Interesting Times – Katie Jones

    Interesting Times – Katie Jones

Some days I would really like to kick whomever originated the phrase, “May you live in interesting times.” I would much prefer that I lived in far less interesting times than today. I am looking out at a world that stands on the brink of yet another world war, trying to suss out who all the players are. The economy of the world is fragile at best, and every developed nation is drowning in debt. Europe is in the process of finding out what happens when you commit cultural suicide by inviting in too many immigrants who can’t or won’t assimilate. America is trying to do the same thing. Russia has one of the only strong leaders on the world stage. The west has too long painted itself as the villain in the mind of her young. Today, students learn to hate their cultural identity if they come from a western country. Our leaders make sounds about patriotism, and talk about multiculturism as an ideal in the same breath. The problem is that you can’t have conflicting cultures without conflict. It’s an immutable part of human nature to indulge in tribalism, and separate other people into “them” and “us”.

This mostly worked in America, because we’re large and spread out. Every region has a culture of its own, and it’s mostly friendly rivalries (North vs. South, Cubs vs Cardinals, soda vs pop, etc.). There are even enclaves of various other cultures within the various cities and towns, where immigrants have settled and hold on to parts of their previous country while they assimilate in the larger culture around them. When I hear people say Americans are uncultured, I really have to resist the urge to laugh in their faces. I can drive an hour from my house and get authentic Bosnian, Indian, Mexican, Korean, and Chinese food made by people who came from the countries in question who came here for more opportunities, freedom, or safety from some conflict. You can never travel outside the country and experience little bits of the world here, as well as some things that are uniquely American, and yet belong to subcultures. (Real Cajun cooking is an experience that every human being should have at least once.)

The problem comes in when people are not encouraged to become a part of the fabric of their new country’s culture rather than apart from it. Assimilation has become a dirty word, and some would have us believe that it is wrong to demand that those who wish to settle in a new country learn the dominant language and respect the local customs. France is paying for their experiment with this in the form of “no go zones” where the police don’t enforce the laws, and native French are attacked on the streets on a regular basis. They paid dearly in the form of a terrorist attack that killed over a hundred people in the heart of France. The issue isn’t Islam, really. The issue is taking in more people than can assimilate too quickly, and allowing them to take over an area to the point that local culture is completely overthrown.

This is made worse when the people taken in come from a culture that is vastly different. Every single area of Europe that has allowed a large enclave of Muslims from the Middle East to settle has seen an increase in sexual assaults and violence. England had an entire ring of these people passing around British children for sexual abuse. The culture of sexual independence in the western world apparently leads these immigrants to believe that it’s perfectly okay to force themselves on women. They find nothing wrong with taking children to their beds, so why should we? Keep in mind; this is a question of culture. In the culture they came from, women are little more than chattel. How can they be expected to conform to the local standards on respecting a woman if they aren’t expected to conform to any other part of the culture? This is the dark side of the shiny ideas about multiculturism. It’s also the danger that comes of western countries teaching their young that they are villains. If western society, which has lifted the station of man to heights never before seen, is the villain, than those who come from a society that hasn’t advanced since the Bronze Age must be misunderstood angels. Maybe we just need to concede more of our standards to appease them. Maybe we need to just accept that they’re different from us, even while they brutalize our women and children. Just because that hasn’t worked out for the survival of any culture ever is no reason not to try it again!

The European populace has had enough, it seems. Demonstrations are happening all over Europe. Groups meant to “protect” the native cultures of the various countries are popping up all over. Some of these groups are barely disguised hate groups. Some are people trying to gain protection from the hostile immigrants. They are all tapping into the rage of the people who have to live in these environments, and it’s only a matter of time before violence on a larger scale breaks out. This is a situation that has never worked out well in Europe, and I fear genocide of one type or another will come of it. At the same time all of this insanity is happening there, our president want to bring in 10,000 immigrants (which is a tiny number all told), with the full knowledge that we can’t properly vet these people. Well over half of the refugees are young men. Syrian passports are easily available on the black market, and we don’t have the best of luck recently in encouraging people to assimilate into American culture. (Pressed 1 for English, lately?) Interesting times, indeed.

122 responses to “Interesting Times – Katie Jones

  1. c4c

  2. IIRC, the phrase, “May you live in interesting times” is referred to as the Chinese Curse.

    • That is always how I have understood it, but no one else has heard of it that way

      • This is true: it is how I have always heard it, and I am certainly no one else.

