It is a trope in magic fiction of all types (and times) that you should be careful what you conjure, because if you pronounce the wrong name, you could invoke the wrong being.

It’s funny because I always thought the left was particularly fond of fantasy literature, but I guess they didn’t pay attention to the cautionary parts of it.

For decades now, in shows, in books, and in ultimate resort by painting this image in the news no matter how unrealistic (like the creation of straw Brad, straw Larry and occasionally straw Sarah) in the media, the left has been making up a picture of those who oppose them.

The right was, in general, according to these media racist, sexist, homophobic white supremacists and nationalists.

That this picture had generally bloody nothing — or perhaps less than 2% , the two percent being that a lot of us were patriotic which is not the same as nationalistic in the sense the left sees it, but that’s something for another discussion.  Close enough for government service — to do with real people on the other side of the political divide did not disturb them.  To begin with few of the people who identify as left knew how flawed the picture was, because the picture was everywhere and so prevalent.  And those who knew, like reporters, or educators, or even some writers and script writers, thought they were acting for the greater good.  Oh, sure the people they knew — if they knew any — who were on the right did not fit that profile, but then they assumed their acquaintances were either misguided or fooling them.  (Which is where the whole crazy silliness of “code words” came up, as though if you wanted to insult someone you couldn’t just do it in plain language.)

Mind you to teach this in schools it required an extreme twisting of history, since eugenics and racism was the left’s pigeon (and no the left and right didn’t switch sides in a generation.  That is quite literally the most idiotic theory I ever heard — with apologies to any idiots out there — and requires not having read a whole body of political theory from then until now.)  Prohibition was the left’s pigeon.  The extreme drive for morality, purity and sticking your nose in people’s lives was a leftist project.  Getting us in foreign wars was a leftist project (Wilson, FDR, JFK) and in general everything attributed to the right the left did in its 200 years of history and did with gusto and verve and repeatedly, until they decided to white wash their image, rewrite history and create straw-enemies to attack.

They could do all of those things because, you know, they had finally achieved control of the media, the schools and, yes, entertainment and the arts.

All of which is interesting.  They could have made their case with that bull horn without resorting to straw men.  (Actually one wonders to what extent it was their Europhilia, since their distorted picture doesn’t match but has some resemblance to the right… in Europe, if not here.)

They could simply have said that they thought government control was more efficient, that it was the duty of government to look after everyone, that your freedom was something you had to surrender for being taken care of.

They could.

Did they fear the American spirit would rebel?  Or was it confusing us with Europe?  Or are the recent leftists really so ignorant they drink their own ink?

For whatever reason, they chose not to say “these people oppose us because they value freedom over government looking after them. ”  They chose not to say “these people are dangerously independent” or any of the other things they might legitimately have said.

No, they brought out the racist, sexist, homophobic, white supremacist, nationalist specters.

And for a while it went really well for them.  Why no one dared raise a voice in opposition lest the be tarred with heinous name calling.

And then… things changed.

One of the things that changed was that they lost their monopoly on news.  And part of what that meant is that how spectacularly badly they performed became widely known.  And most socialist economic systems perform atrociously.

The young people, those attuned to news on the web are looking at the mess people in control have made of things.  It doesn’t occur to them to blame socialism, quasi-socialism (mostly what we have) and social democracy because they have never studied any real economics and never read The Road to Serfdom.  All they know is that the people in power are failing and failing really badly.

And because they know people in power — who claim to be multiculturalist, equalitarian and internationalist — are failing, they don’t want to be like them.

Unfortunately, unless they’ve done independent reading or come from unusual families, the only models they know that oppose the failing one is the fake, straw model of the right: racist, sexist, homophobic, white supremacist and nationalist.

I’ve run across more people — most of them very young — who arrived at their politics by clinging to everything their teachers said the right was than I care to mention in the last six months or so.  FAR more than I ran across the entire rest of my life.

The left created this straw-image of their enemies because they thought it would be easily defeated.  They, in their arrogance, thought that history came with an arrow and that the arrow always pointed out in the direction of multi-culti, egalitarian internationalism.  (This is partly because they muddled history so much they don’t realize the internationalism of the left was always “Russian Nationalism disguised, to allow easier subversion.”  Or that their roots are not at all multi-culti, or that the result of their policies is never egalitarian.)  They couldn’t figure out how anyone could think they were objectively bad.

Until the left’s policies changed.  And a generation that knows no real history decided the fault was not with the socialism, but with these other characteristics.

And they’re embracing the characteristics of the left’s imaginary enemies and thereby becoming what had never existed before then.

The problems are three fold if this catches on: we’re still left with the failures of socialism.  the new prejudices are just as bad as the old ones.  And it leaves the rest of us who are for freedom homeless and bereft.

On the other hand there is a certain amount of schadenfreude in seeing the left’s magical words break, and in seeing them unable to face the fact that history doesn’t come with an arrow.

In some blog, long ago, in the comments section, someone said that if the left got what it wanted, it would backfire so badly we’d be hunting them with dogs and beating them to death with their “no blood for oil” signs.  I think it’s going to be worse than that.  I think it’s going to be so bad that the rest of us are not even going to enjoy it.  Even if they brought this on themselves, by creating an enemy they thought they’re prefer to confront, an enemy that didn’t exist outside their lies.





596 thoughts on “Conjuring

  1. I think the pain is going to be felt most by the inhabitants of citiies and the denser the urban core, the worse it will be. That’s going to hurt the statists and their clients far more than it will hurt their opponents.

    1. As city & state pension funds implode in the next 15 years (in both blue & red states), we are going to see fans of statism struggle to make some hard choices (eg: pay for working firemen or retired firemen). While I like schadenfreude as much as anyone, it will be challenging to deal with (1) attempts to push through federal-level bailouts and (2) the flood of refugees bringing their statist politics to Free States.

      1. It’s not 15 years. It’s now. CT is facing that choice and the fact that the tax base is leaving as fast as it can. The handwriting is on the wall and the politicians are ignoring it.
        And the Feds don’t have any money. The entitlements are eating all the revenues. ALL of the tax money that the Feds take in right now is used to essentially pay old people and service the debt.

        1. Or look to Flint, Michigan, where the burden of paying for city workers’ retirement pushed the city into seeking a lower-priced source of drinking water.

        2. I wrote 15 yrs not because I think that is when the implosion begins, but rather when it will end. I can’t see the Blue State(ism) Model lasting longer than that even in the best-financed of the blue states. Of course the Feds have no money, but that is not stopping them from trying to funnel money from fiscally sound areas to prop up their Potemkin cities and states. Just read any of the Stanley Kurtz articles about AFFH.

    2. Mostly, the rulers of the urban core don’t actually live in those areas. Or at the very least, they return to their country estates for the weekends…

    3. Unfortunately some us cannot live in rural areas for many reasons. We aren’t farmers or sell to farmers. We need to be close to cities because they are transportation hubs which are essential for our jobs. Cities have better medical care that is closer to get to than in the countryside which is important if you or your wife/husband have chronic medical conditions.

      By the way there are conservative people who live in cities.

        1. c4c means “Comment for Comments”. People using it don’t have a comment to make at that time but have to “make a comment” in order to check the “notify me of new comments via email” box.

  2. I have a quibble with one of your points: “Getting us in foreign wars was a leftist project (Wilson, FDR, JFK) …”

    Didn’t Wilson campaign on a slogan of “He kept us out of the war”, and FDR promise “Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars” and “The first purpose of our foreign policy is to keep our country out of war”?

    Now, granted, both of them later reneged on that. But I don’t think they were lying when they made those promises, because their actions before 1917 / 1941 were quite in keeping with their words. As I understand it, they both ignored several provocations, before the sinking of the Lusitania and the attack on Pearl Harbor (respectively) make it politically impossible to stay out of the war.

    Any thoughts on this?

    1. Both Wilson and FDR intervened extensively on their preferred side in both wars before we actually went to war. They were not above lying, as witness one of Roosevelt’s friends saying he could not tell the truth even if it benefited him. Wilson actively provoked Germany for two years with his blatantly discriminatory policies which allowed Britain and France to buy anything they wanted from the US knowing the German navy could not break the Royal Navy blockade to trade with us and their only response would be to wage unrestricted sub warfare, which would provide the reason for the US to declare war. This is not a defense of Germany, but a clear look at Wilson’s policies that gave lie to his pronouncements.

      FDR similarly provoked both Germany and Japan in 1938-1941, wanting a reason for war.

      1. Slight disagreement.

        I don’t think FDR was provoking Japan as much as he was provoking Germany.

        Now there were plenty of people inside the government and outside the government that openly hated what Japan was doing in China.

        Mind you, FDR wanting a war against Germany is fairly clear.

        Robin and others forget that FDR (and Wilson before him) had to face a US public that really didn’t want to get involved in “Europe’s wars”.

        1. General Billy Mitchell made an official visit to Japan in 1924 and found the Japanese were quite open about their preparations for war against the USA. When the War Department and Congress didn’t want to hear that he went to the newspapers and lecture circuit, which netted him a court-martial.

        2. Interesting Paul as I’d consider FDR as provoking Japan more than Germany. While he did want to join the war in Europe he knew he needed the US to be attacked and that was easier to get from Japan (as the US was the major competitor in the Pacific) than Germany (who already had enough on their plate and didn’t directly compete with the US in many areas).

          I’d often wondered how different history would have been if Germany had not declared war on the US allowing him to, a few days after getting the declaration of war against Japan, to get war with Germany declared. Would the Pacific War have ended early and the war in Europe ended with exhaustion (as WWI would have sans US intervention).

          1. Well, I have my doubts about the “get Japan to declare war on the US so that Germany would declare war on the US” idea because it depends on Hitler doing what FDR wanted.

            Sure that’s what happened, but could FDR be sure that it’d happen?

            Oh, Chris Nuttall’s new book _Storm Front_ is set in a world where the Pearl Harbor attack didn’t work out as well as it did in our world so Hitler never declared war on the US.

            Churchill got kicked out as Prime Minister and Britain accepted a peace offer from Germany.

            Germany managed to defeat the Soviet Union and “now” (IIRC 1980s) rules all of Europe (sans Britain) and much of the Middle East.

            1. Sigh. Nazi economics were mildly better than Soviet economics but they were still a disaster that were largely kept afloat based on fraud and the seizure of assets from conquered lands. That’s not something that’s going to last for four decades.

              But hey, for $3, I’ll give the book a chance.

              1. Part of the “fun-and-games” in Storm Front is the problem with the Nazi economic system as well as the in-fighting between the Nazi factions.

            2. Well, there were plenty of FDR actions designed to bait Germany. I don’t deny that but I think FDR was working harder in the Pacific (such as moving the fleet from San Diego to Pearl). However, was betting on Hitler being headstrong and blind really a poor bet by late 1941? Especially given how much FDR had already involved himself in the European war (basically Wilson in WWI on steroids).

              Plus, I think war in the Pacific (despite my speculation above) probably did mean war in Europe in the long run if only because it made us co-belligerents with at least two European nations immediately (the UK and the Netherlands). While the Soviets pulled off compartmentalized war by fighting only Germany and not moving in the Far East until it was effectively over I’m not sure the US could have pulled it off.

              Even with we had the mobilization would have armed the remaining Europeans anyway.

              1. IIRC at the time of Pearl Harbor, only Britain and the Soviets were fighting Germany. IE Netherlands were conquered by Germany.

                The real question is “how long could Britain continued the way against Germany and Japan if the US hadn’t joined the war against Germany”.

                In Chris Nuttall’s alternate WW2 (that leads to Storm Front), a new British government accepted a peace with Germany. IIRC Britain & the US were allied against Japan.

                1. There was a Dutch government in exile and the Dutch fleet (mostly cruisers and destroyers) was active in early Pacific battles like the Java Sea (where the allied forces were commanded by a Dutch admiral).

                  As for the UK it depends on if the limiting factor would have been manpower or material. For the latter, I doubt the scale of the moblization for just a Pacific War would have been any smaller and while anti-submarine vessels would not have been quite the priority they were in history merchant shipping still would have been. Could FDR have moved enough to Lend-Lease to the UK under the argument “they’re fighting with us in the Pacific” to let them win the Battle of the Atlantic and stay in the war? That’ a very interesting question.

                  1. The key to winning the Battle of the Atlantic was air cover. Improvement in airborne ASW patrols and escort carriers eventually made it so that U-boats didn’t have anywhere to hide, before that Germany was sinking shipping faster than even the US could build it. If the US doesn’t enter the war against Germany, the entire western Atlantic becomes hunting grounds for the wolfpacks.

                    1. It was a combination of factors. One was aircraft carriers to cover the last gap. But centimetric radar and the Leigh light were also crucial.

                    2. But without US airbases to fly out of, the radar and lights wouldn’t be a threat to the U-boats.

                    3. Without the lights and the radar, the planes would not have been a threat; the subs could have dived out of danger before the planes could launch attacks.

                    4. But at the same time the planes would radio the position of the sub to any convoys in the area, allowing them to evade. Sinking the sub is great, but forcing it to return home without any kills is still a win for the allies.

                2. Ok, that was confusing. I first read that second sentence as saying, ” IE Neanderthals were conquered by Germany. I was wondering how they could have lost, if they had a time machine.

                    1. Well, I’d take a look at it. But I’d be very disappointed if the Neanderthals didn’t win…

              2. “While the Soviets pulled off compartmentalized war by fighting only Germany and not moving in the Far East until it was effectively over I’m not sure the US could have pulled it off.”

                Actually, they compartmentalized it by giving Japan a bloody nose when they invaded Mongolia in 1938-39. No one much heard about it then or now. The Soviets had a better armor force (by far) than Japan; one of the officers who “made his bones” in that conflict was Zhukov.


        3. Weren’t those B-17s that the radar operators at Pearl confused with the attacking Japanese actually headed to China for the Flying Tigers?

          1. Pretty sure it was only a training flight. There were very few B-17s around and they weren’t great models. The flight that got chopped up by the Pearl Harbor attackers was B-17C and B-17E. There was one bombing group of B-17s on Philippines – but they had like 35 planes – not enough for local defense let alone sending more to China.

            Keep in mind, B-17 numbers were very limited before the war, only 39 “B” (first production model – not really combat ready) 38 “C” (also not really combat ready – 20 of the 38 given to the UK), 42 “D” (up to 7 machine guns, still no tail turret), and 512 “E” (first really combat capable model) but it wasn’t until the “F” that they were really good, and the one everyone remembers is the “G” model.

            What do people think about this article?

            I saw it from Instapundit and it is making me think. What if this is just an invasion without guns? Their purpose to subvert the society and not join it?


            1. I have somewhat facetiously suggested that we allow all those refugees to come ahead to America but to only allow them to settle in the southern states. See, it’s still tradition for a southern daddy to teach his little honey how to shoot and to send her off to college with a cute pink purse gun. It would mean running the crematoriums 24/7 with a concurrent drain on the natural gas supply, but sacrifices must be made.

                1. Darwinian selection at its finest! I don’t think there are many areas of the US that are going to put up with the Muslim rape game that’s going on in Europe, of course the blue states have already set themselves up to be the perfect victims.

                  1. It would be perhaps the only situation where the anti gun crowd’s prediction of “blood in the streets” actually becomes true.
                    We red staters are polite and slow to anger, but after so many lone wolf attacks I do believe we are very near the end of our patience. I’m sure there will be collateral damage to totally innocent Muslims, but too bad, they had a chance to correct the problem but failed to speak out.

                2. Multiculturalism. It’s their culture to rape unaccompanied women. It is our culture to shoot would-be rapists. They can follow their culture, we will follow ours.

              1. When my daughter went off to UF I gave her an engraved Colt DetSpl and a trip to the range to qualify. Which was a good thing because the guy who was chopping up co-eds at the time turned out to be living in a vacant lot right down the street from her apartment.

            2. We’re looking at a situation where people are more afraid of looking racist than of getting attacked by these creeps. And yet I know the fear of looking racist and its ability to paralyze first-hand, if in a much milder situation — back in the 90’s I was working at a library, and we were having problems with a bunch of Arab kids hanging out and using it as a social hall. We were supposed to enforce the policy against loud visiting and non-studying activity, but we were all sort of hesitant — until our new head librarian, a formidable black lady and the wife of a Baptist minister, who had no use for the soft bigotry of low expectations, got up and told us that it was not about race, but about behavior, and she expected us to enforce expectations of appropriate and inappropriate behavior on everyone, whatever race. Once we all knew our boss would have our backs if there were complaints, things changed, fast.

