Look Up

Years ago, during the 2004 elections a friend (whom I now fear must be dead, as I haven’t heard from him in years, and he was in his seventies then) cheered me up by telling me that the more noise the left makes, the more they know they’re losing.

(Here I must interject that I was never a particular fan of George Bush.  I voted for another guy in the primaries. I voted Libertarian in 2000.  However, I am also not mentally handicapped.  I could look at Kerry and see what his leadership would get us: a mess in the middle East, resurgent enemies across the world, and oh, yeah, none of our allies trusting us ever again — yes, I know, we only delayed it a bit.  Shush.  More on that.)

I thought he was really only saying it to make me feel better, but since then I’ve been observing things, and he’s right.

The louder they get, and the more insane they get, the more you know that they’re in trouble.  This might be because John C. Wright is right and modern leftism is a way to avoid reality.

I know things are getting massively stupider seemingly by the day, with college students demanding more expensive “studies” courses, that do not prepare them for life and in fact do nothing but create resentment and a sense of being hard done by; with Russia resurgent; with race relations at the lowest point ever; with our debt mounting; with our country resembling our president, that is, the kid who went to kindergarten convinced if he was hit it was because the other kids weren’t loved enough, so that he runs after the bullies who just punched him, trying to give them hugs.

But the thing to remember, as you look at all of it, is that none of it is really real.  What I mean by that, is that none of it has anything to do with the deeper movements of the world we live in.  None of it has really anything to do with what we’ll call for lack of better words the tides and conflicts of history as they are at our present time.

They are noise.  Mostly they’re leftist noise, because the left has seen its fantasies crash again and again, and know this is their last best chance.  So they’re trying to make all their fantasies happen.  Yes, they are “real” in the sense that they happen.  But like Occupy Wall Street (rolls eyes) they’re not real as in “Grass roots movements.”  They’re memorex.  The left is manipulating the sectors it can easily manipulate, either because (due to the long march through the institutions) they’re in control, such as in academia and foreign affairs, or because they’ve convinced major portions of certain groups that nothing is ever their fault, that the world is against them, and that their only salvation is to be angry.

But this is not what the person on the street feels.  Mostly it is what the media-industrial-complex pushes at us 24/7 and which will make the susceptible react.

I’m not a materialist, but I do believe that both history and the minds of people are influenced by material culture.  How not?  It is after all impossible for a hunter-gatherer to have time to paint the Mona Lisa, let alone have the materials and the know how.  More importantly, it is impossible for a Hunter Gatherer band to grow to much above a couple dozen people.  You’d strip the terrain you live in.  (Those who think the invention of agriculture was a plot from the male-god worshipers against the great mother goddess are ignorant of both the requirements of human life and human nature.)

In the same way, the agricultural societies and the knowledge of illness of the middle ages had their own set maximum, and would likely (were) be fairly small societies only nominally joined into a larger one (due to lack of communications/safe roads, etc.)  The Roman Empire had been larger, but at the cost of keeping a massive fighting force and a dedicated bureaucracy.

It was the industrial age of the machines when large scale production and large scale building were both necessary (to keep the increased populations fed, clothed and healthy) and possible, that gave rise to the super-state and the various fantasies of the super state as a possible harbinger of utopia, including communism, socialism and fascism.  (All forms of the same insanity.)

But while large scaled proved great at creating large manufacturing concerns (provided that people wanted all of one thing, as it were) it proved truly bad at governing. Partly because industrial scale requires treating whatever you’re dealing with as “mass units” or widgets.  And people treated as widgets deals to dehumanization in a giant scale.

The thing is that the tech is no longer that way.  The new tech makes personal communication across the globe a snap.  It is starting to make personal manufacturing possible.  The tech is going to individual level, to individualization, to personalization.  The way the tech is headed is industrial society without the standardization.

Yeah, the left has taken over all the institutions of learning.  Much good may they do them, in a time when knowledge can be sought out and acquired more easily than ever, without going to college.  Yes, they’ve taken over government: a government (ours and all in the west) which is having more and more trouble getting people to obey edicts that are, if not contradictory and confusing, as most of them are, then obsolete and strange.  (What good is banning guns, when you can 3-d print a gun and this will get easier every year.)  Yes, they’ve taken over the media/entertainment information complex.  Only to find most of it countered/taken over by a bunch gonzo idiots(Represent!  I is one!) who will work for free and in their pajamas just to poke big media’s monolithic left-view in the eye.  Mark my words, the next forms of entertainment to escape their control will be movies.  This might include much, much better cgi and new tech, but it will come, sometime in the next 25 years.  Education is already being hit by what I’ll call “the ebook paradigm” where anyone anywhere can do better than officialdom.

We are going away from the era of big government.  Big government is already dead.  The show we’re being treated to is the corpse, as it twitches due to decomposition.  Human society doesn’t change over time.  Some rotting bits will persist a very long time, but they are just bits, and less relevant every year.

Many of the troubles we face are by groups — student grievance committees, jihadists — which can’t do anything absent the support of large, official structures.  (Yes, even jihadists.  Given our having a sane energy policy which exploits local reserves, they would starve in the dark pasturing their camels, which is what they did before the west made their oil wells.)

They will create lots of trouble, but if they crash the system that supports them (and honestly, that’s what they’re doing, whatever it is they THINK they’re doing) they won’t survive very long, and their only choices will be adapt or die.

We can and should build under, build over, build around.

And we should be not afraid.  Yeah, the sound and fury is scary, but it signifies nothing.  Yes, we have a lot of rebuilding ahead, but when have we been afraid of work.

Shoulder to the wheel, and be not afraid!

In the end we win, they lose.  The only question is how painful the transition will be.  Work to make it less so.


299 thoughts on “Look Up

  1. This might be because John C. Wright is right and modern leftism is a way to avoid reality.

    This is a thesis Andrew Klavan has also been exploring, both in his podcasts and his PJM columns, such as:
    The Death of a Bad Idea.
    It is incorrect and it has failed and now it’s crumbling.
    [Insert reference to Christopher Lee’s Dracula films.]

      1. In fairness, everybody does that: we all develop our constructs of Reality and act as if they were representative.

        Some of us incorporate feedback response and try to constantly tune our model more closely to Reality, and some massage the data and adjust Reality to conform more nearly to their model. In the long run everybody dies, so perhaps the distinction is without much point, but I confess to a preference for the former, just as surely as I believe they think that is what they are doing and it is I who is attempting to force Reality into my model.

        1. There is a small grain of truth to “you make your reality” – mindset can keep you focused on what can be made instead of giving up and falling apart in despair, and can drive you to take the actions needed to achieve your dreams.

          Note, though, that you have to WORK to make those changes, and CHOOSE to stay the course.

          Insofar as that goes, I’d rather have the mindset that we are flawed, but can achieve greatness if we work at it, than we suck, our culture sucks, and we all are inescapably incapable of breaking out of our “privilege” – even if we’re “smart” enough to recognize it, even if we try to atone for it.

          That way, that we are eternally doomed – lies madness.

        1. I doubt that you can substitute another reality for the one we have. You can hide from reality and deny it and misinterpret it but that’s about it as far as I know.

          1. It’s the fact people try and the people who try make laws that do not mesh well with reality. Delusions are not a good thing on which to base policy.

    1. Which aligns with r/k theory that Bill Whittle has also recently been exploring – that the personality type of the typical “leftist” is R-selected, and tends towards narcissistic / immature to boot. SJW’s are the ones who likely can never outgrow it as they’re trapped by their own vicious self-fulfilling circle.

      1. The SJW’s are trapped in eternal childhood, and (based on their reactions) eternal toddlerhood, to boot. The only way they know to “solve” a problem is to throw tantrums and hope that someone else more competent is annoyed into solving it for them.

        1. To paraphrase Thatcher, the problem with eternal childhood is eventually you run out of adults. The modern Left isn’t exactly producing a generation capable of taking command, getting their hands dirty, and doing the things necessary to see their vision fulfilled.
          And the Adults are becoming less and less willing to put up with their nonsense.

        1. Mating strategies, that have been applied by a guy called “Anonymous Conservative” to political orientation.

          You can find some info at the site of the same name, but perhaps Bill Whittle gave the best overview I’d seen:

        2. r/K theory compares the mating and survival strategies of rabbits and Kangaroos. Rabbits preserve the species by breeding like, well, rats. They have multiple offspring, which mature rapidly, and which are not particularly well cared for. They care not for each other. Their hope is always to hide, and hope the predators eat someone else.

          Kangaroos have few offspring, but each one is cared for over a long period of time. This leads to a more communal lifestyle, as they must help each other in order to survive.

          How the theory works – go into a public school in any major city. Spend a day or a week. You can pick out the rabbit children from the kangaroo children quite easily.

  2. I have had this image the last few days of a long row of nails, being driven down, one by one, with a single sure stroke of the Hoyt hammer.

    Our hostess is on a roll…

    1. Great, now I’m picturing some comically oversized hammer labeled “Hoyt”.

  3. Re: “local” energy. I’d long ago pointed out what Bastiat would consider the “unseen” costs of outsourcing overseas.

    First – why do I NOT consider US Gov subsidies of highways, railroads, and “airstrips in the middle of nowhere” that aren’t commercially viable a “bad thing”? – OK – insofar as they’re not called the Robert Byrd this or that….

    The Govt’s true purpose, providing for the common defense – and it’s duty to maintain a post (i.e. – independent and secure communications and logistics for the country and the government).

    If an airport is not commercially viable, we may still need a strip there as a transfer point in war, and it’s useful as an emergency stop.

    OK – so what does this have to do with business.

    Sometimes, you have to expend overhead so you have options that cannot be cut off from you. You also need to know your business from the top to the bottom.

