All the Greed

Yesterday I posted a meme on Facebook about those who call themselves children of the Earth being welcome to stay here, while the rest of us went to the stars.  I did it mostly because the million face book memes had made me pissy with the bathos and environmental pieties of city dwellers who wouldn’t know nature if it took a raw chunk out of their left buttock.  It annoyed me in the exact same way the constant evocations of religion by people who are clearly non-believers do.  And in the end that’s what it is — a public evocation of what “everybody knows” to be a “good thing” which then absolves the speaker of actually trying to do something for another human — or animal — being or even of having to lead a minimally decent life.

It didn’t help my mood that the whole Earth Day thing is an abominable boondoggle.  It was created (as we all probably know now) by a Murderer and it’s not based on the sound conservationist practices that anyone close to the land learns — say Dave Freer, or even my dad — to keep that particular plot of land healthy for generations to come.  No.  It’s based in making much noise about the Earth as a whole, a Rosseaunian mal-apprehension of nature always being indefinably “better” and it leads its devotees down a path of undefined animism and hubris, in which, somehow, the Earth is sentient, we can harm it by having our houses just a little too warm (even in aggregate, our scale is minimal compared to say volcanic processes) AND a belief that the way to “salvation” (of the Earth) is either to eliminate all humans or to get government to severely restrict the comfort of THOSE OTHER PEOPLE, over there.  The devotee, of course, though he might engage in rituals with plastic bottles and the sacralized utilization of cloth bags, is not required any drastic sacrifices.  As a true apostle his “sacrifice” is to spread the word.  Vid, Al Gore and all the Hollywood celebrities who worship “Mother Earth” by spreading her gospel with private jets.

When I get annoyed I post stuff poking at the annoyance, which is what that post was.  I don’t remember the precise words of the post, but it was something like “You’re children of the Earth.  Fine.  But some of us are orphans of the stars, and we want to go back to our real family.”

Within a couple hours a commenter had posted that I was greedy and entitled (!) and was an ugly American.

The bizarre lashing out was all the more bizarre because I have absolutely no clue what in my post gave any impression of my being “greedy” or even “greedy” for what.  (Stars?)  Even if she had read yesterday’s post (she did, because she accused me of pointless and wasteful consumerism, for wanting to turn on all lights during Earth hour.  Pointless in her mind.  In mine it was clearly telling these idiots where to step off and that no, some of us will not go quietly into the night they wish to impose on us.)

I realized then that “Greedy and entitled” had become the new all-purpose insult, as the old “raccciiiiiiisssss” has gotten frayed.  It’s more useful to the forces of statist obscurantism being vaguer.  Greed is something no one is very sure what it means, except for a nebulous idea of “wanting more than they’re entitled to” (and who decides what you’re entitled to?) and “entitled” is the new cry of various people.  The only person I’ve seen use it in any way that makes sense is Amanda Green who mostly uses it for spoiled children that never grew up, like the kid who thought he shouldn’t be tried for crimes, because he grew up too rich to know good from evil.

But most people use “entitled” to mean either “has more than I do” or “expects more than I think he or she should.”  In such a usage, it is the raised finger of envy screaming “I want what you have.”

The accusation was bizarre not just because it was unprovoked by anything in the post, but because the insult of “ugly American” showed that beyond not knowing her references, this person knew absolutely nothing about me.  What set her off was, very plainly, that I refused to bow to the pieties she thought EVERYONE should bow to and make public obeisance to.  (Which again proves she knew bloody nothing about me.)

Am I greedy?  I have a million sins I could be accused of, but unless the greed in question is for chocolate and I’m depressed (the rest of the time I control it, but I am a stress eater) it’s not even in the realm of possibilities.

Greed is defined as an abnormal or excessive lust for riches, which is so great it harms the individual and those around him.

Uh…

Do I have a lust for riches?  Well, about once a year I remember to buy the lottery (it’s not exactly on my list of priorities) so I can spend a couple of days daydreaming of what I’d do with upteen millions.  You know, the usual: I’d like to establish some sort of competitor to Amazon, because that particular choke point worries me, as more and more of my friends depend on the company for their livelihood; I’d like to pay an honest to heaven publicist to publicize me and my friends whom I think deserve more recognition; I’d like to pay off my sons’ student loans and a bunch of my friends’ debts; I’d like to be able to fly back to Portugal a couple of times a year to maximize the limited time I have with my parents; I’d like to fund the research of a dear friend who is a brilliant scientist specializing on the brain, I’d like to establish a little retreat somewhere — a refurbished hotel or a bunch of cabins or something — where writers whom life has down can come and work and be refreshed.  (Maybe a place with babysitting so older son by adoption can come and work, and take a break from full time child care.)

What I never really dream about is holding on to the wealth and mwahahahahaing over it, because I’m keeping from others.  (No, I wouldn’t twirl my mustache.  Okay, I’m a Mediterranean woman of a certain age, but there are limits on facial hair growth.  Also, there’s hair removal wax.)

Let’s suppose I were so blessed as to win the lottery.  Would this be money I took by unsavory means and which I’m not entitled to?  Depends.  Some people disapprove of games of chance. But I’d be taking the money in exactly the same way other people who buy the lottery hope to.  And legally I’d be entitled to it.

That pecadillo aside how greedy am I?  Well, I do wish I had more money, about three times a day.  Being able to buy a house outright is not very different, since we qualify easily for loans, but being able to pick above the tight spot for finding homes in this region would make a big difference.  And then there’s the kids’ student loans.

Look, being blunt: we did our best to raise our kids on parity with the kids of our friends who had two income families (okay, technically so do we, but if I get sick or things don’t go well, there have been years where my income was 3k)  We never bought them the latest games or the trendy clothes (America is such a blessedly RICH country that by buying from thrift stores and being about five years behind the curve, we made the kids happy, and spent very little.)  BUT we did spend money to enroll them in classes in subjects they showed an interest in; we bought them books and art materials; and we took them places (okay, mostly Denver, but interesting places in Denver.)  I won’t say I have no regrets.  I wish I’d been a little greedier for vile lucre.  We’d be in better shape right now.  But I thought writing was eventually bound to pay off (and maybe it will, as I do more indie work) and though we were tight most of the time, none of my regrets involve the mindless pursuit of lucre long beyond what my family could be said to need.

As for entitled…  Sure, I am that.  I’m entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, particularly the rights codified in the United States constitution.

And I think that’s what rubbed that commenter wrong.

You see, these priests of environmentalism, like all tin-pot dictators and despots are both “entitled” (in their minds) and GREEDY.  They might think — some of them, the smarter ones are out for all they can get in coin of the realm too — they’re very pure because they’re not pursuing lucre.

But their vile hectoring, their attempt to infringe others’ liberties, their appalling  lust for government intervention in the every day activities of otherwise free citizens, is Greed.  It is a much dirtier greed than mere desire for money (particularly if one is willing to work for that money.)  They are greedy for power.

They think they are entitled to tell what you should have and how much of it.

Having swallowed the insanity of closed-pie economics (mostly because it serves their purposes) and the siren song of “To each according to his need, from each according to his ability” they realize such a society necessitates an arbiter of need and ability.  And they want to be that person (or one of a group of such persons, though the cannibal feast tends to ensue then.)

It’s not an accident that every “socialist” dream society ends in an (often hereditary) feudalist nightmare.  It’s baked in the cake.  To take and give, you must have someone who purports more than normal status, and the ability to see into the heart of others.

And these people who come out frothing at the mouth, screaming “Greed and entitlement” are the ones who are greedy for power to tell you what you deserve, and who think they are entitled to ride you, like a puppet master on your back, controlling your every wish and thought.

I advise them to read the very end of Puppet Masters.

And if they can’t stand that, then, well, just be aware that we are free men and women, and we will never give you that power.  Froth and scream, and thrash about how unfair that is.

We are not obligated to gratify your greed for control nor your obscene lust for power.  In fact the millions of graves your system of thought filled in the 20th century obligates us to resist you with every fiber of our being.

And we will.

 

369 responses to “All the Greed

  1. Greedy and entitled. I think that translates to “Doesn’t want to give the government money to spend on me or causes I believe in”

  2. Earth first, we’ll log the other planets later.

    Somewhat more seriously, I have never heard of Earth Hour, except on this blog. I don’t turn all the lights in the house on, because I don’t want to pay the light bill. But these people don’t understand basic facts. The water runs through the dam and creates the same amount of electricity, whether it is used or not. Unless there is actually more demand than there is electricity, (such as the brownouts in California) conserving helps nothing but your electrical bill. It isn’t like if you save enough electricity we can shut the dam off for the holidays.

    • Larry Patterson

      Unless the dam is no more, taken down to preserve the environment.

    • What! I thought the electric company was packing up that saved electricity and shipping it to a needy village in Africa!

    • Nope. Hydro power can be throttled. You don’t turn dams on or off, you turn individual generator / turbines on and off.

      Now, when you bring a generator online, it’s very important that it be in phase with the grid. If it’s not, the entire power of the grid will bring it into phase.

      This was tested once that I know of. The roof of the turbine vault was rapidly vapor-plated with copper, and the 8″ diameter generator axle became kind of pretzelish. Miraculously, nobody died.

      Like the quasars, this says “Don’t do that!”.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Yeah. Electricity is generated at the exact same time it is used.

        There is a unavoidable amount of variation in load. This is handled by many small generators that can be turned on and off rapidly with little notice. These mostly need to be fossil fuel, and cannot be as efficient as a larger generator that uses the same fuel.

        Solar and wind have significant inherent variation in power production. Any capacity that includes these must include at least as much power in conventional generators whose scale makes them less efficient than if the capacity had been filled with purely conventional generation.

        • TVA solved the load balancing problem quite nicely by building a lake on top of Raccoon Mountain near Chattanooga. When they generate excess power they use it to pump water up from the river at the mountain’s base into the lake. During peak load demand the water flows back through generators to supply additional power. Supposedly this system represents the equivalent of one nuclear reactor.
          Such a system has been proposed in numerous other locations, and is always quashed by greens who insist that it’s unnatural and destructive to the environment.

          • Xcel Energy has a setup like that in Colorado.

          • That’s called pump storage. The problem is that pump storage is actually fairly inefficient as efficient turbines make lousy pumps. Still is does work for load balancing. The local power companies actually built the first one here in CT, mostly for railroad power supply. It also has the advantage of having two more dams down stream.

            • … pump storage is actually fairly inefficient as efficient turbines make lousy pumps.

              I may not be understanding something, but why would you be using your turbines to do the pumping? Why not have an actual, efficient pump and use the excess power that you don’t need at the moment to run it?

              • Pumped storage plants are very capital intensive, Using the reversible turbine/Pump to turn/be turned by a motor/generator saves several million dollars.

            • There is a pump storage facility on both the American and Canadian side of Niagara. Downstream of the falls.

              Niagara Falls is an interesting example of keeping things in their “natural state”. If a significant portion of the Niagara River water flow was not diverted to power generation, and if the Falls were not maintained, particularly the Horseshoe Falls on the American side, Niagara Falls would now be the Niagara Rapids. Fast flowing water absolutely loves eroding things. This (http://www.ericfielddesign.com/images/niagara.jpg) shows the backward procession of the Horseshoe Falls. And if you look up historic pictures of the falls, you’ll note that it wasn’t so horseshoey in some early paintings and illustrations.

              But everyone wants Niagara Falls preserved just as it is, because to most people’s minds the current state of the falls is the natural state, and it should be that way forever and always. The innkeepers want them to stay that way for sure.

            • Makes me wonder what will happen when someone finally does come up with a really efficient battery so the loads can stay roughly the same and just charge up the battery banks while at times of low usage.

              • When that happens, there will be a LOT of power plants closed. Grid operations will probably become a lot simpler.

                But, I would not hold my breath waiting for that. High energy density long life batteries are just around the corner like fusion power.

                • Fair enough. It’s something I’ve pondered on, but I am not an engineer. On the other hand the guy who DOES figure it out will probably be rich for the rest of eternity. Mean while… story fodder!

                • I don’t know – graphene/graphene oxide supercapacitors might be on the way to making that a reality.

                  • In my almost 40 years of being a professional engineer, I have seen almost yearly pronouncements from some lab that they have solved the problem of fusion power, high temperature superconductors, or high energy density batteries. Just a LITTLE more funding and/or time and we will make it happen……. 🙂 And always, it flubs for one reason or another, and the new “earthshaking” development is never heard from again.

                    As I said, I won’t hold my breath waiting for it to happen. I’ll be overjoyed when it does happen.

                    • Where as I, the geologist, am just sitting here taking notes for stories that take place in the near-ish (100-200 years or so) future stories.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    You’ve got three efficencies. The efficiency of the conversion from electricity to stored potential energy. The inefficiencies of stored potential energy lost over time. The efficiency of the conversion from stored potential energy to electricity.

                    Thermodynamics suggests that we won’t get the conversion steps to 100%, and the loss will likely go to heat. Analogy with a heat engine suggests there might be a hard theoretical limit to chemical storage conversion efficiency, perhaps driven by the difference between the high and low energy states of the chemistry.

                    Hearsay is that real world efficiencies vary with the rate of loading and unloading. There are certain cycles that are predictable, and that yield the best efficiencies and lifespan.

                    For grid applications, the loading is potentially predictable, but the unloading probably is not*. Which makes the unloading heating unpredictable, which potentially makes temperature and hence efficiency unpredictable. At national scale, even 2%** losses are a lot of heat. Which suggests passive cooling with low storage density, active cooling with energy costs, or a storage chemistry that works well across a wide range of high temperatures***.

                    DC has more problems with transmission losses, and I’ve never heard of an AC battery.
                    You wouldn’t need to have to replace batteries all that often to wipe the ‘energy savings’ of ‘renewables’ even neglecting the original and replacement costs of the ‘renewables’.