            3. I think the article nails it dead-on. These migrants don’t poop in their pools back home, nor do they cruise the streets looking for women to rape. It’s not that they don’t know better; it’s that they DO know better.

            4. I’ve been worried about that possibility for a while now. Considering the way Europe is now this would definitely be the smartest way to invade, we are NOT about to start shooting people who come here asking for (or claiming) refuge. Wouldn’t even have to be most of them or a lot of them, just a core who are actually doing it as a planned action because lot of the rest also seem to be at least somewhat driven by envy, thinking that west owes them what we have, and if then they don’t get what they think they should get it might not be that difficult to recruit more. And add peer pressure, their religion makes them quite prone to that.

              No, I don’t like this situation at all.

              1. It’s been a couple years(!) since I offered, but my couch is still available if you need it. Just try to give us 24 hours notice if you have to take us up on it. *smile*

                  1. If you don’t mind sharing with a calico cat who takes her half out of the middle, I’ve got a spare bedroom. Just don’t feed the cat before 1700 no matter how much she sucks in her flanks and acts like she’s dyyyyyying of starvation. And be really careful when you open the closet door. I really need to thin out the junk in the junk closet.

          2. They were headed for the Philippines as part of the US buildup there. Brereton was ultimately by pre-war plans going to have 200 of them by May 1942. AS a result of the war starting in December 1941, he only had 20-30 of them, and those that survived the Pearl Harbor attack, ended up in Australia.

            1. Grey hair kicking in again, then. Sure thought FDR had bombers in route to China. Might have been B25s, though.

              1. There were no bomber headed for China at that point. All bomber production was earmarked for the UK/USSR and a little bit for the Phillippines. It was FDR/MacSrthur’s hope to have a credible deterrent force in place by March 1942 to make the Japanese think twice about invading.

        4. FDR had cut off scrap steel – a critical strategic resource for Japan – exports to Japan and moved the Pacific Fleet to Pearl Harbor. The latter was a clear provocation, positioning your fleet-in-being just outside (it was thought) striking distance. Plus everyone knew that the Japanese empire needed the resources in Indonesia, and they almost certainly weren’t going to let the US sit astride their lines of communication in the Philippines. And then there was the matter of Japan being repeatedly humiliated at the hands of the US since the days of Commodore Perry.

          1. Not just steel; the embargo also blocked US oil exports to Japan. The US was a major (if not the predominant – I have to go look it up) oil exporter in the 1920s and 1930s (No Saudi oil fields yet). As a result the oil embargo by the US basically had the Japanese figuring they had about 18 months worth of oil on hand in the home islands until they ran dry, so they needed to go take the closest oil fields, which were the Dutch colonial fields in Indonesia. But that weird underequipped Phillipines MacArthur military detachment/defense force/colonial thing, with some regular Army and Air Corps assets and a handful of really old Navy stuff, and more on they way, could cause problems for the IJN in a pure southward move. The Japanese were pretty much either going to have to cave and pull out of their colonial possessions in China (not going to happen with the Japanese Army’s political power – they owned all the new industries in Manchukuo), or they were going to have to attack the US, at minimum in the Phillipines, before the oil ran out, while simlutaneously grabbing the Dutch posessions.

            So if you are an Imperial Japanese war planner, and your leadership has basically come to the conclusion that you are going to attack the US, you have to be worried about the Pacific Fleet executing the US war plan and punching through to the Phillipines with a heavy relief convoy. Sure, you’d get a glorious Decisive Battle, but why take the risk?

            So you decide to use your revolutionary advantage in naval air power and try and take the US fleet out. You know from your spies that the fleet, including the carriers, mostly just sits there at their moorings in Pearl Harbor, and if you manage damage or even sink the carriers as well as the battle line, the IJN can do whatever it wants in the entire Pacific for at least two years.

            And again, with no oil coming in, you have to go to war and take some oil fields in months, not years.

            Yeah, hindsight is 20/20, but what’s surprising to me is that nobody in DC ever thought to ask “Gee, if we strangle off the entire Japanese economy, what could they decide to do instead of give in?”

            1. I think the original plan was to take the Philippines and then attack Pacific Fleet in a Tsushima-style battle when it came to relieve MacArthur. When FDR parked the entire fleet at Pearl, the appeal of making one knock-out blow to destroy the US presence in the Pacific was irresistible.

              And a good thing, too. Almost all of the ships sunk at Pearl Harbor were eventually returned to service. The record from Guadalcanal shows that the US Navy would have taken heavy losses, if not suffered an outright defeat, if it faced the IJN in late 1941. And there would have been no way to recover those losses.

              1. Yeah, the other worst case scenario (after the IJN catching the CVs in Pearl) would have been if someone (maybe a PBY like at Midway, or a sub for some reason out there, or maybe one of the B-17 flights blown off course) discovers the IJN Kido Butai approaching Hawaii from the north and successfully communicates that fact, whereupon Kimmel sorties the entire US Pacific Fleet to meet them using pre-war US doctrine (Carriers as scouts well back, and BBs as the main striking element forward screened by cruisers and DDs), and as a result the whole damn US Pacific Fleet including the carriers all gets sunk by IJN air in 15,000 ft deep waters

                1. Actually, thinking it through, the “US Pacific Fleet sorties and is destroyed” scenario would have been worse for the US than catching the US CVs in Pearl.

                  So if you have a Japanese nationalist time traveler, he might conclude the thing he could do to most help the WWII Japanese war effort would be to make sure Admiral Kimmel knows on December 4th or so that the Kido Butai is coming and from what direction.

                  Of course how it plays out after The Great Sinking couldn’t be that different – the USN still shifts what few CVs it has over from the Atlantic and possibly concentrates more early resources on CVEs to get more landing decks out to the Pacific sooner, the US Submarine fleet still chokes off the Japanese home islands within roughly the same time period, Guadalcanal likely goes about the same with more IJN attacks getting through but not enough Japanese supplies getting through to win, and the rest of the island hopping campaign, which in our timeline is pretty much run with post-Pearl-Harbor production, goes about the same.

                  In the end the production capacities on the two sides were too vastly mismatched for the Japanese to win in any case other than a very early (end of 1942-early 1943 at the latest) negotiated settlement. Any time from mid-1943 onwards the Japanese were basically doomed unless they got a lot more production capacity somehow – maybe if the Nazis completely destroyed Stalin, successfully grabbed all the Russian resources and factories and factory workers intact, avoided killing off all the skilled ones with the wrong parentage, got production restarted again, and started pushing all that new war production through all the way along the Siberian railroad to the Pacific to aid their Japanese allies against the US. Somehow.

                  Yeah, smart Nazis; pretty unlikely. So no matter what the Imperial Japanese were doomed.

                  1. The commonly held theory seems to be that democracies, in particularly America, lack the stamina for a prolonged war. Either bog us down in a war of attrition (which generally favors America if we can muster the will) or strike hard and fast and we’ll take our losses and walk away from the table. The fact that our news media is so open to propaganda from our enemies makes us peculiarly vulnerable, in their eyes.

                    In fairness to those holding that theory, the evidence supports it. Even in WWII the public was losing its taste for the war and pressing for a return to “normal” — whatever the heck that is.

                    1. “The fact that our news media is so open to propaganda from eager to provide aid and comfort to our enemies makes us peculiarly vulnerable, in their eyes.”

                  2. I think you’re being a little optimistic, here. The loss of the entire Pacific Fleet means no Battle of the Coral Sea, which means the Japanese take Port Moresby, and might have been able to launch an invasion of Australia. It’s not more than six months difference, but it’s there.

                2. I’m not sure Nagumo’s force was strong enough to sink the entire PacFlt in a stand-up fight. The attack was really a heavy raid, and the Japanese benefited from the fact that the US ships were in port, with relaxed damage control condition, no steam in the boilers, and greatly reduced manning. If the battleships had their defensive weapons manned and ready, the first wave would have suffered heavy losses, and the battlewagon’s ability to maneuver around torpedoes would have meant fewer losses per wave. And by 1941 US carrier doctrine had advanced to using the air wing in a strike role, so the damage would not have been one-sided. Given the combat record in early 1942 and the fact that the battle would have been joined in daylight, I would have expected the USN to give as good as it got. More likely Nagumo would have maneuvered to disengage before the battle was joined.

          2. There was also the little matter of their using them to wage an aggressive and atrocity filled war in China.

              1. I’m not saying teasing a minotaur is wrong, what I’m saying is wrong is thinking the minotaur won’t react.

                1. I will say teasing a minotaur is wrong – unless, perhaps, you know that/the minotaur very well and are on generally good terms and all. I know, not your point. Or points.

        5. Wilson’s greatest black mark on world history was the doctrine of “self-determination.” Following his lead, we’ve had a grim march of “humanitarian” wars so that the people for whom it was waged could “self-determine” themselves into a tyranny of the majority (thus creating that bizarre rhetorical trope, “some people don’t want to be free”), and once the “humanitarians” understandably lose interest in the endeavor, the corruptocrat they “self-determined” gets overthrown by a full-blown psycho. And the bodies pile up.

          One can only be thankful that the German and Japanese occupations did not follow Wilson’s principles.

    2. Wilson, in general, turned his back completely on his campaign. The Lusitania did not precipitate American involvement (in fact, it was two years earlier). Even with the introduction of unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 American involvement was not required. The US could have respected the German blockade of the UK as much as they did of Germany (the British just used surface ships and not tears were shed about ships seized by them). It was completely optional. However, by 1917 the US have loaned most of the war fund that were keeping the UK and France afloat, was selling large amounts or raw materials to the allies, and generally had established strong ties.

      FDR is a little different in that war, at least in Europe, was written into history before he came to office (even participants in WWI knew the peace would end in a couple of decades and a few even said so). The question of the Pacific war is more open but it was probably not avoidable.

      However, odd fact, in 1920 the principle US Navy war plan was not Plan Orange (war with Japan) but Plan Red (war with the UK).

        1. It’s funny – we frequently talk about craters when mentioning nuclear weapons (and I do it as much as anyone), but unless you’re trying to take out a deep bunker, if there’s a crater, then the detonator didn’t work right.

          1. Craters are showy. Nuclear weapons are showy.

            It’s the explosions make sounds in space phenomenon carried over from Hollywood.

          2. I am making the assumption of a ground or near-ground burst, though it certainly would be otherwise if a competently built device were delivered competently with an air burst intended. I will note that where the nuke comes from will not necessarily be Iran. it’s the change of world political environment and attitude toward use that matters. It could be that as things to (What The) H*ll, that, say, India decides it might as well be done with something. Not a prediction, merely an example.

        2. In think in light of the Iran deal we should just declare the NPT defunct and offer to sell nuclear – perhaps not thermonuclear – weapons to any nation with the money. Nuclear weapons built at the Barack Obama World Peace Facility.

          1. Frankly, I think we’re heading that way, anyway.

            Put me in charge, and I might even go so far as to say “Yeah, you wanna buy The Bomb? Step right up… Des Moines City Council? Sure thing… Texas? Yep… Billy-Bob Jones? Why, of course, your right to The Bomb ™ is enshrined in the Constitution…”.

            See what the world looks like when a coalition of pissed-off American backwoods peckerheads can buy their own bomb, and use it if they so desire. You want the death of the Westphalian protocols? Why, we’ll just turn that shit up to 11, and see how the world likes it.

            I wonder how long the Iranians would have held on to their hostages in 1978, had someone like H. Ross Perot casually let it be known that he was purchasing his own atomic weapons, in order to get his people back and/or avenge their deaths. I think that would have had a somewhat sobering effect on the whole hostage situation, and maybe, just maybe, we should have let something like that happen.

            I have to be honest with you, here: I don’t see the current American federal structure surviving much past the end of this century, before the inherent contradictions force it into either bankruptcy or collapse. America will still be here, the people will still be here, and the resources will be here, but the government structure we know and are immensely irritated by, most days? Gone. And, the vacuum may well be filled by a bunch of self-organized, fractious bastards who are going to be the world’s number-one nightmare, in terms of “WTF are those loons going to do, next…?”. A collapsed US federal structure may not be horrible, for us. For the rest of the world? Yikes… Minot AFB is going to have to pay the bills, somehow, and offering their nuclear weapons “services” to the highest domestic bidder might just be how they do that. “Yeah, we bought shares in a Minuteman III, Mr. Khamanei, and since we’re majority owners in it, we’re gonna use it, unless we get our people back… Like, right now.”.

            Pressure groups, holding bake sales, to pay for strategic weapons options… Corporate firms, chartering mercenary companies… Privateering coming back…

            Yeah, some folks might want to rethink this whole “Let’s take down the US government…” deal. The results will almost certainly not be what they want.

            It’ll be entertaining as hell, for the rest of us.

            1. It all stems from their misunderstanding of America. Most other places governments have countries. Change the government and you change the behavior of the country. The US, on the other hand, is a government hired by Americans. Change or destroy the government and all you do is set the Americans wild. I like to point to Youtube as being chock full of examples of what rednecks get up to when they’re bored. Just imagine what they’ll think up when they’ve decided that someone is a threat.

              1. That’s what’s always amused me about people trying to assassinate the President.

                They don’t understand that any particular president is irrelevant to the continued functioning of the US Government… because we have an immediate replacement layered ten deep…

                1. It’s not for that purpose – it’s “pour encourager les autres”

                  (why yes, I *do* believe that responsible government is what you get when the king knows that a sufficiently pissed off peasant has a decent chance of killing him)

                2. It’s like attacking the Pentagon. Very few actual troops are commanded from there, it’s an administrative hub more than anything else.

                  If you take out Washington D.C. the 50 states will just set up a new government somewhere else. Take out all of the state capitals and the counties will start organizing amongst themselves. And you physically cannot take out all of the county seats. The United States is probably the only country on Earth that could win a nuclear war, for sufficient values of “win.”

                  1. Taking out Washington DC, while congress is in session and the president in residence, would most likely change our form of government – as noted, it’s pretty resilient.

                    It would, however, pretty much ensure that anyone who got elected to the new Congress wouldn’t be a pacifist, and would have “punish those responsible” as their number one priority. It would also, I suspect, push the country in a Jacksonian direction – not constitutionalist, not libertarian, not necessarily “right” vs “left” – but very much willing to use overwhelming force to defend or avenge “us” vs “them”.

                    It would also destroy a number of great museums and historical sites, something that I’d mourn. Even for the politicos and bureaucrats I despise, I don’t want them dead – all I want is to get them out of office and away from the levers of power.

                    1. Generally recognized as the problem of burning down your barn to get rid it of rats.

                      It seems time for a third house of Congress, one to revoke bad laws. Unhappily, the societal consts of such elimination of “precedents” seem excessive.

                    2. See Ringo’s Troy Rising series. Especially Live Free or Die. What’s scary about Ringo is that he is unintentionally prophetic.I think that his muse talks to the Norns.

                    3. The museum thing is why I’d miss NYC (OK, that and the Huns and Hoydens who live in the area.) If there were some way to sneak out the contents of the Met, the Frick, and most of the other museums, without alerting the twits, bureaucrats, idiots, jerks, and UN before we start digging so we can push the city into the Atlantic . . .

                    4. move the stuff to Dallas, SLC, Flagstaff, Houston, Austin, Bozeman, Omaha etc say its for safety and traveling exhibits.

                    5. Can you say “Neutron Bomb”? Museums still there but no politicians, bureaucrats, FSA, or rats(BIRM).

              2. Hi, we’re the United States of America. Merely make us angry and we’ll kill your soldiers and overthrow your government. But really piss us off and we will burn your cities to the ground until you beg us to stop.*

                * See, e.g. the Confederacy, Japan.

          2. We’re already pretty close to that. Obama has chosen to back (politically and financially) Iran over Saudi Arabia in a Shia-vs-Sunni death match spanning 3 countries, at the very moment when the Saudis are financially stretched and the monarchy is poorly led. I would be shocked if the Saudis have not already contacted Pakistan about buying a few nukes for Just In Case,

            1. I read a quip somewhere a couple of years back. “The Saudis already have nuclear weapons, they’re just being kept in Pakistan.”

              It’s going to take decades to undo the damage Obama has done to our foreign policy, and that’s assuming it’s actually damage and not a political realignment.