        • I have also heard of it by that term, and I am certain that I’m nobody. My wife and kids occasionally disagree, though.

          • /unlurk Way back when (pre-internet) I heard its origin attributed to Eric Frank Russell, and some poking today around led me to his story U-Turn published in Astounding 4/1950. But amongst the poking around I also found in Wiki references to similar phrases from the Brits claiming Chinese origin back to the 1930s.

            My worry about the Muslims is what our hostess described last week ( think) with the example of the Irish Americans supporting the IRA. That post… The people will sort of assimilate but be aware they aren’t being proper [whatever category] and so quietly support nefarious deeds by those who are proper [category].

            /relurk

      • I’ve never heard anyone using it in any other sense.

      • Meredith Dixon

        I have often heard, read and used the phrase, and only twice (counting this blog post) have I seen it used as anything other than a curse. The other time, I believe, was in a Parade Sunday Supplement several decades ago.

        Don’t forget the other half of it, too: “… and come to the attention of important people.”

        • If you think that Katie Jones was not using the phrase as a curse, you read her article very differently than I did. 🙂

        • The full version I heard was: ‘May you live in interesting times, attract the attention of important people and get exactly what you want.’ Which kind of covers all the bases.

          • Nah, get exactly what you want is good, because if you find any flaws after you get it, you will exactly want the flaws fixed.

          • OMG, three curses in one. I read that last bit as being in the same vein as “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it, and it won’t be what you thought it was.”

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              “Getting exactly what you deserve” can be interesting when you think about it. [Smile]

              • There’s a reason a lot of invocations to certain deities include words to the effect of “Grant us Your mercy and not what we deserve from You.”

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  I think C. S. Lewis talked about children wanting “Justice” but adults want “Mercy” because they know what “Justice” would be if they received Justice.

                  • For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy. — G.K. Chesterton

                • “I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?’ So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.”

                  – Marcus Cole

      • Catticus Finch

        I heard that it was a Yiddish curse.

      • Heh. Guess I’m in good company online. Meatspace seems hit or miss

      • I also have heard of it in this manner.

      • I think I always heard of it that way….

      • Almost all my relatives are Chinese (ABC, mostly), and the phrase is very familiar to them.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      The funny thing is that nobody can find evidence that it is a “Chinese Curse” but it fits my understanding of Imperial China. [Wink]

      • Such memes spread even before the Internet, but not quite as fast.

        • It didn’t originate as an internet thing, as I first heard it back before the internet. And it was stated to be a “Chinese curse” even back then.

          It’s an interesting cultural thing. In the US, with our idealistic optimism, we usually look at boredom as the great enemy of our happiness. In more cynical countries, boredom is counted as a good thing. It means that no one is trying to screw you over.

          • “Dull is fine. I like dull. I could use a lot more dull in my life.” — button, found in USA, and often found very fun

          • I didn’t mean it as an Internet meme, but a pre-Internet one. The term meme is from Richard Dawkins from the 70’s. Even then we had them, but with the Internet, their spread got fast enough for everyone to notice them easily.

            Another Chinese myth, if you will; I was on a cruise and our maitre d, a sweet girl from Ukraine, said something and I frowned. I told her that in America, we have a superstition that when a new Chinese restaurant opens up, they use the feral cats instead of chicken. She just laughed and said that they have the same myth in the Ukraine, so it must be true!

            • I was told long ago that in Oakland, whole rabbit must be sold with the feet intact lest “roof rabbit” be substituted.

      • I wonder if it comes from the symbol (Ideograph? Pictograph?) for “crisis” and “opportunity” being the same in Chinese?

    • IIRC, the phrase, “May you live in interesting times” is referred to as the Chinese Curse.

      I too have heard that, but none of my Chinese acquaintances have ever heard of it. Go figure.

      • I’ve read it as Chinese, Arabic, and Irish. Although “may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits” is probably correctly attributed to the Arabs.

      • Over the years, I’ve heard it both as Chinese and Yiddish/Hebrew.

        • It doesn’t roll off the tongue nicely in either Yiddish or Hebrew, so I rather doubt those were the source.