                    *Due diligence of alternatives suggests hooking all electrical use to a master scheduling system. Such that you don’t turn the light on, you send a scheduling request, and the system maybe turns the light on in a minute. I think this sounds very prone to malfunction.

                    **Pulled out of the air, but we would probably do well to have total storage losses under that.

                    ***I’d guess the high efficiency consumer batteries wouldn’t work, and we’d need alternative high temperature technology.

        • Solar tends to experience sudden drops on cloudy days.

          That we should be experimenting with energy sources inherently subject to fluctuations (solar and wind) at a time when our electronic devices require greater and greater cleanliness in their power supply (while abandoning nuclear) is clear evidence of Cosmic Irony (or human stupidity … to quote General Mattis: “It’s like America has lost faith in rational thought.”)

          • If you want to have fun, ask an environmentalist to explain what a ‘Watt’ is. More fun can be had by getting them to explain other concepts like ‘energy density’.

      • Paralleling 2 generators 30° out of phase can cause a whole ship to shudder and shake, and makes a big thump as the generators try to break their mounting bolts. I’ve heard it. Twice. I was near the generators for the first one. Knew what it was the second time from a few decks away (on a different ship) because I had heard it once before. Heard a story about two generators paralleled 180° out. One of the generators turned upside down. Don’t know if it’s true, but sounds believable after hearing the sound of 30° out.

    • I finally went to Whole Foods a couple years ago searching for pumpernickel. They have some cool overpriced goods. I was about to check out when the store announced that they were turning down the lights for Earth Hour. I had to appologize to my wife later for embarrassing her because the following spontaneously burst loudly from my mouth. “Oh My God! I can’t buy anything from a store that buys into this idiotic fucking eco fascist bullshit!!!” I dropped my goods in the aisle and stormed out to the car.

      I guess I’m not who they’re aiming their marketing at. I will never go into one again. Which is sad because that is the only place in Reno that I found with pumpernickel.

    • Blond_Engineer

      Ask anyone who runs the power grid and they’ll tell you Earth Hour is a nightmare, because the spike in demand as everything comes back on after is actually worse than just leaving everything on for that hour. These people do not think through their self-congratulating virtue signaling to see the real world consequences.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I was just thinking about that in general, when writing today’s wall of text.

        Predictable demand allows for more efficient power supply, and leaving everything on all the time is predictable. Especially compared to flipping things off and on all the time to ‘save energy’.

        • In rebellion to the “let’s ban incandescent light bulbs so that LEDs and CFLs don’t have competition to drive down their prices, and do so in the name of saving the environment” nonsense, I have decided that if I am being forced to buy LEDs, I might as well stop turning the lights on and off when I enter the room.

          And do you know what I discovered? It’s actually *pleasant* to be able to walk from room to room, without being surrounded by dark caves that only light up after you enter the room and find the light switch!

  3. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Slightly off topic, those assholes (and their asshole cousins) are creating hatred toward themselves and can’t imagine that the hatred could be unleashed against them.

    I don’t worry (too much) about them being the victims of that hatred, but in the case of their cousins, I worry about the innocents who would also real victims of that hatred. 😦

    • See my comment slightly further downblog (albeit chronologically preceding this) about those who imagine themselves capable of knowing your place and putting you in it. They conceive themselves modern aristos and demonstrate the fate of those willfully, adamantly ignorant* of History.

      We are obligated to let them say their piece; we are not obligated to imagine them serious, intelligent or worthy of attention, for they are none of those.

      *Misinterpretation of facts is its own particular hell of ignorance.

      • The thing is, the original Aristos had actual “divine right” arguments (albeit etherial and ultimately susceptible to your-head-being-chopped-off-disproves-your-divine-right counter arguments) for why they should be in charge.

        The moderns ones just wish it to be so.

        • Meh. Give them time, they’ll manufacture it. Defenders of the Defenseless tend to “know” what solutions are required via Divine communion with the Unexpressed Will of the People.

          Sorta the same way union bosses know what their members require to make their lives better.

        • If you really press it, the original Aristos became Aristos because someone down the line was bloody good with a sword.
          If your lot of wannabe Aristos won’t take up arms, your lot won’t be Aristos for too long.

          • Good with a sword if male … and if female, spreading her legs for the right man; either a man with a sword, or one of his wealthy and powerful descendants.

            Why, yes — I’m a cynic and an old-line, small r-republican. Why do you ask?

            • No, the female has to avoid hopping into the bed until she has some conditions on it, or the kid doesn’t inherit.

    • Also, they are creating indifference and outright hostility towards the ideas of conservation and environmentalism. While those two are now used way too much in wrong ways, and overused, they do have merit (remember what some streams and water in general close to cities, and their air used to be like in near history, and still is in some parts of the world – people died and still die), and throwing them completely out would not be a good thing.

      The boy who cried wolf syndrome.

      • Whats funny is that, technically, me and people like me have actually put more money towards conservation than they have…

        • Rather like hunters are the single biggest group supporting game conservation, and the Farmer who sold us the land we’ve got was angrier about the over grazing of the guy HE got it from than any hundred city environmentalists.

          • See, for example, the long-standing and very productive alliance between the Audubon Society and Ducks Unlimited. Lots of good work protecting wetlands and migratory birds (among other things).

            I note with some amusement, however, that the folks at Ducks Unlimited appear to be far more incensed about the birds killed by wind turbines than are the higher-ups at the Audubon Society.

            In the interests of disclosure: I am not now and (almost) never have been a hunter — I did go pheasant hunting once, as a kid. That said, I have nothing whatsoever against sustainable levels of hunting, nor against consuming the very tasty results thereof.

          • That’s exactly what i was referring to. Hunters, would-be hunters, gun owners that aren’t hunters, all put money toward conservation either directly or through causes the companies they buy things from support.

          • *nod* I’ve been a hunter and fisherman for most of my life, and a conservationist. Deer, elk, and waterfowl populations are as a result of conservation efforts, not the ecologists.

          • In response to both your comment, and the comments that follow: this reminds me of the efforts in Africa to save elephants by hunting them, and by a certain farmer to save a rare breed of cow by slaughtering them.

            When the village depends on the income of big-game hunters, and get the meat of the elephant after the hunt, they tend to be a *lot* more protective of the elephants that are living, and a *lot* less tolerant of poachers in their midst, than when elephant hunting is outright illegal.

            Similarly, if eating a special breed of cow becomes popular, that rare breed is going to become less rare, as a consequence of the law of supply and demand.

            The lesson is: if you want humans to preserve something, encourage them to eat it!

            • I wonder how many of our domestic animals would exist at all if we hadn’t decided they were useful and made an effort to be sure they stuck around.

            • Free-range Oyster

              If humanity is aware of your species, two of your best survival traits (collectively) are being cute and being tasty.

      • Baron von Cut-n-Paste

        I am reminded of something I read in somewhere (I can’t for the life of me remember where), to the effect that environmentalism is about protecting the environment from humanity, whereas conservationism is about protecting the environment for the sake of humanity.
        It seems like the small souled whack-jobs spouting the former are tarnishing the reputation of the later, likely with unfortunate consequences down the line.

    • I think we’re edging towards that cusp when society is going to just… Snap might be a good term for it. On this side of the divide, you can agitate all you like for gender-free bathrooms, women in the combat arms, and all sorts of other contra-survival insanity.

      On the other side, people are going to look at your Shrillary or Bernie bumper sticker, and decide that “This person wants us to live in Venezuela or Argentina, and put me into a re-education camp so I agree with their fantasies… Why am I not shooting them in the back of the head, before they can do that to me and mine…?”.

      The fact that some former NCO from the NCO club that William Ayers intended to set a bomb off hasn’t gone to his front door, knocked on it, and then shot him to death is an indicator that most Americans are willing to live and let live. When more people realize that there are some people who actually believe the bullshit they spout (example: William Ayers and his blithe ideas about putting several tens of millions of his fellow American citizens into death camps because they don’t agree with his ideology…), there is going to be a comeuppance. It won’t be pretty, and I think we’re all going to be a little sad that the “good old days” of now, when there weren’t really consequences for espousing political insanity, are gone forever.

      I really find myself having to leash my anger when dealing with these blithe idiots, who tell me that Bernie is going to fix everything by going down the rabbit-hole that Chavez took Venezuela. The more of these morons I encounter, who are immune to any form of rational argument or fact, the more I suspect that the only really effective way to deal with them is through outright violence and disenfranchisement. Once they convince enough other people of that fact, I really don’t think we’re going to like what happens. I’m not waiting on my tickets for the trains to the re-education camps, frankly: When the time comes that I see those as being inevitable arrivals in my mailbox, I’m doing something about it, pre-emptively. Whether that’s a grand, futile gesture of insanity, or as part of a general movement that finally sees this for what it is, an existential war between ideologies, I don’t know. But, I think this election is going to be something of an historical cusp: On one side, there’s still hope for non-violent reform and a righting of the ship of state; on the other, we’re going to have to embrace violent revolution, because these idiots who think economic law derives from human desires aren’t going to have it any other way.

      Hell, we may get both, as these petulant children don’t strike me as being the type to comprehend that they lost a fair election.

      • Ponder this about the fluffy headed, left wing eternal children- where’s their adults? To actually possess power, you need to have the means of forcing your will on others, which means soldiers and cops.

        The whinging SJW safespace brigade isn’t exactly lining up at the recruitment offices, nor are they filling up the police academies. They’re not exactly driving the AR-15 boom or are they filling up the lanes at shooting ranges. So the soldiers and cops aren’t coming from their side.

        Likewise, they’re not exactly getting on the good side of the people who actually have guns and the knowledge to use them.

        • Perhaps the best response to them then is:

          You need a time-out! Go to your room and don’t come out until you’re ready to apologize and stop being such a jerk to those around you!

        • “Ponder this about the fluffy headed, left wing eternal children- where’s their adults? To actually possess power, you need to have the means of forcing your will on others, which means soldiers and cops.”

          Which is why I think a bunch of them are going to wind up decorating lampposts, trees, and other public objects, suspended by hemp ropes. Still more are going to wind up shot in the face by people they decide to “confront”.

          Overall, I sense a growing loss of patience and understanding among the class of people “likely to do something”. About the time you tell some of them that their wife and little girl are just going to have to risk sharing their public bathrooms with sexual deviants, and that’s just the price of being “sensitive to the needs of the transgendered”, you’re risking them going from “Well, that’s amusing, but I disagree…” to “You need to die. Now.”.

          This whole idea of governance and leadership by petulance? Yeah, it ain’t going to work out so well, for the petulant. Abrogate the rules of civilization, in the name of forwarding your cause? Guess what, dumbass: You’re not the only ones who can be “transgressive”. Transgression isn’t just when the homosexual AIDS activists disrupt a Catholic service; it’s also when the people at that service decide they’ve had enough, and drag the activists out front to re-enact the burning at the stake of various heretics…

          Make transgression the norm, and see what happens: You likely won’t care for it, not one damn little bit. This is the point that the Muslims would do well to gain an understanding of–You use violence, and that opens up the option of others using violence against you, in return. And, if they’re better at it, because their culture is more effective at employing it? Yeah, you might just go extinct as a religion, and a lot quicker than you think possible.

          • They’ll probably allow their White Privilege to compel them to entrust a bunch of African-American gang-bangers to prove to them just how much Black Lives do Matter, just as the Occupy Wall Street crowd found their ideals and principles put into effect.

            • I’m reminded of the lyrics to the Who’s “The Punk and the Godfather”
              “You declared you would be three inches taller
              You only became what we made you.
              Thought you were chasing a destiny calling
              You only earned what we gave you.
              You fell and cried as our people were starving,
              Now you know that we blame you.
              You tried to walk on the trail we were carving,
              Now you know that we framed you”

          • “This is the point that the Muslims would do well to gain an understanding of–You use violence, and that opens up the option of others using violence against you, in return.”

            I’ve always liked Donald Hamilton. The Matt Helm principle states that so eloquently:

            “Once you open the door between civilized behavior and the jungle, I’m entitled to kick it the rest of the way open and walk through it just as far as I care to, until someone better or just meaner than I am stops me.”

            • It is always a mistake to open the door to violence, especially when you don’t have a good handle on what your own capabilities are in regards to dishing it out or taking it.

              I had a young idiot working for me, once, who was big, bold, and fond of throwing his weight around. He was a bully, but smart enough that he never did any of his bullying in ways or places where the leadership could catch him at his little games. The unit leadership had no clue what he was up to after hours, and nobody was telling us, either–Omerta isn’t just a mob thing, it’s also a junior enlisted value.

              I got a call, late one evening, telling me that he was in the base hospital, beaten nearly beyond recognition, and unconscious. Since I was on duty, I had to go over and do the due diligence, trying to find out what the hell had happened. The particulars were never made clear to the higher-ups, because nobody would testify on the record, but through the grapevine, I got the story of that night. Apparently, he’d chosen to “hassle” one of the newer troops, who had his girlfriend from home visiting him in the barracks. While he was punching the new guy in the gut, his girlfriend demonstrated her ranking in some strike-oriented martial art, and struck the back of his head several times, hard enough to fracture his skull. The X-rays showed clear knuckle impacts. After our hero was on the ground, several other people took the opportunity to put the boots to him, as a salutary lesson in why it’s not a good idea to piss off your peers. Not one person in the crowd witnessing this tried to intervene or stop what happened, and if the Charge of Quarters NCO hadn’t literally stumbled over the body in the darkness during the aftermath, odds are that nobody would have noticed this jewel of a human being until the following morning. He’d quite literally been left for dead by his “buddies”.

              I honestly can’t say I was sorry, once the whole story came out. They sent him off to another unit, shortly after he came out of the hospital.

              • ‘What happened to him, Sergeant?
                “Sir, he fell up the stairs. Sir.”
                It is at this point that you learn much about your junior officers,

                • Patrick Chester

                  “Well, when he wakes let him know grav belts aren’t toys.”

                • He fell up the stairs.

                  Ten times.

