Revolution — a Partial Blast from the past

I was looking through the posts to find a blast from the past and came across the post I wrote shortly after TVIW in November 2014, called Table Settings At the Cannibal Feast.

Most of it, including the (joking?) accusation of my being the creature named Requires Hate and my semi-joking reply and explanation of the only reason they could think we were the same person.

All that is old stuff and I didn’t want to go into it again — though I understand the creature is now again publishing.  Because even the crime of attacking your friends and gaslighting your communities is not enough to keep you out if you’re an interesting enouch color/orientation and have the right (left) beliefs — because it is not particularly topical now.  But from halfway through, the post is topical.

It will always be topical, because it is the mechanics of revolutions that go bad; it is the mechanics of Animal Farm.  It is the mechanics of the cannibal feast where the revolutionaries turn on one of their number over and over again till only the ones at the top are safe (and the rest are terrified peasants as in say Cuba or North Korea.)

The commenter Synova whom I quote below nailed the mechanics perfectly.

It starts with good impulses.  We shouldn’t condemn all on the other side, because most of them are going along to get along and TRYING to be good people.  Our schools, let alone our media and our entertainment in the last 100 years at least have glorified those who care for the poor and downtrodden.

If you’re going to say “That’s Christianity”… sort of — waggles hand — Christianity didn’t overcome normal judgement or common sense, and it didn’t require you to do “good” that actually caused harm.  The Victorians had a very good handle on the “deserving poor” and the “undeserving poor.”

But because they weren’t perfect and sometimes excluded true victims who could be helped, or whom the do gooders fancied could be helped, the people who wanted to be better than others, the arbiters of all true charity have been molding society to discard all common sense, until being proclaimed a victim — even on the flimsiest evidence — is power, and until no one can say there’s a difference between deserving and undeserving, and until it is all just “you’re good or bad if the arbiters of what is good or bad” — mostly the media and entertainment — “say you are.”

Humans can’t live like this.  A society worth living in can’t be formed this way.
It is an endless debasement of all the best impulses and the best wishes of people, and turning them into weapons to destroy not just society but individuals themselves.  All for the power of a chosen few who could never get power the healthy way: contributing or creating something that makes the community, the society or even all of humanity better.

Think about it, they can’t even engineer a better can opener or mouse trap, but they would rule us all.

And this is very relevant, given the times we’re living in.

(The rest is a quote from a post in November 2014.)

And of course their problem – as explained in this article – is not that she did all those things, but that she used the tactics against the “wrong people” i.e. fellow “social justice warriors”, people who want to eliminate patriarchy and who are sure white privilege is hiding under their bed, ready to pounce out as soon as they relax — People who think that everyone who doesn’t think like them commits thought crime and should be silenced.

That is, they are upset because tactics they sanction and use against people like us are being used against them.

As is said in the comments, in this Mad Genius post by Dave Freer, the revolutionaries are always surprised when the tumbril stops at their door.

It was that comment, and other comments in that post (which you absolutely should read) particularly the ones about how RH/Winterfox caused real suffering and about how some people are suffering from PTSD after being exposed to her tactics, and WHY her tactics worked with them, when they don’t work with us, that got me thinking about this post.

I quote Synova’s comment below on how pernicious accusations of thought-crime are, because she is absolutely right, and because it makes clear why communist societies (starting arguably with the French revolution as a pre-Marxist, but proto-communist attempt) eat themselves. It explains why the SJWs are inevitably headed for this same cannibal feast, why even if Marx’s cooky theories of economics worked – they don’t – the crazy attempt to build a “new man” free from the “capitalist taint” (they can’t – capitalism is inherent in being human. You can make it illegal and drive it underground, or you can allow it to lift all boats, but creating and trading, buying and selling is being human.) with its attendant tendency to criminalize thought crimes would still end in mass graves and mass misery.

Synova:

Some of the comments by people who had been subject to the full treatment just made me want to cry. I didn’t think it was funny because the guilty parties and enablers aren’t the ones who are hurt. Yes, we can scoff at Scalzi when he makes a rational counter-argument and is made, ultimately, to retract and abase himself and agree in public and start proselytizing in public that no… you really can’t trust your own brain and if something seems wrong to you or you feel like defending yourself it is simply proof that you’re guilty.

But there were people who reported rather severe PTSD type reactions to even sitting down at a keyboard to write because they were so terrified of offending… again. Because *rationally* they’d done nothing wrong the first time, but they were forced to an irrational acceptance of their guilt. So now they’ve “accepted their privilege” and “checked it” and confessed and repented (they could come to the Dark Side and be welcomed, but they don’t know that, and have been taught that the Dark Side is evil, and that’s why shunning is so very evil within closed communities… being exiled is a horrific punishment) but since they had NO IDEA how they could have done something wrong in the first place, they also have no idea how to avoid it the next time.

Imagine doing this to a child.

The kid is walking through a room doing nothing much and suddenly POW… and then you tell the kid… well that was YOUR fault. You screwed up. You stepped on that spot on the floor.

