Magical Thought

Some time back, I was reading a book on life in the middle ages, and they tried to explain the mindset of the middle ages, and how different it was from ours.  Like, you know, if you got sick, they wouldn’t think of giving you meds.  They’d tell you to go to confession and communion, and to live a holy life.  Because in their mind illness was not the opposite of health, illness was the opposite of living in grace.  For illness to penetrate, you had to be in sin.

In the same way, their households might be filthy, but they paid scrupulous attention to the… cleanliness of their spiritual lives, which was not what we’d expect.  I mean, it wasn’t so much concentrating on being good, and kind, and strictly moral, but more a superstitious appeasement of the disturbed forces of holiness.  So you might make sacrifices, or go on pilgrimage, or whatever.

This wasn’t that strange a mental situation, because I sort of grew up with it in the village.  People would naturally say things like “I knew that I got sick because I dropped my rosary in the dirt last month.”

And so, I understood and got it that this pattern of thought was the primitive thought that predated our scientific thinking and even our religious thinking, and was radically different from both, and yet still remained coexisting with our current thought.

It remained usually in the uneducated and the very young.  I know until I was about 10 or so, I had a series of things I did/didn’t do in order for tests to go well.  I still have occasional attacks of it.  You know, if I wear a certain outfit on the day a book launches, I know it will do well.  Something like that.  It’s harder to get rid of all of it, but since the enlightenment we’ve at least had the idea that education was supposed to help, and that the scientific, modern life was supposed to not function like that.

I am not against mystical thought, mind.  I think there is a mystical life, an attempt to draw nearer to something greater than us, perhaps to G-d himself, for those of us who are believers.  BUT this is not the same as this type of magical thinking, which is the opposite of it, a sort of ocd compulsion and a game of tit for tat individual or cultural.

It’s okay kept on the fringes of normal life, in private circumstances.  I mean none of us really care if you have to cut your sandwiches in octagons in order to be lucky in your work project.

The problem is that more and more — and unexpectedly — I run up against this type of thought in places I don’t expect.

We ran into it a lot over the puppy stuff.  No matter how many times we told them we were in it for the stories, and because our story taste was different from theirs, they kept thinking magically.  It went something like this “We’re good people, and we’re for minorities.  So if these people don’t like the same stories we do, they must be racist and sexist.”

This was part of the nonsense that started Gallo’s flareup.  She had some idea we’d get all upset at TOR publishing Kameron Hurley’s book.  Because you know, we have different tastes than those primarily on the left who controlled the Hugos so long, so we don’t want them to … get published?

This only makes sense if the person saying it is inhabiting a magical world, where objects/people of certain valences are played against each other like some kind of card game.

This is not real.  I mean sad puppy supporters might not — or might, I won’t because it’s not to my taste, but — read Hurley’s book, but we won’t recoil from it like a vampire from a cross.  A Hurley book doesn’t magically cancel out a Torgersen book.  Or vice versa.

On the good side, at least on that level, our side doesn’t act like that.  We don’t say “ooh” at a new Ringo book because “Oooh, that will upset those liberals”  we say “oooh,” because we’ll get to read it.  Books are books and people are people, not points in some bizarre game.

But it didn’t hit me how weird things had gotten and how far magical thinking had penetrated EVERYWHERE, even in academia, until the http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/u-t-austin-anti-gun-protest-advocates-cocks-not-glocks-t17067.htmlcocks, not glocks campaign.

University of Texas grad Jessica Jin has started a campaign called Cocks Not Glocks, asking students to protest the introduction of legal guns on campus by open-carrying giant fake dicks on campus—the logic being that sex toys, although they are not deadly in most circumstances, are still banned while firearms are permitted.

As Jin puts it, a dildo is “just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play.”

From here — and yep, I can see how this would baffle anyone not exposed to how our colleges work.

You see, I have no idea what Ms. Jin majored in, but I can sort of follow the tracks of her thought.  Logically, carrying sex toys to campus to protest guns makes absolutely NO sense.  I could see carrying signs, or … I don’t know, police whistles, if you’re convinced you’re completely safe if you can just call the police.  I can even see, in a more sane way, wearing a protective vest and claiming this is better than guns for defense.  I mean, at least they are in the same general kind of thing and sort of kind of address the problem in different ways.

BUT no.  Because this is not reasoning.  This is magical thinking.  WORSE.  This is magical thinking based on a world that doesn’t exist, a world that was sold to Ms. Jin (literally.  College is expensive) by academics so divorced from reality that they can’t find it with two hands, a cane and a seeing eye dog.

In this world, you see, conservatives love guns and hate sex.  This is all “explained” with pseudo Freudian patter about how guns are a substitute for the penis. This is total nonsense and old nonsense at that, stuff we LAUGHED at for being pseudo profound way back in the seventies.

But they absolutely believe that we defend the second amendment not because we want to be responsible for our own self-defense, not because we believe power derives from the individual and that therefore an individual must be capable of reining in the government when it gets out of control.  No.  They think we want guns because that’s the way we express our sexual repression. (Actually now I think about it, my gun obsessed friends are also the most sex-positive, so their idea not only is wrong, it’s bizarrely wrong.)

Since Ms. Jin has never considered that these stories she was sold are in fact stories with no relation to reality, her reasoning went something like “They’re carrying guns and that upsets me.  I must carry something that upsets them.  Ahah! Dildos.”

In an even mildly sane world, the press would have made her a laughing stock, because that reasoning makes no sense whatsoever.

But the press buys into the same imaginary world in which somehow the belief in guns for defense is a Freudian thing and so the “gun” value can be countered with the “dildo” value.

This is not grown up thinking.  It’s magical thinking, in which complex issues get reduced to amulets and symbols, countered by other amulets and symbols.

Again, this is sort of the human default.  And believing absurd things about those you believe to be the enemy is also completely normal.  The left calls it “othering” and is completely oblivious to the fact that they do it.  A lot.

But it’s still human-normal.

What is not normal, civilization speaking, is for a culture that reaps the benefits of science and rationality to devote a lot of its resources, its money, its personnel to TRAINING people into thinking this way and into treating complex concepts as magical symbols to be countered by other magical symbols.

More importantly I don’t know how we break through the indoctrination that these people so dearly paid for to convince them to think and discuss things in logical terms.

Before we all pay for it.

722 responses to “Magical Thought

  1. And some I think of Do You Believe In Magic? except the tune makes some sort of sense – and is generally enjoyable.

    • A different take on it, from the Team Fortress 2 world…

      When the world is as you imagine it to be, your work becomes MUCH more fun! (At least, for you…)

  2. We’re living in the Crazy Years, no doubt. The biggest concern I have is: is this a phase we’re going through or is it a symptom of a failing civilization.?

    We don’t need this crap. The barbarians are already at the gate, and the gatekeepers are infected with this type of insanity.

    “Wishing will make it so!” “Hope and Change” which was effectively hope for change and it will happen. “Kiss the boo-boo to make it all better.” “Visualize World Peace.” Although, in the latter, “Visualize Whirled Peas” is a bettre expression, and at least has some footing in reality.

    A few years ago, the book Fallen Angels looked at the idea of hard science being banned. Fantasy was allowed, but science fiction could not be, An ice age was encroaching on North America, and people were advised by their government to go merril and blithely along their way. Then hard fact, in the form of a couple of satellite dwellers, forced itself in, and panic ensued.

    We’re really not that far from this.

    Although, strangely, I draw comfort from the fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper.

  3. “They’re carrying guns and that upsets me. I must carry something that upsets them…” – I think you hit the nail on the head right there. I don’t think it goes even as deep as phallic representation. Upsetting thing = upsetting thing. Plus, it has shock value and it got her name in the news. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much the underlying psychology of the mass shooters.

    • They don’t get that the visceral reaction to seeing someone earnestly and grimly carrying a huge shockingly-pink dildo as if it were a magic talisman is more laughter, at the absurdity of the action, than emotional upset at its immorality — whatever immorality that is, because dildos are hardly evil devices.

      • I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of gun rights activists are supporters of the right to keep and bear dildos.

        • I am a firm believer that what happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom. Or on the kitchen table. Or in the back seat. Or on the living room floor. Or…I’m just going to stop now.

          • or the office, or the garage, or…

            • embrace the power of “AND”…

              • I have gotten notifications of people “liking” my comments on this blog but I have no idea how do it. So consider this a substitute. 😉

                • For a while the WP “toolbar” — the banner at the top of the page — offered an option to “Like” posts, although the process of doing so seemed a trifle erratic. At present the iteration I get has lost that capability, so in order to “Like” a comment I am forced to say so publicly. it is possible that some one of the various script-blockers I employ may be the cause of such blockage, a matter I may investigate.

                  Not that that is a bad thing, but it is often less convenient, requiring me to conceive of some passably clever expression such endorsements. (That this standard has variable values of passable for clever seems obvious.)

                  • No, disabling the script and ad blockers does not return the “Like” function. It appears that in order to like something I shall have to publicly admit as much.

          • Just don’t do it in the road; you might scare the horses, if any, or get run over (NOT recommended).

        • Until 2003, if you owned 6 dildos in Texas you could be charged for possession with intent to sell. In a flagrant violation of the right to keep and arm… something.

        • Concealed carry permitted only upon completion of a 20-hour safety course and passage of an oral exam administered by a duly authorized piece officer.

      • It’s the ‘Oh, look at me! I’m doing something edgy and offensive!’ thing – primarily for the ‘Oh, look at MEEEEEEE!’

        When it’s this patently silly, all you can really do is pat them on the head and go “That’s cute. What’d you say your degree was going to be again? Coffee shop management? Wow – that’s… (snicker)… hard.”

      • Reality Observer

        It’s rather difficult these days to think back that far – but when my TQ exceeded my IQ in those far away college days, I wouldn’t have laughed. I would have memorized their faces as the “easy” ones.

      • … grimly carrying a huge shockingly-pink dildo

        That’s raaaaacist. Embrace the rainbow. (Literally – visit Roy G. Biv Enterprises for all your shocking* dildo needs.)

        *Roy G. Biv Enterprises shocking dildos, recommended for entertainment purposes only, are guaranteed non-fatal under ordinary conditions, with settings from mild tingle to ooh-la-la to Boy Howdy Ma’am. Roy G. Biv Enterprises also offers a full range of non-shocking dildos offering a complete selection of alternate electronic effects suitable for all of your phake phallic phun.

    • Same mindset as the mattress girl….

      • Mattress Girl strikes me as seriously disturbed emotionally. She’s a promiscuous girl who apparently fell in love with this guy, then claimed he raped her after the fact when he didn’t love her back after having some casual sex with her, then wandered all around campus carrying a mattress on her back (consider the logistics of that!) and later on put a video of herself having sex with some other guy on the Internet. She obviously needs psychological counseling; I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of her killing herself, and if this happens it will in part be the fault of radical feminists who adopted her as their mascot and hence put her in a category not permitting rational analysis, criticism or treatment.

        • Could get worse. Crystal Gail Mangum is now in jail for murder.

        • She’ll kill herself and the usual suspects will proclaim it is one more data point supporting the general sexism of society.

        • The mattress is a metaphor of the burden of her oppression.

          By choosing to bear that burden rather than renounce it she is engaging in an act of self-oppression but, because she denies her own moral agency in the creation of that burden she is condemned by her own displacement of responsibility.

          it is quite an artistic expression, albeit not the one she imagines it to be.

        • “Promiscuous” – Hmm… someone should have gaslighted her into believing she should carry a mattress for EVERY guy that had “raped” her by not “loving her back” (whether she’d fallen for him or not) – trying to carry the “Princess and the Pea” stack of mattresses around would’ve been great hyperbolic entertainment!

    • “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Sigmund Freud.

    • Please tell me that some fellow SJW took her to task for flaunting the ultimate symbol of the male oppression of all womyn. She is after all expressing her opinion that a facsimile of the male appendage is of great importance to her. Rise up sister, throw off your chains.
      Perhaps a large plastic tongue would be more appropriate.

      I do apologize, I seem to be in an extremely snarky mood this morning.

    • Cargo cult self-protection.

    • “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.”

      Erroneous attributed to Sigmund Freud, and proven at UT.

      • It’s not true? Damn, it was always such a great quote.

        • From what I assertained, it’s derived from Freud’s work in a paper from the ’80’s (I think) that debunked the whole “guns compensate for a small penis” theory.

          It’s just no a direct quote.

          • I’d seen it with an attribution, OTOH, there was a Hitler Gun Control quote that had an attribution that once looked up proved to be false.

            To wit:
            A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.
            — Sigmund Freud, “General Introduction to Psychoanlysis”, 1952

  4. Since this is about magical thinking, this isn’t completely off-topic: why do some people who aren’t Jewish use “G-d” instead of God? It’s a long-standing practice in Judaism to never write the name of God (but I think using G-d is a pretty legalistic dodge — he’s not dumb. He knows what you mean. He is not a primitive, superstitious, magical thinker Himself.),

    However, it’s never been a practice among Christians, and I believe Sarah Hoyt is a Christian, correct? All Christian Bibles and all the great theologians spell out God in their writing. This seems to be a quite recent affectation among non-Jews.

    If the answer is, indeed, that it is some show of respect, please explain the origin of this belief in non-Jews that there is anything “respectful” about the practice. No offense to Jews, but there is nothing in my religious training that suggests God hates lowercase “o”s.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      They can be showing respect for Jews who use “G-d”.

