercise for an ARG.

                • They aren’t going to be ready before the next administration, which is almost certainly going to be less feckless than the current clown car
                  ——————-

                  Well…

                  Maybe…

                  There are only a handful of Dem alternatives to Hillary (who’s getting some very bad press right now) at the moment, and I could definitely see at least a couple of them ignoring what the Chinese are up to.

                  • Jeff Gauch

                    Hillary is going to be the nominee. She isn’t going to be elected. *I* have a better chance of winning the election than she does, and I’m not running (though to be fair, neither is she).

                    • I dunno.

                      The anti-Hillary news stories are coming out pretty fast and furious all of a sudden. If enough of them keep coming – and I’m willing to bet that there’s a lot of stuff that we’ve not even guessed at – then she might just end up losing the nomination again.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      I think that her getting the nomination uncontested was part of her price for not blowing up Obama’s run in ’08 and ’12. Sanders is the only one who has officially announced, and he’s a gadfly who won’t even win his own state.

                      The bad news flurry is part Clinton ethics and part message strategy. Hillary is hoping that by the time the election rolls around everyone thinks of that as old news. She does run the risk of getting herself defined as a corrupt old witch, rather than her preferred persona of kindly, if sometimes confused by all this new-fangled technology – grandmother. If she doesn’t cut an ad wearing an apron at some point in the campaign, I’ll eat your hat.

                      And let’s face it, the Democrats literally have no one else. American politics is cyclical, everyone knows that trying to be Obama’s third term is going to be an uphill slog. Those few liberals who aren’t white men (Democrats will never win running a white male, they need the turnout boost that comes from a token candidate) are going to keep their powder dry for ’20.

                    • The interesting thing is that the money seems to not be rolling in as expected. The Wall Street Journal reported this morning:
                      Hillary Clinton Super PAC Struggles to Raise Money
                      The super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid is struggling to raise money and now expects to collect only about $15 million through the end of June, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. …

                      … five weeks after Mrs. Clinton entered the presidential race, [her fundraising operation] has garnered only about $5 million in “hard commitments,” two people familiar with events say.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      It’s really not that surprising. Hillary is a terrible politician. Her campaign, both now and in ’08, is based on two ideas: 1) It’s time the US had a woman President. 2) Hillary is a woman. Neither proposition is what I would call unassailable.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Of course, in 08 I think she had the “Bill” factor on her side but that may be less of a factor now.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      Maybe it’s just my inner Machiavelli, but I suspect that if Hillary gets into real trouble, Bill is going to suffer a severe health crisis.

                    • “Vote The Widow Clinton For President”?

                      Not even the MSM would buy her putting the campaign aside to spend more time with her family.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Going along with that, Bill is murdered by somebody “painted” as a Right-Winger so she flies into the Presidency as “the Widow of a martyred former-President”.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      That one’s risky. You either need to find a real right-winger, or try and get the timing just right so that the revelation doesn’t come to soon to be suspicious but there isn’t enough time for the guy’s true political affiliation to come out. Plus there’s the Secret Service.

                      I think a massive heart attack – not necessarily lethal, caring for a sick husband would get her sympathy longer than being a widow – some time in mid-October would be more likely. That would actually put the GOP into quite the corner. Clinton’s attack dogs would sill be going after $candidate (Blumenthal would probably speculate the attack was caused by all the mean things $candidate said about Bill’s darling wife), but nobody in the GOP could attack Hillary without looking like a heartless cad. $candidate would also have to say something nice about serial-rapist Bill, which would give some GOP leaning swing voters permission to vote based on sympathy – the Christie-Obama hug of ’16.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      It’s not that surprising, she’s a terrible politician. Her campaign, now and in ’08, is based on two ideas: 1) It’s time the US had a woman President and 2) Hillary is a woman. Neither proposition is what I would call unassailable.

                    • Sanders is the only one who has officially announced, and he’s a gadfly who won’t even win his own state.