So the kid looks at the spot and it looks like every other spot. But the kid is told that, no, the fact that she can’t even SEE the spot is what the problem is. You can’t SEE the spot… that’s why it is YOUR fault. Also, a good child will try to learn. You’re a good child, aren’t you?

So the kid says, yes… it was my fault. I could not SEE the spot. Not seeing the spot makes this my fault.

Afterward, it’s still impossible to see the spots, and walking across the room becomes fraught with danger. Sitting down at the keyboard gives this very “good” person the shakes and panic attacks… where are the spots? She still can’t see the spots but she MUST agree and believe that those spots exist.

I have a LOT of sympathy for those who were hurt, just like I have sympathy for any abused person.

For reasons and in circumstances I’m not going to get into here, I often found myself EXACTLY in the position of that child, growing up. It’s crazy making and it took me years (20 and a good marriage) to recover from it.

Which is why it’s a particularly evil thing to do to a single person.

But in a greater sense, it is literally what certain kinds of revolutionary doctrines, be they religious or political can do to a human being.

Note, these are usually doctrines (again, religious or political) that not only think they can remake humans, but think they can remake them into flawless creatures. I was going to say they can come from the right or the left, but only if you accept that all religious extremism is from the right, which I don’t think makes much sense.

There is a certain tendency in conservative/libertarian circles (if that’s what we’re calling “right” this week) to assume that humans come with some natural flaws, one of them being a thirst for power, another being a need for recognition. There is also an understanding that life isn’t fair.

It is only certain feverish religious states (well, the sects call themselves Christian, I have issues with them, and no, I’m not talking about any recognizable mainstream Christian sects, though there were certainly some interesting heresies in that direction in past centuries) that partake the illusions of the left (itself a fevered religion, albeit a godless one) that you can infinitely remake humans and use that change to create a paradise.

Here is the thing: every society has rules by which its members are judged. Some are sensible rules and we can applaud them. Some are batsh*t insane rules, and we’re jaw-dropped about them. And some are indecipherable to our current mentality.

Some of the things that bring condemnation on characters in Jane Austen’s novels, for instance, I only understand are “bad” because I studied the period. I’m sure blundering into it, I’d make a million gaffes. I find the morality police that whips the ankles of women who show them in Saudi-Arabia repulsive, but it is a rule and the women know about it. I understand rules about things like not eating from other people’s plates, not insulting strangers, etc.

BUT and this is very important, the point is not that those rules are fair. The point is that if you grow up in those societies, you have a reasonable expectation of knowing WHAT the rules are. I.e. if I’m strolling in a mini-skirt in a Saudi Arabian souk and get whipped, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It can come as an outrage, but not a surprise.

Revolutions like the US, which changed governance but didn’t presume to change the way people worked, in their minds and hearts, don’t turn into cannibal feasts. OTOH revolutions like the French, where people descended/aspired to changing the names of the weekdays and the months, in order to construct a completely different humanity, inevitably end up in a pile of blood-soaked corpses.

So do revolutions like the Russian and the Chinese, and others.

The difference is this: these revolutions make functioning as a normal human a crime. This requires changing your very thoughts and the way you process reality. And they presume to divine from your smallest actions, your most casual lapses, that you have commited a thought-crime.

This, of course, requires special people who can look into the actions and every day assumptions of others and tell them where they went wrong.

The process is bad enough when done by a minister or another nominally trained person. (I am not talking here of ministers in normal denominations, who are usually trained and don’t want to remake humanity, just get it to behave a little better.) In extreme cases, it creates Jim Jones. It is nightmarish when done by the left, which means it is done by people given power and authority to do this by the grace of totally arbitrary characteristics: where they were born/when/what pigmentation their skin has/what happens to be between their legs/whom they like to sleep with. This is not an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea that none of these attributes is magical, and none of them should confer the authority to discern and judge the secrets of other’s hearts.

But the SJWs believe it does. They believe someone who is born with more victim cards, even if the person was in fact born very wealthy and never experienced a day’s hardship, immediately can judge them and tell them when they’re exhibiting “privilege” which is a taint that attaches to other seemingly arbitrary characteristics, no matter how poor or downtrodden people born with them are.

This sets them up to be abused in exactly the way that Synova describes. Worse, it sets them up to join the mob and wail for the blood of innocent people in whom one of these “anointed ones” discerned guilt. Not to do so, might mean they were tainted with the guilt themselves, after all.

By this process, they saddle themselves with psychopaths as leaders (yeah, some of the anointed ones are merely true believers, but that kind of power inevitably attracts psychopaths and sadists) and make any organization, place, country or government they take over into hell on Earth, instead of the utopia they imagine.

The state of irrationality is demonstrated by the commenter who thought I was RH because of our “similar rhetoric.” There are in fact not even mild similarities between an extreme leftist and myself. BUT both of us made him feel pain. So, therefore we are similar and possibly the same.

That means the commenter had the ability to think/react/avoid pain of a nematode, if that high.

