Sweet Liberty

I’ve had it with bleating.

No, I’ve really had it with bleating.

Blame it on the steroids.  Blame it on the fact that I have bags to pack for a con trip and an international trip, instructions to write for the house sitter, cats to take to boarding, clothes to process for the guys AND work to pack, because since we’re mostly going to see my parents, we’re mostly going to be sitting there, and I might as well finish books.

I should be attending to one of those, but instead I’m going to try to stop the bleating.  Particularly the “doomed, doomed, doomed” bleating.

It never fails.  It’s predictable.  If I write a post with a modicum of optimism, like yesterday (Kindly read it: As long as we’re fighting we have a chance is not telling you that it will be easy or fast or simple), I get the bleaters.  “You’re too optimistic”  “you’re out of of touch” “Look at the candidates” “Elected Obama Twice” “Uniquely corrupt” Dooomed.  DOOOOOOOOOOOMED.

Honestly, I don’t know if these people think that taking up Cassandra’s beat makes them interesting (I don’t think so, they’re all, afaict, over twelve), if they know absolutely no history (I don’t think so, most of them are readers), if they think that saying “We’re doomed” excuses them from the perilous fight, or if they’re simply getting old.

I hate doing this post right now, because US history is NOT my area of strength.  I only started studying it 6 years ago, and the way I deal with history is that I will accumulate the feel of “how things worked” but not dates or names.  I don’t accumulate dates and names, because I can ALWAYS look them up.  However, in this case I won’t have the time.  OTOH I can rely on RES to supply anything I lack in comments.  Other people too, but RES and CACS have made the kind of study of history of the US that I made of Tudor history.  They live there part time.

Some things though I can answer up front.

“We elected Obama twice.  We’re done for.”  Yeah, and?  We elected FDR FOUR TIMES.  Were we done then?  FDR was kind of like Obama with more energy.  He turned a recession into a depression. People thought he was anointed of G-d to lead the US.  People had his picture everywhere.  Even when I was born in 62, in a country far away, his name evoked reverence and awe.
Were we done then?
What we were was in worse shape then.  (More on that later.)  And the worse things get, the more people want a man on a white a horse to rescue them from reality and from themselves.  So the worse he made things, the more he got reelected and worshiped.

Were you under the impression the American people were more than human?  Not flawed?  Our culture is better than most, but we’re still human.

“Our institutions are now uniquely corrupt.”  Oh, please.  That doesn’t begin to pass the laugh line.  You could say our institutions are now uniquely BLOATED and you’d be right, since the left views them as a sort of welfare.  But UNIQUELY CORRUPTED?  You have got to be kidding me.  Read any bio from 100 years ago.  Read around the edges of Expanded Universe.  Talk to someone involved in politics who won’t bullshit you.

One thing will come up “Machine politics.”  Not only at the national level, where we still very much have them — at least on one side of the isle — but EVERYWHERE.  Some cities were run by some machines.  Do you think the machines ran the politics for no purpose?  Oh please. Of course they ran them to enrich themselves/give jobs to their cronies.  Patterson believed that Heinlein’s “had a silver mine” was his doing some “laundering” for one of the machines.

You can’t have power without the power attracting sharks and mafiosi.  It is, again, a consequence of being human.  The corruption has moved more from local (although we still have some.  Hello DIA positioning) to national because the federal government has way too much fricken power.

“But that is what I was saying, Sarah.  The feds have too much power.  We’re all going to die screaming.”

Oh, please.  No, what you’re going to do is get out of the way and let the rest of us continue to fight.

The people elected Billy Jeff twice.  They elected Obama twice.  The amount of fraud needed to get the second victory for Obama (and he was never at Clinton’s levels) was massive.  If you worked the polls or if you saw people claiming to have “created” two million votes for him, you know that.

I also don’t see the encomiums of Obama to stick as did the ones to Clinton for at least four to five years after he left power.  Also, no one is trying to make Clinton sound like FDR anymore.  Because it won’t stick.

Had Clinton or Obama held power a hundred years ago, they would be revered as icons, people would be ready to vote Obama in for a third term.

“But they’re ready to do that for Hillary.”

Oh, please.  The democrats — I still have some dem friends, and a lot of acquaintances — are as happy about her as most of us are about Trump.  This is the election where no one wants to vote.  “Let the least hated win” is not inspiring.  Their party machine, which is corrupted as hell simply pushed a choice between Bernie, which the still sane dems don’t want to vote for at all, and Hillary.  And Hillary is the SANER choice.  And meanwhile OUR party machine decided to punish us for not taking to Jeb! by pushing Trump (no?  Really?  They were openly against Cruz until the end, but they can “do business” with Trump.  They should be able to.  The reason the man hasn’t released his financials is that he’s been a wholly owned brand of multinational banks for twenty years.)

Given the choice, yes, Hillary might win.  Some of my conservative (more than I am) friends are voting for her.  Some are voting for Trump.  Some are going Johnson.  Some are staying home.  I’m either leaving the top of the ticket blank of voting Johnson, who won’t win and has that virtue.  It’s not worth my immortal soul to vote for either Hillary or her twin with the toupee, Trump.  Just no.

So yes, Hillary might win.  But what will that do?  That will cause even more lack of confidence in government among the people.  And if the press try to push encomiums it might finish off the press’s credibility.

Because ninety percent of our problem is that we’re fighting with both our legs in a cement bucket

Assuming you guys are serious with the “uniquely doomed” bullshit, you are convinced of this because you’ve been gaslighted.  Not just the newspapers, no, though that’s part of it, and they’re doing their best to sell “the people are united behind the progressive future” as hard as Pravda ever did.  You’ve been gaslighted by movies, by entertainment, by history books that sell the past as kind of an upright moral utopia when it was in the hands of democrats.

Government by the people is never clean, perfect, virtuous.  If you think the people are always disinterested and clean when it comes to politics INCLUDING THE POLITICIANS, you are a child and shouldn’t have the franchise.

If you think the American people are uniquely corrupt, lawless, evil, you are a progressive and should learn history — or go abroad without counselors, nannies and money.

Government by the people is messy, faulty, often corrupt.  Down in the trenches, the mud gets all over everything.  You have to fight with elbows and truncheons, even as a pundit, and you have to hit people you like but who are being idiots.

There is NO clean politics.  There is no perfectly virtuous free people.  The Founding Fathers themselves engaged in what we’d consider corruption, and fought in less than clean ways.  The progressives view this as a signal our system is awful.  If you want to join them, there’s the door.

Government by the people is messy, odoriferous, stuttering, halting and often counterproductive.

It’s an awful, awful system.  Save for every other one.

Stop bleating.  Yeah, we’re in trouble.  There isn’t a year since the founding of this republic that we’ve not been in serious trouble.

You want to be rescued by a man on a white horse who makes it all work flawlessly?  Yes, I kind of suspected that from the encomiums to Trump I hear even from supposed libertarians.

But reality doesn’t work that way.  The man on the white horse becomes the tyrant we must depose.  Because he’s still flawed, and working with flawed reality.  And you picked one who is … well, a machine politician, or at least a man playing at politics, with both feet in the democratic machine.

No one told you it would be easy.  This is not a game.  Being a subject is much easier than being a citizen.

I understand you’re tired and discouraged.  I’m tired and discouraged too.  We thought that we’d defeated the biased press.  And we’ve only taken away maybe a tenth of its influence. This is not how I planned to still be fighting in my fifties.

But we are discouraged because we were unreasonable optimists.  It was just around the corner, we thought ten years ago.  Yeah.  Well, we weren’t right.  And we’re not just fighting the press, but as what you guys keep saying shows, the entertainment, the history books,  the–

As a civilization we were gaslighted by the unified lie.  We’re just starting to have the tech to come out of it.  And look at the strides we’ve made in gun rights, among other places.

Yeah, the carrying momentum of the left machine will still score it victories.  You can’t stop it over night.  BUT we’re starting to score SOME too.

I’m tired, I’m upset, I hate to have to fight those fleeing the battle, as well as the ones on the other side.

But hopeless?  While there’s life, there’s hope.

And there’s still a lot of life in the constitutional republic.

Yeah, there’s flaws that must be mended.  OF COURSE there are.  It’s a human thing, built by humans.


No one is going to mend them for you.  Pick up your shovel and dig.  Whether your trench is in the culture wars or in outright politics, there is a lot of fighting to do.

None of it will be solved by giving up.

Get to work.

381 thoughts on “Sweet Liberty

  1. One of the fellows I see at work at time wears a shirt with this on it:

    If there is time still on the clock, there is still time to win.

  2. The Mother-in-law was worrying on about going into Afghanistan and Iraq, to her it was horrible and we didn’t know if we would win. In her mind we shouldn’t take such risks.

    I pointed out that when we went into WWII we did not know we would win, or the toll it would take, but we did it anyway.

    When you are in the middle of something it is messy. You don’t know if or how it is going to work out. It can be paralyzing. But one thing assured, doing nothing, while a choice, probably won’t be the best one.

    1. Yes in WW 2 we were woefully unprepared, To quote the Duke of Wellington on Waterloo ” (it was) ..the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.

      1. Actually, smart people in both Germany and Japan thought that antagonizing the United States was ostentatiously idiotic. Never mind how prepared we were (and we were preparing fast even before Pearl Harbor), we had several TIMES the industrial capacity of Germany and Japan put together, and it was well beyond bombing range.

        I seem to recall that there was. German ambasador to Washington who wrote home to his (aristocratic) friends, saying (essentially) “Get that ridiculous Austrian Corporal under control, NOW! These people will bury us without even going completely onto a,war footing.”

        This is the real danger of the Terrorist attacks. They can’t beat us. But we CAN beat them into paste and end up in control of large parts of the world.

        1. Is that before or after Obama lets them all into the country as ‘immigrants’?

          At least we’ll have the home field advantage!

        2. Yes, the oceans did provided protection and we did have massive resources available to us. So, if we choose to fully engage, the likelihood of the U.S. winning a war with global fronts at that time was great. It still was not a foregone conclusion. Had, for example, the Germans been successful in their attempts to develop the nuclear bomb, and managed this before we had, things would likely have been different.

  3. I’m either leaving the top of the ticket blank of voting Johnson …

    What about that write-in vote for Rafael Edward Cruz? You seemed enthusiastic about the idea a month ago; I’m interested to know why you changed your mind.

    Writing in Cruz has the added bonus that it’s a “protest” vote that, if by some freak chance he actually wins, gives you someone you’d ACTUALLY want in the Oval Office. (Unlike Johnson, from what I’ve heard you say about his NON-defense of the 2nd Amendment. And if that was someone else and not you, my apologies for the memory oops).

      1. If my area doesn’t allow write-ins, I think I’m saying “Screw that” and casting a write-in ballot anyway. Because I won’t be in the US for this one, so I’ll have to cast an absentee ballot anyway. And given that my vote will be absentee, we all know the chances of my vote being actually counted correctly. So I’ve got nothing to lose by, if the voting rules in my area are wrong*, following the rules as they should have been.

        * ALL ballots should allow write-ins.

        1. I had to vote by absentee ballot for years – and I am fairly certain that none of mine were counted, after observing the Florida debacle.

      2. Colorado says you can write in a candidate, but it only counts if your candidate registered as a write in candidate. I know, then not really write in, but it seems to be fairly easy for the candidate to do, so there should be a few decent candidates.

        1. The down ballot is important every year.

          Why do you think the focus is always at the top of the ballot?

    1. After his comments on bakers and gay weddings I’d consider voting for Johnson to be supporting fraud more than Trump.

      I have no illusions that the GOP is anything but a graft machine whose odds of blinding finding a nut are just marginally better than the Democrats. The LP claims to be a party of liberty whose standard bearer is happy to use government to force people to associate.

      His nomination, to me, proves the LP has become the “legalize pot” party and nothing more.

      At this point I’ll vote Trump to stick it to all the #neverTrumpers who claimed not voting McCain was a vote for Obama if for no other reason than in 2020 when they tell me if I don’t vote for Marco Jeb Kasich or whoever I’m voting to re-elect Hillary I can say, “You mean like you voted to elect her” or I’ll write in myself.

      1. After his comments on bakers and gay weddings I’d consider voting for Johnson to be supporting fraud more than Trump.

        This is why I have never bought the “lesser of two evils is still evil so you should vote for this guy instead” argument. All increasing the number of candidates does is give you “the least of X evils” where “X” is the number of candidates.

        I generally think instead of “the best I am likely to be able to get.”

        This time around however….

        1. I’m a grouch. My attitude is “This is Government we are talking about. The choice of two evils is what we are going to be offered.”

      2. You know, I never told anyone that not voting for McCain was a vote for Obama. I still worked for McCain because it was a clear difference between him and Obama.
        Herb, you need to MIND THE DIFFERENCES.
        I’d compound with the devil ten years of my life to get Rubio as a choice now, squish that he is. I might even prefer Jeb to Trump.
        If you see no differences, you’re throwing out the baby with the bath water.

        1. I still worked for McCain because it was a clear difference between him and Obama.

          Yes, one was more open in his contempt for political speech not regulated by the Federal Government in 2008…and it wasn’t Barak Obama. There is a reason I use McCain and not Romney. McCain has had as much of a hardon to use the Feds to silence political opposition as any leftist.

          If you see no differences, you’re throwing out the baby with the bath water.

          No, I’m seeing 20+ years of “vote for our squish or we’ll sit it out assuming we don’t actively call you racists” as creating Trump and thus as their creation I see no reason not to give them what they’ve always wanted.

          I still have yet to have it explained to me why Trump is more of a diaster than their squishes. Where the hell does he differ from them on policy? That was my question when pundit after pundit screamed, “but he’s for amnest” (so why does that make him unacceptable as a Republican), “he’s for government healthcare?” (so how does that make him different from every GOP repeal and replace plan with a universal subsidy[1]), and so on.

          His temperment? McCain was a jet jock with a jet jock’s temperment and, IMHO, was no more suited temperment wise to be President than Trump, Obama, or Hillary. That was also a family wide opinion from a Navy air family that had known McCain and his father (and I suspect my deceased grandfather who had been on flag staffs in the Pacific the entire war, in fact was on them when the war started, would have had a similar opinion of McCain’s grandfather).

          You know, I never told anyone that not voting for McCain was a vote for Obama.

          Plenty of people have…and plenty of them spewing the same bilge about Trump that every Republican in my lifetime has had said about them by Democrats.

          I have reached the “I believe nothing” point from most GOP candidates and pundits because between this and what they did to save Cochran in 2014 I think they are no different from Democrats in terms of being in it to line their pockets. The difference is in what policies they lie about supporting to get votes.

          I have no way to strike at them but voting. So I will…for what they think will destroy them. They wanted my loyalty no matter what, they are getting it one last time.

          After that I might not be able to stop them stealing from me or throwing me in jail for doing what is their SOP but they can’t make me vote for them or believe them.

          [1] Which is why I gave up on Walker who was my first choice in the primaries.

            1. Trump is a shit stain but not a fourth generation red diaper baby. Hillary is a direct disciple of Alinsky and has openly violated the law (and got off today, again).

              How was it so important to stop Obama that McCain was acceptable but not so important to stop Hillary that Trump is?

              Allowing Hillary to be elected is the final nail in the rule of law because she will have openly flauted the law and been given a pass because she’s important and then handed the keys to the kingdom.

              But Trump is icky so let’s just have Hillary instead.

              1. I’ll say what P J O’Rourke says. Hillary is the devil we know. Trump is literally incalculable, and won’t give us anything hard and fast to judge him on.
                Hillary can be fought. Trump, to judge by people for whom Romney was too far left who now endorse Trump with all their heart (and I don’t mean you) is terrifying.
                More terrifying is what he’s bringing in his wake. Most of the alt.right are those things we spent YEARS telling everyone was not the right.

                1. Anti-Left and anti-SJW does not mean good, it just means anti-bad.

                  “The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy, no more, no less.”

                  1. True but given a choice between shooting at my enemy and shooting at a guy shooting at my enemy why would I choose the later.

                    1. Because he’s also your enemy? And, unfortunately, this is a battle where those who are (metaphorically) shot go away.

                    2. I can shoot him after we both shoot my enemy. If I worry about shooting him now all I do is give my enemy free shots at me.

                      The source of incoming fire is always the priority. When my supposed allies become one of the sources, though, I tend to want to shoot them first.

                    3. Such allies are like Claymore mines — they should ALWAYS come with label declaring “This Side Toward Enemy” and you should NEVER get between them and the common foe.

                  2. Somewhat like how Trumpkins can’t tell the difference between being anti-PC and just being an a**hole.

                    “He’s not afraid to tell it like it is!”
                    No, he’s just being a jerk.