      • Again, I went to a high school that was, if not majority Jewish, composed of such a significantly large Jewish population that had such a thing been even politely requested of Jews in their daily life, I would be aware. Never, once, in my school did any Jewish student — some of my best friends — object to how a non-Jew wrote (or didn’t write) God. All our books that mentioned God (literature, primarily) had God spelled out, and our choir performed religious works, sometimes (this was in the days before schools went completely insane about such things), and God was spelled out in the lyric sheets.

        • Strictly speaking, the Jewish prohibition applies to (a) ERASING (rather than writing) seven specific names of The Guy Upstairs (thus any document having them spelled out must be archived or buried rather than destroyed); (b) not pronouncing the Ineffable Name (in Hebrew: the Explicit Name) at all; (c) pronouncing the other six only during prayer.
          The extension to scripts other than Hebrew is an stringency, and at least one modern-Orthodox authority (R’ Soloveitchik, a.k.a. “The Rav”) argues it does not apply. I have personally adopted it out of respect and as a good reminder that, whatever I may believe about G-d, I really don’t *know* jack about Him.

          • Feather Blade

            He wrote a book that tells people about Himself. That’s probably a good place to start if you decide you want to know about HIm. ^_^

    • It’s to escape profanity filters. “G-d” will go through, add the “o” and it’s profanity.

      I know, right?

      • I note that I have written “God” multiple times in my posts and not been filtered. I have never encountered a profanity filter that objects to “God.”

        • I only ever saw this done when I was in Yeshiva.

          • Right. Long-standing Jewish tradition and proscription, so it makes perfect sense in that context. Frankly mystifying for non-Jews outside that context.

            • Perhaps it is a mis-interpretation of the commandment about God’s name in vain. The real meaning is do not commit evil in the name of God.
              Screaming Allahu akbar while beheading an infidel is the prime example of what the commandment really means.

              • So far as I know it is a custom only not a law. It’s like the some of the Hasidim who wear fur hats.

                • In Hebrew it is law full stop (b/c of erasure, not writing per se), in other languages & scripts it’s a fairly widespread custom but indeed NOT law. (Not everybody who does this is Orthodox — I’m not, even though I attend an Orthodox synagogue because I got fed up with the leftie politics of the available alternatives.)

                  A couple of other answers to earlier comments:
                  I do not know of any Jewish authority that insists non-Jews have to take this stringency upon themselves. That said, “minced oaths” (like Jeebus Cripes, Judas Priest [not the band :)], Oh My Gosh, …) are a Christian phenomenon that does not seem to be a direct “calque” of a Jewish one. We do have substitute names to avoid the stringency in conversation or religious discussion, like “HaShem” (The Name), “bore olam” (Creator of the Universe), “ribbono shel olam” (Master of the Universe), “ha-kadosh baruch hu” (The Holy One, Blessed be He),… But I don’t know anyone who would use “Adoshem” or “Elokeinu” as minced oaths, only in “practice runs” for prayers and blessings 🙂

                  BTW, even the most “ultra” authorities agree display of Hebrew Divine Names on computer screens does *not* count as writing, since the letters have no permanent material existence. On weekdays I use a prayer book on my iPhone, and it displays all names including the Ineffable One.

              • I think you underestimate the significance of sins of the tongue.

                Though even there it’s mystifying, “God” is not the NAME of God.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  When Moses asks God for His Name, God replied “I Am Who I Am”. [Smile]

                  Of course, since we’re talking about “magical thinking”, it’s interesting that most older magic systems involved “Invoking The Name Of a Powerful Being” in order to get the Powerful Being to do something.

                  I’ve wondered if that’s the reason Moses asked for God’s Name.

                  • An Entity that is absolutely unique — not a member of any category of things at all similar to It — needs no name. Or perhaps it would be better put thus: Any name will do, as there’s no chance of It saying “I think you’ve got Me mixed up with somebody else!”

                  • The name is the thing, and the true name is the true thing. Egyptian magic heavily relied on getting a god’s name and repeating it — which gave the god power — and demanding stuff in return. (Repeating a name also gave human powers. You tried to eradicate the name of your enemy, like Tutankhamun.)

                    • Thank you. I was going to say that — he’d probably learned Egyptian magic or at least magical thinking growing up.

                    • Note that pretty much the two worst curses in Hebrew are “yemach shmo” (may his name be erased) and “yemach sumo ve-zikhro” (may his name and memory be erased). For plural, “shmam” (their names) instead of “shmo” (his name) or “shma” (her name).

                  • Oddly, I don’t think of magic as “magic thinking” in that there’s is often a basis for thinking it will work. That doesn’t mean the premise of why it would work is valid.

                    • Magic means several things.

                      One was trafficking with evil spirits.

                      Another was trafficking with the gods.

                      A third was dealing with the occult properties of things, such as repeating a name to lend strength to someone, or using an amethyst to prevent drunkenness, or using willow bark extract against headache (or, for that matter, using arsenic in your uncle’s soup to hasten your inheritance).

                  • They redacted the verses about him being strong to the finish because he eats his spinach.

                  • Remember that Moses was being sent to Pharaoh, ruler of a society that believed in many gods. He was preparing for Pharaoh’s probable first question: “who did you say sent you, again?”

                  • Actually, the answer in the original was “Ehye asher ehye”, which literally translates as “I will be who I will be” 🙂 Or as I read it, “I will turn out to be who I will reveal Myself to be”.

              • we interpret that particular commandment as forbidding “shvuat shav” (the vain swearing of oaths). For the prohibition on erasing (rather than writing) names of G-d, see my comment above.

        • Look, I’m a writer. I could have weird quirks, okay? Writing it out makes me uncomfortable. That’s all.

    • Sarah Hoyt has a thing with Himself and it’s between herself and Him and none of your beeswax.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Are Christians not allowed to think that Jews have good ideas? Is that appropriation now?

      • Considering where Jesus came from… that could be problematic.

      • I think it was an honest question, I do know plenty of Christians avoid saying certain names out loud (and invented ‘minced oaths’ like “gosh” and “Jeebus” for that purpose), and that these customs developed long before people were familiar with our own customs on the matter (which is of comparatively recent vintage as far as non-Hebrew scripts are concerned).

        • I think that’s a way of curbing yourself after you start to say something. You notice that the first part is always the same, it’s the second that differs.

        • Things I Learned From My Flight Nurses: “Billy Graham Football”: the ability to play in such a way that 50,000 people rise to their feet as one and yell out, “JEEEEeeeeeeezusChrist.”

          • that would be the 70’s and 80’s era N.O. Saints.

          • Let us here PRAISE those flight nurses! Can I have an A-MEN? Yayus; A-MEN! Thank you for what you have done for our injured soldiers, sailors, and airmen.

            • Apparently the Army is looking at the V-22 for the MEDEVAC role in part because it’s large enough to allow some surgeries in flight. Gives a whole new meaning to flight surgeon.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          There’s all kinds of variation in Christian thought, at least if you count Protestants. Grabbing something Jews do, just because Jews do it, and not because it has any support in one’s denomination’s theology, is not that strange.

          Just at the denomination level, there’s stuff like Christian Science, the Unitarians, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the charismatics, some of the Baptists, and the Mormans. (A couple of these groups do not classify themselves as Christian. At least, I’m pretty sure the Christian Scientists do not.)

          Individual congregations, and individuals, can get into all sorts of strange thinking.

          • There is also the simple precept of excessive caution when dealing with The Almighty is probably a good principle. While it is probably not necessary, it certainly cannot hurt.

          • There are Protestant sects that look to Jewish practice to figure out early Christian practice — as an alternative to looking at early Christian practice.

            • that seems weird.

              • Some folks believe in a thing sometimes called “The great falling away.”

                Basically, at some point, the early Christians stopped being authentically Christian for some reason(s).

                The point in time is…not very tightly established, but obviously the original Jewish customs would predate it.

                (This is me trying to be very, very diplomatic.)

              • Denial, mostly. The records of early Christian practices, if accepted, would put them on the wrong side of many disputes.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Protestant sects can split very small. Some of them are essentially a family business. Phelps for one. (The folks who go around to funerals, and try to provoke attacks so that they can then file suit. Note I’m going by self-identification as Christian, not by analysis of behavior or doctrine.)

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  OK, I’ll admit to being really slow to see funny plays on people’s names, but this just occurred to me:

                  Would Phelps’s children be called “Phelps Whelps”?

        • Matter of respect.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            In one story I’m reading an “old-time” Puritan delivered a “tell it like it is” rant at another character. One of his companions comments “I guess harsh-language is ok sometimes”. The Puritan comments that “harsh-language” can be appropriate but blasphemy isn’t. [Evil Grin]

    • Read a piece in a dictionary decades ago that pointed out that “Jehovah” is actually a mashup of Yahweh (God) and Adonai (Lord).

      Since they weren’t supposed to say Yahweh, their texts had the vowel marks for Adonai to remind those reading aloud to say “Lord” instead.

      Non-Hebrew speakers transliterated it as Iehovah or Jehovah.

    • Seems to me it ought to be Gd, as Hebrew has no vowels. (Or so I understand.)

      • Hebrew has vowels. Sometimes they are letters and sometimes they are symbols. Nekudot. Ask Joel or NCT for a longer explanation.

        • Yup, the yud does double duty as a “y” consonant and an “i”/”ee” vowel; the vav does double duty as a “v” consonant and the vowels “o” and “u”/”oo”. Where this creates an ambiguity, the letter is doubled to indicate consonant use. E.g. ‘dalet-yud-nun’ reads ‘din’ (law), but ‘dalet-yud-yud-nun’ reads ‘dayan’ ([religious] judge; a secular judge is a ‘shofet’, lit. arbiter).

          Linguists call this phenomenon of Semitic languages “matres lectionis” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mater_lectionis

          Hebrew writing with matres lectionis is called “ktiv male” (complete writing); those where it is omitted “ktiv khaser” (incomplete writing).

    • Children, please. Why are we having this whole argument? Sarah does ‘G-d’ for her own reasons. It’s not like she’s telling you that you must.

      • Is it an argument? Struck me as an interesting discussion, very little of which referred back to Sarah.

        As far as the use of ‘G-d’ is concerned, I sympathize – whether nervousness, ‘respect is owed’, or other rationale. I don’t, myself, see where He has deprecated the usage of a complete spelling, but that’s MY relationship with Him, not hers.

  5. There are a few states that have odd sex-toy bans. Texas, in the dimmest reaches of my foggy memory, prohibits owning more than six (or I could be utterly wrong). So that could be the connection: “Guns should be banned and sex toys shouldn’t.”

    And, one of my favorite quotes fits here too:

    “No, she’s absolutely right,” said Zeb, patting the enormous pistol at his hip. “This _is_ a penis substitute. After all, if I could kill at a range of thirty meters with my penis, I wouldn’t need to carry this thing around, now would I?”
    — James Drew

    • Selling dildos was illegal in Texas. They could be brought in from out of state for your personal ‘consumption’. However, if you had more than 5, that was considered ‘possession with intent to sell’ because obviously you were a dealer at that point.

      Alas, that law was repealed in 2003, and Texans may enjoy all the dildos they can… stomach?

      • When the sale of condoms was still forbidden in Ireland, the members of newly-famous U2 brought some ridiculous number (1 million is probably an exaggeration) back with them from England and declared them to customs as “for personal usage”.

        • When I worked at Ace waaaaaay back in the day, one of the gals I worked with talked about her days smuggling condoms into Ireland. I had images of her kicking crates of rubbers out of a low flying Dakota to bands of waiting Irishwomen but it was a bit less dramatic than that.

  6. “They’re carrying guns and that upsets me. I must carry something that upsets them. Ahah! Dildos.”

    In fairness to her, I am upset by this action. I am upset by the fact that someone could be just that blinkered and hidebound while believing herself to be open-minded.
    I mean, at least back in medieval days people were honest about their provincialism.

    • Yes, that part upsets me too.

    • “Madam, we are not upset by your dildos… rather by your stupidity. Please send us a higher calibre of ideological opponent.”

      • She’d probably just come back with a thicker (ie, higher caliber) dildo.

        • “Madam, quantity if your sort is not lacking… it is the quality we would seek to improve.” *polishes halo*

        • Actually, she’d probably get longer as understanding caliber would be beyond her (yes, it designates length in naval guns but if she had that kind of esoteric weapons knowledge she would be this kind of idiot).

          • Caliber doesn’t designate length, it’s the unit of length. The 5/54 gun that is standard on all US cruisers and destroyers has a caliber of 5″ and a barrel length of 54 calibers, i.e. 270″.

            • “In some contexts, e.g. guns aboard a warship, “caliber” is used to describe the barrel length as multiples of the bore diameter.” (Wikipedia}
              Otherwise it is usually just the bore of the barrel or diameter of the bullet in inches, ie. “.50cal BMG”.

              • Exactly, which is why very large naval guns are list listed as 16″/50 caliber, 16″/45 caliber, and 16″/50 caliber. For the curious those are the sizes of the last Pre-Treaty class planned by the US and the three post Treaty classes built. The first 16″/50 were the Mark 2 for the South Dakota while the 16″/50s Mark 7s were on the Iowas while the 45s were on the North Carolinas and the built South Dakotas. If the Montanas had been built they would have shared the Iowas 16″/50 Mark 7s but four triple turrets instead of three.