          • I’ve also heard it would be a loose translation from Chinese too (not that I know anything of any of those languages)
            It’ll forever be one of those things no one ever really knows where it comes from.

            • Reality Observer

              Best reference I’ve seen is a Chinese aphorism, not a curse. I don’t have the original place I saw it in the bookmarks, dang it, but just found it again on Grammar Phobia.

              The closes you get is “寧為太平犬,不做亂世人” – which, pedantically translated, apparently means “It’s better to be a dog in a peaceful time than be a man in a chaotic period.”

              Bit too inscrutable for me… I’d rather be a man either way, and a dog can get along quite well in a chaotic period, too…

              • The Other Sean

                I don’t think you’re barking up the wrong tree, but I must note that a chaotic period may be ruff on a dog, too.

    • Jared Anjewierden

      First time I ever heard that curse it was uttered by the dying Mandrissa in a Mech Commander video game, but she was explicitly decended from the ruling class of China. (Just a thousand years or so removed)

      Every time since then I’ve seen it it has been linked with China.

    • I have heard things were “Interesting… in the Chinese sense” a few times when things went horribly wrong. Usually said by programmer wondering what the %&#$^ just happened – and how. Or dealing with some allegedly new ‘brilliant idea’ from something calling itself management.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Nod. I’ll often put interesting in quotes when I’m meaning an “oh sh*t situation”. [Smile]

        • “‘Fascinating’ is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I think ‘interesting’ would suffice.”
          – Spock, The Squire of Gothos

    • That’s what I know it by.

  3. A large part of the problem is that the people pushing multiculturalism don’t have to live down in it — it isn’t their children being groomed, it isn’t their neighborhoods having to get accustomed to residents living fourteen to a house built for five.

    In just the same way, the people advocating for protection of endangered prairie mice aren’t forced to accommodate the restrictions imposed to protect the little rodents, nor are advocates of widening the breadth of national wilderness areas forced to figure how to scrape out livings from what is left available (a surprising number of people do not see the hospitality industry, catering to the eco-tourism of their “betters” as a desirable career path — and that is only available in those areas the Coasters deign to visit, unlike the “pristine wilderness” of Northern Alaska.)

    The Administrative State has turned Western Civilization into government by the administrators, of the administrators and for the administrators, with the “peasants” being told to shut their yobs, do what they’re told and show some appreciation for the inconvenience our backwardness causes our “betters.”

    Merkel is finding herself about to saddle the whirlwind, Hollande clearly understands l’histoire de la révolution, and here in America President Neener staggers on toward the abyss.

    • Fortunately, to quote Adam Smith, there’s a lot of ruin in a nation, and particularly one like ours.
      That having been said, administrators do occasionally have a rough time of it, because some people refuse to admit that said administrators are actually human. On the other hand, those administrators who set themselves up as little tin gods–and they are legion (said with full knowledge of connotation)–don’t make it easier on the ones who actually want to do their nominal job. The gripping hand, however, is that the nominal job of bureaucrats–to act in the interest of the public–is not the job their superiors want them to do, due to the Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

    • I am always astonished at the verb ‘groom’ as a euphemism for what is really happening. You groom your horse. That is good. The man at the wedding is a groom. That is good. We groom little girls into prostitution. Where the F did that come from?

      • It comes from the idea that you groom your proteges, making them look good enough to show the world their greatness.

        • Yes, and proteges are good. I just find it amazing to use if for such a vile purpose. Sex-enslaving might not be as polite, but it is certainly closer to the truth.

          • I believe it is to distinguish it from “abduct her at gun point and lock her in the brothel.”

            Also to describe their behavior, often quite extensive, before they complete it.

          • Grooming is always a good thing for the person doing the grooming. That’s why their doing it. And if they have real affection toward the target of the grooming, then it’s also a good thing for the target.

            But if they don’t…

            I think I’ve occasionally heard the term used in the context of a con man preparing the target of a long term con.

      • In the sense of “to prepare a candidate” it’s been around since the late 1800s. Apparently from the horse style grooming to the ‘tidying up’ sense that people refer to to preparing a candidate.

        I don’t have OED access since graduating many moons ago but this site is usually reliable (and has thus far confirmed with deeper fact checking. So there’s the salt): http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=groom&allowed_in_frame=0

        • You rang? According to the O.E.D., the word groom, as a verb, does not appear until the 19th century.

