In Defense of Humans

I could start this high and mighty, by saying I’m getting sick and tired of seeing all sides of the political spectrum refer to other sides as though they weren’t human.  I could.  Except that I’d have to start by removing the log in my own eye.  I think I was fourteen the first time a classmate — for good and sufficient reason (the woman had done war on the gifted-forms-that-weren’t-supposed-to-exist, including accusing us of breaking furniture in a room we’d never been in) — suggested we kill a school employee. To this day I’m not sure she wasn’t serious.  (You kind of have to have known those people, in that place.  R. M. Ballantine said there was nothing as duplicitous as a school boy.  I’m here to tell you there’s nothing quite so dangerous as a group of highly intelligent young women who actually like each other, in a culture where women are, of course, assumed to be dumber than men.)  But the way I chose to diffuse it was to say, “Lord, no.  The SPCA would be after us the rest of our lives.”

Since then the like of such statements have left my lips at least a million times.  Maybe more.  We do it without thinking and without malice.  “That dumb b*tch,” or “That worm!” or…

That’s okay.  I could preen over it, but it would be like feminists going to war against the word “too” (I swear.  Early and often.)

Fortunately I’m a linguist and I know that what passes our lips in those kind of circumstances means bloody nothing.  It’s a joke, or a saying, or just an expression of extreme annoyance.

I have a “better off gone” list that is the size of three Oxford dictionaries and would take a magnifying glass to read, if it had physical existence.  Those people (mostly politicians.  It takes a lot for a non-politician with no power over me to obtrude on my consciousness long enough to summon that level of annoyance.  Not to say some haven’t managed it, but it’s very tough) are perfectly safe from me.  All that mental entry means is “I think you’re doing more harm than good in the world, and if I heard of your death I wouldn’t cry.”  (In extreme cases I might open a bottle of bubbly.  See Arafat’s death.)

Faced with the actual person, knowing everything about them, I might still find them repulsive human beings, but they would still be human beings.  And unless I’m protecting others from imminent physical harm and/or defending my own life, I don’t think I could easily kill them.  Now, if I’d come to the conclusion I needed to kill them, and did so, I’d still know they were human, and I would carry that knowledge with me to my grave.  (Note that I’m weird enough to refuse to put down ant poison or in Portugal where window screens are non-existent, to refuse to spray a room for flies, because when I was around 9 I realized I couldn’t create life, and have felt bad about killing since.  Not saying I won’t.  In sufficiently provoking/needful circumstances I can kill, but I kill in the full knowledge I’m destroying something I can’t replace.)

What is dangerous and worrisome are the (usually extremely well educated, usually — though not always — of a lefty bend) people who want to erase the distinction between human life and other life.

This is usually done from the point of view of bringing the other life up.  You can see it in vegetarians talking about meat being murder, and in Vegans who talk about the sexual slavery of cows.

It is done, at least supposedly, from the point of view of “I want to bring all life on Earth to this peaceful coexistence.”  It at least takes on the hue of that beautiful vision of paradise where the lion and the lamb lie down together.

However because it erases distinctions and loses the shades of difference, it eventually slides into the idea that if we are to eat anything, we should eat human, because humans deserve it.  This is just like every form of multiculturalism leads to hating western culture.  Because the differences are obvious and you can’t really lie to yourself about which of these cultures provides a better standard of living for humans, so all you have left is denying that a better standard of living is important and fastening on to small flaws to drive the obviously superior culture down in others’ views.  In the same way erasing the differences between human and animal, eventually leads to erasing the capacity for moral judgement and sentience in humans (thus the new ever popular idea that we don’t do things because we think, we just think to rationalize things we did by instinct or rote.  [Yes, I know Heinlein said something like it, but the application was different.  Your subconscious does drive you to stuff you then rationalize, but it’s not your every action, and it certainly isn’t what everyone does.]  Right now there is a school of — spit — psychology that believes that humans really have no free will, and just act in pre-determined genetic/environmental ways.  Man, I’d like them to explain my trajectory that way.  Bah. Simplifiers and idiots.) And from there it leads to a purely utilitarian view of humans, which leads to “why not eat humans?”

It is a very easy route for humans to climb down.  In fact, most of our great civilizations not influenced by Judeo-Christian thought had absolutely no issues with this.  It was perfectly okay to crucify non-Roman citizens along the roads pour encourager les autres.  It was perfectly okay to cut out the hearts of war prisoners for the sun god to do its thing, because, you know, they weren’t human.

Every human tribe has a word that means “human” which in the dim past applied only to the people of the tribe.  Every word for “foreigner” or “stranger” once upon a time meant “not human.”

Against this, and to make the contact between tribes safe, there were elaborate rules for the treatment of the stranger and the guest which go back to our earliest origins.  Having done extensive reading of myth over the last few weeks, I keep finding it at the root of our oldest stories.  In fact, since we no longer have that much freight placed on hospitality, some of those stories are now incomprehensible, in the sense we don’t really “get” the cues for who is the hero and who the villain.

Because Judeo-Christian thought replaced those rules with the idea we’re all brothers and sisters, all descended from the same parents (and, look, other than the weird stuff that fell into the various regional family trees, or even counting that, we have gone through bottle necks where the human population was maybe a couple dozen pairs.  So if it wasn’t the garden and Adam and Eve and all of us brothers and sisters, with that limited a breeding population, we are at the very least all cousins.  Which where I come from means about the same thing as brothers and sister.)  Now you might say in the wars intra-Christians and in the way society treated the poor and powerless that thought was more often honored in the breach.  But if you say that you never saw two brothers fight (like Cain and Abel, my boys were at one time) and you also probably don’t know how much worse it can get.

Sure fratricide happens, but the notion of a common breed called “mankind” prevents — or prevented us — from considering others in purely utilitarian terms.  If you look outside the West, you find Asian cultures treating humans as widgets to an extent we don’t fully understand.

All of this is important, because since the ascendance of the State as a dominant force that replace both family and religion, to a large part, in our private pantheons, we’ve seen people slip back into this.

It is no coincidence that the great atheistic horrors of the 20th century racked up even more dead bodies than the neo-pagan cult of the Nazis.

And it is important to remember that — to remember that once you start think of humans as THINGS who are USEFUL and lose track of the fact that each human, regardless of ability, opinions, disability, age, tribal affiliation, religion, color or any other characteristic pertaining to a man (or woman) is still valuable simply because he’s human like us, horror ensues.

In the end, as a human I must respect others like me, to respect myself.  You start denying the humanity of others, and at the end of that road, what is left but to deny your own humanity?  What makes you special that you arrogate to yourself the right to decide which of these “non-human” things is to live or die, to succeed or fail?

Oh, sure, the people who do that end up engaging in obsessive virtue signaling, some of which ends up (to make themselves “better” than the common people) having them defend the indefensible.  And some of them “prove” they have the right by using force to reduce as many of their fellow humans as possible to the status of “things”.

But looking at them from outside, they became what they make others, and one has to wonder if in the darkness of night, in the hollowness of their own hearts, they don’t know it, and it doesn’t drive them to greater madness.

Which matters not.  In the end, history will route around them and forget them, or relegate them to the bin of bad things inhabiting our collective nightmares.

Because the future belongs to life.  The future belongs to cultures healthy enough to survive in great numbers.  That can be achieved, at times, temporarily, by killing every other culture.  But it seems to be a temporary thing.  Cultures at least in modern age that view everyone, even their members, as things, seem to have trouble reproducing.

