This Is Not The End

I know almost everyone here — this blog being full of people who know history and how societies work — has been frozen in horror watching as a deep field of liberty-loving candidates is getting reduced to one old narcissist who frankly has always, for sixty eight years, supported the most big-government, socialist ideas he could find.

I’m here to tell you this is not the end.  It’s not the end because of what America is and who Americans are.

Unfortunately yes, it is a type of American that is rendering us vulnerable to Trump: the celebrity loving, reality-show-watching type.  I have to shrug my shoulders because I know celebrities exist only because now and then I’m trapped on a checkout line and read the headlines of magazines.  (Other things I read include the back of products I don’t intend to buy, and in desperation, when nothing else is available, instruction manuals for machines I don’t own.  It’s an addiction.)

However they’re not the only ones, or even the primary type of American.  They are by and large the type that still relies on the mass communications/mass entertainment.

And the times they are achanging.  And they’re coming to be more the times that are tilted towards people like us: the goats, the outliers, those who don’t fit, the odds.

America — trust me on this — has a higher proportion of odds than just about anywhere else on Earth. I’d say for sure than anywhere else on Earth, but I know there are back of beyond places in Australia — Hello Flinders Island! — that are about like that too.  We’re the people whose ancestors were thrown out of or left every decent place on the face of the Earth.  We don’t listen well, we don’t sit still, and we’re always thinking of something that destroys the pretty narratives of our betters.  We have caused Barrack Obama to retreat into a fantasy world.  We are called ungovernable by every leftist president ever.

And we have created a technology that is going that way.  If I were just a few miles North of where I am, I wouldn’t need to stand in line and read about celebrities and go “Who? What?” because groceries deliver there.  And I already order most other things on line.  this doesn’t lead to anomy or isolation.  For one I now have “office mates” who happen to live all over the world, but with whom I trade “good morning.  Never enough coffee, he?  How is the project coming?” just like normal persons in normal offices.  For another because of course I still choose to go out, to museums, classes, restaurants.  It’s just that I’m not forced to spend so much time in things that are not fun for me.  (I shop like a guy.  No, seriously.  Shopping is a mission to find what is the right size and vaguely the right color and run out with it in victory.)

More importantly, we’re creating a technology that is eliminating the “mass” element from a lot of intellectual property/communication: news, books, music.  Because producers can sell directly to customers, we can have a small fan base and still make a great deal of money.

And that change is coming for other things too, from education to movies.  It’s already to some extent in manufacturing, and it will get more so.

To an extent socialism grew as “Mass” industrialization grew.  It was a response to a world in which anything worth doing was worth doing in vast, organized enterprises.

Technology is bringing back individual effort, individual taste, individual opportunity.

Unfortunately culture always lags the physical world.  Because humans are not created to adapt instantly and painlessly.  It didn’t use to be that the world changed so much that we must change in less than a few generations.  In other words, the world we’ve created is too fast for us old apes to keep up.

Usually a change of technology of the magnitude we’re experiencing, demands revolution and blood before it stabilizes again and better.  The last big one was the French revolution, though echoes of it still go on around the world today.

I’m not saying this won’t happen.  I sense… things I don’t like ahead.

And yet, this is not the end.

It’s much harder to end a civilization than most people imagine.  Yes, Rome fell, but in a way it didn’t, and bits of it limped on for centuries.  Remember, those monkey brains?

And we’re still American.  We’re still ungovernable.  Trump might ruin the idea of a conservative movement in America.  Certainly if he can get elected, the GOP establishment could be forgiven for thinking they needed to run to the left MORE and find even more outrageously leftist candidates, indistinguishable from the dems except for about a quarter of their utterances.

But he can’t eliminate us.  And he can’t make the electorate exactly the same as in Europe, where socialism is a given.  Yeah, yeah, importing a new electorate.  Look, that 12 million number was always grossly exaggerated and if my neighborhood is representative (and the news form Mexico don’t lie) a good 2/3 have gone back.  Even the Children’s Crusade amounted to a few hundred thousand.  A drop in the American bucket. I’m not saying they don’t matter, mind.  I’m not even cruising for an amnesty.  I think Reagan’s was a mistake (though he couldn’t have known it.  We know it.)  I think we need to enforce our laws.  (I also think a wall along that large a border is unlikely if not impossible, in engineering and cost terms.  Just patrols would be cheaper.)

We’re still us.  Trump can’t make us not-us.  And Hillary and Bernie certainly can’t make us not us.  I’m laying a bet right now that if either of them gets elected we’ll hear the “ungovernable.  Too big to be governed” whine within three months.

We are the people who will not sit down, won’t put up with crap.

In a way the choices we’re being presented this election are the result of people not wanting their world to change too much, and wanting to take us back to some imaginary safe place. They think this place is the fifties, but I think even the inconveniences of the eighties would freak them out.

And this is where we come to the nub of the matter.

We’ve lived very well, very long.  Yeah, that means we’ve bred a whole lot of morons who think the ceiling will stay up when you remove the walls.  But those same morons are very sensitive to discomfort and hardship.  And will tantrum like nobody’s business and demand their metaphorical MTV the minute we’re dragged even slightly away from the technological forefront.

Some people want to drag us back, to stop technology.  They’re scared.

I understand this in the vile progs, a regressive movement whose golden age was circa 1930.  But that’s not us.  Certainly not the majority of Americans, and never the liberty lovers among us.

We believed in freedom and individualism back in the dark days of collective action and mass technology.  How much more should we believe in it now that the tech and the way things go work is going our way?

Be the change.  Dance in the stream of chaos.

If they think they can stop the technology and the freedom, the individuality and the belief in American ideals, they have another thing coming.

We must as of now work as hard as we can for that change, for that individuality, for that freedom.

It’s going to get hard enough because we don’t live in a vacuum and the rest of the world is hurting more than we are, because when our engine stalls, they slide back. We might yet lose a city.  And wars will break out, that might present us with a butcher’s bill.

It is for them and for us that we must not give up, we must not despair, and we must NEVER endorse these creatures who want to drag us back to a century that never existed.

Yeah, yeah, the Donald will try to silence blogs (well, he doesn’t like being criticized and is quite terribly thin skinned.  He’ll try to control the net.  He’ll try to make us a mass nation again, with a mass megaphone leading us all.)

We will not do it.  We will not endure it.  The day after they install curtails on our electronic freedom, three guys with circuits will come up with something better.  We will not stop.

The world needs us, and the future comes from America.

Illegitimi non carborundum!  Be free and give them hell.



652 thoughts on “This Is Not The End

  1. Just can’t wash that Portugal out of your hair, can you? It’s cute how you mangle your idioms sometimes, but you will forever be an immigrant, Sarah, no matter how much you protest. (Too much, methinks.) Physics of time and space, don’t’cha know? Unless you return, that is, to where you’ll be, what? unmigrant? exmigrant? odd-somethingrant?

    J. R.

    1. You have some point? I mangle idioms because I write these really late at night and having worked for years as a translator, I sometimes cross streams.
      Again, your point is?
      It’s cute that you think you can patronize me.
      Little men have those delusions.

      1. VD has been discussing your posts these last few days, taking particular exception to the notion that the U.S.A. is a nation of shared ideas rather than shared blood. (I think you may have irked him when you undermined his “cuckservative” trumperism by noting [if not in those exact words] out that The Donald is a Democrat cuckoo in the Republican nest.) J. R. seems to be trying to count coup with a rhetorical flourish in a forum of ideas.

        1. Yeah. He’s an idiot.
          And VD is not an American. Because America IS a nation of ideas. Good thing he got out, uh? Would that everyone who doesn’t believe in the constitution did so.

          1. I have to quibble with that somewhat. The U.S. was indeed founded on a set of bedrock ideas, which remain vital to this day. However, while subscribing to those ideas is necessary, the developments of the last fifty years suggest that it’s not quite sufficient.

            Rather than add my own blather, I’ll cite this article by John Derbyshire, which I find both convincing and complete. Note that Derbyshire is himself an immigrant to these shores. Note also the large array of forces – Left and Right – straining to prevent his views from receiving a hearing.

              1. Race and ethnicity are more important than most people will allow. When not checked, they tend toward the formation of exclaves, which have become a large problem, especially in the Southwest. Granted that that tendency can be overcome by forces designed to compel assimilation…but note how the whole notion of assimilation has been treated as shameful in recent decades. Indeed, at its inception the public school system was regarded as a measure to promote assimilation above all other things. Today you daren’t speak the word in a public school classroom.

                1. Francis — cultures are important, and when we are importing cultures wholesale and lecturing them about race victimhood, yes, you get enclaves.
                  The problem is not race, it’s our dems, in the seventies, making our immigration policy not about what people could contribute to America but about “victim groups.”
                  Look, I’d trade a Somali immigrant who knows and believes in our principles, over a natural born Berserklyite. Or our current president.
                  It’s the culture. If you’re trying to fix it by fixing race, you’re up a creek.
                  Yeah, there are IQ differences, etc, but those are due to a ton of things, including nutrition, culture and education. (the IQ is not an in-vacuum metric.)

                  1. We’ll have to agree to disagree. The correlations between our social pathologies and the races and ethnicities of those who’ve entered the U.S. since 1965 correlate very strongly. Beyond that, of course, lies the illegal-immigration problem, which has a powerful ethnic bias. Unless some imperative force that once acted upon immigrants distant from the Anglic origins of the country has either failed or has been removed, we lack an explanation for why the huge influx of Eastern European immigrants in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries assimilated properly and became good Americans, while the immigrants of recent decades have proved so troublesome. Those Eastern Europeans were also from cultures far distant from our Anglic ideological heritage.

                    People often speak of culture as if it were a force out of the void, that had no connections to other, more material aspects of the populations that observe it. Yet the correlation of particular cultural patterns with particular regions and the people who inhabit them stands unexplained. There’s a doctoral dissertation in there, waiting for some scholar who isn’t afraid of being denounced by the entire academic community.

                    1. since 1965 we’ve been favoring 3rd world hellholes, where the culture is f*cked and then teaching newcomers victimhood.
                      Social sciences are complicated (kind of like climate science) and it’s never JUST one cause.
                      Attributing it to ONE cause is easy. Also wrong.

                    2. Unless some imperative force that once acted upon immigrants distant from the Anglic origins of the country has either failed or has been removed, we lack an explanation for why the huge influx of Eastern European immigrants in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries assimilated properly and became good Americans, while the immigrants of recent decades have proved so troublesome. Those Eastern Europeans were also from cultures far distant from our Anglic ideological heritage.

                      There is such a factor. Multi-culturalism. We used to encourage immigrants to assimilate; now we encourage them to avoid assimilation. The assimilation still happens, because it’s adaptive behavior on their parts, but it happens much more slowly, resulting in greater problems due to the unassimilated among the immigrants.

                    3. The correlations between our social pathologies and the refusal to require encourage assimilation by those who’ve entered the U.S. since 1965 correlate very strongly.

                      Fixed that for you.

                      Still sorta wrong. Single parenthood was only becoming the norm for one portion of American society but is now an epidemic throughout — and that me boyo, is where our problems really lie. The narrative that a child doesn’t need a full set of parents, or that alternates can suffice, is the most pernicious myth affecting us.

                    4. @Res I remember my father ranting in ’65 that the AFDC program was going to destroy the American family structure. As a 12 year old I thought him crazy.

                    5. Oh, come off the whole single parent things…feminist women’s studies professors have statistics, statistics I say, the prove having a father in the more increases the odds of child abuse and reduces resources available to the child.

                    6. The list is in ascending order of perniciousness.

                      Statistical analysis of the abuse of statistics proves that to be worst form of abuse.

                    7. @0ldgriz: that is another classic case of “do you get paid for the claim or get paid for the claim being right”. We use a lot of statistics in our models and constantly work to improve them. We make several millions in business choices daily on our stats being right. I trust ours are the best we can do.

                      The typical professor or wonk, regardless of affliation, who gets paid for the claim and is no where to be found if his claim is put in practice? I trust his about as much as he has demonstrated he does.

                    8. @HerbN
                      I agree, that properly used by the properly trained, statistics is a powerful and useful tool. In the hands of politicians and motivated advocates it is a powerful tool for evil. The problem discerning how the tool was used.

                    9. @0ldgriz: More and more I rely on the when do you get paid test for anything…if you demand 100% up front I figure you’re a fraud.

                      I really wonder why escrow services aren’t more commonly used.

                    10. Yup. Seems to me, mostly from observation, that race and ethnicity are excuses, not causes – excuses for, amongst other things, choosing to bond together in tribal-sized groupings.
                      Partial evidence: lots of individuals who are of the same race and ethnicity as others, but do not share the same sub-cultural / tribal affiliations in the U.S., because of individual circumstances and choices.

                  2. Forgive me if I’m intruding but doesn’t the issue tend to fall between the two extremes of ‘interchangeable humans’ and Genetic determinism. You will have a cultural mean within a race or ethnicity. Today we seem to have swung too far to the idea that all humans are exactly the same regardless of inarguable facts.

                    For instance look at the doctrine of disparate impact. If a test is designed to test the job requirements and a certain culture and group does significantly better than others, either because it takes it more seriously and studies or has cultural knowledge (Knowledge passed down by word of mouth). I just remember the common refrain of (in this case) not enough black candidates were highly graded in written and performance tests to get into the department or to get promotions and so the department was required to rewrite the test and the assumption that the reason for disparity is race, not culture or ability.

                    IMO, I’ll treat everyone as they deserve but I think there are cultural and biological variances that do affect people. Culture will (normally) highly overrule any innate biological issues between races but even if you accept the argument of significant deficits within a certain race the culture we have built strangles them in the grave because we look down on careers where you may not need to be able to explain literary theory but they can still run power cable or HVAC lines.

                    And at this time it seems that since we are all getting dragged into the leftist practice of group definitionism. The government seems to use the best case scenarios for an immigration case to cover every single one (Watch all the Dreamers identified as the valedictorian of their school vs ones that dropped out) and a growing number of people are doing the same from the opposite side, treating every Hispanic as a MS13 member. Right now people are just using the same techniques they are trained to use already and are told is right by the government.

                    1. No. You’re mostly right. But in every culture there’s outliers. I can tell you what my “mean Portuguese” characteristics are, mainly a lack of organization and the hot head. It’s not just culture because Larry is what generation and we tend to explode in exactly the same way and then forget about it. There are OF COURSE inherited characteristics.
                      BUT in every race there are outliers, and America is perfect for a certain type of outlier.
                      If we had an immigration policy like Australia’s we’d be picking for “Americans born elsewhere.” We’re not. That’s the big issue, not the races we’re picking from, exaclty.

                    2. I don’t know if this is the right place to put this but I’m going to anyway. Think of it this way: Genetics is the Hardware and Culture is the OS.

                    3. See:
                      Bank CEO reveals how Obama administration shook him down
                      The former CEO of Ally Financial Inc. says the Obama administration abused its power by holding the bank’s business hostage in order to coerce a record settlement of “trumped-up” racism charges and push profit-killing new regulations on the entire auto-lending industry.
                      Michael A. Carpenter, who helmed Detroit-based Ally from 2009 to 2015, complained in an exclusive interview that Obama’s powerful consumer watchdog agency threatened to derail the bank’s efforts to obtain key regulatory approvals if it didn’t agree to settle the allegations out of court.
                      Since the 2013 deal, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has accused the industry’s biggest lenders of ripping off black and other minority customers by charging them higher interest rates than whites.

                      But Carpenter says there’s no merit to the accusations. He suggests they’re merely a means to a political end: forcing car dealers to abandon discretionary pricing and equalizing credit outcomes, regardless of borrower creditworthiness. He warns moving to flat-rate financing, as the administration wants, would limit the industry’s ability to make a profit and cover risk and would be like “signing our own death warrant.”
                      Carpenter says the CFPB’s civil rights activists refused to consider exculpatory evidence acquitting Ally of the charges, and warned him that he would lose holding-company status for the bank if he fought the charges. Without such status, Ally would have had to divest key businesses and wouldn’t have been able to raise equity in the markets to repay billions in taxpayer dollars pumped into Ally under the TARP program.
                      Carpenter says the CFPB tried to hide its metrics for the analytical screens it used to determine discrimination. After Ally obtained them and ran the numbers itself, it found that non-discriminatory factors — such as credit differences, vehicle type purchased, trade-ins and down payments — explained virtually all the disparities in the loan data. It also found that many white borrowers were charged dealer rates that were higher than the white average, further undercutting the administration’s case.

                      Ally quickly learned the agency was unfairly comparing borrowers who were not similarly situated, Carpenter said, and “we were being accused of something we didn’t do.” Yet prosecutors refused to consider the more scientific data that refuted the racism charges.

                      “They just rejected it,” Carpenter said. “The people involved [in negotiations] had a very clear agenda, you know, a social agenda.
                      Worse, the CFPB could never identify the alleged 235,000 Ally minority “victims” harmed by loan mark-ups. The auto industry does not report borrower race, so the CFPB resorted to guessing race by last name and zip code, a so-called “proxy” method that’s wildly inaccurate and often misidentifies whites as black.

                      As a result, Carpenter says he wouldn’t be surprised if as much as 20% of the checks the government is now mailing out are actually going to Caucasians.

                    4. Disparate impact puts the burden of proof on the accused, assuming their guilt and requiring they prove their innocence.

                  3. Please provide adequate special pleadings to explain the IQ differences between the two halves of Hispanolia without reference to the large scale genetic experiment that was carried out by Toussaint et al.