            • So a 1911A1 would be a Pistol, self loading, .45/11.2, and the original M16 would be a Rifle, self loading, .223/91.4.

              I know, the Navy never used this system for small arms, I just never worked it out before.

              • A .22 might have one of the highest ratios of all!

                • A .22[LR/Short] would be the same as a .223/5.56×45 with the same barrel length.

                  They’re beat by .204 Ruger, or .17 HMR. Maybe we should ignore the .10 and .12-caliber reloaders. (What do they hunt, deer flies?)

            • Yes, I am aware of that but you’ll often seen its usage in that context referred to as caliber…confused the hell out of me for the longest time.

              • It’s a matter of articles, which most people are sloppy about. That gun is a 5″ caliber, it’s barrel is 54 calibers.

                • $HOUSEMATE and I have a similar with F/#. $HOUSEMATE comes to to via photography, so it gets looked at differently than how I look at – despite actually meaning the same thing. I cam to F/3 via astronomical telescope, so “6 inch, F/8” tells me 6 inch diameter objective, focal length of 8 object diameters, or 48 inches. Photography looks at as focal length and ratio, rather than diameter and ratio. Same ratio, but things can get confused between us.

      • At least, if you’re going to pretend you can use that dildo for self-protection, be willing to point it at the bad guys and yell “bang”!

      • Higher caliber . . . snicker snicker.
        Actually, she’d probably lose a logic contest with a cabbage.

      • Calibre is a trigger word.

        *swoons*

        • If only that were the usual response to hearing trigger words! The delicate flower/victim-status-renters would all swoon early in the convo, get out the way, and let adults talk!

    • The craze now is saying things that are just grossly untrue: it’s easier to buy a gun than to buy a vegetable (that was the president.) It’s easier to buy a gun than a book. My 13 year old son can’t legally buy my medicine for me but he can buy a gun. It could be a tribute to Dear Abby, who kept saying you could buy a pistol through the mail a half-century after you no longer could

      • Broken image link. Could you repost it? Or find it elsewhere and link to there rather than to Facebook?

  7. “just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play.”

    Hey, if she wants to duel me, dildo against a gun, to prove her point, she’s quite welcome. Even dildo vs. airsoft pistol would prove quite instructive about who would win such a fight. But, of course, her words aren’t really tethered to any objective reality, they’re just sounds meant to exhibit a certain moral positioning and group identity.

    The fact that this moral positioning is at complete odds with objective reality just means Stein’s Law will kick in, eventually (if something cannot go on forever, it will stop).

  8. Oh, just another round of virtue signaling, with a side-dish of possibly offending the mundanes.

    • yep, but it’s the LACK OF REASON that shocks me.

      • “I do this because I want you to think.”
        “It worked. I think you’re a complete idiot.”
        “I am NOT a complete idiot!”
        “What parts are missing?”

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          One individual told me that “insulting statements toward me” were intended to “make me think”.

          Of course, the individual seemed to believe that saying that would make me “like” the people insulting me better. [Frown]

          • It’s a cop out. It is one thing to bring up opposing argument. Another to simply insult (bigot, racist, etc) or ignore the opposing sides points

        • Patrick Chester

          Idiots are never complete. They’ll do something to increase their general stupidity levels, even when you think they couldn’t possibly top the last thing they did.

        • missing? The brain, obviously.

      • Given the current state of our poor country, I fear that you are far too easily shocked. Lack of reason seems to be the norm these days.

      • I really wish it was truly shocking. I keep seeing the same debunked arguments on this. Mostly saying that since low probability it will happen to you while carrying or because few mass shootings have chlers (because they get stopped before mass shootings) so its not worth it. But disarming every non govt person (while simultaneously saying those govt enforcers are racist killers)…logic has left the quad

        • This is why you don’t carry a plastic penis when an elephant gun is required.


          Sure, the probability might be low but that doesn’t seem to stop many from playing the lottery.

    • They also get to insult their opponents as being afraid of sex and make a joke about them having undersized genitals.

      Magical thinking is multi layered and deep like that. Otherwise they wouldn’t bother teaching it in college and any old fool could do it… 🙂

    • Gee, and I thought “pour épater les bourgeois” was innovative 80 years or so ago in France 😉

  9. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    IMO another example of “magical thinking” is “banning hate speech” (which includes banning of certain “hurtful” words).

    They appears to believe “if we ban certain words (or make it illegal to say certain things), then the *hate* behind those words will disappear”.

    • They don’t get that what happens is that whatever new euphemism they make up to describe it simply acquires the meaning of the old world, with the added bonus that if the new word is sufficiently convoluted, it identifies the speaker as a silly prig.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Some of the “changes” are often silly.

        “Colored People” is “Bad”.

        “People of Color” is “Good”.

        What’s the difference? [Puzzled Smile]

      • At least some of them are aware of the first part. I have seen a post on tumblr, basically explaining that this is why they keep having to change the terminology — because it gets around and becomes tainted by people who don’t agree or approve using it.

      • It also flummoxes them when they deal with someone who is completely courteous in their language and utterly scathing in the content. Most still think “Bless your heart” is a compliment.

        • I for one use it both ways. Same with the word “madam.”

          • Tone and context say much, but are likely too subtle for these folks.

            • On the other hoof, it’s also amusing to see the reaction when they try to hurl an obvious insult at you only to get the happy reply, “Thank you.”

            • I find that there is a category of people who are utterly tone deaf and instead fixated on what they perceive as the dictionary meaning of the words. For them so much of the world is an insult.

            • as a certain senator proved when she jumped down a military officer’s throat for saying Ma’am, and demanded he say Senator (She worked hard to get that title), when military folks know to be insulting to an officer, you use their rank only when answering them. I regret he didn’t add enough repeats of title to the phrasing so everyone but the clueless bint would know just how little he respected her from that point on.
              Miss Boxer would certainly not like my response to her requests if she did that to me.

              • That was just bizarre. My expectation is USUALLY that if someone is showing me respect *as respect is shown in their culture*, that the onus is on me to graciously accept the respect, even if the method of demonstration is different than what I would normally expect or show myself.

                So for Sen. Boxer to react the way she did on that day was stunning; she was being shown respect according to the cultural norms in the subculture of which the officer was a member …and *rejected it*, either because she didn’t understand it or because she doesn’t believe in the kind of cultural acceptance I just posited. Either way … not an ok thing for her to do.

              • She would probably also have missed what ‘With all due respect…’ foretells.

              • Yes, Senator. You’ve earned a number of other titles as well, but I suspect you wouldn’t like my using them as much…
                [Subtext: make my day… ask me what titles I’m talking about!]

        • Patrick Chester

          Most still think “Bless your heart” is a compliment.

          The poor, poor, doomed fools.

      • Reality Observer

        Yep. My kids were in high school – and I was mightily confused for a while at the prevalence of the phrase “Oh, that’s so gay!” among them and their peers.

        Depending on context, it meant “cowardly,” or “stupid,” or “bat-sh*t insane…”

        Back in the Dark Ages of my high school days, “queer” was used the same way, when that word was the “correct” one for homosexual.

        The strange thing is – except in their own little circles, the “derogatory” names for whites, heterosexuals, religious, etc. never seem to turn into catch phrases in common conversation. Only in their propaganda pieces, written or spoken by a tiny minority.

        • The strange thing is – except in their own little circles, the “derogatory” names for whites, heterosexuals, religious, etc. never seem to turn into catch phrases in common conversation. Only in their propaganda pieces, written or spoken by a tiny minority.

          Hence why, when I see someone use the word “breeder” not immediately followed by “reactor”, they automatically land in my mental “ignore, he/she isn’t rational” list.

        • A large portion of the purpose of their propagandistic proliferation of prohibited phrases is to paper over the reality that they represent a minuscule portion of the populace. All of this is a deployment of the tools of emotional abuse employed to keep the masses ignorant of the true power proportions.

      • and the language is impoverished, because they usually steal a perfectly useful word for their euphemism.

      • Over the course of my life, the polite term for people with a notable (which can be as little as “any”) ancestry from authochthons of sub-Saharan Africa anytime within the last few hundred years has changed:

        Negro
        Black
        Afro-American
        Bacl to Black
        African American.

        All without any effect on the attitudes or feelings that are the real problem.

        But they keep playing the label changing game. This Time for Sure.

        • the (mostly middle-class) blacks I know are perfectly happy with ‘black’, if a reference is necessary.

    • scott2harrison

      Oddly enough, they are right (for some values of right). The hate disappears until the hated ones start loosing jobs, being mugged, and/or dying (perhaps from substandard medial care, perhaps from straight up murder) because they can no longer identify the ones who hate them and on top of that more people hate/avoid them because of the hate laws.

    • Ditto “Hate Crimes”: “You do realize that the ‘crime’ part means that is already a crime, right?”

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Yeah, it was “funny” to hear people complain about the “lack” of hate crime laws in Texas and ignoring that the criminals involved in one major “hate” crime were severely punished by the jury. At least one of them was sentenced to death. What more did those people want? The criminals “drawn & quartered”?

  10. Every time I think the idiots have hit the peak, another one comes out of nowhere with an even stranger quirk.
    Satire is basically futile, since today’s satire is tomorrow’s headline.
    Heinlein really saw these Crazy Years coming. Makes me respect his prescience even more.
    I keep expecting a Jeremiah Scudder to appear any day now!

    Don’t, BTW, search Jeremiah Scudder on Google, just don’t.

    • Do you mean Nehemiah Scudder?

    • We got Jeremiah Scudder, weird name and all, but he is trying to install the progressivist religious faith, not a branch of Christian.

      • Hell, he’d install Islam if he could get away with it. Modified sharia coming up with speech codes to silence “those who would insult islam”.

    • The number of idiots remains a constant percentage of the population. The ways it is expressed changes.

      • We can only hope you are right. I need to be convinced that the number of idiots is not an increasing percentage of the population. I think it is directly related to the affluence of the group.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Well, strictly and archaically speaking, idiocy is a medical condition. There are a couple of potential causes, and I see no reason why they would vary enough. a) The accident rate shouldn’t be so different as to change very many cases. b) There probably has not been enough generations for a significant change in the natural congenital rate. (Though some forms of idiocy are strongly tied to an older maternal age, and I understand that the average has been increasing.)

          Which leaves as alternatives other impairments and those who have learned poorly.

          a) Welfare means that children of unwed mothers grow up around fewer middle aged or older adults. This tends to lower wisdom. b) There is some question whether the mandatory schooling has gotten so bad that not schooling would have better results.

          I suspect the strongest influence might be chemically induced dementia. It has been claimed that something like ten percent of the population has used pot. Even if this is so, a fraction of that would have the susceptibility and heavy usage for notable impairment. This still might have a more significant impact than actual idiocy and miseducation.

          • There is clinical idiocy and then there’s not thinking. Granted some are on different wavelengths and some are operating on faulty data, but how do we explain people falling for Y2K Ready power strips, or gluten free whiskey, or all-natural soap?

            • Thanks to Netflix, I think the window for my get-rich-quick invention, a DVD rewinder, is closed.

            • The natural result of an odd semi-luddism, in which it’s ok to use technology but bad to understand it to any degree whatsoever. Probably an outgrowth of those who were convinced, when very young, that ‘math is hard’.

              • I find I really wish I had been introduced to math as early and as well as I had been introduced to reading.

                I recall my sister (exactly five years younger than I am – we compared birth certificates, IF the clocks were right, the ‘error’ is *exactly* 45 minutes.) freaking out the 6th grader helping grade 1st grade work. All or almost the answers were wrong on an addition worksheet. “Addition? Oh, I multiplied.” The answers were right for multiplication. Later, sister admitted she had to count things out to do it, but she did have the concept down. Mathematician? Engineer? Nope. Vet. Tech – small animal practice.

  11. “More importantly I don’t know how we break through the indoctrination that these people so dearly paid for to convince them to think and discuss things in logical terms.”

    Poverty.

    When Ms. Jin can’t get a job washing dishes at a Starbucks because every employer she talks to laughs and shows her the door, she will re-evaluate.

    Hunger is one of the great teachers.

    • That won’t work.
      Either some leftist organization will hire her as a spokesperson, or she’ll set up her own to sponge off of gullible leftists, or she’ll blame the evil conservatives for the fact that’s she’s on welfare.

      • Ever notice how “leftist spokesbabes” tend to be kind of cute and photogenic? Ever notice how rank-and-file leftists tend to be seriously over weight, pimply and dour looking?

        It’ll work. 🙂

        Particularly when she finds out how much she will actually receive on welfare. There’s a reason Welfare Queens have twelve children.

      • The Other Sean

        There’s a thought. In the past few years I’ve seen that there are:
        1. Many ranting Progessives providing samples of their rhetoric
        2. Many people following blogs with such ranting
        3. Revenue to be had from operating such a blog
        4. Great advances in machine learning and natural language generation.

        So, as an additional source of revenue, I should create program that automatically generates Progressive blog posts on a daily basis. This would then allow me to get money from the Progressives. Less potential profitable than starting a new religious cult people have to pay money to learn the details of, but less risky and less effort.

        • Combine that with a crew of sockpuppets to create a discussion and buzz in the same way that some people game the amazon review system.

          • The Other Sean

            Good idea. Probably, it should also make comments on other Proglodyte blogs, speaking out in agreement, reblogging, pinging back, etc.

            • Interesting idea – Need a modified Turing test for your program, i.e. can you tell from its replies whether it is a real Progressive. Much lower bar than the original Turing test, and supports a new definition for “API”: Artificial Progressive Intelligence.