    All too many businesses have outsourced the “cheap” low-margin stuff, to the point that, for example, Dell’s part suppliers are now becoming competitors.

    Becoming “value-added” is easy – the basics are hard. Forget the basics, and those who know them will eat you up.

    There’s a lot of institutional “tribal” knowledge that gets lost when you don’t have people operating and learning at the lowest levels of what you do whether it’s steelmaking or chip and system design. Knowledge that’s hard to re-acquire.

    1. … why do I NOT consider US Gov subsidies of highways, railroads, and “airstrips in the middle of nowhere” that aren’t commercially viable a “bad thing”?

      It is worth keeping in mind that Eisenhower’s push for an internet highway system was from his experience moving men & materiel across the country in WWI (or thereabouts – minor detail not worth research) and moving men & materiel across the country of Germany in WWII. Having a great & powerful standing army is not much use if it is on the East Coast and your West Coast is where the invaders land, not unless you’ve means to get from here to there toot suite.

      I have taken to arguing for “domestic” (including Canadian & Alaskan sourced) oil in terms of an uninterruptible power supply — it is not simply the price (although paying it to our friends is better than financing enemies) as it is the fact that OPEC can’t shut off the spigot. Having a bunchaton of oil salted away in a reserve is nice, but it is also a significant capital investment, a sunk cost which we might not be able to recover (besides, its existence, like the Social Security “Trust Fund” constitutes an irresistible temptation to politicians eager to cook the books.) Having a supply of oil which cannot easily be significantly disrupted is A Good Thing, just as having a uninterruptible electric supply for your computer is A Good Thing.

      1. It is worth keeping in mind that Eisenhower’s push for an internet highway system

        Is that where you bury the telecom lines along the highway, or where you provide WiFi along the highway? 🙂

        1. Sigh. -net, -state, ultimately, what, at this point in time, what is the difference?

          Never before haz I wished to have a smart phone so i could blame a typo on Autoincorrect. Oh, what the heck — none of you can see what I be typing on, so …

          Dang you, Autocorrekt!

          1. RES, pretty sure you can get autocorrupt for computers, too.
            I don’t know: I figured out how to turn it off on my phone. If I’m going to post mistakes they might as well be mine.

            1. Yeah, but they’re mine dammit, not those of some anonymous geek in a windowless building on the Apple or Google campus! 😛

              1. I can blame a large number of mine on the fact that half the keys on my board are now blank, and certain of the keys tend to be overenthusiastic. typing two or even three times even when struck just once.

                Other errors are inexplicable (such as “nets” rather than “states” except by reference to the aliens beaming their instructions into my subconscious, subdural hematoma, causing my fingers to type other than intended.

                    1. Hah! That’s what they want us to do — everybody knows foil concentrates and focuses the rays!

                      That’s why I only use industrial-grade Mylar, with a lead film.

                    2. Tin foil block the rays, aluminium foil amplifies them. Notice how you can’t get tin foil anymore? QED.

                1. When your mind is elsewhere, sometimes when the many universes stretch and -almost- touch, it may not really be *your* fingers doing the typing at all, really. Have you ever felt like you were in the wrong head? Or too many people in your own?

                  It’s those other folk, just like you, but in universes where Dvorak keyboards took the larger share of the market, or humans evolved with functional claws (and therefore needed quite different keyboards), or just different syntax and spelling arrangements.

                  Then you’re back where you belong, already having hit POST and are now left with the embarrassment of something vaguely Cthuloid having f’tagn’d out when you meant to say “Muenster” or “Orthogonal.” You can shake your fist at the departing universe, but they never pay it any mind anyway…

                  And they are left seeing something vaguely sapieoid where a third “iAA!” should have been, and now have to suffer the chuffing laughter of their littermates on their poor etiquette and spelling.

          1. That and the far greater cargo lift capability of LTA craft suggest significant opportunities for such deployment. I gather the military has been looking into this as an alternative to loading M1 tanks onto C-17s which can only ship one at a time, as dirigibles offer a much lower cost per mile and greater cargo capacity..

            Of course, susceptibility to enemy fire remains a problem for deployment in hostile areas.

            1. OTOH, even a direct hit on a helium or hot air LTA (assuming not hydrogen filled) may be more survivable than with an airplane. German casualties for Zeppelin crews had far more to do with catching fire than hitting the ground.

              In contrast, US rigid airships, filled with helium, were much more survivable. When USS Shenandoah broke up in midair over Ohio, most of her crew survived. The losses from the USS Akron crash were near total, mainly due to hypothermia and drowning, as the crew lacked life jackets or time to deploy the life raft after hitting the water. All but two of the crew survived the crash of USS Macon.

              1. I was contemplating the effect of an RPG, but in further consideration I can envision construction employing non-rigid membranes that would be far less susceptible to explosive decompression. perhaps aping the manufacturing techniques of Bubble Wrap for helium lift, coupled with hot air as a “belt&suspender” system? It should be possible, with modern materials technology to produce a highly resilient “skin” which can be quickly patched … at altitude the issues of rapid decompression might well become lower concerns (sorry ’bout the pun, but obviously not sorry enough to eschew it*.)

                *Me, eschew a pun? I not only chew them thoroughly I spit out the sodden soggy mess without resort to a cuspidor.

                1. If they have some type of cellular structure (i.e. compartmentalization of the pressure envelope if non-rigid, or individual cells like in the old rigids) it should reduce the effects of any sort of weapons hit against the “gasbag” portion; hits against crew compartment are just as likely to be fatal for the crew, of course.

                2. A standard Soviet-designed RPG, which these days is optimized to punch through reactive and multi-layer composite armor on tanks and such, would have to be specially modified to properly fuse hitting something as insubstantial as the envelope or even the lightweight rigid structure of a dirigible. Most likley it would fly on through. The resulting 3-inch hole would be troubling, but not catastrophic.

                  A machine gun round would also pop right through leaving a 50ish caliber hole, and there are self-healing strategies for designing the envelope and interior ballonets that could easily deal with lots and lots of 50-cal sized leaks or even a number of 3-inch sized leaks, and as you note a design that self-compartments the LTA lift elements should be doable and relatively robust.

                  1. You know, a nuclear-powered hot air dirigible would be practically immune to small and medium arms fire. Get too many holes, just kick on the inflator fans and turn the bag heat up to maximum.

              2. For that matter look at the Hindenburg Disaster. From the newsreel footage you might not think that anyone could have survived. In fact, of the 97 people aboard, 62 survived. (Based on the always reliable Wikipedia article.)

            2. Depending on the details, a missile detonation in the vicinity of that C-17 isn’t necessarily a pleasant thing, either.

            3. Far greater cargo lift capacity of LTA craft? In the zeppelin museum in Friedrichshafen, there are a models of the Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin and the Airbus A380 all at the same scale. The airships are three times the diameter and five times the length and they carried a total of about 50 people, passengers and crew, while the A380 carries 600+ paying passengers, depending on configuration. The A380 cargo version can carry up to 300,000 pounds of cargo with a full fuel load. Are there any lighter than air ships with even 10% of that capacity? (The rule of thumb when I was in engine school is each person weighs 180 pounds while their baggage on international flights was like 150 pounds, making for a payload of about 20,000 pounds for the Hindenburg and Graf Zeppelin.)

              While airships are far better than airplanes at low speed and have advantages in the hover compared to helicopters, they completely suck as a means of transport. That’s why, once suitable materials and especially engines were available, they disappeared from the transport scene in favor of large airplanes. The main problem is that air is not very dense, you you have to displace a lot of it in order to lift a significant amount of anything.

                1. Perhaps you need to read the dedication of Fate is the Hunter. I don’t think the weather killed off the airships. I mean, even today an airliner’s main strategy for dealing with weather is to be elsewhere when it occurs. That’s facilitated by the speed at which they travel, but that’s not the only factor.

                  1. Perhaps, but bad weather that an airliner could land in would cause major problems for an airship.

                    The airship’s “gas bag” really catches the wind. [Frown]

              1. The article I saw a decade or so ago said the military was experimenting with LTA craft because of their load capacity; perhaps it is a matter of scale, being able to make very large craft.

                This article http://www.thelivingmoon.com/45jack_files/03files/LTA_Rise_of_the_Blimps.htm suggests the primary purpose is hovering surveillance. There also seem to be a number of articles on the topic at defenseindustrydaily[DOT]com/cat/aircraft/blimps-lta-craft/ with one reporting

                The Walrus heavy-transport blimp (“heavy” as in “1-2 million pounds”) was among a range of projects on the drawing board in the mid ’00s. It offered the potential for a faster and more versatile sealift substitute. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded phase 1 contracts, but things seemed to end in 2006.


                The Walrus program aimed to develop and evaluate a very large airlift vehicle concept designed to control lift in all stages of air or ground operations including the ability to off-load payload without taking on-board ballast other than surrounding air. This is obviously rather important when offloading up to 2 million pounds of personnel and military equipment in remote areas. In distinct contrast to earlier generation airships, the Walrus HULA (Hybrid Ultra Large Aircraft) would be a heavier-than-air vehicle that would generate lift through a combination of aerodynamics, thrust vectoring, and gas buoyancy generation and management.

                In DARPA’s conception, the Walrus operational vehicle (OV) was intended to carry a payload of 500-1,000 tons (that’s 1-2 million pounds) up to 12,000 nautical miles, in less than 7 days and at a competitive cost. Given these enormous capacities, they would mostly be used to deploy full-scale fighting units quickly, getting them to their site with a minimum of equipment reassembly work required. The ideal was that transported forces should be fully ready to fight within 6 hours.

                Emphasis added.

