Creepy Clowns

I’m getting really tired of the creepy clowns.

No, I don’t mean the ones everyone keeps seeing around schools, though that fad interested me enough because it resounds with visions of strange things in times of trouble, like seeing UFOs in the seventies.  In fact I went so far as to look up the sightings, but couldn’t determine if, as when one sees UFOs (or in the olden days fairies) there were the after effects of burning eyes and what seemed to be a mild cold.  Years ago, in a summer of insanity (I’d just given birth) I read everything I could about UFOs and fairies and determined they were similar phen0mena and possibly had some sort of intelligence behind it.

Anyway, none of the accounts of the creepy clowns is detailed enough to mention that stuff, so other than as a sign of our slow national psychosis, I am not interested in them.

I’m not even talking about the two creepy clowns running for president, each more profoundly unserious than the other and each in many ways children in adult bodies.

No, it’s the creepy clowns on Facebook, who are starting to terrify me.

There’s a posse of them running around everywhere telling everyone how we’re doomed, doooooomed, dooooooooooooooomed and the republic is already lost and there’s nothing we can do.

I honestly don’t know if these people were convinced Trumpites (I think so) who have now lost faith in their figurehead, and therefore everyone must be doomy and gloomy with them.  I know some of them were.  The others are probably just general purpose ass clowns.

There is one person I respect who thinks we’re all lost — but on a longer timescale than the assclowns — because of a Marching Morons scenario.  I.e. he thinks we’re paying the least competent to reproduce, while our most successful/competent/responsible people can’t afford kids after all the student loans.

I respect him and like him but I think he’s wrong, even if he’s probably smarter than I.  His perspective is distorted by his job, where he deals with the fast-reproducing dregs of society and also for his failure to see the effects of dependency on human intelligence and ingenuity.  It’s not that those living off the system are the dumbest (some aren’t dumb at all, since the system is a labyrinth to navigate.)  It’s that their natural wit and ability has been turned to sponging off society.  Cut the oppressive “net” around them and quite a few of them will shock you with how smart they are.  Most of those irredeemably dependent and tame will die, in some way or another.

No, differential reproduction doesn’t worry me.  There have been periods like this before and it tends to be a self-correcting problem.

And that’s the ONLY legitimate reason to be worried about our society and our republic in particular.  Yep, the only one.

What about the creepy clowns running for president?

Well, honestly, they’re more a symbol of how much grip the left has lost on our society.  There was a time when they could run a Republican and a Democrat, both fully accepted, both with “deep credentials” and both statist to the core.  No?  If you think Nixon was a champion of liberty, you need your head examined. Ford? Not even.

Nowadays they can’t do that.  And the left was aware of a protest vote of seismic proportions building, and the BEST they could do was push it to the only “republican” likely to lose to Hillary.  The fact that this turned the race into a spectacle worthy of an insane asylum didn’t worry them.  It was their hail Mary pass.

But they should worry, because in vulgar terms, they’ve shot their petard.  However this turns out, this is the last time they could pull this maneuver.  And, given how pressure cookers work, and Hillary’s inability to understand the national mood, they not only will never be able to do it again, but they might have bought themselves the mother of all backlashes.

As for the rest of society, if you think that a love of freedom is at its lowest ebb, you weren’t alive in the sixties and seventies.  And if you think this is the worst election evah, you haven’t read enough history to be aware of FDR, or Woodrow Wilson for that matter.

I’m not saying there’s nothing to worry about.  I’ve never lied to you guys and said that we’re not going to go through a pretty rough period.  We are.  If our different beliefs were divided by geography, we’d already be in a civil war.  As is the idiots on the left, who are convinced if you just shut the valve on the pressure cooker, it will shut up and you can do whatever you want with it, are going to create something very like.  And it’s not even far off.  I thought it was going to erupt over the stand off on the cattle ranch.  And that’s without the left running around trying to fan the flames of a race war they’re sure will finally bring about Marxism.  (Because if you can tan, you’re naturally Marxist, don’t you know.  You’re born with a little hammer and sickle tattoo on your rump.  Those racist idiots who think your skin determines your thought disgust me.)

I told you, and stand by it, that we’re going to go through blood, sweat and tears, and we’re going to see some things we thought were impossible in this country come to pass.  I just think in the end the trend of the technology and the trend of the nation is towards more individual liberty, just like the trend in tech and thought in the early twentieth century was towards mass production and therefore standardization.

I believe in the end we win, they lose, I don’t believe it will be painless or without problems.  The very fact that the left believes history comes with an arrow and they’re “on the winning side” guarantees we’re going through a decade or two or awfulness.  (Which might very well be the rest of my natural life.)

But I do NOT believe all is lost, or that we should abandon the ideals of the republic and sit around telling each other how everything is doom and gloom.  Doooooooooom, I tell you.

The people doing this seem to have drunk the left’ koolaid, and think the arrow of history points away from them.  Which would also explain why so many of these creepy clowns are worried about things like corporations.  (Bad news, guy, the family is a corporation.  Why?  Mostly so that if I drop dead tomorrow, the guys can control my literary estate without a hiccup.  Also so I can be publisher to all of them.)  This corporation is, like all others, run by humans and suffers from the faults of humans.  It’s not an alien lifeform oppressing humans.

At least one of them is also terribly concerned about income inequality, which is Marxist claptrap.  Because free market has inequalities.  The only way to make everyone equal is to make everyone equally poor.

What really bakes my beans is the latest from these assclowns.  When challenged (the last one just informed me our country is terrible, and he’s not proud to be an American and then bristled when we suggested he find some place he can be happy) they bring forth a new and bizarre argument.  I call it Argumentum Ad Enlistorum.  I.e. they will parade before you the fact they did military service, that they served x terms, and tell you that if you didn’t you can’t be/aren’t a real patriot.