I would enjoin those people caught in the vortex of accusation/appeasement/abasement to take a good look at what they’re doing.

A society where the rules have to be divined by special individuals (no? Would any rational human being think of “lady” as an insult, till the SJWs declared it so?) is not conducive to liberty. It’s not conducive to kindness. It’s damaging to the ability to think.

In the end it makes you animals, joining a mob to avoid being killed.

I suggest if you are caught in it, or suspect you might be, that you re-read Animal Farm. And then evaluate the goals of your movement. You can demand that women be given opportunities in business and art. You can’t get into anyone’s heads and demand that they never have a bad thought or that all women have to have good results in business and art.

You can establish that pinching a woman’s butt against her will is bad. You can’t establish that men shouldn’t be allowed to look at naked women or wear art showing a naked woman. And you have to decide whether female nudity is empowering or demeaning, btw.

The rules need to be clear and well established. They can be changed, but if they are, they need to be proclaimed so everyone in the society/group/cult knows them.

And no one should be condemned by inference/whispers/accusation without a fair chance to defend him/her/dragon self and confront his/her/gerbil’s accusers.

That is how you stop cannibal feasts. You start by admitting humans aren’t infinitely perfectible, and that even the “anointed ones” can have flaws like a search for power.

The alternative is that you tuck your napkin under your chin and dig in.

Forever.

 

174 responses to “Revolution — a Partial Blast from the past

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Sadly, in many ways the SJWs remind me of the more “legalistic” Christians.

    While some of the SJWs make the same “joke” about the Puritans that some people here make, the SJWs share in that same mindset (IMO imaginary in the case of the real Puritans).

    IE They are worried about other people having fun (actually the wrong fun).

    Of course, the “better” legalistic Christians are as much worried about their own sins as they are about other people’s sins.

    The SJWs are more concerned about “sins” against the proper victims classes than “sins” against all persons but many seem to be concerned about “sins” they commit as well as “sins” other commit.

    Of course, in the SJW world the “sins” keep changing so what was “proper behavior/words” yesterday are “sins” today. 😦

    If I’m not making much sense here, please blame it on “not enough coffee”. 😉

    • And things that were sins yesterday are required today. But we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

    • You’re right, Paul. The rules have to keep changing because if they don’t, the sheep will learn how to follow them and will be able to ignore you, the SJW shepherd. Can’t have that!

    • It is a curious historical fact that most of the Puritan churches turned into Unitarian ones.

    • It is a curious historical fact that most of the New England Puritan churches turned into Unitarian ones.

    • Of course they remind you of the most legalistic Christians. They are, in the end, their intellectual heirs as much as they are of Marx. SJWs assume, to a large degree, baseline Christian teachings as a given even while despising Christianity. It is a huge part of why they are blind to Islam because they assume everyone has the built in respect for humanity that it took Christianity 1500 years to develop in the West and that with several side trips the wrong way and some glaring failures even after. They are the most legalistic, Phariseistic Christian sect who has quit believing in God.

      They don’t even understand how in championing abortion they are undoing one of the first strands of building that world, which was adopting children left to die of exposure (a very common practice in the early Church and arguably its oldest pro-life expression).

    • They seem to me to be more likely to be the least legalistic Christians you can find– think Buddy Christ, but even less restrictive.

      All the feeeeeeelz, none of the standards.

      Of course the flaw you’re looking at may just be another expression of the same issue, we know that Jesus spent a lot of time arguing against it. (In my admittedly very vague understanding, you’d be looking at the Pharisees or maybe the Sadducees, and I’d be looking at the Samaritans or something.)

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        I’m thinking of the Christians that are obsessed with every little sin that they may be guilty of and are constantly trying “get forgiveness”/”seek out penance activities” and so forth.

        Often these sort of Christians will “set up fences” against sin and insist that others put up the same fences.

        The SJWs appear to me to be the type of people who are so “concerned” about slights (ie sins) against the “victim classes” that they “set up fences” to avoid such slights and insist that others do likewise.

        Of course, their seeking out “oppressor types/activities” to condemn might be seen as “penance” concerning their own accidental “slights”.

        • Busy signalling their virtue to the various victim classes, so as to be the last ones thrown under the bus.

      • Basic divisions as I leaned them:

        Saducees: Higher nobles and priests
        Pharisees: legalistic, sorta kinda proto-rabbis
        Essenes: mystical types
        Zealots: Dumbasses who thought that armed revolt against Rome was a viable plan

        • Zealots: Dumbasses who thought that armed revolt against Rome was a viable plan

          I probably shouldn’t have laughed at that…..

        • Zealots Patriots: Dumbasses who thought that armed revolt against Rome Great Britain was a viable plan”

        • Actually, the Pharisee thing was kinda interesting. They started out as “Yeah, let’s do the traditional Jewish thing, not like those Sadducee guys.” Then it turned into, “Since the Messiah is coming, a la Book of Daniel, we all need to be really holy!” Okay so far? But then they thought, “And since Israel is a priestly people, everybody in Israel needs to follow all the laws for living like a priest or a priest’s family! And then we need to be even more careful than the priests are! And if you can’t do it, you aren’t trying enough!”