          Groom originally appeared in texts in 1225 A.D. and meant a manchild. By the 1300s it had come to mean any male person, particularly in a pastoral setting. Somewhere around the same time (that is, I see a citation for 1297) it begins to mean a male servant or servingman. As it happens, contextually speaking, the kind of serving man who takes care of horses (meaning a groom of a horse) was just one kind of groom. The excliusive meaning didn’t really take hold until the 1600s.

          The verb form to groom (as of a horse or some other useful livestock) seems to have appeared shortly after (if I am a carpenter, I can do carpentry; if a groom, grooming.

          The idea that it’s a generally good thing, when applied to humans instead of cattle, is not one that would have occurred to most Westerners.

    • I have counted myself unexpectedly fortunate for having wound up living and making my home in Texas, where — by fortunate coincidence — the State of Texas upon becoming a US state kept hold of almost every shred of public lands, instead of allowing the US Fed-Gov to take them over. Most of our wilderness areas and extensive parks are state parks. We cannot be run roughshod over by the BLM or the US Forest Service, and have our livings in timber, fishing, oil fracking or ranching destroyed for the purpose of protecting the spotted owl or the prairie chicken, or the delta smelt.

      • Early Californians noted the periodic cycle of drought common to their state and built massive water reservoirs in response. Modern Californians agonized over the unnaturalness of such projects and clamored to have them torn down and the land returned to its original pristine nature.
        I watch with a great deal of satisfaction as current Californians are experiencing what Heinlein referred to as “bad luck.”

        • While out in LA with a native Californian on business, she kept exclaiming about the ‘golden hills’. I told her they were not gold, they were dead vegetation. There was nothing golden involved, just dead. In Virginia, the hills are green in the summer.
          I mean why do they think the Romans built aqueducts? Climatically, Italy is similar to California. I believe semi-arid is used.

        • Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown was a great builder of infrastructure. His son, Governor Moonbeam worked very hard to undo what he considered his father’s environmental errors.

      • As I recall from living there for a short while, State ownership of public came in with the Republic of Texas, but the preasent lack of vast tracts of Federal land in Texas was a post-war (of Nawthrun Aggressun 🙂 ) tactic by Texans to avoid the US Ordered forfeiture of State lands in former Confederate States to the Federal govt.
        The then Texas Governor ordered count clerks to seat / assign private ownership of all land in their counties to private persons, and what land could not be seated, as no one then wanted it, were given to City, County and State schools, and much of West Texas was given as a land grant to the University of Texas.
        Land of no particular value until they found the oil 🙂
        JPD

  4. Yes, but …
    The problem, as you stated, is one of assimilation. What you carefully tiptoed around is the fact the Islam is inassimilable. Islam and any other religious culture mix like oil and water, or more appropriately kerosene and a lit match. They get along like a house afire – there may be no survivors.

    In the face of ”progressive” (international socialist) governments transparently seeking to elect a new populace, the only rational response is to form groups to protect yourselves from the government and those brought into replace you. Hate and violence are rational when you and yours are being eliminated.

    A metaphor that might work to get the progressives attention is one of Management bringing in a bunch of Scabs to replace the strikiñg Workers. Have you ever seen what happens to the Scabs, their cars, homes, and families? If things get bad enough, the unions eventually decide to teach the bosses a lesson, too. And this is generally considered to be normal, acceptable behavior.

    A war of cultures is still a war. It only ends in victory for one side, or mutual exhaustion resulting in separation of the two sides along the existing battle lines. This allows both sides to fool themselves that they would have won, if only … And that generally leads to the next war a generation or three later.

    Our choices are simple. Surrender or fight. Surrendering is easy, and the pain and blood will be deferred to some future day. Fighting is harder. We start with words – facts and propaganda to counter their lies and propaganda. We continue with electing new leaders – those who will oppose the evil progressives’ attempts to elect a new populace. But remember – historically, this almost always ends in blood. The migrants will oppose being repatriated, which will require force. The progressives will resist attempts to stop them – and have shown a historical willingness to resort to mass terror (think starvation gulags and camps with ovens, not suicide bombers).