This argument would make plenty of sense in Prussia, but it really doesn’t do much in America.  Most of the founding fathers were NOT veterans of any military service.  Nor are we organized as a military dictatorship.

I will say that I have a lot of friends (probably 2/3 of them) who are veterans, and that as a rule I trust veterans more than I trust any other group.

However, I also taught military people.  And I know for an absolute fracking fact that they have their share of idiots, problem children and *ssholes.

What is more, learning to shoot back when shot at, and even giving years of your life to serve the republic does NOT make you an expert in history and political science.  It might, if you served in Heinlein’s military in Starship Troopers, so if that’s the case be sure to inform me, okay?

To use your service to the nation as a way to try to make people believe it’s uniquely horrible is a betrayal of yours and other people’s service and of the nation and of civilians.

Also, it’s liable to get you pointed at and laughed.

When you tell me things like you’re no longer proud to be an American, but resist any thought of going abroad, what you’re telling me is that you know d*mn well that the rest of the world is worse.  So what you’re demanding of your nation is that they be PERFECT to fit your… perfect self?  Really, if you believe that you need meds.

And if you carried your point and convinced everyone everything is doom and gloom and we should sit back crying and wailing, and let the country go totally to h*ll, what would you gain by it?  The ability to say I told you so?  Yeah, I hear that keeps you in advanced medicine and food, when a society collapses.

No, if you’re acting like that you’re just a creepy clown who is too cowardly to put on make up and scare little kids.  You should keep your doom and gloom to yourself, and, perhaps, see a psychiatrist for that depression.

Because the rest of us would continue fighting EVEN IF, like in the beginning of the 20th century, it looked like technology would drag culture away from individualism and freedom.

We’d continue fighting because we know while you’re still fighting there’s still hope, and history doesn’t come with an arrow.

We also know even if we win this, there are no permanent victories.

The price of liberty is to fight for it.  Not just physically, but philosophically, in the culture, in your family, in our schools, and everywhere it can be betrayed.

And those of us who aren’t dead will continue fighting.



410 thoughts on “Creepy Clowns

  1. If you’re spending any appreciable amount of time on FaceBook you probably are doomed. Just not for the reason they imagine.

      1. Why do you put up with that guy, anyway? Everyone knows marsupials cannot be trusted. 😀

        1. Sigh – ze’s got me in his hip pocket.

          It’s slightly more prestigious than his unhip pocket but there’s less room to stretch.

          1. “Sigh – ze’s got me in his hip pocket.” Shouldn’t “his” be “zis”? You have committed a mini-aggression!

            1. Sigh. You’re right, I am still coming to grips with contemporary pronoun usage (and pity any fool trying to learn American English; pronouns used to be one of the easiest part of foreign languages) and failed to consistently apply the new rules.

              In my defense on this microaggression, it is a rather small pocket.

              1. One thing that amuses me about our Professional Practice class, is that the teacher is foreign, so she uses “he” as a generic pronoun and no one tries to call her on it.


  2. Cut the oppressive ‘net’ around them and quite a few of them will shock you with how smart they are.

    Dobbs: Look Yossarian, suppose, I mean just suppose everyone thought the same way you do.

    Yossarian: Then I’d be a damn fool to think any different.

    When the after cash benefits of working your butt off are about the same or less than accepting and exploiting the giveaways …

    1. That’s why they want pride in victimhood and shame in success. Pride is the biggest thing that will keep people working even when the dole pays better.

  3. But they should worry, because in vulgar terms, they’ve shot their petard. However this turns out, this is the last time they could pull this maneuver.

    This was said of a group within the Democratic party. The first time I recall was just after McGovern and Shriver lost to Nixon in 1972 having only garnered 17 electoral votes (Massachusetts and the District of Colombia). The party had not been helped by having to replace the VP candidate, Eagleton, after the public reaction to the news he had been hospitalized for depression. Some were arguing that the Democratic party was never going to rise again.

    The party soldiered on and in 1984 the Mondale/Ferraro ticket managed to top* that record by only taking 13 electoral votes (Minnesota and the District of Colombia). I don’t recall hearing the assertion that the party had committed political suicide that time, but as a presidential force it was thought to be spent.

    *Really, shouldn’t that be bottom? The Spouse suggests: Nader – Ralph Nader, the point at which you puke.

      1. After the behaviour of the so-called moderators at the last few debates, as well as the continuing financial straits in which most “News” organizations increasingly find themselves, I have grave doubts about the Press existing except as animated corpses beyond the next few years.

        1. “The bubble-headed bleach-blonde /
          comes on a five.
          She can you about the plane crash /
          with a gleam in her eye.
          It’s interesting when people die /
          give us dirty laundry…”

        2. If enough “regular people” watch the debates and get influenced by them, then this moderator lack of neutrality is going to bite them in the ass – assuming that is they think Clinton should be elected.

          The interruptions are so blatantly biased that Trump will end up getting more votes rather than less.

          1. Haha, yeah, this last time it was like … this one is slick and polished and says nothing, and that one is patient with her BS but willing to hit back when he’s hit first… No contest.

            Tho for interruptitis, the VP debate was the real winner. (Can we elect Pence? I’d settle for that.)

            At least one set of protests has become an endangered species… this is priceless:

      2. I am not sure, the general population has been rejecting the news media on a regular basis for as long as I have been voting.

        I had a political science professor who argued that the average voter had a political memory of about six months.

        Several years ago, in disgust at the second baseball strike in short order to impinge on the playing season, The Spouse began to pursue the oldest national sport – politics. It is not the sport of choice of many, the players, rules, day to day minutia etc. bore most people. So they only pay attention during the play-offs … to the parties or the news organizations.