                    1. no special pleadings. I maintain and will maintain that it is mostly cultural. Kindly remember cultural includes how people are treated, what parents eat, what the child eats, and things they are taught before they’re even aware of it.
                      If you think that doesn’t explain almost all the difference, you haven’t kept up with epigenetics.
                      I’m not saying there’s no genetic difference, mind you, but it is not “racial” — for one race is not the same as skin color. Or even tribe. One thing the human animal does is sleep around like crazy. Remember the Hispanic chick who is all with Hispanic pride and found out her actual Hispanic heritage is something like 2% despite her looks?
                      Yeah, in very small populations, very inbred you find a ‘tribal’ component (Say the Hapsburgs with their astonishing deficiencies brought on by inbreeding.) But in the real world? Be real. Take a child out of Haiti. Raise him in an American family that values learning. Will he be as bright as their kids? Possibly not. Will he do way better than in Haiti? I bet you he does.
                      So please, take your “special pleadings” off your nether end and look at humans as humans not as widgets who can be classified according to shade of skin and place of birth. Alternately just admit you’re a progressive and be done with it. They’re the ones who judge by groups.

                    2. what special pleading do you care to use to note the fact you don’t measure up to say Dr. Sowell?
                      Racism and more so racial supremacy from any race is not just repugnant: It’s rock bottom stupid.
                      Yes, certain characteristics are inherited, but if you talk to any real geneticist, you’ll get “it’s complicated” for most of them.
                      It turns out most of the characteristics inherited aren’t coded to skin color, pretty much ever.
                      Yes, if the majority of your ancestry is African, you might have a predisposition to do well in music … or math. The two are linked. In fact they use music to test digit dyslexic kids for real math talent.
                      How it expresses — where are the great African mathematicians? Or even the great at least 20% African ancestry mathematicians in the US (about what African blacks have) — is culture.
                      And it’s no use to judge the musical/mathematical ability of any individual. I have a black friend who could give me help clearing a room by singing. What it does is allow you to estimate that his ability will be, say 10% in a population with a lot of African ancestry.
                      And this is why racism is fucking bloody stupid and those who promote it idiots.
                      Yes, you can predict behavior of blacks in the US to more than a 20% accuracy. Particularly dysfunctional, since they became state clients.
                      But that’s CULTURE not genes. Running around with your hair on fire claiming blacks are inferior to the great white race or calling someone a cuckservative because ‘you don’t support the white race’ (the gentleman I heard called this never MARRIED the notion of the white race, so “outsider’ would have been better) might be very satisfying.
                      What it ignores is that what you’re agitating for is for whites to become clients of the state and exhibit the same pathologies as American blacks (a lot of them already are.) You’re calling for more benes for the “superior race” Which will make its pathologies worse and make it demand more benes. And you’re judging people as stupid who have been infantilized by government programs. you’re discarding 14% of the population of the US on totally unscientific and irrational principles AND you’re driving the rest of the population down the same road, all while thinking you’re improved the situation.
                      Well done.
                      That blood you’ll have it on your hands? The destruction of Western civilization. Wipe it on the wall. Like the leftists, you’re trading human thought and human rationality for a pot of message and a bucket of undeserved superiority.
                      I hope you love both.

                    3. I wish I could find the article but Jerry Pournelle once cited a study that showed that a diet without adequate complete protein prenatally through early childhood can cause permanent development issues that can knock several tens off of adult IQ. Simply improving the diet can dramatically improve the lot of the next generation.

                      Yet another reason why racism is dumb.

                2. Look up “Routine Activities Theory”, which boils down to “Anyone who goes into a minority area should expect to become a crime victim and shouldn’t complain because they asked for it.”

                3. I disagree on the idea of the Southwest as being endemic of enclaves. Tucson, for example, is most certainly a great big (left leaning) melting pot.

                  Natives generally call it “The World’s Largest Small Town,” because no matter where you go in the city you’ll run into someone you know or someone who knows someone you know. You can’t play Six Degrees of Separation around here because you can’t get all the way to six degrees between any two people who’ve lived here more than six months.

                  Then again, maybe I’m wrong because Tucson is it’s own eddy of weirdness.

                  1. Are you in the Tucson area, then? The Oyster Wife and I will be at Wild Wild West Con next week, and I’d been meaning to see if anyone else here was going.

                    1. I’ll be there — I work at Old Tucson, the I.S. Manager and unofficial official photographer.

                      WWWC is my favorite event of the year; the only time I can wear a kilt to work. : )

                  1. I’d say about equal for the two of them. As long as Kyle Busch wins Daytona this year and JP Montoya wins Indy again, there is hope for a little longer. 😉

              2. How can you tell an American?

                Per Wiki: Knickerbocker Holiday [the play from which this song comes] is both a romantic comedy and a thinly veiled allegory equating the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt with fascism. (A Roosevelt ancestor is one of the characters on the corrupt New Amsterdam council in the play.) Playwright Anderson believed that government was necessary in society, but that it must always be watched because it is swayed by the self-interests of those in power. He saw FDR’s New Deal as another example of the corporatism and concentration of political power which had given rise to Nazism and Stalinism.

              3. Show me the “American race.”

                That I cannot do, of course. This did remind me of old radio show about a couple guys making an auto trip in the very early days of the automobile, across a place that that had not yet been done. It was an example of American Exceptionalism, but NOT as how its detractors think(?) of it. The guys made the trip, if just barely, despite it being “impossible” and the conclusion was “We’re just two average guys. We can do it. Anyone can do it.” Unexceptional? After that, yes. The exceptional? “That’s impossible!” “Let’s just see about that.”

                A fictional account, yes. But the showcase of an idea: Experts and “conventional wisdom” are not to be blindly trusted, but forever tested.

                1. Show me the American Race

                  “We’ve spawned a new race here, Mr. Dikinson. Rougher, simpler; more violent, more enterprising; less refined. We’re a new nationality. We require a new nation.”
                  — Benjamin Franklin, “1776”

                  Though I doubt Ben would argue that the American race is based on an idea rather than genetics.

            1. “However, while subscribing to those ideas is necessary, the developments of the last fifty years suggest that it’s not quite sufficient.”

              Caveat! It is an open question whether or not the people running this country actually do subscribe to the ideas.

                1. Our universities have been corrupted.

                  Universities nothing. All the way down to our kindergartens and preschools.

                  Had an interesting talk with my daughter’s old first grade teacher. Came to understand that just like in the arts people of conservative bent have to keep their heads down and stay in the political closet for the most part, so too do teachers of said bent.

                  This, of course, is at the core of my own fear for the future, that the “root myths” of what it means to be American have been deliberately edited by enemies to those very ideals and spoon fed to our children for at least two generations.

                  1. Yes if the republicans had any sense they would close every public ed school. Then tell the public universities only hire people who were republicans or libertarians before the current date until they are one third of your professors.

                1. They’ve substituted their own reality, a FEEEEEEEEELLLLLLZZZZZ based system. As long as they remain within a protected enclave (ivory tower or government employment), their system is marginally functional.

            2. For the last fifty years we have not been diligent in teaching those bedrock ideas to our children, and that is the cause of many of the major problems we are now facing.

                    1. I was talking to a woman who came to America over sixty years ago. She remembers being terrified of melting when she heard that America was a melting pot. Of course it is easy to terrify 1st graders. She came out fine but still hates the imagery.

                1. Coulda been taught at home, but with both parents running after “fulfilling careers”, and “teachers are professionals”, to many parents didn’t think they needed to.

          2. Yes. On one side is someone who, European-born, went to America. On the other side is someone who, American-born, went to Europe. And he doesn’t have what he suggests is American blood, either, nor, for that matter, Italian blood. I know my bias, sure. But I know which side I’m taking.

            Yes, a nation of ideas is a new concept, on the scale of history. Time will tell if it can last in the long run. For me, an American by birth and by choice? I am committed to the idea of a nation of ideas, of inalienable rights, of government that serves the people — whether or not humanity has the material, or will make the necessary choices, to make it last. Whether or not it’s a myth.

            I’m going to live like an American, even if there isn’t any America.

              1. The tough part is making sure you have the space to live that way. The methodology of hammering down the nails that stick up has improved and I’m concerned that eventually it will become the fascistic ideal where if you disagree with the ruling class and government apparatchiks you will have no living. You will become the unperson and LE will turn blind eye to your abuse or destruction.

                1. Voluntary associations of like-minded people work – even in China, house churches exist and are vital.

            1. I’m going to live like an American, even if there isn’t any America.

              Were you deliberately alluding to Puddleglum in “The Silver Chair” by C.S. Lewis? “I’m going to live like a Narnian, even if there isn’t any Narnia.”

          3. VD doesn’t believe that a nation of shared ideas can exist – the word “nation” in his mind signifies only people of the same ethnic origin. He has claimed in all seriousness that no one understands the principles of the US Constitution except those with ancestors from the British Isles, and scorned the idea that someone born to foreign parents and raised to adulthood in the US could be a real American.

            I don’t know how he explains the general failure of the US upper crust – nearly all of whom can boast ancestors going back to colonial times – to hold to the principles of the Constitution or teach them to their descendants.

            1. I may believe that there are more people with a genetic predisposition to be Americans from the British Isles, but as Sarah says There are outlier Americans born everywhere from all genetic stock.
              There are no easily discerned physical characteristics that define Americans. It’s more how our brains and hearts work.

              1. And honestly, no one is PURE anything. If you read histories of the British Isles, it is obvious that from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century there was more immigration from Portugal to England than there is of Mexico to the US. And that’s just Portugal, and without counting the rest.
                This British exceptionalism is poppycock. It’s like running around bragging “we’re pure mutt.”

                    1. Well there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that mutts are healthier than purebreds. This may explain the eccentric upper classes

                    1. Yeah, but the ones they couldn’t handle went straight to the North of Portugal. When Larry’s DNA came back with a lot of English, I went “yep, North of Portugal.” Turns out his peninsular DNA is only like 2%. Not unusual in the North of Portugal. (And considering our oldest spawn could be siblings, just another hilarious bit to add to the “she can’t be a real American.” NOT — and I insist on this — that I believe American is race related. EVER. That’s a crazy cakes idea.)

                    2. Especially since race is a completely arbitrary social construct. It’s like passing out party hats to people in an office and then trying to tease out statistically meaningful information based on what color paper cone people are wearing.

                    3. Yes And No.

                      IMO “Race” has been another name for “Tribe”. In old writings, you’ll find references to the “English Race”, the “French Race”, etc.

                      Tribe actually meant “a group of people who I am related to”.

                      Of course, the larger the group the less you can say “a group who I am related to”. [Smile]

                      ::Kicks Soapbox Away From Me::

                    4. You’re all related to me. It’s the mind that counts. The blood is irrelevant unless it’s for matters of illness or marriage. As far as I’m concerned you guys are family.

                    5. You’re all related to me. It’s the mind that counts. The blood is irrelevant unless it’s for matters of illness or marriage. As far as I’m concerned you guys are family.

                      Ma’am, I am honored. I’d like to say that it is because my family has been here for long enough (most of the lines 300+ years) to realize that there is no such thing as “magic dirt,” only “plants that grow strong,” but there are those who’ve been here somewhat longer, and still haven’t gotten the clue.

                      Now, having been admitted to your fine Porto family, about those secret recipes…

            2. I don’t know how he explains the general failure of the US upper crust – nearly all of whom can boast ancestors going back to colonial times – to hold to the principles of the Constitution or teach them to their descendants.

              Indeed, a lot of the leaders of the Counterculture were WASP’s.

              1. He handwaves it and blusters, because RACE!
                I’ve long said he had more in common with the SJWs than with us. This belief in culture being genetic is one of their similarities.

            3. this is known as “touched in the upperworks.” Yeah, we’re different. We’re a new thing in history. His ideas are much like 19th century European ideas. Pfui.

              1. It was not so long ago when people claimed that the Irish were too different and primitive to assimilate to American ways….

                Chesterton’s essays on America are extremely cogent and funny about how we are a country based on ideas, or even a civic religion. One of his proofs is that we ask visitors whether they are enemies of the US or plan to subvert our system of government – something more like asking people to state their beliefs than a typical government question.

                1. That’s a little more pragmatic that it looks. The point is not that they will answer honestly. The point is that we can nab them for perjury if they lie.

            4. Ah, the U.S. upper crust. Which is a little different from the upper crust of any of the European nations. A few things I discovered doing ancestry research. A very large percentage of out founding fathers, the ones who signed the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, have no living descendants. They would be the upper crust of American society then. And the financial and political leaders of that day. The upper crust of today, for the most part, is NOT descended from them. I have read in multiple places that the same 5 families that were at the top of the economic and social elite in France from back then are still at the top of the economic and social elite, despite all their revolutions and governments. And in jolly ol’ England, well, the same is true. Upper crust can all trace their ancestry back to upper crust.

              I’m an 8th cousin to Barbara Pierce, which makes my kids 9th cousins to the 2nd President Bush. We’re not really close….I’ve never been invited for barbecue… We’re related through Henry Ballinger, an immigrant to the U.S. born in 1660. Who had lots and lots of kids who survived to adulthood and had lots and lots of kids who survived to adulthood. The fact that fairly good records of him exist show he wasn’t of the lowest class, who would at the time be born, live, and die with no records of their existence. But he was pretty much part of the middle class of the times, not the upper crust. An obscure figure in American history. And a descendant of his eventually became POTUS. That type of social mobility really doesn’t seem to exist in Europe even today.

              1. I’m descended from plenty of the upper crust. Just not in any lineage with inheritance rights.

              2. um… a good percentage of the signers of the Declaration do have living direct descendants..

                Some of them might even be here.

            5. If VD believes that, VD is a ass.

              The Cherokee adapted to the ways of the immigrants so well that they were outperforming them; that’s the underlying reason Jackson was pushed by a buncha crackers to drive them West. There are people of Chinese descent, of Italian descent, of Scandinavian and German and French and Dutch descent, of Russian and Iberian, of Middle European and Middle Eastern descent (l’chaim) who have agreeably adapted to the principles under which America was founded.

              1. Remember: VD is the mirror image of the SJWs.
                That is why they hate him so much.
                (Although it should be pointed out that the tipping point for running off the Cherokee was the fact that they found gold in North Georgia.)

        2. Trump is a lot like the original fascist. Not Hitler … but Mussolini. Remember, Mussolini was also a socialist who co-opted local conservativism and nationalism in his rise to power.

        3. VD imagines that race decides things, but this does not explain the differences of national character betwen nations which vary only slightly in racial composition. Germany and Austria, for instance. Or Germany and France, which come to think of it was the problem which Hitler could never reconcile in his own mind, either.

          In America’s case, it’s very obviously shared culture — America began as majority-British with admixtures of French, German and Spanish, but differered very greatly from all of these nations, with the difference with Britain being the hardest to explain in racial terms. And of course, any two nations which border one another will — barring absolute hostility between them, racially mix (and even with such hostility they will mix, given any history of invasions or raids by less than perfectly-behaved troops).

          1. Agreed with most of what you said, but I wanted to add to this:

            “VD imagines that race decides things, but this does not explain the differences of national character betwen nations which vary only slightly in racial composition.”

            Race has its say in culture, as do things like geography and climate — Guns, Germs, and Steel, for instance, attempts to explain human history with the latter two, and other things to do with the environment in which different cultures developed, rather than anything intrinsic to the peoples who developed them, and does explain quite a lot of it.

            Still, if you want to find a close cultural match for, say, Ashkenazi Jews, look not to racially similar groups, or those from similar environments, but to the world’s “middleman minorities”, like the Igbo in Nigeria or the Chinese minority in Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia. They all highly value education, they all get blamed (and worse) by the majority when things aren’t going well, and they all do exceptionally well as immigrants.

            Sarah has also pointed out in the past how the culture of a particular nation (even in the united-by-blood sense, or at least one, like Portugal, perceived to be such, even if the history is rather different) can change on very short timescales, perhaps more for worse than for better, but still more rapidly than one would expect if it were primarily dependent on race.

            1. I’ve seen the walls go up around houses in Portugal in my lifetime. My parents built their house with a nominal wall, that came to my hip (at 7) and no shutters on the windows. The walls are now seven feet tall, alarmed, and the shutters are stainless steel of the sort you pull down here over shops in bad neighborhoods.
              In FIFTY years.
              I once ran into a laugh-out-loud white supremacist site which explained Portugal losing the lead on world science/transportation by “becoming misoginated.” Now, of course, yes, the discoveries brought a lot of the bringing home of souvenir wives, and a lot of slaves who mixed in, but if you look at portraits/drawings of the people, the difference is really not VISIBLE.
              HOWEVER this site, which had ideas very similar to VD’s, based its entire thesis on the PORTUGUESE ROYAL FAMILY which looked German, while we had one. The big palookas never realized that royal families in Europe resemble nothing so much but each other, since they intermarried WITH EACH OTHER FOR CENTURIES.
              Portugal’s one deviation from that norm, the father of Henry the Navigator, looks… well… very Mediterranean. There is a reason for that as his mother was a converso. The kids are somewhat lighter, as their mother was the daughter of John de Gaunt. But if you google Henry the Navigator you’ll see he’s … dark.
              The generation of Henry and his siblings was also the most brilliant in Portugal. And his father was one of our best kings, too.

      2. I like your idioms. They’re part of you. I found you as a science fiction writer after finding you as a blog writer. I suspect I’d like you personally as well. You seem a good, honest and highly intelligent woman. My wife is another such, and so was my mother — I have always personally liked intelligent women; most of my friends are such.

      3. Sarah
        It’s cute that you think you can patronize me.
        Little men have those delusions.

        it’s cute that you can immigrate to America and then presume to tell people who were born and raised here they don’t know how to ‘Murica right. that’s not … patronizing … at all.

        is what it is though, is remarkably stupid. that’s right up there with moving in next to an airport or race track and then trying to pass noise ordinances.

        little women have these delusions that shaming language works on men who’s balls have dropped.

        1. You have definitely dropped your balls if you don’t believe a naturalized citizen has a right to opine. The Founding Fathers wiuld beg to differ.

