Sweet Liberty

Again this is late, and I’m sorry.  Yesterday Older Son came over and powered through moving boxes that were in the wrong place, while I powered through unpacking the ones that very quickly overwhelmed my bedroom.  By the time I did the instapundit night dj job, I was almost sleep posting.  Hopefully there weren’t any blunders too big.

So I slept a little late and haven’t had nearly enough coffee.

I was thinking as I woke up, that we’ve been eating out way too much.  After unpacking/moving all day, I’ll be so tired the thought of CHEWING makes me want to cry, much less the thought of cooking.  (Actually I still manage to chew, but there was a time I was so tired I had to have milk, because eating was too much work.)

When I get in that state, particularly if I also forgot to eat all day, I can be a pain and a half.  Add to that the tiredness of going out to eat every night — secret is I prefer my own cooking — and you get this:

“Where do you want to eat?”

“I don’t know.”

“Okay, we’ll go to Mexican Place.”

“NOT that.”

“Right then where?”

“I don’t know.”

“What about Chinese Place?”

“That would be fine.”

“But do you want to go there?”

“I don’t care.”

Repeat with anything you can think of.

I’ve heard exchanges of this type related as to why “people don’t really want freedom.  They want someone to choose for them.”

Right. Sometimes we do.  On things that don’t really matter.  Anyone who knows me well knows that “Sarah wants someone to choose for her” is the answer to “what is the sign that the apocalypse has come?”

BUT in certain things, at certain times, like when picking a restaurant while I’m dead tired, I want someone to say “We’re going to Pete’s, and that’s final.”  However, because I’ve trained my guys to leave me my decision space, we end up in an argument when I refuse to choose.  Same with every member of the family, btw, so it gets funny.

The truth is freedom — any type, even “just” where you want to eat tonight — is work.  Granted, the choice of a restaurant is less work than most, but you must still have some idea of menus, prices, and relative location of the place, which means really work at informing yourself.  And then you need to figure out what you’re in the mood for.

Does the fact that sometimes, on minor things, I don’t want to do the work mean I really prefer tyranny?

Oh, hell no.  I’ll be frank, I never want to do the work.  I’m very lazy except for writing.  BUT I also am aware that no one else choosing for me will choose “right.”

Look, remember being a kid and having your parents choose for you?  If you had anywhere near a normal childhood, those two people are the closest you’ll come in all the world, to someone with your best interests at heart.  And yet, how many times as a kid did they pick things you didn’t want?  And I’m not talking of the “broccoli is better for you than chocolate” type of thing.  I’m talking when your choice would be just as valid, like in buying outfits, but they picked one you hated, because THEY liked it?

Now make the people in charge of your decisions strangers with their own interests.  Do you see?

So what do you do when decisions are a pain?

You retain your freedom for all the decisions you can, and then you delegate.  Or in the case of restaurants, you write all the names down, close your eyes, point at one.

Do that in the case of judges and other political appointees you don’t have the time to research too.  (In my case I vote AGAINST retaining all judges unless one has obtruded on my attention as particularly good.  Too much time in power is a problem we have with our “elites” right now.)

But as much as I disdain the work, it must be done.  Once you surrender your sovereignty to get some peace, you’ve surrendered it all.  Yes, they’ll pick what restaurant you are going to go to, but also what you can say, what you can’t and how.

A lot of minorities — gay people come to mind — think an all powerful state could give them everything they want.  (At least their public representatives do.  Many gay people I know and I’m friends with are holding up both middle fingers RIGHT NOW.)  And they’re right.  An all powerful government COULD.

It also COULD take away everything they have.  Weirdly — and it is weird — I can’t name a single totalitarian government that has been good for minorities.  Communists in particular almost always attain power by courting minorities of all kinds, and then repress them ruthlessly when they attain power.  The “exception” is Africa, and it’s not an exception.  Black skin (well, varying shades of brown) is a MAJORITY in Africa.  So there communists don’t hunt down people with black skin.  Any other color, though, you’re out of luck.

I don’t know why, except that groups tend to behave like a lot of individuals, not a collective mind, and since that doesn’t fit the theory, communists must repress it.  Maybe.  Or maybe the only way to run a totalitarian state is by uniformity.

So when they think instead of doing the work of fighting for what they want in the forum of public opinion, they can surrender that part to the government, and short cut the process, what they are actually doing is surrendering ALL their decisions and all their rights to the hands of a third party.

Do some people want that?

Maybe.  Some people are so damaged that “not thinking” is a great good.  They live where I am after 12 hours of unpacking boxes.

But the majority of people?  No.  They don’t want to make decisions on what doesn’t matter to them.  And being busy cooking, cleaning, unpacking boxes, going to work and raising fat babies, they think a lot of things don’t matter because they didn’t take trouble to inform themselves.

This results in the two horrible candidates standing for president, but it’s not all.  No. The worst part is “people don’t want freedom.  They want someone to choose for them.”

Oh, h*ll no.  Except for our delegated power in our chosen representatives, most of us want to decide on what actually matters to us.  It’s what matters that varies.

Tell the most apathetic voter that you’re going to touch his precious — whatever that is — and it’s a lot like threatening to take me to a Mexican restaurant.  (I actually like food from Yucatan.  I despise tex-mex.)

Listen to what people are saying and the inferences made from your refusals to choose.

Sweet liberty is in your hands.

Keep it there.

203 responses to “Sweet Liberty

  1. As far as picking restaurants goes, my crowd came up with a fairly simple rule that allowed us to choose a place to eat in under half-an-hour: someone named a place, anyone was allowed to veto the current choice, but if you chose to veto, you had to come up with an alternate restaurant. It did pretty well by making everyone think, “Do I really object to Burger World enough that I want to go through the work of thinking up some other place that I’d prefer?”

    Another note on restaurants: what sort of Chinese place have you found that you can actually eat at? You seem to be almost as strict as I am on carbs, and I’ve found that Chinese can only work if it’s made by my own private chef (aka my husband). Chinese restaurants only seem to serve carb-covered-carbs with carb sauce served over a bed of carbs.