              • “They’re on to us. Some are speculating the blog is faked and all done by automation.”
                “Alright, I’ll turn the IQ and Economic Comprehension down.. sigh again.”

      • You’re not thinking real poverty, here. For a society to even have welfare, or leftist NGOs, there has to be relatively plenty of disposable income. Most of the Ms. Jins would become embittered but poor whiners, blaming not only conservatives but also her own “leaders” for failing the “cause”, and ungratefully living off the scraps provided by those who are still working.

  12. Christopher M. Chupik

    Considering the centerpiece of Hurley’s book is going to be her idiotic blog post “We Have Always Fought”, we’re more likely to be mocking than upset.

  13. I don’t know how to break the crazy – I keep trying with my cousin – and everytime I think I am close he comes up with more “magic” think. The most recent was (not a direct quote) “Republicans don’t talk about mental illness for non-white perps” – we were talking about the Bryce/Flanagan shooting at the time. What The Photon Torpedoe? I googled and sent him the first instance. I don’t remember anyone (on either side) talking about anything other than mental illness in his case. I think he is reading only left-wing rags (ie the MSM) so he doesn’t get anything useful – but I asked him what was his evidence for the statement.

    Frankly, until society can make some headway back to a balanced press – or at least a balanced information source – I don’t think any magical thinking will go away. Because while I chip some crazy off him, he goes back to the press and they pour some more on. Sigh.

    On to work.

    -John

    • Yep, the “continuous reset” is part of the magical thinking.

      • Old phrase: “convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still”

      • Back when Obamacare was being “debated” in Congress, I had people ask me “well, then what’s your idea for dealing with the problem of people being unable to afford basic care?” Well, leaving aside that the problem is overstated (it exists, but is not as big as presented). I’d give off a list of proposals, things like “give doctors a 100% tax credit, refundable, for providing low/no cost care to their lower income patients” (effectively having the government pay for the care but without the need to create a new government bureaucracy).

        Two days later they’re back to me asking the same damn question, claiming I have no ideas of my own and am just saying “no” to the President.

        You can’t have a meaningful debate with people like that.

        • That’s an interesting idea.

          The idea I heard in such discussions was “give the *patient* a tax credit for the cost of insurance”, which of course doesn’t help if the cost of insurance was more than their income tax burden. Giving the *doctor* a tax credit for providing the care is a much, much more helpful plan.

          • I think that is a great idea.

            My cousin and I have been talking about the Vester and Dylan shootings – I am trying to point out that microaggressions would vindicate a grievance collector’s mental illness. But the one that just got me this morning was:

            “none talk about the white supremacy culture prevalent in many communities”

            I had to go WTF for this one. I mean we know there are whackos – but “prevalent” in “many” communities? Did I miss a million racist march in DC? All the pictures I have seen have been tiny attendance. And isn’t there a state with two KKK organizations, but each only have a president – cause they didn’t like each other? I asked him if it was possible none talked about it because it doesn’t exist? But I am sure I will get more magical thought back. I also called him on moving the goal post on me. I don’t know how much more I will bother with this – the squishing noise my head makes when I hit it on the wall is starting to get to me.

            BTW: Anyone know how to cook a beef tenderloin? They were on sale and I got one – but don’t really know how to cook it. I will check back later and also check elsewhere online. But I know some of you cook so figured I would ask.

            -John

            • The “white supremacy culture prevalent in many communities” is evident in their refusal to cave in to the grievance-mongers’ demands. Don’t think Italian-Americans whose family arrived here in the early 20th Century should pay reparations for slavery? White supremacy culture! Think Irish-Americans whose ancestors barely touched foot on American soil before being drafted to fight for the Union? White supremacy culture!

              It is their trump card, a wild-card meaning nothing and everything which they attempt to deploy to end conversations the way wifey warns you’re about to find yourself sleeping on the couch.

            • Spice it (I like garlic/paprika), sear it, then slow cook with a bottle of dark beer added for fluid, as well as chopped carrots/potatoes/etc in the cooker with it.

          • Yes – “revenue neutral for providing care” seems better policy than “free money for going to the doctor”.
            Only ‘unexpected side effect’ I can think of is the possibility of overloading doctor office appointment schedules/waiting rooms with people getting free care – if it’s mismanaged so that waiting in a doctor’s office becomes ‘something to do’ or a social event for non-sick people with nothing better to do… something I believe NHS has had to combat.

            • Under the current paradigm we know of doctors so dedicated they work 30-hour days and nine-day weeks … or so their Medicaid billings indicate.

          • I believe the anticipated tax credit for insurance purchaser is a refundable tax credit, which means you receive it regardless of the income tax owed. That is the way the E.I.T.C., which I believe is the model on which this concept was built, operates. That essentially means the worker’s payroll taxes (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) are rebated as a means of reducing the negative effects of earning your way off Welfare.

            There might still be problems of cash flow and of fraud, but I expect receipt of the credit would be contingent of proof of insurance, making it harder to cheat.

  14. Wayne Blackburn

    This is not real. I mean sad puppy supporters might not — or might, I won’t because it’s not to my taste, but — read Hurley’s book, but we won’t recoil from it like a vampire from a cross.

    So, you’re saying that a Hurley book doesn’t necessarily automatically get Hurled?

    • Jeff Duntemann

      I see the glimmer of a useful coinage here. I call books that compel you to turn their pages “turny;” perhaps a hurly book is a book that makes you want to (or actually do) hurl it at the wall. Or hurl. Or both.

      • SheSellsSeashells

        There are three books in my memory that I have hurled against a wall. Two of them were by Sheri S. Tepper. ‘Nuff said.

        • I don’t actually hurl books against walls – not the wall’s fault, after all. I just have a moment of remembrance for the tree whose life was wasted on such a book, and go on…

  15. “We’re good people, and we’re for minorities. So if these people don’t like the same stories we do, they must be racist and sexist.”

    Eric Hoffer spoke of this sort of reaction as the trained-in reflex of members of “a compact and unified church.” There’s more going on here than just encouraged sentiment. Quite a lot of the apparent unanimity is a consequence of the members’ fear of being ejected from the flock. It not only does a lot of their thinking for them; in many cases it’s the whole of their social life, subsuming all their interaction with others. Without it they’d be wholly alone.

    It’s been said more than once that most people don’t reason their way to their opinions. Quite a few adopt the opinions of those they hope will admit them to their circles. It’s the membership they value; the opinions are merely a means to that end.

  16. When a sex-negative feminist is offended by an anti-gun activist carrying a plastic penis, how are they going to spin it to blame Christians? This is going to require some epic level pretzel epistemology.

  17. I have to admit that the “magical thinking” bit struck something of a chord. When I was in high school taking my AP and IB exams, I had to have my Shakespearean animals with me. I had four little beanie-baby-like stuffed animals that I carried to school in a little handkerchief. Before each exam, I’d open the handkerchief, put it on the desk, and arrange all the animals so they could see the paper and what I wrote on it. I was taking exams in high-level chemistry, physics, and math; it’s not like I didn’t know that the presence of little toys had exactly zero effect on how I would do. But I always brought them. And the one time I forgot was the one I got my worst score on.

    And before you ask, no, no one made fun of me for bringing stuffed animals to school as a 17-year-old. My classmates were all way too busy making sure their own superstitions were satisfied to even notice mine.

    • Older kid was in IB too. Turned out no help at all for STEM. Younger kid took dual college/high school classes instead and had a year’s credit when he entered college. It was easier too.
      Superstitions: writers are the most superstitious people ever, right after actors.

      • Reality Observer

        About the only one that I have is that if I organize my office, I’ll never find anything again. OTOH, I can’t find anything now…

        The complete uselessness of a day without my morning magic beans is not superstition, of course.

      • The actual content of the classes was of marginal use, but what was useful was the, “Set a long term goal for yourself and accomplish it, despite the fact that some parts are difficult, despite the fact that the bureaucracy will throw up a bunch of obstacles in your way” aspect of the program. I don’t know that I would have gotten that if I’d just taken college courses in the subjects that came naturally.

        Also, I actually found it easier to get college credit for my IB diploma than I did for the college courses I took in high school. Colleges can be awfully jealous of their prerogatives, and most of the ones I applied to stated that while they would consider taking those courses into account for placement, I shouldn’t even think about trying to apply for credit for them.

      • Am not! *touches wood*

      • reddragonhawk

        Pilots. My dad was a pilot. They are superdooperstitious.

        • Just because 13 is my lucky number (tried to take all my checkrides on Friday 13) and I carried a St. Michael’s medallion in my flightbag (first one was a gift from my former-paratrooper grandfather) does not mean I believe in all that foolishness. *touches wood again*

          • Do you still fly?

          • Well, standardized training, checklists and procedures can lead to a bit of OCD in flying-related stuff, but yeah, putting on ones flight gear in EXACTLY the same sequence every time, tightening/adjusting the lacings on ones boots and G-suit in EXACTLY the same way with all those lacings overed-undered in the same pattern, and ALWAYS connecting one side of helmet hookups first is simply a proper way to ensure getting everything in a complicated setup put together correctly, totally not superstition at all.

            The ay I look at it, if it’s stupid and it works it’s not stupid.

          • Both of my parents were born on the 13th, they married on the 13th, “M” is the 13th letter in the alphabet, and I’ve lived in a number of places with 13 addresses. Makes perfect sense to me.

            • Some time ago, I decided to pick 13 as my lucky number, on the grounds that so few others had picked it as theirs, and therefore it hadn’t had as much of its luck drained out.

              And then there’s the Harris cartoon with two scientists in lab coats in front of a blackboard full of equations. One of them was saying “I’m inclined to agree, especially since 6.3√Tc is my lucky number.”

      • oh no any technician who does not revere and placate the great demon MURPHY is sure to repent.

      • Musicians, athletes and hunters fall within that group too.

    • As long as there are tests… there will be prayer in schools. 😉

      • Reality Observer

        I just KNOW I’m going to get jumped on here… Test days were easy days for me.

        The only days I dreaded were the dodge-ball days, or when they were trying to meet the “Presidential Physical Fitness” standards. Yes, I was THE picture for “nerd” in the dictionary…

        • Nah, not jumped on. I usually had no issues with tests… at least not until college. Thermodynamics. But even if you weren’t the one praying I’m betting you could think of at least 3 or 4 at each test going ‘Please let me pass… please let me pass…’

          • Thermodynamics was at least interesting. Statistics, so terribly dull (or taught so…). Granted, varying ‘quality’ steam systems in thermo made any alleged weirdness of current and voltage phase differences in AC seem pretty tame.

            • I had a rat fink of an adviser… I took thermo the summer of my freshman year. BEFORE taking college physics on his advice. Only to discover he was teaching it and had needed one more student to get the summer course approved. About the only thing I learned in the class itself was that calculus actually has a real world reason for existing. (This sequence of events being why I am a geologist not an Engineer.) There was much praying over every test and every homework. And the miracle occurred when I wised up and dropped the class rather than just stubborning it out and flunking.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                Pretty sure you wouldn’t have even been allowed to take it at the college I went to. Thermodynamics was a Junior-level course and had several prerequisites that would have kept a Freshman out.

                I also remember people talking about the 8-10 hours they would spend on the tests, too. I never got to take it before I screwed up too much and dropped out, so I have no first-hand experience.

                • You can pretty much always get into a class if you have the approval of the professor teaching it, prereqs or no prereqs. Which, given the circumstances wyrdbard was describing, would likely be forthcoming…

                  • I got into the Ecology Course from H-ll because the profs green-lit me since I was a grad student. After all, a grad student MUST have taken Physics II, Chem II, and/ or Biology II, plus a few others.

          • I love thermo AND heat transfer……..

            • I’d probably like them a bit better now though I’d REALLY have to brush up on my calc and probably my physics… Actually I should do both and dig into thermo a bit more. I’ve got some projects that may require it.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          I always loved tests, but I agree with Wyrdbard. There will always be the ones for whom tests are a nightmare.

          I was a good dodge-ball player, though.

          • Agreed…dodge ball was one of my favorite gym days as it was one of the few games I was competitive with the jock types and could get a shot or two in.

        • “Push Ups! Every morning. Ten Times! Not just now and again; give that chicken-fat back to the chicken…”
          That is the sum total I remember of Kennedy and his ‘Fitness’ push.

        • Patrick Chester

          You didn’t build your own Dodgeball Mecha to lay waste to those before you?

          • Reality Observer

            Ah, if I had not been in the generation that didn’t even have Transformers ™ toys…

            Fortunately, I came out of that rather unhappy time of my life with the right lesson. Not the one that physical activity is bad – but the one that mandatory physical activity is bad.

            When I got somewhere (in high school) that did not have “physical education” – I turned into a pretty mean volleyball and flag football player, along with short distance running (I have a physical quirk that running for much over 300 meters gives me a side stitch from Hell.)

    • Wayne Blackburn

      A lot of things like that have a valid psychological purpose. Once you get the notion that something is needed, then your performance suffers when it’s not there.

      I’m fortunate in that I never paid attention to anything external when I was taking tests.

      • Right now I’m having the devil of a time writing because my sound card on the computer cuts out when it’s warmed up. It’s not a supervision, but…

        • But it’s distracting.