                  • Anonymous Coward

                    From the BBC Sherlock series :
                    DI Lestrade: And exactly how many times did he fall out of a window?
                    Sherlock Holmes: It’s all a bit of a blur, Detective Inspector. I lost count.

              • Part of the problem with rendering “justice” in this idiots case would have been the sheer incongruity of bringing the young lady who knocked his stupid ass out into the picture: She was about 5’4″, 90lbs soaking wet, and about as threatening-looking as a mouse.

                The fact that she also had an extensive criminal record for violence? A propensity for beating the hell out of people, and a couple of rankings in some rather esoteric martial arts…? Yeah, that was kinda irrelevant. They’d have put her on the stand, all mousy-looking, with her big black glasses, and then put him up there, in all his muscle-bound glory, and the outcome would have been pretty well ordained.

                The powers-that-were got a quick informal briefing on what happened, and they decided the better part of valor was not to even bother making an issue of it, even though she’d damn near killed the guy. She hit his head hard enough that his face left bruises on her boyfriend’s chest. The doctor who did the examination of the X-rays wanted to know where the hell we’d found what he termed “the attack pygmy”, because the damage to the skin and the underlying bone made it very obvious that a pair of small fists had hit this idiot in a brutal combination that left him unconscious for most of the following day, and disoriented for the next week. I got a look at her hands, and the build-up of calluses on her skin and the general deformation of the knuckles made it very plain that she’d spent a bunch of time punching stuff. Hard.

                Definitely a clear case of the female being more dangerous than the male–Her boyfriend was just this big, happy goofball, never had a cross word with anyone, and had about as much killer instinct as a bunny. She had literally done significant time in jail for assault and battery, on the other hand–Her visit, I found out later, happened to coincide with her release. She was actually on probation, if I remember it right.

                Oh, and her attitude? Pugnacious doesn’t begin to describe it. Defiant? Oh, yeah–I don’t know what the hell went into making that young lady what she was, but I’m really, really glad I wasn’t a part of it, because I think that if they hadn’t already felt retribution, they were going to. I never got the details, but from the scars on her personality, I rather suspect it was ugly as hell. Trying to beat up her boyfriend, who apparently was her only real anchor or friend in normal society? Bad, bad idea. She’d come around the corner of the building, seen what was happening, and snapped.

                Always wondered what happened to those two. I hope they wound up somewhere nice, though.

      • Welcome to where I’ve been since 2003.

  4. Greed may be a sin, but passing judgment on that isn’t for fallible humans. When they do, all I hear is envy. Which is also a sin.

    • I think I just trapped myself in an infinite rhetorical loop there–could someone pass me the space-time scissors so I can cut myself free?

    • Judge not lest ye be judged… But you will be judged, so have at it.

      “Who am I to judge” is pernicious nonsense. Translated it means “Your values? Oh, no, you’re doing this all wrong!”.

      • “But you’re being judgemental!” *whine*

        Yes. And during my time as an aircraft mechanic, and as a powerplant worker, people’s lives and livelihoods relied on my trained and experienced judgement. And you infer that my being judgemental is a bad thing?

        • That depends on your judgment.

        • I heard a young lady whine once because her pastor wouldn’t preside over her 3rd marriage. To someone she had a baby with while with her second husband. Complaining because she thought ministers were supposed to be “non-judgemental”. Think she had them mixed up with social workers. All us older people listening laughed when she said that.

          • 🙂 My dad is a retired minister. He would routinely refuse to let his churches be used for weddings if the couple to be married weren’t interested in being regular church-goers (they didn’t have to commit to his church, just affirm that they planned to attend a church regularly). Marriage is a sacrament of his faith, and he refused to profane the sacrament because a couple like the ambiance of a church.

            • That’s just soooooo discriminatory! A couple has the inalienable right to whatever stage set setting best expresses their sense of what they will be.

              It isn’t as if a church is a house of G-d, after all; He doesn’t pay property taxes, does He.

              • Yup, discriminatory. As in discriminating–to choose between two or more different things. My dad doesn’t (and I don’t) equate being discriminating with being bigoted. If you can’t discriminate between two things, you can’t tell them apart. Anyone who says they don’t discriminate is either a liar or an idiot (or both).

      • “Judge not, lest ye be judged” never meant not to judge at all. It actually meant, be aware that the rules you use to judge others’ conduct will also be used to judge your own. In essence, don’t be a hypocrite–walk it like you talk it.

        • Crap. Next you’ll try telling me that that Commandment means it is murder I cannot commit, that killing is okay.

          • Well, that is pretty much what it says, there, in black-and-white. Provided you have a literate translator, that is…

            As much Yahweh-sanctioned killing as there is in the Old Testament, I’m rather astonished that anyone ever noticed the discrepancy there, in the Commandments: “Wait a minute… “Thou shalt not kill”? WTF? What the hell is going on here with Elijah, those two bears, and the 42 dead kids, who were just making fun of him…? That seems to be a pretty clear endorsement of the idea of gratuitous killing by the Lord, for making fun of one of his prophets… What kind of hypocrite are we dealing with, here, anyway?”.

            • According to a bunch of people, the forty-two “kids” should be read as “youths”, e.g. teenagers. And given how Elijah had left the world (carried to heaven on a chariot of fire, according to the Bible), the phrase “go on up, you baldhead” essentially turns into “why don’t you go ahead and die like your mentor did”. (Elijah had been Elishah’s mentor, and it was Elishah who was being jeered at in this incident). If that reading of the passage is correct*, it’s not so much a case of “making fun of the Lord’s prophet” as it is a case of “making death threats“.

              * And though I acknowledge that I’m not an expert and could be wrong, I think it probably is correct.

              • I’ve seen half-a-dozen different interpretations and explanations of that passage, and to be honest, I don’t know which one has the right of it. As to mistaking Elishah for Elijah, I plead that it’s been awhile since I last read the pertinent passages, and I simply fat-fingered (brained?) the right name…

                Me, personally? Being a victim of male-pattern baldness, I like to think it’s a commentary on what a bad idea it is to make fun of those of us who are follicularly deprived–You never know when one of those bald old coots is actually someone who speaks for the Lord, and might have divine retribution in his pocket.

                That, and I always get all weepy-eyed when nature gets to take its course with the disrespectful. I get all sniffly, thinking of those bears finally getting a decent meal, there in the land of Israel. Lord knows, good salmon is hard to find thereabouts…

                • And while olives and dates are often mentioned, I don’t recall a single mention of berries in the bible.

                  • Bear-appropriate provender was likely at a premium, and the Lord provided. Quite reminds me of the old joke about the atheist who started praying when the bear attacked him. While he was praying, God inquired of him why he hadn’t heard from him before, and the atheist responded with surprise that he’d never felt the need before, and would God be so kind as to send a good Christian to his aid.

                    The bear immediately started saying “Grace” before eating the atheist.

                • It is a beautiful passage.

              • Given what I know about middle eastern culture– that it’s not far off of a deadly version of high school– any kind of public mocking is step one to violent assault.

            • Semantic drift. At the time, you would “slay” and sometimes that was your “killing” them. We would say “kill” and “murdering.”

  5. …bathos…

    I appreciate reading someone who employs an wide and varied vocabulary well.

  6. Larry Patterson

    He railed against greed and entitlement
    As the words filled us with bafflement.
    This dreamy secular preacher
    Was a very poor teacher
    Or an advocate of self-resentment.

  7. There are two kinds of people in this world: makers and takers. When makers look at their thin slice of the pie, they think “I should go make more pie.” Takers, on the other hand, scream that the distribution is unfair and demand that we slice it again, with them holding the knife.

    Happy belated Lenin’s Birthday!

    • Yeah. Lenin’s birthday. Because celebrating just one evil thing isn’t enough! They had to celebrate Earth cultism too.

      • They’re just practicing what they’ve accused Christians of doing, smuggling in their pagan holidays in the guise of contemporary Liturgy.

        As Christmas subsumes Saturnalia, as Easter loots Ēostre, as All Hallows Eve with Samhain, so Earth Day with Lenin’s Birthday — with the distinction that this last preaches essentially the same theology in different guise.

        • *twitch* *twitch* *twitch*
          *****
          Ah well, not the first time that the thing they accused others of doing, falsely, is what they’re doing, truly…..

      • Holy carp. I had no idea.

    • I have no source for this, but I seem to recall that one of the founders of Earth Day had chosen a different day (April 20, I seem to recall) and was distressed when it was moved to Lenin’s birthday — and I even seem to recall that the move to Lenin’s birthday was *deliberate*.

      It would be one thing if this were a coincidence, but it’s not. If I’m not mistaken, of course…(sometimes I encounter things that I learn later to be false…)

  8. It didn’t help my mood that the whole Earth Day thing is an abominable boondoggle.

    Until I read this it had not occurred to me to be thankful for the national cult of celebrity. I am suddenly appreciative of the timing of the passing of Prince and for the endless reporting thereon which blew Earth Day out of the news cycle.

  9. When they shriek at you, just respond with something like this:

    “It’s adorable and amusing when you leftists get all apoplectic about us rational people who see through your silly prattings. You provide us with endless enjoyment, much like the poo-flinging monkeys at the zoo!”

    Not being taken seriously, being called childish and being laughed at, is something they hate above almost anything else. And if you take this tack, you may find that others around you will join in, as many agree but don’t want to be the first to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

  10. “Greedy and Entitled” (Geeze — sounds like a Public Interest law firm, don’t it?) is simply contemporary cant for “doesn’t know her place.” It is a term only employed by those enlightened individuals who believe themselves entitled to determine your proper place and firmly put you in it.

    The only reasonable answer to such an accusation, of course, is “suck on it” or some equivalent.

    • “Greedy and Entitled” […] sounds like a Public Interest law firm, don’t it?

      The parent corporation of Dewey, Cheathem, and Howe, I believe. ;a0

    • Really? I thought it sounded like a movie title.

      You know, there are actually a couple decent plots that could attach to that sort of title, at least for lots of big explosions levels of decent. Is there any other level of decent that Hollywood aspires to these days?

      I mean, we just watched White Nights with the kids, because Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines.. The kids were not really wowed until the next day, because it was so different in plot than the modern films they’ve seen, it wasn’t what they expected. Okay, the dances got them right away, especially the eleven pirouettes, because after eight months of ballet instruction, they have enough inkling to appreciate them, and they were shocked at how everyone smoked, but the plot took about twenty-four hours to soak in. I might actually watch films if they all had that level of plot–it’s not a great plot, but it’s not trite.

  11. I had an insight on greed during the occupy protests:

    On one hand, we have an investment banker who wants to be wealthy. He works 10 hour days, almost always including Saturdays and sometimes Sundays too, at a job that’s frankly pretty boring.

    On the other hand, we have people who would never work more than 40 hours a week and would frankly prefer something closer to 30. They want jobs that are meaningful and make them happy rather than being “soul destroying.” Yet even though they would never dream of making his sacrifices, they believe they are entitled to what the investment banker has anyway.

    Which of these two is really greedy?

    • I liked the girl who reported her laptop was stolen.

      She went there to agitate for the redistribution of property. Fine, her property was redistributed… what’s the problem?

  12. you open that retreat, and you want a maint. staff, and someone to run the kitchen my better half and I might be available, especially if it’s far away from the rat race

  13. What is wrong with being greedy?

    I always ask that of anyone throwing greedy around as a perjorative. Most of those using it can’t tell you what’s wrong with it. They have simply been told that greedy is bad so they use it as n insult.

    As for entitled… Damn right I’m greedy and entitled!

    • Two analyses, first from Hollywood:


      People forget that the Clinton boom of the Nineties was a consequence of the Michael Milliken / Gordon Gekko liberatiion of locked up assets through “unconventional” financing.

      • Second, from Milton (PBUH) Friedman,


        explaining how Free Markets force Greed into productive channels by preventing powerful interests from forcing people to purchase mediocre products which don’t serve the buyers’ needs but enrich the well-connected (which raises the question of why Hillary won’t release the transcripts of her highly compensated speeches to Wall Street bankers.)

        • …(which raises the question of why Hillary won’t release the transcripts of her highly compensated speeches to Wall Street bankers.)

          Question both Raised and Answered.

          • When pressed directly she said she would when other candidates released theirs, totally neglecting the simple fact that no other candidate gives paid speeches at anywhere close to what she demands.
            Sure they may do fund raisers, either for themselves or for their party, but she and Billy boy rake in serious coin supposedly just for showing up at a gathering and speaking for an hour or so. What about we apparently are not to be privileged to know.

        • Baron von Cut-n-Paste

          Obamacare mandates, anyone?

    • Well I ain’t entitled, and neither should any other American be! There’s a reason we didn’t establish a nobility when we established this country.

    • On a philosophical aside, greed becomes greed rather than simply desire when it starts getting out of control. One element of greed is covetousness. “I want his car” is greed. “I want a car like his” is desire. Another element is envy. “I’m so MAD he has a better car than I do.” “I want the specific things he has” leads to things like theft. Envy leads to misery. And usually the people who genuinely are greedy are never satisfied. “I got that car, yay! Wait… Bill has an even BETTER one, why can’t I have THAT one?” It can be a very destructive cycle.

    • To those who really think about it, “greed” is where you have ambition — whether it be for power, or for money, or for anything, really — and that ambition drives you to the point that it destroys the relationships of those around you, pushes you to take risks that destroy you, and perhaps even drives you to commit crimes. Greed is indeed a horrible thing.

      The problem, however, is when you have a worthwhile goal — it could be to own a mansion, or to have enough money for a decent retirement, or to donate to help others, or even merely to have a happy family (oh, heck, let’s be *really* ambitious, and say “I want all of the above”) — and you seek to provide products and services to others, to earn the money that will help you to achieve that goal — and you do so with the help and support of your spouse and friends, and do your best to be responsible and helpful for those around you — if you want to then keep your earnings so you could achieve your goal, you are called a “greedy monster”, and the word “greed” conjures up images of the first to vilify something that is fantastic…

  14. …we did our best to raise our kids on parity with the kids of our friends who had two income families (okay, technically so do we, but if I get sick or things don’t go well, there have been years where my income was 3k).