          So it was simultaneously a popular movement (they had ideas about what normal Jewish people should do, and they were mostly from normal backgrounds albeit educated ones) and legalistically elitist. They were really sincere about wanting the Messiah to come, too. A lot of modern Judaism comes from their line of thought.

          • Sorta the other way around. When Ezra got the rebuilt Temple started, and later when Nechemiah established it more firmly, they created institutions to keep the people connected to the Temple services even when they weren’t in Jerusalem: Just as the priests had shifts of Temple service, the people were divided into shifts, and each week’s shift sent representatives to Jerusalem and also had prayer services in their home towns. (The synagogue has its origins there.) From there the idea began (at least among the scholarly leadership) of incorporating religious lessons from Temple service into daily life—but the idea was to sanctify ordinary life, not a focus on messianic times.

      • (Waggles hand) The thing is that they do have standards, it’s just that none of them are found in Scripture–they’re almost all in “emanations and penumbras” from the Bible.

  2. I should remember what TVIW means.

    Somehow this is making me think of C.S. Lewis’s essay, “The Dangers of National Repentance”, which I don’t think it did the first time around.

  3. The advantage to being the one who decides which spots can’t be stepped on is you can keep people on their toes/under your thumb by arbitrarily saying “you stepped on a sacred spot”. People will check in with you to make sure they’re not stepping wrong and if you want you can say that someone who has upset you has put a foot wrong and must be punished. How cool is that?

    • It only works as long as you can convince people to care about your opinion of them. Once they begin to say, “that non-existent spot means nothing to me,” you lose all control of them.

      • Okay, wrong comment thread. I’m glad you dropped the other unproductive discussion. I clearly need more coffee. 😛

        • Yeah, sorry about that other one. I really was trying to stay civil, but sometimes I falter. My apologies to everyone who felt insulted.

          • You’re passionate. That’s fine. We all are. And these are the days that try men’s restraint. But one needs to identify when it’s unproductive and step away.

            • If we didn’t falter and make mistakes from time to time, I’d worry. Well, worry more, and about different things. *chuckle*

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
              -Thomas Paine, The Crisis

      • A lot of times once you lose control of them they turn around and attack in anger at being gaslighted. Of course no one in the position ever thinks it’s going to fall apart.

  4. And we have a generation of kids that desperately want and need clear guidance, to be told that brown tiles with white flecks are OK to step on, but white tiles with cream flecks are not OK. And then they freeze, one foot over the single beige tile with grey flecks, and panic, and have a break-down instead of jumping over it, or going around.

    But I’ve become the kind who look at the tiles, snort, and say, “Pish. Let’s go with laminate flooring. I’ll start tearing out the tile if you’ll haul the boxes in from the truck.”

    • Using your analogy, I think we need to teach these kids, “So long as you’re not harming the tiles at all by your walking, you’re free to step on any tiles you need to to reach your goal.”

    • or rather than using the end of the torch to tell which tiles trigger the trap.

  5. Did not think it was possible, but there DOES exist a relationship between your blast and my blast. I think. Has to do with the integrity of the bleating. Or something.
    http://habakkuk21.blogspot.com/2016/03/past-lessons-from-donkey.html

  6. I want to say a bit more than “c4c”, but I’m tired right now and not coming up with anything. So I’ll just say that Pam Uphoff’s post at MGC, where she starts off by saying she always wanted to be a truck driver, but in space rather than on Earth, immediately reminded me of this Julie Ecklar & Leslie Fish classic:

    For anyone who hadn’t heard it before — you’re welcome, but Ecklar and Fish are the ones who REALLY deserve the thanks.

  7. The people who make arbitrary and changing rules about behavior are the obvious and worst part of it. But they are aided and abetted by all the little jobsworths and bansturbators who want to protect us from doing things “for our own good”. Banning drink, sugar, smoking, insisting on seatbelts, carseats for children etc etc. You can argue that some of these are good, heck I agree with the seatbelt one, BUT the problem is they don’t stop there and they nurture an environment where it is totally acceptable to butt into other people’s business and criticize them for doing things that might possibly hurt someone somewhere.

    • Along the same lines, those leftists who whine about people “voting against their own self-interest” whenever something doesn’t go the way they insist really chafe me. I try to explain to them just how insulting that concept is to those people who disagree with them, but they seem incapable of understanding that it’s an insult. Or maybe they believe that anyone disagreeing with them isn’t intelligent enough to be insulted, I don’t know. At any rate, it’s insulting.

      • Not to mention that self-interest can change from moment to moment, let alone day to day. My self- interest right now is in getting myself some food. An hour and a half ago, it was taking a nap. Inverting the order of the two, even when I wanted both, was not optimal. Heaven forbid circumstances changd, or I get new information, or simply shift my priorities a little bit.

      • Patrick Chester

        I usually wonder who they are to decide what my best interest is and leave it at that.