        • Desktop or laptop?
          If you can, pop the box do so and use some canned air to blow the accumulated dust and crap off the interior, particularly the sound card.
          Fairly easy on most desktop models, more difficult on a laptop, but given you have animals and kids and have been living in a 130 year old Victorian, an accumulation of insulating dust may be the problem.

          • Reality Observer

            Actually, I have found that using my shop-vac, from the blower side, works just as well (and a lot cheaper).

            Laptops blow out pretty well, too, so long as you have the lid open when you do it.

            Desert southwest, so that is one of my weekly maintenance items.

            • scott2harrison

              She has cats. Blowing the laptop will not do it, it needs to be stripped and delt with manually. The hair is the problem.

            • Back in the good old days, you could take a can of automotive Freon and just pour it all over the top of the device. Some would grab the dust and pour out the bottom, and all the rest thoughtfully evaporated into the air. Far less impact on ozone holes than volcanoes belching chlorine into the air.

              • just learned we will be dropping a product that made over $100,000 profit last year because the ingrediants will change because of those stupid AlGore pocket filler laws, and to re-list the CAS# as a C6 fluorocarbon chain will likely cost ***insert pink in corner of mouth here*** One Million Dollars.
                Our EPA at work.
                oh, and I got about 4 years worth of product on order right now.
                Customers are stocking up.
                Fittingly, one of those now forced to stock up on C8 chain product is DOW chemicals, who were benefiting from these law changes.
                Now if they’d get me some help. I might get their stuff done in a more timely fashion. (hey, I left early today, only worked 9.75 hours)

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          If I had supervision, I could shoot lasers from my eyes.

          Also, look through clothing.

          • Well sure, anyone can look through clothing with laser holes burned through it.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Unfortunately, Scott’s eye-beams are force beams. They don’t “burn”. They “hit”. Now it may be that Scott has enough control that they “feel”. [Very Big Evil Grin]

                • I did not know that (TM Carson Enterprises). I haven’t kept up with the comics for decades, and I don’t remember anything being said about it in the movies I watched (which isn’t all of them). Guess it’s time to put that “40 Years of X-Men” CD-ROM in.

              • Christopher M. Chupik

                Pedantic nerd: “But that’s wrong! Cyclops’s beams aren’t heat, they’re pure force! Her clothes shouldn’t be burned at all!”

                Everybody else: “Boobies!”

                • Slaps his face for squeezing her melons.

                  • Feather Blade

                    How else is he supposed to know that they’re ripe?

                    …or are you supposed to tap melons and listen to the sound they make?

                • As learned from prosthetics development: applying force without feedback is a recipe for major problems. So, presumably his force beams allow a significant degree of “feel”…

      • Placebo effect?

        • Something that is generally underrated. Who cares if you get better just because your mind thinks that the sugar pill is actually medicine. The salient fact is you got better.

          • Basically, psychiatric treatment via a physical belief object. But… it’s useful; just poorly quantified.

          • I don’t recall where it was, but I seem to recall that Heinlein had a character say something along the lines of if your officer thinks he needs a rabbit’s foot, then make sure he has a rabbit’s foot. The psychological comfort is valuable and helps make his performance better.

            That’s a very loose paraphrase of something half remembered. But I don’t remember where. Maybe Starship Trooper. Maybe Time Enough for Love. I can see it fitting both places.

    • it’s not like I didn’t know that the presence of little toys had exactly zero effect on how I would do.

      Here I am going to be contrary and say you might not be 100% correct.

      If you had said, “the presence of little toys had exactly zero effect on the questions presented being ones I could answer” I would agree.

      However, totemic behavior may have psychological benefits even as simple as providing a focus or allowing a person to relax. The reason you dress up for church is, in part, to signal to your own mind you are doing something of a sort different from the day to day and help you get in the correct mindset.

    • Used to have a little Pooh Bear in HS that I would put alongside the clock to watch over my chess games. Wasn’t there as a good luck charm for me as I said it was. It was there to distract my opponents. And it worked.

  18. No doubt this edgy little snowflake is part of the latest generation to think they’ve discovered Great Sex too. Or that she’s totes cool with the absurd campus regulations popping up all over requiring young lovers to fill out consent forms in triplicate and have them notarized before each “stage” of sex.

    I’m sure we’re all old enough to remember when conservatives were so evil and repressed that they wanted to invade people’s bedrooms.

    • Feather Blade

      “so evil and repressed that they wanted to invade people’s bedrooms.”

      SJWs always project?

  19. Jeff Duntemann

    Are dildos actually illegal somewhere? In the three states I frequent (Illinois, Colorado, and Arizona) there are stores full of them all over the place. Even in Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family.

    • Apparently in TX a dildo of sufficient size can be considered a club and that is banned to carry in public. So some of these precious flowers got in trouble and (rather amused) gun advocates came to their defense.
      Seriously, we couldn’t write this in a book. No one would believe it.

      • They probably share with me traumatic memories of seeing “A Clockwork Orange” in theaters. Stanley Kubrick’s movie based on Anthony Burgess’s SF novel. The thugs who are the main characters beat a sculptor to death with one of her own creations, a giant dildo.

      • Texas has a lot of interesting laws, some of which are still on the books. Like being illegal to carry wire cutter pliers while walking near someone else’s barb wire fence. Another one from the early days of automobiles, “when two cars come to an intersection at the same time, neither one my go until the other one has gone through the intersection.”

        • And you can’t herd or graze domestic livestock through municipal parks.

        • Like being illegal to carry wire cutter pliers while walking near someone else’s barb wire fence.

          This is actually a major problem up in Washington.

          Unfortunately, we’re pretty sure half of them are cut by various official activists.

          • I’m surprised none have been shot yet. Most ranchers take a dim view of trespassing vandals…..

            • I gather they aren’t exactly kindly disposed to trespassing goths.

            • Easy to avoid being noticed when you know that they’ll be out catching cows on the opposite end of the valley, or when you have authorization to be out there and can claim to be looking for abandoned scrap wire. (There is a lot– usually from when the forest service was building fence. You just let the old one rot where it stands.)

              • Technology changes things; time to teach the kids to run a drone, capture the evidence. After a small-town court orders them to repair the fence a couple of times, they may change their game.
                Granted, more expensive than a hobby drone – needs a longer loiter time and RF control distance, for instance.

      • Jeff Duntemann

        I’m having a hard time imagining a dildo big enough to hurt somebody with, and I’m a *good* imaginer. Texas bar fights must be…interesting.

        • Check out the film “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels”.
          In one scene, the villain, a London gangster and pR0nographer does just that to one of his underlings.

        • It ain’t the size that matters, it is the mass/density. A two cubic footer filled with air isn’t much of a threat, while a half cubic footer filled with lead could prove deadly. (Technically, I s’pose the most effective fighting cock would be a heavy-duty rubber wiener with lead testicles — it seems likely to provide good leverage with ample striking mass.)

        • Now you know why we don’t hold with back shooters.

      • I would guess it’s under this:
        http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/docs/PE/htm/PE.46.htm

        They DID announce it was a weapon, which means that it’s a club, and if you search for “club” about three down…..

  20. well, as someone who has had to use his bare hands for self defense in the past and knowing that i likely could not physically do what i did then, now… I hope she never needs to try to use the dildo to defend herself.

  21. The Other Sean

    My favorite example of medieval magical thought were the directives from ecclesiastic authorities to the monks in the monasteries, exhorting them to pray for deliverance from further Viking raids, and implying that their lack of sufficient piety was the cause.

    • Now, that is not fair. If you had asked medieval people about the cause of Viking invasions, they had a lot of knowledge of the direct earthly reasons. But in any adversity, obviously prayer was a good idea as well as being a monk’s reason for being; and if you were not sending troops, obviously you could only recommend moving away or sticking tight and praying. Since monastic life was supposed to be a moral equivalent to martyrdom (“white martyrdom” as opposed to the red martyrdom of bloody death), you could also argue that “white martyrs” were really not in a position to complain about raiders.

      But yeah, there was a lot of bad stuff going on everywhere, so there tends to be a lack of sympathy in correspondence.

  22. For people who claim to believe in science, and claim that no one else does, they sure don’t use it, ever.

    • They worship Science and so deem it too sacred to use.

      • They worship science the way granma worshipped the living room furniture she covered in plastic and wouldn’t let anyone sit on.

        • I’ve been in a lot of people’s houses that were that way. Including ordinary three or four bedroom homes where nobody was allowed in a bedroom other than for sleeping, and the living room was only for “special company.” So the entire family and most visitors lived in the kitchen, stepping over each other.

          I guess it works for them… but we always used the whole house to live in.

          • Sometimes an economic reason: Growing up, for awhile the family rented an older home that leaked heat like mad in the winter. “Front parlor” heat was shut off & doors closed unless someone (e.g. boss, pastor, etc.) was expected for a visit.

        • Around where I grew up that was the Bishop’s room. If the Bishop or higher were to come a visitin’, the plastic would be removed, ahead of time, and the room used. For any lesser mortals, the dining room or kitchen was the visiting room.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Folks saw what science and engineering did in the nineteenth century. Many, especially academics, were not deep in the guts of making it happen. The folks who metaphorically were covered in blood had no time to be explaining it to the rest of the world.

        An appalling amount of ‘intellectual’ activity these past couple centuries is thinking that science and engineering can do anything merely because the believers do not know how the sausage is made.

        A key element of using either effectively is knowing that the tools have limits, and that there is nothing really special about them.

      • “Science” to them, consist entirely of belief in 1) Evolution 2) Global Warming. And no, they have no idea of the nuts and bolts of how either works.

        • Especially the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics…..

        • Profession of belief in Evolution. Actual belief you are more likely to get from a fundamentalist.

          Based on their reactions to the observation that the future will look more like the people who have babies.

    • That’s the problem: they believe in science, but not the scientific method. They’ve only exchanged one faith for another.

    • They claim to love science, but really they just like looking at its a$$ as it walks by.

      • Free-range Oyster

        I am so glad I wasn’t drinking. I’m going to steal that one!

      • By science do you mean the rigorous testing and evaluation of ideas or pretty pictures and memes that let them shut off their mind and appeal to authority. The latter is not science.

        • The latter has the same relationship to science as the thought “I’d like to wear that a$$ for a hat” has to love.

          • Like or hate him there is a point to vd scientody arguments. We have a lot of “settled science” that does not make logical sense but we are not allowed to investigate cuz mean.

  23. The alternative explanation is that this young lady is being satirical as she apparently believes that carrying a firearm isn’t effective self-defense (“[sex toy] is just about as effective”). People say that it won’t help because they’ll shoot you first or then there’ll be two people causing bullets to go everywhere and hitting bystanders, etc.

    I leave the debunking of such defeatist ideas as an exercise to the reader–particularly ones who are more versed in self-defense than I.

    • Two words anyone who’s actually handled firearms on a regular basis knows by heart: Aimed Fire. (Also: Center Mass)

      • There is a time and a place where I support gun control…pretty much from the moment you begin to aim to the moment you squeeze the trigger.

        • One should always have complete control of the tools one is using at all times.

        • “Remember, long, wildly uncontrolled bursts!”

          • There’s an old made-for-TV B movie called “Night of the Comet.” It’s not really all that bad for what it is… but it has some of the best gun handling I’ve ever seen in a movie. Particularly, the heroine is a teenage girl with a fully automatic Ingram SMG. Whoever coached her on the gun stuff knew what he was doing – I own one of those; normally I laugh when I see them in movies.

            In rock-and-roll mode, the ridiculous cyclic rate makes a Mac a three to six shooter for most users, depending on their trigger control skills. BRAAP. BRAAP. BRAAP. [mag change] BRAAP…

            Mine has less than two seconds of firepower, consuming ammunition at about ten dollars per second.

            Our Heroine was staggering around with a big purse full of magazines. Attention to detail…

            • Not made for TV – it was a 1984 theatrical release. I agree on the gun handling and gunny stuff in general.

              Best line, when all the young ladies can find are Ingram Mac-10 submachineguns for zombie-protection, and they predictably jam: “Daddy would have bought us UZIs!”

            • I don’t think that was Made-for-TV; I have vague recollections of seeing that in a theater; there can’t be to many “Night of the Comet” B-movies out there.

              • Night of the Comet was theatrically released, and was reviewed fairly favorably by Siskel and Ebert, IIRC. Alas, it didn’t make a lot of money in the theater, because that was the time of blockbusters. It did okay on video, though.

  24. Obligatory gun rant:
    EVERY mass attack has ended when the attacker is confronted with effective resistance, almost invariably by firearms in the hands of good people. Two notable exceptions, flight 93 and the Paris train incident.
    Invariably, the attackers are captured, killed, or forced to take their own lives when met with force. Until then their intent always seems to be to rack up as high a body count as possible.
    It is a simple fact that the longer it takes to present that effective resistance the more harm will be done. Law enforcement must be contacted and respond. Armed guards may be at the opposite end of a campus, or may have been the first target taken out by the shooter.
    Mass shooters almost always choose gun free zones to commit their crimes. The Colorado theater shooter skipped several cinemas closer to his home to stage an attack on the one that prohibits concealed carry. It would appear obvious to the casual observer that school campuses, churches, malls, and other venues where people gather that prohibit law abiding citizens from being armed are nothing more than target rich opportunities for a sick individual to carry out their evil intent.
    No one is proposing to arm children.
    No on is suggesting that teachers be forced to carry weapons.
    But why do the anti gun crowd so slavishly resist allowing licensed legal adult permit holders with proper training from being armed while going about their daily business?