          But of course the greatest expert on American society is still the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville. So please feel free to change your statement at any time.

          1. Well, speaking as an American born and raised here (so that means bobby needs to repect Mah Authoritah!!) you are far more American than some people born and raised here. 😉

              1. just because i posted here a ~year ago under this handle does NOT mean i’m using a “sock puppet”.

        2. That’s quite the challenge to a woman with a bigger, brassier pair than you have, Mr. “i can challenge e.e. cummings because i r speshul”.

          If you think Sarah’s shaming you, you’ve got a less secure self-image than if it wore stiletto heels in a ball bearing factory immediately after a spill. During an earthquake. That’s nothing more than gentle mockery.

          Now, as to the meat, if such it can be called, of your accusation: that someone who chose the American ideals has no right to claim someone born here isn’t following the American ideals. Yes, I’m paraphrasing. Yes, the word has four syllables, and yes, I do know what it means.

          We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. So far you show precious little evidence that you believe any of this, much less all of it. That in and of itself makes you less American than the so-called “little woman” whose virtual living room you are shitting in.

        3. it’s cute that you can immigrate to America and then presume to tell people who were born and raised here they don’t know how to ‘Murica right. that’s not … patronizing … at all.

          It’s cute that you’re such an ignorant fapmuffin that you’ve never heard the idea that people who choose to be Americans are the best kind.

          little women have these delusions that shaming language works on men who’s balls have dropped.

          Oh, the doctors got a powerful enough microscope that they finally found yours, did they? Great news!

          1. no, no, he’s three dimensional. He’s also a nativist (The belief that the magical dirt you were born on makes you speshul. Yeah. That one.). And I’m sure he’ll unfold more dimensions each more repulsive than the next. Quantum troll. If you keep looking, he keeps presenting newer and grosser features.

        4. Aw, how cute. It tries a “you do it toooooo” whinge, waving its tiny fists with such authority.

          1. One does get a “scrawny, weedy-bearded, Beta male pretending to be an Alpha male rarrrr!” vibe off of this guy.

        5. it’s cute that you can immigrate to America and then presume to tell people who were born and raised here they don’t know how to ‘Murica right.

          Oh, don’t worry. There are plenty of native born Americans who are laughing at you too.

        6. Yeah, but there are native born ‘Muricans who don’t know how to ‘Murican properly: that’s how we end up with Bushes, and Clintons, and Trumps; Oh My!

        7. Some people live in a place and never learn it, never see it; in your metaphor, your balls must have dropped right on through, to be so blind stupid.

    2. Awww, isn’t it cute? We’re finally hearing from the subgenius. It comes here trying not to discuss the post but to insult the poster. Tell me, JR Bob, do you object to the fact that Sarah made the choice to be an American? That she came here legally and with the desire and intent to not only stay but take all appropriate steps to become a citizen and be an advocate for what makes this country great? Or is it that she doesn’t self-describe as a victim? Or maybe you just don’t like the fact she’s a woman who doesn’t “know her place”?

      Just so you know, someone can immigrate to another country and still be a citizen of that country (try checking your immigration law if you’re hazy on that concept). When they do so, that makes them American or British or whatever country they happen to have chosen to live in and be a citizen of.

      Oh, and check your history as well. Unless your ancestry is 100% Native American, you too come from the blood of immigrants. Are you saying that your ancestors weren’t American?

      At least Sarah shows a love for this country, HER country, that is sadly lacking in a lot of others who were fortunate enough to born here.

      1. Subgenius, eh?

        Very, *very* subgenius, it seems by the nature of the comment. Maybe at about the level of walking and chewing gum.

        nit: “Unless your ancestry is 100% Native American, you too come from the blood of immigrants.” a bunch of those are later immigrant groups as well, just somewhat before the 1400s

        1. Yep. Apparently the original population was quite different. People who don’t understand “blood and soil” citizenship doesn’t apply to America aren’t very bright.

        2. On that nit, all evidence goes to prove that every last one of us is an immigrant including those of Amerindian descent. Kudos to their ancestors for having the idea first though.

          1. According to the Great Historian Wade Manly Wellman, the Indians weren’t the first but the ones were before the Indians weren’t Humans. [Evil Grin]

            1. According to some modern (maybe not mainstream but not hardcore fringe) archeologies the Inidians weren’t first and the ones before them WERE humans. Lots of politics around that though).

              1. Once again the Iberian Peninsula showing just what happens when you people refuse to stop and ask directions. You got lost and run into the same continent…Twice

                1. Probably more than that. Portuguese you must understand are driven by the innate desire to run away from Portugal (mostly because it’s small and possibly because their neighbors live there and talk.) But I suspect my mom’s and my (lack of) sense of direction is genetic to half the population. So…

                    1. Aaand that may have been offensive. Sorry if you took it that way. I escaped the island of Rhodes. Portuguese is actually the only language I have had to try and pidgin my way thru on the job because of that (I took French in grade school and Spanish in HS)

        3. Hm. There’s a thought. An alternate Earth where humans developed in Africa and spread out and meanwhile somewhere in the Americas another sentient species developed and spread out there. Not sure if continental drift or lowered sea levels from Ice Ages would let them stay separate for long, but it’s an idea.

        4. No Sapiens are native to the Americas. There were multiple earlier waves of colonization before the Europeans muddled their way over.

        5. Since the “Native” Americans migrated here originally from Siberia; and to date there have been no pre sapiens fossils discovered in the Americas, pretty sure the aboriginal peoples of America are immigrants too.

      2. “When they do so, that makes them American or British or whatever country they happen to have chosen to live in and be a citizen of.”

        I just wanted to make a minor correction to this statement. This is definitively true for Americans. It is probably true for Australians, and probably Canadians, maybe even for Englishmen…although for Englishmen, I haven’t paid enough attention to their attitudes to fully know for sure. But if I moved to Switzerland tomorrow, no matter how much I love that country, I can become a citizen, but I would never be Swiss, to the end of my days. I’m not entirely sure about my children, but my grandchildren *might* be accepted as Swiss.

        The difference is in outlook of what it means to be that member of community. In Europe, you’re born what you are; their nationality is based on this, and they don’t view outsiders as their own, even if they are citizens.

        In America, however, you are American if you love liberty and hard work…thus, you might not be an American citizen…you might have even never heard of America…but you could be as American, and even more so, than many people born citizens…and if you are such a person, and can make it here, you are welcomed with open arms.

        Thus, Sarah is American, and was even an American before she came here; she is more American than many people who are born citizens, who have parents going back to the Founding of this country.

        A minor nit-pick, to be sure, but I consider it an important detail nonetheless…

        1. A friend was stationed at a US consulate in Germany (can’t remember which city). She was speaking to someone at a party who was complaining about the lack of jobs. She suggested applying at a new Audi factory going up in the next city over. The person indignantly said “Absolutely not! My family has lived here for 700 years. I can’t move.”
          Someone so rooted could never be an American.

          1. Tracing back, NONE of my direct ancestors since arriving on the North American continent have died within 50 miles of where they born. Where I live now, 90% of the people seem to be related by blood or marriage within 3 generations. I’m still an outsider after 19 years.

            Some Americans have established roots. Try running for a statewide office in Maine without having been born there. NY, OTOH, elected Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife to the senate, despite her having zero ties to the state.

            I know people here who could get a better job elsewhere by packing up and moving. But they won’t. Someone so rooted can be American. But, wanderlust is a way of life for many of us.

        1. The 90s? I was accumulating slack long before the 90s.

          I need to see if we can get The Hour of Slack on a radio station around here. Wonder if we could get WREK, the GA Tech station, to pick it up.

    3. Dear, dear, dear. What a statement.

      I am can trace parts of my family to original settlements in at least three regions of this country. I have the credentials to claim entrance to the Daughters of the Revolution several times over. My family has seen wave after wave of new comers to this continent. These are my bona fides.

      Many a person whose family has been settled in this country far longer than our esteemed hostess is far less wed to the propositions of the Declaration and Constitution.

      1. I used to know a gal who did American Indian genealogy professionally and in extreme depth. Once upon a time, after Mary had given a presentation at some group like Daughters of the Revolution (I forget which group), a member of the audience approached her afterward to brag about her pedigree.

        Audience Member: My lineage goes back to Famous Pilgrim Woman! (I’ve forgotten the name.)

        Mary: No, it doesn’t.

        Audience Member: Yes it does! [displays scroll] See here, this is my pedigree, it says I’m descended from her!

        Mary: No, you’re not. Famous Pilgrim Woman was sterile. She adopted 13 Indian children.

      2. There are times that I have been tempted to join the SAR (“Sons”), just to be a disruptive element. (Once you’ve proven your “blood,” they apparently can’t throw you out.)

        Unfortunately, while the majority are obviously part and parcel of those who hate their own country – they’re followers in that, not leaders, so it isn’t worth my time.

    4. There is nothing wrong with being an immigrant. Sarah, being quite Hamiltonian, is perfectly in accord with America’s immigrant tradition. A legal immigrant actually chose to be American, unlike those such as you who were simply crapped here.

    5. I must be a Portuguesa, then, ’cause I’m not seeing where the idioms are mangled. And that would be odd, since my paternal ancestors all settled New Amsterdam c. 1625, and the remainder from Ireland/Scotland a tad later. So where the family breathed in something Iberian is a mystery.

  2. Trumps goons are already attacking me on facebook for not supporting him. I have read where people who don’t like Trump are getting death threats from his supporters.

    This is nuts.

    1. My wife posted on her facebook page an anti trump post and the local trumpistas are raving. She had a couple hundred posts in an hour or so, several from local republicans who do not like Cruz and keep posting all the RNC attack propaganda on him.

      1. Ones of those ilk, I occasionally reply to (yes, the claims are garbage, but a third party might be led to think).

        The Trump Birther Brigade, though, gets flagged as inappropriate every time. (And I have a fine collection of screams from those “people,” too…)

      2. The guy who lived next door to us for 10 years, also retired Army, has turned into a Trumpster. He and his wife are Evangelical Christians, and they have decided that Universal Healthcare is very Christian and that Planned Parenthood does indeed do wonderful things.

        And he is calling me an idiot for supporting someone who is not a natural.

    2. Beth, I said months ago that I could not ever see myself voting for Trump because I see him as a dangerous clown. Pretty sure I haven’t been forgiven for my choice of words by a fair number of people.

      This isn’t to knock his supporters. I know some of them and they’re pretty smart. I even understand their anger at the GOP, which has only itself to blame for Trump’s rise. However, I think they are horribly wrong in their choice of a solution. So be it.

      1. I’ll admit that I don’t have to worry about voting for or against him. If my state is in any danger of going blue Bernie’s winning by a Reagan style landslide. I’m indy and we have closed Rep primaries too close to change so may mark of Mr. Johnson again.

        But I can understand the impulse for Trump. People (Conservatives) have been feeling used and abused easily since the later Bush Era. Many of us assume that all of those politicos are merely mouthing platitudes that they will ignore later and then looking at what will happen if Cruz wins where both parties and the media will fight him anyway so are worried what happens when in 2020 the media run their candidate on “getting stuff done”. I am burnt on it all. Lots of people are and see the country on that backside of the hill and/or already over the cliff and just waiting for the Wile E Coyote look. So in their mind, may as well go with Camacho

      2. Years ago I was standing watch in Lower Level and had to do some routine chemistry analysis. I was holding 3 test tubes, two in my left hand and one in my right, and I needed to grab the reagent. The internal dialogue went something like this:

        “OK, we’ll put the one test tube in my middle hand and use my right to add the chemicals.”

        ::moves test tube to area right in front of chest and lets go. Test tube, surprisingly, starts to fall::

        “Grab it!”

        “With what?”

        “The middle hand!”

        “WHAT MIDDLE HAND?!?”


        ::test tube shatters on the deckplate::

        The moral of the story: Even smart people can be profoundly stupid at times.

        1. So you’re one of those sad, handicapped mutant humans that only has two hands too? We need to form a support group of some sort.

          I haven’t done this particular thing, but I’ve done other things similar to this. (I can’t remember all the things like this I’ve done; the one thing that comes to mind is looking everywhere for something that I’m holding, or looking for my glasses, so I could have the clear vision I need in order to look for my glasses…)

          1. What’s that joke?

            If evolution were true, mothers would have three hands or a prehensile tail?

          1. i identify as a green Barsoomian.

            Or am I Mardukian? No, assuredly Barsoom. Well, maybe Marduk. To B or to M, that is the question.

    3. I am begining to think that it should be legal to take death threats seriously to the point of deadly force self defense without questioning their seriousness.

        1. I’m good with it. I rarely insult people and those who insult me aren’t, for the most part, those I think are good shots or handy with sharp and pointy things.

        2. There was a rubber-band duel in the commons today. I scolded the guys for not doing it properly (no seconds, no neutral observer, failure to issue proper response to initial challenge.) I don’t think that’s what they were expecting, but it did get everyone settled down and back on task.

          1. Don’t forget a medic on hand to administer aid and/or confirm death. I had a similar discussion with a couple of my farm minions on the subject. Didn’t get time to cover more than a smattering, but it *did* distracte Miscreants One and Two long enough for them to forget the Worst Insult Evah and get back on task. *chuckle*

            Who says a classical education is wasted, eh?

      1. That would certainly change a lot of things.

        “Why on earth did you have to shoot him?”
        “He said he was going to kill me.”
        “But … but … he didn’t really mean it!”
        “So, you’re telling me he wasn’t an honest and truthful individual?”

  3. . . . instruction manuals for machines I don’t own.
    My admiration knows no bounds. Most people don’t read instruction manuals for machines they do own, including me. I don’t read the manual, I mean. Not I came with a manual. The wife says if I had, she couldn’t keep up with the revisions.

    We have caused Barrack Obama to retreat into a fantasy world.
    I think he has been there since age 6.

    1. (Waggles hand) All children are in something of a fantasy world, if they’re being raised right. You’ve got to introduce reality slowly to them.

      Now, the fact that he’s been living in a fantasy world since he was 18 is utterly inexcusable.

        1. and might be biologically incapable of it at this point in his life. The shape his CNS could be in gives me the heebie jeebies.

        1. Democractic ex-Presidents in the modern era feel the need to ‘let their hair down’ and ‘speak truth to power’ after leaving office. If you think you are seeing Caligula now, I expect you we be seeing his horse in a year or so.

                1. Now, now… I had a horse (as a youngster) that was much smarter than I was (pretty much just had to stay in the saddle during roundup, and everything was golden).

                  OTOH, my mom had one that, if there was a gopher hole within any given square mile – he’d find it to step into.

            1. Milo *some long Greek name I won’t pretend to spell* from Brietbart London who has the Twitter handle Nero.

              He is an extremely fabulous gay man.

    2. You don’t read the instruction manuals for your equipment????
      How do you troubleshoot when it does not work correctly?

        1. I keep them around only because I write the specific model number on the little line, for when I need to order parts. Have one right next to me, in fact – we are an ovenless family until I get the parts in for both elements.

          The “before calling for service” parts – well, I’ve read enough of “modern” literature to know they are slightly more connected to reality, but skip them anyway…

      1. The truth is, I’ve got a monkey on my back, a habit worse than marijuana though not as expensive as heroin. I can stiff it out and get to sleep anyway–but it wasn’t helping that I could see light in Stars tent and a silhouette that was no longer troubled by a dress.
        The fact is I am a compulsive reader. Thirty-five cents’ worth of Gold Medal Original will put me right to sleep. Or Perry Mason. But I’ll read the ads in an old Paris-Match that has been used to wrap herring before I’ll do without.
        RAH, Glory Road

        1. Reading a complete set of nuke plant Final Safety Analysis Reports might cure you of that addiction………….

            1. Agree. And a lot of what I’ve read has proven useful over the years. For everyone else- Naval Ships Technical Manuals

          1. The geology sections are a good read, but most of the rest are an exercise in Bureaucratese…..

        2. Sigh, rereading this quote from one of my favorite Heinleins I remember when the cover price on a new Gold Medal Original went from a quarter to thirty-five cents. As I recall I was quite put out at the time.

  4. “I shop like a guy. No, seriously. Shopping is a mission to find what is the right size and vaguely the right color and run out with it in victory.”

    Are you positive that you and my mother aren’t sisters?

    Anyway, more seriously, the reality TV thing does have a lot to do with it. However, if we’re going to be honest, we’ve already seen the precursor to the Trump phenomenon with The Mad Expatriate–except Trump lacks the redeeming qualities of the latter.

        1. [My sister coined this expression, not me:] Shopping is either hunting or gathering. Hunting means you know where it is, and you just go get it. Gathering means you look around, check the tags, try to think of issues with the goods that you didn’t think of earlier, and come home most times with a few things you didn’t have in mind when you went out. It took longer, but you sometimes get a better deal, often get better goods, and sometimes (if you’re strong of heart) you’ll come home empty handed.

        1. Honestly it depends what I’m doing. Clothing, household goods or the like, yes. A good used bookstore or Newegg or Electronics store…I should leave my wallet in the car…

          1. We used to joke that bookstores had a cover charge. AND a time warp. Oh, add in another one. If I’m shopping for a carpentry project and go into Home Depot, I can’t get out under two hours.

            1. That is the saving grace for not having the engine in the expedition finished yet. I have to fit anything into a two door Camaro. I had to talk myself out of an impulse buy of a chop saw last week.

                1. I am on a rural/suburban fire dept. I have a dozen pickups I can beg or borrow from other members. At least it prevents impulse buys.

              1. I was driving a ’69 VW Beetle when I bought a ’68 Mustang with a sick engine. I found another engine and was then left with the problem of getting it home. I took off the hood, laid a piece of plywood across the gas tank, and they set the engine there with the wrecker.

                I drove home looking around a Ford V8 to see where I was going…

            2. You have to consider trips to a hardware store as research. You aren’t just shopping for a necessary item for the current project, you’re also investigating what’s available that might advance one of the many in work projects that currently simmer in the back brain.