    • scott2harrison

      My understanding is that in town, the seatbelt thing is 50/50. It will save you in a frontal collision but kill you if you are T-boned.

      • At which point one wants the stats of how common frontal vs T-bone is. And how do they work for rear-ending?

        • Exactly. Give me information to make an informed decision, if you think it’s important; but I reserve the right to make that decision. And you may not like the one I make… which is OK.
          A base requirement for liberty: understanding that “everyone as a right to their own ridiculous opinion”

          • Motorcyclists and helmets are a great example. Not only are inexperienced motorcyclists more likely to get in accidents they are likely to get into the kind (most often based on handling the bike and not a collision) where a helmet has a high chance of increasing survival. Based on that I know a large number of motorcycles who will tell you that you are a fool if you don’t wear a helmet your first 15-20K (number varies but are in that range) and you are depriving yourself of the fun if you do after that point.

            Heaven forbid that we not only evaluate if we need a given safety measure but re-evaluate over time as other factors change.

            • Great example, as it leads us into “what to do about…” — the usual argument for requiring helmets is that society is (somehow) on the hook for taking care of people who scramble their brains through high-risk activity.
              My 1st cut solution is: Make waivers real – if you want to ride w/o a helmet, it’s on you so long as you either have private insurance to cover or have a signed waiver on you that says you take that responsibility. For kids and youth, might also need evidence of emancipation or a countersignature on the waiver from legal parent/guardian. Might also want a license plate sticker to go with the insurance or waiver, so a cop can tell at a glance that it’s ok for you to be riding without a helmet.

              • Okay this really belongs here:

                Or we could quit thinking it is our responsibility to pay for everything for everybody and thus need to make sure everyone is as safe as can be but instead let people be free.

                Nah, would never work.

                WordPress delendia est.

              • I had way more than 20K miles on my bike the time I spiked headfirst into the pavement when the boho in front of me made sudden stop in a construction zone. If I hadn’t been wearing a helmet I’d be posting this on a Ouija Board.*

                *Or Oiuja Boed in Android.

                Big ass hailstorm hitting us right now.

              • But then they won’t get the moral egoboo of thinking about how they are providing health care while simultaneously being as stingy as possible about it.

      • You are incorrect. There is no circumstance where a seat belt causes a greater risk of mortality. In particular, if you’re T-boned and not restrained, then you’ll get violently thrown across the car, causing injuries fully as serious as if you’re restrained and in the collision path. Further, if your vehicle is equipped with air bags, they are designed to protect you only if you are properly restrained by a seat belt, and will at best not do their job if you are not…that is, if they don’t add to your injuries.

        I spent 17 years on the street as a volunteer paramedic. In that time, I responded to an estimated 2000 motor vehicle accidents, and unbuckled exactly three patients – and two of those were completely uninjured, but scared.

        I take no position on whether government should require you to wear seat belts. I do, however, firmly believe that not wearing one is at best volunteering for a Darwin Award, and that there is no reason to avoid it – and refusing to wear one in protest of mandatory seat belt use laws is deeply, profoundly st00pid. I personally will not move a vehicle unless mine is fastened.

        • Fair enough. Experience points.

          But can we please not have seat belts that ratchet themselves tighter every time you twitch, or that are so sensitive that they lock up hard when you turn your head to check the next lane? (Just in case you wonder about the big safety pin that prevents mine from tightening beyond a certain point. Cuz I don’t like being routinely cut in half, and I do like to check what’s coming up in my mirrors’ blind spot.)

        • I take no position on whether government should require you to wear seat belts. I do, however, firmly believe that not wearing one is at best volunteering for a Darwin Award, and that there is no reason to avoid it – and refusing to wear one in protest of mandatory seat belt use laws is deeply, profoundly st00pid. I personally will not move a vehicle unless mine is fastened.

          This.

          I’d prefer it if the government didn’t have that law, but the safety benefits of wearing a seat belt seem sufficiently clear, and the loss of freedom so minimal, that I’m OK with it.

          The problem is that this is a slippery slope. Enforcing seat belt wearing is OK. Enforcing conformity of belief in the sanctity of gay marriage is not.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Enforcing conformity of belief in the sanctity of gay marriage is not.

            Enforcing wearing of seat belts is an obvious benefit to the individual and society.

            How does “enforcing conformity of belief in the sanctity of gay marriage” benefit society?

            Note, this comment was solely intended to “illustrate” the difference. 😉

          • Patrick Chester

            No, a law enforcing seat belt wearing is not OK. It might be a good idea and maybe saying “hey, wear your seat belt” is okay, but making it a law isn’t good, even if it’s a good safety feature.

            Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean it has to be written in the legal code.

            • People are either treated like adults or children. In a society where people expect the government to take care of them, it is only natural for the government to treat people as children.

              America was once a country of self-selected adults. Our children are being brainwashed into never wanting to grow up.

              • I would be less upset abouts laws to treat people like children if the adults had the option to opt out.