    Our goal should be something akin to the fall of Communism. The Berlin Wall fell not because the masters lacked strength, but because they were convinced that the entire structure was rotten, and needed to go. And that that time, violence might be used against them in defense of the people. Their choice was also simple – let the whole rotten structure fall apart and quietly reyire with their hidden fortunes, or start a mass slaughter of their own people, most likely leading to their own deaths. In 1989, they chose wisely. Let us hope that the current crop of bosses do the same when the time comes around again – and that day approaches ever more rapidly.

    • I would disagree with your assumption that A. Muslims are a sort of monolithic bloc that can be labeled under the title “Islam” and B. That they are unassimilable.
      The truth is that neither is the case. The first is self-evidently untrue, since people are generally unalike; the second has more merit to it, but, then again, we’ve not actually tried to assimilate them yet, due to the idiots in the culture declaring that assimilation is, like, totes racist you guys, when it most definitely is not.

      • Catticus Finch

        I agree that we cannot judge individuals based upon the group. I disagree with the disagreement that Islam is unassimilable. I am sure that there are individuals who want to assimilate (in fact, I know this to be true because I work with some and am friends with some). But the religion on the whole has a poor record of assimilating into cultures other than its own. In fact, it has a poor record of assimilating with factions of its own religion. If you can get an English copy of Dabiq (ISIS’s very own informative yet disturbing glossy covered magazine), it is interesting to see how much the various terrorist groups hate each other. In fact, they consider each other as killable as any American infidel.

        Yet, historically, Muslims have sided with other Muslims over non-Muslims even when it is not to their own advantage. As early as the 11th century in Spain when there was a power reversal and Christians were rising in power, the Moors decided that they would rather have the Almoravids come across the Strait of Gibraltar and seize control. Rather than assimilate with the Christians (which I will not pretend was going to be all pleasant happy fun times for the Moors any more than it had been for Christians before the reversal), the Moors chose to submit themselves to a group of zealots who considered the Moors as effete and weak and religiously lazy. The Moors’ interest in science and learning was seen by the Almoravids as detestable. Now, many Moors saw that this was not going to end well for their own culture and argued against it, but the sentiment that it was better to be a slave to another Muslim than subordinated to a Christian culture won out.

        Wash, rinse, repeat for most of Islam’s history and into the present day. Individuals often want to assimilate, but their religion is intrinsically opposed to assimilation because it is seen as an act of submission.

        Meandering historical lesson over for the day.

        • If I may interject, it looks to me like you’re all three making pretty much the same two assertions, both of which I would also agree with:

          1) On an individual basis, some/many individual Muslims are assimilable.
          2) Islam, as a religion, is unassimilable.

          If there’s any disagreement between the four of us, it would probably be found in whether the word “some” or “many” should be in assertion 1, and what the total percentage of assimilable Muslims is likely to be. But other than that, it looks to me like McChuck asserted #2, 60guilders said, “No, #1”, and Catticus Finch said, “No, #2.” Seems to me that you probably all agree with both #1 and #2, and are just misunderstanding which of the two points someone else is asserting.

          Is that a fair summary?

          • Pace Robert Spencer “There are moderate Muslims; there is no moderate Islam.”

            • In a grocery store on Ohio State’s game day, I saw an older Muslim lady who had turned a small OSU cotton throw into a full coverage headscarf.

              I kinda wanted to applaud… she was obviously glad to live here.

          • I’m…not convinced that an moslem is assimilable. For them to assimilate, they would have to accept, live with, and internalize several concepts and beliefs that are in direct conflict with the strictures of their god, Allah. The Quran is not the teachings of Muhammed, it is not the inspired word of God like the Bible/New Testament is. It is the word of God delivered from the very mouth of God Almighty to his messenger on Earth.

            Kratman makes a very astute observation in his article today over at Every Joe – the differences between the different sects of Islam are less instructive than the ways they are the same with respect to us and our ways in the west.

            • One could have, at various times, made much the same argument about Catholicism vis Protestantism. It is not the belief that one’s is the only true faith that is relevant; what boots it is the willingness to tolerate error in others and to commit to conversion only by the tongue, not the sword.

              It matters little to me whether my neighbour is Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Wiccan, Wodenite, Mormon, Amish or Jew*; if that neighbour is American, recognizing that among my inalienable rights is the right to freely worship the deity of my choosing, we can live together in peace.

              *List not intended to be comprehensive, no slight to omitted religions real or imaginary is meant.