                    Manners cost nothing. (And a carry permit is only $50, so manners are prudent, too.)

                    1. Aaaaand when “manners” are defined as not committing any of the multitude of SJW micro-aggressions, such as, say identifying the any Islamic terrorism as such?

                      Because “good manners” as currently defined means calling it works l ace violence, or gun-related tragedy.

                      So when only a rudesby is able to step up and call a s o axe a spade (because… rude)

                      You get Trump. Gamergate. And quite a lot of the alt right.

                2. Most of the alt.right are those things we spent YEARS telling everyone was not the right.

                  And most of what we spent years telling people the right was we never did even when we had the chance in 2003.

                  Instead W and the GOP provided the “right” was just the “left” with them in charge up to and including expanding government healthcare.

                  I honestly have no idea what the right in the US is anymore. It isn’t small government (David Frum is now arguing in the Atlantic that we need to take back the GOP from Trump but keep his voters by embracing Universal Healthcare and throwing out the Tea Party people who highjacked the GOP). At this point I think the Alt-right has as much legitimacy as the traditional right of the National Review et al.

                  Or maybe I should phrase it the traditinoal right of the Nationa Review et al now has as much legitimacy as the Alt-right.

                  “We elected Obama twice. We’re done for.” Yeah, and? We elected FDR FOUR TIMES. Were we done then? FDR was kind of like Obama with more energy. He turned a recession into a depression. People thought he was anointed of G-d to lead the US. People had his picture everywhere. Even when I was born in 62, in a country far away, his name evoked reverence and awe.
                  Were we done then?

                  Given we haven’t undone a thing FDR created as far as I can tell, just “reformed” them at best but still fudning them I’d say that is an open question.

                  More terrifying is what he’s bringing in his wake.

                  Yep, and making sure the GOP stabs him in the back after he won the nomination by the rules will only hasten what comes next.

                  As will passing amnesty (now, or next year with him or Hillary signing it).

                  As will pretty much every damned policy both the Dems and the GOP embrace.

                  They want to stop Trump thinking they will either be able to stop what comes after or won’t be here for it. I want to make sure they’re wrong given they have doomed us to endure what comes next regardless.

                3. > won’t give us anything hard
                  > and fast to judge him on.

                  He has already told us everything about himself. All you have to do is look at what he’s done, vs. what he’s said.

                  1. THIS. I have never yet found a Trump supporter who can point to any of Trump’s actions that match the conservative principles he claims to hold.

                    1. Trump loves Crony Capitalism. I’d like to know how much money passes between “businessmen” like Trump and government officials.

                  2. If Trump had really changed it would be up to him to demonstrate that change. Simply saying he has, from the man who wrote The Art of the Deal is not enough, particularly when he backpedals as much as he goes forward and when called on it says his statements are “just flexible suggestions”.

                    He, of course, doesn’t even try. Where’s the stumping for conservative candidates? (Supporting establishment RINOs against tea party primary challenges doesn’t count.) Where’s his tangible support for conservative causes? Where’s, well, anything but hot air?

                    The question I am wont to ask Stormtrumpers: can you name just one thing from his history or actions that demonstrates he’s better than Hillary on policy?

                    So far the best anyone has come up with is “he’s an effective executive”.

                    Oh, great. Even if that’s true it just means he’ll be more effective at getting libprog positions made into policy. This is not a good thing.

                    1. He calls Islamic terrorism, Islamic terrorism.

                      He has both run businesses that failed (about 15% or so) and ones which succeeded, which means he already has a firmer grip on reality than do either our Lula or Ms Dilma-wannabe. None of them have what I’d call a moral compass, but Trump isn’t passionately committed to an evil ideology that justifies anything he might choose to do.

                      What we’ll get from him in office with a combined GOP and Democrat opposition (Vote the down ballot!) is probably nothing much. He has no political machine, and no support in the D.C. bureaucracy.

                      The Clintons on the other hand..

                      This selection it’s the devil we know vs. the skeevy used car salesman we don’t.

                      I think the pro-Trumpers are kidding themselves. I don’t get the rabid anti-Trumpers at all.

                    2. “What we’ll get from him in office with a combined GOP and Democrat opposition (Vote the down ballot!) is probably nothing much.”

                      This is where I think you are wrong. We have the possibility of getting nothing much with Hillary, because the spineless Republicans in the legislative branch can possibly be convinced to oppose her. We don’t have that advantage with Trump, they won’t oppose him because he is “a Republican” and the democrats won’t oppose him, because he has the same policies as them.

                    3. “I don’t get the rabid anti-Trumpers at all.”

                      Overgrownhobbit, I find your implication very insulting. I’m not rabid at all! It’s just that I’ve been brushing my teeth ever since it became clear that Trump had a good chance to win the nomination. Continuously.

                      No, there aren’t any foxes or bats or raccoons in my area. Why do you insist on asking?

                      Now leave me alone to my toothbrushing. I need to repress the urge to bite someone. It comes from having very clean teeth, I’m sure!

                4. SOME of the alt right, yes. Because the “alt” means everyone else. Not most. Some.

                  Yes, I get that they’re uncouth (some) and on any given issue they process prog sacred cow and serve it up as fast-food, gristley bits and all. And they fight dirty, Whooo boy. It’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to tell the sheep from the goats. Because one guy tosses out race-baiting gifs to get a rise out of a prog or a quisling, and to desensitize those using race excavation of GoodThink enforcement. Another because it’s funny and he no longer cares: hung for a sheep, and one because he’s a true believer in the school of some folks were born to be saddled and ridden by their “betters”.

                  So separating sheep from goats is a trick. What I’m wondering is why you’re taking a page from ComIntern and deciding it’s necessary do so?

                  Because they’re not terrifying. Honest-to-Heinlein are you scared of John Wright? John Darbyshire? Milo Yianopolis? TealDeer? Shoe-on-Head?

                  I could go on, but you get the point. Once you pay the Danegeld to one tenant of cultural Marxism, you make all the rest easier to swallow.

                  Demonizing political opponents wholesale is NOT our thing.

              2. Donald Trump is Hillary with a different boarder policy. though he “evolved on a bunch of stuff this primary season. But his claims are still there to be found. his supporters, some who were very very anti-Trump to start, tend to gloss over how their . . ahem . . “Fair Haired Boy” was at the start of the campaign anti-gun, single payor supporting big gov’t crony capitalist, eminent domain loving typical democrat suddenly became Reagan’s more conservative younger version. Outside of the fence he’d likely never get built, what can you foresee Trump doing that Hillary wouldn’t do?
                They both can be counted on for:
                Failing at international diplomacy.
                Appointing leftists to the SCOTUS.
                Attempting to rule by imperial diktat.
                The biggest difference I can see is everything Trump does that fails will be conservatism’s fault, and everything Hillary does that fails will be because conservatives worked to ruin it for her.

                1. The biggest difference I can see is everything Trump does that fails will be conservatism’s fault, and everything Hillary does that fails will be because conservatives worked to ruin it for her.

                  nailed it.

          1. Oh, and 16 months ago I was accused of being a false flag by urging people encourage GOP office holders to split off and form a third party a la the original GOP in 1854. It was clear I was just trying to create a split to elect Hillary then. That includes some people who comment on this blog.

            Yet now, voting GOP to stop Hillary is wrong because Trump.

            I guess I’ll just never get it right.

          2. Jindal/Walker 2016….. Sob.

            So many good choices this year, and they had to try to shove Jeb! down our throats. This is my one beef with (some) of the Never Trumpers: They never put up any kind of battle against the Jebs and McCains and the other squishes and rinos, nothing like what we’re seeing vs. Trump.


          1. Washington was not known for winning battles, but ultimately he did win the war.

            This is one of those times where you have to think in the long term, as the progressive certainly have and do. This is why they have invested so much in controlling pedagogy — from the schools of education to the places where they now indoctrinate so many children.

      3. After his comments on bakers and gay weddings I’d consider voting for Johnson to be supporting fraud more than Trump.


        I’m supposed to excuse a lot of their more crazy beliefs because they stand on principle even when it drags them into crazy, but then they’re willing to drop the principles that would make demands on them.

        1. As a Republican-voting anarcho-capitalist type of person, this annoys me greatly too.

          In an odd, very simplistic sort of way, the Libertarian Party is supposed to be the party of compromise. Have legal abortion, but defund Planned Parenthood. Support gay marriage, but leave anyone alone who doesn’t wish to participate, whatever the reason may be.

          At least, this is what their principles are *supposed* to be. In the one year the Libertarian Party can actually pretend to be viable, they somehow manage to take the position that offends Republicans, as well as a lot of people with Libertarian sensibilities to boot!

          I’ve always seen the Democrat Party as the Evil Party and the Republicans as the Stupid Party…but the Libertarian Party has been so inconsequential, I’ve never given it much thought of what they should be called. With these antics, though, it’s clear that they are the Crazy Party. Which ought to be obvious, in retrospect…

          What in the world did we as Americans do to deserve these kinds of political parties?!?

          1. What in the world did we as Americans do to deserve these kinds of political parties?!?

            Good God, consider yourselves fortunate that you have [INSERT CANDIDATE NAME HERE] to abuse, for no sane man would tolerate it!

            Have you ever given a good close look to the amount of nonsense a city council-member, a school-board member, any minor elected office holder must endure, and how little power they actually have?

    2. Election rules vary by state. In my state, each of 75 counties has its own election commission and voting system. My county has no such thing as a “write-in candidate”, and hasn’t for the last 35 years to my direct knowledge.

      1. Kratman. If y’all are going to be hated, you may as well be feared.

        Screw the lesser evil and let the world tremble.

        1. I like it. I can just see the vapors from the left. Can we get Ringo as the VP? I’m pretty sure he’d still be cranking out books even while he’s in office.

          1. Consider their wives as the presidential spouses.

            Talk about an improvement…

  4. And the worse things get, the more people want a man on a white a horse to rescue them from reality and from themselves.


    This attitude is what gets you in trouble big time, like the Germans looking to the ones who once named the argument is over…

    Anyway, this takes us back to your prior post. One of the strengths of this country has been that even in those periods where we succumb to the charm of the myth of the man on the white horse, we go on with our lives and helping each other. (Our history is that the man on the white horse is usually a new invention of the myth of Washington, the American Cincinatus, who, BTW did ride a white horse into battle…)

  5. I think people feel tired.

    It’s like cleaning house– REALLY cleaning it. While you live there.

    The first thing you have to do is make the place look worse, because you’re moving all the stuff that covered up the messes, like moving the freezer and finding there’s a quarter inch rim of oh-my-what-did-that-use-to-be.

    Then when you work like a dog, and if you’re lucky, you get it to looking like about what it was in the first place, but disorganized.

    And then you get to REALLY cleaning, and the whole time you have to clean up what’s getting messed up by just normal life, and you have to deal with other people.

    I think part of it is the “enemy gets a vote” effect– totally stolen from Dark Secret Place on KFI, talking about a similar effect in war.

    There’s been, relatively, no action on our side while things got going; just because we are starting up now doesn’t mean that they suddenly stop, and it may actually mean that mom starts yelling a lot to try to get the kids to NOT eat cereal on the carpet she just washed. 😀

    That’s before the problem that there’s a bunch of different people trying to clean– and a significant sub-group of them are pissy, trigger-happy, don’t think about anything where they think they already know what’s going on, and prone to being nasty about everyone under 35 like it’s any more rational than the “don’t trust anyone over 30” junk.

    1. …like moving the freezer and finding there’s a quarter inch rim of oh-my-what-did-that-use-to-be.

      Due to the sudden death of our refrigerator late last month, meaning that we had to remove the old one to put in the new one, I can attest to this.

      Now I admit that we had not moved the refrigerator so I could clean under it as I should for a while — health issues precluded it. I had dusted under it with a swifter a number of times, removing many a dust bunny. Anyway, in the end, ugh.

      …it may actually mean that mom starts yelling a lot to try to get the kids to NOT eat cereal on the carpet she just washed.

      Ah, yes. It is hard to break your own bad habits once you recognize them as such. It can be even harder to get everyone to join you.

      1. This is why I plan to get rid of all carpeting if I can ever afford to. Carpeting just collects and preserves dirt and nasty stuff. It will never really come clean.

        1. If we ever get to where we can buy it’ll be hardwood all the way (except for tile in kitchen and bathroom).

              1. Yeah. This. We’re hoping, since mom said she’d pay the cost of our travel (I hate to take it like poison. I’m fifty. I should stand on my own) we can get tile, at least AROUND the toilets.

                1. I’m just glad we didn’t get the problem I’m having fixed today in my parents’ house: The wax ring under the toilet is leaking, and water is coming out under the base.

                  1. Heh. That happened In our prior house. We discovered it when the tile & mud floor collapsed. Awfully hard to find anyone willing and capable to do a proper repair of that. “Modern methods alleviate such requirements” my butt.

                  2. We had to fix that under our current house about 6 months after moving in. Get a camera inspection of the main drain before you move in, so you can spot the cast iron pipe that’s let the tree roots in….

                    1. It was a rotten lead flange (at least that’s the name the bill has for it). It wasn’t the wax ring after all. The toilet was draining just fine, it was just a little leak (we’re already living here, so a major problem would have shown up really quick). Fortunately, dad replaced the subfloor when we had termites about 40 years ago, and I think he put in redwood timbers, so the soaking of the subfloor didn’t cause much trouble.

              1. When I was a kid, we bought a house with carpet in one of the bathrooms, and I liked it because it meant the floor wasn’t so cold. The hygiene probably wasn’t as bad as it could have been, given that I don’t recall my brother having the aiming problems some men and boys are apparently prone to, nausea was sufficiently uncommon as a symptom of routine illnesses to be alarming, and it didn’t have the baffling clog/overflow problems that the ones at our current apartment complex are prone to. But I have a better appreciation now for why it isn’t really a good idea.

                  1. You know, now you mention it, I’m not totally sure that isn’t what it was. It wasn’t really fixed down — I remember being able to turn it back and look at the underside — although it was fitted closely around everything and I don’t know if it could be laundered. Don’t think it was a floor that was really meant to be exposed though.

                    1. Every so often I come across a floor that shouldn’t be exposed that’s fully exposed. More often than not, such a thing dates back to the 70’s.

                      Oddly enough, a lot of walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture, cabinets, counter tops and things in general, that shouldn’t be exposed, date back to the 70’s….

                    2. Pea-green floors.

                      There wasn’t anything wrong with the surface itself — I mean, it was a real floor — but I personally would not have chosen to install one that appeared designed so that if you dropped a canned pea, it would be forever lost.

                    3. Pea green? Better than the place I lived for awhile in Athens, which had a kind of colored marble aggregate floor in shades of red, maroon, white, black and brown, which looked like spoiled hamburger.

                      Best not get into the rental in Utah which had nasty, cheap, disintegrating carpet in the kitchen and dining area; brown, maroon, and mustard yellow … The place had sat empty and unrented for a year. Mostly because any sensitive person would have taken one look at that carpet and run screaming. (later that year, I got the landlord to replace it with plain neutral linoleum.)

                    4. The older I get, the more I appreciate linoleum floors. Simple to keep clean, water doesn’t bother them, smells don’t stay in them.

              1. Carpeting had a short period of being popular in my country during the 70’s. After that nobody put it on, and the old ones were usually taken out no matter what shape they were in when anybody renovated. I think I may have seen a few (cheap…) hotel rooms with them back in the late 80’s, but after that not a single one.

                Admittedly I haven’t stayed in hotels in Finland since the early 90’s. A quick look at Tripadvisor photos of hotels in Finland… hm, it’s possible a couple of rooms have carpeting. Or very big rugs, or just generally dark floors of which you can’t really tell what it is in a photo. But several of them are part of big international chains.

                But anyway, not liked here. I remember complaints about the cleaning, back in the day when I was a kid and a couple of families we knew had them. And airing. Can’t take them out and hung them somewhere to air out, which tends to be something everybody here is kind of expected to do in the spring, that is if you want to have a reputation as a good housekeeper… 😀

            1. Around here, everything built from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s had carpet in the bathroom. I’ve even seen RVs made that way.

              Now what’s even more demented, I’ve seen public buildings built during the Depression that had tile floors. Little hexagonal tiles, about the size of a quarter. Zillions of them. Which meant that about 50% of the actual “floor” was grout, with all the hassle that grout implies. Maybe labor was so cheap they didn’t worry about having to pay someone to keep it clean.

              1. It was probably a make-work project, and the small tiles were chosen deliberately to give whomever was working on it employment for as long as possible.

