You Ain’t Got No Class

Sorry this is so incredibly late.  Some of my reasons are perfectly legitimate. Yesterday I was extensively possessed by Mobia, muse of furniture moving.  (Actually there is a method to that madness, since we need to clear passageways for the second wave of movers coming to bring stuff in on Wednesday.  Right now passageways are choked with book boxes inexplicably marked for my office and brought to it, instead of downstairs to the library.  I was also entering my office by vaulting — at my age! — over a small table intended to hold derpy and my printer — which I badly need — so that had to change.) So right now my office if 90% set up, including the little constellation of handblown witchballs hanging from the ceiling.)  This work lasted till one in the morning, when I collapsed more or less unconscious, which means I woke up at seven thirty, i.e. about an hour later than normal.  This part is legitimate.

The less legitimate delay is that, instead of rushing to my office to dash off a blog, its being trash day, I did the litter boxes and changed them to fresh sand, putting the old sand out with the trash, then prepared dinner for tonight, since we’re planning to go to the other house and work this afternoon and neither my purse nor my waistline can afford for me to go out to eat yet again.  (Seriously, why do you always gain weight on restaurant meals? Even when you eat less than at home?)

The less legitimate delay is that while having a second cup of coffee I got captured by The Lost Literature of Socialism by George Watson.  I think it was one of you reprobates who made me aware of this book, and I’ve read — and looked up references — on the first third (it’s a short book) while putting dinner in crockpot and while having coffee.

One of the thing Watson says which would probably make heads spin in current day US particularly the heads of casual (read un-informed) socialists and school teachers, is that socialism at its inception was often a conservative ideology.  Conservative here is used in the sense of preserving a society of different ranks, as opposed to the radical egalitarianism of the French Revolution.

At its inception, socialism was often wedded to the idea that the majority of men are made to obey their “superiors” who will plan things so that those too stupid to care for themselves (it’s implied) will not actually starve/be poor/whatever.  Thus the whole idea of scientific governance.  Also the idea that “concern for the poor” could involve killing them wholesale.  Apparently H. G. Wells advocated killing all the “inferior races.”  (Note he’s not being given the Lovecraft treatment by today’s progressives.  Apparently using the term “socialist” for oneself is a magical shielf even for DEAD white supremacists.  Also note that the alt.right would be more properly named the OLD Right.  Antediluvian in fact.) Because scientifically they are a drain on society.  Apparently the old socialists objected to Hitler calling himself a socialist on the grounds that his corporatism violated the tenets of socialism (more than seems to us, since socialism was a philosophy of the old noblemen in OPPOSITION to the noveau rich and the new preponderance of commerce) but they never objected to his racialist theories.

There is much there to chew on, little of it a shock or surprise to me, because I grew up in Europe where the sons and daughter of the “best” families are invariably socialists, since they believe they are entitled to tell other people how to live and it is their proud duty to stick their noses in your biddiness for your own good, of course.

The parlance of care for the poor and such seems to have emerged later, to appease people who didn’t believe in nobility anymore, and to make those of privileged upbringing (as most socialists are) feel less guilty.

Being of the belief that no one is born with the right to hurt people or take their stuff (even if it’s in the name of helping/giving to other people) I stand in stark opposition to people who think that if only they can fashion the proper saddle, it is their birthright to ride the rest of us like ponies.

This is meat for one or several posts.  But the thing that struck me was the part on class.

There are these moments where even I, who have tried to self-consciously extirpate Marxism (for a port-manteau since some of the concepts predated Marx, although it took that aspergers bugger to make it rigid and totally contrary to reality and also simple enough to enthrall the simple minds of pseudo intellectuals) from my thought, keep using ideas and terms from it without much thought.

Take class — please.  I have no use for it — as a concept.

What it started with was “estate” which instead of a house and land (linguistic drift there) in the middle ages meant something like “what you were born to do”  or “Your place and mission in life.”

In the Middle Ages, as we all know, there were three estates: those who fought, those who prayed and those who worked.  Of course what we all know has holes you can drive an eighteen wheeler through, and anyone who studies any era more deeply finds a multitude more estates.

My understanding is that even in the middle middle ages there would be many people who didn’t fit into these three neat pigeonholes.  There were those who tinkered, those who influenced kings, those who did the accounting, and those who traded.

I’ll let suburbanbanshee pronounce on it, if she’s in the mood.  BUT until then, the fact is that at least at a distance, that is the most closely that profession and status matched.  If you were born in the class that fought, you weren’t going to get any guff from those who worked, because, tada, you had a sword and knew how to use it.

Then there was the black plague, which made labor scarce and, in a brutal simplification, precipitated the industrial revolution in its first, most timid phase.  And then status, occupation and power all became scrambled.

Several novelists have captured several states of the newly rich commercial class supplanting the old “those who fought” class. To a certain extent the revolutions since the French have been an attempt of the clerics to displace the old nobility.  (Insert here your favorite linguistic joke about cleric coming from clerk, and our new secular religions of multiculturalism and environmentalism.)

But the fact is that since the very beginning of the industrial revolution (what we’d call cottage industry and a little bit of commerce) profession and status and power have all become unmoored of each other and flapping loose and twining whichever way.

You’ll say that they are not entirely loose, that there is no way that dirty, manual labor will ever command status and/or power.  Brother!  Have you tried to find/hire a decent handyman? If I’d actually had a hint of the future, instead of going to college, I’d have apprenticed with my granddad and would now be cleaning up as a furniture maker.  (Actually I knew someone who made a one-piece, antique reproduction, by old methods, with handtools, a year.  That took him about 3 months, and he got 60k for it in the mid-eighties.  He had 9 months to do whatever he pleased afterwards.  I SHOULD have learned to use granddad’s tools and inherited them.)

They were already going that way and it was fairly obvious when Marx tried to pin it to the classes of his day, which is why he became obsessed with ownership of the means of production.  (Also, never having run a business, he had no idea it was actual work/risk.)

But that applies even less in our day.  For instance, if you take that definition, my entire profession just moved from laborers to capitalists, at least in theory, since we now can own all the means of production involved in getting our product to the public.

So by the mid 20th century, “Marxists” were instead pinning classes to economic strata which seemed to the uninformed to be a good way to track status and power.

It wasn’t.  It probably never was.  It is, I suppose, expected that materialists would think that money is the source of all blessings, as well as the root of all evil, but I grew up with grandma, whose actual income in money probably qualified her as a pauper, but who made and grew most of what she needed and was accorded Granny Aching like respect in the village, thereby proving you can have status without money.  As for power… Note the reference to Granny Aching… or Granny Weatherwax.  There is power that doesn’t derive from the government and the power of a matriarch can be both near limitless and terrifying.

I was in 9th or 10th grade when a friend newly struck with the Marxist bug tried to explain to me that it was unfair that my family was of an upper class.  I ended up tying her in knots chasing “class” since neither by the traditional Marxist definition nor my income was my “class” any higher than hers. Her father made more money than mine, and both our fathers worked in other people’s factories.

So she devolved to something like “Well, your family is more refined.”  Which in a way was true, but not in origins, as mom grew up in something that was only not qualified as a slum because Portuguese refused to admit it was one.  If it were and now, it would be called “the hood” and there as now here then as now, you clutched your purse and minded yourself, because it was a dangerous area.  It’s just that my parents both tried to cultivate the bourgeois virtues of cleanliness, thrift, delayed gratification and industriousness to which mom (in a perpetual war with my uncle’s arranged-marriage wealthy (for the village!) bride) added airs of refinement which extended well beyond our income, because mom was an artist at heart (probably still is.))

This was the origin of her resentment of our “upper class” but she didn’t seem to get it was something that could neither be redistributed NOR was being held back from her family if only they chose to apply it.

Since then I’ve found she was the vanguard of all socialists.  Nowadays they routinely try to give people the rewards of bourgeois virtues in the belief that the virtues will then follow, in a sort of putting the material cart in front of the ethical horse and being shocked the cart doesn’t pull.

In America this is even more complicated, since no one quite agrees on markers of class/status and power.

One of you at one time said high class in America was having matching glasses, in which case my family falls in and out of high class as a set gets mostly broken, we discard most of the remains and buy a new one.  This might very well be true.  Our rulers (you wish they were our leaders, but no) seem to think status is tied to home ownership so they try to redistribute that, leading to the real estate crisis of 08.

I think the best thing is to assume that America, being a country of Odds, ain’t got no class.  Classes don’t apply much of anywhere, out of Marx’s Aspergers imagination, but they SURELY don’t apply here.

We’re not a classless society, of course.  We are still monkeys (oh, apes?  Ain’t you la-dee-dah) and therefore we need status.  But we find our status in our own groups, and in our own way.  I was very shocked to find that Phillip Jose Farmer (love is World of Tiers, hate Riverworld) someone I revered as a kid was working a convenience store.  To me he was high status.  Now I am sometimes shocked at being treated as though I were high class even when we’re struggling to make ends meet while putting the kids through college.

Because status and respect is where you find it and in what you do.  It’s easy (well, not for me, but) to have a ton of money and no status.  We all know the “brother in law of someone rich” syndrome.  It means nothing.  That guy might be accorded respect to his face because who needs trouble, but everyone laughs when his back is turned.  In the same way in some circles, someone with neither wealth nor power will be treated as royalty, because we know what they did/do and the influence they wielded upon our lives.

America definitely has people who have a lot of class, but in terms of divisions between the people where everyone is as much of a widget as even noblemen and peasants of the Middle Ages could be interchangeable (which was never much) we ain’t got no class.  And we like it that way.  As long as we can slap back into line those who think laws are for the little people, we’ll do fine.




316 responses to “You Ain’t Got No Class

  1. This post is not late, reality has been early today. Fret not over imputed expectations and focus on ordering household.

    Reading about the fallacies of modern Socialism and its interpreters is merely considered a justifiable bunny trail in these parts and requires no explanations.

  2. There is social class here in the US, but it is a gloriously complicated thing. Generally, in the old upper class, you did not buy fine jewelry, furniture or silver … you inherited it – because your family never gave away anything, either. Paul Fussell wrote a brilliant little book about the subject “Class:A Guide Through The American Status System” a while ago, attempting to explain it.

    Weirdly, our family has usually been perceived of being a higher social class than income would indicate. I think it may be because of the fondness for books, classical music and speaking grammatical English.

    Which reminds me – this weekend I tried dressing with a splash to stand out at a book event in Wimberley, Texas – where there were forty other authors. I wore a long-skirted Edwardian style walking suit and a really flamboyant hat. As an attention-getting thing, it worked beautifully. There were people saying to my daughter, “Oh, your mom looks like such a LADY!” – and of course ,my daughter said in reply, “Don’t be fooled, she can cuss like a sailor!”

    • I have recently been forced to conclude that, in spite of my extensive vocabulary, I have scant talent for cussing. It simply doesn’t flow naturally from me and the various useful words and phrases many people deploy for such purpose simply refuse to linger in my mental dictionary.

      This inadequacy in an area of such high importance in our present society has proven quite embarrassing, prompting me to explete “Gosh darn it” and even “Fudge” on more than a few occasions.

      • I try to make sure my cursing stays to the “peanut brickle!” level.
        This has resulted in my having to explain to some people that cursing around children is bad; I actually have a rather good obscenity-filled rant on hand if there happens to be neither children nor ladies nor gentlemen around and someone gives me crud for insufficient cursing.
        (I’m kinda proud of it; it is roughly that they are intimate when the maternal female dog when there is not a male donkey for them to lewinski, and that I am fully able to be obscene, but generally I try to be decent.)

      • A talent for cussing can come in handy at certain times. Like election season, tax time, when you miss the nail and hit you thumb… painful things like that.

        On the other hand, a talent for creative insults can wear somewhat better. Bonus points if they have to go to the internet when dictionaries fail to sufficiently define “fosset seller” heard by the receiver’s ear.

      • Be very glad you don’t. My invective list can pop up unbidden during stress, much to my dismay. Then it can get inventive with portmanteau. It tends to stay English, though.

        • I’ve trained myself over the years not to curse, but back around the time I graduated high school my language would have made a sailor blush. While none of the traditional cuss words almost never cross my lips any more, I’ve yet to excise them from my mental vocabulary, and I have been less careful about removing other invectives from my lexicon. Which in times of stress can be somewhat embarrassing.

          • SheSellsSeashells

            I have a friend who set up a swear jar for herself as part of a New Year’s resolution. She had to stop because it was impacting her grocery budget.

          • When I was in the Navy, my language became rather salty. Once I got out, I worked an entire year to retrain myself not to use that kind of language. In the roughly 35 years since then, my language has deteriorated, although not to the point it had been. Perhaps another retraining session is called for.