    Man, I hear ya! Ditto in Casa Ney-Grimm.

    I wish I’d been a little greedier for vile lucre. We’d be in better shape right now. But I thought writing was eventually bound to pay off (and maybe it will, as I do more indie work)…

    Heh. That too, although my “trad pub” days were as an editor/art director in the game industry (not a high paying position, alas), and I’ve only indie pubbed my novels/novellas.

    • Reality Observer

      Three K would be an excellent start… For now, I’ll settle for continuing this latest streak of 3K words a day.

      • I think I’m jealous of your 3K words! I right at the beginning of a book (after a too long break), which is when I’m always slowest. Keep up that streak, Reality Observer. 😀

  15. Captain Comic

    I’m reminded of the fact that each and every one of the five WorldCons I’ve attended (including flying over to London) has a global warming/climate change panel.

    NONE of which ever bothers to use the word “anthropogenic” which is, seriously, eighty or ninety percent of the argument.

    Kim Stanley Robinson loves to be on this and his smug-cloud usually drives me off in five to ten minutes max.

    And this “We are the We the world’s been waiting for” attitude is getting in to so many other parts of the Con and fandom in general…

    On the other hand, I’ve put in the order for Ribbon Revenge II: The Do It Againing.

    And just to drive a point home, I used my Darth Vader Visa card to pay.

    Sometimes it’s the little things.

    • Oh really?

      A ‘global warming’ panel has never been considered for the cons with which I am involved. Should someone suggest a global warming bonfire … eh … maybe. Let’s roast us some wienies … environmental wienies that is.

    • I have a button that reads, “Anthropogenic Global Warming is just a theory, like Aether and Phlogiston.”

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        AWG is Chemtrails, and the only necessary and sufficient remedy is a do-not-fly list for environmentalists.

      • I have been assured that quantum foam isn’t just aether with a shiny new package, but it’s still the same thing with shiny new terminology as far as I can tell.

        Of course, I’m the one who angered an instructor by pointing out that didn’t prove that there wasn’t an aether, as the textbook said – it just proved that if there was, the experiment lacked the resolution to detect it.

        • When I was taking physics, we talked about the tension an object pulling on a string a tiny object would put on it. The equation involved was divided by a cosine, implying that no matter how tiny the object, there would always be an indentation in the string–that it would be impossible to have the string perfectly straight, while something was hanging on it.

          I tried to make the case that yes, it was indeed possible, but it would have to involve a special case — perhaps the atoms will lock in such a way that adding another molecule on top would still keep it perfectly straight. The more I see evidence that everything is quantized (indeed, Instapundit had a link that suggests *inertia* may somehow be quantized), the more I wonder how accurate I was.

          This went over the head of the person I was trying to explain this to…

          (In that same class, we had an assignment to draw a bunch of circles, use string around the circumference, and then divide it by the diameter, to see that the calculations come to be the same 3.14ish number. As a mathematician, I thought that the exercise was stupid — we were dealing with definitions, after all — and nowadays, I would go so far as to say that if we were to conduct the same pointless exercise, we should be using the radius rather than the diameter, to get a 6.28ish number. Now that I think about it — I could be wrong about this, but I’m fairly certain this wasn’t a part of the exercise — had they made an effort to show that we can only get to a certain amount of accuracy by doing this, via statistical analysis of the measurements, I think I would have liked the experiment better…)

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Five to ten minutes? I think I’d skip any panel he was on.

    • Kin Stanley Robinson? How many science degrees does he have?

      Oh, that’s right. None!

    • Well either anthropogenic or the efficacy of proposed “solutions”

  16. Happy feast of St. George! (No offense Drak/Paul.)

    Because of a host of school activities, we were spared the annual self-flagellation this year. I was careful to point out, apropos of the already-scheduled lesson a few weeks ago, that the USSR created a few spectacular environmental disasters (Caspian and Aral Seas, RIP). But yeah, conservation is not the human default condition, if by conservation you mean locking up land that no one can hike, gather, hunt, or otherwise touch and ordering people not to touch dangerous or pestiferous critters and plants. Doing what is possible to keep the land fertile and to (sometimes) reduce waste? Yup, at least until someone finds a new continent and we get a little expansive for a few years, until we have the need and resources to start conserving again.

    • [C]onservation is not the human default condition

      Historically, humanity has been more inclined to engage in massive environmental despoliation, such as Swidden “Slash ‘N’ Burn” Cultivation or driving large herds of land mammals off cliffs. For the most part our effect has been essentially limited by our trivialness and Nature’s resilience.

      Of course, it figures that as we finally approach intelligent well-considered land use practices there would develop a cult of retrogradients demanding we fall back down the slope of human knowledge.

      Sigh – think of all the jobs that would be created if we abandoned fossil fuels and returned to wooden plows and hand-cultivated farms.

      • Sigh – think of all the jobs that would be created if we abandoned fossil fuels and returned to wooden plows and hand-cultivated farms.

        Nope – Hunter-Gatherer is the only allowable level. Plows are an abomination unto Gaia and only gathering what happens to self-propagate is honorous and reverential enough the most holy ball of rock and dirt. See the total planetary homo-* primate population levels from before humans and dogs hooked up and prior for the resulting human depopulation targets.

        • Not only that, agriculture was invented by the Patriarchy as a way to oppress women. I still think the Political Science professor who said that should have her PhD revoked until after she has been sent naked and alone into the nearest national forest for a two week practicum in subsistence living.

        • The book is _Against the Grain_ by Richard Manning. Short version: domesticating small grains ruined humanity and is the cause of most of the worlds evils. Commercial agriculture and mass food production is even worse. (That the Green Revolution saved millions and millions of lives notwithstanding).

          • Ah, but Red, you’re missing the point: None of those lives should have been lived, in the first place. We should never have left the primitive hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and quietly waited for the end to come when another world-killer hit, or the planet turned on us the way it did during the other great extinction events.

            The utter irrationality of most of these people has always left me a bit in awe of the fact that we’ve been so successful that these idiots can actually survive. What they don’t comprehend is that they themselves are a luxury good, and will wind up as compost during the next major crisis. You can’t afford to support such arrant foolishness during existential crises, and they are all unaware of the realities.

            I look around me, and I wonder: Are we at another moment, like the one enshrined at Gobekli Tepi? Did the people involved there suddenly wake up one morning, look around at the edifice they had constructed, and realize that the whole thing was illogical and unsupportable? Which then led to the abandonment of the site, and covering it over, so as to hide the embarrassment from future generations?

            You have to wonder if that isn’t at least somewhat analogous to the entire complex we’ve built up in society and the American educational system, and whether or not we’ll be performing another ceremonial burial of the entire poorly-conceived structure.

            Whatever happens, we can’t go on like this. The inherent contradictions are going to catch up to us, just like they have started to in Japan, with its 1.4 birthrate. What can’t go on, won’t.

            • Reality Observer

              That reminded me of the annoying “journalist” in the Pournell/Niven “Footfall.” And what he so appropriately ended up as…

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                What’s funny about that scene is that the “reporter” was trusting an environmentalist with this possible story.

                But the environmentalist was mad as hell at the attacking aliens for destroying Earth’s environment. 😈 😈 😈 😈

              • What about Pamela Lisketter from Stirling’s “Island in the Sea of Time,” trying to “protect” the bronze-age Olmecs from the evil moderns on Nantucket? Frankly, she got pretty much what she deserved.

            • Strikes me as the same sort who would probably protest the existence of basic antibiotics and medicines. Funnily enough, they probably imagine they’re not the ones who’d do the dying for some unexplained, magical reason.

              Honestly, I’m of the opinion that these people haven’t experienced death up close, especially that of their loved ones. And likely, they’d be the sort that if they did, they’d become nihilistic and without hope, the kind who in their depression, kill those around them and then take themselves out in murder-suicides.

              • In order to avoid hypocrisy they probably ought eschew the products of Western Medicine as a clear plot to drive out indigenous people’s holistic herbal practitioners. That’s just one more instance of Western imperialism, insisting that their “Science” treats illness better than time-honored methods of Witch Doctors and Traditional Healers.

                • Doesn’t really work in practice though, since they feel that hypocrisy is fine if it allows them to stay alive to spread the message. Other people dying because of their horrible advice though, well, that’s totally fine. See anti-vaccination advocates.

                  Which is pretty much the response of people advocating for the so-called Voluntary Human Extinction Project.

                  • Patrick Chester

                    Actually, some of those VHEP psychopaths I can easily see them staying alive long enough to make sure everyone else is dead, and then gleefully killing themselves to complete the “cleansing” of all humans from Earth.

                    A somewhat nightmarish vision I get from time to time.

                    • Making sure everyone else is dead kind of removes the ‘voluntary’ part of that supposed movement. But someone who is willing to erase their own species from the planet as their ‘goal’ isn’t someone I’d trust with sticking to the ‘voluntary’ part only.

                      After all, if they were honest, they wouldn’t succeed in their goal. So your nightmare scenario is entirely plausible.

                    • Patrick Chester

                      @Shadowdancer: Yeah, the “voluntary” seems about as genuine as a Democratic People’s Republic. 😀

                  • You’re being a bit unfair to the anti-vaccinators. Quite a lot are actually limited and under conditions-I-can-control vaccinators who’ve run afoul of the med-sammys.

                    Frex:

                    AV: “we have a history of autism in the family. Can we wait until after age 3 to vaccinate.”

                    Med-Sammy: No. Do it under my schedules or pay for it yourself.

                    AV: “We can’t afford it.”

                    MS: Tough.

                    AV … takes calculated risk.

                    That, and sheer, unadulterated scientific illiteracy.

                    • I have no idea what a med-sammy is. There is, in my mind, a difference between an anti-vaccinator, and someone who is willing to work with doctors and is hesitant about vaccinating at a certain age. An anti-vaccinator is someone who refuses to vaccinate their children at all.

                      It’s so bad here in Australia that we’ve had the government here push that children who are not vaccinated may not attend public school. Mind you, the anti-vaxx groups had reached nearly cultlike levels of severity. I suppose that it is no surprise, since the average Australian that I’ve run into seems to be more of a health nut than the average American. The anti-sugar people are trying to push for higher taxes and penalties similar to cigarettes for use of sugar in any food.

                      I’ve run into a few particularly fervent ones of that ilk, and they don’t believe that the brain requires glucose to function. Scientific illiteracy indeed.

                    • Whoops. Got a 3-fer. That should be:

                      h. sap. saps (plural)
                      its
                      gummint $$

                      And a med-sammy is a medical samurai. A term of art from Suzette Hadin Elgins’ novels. All of which are entertaining and many of which are truly excellent.

                      Also her nonfiction: The gentle art of verbal self defense is very good. The world lost a lovely lady and writer when she passed.

                    • I’ve run into a few particularly fervent ones of that ilk, and they don’t believe that the brain requires glucose to function. Scientific illiteracy indeed.

                      The cultists on both sides are painful; I must admit that I have a bigger problem with the “scientific” cultists than the flip side, probably because they’re nominally on “my” side.

                      To repeat my ad nausium statement: science is a tool. Vaccines are a tool. Sometimes, it’s the wrong tool– and even if it’s the right tool, you need to understand how it works.

                      Vaccines *do* include known risks, and known unknown risks– the unknown unknown risks are usually what genuine anti-vaxxers are worried about/believe in. I’ve spoken to precious few “pro-vaccine” folks who know about the known risks, much less the known unknowns. (Those are why we have databases where they report back EVERYTHING that happens after someone’s had a vaccine– even if it’s ridiculous, like “died in a car accident a week later.” We DO NOT KNOW what information will be important.)

                    • Yes. And I don’t know where they get the idea that people aren’t told about the risks. We’re not allowed to take the kid home for a little bit after the shot to watch for allergic reactions, for one thing, and even back in the Philippines, we got a list of ‘things to watch out for’ recited back to us, and what NOT to take the wee one to the emergency room for.

                      I can sort of understand why the ‘can’t we delay?’ people want to delay, but at the same time, I know why the schedule was put in. They’re at the highest risk at THOSE ages, and I still remember those particular diseases being fatal to children. Yeah, no. Rhys has already had to carry two teeny tiny baby coffins, and the thought of potentially having to do more of that, from childhood illnesses that we now survive?

                      Yeah, fuck that. I still can’t figure out how parents in previous generations survive this grief that eats and eats at a person. Vaccines are a tool, yes. But damned effective ones.

                      Only if the fucking retards involved were put on an island, forbidden from ever leaving, etc.

                      Sorry. I get so mad, thinking about that, that they’re so okay with the rest of us losing our own kids. If it was only their own children they were risking, have the hell at it, if they want, keep them away from us.

                    • Some of the schedules are put in by when stuff is a risk– in the US, we’re having issues with some of the schedules being a bit more agenda driven than that.

                      Don’t get me started on the conflating “we think it’s a nifty idea” vaccinations for pregnant mothers with “THE BABY NEEDS SECONDARY PROTECTION” vaccinations, either.

                    • Don’t get me started on the conflating “we think it’s a nifty idea” vaccinations for pregnant mothers with “THE BABY NEEDS SECONDARY PROTECTION” vaccinations, either.

                      What.

                      This I haven’t run into. I’m sorry to ask if you could kindly, please, enlighten me. O_O;

                    • The one that comes to mind– because I get sick from the flu vaccine– is that and DTAP; they actually push the flu vaccine *more*, even though the mom’s immune system is the only place the kid gets those resistances for a few years.

                    • *head hurts* wait. They want to push that the mum gets DTAP before the kid the born, as in booster shot?

                      Egggh.

                    • Excuse me, it’s TDAP; same thing but DTAP is for kids.

                      Basically, it’s because of whooping cough being such a danger for babies.