    • I have come to the conclusion that the typical anti-gun person who believes merely possessing a gun means you are going to shot someone would, if they had a gun, readily resort to it when people upset them. Thus, they figure everyone is like them and guns = violence.

      The idea that I can, while bearing a firearm, get very annoyed by someone and not even thing of using a sidearm is something they cannot imagine.

      • One thing legal carriers keep saying is, if I’m packing, I will walk away from provocations that would formerly cause me to respond and maybe trade blows. If I’m packing, I can’t respond to provocations unless they are worth killing for.

      • I figure a lot of it is the same reason people hate sports cars, or motorcycles, or model airplanes, or jet skis, or hang gliders, etc.

        “Someone else is having fun, and I’m not! That must not be allowed to continue!”

        Joining in seems never to occur to them…

      • scott2harrison

        From news stories about what happens when gun grabbers get their hands on one this is pretty much correct.

      • “believes merely possessing a gun means you are going to shoot someone” – and when you ask if they believe that about cops, usually respond “but they are TRAINED” as if it’s inconceivable that a CC might feel the responsibility to train, and also as if cop shops had the budget to go to the range FREQUENTLY (which my gunny friends who know cops say isn’t the case, unfortunately.)

        I think cops get more training in how to manage confrontations, because confronting IS part of their job. CC’s tend to avoid confrontations, until they find themselves in an active-shooter situation with a need to defend or protect.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Magical Thinking. Putting up a “Gun Free Zone” sign will prevent “evil” people from using their guns in that area.

      Just as a “Nuclear Free Zone” would have prevented the Soviets from targeting that city. (Really funny when the sign was for a town *right* next to Chicago.) [Very Big Evil Grin]

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Or, you know, having gun free days, so the same business can serve both Hoplophobes and sane people.

        ‘You can come inside. It is a safe day.’

        • Feather Blade

          That’s what she said.

          Then 9 months later you get bouncing baby bombs rolling all over the floors.

      • Nuclear Free Zone? Hell, my house has at least four nuclear devices in it right now. And another one or two might be a Good Idea.

      • Commented on a SJW recently — who was in a snit when I pointed out “You’re radioactive.”

        • My favorite was the spike in sales of potassium iodide pills on the west coast following Fukushima. They’re helpful if you’re exposed to high levels of fallout because it saturates your bloodstream with iodine, preventing your thyroid from picking up appreciable quantities of radioiodine. But the potassium part is itself radioactive, so if you’re not exposed to fallout – say you’re across a couple thousand miles of ocean from the reactor gone wild – you end up receiving more radiation dose from the pills than from the fallout. Just one of many reasons why we don’t automatically pop KI pills when we respond to a core going walkabout – and why we simulate it in drills, which always results in confusion.

          • Yep. Every plant has a stockpile of iodine pills. No one has ever used them yet….

            • The Russians used them after Chernobyl. It turns out that mega-dosing growing thyroids with iodine leads to its own problems.

              • Ya… I’m one of my State’s RSO’s… I have a pretty sizeable stockpile of that stuff but…ya, I ain’t touching it until things go really pear shaped.

                • I’m not going to worry about it. Three Mile Island was the result of Finagle setting up camp at the site, anything that could go wrong – bad design, operators that didn’t understand their indications, poor maintenance practices isolating safety systems, operators prioritizing equipment safety over core protection – and nobody got significant internal exposure. Heck, at Fukushima three of the plants literally BLEW UP and the worst that happened is that one core wound up in the core catcher. We in the west know how to build a safe reactor. To be fair, the Soviets knew as well, they just didn’t care to.

                  • It’s not that the TMI operators didn’t understand their indications- it’s that they didn’t believe them. For us ordinary boiler operators a dial gage pegged high means trouble. A lot of their electronic telemetry were past design readings, so temp readings were pegged high. They assumed a malfunction in the RTD’s (resistance temperature devices). When someone finally thought of taking an ohm meter to the leads, it led to a “Holy Crap!” moment. Calculated temps from the resistance was way high out of spec.

                    The one story out of TMI I remember was the black car with Washington DC plates that was stopped for speeding in MD. The state trooper asked the driver the typical “And where do you think you’re going in such a hurry?” and the answer came from the back, “I’m the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and we’re on our way to Three Mile Island.” Abrupt end to traffic stop. Start of police escort.

                    • I sat through a talk given by one of the experts dealing with the after math of Three Mile Island.
                      Yes, a lot of the problem was with not checking or not believing the readings. However, given all the things the operators did wrong, the accident remained one the speaker described as “boring”.

                    • I was thinking earlier in the accident chain, when the operators didn’t realize that the light on the control panel only indicated the state of the solenoid, not the position of the valve. I also recall that the operators were talking to a senior engineer about the status of the casualty and when he got the pressure and temperature data he immediately realized there was a bubble in the core and ordered them to start charging (which was another mistake. TMI is why the first rule of reactor safety is “Break whatever you have to, but keep the core covered.”).

                      Not that it’s entirely the operators’ fault. As I recall within a few minutes of the accident starting there were a couple hundred alarms going off. Trying to prioritize that is nearly impossible, which is why there are now only a dozen or so alarms. All in all it was great nuclear training.

                  • “We in the west know how to build a safe reactor.” – and that was an OLD design. We know even better now.

        • …then hand them a copy of “Trashing the Planet” by Dixie Lee Ray.

    • scott2harrison

      Some of us are suggesting that teachers be forced to carry weapons. I believe that that is the law in Israel and the last attack on a class that I am aware of was after the teacher disarmed to be polite to the Palestinians.

      Besides, it would rid us of many of the worst, most evil teachers. Sort of like a vampire cannot carry a cross.

      • Ah, but I suspect without notable exception that the teachers in Israel have all served in the Israeli military, and likely been under fire.
        Average US teacher these days is likely a hoplophobe and the sort I would never trust with any dangerous power tool. Unlike when I went to grade school. Most of the men and a fair number of the ladies were WWII vets.

        • It’s not like we’d just be handing current teachers a gun and saying “wear this in class.” They’d have to be trained and demonstrate a reasonable degree of competency or they’d be fired. I suspect most would quit and thereby improve society.

      • http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/teachers-armed-guns-texas-school-article-1.1224257

        The hoplophobes were in a righteous frenzy when this came out 3 years ago…….

        • Some of them probably fear for their chosen identity – after all, if they were to find themselves serving next to armed teachers and learn they were just normal people with good self-discipline and a sense of duty-to-protect, it might undermine the hoplophobia.

      • It’s not the law. Where I live (a Tel-Aviv suburb), there are armed security guards but that’s it. In the disputed territories (a.k.a. Judea and Samaria) many people carry firearms, since gun licenses are much easier to obtain if you live there.
        Click on my handle for my blog: the current “latest post” is about this very issue (firearm licensing in Israel).

      • Here, here.

    • Here is your magical thinking thought for the day:
      In Texas, anyone can be carrying off school property, but she seemed to think that the rules of the universe changed at the property line of her college campus.
      I even asked her directly what it was about college campus property that made the behavior of CCW permit holders different than that off campus, and also asked why she seemed to think that the property line of her school was the demarcation point between lawful behavior and non lawful behavior.
      Predictably, I got no comprehensible reply. Just lots of Feels™.
      Like others have said, trying to reason with her is a failed proposition, as she didn’t reason herself into her position in the first place, and any attempt to reason with her will bounce of her Class B armor plated mind like so much shrapnel.
      I think that mockery is the best recourse to weapons grade stupidity such as this.

      • The purpose of mockery of such people should be to eliminate any patina of credibility, any mite of gravitas, any shade of credibility. As they cannot be moved it is necessary to ensure few others be attracted to their standard. The Left follows Alinsky on this but it is actually simple immunology: encyst the pathogen rather than let it spread its toxic ideology throughout the body politic.

  25. The uneducated, the young, and ATHELETES:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_superstition

    But, of course, that thing about not talking to a pitcher having a no-hitter really works.

    • Sports fans too. Bud light had a great series of commercials on the superstitions of football fans. A few of the ones I found:

  26. Is Jin in either psychology or literature… or do we care? The reason I ask is that in English Lit — Gun related to the size of a man’s appendage. If the gun is big, the man’s related equipment would be small. So I can see why they would pull out the dildos…

    • Unless you’re doing a 70’s blaxploitation movie. Then Bruthga Hero gets the 8-inch nickel plated Colt Python and the cops and mobsters get the wimpy impotent little .38 snubbies.

    • *headdesk headdesk headdesk* no! Use appropriate firearm for profession or job.

    • Yet compact, easy to conceal guns are super popular… which makes one wonder where a person toting a small pocket pistol fits in on the scale.

      • Those snub nose pistols are cute, but my hands are too big for them.

      • And then there are those of us who pick whatever firearm suits the clothing of the day… there’s always room for the .380, usually room for the .38, but the .45 is more difficult to dress around, so I tend to only carry it in weather cool enough for some kind of overshirt or jacket.

        My state recently adopted “open carry” so I don’t technically have to conceal anything any more, but I don’t have any holsters suitable for that.

        There’s a joke that people who carry concealed wind up with a drawer full of holsters. That’s mostly true, and I have no real grounds to snark at my wife’s purse collection any more…

  27. Actually I do buy John Ringo books to upset pinkos. But let’s face it, Tom Kratman has retired THAT trophy…

    • I once bought an Ann Coulter book just because one of my left-libbie-prog buddies kept bitching and moaning about her. I do not exaggerate when I say I got it just to read in front of him and watch him become apoplectic while simultaneously not having the intestinal fortitude to actually confront me about it.

      Passive-aggressive? Moi?

      • For a bit of added spice you could have hi-lighted notable passages or made copious margin notes.
        Of course you would then be liable for cleanup duty when your acquaintance’s head blew up.

        • Timing is everything. Use a session of laughing approvingly at a passage, making notes, etc. to “light the fuse”, then set the book down & leave before the explosion.

        • Eh, it would have been my own house and my own mess. I don’t mind cleaning those up.

    • What about a book co-authored by Larry C. and Ringo? The thought appeals. For maximum lefty explosions read a book co-authored by Ringo and Kratman.

  28. Captain Comic

    On talking to these folk, I flash back to the aforementioned Fallen Angels by Niven, Pournelle and Flynn:

    “He said that the alleged objectivity of materialist science was an invention of heterosexual white males, so we shouldn’t use that as a basis for judgement.”

    She looked sharply into his face. For a change, he was not laughing. “What did you tell him?”

    “Nothing.”

    All the fire had gone out of him, even the anger. Ominous. She asked, “And?”

    “I said nothing. It was like I’d been caught explaining something to a door or a telephone recording. I felt like such a fool.”

    It also reminds me of the fact that 80% or better of “Feminist Art” could be replaced by a woman shouting “I have a vagina!” repeatedly.

    But the men and the right wingers are the ones defining people by their geni…uh, PRIVATES.

    (Not getting into THAT mess again.)

  29. Here’s an example of progressive magical thinking in action:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/bloomberg-booming-utah-needs-lower-wages-and-more-expensive-mortgages-in-the-name-of-feminism/

    Basically, Utah is a huge success story.

    In many respects, Utah, whose state symbol is a beehive, is a model of industriousness for the rest of the nation. Its economy is among the fastest growing and its unemployment rate is the sixth lowest.

    So, naturally, progessives want to tear apart the culture that fostered that success.

    The astounding lack of curiosity about cause and effect and unintended consequences is just …. um … astounding? As astounding as a thing that astounds you.

    • Can’t judge all liberals by the occasional whack job who snaps and shoots up a school, church, or theater. That would be unfair.
      Can’t condemn all of Islam for the few radical extremist suicide bombers who blow up peaceful citizens or run airplanes into buildings. Just wrong, way too judgmental.
      But anyone with any sense knows that everyone in Utah is a misogynistic, Mormon, polygamist, or one of their enslaved and mind controlled child brides.
      Consistency, thy name is liberal progressive. NOT!

      • How many liberals who’ve quoted Emerson’s bit about “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” at you have ever remembered it refers to a “foolish consistency..” – perhaps because they believe all consistency is foolish, so haven’t thought more deeply about it?

        • I’ve never known anyone to quote that line except to make an ad hoc rhetorical claim that all consistency was foolish, and therefore that they themselves got a free pass for being inconsistent.

          Not once.

          Anyhow, Emerson was a prat with knobs on.

      • They are consistent. If an idea will further the Progressive cause, they support it wholeheartedly, no matter how evil. If an idea will hinder their Will to Power, they will oppose it, no matter how many people would benefit.

        • No, they’re not even that consistent. If an idea will further the Progressive cause by strengthening those in power, they support it wholeheartedly if they themselves are in power. The moment they lose power, it becomes an Instrument of Fascist Oppression.

          The truly pathetic thing is, when they vote these really appallingly dangerous powers to themselves, it never even occurs to them that they may one day lose an election and find themselves on the business end of the barrel.

          • No, I can’t believe that a Democratic Senate would vote itself the nuclear option to stymie Republican legislation then turn around and cry “unfair!” when the Republicans manage to take control. In what sick crazy bizarro world could that ever happen?

  30. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    I think that they all believe in magic.

  31. Crazy Years is right. Its like these cupcakes read 1984 and decided that they wanted to work for the Ministry of Truth, only when they discovered it didn’t actually exist they decided to become their own personal Ministry of Truth.