          • My lady was somewhat proud (having been an Air Force brat) of learning to substitute saying “dirty words” for whatever cussword seemed appropriate – until I responded “mud”. Now she says she can’t even use “dirty words” as a decent expletive.

    • Another excellent book on “class” in America, actually more about the intersection of culture and money, is “A Framework for Understanding Poverty” by Ruby Kayne. It was invalualbe for me as the super of a fourplex in a neighborhood where my roommate and I were the only reliably employed people.

      The gems of it, IMHO, are a two page spread giving features of “lower”, “middle”, and “upper” class in America in terms of time orientation (current, future, and past respectively), which parent runs things (female, male, and whoever has the money respectively), the purpose of discipline, and so on. Reading it lead me to what I needed to know in my daily interactions (by pointing to relevant parts of the book). The other was three tests, each about 20 questions, on your ability to survive in the world of each class. I did about equally well in lower and middle and failed upper miserably.

      The author’s over arching thesis is the US is middle class society and failure to engage society in middle class terms is going to lead to failure. The lower class cannot do so and fail. The upper class cannot do so but don’t fail because they hire middle class people to handle such interactions.

      Even if you argue with the author while reading I think it is well worth reading for making you look and think.

    • I think the “inherited stuff” marker is a class indicator. You can tell by how much certain sorts get all worked up about it. Also by the way various inheritance/estate taxes have made it hard to pass wealth down to one’s children.

      • Not entirely accurate. Inheritance/estate taxes have made it hard to pass minor wealth down to one’s children. The truly wealthy have learned to corporatize their wealth, via trusts and foundations, which they pass down to their children.

        For example, the Clintons have established money laundries foundations which allow them to accept large gifts without taxes, which pay their living expenses as deductible expenses of the foundation (try claiming unlimited deductions for your living expenses) and accept large tax-free honoraria for the services (e.g., speeches to corporate donors.)

    • *nod* Teachers were poor, where my folks were, but were still a Position Of Respect– so high class.
      I don’t know how this would work with the areas where teachers were the single daughters of rich people, most of the teachers in my family’s area were married before they got there.

      • The first teacher of most village children was a woman from an upper class background who had been seduced by a married man. When he left her, she had just enough to purchase a two room hovel with no bathroom and a beaten floor kitchen with an open fire to cook on.
        When I met her, she was in her sixties and had supported herself for over forty years by teaching the village children and living a respectable and very pious life. She was respected and looked up to in village councils.

    • Weirdly, our family has usually been perceived of being a higher social class than income would indicate. I think it may be because of the fondness for books, classical music and speaking grammatical English

      One of my grandfathers was a tenant farmer, and he and my grandmother demonstrated there is difference between poor and trash.

      • And “Trash” has nothing to do with money most of the time, at least where I grew up and currently live. Several families I knew, comparable economic levels between branches (and a range between the families), one branch was trash, the other wasn’t, even when that branch was dirt poor.

    • Sara the Red

      Despite the fact that several generations in my family–up to as recent as my grandparents–would, in terms of jobs, qualify as ‘white trash’ (or, more accurately, ‘oilfield trash’) My parents, and myself and at least two of my other sibs are frequently mistaken for being ‘wealthy.’ I’m pretty sure it’s because we use correct grammar, and at least myself and the youngest are aware of etiquette rules that are all but lost. (Seriously, I now how to set a formal table for at least a three course meal.) This is a delusion several of my other siblings have bought into, in that they are convinced that our parents are ‘rich’ and are just selfishly hiding the wealth somewhere. (Because it *totally* makes sense for them to still be struggling to remodel a house despite health problems, etc over more than a decade, not to mention all the financial difficulties–those are all faked, right?) Even people who are close enough to the family to be aware of the financial troubles (and granted, these are *American* financial troubles, so it’s nothing close to worry over food/shelter/necessities) seem convinced otherwise.

      On the other hand, part of that could be down to the fact that my father in particular fights the idea of throwing *anything* out like it’s a last-stand battle…

      Ultimately, though, I think it’s because of the proper grammar, the erect posture (for a given value thereof–I don’t sit nearly as straight as my mother does), and the manners that make people think we’re “upper class.” Which just proves our hostess’s point: *anyone* can make use of these things, regardless of economic or social status.

      • My father’s older brother was ‘white trash.’ Livestock in the house and all that.

        My father, on the other hand, stayed in the service, got a degree through night school, and ended up as an upper-middle-class white-collar professional. One of his main responses to the complaint, “I’m bored,” was to ask, “Have you read every book in the house?”

        My posture came from the Navy, though – the service managed what my parents couldn’t. 🙂

        My daughter, presumably from having had proper examples, has a reputation among her friends for using proper grammar and spelling while texting.

        • ” Livestock in the house and all that.”

          It is only “livestock” if you are white trash, if you are higher class they are called, “pets.”

          Thus we now have a fad for not only rabbits and potbellied pigs in the house, but pygmy goats and house chickens.

          I once arrived at a friends house to discover a sixteen hand horse in the kitchen, but this was unintentional… and the horse came VERY close to becoming dog food when his wife saw what it’s shoes did to the hardwood floor.

          • Actually, it was a horse – apparently, the barn wasn’t in good enough repair for them to keep the horse there in cold weather.

        • My dad asking me that same question is what ended up with me reading the Alien novelization at 11….

      • That’s what you get for puttin’ on airs and acting like nobs.

        Regrettably, we live in an age where the distinction between “race” (Who you are) and “culture” (How you act) is increasingly obliterated. If you deign to not act out the stereotypical behavioural patterns of your status it can only be due to a rejection of authenticity.

        Yep, stereotypes are now deemed authenticity and failure to conform to such stereotypes is denounced as inauthentic. You are now condemned for failing to behave the way they think you ought.

      • Well, trash is defined by how a person acts, not what jobs they hold or economic status. Hence the phenomenon of rich trash. The one thing constantly driven home was there is no shame in any honest work and it’s something I’ve tried to teach as well.

  3. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    One of the “fun” part of our would-be masters is how stupid they are.

    After that shooting in the Orlando gay night-club by an Islamic fanatic, our masters in the ACLU claimed that it was the fault of the Christian Right and the GOP.

    Only stupid people would say that and only stupid people would believe that. :very annoyed:

    • Yes. A friend texted me because AT A GAY NIGHTCLUB the bartender told him no one could know the motives of the shooter or why he was provoked to kill.
      My friend texted me in lieu of bashing heads with a bottle, something for which I wish to commend him very highly.

      • Well, the guy identified as a member of Daesh, and as we now know, no one can argue with how someone identifies.

        • Unless they are violent and identify with Islam in which case we must reject said identity BECAUSE of the objective evidence.

          We are clearly allowed to reject identies that match evidence it would appear.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        And Hillary wants more Gun Control. 😦

        Oh, I know what you think of Trump but so far he’s the only candidate to talk about Terrorism. 😦

        • Suicide in a State of Denial!
          And yeah, but he’ll ACT the same as Hillary. We’re so extensively and rotatably screwed.

          • Late thought: The last time the US faced hostiles at the door, the solution was an active militia (which wasn’t the same thing as ad hoc militias of today). It still exists today in the form of state defense forces but is seldom used. I doubt there’s any governor with the backbone to call for this, but since the hostiles are once more at the door, it’s time for clerk of courts to once more draw up militia lists and for state legislatures to get serious about militia districts.

            Those who are part of the state militias should be drilled in the use of firearms and proper use of deadly force. The Constitution forbids keeping a standing militia except in some circumstances, but it says nothing about the militia being prepared for immediate action. So the states issues each trained militia member a sidearm and a long arm, with the requirement the sidearm be kept on their person when going out of their home. The militia is activated either by the local officer or by hostile action. However, each activation is subject to review by the higher ups, and unwarranted activation is subject to military court martial and not civil proceedings. This includes the militia member drawing their militia weapon and firing their weapon.

            Doubt we’ll see it. The Democrats are intent on making helpless victims and the Republicans are too weak willed to stand up to them.

            • Well, actually the militia laws in most states say that the militia members provide their own weapons… iirc some of them basically say their own long arm of a certain caliber and fifty rounds of ammunition. Of course, in several states, a long arm in that caliber that is a cartridge-fed firearm is classified as a destructive device…

        • Yes, he is occasionally smart enough to say what the voters want to hear, and it is likely to stand him in good stead, come November.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Hillary is apparently talking about it now. Redstate, which is heavily #NeverTrump, credits needing a counter for Trump. I think there is another explanation. Hillary would have to be fearless to try some of the things she has pulled. So her calculus of fearing Muslims versus pandering to gays may simply be different from that of most leftists.

        • Yes, Hillary and Obama want more gun control. And no one will ask them why don’t they want gays to be able to defend themselves.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Guns can mind control gays into killing other gays. Makes perfect sense.

      • Well, of course — this is just one more example of how confused the American People are and our failure to understand our motivations and best interests. This poor deluded sod may have <I<thought he was an Islamic Warrior and acting in fealty to Daesh but that just proves how deluded he was and his complete failure t realize he was actually acting at the behest of Tonald Drump and the vast right-wing Christianist movement.

        Them dog-whistles must be interpreted by the truly enlightened lest the simple imagine there’s no difference between the targeting images employed by Sarah Palin and those used by the DNC.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          He was a Democrat. Democrats will be Democrats.

          • Who, the terrorist? Apparently he was a Dem, but there’s some chatter that he’s supposedly NRA, because he SOMEHOW got all those security jobs and clearances and all that.

            I doubt it though.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Unless there is a different Omar Mateen, or he changed his registration, he was a registered Democrat.

              Of course they want to claim that Federal security work is monopolized by people with the secret rightwing handshake*. Otherwise it looks like the predictable result of affirmative action hiring and retention.

              *Suppose this was the case. How the fuck would anybody on the left ever get access to secure material? The mere fact that Democrats and the left haven’t been systemically excluded from the Federal Government on grounds of membership in terrorist organizations and fundamental disloyalty is extremely strong evidence that no such conspiracy exists.

              • From Power Line:

                Marcus Dwayne Robertson is a radical imam who preaches hate in the Orlando area. A former U.S. Marine, he served as a bodyguard to the Blind Sheik who was behind the 1993 World Trade Center Attack.

                Eventually, Robertson resurfaced in Orlando. According to a law enforcement official familiar with Robertson, the imam has a history of recruiting terrorists and inciting violence in the area.

                The official says that Mateen was enrolled in Robertson’s online Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary. Robertson reportedly has “openly and enthusiastically preached against homosexuality.”

                According to Fox News, Robertson, spent four years in prison in Florida on illegal weapons and tax fraud charges before being released by a Florida judge one year ago.


                [P]rosecutors say that wiretaps from 2011 show that Robertson instructed one of his students, Jonathan Paul Jimenez, to file false tax returns to obtain a tax refund to pay for travel to Mauritania for terror training.

                Jimenez studied with Robertson for a year in preparation for his travel to Mauritania, where he furthered his training in killing, suicide bombing, and identifying and murdering U.S. military personnel. … Prosecutors sought to tack on 10 years to Robertson’s sentence, based on enhanced terrorism charges under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell, a Bill Clinton appointee, was unmoved. He freed Robertson in June 2015 with time served.


                Robertson was questioned by authorities following Mateen’s massacre, but there is no indication he will be charged in connection with those crimes. Most likely, he will remain able to spew venom, including at gays and lesbians, to inspire violence, and to assist terrorists.

                — — — — —

                re:”How the fuck would anybody on the left ever get access to secure material?

                Easy-Peasy — just log in to Hillary’s email server.

            • The NRA is connected to security jobs, now?
              Not quite as crazy as the “Christian conservatives made a Muslim Democrat shoot up a gay nightclub by introducing bills we didn’t like,” but that’s a high bar.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                That was an innocent young Democratic political activist boy minding his own business, when the evil homophobic cops broke in and murdered him in cold blood. Straights are intolerant of and criminalize perfectly normal and mundane sexual activity. Everyone who has regretted this event happening is a homophobe. Which is why Christians and Republicans are ultimately at fault. #JusticeforOmar

                Yeah, there really are reports that Mateen was also of the Boy Love Thursday persuasion, just like the guy who they caught going after the LA march. Makes sense, but man, what a mess. I’m tasteless and obnoxious.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              The NRA is to blame, the way car companies are to blame for people getting mowed down by drivers, right?

            • Maybe they meant one of the other ‘NRA’s: Perhaps the National Recovery Administration?
              He doesn’t seem old enough, but this is a SciFi related blog, so maybe he’s got a time machine…

        • “Forget what he said, we all know what he really meant” remains the most ingeniously weaponized rhetorical tactic of the modern day I have ever heard, serving as both attack upon one’s opponents and shield for one’s allies in a single manoeuvre. I would use it more often myself if I didn’t have such loathing for its fundamental disingenuousness.