    • if you skip the heavy sauce stuff and the rice, you’re “sort of okay”

      • We have a Chinese place as opposed to Americanized Chinese. That’s the place to look for.

      • garynealhou

        Yep. Choose a non-breaded meat dish, skip the rice and ask for extra vegetables, and you’re probably fine. The little bit of cornstarch used to silken the meat won’t, by itself, push you over the edge.

      • We had found a frozen egg roll that had a protein/carb ratio of about 2:1 — pop three or four in the oven, mix up some mustard and sinuses cleared and tummies filled all within daily carb allowance. Pork, chicken or shrimp and not bad (egg roll do not have to be good, they exist as a reason to consume Chinese mustard.)

        Off the market now, at least locally.

        Pfui.

        • William O. B'Livion

          Name/brand?

          After all, Amazon delivers 🙂

          • Confucius brand, made by VAN Oriental Food, Inc in Dallas.
            http://www.vanskitchen.co/confucius/

            In checking the (saved) packaging I see memory failed: 1:1 ratio (each egg roll offers 11 grams carb, 11 grams protein) which is still worlds better than the more common 4:1 ratio offered by most frozen egg roll.

            The same brand is now available at a ratio of about 2:1, which is tolerable for light meals as it is possible to get enough protein without overdoing (for my tolerances — YMMV) the carb amount.

            • Pretty sure those are the ones we buy at Costco.Are they individually packaged inside the box? if they are, then it’s the same brand.

              • No, they were packed a dozen to the box, in two bags within the box.

                No duck sauce (as if I want any) provided. Nutritional drop-down reveals they now have 20 grams carb and 6 grams protein. Bad ratio. Bad, bad ratio.

                I used to get them at WalMart.

                Having visited their website I notice it is a “woman-owned” company. My response to that is to quote a recent comment by an 11-year-old boy in response to his karate instructor’s “invite”: OK IDC.

  2. And the people who decide not to choose, or to “let someone else take care for it” beyond picking a place to eat or which book for the book club next month, fail to realize that soon the power to choose is also taken away. “I want someone to do it all,” flips to “But not that! No!” far too late.

    • And if they are restored choice they immediately say, “I want someone to do it all.”

      There is a word for that and it is childish. They are children. I am more and more convinced socialism and other forms of state workship are, in the end, proof someone didn’t grow up.

      The problem is we’re letting children vote.

      The more I watch elections the more I think the whole, “own property to vote” thing might not be 100% wrong. Perhaps have a set of thresholds beyond that (property or military service for example) but the whole 98 degrees and 18 trips around the sun isn’t working well at all.

      • I’m all for something like that. Some sort of proof of maturity and knowledge of the issues should be required before the franchise is extended to an individual.

        • Propose anything even *remotely* like that and the Usual Suspects will start shouting “Jim Crow laws!”

          • Yeah, but their cries don’t mean as much as they used to. Soon they will mean nothing. They can deal with us, or they’ll have the alt.right. “Must be this pale to vote.”

            • They think we are the alt.right, though. No, honestly it might have started as just check electoral tactics but I think they’ve fallen to the biggest hazard of creating your own religion for fun and profit (much as Hubbard did): you start to believe your own bs.

              • I think Trump started off as a minstrel show Republican, playing what he thought a Republican was (think Colbert). He was as surprised as anyone that he got enough support to win. Now it seems like he’s determined to force the GOP to oust him.

            • I don’t want to live in a country where Hillary can vote and Thomas Sowell can’t.

          • So it’s JIm Crow if the Black guy up the street from me gats to vote because he own his home but I don’t because I don’t have any assets?

            • No…but property requirements are racists because at least one black would be denied the vote.

              Let’s face it, “Jim Crowe” = “at least one black person is worse off than at least one white person”

              • “At least one black Democrat is worse off than at least one white person”

                FIFY.

          • Well, my first cut at a test for being allowed to vote is:

            “Name the major-party candidates for at least one of the races on this ballot.”

            If a potential voter can’t do this, he hasn’t properly informed himself well enough to cast a vote.

            Another possibility would be to have a potential voter pass the same test that is used to qualify immigrants for naturalization.

            • A potential voter might even be required to identify statements and the candidate responsible for them.


              Nah – that’s crazy talk.

              • One party has made the abrogation of some of my Constitutional rights part of its political platform. Therefore, I cast my vote against them at every opportunity.

                The other party is just as insane and evil, but at least they have the courtesy to make an effort to hide it, most of the time.

                • well, not really ‘some of’…

                  “freedom of speech”- except when its hate speech
                  “freedom of the press”- except when its conservative
                  “freedom to bear arms”- in a militia, except the militia isn’t what the law says it is
                  “freedom to be secure in one’s papers”- except when they want access to your email, health records, phone records, etc

                  (yeah i could keep going)

            • Randy Wilde

              “Name the major-party candidates for at least one of the races on this ballot.”

              Hmmm. If this question causes someone to break down sobbing this year… is that sufficient proof of knowledge?

              • Seriously, while walking past the wild donkey enclosure in the zoo, I told my son something like “Now Hillary is the official dem candidate.” And the donkey broke out in wild braying. As we walked away my son said “I guess he didn’t know?”

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                ‘Maybe Jill Stein wouldn’t be too bad’ said the guy with a rabid hatred of environmentalism and Greens.

                • Hell, I’d give YEARS of my life to have Rubio at this point. And I’d only grumble a little at Jeb!
                  Christie and Kasich otoh NO.

                  • Jeb! NO too…if one good thing could come out of Trump is the GOP elders realizing that continually pushing for another squish is not going to cut it.

                    They, however, seemed determined to prove they’ll learn the opposite.

                    • I’m sorry — where is your evidence of the GOP elders having ever learned anything?

                    • I have none hence the “if one good thing”.

                      If anything most evidence points to the GOP elders learning exactly the opposite of what any given event teaches.

                • There are reasons I am voting Libertarian this year.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          I like the concept of this but fear how the Politicians would put it into play.

          To be blunt, I distrust a government bureau that decides “who can vote and who can not vote”.

          There is already a problem with voter fraud, imagine the temptation for the Party in Power to decide that people likely to vote for the other Party don’t get to vote. 😦

          • Yeah, that’s the rub.