        1. But we haven’t had any alternative to the news media until about 20 years ago, and in the early years it was nowhere near a competitor. Nowadays I would bet that most people get their news primarily from the internet. At that point, switching homepages from NBC to Redstate is a pretty low barrier. We’re heading back to the information paradigm that existed before WWII, where pretty much every city had a Republican and Democrat newspaper and everyone knew which was which so they could correct for the biases in what they were reading.

          1. We’re headed that way, but the Left is fighting a holding action that is slowing the change.

            The first aspect of this is the way that many, even many non-Leftists, are still outright dismissive of any news not reported via the traditional media, particularly if it disagrees with their biases or “the narrative.” Admitting to getting information via blogs, social media, or other non-traditional media leads to social disdain by a large segment of the populace. Citing such as sources in an argument or discussion leads to dismissal of your evidence, if not your intelligence sanity. For these purposes, FOX News and the WSJ get treated the same way, except on those instances where they agree with the Left on something. Too many non-Leftists are still dissuaded from (at least publicly) treating non-traditional sources seriously. I think this is starting to change, but more slowly than it would otherwise.

            The second way is the manipulation and bias in the social media. Twitter, Faceplant, etc. have been caught manipulating content, by filtering content entirely, allowing it to be seen only selectively, and by banning some for spurious reasons. While alternatives to those platforms are emerging, the network effect somewhat limits their effectiveness, and the alternatives are being referred to by many the same way the non-MSM news sources are (see above paragraph). Again, this interferes with getting the message out when that message contradicts “the narrative.”

            Note that I’m not saying blogs and other alternative media aren’t gaining mindshare, just that the rate of change is being hindered by the above.

            1. A route to both using online media sources effectively, and avoiding the “it’s Fox” attack.

              When asked where you get your news, say “from places that give me sources– primary is best, secondary is Ok, but I’ll even accept five or six different sources. When’s the last time you got news from anything but the Associated Press news feed, rephrased?”

              If the website only links back to itself? Or to the same three or four sites? Or to gossip type sites? Don’t trust them any more than Dan Rather.

              If they give you multiple sources– including the Associated Press, but not limited to them– then while there will still be mistakes, it’s easier to catch them.

              1. A few times I’ve been able to spot lies… by going back to an interview transcript and finding what someone actually said and compare it to the soundbites being used. This meant going to MSNBC and CNN. It’s an amazing contrast: What they leave out and what they repeatedly quote.

                1. Personal pet peeve:
                  the popular news using horribly bad translations or chopped up quotes when the Vatican website has the entire thing in six different languages, publicly available.

                  Sometimes with video.

                2. It has been a number of years since my Evidence & Argument 510 class, but as I recall the hierarchies Admissions Contrary T Interest carry a high level of credibility. If Fox breaks news harmful to a Republican, then it is likely true. If MSNBC or the NY Times breaks a story about, say, a California Democrat engaging in running guns, that carries a high level of credibility.

                  When somebody in position to know the facts attacks the source, such as imputing skulduggery to Russian hackers rather than refuting facts in leaked emails it is highly likely they want to redirect attention from the facts in evidence.

          2. I don’t know about most people, yet. I know too many people who have internet but don’t use it for news; Oh Look! Cat Saturday!

            But, I did note that in the last election cycle you could reliably pick who someone was going to vote for by asking, “Do you get your news from television or the internet?”

            And, during this last primary season, I did know several primary voters for Trump. And not a one of them actively followed political news. All the pointing out in the world of his past associations, past statements, multiple party switches, the actual conservative voting records of other candidates, none of it made any difference at all. They were Trump supporters, and that was that. And they’re the ones that picked the Republican candidate. Who’ll I’ll be reluctantly voting for in November because he isn’t Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife, Communist Party candidate for president and corrupt alcoholic enabler of her sexual predator husband, who demonstrated last night she would shred the Constitution for results. Not In those words, exactly. But that’s what she said.

          3. Those who are keeping up with the news do have more options than they once had, and the older established outlets are suffering from a shift in consumption. Two things to consider:

            Even with all the new news sources available to the public, are more people following the news – has general news consumption gone up?

            If people get their news through the present popular info/comedy shows are they any better informed than those whose sources are the establishment press and networks?

    1. > 1984 the Mondale/Ferraro ticket

      The Republicans retaliated with the Dole/Kemp ticket in 1996…

      I never figured out if Dole had so much power in the party he made them nominate him, or if the party was so sure the Klintons couldn’t be beaten they didn’t bother trying to find a sane candidate.

      1. Dole/Kemp 19 states, receiving 159 electoral votes. It was a trouncing, to be sure, but nothing like 1972 and 1984.

      2. Rather, the party power brokers rewarded Dole for not letting most of the very politically popular Contact With America come up for a vote in the Senate.

        The various proposals mostly passed the House, and went to the Senate where they were quietly strangled. Bill Clinton took the credit (because doing so was in his interests and in line with his inclinations) and the professional class of Republicans were happy to let him (because it’s poor strategy to openly gloat about betraying your base).

        I’ve spent last year explaining the motive of “revenge” to people perplexed about why Newt or Palin was backing Trump to the hilt.
        (And I freely admit that this a major reason why I back the bastard.)

        1. And I freely admit that this a major reason why I back the bastard.

          Yep, the revenge party this round is pretty damn crowded…some of them already drank all the tequila I brought.

    2. A few years back, Nader wrote a “novel” called Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us. I don’t get him. He seems to go for big-government leftie stuff, then he supports Trump making a third-party run and he writes stuff like the above.

      1. Nader? Whose Nader? 😉

        Seriously, my joke is IMO related to why he’s saying the stuff he’s saying now.