              1. Not long ago I read a statement attributed to the Pakistan Defense Minister (NIDRWIRI*) advising the Iranians that any attack on Saudi Arabia would provoke a Pakistani response in force.

                *No, I don’t recall where I read it.

                1. My concern with Iran (compared to Pakistan or even Saudi Arabia) is there are enough people in that government who think that would immanentize the eschaton that they’d consider it worth it.

                  1. So here’s a question: Assume the Iranians and the Saudis get wiped, or at least removed as major players. What’s the fallout on this side of the ocean?

                    1. Fallout as in radiation or as in bad things.

                      The former, I don’t know I’d have to do research.

                      The later, an immediate long term price shock on oil due to supply collapse. We might not import much from them but it will shock prices.

                      However, you assume none of those nukes will reach The Great Satan. Risky assumption.

                    2. And as long as at least one reaches Berkeley, San Francisco, Chicago, DC, and NYC, I’ll call it a draw if not a win.

                      Yes, I am a misanthrope. What was the first clue?

                    3. Radiologial fallout? I might see it if it’s a bad radon day and I have to send the air sample for isotopic analysis. Otherwise, nothing.

                    1. So it has been reported, so let it be done.

                      I will believe it when I see it, but I confess I think at present the House of Saud is most concerned with Persians. I’ve long thought the anti-Zionist propaganda was boob bait for the masses, intended to distract them from the shearing they’ve gotten at the hands of the princes.

        3. Probably won’t be a crater. My reading on the competency of the involved parties is that it will be a permanently contaminated site, but that will be because the weapon either fizzled, or got shot down on the way into Israel.

          Now, the ones subsequent to that? Yeah, there will likely be a bunch of craters/contamination sites, and they’ll be primarily from Israeli weapons fired in retaliation. Should things get bad enough, I will lay long odds that a couple of European capitals are going to be on the list. Enablers of Iranian weapons of mass destruction are going to pay a huge price for their profits, should Israel perish. Hell, the Israelis may do it even if only a single bomb goes off successfully on Israeli territory.

          I will guarantee you, however, that if the worst happens, it won’t be confined to just Israel or the Arabs.

          1. Pretty much a tossup whether the first nuke is Tel Aviv or some US costal city. European capitals are a ways down the list barring a failure of delivery systems and a decaying bomb they need to fire off quickly. Of course any strike in Europe nowadays would by default result in the death of tens of thousands of devout Muslims.
            Craters? Probably for a few deep underground nuke processing facilities in Iran, otherwise more of a glowing green glassy plain. Air burst to maximize damage while minimizing fallout.

            1. We’re not coast but I have walked my wife through the proper response to a nuclear attack on Atlanta that leaves our house intact (assuming I’m at work and at best trapped in the building but most likely dead). Topics about sealing the house, how long to stay inside before trying to move, and yes you do just have to abandon the cats if they are outside and not where you can immediately grab them are not pleasant.

              1. Strange coincidence – I was just reading Sarah’s “Created He Them”, which opens with a decision of whether to take the kittens or leave them.

                1. Oh, if they are in the house they go with her/us. If Abbi is out she’s normally sunning right outside the door which we leave open when they go out so getting her isn’t any more time than just shutting the door.

                  Sable is the one who wanders and she’s not to go looking for him or break the seals after a certain time. If she does break the seals anyway he has to have a thorough warm water bath and be shaved and then that bathroom is to be sealed. Given he’s afraid of thunder I think he’d hide and die from inhaled alpha sources before he got home. Telling her that was hard because he is much more my cat than Abbi is.

                  Going back a few threads that’s the difference between cats and children even if we call ourselves Mom and Dad to them. If it was kids she’d go looking and they’d come in my matter how long they’d been out there exposed.

                  1. Well, yeah, but I was remarking on the coincidental timing of your comment with my having just read the opening of the ONLY story I own which has that decision in it

            2. The first target will almost certainly be Tel Aviv. Possibly, a US city. The following targets? Counterstrikes by the Israelis, and that’s where the European capitals are probably going to get it, right in the neck. I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and suggest that the Israeli naming of the Samson Option was not accidental, and they are likely to “shake the temple down” all across the world that enabled or assisted their enemies. I don’t see that happening if Israel is left in a survivable situation, but if it is destroyed…? Yeah, kiss goodbye to Paris, Berlin, and a few other places, whose names can be found on the shipping crates for the WMD technology used against Israel.

              That’s my read on the whole thing, and based on nothing more than a lot of reading and a gut “feel” for Israeli attitudes. At the rate we’re going, Washington, D.C. has probably earned itself a justified spot on that list, as well.

              Next time ’round, the Jews ain’t getting on those cattle-cars without a fight, and I suspect they’re going to leave their lodgings rather well booby-trapped…

              1. Britain’s importance in the latter phase of WWII was as a base for American attacks on the mainland. Israel would prove a very effective staging area for America in the event of a major war in the M.E. — something the Mullahs must realize and a good reason to make Israel Target #1.

                They might likely time a full on assault on Israel with multiple clandestine attacks on America and Western Europe — a kind of “shock and awe” of terrorism.

                1. Next time ’round, the Jews ain’t getting on those cattle-cars without a fight, and I suspect they’re going to leave their lodgings rather well booby-trapped…

                  In the immortal words of the Texas Jewboy,

                  If this isn’t NSFW, I want to work where you work!

              2. If the Samson option happens, any targeting of Europe would probably be behind the capitals of the suspected antagonist and their close allies.

                And I’d be amazed if Mecca, Medina, and the Iranian and Saudi oil terminals weren’t on the list as well.

                After that, well, you may not be wrong on targeting. I just hope we never have cause to find out.

                  1. Let’s face it — a nation which can deploy vultures as spies can probably attack any and everywhere they D- well please.

            3. Here’s a question: what if the city destroyed is DC?

              Not necessarily the immediate aftermath, but *what happens next* when basically every senior political/bureaucratic type gets wiped off the board.

              Might make an interesting story

                    1. Endless speculation as to whether the intended target of flight 93 was the White House or Congress.

                    2. Had to have been the Capitol building; it’s a lot more recognizeable than the White House to non-Americans. Especially from the air.

              1. what if the city destroyed is DC?

                A number of years ago i had a discussion with a coworker who was an ex-pat Brit. I had said something to tick him off, and he spluttered and replied, “Why in 1812 we burned your capitol of Washington DC.”
                I smiled at him and asked, “How much would you charge to do it again?” I suspect that sentiment is shared now more than ever.

                1. IIRC in most showings of the Independence Day movie, the destruction of the White House was cheered. [Evil Grin]

                2. That is why the Blob has insinuated its psuedopods throughout the nation:
                  VA to reinstate official who stole $130,000 from agency
                  A Department of Veterans Affairs official who was demoted after allegedly stealing thousands of taxpayer dollars from the agency was quietly reinstated to her position earlier this week.

                  Kimberly Graves, former head of a VA regional office in Minnesota, appeared before the Merit Systems Protection Board Wednesday to appeal the VA’s decision to strip her of her title in the wake of a scathing inspector general report. That report found Graves had pressured a colleague to leave his job so she could manipulate an employee relocation program and pocket nearly $130,000.

                  Diana Rubens, another VA official named in the watchdog report, will learn her fate Monday. Rubens was accused by the inspector general of creating a less-demanding position for herself at the VA’s regional office in Philadelphia, then netting $274,000 in moving benefits to take the job.

                  The VA demoted both Graves and Rubens in response to the findings, although both officials took their cases to the Merit Systems Protection Board, which weighs personnel disputes at agencies across the federal government.

              2. We send a very nice thank you note followed by large groups of heavily armed and highly motivated servicemen? Or maybe save the ammo and see if it is possible to nuke a country back to the stone age? (Granted it’s a very short step for some of those countries).

                We’re Americans 🙂 if nothing else it’d get the government out of our hair for a while and maybe the portion of the country that seems to have forgotten that would remember what that’s supposed to mean.

              3. The Succession Act and any codicils talk about this. Ringo discussed this in Strands of Sorrow.

              4. The state governors declare state of emergency. get together to appoint a president/congress pro-tem.

                OR…the quisling prog governors get together and urge preemptive surrender, while the rest of governors immediately order return nukes.

            4. Consider open borders with pretty much no controls, CONEX containers, and semi-trucks owned Mexican trucking companies who have free passage into the US and on the US highways.

          2. Even from a full thermonuclear device the clean up really isn’t that difficult from a technical prospective. Remember, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are both thriving metropolises.

            1. Thermonuclear devices are MUCH cleaner than a poorly-functioning fission explosive.

            2. Clancy’s Red Storm Rising had a report (backing up what I’ve seen real world) that a full NATO-Warsaw Pact chemical exchange would have done more and longer lasting damage than a 50-100 warhead tactical nuclear exchange. Just one aspect being that it would probably kill off the soil bacteria and nematodes that allow crops to grow by fixing nitrogen. The recovery measure for that was replacing the topsoil in the affected area.

      1. This is especially true of Wilson who not only got us into an European war but did more than anyone to ensure there would be another one by insisting the one he joined end before it was finished.

      2. Pretty much… They talk trash about not wanting it, but their delusional policies make them almost inevitable outcomes.

        Case in point? The Iran-Iraq War? The first Gulf War? Afghanistan? All are outgrowths of Jimmah (Cursed be his Name) Cahtah’s childish obsession with the Shah of Iran’s “human rights violations”. SAVAK would have taken a few centuries, in order to match the numbers of Iranians killed in the Iran-Iraq conflict, and the devil’s bill still isn’t fully paid on that one.

        I still think Carter was a fully-owned subsidiary of the Saudi ruling class, if not the government.

        And, it’s a damn pity that he’ll never be brought to account for his crimes. I was hoping he’d pay the price in this life, with the recent cancer scare, but he’s apparently become the beneficiary of professional courtesy, on that one…

          1. He did, but it would never have happened vs. the Shah’s US backed Army and Air Force.

            Given he couldn’t carry the day against the shattered and persecuted Iranian mliltary “serving” under the mullahs, if Saddam did decide to go at it with Resa Pahlavi II it would have likley lasted a couple weeks at most, and we would have been rid of im that much sooner.

            And basically you can blame Jimmeh on Nixon getting caught – but then there would have been no Reagan if there had been two terms of beloved President Ford.

      3. “The coming huge one won’t be under Obama, but it’s his anyway.”
        And I for one am hoping against all hope that history awards him full credit. Probably not though, media and the left (but I repeat myself) will put all the blame on the poor conservative schlub trying desperately to dig us out of the hole BHO dug us into.

        1. Having to be stuck with the butcher’s bill for Obama’s fecklessness is one of the only bright (from a schadenfruedey perspective) side to a Hillary or Sanders win.

      4. Much like Bush got blamed for Clinton’s not really paying much attention to the middle east when it bit us all in the ass. Same with the economy. Bush wasn’t really in office long enough to have done anything to cause the recession and he still got blamed for it.

        1. well, unless one is busy claiming the same Prez who is “teh Mostest Stoopids Evar!!1!” was also smart enough to plan and set up a conspiracy to carry out the attacks, including planning who they were going to frame, and allow them to over stay their visas, (after getting flight training for 757s and 767s) send work crews into the WTC building to wire them with explosives and detonators with NO ONE noticing the workers or all the wiring going to the caps, line of false witnesses in Arlington National, the Beltway etc to cover for the missile used on the pentagon and plan to be out of town all in 8 months.
          “Just to be able to invade Iraq for the oils!”

        2. Well, George W Bush was responsible for the recession at the end of his second term — although that was mostly for not doing enough to rein in the Pelosi-Reid budget busting, much less the Dodd-Frank generated housing bubble.

    3. The Lusitania was a legitimate target because it was carrying munitions to the Allies.

      Per Wiki: “Germany had declared the seas around the United Kingdom a war zone, and the German embassy in the United States had placed a newspaper advertisement warning people of the dangers of sailing on Lusitania.”

      The Lusitania was torpedoed eight miles off the coast of Ireland and sank in 18 minutes. While Germany claimed the ship was carrying munitions, concealed in beef barrels and cheese, British officials denied it and claimed it was carrying only passengers.

      But files released from the National Archives in London under the 30 year rule reveal that in 1982 officials feared the wreckage could literally “blow up on us” when a group of divers planned to examine the remains.

      American and British authorities suppressed news of the munitions in order to gin up war fervor and to avoid legal actions by survivors and families of the lost, demanding damages for having been so endangered.

    4. The Zimmermann Telegram was also a Casus belli.
      It was issued from the German Foreign Office in January, 1917 that proposed a military alliance between Germany and Mexico if the United States entered World War I against Germany.

          1. Outrage is not a casus belli. Oh, it may have been used as such but be careful about such precidents. If military alliance is casus belli the existance of NATO gives Russia cause to nuke us at any time.

            1. Sigh.

              Forming a military alliance against another country has long been seen as “reason for war” if the country the alliance is against wants to make war.

              Of course, what often happens is when you form an alliance against Z, Z seeks out an alliance in “self-defense”.

              This was what was happening in Europe before WW1.

              France wants a alliance against Germany and Germany seeks out allies against France.

              Sure, NATO was seen as an alliance against the Soviet Union and the Soviets knew it which is part of the public reason for the Warsaw Pact.

              The fun-and-games with the Zimmerman Telegram is that the US was still officially neutral in WW1 and it was seen (rightly or wrongly) as a threat against the US.

              Of course, a “Casa Belli” isn’t something that can be taken to some “Super International Court” to “OK” your war against another country.

              It is most often something that you use to convince your people or friendly nations that you have a good reason for war.

            2. Mid 80s computer game called Balance of Power (Diplomacy between US and USSR) was of the opinion that sending 20 million in military aid to China would cause an immediate launch…..

              The “Surrender to USSR” was strong with this one.

              1. That recalls an exercise I took part in during the Clinton Administration, in which a League of Woman Voters road show came to my town to do a community exercise in “How hard it is to balance the budget.”

                A lot of folk attended, probably in the range of several hundred , and one of the “moderators” was the then OMB Director (who must assuredly have had better ways to spend his time?) We were divided into groups and instructed to allocate the monies into various categories and determine where to cut and where to increase spending.

                It didn’t take much looking behind the curtain to recognize the dice had been loaded and that such options as “cut Cap Gains taxes to increase economic investment and growth” or even “reduce benefits to [category of your choice, from public employees to Welfare recipients]” were off the table.

                I stuck with it, mostly to observe what kind of soft soap they were using to lube us, but I was not entirely silent in observations offered during the event, nor in the post exercise evaluations.

                The post-event news coverage was about what I had anticipated.

                1. I remember a similar situation, at the Asimov Seminar many years ago. The participants were playing the roles of representatives of the Arab League, the Group of 77, the Soviet Bloc, the US, and the EU. They were supposed to negotiate an outcome based on the scenario of a technical and economic ability to build solar power satellites using extraterrestrial resources while falling under the auspices of the UN treaty from COPOUS (Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space) informally known as the Moon Treaty.

                  The participants were negotiating away, and were hammering out a solution to the perceived problem, but the advisors (lawyers who worked with the Law of the Sea, etc.) didn’t like the direction they were going and decided to change the parameters of the scenario in mid-stream to ensure the outcome they wanted. Instead, the participants basically said, screw you, we quit. It ended up with the Arabs funding the building of the solar power satellites and the EU providing the technical expertise, and both telling the rest of the international community to stuff it. But no one was happy with the coercion attempted by the “advisors.”

        1. Given that we were practically in a state of war with (or at least engaging in military action within) Mexico until three weeks before the telegram give it a distinctly more unfriendly weight than it would have otherwise. However, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. This isn’t the first time somebody’s diplomatic ploys have had the opposite impact in Congress. A telegram from the Spanish government to their ambassador in D.C. telling him to lie to Congress regarding Cuba was the final straw that led to the Spanish-American War, after all.

          1. Given that we were practically in a state of war with (or at least engaging in military action within) Mexico until three weeks before the telegram should have arguably made it laughable. The Mexican government couldn’t keep the US Army out of Mexico when it was pursuing anti-government bandits yet we were supposed to fear its alliance with a German Empire that couldn’t even send it material goods.

            I realize it was one of our casus belli but it was a damn stupid one both given the practicality and the precedent.

              1. It was widely known that Wilhelm II hated the US, and seriously considered invading in 1901/1902 to force us to give up the colonies we took from Spain in 1898. In his mind we were not worthy of an overseas empire.