          • Just require a voter’s bond. You go to your county clerk’s office with proof of citizenship and a check for a reasonably large amount, say $10,000. Once the check clears the Treasury sends you a nice laminated voter ID (with photo, of course). Once your bond has been held for 10-11 months you are eligible to vote. At any time you can surrender your ID and get a cashier’s check for the account balance (your bond accrues interest at the rate of a 100-year T-bill). Any citizen who pays the money can vote. Democrats can have big money donors bankroll the poor, but nothing can stop the voter from taking the money and running – one reason for the amount of the bond to be large, think of it as wealth redstribution.

        • Three days late, BUT the requirement might be to have money INVESTED, directly or via mutual fund. Your IRA will qualify. So will a 401K or health savings money. A government-issued defined benefit pension should disqualify you. The important thing is that your future well-being will be sensitive to the health of the economy.

          Privatizing Social Security will help a lot.

      • I’ve thought that 1) military service and/or 2)proof of ownership of real property (you have a mortgage and are making house payments) or 3) proof of steady employment and an affidavit showing that you have paid your bills on time for the past year are all good places to start. Especially for jury duty and local elections (like having to show proof that you live in the district to vote in a bond election).

        • Think Dr. Pournelle’s US “Taxpayer ID Card” under the CoDo, dividing the masses between “Citizens” who are net consumers and “Taxpayers” who are net contributors.

          And hold elections everyone can vote in under the old rules, then hold other elections to do the real deciding where only Taxpayers get to vote.

          Straight up Imperial USA stuff there – co-opt the old rules, then overlay the imperial stuff controlling the real power under the Imperator/President/Chief Justice/whatever point of power gets put in actual power after the troops march in to “liberate” the capitol.

          • Divided up how?
            Because right off the bat I can see all stay-at-homes being disenfranchised, along with disabled military veterans, all those who are retired, and that’s before they put real effort into it like with that stuff where they declared that red areas are tax-consumers. (Because of roads and national parks, basically.)

            • That’s the problem. *sigh* Trying to define “responsible” in the “only responsible people can vote” is a challenge, to put it mildly.

              • Maybe by filing status?

                Although then you also penalize those who have a larger number of children– my kids are going to fund all the debt spending people have been doing since before I was born, and we spend money to raise them, but they’d be counted as tax sinks.

                Don’t get me started on things like school taxes, which they school still gets even though my kids are home-schooled. Or taxes for buses that aren’t safe for me to ride….or parks I’m not allowed to use unless I pay extra….

            • Roads, national parks, and military bases.

        • Too easy to disenfranchise entire areas via identity theft.

          • Oh, I’m certain a truly imperial government would somehow end up with the “right people” retaining their Taxpayer ID Cards, while the “wrong people” somehow fell below the limits. Nothing personal, it’s just the law.

            Recall that in the CoDominium, the equivalent structure for the Russians was membership in the CPSU, so just think of how Party Membership mattered in that empire.

      • William O. B'Livion

        RE: voting;

        Best way to do it is to hand voters a legal sized sheet of paper with three columns (and lots of rows) formatted like this:
        NOTE: SPELLING COUNTS!
        Tier | Office | Choice
        _____|_________|_______
        (etc.)

        Alternately give each voter a stack of 3×5 cards and have these instructions in each booth:

        Put the name and number of the district at the top (for country put the official name of the country).
        Put the name of the office on the second line.
        Put the name of the candidate you wish to vote for on the third line.
        Do not bend, fold, or mutilate your index card.

        Then you can count the votes just by sorting.

        Of course then the problem is who counts the votes.
        But then it always is.

        • Anonymous voting may protect against intimidation by Party, Union and Mob, but there’s a cost that few people think about: anonymous ballots make it impossible to audit the ballot by checking with individuals to make sure that they really voted the way they did, or that a given ballot was really cast by someone who is still alive, etc.

          Is this trade-off worth the prevention in intimidation? Perhaps. Particularly in the case of “preference cascades”, where it enables people to vote in a way that they otherwise wouldn’t, for fear of social repercussions….but then, voter fraud can cancel out preference cascades as well….so it’s probably sixes, either way….

    • I see it with all the property owners vote, but that is a wealth system. How about You must be 26 and married to vote. Accelerated/loophole – 4yr years in the military (good conduct), male/female vote (yes gives families 2 votes, OK what’s the problem? could let females vote at 24 in line with usual letting females marry younger than male.) Normal restrictions: not in jail (serve sentance vote).

      • Randy Wilde

        So, since I never married and only enlisted for 3 years back in the day, do I at least get a break on income taxes, since I would have even less say in the government than I do now?

  3. I’m thinking of that childish display yesterday and thinking how anybody could want THOSE people make their decisions for them.

    • Apparently if you’re in favor of disarming the law-abiding, that’s what you think heroism looks like.

      *is snippy today*

    • Because they think it wasn’t a childish display, but speaking truth to power. The fact that the people staging that little farce have the national news media, the entertainment industry, tge President, and every would-be aristocrat in America on their side is, of course, irrelevant.

      • Charles Cooke had pretty much the perfect reaction to that:

        “What is ‘epic’ about sitting on the floor of a room that you are legally entitled to be in?”

      • But they ARE power. These the HOUSE DEMOCRATS, who have essentially controlled the government for decades. All of the people on the floor had been in the house for decades.

        • I know that, and you know that, but most of the people supporting those blithering twits don’t know that. Besides, they’ve not had a majority in the house since the 2011congressional inauguration, so I’m prepared to cut them some slack on that one.

          • Well there is no entitlement to having you part in power in the People’s House. You have to EARN it. And the Dems lost their control for very good reasons and to be frank, if they keep doing stunts like this the Dems will only go further into decline.

      • There is one thing more, and it has one of mine p***ed. When they went to the Capital Building, the guards made sure they were quiet so as not to disturb the legislators. This one noticed that there was no effort to silence protestors in the peanut gallery. And that is how Republicans are made.

        I was surprised the GOP didn’t fold like a house of cards, which is what they usually do with the Democrats.