              1. I spent two hours at Home Depot buying nothing Sunday.

                Discovered they don’t even carry fire clay locally (they do in some stores as it is online but not shippable…store pickup only and none within 100 miles carry it).

                I so wish I had a garage and not a carport. Regardless the carport gets cleaned this weekend so the next weekend I can finish that metal dresser than is taking up some much space in the utility room and get back a little workspace.

                1. Is it for pottery?

                  If your local university or community college offers ceramics classes you could ask them where they get theirs.

                2. They don’t sell fire clay or furnace cement around here, either. I had to pay a fortune to have some shipped out of Yankeeland, along with fire bricks, which you also can’t buy where I am.

                  Now if I ever get around to finishing the kiln…

            3. The power tool aisles seem to have a strange magnetic attraction for me, along with the time warp……

              1. So, since you gave me an open I have a question for the Huns and Hoydns: if you haven’t already invested in a battery operated power tool line and your prinicple requirements are drill, circular saw, and jigsaw, what line would you recommend.

                1. If you’re a serious tool user go with commercial grade equipment.
                  Invest in at least three battery packs per tool, and include multiple charge stations. Commonality between battery packs makes a lot of sense when possible.
                  And budget for a full set of corded tools along with a 50′ drop cord, using them to ease the load on your cordless usage.

                  1. Heed the wisdom of Uncle Lar. After my *third* pad sander, I explained my predicament to the wise old gentleman at my local Weapon Shop of Isher hardware store, and he advised the same. If you use it more than once a year, spend the money for contractor grade. *So* much better now. For one-off or “see if I like it” Harbor Freight Disposable works… 😀

                  2. ^ This. I actually have very few cordless tools, only for the places where you just cannot get into with a cord trailing behind you.

                    1. Ye gods, yes. Battery right angle drill saved my touchas more than once when there was barely room for my monkey mitts, let alone something to make properly small hole with… Everything else, corded lasts longer on the job.

                    2. The other tradeoff is setup time – if you often have very short jobs to do, you can be done with a cordless before you get the 50ft cord strung for the corded.

                2. I;ve had really good luck with Milwaukee tools. I have had their 18v drill for almost 12 years now.

                  I’ve heard they got bought out by another manufacturer and the new owner closed the factory in Milwaukee and moved production to China.

                  1. I like Makita, personally. The tools fit my hands pretty well, and are well balanced even with the 18v battery packs in.

                    1. Makitas hurt when they fall on your head.

                      (sidebar, always check the top of a step ladder for tools before you move it.)

                  2. And that is largely what Harbor Freight sells (Milwaukee). Actually, they usually are durable (at least by the second or third time around, sigh…).

                    Where I want one with laser guide, though – nope. Always been off by at least 2 or 3 degrees angle, or several mm laterally. There I go with whatever has the best reviews (or what I had before).

            4. I can…. by ordering on the web and going straight to the pickup desk. Ain’t technology grand?

            5. I have found that imagining certain aisles closed off for the forklift helps there. Sometimes…

      1. Canard On The Field! There is very little difference in how guys and gals shop — the difference is merely what they invest their shopping energy in.

        A guy will spend hours at a stereo store (well, if those still exist) or hardware or sporting goods or gun store, just as a gal will spend similar time on her hunting gear or household tools.

        Frankly, a person who won’t spend time on determining how to invest their money doesn’t impress me much. The issue is not how much time is spent on shopping but on where that shopping time gets spent.

        1. I think my husband can see colors I don’t, which is part of the issue. Our kids seem to have the maximum rods/cones amount for humans while I have a moderate number. Husband has never been tested, but kids get it SOMEWHERE.

          1. Part of it is being able to see them, part is having means by which to distinguish. During the 40 years of our marriage Beloved Spouse has worked me up from the 8 crayon box to the 16 one, with occasional raiding of the 24. Beloved Spouse, meanwhile, has been complaining that the 256 count box lacks the precise shade wanted.

            I once realized I had identified a car as being “aubergine” coloured and had to take to my fainting couch for the rest of the day.

            1. I’ve run into things where there are many colors and have asked coworkers if they have some colorblindness of some sort. “Peach” and “orange” while similar, are not the same, and it’s irritating to have to straighten out the mess created by “Well, that looks close enough.” Then, I recall as a kid that when the old Sylvania TV set finally failed beyond inexpensive repair, being annoyed that none of the sets I saw for some time seemed to show a genuinely red red.

            2. My training was in fabric stores, picking the closest-matching thread to a fabric while she looked for the next thing.

            3. I Make Stuff with seed beads as a part-time job. I was so very, very proud of my husband when he learned how to distinguish shades of green other than “light” and “dark”. (We are currently holding at “light”, “dark”, “kelly” and “sage”.)

              Just because I came home with sixteen TOTALLY DISTINGUISHABLE tubes of green beads…

              1. Mine is pretty good at this. Neither of us necessarily has names for a huge set of fine distinctions (and mine are now corrupted by a dragon game) nor do we always agree, but he helped me sort through a cross-stitch kit with a lot of sets of unlabeled shades of similar colors. Sage vs. kelly is one thing. Very light, light, medium, dark, and very dark require laying them all out to organize in relation to each other, and not all were that logical.

              2. My only problem is that I have a hard time holding a color in my mind and recognizing it later by name. I can line them up by shades, but picking out which one is “Kelly” green vs “Forest” green would be a difficulty.

          2. My ex not only distinguished more colors than I do, she also had a better memory for specific shades (“That would perfectly match the blue on the couch we were looking at last week”).

            Her father and brother, on the other hand, were red-blue colorblind, which gave her an amusing anecdote about the time they were painting her bedroom pink when she was young, ran out of paint part-way through, and decided not to wait for her or her mother before getting the paint to finish the job.

          3. I used to be annoyed that They chose the two colors 15% of males can’t distinguish between for “stop” and “go.”

            About ten years ago I stopped being annoyed, as the Colorado custom of just ignoring traffic lights worked its way east. People just drive past stop signs and intersections without slowing down. Even cops do it.

        2. I tend to think of shopping like hunting. I’ll stalk my prey for weeks until it’s the right price or I find something better.

      2. #1 daughter is very much a tactical shopper, just barely beat out by her brother. Their sister, on the other hand, sees shopping as a participant sport.

    1. I shop like a guy. No, seriously. Shopping is a mission to find what is the right size and vaguely the right color and run out with it in victory.

      If you are willing to make three exceptions for trips to book-sellers, places which sell craft supplies, and the farmer’s market/green grocers to see what is in season (and nice) this would cover our family.

    2. What is this ‘color’ of which you speak ? Color blindness is 16x more prevalent in men vs women. I believe this is a clear evolutionary adaptation to avoid wasting time shopping.

      1. I once had a roommate who had a form of colorblindness. He had two lighters, a pink one and a purple one – and they were the same color to him. But he said that when he was in the woods, animal camouflage didn’t exist for him. So that ‘adaptation’ might be more for ‘good hunter’ than ‘fast shopper.’

        1. During WWII (and I believe after) the allies actually recruited for color blind because they could more easily recognize camouflaged structures and equipment

          1. I remember a short story I read when I was young, in which a colorblind boy was able to spot a missing child from an air search/rescue vehicle because of his colorblindness.

            It seemed more plausible than another story I recall in which a boy played “Flight of the Bumblebee” on his bugle to successfully notify search parties looking for him and his companions that they’d need helicopter evacuation due to injuries.

          2. From stories I’ve heard, that was actually discovered during Viet-Nam when a color blind ground pounder talked an OV-10A pilot into taking him for a ride. The green on the camouflage nets is not the same as the green in chlorophyll to someone with red-green color blindness. Someone with color blindness can’t be a pilot- but they started taking then up as spotters.

            But, during WWII, people who had had their eye lenses replaced with glass were recruited to read signals from the French Coast. In Morse, transmitted in ultraviolet. Which someone with a natural lens cannot see.

            1. It may be true. I don’t remember the timeframe, only that the military hired colorblind for aerial or sat photo analysis because of the difference.

        2. I gave simple instructions to my wife. Step 1 : Pretend that pastels do not exist. Step 2 : Now stop pretending, because for me they don’t. No more griping when she sends me out for something white and I bring home pink, beige,lavender, etc. Now if I could just get the street department folks to use a deeper shade of green in the traffic lights …

    3. This guy has two shopping modes: 1) buy from list, or close equivalent that allows the job to be done (may require field engineering redesign in the store), and 2) research current available technology to inform later buy-list choices (never include things driven by fashion, as those won’t still be available when you go to buy them anyway.)

  5. There have been times in History where people have thought “The End Is Near” (sometimes with good reasons) but the End hasn’t come.

    There have been times when the US looked Doomed but the US survived. (Anybody else remember the doom-sayers of the 1980s & 1990s?)

    As Jerry Pournelle has said “despair is a sin”.

    1. I grew up on gloom and doom. I somewhat consider it the normal state of affairs. I just have to get a lot more discriminating if I’m wrestling with depression or something.

            1. Used to be said of a man who would stand and fight that “He has sand.”

              Me, I’m always looking for a candidate with true grit.

    2. Despair in the eternal is a sin. Despair in the temporal is sometimes a duty. Witness that when the Roman legions took down Jerusalem, the Christians weren’t there, they had packed their bags and left.

      Which shows that despair in the temporal calls for prudential judgements on what your duty is now, not for throwing up your hands.

    3. I recall that one of the memes being sold by the Carter administration was ennui. (The term malaise kept surfacing.) The general population didn’t choose to buy it, and elected Reagan.

    4. The unregulated US marketplace will never be able to compete with the superior Japanese Industrial Policy. Stated just before peak Japan. Have we reached peak China yet?

      1. Yes. I had someone, former state department employee, tell me a few years back how all the empty Chinese cities were just a really good example of how the Chinese were better planners then us.

        Yeah. Uh-huh.

        1. I know! They’re planning for the exponential increase in their populations when all of their surplus men come back from the Glorious Revolutionary Bride Capturing Expedition.

  6. Rat bastards? Sorry, but I couldn’t get Illegitimi non carborundum to translate any other way.

  7. A deep field of liberty loving candidates? Were we watching the same Republican primaries?

    Let’s see. Liberty loving… Well, there was Paul, I’ll grant you that. And maybe Carson. And I guess Cruz. But even they have their share of “big government’s fine as long as it’s my kind of big government” policies and viewpoints.

    The rest? They were typical Republican statists, just slightly less totalitarian than their Democrat opponents. Which isn’t saying much.

    1. Did we watch the same primaries, and do we have the same definition of totalitarianism?
      Or, to put it another way, what is your Overton window?

      1. Probably halfway between yours and Michael’s. He’s right most of the GOP is happy with a big Federal government although he is perhaps a bit unfair to Cruz and overly generous with Carson IMHO.

        Actually, my view of where the Overton window is says Cruz was at the far fringe and ironically Trump (whose policies are much more big government) still pulled him a bit more into frame. Trump with his “for governmenting helping you as a general thing but bashing specific unpopular programs” is probably dead center of the voting publis so in the middle of the Overton Window.

        My prefered candidate wouldn’t be in the window even if it was two landscape screens side by side. As I’ve said all amendments after the 15th are suspect IMNSHO, especially the 16th, 17th, 23rd, and 24th. The only reason the 18th isn’t especially suspect is the 21st. The only post Civil War amendment I embrace wholly and without reservation is the 27th and I think it is no accident that it was submitted with the original ten. I like a pretty strict reading of Article I to the point I would not consider an argument that the independent Air Force is unconstitutional out of bounds (although I would consider it legalistic to the point of being Pharisee like). I would certainly

        So, I’m nowhere near the Overton Window but I think I can figure out where it is.

        1. Probably halfway between yours and Michael’s. He’s right most of the GOP is happy with a big Federal government although he is perhaps a bit unfair to Cruz and overly generous with Carson IMHO.

          The GOP invented big federal government. It just didn’t invent (nor was it very much in favor of) heavy regulation and welfare spending. I think it wasn’t until the Democrats supersized the federal government during the New Deal era that the the cry against “big government” started being heard from the GOP*, and not really until Barry Goldwater that it became a part of the mainstream.

          * caveat: By 1920 pretty much the whole nation was eager for an end to the federal government regulation and control imposed during the Great War, but that was largely seen as emergency wartime measure.

          1. The problem with that kind of analysis is that prior to 1970 there wasn’t a conservative party and a progressive party, both parties had wings that spanned pretty much the entire political spectrum. After the Civil Rights Act and the Chicago riots the Democrats because a more or less pure Progressive party while the Republicans lost most, but by no means all, of it’s Progressive wing. The main goal of the Tea Party should be to turn the GOP into a truly conservative party. Ideally at the same time destroying the Democrat party and making the Libertarian Party the other end of the political axis.

              1. It took the Chicago riots for the Dems to become Progressives. The good news is that voting for Trump and Sanders is how the Starbucks Class riots.

            1. Yes, but regardless of which wing of the Republican party was running things, the federal government never really shrank (except immediately post-Wilson), and often increased. And this was not only with progressive Republicans like Woodrow Wilson, but with pretty much under all Republican presidents. Ever. Even under Reagan, due to the comprises he was forced to make with Tipsy O’Neil.

              1. A case can be made that Coolidge is one of the great Presidents. He actually shrank the government.

                1. Was that additional shrinkage under Coolidge part of, or in addition to, the post-Wilson/post-Great War shutdown of wartime agencies? ISTR that some of the “temporary” agencies set up during the war took years to fully get shut down.

                  1. Coolidge lowered income taxes. Reduced regulations. Was paying down the national debt. Was a firm believer in States rights. He wanted to leave most laws at the state or local level. Tried to keep the feds out of agricultural subsidies.
                    Liberal/Progressive historians hate him.

              2. Wait, did I really write “progressive Republicans like Woodrow Wilson” above? Jeez. I meant to write “progressive Republicans like Theodore Roosevelt.” OK, time to eat dinner, I think.

                1. Wilson, Pol Pot, Roosevelt, Hitler, Nixon, Obama, Mao, Carter, Stalin, Trump, Mussolini, Johnson, Franco, Clinton, Castro, Sanders – these Progressives are so hard to tell apart at times.

        2. “I like a pretty strict reading of Article I to the point I would not consider an argument that the independent Air Force is unconstitutional out of bounds”

          I agree an independent air force is clearly unconstitutional. The Army Air Corps, Navel Aviation, etc. on the other hand is fine.

        1. I was a Walker man until his “look at my Obamacare replacment that will be even better at making people dependent on the government to see a doctor” and then I shifted to Jindal.

          Oh well…in the end we got what we’d been accepting just turned up to 23 (Eris is behind Trump…I know she is).

            1. So does most of the GOP. Walker would have made it worse by:

              1. Removing the employer penalty
              2. Making the subsidy not income based but age based so someone in average health was completely covered by the gov’t regardless of their income.

              You cannot tell me that wouldn’t speed us rather quickly, even more so than Obamacare, to single payer. It was a deal breaker.

              I predicted in 2013 that by 2016 the GOP would campaign on fixing Obamacare (which is basically what all the repeal and replace plans are) and the Dems would counter with single payer. If Sanders pulls it off that is assured and I wouldn’t rule out Hillary co-opting his Medicare for All.

              And so, the gain of a GOP majority will be the GOP now defends (and owns) Obamacare perhaps in slightly modified form while the Dems move on.

              There isn’t a more classic example of my theory that the Dems are the armor of statism, breaking through and inserting government into new regions while the GOP is the infantry that marches in and consolidates the gains.

              1. The reason why “repeal and replace” is necessary is because there are edge cases that aren’t going to be handled well in the market and society isn’t at the point where it will accept that private charity is the best way to handle those cases. So we need some kind of government program to cover them. It doesn’t need to be large, and ideally it will be self-terminating, but without it people will buy the Dem’s sob stories about people left behind by the heartless Republicans. Victory is a ratchet.

                1. It doesn’t need to be large, and ideally it will be self-terminating, but without it people will buy the Dem’s sob stories about people left behind by the heartless Republicans. Victory is a ratchet.

                  Every single replace I’ve heard about continues the pre-existing condition provision. That alone is enough to destroy the insurance industry (and it…the “open enrollment period” is a farce and is effective 01/01 to 12/31.

                  Yes, it is due to a sob story and yes victory is a ratchet. If the Dems ever win we are stuck because the GOP is afraid of sob stories and thus they become the consolidating infantry.

                  If the GOP cut $1 from a subsidy the Dems will find a sob story and the GOP will add $10. Hell, the Dems have sold sob stories in the past six months about cutting subsidies to Boeing and GE and gotten the GOP to sign on.

                  1. I wouldn’t much mind a change to covering pre-existing conditions for the people who had coverage thru work, and lost their job & insurance… they, at least, were trying to be responsible about covering ordinary health risks, and it shouldn’t be a large group that qualifies.
                    This is unlike provisions that allow you to choose to go without any coverage at all until something happens. For those people, maybe a GoFundMe crowd-sourced begging is the best case.
                    There may be a few similar edge cases.

  8. You wrote:
    ” Dance in the stream of chaos..” I read that as:
    “Dance in the stream of cocoa.”

    What can I say? I miss chocolate so much. I’m not allowed any, as it’s a stimulant. Stimulants aggravate my insomnia and make my heart race.

  9. Thank you Sarah! I love your posts. I still tweet occasionally on the #/DumpTrump tag, however, I’m quite wary of doing it, as some of his supporters are rabid, as rabid as the Obamabots were. Amazing that people can’t see him for what he really is, yet we will never stop fighting for our way of life.

  10. “Trump might ruin the idea of a conservative movement in America.”

    No. The folks who ruined the ideas of conservatives are called Republicans.