              • “One could have, at various times, made much the same argument about Catholicism vis Protestantism. It is not the belief that one’s is the only true faith that is relevant; what boots it is the willingness to tolerate error in others and to commit to conversion only by the tongue, not the sword.”

                RES, here’s where the fundamental (pun intended) difference comes in: There is NOWHERE in the New Testament where conversion by the sword is even mentioned let alone required; indeed, Christ explicitly tells the disciples, “If someplace won’t hear you, then shake the dust from the place from your clothes and leave. God may punish them on Judgement day, but not you.”

                The Koran, on the other hand, has whole Suras commanding conversion by the sword as required by Allah.

                Even in a Thirty Years War, any Christian could say to both sides, “You’re wrong and here’s where the founder of the religion says so.” With Islam, even if you pick one of the peaceable Meccan Suras, the Muslim can point to one or more Medinan Suras that explicitly call for it, and use the doctrine of abrogation, also from the Koran, to say that the verse you cite is null and void by God’s saying so.

                As I said elsewhere, Islam is almost designed to be unreformable. An individual Muslim may assimilate, but only by rejecting one or more fundamental principles of the faith, and thus, no longer a Muslim. In fact, other Muslims will consider them apostate, and thus even more a target.

              • Remember the history of the colony of Maryland. Founded as a haven for Catholics but allowing Protestants. Who, as soon as they were a majority, started anti-Catholic legislation.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Brief reading on Maryland, it’s a bit more complicated than that but still doesn’t show Protestants in a good light.

                  There was a Protestant revolt against the Calvert family but later the family regained control restoring tolerance for Catholics.

                  Then the English Parliament got involved against the Catholics in Maryland.

                  Shortly after that, there was a second revolt that completely outlawed Catholicism.

    • Islam doesn’t assimilate, but Muslims can be corrupted by Western constitutional republics. Muslim parents love their kids, too, they just worship an evil god.

      The multiculti progressives are simply determined to keep this “out” from being an option to individual Muslims.

      They suck.

  5. Well said, Miss Katie. If we don’t defend the good things in our culture, the things so many of us were brought up to hate- like honor, duty, freedom, the Constitution and Bill of Rights- all we’ll have left is the things we *truly* don’t want (what the real hate groups want), or what is forced on us. We still *have* a culture worth fighting for.

  6. Re: the “no go zones” in France, I want to mention one piece of misinformation that I’ve come across. Some people have said that the French government’s term “Zone Urbaine Sensible”, or ZUS, refers to “no-go zones” where the police don’t enter. (I’m not saying that Katie Jones said this; she did not.) This is mostly false. There are 751 areas that the French government has designated “Zones Urbaines Sensibles”, and most of them are not no-go zones. They are merely classic “inner-city”* ghetto-like areas of poverty, with the usual high rates of drug use, crime, and general social problems that you get in such areas.

    Now, SOME of these Zones Urbaines Sensibles do fit the “no-go zone” designation quite well. And in France, those are mostly the zones where a large majority of Muslim immigrants live. (The causal factor involved, while obvious to just about everyone reading this blog, somehow continues to elude the New York Times, President Obama, et al.) But not all — not even most — ZUSes have a majority of Muslims living in them. Most ZUSes are simply poverty-stricken “inner-city” areas, with all that that brings with it.

    So, to summarize: All “no-go zones” in France are Zones Urbaines Sensibles. But not all Zones Urbaines Sensibles are “no-go zones”; only a few are. The one is a subset of the other; my best guess, based on what I hear from Christian missionaries in France, is that maybe 5-10% of the ZUSes would be actual “no-go zones”.

    Why do I mention this, even though nobody has yet equated the two? Simply because the idea that “there are 751 “no-go zones” in France” is a misunderstanding I’ve seen all over the place, and for once I’d like the truth to get around the world before misunderstanding can put its boots on.

    * I say “inner-city” because in America, those areas are usually found in the inner city. In France, though the pattern is usually the opposite of America: its inner cities are actually the RICH neighborhoods. It’s the “banlieues“, the outlying areas of the cities which would be suburbs in America, are where the ghetto-like conditions are found. Since I’m addressing a mostly American audience, however, I’ve chosen to use the term “inner-city” to refer to the “banlieues“.