        There is something that needs to be said: Every Democrat, every celebrity, every newspaper, every magazine, every commentator that supports gun control has in effect said keeping firearms out of the hands of citizens is more important than a citizen’s right of self defense. That includes single women; the poor; lesbians and gays; and everyone else they claim to support. If they really wanted to support them, they would want to issue them free firearms and training classes so they could protect themselves when the police aren’t around. They haven’t, and I hope those who have traditionally supported them are taking notice.

        • Have you read Scott Adams’ analysis:

          So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

          [SNIP]

          So as long as Democrats are mostly using guns to shoot innocent people (intentionally or accidentally) and Republicans are mostly using guns for sport or self-defense, no compromise can be had.
          http://blog.dilbert.com/post/146307088451/why-gun-control-cant-be-solved-in-the-usa

          Emphasis in original.

          • SheSellsSeashells

            Most of my social media friends are blindly liberal. Pretty much all of them have at one point or another posted a variant on “Wouldn’t be great if $THEM all died horribly?” As someone who’s generally a member of $THEM in one way or another, like hell am I gonna take one itty-bitty step toward gun control.

            • Yeah, I’d never thought of it quite that way before, but I think Adams is onto something there.

              • It’s a problem in projection and othering; ever wonder about the whys and wherefores of the really virulent anti-gay stuff comes from, and note how often it spews forth from guys like Hastert and Mateen, who themselves are deeply closeted and in-denial gays?

                We don’t really have a straight-on-gay problem in this country; what we have is a closeted-gay on openly-gay problem. In my experience, most straightforwardly straight guys really don’t give a rat’s ass about gays, gay sex, or whatever. It’s not an issue, because it has about zero attraction to them, and makes no sense whatsoever. Frankly, you want to be gay? Fine, that leaves more available women. In theory, anyway. Point is, most straight guys just don’t give a damn, one way or another, what you get up to in the bedroom, or who you’re with. We mostly look at the gay lifestyle the way a lot of people look at the whole BDSM culture–It’s an item of purely academic interest, and that’s about it.

                Now, what’s interesting? Every one of the guys I was around who were vehemently anti-gay, the ones that would go up on weekends to go “fag-bashing”, and then boast about it on Monday? Yeah, ran into a bunch of them again, over the years, and it was truly a thing of wonder to note how many were now fully out of the closet, and openly gay themselves. Looking back, I really have to wonder if a lot of the crap they were saying they were doing was really just camouflage, and they were going up to those clubs cruising for other guys, back then, and using their little “fag-bashing” expeditions as an excuse to be there, or cover if they got caught.

                Of course, the one guy I do know who got caught for that crap, and then thrown out of the Army was really beating up gays, so I might be wrong in why he was going up there. Of course, he also came out of the closet about five years later, and was heading into really weird transgendered terrain, last I heard of him.

                Given the history of things, I really have to wonder if most of this crap is gay-on-gay violence. Most straight guys don’t even care if you come on to them–We’ll politely tell you we’re not interested, and if things don’t go past that, no harm, no foul. The ones who really overreact, I strongly suspect, and beat the crap out of someone for simply asking are the ones who are conflicted and confused about their sexuality, and their reaction is part of it. It’s not a straight-on-gay violence problem, it’s the idiots who can’t reconcile things. Kinda like Mateen, and a half-dozen others I can think of. And, many of the politicians who’ve made huge issues of it all? Yeah… How many of them turn out to be like Hastert?

                The gun issue is the same thing–The mentally ill sub-group is projecting their issues onto the rest of us. They have poor impulse control, and are prone to violence, so they can’t comprehend that other people aren’t just like themselves.

                I’m kinda tired of being the target of these deviant’s projections–I could really care less what your sexuality is, so long as you don’t insist on putting it in my face and frightening the horses and small children. I resent being accused of being “homophobic”, when the reality is, I just don’t care one way or another about the trivialities of your sexual/gender/whatever issues.

                Same with firearms–You don’t think you can handle it? Fine–Kindly quit projecting your infantilism onto me. I’ve been going armed since I was 21, and I’ve yet to answer that siren call supposedly emanating from my gun safe, the one that whispers “Kill… Kill… Kill them all…”. Frankly, I’m kind of disappointed in my firearms–They must all be low achievers, because none of them seem to be very motivated to go out and kill people. Hell, I have enough trouble getting them to go out to a range for practice and target work, the lazy bastards. I have to do everything for them…

    • Those tactics may have been appropriate to ’60s college kid activists trying to advance Civil Rights; the use of them by these now supposedly adult legislators in a bid to strip Civil Rights from their fellow citizens is just – wrong.

      • This is largely an attempt by the senescent to relive the glory days of their halcyon youth. It is proof they’ve not matured in the last half century.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      At least they weren’t claiming that the Pulse shooter was a government false flag.

        • kenashimame

          No, they’re out there.

          Hell, I have friends who have been accused of staging the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            At least the Democrats in the Federal House of Representatives aren’t doing that with the Pulse shooter.

      • The Other Sean

        Clearly the Pulse shooting is the first stage of Democrat-led efforts to exterminate the LGBT population. Not only was the shooter a registered Democrat, but he’d been credentialed by the government to work as an armed security guard. The shooting eliminated a portion of the target population, and provides cover for the Democrats now seeking to disarm and make vulnerable the target populations via the new gun control laws they’re pushing.

        It all hangs together fairly well. I should look into better packaging so I can get people to believe this.

        • I’ve been wondering something like that for about a year now, watching the left encouraging the most flagrant displays, issues, of the LGTB crowd, while simultaneously cozying up to the Muslims.

          Probably proves my inherent homophobia and Islamophobia.

        • If they were using the gays and the Islamic populations as cats-paws, to gaslight the rest of us, what, I ask of myself, would they be doing any differently?

          Not a hell of a lot. The transnationalists are looking for power, pure and simple, and you’ll note very carefully that they’re setting up the foundations of a “closed shop”, as in the EU, so that there will be nobody to tell them any differently. Soros, Obama, Merkel… Pick your poison. They want to run the world, and without any of that pesky “interference” from democratic institutions, so that the humble will be under their thumb, forever. Ain’t going to end well.