                Apparently the Walrus program ended when Congress defunded it; if I am decoding this properly it would have been during the Democrats’ control of Congress. Civilian development is continuing with a 75m prototype deployed in 2013.

                1. Lighter than air craft have certain strengths. One of them is the ability to stay up in the air for long periods of time without expending any fuel. But, and I’m saying this as someone who does some design of balloon lofted systems, (on a nonprofessional basis,) they can’t lift very much. Again, it’s because air isn’t very dense and the buoyancy force is the difference in densities between what’s inside the envelope and the medium it’s floating in.

                  I suppose that the proposed Walrus would have some advantages because large airplanes need large runways, (see, e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JemlhkWUzfo ) but there are also advantages to not putting that 2 million pounds on one flying machine. It’s also not lighter than air, as the article mentions.

                  The plain fact of the matter is, if you’re moving something fast enough you basically get all the lift you could possibly use for free. Moving fast itself has a cost, of course, and you have to figure out how to bring that vehicle from rest into motion and from motion into rest, but we’ve gotten pretty good at moving things around using airplanes to all parts of the world.

                  I also think that deploying a significant force overseas is going to take a long time, even if the transport could be done instantly. This is hardly my area of expertise, but I’d expect a certain amount of planning, refitting, and retraining of any units being deployed and that all is going to take a substantial amount of time. That limits the utility of something like the Walrus.

                  1. Lockheed’s cargo airship described in the the AvWeek article link above is a 21 ton payload vehicle, which they are aiming at the oil and gas production market – basically no more Ice Road Truckers to support oil production operations in remote locations, just a just-over-football-field-sized open area where the football-field-sized airship can vertically set down and lift out.

                    Interestingly this vehicle is not intrinsically lighter than air, using helium for not quite all it’s lift and then either propulsive lift (vectorable propellors) or aerodynamic lift when it’s moving to make up the difference. This makes ground handling easier, since the vehicle is slightly heavier than air so it doesn’t want to blow around in the wind quite so much when on the ground.

                    The certification path is now set, and Lockheed is looking for a launch customer.

                    There’s really something majestic about airships – when the zeppelin was operating out of Moffett Field giving tours here in the SF Bay Area, watching it move across the sky was really amazing. That’s the same size vehicle as the new Goodyear rigid airship, which is maybe a fifth of the size of the old Navy rigid airships – this must have been amazing to see.

        1. Just get an amphibian. Works up here in MN.

          What? You don’t have lakes dotted everywhere in sight?

      1. a mile of runway is a very short field.
        The cool stuff uses more than that (and then some if it a Starfighter F-104 and the chutes don’t deploy)

    2. Sometimes, you have to expend overhead so you have options that cannot be cut off from you. You also need to know your business from the top to the bottom.

      The Japanese have exploited the insights of the “just in time” manufacturing, essentially pushing inventory costs onto the suppliers (there are many other advantages which need not be gone into here.) This works very well for the Japanese culture, which enjoys much less hostile Management/labor relations than does US manufacturing.

      The problem run into by US adopters of that systems can be best demonstrated by an event a few years ago when GM was effectively shut down because of a strike at a single parts plant (windshield wipers, as I recall.) Production on all lines dependent on those parts had to be shut down, with those workers enjoying near full pay … and financing the strikers’ through their union dues. Thus GM was in a highly leveraged circumstance and essentially underwriting its own striking employees.

      Overseas manufacture is subject to dock strikes, weather events causing shipments to be delayed or lost at sea, and numerous disruptions entailed by the difficulties of communication — which is a major reason companies are shifting manufacturing back to the US, or would if our corporate tax structure and regulatory environment didn’t discourage doing so.

      Interestingly, we are seeing the effects of Moneyball, the insertion of corporate financial analysis into sports, reworking the understanding of what the business actually is and careful evaluation of relative risks attendant on guaranteeing a 32-year-old staring pitcher upward of $200 million for six years labor. You need to know your business from the top to the bottom and inside and out.

      1. The overseas issue of dock strikes is being in part addressed by widening the Panama canal, and expanding ports along the Gulf Coast especially in Texas (Right To Work state, and the Mob has little hold on our Docks) and there is a warehousing building boom going on here in DFW in prep for distribution of those goods.
        We had a container on a ship that had to be abandoned at sea due to a fire. the product turned out okay, and we eventually got it to port in Rotterdam, but it was nearly half a year after it was due.
        Some of those items are now back in our warehouse as the replacements ended up being some of the last ordered as the finished goods are being phased out due to AlGore’s Ozone Hole laws.
        As an aside, Never (not emphatic enough) NEVER ship something via Alitalia. Period. They take cargo even when they have a strike preventing it from being loaded on a plane, and then ignore you.
        I’d buy a new GM car before I paid Alitalia a dime.
        and I despise GM
        If GM were Alitalia, they’d have shipped the cars, took customer money, then refused to deliver the car until they got the wipers, while not explaining anything to the customer and ignoring all complaints.

        Another drawback to “Just In Time” is, in a business like the one I am involved with, when say a refinery blows up, or and oil well in a Gulf catches fire, and you only plan on covering your outstanding orders, you have not the stock on hand to provide the fire fighting needs of the situation.
        We were constantly gigged by Corporate for the amount of inventory on hand Much of it on hand because a contract said “Must have X amount on hand at any given time”, but when first Argentina, then Brazil came calling for “Foam! Now! … We don’t care what it is as long as it is at least AFFF, but preferably AR-AFFF” we sent stock on hand and, for the second fire, one small portion of an upcoming order that we knew would be at least month before shipping, our corporate partners were robbing stock from orders due to ship and fell way behind. Our day shift guys worked a few Saturdays and just a few hours each time, the others worked every shift overtime for two months to cover the setback. 5 guys sent a bit over 1/2 of the foam and only has a slight increase in working hours, yet 20 guys needed a month plus of full shift OT to recover from a part of the remaining 1/3 or so? (our competitors also sent some foam)
        Guess which site is closing now?
        Large Corporations do not like flexibility in any way.

      2. “You also need to know your business from the top to the bottom.”

        Regarding Japanese business practice, I worked during the mid-70s for the company that trained Japan Air Lines pilots in Napa, CA. (No room for flight training in Japan, until they built the big facility in Okinawa a few years later.)

        At the time, JAL’s growth was on track to their becoming the world’s biggest airline, not that they planned to keep growing to that point.

        One interesting aspect to their training plan was that, after the new pilots ab initio training worked them up to the Falcon 20 jet, they went back to Japan and began working in baggage handling.

        From there, to ticket sales, line operations, and so on. Eventually, they rotated back to the States and qualified as a Boeing 727 flight engineer, continuing on and upward in the cockpit.

        Every one of them *knows* the business inside and out. Seems like a pretty good idea to me.

        I also learned that, at least back then, an international airline captain sat just about at the top of the social pile; being paid to travel the world was pretty attractive to Japanese society.

    3. If an airport is not commercially viable, we may still need a strip there as a transfer point in war, and it’s useful as an emergency stop.

      Let this stand for the concept. Economics isn’t the only motivator one needs to consider.

      In much the same way Goldwater (well, his ghost writer) in “Conscience of a Conservative” described the roll of government foreign aid (as opposed to private charity), simply another tool in the Cold War, which was a war fought by indirect means, and thus part of the national defense. It should be tied to supporting our interests and undermining the interests of those who seek to do us ill. Unfortunately it’s rarely been used that way. (Frankly, CoaC reads more “libertarian” than anything else to me, coupled with a more practical approach to foreign policy than most Libertarians (capitalization intentional)).

      1. It’s not surprising that the book reads that way. In many ways, Goldwater was more libertarian than conservative.

    4. For that matter, I’ve seen miles of roads that were seen as boondoggles when built, but eventually (sometimes decades later) populated. These range from street networks for subdivisions, to town bypasses that eventually get more occupied than the town itself, to expansions of 1930s highways.

      If you can find pictures of Sevier County, TN, compare the highway going from Sevierville to Gatlinburg, through Pigeon Forge from the 70s up through current day.

      Gatlinburg was already a tourist destination in the 1970s; Pigeon Forge had a scattering of tourist traps on the road, but little reason to stop – most of the land on 441 was empty. Even as early as the late 70s, work was starting to widen the road to 4 lanes.

      By the 80s, there were lots of hotels and attractions in PF, including an amusement park the local-done-good Dolly Parton had bought and expanded. But, you could still see open fields.
      By the 90s, most of the empty areas were completely gone, and the roads were expanding again.
      Today, even 3-4 lanes in each direction are at Los Angeles/Chicago rush traffic jam levels on the weekends, with any traces of the countryside gone except for the gap between PF & Gatlinburg, and its being unsuitable for building. The first think you see approaching PF is a nearly life-size scale model of the Titanic, and beyond it, if it weren’t for the mountains, you’d think it was the Vegas strip.

  4. I would point out that a rotting corpse is still a very real health hazard.
    And one that’s still twitching can and almost certainly will lash out in an effort to destroy what it can no longer hope to possess.
    Indeed, be not afraid, but never forget to check your six or keep a weapon and combat load out close at hand.

        1. On the off chance you are not already aware, mostly because it’s where that quote comes from, look up “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long” from Heinlein’s Time Enough For Love. They are scattered in several places throughout the book or can often be found by themselves. I think someone even offered an illuminated calligraphy version at one time.

        2. Search for Lord of the Rings quotes, and go through the book of Proverbs?

          (Princess has the “all that is gold does not glitter” poem as one of her copy-work things, but that’s not exactly a normal copybook)

      1. “Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.”