        IMO he wants to be “relevant” and he thinks that the only way to be relevant is to support the person his Democratic Peers “love to hate”. 😦

        1. He reminds me of a Canadian political figure, Mel Hurtig, who popped up every few years around election time and acted like he was important.

    3. That night in 84, a network was interviewing McGovern, who kept grinning and looking at the board. Finally the interviewer asked what he was looking at.

      McGovern smiled. “The board. I’m not the big loser anymore.”

      1. In the past decade McGovern has written against government overreaching up to and including criticizing attempt to regulate payday lenders.

        Talk about break your brain stuff.

        1. Wiki dates that revelation to 1992:

          In 1992, McGovern’s published reflections on the experience appeared in Wall Street Journal and the Nation’s Restaurant News. He attributed part of the failure to the early 1990s recession, but also part to the cost of dealing with federal, state and local regulations that were passed with good intentions but made life difficult for small businesses, and to the cost of dealing with frivolous lawsuits. McGovern wrote, “I … wish that during the years I was in public office I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.”

          He may have written of it within the last decade, but it has been almost twenty-five years since he first admitted removing his blinders.

          1. Or my brain could have compressed it…that quote is from the WJS article I remember reading but I could swear it was when W was President.

  4. Argumentum Ad Enlistorum is merely a debased version of Argumentum Ad Authority, one which exacerbates the weaknesses of Authority (it is only valid so long as the proclaimed Authority is relevant to the topic of debate; a PhD in Solar Physics does not translate into knowing the best wine to serve with a Tillamook cheddar) by eschewing all subject matter authority entirely.

    It is slightly dumber than Argumentum Ad Religion, which at least pretends to rely on a deity’s authority.

    1. The other problem with Argument from Authority is that the Authority can simply be wrong, even in their field of expertise. Einstein invented his cosmological constant simply because he couldn’t accept the idea of a dynamic universe.

      1. Anything human can be wrong; the argument from legitimate authority* is just pointing to a judgment that is better informed.

        If the assumption that their judgement is better informed is not supported, then it’s invalid.

        I’ve got a cousin who updated her facebook to include that she is a better qualified scientist than the Pope, back when folks were using the “but the Pope is a scientist so he’s totally right when he agrees with me on climate change.” (She’s right, too– she’s got a technician’s training, and she used it for years, for pay, in a job that is applied science. Which is a fancy way to say “technology”….)

        *remember, the fallacy is argumentum ad verecundiam, and as best I can tell it’s “appeal to respect” or “reverence,” not “appeal to their legitimate knowledge and informed judgment”
        yes, I had to go look it up– I knew it is more correctly translated as “appeal to invalid authority, my spelling is horrible, and wasn’t it just the other day that I mentioned I reflexively check my memory?

        1. Right. I’m not convinced by arguments in the form of “XYZ says so.” I want to know why XYZ says so. I fully believe that Feynman was right when he said that if you cannot explain something to a college freshman (a 1950’s college freshman) you don’t understand it.

          1. Ustacould be taken as stated from fact that you’re using someone as an authority, they were drawing on first-hand experience.


            A footnote on the college freshman thing is that they have to be very willing, and it could take a very long time. Gotta introduce someone to the giants before they can stand on their shoulders, right?

          2. Example: I’ve had folks jump on me because I’ll say something like “my parents are ranchers, and XYZ about animals.”
            “Information isn’t genetic, you can’t use their authority!”
            After the first few times I looked at them like they were insane and informed them that my parents being ranchers meant that I had been doing this stuff for at least a decade and had been taught from the ground up by professionals so I knew at least enough to get the job done, the ones with good will figured it out; the others just shifted the goal posts.

        2. Look up “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” by Michael Crichton.

          Basically, how when a news story says something you know is false, you realize the reporters are a bunch of idiots. Then you turn the page and uncritically accept other information from those same idiots…

          1. Problem being that the GMAE can backfire– yes, you’ll read something and they get some aspect so wrong that it’s painful, but they will also get a significant part of it right, and frequently you can identify where they got the “wrong” part of it from. Frequently it’s blindingly obvious that they just didn’t even look into it at all.

            So what you are recognizing is that your source of information is superior to theirs for at least one aspect of one story.

            This doesn’t mean you ignore them entirely, it means that you don’t consider them a high-quality source. When you get a source that’s got evidence of being better, you go with it.

            Of course, for a whole lot of stuff with the news, “this other source just sounds more right” is enough of an evidence to trust them more, even if it’s not persuasive….

            1. There’s one columnist – and he is supposedly on the “Right” – who all too often obviously hasn’t even read the source he cites. Such as one the other day that he was bemoaning that the US had slipped in the “freedom rank.”

              All from a source (some London think-tank) that, most egregiously, believes a country is more “free” when it has lower (or no) gun ownership, and “robust” laws against “hate speech.”

              (Unfortunately, at PJM – I have hammered him so often that I can reliably tell a column of his without ever looking at the byline.)

              1. One of the reasons I am so “popular” with activist relatives is I’d hit on “my” side as fast as “the other” side. Or faster. The other sides’ lies don’t make me look unreliable.

              2. Admittedly it’s confirmation bias. Iirc the same type of index from CATO or Heritage (conservative think-tank) has shown same, especially economics.

        3. I’ve used the same for Bill Nye. Same degree, better school, still employed. Oh. And my specialization was in mathematical modeling such as climate pushers use.

      2. Einstein invented his cosmological constant simply because he couldn’t accept the idea of a dynamic universe.

        Ironically, certain observations now require the constant to explain the expanding universe.

        Sometimes you can be right by being wrong.