              • Patrick Chester

                Well, I sometimes feel like a Toys’R’Us kid but that’s my decision, not the government’s…

        • Although I once survived an accident only because I was wearing a seat belt, I wouldn’t require it of others solely for the benefit of the driver. However, without a seat belt, a driver is likely in a collision to create uncontrolled inputs to steering, brakes, etc., which affect the safety of other vehicles. For THAT reason, I don’t have a problem with requiring the wearing of seat belts.
          OTOH, it’s always seemed ironic that the same people who bleat most about “regressive” taxes, etc. are also the people that encourage large fixed fines for minor offenses, which are inherently regressive (much more punitive to poorer people).

          • Or we could quit thinking it is our responsibility to pay for everything for everybody and thus need to make sure everyone is as safe as can be but instead let people be free.

            Nah, would never work.

          • It should be noted, BTW, that the issue of fines was part of what caused the Ferguson ruckus.

            • Yes. The problem with using regressive fines for law enforcement is that there’s no way to use (Abe Lincoln’s?) diktat that “the best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it rigorously” – e.g. a $125 fine for not wearing a seat belt just doesn’t have the same effect on a municipal lawmaker as it does on a working-two-jobs owner of a beater.

        • I’m with you all the way. I once rolled a Fiat 124 sedan and ended up with the car upright in a ditch about 10-12 feet below road level; I’m firmly convinced that I’m only here today because I always wear a seat/shoulder belt.

          And I used (decades ago) to work in the orthopedic rehab department of a hospital; you will never get me on a motorcycle.

          • That’s fine but I also trust you to not think you have a right to force me never to get on one. I think you have the right to call me an idiot if I do or to try and convince me to wear a helmet but I trust you not to try and control me concerning it.

            Libtards and progtards, however, I don’t trust to let ice melt.

            • Of course not. Do whatever you want, so long as you take responsibility for whatever happens due to your decisions.

              • That’s why I don’t ride 🙂

                But do I engage in other dangerous, adreniline rushing activities and I don’t want the gov’t telling me how to do those either.

              • There’s a little something to be said for not committing to taking responsibility for things you cannot cover. E.g. I can handle things with consequent damages to other people of $X, but not of twice as much; I can handle cuts & bruises to myself, but not total disability. That’s what insurance, and availability of good risk assessments to anyone willing to do a little due diligence, is supposed to be about.
                Failing that, getting in over my head, may make me a freeloader; and some people don’t care if they become freeloaders. Thus, I don’t mind the requirement that you be insured, either through a policy or demonstrably self-insured, for some activities. Perhaps the due diligence should be a requirement, too .. risk should be assumed deliberately.

                • If you have insurance to cover those possibilities, you’re taking responsibility. But if you don’t take responsibility for your actions, don’t expect me to do so for you. (Not you personally, understand…)

                  • Right. It’s just that some people think they’re “taking responsibility” just by saying so, without either thinking through the “what if” scenarios or getting insurance to cover what they can’t foresee.

          • I love riding bikes. However, too many accidents that weren’t my fault, “Where the f@ck did you come from?!?!” were the first words from the mouth of the guy who pulled a Uturn in front of me, convinced me to quit riding.

          • I watched a guy doing 80+ on a 45 MPH curve. Didn’t make the curve. I was first on the scene- the car behind me second. (pre-cell phone days- but someone had a CB…) He survived because he and the bike landed separately. And he landed flat on his back in about 6-8 inches of mud, somewhat cushioning the impact. Remarkably, only 3 sets of limbs broken, and he was conscious. “What happened?” I replied, “You just totaled your motorcycle.” “I don’t own a motorcycle!” I looked over, “Well, not now.” Totally mud covered. Both him and the bike. There were 2.8 miles on his brand new Kawasaki pocket rocket.

            I’m not a big fan of 2 wheels with a motor, but if others want to do it, let them take the risk. And though I have no doubt that ofttimes the auto driver is at fault in a car-motorbike collision, every near accident I’ve witnessed has been the fault of the motorcyclist.

            • I’ve been on both sides of that equation. I had a favorite stretch of road in the hills that I regularly took at stupidly exhilarating speed. One day their was a big oil splotch in the center of my line. What with bushes and dirt, I only got road rash. I also have learned to watch the eyes of car drivers. They often don’t have any clue that you share the road with them. Learning to ride defensibly helps you avoid Darwin Awards.

              • Give some lessons to the guys in Washington– they don’t share the road!
                (A basic class in physics, ie “that truck that you just zipped in where there’s no physical way for them to see you also cannot stop as quickly as you can” would be nice.)

                • Too many riders are part of that group of, usually young, people who think themselves immortal. At least until they are proven to be quite mortal or broken.

                  • “Only person on earth” syndrome, to totally steal a phrase.

                  • Mind you I just saw a moron do something similar in a car this morning. Cut around a truck to make a turn into a one way street. If the truck hadn’t put his brakes on that would have been a squashed car.

                    • And the idiots who learned to drive in tiny little cars, in the city, now have truck licenses and are driving just as stupidly…in a big, loaded truck.