        Which may explain why casual nudity features so prominently in many of Heinlein’s works–it halves the problem. 😉

      2. That strategy paid off for me two Decembers ago, when a fire broke out in a neighboring apartment. I got my backpack, laptop, wallet in two minutes and got out.

      3. And for the mixed aphorism approach, it would be “keep your clothes close and your weapons closer.”

    1. Let alone zombie-states like the Russian Federation, which are rotting away due to terrible demographics and no real ideology beyond brute force, but can still do a lot of damage as they lurch about squeezing their hands on anything with which they make contact.

  5. Only to find most of it countered/taken over by a bunch gonzo idiots who will work for free an din their pajamas just to poke big media’s monolithic left-view in the eye.
    Loud noises don’t make me seek pajamas, but to each his own.

    1. Some of the patterned pajamas are really loud. As in “even with the lights out I can hear those from here” loud. Worse than “ugly Christmas sweater” loud.

        1. Uh, nothing. It sounds…. flattering. Yeah, that’s the word I’m looking for. 🙂

            1. I do freelance ad copy part-time. You would not *believe* the weaselwords I can come up with… 😀

              1. As a long-term connoisseur of ad copy weaseling, this man speaks for me:

                I believe it, i believe it.

                1. Believe it! I totally believe that gold holographic vinyl purse I wrote up provides an eye-catching shine. Yup.

        2. Hah! Looking down all you can see is the upper chest. Lord only knows what the rest of the outfit looks like.

        3. I was thinking of the plaid with little cows printed on the white spaces between the colors that I saw in college. Or I should say, I saw walking across the quad at Flat State one day. Yes, during exam week, why do you ask?

    2. I was following an Iraqi blog when the “pajamas” thing happened and the fellow wrote a blog post about how baffled he was at the whole concept so he decided to check it out, put on pajamas and discovered that it was rather freeing to blog in pajamas. 😉 I sent the post to my Mom who was stuck with how humanizing it was (though I don’t recall how she expressed that), passed her comment back to the blog writer and got a response from him about it.

      So that was sort of cool.

      1. Only vaguely related, but….

        when I was about 15, I ran into a book called “Fallen Angels.”

        The story was pretty basic, though very enjoyable, but the subject– my goodness, lady, it was all about folks who were incredibly familiar. They did made up songs like my mom, but about geeky subjects beyond Tolkien; they had a sense of “you need my coat more than I do, even if I have to cut my arm off to keep you from freezing” like my dad does, extended very logically outside of our entire planet.

        Several years later, I got to “talk” to Pournelle, about a totally unrelated subject; later, I geeked over the theology of Flynn. In both cases, I only later realized “…wait, these guys wrote the story that told me that there there is a sort of geek culture.”

        It is STILL freaking awesome to read a mystery and go “…I know the lady who wrote this lady.”

        1. It is STILL freaking awesome to read a mystery and go “…I know the lady who wrote this lady.”

          I realized not long ago that while I don’t care about autographed books in general, I love signed books from authors who know who I am. I have one of Sarah’s, several of Larry’s now, a unique art card from Howard Tayler referencing a project I did for him, a signed first edition Julie Frost, and one from Steve Diamond, who apparently grew up near me*. To me those aren’t collectibles, they’re physical reminders that I know awesome people.

          * I’ve known him in passing for years as part of the local author community. Then I ran into him with my folks, and he told my dad “Hey, good to see you again!” Hilarity and commerce ensued. This world is mind-bogglingly small sometimes.

          1. That was amazing to watch, the thing with your dad.
            Sounds like y’all are doing well. We’ve still not got any road trip to SLC plans, but we haven’t forgotten about it.

  6. Recorded music went indy decades ago, publishing is going indy even as we speak, and I’ll agree that movies (and television along with it) are next. How many Youtube stars are there now, putting on their own little shows? And with professional-grade cameras and desktop editing suites … oh, yes. Soon, my pretties, soon, the visual entertainment citadels will begin to crumble …

    1. There are the levers of production and of distribution and of monetization. The vastly lower costs to record & “publish” text, music, performance and SFX democratizes the production. The development of the internet, Amazon and Youtube democratizes distribution, and Amazon, Paypal and Patreon democratize monetization. The gatekeepers are losing and their phoney baloney jobs are slip sliding away; do not expect them to cede control quietly, but they can no more retain their power than could the canal magnates.


      1. (Harrumph! Harrumph!)
        I love the irony that the Workers have Sized the Means of Production, and it’s not the Bourgeois freaking out, but the Marxist.

        1. The union only just recently stopped protesting in front of the local WinCo, several YEARS after it opened.

          Not union, you see, because it’s 100% employee owned.

          1. hence why there are no WinCos in Los Angeles county.

            immediately across the county line… sure…

        2. I should be the last one to riff on anyone’s typo, but I like this one:

          “Workers have Sized the Means of Production”

          And that size is SMALL!

    2. Does anyone understand the CW(*)’s Hulu policy? They only have the last X episodes and when X becomes less than the series length, you cannot start watching it because the first episodes are missing. Hulu nonetheless puts them in the “Recommend for you” category. This seems insane. Why would you NOT want someone to start watching your series?

      By the time the entire season is available elsewhere, I’ve forgotten I was ever interested.

      Stupid decisions like that are only driving them under faster.

      (*) I like young adult TV; no idea why.

      1. Do not assume that the people programming TV actually watch TV. It is very probable they have no understanding of the obsessive-compulsive nature of people watching series, even while the show-runners happily exploit that trait. They delete opening episodes because they have no sense of why anybody would care.

        It recently struck me that The Big Bang Theory is the only TV show I know of in which the characters watch TV obsessively. Given how few network offerings I attend to it is quite possible there are others, but I can’t recall any of them. Of course, very few books feature characters who compulsively read.

        1. They not only may not watch TV; they have higher-priority concerns than the product they put out.

          In one of his Glass Teat columns, Harlan Ellison wrote about the night CBS showed several rejected pilots for comedy shows in response to some Congressional inquiry. He was tremendously impressed with one that was set up as a fake news show: This Week in Nemtin. It had been passed over in favor of Me and the Chimp because CBS wanted to get Ted Bessell under contract.

  7. They’re panicking because Obamacare never became popular like they thought it would. We’re about 14 months from it being repealed and once that happens – once Americans see a government program shut down and not only is there no chaos but the economy booms – their ratchet loses its pawl. Cries that ending the Department of Education would destroy education in America will be met with “like ending Obamacare destroyed healthcare?” And with each step back the Progressives lose more access to money and prestige which makes it harder to fight the next battle.

    They are naked and know it, and the imperial procession is about to begin.

    1. From your mouth to God’s ear, Jeff.

      However, that metaphor is bringing unpleasant images to mind. I need mental floss!

    2. The Proglodytes have been engaged in political entrepreneurship while the true source of this nation’s wealth is economic entrepreneurship. (See: Burt Folsom, among others.)

      Their problem is that, like choking the Golden Goose, entually you cut of the economy’s egg supply. When you hear anybody moan about not having flying cars, hoverboards or other promised futures, remind that the burden of government regulation is why we can’t have nice things.

      Think about the various agencies which would be fighting to control the hoverboard industry, from the financial structure through the manufacturing regulations to the consumer finance and safety issues. Want to use your h’board on a public street or sidewalk? You need a certificate of safety and license to use, along with appropriate safety equipment, insurance to indemnify potential harm to others, demonstrated completion of a 70+ hour course of instruction in the use, maintenance and permitted application of such devices …

    3. One can hope. But that pawl is pretty strong. I expect we’ll get President Hillary Clinton, doubling down of Obamacare and other leftish idiocy, more pandering to Islam and thus more terrorism, and an economy in the toilet. That’s the hard way.

      The easier way involves President Trump (ugh), but still no repeal of Obamacare.

      1. I really don’t see Trump getting the nod. He’s already starting to fall behind Cruz in Iowa, who I think will also pick up South Carolina. Rubio will likely take Florida and New Hampshire – though I think Trump wins are more likely there. If he doesn’t win any of the early states, he’s done. His support is largely fueled by his status as the front-runner, if he doesn’t have that his support will collapse.

        Trump has done a bang-up job of ,oving the bounds of the discussion to the right and making Cruz look sane. He’s also done yeoman’s work in forcing the establishment to support Rubio over Jeb, which is a win for conservatives, though I’m not terribly happy that the process also forced out Perry and Walker.

        1. I gather the recent Monmouth Poll showing Cruz ahead of the pack was the first attempt to apply a “Likely Voter” screen — remember, the Iowa Caucuses are won by the organization that does the best job of turning out its supporters in the dead of winter, and keeping them out until the caucuses are decided; this ain’t your grandfather’s primary.

          Trump has shifted Overton’s window and makes a lot of conversations more possible, but he has yet to get a single vote. What we’re watching in this phase of the campaign is

          but a walking shadow, a poor player
          That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
          And then is heard no more: it is a tale
          Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
          Signifying nothing.

          It is no wonder the MSM cannot avert it’s gaze.

          1. Yeah, the $64,000 question with Trump is how many of his supporters will actually show up to vote for him. Every politician has losses, but the professionals in the field know roughly what they look like. Trump’s support is highly non-traditional, so how many are actually going to show is pretty much anyone’s guess.

  8. Won’t it be nice to finally have an actual “wagon train to the stars” TV series, untainted by Marxism?

      1. I have farming relatives. The youngest is at Purdue now for Ag and is taking lots and lots of serious tech courses – programming, GIS, satallite mapping interpretation, and such – along with the traditional Ag stuff. His Dad’s combines at harvest time only needs human direction at the end of the rows when the driver has to wake up and turn it around such that it does not run into the ditch – and that last human driver task is expected to be automated really soon. The “trucks” that roll up alongside to offload the Combines without everything stopping are already fully autonomous.