    Blacks have voted in lock-step with Democrats for 50+ years now, 90%, 95%. Have they been well-served by their devotion? No. They are taken for granted, they get nothing for their loyalty.

    Conservatives are the blacks of the Republican party. For the first time in a long time they actually have a lever with which to bargain with the GOP powers-that-be in the form of Donald Trump. Maybe instead of repeated betrayal (prediction: a new supreme will be serving on the bench in 2016) they can actually get them to pass something. Does Obama veto it? Who cares? At least they didn’t look at what the leftists were doing and rubber-stamping it, which is all they appear to be capable of. You know, lest the NYT write something bad about them.

    What do conservatives do instead? National Review themselves into irrelevancy.

    1. they have passed stuff. It’s been vetoed. You’re just showing the lock the media has on people’s perceptions, and why the GOP in DC deserts. I mean, really, no matter what they do for the electorate, the electorate doesn’t know it. Better not to risk it.

      1. Obama has veto’d 9 bills during his two terms. We can’t count the number of things he never got a chance to veto because Republicans kept assuring us that there was another hill further away they had to defend, and they needed to compromise (ie give the Democrats everything they wanted) in order to defend it. This is not fighting for your constituents.

        Reagan issued 78 vetoes. Bush I 44. Clinton 37. Those were opposition parties fighting for their constituents.

        I’ve also studied the way Reagan bypassed the presstitutes using via radio, Gingrich bypassed the presstitutes via C-Span, and the way Trump is bypassing them via Twitter. The Republicans are simply uniquely terrible at reaching out and connecting with the American people, because they believe that they are the parent and we are the children who must eat our vegetables because they are good for us.

        This differs from Democrats exactly how?

        I get and respect the anyone-but-Trump folks. I’m not necessarily a Trump supporter myself. I’ll happily pull the lever for him in November if he is the nominee, though. What I don’t get is that they can’t see why he is so popular.

        1. Overwhelmingly, he didn’t have to veto things because the Senate never let the bills onto the floor for debate.

            1. So we turned out and gave the GOPe the Senate? How many vetoes in the last two years? That Emperor is bare-ass naked.

                1. I keep hearing that and at this point I believe the GOP minimum Senators to do anything is 101.

                  However, when it came time to give us a Medicare expansion and No Child Left Behind the GOP had no trouble finding votes. Same for expanding work visas and rescuing the ImEx bank last year.

                  If the GOP had held to “do dig deeper” when they had it all the “don’t have the votes” might still sell. However, when they had majorities both in the aughts and now they lacked the numbers to do what they promised but not the numbers to expand the status quo.

                  Occam’s Razor says they don’t really want to roll it back.

                  1. It’s partly a function of the herding cats problem on the right (Trying to get Graham and Rand to agree) and the lack of any message discipline from the pubs. One thing Reid did was keep his party in line. If they needed the votes, they had them. On the right, leadership just bends over and has people jump the aisle on critical votes and then has no consequences. Meanwhile Cons get tossed and pushed down because they fight against stupidity. But leadership is interested in their trough.

                    If we had an even handed media…or even one to the right of Pravda we might be able to get out that obstructionism does not mean ‘not bending over for the minority party’. But we have taken the media memes into ourselves and when the cultural zeitgeist is that any conservative is “worse than Hitler” and solely interested in putting women and blacks in chains and dragging gays behind pickup trucks and any action the GOP does to hold their platform, the party will always lose

                    1. They were able to heard enough cats for Medicare Part D and to restore the ImEx Bank. How much the latter pisses me off is way off scale of what it is…but the fact that we couldn’t even kill a program when no action was needed is just a slap in the face of everyone who bought a GOP small government promise. The moved heaven and earth to act affirmatively and restore a part of government that expired. That speaks to real motives.

                      At least a third of the GOP in Congress would, if they could win locally, probably be Democrats based on that vote.

                    2. The statists always organize because that is their nature, they are creatures of the herd. Individualists can organize but tend to have short attention spans and require more effort to keep them focused … and to address the complaints of those who complain things aren’t happening fast enough they want to go to a third party that isn’t there and if it were it wouldn’t be big enough to buy even a pony keg of beer for the members.

                    3. @HerbN since I can’t indent

                      I don’t disagree. For all of those they were able to coopt the democrats and the moderate wing of the party consolidated their trough. Same as the NCLB cluster. The ideal wasn’t horrid but one side actually treated it as a negotiation and the other treated it as an ultimatum. There are a lot of these guys, especially the ones with the reins that simply get rolled easily. Plus they have theirs and can treat their constituents the same way the Dems do (I wrote my reps against the ACA. Both thanked me for my support of that bill.)

                    4. @RES: re: Third Party…have I mentioned how much fun hearing all the voices screaming at me that voting third party is wasting my vote scream how I have to vote third party instead of Trump if he is the nominee.

                      I thought a cynic about politics couldn’t laugh about it 0.0001 the amount I am.

                  2. The minimum is 60. Actually, for Republicans – who are a more fractious lot – it’s a bit higher than that. Anything below 60 and Reid will filibuster until he gets something that can be used against the Republicans. That’s how the Cromnibus came about. Everybody’s pissed at Ryan, which is exactly what Reid set out do to.

                    1. Because they were too afraid AFTER THE VICTORIES OF 2014 SHOWED AN OFF YEAR SHUTDOWN ISN’T FATAL of calling his bluff and letting the Dems shut it down with 12 months until the election. Once you say, “we will do whatever it takes to avoid a shutdown” you have pre-emptively given him anything he wants to use against you…he just has to pick what.

                      Also, H-2B and ImEx Bank were not things Reid was insisting on….those were unforced errors.

                    2. The Government shutdown showed America what an A**hole of a president we have. Spending money to place barricades in front of a war memorial. I see 2014 elections as a result of the shutdown. The GOP needed to do that each year.

                    3. Yes, but the Senate leadership has been steeped in the Acela corridor BS that they’ve internalized the narrative. There’s a reason I call him Senator McClellan. We need to vote more Senators like Cruz and Paul, and the only way to do that is through the GOP. Eventually we’ll find a general who fights, but the Trump detour is going to delay us a bit. Though if the first thing Trump does when he gets to DC is start making deals with McClellan or Schumer, a good portion of those that support him now will probably take a second look at Cruz.

                    4. I still wonder how much Reid’s vaunted party discipline would hold if the Repubs made the Dems actually filibuster – hours of talking yourself horse, no potty break – until they were exhausted, then said “thank you, we will vote on the measure now.”

                    5. With 40 Senators each one would only have to talk for one hour every ~2 days. It would hardly be unbearable. On the other hand, it would completely monopolize the Senate floor.

                    6. How many trillions more debt will it take to elect enough GOP Senators to make a difference? Is the US going to survive while taking on that debt? If the answer to the later is ‘no’ than that idea is worthless.

                      Given the stunts Vichy Mitchy and company pulled in 2014 I doubt Sarah’s grandchildren would live to see that even if we could afford that debt.

                2. Do we have a majority? Yes
                  Does the majority have the ability to nuke the filibuster? Yes. And the Democrats did.
                  Why isn’t Obama having to veto a bill a day?

                  Sorry, Sarah. Not buying it.

                  1. You need to look at not just GOP vs. Dem, but “old guard” vs. “new blood.” A lot of the “old guard” Republicans are bad in and of themselves. We’ve got a few newer guys (like, say, Cruz) who do take a more conservative line. But there are not enough of the newer guys to outweigh both the Dems and the old guard. It’s going to take more turnover to tip the scale but the balance has shifted.

                    1. I’m guessing it will take 40+ of the New Guard conservatives in the Senate to create enough pressure to force a preference cascade that drags the Old Guard along with them – and you’ll still need 65 Repubs because a few are from Bllue states and can’t be more conservative without getting primaried by someone more liberal.

              1. Well they did hold off on the 2014 Cromnibus until the new Senators were installed..oh,wait they didn’t.

                Well, they did refuse to send the President a bill funding the Dept. of Homeland Security that included funding for executive amnesty…oh, wait, they didn’t.

                Well, they let the Import/Export Bank expire without reviving it…oh, wait, they didn’t.

                I am sure they did SOMETHING with that new majority.

                1. Can a majority nuke the filibuster? Or pass legislation under budget rules that can’t be filibustered? Yes, and the Democrats did both.

                  They get to win, and we get to lose the country with “honor” intact because despite all the USAian rhetoric, “sacred honor” isn’t worth sacrificing when the crunch comes. BULLSHIT.

                  I’m done.

                  1. Nuking the filibuster is a bad idea. You think the Republicans will hold the Senate indefinitely?

                    1. You think the Democrats, having nuked it once on judges, won’t nuke it again and on more when they get control.

                      FFS, Mitch promised to restore the part the Dems nuked when the GOP got it back. If that isn’t an open invite to the Dems to nuke it when they are in charge knowing the honorable Republicans will give it back when they take over I don’t know what is.

                    2. I do think the GOP should nuke the filibuster with the intention of restoring the whole thing once the rules have been changed to prevent it from happening again. But that isn’t going to work until Obama is out of office. Reid will just sit back and let Barry veto anything he would have stopped confident that the Democrats would eventually regain the majority and no longer have to deal with the Republicans. Only when there is a Republican President and the Democrats risk losing significant parts of their platform will they be willing to deal to restore the filibuster.

          1. All spending bills originate in The House. Too bad there isn’t any leverage there to force compromise – I mean *real* compromise – to get things up for votes.

            1. Are supposed to. There is that problem with Obamacare- it didn’t. Not really. It was a wholesale substitution for some other bill that originated in the house that had nothing to do with health.

              In other words, to an ordinary person, the bill was unconstitutional in it’s very origins. But to well trained lawyers and judges and highly educated people, “Well it says House Bill Umpty Squat, therefore it originated in the House, even though it has nothing to do with the bill the House passed….” You have to be a normal person to understand what a lie that is.

              Try that with the IRS. “Well, this isn’t the numbers you have, but they’re the ones I used 5 years ago, so they’re still good….”

  11. Every single one of them said apple should hack the phone, including Cruiser and Trumpet. There are no LLCs. But I agree with the rest. :o)

    I notice that the scope mount for an M14 allows you to still use the peep site. DO you think it renders the rifle too heavy? If not what range would you zero the scope for? ;o)

    1. I haven’t been keeping track of US politics (which is why I’m keeping out of the majority of the discussion), but Aff’s been keeping track of that bit about the phone. Round 1 goes to Apple, whose stance of refusal we are actually surprised by.

      It makes sense though. If people are aware that there is a hole, they will take apart iOS until they find it, as opposed to ‘stumble on it’ as we have on occasion (and duly notified the company who patched it asap).

      Interestingly enough, Aff doesn’t think that the head of the FBI is pushing for this out of malice, but technological ignorance. That surprised me a little.

      1. Oh, I disagree. They were all over this jihadi couple and were in fact waiting for them at the college they planned to shoot up, when they went off and hit the party instead. I think they already know everyone who was involved and they saw this as an opportunity to lean on apple. Your friendly bumbling dhs is just a pose.

            1. The day after? that’s a formula for chaos and confusion.

              I remember how, on 9/11, the plane that went down in the field sound exactly like all the other rumors of possibilities. (Until Jerry Pournelle posted something from the father of one of the passengers.)

      2. And what the FBI should be aware of if no one else is: once it’s known to exist, Apple employees will be prime targets for bribery / extortion / kidnapping to simply steal a copy of the hacked OS and then it will be spread the same as other malware.

  12. We’re the people whose ancestors were thrown out of of left every decent place on the face of the Earth.

    Many left places where they could have stayed: stayed peasants, stayed serfs, stayed in ghettos, stayed menial. Some left places where they had to bribe their way or sneak out to leave. They came here with hope, seeking to change the course of their lives.

  13. I believe there is a lot of quiet rebellion going on – Trump is one of the big indicators. (I think he is more of a grand display of ‘up yours’ to the establishment, YMMV.) I look at the way that people turned out for Chick-Fil-A; they turned out in droves. Look at how Memories Pizza got supported.

    And then contemplate how many old-line media outlets, both broadcast and print are just staggering along, Dead Media Walking – because ordinary People are quietly cancelling subscriptions and cutting the cable. Big Hollywood movie releases showing to smaller and smaller audiences; ratings for award shows dropping. Prepping becoming main-stream instead of fringe. Gun and ammunition sales skyrocketing.

    Ordinary people are retaliating against the Leviathan, but in quiet, incremental ways.

    1. I believe there is a lot of quiet rebellion going on – Trump is one of the big indicators. (I think he is more of a grand display of ‘up yours’ to the establishment, YMMV.)

      This. If you look at the entire primary season (on both sides) thru the lens of “we’re mad as hell an we’re not gonna take it anymore”, then things make more sense. IIRC, an Iowa caucus goer was actually quoted as saying that his vote for Trump was F— you.

      1. Then there are the people looking for a “Man On A Horse” to save the country.

        I think that is also the appeal for Trump and the Bernie.

      1. Very likely, yes.
        Another indicator – the popularity of keeping chickens, and substantial vegetable gardens. There always were people keen on suburban veggie gardens … but the chickens is a new thing.

    2. I was looking at houses over the last six months and almost every place had a year of food or rations or something. We won’t, till the move is done.
      BUT my problem with Trump is cutting off your nose to spite your face. They’re being played.

      1. Maybe…maybe not…maybe they figure if the GOP is going to “run Democrat to win” we should really do it.

        Or maybe figuring the fix is in and no matter what we’d get a squish people are figuring “I’m dying but I’m taking you with me”.

        I have heard too many people when confronted about Trump’s history say they know it and they know he’ll govern left of center to think they are just getting played. While it is not my point of disconnect I think the build up to 2014, the victory achieved, and the fact they immediately surrendered when Obama said, “shutdown,” despite 2014 proving at worst it isn’t an automatic killer and at best that it is an empty all but insured Trump. They went to the “or $DEMOCRAT” well one too many times.

      2. It’s possible that those who have prepared a year of rations and such consider themselves secure enough to weather a bad season, and are therefore willing to bring in the storm themselves.

    3. I think he is more of a grand display of ‘up yours’ to the establishment, YMMV.

      This…as I said I am voting Cruz on Tuesday but, if as seems likely, Trump is the nominee I’m voting him good and hard out of that same party loyalty I was told I had to have for McCain, Romney, Dole, and W or else $DEMOCRAT.

      Then I’m going to ask everyone who tells me I have to support the squish they give us in 2020 or $DEMOCRAT, “so you voted for Trump, right?”

      1. I’m not. Because I don’t have to vote for what will hurt us more than any of the “squishes.” I’m going third party. Sorry, there’s blood I don’t need on my hands.

        1. That is good to hear. It is important that sane & just people vote. You can’t be assigned to jury duty if you don’t vote. And you can’t exercise jury nullification against bat-crap crazy laws (passed by whoever) if you don’t get assigned to jury duty first.

          The phase of massive non-compliance: coming soon to a country near you!

        2. I am not sure the cumulative blood of all the squishes I have voted for out of party loyalty is less especially when I consider not refusing to support a squish earlier is a key part of what got us here (and by here I mean Trump).

          Even if I never vote for Trump (primary or general) by buying the “vote for the squish or $DEMOCRAT” one too many times to not feel responsible for enabling those who made him inevitable.

        3. I’m going third party

          I have said before that if I go third party it’s not because I think it will help in any way. It will be because I have finally given up and am just marking time before earning my place at Odin’s table. (And to be clear, I won’t start things, but I won’t run from them either. “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have war, let it begin here.”)

          A Trump nomination would pretty much put me there.

        4. I am not going to vote for Trump. If he gets elected anyway and actually follows the Constitution*, I will consider voting for his reelection.

          (*=IOW, if my smartassed remark about the Ghosts of Constitutional Government visiting him last Christmas actually did happen.) 😀

  14. Speaking of technology changing things, last night a young man (early 20’s) came into the station looking for help getting into his apartment as the door handle wasn’t working (just spun around in his hand). Since that’s not something we do, I recommended he contact his landlord or a locksmith. I gave him the phone book so he could look up numbers (his cellphone was inside his apartment). After pager through a few pages he looked at me and asked “Where do you think I should look?” – ‘L’ for locksmith?

    He didn’t understand how the Yellow Pages worked. All he’d ever used before was the internet.

    1. Can’t remember the movie (possibly In and Out?), but there was a scene where a model was dumbfounded by a rotary dial phone.

    2. MY KIDS. And teaching them to use the dictionary in fourth grade was hopeless. You see, they never learned the alphabet in order, because I don’t KNOW how they learned to read.

      1. I seem to recall a tale of dictionaries being throwen to miss by a very poor thrower. Perhaps they were too afraid of the dictionary to use it?

    3. I really don’t like these stories that make me feel old…I’m only 27 and remember the phone book well. I also remember Chicken Pox. There was a commercial with some kid asking if chicken pox was “Something that chickens get”

      Admittedly I do not have an up to date one in the house, but that’s more because move and bought first house.

  15. I’m here to tell you this is not the end.

    No, but spit with the wind at your back and you can hit it from here.

    Governments are steadily eliminating citizen privacy while becoming ever more secretive about themselves. When you don’t know who wields official authority, or what he might know about you, what you have, and what you’re doing, you’re in a lot of danger. It gets worse when you factor in the unknowability of the law.

    If there’s a saving grace, it’s that our governments’ enforcement power is limited…but that having been said, can you be all that confident that it won’t be turned on you? Especially when the leading candidate for president is a vindictive narcissist in love with power who makes the current occupant of the Oval Office look like an altruist?

    We can still prevail, but the time is long past for us to shed any notions about the inevitability of victory.