                Robert Conroy wrote an excellent book 1901 on this premise.

            1. But combined with everything else Germany had done, it was the last straw. The German government had spent a long time doing quite a bit to menace the US*.

              1. Threatening statements made by the German Foreign Minister to our ambassador that 500,000 German reservists in the US stood ready to rise up against the US government should the US declare war against Germany
              2. Unrestricted submarine warfare (especially simply sinking without allowing surrenders)
              3. German espionage and sabotage operations in the US that included the Black Tom explosion
              4. Zimmerman Telegram

              * Frankly, the Imperial German government and the Prussian government before it seems to have spent the time from Bismark’s appointment to the Kaiser abdicating being as belligerent as possible short of war most of the time, except sometimes to the adjacent two empires.

              1. You are being insensitive to the German cultural means of expressing affection. All of that was just their way of saying how much they admire the USA and want to be like us.

          1. See my point above.

            The Mexican government couldn’t do anything more than protest Pershing’s expedition into Chihuahua yet somehow Germany, blockaded in Europe, was going to aid Mexico, whose government’s authority was non-existent as far North as the border to recover Texas?

            Hell, just tell Blackjack to ride to Mexico City instead of putting him on an ocean liner if you’re that worried about it. I doubt he could have been stopped any more than Scott’s drive there from Veracruz was.

            Hell, I suspect you could get whoever replaced the Third Herd at Bliss across the border and to Ciudad Chihuahua before the Mexican government could react even now.

            1. Whether something is a casus belli isn’t decided by whether it’s viable. In fact, the Mexican president polled his generals, and they told him it was a stupid idea. So Mexico steered clear – and stayed out of WWI. Germany, on the other hand, had proposed partitioning a then-neutral. Plus the juxtaposition of unrestricted submarine warfare and Mexico reminded everybody that Germany’s position on that was basically “we can but you can’t” – witness their championship whining after we messed with a ship carrying arms at Veracruz in 1914. Germany managed to portray itself as a renegade state.

            2. Mexico, sensibly enough, turned them down. It was a foolish offer; money was useless, as the USA had the only sizable armaments industry in this Hemisphere, and weapons couldn’t make it through the blockcade. Nevertheless, making the offer was a reason to go to war. Especially as a reasonably prudent person would conclude that things were likely to escalate.

              1. Quite right.

                The crux of the matter would have been Germany’s incitement of a Mexican attack on the US. That is why the result was declaration of war against Germany, not Mexico. Looking at the question from the perspective of Mexico confuses the issue.

                More importantly, Wilson was chafing for a war and would have inflated pretty much any pretext available.

                1. More importantly, Wilson was chafing for a war and would have inflated pretty much any pretext available.

                  Bingo, we have a winner.

                  In a sane world where the US was a neutral and intended to remain neutral then, given the reality of Mexico at the time, this would have been a nothing burger: it was an impossible action by Mexico that Germany couldn’t aid based on a condition that a neutral US needed worry about.

                  Wilson wanted that war then he refused to finish it setting up another, worse war, 21 years later.

                  I don’t have half the fury I have for FDR that I have for Wilson.

              2. And had been seen as a “valid reason” for war from the start of people thinking about “just wars” as opposed to “unjust wars”.

            3. Did they protest it? I was under the impression that they had more or less given permission. . . .

              After all, we were after a Mexican national who had launched attacks on the US from Mexico. The technical term for that is “act of war.”

            4. That’s still my preferred solution to the immigration problem, finish the job we started in 1846. Mexico already has a strong border fence on its southern border, so we’d save on building that. It’s a much shorter border so we’d save maintenance costs. They have oil, so it would likely pay for itself. And there’s no reason a few drug lords couldn’t suffer tragic “collateral damage” accidents as the National Guard – I think the regular army would be overkill – rolled through.

                1. By “overkill” read “have better things to do, like return Iran to the gravel age.”

  3. > they’re embracing the characteristics of the left’s imaginary enemies and thereby becoming what had never existed before then

    When you have no model of your own, you follow the only model you have. Even if it’s an imaginary model.

    see also: Stanford Prison Experiment

  4. I saw the dishonest, lying propaganda – enabled by a complicit establishment media – play out in real time, with the Tea Party. A group of honest, hard-working, and educated citizens upholding the Constitution and the rule of law were smeared as angry, stupid bigoted racists. I remain so coldly angry with the media personalities who enabled this, and cooperated so enthusiastically in the smears that there are media people – in news, and in entertainment – whom I will never watch again, or purchase anything they had anything to do with.

    That’s cold anger – the kind that lasts.

      1. I quit Glee much earlier than that, when I realized that it was essentially an apologia for LGBT extremism.

        1. Could somebody please explain why, if the left has one completely, every TV show, movie or magazine article has to be heavily larded down with Prog virtue signaling. It’s as if they are all afraid that if they don’t continually add in the latest Prog extravagance the whole thing would fall apart. So they beat the drum endlessly like cult members.

            1. It’s not at all subtle. it’s 100 lb weights of approved GOODTHINK. For me it’s hard to ignore and so I don’t watch that show. The Progs are so frustrated that some don’t agree with them that they’re doing the equivalent of shouting even though that is the worst tactic. Calm cool reason or subtle humorous pokes work much better. On the other hand today’s writers may be unable to write any other way.Perhaps virtue signalling is all they know how to write.

              1. Hell, most of today’s entertainment writers can’t write period. Witness the endless re-makes and copy-catting.

              2. They take a good show and throw endless Harrison Bergeron-style mandatory handicaps onto it until they get what they want.

                I’ve seen this firsthand with a group of SoCal Firefly fans who don’t realize that ‘their side’ is the ALLIANCE, not the Browncoats.

          1. Virtue signalling and risk aversion (consider what happens when a show *doesn’t* include the oppressed minority de jour in a favourable light)

    1. Yes. This is also changed my perspective on the left. That government officials from both parties jumped on the hate train really pissed me off.

      They don’t want debate because they can’t win. So instead they resorted out outright lies. My sister actually called me a tea bagging pagan and she seems surprised i have no interest in spending holidays with her.

      1. My sister actually called me a tea bagging pagan and she seems surprised i have no interest in spending holidays with her.

        But she meant it in the kindest, most loving way.

        After all, any objection to tea-bagging would be homophobic, and because pagans have rejected Christ-centered theocratic patriarchy they should be praised.

        1. Lol, sure she did. But any ‘discussion’ that devolves into one side insulting the other instead of discussing like an adult usually means they lost.

      2. And this is when Trump reached takeoff velocity. Even if he wasn’t on the radar. Watching the GOPe slander it’s own voters drove lots of us to Cold Anger.

        1. My thought is for a lot of supporters Trump is the stripper to the jilted husband that is a long term GOP voter. You’ve been dumped by your long time cheating wife and are lonely. No woman wants to be nice to you so you pay a striper $20 for a 15 “private dance” which is really just sitting in the corner with your arm around her while she pretends to be interested in whatever you’re talking about.

          Deep down you know she doesn’t really like you but it is been so long since someone has even just having someone you paid to pretend to like you pretend pretty well is good enough.

          That, my funniest clown theory, and the “stabbing the guy who put the knife in your back” theory cover, in my mind, why we have Trump. None are good reasons to vote for someone for President but if you fail to supply anything positive reason for people to vote for your candidates eventually they will find a candidate they can vote for even if it is for a very bad reason.

          It just came about 20 years earlier than I suspected.

      3. “They don’t want debate because they can’t win.”

        Just this day I had someone flatly reject Jonathan Haidt’s work on the grounds he didn’t care what conservatives said, they believed what he said they did.

    2. Just spent five hours on three websites and calling two help lines and an employer to prove I had health insurance. Cold anger is pretty accurate, now that I stopped throwing things. At least, stopped till the next idiot says how wonderful this system is.

  5. There’s also the “might as well be killed for being a sheep as for being killed for being a lamb”.

    IE if we’re going to be hated for “little things”, why shouldn’t we go for being hated for “big things”.

    While I’m not defending/liking Trump, part of his appeal IMO is that he’s saying stuff that plenty are thinking and his supporters know that the News Media is going to hate them anyway so why not support somebody that the Media is calling a Fascist?

    1. I’ve been saying this since roughly 2002, when I thought if the US was going to be accused of war crimes and plundering the oil we ought to do it anyway and get the benefits.

  6. Which is where the whole crazy silliness of “code words” came up

    The belief that people you dislike reveal their inner evil through coded messages in their innocuous speech — which codes only you can see — is known as paranoia.

      1. Oh, you’re microagressing me by claiming that my denial of the existence of code words is a microagression! (It’s an infinite regress…)

          1. Go…I was so disappointed to miss a full Rem career when I was discharged with 972 so I know what it’s like to chase those illusive goals.

        1. No, it doesn’t regress. If two microagressions conflict you compare victim status. The more victimized gets to claim the microagression and the other checks his (yes his – anyone who is less victimized is an oppressor and all oppressors are men) privilege.

          1. But it wasn’t a conflict of microagressions. It was that your claim of a microagression was a microagression against me in and of itself. And of course my claim was a further microagression against you…ad infinitum.

            1. Right, so we’d have to see which one was more victimized, the lessor victim cannot microagress against the greater victim and their perception of a microagression was really just a manifestation of their privilege.

              1. Just your claim that I’m a lesser victim is another microagression! (See, we can play this game forever. If you think the microagression crowd would consent to comparing claims in any even pseudo-rational manner, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in…)

                1. There’s an entire academic field – intersectionalism – that looks at how those claims compare and combine. As you can imagine, the practitioners in that field are uniformly vile.

                  1. But if I lose the comparison, I’ll just claim that the comparison itself is an example of microagression. When you’re dealing with such a deeply irrational concept, I strongly suspect that whoever shouts the loudest wins.

                    1. “whoever shouts the loudest wins.”

                      Take that, cloak it in about seven hundred layers of academic doubletalk, and you have intersectionalism.

                    2. And uses the most “muscle”. There’s an excellent reason the Sons of Liberty existed back in the day.

                  2. Do you think they’ll eventually resort to a point system?

                    Followed one publishing cycle later by a backlash with cries of “Objectivist!” and a bunch of mumbo-jumbo that boils down to “Shut up and get in line. I’m the alpha victim here.”

                2. Isn’t arguing over whose microaggression is greater an exercise in male privilege? (N.B., under current guidelines, actual possession of male privilege is not required for identification as a possessor of male privilege; arguing over whose is larger is prima facie an exercise in male privilege.)

                    1. Any comments here (by me) are public property. No filing of serial numbers nor attribution of source required. (In fact, I would lief as not be kept out of it, IYKWIMAITTYD.)

                    1. My favorite “kids without parents” sign was in a Portland OR deli:

                      Any child without a parent will be given a free espresso, and a puppy.

                    2. Similar to one seen outside the music shop next door where I used to work:

                      “All unattached children will be given a red bull and a drum set. You have been warned.”

                    3. Even though I had already replied to this, as I read the notification from Dan’s reply, I read the above as “I’ll just Shrek louder…”

                      Now, that would be pretty loud.

                  1. There is no creator of popcorn consumptions listening to feminists arguing privilege with transwomen and trying to be out oppressed Feminists claim transwomen had male privilege and even being trans is an expression of male privilege while transwomen claim they are discriminated against by being trans especially when feminists events exclude them.

                    If you actually try to follow the arguments your head will hurt but just listening to them go at it is a great clown show.

                    1. I hereby propose that the standard unit for measuring ‘privilege’ be called the Redenbacher – defined as the amount of popcorn one can eat while listening to SJWs discuss privilege before (inevitably) vomiting.

          1. Dammit – you skipped over the nano-aggressions ! Without appropriate mathematical rigor, how can we possibly make sense of the Hierarchy of the Perpetually Offended ?

            1. I dunno, I might’ve been femtoaggressed against once. A bee made a nasty gesture at me, I *think,* when I was trimming the roses…

            2. Mathematical rigor is in itself an expression of logocentric Western white male privelege.


          1. I wasn’t going to be as specific as you were, but you beat me to the notion of the Aggression Macro…

        1. Calling humans “sons of bitches” is an insult … to female dogs. [Very Big Evil Grin]

          1. Some female descendants of bitches are among the nicest people I know. I wouldn’t oppress them for all the herb in Colorado.

              1. As the Attorney of Record for MIss Olive Oyl, I must tell you that my client asked me to Officially Notify you that if you issue another slander – i.e. “virgins in olive oil” – against her Good Name, Steps will be Taken -, unless she slips in the oil. If that occurs, I must tell you that She will unleash The Popeye on you.

  7. Even more apropos, invoking the right demon, but making one little mistake in the incantation or drawing and finding that instead of him being under your control, you’re under his. If you’re lucky, he’ll just kill you.

    1. “Do not call up what you cannot put down.”
      – H.P. Lovecraft, “The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward”

      (something the Torlings should have thought about…)

        1. yeah, if we were half as bad as they paint us to be, they wouldn’t be *able* to twit about it.

    2. Or assuming that even if the demon is under your control, that anything they do will be the way YOU want it to rather than designed to screw you over as much as they possibly can.

      1. I don’t remember if it has been used in fiction, but I’d love a story where the reader realizes (before the summoner) that the demon was never controlled.

        IE The spells intended to control the demon never work and the demon is just “playing with his food”. [Evil Grin]

        1. It’s a bit of a theme for me in my stories that involve demons. Demons are not toys… a whole lot closer to live grenades. It irritates me that so much out there treats them as toys or controllable, tamable, animals.

              1. Empire has some of the best descriptions of dealing with demons; nothing to play, something to avoid if at all possible.

                I wonder if Ardneh’s Sword is worth reading (I didn’t know about it until just now).

                1. Been wondering the same thing. Aren’t the Sword books in the far future of Empire of the East.

                  Oh, and when the time comes, dibs on riding the elephant.

                  1. I haven’t read Ardneh’s Sword either so I can’t comment on it.

                    You are correct that the Swords stories are set in the same world (much later) as Empire Of The East.

          1. Okay, so I wanna go read that. And . . . how do I find them? I click on your name link thing there and I get an empty blog.

            (Actually, specifically, I want to see if appropriate for my thirteen year old Brothers Grimm fan, because that just sounds right up his ally.)

            1. Alas they’re works in progress. I’m working up a short in that world, I’ll see if I can get it out by the end of the month, and post it on aforementioned blog.

        2. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud explores the theme of demons never truly controlled. As much as I appreciated the books, they were rather dark…and the last book was particularly harrowing…and it certainly reinforces the theme of “Do not conjure up that which you cannot control!”

          This is one reason why, as much as I reserve the right to start Revolution, I do not wish to do so, and I also reserve the right to fight against any Revolution I disagree with. I think we would do well to remember that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms applies as much to fighting against tyrannical Revolutions, as it does to fighting for Revolutions against tyranny…

        3. There was a scene like that in Robert Weinberg’s A Calculated Magic, where all of the supernaturals in the room spend a good 30 seconds pretending that the spell which was supposed to freeze anything nonhuman worked.

          1. Then they start complementing the caster on his pronunciation of the spell before they let him know that supernatural beings have made sure that no such spell could be found. [Very Big Evil Grin]

          1. Exactly why would any spirit capable of being such a positive influence be willing to subject a human being to slavery worse than that which any human being could inflict?

            1. Nod.

              IMO it would have to be a more-or-less accidental possession (or partial possession) by a more neutral being and the human wouldn’t be a very good (or strong) person.

              Now that might be an interesting story where the “spirit” wants to be free and has to “push” the human to take actions that would result the spirit’s freedom.

              Said actions result in the human becoming a better person.

              Obviously, such a spirit couldn’t be an angelic being or a demonic being.

              Can’t see an angelic being accidentally possessing a human (an angel could call for divine or angelic assistance).

              While a demon might accidentally possess a human, just forcing the human to kill himself would free the demon.

            2. I was thinking of a guy’s dead grandfather keeping a young hothead from killing some one or some other major life wrecker. On the other hand if you don’t make mistakes you won’t learn. You have to learn to stand on your own two feet.

            3. I am pretty sure that Ringo is planning on the heroine’s daughter being posessed by a Saint in the next Wands novel. (It will be to get her out of a very bad situation, possibly with her father).