    • A guy from the FBI claimed, “they never imagined anyone would hit a gay club.”

      Hello? They’ve hit gay clubs in London, Amsterdam, Oslo, and all over Europe. Why exactly, did you never imagine they would hit one in the US? I mean it’s not like it would even take that much imagination.

      • In fact, I’m surprised it took this long.

        I feel deeply for the families of the victims in the recent incident, but really, I expected to hear of something like this happening years ago.

        • I’ve been expecting something like this for a while as well.

          • So have I, sadly. Schools perhaps – although in my daughter’s part-time delivery job, she says that schools are pretty well controlled – hospitals, too. But a mall, like the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, or an amusement park?

            There is a reason that I don’t go to malls or amusement parks any more, and a reason that I got a concealed carry permit last year. And a reason that when my daughter picks out our table at a book event, she picks one with a door nearby which exits into the outside, or into a room with an exit to the outside.

            • Yeah, I’m working on the concealed carry (first step. Find a hand gun I can fire with anything resembling accuracy. Rifle good but not portable.)

              • We went to a local veteran-owned and run small non-chain shop. This was after the attack on the recruiting office in Chattanooga. We, told the guys at the shop what we wanted and put ourselves in the hands of the senior sales-guy. He let us try out a whole range of sidearms until we each found the one that felt most comfortable. Oddly – I liked the heft of a Springfield Armory XD, but my daughter – whose hands are bigger – preferred another and somewhat lighter make entirely, because of the reliable safety.
                We were very happy with this place – we took the Concealed Carry class there, and got a discount on the cost as we are both veterans.

              • Grr, wish you were a neighbor– I’d drag you over to my folks’ and have you try my 38 special, then go through their stuff (and the neighbor’s) until you found SOMETHING.

                There are some gun shops that include “try a gun until you find one you like” classes, but argh.

                • “There are some gun shops that include “try a gun until you find one you like” classes, but argh.”

                  Yes, such places can be very useful, and often the salespeople are very nice and helpful. But you still have to remember they are salespeople, there job is to sell you something. Listen to what they have to say, but follow your own instincts, don’t let them talk you into buying something because they want you to.

                  I’m a bit of an accuracy nut myself (shot smallbore competition, once upon a time) and have problems with a lot of guns, particularly pistols whose accuracy doesn’t meet my standards. But in reality, accuracy is a very minor concern in a self-defense pistol. The average gunfight occurs at the range of something like seven feet, and even the most inaccurate gun can manage to hit center mass quite well at that range. Carrying a gun that functions reliably (one advantage of a revolver is they tend to be less finicky) you are comfortable with, and is comfortable to carry (so you actually have it on you, when you need) are much more important considerations.

                  All that being said, I have been very favorably impressed with the accuracy of Taurus revolvers, (I haven’t shot Taurus semi-autos enough to comment on their accuracy) for the prices asked for them. And they make a little 357 pocket pistol very similar in size to Foxfier’s 38, I have the polymer framed version that I am very partial to. Even with the short barrel and fixed sights I can reliably hit a quart oil jug at twenty yards. But remember the shorter the barrel the more susceptible to movement they are. So concealable size pistols tend to be much less accurate in dynamic situations than they are on the range, where you are set, braced, undistracted and concentrating.

                  • … even the most inaccurate gun can manage to hit center mass quite well at that range.

                    [Snarky comment ridiculing the notion that you ought be capable of shooting gun out of assailant’s hand or shooting off trigger finger, to be inserted once I’ve had more coffee.]

                    • Amazing how often that actually happens. In fact I saw it happen in my CCW class, the shooter is concentrating on the goblin’s (in this case the picture of the goblin’s) weapon and the bullet goes where the shooter is looking.

                • sabrinachase

                  My range has a petting zoo 😀 For a minor fee and their holding of your driver’s license while you try it out, if you are a member you can fire all *kinds* of handguns. They do insist on their or approved ammo, reasonably. Someone Who Looks Like Me went through at least six one day, trying to find the perfect carry pistol. You’d be surprised how the little things add up over 20 rounds downrange. The Glock allergy is still in effect…

                  • “Someone who looks like” you, eh? Uh, huh. I’ll bet. 😛

                    Strange that my friend Julie never told me about this… (she looks like you). 😉

                  • Yep. Had that at the first range I frequented in Atl. Great way to fondle different irons. Wanted a 229 but cost sent me to a M&P

                    • There is a local range/gun store like that here. It is a great way to kill a couple hours. Like I said, very helpful, but remember the salesmen are still trying to sell you something, so by all means try out anything that interests you or they recommend, but follow your instincts on whether to buy a particular model or not.

                    • Oh ya. Range I was at actually did not sell in house so pretty safe in that sense. Plus in range rangemasters and intro classes

                  • Oh, you have that allergy, too? Glocks are an extremely reliable, functional gun… and I doubt very much I will ever own one.

              • Feather Blade

                Ah, accuracy… I have trouble with that as well… something to do with being left-eye dominant and shooting right-handed. I’m working on it.

                I have a pistol anyway, and picked it based on the price, how well it fit my hand, and the availability of ammo.

            • Even if it’s a gun free zone, you can check what kind of enforcement there is– do the signs have legal standing, or is it a “we find you with a gun, we ask you to leave and never return” thing? Is there a metal detector at the gate? Bag searches?

              • We tend to only go to places that have bag searches and, at most, a “no weapons or we ask you to leave” policy, although we prefer the “no illegal weapons” places. (You’d be amazed how common that is.)

              • Randy Wilde

                Even if it’s a gun free zone, you can check what kind of enforcement there is

                I thought “gun free zones” were supposed to all come with technomystical force fields that keep those nasty icky assault weapons out?


                Then not much use, are they?

                • Personally, I think posting such a sign should come with strict liability for all violence committed there.

            • Any of the Westgate-owned malls out here make great targets.

          • Don’t worry, most of the chatter I’m hearing says in a week I’ll still be told with a straight face that Christians in the US are a bigger danger to gays than radical Muslims.

            After all, the ACLU has already told us this is the fault of Christians for creating a climate of hate for gays that is totally unlike the embrace of homosexuality in the Middle East. I mean, Iran provides state paid for sex changes for homosexuals after all. See how enlightened they are compared to the Duck Dynasty types.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              In fairness, there are, what, one to two million gays? Killing them this way would cost a minimum of tens of thousands, and would become more costly as people adapted. There probably aren’t enough violently radical Muslims in America to pay that. We do have a whole lot more people who identify as Christian.

            • I first heard that one at least two years ago. Because Christians are all Hatey McHaters who run with the Klan and handle snakes, or something. I tend to tune out the rhetoric once the crazy starts boiling over.

              • I first heard it over a decade ago. I keep wondering which will happen first: their minds will change to match reality or enough Christians will get fed up with hearing this and oblige them by changing reality to match their fears.

              • scott2harrison

                I heard that from a punitively Christian pastor last Sunday in his sermon. He also blamed the Holocaust on the Christians. I walked out then and there.

            • There’s a warehouse in Iraq I want to give them a tour of if it hasn’t been bombed out of existence.

            • Randy Wilde

              in a week I’ll still be told with a straight face that Christians in the US are a bigger danger to gays than radical Muslims.

              You have to look at it from their perspective. Sure, a radical Muslim might shoot/ behead/ throw you off of a building… but a Christian might actually refuse to sell you a wedding cake. How can anyone be expected to deal with that kind of monster?

            • You have to bear in mind the perspective, if people will forgive me indulging my instinct to psychoanalyze. To paraphrase Dr. Lecter to Clarice Starling, we begin by hating what has hurt us, and I think it highly likely most people in Western LGBTQ communities have personally suffered more (in terms of rejection and ostracization, which are not insignificant even if they are obviously less damaging than physical violence) from their Christian kith and kin than they have from Muslims. The dragon is deadlier than the wolf in principle, but when the wolf’s den is next door and the dragon far away (and you are constantly taught to see the dragons as an oppressed and unjustly feared minority anyway), it is very easy to learn to hate and fear wolves much more than dragons.

              Of course, when this leads to inviting dragons into the neighbourhood to help put the wolves in their place, this goes beyond understandable myopia to suicidal stupidity. But that’s a mistake many peoples have made many times throughout history, and far from unique to any group today.

              • Excellent point. And when the dragon turns and roars at their erstwhile “ally” – what then, O Wolves?

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                IMO much of the “fear” some gays have of Christians is based on nothing real.

                • Eh, rejection and ostracization by those whom you thought of as friends, family and community is a pretty real threat. Even simply being aware of the disappointment from otherwise loving and accepting parents that they are probably not going to see grandchildren from you, or their fears over what may happen to you, or conversation topics you have to assiduously avoid at family gatherings to forestall discomfort and strife, is something that can wear painfully over time.

                  And it’s the nature of fear to overestimate threat; that’s its function. Fear reflexes which don’t err in that direction tend not to be successfully passed on, if you’ll pardon my understatement.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Sorry but I heard too much garbage from gays & gay supporters who excuse whatever gays do because of homophobia exists.

                    IMO too many of them by their words & actions are turning “dislike” into “hatred”.

                    IE some of them “play innocent victims while becoming monsters toward non-gays”.

                    Quite frankly, I worry about what will happen to innocent gays because of all the garbage done by some gays and some gay “supporters”.

                    • I worry about that myself. There was just so much ugliness from the loud, lout and proud LGBT community directed towards mainstream conservatives, straight people and the Christian-and-observant over the gay marriage thing, and over businesses run by devout Christians being forced by litigious gays to pay huge fines for politely declining to provide a specialized service like a wedding cake. Look, it’s been a long time since I really cared what consenting adults do in the privacy of the bedroom, but don’t try and browbeat me into voicing rapturous approval of it all by wielding the civil rights club. I’d really prefer to live and let live, but the in-your-face LGBT elements make it really, really difficult.

                    • Tis my issue. Many want to just live but louts and loudmouths more interested in payback. You’ve burned any sympathy from me when you are a bigot to me and mine. And yes, bigotry can be avainst religion or politics or region. The handwave of ‘oh those are ideas’ pisses me off

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      The accepted narrative explaining the reasons behind the choice to perform homosexual acts is also a group of ideas.

                    • I’ve had a few interactions that resulted in me telling the guy that the problem was his behavior, not his sexuality.
                      (one of those masters of being a passive aggressive jerk– a mix of the worst of female and male)
                      People didn’t like dealing with a mooch that acted like he DESERVED far more than you were giving him, even when it was the shirt off his back.
                      (Yes, of COURSE it was my sister who was the reason I met the jerk.)

                    • Feather Blade

                      it’s been a long time since I really cared what consenting adults do in the privacy of the bedroom,

                      Given the choice, I think most people would be of the “I don’t care” persuasion…but the Loud’N’Prouds are insistent on making people care.

                      I really don’t think they’ll like the results when they force enough people to care.

                  • “Eh, rejection and ostracization by those whom you thought of as friends, family and community is a pretty real threat”

                    Eh, no, not really. Having your feelings hurt is NOT a threat. That is a large part of the problem, we have a bunch of little whiners that never grew up and can’t tell the difference between someone not pandering to them and telling them the crayon scribbles they made is a beautiful picture, and someone eviscerating them and making them wear their guts for garters.

                    I’m not just talking about gays here, we have a fairly significant portion of the population who can’t seem to tell the difference between someone who has a different belief system than you (and often enough, particularly for parents, choose not to be around those people of different moral values more than necessary) and someone who actively believes it is their God-given duty to kill you.

                    • More and more I am convinced, “If you’re going to do the crime you will decide to do the crime,” is a basic law of human nature. I fear that many gays (and other approved victim groups) may soon find their choosen oppressors have decided that it is time to do the crime they are accused of doing.

                      One could argue the Alt-Right is a first flowering of that in the area of race.

                    • Oh of orientation too. And basically anything they don’t like.
                      Pardon me, Herb, but I think any theory of race, in a century where we can do genetic test is inane. It’s stupid for Europe. It’s double stupid here.

                    • I never said it wasn’t stupid. Lot of stupid ideas get a lot of traction and there are a lot of people, including nearly the entire membership of the progressive left, trying to get it to take traction.

                      That I see the alt-right as their flower of success doesn’t mean I endorse it just that I observe its success.

                    • “Having your feelings hurt is NOT a threat.”

                      It’s not the same kind of threat as physical harm, but it’s a threat. The momentary pinch of injured pride caused by being intermittently dismissed, ignored or mocked is one thing; the bitter destruction of the majority of your family relationships and friendships, or the vehement condemnation of strangers for something you can’t help, is quite another, especially if it happens when you’re young and still forming your own personality. Ask any mental health professional about the effects of isolation, ostracism and sustained social hostility on even otherwise healthy psyches; it’s not trivial.