    • Gah, missed a / in that closing italics tag. Let’s try that footnote again:

      * I say “inner-city” because in America, those areas are usually found in the inner city. In France, though the pattern is usually the opposite of America: its inner cities are actually the RICH neighborhoods. It’s the “banlieues”, the outlying areas of the cities which would be suburbs in America, are where the ghetto-like conditions are found. Since I’m addressing a mostly American audience, however, I’ve chosen to use the term “inner-city” to refer to the “banlieues”.

  7. As Sarah pointed out a few posts back, assimilation is painful for the assimilee. At least until recently, the US had the advantage over Europe that our unassimilated masses were mostly Catholic, and while a little ‘macho’ for feminist, they love their children dearly, and will protect your children as well.

    Now that Obama has open the floodgate of the porous border, with express trains running in from Mexico, people of other than Latin America culture are jumping on the bandwagon, and some of those people want to kill us.

    We lost an opportunity right after 9/11. The American public would have been willing to accept a policy that, we know you are illegal, but we really don’t have the time or energy to do anything else, but you will be issued an ID and we will verify that you are not here to kill Americans. And then, seal the borders.

    Instead, we get the TSA, groping our children and asking mothers to drink breast milk and wondering what colostomy bags are. (At least we got them to stop irradiating us with X-rays they had no clue how to calibrate.) How many terrorist has TSA stopped? None.

    We have been invaded by people that want to work hard and send the money back to Mother. Europe has been invaded by people that hate Christians, think women are sub-human, and the only hard work they perform is the destruction of Europe and the installation of Sharia law.

    The resolution to this conflict will not be pretty.

    • Blond_Engineer

      I know it’s not popular to defend the TSA, but you’re actually falling for the media narrative when you say they’ve never stopped a terrorist. I worked for the TSA for a year at a major International airport. I can’t get into specifics, but I can say that you are incorrect in that particular assertion.

      • I have heard something like this before, TSA has stopped terrorists, but we can’t tell the public about that because security.

        Presumably the terrorist groups that have been thwarted noticed. Why then are we keeping this a big, dark secret from the rest of the world? I can understand that details of any particular event might be classified. I have much trouble understanding why there isn’t a running counter somewhere on the TSA web site. Always assuming that there is something to count, which is asserted but not demonstrated.

        • Yah, like they claim security and can’t tell you how or why a name appears on the ‘no-fly’ list.
          How a terrorist was stopped 10 years ago, ‘security’. How Obama killed Bin Laden, released while operatives are still in the danger zone. Of course, part of the TSA’s image problem is the gang of liars they have been associated with in the last 7 years.

      • And yet we have leaked reports from the Inspector General of security tests being run with a 95% failure rate.

        • I have a suggestion for improving the TSA.

          The TSA or other government agencies (actually, probably better if it’s not the TSA, maybe the FBI) sell fake bombs for $500/each. Anyone can examine them and validate how hard/easy they are to find, but it’s illegal to modify them. Anyone can attempt to bring them through security. If you get caught, quick check of the fake, put it away, you’re out $500, and the crew gets $100 bonuses all around. If you *don’t* get caught, you pull it out on the other side, take it to the information booth for a quick examination, and you get your fake bomb back plus an additional $500 that will be recouped by docking the pay of everyone at that security station $100.

          We demonstrably can’t get TSA to do careful checks for the disastrous-but-incredibly-rare situation of real bombs. I bet we can get TSA to do careful checks for the personally-financially-painful-and-likely-to-be-rather-common situation of fake bombs.

          • That was Patton’s methodology. As he put it, “When you hit them in the pocketbook, you get a real quick response.”

      • If TSA were stopping terrorists, when did all the trials happen? There would have been major press for each trial, every perp walk on the 6:00 news.

        I am a security professional. Every trial is well publicised – for the good of the security profession, if nothing else. (Look what we’ve done for you lately!). There is no (0.0%) reason to hide arrests and convictions brought about by *publicly known and advertised* security measures. There are no sources and methods to reveal about a routine physical screening, using commonly available and known technology.

        TSA is primarily what we refer to as “security theater.” /rant

        • Silly, with the Obama Administration, terrorists are like illegals and fish, catch and release.
          Now, when some conservative white supremacist are discovered, it will be 24/7 on trial coverage.