                      My kids aren’t giving me gray hair, it’s the Seattle drivers.

                      Don’t get me started on the bus drivers that run red lights, don’t signal and tailgate.

                    • or worse, the people who learned how to drive with tiny cars in the city that are now young moms driving an SUV….

                    • More scared of the truckers. An SUV will ruin my van, a full truck will kill everyone in a dozen cars.

                      The young moms also mostly don’t get into pissing contests because physics means my van can go up hill better than their truck, and start playing passing-tag on the freeway.

                      Mostly. The ones that do that are in small cars….

                    • Trouble with bad truck drivers is that they used to have a reputation for being very good drivers, so we aren’t forewarned.
                      AND we know that the bitty-car driver who “graduates” to a big-truck driving job had to get a CDL (Commercial Driving License), which meant passing more tests, etc. so oughta be a safe driver — kinda undermines your faith in the nanny state, don’t it! 😉
                      Busses don’t bother me quite so much, because I’ve mentally identified them as officially-required-to-be-aggressive drivers so I treat them as rolling hazards. Also helps that I don’t actually have to go into Seattle all that often.

                  • Not just riders. I remember (dating myself here) an episode of My Three Sons in which Fred MacMurray’s character was a passenger in a car driven by a son who was either about to get, or had just received, his driver’s license.

                    The kid was doing abrupt lane changes, jackrabbit starts and stops, and the like. His response when admonished was, effectively, “I’m young, I’ve got good reflexes, I can do this.” His father’s response was that his actions had effects on other drivers who may not be able to match those characteristics.

                    Of course, it’s not just the young who pull stupid stunts on the road. I have a friend who survived a head-on collision on the highway when somebody who had missed their exit decided to make a U-turn. Came out of it with a totaled rental car and a broken foot.

              • Yeah. A lesson from two wheels without motor. Just because they see you- doesn’t mean they see you. An old lady in a car looked right at me and made eye contact. Then looked the other way. Then pulled out from the stop sign RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!. She saw me, said she saw me, but what she computed was bicycle, toy, slow. I had a speedometer on that bike. I was doing 30 MPH when she pulled out. (Slightly downhill, not much, but great tailwind.) I yelled, she braked, and my pedal caught the front end, stopping the bike short. It’s why I encourage everyone to take at least an introductory judo course. Judo- the art of gently falling. I’ve never forgotten how to fall- it’s actually built in. Between hitting the ground as best I could and rolling, leather palmed gloves, and a helmet that came away well scratched, I was uninjured. Without the gloves and helmet, and knowing how to fall- it would have been worse.

                As I get older, knowing how to fall has kept me from serious injury well more then once.

                • I remember mountain biking with my old Dalmation Nick. That dog could RUN! Anyway, one day we had been climbing for a long time and came to a fork in the road. One way continued up the mountain and the other was a steep single track downhill towards home. Nick has been running ahead and takes the trail home. I feel it’s a good decision so I follow right behind. Just past the drop off Nick had stopped and turned around to check if I was following. I locked up the front wheel trying to stop but the hill was too steep. The wheel stopped but I kept moving. It was surreal as Nick and I stared eye to eye as I flipped right over his head. Gloves and helmet saved me. Straightened the handle bars and rode a bit more slowly home.

        • Patrick Chester

          That’s the thing that annoys me about the seatbelt laws. I dislike them intensely, but I’m not going to stop wearing one to protest.

        • > There is no circumstance where a seat
          > belt causes a greater risk of mortality.

          While you were sitting up in the warm ambulance, I was one of the guys down in the ditch ripping the door off with the winch so someone else could get the corpse out.

          Let’s say I have a less starry view of the wondrous protection granted by seat belts, particularly in a side strike.

          • Professor Badness

            You will find that seatbelts are generally pretty good at surface street speeds, but not so much at freeway speeds. (I’m talking about sudden deceleration, not just minor accidents.) In fact, they have a habit of killing people at those speeds, If the car crumpling around them like a giant tissue paper doesn’t do it first.

            • …although as generally averred, “anecdotes are not data”, each anecdote does represent a datum.

              My own experience with survival-due-to-seat-belt was at highway speeds: Imagine, if you will, driving too tired – and waking up on a freeway at 5am behind a semi, less than two car-lengths ahead of you, and going (because of mountain grades) about 30mph slower than you are. The ONLY reason i did not go under the rear frame of its trailer, thus shearing off the top of my car and myself, is that my seat-belt gave me sufficient positional control in my seat to both slam on panic-level braking (the pedal was bent from it) AND maintain steering accuracy enough to hit its rear tires instead of the frame, thus wrapping my front-end sheet metal around my tires.

              I’m happy to conclude that 1) there are many different accident regimes, even at highway speeds, and 2) being stabilized and supported by a seat-belt can make you safer in some of them, including some that involve “sudden deceleration”.

              • Free-range Oyster

                I’m here today because of seatbelts and airbags. Anyone who catches me in meatspace is welcome to ask for the Raccoon Story; I can’t do it justice in text.