                1. I’m actually inclined to go with the labor is cheap theory.

                  Lots of little things were common before WWII that went away. Get a picture of a 1930 mainline on a major railroad and compare to today. Both are generally clean and well maintained but there are tons of little details like perfect shaping of the ballest you saw then you don’t see now. All those little bits of human labor didn’t add up to much in 1930 but do today.

                  1. Stupid Americans didn’t have minimum wages, OSHA, tax withholding and all the opther benefits of modern enlightened society. Back then a dollar of wages bought you about ninety-five cents or more of labor.

                    Craftsmanship was also in style back then, and there were plenty of artisans who knew how to shape things.

                    1. There seems to be a bit of a revival going on in that direction, slowly. Things like the American College of the Building Arts give me hope for the beauty of the future.

                2. I’m not sure how it was done then, but various contemporary versions involve the tile linked via mesh into 1-foot squares, set in a mud (cement) base with grout squeegeed over it, forced into the inter-tile gaps.

                  Wash the floor with ammonia or mildly acidic (e.g., vinegar) liquid.


              2. Now what’s even more demented, I’ve seen public buildings built during the Depression that had tile floors. Little hexagonal tiles, about the size of a quarter. Zillions of them. Which meant that about 50% of the actual “floor” was grout, with all the hassle that grout implies. Maybe labor was so cheap they didn’t worry about having to pay someone to keep it clean.

                Most likely cheap labor. I’ve seen it in a bank and a court house that were decades old by the time the Great Depression hit.

                1. A couple of shower rooms I cleaned last winter had that type of floors (sports center, mostly tennis courts). They were made of larger slabs, I presume the small tiles were put on those slabs by some sort of machine so when the shower rooms were made it didn’t take any more work than smooth big tiles would have taken. (Okay, that was hard to explain, building or anything to do with machinery etc are among the specialties where I just don’t have much of an English vocabulary… er, my Finnish one can be a bit lacking at times too, even when I know how something is done and what kind of things are used to do it I may not know what exactly they are called).

                  Pain to clean, btw. The small tiles were a bit raised and muck got between them, and getting it out of there took time. I mostly did the cleaning with a hose and a pressure nozzle but it was not a pressure washer, just a hose attached to a normal tap. And when I cleaned between the tiles I needed to get the nozzle right up to them and aim between those tiny tiles (tended to get a bit wet doing that too, the water sprayed back nicely…), and go through every single row in order to have any noticeable effect. Very slow going. Had to do it a small patch per day because doing it properly in one day would have taken more hours just for that than I was paid for to clean the whole place.

                  The good thing about that floor, it was not at all slippery even when wet, which I presume might have been one of the reasons it had been chosen, not much chance of anybody suing the place because they had fallen because slipping on the floor. Besides looks, it did look sort of nice when clean. But I doubt anybody had paid any thought to the cleaning it part…

                  1. This is why I’m not a fan of tile, even large tile. The grout lines always need to be scrubbed to get them clean. I’m an indifferent house keeper, and lazy, so I want a nice smooth floor that I can sweep over quickly with a broom, and it will look clean, not have grooves to catch all the dirt in.

                1. My old boss had choice words about them, and I did, too, as I shoveled the remains up with a square pointed shovel. OTOH, we did get some work out of it.

                  1. On the way to work, I realized the years out of construction have caught up to me. It was underlayment, not subfloor. The last I ever shoveled up was just a quarter of an inch thick and had no barrier between it and the sub floor, and my boss had a thing or two to say about that.

                    All this said, I’ve been under some older trailers and seen sagging strand board and particle board, and I’ve also been in older trailers and looked at the ground where the said subfloor had fallen out.

            2. People who are not thinking beyond –> Oooo! Carpet is soft and not so cold on your feet as tile.

        2. Had my floors done in preparation for selling the house, and it it was much (much, much!) cheaper than I had expected. Of course, I’d removed all carpeting/other flooring in advance, but I should have done this years ago.

    2. I think people feel tired.

      It’s dejection, pure and simple. Dejection at candidates who promise to be different than the rascals you vote out, and then cave more than a spelunker. Dejection as the new rascals you just elected seem more ignorant of the constitution than a kid in elementary school. And frankly, the more I study of our history, the more dejected I become. That’s the original documents and letters and opinions and how they square with our history.

      Okay, so I’m so dejected that Eeyore would say “Lighten up.” (or “Why so serious?”, and that’s good for a disturbing image or two). Maybe it’s from being an idealist. Whatever it is, it’s not a sense of uniqueness, or tiredness, nor thinking it’s trendy, nor a diet of MSM, which I don’t care much for anyway, nor some liberal trash reinterpretation of American history, nor being unaware of American history. It’s Charlie Brown Voter looking at the Lucy Election Year holding the football one more time, and making a rude remark.

      The problem in reaching people like me is to show where there’s hope to be had. And that’s why Trump has such a following, because many see him as a last hope. I think they’re not going to be happy if he wins, at least not after a while, and I have a dread of the charismatic regardless of party, as that can lead to excesses, but that’s the attraction.

      Call it whatever. I need to get back to YA medieval adventure that popped into my head Sunday. There things have to get piled on and darker before the dawn, and I’ve just started to shovel.

  6. Damned straight we’re doomed. Man was never meant to capture the bright flower, never meant to leave the lower branches, never meant to survive the long winter.

    Man was not meant to develop language, to build culture, to practice self-government. Besides, Sol is going nova in a few billion years and the heat death of the universe is assured.

    And the gods of the copybook heading have have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before we sleep,

    So long as we’re doomed, let’s send an honor guard to Valhalla to attend us in the hereafter. Being doomed does not mean we surrender, it means we go with a mound of dogs at our feet.

    1. Winter is coming. Winter is ALWAYS coming.
      I think in the urbanization of humanity, people tend to forget that. It looks like stasis, down among the tall buildings, or at least like people are in control of their world. People want to forget that change is always ahead and we can’t control it.
      Winter coming means work out here in the middle of nowhere. It means that you plan during the winter for what you eat next winter. You plan a year out, and you work NOW to live THEN.
      If you wait to chop wood ’til snow flies (and thank God we have propane) then you aren’t going to have much fire. If you wait to can food until you need it, it’s rotted six months ago. We don’t live near as close to the land as Mr. Freer does, but his essays resonate because we live close enough.
      Forget doomed: life is a fatal condition, after all. It’s time to turn a cherry tree full of cherries into preserves. And if we don’t get to eat them, our kids, or our friends, or someone who’s hungry whom we never met nor imagined meeting, will.

      1. True. People try to forget, and try to force the status to stay quo. That’s how you get something like the theory of climate chance with the accompanied political players who claim they could prevent it, if only enough people got committed (and voted for them, always).

        Lots of people will always fall for the promises of the same, only better because it seems safe. The same is safe because it’s familiar, and only better seems like something worth aiming for because it would still be mostly familiar.

        But yes, there has always been real change and there always will be. The only things really worth keeping no matter what are what helps us to deal with the change when it comes.

  7. Between a couple of the Hillary supporters at work, some Trump supporters on other blogs I read, and various doomsayers (including, at times, myself), I’m reminded of Dickens.

    in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

  8. Amen! Tell Them Sister Sarah! [Very Big Grin]

    Now, I’ll add my “two bits”.

    The big problem with the “Burn It All Down” folks is that they can’t imagine “things getting worse”.

    I can and I can imagine the Real World results of “Burn It All Down”.

    Put people into a chaotic situation and they will want order restored.

    No way would they listen to the destroyers of the old order about what the destroyers want.

    They’ll listen to anybody else but the destroyers and the possible rebuilders could use the hatred of the destroyers to gain power.

    Of course, some of those possible rebuilders may be potential tyrants.

    I’d hope that the potential tyrants would be dealt with as tyrants should be but depending on how much damage the “Burn It Down” folks did, the potential tyrants could have plenty of support.

    Now, there may be people who take power for a short time in order to rebuild a better society and then let go of said power.

    But I’m not willing to support the “Burn It Down” folks in hopes that a better society will “spring up”.

    1. I’m going to bleat, I think, with this comment.

      At this point I’m not sure burn it all down is a viable option because a lot of it is already burnt down. The piece that is really pushing me on this idea is You Owe Them Nothing – Not Respect, Not Loyalty, Not Obedience.

      The author starts with what I suspect is one of the key components of American Exceptionalism (which belongs, or belonged, to the Anglospher in general):

      Think about it. If you are out driving at 3 a.m., do you stop at a stop sign when there’s no one coming? Of course you do. You don’t need a cop to be there to make you stop. You do it voluntarily because this is America and America is a country where obeying the law is the right thing to do because the law was justly made and is justly applied. Or it used to be.

      The scary part is the end:

      We make it easy for them by going along. We make it simple by defaulting to the old rules. But there are no rules anymore, certainly none that morally bind us once we are outside the presence of some government worker with a gun to force our compliance. There is only will and power and we must rediscover our own. If there is no cop sitting right there, then there is nothing to make you stop at that stop sign tonight.

      They don’t realize that by rejecting the rule of law, they have set us free. We are independent. We owe them nothing – not respect, not loyalty, not obedience. But with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we will still mutually pledge those who have earned our loyalty with their adherence to the rule of law, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

      I agree with him and I’ll admit I’m starting to wonder about a lot of metaphorical stop signs at 3am because I feel like a chump in stopping.

      Now, look, I realize that nothing is burnt down in the sense most people mean. As our hostess loves to say there is a lot of ruin in a country and there is. However, if you are living off savings because you’re unemployed eventually you have to get a job before your savings run out.

      If we give up on the rule of law, which last week the SCUS made its run at ending it (as Justice Thomas pointed out) and this week the FBI will (and having seen people lose money and stripes over pretty damn minor mishandlings the idea that someone that cavilier will be the governing authority for 8 years of such punishments for little people gauls me to no end) I can’t help but wonder if we have decided to be unemployed.

      The Trump fans, and their successors for the next white horse, are arguably being rational. When law has no meaning and the pen and the phone and the tarmac meeting and the necessity of coat hanger abortions being legal are all that matters then the rational choice is not to pray to the Gods of Constitutional Restraint but the find your own man on the white horse. If the choice is tyranny or tyranny the rational choice is picking the tyrannt most likely to leave you alone and that is never the leftist.

      I’m not saying we should give up and support Trump but I am saying if you intend to fight to restore libery you’re arguably making the irrational choice because we have achively choosen tyranny even if it is still dressed in satin lingerie and tempting us from the bed.

      Me, I’m close enough to the end and without heirs that I’m going to take my shots at those who betrayed my trust and then leave their children to the future they created. They created a world that didn’t want me even when I tried to make it better so why should I give a crap about how it turns out.

      bleat off.

        1. My point wasn’t that we survived worse (we had the Civil War which proves we did).

          However, I’m not sure we care about surviving it on the whole. A lot of people know they are better off in this system as long as it lasts (a much higher percentage than in 1861) and people are good at decieving themselves that things never change.

          Yes, I read your post yesterday, and I get it. However, I have been very poor much of this century and having lived in neighbors where myself (or my roommate and myself when I had one) were the only employed people in the neighborbood (excluding off books work, see rule of law) and everyone else was living on the government tit I’m less convinced the critical mass needed to restore what we had exists. Yes, 1/3 or the colonists were Independence minded and 1/3 were Tories and 1/3 didn’t care but the majority of the Tories and didn’t cares were not government clients dependent upon the Crown to eat.

          The other part is people like me. The gaslighting as you call it, has left a lot of people my age, especially men, without the most reliable investment in the now (and thus the future) which is children. Sure, it’s a marginal change for 50 years ago but that number on the margin is a huge number of gravel shovelers who don’t see the point in loading one more pickup.

          That is the real success of the left: encouraging the non-contributing who vote merely to eat and writing out of the population in terms of investment in the future 1-2% of those who do work.

          The Civil War was survivable because those fighting for Union were more likely to volunteer (because that war was fought, draft law not withstanding, by volunteers) than not.

          That is why worries me. You see a nation still shoveling the gravel. I don’t. You see a culture not teaching shovelnig the gravel is for chumps. I do.

          Once shoveling gravel is for chumps we have what you described in Europe even in your post yesterday: “it’s not my job” or “it’s beneath me”. If those reach critical mass it doesn’t matter that the Civil War was much worse because we lack the will to fight it.

          1. Herb, George Washington had how many kids?

            The only viable Man on the White Horse is a man with no heirs. Any other man will become a monarch.

            Give that some thought, will you?

            1. It is part of why he was uniquly qualified to be the man on the white horse.

              That said, how many of his troops were childless.

              1. Oh, and I’m not looking for a man on a white horse.

                I am looking for a way to insure a critical mass of people who are willing to do the work exist and live in a culture where they don’t think of themselves of chumps.

                I think it is no accident that the Alt-right had its first big inroads with:

                1. Divorced men essentially barred from their children while being impoverish to pay child support that was often back door alimony.

                2. Young men raised to 50-60s standards trying (and failing) to meet and mate in a post-feminist world.

                It is no accident that the one who gets brought up most here has two blogs, one about Game (in the PUA sense). There are other less family friendly versions of this trend I see. It is at the margin, yes, but the direction it is moving worries me.

          2. For what little it’s worth, I regret that you have not had the opportunity to have children.

            I honestly don’t know what the best decision for you to make when voting is, currently, but I rather wish that despite the lack of children nor exasperation at being persistently asked to vote for unsatisfactorily lesser evils you will ultimately choose not to make the decision out of spite.

            1. Even if I do not all will.

              I remember the election of 2008 which was roughly when I realized kids were out of the cards. It wasn’t in relation to kids but I looked at McCain and Obama and thought, “I’m dead in 30 years, why should I give a f**k.” If my office hadn’t gone and voted as a group at lunch I might have just skipped it.

              It was only later I realized that I was what all those authors who write about the dangers of “unattached males” meant. People usually think of gangs and the propensity of young men to violence. That’s part of it.

              But another part is older men who should be the leaders and producers in a society figuring “why bother” and living off what their youth built. We really seem not to care about that given that in the rare moments the issues men face the discussion is almost immediately turned to “and this is why that hurts women.”

              That was one of the first big wedges the Alt-right exploited.

          3. Back when I was stupider, and still thought I had a future, I committed myself to a position. I attempted to make my resolve the equal of any externally applied force, and am still fanatic enough to stick to it.

            I am a freak, and have many times made incorrect judgements extrapolating from myself.

        2. What he’s referring to is the change in the character of the country and he’s not wrong.

          RE-read DeTocqueville and the Marquis de Custine back to back, and look around. Particularly look around at the young folks in college, and the demographics (raw percentages) on the dole.

          As I keep pointing out over on Vox Popoli, to paraphrase Slick Willy, “It’s the culture, stupid.”

    2. > can’t imagine “things getting worse”.

      I audit a couple of survivalist boards. Many of them assume they’ll still have broadband internet after the collapse of civilization, and that someone will redeem their gold, which they bought online and hold “certificates” for, but have never actually seen.

      The next level assume they’re going to go “to the mountains.” Apparently they plan to kill the people who live there already, then fight off the waves of other urbanites with the same idea. After about a week they’re going to have all the local game exterminated. I hope they can eat trees.

      My plan is to just stay put and dig a well; I’ve hit ground water with a shovel before. If I’m forced to leave I’ll head away from the mountains down to the river, where drinking water, food, and transport are available.

      1. that someone will redeem their gold, which they bought online and hold “certificates” for, but have never actually seen

        ROFL 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

        1. Yeah, I ROFLed too, but it took some of the amusement out when I realized that A) they were absolutely serious and B) there are a *lot* of people with SUCKER! stamped on their forehead.

          Then it was mostly sad…

          Some of those forums are like reading one of Scott Adams bound Dilbert collections. After a few dozen pages it’s not funny any more, because I’ve seen too much of that in real life. At least in Dilbertland nobody is actively trying to sabotage the company that’s paying them…

      2. My plan is to just stay put and dig a well; I’ve hit ground water with a shovel before.

        Lucky. Around here, digging a well by hand requires a pick, and, if you can get it, dynamite. About 30 feet of limestone has to be dug through.

        1. Yeah. We have Federally-mandated water-saving toilets and low-flow showers, but most of Arkansas that isn’t mountains is kind of squelchy. Kind of like Louisiana, *lack* of water isn’t the problem…

      3. I have no illusions about what worse can look like. I remember when we moved to El Paso and 1982 and I saw real poverty for the first time in my life in the cardboard shanty towns of Juarez.

        I would be very surprised to see the US reach Mexico standards of living in my lifetime. However, it is that very reserve, passed out by the government to their favorites, that I think prevents us from stopping the slide.