There’s reasons for that, including why make more of these “human things” if they’re interchangeable.  These reasons — this viewing humans as humans and special — might be at the root of why Christianity spread so far, so fast.

So in the end, the future belongs to those cultures that value human life.

The others are just a momentary regressive glitch that passes.

289 responses to “In Defense of Humans

  1. Jeff Duntemann

    This, madam, is why you are the leader of the band.

  2. But Sarah you have created life, twice. OK Dan helped a bit.
    And with Robert and probably Marshall as well you created life that will in turn save and protect hundreds if not thousands more.
    Not bad at all for an upstart Portagee from a small insignificant village.
    And then there are those causes you champion: USAian, libertarian, sad puppyian, indie writerian, ad infinitum.

  3. (Note that I’m weird enough to refuse to put down ant poison or in Portugal where window screens are non-existent, to refuse to spray a room for flies, because when I was around 9 I realized I couldn’t create life, and have felt bad about killing since. Not saying I won’t. In sufficiently provoking/needful circumstances I can kill, but I kill in the full knowledge I’m destroying something I can’t replace.)

    I tend to go out of my way (at least a little bit) to avoid killing most insects, because of a “What did he ever do to me?” feeling. But I make an exception for mosquitoes. If I hear the whine of a mosquito in the room I’m in, whatever I had been going gets put immediately on hold and I turn into a totally focused mosquito hunter until the beast is dead, or until I’ve completely lost track of it and don’t think I’ll find it again. (Those totally focused mosquitoes, I tell ya… I hate ’em.)

    In fact, if I had the choice to press a button and exterminate the entire mosquito species, I wouldn’t even think twice. Whatever ecological niche they filled, and whatever environmental changes would happen as a result of that niche going unfilled because mosquitoes became extinct, can’t possibly be more costly to humanity than the existence of mosquitoes currently is. (HOW many malaria deaths per year?)

    • Do what you can to promote the use of DDT.

    • Classic example. Malaria was well on the way to being controlled if not totally wiped out. Then came “Silent Spring” and a world wide reduction often total ban on the use of DDT. But what are the deaths of a few thousand third world kids you’ll never see as opposed to saving some birds.

      • Didn’t even save the birds;the malaria/eggshell thing turned out to be a poltically useful myth.

        • Didn’t Carson eventually admit she made it up?

        • Huh??? “Causes thinning of raptor eggshells” is a myth???!!!

          • Friend of mine says he took a class from one of the people who proved it was a myth. Says his professor told the class that experiment after experiment showed no difference in eggshell thickness between the birds fed DDT in their diet and the birds in the control group… until one particular experiment showed a HUGE difference in thickness, and the DDT-fed group had much thinner shells. But when he looked into that experiment, it turned out there was more than one difference in diet between the experimental group and the control group. In addition to being fed DDT, the experimental group’s diet had also been deficient in… drumroll… calcium.

            • Of course, by that point the hue and cry over global warming eggshell thickness was in full swing, and nobody was inclined to listen to the lone voice in the wilderness crying that CO2 DDT had no harmful effects and was actually somewhat beneficial to human life.

              Also of course, you shouldn’t just take my word for it, considering I have this at second-hand and details may have gotten garbled in the process. Verify for yourself, if you can.

            • Patrick Chester

              In addition to being fed DDT, the experimental group’s diet had also been deficient in… drumroll… calcium.

              Why, oh why does that sound like it was not an accident?

          • It works like this for the direct measurements:
            egg shells, even when dried out, are spongy. Think sort of like a folded towel. The amount of difference they were recording would be like measuring a big, fluffy towel that’s been folded so there are 12 layers of towel and getting to 1/8th of an inch accuracy– how much you push will change it more than that.

            It could be easily excused as someone fooling themselves, but there’s also the problem that the calipers they were using weren’t accurate down to (sticking with the example’s measurements) 1/8th of an inch, much less the 1/80th or at the very least 1/32 that would be needed to be fairly sure of accuracy.

      • Add that the bird eggshell thing is now firmly proven to be wrong.

        • I’m not sure they ever really believed it. Some of the fanatics openly admitted that a big drop in third world human population was at least a major side benefit, because they believed in population control. When Uganda was losing 18k people a year to malaria, they were given a choice of discontinuing DDT, and thus facing malaria killing hundreds of thousands, or their US and UN aid money would be cut off. And none of the Greenies now seem to give a damn that their stupid wind farms are killing thousands of eagles, hawks, and falcons.

          • The human-pop.-control-equivalent argument wrt wind farms would be that we’re helping evolution along, making the affected bird species smarter and better able to avoid moving things, on average.

        • Proven? What has “proven” to do with anything? Having decreed DDT Evil the reasons why it was outlawed are no longer relevant.

      • scott2harrison

        You are at least three orders of magnitude off. It was millions not thousands. In fact Rachel Carson may have managed to surpass Hitler in number of innocents killed. (Godwin alert!!!)

        • Isn’t there a special circle in the Inferno for people like Rachel? I bet she’s got her own theme park down there. Demons take their vacations in Rachel Land.

          • Carson is not in the Inferno, she is in Purgatory.
            Now, she will be there for a very long time.

            • I’ve noted before how the greens have a serious revsionist hots for Rachel – vis: http://www.mbari.org/dmo/vessels_vehicles/Rachel_Carson/Rachel_Carson.html

              No doubt soon to be added to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute fleet: The R/V Iosef Stalin, and the R/V Mao Zhedong.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              What News Service brings you info about who is in the Inferno, who is in Purgatory and who is in Heaven? [Smile]

              • Well, Moses and Elijah came back when Jesus got his couple hour mid-deployment leave on the mountain, so we could be pretty sure about them.

              • The Other Sean

                He probably got the messages via the Ark of Covenant, which was sold in a crate out of a government surplus warehouse where it had been sitting since the late 1930’s. 🙂

              • A different one than the ghost gets his news from.
                It is my contention that being a useful idiot is a venal sin, not a mortal one, this being primarily contingent on the “idiot” portion of the descriptor.

                • Nope. Ignorance is a defense if it is invincible (meaning, not actually unconquerable, but unconquerable by a reasonably prudent person using ordinary judgment and due diligence). When it is vincible, it may mitigate it, if your efforts were just inadequate, but if it is crass ignorance, if you made no effort at all, you are just as guilty as if you did it with full knowledge. If your ignorance is affected, if you deliberately went out of your way to avoid learning, you are just as guilty as if you did it with full knowledge, or possibly more so because of your hardness of heart.

                  Which means, of course, that a useful idiot is committing a mortal sin by acting in crass or affected ignorance in a manner that would be a mortal sin if you knew what you were doing.

          • I know at least one university (that shall mercifully remain unnamed) that named a lecture hall after her. I nearly had a stroke when I saw that.

            • I prefer the Alferd Packer Memorial Dining Hall (U of CO). He served his fellow men. 😉

              • “Here’s a health to old Alferd T Packer,
                Greatest Republican alive.
                There weren’t but six Democrats in Muleshoe County,
                And Alferd T Packer ate five!”