                      I hope so, I’ve been seeing a lot of his quotes popping up on the pages of relatives that are vaguely on the right but are practically speaking the “dinner table” folks Sarah has mentioned. Finger-nail deep, here.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      I actually had to ask a friend to stop commenting on Sanders memes because it was putting far too much dumb on my feed. The man brings a whole new meaning to facile.

                    • She might be intentionally releasing some of the bad news. But she’s not fully in control of it. The recent bit of information about Stephanopoulus came from a conservative publication – the Washington Free Beacon. In fact, part of the scandal surrounding the story is the belated damage control that was invoked to deal with the story. The person at ABC that promised WFB a statement turned out to be another “former” Hillary person, and ABC ended up leaking the story to Politico, who “broke” it (by posting it online) just minutes before the WFB finally did.

                    • Jeff Gauch

                      It’s a bit like draining down a reservoir. You do it intentionally, but you really can’t control what the water does. Hillary is the Three Gorges of corruption.

                    • snelson134

                      “Going along with that, Bill is murdered by somebody “painted” as a Right-Winger so she flies into the Presidency as “the Widow of a martyred former-President”.”

                      I’m expecting that for Obama by someone paid for by the Left. I think that’s a big reason we’ve gotten a slew of “incompetent Secret Service / White House security” stories in the last two years.

                    • So: Joe Biden ascends to the presidency, Hillary graciously steps down to become The Woman Who Would Have Been President” and a traumatized public elects LBJ Ford Biden president to continue the ennobling mission of his predecessor.

                      The timing is critical — after Hillary has triumphantly swept a few primaries (demonstrating her popularity) but before the convention (also before her history of strategic abuse of the truth catches up with her), allowing her to announce her abdication selfless sacrifice to allow the nation to heal.

                      Meanwhile, Hillary’s speaking fees sky-rocket, she (and Bill) become the SMoDs and a middle-aged Kenyan civil-service pensioner takes up residency in Cannes, Indonesia or one of the Gulf States with excellent golf courses, such as Oran.

                    • Sigh. HTML error: “Biden president to continue the ennobling mission of his predecessor.” should not (repeat: NOT) have a strike-through.

                      CAUTION: dialing back the snark may cause editing errors.

          • Me, I’m waiting for the next “wrath of God” tropical storm to blow through that area, and pull a recap of The Hurricane

            I’m not sure I’d want to rely on a man-made island in that region. Period.

            • The Other Sean

              A certain member of Congress isn’t worried. He’s convinced the island will simply flip over or sink with all that weight added.

  19. Joe in PNG

    To quote Prof. Dutch:
    “Suppressing discussion is always more dangerous to the suppressor
    Stonewalling, shouting down opponents, or outright suppression of criticism is like slapping a Band-aid on gangrene. The wearer may be fooled, but everybody else can still smell the corruption. The problem simply goes underground where you can’t see it. Two words for anyone still inclined to doubt: Soviet Union.” https://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/dutchrules.htm
    A funny thing tends to happen with censorship- it tends to invigorate the side you’re trying to legally shut down. Try to ban it, and people get interested, the ban gives the idea legitimacy. If idea must be powerful in some way (so the thinking goes), because they’re trying to stop it.
    How much of the current power that Marx has amongst the academic types comes from previous attempts to censor them?
    Better to let them talk.

  20. Because when you stop talking about evil, it sneaks in in another way, wearing moustache and sunglasses

    And carrying candy and cookies, which it offers to the children.

  21. TheNybbler

    If you look at their philosophy, at a superficial level it appears to have axioms, conclusions, and a web of logic to support it. However, you don’t have to look very deeply before this facade collapses. Their conclusions don’t follow from their axioms, their web of logic follows no standard logical rules, and the axioms contradict not just observed reality but each other. In fact, everything is axiomatic, and a large part of the structure is defenses to prohibit anyone from attacking it.