        As our hostess has said before it is all about it getting just a little bit worse every year. However, as more and more people get that little bit worse for little to no effort via direct effort or a government job the reserve of people willing to fight drops. As the people who know it will keep getting worse when they are gone but they have no kids to worry about so, hey, party now while the getting is good because there is no tomorrow, increase the reserve of people willing to fight drops.

        Europe has people still shoveling gravel but not enough to change path and in 50 years not enough to do that without imports of people who don’t want a Western Civilization.

        It isn’t just how bad things are, because they aren’t that bad here although I think today they openly took a huge dive, but how willing people are to fix things. An untreated infection that would require nothing more than a good washing, some neosporin, and a bandage will kill you if allowed to fester in the worst way while a gunshot can be recovered from with good medical help.

        I’m not worried we’ve been shot just that not enough of us are willing to endure the pain of a good irrigation of a cut prior to sewing it up.

        1. The burning question is do we hit a tipping point where the high trust ants see themselves surrounded and overwhelmed by low trust grasshoppers and say the hell with it. High trust, we look out for each other, help out in a pinch, and trust that your neighbor will do the same for you. Low trust, as Sarah described the other day, you lock everything loose up, hide it away or it gets stolen. Every man for himself, screw your neighbor, if you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying.
          And it feels like the left, while giving lip service to we are all brothers, is actually promoting through word and deed a universally low trust society.

          1. They need a low trust society for the schemes of power to succeed.

            They seem to have done a pretty good job putting us on the path to one. I suspect certain types of communities in the US already are low trust. If that is true the new federal move to force more mixing of those cultures with the remaining high trust ones is merely the next step.

      4. Funny, when I first started thinking along prepper lines, my first action was to start hitting thrift stores and used bookstores in search of textbooks and how-tos because I am scared of how I would function without Internet.

          1. Yes, we always purchase bound how-to books. I have to be able to carry it out with me to the barn or my studio, and it’s easier to keep my place with a real bookmark, at least for me.

    3. The thing about burning down a house to get rid of the rats and roaches is that the rats and roaches can live just fine in the ruins. You, on the other hand, not so much.

    4. “No way would they listen to the destroyers of the old order about what the destroyers want.”

      Objection: assumes facts not in evidence. The goddamned Democrats HAVE destroyed the old order, and yet the voters are still listening to them to such an extent that they have a death grip on a good forty percent of the vote, and are about to win their sixth presidential election out of the last seven. (for all practical purposes, 2004 was a Democrat win; Bush was so wounded by the traitors on the left that he barely beat the weakest D candidate in a couple of decades.)

      No offense, Sarah, but I find it hard to believe you can still say/write stuff like this. Red states go purple or outright blue every election cycle, but no state so converted has ever gone red again. There are too many zombie leftist voters for living folk to defeat at the ballot box. Then there’s today’s news, which confirmed yet again a conclusion I reached more than twenty years ago: Democrats can break the law whenever they please, to any extent they please, and never pay even a political price, let alone go to prison. Bill Clinton was a sexual predator and probably a rapist while in office, not to mention soliciting and taking numerous bribes along with other criminal acts. His wife enabled all his lawbreaking and did plenty of it herself, leaving her own trail of total corruption going back to the days of Watergate. Yet he remains as popular as Jesus Himself among the left, and she’s going to win the presidency this fall.

      I’m even waiting with morbid interest to see the Republican Convention in three weeks… because I don’t think there’s going to be a Republican Convention at all. Liberal protesters will simply flood the zone and shut it all down. The liberal mayor, council, and cops in Cleveland will stand by and let them do it. The news media will present it all as a great victory for free speech. And you’ll still be standing there saying that “in the long run, we win, they lose.” That’s the same attitude the jerkass in the White House now has toward the terrorists of al-Qaeda and ISIS, and I don’t see the terrorists losing. Do you?

      Burn it all down, the sooner the better. To have hope and lose it time after time is worse than never having any hope at all.

      1. Apologies if anyone was offended by the above. That wasn’t my intention. It’s just that I’ve been hearing the same thing for twenty-plus years now, and I have yet to see even one of the left’s victories rolled back. The only progress that America has made against the liberal agenda in my lifetime is on gun rights, the Heller and McDonald cases, and the liberal legislatures and courts are busy chopping those decisions into mincemeat as we speak. There are no words in English to describe the magnitude of the rage I feel against the left. I would cheerfully watch it all burn if only I could be sure that every leftist would be caught in the flames.

        1. Twenty years? That’s since 1986, right?

          You should have been here for the Sixties and Seventies. Believe me, stuff got rolled back, but once it had been rolled back people forgot (funny how the MSM manages that) how deep in the crapper this nation had been.

          The imminent demise of NY City got rolled back, and the whole “Root Cause” legitimization of criminality. Although the Left denies it, Billy Jeff Clinton essentially governed the last six years of his presidency as a moderate Republican, enacting significant Welfare and Tax reform (welllll … actually, Newt & Co. enacted it, but when it proved to work Billy grabbed the credit.)

          Believe me, your rage against the Left ain’t half what mine is — I lived through Disco and Progressive Rock. I lived through the nuclear disarmament madness. I lived through the MSM feeding frenzy over Iran-Contra, which was a misdemeanor compared to Hillary’s felonious negligence with classified documents, much less what Obama has pulled cramming Obamadon’tcare, the Iran Nuke Deal and other abuses of authority down our throats. I lived through the MSM panic over the “End Of The Nation” when Reagan rolled the top Income Tax bracket down from 70% to 50%.

          That you do’t perceive the progress is largely because the Left don’t want you to see it. Their greatest lie is that they’re irresistible, you fool, we’re no exception to the rule, give in, give in. Remember Lenin’s adage: The worse the better. They want it all burned down by us, so they can rule the on history’s ash heap.

          Like Dante’s Satan, they’d rather rule in Hell.

          1. Whot he said. Politically it’s been worse. Much worse, and rolled back.

            What hasn’t been worse is cultural capital. We’re at the lowest since… only some of the slave states prior to Civil War are worse.

            SOME on the alt right blame the culture change on racial demographics, and when it comes to mass immigration without assimilation of various nationalities lacking US cultural capital, or the creation of race-based serf-cultures they’re sooooo close to getting it right.

            So close.

          2. ” Their greatest lie is that they’re irresistible, you fool, we’re no exception to the rule, give in, give in.”

            Newsflash: THEY’RE RIGHT. They ARE irresistible — as long as we continue to think we can win by legal, moral, or nonviolent means. The triumph of the Bitch Queen proves that. And Trump’s candidacy proves even more: that those who believe in America-the-concept and want to restore it are a small and fading minority, drowning in a sea of liberal cultists, immigrant gimme pigs, and pseudoconservative idiots.

            “They want it all burned down by us, so they can rule the on history’s ash heap.”

            And I want them to get exactly what they wish for: everything burned down by US, who are wise enough to punish only the guilty (them) and not any innocents.

            1. Newsflash: THEY’RE RIGHT. They ARE irresistible — as long as we continue to think we can win by legal, moral, or nonviolent means.

              Then may your chains chafe.

              And I want them to get exactly what they wish for: everything burned down by US, who are wise enough to punish only the guilty (them) and not any innocents.

              Try it and I’m sure you’ll get exactly what you didn’t wish for.

              1. Sarcasm and contempt are all very well, Patrick. But I’ve heard it before, and from far more skilled practitioners of the art. It doesn’t work on me anymore. What would work is ideas for effective counter-action.

                Unfortunately, I have none of those. I’m not much of an idea man. I’ve been looking for somebody who did have them, and could propose them, sell them, and lead the way in implementing them, for close to three decades now. I’m still looking.

                Are you the one I’ve been looking for? Is such a person here, reading this? What’cha got?

                1. Change the culture FIRST. It will take a generation. I’m working on it. So are others. That we CAN is a huge improvement.
                  There is no SIMPLE or FAST answer.

                  1. But that’s all he wants: A simple and fast answer. If one’s not available he wants to give up. Or he wants a strong person to lead him to the Future with some magic solution to current problems.

                    Plus he mistook my remarks for sarcasm. I was quite serious. Oh well.

                    1. “But that’s all he wants: A simple and fast answer.”

                      Don’t assume.

                      What I want is a reason to hope. A reason to believe that trying actually can make a difference. So far, no one has been able to give me any.

                    2. What I want is a reason to hope. A reason to believe that trying actually can make a difference.

                      Anyone who will tell you that will tell you other lies as well.

                      What I can absolutively guarandangtee you is that not trying will certainly make a difference, and not for the better.

                    3. We’re up to selecting our forty-fifth president. Looking back over the previous cadre who’ve filled that office I see not one without serious flaws.

                  2. I understand that, Sarah. But that’s not what I’m asking. Let me try to say it a different way: You’re talking strategy, the ultimate goal. But what I need (desperately) to hear is ideas for usable tactics. What can I, a single, non-rich, fiercely introverted Odd with no discernible power or influence, do to help make that goal of “change the culture” become a reality?

                    1. I have some answers you may find useful, but they’re taking longer to type out than I planned, so I figured I’d post a heads up. It’s something I’ve been meaning to write for a while. Thanks for helping me to stop procrastinating! 😀

                    2. Are you suggesting Sarah indulge somebody by permitting a guest post?

                      Heck, why are we paying the big bucks quarters nickels pennies, then?

                    3. My response was way too long to go this deep in the nesting, so it’s been posted at the bottom. Let me know if that hits what you’re looking for.

                    4. I posted my mega comment last night before I went to bed, but it never appeared. I’m not sure whether it’s in moderation for some reason or just WP being dumb, so I’m going to send it to Our Beloved Hostess to use as filler.

      2. Red states go purple or outright blue every election cycle, but no state so converted has ever gone red again.

        Look at “The Solid South” in 1960 and in 2000.

        1. No. The Old Order is America-that-was. The America that won World War II. The America that was built on the best form of government the human race has ever seen. The America that had the mightiest economy on earth. That built the biggest military ever seen and crowned it with the invention of the best weapons systems ever seen. The orcs of the left are the _new_ order, that made its first inroads in 1932-36 and really gathered pace in the 1960s.

          1. No. We did not have a thriving economy under FDR, we were struggling to climb out of a depression. Under FDR Americans had many fewer freedoms than we do now. He put Japanese Americans in internment camps, for God’s sake.

            He tried to pack the Supreme Court. He pushed the progressive ideal during his entire presidency.

            We won WWII, but not because of the government.

          2. The Democrats were murdering Americans by the hundreds and covering it up during your supposed time of past greatness, and when they got out of that business in the 1960s, they tried very hard to pin it on the Republicans.

  9. So yes, Hillary might win. But what will that do?

    You know I have my dark moments, my frustrated moments, my “as a matter of fact, I do believe in the no-win scenario” moments, but I am less worried about the Presidential race than many of my conservative to libertarian friends.

    No, we’re not going to get a President who gives two figs for the Constitution. No, we’re not going to get a conservative replacement for Scalia (or Thomas if he’s serious about retiring). We’re not going to have a President who will veto bad legislation or a SCOTUS that will rule bad legislation unconstitutional.

    But we’ve got a reasonable chance of getting a Congress that won’t pass that legislation in the first place.

    After all, once the Republicans took the House, what has Obama been able to get passed? Sure, we’ve been unable to stop Obamacare. That’s not a surprise. Repealing legislation is always hard. But what new has he been able to pass? He hasn’t been able to get gun control passed despite waving all kinds of bloody shirts and despite deliberately engineering some shirts to wave (Fast and Furious). Back when he first started tooting that horn, it was Pelosiwho said “no new gun control” (perhaps she remembered what happened in ’94 in the aftermath of the Brady Bill and the first AWB).

    If we can just stop the creeping advance of the progressive agenda,–stop them from getting new portions implemented–and I think we can, that’s a great seminal victory. It would mean a shifting of the momentum our “Kursk”.

    1. Problem is we have ceded extensive control to the executive and judiciary. Don’t pass amnesty? The executive simply doesn’t execute the laws and judiciary refuses to force them to do so. Neglect to pass laws on co2 taxes? Have the EPA sued by activists and enter a judicial ruling that makes co2 a pollutant and unemitable. Gun control? Danger to public welfare. FOIA follies, etc.

      1. So instead of trying to “clean house”, we should “burn down the house”?

        That makes no sense.

        1. I’m just resigned to one step forward, two steps back for my life. Usually the burning house is the only thing that wakes people up (NYC) and sometimes not even then (Detroit)

          1. Sooner or later one of the states is going to say “F*** you, make us” to the Supreme Court. It’ll be one of the flyovers, with ten guns per person and high percentages of military-trained population. Then the President will have to decide if he dares deploy troops to force the state to comply.
            It’ll probably be abortion or gun control. Those get emotions riding high enough that people will support their state government over the feds.
            aacid14, you ought to consider running for your state legislature, help them stiffen their spines.

            1. I am certainly not politically tempered. And at least where I am state and fed legislature are strong. I’m going thru acceptance and will support local work and disasters but outside maybe the state I just can’t hold any kinship anymore. Most would cheer when we are hit so why should I care.

              And the problem is that those events are the ones that will burn down the house.

              1. Oh, I think 10 guns per person is a low estimate for some of the flyover states.. I know a lot of people who will say they have lost all their guns in the past 7 years.

                1. Actually, that would be no state in all likelihood.

                  My Source which recently came up at team trivia and we blew the question.

                  Wyoming is the highest at 195 guns per 1000 people.

                  So even with a failure to report rate at 80% (only 20% of firearms reported) Wyoming, the most heavily armed state, is barely at 1 per resident.

                  To get Wyoming at 10 per resident we’d have to assume non-reporting rates at 98.04%. That is for the most armed state.

                  To give you an idea of how much underreporting that is believing the 1 in 4 college women is raped statistics requires underreporting of rapes at .99.44% unreported to sustain that stat. A slightly higher rate of underreporting but no more faith based IMHO.

                  Therefore I don’t find the idea of any state with a 10 privately held firearms per resident believable.

                  1. And remember, that’s for the most armed state. #2 is Arkansas at 41.6 (less that 1/4 of Wyoming’s rate) and the assumed non-reporting rate to get them to 10:1 is 99.58% or higher than the 1 in 4 rapes non-reporting required.

                    1. Well, I’m probably one of the ones that skew Arkansas. And that’s only with the 4473 and NFA stuff. The ones I built from kits or scratchbuilt won’t show up on any paperwork.

                      I don’t even know anyone in meatspace who owns only one gun. And a couple who have more than I do.

                      A friend’s wife wanted to know why he “needed” more than one gun. He asked her why she “needed” more than 50 pair of shoes.

                    2. The 1 in 4 college age women statistic isn’t based on a lack of reporting; it’s based on a survey of sexual harassment– including feeling uncomfortable for any or all reasons– which only looked at those surveys that were returned, at an unusually low rate of surveys returned.
                      Some idiots did the telephone game with it; I believe I’ve done the history on that claim at one point, I THINK it was about the same time that “50% of marriages end in divorce” stat was blown up for the nonsense on stilts that it is.

                      It’s actually a heck of a lot more like the logic of that news story you linked– the source doesn’t match the claims they say they base on that source. The defined statistic is background checks; they then try to make it all firearms, rather than “newly acquired weapons that require a background check.” That’s besides the possible equivocation they did of including minors to pad the numbers. (I’ll give a pass on the adults who aren’t allowed to own firearms, being legally allowed doesn’t actually STOP people, it just makes it so that if they get caught, it’s uglier.)

                    1. If you have 50 neighbors at 2 per household with zero (which your nearest large city wil provide) you drop to roughly 1:1.

                      We figured Texas was number 1 when we had to name the top 10 states at trivia. Texas isn’t even in the top 10 which boggled my mind until I though: Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston probably have 1000s of gunless households, often on principle.

                    2. City people don’t typically admit they own guns, and there are quite a few who honestly don’t have them. But there are more guns in private ownership that are not admitted to than I think you understand.

                    3. I understand there are and if you’d said 1:1 I’d be more open to believing that although I’d say closer to 1:2 at best. Wyoming is not a state where people would be hostile to admiting to owning a weapon unless it has drastically changed since I lived there 34 years ago. I’m much more likely to accept Wyoming isn’t such an outlier (> 4x the next state) and it just has the most honest reporting and most of the South and Mountain West is similar in real rates).

                      However, to get even the most openly honest about having guns state to 10:1 requires believing non-reporting rates on the same level as feminist claim about rape on college campuses.

                      That I do not find myself willing to believe.

                    4. Herb, I like you, but you’re being unusually stubborn. It’s not “per state.” People don’t admit to guns, because sooner or later the feds are going to try to confiscate them.
                      For instance, we don’t have any guns. Sometimes, friends staying with us have guns. We don’t don’t. We used to have a handgun but it vanished in one of the moves.
                      So we’re completely un-armed.
                      That’s what I tell my MIL and anyone else who asks. And that’s what I’m telling you.
                      SURELY you believe me?