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own.” Adam Savage said it as a sarcastic self-deprecating joke. These maroons say it as serious dogma. Probably the only reason they have not succeeded is because they’ve broken into too many factions and can’t agree on which reality they want to substitute. God help us if they do ever actually manage to unify.

    Far as the gun as a phallic symbol goes, my retort used to be, “if I was carrying a gun to compensate for a lack of manhood, I wouldn’t be carrying this dinky little .380.” Can’t use it anymore because I got rid of the .380: it was a piece of junk that I kept having to sent to the factory for repairs. And I admit that I replaced it with a .45, so… yeah. [insert sheepish grin here]

    There’s a line from a sci-fi novel, I believe L. Neil Smith’s <The Probability Broach, that springs to mind. Something to the effect of “Who’s crazier: the person who sees his gun as a phallus, or the person who wants to take everybody’s phalluses away?” I get the distinct impression that Ms. Jin would be quite happy to forcibly remove *all* of our phalluses, real and metaphorical.

    • GAH! Only The Probability Broach was supposed to be italicized! Clearly I also have too much blood in my caffeine system today!

      • Really fun book however you type it!

        • The Probability Broach and The Nagasaki Vector are among the books I always buy when I find a copy in a used book store. I give them away to non-readers.

          “Here. Read this book. It won’t hurt you.”

          About 2/3 of the time it turns them into active SF readers… [evil laughter]

          The other “the first hit is free” books? John de Chancie’s “Starrigger”, Tim Powers’ “The Anubis Gates”, John Barnes’ “Patton’s Spaceship”, Alfred Bester’s “The Stars My Destination”, William R. Burkett’s “Sleeping Planet”, Mick Farren’s “Necrom”, Jasper Fforde’s “The Eyre Affair”, Keith Laumer’s “Retief of the CDT”, Richard Llewellyn’s “The Douglas Convolution”, Miller & Lee’s “Agent of Change”, Michael McCollum’s “A Greater Infinity”, Alastair Reynolds’ “Century Rain”, Charles Stross’ “The Atrocity Archives”, Joan D. Vinge’s “Outcasts of the Heaven Belt”, Scott Westerfeld’s “Peeps”, and Walter Jon Williams’ “Hardwired”.

          They’re not all the “best” or “classics” or “examplars of the genre”, but they’re all (assuming I match them adequately to my victims) *readable*. (Jeff Duntemann would say they had “turniness”.) At least two of them I wound up reading late at night, flipped back to the beginning, and started over, staggering to work with not nearly enough sleep the next day… they won’t affect everyone that way, of course, but out of that stack I can usually find two or three that might hook another victim.

  32. The comment accompanying the first “clocks not glocks” mention I saw was “wow, I bet the Texas legislature wasn’t prepared for that!”

    What?

    Why would they possibly care?

    • THIS. It’s part of the fantasy world. All these magic gestures completely counter what the legislature did, so the legislators MUST be biting themselves in impotent fury.
      Honestly, if the cold civil war were to turn hot, our biggest problem would be seriously fighting people who are screaming “I have a vagina” or “I like sex” and think this is devastating to us.
      In fact it could be argued we’ve let them take the culture because we don’t want to play chess with pigeons. And yet…

  33. but we won’t recoil from it like a vampire from a cross.

    I’m not so sure. “World turned upside down” from the Hugo packet came close to having that effect.

    • I think that was more like recoiling from ruined food.

      • I kept with it until the protagonist put the goldfish in the acidulated sugar solution saturated with CO2 and the goldfish lived. That completely obliterated my – already overtaxed – disbelief suspenders.

    • Admit I made it halfway thru before I grabbed more enjoyable reading. Tax law

  34. Long ago, my mother suggested I apply for law school. I had a real job programming and was starting to pay back my minimal school debt, so I laughed at her. But being a good daughter, I turned around and did as she said. In the course of writing my application essay about “why I wanted to go to law school,” I convinced myself that I really DID want to go to law school.

    From this experience, I drew the conclusion that nothing is so convincing as one’s OWN eloquence. Perhaps the “writing across the curriculum” movement is not just annoying but also contributing to indoctrination throughout nearly all educational levels and institutions. Only the math-heavy fields seem to be safe zones for those who appreciate logic and facts more than feelings and opinions.

    Perhaps a widespread requirement of taking real debate–where both sides of an issue must be presented and argued for/against–would do some good.

    (As to the “dearly paid” bit, while I’m appalled at the tuition charged at the college where my husband works, I also like it that he has a job with a decent salary, so I’ll leave the higher ed bubble discussion to Glenn Reynolds. )

    • Math-heavy fields aren’t entirely immune, alas. See the recent article about how scientists fools themselves, and try to develop ways to overcome the tendency to draw false conclusions thru biased analyses. (Think it was linked yesterday on Instapundit).
      It’s more a matter of choosing what to think about… and to ignore.

      • Two days ago. I linked it.

        • Thanks! I connected it mentally with an article from a year or more back about a guy who’s done some forensic math & design-of-experiments analysis of a number of scientific studies, and shown than they can’t justify their conclusions. Possibly a cheaper approach to validating science than replication studies, but … who’s interested enough to pay for it on a continuing basis?

      • That’s why repeatability is so important to the scientific method. If two groups with wildly different biases can reach the same conclusion, it probably reflects truth. That’s why any field where raw data is hidden away and/or obfuscated ::cough::Climatology::cough:: is automatically suspect.

      • That is why in the nuke plant world, EVERY calculation/study/has both an independent verifier and a reviewer. Prevents a lot of embarrassing mistakes, though not all of them.

  35. The Other Sean

    A thought came to me late in this discussion. I wonder if anybody has yet told this woman to take her dildo and go F’ herself?

    • Yes!
      And post it on you-tube or facebook to establish her creds! These people fell for the pee your pants scam, they may not all be in Mensa.

      • I’ve known a couple of Mensans – wisdom is not necessarily in them.

        • A lot of wise people were in Mensa once (not all at the same time).

          Hardly any of them paid to renew their memberships.

          Being an ex-Mensan is in itself evidence of some degree of wisdom.

          • As a social group it has its benefits, particularly if your job requires you to travel. Nice to always have reliable activities with an expectation of safety in a strange city.
            I finally dropped my membership due to a preponderance of watermelons in the local group. (watermelon: green on the outside and red clear through)

          • There is one and only one qualification for entrance to the Mensa organization, you must score in the top two percent on any of a host of approved IQ tests. Mensa will be happy to administer their test for a fee, or you can submit a certified copy of test results.
            And ex-Mensan doesn’t mean you got any dumber, just that you choose for any of a number of reasons to no longer pay the yearly dues to keep your membership active. I’m more partial to “former Mensa member” as opposed to “ex.”

  36. Rockport Conservative

    It is interesting that I am reading you post right after running into these links from a comment thread on Facebook. You are thinking along the lines of some great minds. No surprise. Check these out if you have not already read them.
    Barbarians at the Gate’s of Realville http://thefederalist.com/2015/10/14/barbarians-at-the-gates-of-realville/#.ViEMKl3cYuo.facebook
    and a link from that post: Liberalism as Cultural Atavism: Vogelin’s Theory of Gnostic Modernity and Girard’s Theory of Sacrifice. http://orthosphere.org/2012/03/07/liberalism-as-cultural-atavism-voegelins-theory-of-gnostic-modernity-and-girards-theory-of-sacrifice-3/
    We are all living in Sureality.

  37. I really don’t think it’s possible to break the SJW indoctrination from anything we do. If they break free of their tiny amygdala brainwashing, it’s going to have to come from within them, when they really want to change. I believe that any arguing we do with them is going to have to be for the benefit of the undecideds who are new to the SJW flavor of crazy. Trying to change the SJWs is a waste of time, IMO.

    • “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but it has to really WANT to change.”
      Burnt-out light bulbs as a metaphor for SJW’s.

  38. Me: “So there’s this girl in Texas who wants people to open-carry dildos to protest guns allowed on campus—“
    Hubby: “—because she wants to be a dick about it?”

  39. Am I the only one who, upon hearing about this whole silliness about dildos and guns, immediately flashed on that old B movie Zardoz? “The penis is evil…”

    Wonder how many heads would explode upon watching it, and not from the sheer awfulness of the plot and acting?

  40. There’s just one thing, Ma’am: What we are seeing here is not a reversion to the Middle Ages. If anything, the bogeyman version of the Middle Ages as a crapsack world of infinite stupidity and ignorance is being used to assuage the feelings of those people who insist upon being infinitely stupid and ignorant now. Sort of like how sub-functional teenage boys point and laugh at Beavis and Butthead cartoons, never once realizing that the joke is actually on them.

    I think it was G. K. Chesterton who once told a naughty little story about attending some kind of conference with a bunch of celebrated freethinkers. GKC was the only religious believer in the room, and also the only one who did not trouble to provide himself with a lucky rabbit’s foot, magic talisman, or suchlike fetish.

    A lot of the idiocy that people mistakenly attribute to the Middle Ages actually originated in the so-called Renaissance, the period in which the serious pursuit of magic reached its maximum popularity and intensity. Simple folk are always liable to fall into simple folk supersitions. It is only at particularly insane periods, like the sixteenth century and the present-day Crazy Years, that sophisticated and highly schooled folk are generally liable to fall into sophisticated and school-taught superstitions.

  41. Given how sex negative the third wave feminists are, the claim that gun owners are the sex repressed ones is LOL hilarious.

  42. from where I sit the question has to be asked: who is driving this? Liberals, you say?

    Women, says I.

    It is my conviction that women are socialists and fascists by nature and that is why they are leading the charge on common sense and destroying everything in their path. Consider the SF community: for every rational, reasoned woman such as our esteemed hostess here – there are any number of militant, leftist women marching in lockstep to enforce an agenda, control the narrative and punish heretics. Oh sure, there are men doing it too…but most of them have bigger boobs than the girls do or have a penchant for wearing their clothes and running around in tutus. GAH.

    Like most regular men I am loathe to argue or fight with women and it gives them an advantage to a point. If some idiot wants to run around packing dildos I suppose there is no harm in it. But there are limits and women are now pushing them dangerously close to their breaking point. You won’t pry my gun from my cold, dead hands, Chickie. You’ll get b***h slapped into submission first, HAR HAR HAR!

    The good news is that when leftists finally achieve control of whatever community or organization they target…they ultimately destroy it. Our schools and universities are now moron factories. Our mainstream media outlets are held in contempt and are failing. Our gov’t grows ever larger and ever more incompetent and irrelevant. This is good; it paves the way for new players to get back into the game. The NYT can’t sell a news paper…but our hostess and her peers reach hundreds of thousands and provide superior adult commentary for free. That in turn trumps the dildo- festooned children running amok on the campuses. Govt and judicial hacks that used to hide behind the authority of their offices now wilt under the spot light of the social media. The self important harridans and leftist flimps that controlled the publishing houses and the hugos are openly mocked and subject to deafening derisive laughter. I don’t have to buy the crap peddled by the publishers anymore!

    There is light at the end of the tunnel; it’s just a matter of how many liberals and stupid people have to die before sanity is finally restored.

  43. In terms of ‘breaking through’, I don’t know how well that works on most people.

    In terms of an expectation of rational thought, statistically, for people of all political persuasions, that just isn’t correct. Nature of humans.

    For persuasion, Google: discover magazine user guide rational thought…

  44. Pingback: Magical non-thinking | Something Fishy

  45. Ollivander only sells those wands to wizards over the age of 18.

  46. I first started arguing some twenty years ago that the gun is, for the Left, a totem. (I note Bill Whittle has recently been making essentially the same argument, proving the zeitgeist prevails.) Because the Left denies personal culpability for actions the guilty associated with gun use must be embodied somewhere, and where but the gun itself? Thus the gonne gun is the locus of Evil and society must be cleansed of its malevolent influence.

    The important component of this is denial of individual responsibility, a concept as anathematic to Leftists as Caesium is to Flourine.


    Their conceptual reality presumes inanimate forces, such as expressed in Asimov’s idea of Psychohistory, which (like G-D) act to mold human destiny. In their cosmology,aligning ourselves with those forces is Good and attempting to staunch or divert those forces is Bad, is Evil. Asserting individual responsibility in such an ideology is akin to atheism, a denial of the crux their beliefs; it is their equivalent of Satanism, a premise requiring repudiation of all they hold valid.

    Literary, philosophical and political movements which foster self-determinism are thus quite obviously of no merit, destructive and divisive, delaying the achievement of nirvana by supporting the illusion that our individual lives have meaning. As it is only by committing ourselves to The True Faith that our individual lives achieve collective purpose, all false prophets must be confronted.

    • Exactly.

      On the one side you have those who believe in The Arrow Of History, Pointing Inevitably Towards Perfect Utopia, as a matter of incontrovertible faith. This “Progress” religion is along the same lines as those who view evolution as something that is (was) progressing in some direction (i.e. “upwards” in complexity towards humans, at which point it stopped) instead of a basic observation that the best adapted to the current environment are more successful in reproducing, outcompeting the less well adapted. This latter is the parallel to the other side of the Arrow religion – the self-determination let-the-market-decide folks.

      Since the self-determination side is basically saying “leave me alone” it is inevitable that it comes into direct conflict with the Arrow religion cultists: If you are left alone you may choose to do something that impedes society’s collective movement “forward” in the direction revealed by that Arrow, basically preventing that Perfect Utopia, which Cannot Be Allowed.