    • And here is why I let spiders that are not directly in my way be. up in the corner? Fine. Great place for you, Dear Spider. A web near the window, by the air conditioner, where gnats seem to arrive despite generous use of expanding foam? Great choice, Dear Spider. Doorways or right in face? If you are lucky and I am feeling very nice, you will be moved. Surprise me by dropping on me or getting in my face suddenly? You are almost certainly an ex-spider.

      • Pretty much the same. We have a glass and piece of cardboard in a known place to capture spiders that intrude, and toss them back outside where they can do more good.

      • If we had small spiders here, I’d agree. But when we get brown recluses with half inch long bodies, spiders die. They die the death of the shoe as soon as they are spotted. The spiders can stay outside and not die the death of the shoe unless they crawl on us.

        • We’re much the same way. We have four categories of spiders:
          1) Allies in the war against insects.
          2) Too big to live in the house. This includes tarantulas.
          3) Too ugly to live. Those are generally the camel spiders. Not to mention they run toward us when discovered. Die!
          4) Too venomous to live.

          • We run a spider rescue service for all but the shiny black ones with red belly decorations. I put them into the household plants, Judy takes them outside, but we save all we can. Flys on the other hand get nailed with a swatter or the muzzle blast of a co2 pistol.

          • Giant House Spider.

            Not a generic group, actual breed.

            AKA, “holy ****, is that a **** tarantula?!”

        • Cute little jumping spiders are more than welcome in my house and surrounds.

    • Yes. But I prefer to think of it as assisting the mosquitoes’ souls to ascend to the next embodiment, which can live in harmony with humans. And flies. Especially if they annoy me while writing. It’s their way of asking for assisted suicide. Wasps and spiders get helped outside.

    • I make an exception for mosquitoes, too. In the middle of the night, in Portugal, I’d start throwing dictionaries at mosquitoes perched on the ceiling. One of the reasons all my dictionaries had plastic covers 😉

      • As we used to tell the troops rotating to ‘Nam, the gecko is your friend. When you see one on the walls of your hooch, you know that there are fewer mosquitoes.

      • The first time I ever saw a black widow spider, it was for a quarter of a second before the large, heavy storybook my mom had been reading hit it squarely and turned it into paste.

        From across the room.

        Where she’d thrown it, without getting up from between her darling brood, to whom she’d been reading.

        We really don’t like dangerous animals.

        • I’m sort of scratching my head. Maybe it was growing up on a farm, but creepy crawlies in the house have a short life span.

          BTW, in some parts of the country you have to watch out for Brown Widow spiders, Yes, there’s such a thing.

          • “In the house” with few exceptions is death or removal, but usually not that spectacular.

            On the other hand, there’s a WIDE collection of orb weavers the size of a man’s thumb that avoid where people need to go, and thus get to catch flies to their heart’s content.

            • Except the ones that 1) built webs across the front door overnight. Cue pre-dawn karate flails. And 2) built across the driver’s side door ov my truck and connected to a tree. Every morning. I admired their determination but sorry, that’s not an acceptable location.

              • I’m still impressed by the one that goes from our neighbor’s roof to my lilac tree, 15 feet away, at the second story level.

                It doesn’t even touch the fence, and that guy is visible from the ground!

                • Like most in the utility business, I habitually glance at the power lines when driving. On early mornings it’s no uncommon to see webs spun between the primary and neutral.

              • I look like a priest when I walk out in the morning. I’ve got the motions down, I just need the censer. The same stupid spider runs a web across my porch steps every day. I get the same weeds-truck door combo, too.

                In the house, it’s usually snakes. There, shotshell is your friend. Barely even scuffs linoleum and there’s a lot less mess than the traditional shovel method.

                Haven’t tried the shotshell on spiders. Yet.

          • DO you mean Brown Recluse spiders???

      • My personal exception are centipedes – we get the long flat ones that look like wriggling dust mops as they scooch around. Ugh. Satan’s Cavalry, those things. They suffer the death of the shoe… or the coffee-table book… or the flat-heavy-n-handy.

      • The Other Sean

        Bloodsuckers need to die. This includes not only mosquitoes, but fleas, ticks, etc. If it wants to feed on me, it needs to be dead.

  4. Interesting sort of mind that can simultaneously hold that meat is murder but that removing 90 percent of the human race is necessary for the health of the planet.
    Personally I say start with them first. Once they’re gone the rest of us can sort things out.
    And yes meat is murder, tasty delicious murder. So what was your point?

    • PETA nuts hate it when you point out that 99.95% of the cattle in the world are alive today because they are tasty. Facts really interfere with their belief system.

      Also, when dining with any vegetarian I always make it a point to order the club sandwich. Or as I like to call it, the ‘three dead animal special.’

      • Pounding the “Like” button……

      • Free-range Oyster

        If humans are aware of you, being tasty and/or cute become advantages for the survival and flourishing of your species.

      • Seafood-stuffed turducken — three vertebrates, a few invertebrates, and some plants all in one dish.

      • That does not seem to be appropriate for dealing with vegetarians.
        Vegans, on the other hand…

      • Depends on the vegetarian. I know a few who are “I just don’t like most forms of meat”. Those are fine, they don’t care if I order steak just as long as I’m not asking THEM to eat it.

        • Knew a girl over in St. Ives … “I’m a vegetarian”
          “Oh? What’s cooking for supper?”
          “Beef Pot Roast for Rafe, and a lentil/bean soup for both of us.”
          She is a bit like me with Coffee … how can something that smells so good, taste so bad?
          She would eat some fish, occasionally.

        • My son knows a former vegetarian who eats venison. Ever since she was knocked unconscious by one in a cross-country race. Figured if they’re going to hunt her, she can eat them. Don’t know if she’s graduated to other meat yet.

      • “Don’t you know an animal *died* to make those shoes?!”

        “I didn’t know there were any witnesses. Now I’ll have to kill you too.”

      • A friend of mine once set me up on a blind date with a vegetarian (without warning me). When the friend introduced us, we did a quick hug and I said “Oh, you’re a vegetarian”.

        The date replied “How did you know?!?”

        I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that I was able to smell it on her, and that I had the instant urge to bite.

        Also unfortunately, I had reservations at a swanky steak house. The friend had talked this woman up enough that I REALLY wanted to impress her… unfortunately, said friend didn’t think to relay the vegetarian bit. After a short conversation, where I had divulged my plans and offered to change them, the blind date said “I’ll just get a salad. I don’t care what YOU eat.” So, I took her at her word (big mistake) and off to the steak house we went.

        Halfway through dinner she had tears streaming down her face. Apparently, she had never seen someone eat a rare steak before and wasn’t prepared for the steak juice looking so much like blood. Who knew?

        Needless to say, I never saw her again after that night.

        • Had a vegan on our vanpool once – nice about it, but she was really sensitive to the smell of meat on other peoples’ breath.

    • If you’ve not read RAINBOW SIX by Tom Clancy I suggest you read it. You’re gonna love it.

    • The Other Sean

      Meat is murder, but disposing of the evidence is so much fun. 🙂

  5. In sufficiently provoking/needful circumstances I can kill, but I kill in the full knowledge I’m destroying something I can’t replace.

    And this is why I dislike the phrase “power of life and death” as it is only the power of death. A more complete rant thereon.

  6. “I have a “better off gone” list that is the size of three Oxford dictionaries and would take a magnifying glass to read, if it had physical existence.”
    Now, see, this is one of the joys of living in 21st century America. For just a few bucks you can buy a 1 TB portable hard drive these drive these days that will let you keep that list (even with a few megs left over) against the risk you’ll be too old to remember them all if you every win the lottery and form that private army you’ve been dreaming of.