                    5. I live in Kansas. We have open carry. We don’t need a special license to conceal carry. I still know many people who would never admit to a pollster (including our family) that we own any guns.

                      Polls are not reliable when it comes to the 2nd Amendment.

                    6. Herb, I like you, but you’re being unusually stubborn. It’s not “per state.” People don’t admit to guns, because sooner or later the feds are going to try to confiscate them.

                      If you find the numbers self-reported to still support 10:1 gun ownership in any state then I expect you to accept the 1 in 4 college women are raped statistic.

                      It is that simple.

                      If you disagree that is your opinion but I will not accept self-reporting on the 2nd Amendment is under 1% which is what your belief requires. Therefore I would expect you at accept other under 1% claims.

                      Otherwise you are guilty of the same, “believe it because I want to believe”, use of numbers as the feminists on rape.

                      Just because we want it to be so does’t make it true applies to more than FTL travel.

                    7. HerbN, I’m so sorry, but you are wrong. Do some research. There are 112 guns in civilian ownership per 100 citizens. And that does not include probably millions of guns that were manufactured before 1960.

                      So proof that there is 1:1 (I number I said was reasonable) if we assume no loses (if you follow Writer In Black’s links all the way to the WP story there is no attrittion assumed in those numbers) proves that I’m wrong to claim 10:1 is unreasonable to expect?

                      Is it reasonable for me to conclude that 1 in 6 college women are raped then because 1.4 per 1000 report it and from provable numbers we can just multiply by ten.

                      I said: if you’d said 1:1 I’d be more open to believing that although I’d say closer to 1:2 at best.. It appears my 1:2 number was a definate lowball but I fail to understand how 1:1, which I said I was open to, implies 10:1.

                    8. Really, why do you insist on comparing underreporting of gun ownership with underreporting of rape?

                      There is no relationship at all.

                    9. Re: People saying they don’t have guns.

                      I usually say I have a huge arsenal via Mass Effect or Fallout or similar, but real guns? Why no, you could hurt someone with those things.

                      (Plus all those boating accidents… *sigh* Some places probably make magnetometers go nuts. Gunmetal Sound should be the name.)

                  2. My Source which recently came up at team trivia and we blew the question.

                    Wyoming is the highest at 195 guns per 1000 people.

                    The CBS news article is BS. The proxy they use for rates of gun ownership is ridiculous. It’s essentially worthless for determining how many people own how many guns. Considering that estimates of the total number of gun owners is in the 80-100 million range (one person in three-4) and that the total number of guns is on the order of 300 million, how can the “highest state” have less than one gun per every 5 people?

                    And even those numbers are probably low. You think I’m going to tell some stranger “surveying” me that I own guns let alone how many I own? And I doubt I’m alone in that.

                    It’s nonsense. It doesn’t pass the smell test. It’s a propaganda piece designed to portray gun ownership as something only some tiny number of rednecks (and criminals of course) do.

                    1. First, what is your source for 300 million privately owned firearms? It is often the same people. When I see that 300 million that is usually presented as total firearms including those held by government agencies. Given we have more armed SWAT team members in civilian agencies than we do Marines as of this year that means a lot of that 300 million is in government hands.

                      The biggest error in that proxy, which if you followed they admit to, is the failure to include pistols. If you’d like to contend that there are over 10 pistols for every long arm then you might get close to the numbers you claim but I find that a big strech. Most multiple firearms owners in my experience have more long arms than pistols.

                      I’d point out that 300 million would mean less than a 1;1 ratio. Our standard was a state with 10:1. For Wyoming, the least populous state, that would require Wyoming alone to have over 5 million privately owned firearms or about 2% of the national total. Yeah, we moved out in 1982, but I can’t imagine 10/household back then and I doubt the state has gone that gun heavy since (given it was a fairly gun heavy state when I lived there in the 70s).

                    2. First, what is your source for 300 million privately owned firearms?

                      Just one of many:

                      “Adding up new guns and imports and subtracting gun exports, in 2013 there would have been roughly 357 million firearms in the U.S. — 40 million more guns than people. This is just an estimate. These numbers are blind to firearms that enter and exit the country illegally, and to guns that break down, or are lost or destroyed. Philip J. Cook of Duke University suspects that estimates based on the ATF numbers don’t properly account for this type of attrition. He’s estimated that roughly 1 percent of the American gun stock gets destroyed, lost or broken in a given year. Applying that factor retroactively back to when the ATF first began keeping records in 1899, that would put the civilian firearm total at something like 245 million as of 2011, he said.”

                      Even if you include government owned guns at the rate of, say 10 per person in the military and/or law enforcement (all levels), that’s only about 40 million in government hands. That leaves a lowball estimate of 200 million and an upper end of 310 million in non-government hands.

                      Using the NFA registry as a proxy for gun ownership is full turnip. There isn’t even a plausible reason to expect it to correlate with total firearms ownership since the private ownership of fully automatic weapons (a big part of the list) was locked in 1986 and, as a result, the _cheapest_ are on the order of $5000, an order of magnitude higher than a decent handgun.

                      Your “source” is arrant nonsense from start to finish and has no bearing on reality whatsoever.

                    3. … the failure to include pistols./I>”

                      Well shucks – there’s hardly anybody in the cities who owns a pistol, especially in the Projects.

                    4. HerbN, I’m so sorry, but you are wrong. Do some research. There are 112 guns in civilian ownership per 100 citizens. And that does not include probably millions of guns that were manufactured before 1960.

                    5. Here’s the latest update on one data point that is at least more reliable in what it actually counts than some telephone survey: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/nics_firearm_checks_-_month_year.pdf

                      Look at the total: 239.5M background checks to the beginning of the data set in Nov 1998.

                      Shortcomings of this count: As noted in the footnote, the FBI insists you can’t correlate that total NIC chck number to any number of guns sold as some jurisdictions allow multiple purchases on one NICS check, and state laws vary and many don’t require a NICS check at all to purchase a long gun, so this is mostly handguns. It also does not have any read on repeats – i.e. If Judge Posner, who is still a moron, but as that is not a prohibited class for handgun purchases, buys a handgun, and then a month later buys another, that would be two NICS checks in this dataset. In the other direction (NICS check but no purchase) I think it’s relatively safe to say it’s very rare to run a NICS check that would show up in this data set without the intention of buying a firearm.

                      Obviously NICSS denials are nother story, but they are just not that numerous against these numbers.

                      So as a lower bound, ~240 million NICS checks representing at least ~240 million new purchases of firearms (mostly excluding long guns) since November 1998.

                      To give that some context, the Census Bureau says the 2015 estimated US adult (18 or older) population was ~248 million. I found a study (Shannon, Uggen, et al. posted at Princeton – in order to not trip the mod limit I’ll link it in a follow up) that estimates felon or ex-felon population at something like 20M million as of 2014, so first pass net non-ineligible adult 2015 US population was somewhere on the order of 228M.

                    6. http://www.newsweek.com/us-gun-ownership-declines-312822

                      The GSS survey has over 30% of households with a gun; I guess you could get that if everyone who has a gun only has one, or if the GSS got a ton of folks are willing/able to report smuggled weapons, but I don’t know how that would work with the total gun rate anywhere else.

                      The Gallup has over 40%, and so does Pew. (linked at the bottom of the Newsweek article)

                      This is ignoring, again, the oh freak no I’m not telling some voice on the phone I’ve got guns. Or that California did the “oh just tell us you have guns, we won’t do anything with the information” “PSYCH!” trick back … I think that was before 9/11?

                    7. Even here in CA, the “‘assault weapon'” ban registration period ended up registering a very tiny fraction of the numbers of qualifying civilian long guns known to have been sold in the state. It is obvious that the rash of terrible but fortuitously non-fatal boating accidents off the California coast in that time period accounted for many of those, and obviously some were sold off to FFLs who resold them out of CA, but I am guessing that after all that, many many many of the remaining scary-looking long guns are sitting quietly unregistered in gun safes and closets around the state.

                  3. Really, why do you insist on comparing underreporting of gun ownership with underreporting of rape?

                    Because both are cases of people trying to make an ideological point by claiming that data we can gather is flawed for some reason they can clearly see that is related to their ideological point (generally via “fear of consequences of reporting”) and thus we can make up numbers.

                    That is how they are related.

                    It is no different than the fact that to get to 1 in 10 are gay for the gay rights debate we had to include any person who claimed heterosexual orientation that also admitted to more than one sex encounter or how to get sufficient trans numbers for activism we now count erotic crossdressers as trans or who to get the food deserts we all hear about we have to exclude certain kinds of places selling fresh vegetables as not counting.

                    We have the data we have. Sure, we can point out some holes such as how using ATF transfer data excludes a variety of pistols (which probably goes a long way to explaining why the rates are below 1:1 when we have reason to think it is 1:1) or that we can track guns coming into service but not coming out.

                    We can even discuss non-reporting but unless you have parallel data that’s admitting a known unknow that you can use to extrapolate higher number. Any attempt to to use “non-reporting” to get an actual number is wishful thinking, especially if you assume non-reporting at extreme rates compared to those places where we do have parallel data to get estimates of non-reporting.

                    Let’s look at it another way because it parallels people’s reporting fears of the government confascating something: are you willing to argue personal income off the books in the US is 9x that of reported income? If not why not and why are you, in the same breath, willing to accept higher rates of non-reporting for gun ownership.

                    1. Considering the values estimated of street drugs, in some areas, yeah, I bet it is at least nine times. Probably ninety times. There’s a reason why we have the ghetto mama on food stamps with her boyfriend driving the tricked out car and wearing gold jewelry stereotype, after all.
                      I often get offered cash off the books. Not my way. But a lot of my friends’ idea of record keeping is trying to remember come tax time . . .

                  4. Do you know ANYONE who legally owns a gun and will tell ANYBODY official-like that they have them, and how many? I know my parents reported zero. (They also had me print out all the legal junk related to the census, for what they have legal authorization to ask.)

                    The ATF transfer records say that in 2014 they processed 1.38 million weapons; that would be….what, four per 1k? Processed through dealers? Figure only one in four of those were new, and… there are a lot of invisible guns.

                    That’s ignoring the not uncommon gun that’s older than the person that owns it, even if you don’t count the collectable types. Not that an old 1920 .38 police revolver wouldn’t be just as deadly. 😀

                    1. …the not uncommon gun that’s older than the person that owns it…

                      I will note that the rules at the end of WWII for “war trophy” bring backs were along the lines of “no crew served weapons,” and even that was a stretchable rule. I’ve personally handled Japanese Arisaka rifle bring backs that sat against the framing of a suburban garage for 60+ years which belonged to a USN vet who traded for it with some grunts pierside in the South Pacific. (That rifle was in darn good shape, with a little light surface rust that cleared right up with some oil and some rubbing. Northern CA away from the immediate coast is a low humidity place.) There was also an official program to let returning vets buy and bring home their personal rifle and/or sidearm if they so desired.

                      Lots and lots and lots of firearms came home with the troops in 1945, and none of those are in any government records save maybe some archive of individual units end-of-war paperwork.

                    2. There’s also the fad in the 70s for making weapons– I don’t know who has the rifle or pistol my grandfather made, but I know the rifle was based on “what would a black powder hunter’s gun look like, and how awesome can I make it without making it look any different?”

                      I don’t know guns, I just know that my grandfather’s been dead almost twenty years, and there are people that will still rave about the relative quality of his home-made firearms for that black powder club; not “oh, he made them” but more like “he made the BEST.”

                      Think about the population you’ve got to have for relative quality to still be a talking point some 30-40 years later, and decades after you’re dead. 😀

                    1. Sinkholes. Terrible things, sinkholes — they just open up, suck outbuildings down and close right up again like they were never there.

                    2. I came up with ten-one based on the people I personally know well enough to have knowledge of some or all of their firearms. States like CA don’t count. I lived in WY and those numbers are nonsense. When everyone takes off school for deer and elk season, it’s obvious that there’s a hunting rifle for everyone old enough to hunt. The public schools close. That doesn’t include anything other than hunting rifles. One per kid old enough to hunt. Town of 1500. Total public school enrollment 700-ish. So probably a minimum floor for deer rifles of 1250. Not including any duplicates, shotguns, pistols, etc.
                      You need to move. I don’t know where you live, but you need a better place.

          2. If it wasn’t for the nice, sane (relatively) surrounding areas, I’d be all for nuking Detroit. Nukes do less damage than decades of Democrats.

        2. But, but, we won’t have to check the rat traps or touch the roach motels if we just burn the house down!
          /sarc, just in case.

        3. Sometimes vermin infestations get so severe that burning the house is necessary. In fact, I think that was common among some societies that constructed simpler houses: burn down the old house and build a new one.

          But I’m not sure how far this analogy applies to the government.

            1. Maybe not the house, but perhaps a few outbuildings here and there – like the one housing the FDA? (I have it on good authority that in at least some areas their regulatory regime is costing lives.)

    2. But we’ve got a reasonable chance of getting a Congress that won’t pass that legislation in the first place.

      We haven’t passed amnesty although the GOP is chomping at the bit (and as of this morning looking to revive it before the election because that’ll get them not voting for Trump).

      Yet we effectively have it and Hillary has already had her “Chief Justice Roberts has his ruling now let him enforce it” moment and we know how afraid Roberts is of Democrats already from Obamacare.

      Congress is meaningful only when the President doesn’t decide to do what he damn well pleases and the Executive Branch careerist don’t let him dow what he damn well pleases.

      The FBI, IRS, EPA, etc have proven how false that hope is.

      Don’t want to give up hope, don’t. However, don’t lie to yourself either.

      1. Where did I say he wouldn’t? My sarcastic aside about “that’ll get them not voting for Trump”? That has less to do with making a sarcastic remark about Trump and more about raw GOP leadership stupidity.

        I have no illusion Trump will not contridict a stated position on every policy (mainly because he has had at least two on every policy) but thinking the GOP Congress will constitute at least a holding action is to ignore the past 16 years of reality.

    3. Sure, we’ve been unable to stop Obamacare. That’s not a surprise. Repealing legislation is always hard.

      And they only didn’t manage that, because they didn’t have enough to over-rule a veto.

      1. Yep. But it makes people REAL MADtm, so they’re going to spank us with Trump. Honestly, if it weren’t for letting themselves be manipulated by the press…

  10. The Founding Fathers themselves engaged in what we’d consider corruption, and fought in less than clean ways.


    Franklin had been ousted by Dickinson, and he went to England to have Pennsylvania’s charter changed with the goal of having himself installed as royal governor. This failed, and Franklin came back supporting independence because he had learned too much of how the English government viewed the American colonies.

    In May and June of 1776 Thomas Paine, the City Committee and others conspired, utilizing mobs and open suppression of any challenge, to bring down the duly elected Pennsylvania government under Dickinson.

    1. Hell, the ink was hardly dry on the Constitution, Washington is barely used to being the President, and the guy who helped promote ratification of the Constitution is leading troops to force part of the country to pay taxes.

      1. Last Sunday I heard someone say with all seriously that a major cause of the Revolutionary War was taxation. Well, not quite. It was taxation without representation. The colonists had no say in Parliament, and initially fought for their grievances as Englishmen and not independence. We just observed the anniversary of when the war toggled from fighting for rights as Englishmen to fighting to be completely independent from Britain.

        Those Western Pennsylvanians who didn’t want to pay the tax on alcohol may have found it an odious thing, but the tax was passed in an assembly where they were represented. And unlike the Tories who argued that member of parliament represented all Englishmen and not just those who elected them, and therefore those with no vote were represented, those involved in the Whiskey Rebellion did have representatives that they voted for or against.

  11. OMG, the Republic has fallen into complete collapse! We’re doomed, Doomed, DOOOOOOOOMED!

    PBS used old fireworks footage during ‘live’ Fourth of July show

    PBS admitted to using archival footage to show fireworks bursting in clear skies during its “live” Fourth of July broadcast in cloudy Washington, D.C.– claiming the deception was the “patriotic” thing to do.

    The network confessed on Monday night to splicing footage together after viewers noticed the differences in weather during the station’s annual “A Capital Fourth” broadcast, which airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

    “We showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. It was the patriotic thing to do,” the public broadcaster tweeted.

    It continued the mea culpa on Facebook, saying: “Because this year’s fireworks were difficult to see due to the weather, we made the decision to intercut fireworks footage from previous A Capitol Fourth concerts for the best possible television viewing experience. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”

    1. Well, it was a stupid thing to do. They could have made dramatic fog and cloud shots. We had rain during the fireworks, and the low show still looked pretty cool and could be seen clearly from pretty far away. In fact, the rain and fog lit up also, which looked pretty nifty.