    2. It might, if you served in Heinlein’s military in Starship Troopers, so if that’s the case be sure to inform me, okay?

      A helpful note: Many-world trans-continuum military service in any branch, including Galactic Patrol, Mobile Infantry, or Starfleet, do not qualify one for Veterans Benefits under the current US Code of Federal Regulation, no matter the length of service.

      1. So this green power ring isn’t going to get me any of those sweet, sweet government benefits?


        1. If it’s a working one, you don’t need those sweet, sweet government benefits. 😉

            1. Well, if you’re unable to use the Ring, the GL Corps would take it away and give it to somebody more worthy of it. 👿

          1. If it’s a working one, you don’t need those sweet, sweet government benefits

            Unless you like foods like bananas, lemons, and yellow squash. That’s why Hal Jordan had to take a job as a trucker.

              1. I don’t remember… I stopped reading them for a,while, and when I tried to get back into them he was driving a big rig.

                I think this was the Time when DC was messing with the heroes lives. Maybe he lost his pilot’s license or something.

  5. Article probably unavailable, except but you Google a key phrase:

    Donald Trump Isn’t the First Would-Be President to Spur Predictions of Doom
    Contemporaries also worried about the character and temperament of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Ronald Reagan
    By H.W. Brands
    Rarely has reputable opinion in the U.S. been so united about the unfitness of the nominee of a major party for the presidency. Donald Trump has been castigated as ignorant, crude, impulsive, mendacious, narcissistic, fascistic and a dozen other pejoratives. Leaders of both parties have called him dangerous to the interests of America and the peace of the world.

    Mr. Trump deserves much that has been said about him. But should he be elected, he wouldn’t be the first president to take office amid predictions that the end was nigh. The criticisms of Mr. Trump’s character and temperament aren’t so different from those hurled at several of his predecessors—some of whom proved the critics quite wrong.

    Take Thomas Jefferson, whose opponents branded him a mad Jacobin for his support of the French Revolution and warned that his election would place the country’s morals in grave peril. “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will all be openly taught and practiced,” an anti-Jefferson paper predicted in the fall of 1800. “The air will be rent with the cries of distress, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes.” Yet the U.S. survived two terms of his presidency—and doubled in size thanks to his visionary purchase of Louisiana.


    [Andrew] Jackson’s rivals called him a “military chieftain” and warned that he would subvert the American republic as Caesar had subverted its Roman forerunner. In retirement, Jefferson shook his head in worry as Jackson appealed directly to voters. “I feel very much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson president,” he told Daniel Webster. “He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place. He has had very little respect for laws or constitutions…He is a dangerous man.”


    Alarm of other sorts has greeted some presidents who gained office by the death of their predecessors. “ Chester Arthur—president?!” was the sentiment commonly spluttered when James Garfield succumbed to an assassin’s bullet in 1881. His vice president was a political hack even by Gilded Age standards; Arthur was added to the 1880 Republican ticket for the sole purpose of spreading the spoils among warring GOP factions. But as president, something approaching civic conscience surfaced in Arthur, and he signed a landmark law that dramatically curtailed the spoils system.

    Two decades later, the New York Republican boss Thomas Platt solved a problem within the ranks of his party machine by foisting Theodore Roosevelt, the state’s rambunctious governor, onto the GOP’s 1900 ticket alongside William McKinley. The Ohio boss and McKinley mentor Mark Hanna warned darkly, “Don’t any of you realize that there’s only one life between that madman and the presidency?”


    When people weren’t jeering Reagan’s aptitude for political office, they were often scared to death. Reagan’s Cold War rhetoric—calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and the “focus of evil in the modern world”—sent shivers through those who had thought that detente had obviated such moralizing. Amid his record arms buildup, Reagan elevated the alarm level by joking into a live microphone in 1984 that Russia had been outlawed and announcing, “We begin bombing in five minutes.” His Strategic Defense Initiative encouraged the mockers and the terrified to make common cause in lampooning the space-based missile-defense program as “Star Wars.”

    But by the end of his presidency, Reagan was actually being criticized for being too friendly with Moscow. He nearly negotiated away America’s nuclear arsenal at the 1986 Reykjavik summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and he commenced a build-down of forces that left the Pentagon gasping for air. Many of his critics no less than his supporters came to rank his presidency as the most consequential since Franklin Roosevelt’s.

    All this hardly suggests that Donald Trump is the next Jefferson, TR or Reagan—or even the next Chester Arthur. But it should remind us that the republic has weathered presidents of whom large numbers of Americans expected the worst. Mr. Trump might be different; he often speaks of himself as unique. But in this regard, he’s probably not.

    1. Rep – he might have unexpected depths to him. Not that I am holding my breath … but hope springs eternal, even as I plan to buy some more ammunition and some more grocery staples at the end of the month …

      1. Any depths Trump might have would be unexpected, to be sure.

        We already have a clear indication of the depths to which Hillary can sink.

        1. Yes, that’s the real problem.

          As Thomas Sowell wrote a couple of months ago, electing Trump is like playing Russian Roulette with a revolver. The bullet might fire, or it might not. You won’t know for sure until you pull the trigger. But electing Hillary Clinton is like playing Russian Roulette with a shotgun. It’s definitely going to fire when the trigger is pulled.

          1. I kindof like that analogy, except for the fact that we’ll be pulling the trigger on that revolver an awful lot these next four years…

        2. Hillary is at the bottom of the hole under the out house and digging hard. The abject stupidity of releasing that scuzzy tape of Trump talking about kissing women and them letting him, it’s stunning.

          Smartest woman in the world, uh huh. The only thing that’s going to get her elected is every cemetery resident and illegal alien in the country voting for her. So she stands a fairly good chance, on balance.