                      Vs the flu shot, which is just a “we think it’s a great idea for everybody.”

                      Part of why I like my doctor is that he actually listened when I informed him that I get sick when I get the flu shot.

                    • Looked up TDAP
                      http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/tdap.html

                      I don’t think that’s being pushed here yet, but given the problems we’ve had about refusals to vaccinate, I can understand the reason behind the recommendations, plus the risks to the newborn being exposed to whooping cough. Modern lifestyle doesn’t really help new mums that much with getting around for the usual errands, and Dad being at work means that well, he can’t do some of that either, I figure. So new mums would have to go out at some point, if nothing else, to restock the fridge and nappy supply.

                      http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10-home~handbook10part4~handbook10-4-12

                      Still reading through the above, and I’m wondering if I should get a TDAP shot BEFORE I get pregnant (and whether that would be a good idea) and I know Aff had a booster shot for pertussis before Brandon was born.

                      Tetanus shots are probably one of the more common things we get shots for back in the Philippines, because rusty nails abound and getting scratched by that/stepping on one happens fairly frequently. They’re not expensive (100 pesos? ish?) Basically, the reasoning I’ve heard goes “100 odd pesos for a tetanus shot, versus several thousand for the hospitalization and maybe 20k for funeral if you die, leaving your family in crippling debt. Pick which sounds less horrible.”

                      Flu shots are one of those things I don’t particularly feel would work too well. I’ve had a few coworkers back in the day grumble that they still got sick with the flu even after they’d had a shot sometimes, and some times they wouldn’t. How many different strains of flu are there anyway? =/ And if you get sick if you get the flu shot, then that’s a bad enough reaction to not get it.

                      On a completely different note, trying to play catch up with the children’s immunizations, and the new Australian Childhood Immunization Record/Register isn’t fun. It does not help that we lost Vincent’s and Rune’s records to that huge flood that put chunks of Manila underwater back in 2009. I have to get the kids in for a few blood tests to see what antibodies they have.

                    • I’ve run into a few particularly fervent ones of that ilk, and they don’t believe that the brain requires glucose to function. Scientific illiteracy indeed.

                      Well, they can enjoy the effects of not having enough brain food.

                      http://www.humanneurophysiology.com/glucosemetabolism.htm

                      EFFECTS OF GLUCOSE DEPRIVATION

                      In the healthy normal functioning brain, glucose is the only substrate utilized for energy metabolism. Thus hypoglycemia presents the brain with a very serious problem. While most other tissues can shift to utilizing free fatty acids (FFA) as an alternative energy source when glucose is lacking, the brain cannot because they are excluded by the blood-brain barrier. While there is some evidence that the brain can utilize β-hydroxybutyric acid for energy metabolism when glucose levels are low or when fats are being mobilized for energy metabolism throughout the rest of the body, the brain could never supply its high energy demands by this method alone in the absence of glucose. Thus the brain is dependent on an uninterrupted supply of blood-borne glucose to energize its cells.

                      Decreases in blood glucose bring on disturbances in cerebral function. Depending on the level of hypoglycemia, these changes range from mild sensory disturbances to coma. At blood glucose levels of 19 mg per 100 mL or below (normal is 60 to 120 mg per 100 mL), a mentally confused state occurs. Brain O2 utilization falls to 2.6 mL per 100 g per minute (normal, 3.5 mL per 100 g per minute) and glucose utilization drops as well. Coma commences when glucose levels fall to 8 mg per 100 mL.

                      Epinephrine can be effective in reversing the effects of hypoglycemia by promoting liver glycogenolysis. However, attempts to solve the problem by substituting other carbohydrate metabolic substrates have been largely unsuccessful, with the single exception of mannose. This is the only monosaccharide other than glucose which the brain appears to utilize directly. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and directly replaces glucose in the glycolytic pathway. However, its normal level in the blood is too low to be of any real help in reversing the cerebral effects of hypoglycemia. Unless reversed quickly, comatose levels of prolonged hypoglycemia will bring on necrosis of cerebrocortical cells and (to a lesser extent) other brain regions as well.

                      *satisfied, evil laughter*

                    • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1838950/

                      I suppose, really, in a lot of places where the no-sugar fad is in place, the lesser levels of brain functionality explains why they can be scammed by the claim that sugar is not a ‘natural sweetener’ and then push stevia and coconut sugar as ‘natural, better alternatives.’ Oh and molasses. Y’know, which came from sugar. *headdesk*

                      Only the brain damaged could accept that kind of stupid.

                    • Guys — not exactly true. We are extremely low carb, have none of those symptoms. The body converts pretty much everything to glucose for use.
                      Also vegetables? Glucose. Not as easy to digest, but glucose.
                      And it’s not a fad with us. We have to be low carb. My body kicks autoimmune fits when I have even a few carbs; Dan is diagnosed diabetic, though no longer testing as such; the boys get both of our inheritances. So.

                    • Yeah, but you’re not eschewing all sugars, Sarah, even the stuff from veg. I’ve been hearing some truly insane stuff, including the reduction of intake of fruit BECAUSE OMG FRUCTOSE. Also, cutting out as much carbs as possible.

                      As a recommendation for healthy people with no autoimmune, no diabetes, no health issues, no problems with gluten. Then basically claiming that everyone not following that is eating wrong and bad and omg sugar, omg salt, omg red meat bad evil. And so on. Also wanting to make anything that has sugar in its ingredient list taxed higher and cost more to ‘keep people from buying it and making themselves fat and unhealthy.’

                      Hence, health nut fad.

                    • We don’t eat any fruit. Fructose, yes, is a sugar. Look, my son only has a degree in human bio and first year medicine, but glucose is something your body makes. YOU DON’T NEED TO EAT IT. And some of us can’t.

                    • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1838950/

                      I’m not in medicine, and he might find that interesting. *helpless shrug?* I’m not going to argue any further, since really, a person’s health is their own look out, and that’s a pretty individual thing. You get sick if you have fruit or carbs, I get sick if I don’t.

                    • “An anti-vaccinator is someone who refuses to vaccinate their children at all. “

                      Ahh. The usual prog nonsense at work again:

                      Prog: You hate science! You oppose stem cell research! Stem cell research saves lives and I can prove it!
                      Me: No. I oppose destructive fetal stem cell research: i.e. breeding h. sap. sap for the sole purpose of killing them and using them for research. As a bonus, it’s a research dead-end, which is why it’s proponents are so desperate for gumming $$$
                      Prog: It’s the SAME thing you hatey-science hater!
                      Me: Sigh.

                      Tarring reasonable positions with the most unreasonable outlier and making it All The Same Thing. For the hatin’s.

                      I completely agree with you.

                • Oh, but a lot of them *do* eschew modern medicine in favor of ‘traditional medicine’, pot, and homeopathy. Also, an astonishing number of them were preemies… don’t ever point out that they wouldn’t be alive without modern medicine.

          • Not to quibble, but a hunter gatherer culture could at best support perhaps ten percent of the current Earth population, so we’re talking either dead or never born on the order of five billion. Or as our British friends would tell it, five thousand million.

            • That’s one of the points people raised as soon as the book hit the shelves. Even people who are strongly opposed to corporate agribusiness were shaking their heads saying, “Well written book, but there’s a few enormous flaws with your concluding argument. And a few other things as well.” I recall a good deal of head shaking and “this could have been such a good book” type comments from the ag-diversity-is-better crowd.

              • I wonder how much spare change hunter-gatherers have; to support authors masquerading opinion as fact?

              • Let me guess- the dumbass author is railing against modern ag while living in a comfortable climate controlled building, drives a modern car, and wears modern, comfortable & fashionable clothing.
                What a hypocrite.

            • I do believe that’s a feature, not a bug.

          • “One has to be an intellectual to believe this — no ordinary man could be such a fool.” (George Orwell)

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            People who believe that should be forced to live a hunter-gatherer life-style for the rest of their life (and may it be short).

            • How about this- they get to live for a few years in a hut within an area with endemic malaria. Oh, and they don’t get A/C (uses power- bad for Gaia)… or window screens (Western tech, also bad)… or bed nets (might be coated with evil DDT or other harmful to Gaia chemicals).

          • Short version: domesticating small grains ruined humanity and is the cause of most of the worlds evils.

            Darned Temperance Leagues, calling beer evil…

          • Patrick Chester

            Somehow I doubt this sort of creature likes the idea of human lives being saved.

      • I’m all in favor of abandoning fossil fuels, or at least, leave them for the chemists to continue to make plastic and all the miracles that are derived from that.

        But let’s get those liquid fluoride thorium reactors up and running before we do that, please! That’s a miracle waiting to happen, but because it’s not solid fuel, and because thorium is a “radioactive” element (with a half-life three times the estimated age of the universe), almost everyone in government is afraid to take this idea seriously…AND we have to rely on China for all those rare-earth elements that are always mixed in with thorium…

        Sigh.

  17. I’d like to say F ’em, but I’m just surly that way.
    As for ‘greed’, I don’t really think greed is good, but that it has it’s place. It’s an excellent motivator which ends up doing good indirectly.

    • Greed exists. It cannot be truly destroyed. But it can be harnessed. Now, what shall we have it pull? The world into misery (see: socialism) or the world out of misery (see: capitalism and real free trade).

      • Greed to improve one’s lot in life: good.
        Greed to make a better world for one’s children: good.
        Greed to gather more stuff that one could possibly use, then waste it, or expend foolishly: somewhat disturbing.
        Greed to use the political system to give yourself preferential treatment while denying similar treatment to your competition or those looking to enter into competition: the very definition of crony capitalism, and not a good thing at all.

      • According to the Commandments, the real sin is Envy- that desire for what someone else has.
        The Left preaches about Greed to hide that they are plain ate up with Envy.

        • Envy AND Greed. Not owning goods does not mean your desire for them is not inordinate.

          • The problem is that in English we tend to use “Envy” for “I admire what they have, and would enjoy having something similar (but don’t really care that much) “, “I admire what they have and I’m working on getting something similar”, and “I admire what they have, I’m mad that they have it and I don’t, and would like to take theirs away”

            The first usage is interest and approval – no Greed
            The second is motivation – desire and aspiration, but not Greed, I think
            The third is a toxic combination of Envy, Greed, and Malice – and a defining characteristic of SJWs who accuse others of “Greed”

  18. I was going to post yesterday, and didn’t, about how there is an alternative to the “spit-in-your-eye” opposition to the Gaia-worshipers who wish to eradicate the infestation of humans. I appreciate the mention of responsible conservationism. There is something to be said for not fouling your own nest and for being aware that what you do to (or on) your small piece of the earth may have multiple side effects, not necessarily those you or your neighbors would want.
    But the fate of the entire earth is several orders of magnitude beyond my minuscule power to affect, so I’m not going to worry about it. I am more concerned with the comparatively few do-gooders who stand behind the megaphones, preaching that more taxes, more regulations, and more government power in the hands of the corrupt and corruptible is the solution to everything.

    • What you’re talking about is something we used to call “stewardship.” The important aspect of stewardship is that it is something you must do yourself, not something you have to hector others into doing at your behest.

    • Pa knew a fellow (I only barely knew him, really) who did some electroplating (it weirds me out still to hear/read of “plating” meaning the arrangement of food… food in a cyanide bath?!?) in his business. The waste products, both what they were and the amount offended him, so he set about seeing waht he could do about it. The gov. rep. (EPA?) loved visiting him. One barrel of waste every 6 months, maximum… for an operation that was expected to have much more and nothing goofy to make it happen. I suspect there was significant chemical re-use and cost saving beyond less waste disposal and gov. headache cost.

      • Sounds like a former boss of mine. “Waste? That’s not waste, that’s MONEY. We just need to find someone who wants it and knows what to do with it.” And did.

        • WordPress Delenda Est
          Ate my previous, rather long tirade.
          Anyhow, thanks to Watermelon/snakeoil salesman AlGore and his CFC banning save the Ozone laws, some of the chemicals I deal with are changing formulation. Fluorocarbons break down and form ozone depleting agents (that are heavier than air so very little actually gets there but we won’t go that route)
          Now, we make a pretty penny on most of these, but some are rather vital to those using them, but also not huge movers. To relist them can run well into a Million Dollars (insert Mike Myers here) because the EPA can arbitrarily decide you need to pay for more testing.
          Anyhow. we have been making stuff for years, and they have used Fluorocarbon chains running from C6 through C12, with some being mostly C8 with C12s partially C8 with C6, and C6 with a C8 spike that was legally a C6 product, and some actually have been purely C6 for years, but now it must be only C6 molecules.
          So, for years, when we make these things, we get wastes. it comes out as an Iodide Salt layer. Eventually a salt water with high Iodine, mercaptan (Stinky stuff, related to that used to make natural gas stink), and a very little bit of the Fluorine chain because that chain is what we are after. We take this waste, and sell it to people who then refine out the Iodine, fluorine etc. and sell it, mostly to the same people we buy the raws from. It is a perfect recycle loop!
          Well, the EPA has decided that on our new C6 formulations, the waste must be incinerated.
          We can’t sell it so we can then buy it again down the road.
          Oh and the reason that we have to change to C6? Because C8 and above can break down when heated and form Ozone destroying molecules. And they make us Burn them. yeah.
          Reduce, Reuse, Recycle my ass. They are now forcing us to use resources once and waste them out.
          Then again, how many of y’all have mandatory city recycling and they won’t take glass?
          oh, and we are incinerating WATER. Lots of pounds, not much burning there.

  19. ” . . . those who call themselves children of the Earth [are] welcome to stay here, while the rest of us [will go] to the stars. ”

    Bumper sticker on my last car:

    The Meek shall inherit the Earth
    The Bold shall take the Stars

    BREAK

    ” . . . the insult of “ugly American” showed that beyond not knowing her references, this person knew absolutely nothing about me.”

    This

    Most folk (I’m presuming that does not include the bunch here) don’t know that in the book, the ugly American was the good guy.