  7. I find the company of any dog more pleasant than the company of most humans. There are some exceptions to this rule, I can count them on my fingers.

    This does not mean I think dogs are inherently more valuable than humans. Just that I’m a bit reclusive and hard to get along with. Perhaps cranky, even.

    People who really do believe that dogs are more valuable than humans are dangerous lunatics and desperately in need of treatment.

    Currently such nutcases are being employed for their useful-idiot capabilities by various Lefty factions. Just one more thing that the Lefties do which is despicable.

    • I don’t know…there are several humans where given the choice of save them or save my cat they’d lose.

      Not many and not as a rule but they exist.

    • There are many humans who have this… gift… for reminding me how pleasant is the company of dogs or horses. And then there are those…special.. people that manage to remind me that I’ve met some rather nice snakes and spiders, too.

  8. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    “The problem with thinking that people are just animals is that the powerful will treat the less powerful just like they’d treat animals.”

  9. I think that we’re all born egotists and self-centered. We believe that only we exist and no one else is real.
    Then as we start to grow up, we concede that our family is real, and then our friends.
    Sometime after puberty (and for some it is LONG after puberty), is when I think we concede that the opposite sex is real.

    And by ‘real’ I mean we realize that they are people, like us, with hopes and dreams and personalities. That we can emphasize with them, have actual meaningful relationships and conversations, debates and discussion. That we understand they can be different and accept that. That they are in fact, another ‘person’.

    I think those people who discount other people as being people, are stunted, they’re still children and immature. Because if you watch the way they act, it is very hard to distinguish their actions from that of a child’s, and their reasoning seems to be even more like that of a six year old’s. Everything is about ’emotions’, just like a child is.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but when I stop and think about it, that’s just how it seems.

    • Good point. May explain why it seems nations behave toward each other essentially like children do – “they/others/not-in-my-tribe-creatures” aren’t quite “people” like “we/us/our tribe members” are.

      • When I was a junior in high school, I had a history teacher who taught us that all international relations and interactions between nations were best described if you thought of them as 6 year old children.
        It’s scary how often he was right, versus being wrong…

    • Sometimes they’re just TOO DAMN opposite.

  10. Right now there is a school of — spit — psychology that believes that humans really have no free will, and just act in pre-determined genetic/environmental ways.

    Which leaves us to wonder what pre-determined genetic/environmental ways programmed them to develop such an absurd theory?

    Sounds more like “we can’t figure out how Free Will operates, therefore we deny its existence.”

    • It’s an irksome recurring theme of the Dilbert strips. Of course, it can be argued that this is accurate from a cartoon character’s point of view.

      OTOH, once one has denied there’s anything special about humanity, it’s really hard to advance beyond the “meat machine” idea.

    • Ah, but you see, if we do not have free will then nothing we do is our fault.
      It’s the perfect justification for any crime, any obscenity, any horror.
      And progressives love the idea to explain away their own excesses, but still will try to shame us for the slightest infraction of, not our own moral code, but their strawman interpretation of what they think we believe.

      • scott2harrison

        Is this the reason that most of the prayers I hear ministers make imply that God ignores free will and controls everyone and everything all the time.

        • A very large number of supposed churchmen these days are pink-underwear Marxists with their collars on backwards. Case in point, the entire United Church of Canada.

          One of the reasons I don’t go to church these days is I refuse to support dogmatically socialist enterprises. Another reason is the above-mentioned preference for canines over people. Then there’s the laziness, of course. 🙂

          • Go and keep score on the hypocrites is one suggestion along with “We’ll have the church decorated with Christmas garlands and Easter lilies for those who’ve never seen it without them.” 🙂

          • I really need to revise that difference between theological liberal and conservative and political liberal and conservative thing I once wrote. Someone can be quite the socialist and still be as theologically conservative as you can get.

      • Ah, but you see, if we do not have free will then nothing we do is our fault.

        Somehow as a WHAM (white, heterosexual, able-bodied male) I don’t think I’d get to use that excuse.

        Or is this another example of the long standing progtard inherent belief in the superiority of WHAMs (it is the logical conclusion of their arguments after all).

      • Patrick Chester

        Ah, but you see, if we do not have free will then nothing we do is our fault.

        *looks around for a chainsaw*

        I’m sure I was genetically programmed to do that.

        • From http://acculturated.com/horror-movies-conservative/

          … the horror genre presents a cold-eyed and fundamentally conservative view of human nature. This view is encapsulated in a scene from The Silence of the Lambs — not from the 1991 Oscar-winning film with Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, but from the 1988 novel by Thomas Harris.

          During her first visit to Hannibal Lecter’s dungeon-like prison cell, FBI trainee Clarice Starling asks the cannibalistic serial killer to fill out a questionnaire, explaining that his answers will help researchers understand “what happened to you.” Lecter’s response is like a thunderbolt of moral clarity:

          “Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences. You’ve given up good and evil for behaviorism, Officer Starling. You’ve got everybody in moral dignity pants — nothing is ever anybody’s fault. Look at me, Officer Starling. Can you stand to say I’m evil? Am I evil, Officer Starling?”

          “I think you’ve been destructive. For me it’s the same thing.”

          “Evil’s just destructive? Then storms are evil, if it’s that simple. And we have fire, and then there’s hail. Underwriters lump it all under ‘Acts of God.’”

          In short: The “nurturist” view of humanity gets you only so far.

          [SNIP]

          The best horror films challenge us to recognize the fragility of civilization and the hollowness of moral relativism; to appreciate the existence of evil as a permanent, ineradicable feature of our world; and to respect the need for decent, law-abiding people to remain vigilant and, yes, armed. Just as there are no atheists in a foxhole, there are no pacifists in a room with Michael Myers or Freddy Krueger.

      • … if we do not have free will then nothing we do is our fault …

        If we do not have free will then nothing we do is to our credit.

        Can’t have it both ways. If there is no free will there is no moral agency for either ill or good. You cannot be accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, antisemitism or any other moral failing, and those claiming moral virtue have no basis for so doing. Fighting for or against Hitler it is all the same: you’re just a puppet dancing on somebody’s strings.

    • all these years later, and even dropping god from their beliefs, we still find Calvinists, Arminians, etc arguing over nonsense.

    • I have actually heard some of them say that we can’t have Free Will because you can’t have a science studying things that are free.

      One notes they will tell you that personality is half genetic and half environment even though they’ve never managed to pin down a determining environmental factor.

      • This is why I always take care to wear shoes with good sturdy toes in order to protect my feet from the damage caused by my involuntary action of kicking them in the crotch.

        Not that I am capable of premeditated action. Wearing such shoes is simply a genetically programmed impulse.

        The baseball bat with which I strike them in the head is an environmental expression of my cro-magnon DNA.

        As to their primary point, their failure is in thinking that all things must be susceptible to scientific study. For example, stupidity seems to have a mass all its own.

  11. Which matters not. In the end, history will route around them and forget them, or relegate them to the bin of bad things inhabiting our collective nightmares.