    “It’s not enough to say that the forces of liberty are on the march. The forces of statism are also on the march. It is now a race against time.” — John Hospers

  16. Don’t underestimate the value of having your back to the wall. The value of freedom isn’t that wonderful things happen; it is that bad ideas can die. We will see lots of bad ideas die this year, die horrible and noisy deaths and the world will be a better place as a result. The first one to go, and good riddance, was the idea of a Bush dynasty. Two words made $100 million disappear into the ether; ‘low energy’.

    The next to go, and it is already happening, is the notion of political consultants. There are good smart people who have a knack for reading the wind and recognizing push points, but thankfully money and computers don’t win. At least with free people. US business needs to learn this, and they will.

    I’ve been curious how Detroit happened. We now know. A feckless opposition afraid to act, a cowtowing media and elite class, all of whom have options let it happen.

    This electoral cycle gives me hope. Not because of an individual, or because Trump. Although I grant him this; he dignifies the working class. Anyone who went after the plumber in 2008 should have been chased from polite society.

    But windows have been broken, teeth have been knocked out. There will be more, there is lots at stake. I will be replete when Hillary is driven from the race and Stephanopolis gets socked in the eye. One can dream.

    I frankly don’t care who wins. Politicians are by definition scum. There are no illusions left, meaning that limits of power are all that remain. Good. That is how it is supposed to work.

  17. Let not your heart be troubled.

    I’ve noticed that Trump’s policy positions depend on who he’s standing next to at the time. So when he stands next to Jeff Sessions, we get great immigration policy, and so on.

    All we need to do is arrange for the right people to stand next to him. Slip a few simoleons to the Secret Service to have them shoot Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid if they get within a hundred meters. And so on.

    1. No. I stole my husband’s. Don’t get me started. We went shopping for a granite counter. “Sarah, Sarah?” I was reading on kindle. “Which one do you like best? the one with gold or silver flecks?” “There are flecks? Just get one.” “But which one goes best with the floor tiles. Come here and look. I’ve narrowed it down to two.” Me, pointing randomly, “THAT one.” Him, “are you sure? The little flecks might–” Salespeople looking at me “Poor thing. I wonder if she knows.” Kids, when they happen to be with us “Jeez, Dad, even I can read the salesperson’s looks. This is so embarrassing.”
      He’s perfectly straight where it counts, but d*mn it he shops and decorates like a gay guy. I just refinish the furniture. :d. My gay friends find this mechanic hilarious.

      1. “If it clashes too bad…well we can replace tiles too.”

        I have been in house less than three months and am already planning kitchen appliance replacement, heating and Hot water replacement, and home networking build.

        1. This was house we were selling. Next house, when we do move in, we’re planning on getting hot water on demand IMMEDIATELY because younger son will otherwise make me wait two hours to shower after his shower.
          Kitchen redo will wait for indie income over a year, but is already on the plans. In two or three years we’ll have wood floor put in. Eh. we intend to stay in this house a long time. As in, G-d willing, 15 to 20 years, till we know where the kids will be and move near one or both of them.

          1. Indie book a month and you’ll hit six figures in no time. Just remember that it’s more efficient to pay someone to do the scut work while you write.
            15 to 20 years comes the Hoyt compound and writer’s academy.

            1. yeah. You know my schedule for the year. And I have Dragon so I can write while packing.
              Well, once older boy is done, we’ll have a basement apartment suitable for teaching classes in, and also having parties in without disturbing my writing space.
              And if one of the kids stays in CO, this might be our last house. If not, we’ll see.

          2. We have a 50 gallon water heater. (Hah.) And a tub big enough to lie down in. Unfortunately, a quick shower before using the tub (so I don’t have to scrub the huge thing) doesn’t leave enough hot water for the tub. *sigh*

            I’d go for hot-water-on-demand, but I went for laminate floors first, and bringing the converted porch up to code, and then the geothermal unit conked out. So now I’m all out of plumbing money, until the insurance compensates.

            1. Or crack the whip on your lesser half.
              Must be a couple folks waiting patiently for that next Maxwell book.
              As for ongoing house projects, y’all were obviously victims of the infamous closing curse where upon the moment of signing the papers a gently used and well cared for home suddenly becomes a flop house formerly occupied by indigent gypsies.

          3. Forget how water on demand. Have hot water heat, and use your boiler with a sidearm heater. I can run the dishwasher, washing machine, and two showers simultaneously with enough hot water for each. You’d be getting lukewarm water from an on-demand heater with that load. Especially if your incoming water was below 40 deg F, quite common from my well.

            1. I’m not changing the WHOLE house heating. Not unless ya’ll make me a lot of money from indie. Did I mention more than a book a month? (though some are re-releases.)

  18. Do pillars and arches count as walls? They do?

    How about if we inflate a large balloon and hang the ceiling from that, or do the tie-downs to keep it from drifting away count as walls? Still yes?

    Then what if we attach electric motors, with propellers, to the edges of the ceiling, embed antennae with appropriate power conversion circuitry into the ceiling and then beam energy up to it to power the motors. No direct physical connection between the ceiling and the ground.

    Now can we get rid of the walls, call this job done and get on to the next one?

    1. Look, I can see electronic surveillance and rapid deployment forces, but even then you’re going to have to settle for “not quite total.” Total stoppage costs more than we can spend.

      1. “Yeah, that means we’ve bred a whole lot of morons who think the ceiling will stay up when you remove the walls.”

        I was playing off the above sentence. I asked myself if I could think of any ways to keep a ceiling suspended without walls. I came up with three, with various degrees of plausibility.

        I’ll grant you that there was no real reason to post it. Please accept my apologies for wasting the space. But could you please explain where the spycraft question came from???

        1. Is that really the question you want to ask of a group of people who could answer it with “How about this design?”

  19. Off topic: story finding help please! I want to find this for a friend, not myself, because horror is not my thing.
    It would’ve been probably in an old science fiction pulp of my dad’s, so printed sometime between the forties and eighties, though I think he had a few a bit older that he’d picked up from an adult friend as a kid. The story was about a baby who was both telepathic and telekinetic, but the viewpoint character was (thank goodness) someone else, maybe an older teen, telling about what had happened to their town in case anyone ever found them and wanted to know. The author clearly knew infants well, right down to their lack of grasp of humanity of anyone beyond themselves. I don’t particularly recollect much resembling a plot, it was just a sketch of consequences of the existence of this child.

    Anybody remember this? Thank you!

          1. Little Anthony tried that with me and it didn’t work. [Very Big Dragon Grin]

          1. The Twilight Zone movie also had a segment (in which Bill Mumy appeared), with a feel-good ending, because that story was all about making people feel good…

            1. Now there’s a frightening idea — he not only can banish you to the cornfield, he can make you be happy. Mindrape, anyone?

  20. Mass production established the need for unions. As we move to custom production (a move happening far too slowly bu one picking up speed — note how eagerly the MSM informed us that Michigan shooter was a [gasp!] Uber Driver … as if that were relevant) the ice floe of mass society will break up.

    Progressives may throw their tantrums, cower in their safe spaces and deny us ours, but we aren’t looking for safe spaces anyway. The future belongs to those who occupy it, and we’re already staking out our claims.

  21. I believe that you’re right in that it’s not the end (yet) only because, if you’ll forgive me for paraphrasing L. Neill Smith: “You folks will take to the hills and fight for centuries rather than submit.” Sadly, I probably will not be joining you in said hills. Not because I’m afraid to fight, but because I’ll probably get iced before I make it out of my driveway.

    And may God (and Sarah) forgive me for saying this, but as it sits right now, I’d rather have Sanders than Trump. Here me out on this: on one side we have a crazy, clueless Socialist with more-or-less equally crazy and clueless supporters. On the other side, we have an angry, thin-skinned, vindictive quasi-Fascist with more-or-less equally angry and vindictive supporters.

    I’ve been out-and-out *threatened*, as is promises of physical bodily harm or worse, by Trump supporters for daring to even question The Great One’s motives or positions. And I’m not the only one who this has happened to. I’ve been mocked and insulted by Sanders’ supporters for not siding with Bernie, but never threatened.

    And this is mirrored by the candidates themselves: Trump has publicly threatened people who have dared speak out against him or donate to other candidates (his tweet about the AZ Cardinals’ owner being the one that first springs to mind). As far as I know, Sanders hasn’t done anything like that.

    Maybe the topic’s on my mind because I mentioned my experience at Mauthausen-Gusen in yesterday’s comment thread, or maybe it’s because I’ve got the tin foil wrapped too tight, but I can see President Trump setting up camps. I’ve never been able to seriously say that about any other candidate before, on either side of the aisle. I hope and pray to God that I am wrong and I do have the tin foil wrapped way too tight on this one, but… yeah.

    Either way, once I finally start the new job (hopefully by the end of next month), I’ll resume stocking up on food, water, and ammo. And buy a rifle. Not because of my paranoia but rather because I don’t yet own one and every American should own a rifle. Hopefully Daniel Defense will hurry up and release their new M4V7 with the M-LOK handguard…

      1. That article is made of flailure. Trump is *not* the candidate championing the notion of being a “real conservative”. It also fails to mention *anything* about the brewing civil war in the Democratic party. You think it’s bad on the Republican side? Wait until Bernie supporters find out the screw job that is being put on them. The realization is starting to dawn, we’ll know more on Saturday (SC – Dem primary) and Super Tuesday.

        Any Republican votes lost because “Trump: Worst Evil Ever!” are more than going to be made up for in disaffected Bernie supporters staying home or voting for spite. Assuming Trump is the nominee, of course. Votes don’t care why they’re cast, only care who counts them.

        Yes, flailure. I’m on a one-spork campaign to make it the new facepalm. Feel free to use it!

      2. I can’t really in good conscience vote for any of the likely candidates on either side (unless Cruz manages a miracle and secures the nomination, but even then I’ll vote for him, but I won’t like it). If Johnson makes it onto the ballot here in PA, I’ll vote for him. If not, I’ll probably leave the POTUS section on the ballot blank.

        1. I would suggest not leaving it blank, but rather spoiling it. If you leave it blank, it can be filled in by someone else.

          1. Fair point, but my county uses electronic machines so I’m not sure that’s possible. Worst comes to worst, I’ll write in somebody like Larry Correia or Adam Baldwin. Or maybe Clint Eastwood…

              1. Only if we can corral Tom as Secretary of Offense, Mike for HHS, and you for SecEd.

                Yes, I’m that evil.

                1. Tom for Secretary of war.
                  I’d dismantle the department of education in an orderly and speedy fashion and stop the stupid ‘must attend an education/indoctrination college to teach’ so fast…

                  1. Actually, that reminds me of one the mindsets that should be changed. It should be the War Department, not the Department of Defense. Gotta be prepared to make war in order to have peace.

              1. If one of those Libertarians can explain to me what a “pompatus” is, that’d be great.

            1. If you decide to champion a write-in campaign for Adam Baldwin, please make sure you make it clear it is Adam, and not Alec. I don’t think Alec Baldwin would be any better than Trump, Hillary, or Sanders.

    1. So you prefer crazy wimps to crazy jackbooted thugs. When you put it like that… But at least the jackbooted ones want to protect us from the ultimate terrorist organization, Islam.

      1. If you’ll forgive the cliche Ben Franklin quotation, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” I won’t help vote one tyrant into office in hopes of protecting myself from another.

      1. In my experience, everyone has an enemies list. Hell, I’m a minarchist-leaning libertarian and I have an enemies list. Granted, it’s pretty short and the people who are on it have earned their positions via their actions rather than ideology, but still…

        And crazy as Bernie is, at least he has the smarts to not publicly point fingers at the folks on his list and say, “When I’m elected, I’ll make you pay.”

      2. There was an article making the rounds last week where it explained just how much of an ass Sanders is to people. I tend to find a lot of socialists think that all of their duty to others is taken by their vote vs actual action and results. As such they are as rough and mean to others as they want to be.

      3. Sanders took his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. Not in Sweden, who has the socialism he claims he wants to give us. The Soviet Union.

        That tells me what I need to know about the guy.

        1. Given standard KGB observation of American visitors, we know there is film of his honeymoon nights.

    2. Just to clarify: I didn’t say I’ll vote for Bernie, just that I’d rather him win than Trumpzilla or Hildabeast.

      And to add to my prior comment: it seems to me like Bernie really wants to be President more for the perks than the power. He’s a moocher and he always has been: he wants the cushy house and the cushy insurance package and the private 747 and limo fleet, etc., but when it comes to power, he strikes me as being a dog chasing a car. He wouldn’t know what to do with it if he actually got it.

      Trump and Hillary, on the other hand… they already have the perks of being President, or at least close equivalents. They want to be POTUS because they want the power and they know exactly (okay, Hillary definitely, Trump maybe not so much) what they’ll do with it once the get it. That’s what scares me.

      1. And to add to my prior comment: it seems to me like Bernie really wants to be President more for the perks than the power. He’s a moocher and he always has been: he wants the cushy house and the cushy insurance package and the private 747 and limo fleet, etc., but when it comes to power, he strikes me as being a dog chasing a car. He wouldn’t know what to do with it if he actually got it.

        And this is different from Obama how?

    3. Do you really think that, absent a war for survival like WWII was, the American people will stand for putting Americans in camps? Really? It’s not about what the President wants, after all, it’s about what he wants that Americans will stand for.
      Trump’s no FDR. He doesn’t have a war against an enemy we think might actually be able to militarily beat us. (Comes to that, we use nukes, war’s over. We might quit because we don’t like the price tag, but they can’t militarily beat us.) He’d have to pick a direct fight with Putin before we’d get to the point of the public accepting camps for Americans. If Trump’s not smarter than that, Putin is. Rule number one of nuclear armed countries has always been don’t pick fights with nuclear armed countries: use proxies instead.

      And Raptor, you might want to meet a few more Sanders supporters. They’re angry. They’re crazy. They’re not clueless: they want to burn it all down as much as any of Trump’s supporters do. They just come at it from a different perspective. A lot of them will vote Trump if Hillery gets the D nom and Trump gets the R nom. Both Trump and Sanders are pulling the burn it all down crowd. One of them is playing the burn it down starting with the Republican political establishment card, the other is playing the burn it down starting with the Democratic political establishment card.

      I’ve got friends on both sides, personal real-life friends. They’re all college educated and underemployed. They bought the ‘Get a degree and you’ll be successful’ line, they did what they were supposed to, and they couldn’t find the jobs they’d been told would be available when they got the qualifications. They’re all working, or have a working spouse and stay home with kids. One of them told me unsolicited the other day that he’s caucusing for the first time in his life this year for Sanders.

      Remember, historically, fascists kill fewer of their own countrymen than socialists do. That doesn’t mean either are what we want as leaders, but if we’re picking between a Stalin wannabe and a Hitler wannabe . . . well, I wear a forget-me-not.

      1. I personally know a handful of Bernie fans whose second choice is Trump. Well Trump may be a Fascist but Sanders claims to be a National Socialist. Mussolini? or Hitler? Hmmmm. Absolutely no to Stalin. Where did Sanders honeymoon again?

        1. With who, Sarah? That’s what I can’t see. We have this ongoing thing with the islamic terrorists that could be ended at any time by using overwhelming force. Yes, there would be lots of collateral damage. If we lose a city and we have a president worth anything that’s exactly what’ll happen. I can’t call that a war: we’ll have one bomb from them and a whole host from us and it’s over in a matter of hours. The only reason the thing in the middle east is ongoing right now at all is that we aren’t interested in using that force. We don’t like the cost. 9/12 President Bush could have done that and didn’t.

          Having a war long enough to be able to use any camps necessitates mostly equally matched opponents, and in the case of nuclear powers, that means both sides have to be restrained from using them by MAD. Who has enough WMD and can deploy them successfully here (MAD), and wants a war with the USA? Russia? China? India? Far as I can tell, Putin’s doing his level best to avoid one while still pursuing his own territorial interests right now: if he wanted one he’d have it already.

          1. I fear Apocalyptic Islamics with nukes. This rabid political religion has been steadily wreaking havoc for 1400 years. They must learn Allah is evil and following the rantings of the pedophile profit will bring their death.

            1. Do remember that the various Islamic leaders are in no especial hurry to get to that paradise they urge upon their young.

          2. But they won’t use full force which allows them to keep a situation of war at home and grab power. And what I see is a Russian thing or a Chinese thing using the Arabs as cat’s paws.

            1. This. Except the causality won’t be quite so cut and dried. It’ll be a conglomeration of miscalculation, miscommunication, and short-sightedness. There’s a lot of stuff going on over here. Think of the Thirty Years’ War, but pulling people in on a global scale.

              I’m about to PCS from the island, but I’m going to a destroyer that’s deploying back over here later this year. Except it’s likely we might spend an extended period in the east Med instead as well. Interesting times indeed.

        2. 2017 strikes me as too pessimistic, at least if by “we” you mean America. There are two parties who either have or will have in the near future the means to destroy an entire city and the will to use them against America: North Korea and Iran. The current North Korean nutcase strikes me as crazy enough to do it, but North Korea has grudges closer to home: South Korea and Japan. I think they’ll go after one of those first. Iran no doubt wants to nuke the US, but I think they’ll move more slowly. My guess is that the first thing they’ll do when they get their bomb is give it to “non-state actors” who will attack some place like Buenos Aires, a Western city but not one with such close ties to the US that the American people will feel obligated to go to war over it. They’ll watch our reaction and plan accordingly.

          Now, farther in the future, an Iranian nuke is going to lead to the Sunni monarchies seeking their own nukes to avoid being overrun, and eventually one of those will make its way to someone like the 9/11 terrorists. But I think we have more than 2 years before that happens.

          1. … an Iranian nuke is going to lead to the Sunni monarchies seeking their own nukes

            Going to? Going to??

            I am under the impression that the Pakistanis have already advised Iran against any presumptions about threatening the Saudis.