              1. It likely depends on how you define possession in this case. Consider the circumstances of Harry Dresden’s possession by Laschiel. If the possession is incomplete rather than complete suppression of the original occupant, it could be that the demon would flee because the human is a “corrupting” influence.

                Although butcher did not pursue the matter in the example stated above, there is also the likelihood that Laschiel’s existence could have swayed the atheistic Harry toward acceptance of Christian faith. Certainly her very circumstance as a fallen angel bound to one of the thirty pieces of silver ought be persuasive testimony?

                1. I was thinking of something voluntary that didn’t suppress the personality, rather made up for lacks in the personality.

            4. This is the whole point of voudoun/voodoo/etc.

              To be ‘ridden’ by a spirit who works through your body and presence to get done what (theoretically) you want done.

              1. *shudder* Thanks for the reminder. Back in Brasil it’s not voudoun, but there are several similar things: Candomble, Macumba, and the upper class New Age-y version Espiritismo. If you hear drumming and see a palm frond over the gate, just keep walking, man; you want nothing to do with the mess that’s going on in there.

          2. David Weber: Path of the Fury (arguable re longterm consequences, but the possession helped the character survive the initial scene and accomplish her goals)

                1. Well, I’d call it more that the human’s values infected the Fury. [Smile]

          3. drakensis’ Whateley Academy fanfic Tansy Running High. Whateley is a superhero school shared universe whose initial writers were deeply interested in LGBT themes.

                1. AO3= Archive of Our Own. It’s a large (2 million work) multifandom archive. I don’t go to the pit of the voles aka fan

                  1. I need a brief rundown (if such a thing is possible) about the difference: why you call it a “pit of voles”, and why AO3 was created. The only thing I know about is that that’s where I got to read Vathara’s Embers, which was wonderful — and I know nothing at all about AO3. Clearly, the people who started it (and you as well) have some issues with FFN, but what are they?

                    1. AO3 was started so the servers would be owned by the fans. To my mind the difference between them is twofold: FF. has more stories that are extremely poorly written. At AO3 more of the stories better written. However now that many people cross post from to AO3 there’s more unreadable fic at AO3. The second thing is that I find ff hard to navigate.

                      However there is something else that you aren’t aware of. Many writers and fans have decamped to Tumblr.

                      I was merely a spectator at the origin of AO3. Before AO3 there were many scattered single fandom, or even single pairing, archives scattered around the net.

      2. Aren’t we seeing an entertaining variation of this on college campuses? The left made these kids into what they are. . .

      1. That goes along with the idea that if you’re lucky, the demon will just kill you. IE if you’re unlucky, he’ll take you home with him.

  8. Caveat!
    You’re confusing leftists with collectivists, here. The collectivist right has never been as strong in America as it was in Europe, nor as influential as the left would have it, but it has been here–Theodore Bilbo, Ross Barnett, Jefferson Davis, etc.
    This, however, is merely the converse of the problem that the individualist left has never been as strong as the left would like to claim it has been.

    1. Category error. You’re using the term “right” in the European sense here. In the U.S., “right” has always meant individualist, where “left” has always meant collectivist. In Europe, “right” seems to mean nationalist while “left” seems to mean internationalist. But both are essentially collectivist in nature, making them both “left” by U.S. definitions.

      1. (Waggles hand) The American individualist project has never been complete, and it is a mistake to regard the current political landscape as representative of previous ones.
        We’ve always had to deal with the European right.

  9. I think this post hits the high points well, but I’d like to bring up a secondary set of points. In man people’s minds, especially among the left, the labels conservative and liberal/progressive are associated with Republican and Democrat. This is sloppy thinking, especially historically.

    Both major American parties, Republican and Democrat, used to be big-tent parties, with a range of politicians ranging from the extremely conservative to moderate, liberal, and even extremely progressive. Also, until the early 1930’s, the Republicans were generally more in favor of federal power than the Democrats, though rather less inclined (TR aside) toward the extensive federal regulatory schemes and sweeping programs that has typified the Democrats since FDR.

    Also, various other labels like left and right are applied in ways that don’t match any particular scale well. About the only consistency in the application of the labels is that the MSM and Democrats seem to label any opposition to new Democrat policies as “right” and any attempts to roll back old Democrat policies is “far right.”

    OK, I’ll stop ranting now. My points are almost tangential to your main points, but they’re part of the stew of a mess that is American politics (and coverage of them) in recent decades.

      1. Gotta love Wikipedia a header on the Pournelle political diagram article warned that the article relied too much on primary source material and needed more secondary and tertiary material. wth?! I was taught in school that primary but needed analysis as well. (Pages of quotes do not a paper make.)

        1. In my opinion, that’s one of a great number of Wiki’s failings. The original source of information (even personal information, in the case of articles about individuals) is unable, or at least, requiring of a lot of effort, to counter incorrect information.

        2. That had me scratching my head as well at first, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. They state that “secondary or tertiary sources are needed to establish the topic’s notability and to avoid novel interpretations of primary sources.” Which after thinking about it, does makes some sense. Its an encyclopedia, not a scholarly journal. They’re not looking to have new analyses of subject posted, merely for summaries of subjects (possibly including summaries of previous analyses).

          1. And yet, it is still one of their great weaknesses. Because in practice, it turns into “No primary sources, thanks. We’re British We’re Wikipedia.” I can’t remember the name of the case, but there was an infamous court case in the 60’s or 70’s where the defendants (Leftists) were found guilty, and most people had until recently thought they were framed. (Because, well, who teaches history in schools these days? Right.) But one researcher dug into the facts of the case and presented a very convincing case that the defendants were, in fact, guilty, and their convictions at the trial were justified. He published a book that most scholars agreed was well-researched and proved his point — but he couldn’t get the Wikipedia article changed. He submitted several edits himself, noting that he was an acknowledged authority on the subject, only to have those edits rejected because they were “primary sources”. It wasn’t until several months, maybe a year, after his book was published that it got several reviews in secondary sources (e.g., the New York Times), at which point his edits to the article were accepted.

            Summary: Don’t trust Wikipedia.

            1. Earlier than that. Bomb-throwing anarchists where the state proved that one of the convicted anarchists had made the bomb. it was so distinctive that his lawyer was reduced to arguing that he made it but they couldn’t prove he used it.

              The professor noted that he had taught it and never noticed the problem until a student asked him why, if there was no evidence, the prosecution took weeks to present it all.

      2. I’ve seen Pournelle’s two axis chart and a couple others like it and I generally like the idea as being more descriptive. However,

        However, I think the underlying problem is that many embrace the current set of labels, and like to use them to support their friends and oppose their foes, whether the labels actually fit the reality or not. This makes a lot of sense, given the rather one-dimensional minds we often find in the media and politics, and the effectiveness of the tactic.

        To get back to the title of the post, if not the theme, the labels can be tools for conjuring in another sense. They are part of the smoke and mirrors employed by the political operators.

        1. Oh, I agree that people misuse labels and that’s a big problem. However, when labels are expected to carry too much of a load (such as all politics on a linear leftright spectrum) it makes it easier to deceive people.

        2. There is a class of people who treat politics the same way that most people treat professional sports. They have their team, their team is great, and anyone who supports another team – especially the team their team is playing next – is a poopyhead.

          And then there’s the Trump fans’ penchant for the False Dichotomy. If you don’t support Trump you obviously support Jeb/illegal immigration/the GOP establishment (that last one is particularly ironic when applied to Cruz supporters).

        1. The label makes sense when you understand the description of what the Y axis of the chart means. As I understand it, it is not claiming that conservatives or conservatism are irrational, but rather that the they don’t believe human society is perfectible by application of rational policy. That is, the Reason Enthroned end is belief that rational government policy will lead to perfect society, and the Irrationality end is a belief that rational government policy cannot lead to perfect society and/or may result in distopia instead.

        2. I’m still torn about libertarians being placed on the “faith in reason” exclusively. Objectivists being there I get but libertarians broadly defined should straddle it I think.

      3. Because this metric doesn’t account for faith, it apparently has me confused with the AdBusters. But it is a pretty neat innovation, anyway.

  10. “The extreme drive for morality, purity and sticking your nose in peoples lives was a leftist project.”

    That’s not the way I remember it. I came of age in the Sixties, when the left was in favor of giving people more freedom, and the right was in favor of “morality, purity and sticking your nose in people’s lives.” This was the conservative right rather than the libertarian right, but it was still the right. Who insisted that boys and men have short hair? The right. Who insisted that a man and a woman who were 21 or older could not live together, unless they were married? The right. Who insisted that there be a draft? The right. Who insisted that stores not be open on Sundays? The right. I could say a lot more, but this should suffice. Life back then was filled with constraints, all of them from the right.

    1. The draft that was in place during the sixties was created in 1940 (passed the House of Representatives by one vote I believe) by FDR to prepare for war with Germany.

      1. Sure, but by the late Sixties (when it actually affected me), it was the right that wanted to keep the draft, and the left that wanted it eliminated.

        1. John (not picking on you, actually picking on all of us) I think using ‘right’ and ‘left’ in any discussion causes confusion and lack of clarity in anyone’s comments.
          For instance, based on reading my father’s National Guard and Air Force magazines in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (he was a WW2 vet and deputy commander of the local ANG unit), the military was relieved to have a volunteer force. Left or right? Ford, Carter, or Reagan ‘made’ the volunteer military. Left or right?
          I have lived my whole life in the Carolinas. Blue laws were in place mostly, I believe, as a Christian tradition. Left or right? I know in the late 60’s, early 70’s the NC Chamber of Commerce (at least the retailers) began chipping away at those laws. “We need to be open on Sundays from Thanksgiving through Dec 31 to help with Christmas shopping.” Left or right? Living in Greenville, SC in the early 70’s I know the SC sales tax collectors looked with envy as holiday shoppers drove to the big mall in Gastonia, NC to shop. Left or right?
          Is the United States left or right because we have amendments 1-6 as part of our Constitution?
          I’m retired and its my day to vacuum the house; later.

          1. More interestingly when I moved out of Connecticut (2007) it still had blue concerning alcohol. In fact, just a couple of years earlier we’d had the revolutionary change of alcohol being able to be sold until 9pm (as opposed to 8pm) weekdays and Saturday (but still no Sunday sales).

            So are blue laws left or right?

              1. Another thing I learned in the army. If there’s some odious task given to you and you do it as well as you can, you’ll be given it to do frequently. On the other hand, if you aver, “I’ll do my best, but I’ve never done this before,” and then proceed to screw it up, you won’t have to do it again. 🙂

                1. Preach on.

                  I was on “floors” one week when there was a GI Party scheduled. The night before, I wasn’t sleeping anyway, so I decided to take my time and do it right.. I think I spent close to two hours sweeping, mopping, and buffing the hallway when it usually took 30-45 minutes. I understand the next morning, the First Sergeant and company commander both commented on how good the floors looked.

                  That evening, they had us strip the floors and start over from scratch.

                  The barracks sergeant kept trying to put me on floor duty again every time my name came up, but I usually worked nights, so I lucked out there. “You’re on floors.” “Okay, but I’m on nights this week, so I can either do them in the evening when people are still walking all over them, or in the morning after the CO and Top get in.”

                  1. i drew extra duty alot. One time the SDNCO told me to strip and wax the floor outside the drill sgt’s offices…

                    “but you’re in your office”

                    “that’s the point”

                2. Exactly the line I used when I was asked to make coffee — as the only or one of a few females — in the unit. “I’m not a coffee drinker, actually – but I’ll do my best.”

                  Awful coffee resulted. Take notes at a meeting where I am the only female present? Oh, yes – meet my perfectly horrible handwriting, guys. Me – with round and innocent eyes: “Oh, I can read it just fine.” (Notes which look like a drunken lizard had dipped its tail in ink and staggered across the page.)

                  Yep – there were some things that I didn’t get asked to do, twice.

                  1. When I was in the Air Force and a second Lieutenant I happened to get to the office early and decided to make coffee in the big Coffee maker (40 cup or so), so everyone would have coffee when they arrived. The next mooring I arrived early and as I carried the Coffee maker to the sink the First Sergeant suddenly and with a smile said, “That’s alright Sir, I take care of it.” Never had to touch coffee again. That was really unintended consequences.

          2. I don’t remember anyone on the right complaining about the draft when I got to college in 1969, though it’s entirely possible that there were some. But the left was very much against it. Given the way people began turning against the military, it’s no wonder that the military decided that the draft was a bad idea. You say they wanted a volunteer army even before then? I’ll have to take your word for it, but my memories of that era are that the right wanted the draft and the left was very much against it.

            Blue laws I would say are on the right. It’s a Christian tradition, and the left has no use for traditions like that (except strangely enough in Europe, where they don’t seem to mind).

            1. I was too young too have any first-person knowledge… but was the left opposed to the draft, or just upset that draftees were used to oppose communism?

                1. Exactly. This is why Democrats tried to derail the Iraq war by putting forth draft bills that they know would anger voters – but be blamed on Republicans.

                  1. To be “fair” to the Democratic Party, those attempts to activate the Draft were by a few Democratic Nut-Cases with very little support from the Congressional Democratic Leadership.

                    Oh, the one time one of these attempts came to a vote (the Republican Leadership wanted it to be voted on) practically nobody, Republican or Democrat voted for it. 😈

                    I seem to remember that the time the Republican Leadership brought it up for a vote was the last time the Nut-Cases attempted it. 😈 😈

                2. It did – the antiwar movement fell apart on college campuses once the draft ended. I was there – and I remembered. Especially as I volunteered as a college student in 1975 to help resettle Vietnamese refugees … and noted quite early on that all those students who had been so madly concerted about the Vietnamese people in general were nowhere to be found.

                  The other local volunteers in this effort – why, they were a mixed lot. Some military veterans, a lot of local small business owners, quite a few church members, and some whose families had been refugees in their day.

                  My first lesson in conservatism, I think. I joined the military on account of that experience.

              1. Good question. I’m assuming the latter. After all, if we had been involved in a war back then against South Africa to end apartheid, I assume they all would have been in favor of the draft.

                1. Nope. I was there. The opposition to the draft was very nearly entirely because those opposing it were afraid they’d have to serve.

                    1. As others have observed, it wasn’t so much a left-or-right issue. Most of those opposed were part of what was called the “counterculture” at the time. This was definitely a leftist movement (the USSR has been shown to have been quietly supporting it), but many of the adherents weren’t political so much as caught up with the “popular kids” (as they perceived them).

                  1. The opposition to the draft was very nearly entirely because those opposing it were afraid they’d have to serve.

                    That I wouldn’t put as a left/right issue so much as not wanting to have to go yourself (which may still have been affected by left/right, since presumably people supporting the goal would be more willing to be personally affected).

                    My question about whether the left was opposing the draft, or just what the military was doing at that time, would be more applicable to people without skin in the game (their own or a close relative’s).

                    1. Keep in mind that much of the Zeitgeist of that era was an artifact of news coverage that would have had to improve significantly to be dismissed as “biased.”

                      Do not invite me to list their transgressions.

                      The MSM of the Sixties was largely more successful at hiding the fact of their bias; they were not objective nor accurate.

            2. I volunteered in 1973, and was in when the last of the draftees left the service.Good riddance.

        2. Actually with a draft in place, anti-war sentiment rises.

          Its much easier to keep a populace from rising up against wars if there isn’t a lottery to send their kids to it.

          Not sure how this plays on the left/right discussion, but it could have actually been smart of the right to try and keep it.

          1. Indeed. Don’t forget the Draft Riots in New York in 1863. The riots were ended only when troops, fresh from the battlefield of Gettysburg, arrived and “restored order.” That is, when they got the quarrelsome Irish to stop attacking government offices and black people. From what I’ve read, I get the impression the troops were feeling particularly gentle-like when they arrived.

            1. Gah. That was supposed to be “weren’t feeling particularly gentle-like.” See also, “edit” discussion elsewhere in comments.

          2. On the other hand, since the draft was abolished, military men tend to be the sons and brothers of other military men, and now (owing to an ever-more-vigorous policy of doggedly not promoting anything worth fighting for) military men are strongly advising their sons and brothers not to follow suit. That can’t end well.

    2. Ah, but hadn’t you heard? The left and the right traded places. 🙂

      I didn’t come of age in the Sixties, but it wasn’t far into the Seventies. I’d say, for your specific examples – apart from the draft, that it wasn’t so much the conservative right as it was the culturally-conservative Christians, not all of whom were on the right. The left was not as monolithic then as it is now.