    In the long run, you are correct, but it is hard not looking back on history and seeing that the same thing keeps repeating itself and in the case of Islam, refuses to die out. It hangs on like a particularly vicious virus. We were told to forget history in the 90s (I steadfastly refused – no fan of Clinton was I) and then were reminded of it in a very painful and shocking way on September 11, 2001. People are still in denial. I have to wonder if being in a state of denial isn’t a form of ‘animal-hood’ that removes any human thinking or reasoning. When it becomes apparent that there is no reasoning or thinking going on, the epithet of dehumanization isn’t far from the truth. When denial still has a firm hold on a culture, how does reason and personhood ever get through?

    I agree wholeheartedly, though: a culture that defends life is the one that survives. I just hate that now our thinking has turned from one of individualism to a collective. I have been shocked by today’s generation who have wholeheartedly embraced the idea that they are part of collective that one can only become human by being part of a collective. When we were thinking in terms of individuality, we at least had a chance to understand the value of life.

    • Being in denial is often more comfortable facing reality. When in denial, you can denounce your opponents’ stupidity and/or evil and/or selfishness and proclaim that if only the policies obvious to you were enacted everything would be Goodness and Light and Affordable Health Care. In reality there are many situations where there are No Good Choices. For example, we *can’t* provide everyone with all the health care that they think they need, and whether or not we can could supply all the health care that they “really need”, we *can’t* determine the bare affordable minimum of health care that people “really need.” We *can’t* even supply England’s level of health care at England’s prices: we’ve already bought the MRIs we need to supply American health care and they need to be paid for somehow; the doctors and nurses have already gone into debt for their education and that needs to be bad for somehow; we have semi-private rooms, not banks of wards, and that costs more money; etc. (“Path dependency” — we have the personnel and infrastructure for A and can’t easily get to B, whether or not B is preferable to A.)

      I actually think this shows most clearly wrt Israel — the reality is so painful that people have gone fullbore into the delusion that Israel has the power to fix the problems and is completely to blame.

      • scott2harrison

        Israel does have the power to fix the problem but refuses to use it because of “Never Again!”. I cannot but respect them for this.

        • No; Israel doesn’t have the power to fix the problem. It’s not just a matter of unwilling to pay the (suicidal) price; it’s a matter of *can’t* fix the problems. If it committed national suicide by taking in all the Palestinians, the new voters would vote in thieving con men and Jew-hating Islamic extremists the way the current PLO and Hamas areas have, and Israel would turn into the same sort of misogynistic gay-murdering poverty-stricken pesthole the rest of Middle East is. That’s not any sort of solution.

          It doesn’t even make it not the Jews’ fault, because I’m sure someone would find a way to blame the Jews for it all anyway.

          • I believe Scott was referring to another sort of solution.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              That’s my thought as well. Call it the “Final Solution”. [Frown]

            • My point being that not even that would make the Palestinians better off. If you don’t choose your own life over the deaths of your enemies, not even the deaths of all your current enemies will help you, for you’ll just find new enemies.

              • scott2harrison

                Elizabeth, this may well mean that you are a better person than I am in that you cannot even conceive of the solution that I am referring to.

                • I think Elizabeth was stating my position: If every Jew in Israel died tomorrow, and every Jew in the world died as well, not one of the middle East’s problems are the fault of Israel except in that Israel’s existence allows their neighbors to deny their problems and blame Israel instead. Israel’s non-existence would not alter one whit the corruption, abuses, inequalities and religious divisions among a single one of its neighbors.

                  As the saying goes, when a couple fight about money the fight is not about money. When the Middle East nations fight about Israel, the fight is not about Israel.

          • No; Israel doesn’t have the power to fix the problem. It’s not just a matter of unwilling to pay the (suicidal) price; it’s a matter of *can’t* fix the problems.

            For every Israeli killed by a Palestinian the Israeli government kills 100 Palestinians but only kills children or women of child bearing age.

            Within ten years the Palestinians would either have quick acts of terrorism or be a small, dying population of men and elderly women.

            In the end it would bring peace. If the peace would be “peace due to mutual respect and understanding” or “the peace of the grave” is an open question but it would be peace.

            This is “have the power to fix the problem but refuses to use it because of “Never Again”.

            • That would deal with the ones on the West Bank and the Gaza strip. It would not deal with the ones in Jordan or the reservoir of “Palestinians” kept in holding camps by other Arab countries.

              • It wouldn’t? Are you suggesting Israeli could not strike them as well?

                I’d point out the most recent example of such retribution on the Israeli watch took place in Lebanon.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                If the Israelis started that game, why would they leave *those* Palestinians alone?

                Especially if those Palestinians were involved in the attacks on Israel.

                For that matter, if the Israelis started that game, they’d likely hold the Arab governments responsible for what the Palestinians in their country did.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Oh, if the Israelis started that game, it would be a good time to confirm that they had nukes (demonstrating one in Arab territory).

                • Jordan *can’t* let Israel do that — 60% of the Jordanian population including the queen consider themselves Palestinian. For that matter, we have some Palestinian immigrants ourselves, and *we* can’t let Israel do that. The rest of the Middle East could stand aside if they wanted, I guess; the Palestinians are in camps as a reservoir of people to use against Israel instead of being assimilated into the rest of the country is because the government of those countries saw the Palestinians as potentially useful weapons, not as people, and by and large the populations agree. However, I don’t think they’d want to step aside; I think they’d welcome the excuse to attack Israel while it had problems at home and the Europeans are screaming at it abroad.

                  It also seems likely that Israel’s 20% Arab minority would expect to be the next to go and would lash out in anger fear.

                  • Then Jordan had better make sure that Israel never concludes that taking out Jordan would be cheaper than enduring.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    If you, as leader of your country, allow people living in your country to attack another country, that is an act of war by your country onto the other country.

                    As a historical point, there were Irish in the US who attempted violent actions against British ruled Canada. The American government worked to prevent their actions.

                    By the way, IIRC Jordan doesn’t allow attacks on Israel by the Palestinians living in Jordan. That’s the major reason that Israel has good relations with Jordan.

              • It will if you put a wall around the country, allow none of them legally, and kill all who come otherwise.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                In such case, if the governments of those countries won’t help liquidate ‘Palestinians’, then those governments and maybe even the non-Palestinian populations also need to go.

                That is how you pull up trouble by the roots.

                Anyone who doesn’t like pulling up trouble by the roots is racist against the Chinese. 🙂

          • It doesn’t even make it not the Jews’ fault, because I’m sure someone would find a way to blame the Jews for it all anyway.

            The Middle East’s dysfunctionality is no more the fault of the Jews than feminists’ problems are the fault of men.

        • The way to achieve peace in the Middle East is the three state solution. The State of Israel, the State of Palestine, and the state of war that exists between them. They need to fight until one side realizes that it cannot win. These roadmaps and cease-fires merely prolong the conflict and result in more deaths. But at least it keeps people employed with well-paid NGO’s and gets them the occasional Nobel. It is deeply immoral.

      • The Other Sean

        Being in de Nile is only comfortable until the crocodiles get you. 😛

    • I’m not a fan of the man in general or his economic theories, but it seems a good place to bring up Keynes bit: “In the long run, we are all dead.” When Keynes said that, he wasn’t actually trying to say that the long run wasn’t important, just pointing out that the short term matters too: if you’re being attacked by barbarians today, it’s not much comfort to say that in the long runs, the barbarians will end up extinct and regulated to nightmares.

    • a culture that defends life is the one that survives.