                      Certainly it may ultimately be preferable to being gunned down, if you had to make that choice, and certainly there is a significant proportion of people who claim momentary mortification as more serious trauma than it is for their own benefit. But I can understand why people reject as false the dichotomy of “as long as we don’t actually kill or physically injure you, you have no serious grounds for complaint.”

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      An individual person “feeling rejected” is one thing.

                      But when Society starts thinking “feeling rejected for one reason is very important” but thinks “feeling rejected for other reasons is not very important”, then Society has a problem.

                      IE Society is seeing “one class of people” as more important than “other classes of people”.

                    • You want to talk about the pain of rejection, look at how the Stanford University women’s swim team treated poor Brock Turner:

                      The team members say they weren’t shocked by the arrest of Turner, 20 — a men’s-team swimming star — and had steered clear of him due to sleazy comments he would make about their bodies, according to InTouch magazine.

                      “Brock’s arrest wasn’t surprising to anyone on the team,” one woman told the magazine.

                      “From the beginning, the women swimmers had found him to be very, very odd. Brock would make comments to the women such as ‘I can see your t–s in that swimsuit.’ ”

                      One top competitor said she would never let herself be alone with Turner after observing his drunken antics at parties, the magazine reported.

                      Having suffered rejection is no justification for wrongful acts.

                    • It is a threat in the same way that a small splinter is a threat: it might migrate to someplace serious, it might develop an infection, but absent extraordinary circumstance it is merely a boo-boo and no cause for over-reactions or solicitous considerations.

                • Which is not to deny their fear is real, any more than the fear some have of gay efforts to suborn them or their children into sin is real.

                  When dealing with primal emotions, reality has little to do with anything. People fear spiders more than hippos even though almost all spiders are harmless.

              • Two additional points:

                It is generally safer to attack the German Shepherd next door than the real wolf across the street, much less the dragon three blocks over. This is especially the case when you will win praise for the former act but condemnation for the latter.

                Too often, people make the confusion that somebody is a a-hole because they are Christian rather than correctly diagnosing that the person is an a-hole in spite of being (nominally) Christian.

                We need not engage in discussion of the absurdity of responding to people who view you as representative of a category by defining them, in turn, as representatives of categories.

                • Hey, Christians DO have several a-hole saints.
                  (Jerome, the guy who compiled the Bible, is kinda famous for it– I’m still arguing he should be the patron saint of bloggers. For that matter, a lot of the hero monks were *quite* impolite to the people who wanted to kill them.)

                  We also have several that were murderers, adulterers, and one of the doctors of the church even ended up pulling his bastard son in to the faith, eventually, IIRC.

                  That’s things they had to overcome, not that was because they were so holy…..

            • In a week? I’ve already been called an accomplice, murderer and told that it’s all my fault.

            • I’ve been watching the same people post about how we absolutely must not attribute this to Islam because he was a homophobe, and a devout Muslim would not have committed violence during Ramadan; and how vile it is for Christians to say they’re praying for the injured because of course they want all LGBT+ people dead.

      • In fairness, of all the traits associated with the FBI “imagination” has never made the top ten list. I rather believe they select against that particular quality.

      • Train the FBI on 7 years of our prime enemies are ‘Right-Wing Extremists’ and then act surprised if they haven’t been thinking about ‘Islamic Terrorism’ (which I understand the phrase has be removed from their manuals)?

        • Considering the fact that we all know that Right-Wing Extremists hate gays and want to kill them all; that excuse doesn’t hold much water.

        • Yanno from my interaction with individuals that work there, the FBI is well aware of where the threat is. Ditto (I suspect) most law enforcement/intelligence folks. The problem is that they’ve learned that explicit mentioning of Islam is bad for career enhancement.

          • Yep – getting tagged for displaying “Islamophobia!!!eleventy!!” is a bad career move, as was demonstrated by that Hassan jerk at Fort Hood. Everyone who had anything to do with him professionally glommed onto the fact that he was a loose cannon, a raving Islamic nut-job, but it was a career-ender to come out and say so.
            Islamo-Privilege is a real thing.

            • The way supposedly “progressive” people ally with the most medieval, obscurantist, and *actually* clerico-fascist totalitarian ideology on the planet is one of the miracles of the age 😉

          • Oddly, those who are interested in career enhancement (as opposed to performing their jobs well) tend to be superbly sensitive to the importance of telling one’s superiors what those superiors want to be told … and never, <I<ever, telling them that which they do. not. want. to. know.

            • which explains why the first time Obama hears about *anything*, it is on the 6 o’clock news.

          • I’d go a step further and say that they’ve probably got it down to “publicly mentioning it embarrasses the department and hurts your career,” but they’ll still file intel reports on it.
            Might go a bit more your guessed route and say something like “international interests” or some junk.

            • Nonattributable: “If you mention that particular religion of peace in an intel report again, you will be counseled on file. If you do so a third time, you will be reassigned where your mere existence will not embarras your superiors. Independant investigative duty in Greenland, say.”

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        “they never imagined anyone would hit a gay club.”

        Well, that’s just unpossible. After all, we know that America is filled to overflowing with crazed, gun-wielding Evangelicals who lust to spill the blood of gays.

        (sarc, obviously)

        • scott2harrison

          Actually, that is becoming more true all the time as these “refugees” are fast tracked into the country. After all Islam is VERY evangelical (convert or die) and I won’t even bother mentioning the rest of those attributes.

      • Must be the alcohol served. Baptists have much to answer for, preaching against alcohol, and no doubt contributed to the hatred of alcohol behind this.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Fortunately, there are no other anti-alcohol, anti-gay religions that could be responsible.

          (do I need the sarc tags?)

          • Like those who need them would listen.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I don’t know Chris.

            I do know that I am very anti-alcohol.

            However, killing a man isn’t that preferable to letting them drink themselves to death. It seems like the sort of thing one would only do if one had sound reason to think that the social drinker posed a clear and present danger to others.

            I have never been in a situation that would cause me to make that judgement, so perhaps it is a rare event.

            Or maybe I’ve been saving up for tomorrow, and will then be trying to convince people we need a bloody pogrom of immense scale.

        • Must be the alcohol served.

          And the dancing. I’ve seen Footloose, I know how Christians can get when it comes to rock & roll and dancing.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Well, I also have a fairly extreme dislike of much music, and dislike the crowds that accompany dancing. I don’t know that I have any fondness for dancing either.

    • The reining characteristic of our would-be betters is the vast number of things they know which simply are not so.

      Such as laws defining moretarget-rich environments “gun-free” zones would have prevented this, even though Florida state law bars bringing guns into bars. Or bans on automatic weapons and assault weapons when the weapons Omar used were neither, were legally purchased after passing multiple background checks, and my extreme doubt that any of the people decrying “assault weapons” could proffer a definition more workable than the one Potter Stewart employed for pronography.

      Unsurprisingly, whatever the identified problem such persons always seem to have the same solution: putting “the right people” in charge. And we have seen what their definition of “the right people” always and forever will be.

      • Oops. Strike “reining” and insert “reigning” — they recognize no reins on their behaviour.

      • Barring laws against carrying in pubs (incoming carp in 3,2,1), I’m waiting for some enterprising attorney to sue a Free-Fire Zone establishment for putting its patrons at risk. That will be a popcorn moment.

        The local hospital/clinic says no firearms or weapons, as does one branch of the biggest credit union in town. I have no good alternative to the hospital (sorry, that easy-open knife is a Tool, sir!), but the other branch has a more enlightened approach. It also gets most of the ranchers and retirees. We’re rural enough that Sudden Jihad Syndrome isn’t likely to hit, but if so, the hospital ban will be honored in the breach.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Point of order. Liars could also say that.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Response to your point of order.

        They must be very stupid to believe that their lie would be believed.

        On the other hand, they may believe their followers are stupid enough to believe it.

        On the gripping hand, they could be stupid liars and their followers could be stupid. 😦

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          They may calculate they have the social pressure to force most people to pretend to believe, or at least shut up.

    • The Other Sean

      I so want to get together a protest group equipped with “Ban Islam, Not Guns” signs.

  4. freddie_mac

    there is no way that dirty, manual labor will ever command status and/or power.

    *snerk* Tell that to anyone who has been waiting (im)patiently for the plumber/electrician/boiler repairman/washer repairman/etc to arrive & fix whatever item so you can get back to your life.

    Whenever I’ve had a household emergency, I’ve been very aware of the power imbalance, as in my life is on hold until *those dirty laborers* fix things. Each time, my respect for *those dirty laborers* has increased significantly. If I had any children, I’d definitely push them towards the trades.

    (note: my electrician has pointed out that the company he works for [a Mom & Pop electrical company] is hurting for electricians)

    • Out here there are two types of vehicles parked overnight in the driveways of the ritzy houses: Teslas and contractor trucks.

    • sabrinachase

      And then there is status among plumbers 😀 I earned points with one when, in the course of describing the epic and eventually very expensive problem I was having, said “…and I checked in the crawlspace and it looks like the stack is leaking.” He blinked several times, leaned in, narrowed his eyes, and asked, “how did you know it was called a stack?” (Since I hadn’t given him the secret plumber gang sign earlier…) Ah, the joys of doing house repair with my dad when I was but a sprout. Learned a lot.

      (The “stack” is the big ur-drain all the other drains connect to before heading out to septic systems unknown. Mine was leaking because it was cracked (not easy to do to cast iron) and it had cracked because the septic line was all clogged and cracked and stuffed with feminine hygiene products (NOT FROM ME). At one point during this repair I had a *coff* authentic medieval moat. And was down to fumes in my savings account. )

    • Too many people are blind to the obvious fact that a “plumber’s crack” is merely his showing his arse. It is a classic example of how the serving classes reveal their disdain and disrespect for their social betters.

    • You have the sense God gave a goose. There are those who do not make the connection.

      • Yes, many college attendees these days suffer AIDS — Applied Intelligence Deficiency Syndrome.

  5. Sarah, you’re a class act.

  6. While we lack class in the sense of the rest of the world there are those who do desperately try and institute the privileges of class status to their positions in the various professions.

  7. But that applies even less in our day. For instance, if you take that definition, my entire profession just moved from laborers to capitalists, at least in theory, since we now can own all the means of production involved in getting our product to the public.

    Shows what you know, missy…if you were intelligent and education (ie, a leftist) you’d realize Amazon owns the means of production in your field and is using it to exploit the workers you dismissively refer to as publishers who are the real workers of books, not mere writers who are the incapable who need the hard working and moral publishers to care for them.

    And I think I just pulled something writing that.

    • “And I think I just pulled something writing that.”

      No, you pulled that writing out of something. Same words, but very different concept…

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Trump is going to shut down Amazon, so direct financial interest in stopping him. Hahahaha. Okay, petty vindictiveness may be one of his more reliable traits, but wrecking the Amazon may only be a temporary impact on the indy market. Perhaps we shall see.

    • And I think I just pulled something writing that.

      Pull the other one!

    • Is this a new form of masochism? Brain blendering to write like them…

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I developed abnormally, and that is one way my sense of humor manifests.

      • Well, in the relevant circles i am know for enjoying a good mind f**k scene so maybe.

        I was thinking it is more my sarcasm organ seems to be metastasizing.

        • Uh oh. We can barely handle as it is

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I think at the very least me and RES have been doing it here since before you showed. Fifteen years ago I said UN peacekeepers needed to emulate the Mongols to be more multicultural. I think RES is older than me, so good chance he got started earlier.

          • One of the reasons I hung around was you always want to be the least proficient player in the band. When it comes to sarcasm this place is like being the third sax player behind Paker and Rollins.

          • I’ve not the faintest idea what you are trying to suggest, sirrah. I am quite confident I have never engaged in such hi jinks and anyone who claims otherwise probably lies about other things as well.

            [p-tu! Darn butter was starting to clog my throat. In future the only things I ingest from Irish peat bogs will be whiskey.]

  8. I need to send this to my daughter. When she was in High School she asked me what class we were. I took a stab at explaining that America is not supposed to be a class based society and mostly isn’t. When pinned down I said we could be described as working class, but striving for better. You explain it far better than I did.

  9. “I was also entering my office by vaulting — at my age! — over a small table… .” that would been interesting to watch. However with my agility the table would have been crushed.

  10. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Depending on how you measure, I could count as anything from trash to upper class.