      2. known too many who have had dealings with him.
        He’s less depth than a kiddie pool.
        He’ll suck.
        He is smart enough to say “I wouldn’t build and outhouse in this state” when he tried to build a casino and, when that failed instantly, a hotel to serve tourists and gamblers in New Orleans.

    2. I can’t help but notice that the people criticizing Andrew Jackson also happened to be right.

      Having said that, I can’t help but observe that, in this election, I think everyone questioning Hillary’s temperament are likely to be right as well.

      Additionally, I remember someone pointing out an interesting contrast between Reagan and Trump: namely, that the people who questioned Reagan’s temperament were liberals, while with Trump, a lot of the people questioning his temperament are conservatives…

      1. Claim to be conservatives. Wanting to import 30 million new Democrat voters into an economy where it isn’t necessary makes me doubt that claim.

  6. *adds new entry to list of reasons is not on social media*
    I’m not getting the “dooooomed!” talk out here, but I’m hearing and seeing a fair amount of “OK, storm’s coming. Let’s buckle down and get ready for trouble,” a bit like people do in fire and tornado season, but with an eye to the economy and energy and ag regulations. And ammunition has started disappearing from the shelves again. The local CCHL instructors have waiting lists, but that’s been true for a few years now.

      1. I’m fairly certain the storm has already been and gone to the place i plan to make my abode for the next couple of years. (Norfolk, Virginia and Hurricane Matthew, I mean)

        Oh, and for those of you who may have heard about missiles being shot at a US destroyer in the Middle East…everyone is okay. Well, not hurt, at any rate. Some of these people are very not okay in the head.

      2. I think that the storm is going to hit Europe first, probably before the end of the year if the stuff I keep seeing about Deutsche Bank is real which, it’s looking more solid ever day.
        I got that link by just using google to check spelling for Deutsche Bank and the first autofill was “Deutsche Bank collapse.”

        1. When I have not yet had my fill of US and world economic news / reality / and DooooM ! – I often read the blog “Wolf Street” which has good articles by intelligent people, with analysis on subjects avoided by the mainstream news, and usually very capable commenters. Enjoy. :-}

    1. Yup. I’m seeing on the interwebs lots of “we’re done for” comments, and “why bother, what’s the point?” comments whenever anyone proposes any effort to address the problems. To which I usually say, if all you can do is bitch and moan, just get out of the way of those of us who are working to make things better. Sure, we could fail. But you’ve given up, which is much worse.

      1. Mine’s something closer to “if there’s no point in even trying, why don’t you just kill yourself right now and get it over with?”
        “I’d never do that!”
        “Then you know there is hope, even if it’s a random one– so stop ragging on the people who are trying to do something, telling them that NOTHING will work.”

        1. How about, “Why don’t all you folks whine to each other about how bad everything is and how we’re all doomed, so the rest of us don’t have to put up with you while we work on fixing things, mkay?”

          1. There’s quite a lot that is simply not fixable.
            And there are places where is gotten very bad indeed, with no realistic prospects of relief.

            Take my native corner of the country.
            Between them, illegal aliens and muslim refugees might now comprise a plurality of the population there.
            Federal regulations have shut down many of the ways people used to support themselves. (And if a recent federal regulation is upheld, it will make any sort of human action in the area technically illegal.)
            There’s no opportunity for the young, and no stability for anyone.
            Society there is breaking down. There is no trust (and frequently no language) between demographics. Pillars the community have driven out of business and replaced with knaves or amoral conglomerates. Crime and drug use (complete with third world cartels) are skyrocketing.
            Top to bottom, it’s a bad scene.

            People are fighting against it.
            Until we moved a couple weeks back, I was one of them.
            But we were fighting without hope of success. There simply wasn’t a realistic prospect of putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. The best case scenario would have involved salvaging a mere fragment of what had been lost. There is simply no fixing things. “The End of the World as We Know It” has already arrived.
            And yet, it arrives anew with every new federal dictat.

            What is gone, is gone. It’s not coming back. No matter how much effort you put into it.
            (Since it was my ancestors who built the community, I put quite a bit of effort in. I might even have slowed things a bit, here or there. But I don’t believe I made any lasting impact.)

            So don’t blow sunshine up my fundament, m’kay?

        2. Some folks are too weak to simply take that last step. Others it’s the remnants of religion that damns them if they do.

          1. And why does it damn them for suicide?

            Because it’s a sin against God’s charity– “God, you cannot possibly do anything about this. It’s impossible. So I’m going to kill myself.”

            If you really believe it is absolutely impossible, then it’s the exact same mindset.

            So “it’s impossible, don’t even try” is a bad reason.

            Contrast with “that won’t work, because ___.”

              1. Any sin is abuse of free will. Suicide is self-murder. One who murders another might possibly ask and receive forgiveness at a later date. But is one kills himself, how can he ask forgiveness?

                This is a theological and psychological minefield in that we have no idea who is reading this online. It can depend on denomination theology, which is why, in one church, I was surprised to hear a hopeful sermon at the funeral of a suicide based on the premise that the deceased was not in his right mind.

                Suicides leave living victims, and we have to be mindful of their agony. The suicide himself is in the hands of G_d, and not knowing what was in his mind in those last moments, I’m not about to put myself in G_d’s place and make a statement one way or the other. I know I sure wouldn’t risk it myself.

                1. It can depend on denomination theology, which is why, in one church, I was surprised to hear a hopeful sermon at the funeral of a suicide based on the premise that the deceased was not in his right mind.

                  Logic going, at least when I’ve heard it, that you have to freely choose something– and if someone is sincerely crazy, they’re not freely choosing.

                  It’s sort of like “is it murder if you accidentally shoot someone.” Shades from “Total accident” to “horribly negligent, but not murder.”