      The question seems to be whether a culture that defends Liberty can survive. It may be that such a culture is too volatile to sustain itself … or it may be that it is so successful that those who survive by bleeding others (e.g., aristos and nomenklatura) are forced to destroy that which they cannot control.

      • You’ve hit on why the “wrong side of history” argument bugs me.

        Nothing cited as examples of being on the wrong side of history is older than about 300 years. There are roughly 6000 years of history. 5% is not a good enough indicator.

        Long ago I started to doubt Rush Limbaugh’s claim that “the natural yearning of the human spirit is to be free”. Looking around me it seems the yearning to be in chains is at least as common.

        It could very easily be that the initial success of the US is a selection bias issue concentrating the “yearning to be free” minority in one place. Its failure could be the inability of the yearning to breed true.

    • I have been shocked by today’s generation who have wholeheartedly embraced the idea that they are part of collective that one can only become human by being part of a collective. When we were thinking in terms of individuality, we at least had a chance to understand the value of life.

      I don’t think it’s as whole-hearted as that, but I do think part of the problem is that “the collective” is the only group identity that’s promoted. The family is either exploded or totally discounted; you’re not supposed to be actively religious, and culture’s been pulled into the service of “the collective.”

  12. I know full well that I’m capable of taking a human life if the chips are down. Found out the hard way: got into an altercation with another individual that went south and turned physical. The other guy telegraphed that he was about to do something that would cause me severe, possibly grave, injury. I clearly remember making the decision to end him if he did so.

    Fortunately, cooler heads managed to pull us apart and cool the situation down before it went that far. And FWIW, I had trouble sleeping for the next couple of nights after that.

    And I also admit to having a “better off gone” list, though mine isn’t nearly as long as yours. Again, mostly politicians and propagandists – sorry, journalists – who I wouldn’t shed any tears if they dropped head but don’t actively want snuffed. Granted, there are a handful of individuals on the list who… well, I wouldn’t go out of my way to hunt them down, but if I passed them on the street and their teeth were on fire, I’d probably go looking for some gasoline. There’s only one person on the list who I’d go out of my way to end, but fortunately for all parties involved he kicked the bucket before I knew the full scope of his actions. I hope the drunk, degenerate sonovab*tch (with apologies to the drunk, degenerate sonovab*tches in the world) suffered terribly on the way out.

    That said, this practice of dehumanizing whole groups of people scares the ever-loving sh*t out of me. Granted, I think that if you act like a rabid dog, then you should be dealt with like a rabid dog – that is, dragged behind the woodshed and shot behind the ear with a .22, but I apply that judgement to individuals, not entire populations. That practice terrifies me because I’ve seen how declaring a population of people to be not-human or sub-human invariably ends. Not exactly first-hand: I was sixty-something years too late.

    I don’t know how to insert a link into a comment, but look up Mauthausen-Gusen on Wikipedia. I was there… actually I think it was six years ago today. Or tomorrow, but close enough. I still have nightmares about the place. Hundreds of thousands were slaughtered there, either worked to death, out-and-out murdered, or experimented upon. Because a handful of sick freaks who were in power at the time decided that they were “sub-human.”

    What I saw at Mauthausen-Gusen terrifies me even more because I see people out there who would cheerfully reactivate that camp, and those like it, and exterminate groups of people simply because they exist. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Homosexuals, Heterosexuals, Conservatives, Liberals, Whites, Blacks, you name a group, and there’s somebody out there who’d happily wipe that group out because they’ve decided that those people aren’t actually human beings and/or need to be exterminated “for the greater good.”

    Let me end my rant with this comment: I don’t care what the target group is. I don’t care who the perpetrators are. I will fight to the end to keep Mauthausen-Gusens from appearing here in the USA. And I don’t mean post long screeds on other people’s blogs: I mean that I will fight to my last bullet, my last blade, and my last breath.

    • Eamon J. Cole

      You won’t stand alone.

    • To insert a link, either flat-out cut and paste like this:
      http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/mauthtoc.html

      or use use pointy-brackets instead of square and write: [a href=”URL HERE”]LINK WORDS HERE[/a]

    • When the Daughtorial Unit was still young and learning to generalize the family established a principle: it is a bad idea to hate people wholesale, especially as you will find more than ample numbers of them willing to give you cause to hate them retail.

    • Those who have seen death and know what it means to take a life do not speak lightly of it. Life is precious. Even annoying, aggravating, teeth-grinding, cuss-making life. Those are somebody’s sons and daughters. Most of them, they’ve had or have people in their life that love them, in spite of the spite, the hate, the ugliness. We’re a bit bent that way, we humans.

      It’s also why folks like us decry abortion for convenience, but carry a gun. Respect for life does not mean we’re pacifists- there are certain things we will not tolerate. We will not become the monsters that we fight against, though the battle scars many a soul. We *will* stand for what is right and good. Because the utterly unique, crazy, and wonderful idea that is our culture needs to be defended.

      Hate is not a part of that culture, despite what some folks on the other side of the political aisle might think and say. We might get mightily annoyed by all the pesky little bites they are taking out of our freedoms- the silly little gender games, the sex toys in class, the manufactured offense/hysteria/rage cycle, the race baiting… But when we respond, it is not out of “hate,” but more often a righteous indignation.

      Our kind of folk might invite you to church, but damned if we’ll tell you how you shall believe- and if you deny it, you’re lower than snake’s bellies. We might might feed you if you show up hungry at work with no way to buy lunch, but ain’t no way, no how that we’d pony up for high dollar organic vegan soy lattes or some such nonsense. Beggars can’t be choosers. We’d much prefer to live and let live, so long as the “let live” ain’t trying to force us into something we just won’t do, we should both be alright.

      What concerns me about the other side is that they don’t have these limits. Every tiny, microscopic detail is worthy of wrath. Where we’d be fine with folks putting out dozens of solar panels, biking to work instead of driving (where you can, that is), and eating veggies bought from worm, err, organic farms… They want to *force* us into compliance. Make badthink *illegal.* Legislate morality, in other words. Lord, I remember when that was a pejorative that was chiefly flung at Christians.

      That sort of getting highly upset at the drop of a hat can’t be healthy. It’s not even practical. The world, in general, is a pretty offensive place (alarm clocks. ’nuff said). I can indeed see the sort of person who graduated from a college where a guy can have his life ruined at the drop of a hat whenever his girl wants, then going out with that attitude into the world (which gives zero s#!+’s about any one person great or small), getting burned, and deciding to take that war on men to the next level. Or any of the other outrage flavors we all know too well by now.

      This is why we take the route of Dr. King and resist, loudly and with great fervor- but our hands do not curl into fists, fists that fill with a rock, a knife, or a field expedient cosh, that fly at our neighbors, at each other, at the police. That is why we will win, in the end. Not because our hearts are pure, or because we have the heavier artillery (and thus Himself on our side), but because they *can’t* win. All of their plots, their stratagems, they all end up far, far from where they want to think they’ll be. The camps. The wall.

      Whereas we-
      We build.

      *kicks soap box to the side so no one else trips over it, wanders off, mutters about stars, dragons, ketchup, and hobbits…*

      • Try building anything without clearing the ground of debris, brush, and killing the poisonous snakes. Let me know how that works out.

        And when a group of people declares me to be their enemy first, I have no problems taking them at their word.