      My guess is that the controls were in the hands of unimaginative broadcast hacks, too lazy to make a virtue of necessity, and probably ignoring the gorgeous shots that the camera people were trying to give them.

      1. Well, you there is *imagination* and _experience_ and there is… the stuff I flush. What them there folks have… is what Iwould flush.

    2. That PBS still thinks they need to show fireworks instead of documentaries about how evil the US is on the Fourth of July is a sign of hope.

  12. I did not know this.

    Must be true, else they couldn’t put it on youtube, amiright?

  13. Not sure what’s worse about Hillary getting cleared by the FBI today: the fact that she’s apparently untouchable, or the fact that now the media will ruthlessly mock anybody who dares suggest that presidential candidates should be careful with classified information.

    1. More the fact that, despite the FBI obliquely pointing out that this sort of behavior would get anyone else hammered, people will STILL say she did nothing wrong.

    2. It’ll still hurt her with feds that deal in classified information. They will probably be less likely to be caught up in a cult of personality or risk jail time for her.

      1. One wonders what a low level (well below political) NSA or CIA type could actually do to her, though.

        1. They don’t have to actually do anything to hurt her.

          Back in the nineties, it seemed more likely that people would back them out of institutional feddishness. She seems to have pissed that away without even realizing it.

          After this election, she will probably think she has won it all. She will be very confident if she rolls the dice.

        2. Do a *really good* job on the FOI requests, and a lot of other information sources– like budgets.

          Not notice who could be considered to be “leaking” information.

          Report FW&A.

          Indelicate but totally accurate phrasing on documents.

          And those are just general things.

          1. Don’t forget “anonymous leads” to journalists and the like.

            It’s common belief that if the president pisses off one of the more “important to civil order or national security” alphabet agencies (generally, the FBI or one of the intelligence services), then journalists will start getting more off-the-record tips from that agency. The journalists can’t quote the sources directly. But those kinds of tips can be very useful in pointing a journalist in the direction of information that might want to be discovered.

  14. The Founding Fathers themselves engaged in what we’d consider corruption, and fought in less than clean ways.

    . . .

    Government by the people is messy, odoriferous, stuttering, halting and often counterproductive.

    It’s an awful, awful system. Save for every other one.

    Absolutely! I’ll admit I was shocked when I read about some of the shenanigans our Founding Fathers got up to, but I really should not have been. (Fault of educational white washing.) Humans are humans are humans. I still believe George Washington was a paragon of integrity, but even he far from perfect. And much of the political infighting was ugly.

    There has never been an era in which political corruption was absent. And yet, surely living today in the US is a much better experience than living in enlightenment England or renaissance France or medieval Italy, etc.

  15. A quibble on a point of history:

    The deepening and lengthening of the Great Depression was a joint effort, some of which predated FDR. It was mostly seen as a good idea at the time – hindsight is always 20/20, Just as many were looking at socialism, because frankly Stalin put on a good show and only a few picked up that things weren’t quite so rosy in the “Worker’s Paradise.”

    FWIW, FDR had little use for Huey Long, who was more radical than FDR, even though FDR borrowed some ideas from the Kingfish.

    1. What’s really odd is to realize that Roosevelt campaigned on how Hoover was doing everything on, and then, after the election, pretty much picked up Hoover’s policies and ran with them.

      It’s also my understanding that the very policies that Hoover and Roosevelt implemented, Hoover implemented first in agriculture in the crash of the early 20’s, and that farmers were suffering a Depression of their own as a result a full decade before everyone else…

      So, yes, it was a joint effort. If Hoover had just done for the farmers, and if Hoover and Roosevelt had just done the same for the entire country, what Coolidge had done when the first crash happened, we wouldn’t have this weird chapter in history called “The Great Depression”.

      There are two problems with this, however: First, if there’s a crisis, and everyone’s pleading “What are you going to do to fix this?”, people seldom like to hear the answer “nothing”, even when 90% of the time, it’s the *right* thing to do. Second, if there’s a crisis, even if people aren’t asking for a fix, there’s inevitably someone who’s in charge (or even just thinks he should be in charge) who says, “You know, I think I can fix this!” and then proceeds to make the problem even worse.

      1. Or how Obama campaigned against Bush’s foreign policy, and continued Bush’s foreign policy, except incompetent and corrupt, for lack of anything else that wasn’t obviously insane.

      2. people seldom like to hear the answer “nothing”,</I?"

        IIRC, that was one of the factors contributing to George H. W. Bush's defeat in '92 — in a time of financial "crisis" he had the guts to do nothing, aware that any government policy was likely to exacerbate the problem because [delete lengthy economics discourse on the futility of policy.]

        Even thought the business section of the NY Times adjudged the economy to be in recovery by October of that year, the news did not filter up to the Front Page or the Editorial Page (one can only distinguish between them by their placement in the paper) until December, at which point they awarded Clinton credit for the turnaround.

        This is also a reason local politicians like to award "tax incentives" to attract business to their towns. There's scant cost to it when it doesn't wrk and they get to claim credit on those few occasions when, like a rain dance, it appears to produce the desired result.

  16. “This engine of yours… it’s noisy as Hell. The exhaust is choking. The thing is sputtering oil and grease all over. It’s just plain ugly. Have you looked other designs, sir?!”

    “Why, yes, I have. And I will admit there are many prettier engines. There are many quieter engines. There are many cleaner engines. But this one beats every last one of them.”

    “How so? It fails on every measure!”

    “Not quite. You see, mine runs.”

    1. The software version of that:

      A consultant is called into salvage a failed software project. After a few weeks he demonstrates a working program.

      The lead developer of the failed project says, “How fast does that thing run?”

      “100 transactions per second,” the constultant replies.

      “Ours would do 1000 transactions per second!” brags the lead developer.

      “Yes, but mine works.”

  17. I will admit I find it interesting that people supposedly committed to not burning it all down and it has been worse want to make sure we all believe that civilian gun ownership is 10 guns per person in some state and that will mean the Feds will have to retreat.

    How is that not betting on burning it down or at the very least it getting worse? More importantly how is that not believing that “one Southerner can whip 10 Yankees so the was is already won”.

    I understand relying on the 2nd Amendment, but if you’re going to do so getting to 10:1 on guns is much less important than having a trained mass of ready volunteers with a sufficient logistical chain to defeat the Federal government. Having more veterans and West Point graduates on your side (as the CSA did) will not make up for having an actual plan.

    Claiming “burn it all down” is not a plan is not compatable with having a successful plan for revolution.

    So either stow the 2nd Amendment claims or admit that at some point, some point you can reasonably imagine, burning it down is the correct option. Otherwise you’ll never fish or cut bait.

    1. I don’t really care how many guns people have, Herb — I care that you’re using a bizarre source and ignoring how people behave around guns.

      1. “Is that a gun under your shirt?”

        [grabs at lumpy area] “YAAAAGH! GET IT OFF! GET IT OFF!” [dances about]

      2. What bizarre source, the AFT transfer records and the census survey (yes, it is CBS news but those numbers show up elsewhere, that is just what Google gave me first).

        But, whatever, I’m a leftist plant anyway (or wish I was some days).

    2. Given the choice between fighting an insurgency in the USA or Afghanistan, I’ll choose Afghanistan.

      1. The US Army would beg to differ. The government they defended here is still here (at least nominally) 150 years later. Afganistan might last 1/10th that.

              1. Oh, yeah, deadliest war in US history.

                That said it was won. I can’t imagine the current government (with either major party in charge) less itnerested in putting down misbehaving peasents in their own country than in a foreign one.

                1. Then again I’m close to embracing the conspiracy theory about immigration from Central and South American that the left wants them to help put down uppity whites in a race war after the realied in the 70s when they tried that a critical mass of blacks weren’t that foolish to be the Left’s footsoldiers in creating the ADR.

            1. Nope. There were insurgents, but the Confederacy primarily fought in the open field, had a formed government and a capital, et. al.

              And if you read up on the poor schmucks who were stuck doing occupation duty in Tennessee, you’ll find out that they hated it with the firey passion of 10,000 suns.

            2. no, it was an invasion. Reconstruction was when the insurgency occured and it eventually succeeded enough for the Southern states to become self governing again.

          1. [looks up dictionary definition of ‘insurgent’]

            Whisky Rebellion, Shay’s Rebellion, most of the Indian Wars…

            1. Most of the Indian Wars were with foreign governments – the Indian nations. That was why Georgia couldn’t cut a deal with the Creeks and later seize Cherokee land: the Constitution forbids states from entering into independent treaties, and as foreign governments, any agreement with the Indians had to be done by treaty on the Federal level. So, by that definition, the Indian Wars against the US weren’t rebellions.

    3. High gun ownership in a state causing the Feds to back down is not at all related to “burn it all down”. It’s actually related to PREVENTING such a thing.

      “Burn it down” would mean the Feds went in in force and provoked a shooting conflict on a mass scale, which would probably escalate across the country. If a State snubs their noses at the Feds, and the Feds DO NOT try to force the issue, it will send a message that States can repudiate dictats from on high, and encourage others to do so, which will begin to reduce the overreach that the Feds have.

      1. “Burn it down” would mean the Feds went in in force and provoked a shooting conflict on a mass scale, which would probably escalate across the country.

        At this point I believe the Feds will force the issue regardless if it is a state insisting on a non-leftist policy.

        Regardless, planning a show of force to get the Feds to back down is rolling the dice on the possibility they shoot. Once you pull out the guns you are committed to burning it all down even if that wasn’t your intent.

        If you surrender the ballot box for the ammo box you don’t get to say, “But I thought they’d back down”.

        Once the threat goes from implied to open we are on the path.

        1. I’m remembering the scene in Kratman’s ASOD with the Fed cops shooting the local cops,..

        2. You don’t surrender the ballot box. It gets stolen from you and stuffed with false votes.
          For what happens next please Google “the battle of Athens, TN”
          Disarming the common folk is the leftie socialist’s late night wet dream. Except it never works, just like none of their grand and glorious plans do as they never take into account reality or human nature. Make arms illegal and people choose to misbehave. They hide them, they steal them, they make them in shops and basements and garages.

              1. PVC Pipe, hairspray and a lighter. Makes a fun potato gun. Could probably do some damage if not aimed properly.

        3. Just because I expect it to happen doesn’t mean I like the idea. I have kids, Herb. I don’t want them growing up in a war zone. I have a better idea what that costs someone who *survives* it than most Americans do because I married someone who had.
          I think the Feds would like to force the issue with shooting. I just don’t think they’ll dare. There’re too many ways for that to bloody the internationalist president’s nose internationally. He’ll speak firmly and sadly. He’ll cut off federal funds. If they do shoot, it’ll be slow coming, not fast. Not like Ruby Ridge, where it was a family against the Feds. And unlike Ruby Ridge, there will be a thousand cell phone videos of whatever happens to blacken his eyes internationally.

    4. We won’t have to burn it all down because the powers that be are burning it down for us. They are reducing the legitimate authority of government every time a city DA or Mayor condemns the police for stopping thuggery by African#BlackLivesMatterAmericans. They are squandering their legitimacy when they denounce Stop&Frisk as unwarranted violation of civil liberty but want to allow unaccountable government bureaucrats (or anonymous neighbors and coworkers (see: California gun restrictions)) to put names on lists denying your Second (and First) Amendment rights,

      All we have to be able to do is protect us and ours from the resultant social collapse. They’ve accumulated the kindling and fodder, it our duty to stock up the fire suppressant.

  18. “doomed, doomed, doomed”

    From “Atom and Evil”:
    We’re sitting on the edge of doom (doom) (doom) (doom) doom!

    This? This ain’t NUTHIN’. Yeah, we’ll have to scrub a few places here and there, sure. But it’s not “Alright, rebuild world, starting with knapping flints.” And as for recovering? Ponder this one: In WWII every nation, si I am told, ramped up War Production and leveled off at Peak Capacity… except the USA. The USA Navy, during the biggest war ever, said “Stop sending us more destroyers! We have enough!” I’ve heard it said that the USA hit maybe 30% capacity then. That was anger. Ponder if we’d gotten well and truly PO-ed?

    Alright, that was decades ago, and folks got VERY focused. That core is still there. It’s deep. It’ll be d-mned painful to expose raw again. But it is there. It’ll take a long time to spin things up fully… but.. you really, REALLY, REALLY don’t want to do that. Long fuses are used for what? Very large charges. Internal or external… it’ll be nasty for whoever cause it to get lit.

    1. Pfaugh. We shut down manufacture of gunpower in *1943*. We stopped making most small arms ammunition in 1944.

      We used WWII-era ammo though most of the Vietnam war, except for the newfangled 5.56mm stuff. And the Navy was still using 1943 powder bags in Desert Storm.

      It’s kind of like the atomic bomb. Many people think it had to do with exotic metals and nuclear physics, but the atomic bombs were primarily made out of money.(1) We spent more on the Manhattan Engineer District than some nations spent on the war.

      (1) when some of the War Resources Board people were begging Leslie Groves for lead to use for ammunition, he asked his boffins if anything else would work. Someone said gold would do, ha ha. So Groves picked up the phone and in a few days there was a convoy on the way from Fort Knox. They used the gold for radiation shielding. As more kept arriving, they used gold bricks for doorstops and paperweights.

  19. > number of guns

    The graph on this site: https://www.atf.gov/news/pr/atf-releases-2014-report-firearms-commerce-us shows about 120 million guns made by registered manufacturers between 1986 and 2012.

    It looks like about 5% of the guns are exported.

    Looks like about 30 million imports during the same period. So in the last 26 years, call it 125 million new guns added to the pool.

    Some probably went to military and “LEO” sales. Retired military arms usually get sent overseas; retired LEO firearms usually wind up on Gunbroker or at a distributor like J&G, so they’ll wind up in private hands, just after a few years’ delay.

    I think of anything newer than 1986 as a “new” gun. Most of mine predate WWII, and some predate the 20th century. Even an indifferently-maintained gun can easily last a century or more. Most of the guns made in the last 125 years are still probably in closets, under beds, or in racks somewhere.

    Based on the ATF’s own figures, that 300 million looks *very* conservative.

      1. Israel bought a bunch of German war surplus in its early years. Most of the guns were “scrubbed”; the German markings ground off and Israeli markings stamped in their place. Sometimes they cut corners and left the German markings on and stamped their own markings in any clear space.

        Thus there are occasional M98 Mausers that show up with both the Nazi swastika and the Star of David. Oddly, they’re not notably collectible. But I’ve been keeping an eye out, and when I get one, it’ll go on open display in the living room instead of in one of the safes.

        Provenance would be nice, but just the stamps would be enough history for me.

        1. I’ll have to ask John if we have one of those. What he likes are not necessarily the most popular collectible weapons, but weapons with interesting history. We have quite a few Mausers.

  20. > You want to be rescued by a man on a white horse

    Sometimes what you *get* is a line of old women with bottles of gasoline and flaming wicks.

    Even the Men On Horseback can be stopped when enough people draw their line and say “this stops here.”

    The Man On Horseback isn’t a savior; he’s just a different form of the same problem you have already. “But *this* tyrant will surely be better than the last… and he has such a nice hat!”

  21. “‘Uniquely corrupt’ Dooomed. DOOOOOOOOOOOMED.”

    Not uniquely corrupt, no. Probably not doomed either, at least not in any of those ways. But perhaps uniquely interesting.:-|

    On the plus side, communications are much much better than ever before, and that seems to be a nice strong tailwind for progress toward making better institutions practical for larger societies.

    On the minus side, we have a considerably larger society than in previous happy examples mentioned in the original post, and that seems to be a nasty tailwind helping to drive societies into stable despotisms with little to recommend them.

    On the confusing side, nobody has really figured out what to make of nuclear weapon game theory, and we have historically ridiculously huge amounts of slack to screw things up without inevitably starving in the next winter (for good or for ill — it’s slack that goofy political ideas might use to really build up a head of steam…), and while we’re not uniquely corrupt we’ve been ‘enjoying’ higher than average levels of government unconcern for legitimacy for longer than any of us have been alive, and while that kind of thing can go on for centuries (see, e.g., the Catholic Church), that kind of thing can also fall apart even when powerful figures figure they can push it for more centuries (see, e.g., the Reformation). Not *doom* but an interesting buildup of flammable material.

    Also there’s a pretty significant chance that foreseeable tech change (like strong AI or genetic engineering) or semi-foreseeable tech change (Vinge’s YGBM, e.g.) or who-asked-for-*that* tech change (efficient solution for NP problems, tabletop synthesis of black holes, perfect psionic telepathy mediated by aliens from the ninth dimension, whatever) upends things before the political trends that we’re fussing about play out to whatever their natural political conclusion might be.