        Farmers still put in a lot of sweat, but these days a lot of the work running a farm is done sitting inside at a monitor.

        1. (WordPress ate my previous attempt at posting this; apologies if it appears twice.)

          The IEEE’s Spectrum magazine ran a special issue two years ago about advances in agriculture. One article, “Farming by the Numbers”, spoke about such combines:

          For instance, he can use the program to record where he has injected fertilizer and direct the planter to drop seeds in the same spots. The setup is so precise that it allows him to space each seed exactly between last season’s stalks, so that the new shoots won’t struggle to push through the debris.

          That’s rather impressive.

          1. When I was riding along in the combine in 2000, the GPS interlinks had reached the point where tractors (and other equipment later in the season) could fit soil moisture and topo maps, so the seed drills and planters would skip especially moist areas, or would apply more fertilizer in other areas, and the like. This was on dryland crops in former wetlands, so irrigation wasn’t a concern. Irrigation systems can now “talk” to other systems so fertilizer and other stuff can be tailored even more closely, just like irrigating can be done. It’s amazing (and expensive, at least at the moment).

            1. Farming has always been capital intensive. That’s why farmers losing their land to the banks in hard times is such a cliche.

            2. The important issue is not the cost but the return on investment.

              Which is why the farmer’s inability to predict what crop prices will be when harvest arrives is so important. Too successful a harvest can drop prices and reduce return.

              1. And why the best do so much hedging these days. More time spent at a computer instead of out on a tractor.

        2. The company I work for used to provide computer boards that were put into crop yield monitors for one of the major companies in the field. We’ve also worked on networked agricultural sprinkler systems. That was a number of years ago; I’m sure I’d be surprised to learn both what’s common and what’s possible in agriculture now.

  9. I could look at Kerry and see what his leadership would get us: a mess in the middle East, resurgent enemies across the world, and oh, yeah, none of our allies trusting us ever again …

    Some of the serious damage Obama has done to our international reputation is that, before him, we were seen as a reliable ally, one which would make a real effort to defend a minor ally under attack. Yes, Vietnam, but we fought for a decade there before giving up on the war.

    Obama has backed down and abandoned the most important committments, before the most nebulous and minor threats. Even though it’s very likely that we won’t elect someone as feckless as him for a while afterward, the fact is that we did it, and (worse) re-elected him (and Obama, unlike Jimmy Carter, did not improve in office).

    Our allies have to plan on the basis of worst-case when deciding whether they can count on our support. Obama is now the “worst-case.” This reduces the value of a proffered American alliance to potential allies for many, many years to come.

    Oh, and for Extra Stupidity Points, he put Kerry in charge of foreign policy. Kerry, who betrayed his own country in the 1970’s. Kerry, who has shown no signs of learning from that. What did Obama imagine Kerry would do?

    The problem with small-scale, private solutions is that the one sphere in which they don’t work well is defense/foreign policy. That’s where you do need big powerful states, to do things which are necessary but utterly unprofitable.

    1. A very small silver lining to the entire clusterfluck is that Europe may possibly be cured of their instinctive “Oh, the Americans will save us” reflex. That yes, they *do* have to have their own military and ability to project force, even if that means dialing back the social welfare goodies which, by the way, also encourage hordes of refugees*koff*migrants.

      They were warned, they chose not to listen, and now they have a big fat object lesson about why outsourcing security is a bad idea. Now all we have to do is remind them of this once they stand up and we clean house. They have had plenty of time to rebuild since WWII and it is time for them to pull their own weight.

      1. Yep, the Pretend Europe that Bernie and others on the American Left love to point to is about to go away.

        1. Alas, the Real Europe that’s coming back is all too familiar to people who’ve read about the period between 1913-1943. (Which pretty much eliminates the Bernie and his followers.)

          1. I’ll be an optimist, and hope for the less-bloody population dislocations of 1945-1946.

  10. My provider decided to go out of the business.

    So we’re shopping for new, and I keep getting notifications how “many people get their coverage for $75/mo”

    The only coverage we can get for 4 is $220/mo more than what used to cover us for 5, and 5-6 years before that was half of what it was this year. We will be in the $1000/mo ballpark.

    1. Same situation here. The fallacy of Obama’s “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance” was that it was premised on Americans’ ignorance of the insurance market. : Any insurance policy (like any car model) undergoes a variety of modifications every year such that virtually no policy remains materially unchanged from year to year. Add in that the Obamacare specified that even minor changes constituted a “new” policy and weren’t nobody keeping their insurance.

      An honest Media would have pointed this out, but if we had an honest Media we’d have never gotten near that tar-pit in the first place.

      There are good reasons such cartoons as this are ubiquitous.

      1. My obnoxious democrat facebook friend’s wife is Very Publicly Distressed as they will not qualify for subsidies this year (on the poor side). I think this feeling is called schadenfreude?

    2. Dgarsys, I got the same hit this year. I’m back up to $350/mo and none of my physicians are included. Plus a really, really high deductible. Oh yeah, and this carrier is making noise about dumping the Fed pool after next year.
      “Oh and you need dental insurance.”
      Red: “Yup, but my dentist doesn’t take insurance.”
      Dealer: ‘That’s unpossible! Every dentist takes insurance.”
      Red: “Not mine. And you plan wouldn’t cover my problem anyway.”
      Dealer: “maybe, but you still need a dental rider.”
      Red: “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr”
      Dealer: “OK, but remember that it is available during the next enrollment period.”

  11. Re: movies. I offer for consideration Star Trek: Renegades. The indy revolution is already happening in the movies.

      1. Watch “Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning,” a full-length movie made by some Finnish Trek fans. Unless you speak Soumi you’ll have to get the English subtitles, which are hysterical all on their own…

        In my opinion, it’s better than any of the official franchise movies.

          1. Iron Sky, unfortunately, doesn’t measure up to Torssonnen’s Trek efforts. He got investors involved in Iron Sky, which then suffered from management-by-committee. So Iron Sky was just another B movie instead of the kind of free-wheeling demented frolic of his own work.

  12. “Yeah, the left has taken over all the institutions of learning. Much good may they do them, in a time when knowledge can be sought out and acquired more easily than ever, without going to college.”

    The only problem is that many of those who believe they have become “educated” via the ‘net are in fact worse off education wise than when they began their quest for knowledge.
    Those with a less than high school education tend to believe a lot of the garbage from sites like Infowars,Above Top Secret.com,WND,etc.
    The “research” they do often leads to their believing things that are pure,unadulterated bullsh*t.
    People with less than a high school education do not know how to conduct research,or how to vet sources-so they end up spouting nonsense that they actually believe to be fact.
    (I’ve got a son-in law as a reference point to validate that claim-the kid just has no clue about most things.)
    Those of us who have attended college and attained a degree,or multiple degrees in our chosen fields can benefit greatly from the vast amount of knowledge that can be found on the interwebz.

    “(What good is banning guns, when you can 3-d print a gun and this will get easier every year.)”

    3D printing of guns is not quite there yet in terms of functionality.
    What is there is the plethora of used machine tools-lathes,milling machines etc. that have been purchased by the general public as machining jobs were moved to various eastern European countries and places like China,India,Pakistan in the past 20 years or so.
    Those machines are getting scarce now,as people are starting up their own manufacturing businesses,or setting up machine shops in their pole barns/backyard shops so that they will have the ability to make “stuff” should the country descend into chaos/collapse of one form or another.

    “The new tech makes personal communication across the globe a snap. It is starting to make personal manufacturing possible. The tech is going to individual level, to individualization, to personalization. The way the tech is headed is industrial society without the standardization.”

    Those who have the tools, the skills,and the knowledge to use the tools and the tech will be the ones to survive any economic or other type of “collapse”.
    Excessive .gov regulation on manufacturing becomes meaningless when a large number of people can just make “stuff” in their home shops.
    The standardization will survive,as it’s what makes large systems of any type possible-plumbing,electrical,mechanical.
    It makes no sense to have different plumbing fittings for every home,different components for electronics,different parts for every engine,etc.
    Standardization makes parts interchangeable-it’s a good thing.

    1. The point would be valid were colleges and universities still doing what they were established to do, but the proliferation of “Blank Studies” departments has eliminated the rigorous analysis you (correctly) claim necessary.

      The problem is the same one that the Left typically suffers, confusing Form for Substance. This was best expressed by the Wizard’s solution to the problems of the Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman and Scarecrow in the film version of that story. Used to be that one acquired a nice home by developing the personal attributes necessary to achieve that; recently the politicians and intelligentsia decided that giving homes to people would confer those attributes as well, with results well-documented. Similarly, they focus on the availability of guns rather than people’s willingness to kill one another, something humans have been doing since Time began.

      What the internet offers is an opportunity to develop knowledge and analysis unhampered by the colleges and universities. That many people gather their knowledge without careful hygienic practices leaves few any worse off than academia would, and allows many to develop novel and interesting theories.

      1. “That many people gather their knowledge without careful hygienic practices leaves few any worse off than academia would, and allows many to develop novel and interesting theories.”

        If you listened to just 5 minutes of my idiot son-in law’s theories,you certainly would not call them novel and interesting.

        Yes,our colleges and universities are filled with Marxist/leftist zealots,and a college education doesn’t consist of much education lately,however,in some fields of study-a person just simply can not self-teach themselves.
        Some fields do lend themselves well to self-study,many do not.
        The solution is to remove the Marxist/leftist zealots from all teaching positions,and to discontinue all the useless “studies” courses-every one of them.
        Stop giving credits towards graduation for such courses.
        If there’s such a demand for people who are well versed in any of the “studies” fields-then there would be jobs awaiting those students who fill their class schedules with such nonsense.
        There are few to none of such jobs available.
        There are plenty of engineering jobs,in all engineering disciplines-just as an example of a worthwhile field of study,and one that would be extremely difficult,if not impossible to self-study.