            1. If Pakistan actually does that, and does so credibly, it’s a lot better than the situation I’m afraid of, which is every “Kingdom” and “Islamic Republic” from Egypt to Malaysia getting their own nukes to protect themselves from the Iranians. Under those circumstances, the odds of a nuke “getting lost” and ending up in a backpack in New York would be indistinguishable from 1.

            2. This.

              And as far as ownership or control: Who do you think paid for the Pakistani nuclear weapons program?

              If at this point the Saudi royals who paid those bills have not moved some of those devices to Saudi soil I’d be flabbergasted.

        3. Do you mean in America, or just anywhere in the West? And is the expectation for a targeted act of war with a WMD, or a more generalized urban breakdown due to overstrained system collapse, or both?

          One never goes wrong predicting eventual disaster, of course; I’m just a little surprised by the less-than-two-years mark, and wondering why you think it’s so imminent. (And worried, so obviously part of me finds it far from implausible — I’m just hoping to find reasons why that part of me is wrong.)

            1. As I said, I’ve sat my wife down and run her through the correct (shelter in place after sealing the windows, if the cats are out they are gone and you have to accept that, 48 hours later wear two extra layers, you strip the first after hosing off the car, you strip the second after getting into the car, leave without me as I’m close to downtown and probably dead and if not will make my way to you, etc) response.

              I hate that I had to think that way but I want her safe as I can insure if it comes to it.

            2. To be fair, a backpack nuke wouldn’t cost a city. It’d be flashy and destructive, but not city busting.

              1. There is that. It can cost a landmark in a city. Or an important area. It will destroy the city economically for a while.
                A friend of mine says it will be a dirty bomb, or a series of them. He lives in NYC so…

                1. Mexico better pray that nuke doesn’t cross our southern border; because if it does the outrage may lead to the 1ID protecting the border — from the Mexican side.

        4. Followup: Never mind, I can’t believe I forgot about Iran. Okay, yes, that is both realistic and possible enough to be worrying. I’ll be back as soon as I get some barbecue sauce for this foot.

            1. I’ve had nightmares of disasters the last two nights running. (Do they count as nightmares still if you’ve had so many that you react with ‘meh’?) Anyway, I figure it’s too much politics before bed, but on the off-chance that it isn’t, I’d worry about rioters and coastal earthquakes leading to tsunamis, if I were prone to worrying. I usually figure out a plan instead of worrying.
              Nothing we can do for the far-flung kin but be prepared to receive them here if needful. This has nothing to do with why there are seventy-two tomato starts in my window. (Last year the older daughter, then three, picked all the sprouts.)

              1. Okay, that’s worrying. I’ve been having constant nightmares on this vein for a month solid now and I thought it was just my depression (what with the little grumpy one’s death anniversary creeping near) and I haven’t been keeping a strong eye on the news or politics (or blogs, because of moving house and STILL unpacking) but even the bad shit is filtering through the near total disconnect.

                Me, I’m waiting for Europe to explode, but I have this odd sense of sadness that it won’t, but rather die than protect itself.

        5. “If we go all of 2017 without losing a city, I’ll eat my hat.”

          [makes mental note to send Sarah a chocolate hat, just in case]

          1. This reminded me of a scene in a Harold Lloyd (silent) picture where as a sailor he loses his hat, but there’s some pastry that looks close so he uses that as someone higher ranking walks by. A bit later, he eats the pastry and his buddy tries to eat his non-pastry hat. Now if I could recall which film that was.

      2. Pretty much my thoughts. Trump might like to set up camps, but to do so, he’d need the military and the police to go along with him, and I do not think they will. Ultimately, as much as he might bluster, a President Trump would as constrained by the Constitution as previous presidents–not because he respects it, but because going against it requires the efforts of more people than just the president. I may be overly optimistic, I don’t think Trump has enough hard-core supporters (not just people voting for him but people who would kill and die for him) to pull it off.

        1. Yep. People being obnoxious on the internet don’t always translate into people committing GBH in meatspace. It reminds me of the sound and fury leading up to Sasquan, culminating with Vonda McIntyre bravely (I’m not being sarcastic) promising to walk with the terrified puppy-klckers and Lou Antonelli writing a warning letter about that weasel they got to MC the Hugos drumming up a lynch mob.

          I was told more than once that it would be “dangerous” and yes, socialists love themselves that sweet, sweet mob violence, but anonymous internet death-threats and chest thumping just aren’t the same ballpark. God help me if I ever get triggered and scream safe-space! by some chump on a Twitter thread.

          So I kept saying, “I’m going to Worldcon again and I’m going to have a blast!” And I did, except for the Hugo Ceremonies.

          Cheer up! Stop working yourself up into a lather over imaginary bogeyman. Have a little faith.

          And on that note, and considering Mrs. Hoyt’s promise not to let her worst-case scenario keep her home in November, what say you we get a pledge drive going among true-blue, constitution-loving, USAians?

          Call it Pledging the Down Ticket. If the worst happens and Trump, Bernie and Hilary (in order of awfulness. You pick which way is #1 🙂 end up on the final ballot, we pledge to at least show up, and vote the down ticket. And vote Republican. And at best, if we can (because life is crazy busy, I know) we pledge to get out there and work phone banks, to turn out the vote and get conservatives to the polls.

          Let’s make whichever pol wins the election ride in on coattails that bite.

          What say you?

      3. I’m part of that generation that grew up being fed the “get a degree and you’ll be successful” line. I might be a Millenial, though to be honest I’m not 100% sure what the cutoff date for that age bracket is. Either way, I grew up believing that BS and didn’t realize it wasn’t true until it was far too late to alter my life’s heading. I’ve suffered for it: spent several years working a no-nothing job and am (hopefully) about to start another. The old job sucked, and I’m under no illusions that the new job will be easy or glamorous, but at least now I have a chance of advancing up the corporate ladder and being able to make an actual living.

        I tell you all that because I understand where Sanders’ supporters and Trump supporters are coming from even though I don’t agree with them.

        I have real-life friends on both sides too. And I agree, the Sanders supporters are uniformly pissed. But that anger, at least in my experience, stops at “arrest the Wall Street Fat Cats and confiscate their wealth.” And when I ask them what they want them arrested for, more often than not they have a list of charges (which are usually more-or-less realistic) and they want the fat cats to stand trial for their crimes rather than simply be thrown in prison and left to rot.

        Now as for Trump supporters, their anger usually extends to “round up all the [INSERT GROUP HERE].” Sometimes it’s Mexicans, sometimes it’s Muslims, sometimes both, sometimes other groups. Sometimes they want said groups deported, other times they say throw ’em in prison and throw away the key. And when asked why, if they choose to respond with an actual argument rather than insults and threats, it’s a general reason like “because they’re stealing jobs” or “because they might be terrorists” or just “because.” That’s the part that scares me. Though please note that I did not say that I believe that Trump will absolutely establish camps if elected, or even that it’s a remote likelyhood: simply that I have an easier time imagining him doing so than I can Sanders or Hillary.

        1. The problem with that “get a degree and you’ll be successful” line is that it was true for only a very brief and specific time period, essentially the Boomer front wave. For various reasons too tedious to go into here, that is no longer true. That process was easily predictable, BTW — Econ 101, see “Supply Curve.” (See also Gresham’s Law.”)

          The problem with the Sandersarians* is that they’ve redoubled their efforts having forgotten their purpose, doubling down on the stupid. If the problem is that college degrees are now approaching zero worth, the solution is probably not making college degrees more available, as Sanders would.

          *Sandersoviets? Sandersites? Sanderpsibans? Sandersaryans?

            1. Sandernistas has a good ring to it, and the necessary communist associations.

              Today’s youfs have no idea what the reference means, but that just prevents them from realizing they’ve been insulted.

        2. No, I think the when they talk about rounding up all the illegal and semi-legal whatsists (Somalis, Mexicans Syrians, etc.) the reasons is: Because they’re lawless drug-cartel gangsters, serial rapists. Because they degrade our already craptastic public schools and our social safety networks.

          And because they can be counted on to be at least a full generation (and perhaps more) as a totally dependent serf-class who can be used as a voting block to disenfranchise conservative communities, and keep socialist oligarchs in power indefinitely, no matter how

          My good man, you need a better class of friend. You’re hanging out with ignorant Sanders groupies and people incapable of articulating the most basic conservative objections to open borders. Talk about depressing.

    4. Andrew Klavan called out Trump telling a crowd “if anybody starts heckling, beat him up and I’ll pay the legal bills.” (Not an actual quote – going from memory.)

      OTOH, as recently noted, Trump would be the most easily impeached president in a century or more.

      1. Well, given he is running to replace someone who told his supporters to get in people’s faces and to bring a gun to a knife fight:

        1. Why are we surprised he says it?
        2. Why are we surprised it resonates with people the current president wanted their faces gotten into and have guns pointed at?

        1. Great idea. You bring a gun to a knife fight and you die. Check out the Tueller drill on YouTube.

  22. After just finishing grading some headdesk-worthy history papers, I was delighted to come on here to find a post that was so reaffirming about how awesome Americans are (I consider any people found “ungovernable by every leftist president ever” to be awesome).

    So I had to put on some bad*ss music in the background (shout out for Wovenhand’s “King O King”) as a I read this post because this post deserves a bad*ss soundtrack. Thanks! My day is better and I’m ready to go throw down with my SJW friend in class this afternoon.

  23. Fear not. There are signs of hope. It wasn’t so long ago that the Democrats were gloating about how they finally (and permanently!) won control of the government. They labored mightily and brought forth Obamacare, and just a few years later, they’re stuck in the minority in both houses with a lame duck in office, and a grim choice between a known crook and an avowed socialist as his prospective successor.
    Even if Trump is elected (in a blowout, even) and turns out to be a Republican Obama, he won’t get the same cover from the press (scandal-free indeed!), and will probably have a more fractious party on his side. A lot depends on what kind of Congress we give him.
    No matter how much they scream, the big statists are not going to get what they want, because those of us who love freedom are not going to let them have it. No surrender.

          1. I’d go for the toys that he’s shown his love for his entire life. The Clintons have been his friends for a long time. He’s given them money, they’ve done him favors. Whatever he might say, the Clintons can be pretty sure they’d be safe.

      1. As if Hillary wants to undergo the background check and hearings. Remember, we now have the investigators’ notes on her Rose Law Firm billing shenanigans.

        Besides, at her age she’d not be on the bench long enough for the Dems to fight for her.

  24. “a whole lot of morons who think the ceiling will stay up when you remove the walls.”

    Back when I used to teach very simple web programming to academics, one of the hardest thing for non-programmers to grasp was linearity. That is, the difference between:

    $name = getCustomerName($cookie);
    echo $name;


    echo $name;
    $name = get_customer_name($cookie);

    I used to use the example of building a house: you wouldn’t try to put the windows in before you put the walls up. It would be obvious, as soon as you went to attach to the window to non-existent walls, that you couldn’t do it.

    Now you’ve made me question my assumption that it would be obvious 🙂

    1. Sounds like they would be better off learning Haskell. In Haskell, it doesn’t matter what order you make the assignment. Of course, you can get away with it, because you literally cannot assign a “variable” more than once: once it’s set, it’s set. Haskell is very strict that way.

      Of course, once you have *that* problem out of the way, you’re still left explaining what a “monad” is, and why it was necessary to borrow it from an esoteric branch of mathematics called “category theory” in order to make it possible to print output to the real world and still be a strictly “functional” language….

      1. (*Completely* unrelated: I had a fellow graduate student explain to my advisor that there was a certain way to teach youngsters a certain technique in mathematics, that made it easier to understand…and my adviser pointed out that learning things that way was going to make learning something else later that much more difficult…

        Which reminds me of a complaint I remember seeing about Common Core, about how it over-complicates a certain basic concept in math, and Common Core defenders were saying “Yes, but I’ve seen those same students approach a similar concept in algebra, and they passed through it with ease!” I wanted to join the conversation, and say “So you want kids to struggle with this concept early on, and perhaps even develop an irrational hatred of mathematics, just so that they can more easily learn this one principle later on, at an age where (1) they might better understand the principle anyway, and (2) they just might be better prepared for the struggle as well, and (3) ignoring how learning that one technique early may make learning other techniques more difficult!”

        (I can’t remember the technique in question; I just remember having these thoughts about it.)

        To be sure, I am more in favor of a Paul Lockhart’s “A Mathematician’s Lament” approach to mathematics, which also happens to be highly anti-Common-Core. (A brief summary: Lockhart would like to do to mathematics, what we would do with reading: teach it in a way that develops a love for the field, so that kids would have a solid foundational desire for learning even more mathematics.)

        1. Embrace the power of AND: teach it the easy way, then give them the hard way as “another way of thinking about it”. some will benefit.

  25. Taking my lead from Holly, does anybody know where I can find steampunk space pirates? I had a fun conversation with an old friend today and now I have an itch and nothing to scratch it with. 🙂

    1. Not quite steampunk, but there is a teddy bear space piracy short in either “Earthman’s Burden” or “Houka, Houka, Houka!” that is an excellent read.

      1. Oh! I think I have an old copy of “Houka, Houka!” *Runs to start digging through the shelves* Send a search party if I’m not back by tomorrow. 🙂

        1. I put too many links in, so my comment is stuck in moderation for a bit AND I screwed it up, so here’s a shorter, unlinked to answer:

          Books: Ken Oppel’s AIRBORN, and Jim Butcher’s AERONAUT’S WINDLASS (amazing, but it’s got steampunk privateers)

          There’s a fun webcomicL The Adventures of Lady Skylark, and you can listen to Abney Park’s Airship Pirates while you read the above.

          Your friendly neighborhood librarian.

      1. Abney Park was a featured guest at Wild Wild West Con last year, they put on a pretty good show.

      2. “get yourself a copy of…?”

        Thanks for the list! I’ve got a couple abney park songs I can pull up and I’m going to hunt down those book titles too! I also tracked down my box set of Space Pirate Captain Harlock while searching for the Hooka Hooka book. Not quite steampunk but close enough and tons of fun!

        Yay! Hunting for new books!!

      3. Oh! I just stumbled on something called “The Queen’s Martian Rifles.” Looks more fantasy and kinda populated by space suffragettes by the description? I’ll give it a shot though.

    2. There are certain reasons why I didn’t like the book, some of which are hard to articulate, but I would recommend looking into “Larklight” by Philip Reeve as well. Some of the main characters are pirates of a sort.

      While I didn’t like the work, it may be exactly what you’re looking for! On the other hand, it may also give you a feel for what you might want to avoid.

      (And while I wasn’t thrilled with the book, it’s my understanding that there’s a sequel, and despite my dislike, I liked the book just enough that I’d like to read the sequel as well…)

  26. Most of the current political problems in the US would vanish if every sincere conservative simply went out and murdered a couple of journalists.

      1. But who’d be left to report on the crime?

        Not saying it would be either moral or good tactics, mind you.

        1. The scary thing is that the Country is heading in a direction where this, or at least something like this, might just happen. I am convinced that we’re heading for Revolution, and that is *one* road I do not wish to go down.

          1. And more like the French than the American revolution. And, you know, I just wrote the f*cking book. I’m procrastinating on doing minor edits. I certainly don’t want to LIVE it. (It’s a good book, but the background opens scars.)

  27. Way too busy to read comment today, but the title just screamed for the comment:

    Well good, it has been far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits

    (hope someone hasn’t already said that)

  28. Our ancestors left because they were being treated badly, being physically run off/ejected, or were just unhappy there for various reasons. Too crowded, too restrictive, wanderlust, whatever.

    1. A goodly fraction of the early settlers came to the US primarily because the king didn’t like their flavor of religion.

      1. Well, some because they didn’t like the flavor of the king’s, or worse, the way he could stand other people’s flavors. Massachusetts was perhaps the world’s most concerted effort to make a theocracy (because they didn’t worry about their existing neighbors who weren’t their stripe — they intended to keep them from immigrating).

        Even if they had kept it pure in immigration — which they didn’t — there were the endless arrivals in births. It probably would have collapsed either way.

        (Like — imagine you were in control of another planet as a colony. You might want to avoid immigration by people who supported welfare states or monarchies.)

        1. Well, I’d argue that Massachusetts was never a Real Theocracy as it was always under the Control of The Voters.

          Even when you had to be a member of their church to vote, roughly 80% of the adult men were members of that church (which IIRC was a higher percentage of possible voters than existed in England at that time). [Smile]

            1. Admitted into their Church or admitted into Massachusetts?

              In either case, it doesn’t matter when we’re talking about Massachusetts being a Theocracy.

              A Theocracy is Rule By The Clergy and that was not the situation for Massachusetts.

              Sorry Mary, I get annoyed when people misuse the term Theocracy.

              1. “government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.”

                Since the theory was to allow only those who were visible saints into the colony, it would have been immediate divine guidance.

    1. I do NOT expect this to teach her anything useful. Someone should keep an eye out for where she ends up… and provide suitable warnings.

  29. “We are the people who will not sit down, won’t put up with crap.” And that explains why people are willing to vote for Trump. He’s the only candidate that sticks his middle finger in the face of the Mao’s-Little-Helpers with their PC thought crimes, and dares them to try to do something about it. He’s not my choice as I understand too well the consequences of replacing one scofflaw with one of another color, but then I live in California, so my vote is always cast but always irrelevant. I don’t want Cruz to attack Trump. I want him to stand up and punch some PC Nazi’s right eye. That might get him the Trump votes!

    I will note that even in CA (although way back in the 70’s), we had an incident that met with a middle finger response from the public. Our state constitution has 2 requirements to be a recognized political party by the state, either have more than 1 percent of the voters register in your party, or have a candidate of your party get more than 5% of the vote for any statewide office. The Libertarian candidate for governor got 6% of the vote, but our (need I say Democrat?) state elections official imperiously declared that part of the constitution null by saying that since Libertarian wasn’t yet a recognized party, he wasn’t listed on the ballot as Libertarian, so the vote didn’t qualify. The next day I and about 400,000 others went out and registered as Libertarians, thus neutering her ridiculous catch-22.