          • Not a counter-example. ” no circumstance where a seat belt causes a greater risk of mortality.” != “wondrous protection ”

            Nor would it matter if it did, since “wondrous” != “perfect”

        • My experiences have been different that yours. While I’ve seen more people injured or killed because they were not wearing a seatbelt, I have seen a few occasions where the reverse occurred.
          So while I wear my seat belt, I still think a law mandating it is not only anti-freedom, but oppressive. It’s your life, so it’s your risk.

        • I wear seatbelts, not because I’m a bad driver, but because somebody else is.

  8. scott2harrison

    As far as lady being an insult, I think that the reasoning goes as follows: A lady is a woman who follows a certain code. This means that demands can be made on her that she must supply. This means that she is not free. This means that you just said that she is lower status than you are. This is an insult.

    Of course, what is missing here is that a lady is only bound by the code when dealing with other ladies, gentlemen or the powerless. If someone tries to use the code to take unjust advantage of her, it’s kitty bar the door.

    • Yes, but by that type of deconstruction ANY word can be made into an insult. I KNOW. I’m a linguist.

      • Insults are in the ear of the behearer.

      • Well, yes. I think that’s the point.

      • Certainly, Why, at least two words are being ruined: ‘social’ and ‘justice’. Why, it might even trigger a war.

      • scott2harrison

        While you are correct, the takeaway that I was intending is that to these people, any obligation to other people based on civilized behavior is evil.

      • It’s humpty dumpty logic. Words mean what they say they mean. We are always wrong and they are always right no matter what.

        • The author of SlateStarCodex loves to call that “motte and bailey” arguing where they use one meaning until called on it and then argue you are misrepresenting them when they actually used to the word/phrase to mean a much more reasonable thing.

          In one post he got so annoyed he accused the people involved of having a Playmobile bailey in a motte the size of Russia.

        • You privileged poltroon! Don’t you know that insisting on a concrete meaning of words is a vestige of Eurocentric neocolonialism and will not be tolerated?(/sarc))

          • “How, Sirrah, can you make that argument? (Literally, how can you make it?) … for your words, such as “vestige”, “Eurocentric”, “neocolonialism”, and “tolerated” have no fixed meaning within the rubric of the argument you propound, wherefore I shall use them henceforth to mean whatever I wish them to!” [after which, the argument instantly decends to meaningless screaming.]

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Chuckle Chuckle

              One gentleman was talking to a young woman who had been taught that the “Meaning of any writing had nothing to do with what the author had intended it to say”.

              He responded by taking her words and telling her what meaning he got from the words which by her “standards” was just as valid as what she intended them to mean. 👿

              From what I remember, she didn’t like him doing that. 😈

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Chuckle Chuckle

      In one fantasy story, a Lady used the Social Standards of her society to “keep” the Bad Guy (a member of that society) busy (not that way) while her friends were setting a trap for the Bad Guy.

      Note, while a Bad Guy and of High Social Standing, he could not publicly violate the Social Standards (including how to treat a Lady) of their Society. 😀

    • The kind of person who gets all hot and bothered about “lady” are simply looking for an excuse to be offended. Apparently they believe, as toddlers do, that if they scream loud enough, they will get their own way. For my part, I think “Good grief” and “for crying out loud” at them. If they’re going to verbally crucify a person for using respectful and complimentary language, they should be sentenced to the company of their fellow barbarians, may they find all the joy they deserve from those who are equally spiteful and quarrelsome. Meanwhile, I have other fish to fry.

  9. Patrick Chester

    they could come to the Dark Side and be welcomed, but they don’t know that, and have been taught that the Dark Side is evil

    ….but we have COOKIES.

  10. I had forgotten that you were compared to/confused with Requires Hate.

    Of course, as any intelligent person would know, Evil Space Princesses of the ELoE don’t require hate. They generate it just by existing 🙂

  11. Re: The top-of-post video – Interesting intercuts of re-enactments/films of (what seems to be) Culloden with what is apparently something from the American revolution.

    One of the highlights of my trip to the UK for the ’95 Glasgow Worldcon was taking 10 days post-con to potter about Scotland via Britrail. Part of my Inverness adventure was a visit to the Culloden battlefield. What a dreary, dreadful place; I could almost hear the bark of muskets, the roar of guns, and the cries of the wounded. And looking at the hundreds of yards of grassy hillocks the Jacobite forces had to charge across, or around, in order to approach the British lines, I had to ask myself, “What the hell was the Young Pretender thinking?”

  12. c4c

  13. And you have to decide whether female nudity is empowering or demeaning, btw.

    Doesn’t it depend on whether the woman in question finds it so? As a piece posted on Instapundit* last night argued, it depends entirely on who is doing the exploiting … and whether that person feelz exploited, demeaned or empowered. Thus any such determination is wholly subjective and subject to change without notice.

    *HEY, KIDS, WHAT TIME IS IT? It’s time to stop calling Kim Kardashian a “slut.”
    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/229360/