          1. The best thing is to identify and reroute them as early as possible, not promote them to senior management.

          2. But some systems do encourage idiocy by rewarding it, while others discourage it by allowing its natural consequences. As I know you’ve said before ….

            BTW, thanks for this post. It’s so easy to get disheartened these days and it’s lovely to get a dose of (1) uplifting, and (2) sane.

        1. Some fields do lend themselves well to self-study, many do not.

          I have no idea where I read the “joke”– actually one of those old teaching stories– and I am terrible at retelling them, but I’ll attempt.

          A guy goes to a rabbi, and asks the Rabbi to teach him how to read the holy book. Not what it says, or anything, but just how to read it.

          The Rabbi agrees, and teaches him the alphabet, A to Z.

          Next day, the guy comes back, and the Rabbi teaches him the alphabet, Z to A.

          “But that’s not what you said yesterday!”

          “if you cannot trust me to teach you what it says, how can you trust me to teach you how to read what it says?”

          The problem is bad fundamentals, not where they were learned.

              1. bad fundamentals. They have bad habits to unlearn. But it might also depend on the situation and on how the bad was bad.

              1. Depends on your definition of “savage”.

                The classical hunter-gatherer “savage” had to have the fundaments of surviving in the wild in order to survive. [Wink]

                1. *wiggles hands from side to side* In this case, I’m using it to mean someone with no exposure at all; exact opposite of sophist, I guess.

      2. “This was best expressed by the Wizard’s solution to the problems of the Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman and Scarecrow in the film version of that story.”

        Either I am misunderstanding you, or one of us is misremembering the film. The Wizard’s gifts from what I recall, were an example of giving substance form. The Cowardly Lion was brave, the Tin Woodsman had a heart, and the Scarecrow had a brain. They just didn’t realize it.

        1. The fact that they already had those traits was underscored heavily in the books. The Lion, because he “knew” he was cowardly, was always careful to “act brave”. The Tin Woodsman constantly made special efforts to be kindly because he “knew” he didn’t have a heart. And the Scarecrow was, of course, the cleverest of the bunch by far.

          1. All they needed were diplomas, so to speak. But _just_ the diploma won’t do, which is the situation you get when the education is all about things that no one wants in an employee.

        2. Misunderstanding my hastily scrawled comment; the Wizard was indeed giving formal recognition of their substance, but the Proglodytes overlook the fact that the substance must precede the form. That is why they think bestowing a High School diploma constitutes an education.

    2. And once you standardize all the people, you only need one standard model of every product! Think of the savings in time and effort! Arm in arm, we march forward to the goal of the New Standardized Humanity!

      1. I never stated anything about standardizing people-people have always been,and will always be individuals-despite the left’s efforts at churning out copies of good little leftists who comply with all the indoctrination.
        Try wiring your home,using different gauges of wire,different types of circuit breakers for each circuit,different switches,different receptacles. Try repairing your plumbing if all fittings are not standardized,try repairing your car if parts are not standardized-try repairing your rifle or handgun if parts are not standardized.

        1. Actually, most houses are wired with different gauge wires, different receptacles, switches, etc. A range receptacle and dryer receptacles are both 220V, but different. One for 50 amp, one for 30. Most of my breakers are 20 amp, but for some reason the electrician doing the wiring installed only 15 amp receptacles for 120V. Now, all the electrical fittings and wire gauges are standardized, but the average house has a whole bunch of different electrical items.

          With plumbing, there are standards, then there are standards. Depends on when your house was built. I’ve seen some real nightmare scenarios in basements. People who THINK they know what they’re doing can plumb or modify the plumbing in a house with all the wrong materials. And it will work- for a while.

          1. Electrical is standardized-your dryer and range examples show that things are standardized.
            Other than those two things,unless you have machinery or welders that require 220 volts-the wiring in your house is standardized,depending on when it was built-it’s usually all 12-2 or 12-3 Romex w ground,12-2 being the most common.
            The reason you have 15 amp receptacles is because 20 amp receptacles require a special plug,so you could not plug any lamps,radios,household 110v appliances,extension cords,etc. into them.
            Plumbing fittings are all standardized-threaded black pipe for gas lines,1/2 or 3/4″ copper or pvc for potable water-(or galvanized steel if you have a really old home)-faucets take the same supply lines,as do toilets,etc.
            People who think they know what they’re doing screw up much more than plumbing-I see it every day,
            I repair/remodel homes for a living.

            1. “The reason you have 15 amp receptacles is because 20 amp receptacles require a special plug,so you could not plug any lamps,radios,household 110v appliances,extension cords,etc. into them.”

              You have that backward. Things meant for 20 amp circuits have a different plug that cannot be plugged into a 15 amp outlet – the two prongs are perpendicular rather than parallel. A 20 amp outlet has one slot with a “T” shape that allows it to accept 15 and 20 amp plugs.

              1. No,I do not have it backwards- I stated that 20 amp receptacles require a special plug-and that is in fact the case.
                I know exactly what a 20 amp plug and receptacle look like.

                1. They don’t require a special plug, they accept a special plug. You can still plug 15 amp devices into a 20 amp circuit.

            2. Not PVC for potable water- especially hot water. CPVC. One of the more common mistakes. Code in most areas, if not everywhere, does not allow PVC for pressure (as opposed to drainage) to be installed behind walls. And now you’ve got PEX in the mix for plumbing.

              1. PEX-or the generic variations of it- is used in almost all new construction around here-(NE Ohio)
                I use a plumber for anything other than swapping out fixtures and hot water tanks-especially when it’s PEX,as I’m not investing in the tools to install/repair the stuff when I avoid plumbing like the plague unless I’m doing new construction,like an addition.
                No matter what’s used,copper,CPVC,or PEX-when you get to the shutoffs for fixtures-(or have to install them)-the supply lines are all standard sizes.

                1. Which is why shutoffs come with 1/4″, 3/8″, or 1/2″ compression, and sometimes 1/2″ IPS outlet, all standard. The inlet- 3/8″ or 1/2″ IPS, 1/2″ copper sweat or compression, 1/2″ CPVC glue, or 1/2″ CTS press on such as Sharkbite. And I don’t know who supplies mobile home manufacturers with their shutoffs, but I’ve seen a whole lot of trailer shutoffs that can’t be fit up to anything sold in a big box hardware section. And then, there’s the people who still have polybutylene piping…

                  1. Mobile home plumbing is a whole ‘nother animal-you’ll never find anything that fits at Lowe’s,Home Depot,Tractor Supply,etc.
                    When I have to work on mobile homes-I go to one of the places that sells camping trailers and supplies-they always seem to have whatever oddball size that stuff is in stock.
                    Over the summer,I ran into actual lead water pipes in a house-may explain why the lady’s dogs’ houses were in better shape than her house.
                    The lead pipes went to galvanized steel-of varying sizes-then there was some copper,PVC,CPVC,and some plastic/rubber/unidentified kind of tubing…then I called my friend who is a plumber.
                    I like the Sharkbite fittings-my friend who’s a plumber swears by them-they ain’t cheap though.

                    1. it is getting better on the Pex to Poly tube fittings. or it was, last time I bought any. I think it was Lowes I got them from. If not it was Home Depot. I had several lines that split enough I needed to add back length to to them and got the pex/poly fittings to do so.
                      I use the steel crimp rings and while I did buy the special pliers, because using the steel clamps, only one tool is needed for all the sizes, and they were not much more than the good end nippers I looked at, but a cheap set of end nippers will work on that style just fine.
                      I never got the Sharkbite ones to work for a hill of beans on the poly in this place, but I do like the look of the CPVC/PVC/ABS versions.

            3. Yeah, but the great thing about standards is there’s so many of them. For instance, my house has some 12/2 Romex with a reduced-sized ground, which was OK until 1969. It’s also got some current stuff, both 12/2 and 14/2 (some 15A circuits). I’ve got some galvanized drain, some cast iron drain, and some PVC. Supply is all copper at least.

              For dryer plugs, there’s 3-wire and 4-wire for 220, plus 110 for gas dryers.

              There’s a number of different toilet rough-ins which have been used, but at least the odd ones are fairly rare.

    3. The “research” they do often leads to their believing things that are pure,unadulterated bullsh*t.

      Odd you should mention that; I’m writing an article for Sarah– if she’ll accept it– where one of the minor points is that in school I was rather foolishly slow about figuring out that they were teaching us utter falsehoods. And they at best ignored offered correction, even politely, with good information, and the plausible excuse of “Wow, it’s newly released information!”

      Some people with COLLEGE level education have no blessed clue how to vet sources, identify logical fallacies like appeal to authority (usually popularity, but sometimes something like “but he’s an EXPERT”). There’s no correlation in frequency of occurrence for this problem in “has spent many years in college” vs “never graduated college” populations, in my experience.

      Don’t get me started on people who will let others interpret information and not even bother to find out how the terms they’re using were defined for a study. There was one recently where they found that people who believed something or other that was silly– it was a relatively small portion of the population– were more likely to also believe in the paranormal. Defined so broadly that it included absolutely all religions.
      So basically they’d identified something silly that was disproportionately not appealing to less than 15% of the population. (~4% of the population identify as “no religion”…which they wouldn’t know, because they didn’t find out that the recent stories about how ‘nearly’ one in five Americans don’t belong to a religion defined that to include those who are non-denominational; AKA ‘None’s.)

      1. I recently was in a discussion where one woman tried to bear me down with “I studied with BIBLE SCHOLARS”, and another woman told me that I had to respect her obvious credentials and resorted to abuse when I still wanted her to support her argument.