      The fact that pretty much everyone involved in agitating for “more freedom,” much of which was considered by many to be libertinism rather than liberty, was on the left tends to cloud the matter. My father, for example, consistently voted Democrat, but (among other “conservative” viewpoints) insisted that I get a military-regulation haircut every other Saturday from an Air Force barber all through high school. He wasn’t the only one I knew who was like that.

      1. Thanks for sharing. My parents were culturally conservative and also Republicans. I had friends whose parents seemed rather liberal, and I envied them, though they still thought their parents were too conservative.

        1. I, too, came of age in that period and had many friends subject to the Draft. My Beloved Spouse* was involved in the anti-war movement in Philadelphia and we have shared many observations of the period.

          To begin with, keep in mind that Vietnam started as a Democrat war: “Hey! Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?” The draft for that war was imposed by a Democrat Congress. The policies under which that war was fought were also the product of enlightened Democrat leadership.

          The anti-war movement was what propelled the takeover of the Democrat Party by socialist activists who have since then moved the party farther out on that socialist limb. Minnesota was a broadly Liberal state, home to “the progressive Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party, formed in 1920, provided three governors, four United States senators, and eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 1920s until its merger with the Democratic Party in 1944” (Wiki: Politics_of_Minnesota ) and which gave us such Sixties luminaries as Hubert Humphrey (who represented Minnesota in the US Senate from 1949 to 1964 and again from 1971 to 1978), Eugene McCarthy (1959 to 1971) and Walter Mondale (1964–76).

          The Blue Laws of which you complain are an artifact of no political party, but are probably more the doing of the Democrats as such laws have been most common where Democrats held power. We can argue whether this is a “Baptists and Bootleggers” situation but it seems largely irrelevant.

          The Republican Party has long been a coalition of mercantile, libertarian-leaning and “rules is rules” factions. This has inclined the party toward “law and order” in rejection of chaos with a lean toward reduction of unnecessary rules (with the caveat that pretty much every rule has some vested interest defending it.

          What seems likely to have camouflaged these distinctions from you is the effect of the long-standing threat of Communism, an economic and political black hole which distorted normal political structures resisting its pull. That is why the 60s anti-war movement (in reality a driving of anti-communists from the Democrat Party) included such activist forces as the Black Panthers and Radical Left of Bill Ayers & Friends.

          In defense of Beloved Spouse, the opposition was largely due to rejection of the insane “limited war” methods employed by the Democrats. Beloved Spouse was a staunch believer of the “All’s Fair” strategy of warfare (war crimes, genocide and scorched earth excepted.)

          1. “The Blue Laws of which you complain are an artifact of no political party, but are probably more the doing of the Democrats as such laws have been most common where Democrats held power.”

            I said they were due to the right, not to any particular party.

            I stick with my observation that some people on the right – namely those who are on the religious right – have their own problems with freedom and will institute rules that both libertarians and leftists will find annoying. I said somewhere above that I have relatives who are on the religious right, and I don’t want to live under any laws they would institute.

            1. Your fallacy here lies in denying that those who would dictate what others must do is an aspect of the Left. The “Religious Right” is not of the Right. You’ve engaged in a classification error.

              A person’s belief that he is of the Right no more determines his affiliation than a person’s belief she is a cat determines her species.

              1. You’re the one who is reasoning fallaciously. The religious right has almost nothing in common with the left. The rules they would impose are generally different from the rules that the left would impose. For that matter, different religions would impose different rules.

                  1. That’s not the way I use the terms, nor is it the way most people use the terms. I admit it’s the way the terms are used on this site, but so what? In leftist circles, people insist that blacks can’t be racist, which is not accepted outside of their circles. I think you’re both wrong.

                    1. The way you use the terms is not only fallacious, it obscures proper understanding of the issue. It is no more accurate than the oft-hurled term “fascist” — which, as used by most people, means not a “proponent of national socialist ideologies” but a “big mean poopy head.”

                      You’re in this circle now, boy, so I suggest you accept our usage while here. Elsewhere you are free to talk as imprecisely as your ignorance permits.

                    2. Since “the way the terms are used” is precisely the point in debate, you cannot say that someone is reasoning fallaciously when they reason based on their side of the point in debate. You disagree with the premise that the right/left distinction in America is primarily based on libertarian/authoritarian ideals? Fine, disagree. But when someone reasons quite correctly from the assumption that that premise is true, you can say “Your premise is wrong, therefore your conclusion is wrong.” But you can’t say that they have reasoned fallaciously.

                      For example, take the example given at

                      1) Premise: If the streets are wet, it has rained recently.
                      2) Premise: The streets are wet.
                      3) Conclusion: Therefore, it has rained recently.

                      This argument is perfectly valid even though its first premise is false (the streets could be wet because of a burst fire hydrant, for example). A person using this reasoning may reach a false conclusion, but their reasoning is not fallacious. (Wikipedia does list “False premise” under a list of logical fallacies, but that’s a mistake* on their part: fallacious reasoning refers to invalid logic, not valid logic from an incorrect premise.)

                      * Or just a convenience for those looking for “Ways in which you can reach a wrong conclusion” under a convenient name, I suppose.

                1. The Religious Right doesn’t exist.

                  It was created by the Political Left as somebody to hate.

                  1. Perhaps John didn’t grasp that what Sarah said about Straw Larry, Straw brad and Straw Sarah (god, what a bunch of jerks) also applies to “The Religious Right.”

                  2. I’m old enough to remember when it was the Religious Left, and I ran head-on into the Jeez and mandatory school prayer.

                    As for the blue laws… you couldn’t even buy *gasoline* in some Southern towns or counties as late as the early 1970s. We wound up sleeping in the car more than once while traveling.

                2. The Left harbors the irrational belief that the state can serve the same purpose as religion.

                3. Actually, they have everything in common with the Left: they love running other people’s lives by government decree.

              2. For that matter, “Religious Right” is a label given to people not an accepted label of any group.

                I.E. Nobody uses the term “Religious Right” to define themselves.

                Basically “Religious Right” are religious people who don’t support Leftish Dogma.

                IMO people who talk about the nasty “Religious Right” always “know” about the “Nasty Stuff” those “Religious Right” would do but strangely they rarely have any real evidence about what the “Religious Right” will do.

                Sometimes, it seems that if you “ask for evidence”, then you must be a member of the “Religious Right”.

                    1. Westboro Baptist Church isn’t quite a straw man, but they’re so ineffectual, insular and universally despised that they might as well be.

                    2. Lefties have used that Church against Conservatives in “arguments”.

                    3. So I gather by the rest of this thread that they actually ARE Democrats? I figured that you were being sarcastic, what with all your comments against the Religious Right in this section.

                      So they’re Democrats. Huh.

                    4. One of the ways you can tell that is because the MSM doesn’t report it. If Phelps & Friends donated anything to the GOP reporters would be crowding ten deep to demand every Republican candidate repudiate their hateful rhetoric.

                      See: The Wrong Reverend Jeremiah Wright

                    5. Phelps was a big Al Gore supporter, ran in various Dem primaries (actually got about a third of the vote in his primary race for the nomination to be Gov of Kansas).

          2. In defense of Beloved Spouse, the opposition was largely due to rejection of the insane “limited war” methods employed by the Democrats.

            Back where I grew up in West Texas, there was a massive opposition to fighting a limited war, which is why Goldwater had a big impact out there. “Fight to win or get the hell out!” resonated highly out there.

            1. After forty years of this crap, “fight to win or don’t get their hopes up” strikes me as a pretty good reincarnation of the concept.

      1. I grew up in Minnesota and didn’t have any experience with Southern Democrats. I had conservative parents, and some of my relatives were much more conservative than my parents were. None of them liked long hair on boys, though there was disagreement about Sunday shopping.

  11. In the creation of the imagined enemy as a blogger not to be named likes to put it concerning Europe: if you suppress those trending nationalist long enough they finally decide they have no choice but to join the ultra-nationalists.

    It’s not quite the same dynamic but it is similar.

    There was an interesting article at NR about how the left is liking to claim the mainstreaming of white-power identity politics is the fault of the American right. The left is sure it has nothing to do with revving up racial identity politics among every non-white group.

  12. I’d thought about chiming in when it was offtopic some posts back.

    I can confirm this, because I was young enough that I’ve had a smidgen of it myself.

    I was raised to literally ‘not care about race’. I had a combination of time, and observational and analytical giftings that meant I was soon working on my own.

    I understand that the values I care about are not ‘white values’, regardless of what some people claim.

    I want nothing to do with a bunch of Aryan Nations junkies. (I hate recreational drug use (of certain substances), regardless of color, creed, and sex.)

    Before when the employment test would ask about racial identification, I would tend to put not specified, because I am an American.

    Now I put white in sometimes. Not as a message, or a change of policy and loyalty, but maybe a slight change in sentiment over the politics of identity.

    I have some broader, more interesting things to say, but no time now.

    1. I always check “Native American.”

      I was born here, and my parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents. I figure that makes me pretty damned native.

      The State Department’s definitions of “race” make Josef Goebbels’ categories look like marvels of logic…

      1. And different departments define them differently. However even under the census I am Hispanic (btw) since I am Gallician (From the part of Portugal that, like the part of Spain was gallicia under the Romans and which is a much bigger cultural device than Portugal/Spain. Including similar language quirks.) Which btw hurt finding out. The Hispanic thing. BUT note they’re classifying me under a racial group none but the ROMANS cared about.

              1. Yup. I’m, hmmm, if there were crypto-Jews, maybe I’m a Picto-Jew? *tips head to the side, tips it to the other side* Well, there’s an “American Short Hair” and “British Short Hair” in the cat show lists, so maybe I’m an American Long Hair. Or just really, really tired.

                1. I like the idea of substituting cats breeds for the human demographic classifications on government forms.

                  That has great entertainment potential.

          1. Elizabeth Warren’s reasoning is usually excellent; it is her premises that are commonly faulty. No matter how well you spin, you can’t change straw to gold.

            1. If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered by a sense of humour or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections. Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason. G. K. Chesterton

            2. You’re right. However, I still recommend against the use of “reasonable” and “Elizabeth Warren” int he same sentence. 🙂

          2. Many leftists are perfectly logical to the point of being hermetically sealed. Even Talks-With-Plants.

    2. Yeah, I don’t care about race either.

      Or, at any rate, I don’t until you start conflating race with culture. Culture I care about, A LOT. Culture which advocates “swing your fist wide as you like so long as nobody gets hit” I’m down with; culture which advocates “round up RES and all like RES and ship ’em off in boxcars” I am not so sanguine about.

      So long as you don’t claim “race = culture” I don’t care about race, but once that falls by the wayside you are forcing me to associate the two. Especially as, historically, those who linked race and culture were the ones putting my ancestors into boxcars without room to swing a fist.

      1. Or race and loyalty, race and politics, race and lifestyle, race and protection under the law, race and politics, race and religion…

        1. I’m under the weather. One of those politics should be political affiliation and the other ideology.

    1. Allowing retroactive changing or deletion of comments would allow “certain people” to change things after inciting trouble; “look, I didn’t do anything, those mean Puppies savaged me.”

      A few sites allow an “edit window” of a few minutes to an hour. Since evil WordPress daemons insert random typos and homonyms into my messages between the time I save them and the time they appear on the screen, I would support that feature…

        1. That said, WP with logging on the DB will have that as you can rebuild the initial INSERT and then the various UPDATES for a given post.

        2. I’m about to break a streak and say something nice about Facebook’s interface:

          Facebook comments can be edited, but the history of such edits remains visible to anyone who can see the comment.

          (Of course, I don’t expect them to keep this feature….)

    2. I’ve read rumors that there is a WP edit function, but it then bollixes up something else. Sort of like when Sarah has to delete a comment or block someone, and the threading gets broked. (Broked more than usual, that is.)

  13. James Brady has written several books about America’s relationship with East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Philippines). The latest is ‘The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia’.

    1. Oh, ho? I’ll check those out. Thanks!

      Lately I’ve been working along the idea that the USA’s bizarre foreign policy in the Far East was due to some people having the idea they could create an “American Raj” where the Fed would provide military backing to private exploitation. At least that would explain the Perry Expedition and much of what happened in the Philippines and China…

      1. Brady’s not a bad writer, but I find his books far too eager to view anything ambiguous or questionable as unfavorably to America and Americans as possible. I recall no fabrications or lies, merely a certain consistency of interpretation. That being said, the prose is decent, the information appears accurate enough, and compared to Howard Zinn, Brady’s writing is a patriotic reactionary.

        1. I agree. China in particular was its own worst enemy in many ways. Japan was ready to ‘bust loose’ when Perry arrived.

        2. I wonder why Secretary of War Jefferson Davis sent the US Navy halfway around the world to intimidate a potential friendly country? Why did the same Secretary Davis send the US Army the Salt Lake to put down the Mormon Rebellion? Wars at either/both locations would have allowed secession to come sooner.

          1. The first one, I think, is called “In which the United States decides to flex its muscles and be like the cool kids on the block.”
            The second one is “Oh look, it’s a challenge to our authority.”

          2. I suspect Davis hoped the pro-slavery faction in Congress would manage to either obtain decent compromises or be in control, at least in the near term.

  14. (I posted this as a reply to an earlier comment)
    I think using ‘right’ and ‘left’ in any discussion causes confusion and lack of clarity in anyone’s comments.
    For instance, based on reading my father’s National Guard and Air Force magazines in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (he was a WW2 vet and deputy commander of the local ANG unit), the military was relieved to have a volunteer force. Left or right? Ford, Carter, or Reagan ‘made’ the volunteer military. Left or right?
    I have lived my whole life in the Carolinas. Blue laws were in place mostly, I believe, as a Christian tradition. Left or right? I know in the late 60’s, early 70’s the NC Chamber of Commerce (at least the retailers) began chipping away at those laws. “We need to be open on Sundays from Thanksgiving through Dec 31 to help with Christmas shopping.” Left or right? Living in Greenville, SC in the early 70’s I know the SC sales tax collectors looked with envy as holiday shoppers drove to the big mall in Gastonia, NC to shop. Left or right?
    Is the United States left or right because we have amendments 1-6 as part of our Constitution?
    It’s my day to vacuum the house; ,later.
    Best wishes to all.

  15. The EuroLeft has ascended by suppressing unpleasant truths — leaving the speaking of those truths to fringe parties who suffer some pretty noisome social diseases. Unhappily for the EL, those truths, however unpleasant, remain True. As Sarah notes, attaching Truths to social diseases does not the Truths less palatable, it makes the social diseases more tolerable.

    From a post by Andrew Stuttaford at NRO gangblog, The Corner quotes CapX journalist Nima Sanandaji:

    In 2010 the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats gained enough votes to enter the parliament. Sweden’s then center-right Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt chose to react with a somewhat unusual strategy: Reinfeldt signed a deal with the opposition Environmental Party, He has later explained that the ambition was to isolate the Sweden Democrats from power and influence.
    Four years later Reinfeldt’s government was voted out of power. The opposition parties on the left merely increased their voter support by 0.02 per cent. The anti-immigration party however doubled its share of votes, something the party – which historically has neo-Nazi roots – has done in seven consecutive elections.
    [T]he support for the Social Democrats has been falling significantly. A leading survey published on the 23rd of January found that the Social Democrats are only supported by 23.2 per cent of the Swedish electorate. This is a record low number, and quite a shock for a party that for long has dominated Swedish policies with support of around 40 to 50 per cent of voters in many elections. A poll-of-polls shows that the Social Democrats on average have 23.9 per cent of the support, closely followed by the conservative Moderates (the party previously lead by Reinfeldt) who have 23.2 per cent and the Sweden Democrats who have 21.0 per cent of the support. Since the latter party systematically has a higher actual share of support in elections than in polls, one can say that the vote is evenly split between the three parties.

    Emphasis added.

    By associating support for limiting immigration (which had grown from 25,000 per year to 10,000 per week, with the neo-nazi fringe Sweden succeeded not in tarring immigration limits with racist fascism but rather in cleansing nationalist racism of its stench.

    Which leaves the ill-informed to postulate: If the reason Socialism has failed is that it hasn’t yet been done properly, perhaps Fascism — which has actually succeeded in reviving failing cultures — merely wants for proper implementation?