  11. What’s both interesting and disgusting to behold is the speed with which the cultural Marxists* are creating new “classes” replete with hierarchies; and the full on exercise of their most holy power (the state) by exploiting victimhood. True, it’s just a variation on an old tune in the name of “progress”, but the emerging class system looks even worse than the old. And I scarce thought that possible.

    *I know some don’t like that term, but damn if it’s not accurate.

    • Given that they make their bread arbitraging the distinctions, it isn’t all that surprising.

    • Look at what the most Marxist nation left on Earth, North Korea, has done. When the nation was formed the government created 51 different classes and called it the Songbun system.

      So much for creating a “classless” society……..

  12. It’s easy . . . to have a ton of money and no status.

    I’d like to make a minor quibble on this statement – having a ton of money pretty much ensures that you have some indicia of status, however temporary, but is no guarantee of class. See a current major-party presidential candidate.

    Status is taking a dozen of your closest friends out to a five-platinum-star restaurant and wining and dining them to the tune of ten grand. Class is tipping the wait staff in a commensurate manner

  13. Eric Flint, of all people, put it best in one of his 1632 books (I think): Communism in the US was hampered by the fact that its proponents never quite realized that the traditional European class system never really caught on, despite the best efforts of many limousine liberal types.

    • Flint is an odd case–I refer to him as the Finland of the anti-puppies.
      He calls himself a Trotskyite, but he’s really not. What he is is a Fabian socialist, American-style, because he actually likes the white working class. The man’s been able to work with David Weber, whose books have a consistent theme of “An Ode to Free Markets and Free Trade.”

  14. It all seems to be “know your betters” and I agree, but not the way the “betters” would like. Know them so they can be the ones adorning the lampposts should the need arise.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I can tell sometimes when a person is substantially better than me in a subject area, or substantially worse.

      You can probably imagine the fields where Kratman exceeds me, and very likely exceeds my capacity.

      There are people here I think I’d love to work for, because of what I could learn.

      • I have no problem with “better at.” As you say, those are the ones to learn from. It’s the other version that needs some… adjustment.

  15. We’re very do it yourself-ie; we don’t inherit class, we have to make it ourselves, for each individual. Then we smash the glass when we’re done. 😉

  16. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I’d like to be a foreign policy and national security expert. I know well the limitations of my knowledge and experience. Claiming the expert title just makes me look like a self aggrandizing wannabe.

    • What’s their opinion on Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife’s fitness for office? Unless they all, each and every one of them, sign an open letter declaring her unfit, I’m inclined to disbelieve their belief.

    • Since our other options are also unfit for office, my response is to yawn and wonder what this twit knows about national security and foreign policy. H-ll, I could probably do a better briefing on a lot of foreign policy topics than most of the self-described experts. Just give me access to material in the desired field and time to prepare. And I won’t need P0werpoint.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        The correct denouncements of Trump may be a necessary part of any Hail Mary strategy to advance an alternative. If they really are serious about supporting alternatives, good for them.

        • They all, each and every one of them, had a chance to line up behind an alternative early in the primary cycle. But they all hated Cruz with equal passion, and practiced self-delusion when looking at where Trump’s support was coming from. If they succeed in convention rule changes and denying Trump the Republican nomination, who’s their alternative? And what realistic path would he or she have to the presidency when the part of the electorate that enthusiastically voted for Trump sits on their hands in November? Making the early primaries winner-take-all with plurality wins was a huge, huge, HUGE mistake. Do you honestly believe changing the rules after the fact would be any less of one?

          A vigorous campaign by a third party candidate targeted on one or two large electoral vote states might be enough to tip the election to the house. IS that a result you would look forward to?

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I’ve been sure Clinton would win ever since Cruz and Kasich dropped out.

            Trump’s purported path to victory is as plausible as wishing terrorism away.

            I’ve rethought my short term political goals to account for the Democrats having the Federal government for four more years.

            I am not persuaded that Trump has renounced the Democratic Party. I am not convinced there is any measurable difference between Trump and Clinton.

            Trump supporters taking their marbles and going home might be a partial victory in my eyes.

            • Many of us have doubts about Trump. Having NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER about Hill, Trump looks significantly better.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Doubts about Trump are silly.

                Yes, his statements can be cherrypicked to support any interpretation. If he were really shotgunning out random statements, we would expect at least one suggestion that gays were at fault in Orlando on Sunday. That ringing silence indicates that his statements are calculated, and that he still worships and fears one PC god.

                He says one thing and then the opposite so that you will, in your fear and uncertainty, pick the one you find most comforting and discount the other.

                You can only evaluate him on his actions, and to do that you have to ignore his claims about his actions.

                If you have read the entrails, there is no uncertainty.

              • Pretty much, yup.

          • The GOP is screwed until they stop allowing Democrats to have a say in their nominating process. Not just the use of Democrat operatives as debate moderators but open primaries – including those that allow voters to declare their party at the polling place.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Presuming we’ve lost this cycle no matter what, there might be little cost to using this as an opportunity to start a new party. Such party would not be bound by the court order which hamstrings the Republican Party by hindering its ability to accuse the Democratic Party of fraud.

            • They are also screwed because the states that ALWAYS go democrat in the general, are weighted much more heavily in the primary process. California has the same number of delegates as Texas, yet not only does it reliably go democrat in the general, but it has less than a third the Republican voters that Texas does. New York is worth 2/3 the delegates and yet not only does it always go democrat in the general, but there are less Republican voters in it than in states with only a third as many delegates. This is how we consistently get leftist nominees like McCain, Romney, and Trump. We are letting the leftist states (and in a large part the NE) pick the nominee, rather than the actual base of the party. Then wonder why the base is lackluster in its support.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                A new party started up fresh could define itself by opposition to the certain leftwing parties, and set up rules specifying that delegates are weighted by general outcomes.

                • It ain’t never gonna happen department, but states could be awarded delegates to the convention in part based upon the number of electoral votes delivered over the last several presidential elections.

                  I can sort of hazily see how this might yield electoral disaster, but how much worse than the current straits might it be?

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    There are three factors that need weighting: Enemy party votes, old party votes, new party votes.

                    The weighting system probably needs to function at all levels. For the national convention, the important races might be executive and legislative.

                  • “It ain’t never gonna happen department, but states could be awarded delegates to the convention in part based upon the number of electoral votes delivered over the last several presidential elections.”

                    My thoughts exactly, both “it ain’t never gonna happen” and “we could award delegates based on the number of electoral votes delivered in the last several elections.” Actually I was thinking that if your parties nominee in the last several (say four, a number would have to be defined) got less than 45% in the general, your delegate count should be curtailed, and less than 35% would cause an extreme curtailing. This would mean that actually competitive purple states that may not have actually voted a majority for your nominee in the last few elections, but were close enough that they conceivably could flip (say they went between 46-49% in the last few elections) would have a more significant role than places like New York which will go Republican in the Presidential election sometime after Hell freezes over.

                    Or you could simply allocate delegates by the number of Republican votes in the last few general elections. In this case Wisconsin would be significantly more important than New York, because it has more Republican voters, while currently New York has twice the delegates for half the Republican voters.

                    Personally I prefer the first option, but the latter would still be preferable to the current system.

      • Trump may be unfit for the office; Hillary certainly is. Somebody “fit” for that office is not on the menu of available options and eight years ago the American public made clear it is not a requirement.

        “Trump doesn’t need to overcharge outrun the bear.”

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          If a nomination is obtained by false pretenses, it might no longer be binding.

          There are medical requirements to be President. If a Presidential candidate becomes medically unfit, the Party may have grounds to replace them.

          The possibility of replacing Trump with a fit candidate that wins is remote, but no more remote than the possibility of Trump being significantly less unfit than Clinton.

    • I believe the ‘Legend in his own mind’ applies here.

  17. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Orlando Democratic Party Activist employed by Federal contractor that transports illegals and releases them inside America.

  18. AHEM.

    I wish to announce I have new heroes.

    Thank you for your inquiry regarding accessing our property to survey for the yellow-legged frog. We may be able to help you out with this matter.

    We have divided our 2.26 acres into 75 equal survey units with a draw tag for each unit. Application fees are only $8.00 per unit after you purchase the “Frog Survey License” ($120.00 resident / $180.00 Non-Resident). You will also need to obtain a “Frog Habitat” parking permit ($10.00 per vehicle). You will also need an “Invasive Species” stamp ($15.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 for each add’l vehicle) You will also want to register at the Check Station to have your vehicle inspected for non-native plant life prior to entering our property. There is also a Day Use fee, $5.00 per vehicle.

    If you are successful in the Draw you will be notified two weeks in advance so you can make necessary plans and purchase your “Creek Habitat” stamp. ($18.00 Resident / $140.00 Non-Resident). Survey units open between 8am and 3pm but you cannot commence survey until 9am and must cease all survey activity by 1pm.

    Read The Whole Thing

    If the Oregon Republican Party is not recruiting the Andersons for the governorship it is proof the party is brain-dead. If the Andersons are entertaining recruiters it is proof they are not fit to hold office.

    • Pure. Gold.

    • proof the party is brain-dead

      As a registered Oregon Republican, I see little evidence to the contrary, at least this cycle. The Tea Party made some inroads, but the Incompetent Empire struck back. It’s probably more like Spaceballs than Star Wars.

  19. Seriously, why do you always gain weight on restaurant meals? Even when you eat less than at home?

    My first thought was portion size, because when I eat at most restaurants I end up splitting the meal in half and taking half home in a take-out bag so that I don’t feel bloated afterwards. But you said “even when you eat less than at home”, so it’s not portion size. So my second theory is the recipe: if the restaurant uses quite a bit more sugar (for instance) in their recipe than you would at home, then that would adequately explain it.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Allergens causing inflammation causing water retention?

    • Salt. At least that’s what gets me. We don’t use any salt at RedQuarters, and eating out makes me inflate until the salt gets diluted once more (24-36 hrs).

      • After my wife went to the ER for low BP for the third time, one of the things our doctor told her was to eat more salt.

        • The Other Sean

          I had a pair of coworkers, married to each other, whose doctor placed one on low sodium diet and the other on a high sodium diet, due to high and low blood pressure, respectively.

          • Three months ago a cardiologist wanted me to stop using salt since my blood pressure was slightly high. Since I’m of the “there’s never too much salt” type, nothing has tasted very good since.

            Also, my blood pressure has not changed.

            Whether there’s any statistical link between salt use and blood pressure in the general population, it doesn’t seem to make any difference with me.

            • When working with my Diabetes Nutritionist to reconfigure my diet in the face of my diagnosis, the single most useful element I gained was the realization that it makes no difference how Statistical Norm (Geeze, I hate that guy!) responds to dietary modifications; what matters is how my system reacts to changes. If everybody in the world has a blood glucose spike after eating white rice — but I don’t, then I can eat white rice.

              New studies are repudiating the link between moderate salt usage and BP. Do your own research, monitor intake and BP reactions, then reach your own conclusions. There are reasons beyond sodium intake for high BP (it was one of the symptoms indicating my Type II Diabetes, forex) so don’t just follow the standard diagnostic advice.

              • Perzackitly. I have substantial distrust of the medical profession; anything I can check myself, I do so.

                My wife was diagnosed high blood pressure years ago. We now own three sphygmomanometers. None of them even approximately agree; bringing them to her doctor, she found that the several in his office not only didn’t match any one of hers, but none of the ones in the office matched either.

                With the same operator, within minutes of each other, they ranged from “very low” to “likely to explode like a head in Scanners.”

                So far I haven’t found a standard calibration method for the things.

                • The method of “calibration” is whether or not the needle is in the box at zero. Bp is a tool but you gotta have same method and person for tracking.

  20. Randy Wilde

    I guess I just can’t let the discussion of class in the U.S. go by without saying…

    Well they said you was high-classed
    Well, that was just a lie
    Yeah they said you was high-classed
    Well, that was just a lie
    Yeah you ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine

  21. Apparently H. G. Wells advocated killing all the “inferior races.”

    And how will the new republic treat the inferior races? How will it deal with the black? how will it deal with the yellow man? how will it tackle that alleged termite in the civilized woodwork, the Jew? Certainly not as races at all. It will aim to establish, and it will at last, though probably only after a second century has passed, establish a world state with a common language and a common rule. All over the world its roads, its standards, its laws, and its apparatus of control will run. It will, I have said, make the multiplication of those who fall behind a certain standard of social efficiency unpleasant and difficult… The Jew will probably lose much of his particularism, intermarry with Gentiles, and cease to be a physically distinct element in human affairs in a century or so. But much of his moral tradition will, I hope, never die. … And for the rest, those swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency?
    Well, the world is a world, not a charitable institution, and I take it they will have to go.The whole tenor and meaning of the world, as I see it, is that they have to go. So far as they fail to develop sane, vigorous, and distinctive personalities for the great world of the future, it is their portion to die out and disappear.