        Even when I pointed out the appeal to authority.

      2. False information?

        In elementary school in the 1960s, in the People’s Democratic Republic of California, we were taught that John Glenn was the first man in space, and that the Pilgrims discovered America. There was other stuff, but I mostly quit listening after that…

        1. Things I was taught in school:
          – All radioactive rocks contain Uranium.
          – Mountains were formed because the Earth was originally a lot hotter and it contracted as it cooled causing the surface to “wrinkle” like the skin of an old, drying, apple.
          – The Curies discovered the existence of radioactive elements (as opposed to discovering two particular elements following on the heels of Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity.
          – Stars started their life as red giants. They contracted, heating up, going through the spectrum until they became blue stars. Then, they gradually cooled through “dwarf” stages becoming blue, white, orange, red dwarfs, and then finally cooled into dead stars.
          – Planets were formed as one star passed close to another, drawing “streamers” of material from the star which condensed into planets.
          – The asteroid belt was once a planet that exploded.
          (Well, it’s mainly the science stuff that stuck in my head over the years and, frankly, I often knew the subject better than the teachers but learned early on to keep my mouth shut.)

        2. Being in elementary school in SoCal from 1956-64, I somehow lucked out, at least in space-related and American history misinformation.

          Maybe because a couple of my teachers back then were married or otherwise related to people working in aerospace, or got their foundation knowledge of history starting back in the late ’30s.

          Sounds like we dodged a bullet there, if not a full-on artillery barrage.

    4. Those with a less than high school education tend to believe a lot of the garbage from sites like Infowars,Above Top Secret.com,WND,etc.
      The “research” they do often leads to their believing things that are pure,unadulterated bullsh*t.

      As opposed to being systematically taught bullshit, which is a lot of what they get in college, at least once you get out of STEM?

    5. 3D printing is plenty good enough to make the functional equivelent of the GM Liberator.

      1. The GM Liberator was made of steel-3D printed guns are plastic,or plastic reinforced with carbon fiber.
        There are simpler-and safer-ways of making your own firearms.

        1. That there are “simpler and safer” methods has nothing to do with the existence of other methods, which evade legal an, existing.

          1. The correct chunk of metal and a cheap mill will get you a working 1911; a cheap CNC mill will get you one without expert knowledge. Subtractive manufacturing works just fine.

            Very basic manufacturing skill and tools (enough for drilling holes, filing and bending sheet metal, threading pipe, and winding and heat treating springs) will get you a STEN machine gun equivalent with little more than the plans and plumbing supplies required. That’s really just assembly, with some fiddly bits to do to get things to not spontaneously disassemble.

            True, the current widely available additive manufacturing techniques are mostly in plastic, and those materials do not currently work great for the entirety of a firearm, but doing the fiddly bits in plastic with the splodey-containing bits in a length of pipe is eminently doable. And additive manufacturing with real metals, like the laser sintering process that the aerospace companies are using to make things like one piece compressor blisks, is not that far off for home use – dump the bucket of powdered metal into the bin under the laser head, close the door, and push “go” and a few hours later your pistol lower and slide, rifle receiver and upper, or entire liberator single shot historical replica including all parts save the springs are sitting there all shiny, waiting for assembly.

            Lots and lots of ways to distributively manufacture guns and that is only getting easier. The constraint used to be plans, machine tools, and expert knowledge, but the internet has made 2 out of 3 of those widely available, and with ubiquitous additive manufacturing the 3rd goes away.

            1. My grandfather was making guns before my mom was born, at home, as a hobby.

              She is STILL pissed that the rifle she made with him, as a sort of project, “vanished” after he died– it’s not the same if she makes it now, on her own, even though it would be pretty easy.

              In theory, *I* know how to make a gun.

              It’s just easier to make a bomb.

              It’s waaaaay easier to make poison, though.

              None of that changes that “gun control” fails….

            2. A chunk of metal, a cheap mill, and a tool grinder with the proper accessories… back when JMB designed the 1911 every shop had at least one worker making and sharpening custom cutters. It takes several of them to do things like the magazine release relief, the backstrap slots, the trigger slots… modifying off-the-shelf cutters isn’t rocket surgery, but it takes some ingenuity to do it without the proper grinder.

              I have a few other projects to finish up before I start whittling a proper left-handed longslide to match the right-handed one, though…

          2. Evade legal what?
            It is legal to manufacture a firearm for your own use.
            3D printed plastic guns still require some steel parts.
            Yes,the technology will improve.
            At this point,it is much safer,therefore much smarter to use other means of making your own firearms.

            1. Hm, looks like I got a ctrl-select delete on a section.

              “which evade legal and other aspects to prevent their creation from” (somehow I replaces it with a ‘,’) existing

            2. Actually, the Liberator II plans out there do not require any metal parts. There is a federal law that makes it illegal to manufacture weapons that cannot be picked up by metal detectors, so the plans include a recess to hold a metal block that does nothing more than make the gun legal. The barrel, chamber, and firing mechanism are all done in plastic. No, this is not a gun you are going to pass down to your grandkids, but as a pathfinder it’s pretty impressive.

              1. The Liberator II still has a steel firing pin,and is only good for a few shots-if you don’t care about possibly losing a few fingers,or a hand,or your eyesight-have at it.
                I’ve followed the whole 3D printed gun thing since Cody Wilson first released the plans to the 3D printed .380 caliber handgun.
                3D printing is far more useful for making things like 30 round magazines for A-R platform rifles than making what amounts to an updated zip gun.
                There are multiple designs available for firearms that can be made by anyone with a few basic power tools-that are made of steel,and do not cause the shooter to risk loss of body parts.

                1. Liberator II is intended as a single use item in a situation where you need one to get a “real” gun. the right plastic and they get plenty of shots from one before the issues. but it only need go Bang once. The plastic in 3D is getting better and better (and then there is the metal printing but that is much higher cost, but if one has access…) and the 3D lowers for AR uppers last decently enough I’d rather a few of those for a AR15 instead of trying to hammer a sheet steel version, but would prefer the steel for an AR10. Of course, right now, unfinished lowers, and receivers are sold by almost everybody with jig kits and drill, so the “Why Print” question is mostly answered by “In case I can’t get one any other way”. Sorta like the Original Liberator, how great it works is less vital than the fact it does work, and knowing it is out there gives certain types the hives.
                  Yeah, sure, all one needs is an old car, hacksaw, a drill motor, a set of drill bits, some files, screw drivers, and a bit of knowledge or the right book(s) and one could make several firearms of various types. Not everyone knows how to use a drill as a lathe and mill. Plenty know how to hit Print.

                    1. and .22lr is ubiquitous. use the low speed, heavy bullet ones for even longer life and quietness … just be very close.
                      I see he has a .38 version now too. not sure I’d want one that big, but he can keep up the proof of concept stuff.

                      I like his stacked metal sheet single shot design too.

  13. Only to find most of it countered/taken over by a bunch gonzo idiots(Represent! I is one!) who will work for free and in their pajamas just to poke big media’s monolithic left-view in the eye

    I get dressed every single day.

    In real jeans, clean undies and a clean t-shirt.

    Well, it starts clean, anyways; what with the Empress still in the nurse-and-erp stage, our laundry has doubled. And she stealth erps.

    1. I do too, because if I don’t get dressed I don’t work. This week, though, we’ve been doing a lot of things that require me to go look for something boxed before showering/dressing. Saturday I FINALLY got human at four pm. Today it was one.

          1. So much that when I went upstairs to bed, my butt was still on the bottom step as I went to the top step.

      1. The latest I’ve managed– so far– was 11AM.

        In that case, I literally crawled from bed, at 8 months pregnant, ONLY because the kids needed food. The “get dressed” was because if I was so sick I couldn’t get dressed, then I’d have to call TrueBlue’s chain of command that had given me their number and told me to call if I needed it. If I was so sick I coudln’t get dressed, then I needed help, but if I could dress myself and the kids were fed then I didn’t NEED help.
        (This is back when I was pregnant with the Baron. As soon as I was physically able to sit for the drive to my folks’, I drove over…because I knew they’d be more upset if I didn’t and they found out about it. Incidentally, the girls thought it was the Most Awesome Thing Ever.)

  14. In regards to Hollywood, we’re about 5 years out from a total revolution- from the Big to small indies:
    1) Big Hollywood is pretty much out of ideas, and too scared to do anything new. Thus, all the adaptations, remakes, reboots, re-reboots
    2) Big Hollywood no longer cares about the US market. Thus, they’re only going to continue to make big, splashy, dumb movies that play well in China.
    3) The Superhero movie boom is about to fall down and go Boom.
    4) The viewing experience has changed- now the average home has a large HD flatscreen TV, good sound system, and internet connection.
    5) The average American is also less inclined to go out to a theater on a regular basis

    1. Re 3 – The only thing Hollywood can count on doing better for now are effects-heavy action pics. There is no reason why “On Golden Pond” or similar successful character pieces would need a studio backing to make these days. That’s one reason why they’ve glommed onto the superhero stuff – they know it’s hard to do anything like that low budget, plus they can sell it to normal-Americans by omitting all the “Truth” / “Trumbo” revisionist history that they really want to peddle. Watch, however, when they insert their advocacy stuff in the Marvel civil war stories and how that kills off that series. They will no doubt blame the fickle public being tired of superheroes instead of their poisoning of the well with idealogical contamination.

      Separately, note the huge outrage from Hollywood regarding the box office success of Eastwood’s “American Sniper” which basically makes the point that all during the war in Iraq, what would have sold were solid pro-America movies. Gee, same outrage regarding “Zero Dark Thirty”, and before that “Blackhawk Down”, with both lacking “America as EEEEvil” plots and both box office successes.