    Thus “mansplaining” (as if an alternate explanation to some manifestation of imagined oppression is automatically wrong because a man is giving it), “derailing” (as if the conversation should be “on rails” in the first place) and the idea that any expression of disagreement is discomforting or even threatening or unsafe to women and minorities — and therefore may and must be prohibited under rules preventing a “hostile environment” or “harassment”. Yes, they know (or at least some of those involved know) their philosophy can’t survive criticism, or they wouldn’t have built in so many protections against it.

  22. ticky box.

  23. I strongly believe that it it quite important that adults have regular intercourse with children.

    I am also quite curious as to how many people misunderstood (-or at least what was their first quick take on) the above sentence.

    • I bet fewer than 1% in this forum thought of sexual intercourse. 🙂

      • I’d have used “regular discourse,” but I’m particular like that- and I grew up with a proper English teacher in the household. *chuckle*

        • If you’ve ever been around teens you wouldn’t ever use the words intercourse or frigate.

          • I was the second eldest male (by about fifteen years) of my “generation” of cousins, local adoptees, and kids that hung around my folks’ place, ergo the designated babysitter/munchkin wrangler for the boys at least. That amounted to probably twenty or thirty “teens” I was more or less responsible for when adults weren’t around.

            I believe I can say the list of “don’t use” words was a lot longer twenty years ago… *shakes head* Of course, some of them were pretty darned imaginative, too. *chuckle*

          • Tool is also not advisable.

            • Even though nothing comes to mind right now (shaddap. I do TOO have a mind), the list of inadvisable words to use without correct qualifiers is nearly endless.

              I mean, a friend of mine was describing his lampwork bead-making to one of our female friends the other day, and was describing his big rods (of glass). This prompted much giggling (because that group is all teenagers at heart).

              • Of course, this same woman was telling me about how people keep trying to make her feel better about being short by saying, “You know, great things come in small packages.” When I asked her if they were all men, she nearly fell out of her chair.

                🙂

              • I was once describing what my own university’s mascot was going to do to another guy’s university mascot.

                Which was a beaver.

                I realized what I’d just said roughly a split second after the words came out of my mouth…

                /sigh

                • snelson134

                  Portland Oregon. The most PC place on the planet. OSU mascot is a beaver.

                  Poster in the airport: “Got a hard job? Put a Beaver on it!”

                  And it stayed there for months.

              • There were entire dinners when I couldn’t say anything without the guys cracking up…

              • My editor flagged something that was totally innocuous in the context of the scene, and accurate (melee weapons in use), but could send readers of a certain mental age into fits of Beavis-and-Butthead snickers. I am sooooo out of date on my juvenile slang.

    • Strong caution should be observed in utilization of that phrase around the general muck of people. Remember that pediatrician in the UK who was nearly lynched, because the mob thought a pedophile would be stupid enough to put a brass plate announcing their proclivities upon their front door?

      The mob consists of people too stupid to live on their own, and who require the strength and security of thousands of like-minded idiots to support them.

    • The language is shifting; as is usual, the most popular euphemism is becoming a synonym, and omitting the specific modifier makes it presumed to be present; unless deliberately trying to be misunderstood, modifying it for specific type of non-sexual intercourse is required.

      • Sometimes in odd ways. “Quality” is now always assumed to be good, and “attitude” is always assumed to be bad.

        I’ve mentioned “poor quality” or “good attitude” and watched people pause while they parsed the sentence…

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I’ll admit to speculating that you were socially progressive in the usual way.

  24. “At the same time, Marxist dialects requires that there be classes of people that struggle against each other”

    You meant “dialectics”…or maybe “diuretics”. 🙂

  25. “I don’t think there is any circumstance under which child-rape would be considered good. ”

    Actually, most people these days are so stupid and easily led (see “low information voter” and “obamaphone lady”) that if the mass media put their shoulder to the wheel, it probably could become a national craze in six months.