    Apparently we are just to die out without inconveniencing them with the need to kill us. Well, you definitely, me — depends on exactly how he draws the “dirty white” line.

    • Socialists are such NICE people aren’t they. At least now for the time being they are restricted to killing the not white people in the womb by convincing the mother very hard to flush them.

  22. …socialism at its inception was often a conservative ideology.

    It was also often presented as a liberal ideology. In 19th century Britain, whence most of our political ideas are drawn, the Fabians appealed to the Tories as persons who wanted to preserve the class structure and its privileges, but to the Liberals as persons who would use the powerful central state of the Tories to redress class injustices. Reverend John Williams of Australia has done some notable work on this subject.

  23. People have suddenly started throwing the term Alt-RIght around. Please forgive my ignorance, but I never got the memo as to exactly WHO is meant by that term. (Trump fans? People who oppose men in women’s restrooms? Hardline conservatives who want to burn the party down rather than vote for Trump? Vox Day?). Perhaps it is meant to be self-evident, but it is not to me. Frankly it seems to me that it is a term of convenience where some people on the Right noticed what an awesome time the Lefties were having calling us Right-wingers all “racist” and “sexist” and “homophobes” and wished that they could do that too in our little ongoing Republican Party civil war. So they made up a new term “Alt-Right” and now play the “Yeah, you Right WIngers are Racist/Sexist/Phobes” game too but differentiate themselves by saying it is only these Alt guys who are the problem. I dislike it not only because I don’t ever get the reference, but because it strikes me as the same old Rino tendency to agree with the Left that the Right is horrible but then add “but not me!” at the end. Since I’ve seen the term used by so many to refer to so many others in an inconsistent way, perhaps it is just an internal Republican Civil War term like “Fascist” has become in the general population: another word for “my enemy” with the implication that the speaker’s sect is the True Right. Anyway you slice it I don’t care for it. The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their real names.

    • The Volksdeutsche Expatriate is actually a pretty good example of an alt-righter. Attempts have been made to link it to the Tea Party, but this is silliness.
      Long story short, they’re real–and anyone who takes their philosophy from American Renaissance is probably actually a phenotypically-based collectivist–in common parlance, a racist.

      • not off-topic

        My smart ancestors chose smart mates. I’m delighted that it gave me an unearned advantage in life, Harrison Bergeron be damned. In turn, I made sure that my children had two smart parents. And so it goes.

        fnord Intelligence fnord is fnord heritable fnord

        “Racist” is the functional equivalent of “fnord”. Stop thinking now. Don’t wanna, ain’t gonna, can’t make me.

        • There is a huge issue with “choosing smart mates” — intelligence does not work that way. It doesn’t propagate linearly. Also, it comes with other impairments, which I sort of think is what you’re demonstrating.
          Above a certain level everyone is functionally aspergers. Was discussing this with brain researcher friend yesterday. I’m not that level, but my sons skirt it.
          Human inheritance and genetics are way more complex than you guys think. You’re functioning at 19th century “science” level.
          We’ve not calling you racist. We’re calling you ignorant.

          • Another way to put it– “smart” isn’t a single variable; it’s a way to describe a large cloud of variables, and some of them are really bad if you don’t have enough of the trait or traits that balance it out.

            Heck, there’s even a villain archetype for it– a “mad genius” is someone who has the smarts to do stuff, but is too stupid to realize that he shouldn’t.

            • not off-topic

              “You guys”; “impairments”. Isolate and invalidate, straight out of the book.

              Asperger’s? Sure, somewhat. The ability to intensely concentrate has been strongly selected for in my recent ancestry, particularly on my mother’s side. The ability to think clearly in multivariate probability contexts isn’t free, I guess. I’ll take the deal.

              Denying that Spearman’s g covers a very large amount of the variability in that cloud of variables comprises ignorance. Affirming it, not so much. Do the math. I have. Yeah, it’s reification. And it’s heritable.

              • not off-topic

                By “reification”, informally “it’s a thing”, I mean a quantity that corresponds to no directly observable thing but emerges robustly and is defined as the principal eigenvector of a cloud of data.

              • Heritable within parameters. Look, unless you have a degree in biology — and you don’t or the bullshit handwavium wouldn’t dazzle you — you’re talking out your ass.
                It is possible to select for ONE characteristic: say, ability to do math. Or aggressiveness. Sometimes two. You do it for more than ten variables (and intelligence is a lot more) you’re screwed.
                Then consider nutrition and environment and the puzzle of epigenetics which means very smart people can and do have morons for children, (or vice versa) when some factor changes. Look at classical Greece versus their ancestors. Or Portugal in present day, where six feet is not an unusual height whereas at five six or so I TOWERED over most males of my generation. You think that’s influenced and not reasoning? In various strains? Bah. That’s not thinking.
                As for your trigger words and accusing us of being straight out of the book, take a long walk off a short pier, cupcake. You’re like the SJW’s triggered by the word “shriek.” Or other words. DO try to think. Read a few books on graduate level biology. All the rest is obfuscation to avoid thinking you MIGHT be wrong.

              • 1) Your claimed ability in this comment does not match with your prior claimed ability; it is more specific, and thus testable, but “ability to intensely concentrate” is not “smart” even if it can be an aspect.
                2) Failure to answer any of the actual points made does not make your position stronger, even if you make a vague accusation of bad faith.
                3) You either quoted the wrong person, or replied to the wrong person. Your comment was so poorly formed that it is not clear which.

                And yes, part of being “smart” is being able to communicate, at bare minimum when people are actively trying to understand your statements.

                • Ability to intensely concentrate mostly just makes one thicker.

                • not off-topic

                  That intense concentration is the aspect of my behaviors that is most visible to me as annoying to others. Asperger’s being what it is, there are doubtless many more. Hey, I’m responding to a pointy-fanged point irrelevant to the OP. That’s aspish in itself.

                  • So far the only evidence of Asperger’s-like behavior you’ve displayed is an apparent belief that labeling a thing makes it so.

                    • Be fair, Fox, that’s also leftist behavior.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Lefty or not, this person isn’t somebody I want near the process of deciding “who gets to vote or who doesn’t get to vote”.

                    • Tell me about it. He probably isn’t lefty — just one of those who think flipping the signs on leftist ideology makes it “correct.” From Socialists, collectivists and eugenicists, and others who will judge the individual for anything but himself, the Good Lord deliver us.

                    • not off-topic

                      Um, what did I label? Serially. Or parallel, I don’t care. Does not compute.

                    • Does not compute.

                      Quick, somebody show him an Escher drawing! The unsolvable geometric shape might just short-circuit him!

          • not off-topic

            Of course inherited intelligence doesn’t propagate linearly. Since you think that counters my argument, here’s a proposal: Let’s play poker, for the futures of our respective posterities. I promise to stack the deck to the maximum extent that I can, and you promise to trust in Lady Fortuna. Can I deal?

            • Wow, you really don’t have any sort of a grasp on what other people believe, even when they flatly tell you, do you?

              Since you think that counters my argument, here’s a proposal: Let’s play poker, for the futures of our respective posterities. I promise to stack the deck to the maximum extent that I can, and you promise to trust in Lady Fortuna. Can I deal?

              Here’s a counter-offer:
              I will select my mate as a person, as my ancestors and my husband’s ancestors did, with intelligence of various types being a part of the whole.
              You go pick your mate off of them being “smart,” as you figure it.

              Given the observed results, I know which route makes for joy and success.

              • not off-topic

                If I may without further confusion respond to both of you in one post? Thank you for your gracious indulgence.

                I dated someone who was… not ever going to be company for me. She was otherwise perfect, and I felt horrible when I had to move on. In that we mutually dodged a bullet, but getting involved with her was worse than an error, worse than a blunder, it was morally wrong. I thought I could deal, but I couldn’t, and I hurt her.

                So smart, without sneerquotes, became a prequal for me. Does that reduce the pool that I can evaluate for the rest of “person”? Of course it does. You pays your money and you takes your choice. Your scoring algorithm doubtless differs from mine; that makes us different, rather than enemies.

                Spearman’s g has survived really intense efforts to make it go away. It hasn’t. That’s kind of the definition of fkn !Science!, eh? My defense of it as a concept seems to be very triggering for y’all. It must be awkward.

                Epigenetics is shiny right now. And it may well account for some of the 35% residue that doesn’t appear to be Mendelian-heritable. Which possibility is irrelevant to the 65% that is. That’s why I spoke of stacking the deck to the extent that I can. I actually do understand partial causation.

                The evil genius trope is an argument for disempowerment. “Don’t try for smart kids, if you succeed they may be eeevil.”. As if there’s a correlation. Everybody knows that the white male evil businessman / evil scientist is really quite stupid. Don’t you even watch kid TV?

                But I may have misunderstood. Was it “Trying for smart kids is eeevil, because Hitler, You Will Be Punished By The Powers!”? It’s so hard to tell.

                • If I may without further confusion respond to both of you in one post?

                  Based on the evidence offered? No, you are not capable of responding to both of us– with or with out confusion.

                  You’re busy having an argument with something, it’s not clear what, but you’ve repeatedly failed to respond to what others have actually said or are actually promoting.

                • regarding Spearman’s g:

                  Spearman’s own theories say there is a diminishing return and a high correlation between ‘defective’ children and the high end of intelligence.

                  In other words…

                  “You keep using that term. I think it does not mean, what you think it means”

            • You make three fundamental errors here.

              The first is failing to recognize that we cannot play simultaneously with stacked deck and random deals.

              The second is thinking you understand the cards sufficiently to stack the deck — which others have demonstrated you cannot do.

              The third is imagining that winning at poker is primarily a matter of what cards you hold.

              • not off-topic

                (1) Did I mention I was a totally reprehensible wolfling when I was 18 or so? I know whereof I speak. I’ll stack on my deal, you shuffle on yours.

                (2) 65% ain’t chopped liver.

                (3) You can avoid my unfair odds if you never bet on my deal. That means your kids agree not to compete with mine. Your terms are acceptable.

                • 1. I’ll cut on your deal, you can cut on mine.

                  2. 65% is asserted, not demonstrated.

                  3. See point 1, above. Reading the character of the other player is more important than reading the cards. One who believes winning poker games are determined by who has the best cards is bound to lose.

                  As for kids competing — what causes you to imagine you can predict what traits will matter in the next century? Most geniuses are, as you’ve perhaps noticed, employees.

                  • not off-topic

                    You can probably find a video of “One-handed annulment of the cut” on YT.

                  • not off-topic

                    The 65% assertion is a little old. Current estimates are from 20% in childhood to 80% in full maturity. Which surprised me. But maybe not, my parents have been getting smarter since they died.. Miss ’em.

                    You’re a good poker player. I was an accomplished cardsharp. Not proud of it, but it happened. Regrets aside, different games, different outcomes.

                    Genius Schmenius. There’s more as-defined genii here right here at ATH than at most URLs. With respect, most of us will never produce a “work of genius”. There’s a lot more to it than IQ.

                    Most of everybody are employees. Among those employees there’s a significant positive correlation between IQ and compensation. It’s worth having a little more. It’s not everything, and it’s not nothing.

                    • not off-topic

                      I have no more to say on the substance after June 23, 2016 at 11:46 pm.

                      Thank you all for the opportunity to grind my thoughts against your several whetstones. I hope your whetstones are grindier as my thoughts are sharper. Thanks in particular to those who engaged on the merits, and to Charlie for the floater over the plate. I’m fat myself, I like a man who will invite mockery so he can laugh at it.

                      Even here, the category “badthought” is not completely vacuous. Our gracious hostess’ first response isolated and disqualified; her second took me to task for tastelessly naming those tactics, and for daring to apply Alinskyite terminology to her. Da Blog is where I first tuned into our Orwellian reality. It turns out (duh) that reality on the ground is fractal.

                      Da Blog has a powerful immune response to the empirically supported idea “intelligence is heritable”. That’s an interesting thing. Oh well.

              • not off-topic

                The whole current discourse about the emergence of a cognitive elite based on assortative mating indicates that others at least think it has been demonstrated. Do you have counter-arguments?

                • A “cognitive elite” that seems like it can barely tie its metaphorical shoes?
                  Eh, go for it

                  • Yeah. It always works so well.

                  • not off-topic

                    There’s a very narrow base of law schools represented on SCOTUS. What could we call a base like that? Did they get into Hahvahd because of their athletic ability? No, it’s not that. Perplexing!

                    At the sharp end the ability to ally with just four others and make law for all 300M of us sounds pretty elite to me.

                    • Didn’t get into Harvard or Yale Law just because of their intelligence, either. A certain minimal level is required, yes, but other factors separate them after that.