      The fact that every time the Arrow thing has been implemented it results in mass graves is not an argument – those time they just didn’t do it correctly.

      Note this is why The One is so disconnected from reality at this point – he did everything he was supposed to, and while the US has been appropriately humbled at home and abroad, the rest of the world is not breaking out into unicorns and rainbows. This is obviously impossible, so he’s rejected that reality and substituted his own.

  47. Ahem…. The People’s Cube, formerly Communists for Kerry, is a satire site, by people PRETENDING to be Communists and SJWs.

    • If you go to the original article, it is from the Houston Chronicle and linked through two other sites to the People’s Cube. Count this as another case of “Life imitates Onion.”

    • Yes. I know. I’ve sent them money. Geesh. Follow the post they’re linking. I didn’t want to give thinkprogress and such links, that’s all.

      • Problem is that people are not rational. I guess the liberal stance on guns is more mindless than you think. Something like…rednecks like guns, rednecks bad == guns bad. Everything else is cobbled on afterwards. I mean, when I look at overall mortality in England and the US, I can’t find any argument that guns matter. There are freedom-related consequences, but the savings/cost isn’t gigantic if you ignore suicides.

        But then, really, the liberal and conservative stances on global warming are all irrational. Let’s start with reality… Burning fossil fuels pretty demonstrably does increase free co2 atmospheric content… Which, would be expected to increase global energy absorption through the greenhouse effect, which is basically simple physics. And, greenhouse gas content is strongly associated with global temperatures.
        Conservative…well..if global warming was real, a carbon tax makes sense, so the science must be incorrect. Insert BS.
        Liberal…well…if global warming was real, we’d have to rein in big business, protect the environment, and live as hippies. Insert attacks on waste and plans to drive much of the globe into starvation. And plans to use solar instead of nuclear because nuclear is like war andnwar is bad.
        Rational policy would be: well, heck, so far, a few degrees warmer sure is nice in the winter… And the apocalyptic climate models.are probably bs. So, how about we proceed as we are, but start working out a nice safe breeder style nuclear reactor and make plans to fund a lot of nuclear plants. France did just fine, so n’like this has any risk. And heck, solar is cute as a puppy, so there’s no harm in evaluating costs. And some military advantages in having widely deployed independent power generation.

        And then, you’d be living in China. Sadly, a bunch of authoritarian thugs appear to be better at getting things right than we are…

        That said, wars have costs, as do rebellions. The founders created this nation because its existence and the rule of law benefited the common good. This is still true.

        Why not focus on important things. True gun control would need an amendment, which wont happen. We spend lots on: health care, social security, and the military. Social security has an identified specific tax and is essentially self funding. So, the remainder of spending is military and healthcare. For healthcare, we spend more than other nations and get less. Maybe we should change that?

        Outside the budget, an awful lot of people aren’t working. Any suggestions? Personally, I am not wild about h1 abuse. My last company, at least, avoided Americans because they coat too much and could switch jobs… Similarly, at 10 million or so, mass hiring of illegals also drives down wages… I am not sure how much difference fines and policy changes could make…

        And, EPA clearances for industrial development are pure idiocy. Having a single clearance process and requiring the posting of a bond for appeals. (Proportional to the economic harm of delay) would help.

        College is also bs. Unbankruptable debt shouldn’t exist. If no one will pay for your basketweaving degree, get a job. Engineers will still get loans…

        Oh, and the financial industry…to big to fail is too big to be allowed to exist. Too many of our best and brightest, or at least most highly paid, while away their days exploiting loopholes in our nation’s financial structure, some of those loopholes paid for by political donations from those earnings.

        For government bloat, make it simple. If you work for the government, you don’t get to vote. (Zero chance of passage…but….the conflict of interest is evident.). That includes government contractors.

        • Huh. You know, there’s really not much to strongly disagree with here, except for some infelicitous phrasing, but there’s not much to strongly agree with either.

          On the global warming stuff, first of all, the examination of the science in this article is pretty good. https://medium.com/@pullnews/what-i-learned-about-climate-change-the-science-is-not-settled-1e3ae4712ace

          The facts are that we know CO₂ has risen in the last century, and we know that GAST, Global Average Surface Temperature, has also risen. The infamous “97 percent consensus” is flawed in many ways, but the essential way — as opposed to accidents of methodology — in which the paper was flawed is that it asked “has there been warming and have humans contributed to at least part of that” and the result has been played as “97 percent of climate scientists believe humans are causing the planet to cook OMG we’re gonna die unless we turn over control of the economy to Scientists and also give lots of money to the UN!!1!!”.

          The flaw being, of course, that asked that way, yes, probably 97 percent of scientists *do* agree with that — but the essential questions are then “what is the magnitude of the human contribution?” and “are the costs of amelioration too great for the benefits provided?”

          Asking those questions will get you labeled a “denier” and disinvited from all the best parties.

          But that said, I don’t think the characterizations of the “conservative” and “liberal” positions are all wrong, either. Go back and look at the comments on any of my climate articles on PJM and you’ll see a fair number that come down to “AGW is a hoax for political purposes”; go to RealClimate or look at the things James Hansen has pushed over his career and you’ll see plenty of the sorts of things Erwin is saying.

          What the real science is telling us is that the actual sensitivity to CO₂ is much less than the doomsday models predicted, and Willie Soon’s recent work is making an awfully good case that the change in GAST is completely dominated by solar forcings; the human contribution may not even be detectable. The more the science says so, the less benefit there is in spending money to ameliorate — which upsets a whole lot of people’s financial applecarts in the climate industry.

        • The question I ask AGW proponents is:

          “Can you name three things that, if observed in nature, would lead to the conclusion that AGW is wrong? Two things? One?”

          You see, until you can answer that question in the affirmative, then it’s not science, settled or otherwise. Because the first step in finding new laws of nature is to make a guess based on observation. The second step is to calculate what happens if your guess is right. Then you compare the results of that calculation with nature (which is to say with experiment–experiment need not be something you set up in the lab but is, more generally, any measurement under defined conditions used to test a hypothesis). And if the observation does not match the calculated prediction for the hypothesis then the hypothesis is wrong. Period.

          Which, basically, is what physicist and Nobel Laureate Richard Feynmann said, in so many words, 50 years ago:

  48. Conservative…well..if global warming was real, a carbon tax makes sense, so the science must be incorrect. Insert BS.

    By thus egregiously misstating the Conservative argument against Anthropogenic Global Warming you have effectively invalidated every other point in your arguments.

    To avoid such error in future, please remember that the BS is supposed to be inserted after the “Insert BS” clause.

    • As ought be clear from the quoted passage, the above was intended as a reply to Erwin’s comment of October 18, 2015 at 9:08 am. Why it did not append to that comment is knowledge held only by WP and forever denied us mere mortals.

    • I think that’s a little unfair to his argument — he’s opposing two equally spurious ways of looking at the whole AGW thing.

      • I maintain that his “summation” of the conservative rejection of the AGW theory is specious, simplistic and invidious, incorrect in all possible ways. it is not that it might justify a carbon tax which compels conservatives’ rejection. Indeed, many conservatives might endorse a carbon tax (just as conservatives once promoted “cap and trade”) were there a way to enact and enforce it that was not subject to egregious political manipulation.

        His argument of the conservative position is as pernicious as claiming that conservatives oppose Welfare programs because they like people being poor, or that conservative opposition to Health Care reform plans from Hillary & Obama stems from a desire for more people to die.

        Such inaccurate summation undermines his stance as a “reasonable” observer, going directly at his credibility in all other arguments.

        • The point is that I think he does too.

        • “many conservatives might endorse a carbon tax (just as conservatives once promoted “cap and trade”) ” – were they convinced the cost of such would be less than the provable, or even highly probable, cost of not doing so, AND that it would be the least expensive effective way of achieving that benefit.

          We don’t have evidence – of either the ‘facts’ of AGW nor the competency of the investigation into those facts, nor for that matter the optimization of the proposed corrective action – to permit high confidence in.committing to that as a unique course of action.

          THAT is a better characterization of the conservative position, I think. Basically: do a much better job of proving it, and we’ll buy in.

          • Thank-you, yes: it is not the carbon tax which engenders the rejection, it is the “magic beans” being sold.

            • The thing is, if “global warming” were really the imminent disaster that proponents claim then a “carbon tax” would be very bad indeed. “You can go ahead and destroy the planet, so long as you pay a fine for it.” Really?

              That they are floating a carbon tax and things like “cap and trade” merely underscores that the purpose is wealth transfer, pure and simple.

              • The analogy which occurs to me is people who truly believe a flood is coming would be out filling sandbags, building barriers and other “useful” activities.

                Global Warming denialist Steven Hayward writes today at Power Line about a potential system (air-capture) for alleviating CO2 buildup and a) predicts it will not be welcomed by Watermelons in the Climate Change Camp and b) demonstrates how terribly bad the reporters journalists covering this beat are (mere incompetence would be an improvement.)

                “In the beginning of this year, in Squamish, British Columbia, the privately owned (and backed by Bill Gates) company Carbon Engineering began the construction of the first air-capture CO2 demo plant. For years, the company has been developing the technology that is now ready to be implemented on a larger scale.

                “Like trees, air-capture technology traps CO2 from the ambient air. However, as the team at Carbon Engineering points out, “planting enough trees in the numbers needed would require diverting vast amounts of agriculturally productive land. In fact, to absorb enough CO2 as an air-capture facility, trees would require roughly a thousand times more land.” Unlike trees, however, air-capture plants can be built on land that cannot be cultivated, such as deserts.”

              • …and as Insty repeatedly points out: “I’ll believe it’s an emergency when they start acting like it’s one.” — i.e. reducing their own CO2 output.

            • That – and the lack magic in the bean-sellers.

      • Speaking of spurious ways of looking at the whole AGW thing, excerpts:


        Back to School: Unlearning Nine Environmental Myths

        by Peter Kareiva
        Director, [UCLA] Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

        School is back in session, and many college students around the country are taking their first course in conservation and environmental science. I have taught these introductory courses for 30 years, and have been consistently surprised by the erroneous certainties students bring to the first environmental science lecture.

        Rooted not in fact and science but in myth and fear, these certainties keep environmentalism from moving forward and being more relevant to the contemporary world. For my new students — and all environmentalists — here’s a quick guide to myth vs. reality in the environmental space.

        Myth 1: Human population is growing exponentially and it’s ruining the planet.

        Reality: Since the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the rate of population growth worldwide has been steadily declining. In fact, many countries have such low reproductive rates today that they are worried about shrinking populations. This does not mean that population growth is not a problem — it just means that the human population is likely to peak within this century, and that environmentalists need to start thinking a lot less about population growth per se and more about the drivers of increasing resource use and greenhouse gas emissions.

        Myth 5: If you question an environmental regulation, you’re automatically anti-environment.

        Reality: Regulation is a necessity for good environmental policy, but regulation can also get out of hand and become so cumbersome that there is little hope for agility, innovation or adapting to a changing world. We all know we need regulations for safety and health care. But do America hospitals really need 140,000 different regulatory codes for the ailments they treat, including one for injuries from being hit by a turtle? California’s government is still operating under a constitution that, although the third-longest U.S. state constitution, was last given a major revision in 1879. Back then, the state had 865,000 people; today, it has more than 37,000,000. It is notoriously hard to revise government. Dynamic conditions such as those we face often need more nimble approaches.

        Myth 7: People who don’t think we should act strongly to stop climate change are just stupid/ill-informed/ignorant.

        Reality: A sample of over 1,500 representative U.S. adults revealed that those who felt climate change was not much of a risk scored as well or better than those worried about climate change when given standardized tests of numeracy or scientific literacy. So if you really care about doing something about emissions and climate, do not make the mistake that those who disagree with you do not know the science or are in any sense not as well-informed or as smart as you are. Instead, think about why their positions make sense within the framework of their social values and how to talk about climate change in terms of those values.

        Myth 9: If we keep on our current path, Mother Earth will be destroyed and it will be the end of life on the planet.

        Reality: You have probably heard such dire forecasts. Look — life is tenacious and evolution is inventive and resourceful. Almost no matter what we do, life will persist on Mother Earth — she is one tough lady. Even if there is a massive extinction, slowly the number of species will recover.

        So it is not Mother Earth that we should worry about. It is the quality of our own lives. And those apocalyptic movies of the end of the human species do not tell the impending story of the real environmental crisis. The real environmental crisis will be an increasingly bland and uninspiring world devoid of the joy nature can provide, and a world where humans persist but do so with diminished health and perhaps a world where only the wealthiest have access to clean air and water and greenery and clean beaches and rivers. It wouldn’t be the end of life or even humanity. But it would be a world we all want to avoid.

        Bottom Line: Reality is complicated — and hopeful.

        You will notice a pattern above – the myths are simple, and the reality is complicated. …

        HT: Steven Hayward, Power Line

        • But in the case of these myths, the example given for Myth 5 is incorrect. The California constitution is constantly amended, that is what all the ballot initiatives do.

  49. Christopher M. Chupik

    Vile 770 linked to this post and You Know Who has popped up in the comments under a well-known screen name. Which means he’ll be coming to a blog near you.

  50. I’m pretty sure that my conservative friends are having way more sex than any liberals that I know, simply by the fact that most of them are happily married. It’s the difference between having to hunt for everything you eat, and having a grocery store within easy driving distance. Or so I’ve been told (single never-married Mormon here).