                2. My favorite example of complaint about Free Will are those who deny G-D on the basis of the occurrence of Evil Bad Things in this world, things that “no Just & Loving God could have permitted.”

                  As if a) G-D is responsible for people’s abuse of Free Will and b) G-D’s concern for us is in this world. Rates right up there with Baby crying because he gets diaper rash when he’s past learning to go potty.

          2. Some folks are too weak to simply take that last step

            What dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil must give us pause, thus conscience doth make cowards of us all.

            1. After all, there have been people dying in death camps who refused to take that last step.

              There may be hope, but not necessarily for this world.

            2. Ah, Shakespeare, the man has words for everything … a thought that recurs to Detective Inspector John, ‘call me ‘Jack’, everyone else does’ Robinson (of the Phryne Fisher mysteries) on numerous occasions – appropriate all.

        3. Even if I believe tomorrow is going to be worse than today (cue about the Flogging Molly 🙂 ) why does that requirement me to commit suicide. I can think of at least two arguments counter:

          1. As a person of faith suicide excludes me from the true source of things getting better. I can have complete faith this world will continue to fall more and more under the sway of those who God has given it dominion over while accepting that as the price to feel God’s embrace in the after life and that suicide permanently sunders me from the embrace (this is the second biggest reason I didn’t suicide about 15 years ago).

          2. Being worse does not mean life becomes unenjoyable much less unbearable. In physical terms I expect the future to be worse than today given age and a pair of chronic conditions, yet that doesn’t even make suicide come up as an idea. It makes more determined to do certain things now instead of later but that is all.

          BTW: I don’t see #1 as hope as it specifically claims this world has no hope.

          1. But the claim isn’t “tomorrow is going to be worse than today,” it’s “there is absolutely nothing that can be done, and you shouldn’t be trying.”

      2. Gee, I wonder to which sides benefit a suppressed turnout in a few weeks would accrue?

        It occurs to me that this could easily be the emergency-fallback-social-media-plan of the Dowager Empresses vaunted internet savvy campaign, kicked off when she passed out and almost face planted in the gutter leaving ground zero.

      3. There’s a subset arguing along those lines on the right. Their argument (which our hostess has already smacked around on more than one occasion) is that we should just give up on the whole edifice, and Let It Burn. Then once it’s all burned down, the replacement will somehow revert to a much more constitutional form of government.

        Me? I still hope to turn California back around (even if I have to wait for all of the freeloaders to relocate to Texas). And when people start talking about how the magic rebuilding fairies are going to set everything right following the collapse, I remember how people like Napoleon and Caesar Augustus rose to power.

        1. That’s exactly right. Once everything would be destroyed, the greatest likelihood would be the creation of warlord like strong-man satrapies. I for one am not interested in the slim possibility that a representative republic would spontaneously arise from the ashes. Instead, I’ll work on returning the present devolved system to a state of individual liberty.

          1. So what happens when the system has devolved to the point it can’t be restored by patching?

            1. You rebuild the OS kernel and reboot.

              Note you don’t burn the PC and resmelt all the various metals used so you can use them to remake the PC board traces for a corrupted kernel.

              You don’t have to go as far as you think.

              1. Are you sure? EPROM implanted viruses (Deep State bureaucrats), unpatchable OS defects (warm-body democracy), etc. Yes, I’ve encountered both.

                1. I am in fact not sure – but I don’t want to light the PC on fire as the first step of the fix.

                  1. Nor do I want to take it off the table if necessary. It’s also well established that you don’t encourage your enemies to assume you’re too squeamish.

          2. And yet, pajama boy will not prosper under such warlords.

            Want to see the smug wiped off those seeking the destruction of our way of life?
            It’s easy.
            You don’t even have to do a thing.
            Just stand aside, and let them reap the whirlwind.

            At some point, you are no longer fighting to defeat the Left, but to protect them from the consequences of their own folly.
            To this, I conscientiously object.

            1. Bull feces.

              Just for starters, most of us aren’t fighting so the left can lose; we’re fighting for good things, and good people.

              Letting the idiots on the left hurt themselves isn’t worth the price of letting them hurt us, and those we protect, as well.

              1. No, Foxfier, he has reason & history on his side: there’s no surer way of ridding a barn of rats than burning it down.

                You will still have rats, but they won’t be in your barn.

                Myself, I fight to preserve the Right; defeating the Left is merely a happy side effect.

              1. One, some people are better equipped to survive and prosper in such an age. Luke seems to be betting he is in the better equipped category and his enemies are not.

                Two, that all depends on the timeline. The closer you get to passing into the next world the more freedom you have to let this one burn out of spite. You get to watch the flames but won’t have to live in the ruins when the rains come.

  7. Meh, I figure the “Dooooooom!” crowd are really saying “I want to give up and stop trying. It’s haaard, and if I do it alone everyone will say mean things about me. You need to quit first! Stop caring what happens! Then I can say I was just joining the crowd.”

    Never forget, if it isn’t something you or someone you respect personally experienced, you are getting information from media sources that HAVE AGENDAS. They are not giving a full, impartial view. Of *anything*. These are the same bozos who claim people aren’t reading because the legacy publishers are seeing declining sales. 😀

    1. Oh, Miss Chase, I tried to email you and my email was funny…
      We have got the cat toys. And Greebo of the terrible claws promptly ripped up the furry one. we have trails of beans all over the house. I need to collect them and sew the puir thing together.
      BUT yes, this means they’re being enjoyed. Thanks muchly.

      1. Tell Greebo he is a Mighty Hunter! I am delighted the kittehs enjoyed their present. And that’s why you also got the up-armored one 😀 You are welcome. (sorry about the beans…)

    2. the “Dooooooom!” crowd are really saying “I want to give up and stop trying.