    And you are our Beautiful Evil Space Princess . . .

  20. The Other Sean

    On a related note, I’ve been reading comments on various fora regarding recent report advances in anti-aging science, particularly http://www.geekwire.com/2016/bioviva-liz-parrish-reports-progress-controversial-gene-quest-reverse-aging/. The people expressing horror and dismay over this are not the “anti-science conservatives” the left are always ranting about but seem relatively rare in real life, but…. the left. The Gaia worshipping lefties are complaining about people living longer resulting in more people and a greater strain on Gaia. The greedy, envious lefties are complaining that it will only ever be affordable for the super-rich, who will come to completely dominate life on Earth with the rest of us as nothing more than disposable serfs.

    What a bunch of pessimists and distopians.

    • I see that logic doesn’t sully their thought processes. If it will “only ever be affordable for the super-rich,” how will it ever result “in more people and a greater strain on Gaia?” And those miniscule amounts of “the super-rich” will “come to completely dominate life on Earth?” Only by exterminating the billions who aren’t them. Really, can they not see the speciousness of their arguments at all?

      • The Other Sean

        To be fair, the individuals advancing the “strain on Gaia” arguments and the individuals advancing the “super-rich” arguments are typically not the same individuals. They’re different factions of obnoxious leftists.

      • I like the CarTalk summary for some folks: Unencumbered by the thought process. Perhaps ‘a’ instead of ‘the’.

        • “Never in my life have I met someone who knew so little about so much.”

          – David, “One Day At A Time” S1E04

      • The more cynical parts of me (all parts are cynical to one degree or another) suggest that the anger from the “dominate life on Earth” crowd is primarily because they want to reserve that right for themselves, particularly the “mass elimination” bit given how much of an overlap there is between that crowd and the Malthuseanists and humanity-haters that claim the planet is overpopulated. (Overpopulated with idiots, maybe… 😛 )

      • The way “the super-rich” would come to dominate society isn’t through some mass elimination scheme (gee, project much lefties?) – it’s by making everyone else super-rich too, just like they always have.

        We now are so super-rich compared to any prior time in human history that anyone brought forward would be gobsmacked beyond words. Why one would expect otherwise i the future is beyond me.

        Sure, there will be degrees of super-richness, but enabling everyone to live a really long time at a resource level well off enough to buy stuff for all that time would be the best way to become individually super-rich-er.

        And to access those resources, we’d need to finally climb out of the cradle and off this rock.

        Super-Rich Long-Lived Capitalists In Space!!!!!

        • > making everyone else super-rich too,

          “Rich” isn’t about how much you have. It’s about how much more you have than those around you.

          That is, if you made everyone “rich”, then you’d all be poor, the way they see it.

          • Stupid Bill Gates & Steve Jobs and Friends — look how many people they made rich and look how it has affected their local economies. Working class people can no longer afford to live in Sillycon Valley, Seattle or San Francisco. Plus, they’ve corrupted their state political cultures (well, not corrupted corrupted, more like the old saw about honest politicians staying bought), driving up the price of political influence something fierce.

    • I love anti-ageing science. Current actuarial tables for retirement plans aren’t even being successful at dealing with current increases in lifespan. A sudden jump of 20-30 years of extra life, and a healthy life at that, and the economy goes into shock.

      • We can be confident they won’t raise the retirement age.

        A pity, that, as everybody working productively another twenty – thirty years would do wonders to make Social Security once again viable.

  21. Earth Day is about virtue signaling. I’m not sure there’s a great deal more to it than that.

    BTW, by sheer coincidence I hauled about 300 pounds of scrap metal of various species to the local metal recycler yesterday, and I got $77 for it. And because it was Earth Day, I also got a T-shirt with the recycler’s name on it. Like I said, above.

  22. They are so terribly confused. A thirst for liberty is not greed in the usual sense. And turning on the lights might be virtue signalling… or is it Aldis signalling?

  23. Only vaguely on topic, but Jonah Goldberg’s weekend G-file had a great quote on socialism that I think should be shared more widely:

    “The simple fact is that socialism was always intended to be a new religion that mixed nostalgia for a past that never existed with a utopian future that never could.”

    • NAILED IT. With grandpa’s dual-handed hammer, yet. (He was given a forked branch with a hammer head – when he hit a problem, he HIT it but good.)

  24. Most of the time, when someone trots out the “greedy” or “entitled” line, I think that what the person really means is that the one they’re accusing of being greedy and/or entitled has the outright gall to aspire to more than the peon status that the accuser thinks everyone but them and their fellow travelers (capitalized F and T or not) should have as their only option.

  25. I don’t know if you all heard, but a singer at Brown University was condemned for “cultural appropriation” because her performance included a Hindu chant. When I heard about how a pack of SocJus thugs bullied her for daring to sing in a different language, I wrote this.

    It’s appalling what SocJus is doing to people who just want to share culture.

    • I’m supposed to cover “cultural imperialism/appropriation” this coming week. I may just toss in an extra credit question: is Panda Express cultural imperialism or just lousy* (but cheap and fast) food?

      *The two times I’ve eaten at Panda, its been bad: different locations, different states. YMMV.

      • Ours is perfectly good fast food Americanized Chinese. (Not to be mistaken for Chinese.) That is, it is precisely to Americanized Chinese food what Jack-in-the-Box is to hamburgers: I can make it better at home, but not faster.

      • I’m supposed to cover “cultural imperialism/appropriation” this coming week. I may just toss in an extra credit question: is Panda Express cultural imperialism or just lousy* (but cheap and fast) food?
        *The two times I’ve eaten at Panda, its been bad: different locations, different states. YMMV.

        Cheap and fast food, not “imperialism.”

        • I suspect that’s what most of my students will say. My German exchange student(s) don’t find my clothes to be culturally imperialistic. They find them familiar and a bit comforting (my skirt suits are Austrian and Bavarian with lots of loden.)

      • I’ve never eaten there, but I know my parents like it, both the food and the price.

        Somehow how I doubt, “ready when you order it” food is culturally Chinese.

      • The Other Sean

        I’ve tried to eat at Panda Express four times – the two times I succeeded it was fair enough. The first time I had it was Shanghai beef at an airport location, and it was wonderful, as I’d not managed to eat in far too many hours. Then I tried location in the Cincinnati area that seems to have stocking issues. The first time, with friends, the location was out of anything edible as far as my friends were concerned (food allergies, etc.). The next time I tried it was out of anything I wanted to eat. The fourth time, I sought out another location, and had a decent Shanghai beef, but I’ve never been back. I discovered so many good fast casual dining options in the same new strip mall where the Panda Express is that I’ve never been back. 🙂

        So I’ll go with mediocre to decent fast food, based upon me personal experience and my belief that “cultural imperialism” and “cultural appropriation” are nothing more than meaningless labels applied by anti-western progressives.

      • The two times I’ve had it, it succeeded at its primary selling points: Hot, cheap, fast, food. As long as though are the primary objectives, it succeeds fine. When I want something hot and cheap that is nominally food (and slightly more nutritious and filling than Krispy Kreme donuts), and I’m in a hurry, the Panda Express right there is better than the fifteen minutes to hunt down the nearest McDonalds.

        • My lunchtime philosophy is typically to get whatever can be chucked at me out of a drive-through window. I typically eat late, 1:30 or 2 so as to avoid waiting i line.

          I am willing to accept that it is only marginally quantifiable as food but if it isn’t at least fast I’d as soon eat nutrient bars. Chinese has the virtue of including some sorta kinda vegetables, but it feels odd to demand less chicken and more vegetables in my General Tso’s.

    • Which, speaking as a musician, is totally ridiculous. We perform stuff from all over the place all the time because that’s our job. There aren’t enough of us everywhere from everywhere to only perform music from our own ethnic backgrounds. If we had to get only Americans of German extraction to perform Beethoven’s IX, we wouldn’t be able to put it on. We’ve got 300-odd people on stage!
      Everyone would be stuck with small ensembles, we’d never get to hear any of the big works, and most of us wouldn’t ever be able to play much at all. I could play Sibelius, but not Debussy or Dvorak, Saint-Saens, Kodaly . . . Haydn, but only from his English period . . . never Bach . . . at least three-fourths of what’s been written for my instrument I could not play.
      Totally ridiculous. The average person would never have the chance to hear most music, except as recordings. Elitist Social Justice Snobs.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        But the average peon isn’t supposed to enjoy music outside of their ethnic group. 👿

        • Unless you’ve ponied up for DNA typing, how do you know what your ethnic groups are? I mean, obviously yours are dragon, but are you sure that all your ancestors are the same type of dragon?
          My ancestors were xenophilles, according to the written records. Now, if they admitted to what they did admit to, back when *that* was beyond the pale, what did they *not* admit to but do anyway?

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Holly, it is no business of mere humans what mixture of Dragons I am.

            I am a Dragon, that is all any human needs to know. [Very Very Big Polite Dragon Grin]

          • Isn’t the more important factor what you feel your DNA should be? Isn’t Ethnicity, even more than Gender, a Social Construct, such that if XX or XY chromosomal orientation is not determinative of gender it certainly seems oppressive to insist that genetics defines ethnicity.

            Has Senator Warren expressed an opinion on this?

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              One of those fools tried to force his way into a recent Dragon Moot insisting that he should be allowed to attend because he “identifies” as a Dragon.

              He got eaten by little Bic, a member of the smallest Dragon species known to exist.

              Oh, what Bic’s species lacks in size is made up by their cunning. [Very Polite Dragon Grin]

            • Nope. You are your race, and passing as something else is a Horrible Thing.

              • But-but-but if I wish to cross-dress and visit women’s restrooms, claim Cherokee ancestry on the basis of unsubstantiated family tradition, or run for office in the NAACP, no one is allowed to criticize my choice of identity! (Or have I gotten the rules wrong…again?)

                • “But-but-but if I wish to cross-dress and visit women’s restrooms, claim Cherokee ancestry on the basis of unsubstantiated family tradition, or run for office in the NAACP, no one is allowed to criticize my choice of identity! (Or have I gotten the rules wrong…again?)

                  I think you’re the wrong political demographic to get away with that. It only works if you’re on the far left of the political scale.

                • Race is immutable. Because it’s not political convenient for it to be mutable.

      • Shouldn’t use of the 12-tone scale be limited exclusively to the Greeks, who invented it? At the very least, all others using it ought pay royalties.

        The Chinese would have to be limited to the Diatonic Scale, too.

        Have Negroes got no scale at all and are thus limited to rhythm? Is the Pentatonic Scale universal (independent discoveries) or only permitted to the first culture to discover it?

        • And should the major scale be limited to residents of Ionia (Ionian mode being a major scale)? This is nonsense. There’s a better word for it but for fear of offending Orvan I’ll avoid it.

          Take joy in other peoples culture use it mix it. Beautiful things happen and we all benefit when we do. Jazz, classic french cooking. the roman alphabet all come from taking some other cultures item and tweaking it or modifying it to something else. Man isn’t the tool maker, heck even some birds do that. We’re the changer of things. We take a stick and add a rock and voila hammers axes, spears. We convert things both physical and mental from one state to another for almost no apparent effort. We’re a catalyst that seems to violate the second law of thermodynamics.

          These idiots just hate themselves and so hate all humanity. Now they want us to wallow in their insane self hate with them. We kindly refuse to join them in contemplating their navels (or perhaps some other orifice).

          • Rogers & Hammerstein were guolty of multiple cases of cultural appropriation, from The Sound of Music (well, maybe Hammerstein had German ancestors) to Flower Drum Song….

            https://accordingtohoyt.com/2016/04/23/all-the-greed?replytocom=364169#respond
            I won’t even link the most transgressive number from that show, “I enjoy Being A Girl” although I s’pose we aren’t long from finding it a cross-dressing celebration. (Check out the gymnastic routine by 8-year-old Paige Sikes at [DELTED]com/watch?v=Umc-_D8sxx4)

            You’ve got to be carefully taught about oppression, victimization and privilege.

          • There’s a better word for it but for fear of offending Orvan I’ll avoid it.

            ‘BOGUS’ gets oddly compressed and the apostrophe replacing the ‘OGU’ always somehow gets omitted?

        • RES, we KNOW the Greeks need the money!

      • Reality Observer

        Having a somewhat “tin ear,” I am perfectly happy to listen to recordings of the great music. (I reserve money on trips to big cities to see stage plays when I can.)

        Some of the best recordings I have of the European classics? Performances by the Tokyo Philharmonic. I love that appropriation of theirs!

        (It’s all through their anime, too, if you watch enough of it. Although the most hilarious is when they “appropriate” American hip-hop…)

      • You said it. Now if only those leftist jackwagons who bullied that singer weren’t so hardheaded.

    • Everyone accused of such silliness should respond with a version of, “how dare you try to force your cultural biases against my appreciation of [whatever] culture upon me! Stop being so anti-diversity! You are nothing more than a social justice bigot!”

      • SocJus wouldn’t listen. They’re dumb like that.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          It’s calculated savagery.

          They have contrived a set of rules that allow them to pick their choice of humans to chase and tear for sport. Cold blooded deliberation would not be fun, so they are willfully ignorant of any reason for it.

  26. Someone on FB recently posted a night satellite shot of the Korean peninsula that proved beyond all doubt that the North was taking great pains to honor Earth Hour all night every night.
    Rather spectacular how clean and clear the line of demarkation was between light and dark.

  27. **Blatent PLUG**

    For any Huns, Hoydens, or others in Southern Arizona:

    Old Tucson (my place of employment) is hosting Pima Animal Care Center today and they’ve brought out about a dozen adoptable dogs. All of whom are adorable and who I want to take home with me (except maybe the yappie little terrier – but it looks like someone in our Food and Beverage Department is going to adopt it.). The event goes on until 2:00 pm, but the park is donating $1.00 to the pound from every admission all weekend long.

    • Almost in range, but alas, I can barely take care of myself. I refuse to neglect a dog.