      • A lot can be characterized in the phrase “everybody has a right to their own ridiculous opinion” – which implies among other things that I accept that my opinion may seem as ridiculous to you as yours does to me, and that each other person has the same fundamental rights, including agency, as I do.
        Some progressives might even agree with this in principle; but their group dynamics don’t encourage acting like they do.

  13. ‘But if you say that you never saw two brothers fight (like Cain and Abel, my boys were at one time) and you also probably don’t know how much worse it can get.’

    This, I needed to hear today. Well, this year. The ‘at one time’ part. Excuse me, my boys are trying to re-enact Bible stories again. (If they keep this up, the temptation to force them to dress the part may become overwhelming by next Hallowe’en!) Apparently ‘brotherly love’ really means ‘Only we are allowed to beat each other up’.

    • Yes, they will actually defend each other. And yes, it gets much better. Mine are on the way to being good friends, not that either of them will admit it. 😉

      • THAT IS A BASELESS LIE! It is merely the internalization and actualization of keeping one’s friends close and one’s enemies closer!!! Trust me, I have two older brothers. It is extremely important to keep your enemies brothers very close…
        😉

        • So long as they all survive with all permanent teeth and other body parts intact, I’m okay with that.

        • From first hand observation I agree with Sarah. This is based on my observations of my two sons and daughter.

  14. Now you might say in the wars intra-Christians and in the way society treated the poor and powerless that thought was more often honored in the breach. But if you say that you never saw two brothers fight (like Cain and Abel, my boys were at one time) and you also probably don’t know how much worse it can get.

    This.

    That line about “I felt bad I had no shoes until I met a man with no feet”? Sorta like that, but more like “it’s bad to deny someone shoes– but realize that there are worse things, like cutting off his feet, and don’t group all bad into horrific.”

    It’s important to not dismiss wrongs because they’re small, sure, but it’s also important to not kill gratitude by taking every wrong– especially ones that were failures to go far enough– as a theft of a thing you are entitled to.

  15. “I could preen over it, but it would be like feminists going to war against the word “too” (I swear. Early and often.)”

    For anyone curious about what’s being talked about here:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/426116/word-too-sexist-huffington-post-article

    For those brave enough to want to see the original in all its stupidity, there’s a link in the NR article, but I believe these things are much safer read through Ms. Timpf’s snark filter.

  16. “Every word for “foreigner” or “stranger” once upon a time meant “not human.” ”

    You mean like “alien”? 😉

    • Or “Welsh” which is Saxon for foreigner.

      Just think about that one for a while…a proud Welshman is naming himself foreigner in the lands of his ancestors via the word used by those who took said lands.

    • When I was around 10 years old, there was an evening program on BBC called something like, “Three After Six,” in which three commentators would discuss one of the major news stories.

      I was very disappointed in their discussion of the “alien problem,” SF-obsessed child that I was.

      • In 1976 I’d wanted to hear more of the “Vikings news,” think of the spacecraft sent to Mars. So disappointing to find it was only some ball game or suchlike.

    • The Other Sean

      Or “Progressive.” 🙂

  17. c4c

  18. I wish there was a way I could thumbs-up every comment on here…

    • On our hockey board, a certain number of “recs” turns the comment green… so (being hockey fans) we will occasionally remark that we’re “makin’ it look GREEEEEN” when the thread starts filling with highly-recommended comments.

      This would be quite the green thread.

  19. sanfordbegley

    The reason not to eat humans? Prions. As far as those better off dead? well the list is long, mine may be longer than yours by several volumes. They are safe from me ever acting on such things mostly because society protects them. If they manage to do as they wish and break society? Then nothing but power will protect them. They may have a lot of power by then. Since my name is Legion they really don’t have enough.

  20. It at least takes on the hue of that beautiful vision of paradise where the lion and the lamb lie down together.

    And it doesn’t matter how often you explain to them that only the lion would get any sleep.

    Seriously, though, once your adversary has pronounced you stupid, evil, or both, he will almost automatically follow by declaring you to have no rights. Resisting the urge to reciprocate is among the most difficult of all human undertakings. In a sense, that need to put up your dukes and holler “Bring it, clown” is hard-wired into us. Those that lacked it a few dozen millennia ago failed to reproduce.

    • Yep. Hence Thomas More’s speech to Roper about how he gives even the Devil the cover of law – for his own safety’s sake. It’s meant to formalize justice not just to protect the innocent, but also (on some level) the wicked: for one thing, they know what to expect if they prey on others; for another, it restrains those who would carry every dispute to blows and beyond.

      But it works in reverse as well. There are a lot of very foolish folk who talk as if they will have their way of the country once they succeed in tearing down enough of the law, so “those people” can be dealt with properly. They have no idea that once they’re done, and the country turns round on them, they will have nowhere to hide.

      • The Other Sean

        That is the most common result. But sometimes a more-limited disruption of the governmental structure and/or limited killings can be quite effective. See Turkish military coups, and Augusto Pinochet, for examples from two different continents. Note that I’m not advocating for such, just noting that sometimes a bit of force works out well. Most times it does not, and sets a bad precedent.

        • I wonder how many revolutions aimed at being like Pinochet and wound up being like France in 1789.

          Force, once unleashed, is hard to get into the bottle.

          • The Other Sean

            The former Eastern Bloc has experienced a number of revolutions since the fall of the Soviet Union. Thankfully, most have been closer to the Turkish or Argentine situations – more of an enforced change in leadership – than the French example of actual revolution.

    • reddragonhawk

      I was thinking about this thing last night while fighting to go to sleep. My Facespacething is pretty much all coworkers (I use it primarily for work actually) and they are primarily lefties. Every other post is about how if you aren’t worshiping Bernie Sanders you don’t care about the poor, or linking enthusiastically to some hit piece about how evil all the GOP candidates are, when of course all the Dem candidates are good hearted people. They regularly post about how they wish Trump or Carson would die. Now I’m not a Trump supporter, but I am flabbergasted that they think it’s ok to wish for his death just because he says things they don’t agree with. Good lord.

  21. It is rare these days that a political candidate says something noteworthy for its intelligence, and as Dr. Carson’s remarks address the ways in which we deny the humanity of those with whom we disagree, I present them here:

    I believe that our Constitution protects everybody, regardless of their sexual or orientation. I also believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. There is no reason why you can’t be perfectly fair to the gay community. They shouldn’t automatically assume because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman that you are a homophobe. This is one of the myths that the left perpetrates on our society. This is how they frighten people and get people to shut up. Thats what the PC culture is all about and it’s destroying our nation. The fact of the matter is, we the American people, are not each other’s enemy. It is people who are trying to divide us are our enemies and we need to make that very clear to everybody.

    It was once common on the Left to hear them deplore such terminology as “Gooks,” Wogs,” “Krauts,” and “Nips” as necessary dehumanization in order to more easily kill our foes. That they don’t even listen to themselves is evidenced by the eagerness to deny the humanity of those who don’t fall in step.

  22. Christopher M. Chupik

    Fundamentalist Veganism: the most annoying of all religions.

  23. I understand that political violence is a Very Not Good Thing™, but that’s not going to keep me from lamenting that there are so many lampposts that are missing their tyrant.

    • scott2harrison

      It is my belief that the Constitution is a contract between the people and the Government employees. They follow it and we allow them to exist. At this point the only thing that is protecting them is that a mass purge would destroy what is left of the Constitution.