      Look for a similar outrage and similar success for the upcoming “13 Hours” in January – with the added Clinton Machine attacks to protect The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua from any new Benghazi blood spatter.

      1. That’s one reason why they’ve glommed onto the superhero stuff – they know it’s hard to do anything like that low budget

        Eeeeeh…. *waggles hand* They’ve from blessed FOUR COLOR PRINTS.

        They’re popular because they’re so awesome they overcome the limitations of the current layout, not because they can’t be done with current layout.

        The power of the story overcomes.

        (I only vaguely remember ‘on golden pond,’ and then only because we were told over and over how it was supposed to be important. Much like Romeo and Juliet, I assume it would’ve faired better on its own than after massive levels of hype.)

        1. “On Golden Pond”.

          I saw it with my parents and the following is about the only thing I remember about it.

          Wife: “Old? We’re not old, we’re middle-aged.”

          Husband “Middle-aged? Only if we could live to 140.”

          I may be off on the “140”. [Wink]

          1. I recall this, every time the movie is mentioned:

            Carnac *envelope to forehead* “On Golden Pond.”
            *opens envelope*
            “Where does a urologist skate?”

        2. “On Golden Pond.” A movie that should never have been made. Or at least not with one of its “stars” – the one that should have been moldering away in an unmarked grave for several years by that time.

      2. I dunno. The Civil War movie is being done by the same people who made the somewhat libertarian The Winter Soldier, so maybe it can avoid too much liberal stupidity. So far Marvel/Disney is more interested in money than ideology.

        But yes, I fear one day the comic book movies will be taken over by the same crap that’s killing mainstream comics.

        1. killing mainstream comics

          Ugh, yes. I’ve never been big into print comics – too expensive for me – but I recently came across a bunch of well-catalogued, high quality scans of varying ages. I needed some brain candy, so I took a shot at them. I found a couple I liked, but most of them were awful. Characters doing blindingly stupid things just to get the plot where the writer wanted it, endless dumb misunderstandings to pit characters against each other, supposedly brilliant strategists screwing up basic things… The worst was one that I had been enjoying, but which suddenly out of nowhere went into a page-long rant about how evil and insane Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had been. *sigh* I guess I’ll just stick to the well-written webcomics I read. I’ve plenty of good stuff there, it’s just frustrating that the big publishers have these awesome characters that they’re squandering on low quality stories.

    2. Movie theaters here in Chicago have added bars and upscale snacks “Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey Butter” to get them in the seats, I don’t how well its working for them.

    3. You’d have to have a DAMN BIG flatscreen to replicate the theater experience of having a Star Destroyer passing, passing, passing, passing, passing overhead.

      1. True, but films tend to be more about the eye-raping, dizzying, over the top CGI overload of the Ep III opener instead of the true awesomeness of the Ep IV beginning.

        1. Episodes I-III were a lie – propaganda by the Empire to discredit the Jedi as whiney teenagers and imperious robe-wearing mystics to justify the Empires continuing rule.

          Disregard them.

          1. The best thing that the prequals gave us was Mr. Plinkett’s evisceration over at Red Letter Media.

  15. Slightly off-topic…Has anyone else read Don Sakers’s description of the Puppies/Hugo kerfluffle in the latest Analog Reference Library? He seriously misrepresents what happened, and appears to be taking the SJW side rather than even trying for an objective description of what happened. Someone connected with the process should send Analog a corrective letter (one would hope they’d publish it).

    1. I’m shocked — shocked — to discover Sad Puppies getting misrepresented in the media.

      1. “This year, an attempt was made to hijack both the nominations and the awards by means of rigidly enforced slate voting. Those behind this farce maintained that their motives were political.”

        How else could you take that?

          1. Of course they don’t — there are some things they won’t do to advance their ideology. That’s why the Hugo votes cast had sunk to double digits.

        1. > rigidly enforced slate voting

          I never fail to be amused at the SJW’s belief that all the Puppies blindly follow some nefarious leader.

          Apparently, now that they’ve circled their wagons, everyone outside the circle is one of Vox’s sworn Vile Faceless Minions…

          1. *goes, peers into mirror, has more black tea, tries again* Nope, the face I had on last night is still attached. I must not be a Vox Day supporter. I bet my starter kit is in a box on the Brown Truck of Happiness (TM).

          2. As with pretty much everything else Regressive*, they’re incapable of comprehending even the possibility that not everyone takes a top-down dictatorial approach, and may eve *gasp* think differently than others rallying under the same banner.

            * There’s nothing about progress in wanting to go back to a feudal style social structure, where a few “elites” lord it over the serfs, who have little to no say in what they do.

              1. Having replaced the divine right of kings with a constitutional republic with representative democracy, I see no benefit in switching to a divine right of the Progressive elites.

          3. That’s because that’s what they do, RX, blindly follow whosoever declares himself to be “LEADER!!!!”.

    2. I had stopped even picking them up at the bookstore (well, kind of hard when I’m no longer in the bookstore…) Definitely after Stan’s time ended.

      Had to take a look. Yes, pure garbage “reporting.”

      And then looked at what he offered as “good” reading in the same column. I never thought that anyone could do worse than Easton – guess that just proves my complete fallibility.

  16. When the Left gets increasingly shrill and likewise when the RIF’s get increasingly violent and destructive, I am reminded of the idea we studied in Cultural Anthropology class back in college (the title was “Physical Anthropology” but the content was definitely cultural–go figure): Revitilization movements.

    You have often said that cultures under stress return to their founding myths. Revitalization movements are the dark side of that. A _dying_ culture will often not just return to those myths but double and redouble, turning them to extremes. The example given was the “Ghost Dance” of the dying buffalo following plains indians culture. A desperate, but ultimately futile, attempt to bring back the “old glory.”

    Thus it seems that both cultures are feeling the pressure and responding in a historically common fashion. But, historically, that response has generally been ineffective and we can hope for the same here.

    Unfortunately, that also means a pretty rough ride in the meantime.

    1. There was a strong element of this in the WW2 Axis powers. The Great Depression was very stressful, and had a hand in causing the new, unstable post WW1 nations to go looking for a change. In Europe, the idea was to mix strong nationalism with Socialism, and Fascism was the result. In Japan, they radicalized the old Samurai code and applied it to the people as a whole.

      1. The Tokugawa shogunate wasn’t wonderful, and Japan’s pre WWII Ghost Dancing probably goes back at least to Perry and Meiji.

  17. Thanks for the optimistic outlook. I can use some optimism about now since all I really see is the complete idiocy coming from our current and wannabe future leaders.

    1. 1. Be not afraid.
      2. Despair is a sin.
      3. We win, they lose.

      As course, as an internet ‘life long conservative’ ‘Republican’ who grew up on gloom and doom, I am required to be a defeatist.

      South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines are going to get together and occupy China. This will be more horrific than the Iraq invasion, but not as bad as the cultural revolution.

      The top of the charts single for 2016 will be ‘Kill the Muslims’, a folk of the BBC’s ‘Kill the Humans’. This will make things worse because the root cause of San Bernadino was the Mexican flag.

      Larry Correia will scribble something and accidentally get Vox Day elected President.

      1. Of course we will lose in the end, Norse theology and the laws of thermodynamics dictate as much. The secret is to live honorably and die well.

        Whether you take an honor guard of their defeated arguments into the afterworld depends on your willingness to do battle.

      2. > Kill the Humans

        I nearly ruptured something watching that episode.

        “That… thing! It’s eating my crew!”

        “Only the slow ones, sir!”

  18. Look up — more like chin up, given the way the Left/Statists can’t shut their mouths for one second without accusing anyone disagreeing with them of being either hateful, afraid, or some combination of the two.

  19. On a happy note, Venezuela has now given the NON-Socialist a super-majority. Hopefully they can begin to roll back all that Chavez nonsense from the past few years.

    1. Just imagine the howl the No-Nukes crowd would raise over the idea of a nuclear pile floating over head; I still remember the furor over the nuclear-powered satellite.

      Might be a good time to buy the copyright on that old Hindenburg footage.

    2. I spent a lot of time looking for technical reports or scientific papers about that thing, and the only thing I came up with was a very similar PR announcement about a dozen years ago, with a similar timescale and grant proposals.

      I really wanted to believe, but the preponderance of evidence is that they’re about as far along developing a cheap fusion reactor as I am; they just have way better PR.

      Ben Rich said that Kelly Johnson told him if they ever let the Feds infiltrate the Skunk Works with bureaucrats they would ruin the organization. Rich let them get their nose under the tent and then regretted it. I’m afraid the Works is just a hollow shell filled with SJWs and grant whores now.

      1. I can’t remember, and it was so quick. It’s now at file770, of course.

        The answer was: “Puppygate was a 2015 scandal that rocked these awards for Science Fiction Authors.”

  20. And that’s why I come here. This is the only blog I frequent where the comments can start off with a philosophical discussion on lefty stupidity, segway through Star Trek fan-fic(may have to contribute to that one it looks much better then most of the other studio crap), pause at the gun-building shop, do a brief layover at the Skunk Works,and end up at the Sad Puppies.
    Even the Evil Lord of Evil doesn’t throw that wide of a loop.

    1. That’s because this is the Blog of the Cat Herders.

      Oh give me a blog
      Where the Cat Herders slog
      And the Puppies aren’t sad all their days
      Where seldom is wrought
      A PC thought
      And ideas are not treacly always.

        1. OK if we use thew small gym for puppy soccer practice? Nemo and his team the Plano Puppies are getting ready to demolish their rivals: the Dallas Dogs!

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