    1. TWEEET. Historical violation. He’s not the only one. In fact Cruz went after them publicly during a debate. That the media has successfully buried this with Trump’s help is no credit to Trump’s willing dupes.

      1. Cruz also told Iowans to stuff Ethanol, and despite this supposedly being primary suicide, won the support of Iowan’s themselves (which makes me think a lot better of both parties.

        I don’t know that the press suppressed it, so much as it mayn’t have registered with the Trump supporters. If you want someone who’ll stand on conservative principle against the Establishment, even at political cost, that’s a VERY good sign.

        OTOH Cruz got plenty of traction with the anti-establishment right with that debate performance (and was predictably lambasted for it by the dinosaur media) but there’s been a dearth of that same spunk in the campaign that followed. Some is real (Mr Cruz doesn’t seem to have the same confrontational style) and some is the Trump supporters imagining that Cruz is just creeping in Trump’s shadow, “me-too”-ing after Trump’s moved the Overton Window for him.

        Not sure how to address that perception. Mr. Nelson’s vid was helpful, I need to noodle around to find more of the same.

        1. As I said over on Nicki’s blog, Cruz has been actively lied about and no platformed more than any other candidate, even before he ran for President.

    1. At some point (ie, in the last few weeks), Trump said that as President, he’s going to go PC. He went so far as to say that he may very well be the most PC President we’ve ever had!

      This makes me think that the “You can’t say that” brigade would have the full support of a Trump presidency, rather than suffer any sort of defeat…

  30. One of the things you have often said, Sarah, is that cultures under stress tend to revert to their root myths. And the segment in the cultural anthropology course I took in college on “revitalization movements” certainly supports that.

    However I think we are in more danger than some may realize and that the Left’s infiltration of the education system is especially worrisome. For more than a generation now they have had a largely unchallenged hand in what myths are fed to our children during their early years. Homeschooling is an option for some but not for everybody. (I’d love to be able to quit my job and homeschool my daughter, but I’m the primary breadwinner. My wife could maybe do it, but, although I love her dearly, she doesn’t “get” America, not really, so I don’t see that as helping.)

    So, when the stress comes, what myths are they going to revert to? Are they going to revert to “I know not what course others may take, but as for me…” and “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have war, let it begin here”? Or are they going to revert to “America is a plague on the Earth. American greed and racism is the cause of most of the world’s problems”?

    de Toqueville in “Democracy in America” noted that one of the reasons the American Revolution turned out so differently from the French was because for generations Americans, particularly New Englanders at the time (and there’s an irony for you) were self-selected for liberty. People may have wanted to set up their own fairly repressive enclaves, but they were their enclaves, not one imposed by government above them. We haven’t had that kind of “selection pressure” for a very long time.

    I am also reminded of a very common sentiment I ran into early in the 2012 election cycle: an optimism summed up by “It took a Carter to give us a Reagan.” Well, we saw how well that worked out.

    So I am far from sanguine.

    That said, I certainly don’t counsel despair. I’m not one to give up. I hate confrontation. (I can hear the choruses of “yeah, right” from here, but I mean it.) But if I get passionate about something–and I do about liberty–then I just do not back down.

    And as Sheridan said in Babylon 5: If you’re falling off a cliff, you might as well try to fly.

    1. Homeschool anyway. Help pick curriculum. Mommy does everything else, Daddy does civics as a bedtime story.

      If all your child learns is to figure and read the Bible, she’ll be well ahead educationally of the public schooled kids. I am not joking. There’s much worse than mere indoctrination going on in the public schools. I work with Church Youth. Methodist. Families are big on education. I have college bound kids who can barely read in my high school youth and it’s not learning disbilities. I have a kid who has been so mercilessly bullied as to get physically sick when forced to go to school.

      If your wife really can’t teach at all, find a curriculum that lets your child self-teach under your wife’s supervision. Find a curriculum you can teach weekends and evenings. Find out if your state is flexible enough you can hire a homeschooled teen to tutor. Find a way around the box.

      1. There are a ton of good places on line. My kid — in the year he was homeschooled learned Greek and Latin, which I don’t know. And yeah, if I hadn’t supplemented the kids after school, they surely wouldn’t be in STEM now. They wouldn’t be literate now.

        1. they would, as i have said here before, have been trained for factory jobs that don’t exist anymore. Not ones that aren’t in the states anymore, ones that just don’t exist anymore, and were automated away or otherwise made superfluous thirty to forty years ago.

  31. I believe a point needs to be made.

    The greatest point of view is of someone who has been on the outside looking in. Sarah and many others have done this very thing. They are pointing out WHY America, it’s culture of independence and ideas, its liberty and fredom, are so important in this world.
    They have the unique perspective of not being Americans by birth. They see the America we take for granted as something precious and worth saving. Worth reaching out for. Worth dying for.
    They have seen and experienced the deeply flawed corruption known as socialism and communism. Where the free idea or thought is abhorrent to release from your mouth or from your pencil. Where you hide your opinions. Spout the expected dogma. All so you can hope to be unseen and fade into oblivious background noise. Hope the police or officials ignore you. And maybe survive another year.
    Then they made it to America. Somehow, some way, by grace of God or luck, they made it here. The promised land of opportunity. Thousands of times better to be poor and free in America than a slave to the socialist/communist big government systems that chew up people and swallow the masses like cheap beer. Kinda like a lot of Europe is right now. Where thousands of invaders are over running everything, demanding the local populace meet their every demand, and then beating, raping, killing, and stealing the shit out of them. Just like the government officials who refuse to protect their citizens or prosecute the illegals who are causing the chaos and who are raping, stealing, and killing in the name of an ideology that is incompatible with any form of common sense.
    Sarah, and many like her, need to be heard, understood, and listened to. They are the watchmen on the wall. America’s impromptu foreign legion who are sounding the alarm. A call to arms. We need to fight against the very idea of inviting socialism or communism into our American culture. Forms of liberty destroying freedom crushing governmental bureaucracies that have no humanity or common sense are anathema to us. That’s why we hate the IRS and the EPA so much, but the politicians of the liberal bent LOVE them. It’s not about taxes or clean water. It is all about control. 100%!
    So take your socialism and Marxism and shove them up your ass. Cause if it came down to you taking my life to further socialism and communism, you’d better bring an army. Sarah and the rest of us know how to return fire with extreme prejudice.

  32. Word Press isn’t sending me new comments via email so I’m doing the “C4C” thing. :frown:

    1. The “log-jam” in Yahoo has broken. I’m now getting new comments (including older comments that I missed). 😀

  33. Woodrow Wilson is not a very good analogy. The USA has not had a populist president since Andrew Jackson.

  34. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    Good piece from Sarah. the Donald may have the limelight now and all the clowns in DC can yack around in the bubble. In the end though, more and more people are realizing just how irrelevant those people are. They’ve made their promises and failed in every possible way to live up to them. So their time is done, whether they realize it or not.
    Just listen to the media and think how that relates to everyday life. I’ve seen a lot of media reports on the “campaign” and not one has mentioned the Baltic Dry Index or job participation rates and said why those things are important. why does it take some little blogger in a basement to point out how relevant those things are and why they are important. If the economy crashes and nobody reports it, is it still a crash?

  35. “But he can’t eliminate us. And he can’t make the electorate exactly the same as in Europe, where socialism is a given. Yeah, yeah, importing a new electorate. Look, that 12 million number was always grossly exaggerated and if my neighborhood is representative (and the news form Mexico don’t lie) a good 2/3 have gone back. Even the Children’s Crusade amounted to a few hundred thousand. A drop in the American bucket. I’m not saying they don’t matter, mind. I’m not even cruising for an amnesty. I think Reagan’s was a mistake (though he couldn’t have known it. We know it.) I think we need to enforce our laws. (I also think a wall along that large a border is unlikely if not impossible, in engineering and cost terms. Just patrols would be cheaper.)”

    My Czech ancestors that came over in the late late 1890s and early 1900s would agree with you.

    My Scots-Irish ancestors who came over in the mid to late 1800s would agree, mostly, (albeit with some quibbles regarding “No Irish need apply” and the American welcome mat), and ask, “What’s a conservative movement?”

    My Aniwunyiya ancestors, who came over multiple centuries before the Celtic ones did, would cock an eyebrow and say something in t’salagi that would most nearly translate to English as: “And once we started letting all of you Europeans in, there went the neighborhood.”

    I’ve spent time in Latin America. It’s rather heavily socialist in politics down there, even if my beloved Brazil is starting to develop a bit of sanity regarding personal firearms ownership. (Belatedly, and long overdue.)

    When it comes to the current, recently previous, and increasing waves of Latin American immigration, and the promise of potentially dangerous and possibly unassimilable (it’s a real word: I have decided that it is) Islamic immigrants…

    I’m inclined to lean heavily toward the viewpoint of my theoretical Aniwunyiya ancestors.

    Politics are downstream of culture. Continuing to import increasing numbers of potentially unassimilable and hostile immigrants who don’t share our values and our common myths and heritage promises to change our culture in ways that us freedom and liberty loving types may not be able to recover it from. We stand to lose our United States culture the way that we lost the bulk of our American culture after the 1970s… incrementally, and irrevocably.

    Trump is more T.R. than he is F.D.R. or L.B.J.. He’s more T.R. than Mussolini or anyone like that. No one who is a thinking Trump supporter that I know thinks that Trump is a “Savior”, the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan (Reagan wasn’t the Second Coming of Reagan), or a panacea of any type, or even really a Republican, much less a conservative one. All of the ones that I know and talk to here in Oklahoma think that Trump is really the only one on stage right now actually talking about American Exceptionalism and about issues that they’re real concerned about: immigration and revitalizing American Trade and manufacturing. And no, none of them really think he’ll actually follow through on more than maybe 20% of what he says, if that.

    But 20% is more than they see anyone else on stage actually doing.

    (Cruz might. Everyone I know agrees that Cruz is the real deal conservative, even if they don’t like him. He’s the only Constitutionalist left on the national stage. But increasingly, no one sees Cruz making it to the finish line. The coveted Glenn Beck endorsement isn’t helping him any… Rubio is a non issue and a non starter.)

    You might be right about Trump all the way down the line. Might. I’ll give you that. Hey, it’s painless for me to concede that. Or you might not be.

    Trump today, though, is a lot better than a Vlad Tepes down the line, and that’s where we’re headed eventually if these trends keep on. An awful lot of eyes are watching Europe right now, with a very uneasy gaze, and given the resettlement efforts here in the U.S., aren’t very sanguine about the possibilities and the future congruities.

    Me, I’m easy. Some of my mom’s family hails from the Carpathians near Wallachia. Vlad Draculea is a national hero in some areas over there. (Czechs, Slovaks, Celts, Iroquoians… I come from a long line of bloody minded and handed barbarians.

    There ain’t no political solutions for the problems created by politics. Politics cleaning up its own mess is putting coyotes to guard the chicken coop. All of the solutions are going to have to come from outside of politics, if any are even possible at this point.

    Trump isn’t going to resurrect America, nor will he kill it forever. He might just breath some life into the ghost a bit, just by making it okay to talk about Americanism and American Exceptionalism and other “unspeakable” topics. I’m really okay with that.

    He might also buy us some time, maybe enough for the culture to get ahead of the politics again. I’m really okay with that, too. Because Hillary or Bernie at the helm does the opposite: it starts the clock ticking in earnest toward the meltdown.


    I’m long past the days when I had to hubris to think that anything I might have to say had any impact. Everyone is gonna do what everyone is gonna do. I’ve already made my choices.

    I do know that all of us are still going to be here in 2017. And based upon what I’m seeing right now, since around September or October of last year, the Right is acting the way the Barking Moonbats of the Left did in 2002 to 2008, only all of the Right are eating each other. Not necessarily the people here, in this blog, but all over: from NRO to Breitbart to any other Right, conservative, or libertarian haunt and organ that I browse on a regular basis.

    It is counterproductive. It is tactically stupid and it is strategically inept. It is making enemies of an awful lot of people that all of us would, I think, rather still be allies after the smoke clears in November. Trump supporters are not the enemy. Trump supporters, all in all, just tend to be people a lot like everyone here who have made a choice that you disagree with, for what seem to be perfectly good reasons to them at the moment.

    Calling them idiots, “reality TV based and celebrity worshiping Americans”, low information, Trumpkins, Trumpeters, and any of a number of other derisive terms I’ve seen and heard really isn’t persuasive. It just makes them grit their teeth, dig in their heels, and determined to stick to their guns. I know: I’m not even a solid Trump supporter, and it has that effect on me.

    It runs the risk of making enemies where enemies don’t need to be – because you’re going to want these people to more or less on the same side when the electoral smoke clears and we’re dealing with the real enemy once more.

    I think that no one wants them looking over and saying, “What. Me? But I’m just a low information idiotic Trumpkin. You couldn’t possibly be interested in my support.”

    The enemy is on the Left. The enemy will still be on the Left in late January of 2017. I would dearly love for some of us at least to still be allies on the conservative and libertarian right at that point.

    But hey. Like I said: everyone is gonna do what everyone is gonna do.

    1. Yes, the enemy is on the left.

      The question most of the people here are asking is why people who should be our allies are asking us to install a man who has been on the left all his life in the catbird seat.

      1. This.

        If anyone believe that Trump is anything more that an opportunist at best they are deluding themselves.

        I wonder if this is what the rise of Hitler in Wiemar or Mussolini in Italy felt like.

        Or going back to the Obama as a Gracchi brother analogy, what it felt like when Julius Caesar rose to power.

  36. Thanks. I’ll add deluded to my self descriptor list when I get a round tuit. (I think Amazon still sells Round Tuits.)

    “If anyone believe that Trump is anything more that an opportunist at best they are deluding themselves.”

    I’ll see your Trump and raise ya the field: if anyone believes that any political figure of any party who is either running for public office or occupying one is anything more than an opportunist in this day and age, they are deluding themselves.

    “I wonder if this is what the rise of Hitler in Wiemar or Mussolini in Italy felt like.”

    I know. 😦

    I’m still weeping bitter tears for all of the poor leftists and Democrats who – at least those who didn’t have the foresight to see what was coming and leave the country as they said they would – were rounded up by the Bush Administration and herded into camps before being publicly executed (!) on national television right before GWB refused to leave office and declared himself Empero-

    Oh wait. Whattaya mean that didn’t happen? (o0) But I saw it!

    *pat pat* There there. We’ll find you a safe space where the Bad Man with the orange hamster on his head can’t get you. I promise.


    I’m so sorry. But you really shouldn’t throw raw meat out there in front of someone who’s gone by Ironbear as a usernick since 1997. Occasionally, despite my very best intentions, all of my efforts at remaking myself into a kinder and gentler Ironbear prove to be for naught. It’s almost like I never left Emperor Misha’s comment section or something. *sigh*

    I suspect that it’s a lot less like the rise of Hitler from the ashes of Weimar Germany and a lot more like the split of the Bull Moose Party from the Republicans, only with the GOPe playing the part of T.R., and Trump playing the part of T.R. as well. I’m not entirely sure who’s playing the part of Taft. Hillary’s a good fit for Wilson. I dearly hope that no one has auditioned for the part of John F. Schrank, for that would elevate farce into tragedy.

    Only with better entertainment, better seats, more popcorn, and much better beer this time around. I approve of the popcorn.

    If you’re getting the impression that I’m taking the overwrought angst and woeful despair of Trump = Hitler! less than completely seriously, well…

    You’d be right.

    1. Oh, yes, this is very easy. “They all lie” is the cry of the infant who doesn’t want to think, and wants to have an opportunity to throw a tantrum.
      So, please do add “poo flinging infant” to your self description too.
      Or you could learn how things are in the rest of the world, including that vaunted European motherland, and start actually working on changing things. You look funny on the floor pumping your arms and legs like that. The people staring at you aren’t admiring you as you think.

      1. Easy, there, ma’am.
        Ironbear’s got no idea what he’s talking about, but not to the level you’re speaking of. He’s not got a clue, and he doesn’t understand historical context, but you’re letting the twit get to you.

        As to you, Ironbear, you know not of which you speak, and your reading comprehension needs work.

        1. His learning basic netiquette would be nice too. Replying to the base post, but only referencing one of my comments.

          Also like how he locked onto my Godwin’s Law violation (which Ironbear was about Trump so I don’t know why you were going on about W calling martial law, etc. etc.), but didn’t bother to say anything about Obama being an American Gracchus. Guess Roman history is too much for his little troll brain.

          “Those how fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it; those how do learn from the past are condemned to watch everyone else repeat it.”

  37. a wall along that large a border is unlikely if not impossible, in engineering and cost terms

    Not impossible, just irrelevant: a wall not patrolled and defended is just a nuisance, which is why you get the photos of the ladders up against the sections that are in place.

    The idea is for a wall to make it slow enough to get across that the patrols have time to get there and do something. The last design I saw that made sense was a double sixteen foot fence 40 feet apart with tangle-wire up top, the border side solid enough to block vision, with a cleared paved road between the fences for patrol vehicles, all well lit and camera’d.

    And yes, that wall would be quite expensive, and it won’t actually stop well funded jihadis from bringing a bomb across and being long gone before the patrols get close. All you really need to do is organize enough distractions that the available patrols are not available at the point you choose to breach and bring the device through.

    Much like the lack of enforcement of existing immigration laws, the lack of a wall all along the border is a symptom of the decision to “let ’em all in”, so adding any wall without changing the rest is just symbolism.

    And that’s why Trump’s pandering, repeating over and over about the wall and “ship them all out” without detailing the rest of the fundamental overhaul of the way both legal and illegal immigration gets handled, is so transparently a con-job pitch: Just keep telling the mark what they want to hear until you have them sold.

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