  4. clark e myers

    Abilene, definitely Abilene.

  5. As I’ve said before, some people are only fit to be slaves.
    No one is fit to be a master.

    • A slave will always find a master.

      While most people here probably sort into the “Says who? Make me!” category, for a sizeable set of people, “freedom” is not only not valued, but not even desired, at least beyond trivial things.

      All their life someone has told them what to do, been in authority over them, or had power over them. They don’t resent it. It’s normal and comfortable, and they think people who talk about “freedom” are borderline nuts.

      • Well, I don’t particularly resent it when my boss tells me what to do on the job. But then, that’s an authority I consented to by taking this job — and its sphere is limited. My boss can tell me “That music is disturbing your co-workers; please use headphones.” He cannot tell me “I don’t like that music, so you can’t listen to it.” And anyway, I suspect that the employer-employee kind of authority isn’t what you were referring to…

        • I remember someone talking about her experiences with teaching engineers. She was intimidated at first by their “anti-authoritarianism”, but after a while she realized that they weren’t so much anti-authoritarian, as they were “you have to demonstrate your authority, and earn my respect, before I accept you as an authority over me”.

          I’m also reminded of a liberal who was thinking about all those studies that say conservatives are “authoritarian”, and realized that the “authoritarian” tendencies being measured were conservative-favored ones, such as military authority and religious authority. When he put together a survey that measured things like environmental authority, he discovered that liberals were just as “authoritarian” as conservatives, if given the right authority….

      • When I think of those that feel oppressed by too many choices – the anthem that comes to mind is Devo’s “Freedom of Choice”. The closing refrain goes something like: “Freedom of choice, is what you’ve got. Freedom from choice is what you want.”.

  6. All the more case for a smaller, more decentralized government.

    Just how far off the rails we’ve got really hit home with me in 2010. When such a huge economic sector and critical component of civilized society came down to the election of one senator in MA. Forget the fact that Brown’s vote was ultimately for naught because of a hopelessly corrupt system, the PPACA affected all Americans to an extraordinary degree, yet one small area of the country got the chance to make the choice for everyone else. And then that choice was overturned by the ones in power.

    A lot of oxen are going to get gored in the near future, but the wailing is going to fall on deaf ears. All those people who were “not interested in politics” are going to find out that Politics sure found them useful.

    • A lot of oxen are going to get gored in the near future…

      See why that labyrinth idea is sounding so good to me of late?

      • Just remember that the labyrinth might your prison not your safe space. 👿

        • And that’s why I insist on design approval and construction supervision.

          • Vetinari-style seems prudent. (all the locks and bars are on the inside.)

          • AND NOT demanding the annual sacrifice of seven maidens and seven youths?

            • Well duh. Youths are easy, but maidens, at least past grade school, are thin on the ground. Assuming of course the traditional definition of maiden.

              • Last time I saw the surveys– the anonymous ones– not actually true. It was something like 20% of 18 year old girls weren’t virgins.

                Darkly amusing, the ones where classmates had a route to know your answer had a much, much higher rate of people claiming to have had sex.

                (Don’t get me started on doctors. Just do a quick search for something like “doctor’s reaction to hearing I was a virgin” and read about some of the abuse that doctors will heap on the “liars” who won’t admit they’re screwing everybody.)

                • I’d love to see some of those surveys myself, if you have a source you can easily link to.

                  The data I’m aware of comes from the National Survey of Family Growth, which asked a lot of questions about women’s sexual history. (And recently, has been asking the same of men, but not recently enough to give good data for analysis yet, which is why the analysis I’m about to link to only analysed the data on women). The NSFG is an anonymous survey, where the interviewer talks to the person in private and promises them that their identity will never be revealed. The Institute for Family Studies did an analysis of the NSFG data to see how many women said they were virgins when they got married, and the effect that their premarital sexual behavior had on their risk of divorce. According to the anonymous NSFG data, only 5% of women who got married in the 2010’s claimed to have been a virgin until the wedding (see Table 1):

                  http://family-studies.org/counterintuitive-trends-in-the-link-between-premarital-sex-and-marital-stability/

                  That is a significant drop from the 12% figure for women who got married in the 2000’s. The previous decades (14% for the 1990s marriages, 17% for the 1980s, and 21% for the 1970s) also showed a slow decline in virginity-at-the-altar, but it was a slower decline; the 5% figure for 2010-era marriages is the sharpest drop yet.

                  If both sources are accurate (80% virgins at age 18, 5% virgins when they get married), that means that most women these days do think that their virginity is important and don’t want to give it away on a whim, but they do not think that marriage is the thing they’re saving it for. Rather, they appear to be saving it for a “long-term romantic relationship” — and once they’re emotionally committed to a boyfriend, they will most likely sleep with him.

                  Another interesting figure is that 22% of women who married in the 2010s had had just one premarital sexual partner. It seems likely that for most of them, that was their future husband, so that means that 27% of women had their first sexual experience with the man they ended up married to, whether that first experience was before or after the wedding. But note Figure 1 in that article, where premarital partner count (N) is compared to risk of divorce after 5 years. For the 2000s cohort (the 2010s cohort didn’t have high enough numbers for statistically-valid analysis), the chance of divorce for N=0 (virgin at the altar) was about 5%, whereas it jumped to 20% for the N=1 group. Even though that one premarital sex partner was most likely the man she eventually married! The difference in commitment between those who believed in waiting until marriage (N=0), and those who believed in waiting for a long-term romantic relationship (N=1), is stark.

                  Anyway, this data isn’t in any way a refutation of the surveys of 18-year-olds that you mention. But it’s something I recently came across, and thought it was interesting enough to mention.

                  • It was on paper, so sadly– no, can’t link. Tried to find it again and only found the CDC one that you take in class.

                    Additional thing to consider– a lot of women become sexually active out of being lonely, and going to college is frequently very, very lonely.
                    That could also account for the statistical difference.

                  • You know, I was wondering partway through there if the drop in virginity at the wedding had to do with jumping in with the future husband… the correlation with divorce even in that case is interesting.

                    Something I noticed among my last set of co-workers was that it seemed like a bunch of people were cohabiting long-term with a lover and then got married when they decided to have kids.