        • poorly rendered Kabuki Theater at that. I know of one location that failed the fake gun and bomb test completely, missing every item . . . more than once

      • damned WP ate my previous post.
        I’ve worked in secured areas, went through the forming of it, and know people who worked for the TSA.
        That just makes me certain that the TSA is as useless as teets on a bull.
        From what I’ve heard about any stopped attacks, it was more blind luck, or something someone would have caught, TSA or No TSA, than any effective work by the Agency.

      • Since I passed through TSA security at the Seattle airport, dropped my purse, and as one of the friendly guard was helping me to read out their my things handed me my car keys. The ones with my large pocketknife attached to it.

        “You should not have these here,” quoth the security guard.
        ” No, I should not,” I replied.

        And that’s how I lost my very expensive knife due to my absentmindedness.

        If the TSA managed to stop terrorists, it was by accident.

        • Ack. Not sure how I missed that round of touchscreen mishaps.

          Should be “…as one of the friendly guards was helping me to retrieve my things, he handed me my car keys.”

  8. And… you forgot… large parts of ‘poor’ Europe are being paid for by, well,, Germany. Which may not end well.

  9. Russia has one of the only strong leaders on the world stage.

    I am leery of the praise of strong leaders. Europe has on more than one occasion found out what happens when a people becomes desperate for a strong leader.

    I seek a leader with principles, and not just any principles. The best of the American principles, based on promoting individual opportunities, independence and self-reliance. One who recognized that strange proposition that We the people are not subjects of the government, but the government is subject to us.

    But to get there we will have to teach our children civics again. And, I fear we will have to find a way to teach not only our children, but our contemporaries and their children. I don’t see that happening unless we are willing to step up and do it ourselves.

    So? One way is to write stories. Stories that expose people to a different way of thinking than is presently dominate in culture. Not lectures disguised as stories, but stories that draw people in, capture the imagination and inspire. Human Wave stories.

    (I know, I know, I have been on this soap box before…)

    • A strong leader on the domestic stage is something to be wary of. But on the national stage…

      When your country’s leader says that he’s going to do something, you want the leaders of other countries to believe that he will, in fact, do that thing. With Putin, you might believe that he actually will follow through with his threats. With Obama, not so much…

      But then, Obama is generally reserving his attempts to be a strong leader for the domestic stuff. He really doesn’t seem to care about the international arena except as it affects his poll numbers with his base.

      • The only enemies Obama recognizes are domestic ones.

      • We need to think beyond a strong leader – fine while in office. No promise by The President is good beyond his time, unless the nation itself is inclined to provide consistent support regarding international policy … as our unfortunate allies in the world have found.

        • It rather depends on how one defines strong, doesn’t it?

          In my lifetime the term applies most notably to two presidents, LBJ and Ronald Reagan.

    • The problem is that no matter how principled one is, weakness means that those principles never get translated into action. One needs both principles and strength, and even unprincipled strength may serve if interests align..

    • It’s still a really good box to stand on.

  10. Since I live in the past for both teaching and writing, reading the headlines makes me feel like the pot of petunias in _Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy_: “Oh no, not again.” I listen to Kathy Mattea’s “Record Time (33, 45, 78)” and think “Say on, sister, say on!”

    • … reading the headlines makes me feel like the pot of petunias in _Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy_: “Oh no, not again.”

      YES.

  11. Professor Badness

    “Real Cajun cooking is an experience that every human being should have at least once.”
    Oh yes!
    I remember an English class in college having us read a government report from the 40’s or 50’s detailing how eastern immigrants needed to integrate with our culture. It went into great detail about adopting clothes, homes and language skills from mainstream Americans.
    I was the only person in class who saw it as a good thing.
    Does that make me bigot? Oh well.

    • A bigot? I see it more as being willing to speak Truth to Power.


      On this, I stand with Hillary; I only wish she did, too. Of course, what difference, at this point, does it make?

      • SheSellsSeashells

        My current favorite joke: “Given a choice, would you prefer to vote for Hillary or Cthulhu in 2016?” “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

        • “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

          Well, one major difference would be that, were Cthulthu to be elected, we’d finally have the benefit of leadership with vision, integrity, and complete honesty.

          With Hillary, we’d get all the evil without any of those positive improvements.

    • Real Cajun Cooking took me from 170 lbs to well north of 250 lbs.
      But it did taste really good.
      Louisiana – The Typical Gas Stations tend to have better food than 4 star Restaurants do on the rest of the planet.