                      As for the Supreme Court, your logical fallacy is too obvious to bother citing.

                    • Given the Harvard and Yale student populations, I rather doubt they got in on the basis of intelligence, either.

                    • Mostly they get in through connections.

                    • not off-topic

                      I apologize for not responding directly to RES, the thread was getting deep in several ways. :p

                      Which logical fallacy is that, RES?

                      You need to be either a legacy, a member of a favored group, or elite in the set of valedictorians to get in. Being not-Asian helps a lot. But getting in is only the beginning. It takes 30 years of not putting a foot wrong, post-graduation. SCOTUS is lately populated with “run silent, run deep” weasels.

                    • I offer a clue: it is one of the ones with hoc.

                • The error lies in believing that a cognitive elite is desirable when intellect is only one part (and a not very important part) of what makes a person human.

                  There is ample evidence that highly “intelligent” people are also profoundly unhappy.

                  Only fools think intelligence critical to a well-functioning culture.

                  • not off-topic

                    Did I say it was desirable? I referenced the current discourse. Plato’s Guardians are back, and I’m not happy about it.

                    Further, you’re conflating your desiderata for humanity, the happiness of the intelligent, and functioning culture. They’re not particularly commensurable.

                    The first is opinion, respectfully noted, and not particularly disagreed with. There used to be a social function called “religion” that dealt with this. I’m stumbling back to mine.

                    The second seems irrelevant to me. Are those blessed with great but fleeting beauty, for example, happier in their end-game? So what?

                    The third is open to empirical investigation. Perhaps we could enquire into the correlation between the rates of violent death (I avoid “murder” because it’s not, when the State does it) and average IQ in a number of countries. Let’s start with Zaire, and end with Singapore.

                    • Oooh! I wanna play cherry-pick the data too. How about East and West Germany? Or North and South Korea?

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  How are they detecting cognitive or other superiority?

                  I’ve heard that education is their proxy, and that isn’t necessarily a good one. As rule of men becomes dominant over rule of law, connections become more important. The high earning value of ‘elite’ education may be more connections than anything else.

                  Breeding programs take generations. What selection mechanism is there that will keep using the same matching criteria over several human generations? That can scale to any reasonable size? That can detect whatever meaningful heritable biological differences there might be?

                  Population growth is most strongly dependent on how young the woman is at first pregnancy, then on how many children. Spending ten to fifteen years attempting to sort the best female genetic contributions by tertiary educational achievement is silly, especially considering birth defect rates from late pregnancies.

                  Do not underestimate culture and deception.

                  Lots of people thought generic eugenics was viable and a good idea. Popularity doesn’t mean they weren’t full of shit.

                  That people are talking about this particular flavor of eugenics doesn’t mean it isn’t shit.

                  How are our moderns necessarily any better at picking good breeding partners than all the noble arranged marriages of history?

                  • not off-topic

                    Your excellent question was addressed in Donald F. Kingbury’s Courtship Rite. Because plotonium, on this planet all reproduction was extra-uterine. Gametes were stored when young and selected for inclusion in the reproductive dance on the basis of overall social excellence, “kalothi” in the book, of their donor individual. It was a different kind of stacking the meiotic deck. Because the metric was performance-based rather than ad hoc, this scheme avoids many of the many pitfalls of classical 19C eugenics.

                    So, lots of plotonium required. But (1) is it wrong, and (2) could it work?

        • Well, it’s always amusing to see this silly argument (Hi, Vox!).

          First, while there’s no question intelligence is in some degree heritable, it ain’t as simple as “smart parents have smart children”, because of a characteristic known as “regression toward the mean.” This is a statistical observation: in any random process, successive events following an outlier tend to be closer to the mean. (A crude anecdotal example is that Albert and Mileva’s kids were intelligent but not particularly notable.) So, statistically, this argument, applied to individuals, is basically ignorant.

          What is true is that smart and well-educated parents will tend to give their kids advantages, ranging from good nutrition to an intellectually challenging environment, that commonly leads to their making more of what the genetic lottery gives them.

          Now, as far as “racist” being a fnord, well, while I’m sure my old friends Bob Wilson and Bob Shea would be pleased to know the concept of fnords has outlived them by decades, in this case you’re mistaken. We can, however, refine the concept: we’re talking about pretty much any theory that assigns imputed characteristics of a group to an individual member of that group. In this particular case, racism, it’s assigning imputed characteristics of a group, a “race” (itself a poorly-defined concept), to individuals and inferring assumptions about those individuals.

          The problem being that this is statistical nonsense; it’s easy to observe counter-examples. While guys still play professional basketball, and black football players do Ph.D. level research in mathematics.

          Now, a common trope of this sort is to assign these to “race”, with characteristics like intelligence — or even more ill-defined characteristics, like ambition and individualism — being tied to what are basically unconnected properties like melanin. Even if the distribution of these characteristics is different among different “races”, applying them to an individual member of the group is fallacious and statistically ignorant, for the simple reason that an individual member of any group can have any value of the statistical quantity being measured in the distribution. Even if there are more skinny 7 foot black guys who play pro basketball, no particular black person is necessarily talented at basketball.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I’d quibble that focusing on the stupidity of “race as proxy for ‘superior’ genes” overlooks some of the other implied stupidities.

            2. That scientists can distinguish outright superior genes that are meaningful, and not already mostly present or mostly absent.
            3. That society could effectively make use of such measurements if the scientists could provide them.
            4. That politicians could make policy that would result in changes in such measurements that would have meaning over time.

            It is like taking the abstractions and simplifying assumption that introductory physics does for mechanics, and supposing that a society can operate by such without any deviations.

            You probably felt you had said enough, and don’t pull out the full course for every fool.

            • Yes, Bob, the central argument is “Humans are NOT fruit flies.”

            • not off-topic

              Assume a spherical fruit-fly. Zot! Ptui! Clink! … Ribbit.

              I pointed out that discussions of the heritability of intelligence are routinely shut down by the weaponized use of the word “racism”. Or fnordim.

              And now somebody is talking about “race as proxy for ‘superior’ genes”. Oh. It’s you. You appear to be using a caricature of the fnord-immune that doesn’t comport with my lived reality.

              The “superiority” of a particular genepool is relative to its environment, so is by itself underspecified. It would not be unexpected to observe separate genepools ranking (by the Handwavium-Makeitup “Thrive” metric) differently in different environments. Think San and Inuit, geographically transposed.

              But oh how you struggle with that thought experiment when one of the environments is modern technical society and the other one .. isn’t. Wall to wall fnordim.

              “Heritability” is shorthand for a statistical concept. It could be family debt owed to/by the spirits and would still be what it is, without reference to mechanism. Nobody, but you, is talking about genes.

              Society? Politicians? I said I made sure my kids had as good a chance as I could get them to be smart. Y’all are frothing about Gummint Eugenics. Dunno why.

              Unless you’re convinced that that’s the inevitable endpoint of my report of solid research (which The Blog* has called names, squirrel!ed, and spread squid ink over, but not refuted) that intelligence as measured by Spearman’s g is 65% heritable. Is that the inevitable endpoint? That would be something, wouldn’t it? Perhaps “Shut up!” is better. Perhaps.

              *Thanks for the somewhat civil engagement. Really.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                ‘Fallacies of eugenics’ has recently been one of my favorite topics. I see it as a subset of ‘fallacies of technocracy’, also a recent favorite.

                People have been attempting breeding programs for humans for likely thousands of years. I am skeptical that your program is likely to be notably more successful.

                If it is just your own kids, as a matter of policy I generally do not call bullshit on the optimistic speculation of parents. If it is just your own kids, why would you need to tell us? Why would our opinions matter?

            • There are only so many silly ideas I can talk about in one post. I have my own fish to fry.

          • not off-topic

            I deal in the eigenvectors of the inverse of the covariance matrix, but I’ve never heard about regression to the mean?

            How Trumpian of you. “Assume the sale”. Or in this case establish the background assumption that I’m an uninformed idiot. It’s not asshole condescension on your part, it’s strategic. Nice shot! … and a miss.

            According to regression to the mean and (I think) the Minnesota Twin Study, my kids only had an expected IQ excess of 65%(my IQ excess + my wife’s IQ excess). Which is more than 65%(my IQ excess + 0) assuming I had chosen a bog-normal mate. That is, after all, what “heritability” is. And you know it.

            So your reference to Al and Mila stands as a strawman, now burning brightly. Since you’re surely not expecting to flim-flam me with your straw man, it must be the rubes. Listen up rubes, Charlie thought you’d buy it!

            Now, as for the Bayesian inference that a member of a group may exhibit statistical characteristics of that group. It’s a sound inference, and you know it. It’s a weak inference, and I know it. Not every flicker in the forest is a tiger. For some reason, I’ll act on the possibility rather than the probability. Dunno why. Something about my ancestors? And it’s almost always (see weak) an unfair inference, and we all know it. This creates a painful dilemma which each of us must resolve for our own self. Unless Charlie and all the other bien-pensants resolve it for us.

            If I may quote Jesse Jackson: “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

            • And yet, there’s a few factors in that lovely multi-variant gnarly problem we’re discussing that you seem to prefer to avoid.

              Inheritance and genetics certainly provide a basis for a great many things: most of them not fully understood yet. Call it the innate tendencies. Culture is a big fat overlay that for the most part determines the accepted and acceptable means of expressing innate tendencies. That would be why a great many subgroups with a dominant culture of machismo, keeping face, and rabid hatred of the local authorities tend to have violent crime rates on par with inner city US slum zones, regardless of the racial characteristics or intelligence of the residents.

              By leaving the dominant culture of subgroups out of the equation, you’re not looking at the whole picture – not that I blame you. The fun of the kind of math you’re talking about is that by the time you have enough data density to realistically model behavior, you’re sampling at damn near 1:1 and can’t compute fast enough (for those who haven’t been over-geeked yet, this is why weather forecasting is wrong so often. Too many variants with interrelated impacts for the sample space). Add the self-optimizing adaptive behavior of all animals (and way the heck stronger in humans because we can override our animal instincts) to changing circumstances and you’ve got the kind of problem that gets called gnarly or wicked because there is no correct answer, and any of a number of potential solutions could be an improvement. They could also be a dismal failure.

              That’s a lot of words to say that one can be highly qualified in one area and next to useless in another. I’m not pretending to be anything beyond an interested amateur. I’m also not telling other people how to live their lives.

              When you stop pontificating on what interests you (yeah, I do that too – you can tell, right?) and start forcing other people into your models, then you’ve stepped off the edge into evil. I’d kind of prefer you didn’t do that. There are enough people in the world who have already done it without adding to their number.

              • not off-topic

                Minnesota Twin Study. You, me, Lysenko, we’d all like culture to be determinative. But it’s influential.

                • Minnesota. Yeah. Small sample size, demonstrates that there’s a heck of a lot of inherited and heritable characteristics. To a large extent the culture of the adoptive parents was pretty similar (middle-American values tend to be that way, especially within the major regions).

                  I never said culture was determinative. It’s influential in that culture says what the acceptable modes of expression are. If a culture says reading is good, you’ll get a lot more of it than you do in the culture that says reading is evil – or that reading is joining the hated oppressors.

              • not off-topic

                Yeah. Complex systems, self-organizing criticality. Chaos breeds ill-conditioned matrices for sure.

                • And theorists tend to forget that human chaotic systems include such things as anticipatory changes which throw the predictions out something fierce.

              • not off-topic

                Kate, your “cherry picking” remark might have force. You want to run it over all the data? Do you think your sidesnark will be vindicated?

                For a cherry-picked counterexample near at hand, take US 1980 vs US 2016. Somewhat dumber, much less violent. That’s the thing about statistics. Any amateur can lie with them, you need more than amateur knowledge to know when you’re being lied to.

                • That was kind of my point, actually. The way the data is, for every example there is at least one counter-example, maybe more.

                  I’d want to look at the raw data, the sampling methods used, and the controls.

                  When the genetics start essentially identical and the culture is forced to be so dramatically different, you’ve got a relatively clean sample for the influence of culture vs heritability.

                  Now, if there’s some nice clean samples where the culture is the same and the intelligence differs, we’re getting somewhere. The US in 1980 vs the US now isn’t the same culture (technically cultures – while “suburban USA” tends to be rather similar, there are still big differences between states, as anyone who’s moved from East to West or vice versa can attest).

                  Oh, and I generally start from the presumption that someone throwing statistics at me is using them to lie. That doesn’t change until I’ve verified the data, the sampling, and the methodology myself.

                  Yes, I am a wee bit cynical, why do you ask?

            • not off-topic

              Math error. Add “/2” for expected sprogsmarts.