    • Alas, for a tardis!

    • I went there once, years ago, in part because a movie studio was selling off props. They had flight jackets from 12 O’ Clock High for $25, which I didn’t have, and wasn’t willing to go get and drive back there. Beat myself up for years about that, until I’d grown past the size that I couldn’t have worn it if I had it.

      • Reality Observer

        I actually do have one of those. Yep, can’t wear it now…

      • That would have been back when the Studio bought the entire MGM wardrobe; then sold off everything that wasn’t Western related.

        Then, unfortunately, the collection was lost in the fire of ’95; except for a few pieces which were on display in Tucson. Those remaining things are on display in the park museum now.

    • Reality Observer

      Dang. Don’t have a place for a dog (or even a cat, at the moment – too many critters from the DM graveyard running around the neighborhood). Ah well, it’s almost 3:00 now, anyway.

      Didn’t know I had another “neighbor Hun” down here, though.

      • Given that Tucson is the world’s largest small town, are you surprised?

        • As opposed to the biggest little city, Reno?

          • Maybe; but if Reality Observer and I don’t actually unknowingly know each other in real life, there’s probably no more than two, maybe three degrees of separation between the two of use — in a metropolitan area of about 1Mil. Because that’s the way Tucson is.

        • Either of you been to the Titan Missile Museum in Saguarita? It’s an impressive, if grim, reminder of the Cold War, and makes one damned glad it never got hot.

          • I lived in Sahuarita with my sister for a few years and toured that museum. It would be an excellent setting for a horror movie.

          • Reality Observer

            You know, I have lived down here for nearly thirty years now (I grew up in Globe, about 90 miles north) – and I never have gone there.

            It might be somewhat of an aversion – I remember all too well driving into Tucson along Hwy 77 when the silos were active, with the red blinking light towers around them. Even then, I realized that I was (maybe?) 200 yards away from one of the targets for a first strike.

            Between the Titan silos and Davis-Monthan (then a primary SAC base), this entire valley would have been one giant glass lake…

          • My dad’s last posting in the Air Force was with the Titan wing at McConnell AFB, so a trip down to the Titan Missile Museum was kinda obligatory.

            I have a picture of No.1 and No.2 Son manning the launch controls, preparing to start the end of the world.

  28. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    How come it’s considered greedy and entitled to want to hold on to your own stuff, but not greedy when you want to take the stuff of others for your own purposes?

    • But that’s DIFFERENT!! How dare you imply that you stealing from me, and me stealing from you, are morally equivalent?? It’s DIFFERENT, I tell you!! Because me, me, me!

  29. As for entitled… Sure, I am that.

    After all, “Beautiful but Evil Space Princess” is a title, right?

    (I still don’t understand why it’s “but” rather than “and”)

  30. Well, during the spring and summer, the hive can support a large number of drones, no worries. But, winter is coming, and when it does, the drones get shoved out by the worker bees.

  31. Waitaminnut. If you hie yourself off to the stars, aren’t you doing exactly what the enviornazis want you to do — to wit, ceasing to use any of Earth’s resources? given that it’s kinda hard to be a resource hog from several light years away. 😉

    • Hey, that requires a long-term view. And if you start looking long term, you might start recognizing consequences. Or that the message has changed radically and so have the crises, though the proposed solutions stay the same. That might cause you to become an unbeliever!

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      They are on record as not wanting humans to “ruin” other planets. 😦

  32. Have you seen the way Aesop’s fables are bowlderized today in children’s books? No wonder they grow up with no sense of reality until it smacks them in the face. Home schooling is the way to go I think. It’s our only hope to save this and all other civilizations. The Barbarians are living among us. And now they don’t even need to hide. It’s going to be a long, hard slog which I probably will not be here to see the end of. But I do my best to help those around me see the fallacies in what we are being told in all the media.

    • Back in December 2001 the family took advantage of accumulated vacation time and low hotel rates to visit DC. The Smithsonian gift shop had a bunch of stuff being remaindered, including a set of Muslim “Bible Stories For Children.”


      Funny, David’s story was not as I remembered from when I was a kid, nor was Abraham’s or any of the other Patriarchs. The storybook about Jesus also had some odd variances from what I had recalled.

  33. Sara the Red

    I am reminded of a recent demonstration by our “glorious,” “environmentally-minded” president recently when he enacted the gutting of the coal industry. I watched as the economy of my state–always a precarious thing, with barely more than 600,000 people living here–goes into something not unlike freefall. The lines at the food banks in Gillette are heartbreaking. There’s more than one town that has had the bulk of its workforce suddenly become jobless–and all those with jobs in support of that workforce will soon follow.

    And even better–it’s not that this will stop the use of coal. Oh, no, it just means that those power companies that rely on it will ship it in from overseas (from countries that have no inclination to avoid pouring deadly pollution into the air or water) and the cost of electricity will shoot up. But of course, here in America we are SOOOO Earth-friendly, right? We don’t produce that nasty, evil power-from-coal stuff, oh no.

    I think my favorite part–so to speak–is the utter failure of logic in the face of this insane dogma. Crowing about how the US and Europe signed an agreement to reduce carbon emissions, oooh. And yet…I don’t see India, or Southeast Asia, or other similar places doing any such thing. It’s like the lunatic lefties think that air in one country isn’t going to impact anyone else, so all the gestures towards ‘protecting the Earth’ will somehow actually mean something. (Other than the useless virtue-signalling–and destruction of civilization–that it actually is.)

    I’m all for being responsible stewards of the Earth. I certainly don’t want to go back to the days of deadly coal-smoke shrouding cities, or poisons being dumped into the water supply without care. That’s every bit as foolish as the other extreme. But watching how Obama and his cronies all patted themselves smugly on the back for putting hundreds of thousands (at least) of Americans out of a job just so they could feel good about themselves made me sick.

    • Coal is the greenest fuel of all. The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the healthier plants get. High CO2 levels increase drought resistance. The Eco warriors are all deluded fascists.

    • The important thing is that those people don’t really matter, you see.
      Because they cling to bitterness, guns, and antipathy to people who aren’t like them.

    • But if we just build a great, glorious wall high enough, it will keep out all that icky polluted air from other countries.

    • Yeah, when I was over in Buffalo this winter the effects on the economy of Obama’s policies was the main topic of conversation. It isn’t just coal either, that alone would have had little effect on Wyoming’s economy, because methane and oil production would have taken up the slack, but those evil too, according to the self-proclaimed Messiah in the White House.

      It is small wonder that Wyoming voted so overwhelmingly for Cruz.

      • Sara the Red

        Not to mention the insanity that are the regulations to ‘protect’ the sage grouse, and the freeze put on a LOT of oil and gas industry as a result. Yeah, it’s a pretty worried climate here. (And I work at the BLM–and about half the folks there agree that this is all stupid, while the other half views any efforts to work alongside the industries as treason. ::facepalm::)

        And probably the biggest threat to the sage grouse isn’t even humans, it’s the frigging corvids. But of course, no one is allowed to shoot the crows/magpies/etc, because they’re migratory birds. And because of *course* the real threat to the grouse *must* be humans, it can’t possibly be an invasive species of bird… (Also, the greater sage grouse is one of the stupidest birds on the planet, which never helps in the survival-of-the-fittest race.)

        Not unlike the problem with those ubiquitous little brown sparrows you see everywhere. Those are European sparrows, and they’re not only invasive, but they have cause *massive* damage to native birds in many, many areas, because they like to murder the ‘competitions’ nestlings. But oh, no, it’s all humans causing trouble. (Which is only true insofar as they introduced the sparrows–and the crows and magpies–in the first place. But the job shouldn’t be to restrict humans, it should be to control the populations of the damn invasive animals. I feel this way about the horses out here too–sure, they’re pretty, but they’re NOT native, they’re feral, and there is NOT enough food and water out there for the kind of numbers the idiot tree huggers want.)

        • “But of course, no one is allowed to shoot the crows/magpies/etc, because they’re migratory birds. And because of *course* the real threat to the grouse *must* be humans, it can’t possibly be an invasive species of bird…”

          Really? Damn. When I was a kid, as me and another poster were discussing in a different thread, my cousin and I got paid per head to shoot the crows, grackles, starlings, and blackbirds out of various fields and gardens when I was in Oklahoma for the summers. My, how times have changed.

          Uhh… quick question: the corvids are invasive? I thought that crows, magpies, and ravens were native to the U.S., including the west. It’s just starlings that are European introductions and invasive. Or did I miss a memo again?

          • Sara the Red

            I’m not 100% sure that they’re invasive, that’s just what I’ve heard grumbled. Could be more a case of allowing the population to get out of hand being the problem, since people aren’t allowed to shoot them any longer.

            And don’t get me wrong–I like crows. They’re fascinating, and terrifyingly smart. (Kill one, and the rest of their flock WILL remember your face if they saw it. They will remember it for several generations, in fact…) But there are far, far too many of them and they are predators, and sage grouse are very, very stupid birds. (Maybe not *quite* as stupid as guineafowl, but I suspect it’s close.)

            We also had a few years where some kind of European ringdove was exploding in population here, but I haven’t seen nearly so many the last few years around my parents’ house or mine. Though that could be down to the fact that we all started letting the cats outside in the summers, and one in particular is a bird-killing machine (who figured out how to remove a bell within twelve hours of having one on a collar). They may still be a growing problem in the area, but not in the places I frequent because cats. 😀

            Thing like this aren’t helped by people who do things like, oh, import non-native game birds for the rich folks to shoot at on the local play-ranches (I wonder if this isn’t how the doves happened) without caring about things like the actual local food chain and so on. I looked out my back door last week to see what the cat was freaking out about and saw a pheasant run past–clearly an escapee from the nearby playground-ranch. It likely won’t survive (pheasants not being equipped for the brutal winters in this area, not to mention the coyotes/wolves/foxes/other people’s dogs)–but all it takes is one exotic species that CAN and suddenly you have a whole other tier of competition in the local ecology. (And don’t get me started on the problems imported hay caused in past decades…)

            • “I’m not 100% sure that they’re invasive, that’s just what I’ve heard grumbled.” – Sarah the Red

              *nod* Okay.

              Whoever was doing the grumbling, to put this diplomatically: was wrong. (After I asked you, I got curious and went to look it up to refresh my memory.)

              Magpies, crows, common ravens, and grackles – all listed as “migratory” – are native to the U.S. Magpies are predominately Western U.S. birds, but they’ve been spreading eastward in recent decades (past 30 years or so). We have both black billed and yellow billed here in Texarkana now, and I’ve read that they’ve established east of the Mississippi, but I don’t have a cite for that. So… possibly you could qualify them as invasive to the East Coast, but Invasive Species has a precise meaning that I’ll get to in a minute that magpies don’t really match.

              (Unless there’s a European or Oriental import magpie species that’s been introduced to the U.S. that I’m unaware of, and that I didn’t see any mentions of when I looked the species and habitats up?)

              Starlings are European imports, and they’re a major pest bird for crops and fields, and cities. They can form flocks of over a thousand or more birds at a time, and larger ones in migration season. Starlings are almost impossible to control without shooting, and extremely hard to control with shooting. In cities, really the only predator control on their population is feral and domestic cats. Grackles and redwing blackbirds are native, but they’re also major pest birds in rural and urban areas. They’ll form flocks of up to several hundred birds at a time, and can do massive amounts of damage to gardens and crops when they settle in. In cities, grackles are almost impossible to control.

              (Well, not impossible: kids with bb-guns and pellet rifles do a wonderful job at it, but that’s a thing of a bygone era more’s the pity.)

              The International migratory bird treaty of 1918 was a major mistake for us to get involved in, as has been most environmental international treaties we’ve signed on to, and we could really stand to break it and withdraw from that.

              ” They may still be a growing problem in the area, but not in the places I frequent because cats. 🙂 “

              Ayup. Like I said: feral and domestic cats: nature’s perfect solution for bird over population. And they’re invasive, too, so it’s a twofer!

              “Thing like this aren’t helped by people who do things like, oh, import non-native game birds for the rich folks to shoot at on the local play-ranches (I wonder if this isn’t how the doves happened) without caring about things like the actual local food chain and so on… “

              Meh. I refuse to worry about it. Except for isolated land masses, every species was invasive at one point. As the saying goes down here, it’ll all come out in the warsh. Ecologies are adaptive, not static. House/English sparrows were imported along with starlings in the 1800s, and now they’re ubiquitous. They fill a similar ecological niche to common sparrows. In most cases, they share the same habitats with common sparrows in the South, and both get along.

              In Texas and Texarkana, overflow and escapees from game ranches has led to free ranging and sustaining populations of Adoudad, Marhkor, Barbary sheep, impala, blackbuck, nilgai, eland, axis deer, and roe deer, and a few others, and they adapt real well here. The deer species get along real well with the native whitetail and mulie populations. The antelope don’t generally compete for the same forage, IIRC. Coyotes tend to keep the blackbuck and impala populations in check, just like they do the feral cats and lap dogs.

              Monk parakeets have established themselves fairly well in Dallas, Austin, and Houston. They’re not natives either.

              The invasive species that is the most ecologically devastating is the feral domestic hog, not the exotics. And Arkansas and Oklahoma have been dealing with European wild boar and razorback populations for a hundred years now without falling into ecological collapse… ecologies are adaptive.

              I think it’s safe to say that the mix of species in North America fauna of two hundred years from now won’t strictly resemble the mix of fauna we have today. And that’s really okay: the mix and balance of species we have today doesn’t really closely resemble the mix we had two hundred years ago.

              It’ll all come out in the warsh, eventually.

              • Monk parakeets / Quaker parrots come from South America, if I recall correctly. I remember reading a bit about that when I was looking up what type of small parrot would suit as a pet. We chose a monk parakeet with the blue color mutation. I wasn’t aware that they’d spread in Texas though.

                • From Argentina, I think?