      • I prefer the formulation “The document you are ignoring is the only thing that says I have to listen to what you say.”

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        There were two broad sentiments that cooperated in the revolt against England and the creation of the United States. These were the deal and the mob.

        The deal type considers their due to be what they have agreed on with the other party.

        The mob type considers whatever they can convince enough people to grant their due.

        Today they are in conflict.

        The deal type thinks cheating voids the agreement, and also nullifies any incentive to coexist or conclude a new deal.

        The mob type thinks resisting what enough people want is a profound breach of trust.

      • Please note that the vast majority of Government employees are also part of “the people.”

        An awful lot of folks miss that; the scary thing is that I think some of them are in the Executive branch.

        • Then they can resign and avoid the issue. The fact that the IRS has any employees left after l’affaire Lerner shows that “We the People” don’t work at the IRS.

          • Actually, the term I should have used is TWANLOC: Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen. Sam Adams recognized that just as people can choose to be Americans, they can also choose not to be.

          • The word is “quit,” not “resign.” Resign implies it’s something besides a job– a membership, that it implies an allegiance to the bureaucrat that happens to be in power.

            Oh yes, because THAT will totally fix things– resigning because some of the thugs who just got into power act like thugs.

            That’ll teach ’em not to act like thugs! We’ll do the ideological purging FOR them, so they can abuse in peace, without any of these annoying whistle blowers.

            Nevermind the whole issue of actually feeding your family.

            We’ve got to sign on to the idea that the Left tries to push, that being employed means signing your allegiance over to whoever you’re working for.

            F that. I didn’t have any truck with it when they tried that line when I was in the military (nevermind that enlisted can’t resign) and I’m not going to support it with the far less glorious, but still needed, IRS.

            • No, resign is the exact word, because they are supposed to have an allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, and as long as they stay, they are enabling the treasonous to break it.

              • If you actually believe that the entire IRS in all its functions is so utterly broken that it constitutes active treason, then you really should be doing something about it yourself, not insisting that other people quit their jobs.

                Up until you do, I’m putting that view in the same round-file as the folks who claim we’re in a tyranny. Loudly. At Starbucks, or on message boards.

                • Did I use the word “entire”? No, it’s the usual breakdown between the actively criminal and the passively enabling.

                  And I’ve heard your “argument” from Leftists before: fix it all or shut up.

                  • YOU are the one who claimed working there is treasonous.

                    And I’ve heard your “argument” from Leftists before: fix it all or shut up.

                    That is not my argument. My argument is that of the “climate deniers”: I’ll take your claim seriously after you start acting like you take it seriously.

            • These people work for US, or are supposed to; the fact that the system has broken down enough to keep us from firing them legally not withstanding.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                The problem is that the people who would be willing to “resign or quit” might be the ones that we want on the Job.

                While the people who we don’t want on the Job won’t “resign or quit”.

                • Exactly; the ones who would resign would be the ones who take a vital interest in the behavior & character of both themselves and those they associate with. Those who would not resign would be predominately those who have decided all such considerations are “above their pay grade” – the statist, collectivist, pure follower folks.
                  And so, “resign to avoid the issue” just makes it worse.

  24. One of the signs of pathology in a society (or some segment of it) is the dehumanization of the weakest and most defenseless members. When those who preach dehumanization are given privileged positions in education or the media in order to facilitate the spread of their toxic ideologies, that society is well along on the road to barbarism.

  25. I think the root of the “usefullness to society” problem is that it sees people as a means to accomplish things (the purposes of someone else, a governing class, etc), not as ends in and of themselves.

    Useful to whom? Valuable, meaningful, etc to whom? These things need qualification. These statements make no sense without it – an uninhabited universe isn’t meaningful to anyone, regardless of whatever else is in it.

    Realizing that everyone has their own things that they value, their own lives, and their own will should most of the way towards banishing the rancid utilitarian philosophies we are afflicted with.

    There is one more thing that is needed though: Realizing that these other people are their own agents, you also have to care. Unfortunately, there is a lot of human history where people know full well they are violating the wills of others, and do it anyway because they can and because predation/enslavement will benefit them (sort of, momentarily).

  26. Christopher M. Chupik

    I predict some moron will skim Sarah’s post and accuse her of promoting genocide against those she disagrees with.

      • Hey, Van Halen’s “5150” album wasn’t that bad, to merit that association. 😛

        (Personally, I may joke about “Van Hagar”, but it’s all good to me regardless who’s the lead singer.)

        • Free-range Oyster

          Nah, it fits: 5150 is the California statute under which a person may be hospitalized against their will if they pose an immediate danger to themselves or others.

          • That statute has been superseded in specific instances when a person wants a doctor to assassinate him/her/zim/zer/it/etc.

            The statute still applies if the person chooses to act on his* own behalf, engage other (non-physicians) to do the deed or enlist a police officer’s (unwitting) assistance. It probably represents a payoff to the California Medical Association.

            *his/her/zis/zer/its/yadda-yadda

  27. I’m going to add a caveat to your premise (which I agree with wholeheartedly): a community’s ability to view others as equally human correlates directly to that community’s sense of safety. Best current examples: eastern European countries that are building fences …

    • You’re conflating viewing others as humans and feeling a kinship-obligation to them.

      I think that Mexican illegal immigrants are fully human. I also think that the majority of them – the ones not personally engaged in violence and drug smuggling – are doing nothing wrong. They’re breaking the laws of a foreign country, often while in extremis, in order to help their own family.

      However, just because someone wants to come to the United States doesn’t give us an obligation to let them in. Our country’s ability to assimilate people is limited, and having more immigrants than we can assimilate harms us — and immigrants who have demonstrated a willingness to ignore our laws are going to be harder to assimilate. Furthermore, my country’s obligation to Mexican illegal immigrants is less than its obligation to our own inner-city poor whose those Mexican illegal immigrants outcompete for jobs, and who are thereby harmed more than the population at large. Thus, while most illegal immigrants are doing nothing wrong, WE are doing something wrong by permitting them to come here illegally. It is a breach of trust with our own jobless, especially those jobless lacking in elementary skills such as “show up on time.”

      And that’s the United States and the Mexicans. The Eastern European countries are poorer, dealing with proportionally more people, not based on a culture of assimilating immigrants, and dealing with an class of immigrants which averages harder-to-assimilate and more hostile class than the Mexicans.

      • Meh .. deliberately breaking the laws of a foreign country IS “doing something wrong”. In their personal calculus, it may not be AS wrong as failing to help your own family, agreed.
        But there is a need for the illegally resident alien to accept that they did do something wrong, and may owe some paying-of-dues to their new country of residence as a result.
        Accepting responsibility, and paying penalty for committing a violation, is a minimum necessary condition for moral and psychological assimilation, I think.

  28. scott2harrison

    Something that struck me this morning: There is a useful distinction to be made between opponents and enemies. An opponent opposes you, but respects your rights and usually does not attempt to harm you. An enemy trys to harm you and often does not respect your rights especially your right to be left alone. Both sorts of people are human, but there is not obligation to respect the rights of an enemy, in extreme cases even the right to live.

    I suspect that when you refer to the log in your own eye, you are referring to a tendancy to regard enemies as enemies, rather than seeing them as actually not human.

  29. “who is the hero and who the villain”

    That made me think of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.