                    • The explanation of the divorce numbers for cohabitation couples that I’ve seen that makes the most sense to me is that a significant number of these couples get married solely because they see it as the next step in the relationship and don’t want to be stagnant. Needless to say, the prospects of a relationship founded on “Eh, why not?” are generally poor.

                    • There’s the ones where only one person is carrying the relationship, too– heart-breakingly enough, the one being carried is usually shocked and hurt when the other half finally gets tired and quits.

                      The most obvious place you can see examples of this are the guys who are usually fairly young, and do the absolutely passive thing– they won’t resist anything the girlfriend wants, but they won’t do anything, either. Where she pulls him, he’ll go– but he won’t even pick up his own clothes unless it’s required for something that he wants to do.

                      (As usual, this isn’t because guys are uniquely bad– it’s just that for whatever reason, guys tend to do things in ways that are fairly easy to see. Probably the same reason that guy-type heroics are more popular.)

                    • I will take this opportunity to point out that a significant number Puritan children in the Massachusetts Bay Colony were born five to six months after the marriage of their parents.

                    • Didn’t they use the old “engaged is as solid as married” standard?

                      Vaguely like how Mary was “engaged” to Joseph, but if he “put her aside” it was a divorce; meant something like she wasn’t living in his house yet?

                    • kenashimame

                      That was one aspect of it. That and needing to make sure you could generate farmhands…

                    • Betrothals were serious business. And binding. You had given your word after all.

                    • There are no oaths involved in Jewish marriage. The word usually translated as “betrothal”, erusin (or in earlier Talmudic texts, kiddushin), refers to the first part of the marriage ceremony (see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erusin): a couple who had done erusin were married, not just engaged, except they weren’t supposed to have sex until they’d done the second stage, nissu’in, and actually moved in together.

                    • Mary, absolutely. “Breach of promise” was literally a tort and frequently a crime.

                    • You could sue for specific performance.

                  • With any data on sexual activity, you should count on the answers being X% of the people who responded, not X% of people. I suspect that people with zero sex partners prior to marriage are less likely to fill the survey out- because it’s none of the survey takers G__ D___ business.

                    • The NSFG says that their response rate “for recent data releases” (whatever that means) was 73%:

                      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/about_nsfg.htm

                      Having no experience with surveys myself, I can’t say if 73% is unusually high, normal, or unusually low. I’d guess it’s unusually high, but I’m sure there’s someone here who can speak from more experience than I’ve had.

            • No sacrificing of anyone. Visitation perhaps. No “youths” and well, “maidens” seems a bit… narrow-minded.. and I think I best not go on.

              • The Other Sean

                Can’t we at least sacrifice some Progressives? Please?

                • Good grief, NO!

                  The gods want us sacrificing our best, not burning our trash. Didn’t you understand anything about Esau’s story?

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Humm…

                  Let’s see, Orvan’s Maze should have death traps that intelligent people could avoid, ones that will dispose of the bodies without any traces (especially smells).

                  We tell a bunch of Progressives that this kind-and-gentle creature is trapped in the Maze and only people with the proper “Feelings” for the poor trapped creature can rescue the poor trapped creature.

                  So they enter the Maze concentrating on having the “Proper Feelings” thus missing the obvious signs of danger and fall into the Traps.

                  Of course, we can arrange that guests that would be welcomed by Orvan would avoid the death traps. 😀

                  • Overall, I like it. Creature… adequate description. “Kind and gentle” though? Oh, right, you’re being sneaky, underhanded, devious, and possibly even that worst of horrors, truthful. Confuses the [REDACTED] of “progressives.”

                  • We’re talking about SJW types here, aren’t we? To establish such traps, wouldn’t it be sufficient to have signs that say “WARNING: DO NOT JUMP INTO WOOD CHIPPER WITH BUILT-IN INCINERATOR! CERTAIN DEATH WILL RESULT! JUMPING IN FEET FIRST WOULD BE PARTICULARLY BAD!!!” and then scrawl under the red letters “But if you do jump in, at least you can say you did your part in saving the environment and ending racism and bigotry!”

                • I prefer to not get close to such things. No telling what ill effects might occur.

        • Is there a difference between a prison and a safe space is the safe space is used for anything more than a chance to reground and rest?

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Safe Place = “Nobody enters unless I want them to enter & I can leave whenever I want”.

            Prison = “I can’t leave when I want to leave & others can enter anytime they want”.

            👿 👿 👿 👿

            • A lot of the people screaming for safe spaces, however, I suspect become too afraid of the outer world to leave and are effectively imprisoned if they get a safe space.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                True.

                Patricia A. McKillip in her Riddle-Master Trilogy had a story about a nobleman who extremely annoyed one powerful king.

                The nobleman wanted a wall around his estate to prevent the king from getting at him.

                This builder promised him that nobody could get past the wall that the builder would create so the nobleman allowed the builder to create this wall.

                Much later the nobleman decided that the king’s anger had faded so he tried to leave his estate.

                The problem was that the nobleman couldn’t get past the wall around his estate.

                He realized then that the builder was the king he had angered. 👿

              • There is no greater prison than the one a person puts themself in. They have the cruelest jailer in all the world.

              • Works for me. Let them be imprisoned in their safe spaces, where they can’t irritate and annoy us normal folks.

                • The Other Sean

                  This would be fine by me if they weren’t insisting on lavish public expenditures to purchase/build/maintain their “safe spaces.”

                  • Well of course I’m against that. They want a safe space, they need to pay for it themselves. Or get their parents to, as they very likely have no independent source of income…

            • “So, he can’t leave, unless you, or anyone else, comes for him”
              “No, only me, not anyone else”
              “RIght! okay, so he can’t leave unless”
              …….
              My apologies to Monty Python – but your comment sooooo took me to that scene…

              -John

      • sabrinachase

        Like *that* ended well. One chick and a ball of yarn later, you’ve got a splitting headache.

  7. I am a natural follower. It is just more comfortable for me to let someone else take charge and use the mental energy I save to support another’s decisions.