                  And yeah, I was surprised, too. I actually saw part of one of the flocks in Dallas several times. We had one that apparently settled in off of Audelia Road south of 635 while I was living there last. I kept seeing and hearing them when I was leaving the Audelia library, and didn’t know what they were, so I looked them up until I found a match. (I could tell from the shape and the beak they were a parakeet or parrot of some type.)

                  They had a group of huge nests, I finally saw, in several of the big cross country electric pole cross bars. Not sure how big the colony was, but pretty good sized going by the nests.

                  There was another big colony down by I-30 West off of Dilido Street, as well.

                  They’re apparently all over the U.S., even on the upper East Coast, going by this:

                  http://10000birds.com/the-parakeet-of-city-streets-the-monk-parakeet.htm

                  I think it’s pretty cool. 🙂

                  • Fascinating article, thanks for the link. I got mine from a breeder, the last of his batch of babies for the year. The man, who had a very strong vodka-flavored accent told me that the day before someone had driven all the way across Australia to get the second to last bird, and right after I’d called, a pet shop had called him to ask if any birds were still available.

                    I wouldn’t be surprised if there would be colonies of the birds here, but they’re likely to vanish into the bush, because the boundary between bush and city here in Australia is rather sketchy, as cities here tend to have large green swathes and trees, from what I’d seen. They’d blend right in with the rest of the noisy parrot flocks – lorikeets, grass parrots, galahs and cockatoos of all colors and types, if they’re as adaptable as the writer of that article states. I bet there’s a bunch of Indian ringnecks out there too; there was a fellow going around putting up ‘lost family member’ signs all over the place, with a picture of his beloved Indian Ringneck, and offering a few grand in reward.

                    Cockatiels, Galahs, Cockatoos, and so on are popular pets here. I thought of getting a galah because I read that they have rather sweet natures, but I eventually decided against it because I didn’t want to have my pet outlive me.

                    I can still get my fill of the big parrot types because they’re EVERYWHERE here, as this guy’s video shows:

                    Rhys hand-fed wild cockies once while he was eating lunch while at work. I hear that in some places where feeding is common, they’ll fly onto you and perch and play. It’s awesome.

                    • Cool. 🙂 My aunt had a big Baretta type cockatoo for a long time, that had a bigger vocabulary than most Democrats. They’re just neat.

                      There was a big colony of feral budgies down in South Texas at one point, don’t know if they’re still there. Used to see them all over when I lived down in Corpus Christie for awhile. Supposedly there were some wild (feral) lorikeets down in the Big Thicket area, too.

                    • ‘Bigger vocabulary than most democrats.’ *snickerfit*

                      Y’know, that’s actually something I haven’t seen around here, despite the fact that they’re native to Australia. Wild budgies. Might be more common deeper in the bush, maybe.

                      Well, that, and they’re tiny.

                      Black cockatoos are huge. Or they seem that way compared to the sulphur-crested ones, because of the very long tail.

                      On the non-parrot note, I’ve seen wild kookaburras and wedge tailed eagles. They’re… massive. o_O

                    • This was a… rosy crested? Coral crested? Not sure of the breed name. One of the huge white ones with the pink feathered crest?

                      Her other bird was a lemon crested cockatoo. He was the burglar of the household: never met a cage door that he couldn’t figure out how to open eventually. Nor a cupboard or cabinet door either.

                      We get all kinds of stuff in Texas, mostly as a result of escaped/dumped pets, or escapees from game ranches. I mentioned a few of them.

                      I’ve been hunting for Blackbuck in Northwest Texas, and Gazelle and Axis Deer down in the Big Thicket. And I’ve seen Eland wandering around loose south of Austin. Used to see bird spiders wandering around the dockyards in Corpus when they got brought in in the holds of ships from South America – I don’t know if any ever took hold and went native, though.

                      *Supposedly*, and I don’t know how true or merely apocryphal this is, there’s a colony or two of Golden and Black Backed Jackals and a few Caracal gone feral down in South Texas as well – escapees or releases from exotic pet owners and breeders. I wouldn’t doubt it… both species would survive real well there, and the jackals would compete well with the local coyotes. The Goldens are closely enough related to wolves that they could even interbreed with the prairie wolves, possibly. The Caracal are possibly caracats… there’s a few caracat and Savannah breeders down in that area.

                      Like I said: I’ve never seen any, so I can’t attest to it.

                      Unlike Australia, there’s enough local and native predators to keep the exotics from getting too far out of hand the way that cats, rabbits, hares, and cane toads have in Oz. The only things the coyotes and bobcats can’t seem to get ahead of are the feral hogs, and that’s because a full grown hog is too big and too mean for anything less than a cougar or wolf to take down. And feral dogs are too smart to tangle with hogs when there’s easier game around.

                    • *nod* That’s the one. Gorgeous bird.

                      I started to say “Maybe,” but I recognized the secondary name: “Leadbeater’s cockatoo.”

                      I think the yellow crested one was a Sulphur Crest, rather than a Lemon Crested, but I’m not real sure. (It’s been awhile.)

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulphur-crested_cockatoo

                      Both of them were amazingly smart birds. The yellow crested one had a tendency to chew through hardwood axe handles – she had steel perches and stands for both of them as that was the only thing they couldn’t destroy once they got going.

              • Opossums are a nuisance in Southern California where I grew up. Seems a member of a Santa Ana gun club went hunting in the Ozarks. He thought possum hunting was fun so he brought a breeding pair home and let them loose at the hunt club. Well possum laugh at fences really enjoy the weather.

                We had some who liked to sneak in through the pet door and eat the dry cat folder left out. I’m not a fan of these monster rat’s.

                • Food. Dry cat food.

                  • I translated. I speak fluent typo. 🙂

                    Yeah, ours as well when I lived outside of Ennis. I had to chase one out with a broom, and then sweep him out the rest of the way when the heeler went for him and scared him into curling up and playing dead. We get them up here in our dumpsters in the Texoma area also.

                    I didn’t know they weren’t native to SoCal? They’re all over the South and Southwest now.

                    • Speaking of chasing bold wildlife… We had two dogs here in Reno that we left dry food out for in the garage. Barking woke me up in the middle of the night once. I went down to yell at the dogs for waking me up. I turned on the light and poked my head into the garage. Suddenly there were seven sets of eyes staring at me. My two dogs and momma raccoon and her four kits (pups?). I hit the garage door opener and Snickers chased the youngunsout. Momma however ran through my legs into the house followed by Chopper. Now I’ve got a coon running around the house chased by ninety pound dog. Chopper finally treed her on top of the microwave in the kitchen. I opened all the doors first then swept the coon off the microwave with a broom. That was the end of leaving pet food out.

                    • *snicker*

                      Yeah, sounds about right. 🙂

                      Had something similar once, not as a result of pet food so much as maybe pest food… heard a ruckus outdoors one night. Grabbed a varmint rifle and a light, and went out to find out that a pair of coyotes had gotten into the chicken coop. Spotlighted one and shot him. The other gave the coyote equivalent of “Oh sh*t!” and dove back out through the hole in the fencing…

                      Just in time for heeler #1 and heeler #2 and seventy pounds of year and a half old Aussie to come barreling into the yard.

                      Coyote goes, “Oh f*ck!* again, turns inside out reversing tracks, and heads into the barn – which doesn’t have a way out at the other end.

                      ALL freaking hell breaks loose as the two horses in their stalls, and the two dams sitting on litters in the kennels light off at the sight and sound of this panicky coyote barreling through and hitting the meshed off back of the barn – just in time for the three dogs baying at his heels to hit him and me to come in on their heels. Barn cats scattered every which direction. Both barn terriers got into the act about then. Good time was being had by all.

                      Finally came to an abrupt end when Chana (Heeler #1) got tired of dancing around and playing snap snap with the now corned coyote, and just barreled in, grabbed him by the neck, and put her entire body into shaking him into a limp dishrag.

                      (45lb of heeler vs 35lbs of coyote. Not a contest, apparently. Almost as much fur flying as the time that Weya mixed it up with the bobcat, though.)

                      End total: eight dead chickens, one thoroughly dead rooster, two dead coyotes, and me having to stitch up a really uncooperative blue heeler by Coleman lantern light while my housemate sat on her. Oh, and a pair of really aggravated momma Aussies who refused to be convinced that the coyotes were dead and not a threat to their litters.

                      Mink got into the coop a few months after and removed all the coyote bait before we could ever get a rerun of that particular show.

            • Occurs to me that I never did get around to defining Invasive Species like I said I would…

              Wikipedia says: “An invasive species is a plant, fungus, or animal species that is not native to a specific location (an introduced species), and which has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health.”

              Wikipedia also has a note that that definition is of dubious nature. 🙂

              In my long time definition as I’ve seen it used most often, an invasive species is one that is completely not native to the environment that it’s introduced to, by an order of magnitude. Examples would be Monk parakeets, the African and Indian exotics I mentioned, wild horses to North America, House Sparrows and starlings and European wild boar, and what all. (Striped bass into lakes all over the U.S., possibly. Tilapia forming wild populations in Texas lakes and rivers, definitely.)

              Native species that spread into areas where they didn’t formerly have a habitat aren’t really invasive by definition: they’re just following natural patterns as the habitat and climate changes. Cf: mule deer spreading east, or cougar and coyotes adapting to urban environments. Magpies spreading eastward as well.

              • Sara the Red

                Sounds about right. I’m more familiar with the plant end of things–my current job involves tracking/monitoring/wrangling treatments for noxious invasive weeds in the area. (And I have an art degree, snicker.) In some ways, it does seem that plants tend to be more problematic than critters, because there are plenty of the noxious invasive plants that no critters will eat–and they are, naturally, also the ones that are damned hard to kill by any other method (leafy spurge, for example–thanks for the import, Russia…)

                I suppose the biggest issue with the corvids around here, then, is that they don’t have much in the way of a predator to control their population *other* than humans–and humans aren’t doing it. So they are the top of their food chain…and grouse are their happy meals. (Not unlike the wolves + cattle. I think wolves are awesome, but anyone who thought they would go after deer/elk/mountain sheep when domesticated cows and sheep are soooo much easier to catch is a lunatic. Ergo, while it’s nice and all that wolves aren’t going to be extinct, that also means ranchers and sheepherders should be allowed to shoot any who are troubling their herds and flocks, dammit.)

                • Yeah. Probably… humans with varmint rifles and shotguns and kids with pellet guns are probably the only major predators that crows have, anyway, other than owls. And crows are freaking huge – it takes a barn owl or great horned owl to consider one a snack. Even shooting them has problems: crows are smart and have great eyesight. They can tell a person from “person-with-gun-in-hand” from a long, long way off, and they’ll leave until you’re gone.

                  The grackles and starlings just breed too damned fast and they’re in too great numbers for predators to control easily. I know they’re a huge problem in cities, along with pigeons.

                  Wolves and cougars are different, and a different problem… but putting both on the game animals list with clearly defined and enforced seasons would solve a lot of it by keeping the numbers down and putting them under conservation efforts. You might have noticed that we’re not running out of anything that we like to hunt on an annual basis, from elk to teal. Hunters want to make sure the species we hunt are around for our grandkids to enjoy.

                  Cougar in cities and suburbs are a different problem, and without being able to kill them, I’m not sure what a solution is. Possibly we can train them to only eat leftists and ecologists? (Urban coyotes mostly eat small dogs, so while I’m sympathetic to the pooch owners… my answer to the problem is “get a dog, not a dog substitute.”)

                  • The solution to coyotes (2 and 4 legged) is carrying a gun while walking the dog.

                    • *nod*

                      Keep in mind: given that I’ve had pomeranians and papillions and rat terriers most of my life (Ratties make great supplements to the barn cats for rodent control), and that up until recently we had a sheltie, my “Jeeze, get a real dog, not a rat-on-a-leash” comments should be taken as slightly tongue in cheek.

                      That said, if one is living in an area where coyotes are a problem, especially in the suburbs, for crying out loud: don’t let the small pooches and cats go out without supervision, especially at night. They’re snack food for coyotes.

                      Sans a rifle, the best solution to a coyote (four legged) is a Heeler, Belgian Sheepdog, Aussie, or equivalent. There’s a lot to be said for having a dog that can just grab a coyote and shake it to death. Even at his age, Weya drops his head and gives that “I mean business” rumble deep in his chest, even pairs and trios stop, back up, and go elsewhere. There’s a difference between 10-15 pounds of dog and 75 pounds on that scale.

                      Best solution for two legged coyotes and similar (semi)human varmints is an appropriate caliber or gauge, applied to the vital organs as needed.

                • Either that or allow taking the market value of the losses as a tax credit. Put a price tag on keeping them,

                  • Given the penalties paid to German farmers becuse their cows “stopped” giving milk as a consequence of our jets providing air cover it seems we could be at least as generous in compensating American citizens for the effects of our policies.

            • They’re dumber.

              Guinnies at least run away, instead of hunkering down and pretending to be invisible.

          • I got a penny per bird from one farmer. Paid for my BB’s and pellets. I had a Crosman 760 rifle.

            • *nod* We got anywhere from a dime a head to fifteen cents apiece depending on species, or up to a quarter for crows, up in southern Oklahoma. Paid for our .22 shells and cold drinks and snacks for the summers.

  34. Patrick Chester

    Dunno, I think Greed is pretty cool.

    Oh, not THAT Greed, eh? 😉

  35. Haven’t read the comments yet, but…. what if they’re using “greed” to mean “wants something to which you are not entitled”?

    It makes it a circular argument– assumes the conclusion, specifically that your desire is unjust– but it does make it make sense.

    • Most of their arguments are circular, which is why they typically end up back where they started (raising the minimum wage drives up prices which pushes the need for a higher minimum wage, which …) and how their heads so often get stuck up their bums.

      BTW – check out Vox‘s essay on Liberal smugness for reporting on how some are waking up to “What’s the matter with Liberalism.”

    • They had no clue I wanted ANYTHING.