    1. aand, we get nifty things like the 17-year-old Danish girl who used pepper spray to fight off fight off a rapist near migrant asylum center but will now be prosecuted for carrying the weapon …

      absurdities like this only increase support for the nationalist parties.

    2. Well, pooh! That was supposed to be an /BLOCKQUOTE at “Emphasis added.”

      My deepest apologies for the gratuitous indent. A little putty and some polishing compound will take that right out.

  16. I have to wonder if the Progs thought about what would happen when they took boys, especially white ones, told them practically since birth that they were they worst things imaginable and responsible for all the world’s ills and kept repeating it over and over, meanwhile constantly discriminating against them. Didn’t they even once realize what they were creating. People react to stimuli and if there’s enough negative stimulus, it’s not going to end well. Especially when the crazy system the Progs have patched together is failing those young men stuck in it.

    1. Can’t find where I read it today, but what you get is Cologne, where the women are harassed and raped en masse in public, and the men don’t show up with baseball bats and chains to take care of the problem right then and there.

      1. Well, and the fact that the Cologne PD couldn’t muster 100 cops to stop the rapefest but was able to put together 1500 to stop the protest by a group that was proposing to do just that.


        1. I wonder if there is a Cologne PD. When I visited NZ, there was the NZ Police. No Auckland City Police or county sheriffs, just the NZ Police. Some people here have stationed in Germany. Is it the same there?

          BTW, IMHO, the multiplicity of police forces in the US is a good thing. Especially the elected county sheriff system. Having the senior police official know he’s got to keep the people happy to keep his job is a powerful incentive to not becoming too overbearing.

        2. (Waggles hand) Let’s be fair; the New Years’ incidents were, to the authorities, a black swan, while the Pegida march was something they knew about ahead of time.
          The fact that they brought out, and I think used, the water cannons on the march is another thing altogether.

          1. Not a black swan when we’re finding out that there were similar happenings in Germany and other countries last year that were systematically covered up by government and press. Daily Mail and Breitbart have more.

            1. Note: to the authorities. I could very well believe that the Mayor and Police Commissioner of Cologne never received that information.
              Other Note: this was probably willful on their part.

        1. And it will be most revealing to compare the number of cops and the amount of coverage devoted to punishing them vs the amount devoted to the original crimes which provoked this.

    2. I have wondered that myself. If you deliberately and with forethought went about undermining a single child’s self-esteem and confidence, belittling them constantly and blaming them for everything — things that they had never had a thing to do with personally — that is called child abuse. No, really — I heard all the social education spots about it.

      Do it to a whole generation and ethnic group? There’s a bit of wind being sowed here; the sowers should not be surprised at the resulting whirlwind.

  17. So who all’s running for office among the Huns and Hoydens this cycle? I was looking up the rules in Idaho . . . thinking about whether it’s feasible (it’s not that it’s a big time commitment–the legislature here sits for three-three-and-a-half months, assuming one wins, it’s the shuffling of family responsibilities during that time frame that’s potentially awkward.)

        1. Em is pretty much housebound (doesn’t drive and mobility issues); my normal job keeps me on the road roughly 300 nights a year, which means I’m not home to drive her except on weekends . Neither of us is in a position to conduct a campaign physically unless I quit my job, and we couldn’t do it financially if I did that..

          1. Neither of us is in a position to conduct a campaign physically unless I quit my job

            Pretty much true for all offices beyond maybe the town level (I couldn’t take the needed time off work).

            1. Alas, I fear no campaign for public office by me could succeed; I am quite confident of my inability to successfully conceal my contempt for the Press.

                1. Trump brings his celebrity to the race …

                  I lack that advantage and the Press can conveniently ignore me.

                  1. And if the News Media wanted to ignore Trump, he has the money to purchase plenty of ad time.

                    Nobody here has that much money.

                    1. Hey, my point is just to get on the ballot, give people someone to vote for as a Not That Usual Suspect vote. Not necessarily campaign, just be an option. If I do run, it’ll be against a Dem who’s a long time family friend. Suspect the folks won’t much appreciate that. She might well be amused, though.

      1. I live too far away (North TX) and I think I’m allergic to snow.

        $HOUSEMATE grew up in Houston (TX, not MN) and dislikes snow, but seems to be allergic to cold and/or dry air. Every year comes the Great Atomic Cough, only somewhat mitigated by humidifier, (to me excessive) heat, cough drops, tea, etc. I’ve joked that he only gets this cough twice a year, but it lasts 7 months.

          1. The house thermostat is set to 70F, but the office door is closed to keep the humidity in and the computers generate enough heat that I keep the heating vent closed except when the outdoor temperature plummets into the subzero range.

            1. Lawdy!! That’s high. I keep the thermostat set at 64 during the day and 58 at night….I sleep better when it’s cool, legacy of lots of winter survival camping with the scout troop.

              1. 74-75 is often as cool as I can manage to keep it. Others like it warmer. I lose function at 76, and am pretty miserable at 78, 80, and so forth.

            2. > keep the humidity in

              At Christmas I noticed the floor of the 8×10 “library” room was wet. And everything in it was soggy. Arkansas humidity + temperature swings past the dew point let a tremendous amount of water build up in the room… which, other than any air that gets under the door, unventilated.

              I bought a big dehumidifier, plugged it in, and in the last four weeks it has pulled over 20 gallons of water out of the room… and the door is still closed. If I turn it off, the humidity climbs up to 85% after a few hours.

              The new house has a ridiculously expensive Japanese air conditioning system with built-in dehumidifiers, HEPA filters and individual remote controls for each room. If I can ever get the house finished, anyway…

              1. There has to be some avenue you have not accounted for getting moisture into the air in that room. it’s simply too small to account for that much water. Is the room in the basement, or even partially below ground level?

          2. When we replaced the old furnace/AC with a heat pump a few years back, my HVAC guy assured me I would be comfortable year-around. I sadly informed him i was now of an age when the environmental temperature setting had very little to do with me being warm or cold.

  18. Sarah: Your post touches on something I’ve been noting with growing alarm myself. Over the past few years the far Right in America has started sounding like the Left. They have abandoned the reflexive patriotism and love of the founders’ ideals. Instead now one hears voices on the Right saying American democracy is a sham, it’s all the big corporations, voting is useless because the system is rigged . . . all opinions that used to be the stock in trade of the Left.

    Meanwhile, the Left has returned the favor by going in whole-hog for antisemitism (whoops, sorry: they insist it’s just anti-Zionism, but dead Jews are dead Jews as far as I’m concerned).

  19. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    This was linked to from another blog I read.
    The fact is that the Conservative movement has failed in the most key way. It’s failed to understand the massive stakes involved and the consequences of losing. The Conservative movement has spent so much time fighting the small battles that it never saw what was happening in the big one.
    Fortunately the left has also failed. The left’s dream society is an nightmare that requires mass force. constant virtue signaling and indoctrination and cultish obedience and still can’t make things work.
    The problem for the left now is that they have, in name of diversity, ostracized the most productive accomplished, assertive people in history, the white men. And if the new right is any indication, the people they’ve been ostracizing for so long are tired and not going to take it anymore.

  20. “… a generation that knows no real history decided the fault was not with the socialism, but with these other characteristics.
    And they’re embracing the characteristics of the left’s imaginary enemies and thereby becoming what had never existed before then.”

    This premise would work well for me if Trump polled high among young voters. Is that the case?

    1. Can’t tell from most of the major polls I’ve noodled about with. They’re all from registered or likely voters, which knocks out most young “voters”. And I haven’t been able to find find a relatively recent poll that covers the gap.

    2. Apparently a lot of them are disenchanted Democrats. Though they could be older Democrats, and just as ignorant of and uncaring about traditional conservative principles.

      I’d think that your real ignorant youngsters might not be paying to the election this early.

  21. Ummm…Does Maureen S. O’Brien live here? I just reviewed her translation of commentaries by Beatus of Liebana, and I can’t remember how that work found it’s way to my reading list. Laura Montgomery suggested she hung out here.

    1. Yup, I post here. I go by Suburbanbanshee, M. S. O’Brien, or Maureen S. O’Brien. (The Doctor Who actress and mystery novelist who lives in Vancouver is not me, and there are a bunch of other Maureen O’Briens who write literary fiction. Thus the initials.)

  22. I only just came to the beginning realization of the unintended (possibly, unintended, for the sake of their souls. Remember “the worser, the better”?) consequences of The Narrative last night. Hadn’t really thought it through yet.

    You’ve knocked this one out of the park.

    Now we need to figure out what he candles look like.

  23. It’s funny because I do think that things were ultimately be okay here in Utah. The rest of the country I can’t vouch for but I can see Utah pulling through. I just worry about my sister in Arizona.

  24. For Rule of Law to work, one has to remember that the process is more important than the results. Ergo, “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” means that some guilty people will escape rightful punishment.
    Thus the Left’s obsession with results, aka, “Social Justice”- a belief in a higher law (typically based on feelz), and the hope that the Right Strong Man can fix it, if only all those pesky legal limits were removed.
    Sadly, this process is beginning to infect the “Right”, or whatever you want to call it.

      1. I tend to think of myself more as a member of the Chesterton’s Wall Preservation Society.

      2. What’s to keep someone from kicking over your table next?
        The alternate to Rule of Law is the Will of the Mighty… and we’re not going to get to be part of the Mighty.

        1. The only way to win at TEGWAR is to not sit down at the table in the first place. It is in the same class as 3-Card Monte and the Walnut & Pea game in that the victim cannot win by playing.

          This is also why turning Saul Alinsky’s “Rules” back on Alinskyites is ineffective. Making them “live up to their own rules” ignores the fact that they only have the one rule: “We win, you lose.”

          1. How do you win against Alinskyites without bloodshed? I don’t know how things will go TX in the coming civil war. There are any number of possibilities depending on who, where and when.

            1. To avoid shedding their blood you can merely knock them unconscious, weight down their bodies, and toss them into a convenient body of water.

              1. While the consideration of blood borne pathogens argues in favor of this, the pollutive effects on the water supply argue against your proposed alternative. Perhaps we could ship them to some 3rd World Hellhole (is that redundant) where they can be put directly to work improving the lives of the exploited and downtrodden?

                The floor is now open for nominations. Venezuela seems to have suffered enough to have learned their lesson, the Cuban people already have enough problems (and some of the dearly deported might manage to swim back) — how about Zaire?

          2. Don’t matter. The thing we must fight for, tooth and nail, is the ideal of limited government. What good is it to defeat a Caesar’s kingly ambitions only to wind up with an Augustus? To stop the Reichstag turning Bolshevik by forming a government with the National Socialist? To overthrow Louis and let Robespierre take over?
            The Alinskyites will defeat themselves, and are defeating themselves. We just need to hang on to our principles.

          3. You don’t have to win against Alinskyites. Alinsky wasn’t giving rules for converting people into Alinskyites. The rules are about convincing the great mass of the middle, the low info voters, to support your side over the other side. It’s not so much about convincing them as it is about showing your opponents to be corrupt and/or ineffective. And the Progressives are definitely susceptible to that accusation.

        2. The fundamental problem is the rule of law is an agreement that helps maintain society. Once a critical mass stops agreeing it makes no sense for the remaining people to continue agreeing. To do so is to self-inflict harm.

          1. As I said above, you start moving into the Will of the Mighty, and we’re still pretty much screwed, as we’re not the mighty.
            Take the limiter off to “get something done”, and guess what, the person ‘fixing’ things isn’t going to accept a limit to his power.
            The problem is now worse.

            1. Isn’t Will of the Mighty where monarchy appeared. also juntas, oligarchs etc. We don’t know when this will happen, where or how it will happen. If it happens it will be an event of significance around the world.

            2. What makes you think that we aren’t the mighty? Progressives lack guns and the military. Those sub-cultures that identify with them and are capable of violence prize “face” and have a warrior mentality. Americans tend to have a soldier mentality. Soldiers beat warriors most every single day.

              1. By we, I mean us odds here. And by the Mighty, I do not mean the cowering little SJW’s or sniveling Leftist.
                The Mighty refer to those strong, charismatic types currently suppressed in the US from their goal of absolute power. Those people who can rally the Soldiers to their banners to cross the Rubicon, if needed. The Bonapartes, Caesars, others who sees opportunity within the upheaval to take over.
                If it comes down to actual shooting, that will be the type who prevails. One can hope for a Cincinnaticus or Washington, but those are sadly rare.

                1. Since the US officer corps has been taught Cincinnatus as a role model, probably not as rare as all that.

                  1. The Roman Generals who had themselves made Caesar, and the Legionnaires who followed them were also very intimately familiar with the story of Cincinnatus as a role model.

            3. Yes, once the Rule of Law is rejected by enough people you reach the Will of the Mighty and the consequent toadying or destruction people must choose between.

              That said, as you seem to allude to below, the initial fractures in the rule of law are rarely by those who will become the Mightly if the wall falls. That, in essence, is the original of my comment about, come the revolution, enjoying listening to lefty cellmate after lefty cellmate scream the final words of “but I supported the revolution before the firing squad.”

              The rule of law is, in the long run, a better deal for the might than the will of the mighty. Perhaps they will have less power under it but the differential and then some has to be spent gaining power and holding it (there was an exceptional Twilight Zone episode about a mirror built on just this). For the most part, when the option is on offer, they are wise enough to realize it is better to be the executives of heaven than the ruler of hell.

              The rule of the might appeals most to those who are lack the ability to succeed as even middle managers of heaven but whose self-regard thinks they should be gods. Thus, they believe they can ignore the rule of law because they are the mighty. Until they break things enough that they force the hand of the mighty and learn how little they really are.

          2. In the last 8 years I’ve felt like Elmer Fudd in the Bug Bunny cartoon being turned into a donkey flashing the word jackass. Or chump.

    1. How old do you figure on “The Kids” being? I’m not old. Some of the others here are younger.

      My generation is mostly struggling to keep their heads above water with the student loans their Boomer and Xer parents told them would pay off fast with increased earnings from their degrees, seeing we’re never going to get the good jobs we were promised if we just went to college. (My parents waited forever to have me: I’m one of the youngest kids of the silent generation.)

      How sure are you that you want a bunch of us awake? We’re already having nightmares . . . even my most politically unaware friends are struggling economically.

      1. Are your parents still alive? How old were they had you? When were they born–30’s, 40s, 50’s?

      2. I recon that, given the deficit spending and current allocation of the Fed budget, when the Kids Wake Up their options will include things like cutting Medicare and slashing SocSec payments for thos annnoying preachy seniors because “they’ve already lived a full life!”

        There’s a tipping point when the Baby Boomers start passing on and their demographic bulge of voters goes away. Those of us who followed after the boomers in the Cleanup Generation are likely to reap what they’ve sown.

  25. So very Off-Topic…

    From 18 October 2007: Take Draw One In the Dark (advisable, really. There will be a new cover for the paperback and that hard cover will be a collectible. TRUST me.)

    From Amazon, just now:
    16 Used from $4.58
    8 New from $57.62
    1 Collectible from $49.95

  26. The reason I recognize the people Sarah describes is that I’m young enough that I’ve walked a little down a parallel path.

    The path that they seem to walk is one that starts in the liberal consensus. They see the #BlackLivesMatter activists complaining about the whiteness of policing. They are still so left on other issues that they do not think Obama speaks falsehoods when it comes to energy, the economy, and foreign affairs. They don’t suppose that his endorsements and silences are political, calculated, and false. Obama’s prestige adds to ideas like policing being white, and other poisons.

    Obama impeached himself on San Bernadino, but did not discredit all of his false ideas.

    The young American can mostly tell that Obama is not working in their interest, but may still believe leftist racial conflations, and stories about how many allies they can find on the right.

    My earlier view was complete opposition to American internal slaughter.

    Racial pogroms are unconstitutional. If the constitution is void, if the American people will not adhere to it*, then perhaps the bits about racial discrimination and mass murder are not binding.

    I do not champion that position, because I didn’t promise the constitution my support in only one set of circumstances. I consider myself bound.

    It certainly is physically possible to kill that many illegals. The political circumstances don’t favor it, but those change. I think that some form of killing border violators would be constitutional.

    There are good, sound and compelling conservative and Republican reasons not to go down that route.

    *Supreme Court, gun control, the whole illegal de facto naturalization of Mexican illegals…

    1. You’ve spotted the reason that the majority of Democrats’ campaign rhetoric is about how awful the Republicans are. The MSM ignores that and goes ballistic over the least possible Republican “slur” conceivable, but the actual examination of the campaigns reveals the truth.