    However, this only applies to someone who has earned my trust with a track record of making good decisions, and whom I believe has my best interests in mind. Neither of which applies to the American Federal government.

  8. They don’t want to make decisions on what doesn’t matter to them.
    ….
    This results in the two horrible candidates standing for president, but it’s not all. No. The worst part is “people don’t want freedom. They want someone to choose for them.”

    I think it’s more the other way around– there’s a lot of people who DO want to make choices in stuff they flat-out don’t care about.

    “Making a choice” is promoted as a good, in and of itself– not making a good choice, but just the choice itself.

    Making a choice is power. Insisting on using power, just to use it… *shakes head* Not good.

    We’ve got an obligation to figure out if a choice is something we care about enough to put the work into so we can make a good choice; if it’s not, then we make the prior choice to not choose at this time.

    • The “we gotta do something” impulse

      • “My choice is JUST AS GOOD as yours, even if it’s based on a coin flip!”

        • This is why wolves look down on foxes…

        • I’ve long used coin flips (BTW that’s apparently an offensive term, our trainers aren’t supposed to use phrases like “flip chart”. Since the room was full of Nukes this news resulted in the word “flip” being used far more frequently than normal conversation required) to make decisions. The key is to pay attention to your reaction to the result. If it’s “OK” go with that result, if it’s “best two out of three” do the opposite.

          • Goodness, yes– I have no issue with using it to narrow the choices, I’ve just got horrible luck with people and have run into far too many who think the dog in the manger is a good life-guide…..

            • Yeah, if someone says that they have to support a decision they don’t like just because the coin says so I cease caring about their opinion.

              Just like the Trumpettes who think I have to vote for Trump now that he’s the putative nominee. Sorry, but I vote for a candidate, not a party. McCain and Romney earned my vote, largely by being better than Barry the Simple. Granted, that’s not a high bar to clear, but Trump seems hell-bent on running into that bar face first.

          • that was our test for this house. it’s not what we RATIONALLY wanted to get, but when it was “taken away” we were both crushed. So when it came up again, we stayed with it.

    • And then there’s the ‘My choice is good, and therefore it must be your choice also or you’re a bad person’ bunch.

      • Randy Wilde

        My choice defines me, so if you make another choice, you’re a hateful intolerant bigot.

    • > a lot of people who DO want to make choices in stuff they flat-out don’t care about.

      …and a lot who insist on making choices for others, about things that are none of their damned business.

      • Oh, gads.
        Don’t remind me. I’m trying NOT to think of this year’s family reunion…

        The only good part is that with the whole “moving across the country” thing, they MIGHT back off a little on the idea that having more kids than they did being some sort of child abuse.

        • At what level do they get excited about? We noticed that a four we started to get snarky comments in restaurants. ended with 10, who cares about their opinions?

  9. I came home last night in an irritated by life kind of mood. After about 3 snippy comments, I found dinner sitting in front of me. So, apparently, I’ve trained the people in my house to feed me when I’m tired enough to be unpleasant. This could work for me.

    I grew up with my mother making every decision for me that she could. Because she was paying for the clothes, I wasn’t allowed an opinion. Same with anything else that included her being involved. It’s why I got my first job at 13 and usually hid the clothes I bought for myself. I refuse to do that to my children. It’s why my daughter wears a lot of dresses and my son wears suits.

    And there’s more but it comes down to I’m a stubborn cuss who doesn’t like people being in charge of her life. It can make certain situations very uncomfortable.

    • Yep. And LOL on the suits. He might get along with my older son.

    • *laughs* While I reserve a veto on what the kids wear, it has to be a good reason– I let the six year old wear the hideous pink lamb sweatsuit (it is pastel pepto bismuth pink; too pale to be the color of those old mints) that I HATE, because she loves it. I get rid of the short shorts, the undershirt-style tank tops meant to be worn as outerwear, and short skirs that don’t have shorts built in.
      If it’s dirty, I’ll also veto.

      But style? Oh, good lord…..

      • My mother insisted I was 2 sizes smaller than I was and thought anything above a D cup was a sign of being a slut. So all my clothes were the wrong size and I looked awful. We were on vacation once and had to buy a dress for dinner and it was the first time I owned anything in the right size, with the right bra, and a color that flattered me. It was rather eye opening.

        I think she was trying to subtly convince me to lose weight but there wasn’t much to lose, I was just tall and muscular for my age with breasts that were a bit more, ahem, ample than hers.

        • yeah, I had this issue, except for the breasts. LONG before I had any weight problems, mom kept insisting I should be smaller. She’s a head shorter than I, see?

          • My mom liked to remind me that she was a perfect size 6 when she married my father and worked as a wedding gown model. I played softball, lifted weights for fun, and was built like my very German grandmother. She also wanted me to be about 2 inches taller, as if that would make everything better.

            • One of my mom’s complaints (still) is “You have shoulders like a man.” Actually, no. I have shoulders like a linebacker. Since Dan does too, the boys are something special.
              It sort of shocked her when a modiste who was measuring me said “so do most models.”

              • My mom was measuring my daughter for a dress and sighed “She’s going to be short and fat, just like *hubby’s grandmother*” and it somehow came out that it was my fault.

                My son, however, plays football so the predisposition to be muscular seems to have helped.

  10. Way we usually handled picking restaurants was one of us presented three choices, the other got to pick. And whomever picked last time had to come up with the new list of choices.
    Mostly worked pretty well.

  11. The tough part is everyone wants to be the chooser on their hobby horse and not be constrained in what they want. People who never would be affected by something or will never see the effects of a decision want to use the choice to hurt their enemies.

  12. BobtheRegisterredFool

    1. Ammophobes are bigots who want to drag Ammosexuals to death.
    2. Gun controllers wouldn’t trust my good intentions enough to repeal the fourteenth amendment. Why would I be more trusting than my brothers?
    3. I need to do candidate research today.

  13. The “exception” is Africa, and it’s not an exception. Black skin (well, varying shades of brown) is a MAJORITY in Africa. So there communists don’t hunt down people with black skin.

    In Africa, even if you’re black, you’re not necessarily safe. If you’re from the wrong tribe of blacks, you’re fair game – like the Tutsis hunted by Hutus in Rwanda.