      1. Interesting times, querida, are the lot of every son of Adam and daughter of Eve. Never you fear.

  22. “I’m either leaving the top of the ticket blank of voting Johnson, who won’t win and has that virtue.”

    If you don’t vote for him, you don’t help build third-party momentum, and that actually WILL help maintain the two-party Lock on the political system. That alone is sufficient reason to vote Libertarian.

    It’s merely a bonus that he’s a rational, non-criminal adult who applies reason and Constitutional principles to all his decisions.

    Oh, and he has a track record of success in administration, business and personal life, without a trail of dead bodies, criminal investigations, insanity and hypocrisy.

    And his poll numbers have been rising consistently, while the two Fascists drop…..

    1. The two issues I care most about are foreign policy and having strict constructionist judges. Johnson is apparently backing an isolationist platform, which puts him behind Trump on this one. Trump going to do the stopped clock thing and occasionally get a foreign policy issue right.

      On strict constructionist judges, I did the math.
      Hillary: estimated chances of winning 66%, estimated chances of strict constructionist nominations 0% = 0%
      Trump: estimated chances of winning 33%, estimated chances of strict constructionist nominations 20% = ~7%
      Johnson: estimated chances of winning a very generous 1%, estimated chances of strict constructionist nominations 90% = ~1%

      Johnson’s campaign needs to convince me he has a non-isolationist foreign policy, or the odds for my issue say Trump. Who is a jerk.

      1. One of the very few things speaking for a vote for The Donald to my mind is the wholesale swap-out of the current crop of D political appointees for a new crop of R political appointees that would proceed from the change of party in power in the White House. If The Unindictable Dowage Empress wins, the D appointees stay for another term and dig just that much deeper into the bureaucracy.

        Not saying I really prefer The Donald over The Beast of Chappaqua, but I like the idea of regular swap-outs of at least part of the bureaucratic state.

        The Supremes issue can be managed by the House and Senate, but not the bureaucratic turnover.

        But Judge Posner is still a moron.

        1. What are the odds, if Donald Trump gets elected …

          Of his IRS Director getting away with stonewalling Congressional investigation and conveniently having subpoenaed hard drives “accidentally” destroyed?

          Of his getting away with executive orders imposing legislation Congress won’t pass on the grounds that “When Congress won’t act, we have to do something.”?

          Of his IRS auditing or simply interminably delaying responding to political groups’ 501-C applications?

          Of being able to “James Rosen” journalists who are breaking inconvenient stories?

          Of being able to brag in the NY Times about using MSM ignorance to create a fog allowing the administration to lie for five years about back channel negotiations?

          For that matter, what are the odds of a Trump national security advisor having a brother who is head of the news divisiion of a major MSM news network?

      2. I don’t know, as much as the Big L libertarian foreign policy ideas make me squirm, maybe a dose of American isolationism might be an object lesson to the rest of the planet.

        1. We are at war, whether we care to acknowledge that or not. I object to surrendering the initiative just to spite others. That would mean fighting with eight of the principles of war instead of nine—refusing to use Offensive—which in my mind is just as irresponsible as the current administration fixation with ignoring the third principle, Mass.

  23. uniquely corrupt

    An Indian friend of mine and I were having a conversation about corruption a few years ago, in which he observed that corruption in the US wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in India. He gave numerous examples from local level Can I just pay the fine to you officer type of corruption all the way up to the President. But I disagreed.

    Sure, you might get the occasional bundles of hundreds stuffed in a homemade apple pie box here in the US. And of course sex is as time-tested a substitute for money here as anywhere else. But the real corruption here is much, much more advanced and professional.

    Hell, if it’s not actually codified (PPACA and TARP top a long list), then it’s simply assumed to be a fundamental part of our economic system (Quantitative Easing…).

    Our massive corporatist economy/government (upon which hinges the global economy) is inherently corrupt.

    This corruption may not be entirely unique, but it is certainly unprecedented. Hillary Clinton isn’t an outlier.

    1. Perhaps the saddest thing about Hillary is that she is not only corrupt, but she is apparently bungling and incompetent at it.
      Looking at the FBI report it’s a wonder she’s allowed out in public, wait, never mind. But 110 documents classified secret or higher in the batch she claims were deleted from her private server. It’s all OK though, since she did not exhibit intent to put national security in jeopardy she gets a pass.
      Risking government secrets for her personal convenience is just fine. After all it’s not like she’s a commoner, she’s one of the elite.

      1. “OK though, since she did not exhibit intent to put national security in jeopardy she gets a pass.”

        Which is simply more evidence that the Rule of Law was subverted for her: “Intent” was not a requirement of the felony statute she violated.

        I can almost hear Nixon screaming “WTF?!?!?” from beyond the grave.

        1. To say nothing of the “Conspiracy to Commit…” charges, or the RICO stuff, that enterprising prosecutors have used for a very long time indeed to get around being all that picky about evidence and stuff. All they would need is an email from The Beast to Huma Weiner saying “We need to keep our emails on our servers. And fetch me more chocolate!” to nail a conspiracy to evade federal records law charge, if her last name was not Clinton.

          Oh, wait, we actually have those emails…

          But Judge Posner is still a moron.

    2. Hillary Clinton isn’t an outlier.

      No, she’s an out and out liar. Paraphrasing Mary McCarthy: “Every word she [says] is a lie, including and and the.”

  24. This is not where you expected to be at 50. It is certainly not where I expected to be at almost 80. When Obama was reelected I wrote an apology to my grand children and great grand children for the country I was leaving them. I went right along with the democratic party when I was your age and I feel I am part of the problem. It took Carter to turn my mind around.
    I am happy to see you are optimistic, or maybe it is just pragmatism, I won’t fault you on that. I will say however, I certainly hope to live long enough to see the ship of state headed in a different direction.

  25. Two things here:

    1. We already know that politics and psychology are against us:

    “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

    This is known as ‘bad luck’.” (Heinlein)

    2. There is a “winning side”, and He won about 2,000 years ago–in defiance of religious, military, and political leaders of the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KntkqJAoHFk

    3. Unlike those who are too insecure about their beliefs to allow competition, folks on the winning side ought to remember what we were told (John 16:33), “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

    Don’t be afraid. The Enemy has already lost.

  26. My quixotic opposition to the Democratic Party is motivated by the knowledge that they used to be much worse.

    Blah, blah, blah, usual spiel.

  27. If you are driving, hydroplane and hit a guard rail, you are generally assessed the cost of that guard rail, even if you had no intention of damaging it. At NRO gangblog The Corner, Mona Charen raises the question of Hillary Clinton, by her undeniable extreme carelessness (and repeated mischaracterizations) shouldn’t reimburse the government for the cost of the FBI’s time: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/437497/make-her-pay

    1. That penalty check would be written by the House of Saud and the Chinese Communist Party.

    1. That man sure could give a speech worth hearing.

      Wasn’t much for coddling pussy defeatists, was he?

      1. From the comments at the vid:
        Hispanic 16 year old green card holder ; as soon as I turn 18 I’m enlisting for the us marine corps . I may have not been born in this country but I sure love as my home, and willing to die for its people.

        1. And he’ll leave at the first opportunity when, shortly after enlisting, he’s forced to attend classes on preventing global warming, and how to avoid hurting the feelings of gays and transsexuals.

        2. Similar story on the sports wires today:

          Brayan Pena’s passion for the USA leads to commitment to Army Reserves
          ST. LOUIS — The passion in Brayan Pena’s voice is undeniable.

          As you probably have heard by now Pena, the Cardinals’ backup catcher, made a surprising announcement Tuesday afternoon on Twitter:

          Im very proud to announce with the support of my wife & family that i will be joining the ARMY RESERVE this off season ” God Bless America ”
          — Brayan Pena (@cuban2727) July 5, 2016

          “It’s the right thing to do. It’s time for me to give something back to this great country,” Pena said in the Cardinals’ clubhouse before Tuesday’s game against the Pirates at Busch Stadium. “It’s not something that I just woke up and did it. I’ve been giving some thought and research. I’m very excited. It’s an honor for me.”


          Because of his MLB contract, Pena cannot fully enlist in the Reserves right now.

          He’s going to go through the full boot camp experience during the baseball offseason, and he’ll spend the rest of the offseason as a sort of ambassador, traveling to different bases, talking with soldiers and helping with baseball clinics. After his baseball career ends — he’s 34 years old, and he’s currently in Year 1 of a two-year, $5 million deal he signed with the Cardinals — he said he plans to dive more fully into his opportunities as a reserve.

          “It’s exciting. I know it’s not a game. I know that. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do,” Pena said. “And I feel like it’s the right thing. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, ever since I became an American citizen.”

          Pena defected from Cuba when he was 16 and became a U.S. citizen in 2008.


          He clearly loves his new country, too. He has talked about the idea of joining the Army Reserves for a couple years now, and his conversations on the subject with Jay Bruce when the two were teammates with the Reds really stood out.

          “We shared a lot of emotions about this great country,” Pena said. “I have a pretty good relationship with him. It’s something I told him, if one day I have the opportunity to do it, I want to do it. And Jay Bruce, he said, ‘Hey, I support you. Let’s just see how everything works out.’ ”

          The passion Pena has for this new chapter in his life is even more evident when he talks about the idea of being part of the military.

          “They’re the true heroes. Not us. We’re just playing baseball,” he said. “They’re the true heroes. Not just them, the firefighters, the policemen, everybody who really has something to do with defending our country and our freedom, they’re the true heroes. That’s the way I see it. That’s the way I feel. I’ve been thinking about that for a long time. I’m very passionate about it, and I’m very excited. Baseball is great. I love baseball. Baseball is something that is amazing, but what those guys do for us and especially for me and my family, and this great country did for me, it’s something where I feel I have to give something back.”

          1. …the full boot camp experience…

            It’s an Experience now?

            Maybe the big green machine should market it as sort of an adventure tourism thingee.

            Not knocking Pena’s decision – I applaud his choice.

            The press coverage, however, is astonishly, yet predictably, dumb.

            But Judge Posner is still a moron.

  28. HT: Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner. It ain’t just the Liberals — although one can make a strong argument that here in the US the Progs and GOPe are both Left of the American spirit:

    The strange death of liberal politics
    By John Gray
    A lesson of the past few days is the danger of groupthink. Along with the major international institutions, the assembled might of establishment opinion – in the CBI and TUC, massed legions of economists and a partisan Bank of England – was confident that the existing order here and in Europe would be preserved by promises of unspecified reforms. Until around 2am on the morning of Friday 24 May, the bookies and currency traders followed the playbook that had been given them by the authorities and the pollsters. Then, in a succession of events of a kind that is becoming increasingly common, the script was abruptly torn up. A clear majority of voters had reached to the heart of the situation. Realising that the promises of European reform that had been made were empty, they opted for a sharp shift in direction.


    As it is being used today, “populism” is a term of abuse applied by establishment thinkers to people whose lives they have not troubled to understand. A revolt of the masses is under way, but it is one in which those who have shaped policies over the past twenty years are more remote from reality than the ordinary men and women at whom they like to sneer.


    That there are dark forces at work in politics cannot be denied. This is palpably the case in parts of continental Europe, where far-right parties with roots in the darkest years of the 20th century have been inching their way towards government. No one with a sense of history can feel confident that liberal values are secure in Hungary, Poland or Austria. France faces a growing challenge from Marine Le Pen, and in Germany liberal freedoms can no longer be taken for granted. A country whose pre-eminent leader condones the prosecution of a comedian accused of insulting a foreign head of state – as Angela Merkel did earlier this year – cannot be relied on to protect freedom of expression. A semi-failed Islamist despotism makes an inauspicious partner for a liberal Europe.

    The situation is different where liberal values are more deeply embedded. The new tolerance of anti-Semitism by sections of the left in Britain is an elite pathology: a disorder of the gibbering classes not the masses. Self-evidently Britain has some hideous flaws, but it is still a fundamentally decent country. The same is true of the US. There is much that is ugly and threatening about Donald Trump – not least his divisive attacks on Muslims. But it is the parties that have been in power for the past thirty years that have created Trump’s main constituency. His appeal is to casualties of the American economy that mainstream politicians have chosen to ignore.

    For Romney-style Republicans, the anger of former artisans and much of the middle classes is the hopeless resentment of a bunch of losers – the useless 47 per cent who live off government handouts. For many liberals, the perplexity of these groups at finding they have no place in society expresses an intolerable sense of entitlement. Bernie Sanders has stood out in recognising the negative impact of immigration on workers who are already threatened by low-cost imports of manufactured goods – a break with liberal orthodoxy for which he has been duly attacked. But Sanders has conceded the Democratic nomination, and not many in America’s submerged classes are going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Whether Trump will be able to command the wider support he needs to win the presidency remains to be seen. If he does, the result might be another variation on American crony capitalism. Ending the Bush and Clinton dynasties and involving less interventionist foreign policies and a break with free trade, it would still be a major shift. But America has not always been a free-trading nation – far from it – and moving to a more historically normal stance towards the world would not turn the country into an authoritarian backwater.

    Events like Brexit and the rise of Trump seem inherently improbable only if you expect the future to be like the recent past. Some such assumption underpins the polling techniques that have given such misleading forecasts. Rationalistic liberals look for errors in statistical methods to account for these failures – sampling mistakes, hidden biases, over-reliance on telephone or internet data, and the like. Yet a more fundamental explanation lies in the discontinuities of history. Politics is not like baseball – a finite series of well-defined contests whose outcomes can be used as the basis for calculations of probability. When the game changes in politics, the upshot cannot be captured in any mathematical formula.


    The EU responded to the close of the Cold War with a project of simultaneous expansion and greater integration, a hubristic ambition that has left European institutions weaker than they have ever been. Like the financial elites shown to be so pitifully short-sighted in the early hours of Friday morning, politicians and pundits who bang on about adapting to change have been confounded by changes that they believed could not happen.

    Anyone who wants to understand the present will have to throw away the old progressive playbook. Cascading events allow for possibilities that do not feature in linear theories of history. One of them is that the antiquated British state will still be standing after the EU has fallen apart.

  29. Yeah, things have been worse. But it took a stroke to stop the first big White House threat this century (i.e. Wilson), and World War 2 to put the kibosh to the plans of the second big threat.

    Instapundit (I think) noted a tweet from someone a few days ago that basically said in essence, “We’re now living in the time that everyone points to as the contributing factor to the next big upcoming calamity.” Yeah, there will no doubt be a reset down the line.

    But the cause of that reset will be bloody. And it’ll probably result in countless deaths around the world even if the nukes don’t fly.

    1. “We’re living in the ‘contributing factors’ paragraph of a unit where the maps sprout a bunch of flags and arrows.”

  30. As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    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.”

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

  31. The thing about men on horses, gleaming white chargers or not, is that they can be knocked off with a well-placed heavy stick. And once they’re down, they can be killed with a kitchen knife.

      1. Oh, we can’t have swords? No worries, we didn’t bury them in the back 40, we melted them down into this here shovel. Just like we were told, yessiree.

      1. But requires a bit more skill on the part of the person throwing the rock. Unless it’s a really big one, of course.

    1. If they’re dumb enough to be standing out there on their own, no horses on either side of them, you can also knock the horse over and he’ll maul the guy for you…..

      (Basic run and thump from the side– it’s easy enough that we scared my dad half to death trying to mount when we were too short, at about…. 60 lbs? And the heavier the rider is, the easier it is.)

  32. This is the ultimate lesser of two evils election. And unless there’s a surprise pulled at the convention, I’ll be voting for Trump.

    Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife will NEVER be impeached and convicted, no matter what she does. That’s not how Democrats roll. They’ll stand in lockstep beside her.

    Trump’s VP will be a mainstream Republican of some sort. And everyone will be keeping an eye, a close eye, on what he does in office. One even close to impeachable offense- he’s gone. Republican’s won’t stand in lockstep to back him up. And in fact, would likely lead the charge.

    I voted for Cruz in teh primary. And I think it’s long past time the REpublicans ditched open primaries. In states that require primaries be opne- hold caucuses or have party officials appoint delegates. Open primaries along with front loaded winner take all primaries- WITH PLURALITIES- brought us Trump.

    1. If for no other reason, vote Trump for the pleasures of Hillary’s supporters’ tears.

      If for no other reason, vote Trump to declare gross carelessness with classified documents is unacceptable.

      If for no other reason, vote Trump to convey that when our diplomats and security teams are under attack, we expect action to be taken and the truth to be told.