      Look at the onslaught of slanders of Mitt Romney. Look at the sordid tales of Marco Rubio’s behaviour (he wears heels! he was ticketed for drinking beer in a city park after curfew! he got a girl drunk and drove her in a car off a bridge then walked away leaving her to drown … oh, wait, that wasn’t Rubio; never mind.) Look at how they ignored public defecation, rape and sexual assault among the T.E.A. Party protesters!

    2. ” I think that some form of killing border violators would be constitutional.”

      Absolutely. Set up 2 6′ fences border 100 years apart. Put up signs warning that anyone in between the fences will be killed as an invader, with directions to nearest legal border crossing. Then- kill anyone between the fences. Man, woman, or babe-in-arms.

      1. I can see the strictly utilitarian (not the right term, but meh) sense in that approach, but I will say without hesitation or qualm that I will not support the killing of little children. Does that cause complications to border security? Yes, yes it does, and that worries me. I will still put a bullet between the eyes of any human animal who attempts to kill a babe in arms in cold blood, without regret or second thought.

        1. Well, you could take the babe in arms and the holder of the babe into custody, then shoot the holder. And send the baby back. But at some point in border security, the penalty has to be death, and known to be death, or border security is a joke, as it is now.

          How many people at one time coming across a border illegally constitute an invasion? 1? 100? 1,000? Or does it depend on if they’re armed? If you’re willing to let even one person cross illegally, you have lost the argument for not allowing a million. How do you set a boundary for allowed illegality if you allow any?

          1. I’m not disputing securing the border. As has been mentioned various times here, a state that does not protect its borders ceases to be a state. And yes, ultimately any law must be backed up by lethal force; that’s what government is for. If you think I’m arguing for allowing illegal immigration because I oppose the premeditated killing of innocents, you are… sorely mistaken. If you’re just using that point as a jumping-off-point to make a larger point, well, I think we’re largely in agreement regarding the ramifications of crappy enforcement. Yes, the issues of what to do with apprehended children are complicated and hazardous. I have some suggestions on that front, but for the moment they’re irrelevant. The point is that deliberately killing children incapable of making a moral decision – and here I am obviously not talking about 16- and 17-year-old cartel thugs, or even potential child bombs being herded toward a military checkpoint, but the little children you specifically mentioned – solely because of the choices of their parents is utterly repugnant.

            1. With parental rights come parental responsibilities. Including the right to act for your children and the responsibility not to deliberately use them as human shields.

              1. The question would seem to be who actually is responsible for the deaths of those children. As snelson points out, that would seem to be the parents, not those who’ve established and are defending a legitimate perimeter.

                It is repugnant, yes. It would make horrible “theatre,” yes. But assuming the perimeter is suitably defined, the dangers clearly identified, the onus is on those who send/bring their children through.

                If a mother sends her toddler to play in a (marked) minefield, are those who emplaced the mines responsible for the result?

                On the question of theatre, look at the optics the Palestinians strive so mightily to create and consider the effects in this country of such a propaganda war.

            2. And you don’t need to shoot people. I come from a country that’s a source of net illegal immigration. You can control it in your country by MINIMALLY enforcing it. Even desperate people find other routes/countries to go to. TRUST me, I’ve seen it from the other side. Abolish the minimum wage that makes employers hire illegals (yes, in some places, like farming that’s the only way to survive. Not greed, survival.) Employers will prefer Americans (not racism, but a common culture and language) and there will be less space for illegals. Word will filter back to the old country “job market sucks, and they RAID.” Some other country will get an influx of immigrants. Portuguese went anywhere from France/Germany to South Africa, as enforcement came in.

              1. I get that; there are other effective methods as well that can shift incentives, such as severely limiting or eliminating welfare benefits. I was deliberately focusing on one moral aspect of the proposal to avoid turning it into a mega-rant rather than the deci-rant I posted. 🙂

              2. Employers will prefer Americans (not racism, but a common culture and language)

                Questionable. The benefits of being able to give instructions which are clearly understood might be mitigated by the trained ability of so many young Americans to willfully misunderstand anything said to them. Combine that with a work ethic that considers picking up a single sock a major contribution to household management as opposed to “We only have to work a 14-hour day? Paradisio!” and there may still be a bias toward foreign labor.

                Which is to say, I think we may need more than elimination of Minimum Wage laws. Given a choice between somebody who thinks “showing up on time” means no more than three hours past their scheduled arrival and somebody who thinks it means arriving an hour before their scheduled start, I think I know how most would lean.

                1. It actually doesn’t, so long as we have minimum wage. Most farms and restaurants run so lean they can choose between surviving by hiring illegals or going under by not.

          2. Why send the baby back? I’m not, mind you, really into shooting anyone, but if you do it, why send the baby back? Unlike what the left believes, babies are tabula rasa, skin color doesn’t matter. Give it to a decent family and raise it properly. It will be a credit to the only nation it will ever know. GEESH. Don’t buy their racialist crap. Only they believe in inherited sin or virtue.

                1. Which the supremes will promptly rule unconstitutional. Unless we hang a few to encourage the others, heh.

              1. Ok, put the kid in an adoption pool with the original birth identity discarded. If the foreign parent can prove genetic relationship to a *particular* child, then they can try for the anchor baby angle. “Well I know he’s here *somewhere*” isn’t enough

            1. Reason 1: Not our responsibility to raise.
              Reason 2: Eventually, the child will find out he/she was orphaned and adopted because the host country orphaned him/her. Think the orphan will express gratitude?

              1. well, in my version, we just sent the parents back. Depends on how the child was raised. If you send him back, he will be raised to hate the US. The other thing is, you know, “not our responsibility” — no, our privilege. Treating babies as a burden and population as a burden is a sign of decline.

        1. Pity. If they were a hundred years apart — like, say, the corridor on the fourth floor that theoretically connects the library and the astronomy tower — they would die of old age before they completed the crossing. Unlike, say, Fluffy’s little jaunts down our corridor when looking for time to think.

          1. Speaking of which . . . thanks to whoever picked up the order of Precious Dragon brand dragon-chow at the freight depot. I fully intended to get it on my way over after work, but work’s been a “little” crazy this week.

              1. As long as they could keep it outside the Schwartzchild radius of the black hole that is Fluffy’s stomach….

              2. Nope.

                It was tried and Fluffy managed to travel the wormhole to the factory.

                Fluffy stuffed himself and ran up a very big bill for us to pay. 😈

  27. Minor quibble, but: fairly sure the moralistic busybodies and Prohibitionists were, in fact, on the right. LOTS of overlap between the most fervent Prohibitionists and the most fervent abolitionists and suffragettes.

    I do wish the old-school Methodists had acknowledged their error in Prohibition (namely: an enthralling sin can’t be banned like an involuntary subjugation can) and stuck around, but nope, they watered themselves down into irrelevance. Sigh.

    1. Only if you haven’t read their own words, and seen which economic philosophies and politicians they supported.

    2. the most fervent abolitionists and suffragettes

      So ending Slavery and Giving Women the Right to Vote were of the Right not the Left? 😈

      For that matter Prohibition wasn’t mainly about “banning a sin” but was a wrong-headed method to deal with a real problem. Of course, Prohibition had support from the Progressives (Left) of the time.

      Of course, the same assholes who scream about the so-called Religious Right about “Forcing Their Morality Onto Others” are extremely willing to force their ideas of “Proper Behavior” onto Others.

      Oh by the way, I’m really tired of the assholes who claim that the so-called Religious Right are the same as Radical Muslims.

      So much that I almost wish that we could treat our critics the same way that Radical Muslims would. 😈 😈

      1. Well, the GOP was formed in opposition to slavery. I don’t know whether that is “of the Right,” however, as even the staunchest libertarians seem to think slavery a Bad Thing™. Unlike other examples given it can be distinguished by the fact that it is done to another person and not simply done to one’s self.

        Of the suffragettes … this is an entirely different type of argument, as they were not arguing for the banning of what you are allowed to do but for ending bans on what they are allowed to do.

        1. Chuckle Chuckle

          My basic point was that the individual was “lumping” together anti-slavery, women’s vote, and Prohibition as “bad things of the Right”.

          Of course, when we’re talking about “Prohibition”, while the Left hasn’t called for “prohibiting” smoking, they are a leader in anti-smoking efforts which used to be a “Southern Baptist” thing. 😈 😈 😈

          1. In the North, an awful lot of people who wanted an end to slavery wanted it as a fulfillment of the original Constitution and Declaration of Independence, as well as for conservative religious reasons. OTOH, there were some Progressive types (religious and/or political) who also supported Abolition; many of these wanted the South punished but not all. Prominent religious groups included the Unitarians (who were the kids of Puritans, for the most part) and the Quakers, but also a good leavening of everybody else. Many denominations were split on the question.

            In the South, there was a lot of the same confusion. There were also a lot of Southern religious groups who “went rogue” and ignored the teaching of the rest of their denomination. The most prominent example I know of were the Catholic bishops (mostly Southern, some Northern) who directly ignored a papal encyclical saying that slavery was wrong, while other dioceses had been teaching it since day one. Religious orders which included black people and/or ex-slaves were in some cases supported, but in other cases suppressed or made segregated.

            As for the suffragettes… we can only thank God that things never got as bad here as in the UK, where suffragette anarchism, terrorism, bombings, and arson were extremely common. Many US states had always or already allowed women to vote in local or state elections, or gave voting rights to all property owners including women, which probably reduced a lot of the pressure. However, it was the case that many suffragettes only wanted the right to vote so that they could vote for Progressive or Socialist causes, like Prohibition. (Which was indeed voted in by women voters.) Hence the song “Bread and Roses,” which is all about women lobbying for Socialism. There was a counterbalance of conservative suffragettes in the US, however, just as there were always both weirdies (like the notorious Victoria Woodhull) and conservative feminists.

            Since its founding, the Republican Party has always been the party of civil rights. As part of that legacy, the Republicans of the time did largely support women’s right to vote, and in fact the first US Congresswoman was a lifelong Republican (albeit waaaay progressive, in a Montana way). Most Republicans supported the right to make and drink alcohol, too, although Hoover wimped out and created an opening for FDR.

            1. Slightly off topic, but Hoover was just as Progressive as FDR.

              Most of what FDR did was earlier done by Hoover.

              FDR was just a better “salesman” than Hoover. [Sad Smile]

              1. As was Teddy Roosevelt. In fact it was his anger at Taft for rolling back a lot of his progressive achievements that led to his 3rd party presidential run in 1912 and gave us Wilson.

    3. “Moralistic busybodies” is a very ill-defined pejorative — it could apply to anybody, even fervent libertarians arguing for reducing government involvement in individual affairs.

      Prohibition was enacted under a Progressive president by a Progressive Congress. And, of course, ratified by two-thirds of the states. As the Progressives were largely in control of both political parties and the amendment was widely supported in the states, with only two* of the forty-eight rejecting it, it seems impossible to assign blame or credit to Left or Right, specifically, but it assuredly seems more in line with the Left.

      Of course, all of this points to the inadequacy of using Left and Right as the sole identifiers of political orientation.

      *Connecticut & Rhode Island

        1. It is easy to forget just how deeply the Progressive rot was entrenched in our politics. Hoover, Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford were each more infected than not by the Progressive mentality.

          1. And Progressives are “good” at making people forget which “bad ideas” were Progressive Ideas. 😦

            1. Someone recently claimed it was the Progressives who opposed segregation. I counter-pointed out that it was the Progressives who brought us it — not even as an unfortunate but necessary consequence of freedom of association but as a positive good. Someone else haughtily declared that the groups are not the same through history, besides the first guy was clearly talking about the 60s.

              I pointed out that if he can slough off the blame for the 20s, he can’t claim it for the 60s.

          2. I think part of the reason for that was that early progressive policies at the federal level* had greatly reduced downsides vs. what came in the New Deal and later. At the federal level, many of the early policies had relatively low compliance costs, low enforcement costs, did not represent major barriers to free entrance and exit from the market, and did not give much room for executive or bureaucratic reinterpretation. Some were even fairly easy to argue as Constitutional. So many they lacked both the level of intrusiveness and the level of economic impact that later progressive policies had, as well as not verging on or stepping over the line into, unconstitutionality.

            It was probably the 1930’s before the overreaches and downsides of progressive policies really began to be felt, and at least as many people believed** they’d been helped by FDR’s progressivism as not. That’s the environment in which all four of the politicians you mentioned above grew up or spent much of their adult lives in.

            * federal lands and Prohibition excepted
            ** belief does not equal reality, but is relevant here

      1. Well, since much of the left seem to want to recreate feudalism, or support policies that would ultimately result in such, that would make sense. The slavocrats were nothing if not neofeudal.

      2. What’s to concede? Both you and Paul seem under the impression that I’m opposed to everything this blog stands for and I have very little idea why.

              1. he’s still not well/happy. No bubble making, and he spends a lot of time at the bottom of the tank and doesn’t eat like he used to. BUT he no longer has fungus. I’m probably going to change his tank tomorrow and put him in medicine while I do.

        1. Nope, you’ve made silly comments and we’re inviting you to defend those statements or to tell us that you “messed up”.

          1. Okay, but why on earth would you assume I think that abolition and women’s suffrage are bad things? I’m just saying, history’s complicated. Henry Clay Work, Lucy Hayes and Carrie Nation were very confirmed Republicans. And, if you read “This Present Conflict”, you’ll know the old Methodists always had a right-side-of-history mentality. It’s just that they were correct more often than most, with the obvious exception of Prohibition.

            1. Since the “subject” was the “evils” of the Religious Right, there was the strong implication that abolitionists and the suffragists were part of the “evils” of the Religious Right.

              Of course, including Prohibition (which nobody likes) with the abolitionists and the suffragists does give the wrong message. 😈

              1. I’ve long taken it for granted that Republicans were abolitionist and pro-suffrage. I guess the miscommunication here comes from how I’m talking about it as an ordinary fact and not a buried history.

                And maybe I’m in the wrong on that. Heaven knows that K-12 students are always getting pick-your-dark-spot-in-American-history presented as a momentous ripping of the scales from their eyes, never mind that they’ve already studied the topic in about five different school years. And amazingly, the posture seems to work.

                1. “Miscommunications” are a fact of life and sometimes happen with regulars to ATH. 😀

                  Part of the problem in this case is that one “individual” had jumped in about the “evils” of the so-called Religious Right and I took your statement as you joining in with an attack on the so-called Religious Right.

                  Please continue to visit as we always welcome new regulars and I hope your accidental triggering of a land-mine doesn’t drive you away. [Smile]

                    1. I’m probably a little more surprised than I should be that the genre writer watches good cartoons. But thanks! 🙂

                  1. Abolition. Women’s Suffrage. Prohibition.

                    One of these things is not like the others,
                    One of these things just doesn’t belong,
                    Can you tell which thing is not like the others
                    By the time I finish my song?

                    That’s right, kids! Two of these things expanded Civil Rights! The other one reduced them! Did you get it right? We’re sure you did!

              1. I had a friend who was really enjoying asking people if they were opposed to women suffraging. I told him I was in favor of all humans suffering.

                See, I had read the bit in Sic Semper Morituri about how to go about eliminating suffering from the human condition.

        2. I’m both obnoxious and the resident Prohibition apologist. I’ve a tendency to rave that ‘the history goes decades further back’ whenever I think that someone has made too narrow of a historical presentation on it.

          I’m sometimes a defender of the Pure Food and Drug Act.

          I also pound the drum of ‘the Democratic Party of the 1860s and of the 2010s may only differ cosmetically’.

          There is a case that this blog stands for arguments.

  28. Sarah, did you get the promo email, or do I need to resend it? Lots of stuff in it this week!

    1. better-rapists-racists/

      It makes a good deal of sense if you consider two elements of their identity/philosophy: 1) all PIV sex (even marital) 2) their stance on “racism” is about all that distinguishes them from Nazism.

  29. The reason they are using the term “progressive” is because they have turned every other word for their ideas into an anathema. Personally I’m kinda wondering where they plan to go from “progressive”.

    1. My usual response to the correction “It’s not liberal, it’s progressive” is “So’s cancer.”

    1. And the American Left was starry-eyed for all of the above. Heck, they still don’t think it fair that people keep mentioning the first two like they’re representative of anything real.

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