            • Don’t be a dolt. Well, actually, I suspect you’re a particular obnoxious unlikable dolt, but in passing, don’t be a dolt.

              Having just said that intelligence was in part heritable, you try to apply regression to the mean *not* including that aspect. Nice try, but you’ve been caught.

              Similarly, it’s all well and good to invoke the good Reverend Bayes, but you still have the problem that while you can infer something about a posterior distribution from those observations, you simply cannot predict where an individual sample will fall in that distribution. That’s the central fallacy of racism.

              But thank you for playing.

              Oh, and don’t forget to call me fat,

              • not off-topic

                Oh, OK. Charlie, you take unearned dismissiveness to new widths.

              • not off-topic

                Bayesian inference is just another word for prejudice. So what? Prior experience quite properly conditions our expectations, as every moron knows and the Rev Jackson attests.

                A man of your talents should resort to such base equivocation. Sad!

                Nobody ever claimed that the Rev could, as you pretend to believe, tell exactly how threatening the individual behind him was simply by estimating his albedo. He could revise his estimate of how threatening the situation – followed by unknown person of albedo X – was. And the data in his life experience told him something he really didn’t want to know.

                It was just precisely the validity of his conclusions that caused him such pain. I’ve never respected him more than for this statement. Honesty, it does a polity good.

    • People who oppose men in women’s restrooms?

      If I have correctly interpreted recent passing mentions, dorms as well. In fact, ANY effort at establishing single-sex facilities of any sort will be prima facie cases of some kind of phobia and cause for government harassment.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I first started started seeing the term bandied about by people who identified as such. Since they were also concerned about the insane immigration policies of the left, I paid them some attention. The spokesman I followed was very careful not to say anything that would be a deal breaker, but had an animus towards the neocons that I was not persuaded by.

      The spokesman’s explanation was that the alt-right was opposed to the left, but was not the American right establishment. Maybe also not the part of the European right that is allowed into power there.

      It is certainly energized by a different set of issues than the Taxed Enough Already types.

      For me the so far irreconcilable break was the Alt-Righter endorsing Trump. I also oppose men in women’s restrooms, so that may exclude those two categories from Alt-Right.

      Alt-Right is not a category I pay much attention to. Supporting Trump is.

      I am convinced that for Trump the campaign is either a vanity project, or a long con that has nothing to do with winning. In either case, he is attempting to control his personal costs, and because of this has decided to campaign on the cheap.

      The traditional conventional thinking is that he needed to be prepared to hit the ground spending in early May. He was not. Traditional conventional thinking has been wrong on many things this cycle to Trump’s profit. Still, a serious campaign would raise and spend the money anyway, to manage the risks. We have four and a half months until the election, and that is not enough time to do everything. (A convention substitute would have less, and would essentially be using Trump’s strategy, except replacing the unfitness of Clinton with the unfitness of both.)

      The Alt-Right may be Trump supporters. If Trump is certain to lose, and they back him thinking he will win, their political judgement is poor, and their involvement in politics is probably harmful. This is a testable prediction, there is only a short period of time until all the hype collapses into recriminations. We shall see.

      • I also call alt.right those who identify as such. So, I’m excused from name calling. It is what they call themselves.
        As for who they are, we’ll leave aside who they THINK they are. I have enough history. They are the European right trying to apply their standards to America.
        I don’t event throw a fit at land-and-blood in europe. It’s part of each culture and it MIGHT be right there. Here it’s laughable and insane.

        • It might be laughable and insane here, but for most if not all of my adult life the left has wanted the mass of European ancestored people in the US to have a white identity. They just figured that would be an identity of shame.

          Now that white identity politics are going mainstream we have yet another example of how little they know about human nature.

          As for being laughable and insane I suspect the difference in Europe and the US is we are both close enough to the blending that would make the America “race” and brag enough about how it is a bunch of different people compared to say Germans talking about the German “race”. Given the left’s effort to make history taught to people a struggle between white and the allied forces of black, brown, yellow, and red, we might be as little as one generation away from having sufficient distance and ignorance for people to think of the white American race just as Germans, French, and other Europeans do.

      • Re alt-right: considering the ones that attack me on Twitter, at least, as a sample, here are some giveaways:

        They believe that the Jews control all media and banking.

        They believe that “mixing of races” is necessarily bad, and that those other “races” are inherently inferior.

        They believe that the Roosevelts, the Rockefellers, and the Rothschilds are all part of a secret conspiracy to control the world.

        In other words, they believe pretty much what any Klan member in the South, or any Progressive politician after Woodrow Wilson, did in the 20s.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          That doesn’t sound wrong.

          • No, it sounds tin-foil crazy.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Charlie’s description doesn’t sound wrong to me. It is in line with other evidence I have of alt-right assertions.

              • Oh, yes, that. I thought you meant the ideas of the alt-right weren’t wrong. Yes, it’s what I’ve run into also. Following by calling you communist, gay or a Jew. Because those are clinching arguments.
                I’ll also note they’ve called me communist. Which is sort of like calling the pope Mormon.

              • not off-topic

                The phrase “evidence of assertions” absolutely reeks of epistemic closure.

                You don’t need evidence to point and laugh at ridiculous assertions and you don’t need evidence to refute erroneous assertions. So, what is this evidence to be used for?

                To dismiss as beyond the pale the repugnant asserters (OK) and any who can be conveniently associated with them? (Not OK. All Republicans are not Akin.)

                But there’s more. By a powerful process I call “association”, “prosecution” lurks somewhere in the penumbras and emanations of “evidence”.

                Climate change deniers are on explicit notice that somewhat powerful people want to prosecute them for their opinions. Doubtless these would-be punishers of badthought have evidence of unauthorized assertions. Is their intent to chill and suppress or is it just random bloviation? Ask Mark Steyn.

                Your use of the phrase suggests that this tool is not altogether repugnant to you. That’s a shame. It should be.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Alt-Right might also be a bunch of Russian fifth columnists. Jury is still out on that.

      • ….I’m really not sure if this is meant as a joke, a half-joking suggestion, or dead serious.

        Because all three are defensible, especially with even a passing familiarity with Russia’s renewed focus on that junk.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          1. Russians now are often interested in crazy social programs and bizarre racial theories. It’d be strange if they weren’t represented in such an online community.
          2. Russian foreign, intelligence, security, secret et cetera services have very strongly developed customs. Given Russian ambitions in Eastern Europe, it’d be very unlikely that they weren’t helping beat the Muslim drum as distraction.
          3. Obama is not a good or wise person. I do not know what he had our people do in the Ukraine. Some of the comments on the Ukraine by Alt-Right or Trump supporters raise questions in my mind.
          4. There have been allegations about certain twitter accounts. Now, Eastern Europe has a lot of computer criminals, and they have to make a living somehow. Supposing this is happening, there are relatively innocent explanations for why Russians might be using twitter bot nets to promote Trump.
          5. Trump’s associates and intentions.

          3, 4, and 5 are where I don’t have enough evidence for a conclusion.

          We have two candidates that are pretty openly for sale, the incumbent is weak, the Russians have ambitions, parts of Eastern Europe are in play, I only don’t know that the Russians have the money. Twitter would be a very cheap way to create the appearance of a political movement, which could then pull actual native sympathizers out of the woodwork.

    • People have suddenly started throwing the term Alt-RIght around. Please forgive my ignorance, but I never got the memo as to exactly WHO is meant by that term.

      It’s one of the self-identified things.

      The main people I see using it are basically the liberals who got mugged, and kept pretty much every single assumption that didn’t directly get them thumped over the head.

      Pretty big overlap with the Libertarian sub-groups who are actively hostile to traditional morality, or even social controls of any type— even those voluntarily and assumed.

  24. One thing that the US seems to use in lieu of European class and status markers is accomplishment. I know a number of pilots and airport people who are low class (blue collar, bus driver, plumbers, appliance repairman) but high status (built/restored own airplane, work with hands and make good living). And one who is high class because he’s a professional musician as well as an aircraft mechanic – a combination not possible outside the US/Canada/Australia I suspect. I’m treated as medium status (teacher, pilot) until people find out that I have several books published as well as an advanced degree (high accomplishment). My class? Confuses the heck out of people on both sides of the Pond, self included.

    Interesting ranking trivia – in Germany and Austria, professor outranks PhD, so you use “Herr Professor Doktor [name]” if you want max social and class points.

    • The Other Sean

      Given that you’re a teacher, I’d imagine you have several classes. 😛

    • It seems to me that, for the most part, Americans (won’t presume to speak for Canucks nor Aussies) don’t much give a fergle about class, certainly not to the point of deferring to a person of the Upper Nobs. When well-disposed we might humour The Emperor Norton but more commonly we disdain those who demand deference because of their class.

      In fact, such expectations are commonly a component of our humour, e.g., the attitudes toward the locals as presented in The Beverly Hillbillies. We generally deem the sophisticated as proven by their ability to transcend class distinctions rather than dominate them.

      LIZA [to Pickering, taking no apparent notice of Higgins, and working away deftly] Will you drop me altogether now that the experiment is over, Colonel Pickering?

      PICKERING. Oh don’t. You mustn’t think of it as an experiment. It shocks me, somehow.

      LIZA. Oh, I’m only a squashed cabbage leaf—

      PICKERING [impulsively] No.

      LIZA [continuing quietly]—but I owe so much to you that I should be very unhappy if you forgot me.

      PICKERING. It’s very kind of you to say so, Miss Doolittle.

      LIZA. It’s not because you paid for my dresses. I know you are generous to everybody with money. But it was from you that I learnt really nice manners; and that is what makes one a lady, isn’t it? You see it was so very difficult for me with the example of Professor Higgins always before me. I was brought up to be just like him, unable to control myself, and using bad language on the slightest provocation. And I should never have known that ladies and gentlemen didn’t behave like that if you hadn’t been there.

      HIGGINS. Well!!

      PICKERING. Oh, that’s only his way, you know. He doesn’t mean it.

      LIZA. Oh, I didn’t mean it either, when I was a flower girl. It was only my way. But you see I did it; and that’s what makes the difference after all.

      PICKERING. No doubt. Still, he taught you to speak; and I couldn’t have done that, you know.

      LIZA [trivially] Of course: that is his profession.

      HIGGINS. Damnation!

      LIZA [continuing] It was just like learning to dance in the fashionable way: there was nothing more than that in it. But do you know what began my real education?

      PICKERING. What?

      LIZA [stopping her work for a moment] Your calling me Miss Doolittle that day when I first came to Wimpole Street. That was the beginning of self-respect for me. [She resumes her stitching]. And there were a hundred little things you never noticed, because they came naturally to you. Things about standing up and taking off your hat and opening door—

      PICKERING. Oh, that was nothing.

      LIZA. Yes: things that shewed you thought and felt about me as if I were something better than a scullery-maid; though of course I know you would have been just the same to a scullery-maid if she had been let in the drawing-room. You never took off your boots in the dining room when I was there.

      PICKERING. You mustn’t mind that. Higgins takes off his boots all over the place.

      LIZA. I know. I am not blaming him. It is his way, isn’t it? But it made such a difference to me that you didn’t do it. You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how shes treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.

      MRS. HIGGINS. Please don’t grind your teeth, Henry.

      PICKERING. Well, this is really very nice of you, Miss Doolittle.

      LIZA. I should like you to call me Eliza, now, if you would.

      PICKERING. Thank you. Eliza, of course.

      LIZA. And I should like Professor Higgins to call me Miss Doolittle.

      • Well, I think you’re right once you get about 50 miles inland. It’s pretty clear that the DC inner circle does Not Our Kind Dear pretty reflexively.

    • Given that I’m from a culture where the response to finding out someone is descended from somewhere or other’s royalty is the same as the response to finding out someone is descended from a convict (Oh, wow! Do you have any interesting stories about them?”), class is kind of irrelevant except in the form of decent manners.

      “Classy” = “polite (Australian standard thereof), helpful, generally decent person, takes defeat with honor and doesn’t lord it over the loser in victory”

  25. MadRocketSci

    Societies where people are obsessed with and scrambling for status are zero-sum games. Perhaps the status scramble is the effect of wealth creation becoming broken. Perhaps it is a cause of wealth creation becoming broken. Perhaps it’s one of those chicken-egg things.

    In any case, I’m somewhat nervous about how ruthless the status games are becoming. I don’t think I saw it 10 or 20 years ago, but I seem to run into it quite a bit more in graduate school. Elitism, assumptions of genetic superiority, loud worrying about “what are we going to do with all the useless people?” (kill them all, apparently): All of these things seem to be popping up more and more.

    I’ve never been good at popularity contests. I have so many better things to do with my time than try to climb a status hierarchy for status’s sake. People like me will lose in a class-obsessed society.