    • No, I know that. But communist regimes in Africa don’t turn on people because brown skin. They do ANYWHERE else.

    • Got to it before I could. Wrong tribe, wrong language, in what another tribe considers to be their territory (forget the notion of nation here), and you’re going to have to fight for the right to live.

      • Yep, of course, but again, I was only talking of skin color.
        Though it’s interesting that in all the arab countries, etc, socialist/leftist regimes exacerbate tribal violence.

  14. Lately I’ve been too hot and tired to eat. That’s not a good sign.

  15. I have a long-term small-l-libertarian streak, and have no problem saying that, among my freedoms as a free human, I can choose to allow someone else to make a choice for me. Sometimes I’m too tired to choose, sometimes I don’t care one way or another, and sometimes I judge that getting to choose is important to someone else and I can make that my gift. Bottom line is, though, it’s my choice in any case, and any consequences are mine, too.

  16. Professor Badness

    Sometimes, we don’t have an opinion. Sometimes, we are too tired/harried to care. Sometimes, we trust the person/s making the decision.
    And sometimes, we know we are screwed no matter what decision we make.
    None of this means that the decision making should be taken from our hands. I feel like my hands are tied this election, with the choices we have. But I will vote my conscience, (not my pocketbook).

  17. And these are the people given power over your lives.

    That’s just… sad.

    • That, out of 300+ million people in the country, these are the best we could come up with to ‘lead’ us is, to my thinking, frightening.

      • One of the first filters is “really wants the job.” Most of our best and brightest break out in hives at the thought of being stuck in politics, e.g. the Correia/Ringo ticket that was bandied about a few months back.

    • I think it was while George W. Bush was President, but I came to the realization that whoever is in this position, is the President of the United States, no more, no less. In particular, he isn’t *my* President, unless, perhaps, I’m in the armed forces, but even then, he’s merely my Commander in Chief.

      Where my life is concerned, I’m presiding over my own life. The President of the United States may try to interfere with that, but no matter what, they cannot take my own Presidency away from me.

  18. The worst part is ‘people don’t want freedom. They want someone to choose for them.’

    If everybody wanted to jump off a cliff into a lake of tapioca pudding* I still wouldn’t join them.

    I don’t care what people don’t want, never have and don’t plan to ever start. What I care about is what I want (and what I don’t) and anybody who thinks they can choose that for me can book passage for a tour of all seven circles.

    *Lime Jello is a different issue entirely; one I’m not ruling out.

  19. A good trick for indecisiveness, that I found somewhere a long time ago: Put the outcome on a coin flip. Doesn’t matter how the coin lands, as soon as it’s in the air you’ll know how you WANT it to land.

    • Terry Sanders

      And if not, you’ll see how it landed, and the satisfaction or disappointment you feel will tell you what you need to know.

  20. kenashimame

    Didn’t Sam Adams remark on this issue, back a couple hundred years ago?

    I believe his remarks ended with the wish that posterity would forget that the wanna-be slaves were his kin.

    • Patrick Henry.

      “May your chains rest lightly upon you, and posterity forget you were our countrymen.”

      • I’m starting to think if the lefties believe in socialist collectivism so much, they should prove it by renouncing their individual rights and pool all their resources with their fellow travelers.

        Let them be Subjects of their own free will, as long as they agree to leave the rest of us Citizens alone. The brighter ones will be begging to rejoin Citizenship within a year.

  21. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Looks like Brexit may be Yea.

    • MAYBE there will always be an England.

      • Referring to http://www.bbc.com/news/politics/eu_referendum/results it seems England and Wales voted Brexit while Northern Ireland and Scotland were significantly in favor of remaining in the E.U. The overall vote seems in favor of Brexit, but this may cause tensions within the U.K. itself.

        • Scotland completely voted to stay (with the current results), I wonder if this is an ghost of the Auld Alliance?

        • Scotland secedes from UK to rejoin EU? Eeew!

          • I suspect it has more to do with “whatever England wants, we don’t.” Northern Ireland . . . meh. My ancestors got tossed out of there for rousing the rabble. (OK, so we’d been tossed out of Scotland already, and would be strongly encouraged to leave Virginia, TN, KY, GA, and a few other places, but those doesn’t count. Really.)

      • Via British Ex-Pat Andrew Stuttaford posting at NRO’s Corner gangblog, this observation by a Guardian columnist:

        Instead of the comparative security and stability of the postwar settlement and the last act of Britain’s industrial age, what’s the best we can now offer for so many people in so many places? Six-week contracts at the local retail park, lives spent pinballing in and out of the benefits system, and retirements built on thin air?

        It may have been easy to miss in the London-centred haze of the “knowledge economy” and the birth of the digital future, but this is where millions of lives have been heading since the early 1980s – and to read that some Labour MPs have come back from their constituencies, amazed by the views they encounter on the doorstep, is to be struck by a political failure that sits right at the heart of the story. How did they not know?

        http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/437068/bremainbrexit-balance

  22. But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,:
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

  23. The Syrian government, being Alawite (a small minority) was in fact quite tolerant of minorities, including Christians, Druze, and Jews. The Turkish Empire permitted minorities, but you could say it wasn’t totalitarian, and I suppose you could say that of the Assads; authoritarian but not totalitarian. Obviously, if you mean literal totalitarian government, tolerance may not be possible by definition, but Mussolini’s Fascist State was tolerant and in fact had high ranking Jewish officials.

    • If you read Winston Churchill’s history of World War II, even long after Germany invaded Poland, he was trying to convince Mussolini not to enter the war against Britain. He would have been perfectly happy to accommodate an Italian fascist government that wasn’t actively at war against the UK. All he was interested in was defeating Hitler, and was prepared to allow Hitler’s fellow travelers to go on their merry way if they (Italy) left England alone. Alas for Mussolini, he wasn’t smart enough to accept the offer, else he might have ended up like Franco: in charge of his country well into the 1970s, long after Hitler and all his works were dust.

      • I’m fairly (as in over 100%)sure Jerry has read Churchill. His problem was with “what degree of totalitarian” — well, the degree and the flavor our minorities rush to support.