      If for no other reason, vote Trump to ensure the next president has to set-up his “Charitable” Foundation and money laundry from scratch.

  33. BTW — post this far and wide.

    Lying liar lying.

    When she boasted of turning over 30K emails she also made clear those were the ones the government already had in their files … and even then she couldn’t comply.

  34. Just to make it clear, I will vote for Trump. I much prefer him to the Clintons. With a Republican House, and no popularity with the Army, he cannot end the Republic, and it is unlikely that he would want to. If you are afraid he will steal us blind, examine the Clinton Foundation.

    Trump’s ego; he will not want to be remembered as a failure and he has no power base that would support a coup, nor is there any reason to believe he thinks he has such. Do you believe the New Class will rally to Trump? That the Teachers Unions will take to the streets in his support? They would for the Clintons.

    Sometimes the devil we know is one we know all too well.

    Do you really believe the American Legion would take arms against the Long Grey Line? Or that West Point Graduates have forgotten Duty, Honor, Country? In that order.

    1. We can be pretty sure that Clinton doesn’t have what it takes for a successful coup either.

      We have right now the opportunity to convince the American people of the evils of Big Pederasty. Trump will shield Big Pederasty.

      An argument could be made that defusing the international mess should be more important than that. I suspect the foreign policy difference between Trump and Clinton will be that the GOP will take the blame for Trump.

      In theory, I might still be convinced that Trump is a Republican. In practice, the details I have of his campaign make him look either disinterested, or medically unfit, or actively trying to lose. I suspect that any appearance that he has a possibility of winning is a con.

    2. And Donald Trump has no parallels with the Clinton Foundation. Right.

      1. Donald Trump has no MSM to fly close air support for his corruption. Quite the opposite.

    3. I bet we could get a Luna Colony in fewer than seven years if we determined to name it Trump Colony. It would be (all together now) Yuuuuuuuge. It would be wonderful — you would be able to see its golden domes from anywhere on Earth.

  35. If I may postulate the main difference between that traitorous b***h and the business man running against her.
    With Trump you get a possible(probable?) crook, who if he has a bad day, probably won’t do much to the ordinary man-on-the-street unless that man sticks his head up too high.
    With the TB, you have an admitted lifetime crooked-thug who believes she can do no wrong(pretty much proven thanks to Cuntmey). And if she is having a bad day she will kick your ass just because you happen to walk past her, near her, around her…
    Now y’all go have fun.

  36. Only going to say this once, and it is probably going to fall upon deaf ears, but if you don’t vote for Trump, and we end up with a 6-3 or 7-2 court who considers the State to be God, and individual rights, and not just the 2nd Amendment but the 4th and parts of the 1st, to be open to adjudication by the Federal Govt, then you will be partly to blame. I don’t particularly care for Trump, but I will be pulling the lever for him anyway, because Hillary is dangerous to the country. The most lasting damage FDR did to the country was the court we had to endure for FORTY YEARS after he was gone. At least with Trump, if he nominates the people he says he will, we will have a court who takes individual liberty seriously, if not always seriously enough.

    1. Worth noting — the SCOTUS and subsidiary courts under FDR constituted a sea change in Constitutional jurisprudence, making it possible to declare such as Scalia, Thomas and others “outside the mainstream.”

      While true, this is condemnation of the judicial mainstream. It is a work of Augean proportion to return the courts to their proper course and is unlikely ever to be fully achieved.

    2. Trump’s promises conflict, except for his unstinting support for Big Pederasty. His appointments would be Big Pederasty appointments, hence contrary to your speculation.

      You also misappropriation blame. This has been a strange cycle, so it is not absolutely impossible for Trump to win. Trump’s apparent plan for victory hinges on a number of unproven assumptions. He is cheaping out on alternatives, so he either does not really want to beat Clinton, or is physically incapable of doing more. If he does not get his act together better, the blame will lie on those like yourself, Pournelle, and Anselem who heard things like ‘the GOP will take New York in the general’ and classified the speaker as a near certain winner rather than a near certain loser.

      1. Gracious – no one a Clinton administration will have a thing to do with pederasty!

        “flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” — even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights”

        Well, in a Clinton administration it won’t be in the news.

        The question before us is not whether Donald Trump is qualified to be president of the United States (he is, by the only qualifications listed in the Constitution and by virtually none other) nor whether Hillary Clinton is so qualified. The question is which of the two destined to occupy the Oval Office is likely to leave the United States in worse shape.

        1. The question is which of the two destined to occupy the Oval Office is likely to leave the United States in worse shape.

          I’d say both are going to leave the U.S. in worse shape; it will be only a matter of degrees which separate the end result.

          1. I’d say both are going to leave the U.S. in worse shape

            I believe that was assumed, and the question was intended as “which would leave it in worse shape than the other?”

            1. Thanks Wayne — I thought that obvious but who am I to step on somebody’s wordplay?

              Put mathematically,
              America(DT) < America
              America(HC) < America

              The question is whether:
              America(DT) < America(HC)
              America(HC) < America(DT)

              We're going into a ditch, the only issue is from which ditch will be harder to extricate ourselves?

              1. The point I was going for is the difference between delta Trump and delta Clinton approaches zero.

              1. I’ve seen it compared to wanting either Ebola or AIDS… but there’s no way to tell which is the Ebola and which is the AIDS.

    3. but if you don’t vote for Trump, and we end up with a 6-3 or 7-2 court who considers the State to be God, and individual rights, and not just the 2nd Amendment but the 4th and parts of the 1st, to be open to adjudication by the Federal Govt, then you will be partly to blame.

      The assumption you’re making is that Trump would be better. Trump, who was all for single payer health care, who is already endorsing stripping people of RKBA without due process, who endorsed the government taking property from one private entity in order to give it to another, who recommended “opening up” libel laws (does the phrase “chilling effect” mean anything to you?), who suggested that his far left sister would make a great Supreme Court Justice, that Trump.

      We’re going to have that 6-3 or 7-2 court that considers the State to be God anyway. Voting for Trump, even Trump winning, won’t stop that.

      The question I ask is name one thing, from his history or his actions (not his campaign rhetoric, which I do not believe a word of), that shows Trump is better on policy issues than Clinton. Just one.

      So far…nothing.

      1. [N]ame one thing … that shows Trump is better on policy issues than Clinton.

        I’ve seen very little evidence that Trump is different on policy issues than Clinton. But I’ve seen plenty of evidence that Trump won’t be able to get away with the abuses of office we can expect in a Clinton administration.

        1. But I’ve seen plenty of evidence that Trump won’t be able to get away with the abuses of office we can expect in a Clinton administration.

          But I just remember the Left screaming about how evil Bush was over the “Patriot” act–while quietly voting for it*. They are past masters of having it both ways.

          So, no, when it comes down to policies being implemented still not seeing Trump better than Clinton.

          *All while claiming that it did far more than it actually did leading me to predict that once the wheel turned and they were back in power they would act on the presumption that it did allow the things they claimed it did. And sure enough…

          1. So, no, when it comes down to policies being implemented still not seeing Trump better than Clinton.

            You miss the point. On policy I don’t see him as any worse than Clinton.

            Stipulated: Trump and Clinton will enact roughly similar policies.

            Axiomatic: Republicans in Congress will be as useful as teats on a boar at ameliorating Clinton’s policies.

            Probable: RinC might have some influence on Trump policies. Dems in Congress would likely offer opposition just because they won’t agree with a Republican.

            Significant: Trump, unlike Clinton, is likely to be impeached.

            Unquestionable: The people likely to cheer a Clinton victory are the political faction I despise; the people who will bewail a Trump victory, declare America forever ruined and threatening to leave the country are the political faction I most want to see discommoded.

            When policy is taken off the table, other factors become determinative. On those factors I find Trump preferable to Clinton.

            1. When policy is taken off the table, other factors become determinative. On those factors I find Trump preferable to Clinton.

              Several of your “other factors” I find myself skeptical of. Impeachment? The GOP would never vote to impeach a Republican and the Democrats? Why would they impeach someone who is giving them everything they want while they get to blame it on “the Right”? (Note: The flaw in the “never attribute to malice” argument is that the truly powerful are rarely stupid.) Like with Bush there may be talk of impeachment, but it is unlikely to go anywhere.

              There are three things (two of high confidence, one more speculative) where Trump is definably worse than Clinton.

              One is that, unlike Clinton, he is an experienced executive. How capable he is is open to question, but “at all” is more than Clinton has. That means he’s more capable of getting the policies he promotes implemented.

              The second is the one our hostess has pointed out before: everything he does will be blamed on “the Right”. Look back at how often left wing policies implemented under Bush were blamed on “the far right”. Now double and redouble that.

              The third, the speculative one, is what is going to happen down-ticket? A Trump presidenty leading to further economic mess, further erosion (erosion? Project Plowshare level excavation.) of individual liberty. An electorate more and more unhappy deciding to turn (again) against the party that holds the White House. And the House and Senate get handed back to the Democrats.

  37. “FDR was kind of like Obama with more energy. He turned a recession into a depression.”

    That is very much unfair to FDR. When he took office, the economy was in a state of collapse, with unemployment over 25%. The Republicans had been in complete power for 12 years, with Hoover as Sec of Commerce or President. They owned it.

    It’s arguable that FDR’s policies ultimately prolonged the Depression. But OTOH, Robert Heinlein lived through that period. In the voice of a character (Maureen Smith), he suggested that FDR’s actions in 1933 and 1934 averted food riots.

    Also, his appointments were much better. None of his cabinet appointments were blatant incompetents like Clinton.

    His foreign policy was resolutely pro-American. (He was taken in by the USSR, but so were many others, and the USSR was an actual wartime ally and at least tried to look friendly, unlike Iran.)

    FDR was faced by much greater problems than Obama, and handled them much better.

    1. 1. Hoover exacerbated the recession by using the policies urged by the Democrats and which were later enhanced by FDR. It is important to recall that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats of that era were ideologically uniform parties. Harding and Coolidge favored dramatically different roles for government than did the technocrats.

      2. Avoidance of food riots prompted by FDRs policies merits credit to the same extent a man who murders his parents merits sympathy as an orphan.

      3. It would be nearly impossible for FDR’s foreign policy to be worse than Obama’s, Hillary’s and Kerry’s, but we should keep in mind that FDR’s vice-president, Henry Wallace, and his chief architect of the post-war order, Alger Hiss, were (at best) Soviet dupes.

    2. On June 22, 1941, 6 months before Pearl Harbor, Germany invaded Russia. Until that very day, all good leftists in teh United States fervently argues against America giving any suppot to the allies at all. They all turned on a dime and were arguing for American intervention by June 23, 1941.

      The USSR was never a wartime ally; they were a wartime leech. Through the Murmansk Run, the United States supplied the Soviet Union with 15,000 aircraft, 7,000 tanks, 350,000 tons of explosives, and 15,000,000 pairs of boots. 15 million pairs of boots- the USSR couldn’t provide the most basic materials for themselves. Info from http://www.usmm.org/ww2.html Yes, they contributed to an allied victory over Germany. Because we supplied them with the war material they needed to avoid defeat. They contributed absolutely nothing to the defeat of Japan. We dropped the bomb on Hiroshima August 6, 1945. The USSR declared war against Japan 2 days later.

      1. They also provided bodies–a lot of bodies–and tied down 3/4 of the German army and the armies of all of their European allies save Italy and Vichy France.

        1. Which would have been entirely unnecessary had they been able to refrain from fishing in troubled waters, and not created the conditions which permitted the NSDAP to rise.

  38. On a positive note, thank the Deity that these folks were all wearing identical extraordinarily inoffensive polo shirts for the Juno Jupiter orbital insertion.

    I bet they had to hold design reviews with NASA HQ to get the details nailed down and approved.

  39. Interesting comment at NRO’s gangblog The Corner by Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy today:

    Now, you would think that the lack of trust in government should mean that people want less of it. As a libertarian, I would welcome that. Unfortunately, I was recently reminded of the work of Andrei Shleifer and his colleagues, which shows that it is not necessarily the case if there is also a lack of trust in businesses. In that case, their paper finds that the lack of trust in businesses often triggers a higher demand for government regulations and rules even when people think that the government is itself corrupt.

    This certainly helps explain the constant attacks on Business emanating from the Party of Government.

    1. Also useful red herring. If the Dcronyist party keeps hammering on the evils of businesses, people won’t pay as much attention to all the favors being done to businesses who are big D party donors..

  40. Megacomment/minipost incoming!

    Work from the inside out, AKA everything is local.

    The first thing to note is that no one is without influence, and those who have very little have either never tried to extend it or have never been taught how. Consider this a crash course for the front line grunt in the culture war. Please note, you’ll never get any of these perfectly, and you shouldn’t try to polish all the edges before moving outward, just make sure you have a solid foothold. Metaphors may blend during shipment.

    Start with yourself. Know what your principles are, and why. Be able to express them, in written or verbal form (preferably both). You don’t have to be a great rhetorician, but being able to explain yourself clearly and concisely is invaluable. As a side bonus, it’s handy for everything else. Get familiar with history, with basic political philosophy, with common issues and general facts. You don’t have to be a wonk, just be conversant with the basics. If you’re religiously inclined (or even if you’re not), be sure to spend some time with holy writ, both reading and pondering. Above all, work on living your principles. Don’t make a show of it, just do it.

    Now reach out a little. This can be a challenge for introverts and the socially unskilled, but not as much as you might think. Strengthen the connections you have first. Do you have family you’re on good terms with? Close friends? When was the last time you talked to them or spent time with them? There’s a great deal that has been said and written on interpersonal relations, so I won’t reproduce it all here. Just build trust and camaraderie with people as you’re able. Discretely and politely share your values with those around you. Set an example, encourage them, help them in ways that will make them more independent. For fundamentals I’d recommend How to Win Friends and Influence People and Seven Habits of Highly Effective People; they’re both excellent, and my efforts in life have been much more successful as I’ve followed them.

    Then the trickier part: how about neighbors? How many do you know, and how well do you know them? Get to know the people in your area. Online communities are wonderful – this one in particular has gotten me through some brutally difficult times – but they have their limits. As much as I love Hoyt’s Huns, when I need to strip a roof or haul a truckload of rubbish or build a fence, it’s my neighbors I have to turn to then. Not every person is worth building a relationship with, but you never know until you meet them. The good ones you can move into that first circle around you, and share with and influence them. The others do your best to be on polite terms with; you never know when or how simple politeness will pay off.

    If you’re a creative type, make things that reflect your values. Our Beloved Hostess has written a great deal on this over the years, so I’ll just summarize: Put quality first. Don’t preach. Don’t give in to what someone else tells you to create. Keep making. Keep improving.

    There are other opportunities in the creative sphere besides making things yourself. Patronize creators whose art you appreciate (this applies to craftsmen and other skilled workers too) and spread the word to others you know. Don’t be afraid to share things you’re excited about. Request good books at your local library, or donate them there if you can. If you are an attendee at conventions, consider getting involved or at least offering suggestions for material to cover or guests to invite. Do you go to museums or concerts? Find out if there’s a way to give input on what they’re showing. Heck, put together a concert or dinner or art show: it’s not easy, but it’s not as hard as you might imagine. One of my brothers planned, prepared, rehearsed, advertised, and directed a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue while still in high school. A church group I knew in California put together a show of local visual artists together with a concert of fabulous classical instrumentalists and vocalists on a shoestring budget.

    Whatever your profession, trade, calling, or job, do it well. If you’re not employed and want to be, then finding a job is your full time job. Whatever you have to do, work hard at it. I cannot say enough of how important example is. People you work for will see it, people you work with will see it, people who work for you will see it, people you want to work for will see it, and you may plant a seed there. Again, this will serve you well regardless of culture wars.

    Organizations are next. There are various opportunities online – open source projects, special interest forums – but most have a geographical component. At the local level is where everything starts. Professional and networking groups, religious organizations, conventions, HOAs, town councils, school boards, fraternal orders, band boosters, writers’ groups, sewing circles, guilds and trade groups, makerspaces, clubs of all kinds… get involved in what interests or affects you. Some of those get into politics, which I’ve largely tried to avoid here, but the same processes and principles apply there. Know who your local political and governmental people are, your mayor, city councilcritter, state legislator, etc. Get to know them; make sure they know you. Bring those people and those organizations into your circle of influence. Look for opportunities to advance those principles you identified at the beginning, even if just a little. Maybe especially if it’s just a little.

    It took the progressives, communists, fascists, social justice whiners, and other authoritarians generations of this kind of effort to put us where we are today. It will take a long time – years at least – to put it right, but every step we move forward, every haven we build makes our lives a little easier. Don’t give up. Keep pushing.

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