      Related thoughts:

      What Jason Bourne Could Learn from C.S. Lewis
      Hollywood confuses heroism with egoism.

      A hero is defined as “a person who is idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” In stories, the hero is a person possessing good qualities and with whom we are expected to sympathize. In mythology heroes were often divine beings with superhuman qualities.

      This is especially true of the Norse hero code. E.V. Gordon, a close friend of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and author of An Introduction to Old Norse, wrote, “The greatness in Icelandic literature lies primarily in its understanding of heroic character and the heroic view of life.” The Norse hero displayed uncommon power of will, along with great spiritual, intellectual, and physical instincts, and great passion. The Norse theory of courage defines true heroism as someone who does not retreat even when they know they face ultimate defeat. The Norse hero sought to distinguish himself from evil by doing good, which often meant self-sacrifice. The Norse hero never relented. And his self-will grew according to the opposition he faced.


      Perhaps the most endearing character in Lewis’s Chronicles, Puddleglum is a pessimist. But his heart is good. He really wants to help Jill Pope and Eustace Scrubb on their quest to find the lost Prince Rilian, son of King Caspian. And they succeed! As they plan their getaway from Underland, where Rilian was held captive, The Lady of the Green Kirtle blocks their escape and enchants them. She tries to convince them to stay in Underland by charming them with lies, telling them Aslan, Narnia and everything in Overland is not real.

      But Puddleglum breaks free from the enchantment and gives a Norse-inflected speech that displays what true heroism is all about: obedience and love.

      “I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia . . . . We’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

      Puddleglum embodies the Norse code of courage through the heroic act: putting himself at risk, refusing to give up hope, and facing sure death in order to do what is needed. J.R.R. Tolkien said it is “the heroism of obedience and love not of pride or willfulness that is the most heroic and the most moving.”

      … Much like beauty, heroism in our culture has turned in on itself. It’s self-fulfilling rather than self-sacrificing; stuck in the muck of egoism when it should be touching the transcendent ideas of love and obedience. We root for it. Unfortunately, that for which we root, we risk becoming.

      1. Amen. Heroes do what is right *because it is right*, whether they have a chance of success of not, whether they’re scared or not. That’s what makes them heroes.

        The media bullshit isn’t worth spit – the real heroes are out there doing what they know damn well they should be doing and to hell with the odds.

        (And their conception of what is right involves helping others – love, not mindless obedience to Tash)

      2. Think about in how many old movies characters played by the likes of Wayne, Fonda, or Stewart died achieving their goal. Or like Bogey in Casablanca, sacrificed greatly for the common good.

        1. Saw The Searchers on the big screen this summer, thanks to local film program, with its reminder of a theme of people sacrificing to build a world in which there was no place for them. You see the same theme in many westerns, from Red River to Liberty Shane and even The Magnificent Seven (original.)

          Michael Medved has argued Hollywood toggles between two themes: Follow Your Heart and Do Your Duty. Following your heart is destructive of civilizations, doing your duty builds them.

          1. The two movies I was thinking of were actually war films: John Wayne’s SGT Striker in “Sands of Iwo Jima,” and Charlton Heston’s character from “Midway.”

    3. Meh, I figure the “Dooooooom!” crowd are really saying “I want to give up and stop trying.

      Which is probably pretty close to the truth. After a while you just get tired; get tired without seeing positive effects and after a while you want to say “@#$% it all.”

  8. I just think in the end the trend of the technology and the trend of the nation is towards more individual liberty, just like the trend in tech and thought in the early twentieth century was towards mass production and therefore standardization.

    Most people find change frightening. It is natural that groups will try and take control of the world around them for their comfort and protection. Those attempting to exert controls grow more desperate in their efforts when the world is shifting. We have discussed this here. I believe it was our esteemed hostess who recently observed that people dream of a world where they will be both protected and have personal liberty, never mind the contradictions it entails.

  9. Tempted to change my photo to Pennywise for the occasion, but figured it wasn’t necessary.

    Disillusioned Trumpettes? Heh. You haven’t seen disillusioned Trumpettes yet. If he loses, you won’t. If he wins, look for hordes of the disillusioned. What’s driving the Trump supporters I’ve met is how both parties care more about the status quo. Trump represents a last gasp of faith on their part in the system. If he wins and it’s business as usual, that faith is no more.

    No, those of us of a gloomy mindset were already disillusioned. Mine came from comparing the ideals of the Constitution to history, and seeing very little sentiment on the street for returning to a strict view of the constitution. I don’t think it’s any new thing, just something becoming more visible.

    If that makes me a clown . . . shrug. The general consensus is I’m a joke, anyway,

    To prevail requires convincing people “Okay: This is what our Constitution says and we need to return to that philosophy. It worked once and it can work again.” It starts at the local level, not the national. That would give us clowns a glimmer of hope far brighter than any Trump. The devil is in the details. How to go about winning hearts and minds is the problem.

    1. I’ve begun work on just such an effort. (This is gonna be a bit wordy, folks.) Here’s what I initially posted (elsewhere) about the effort:

      “You know, that may be the beginning of a way to revitalize the conservative movement. There are many malcontented people in the country today, but who feel they have no place to go that represents them. If we can present our philosophy to them, separate from the label “conservative” which both the Dems and the GOP have fairly successfully painted as distasteful, we may be able to grow up a new cohort of liberty-minded individualists. The “malcontents” I’m talking about are those quiet people (of all races and ethnicities, not just those we’ve previously thought of as fruitful ground for conservatives) who feel that there’s no one and no group who represents their beliefs, desires, and hopes for the future. They are the ones we need to find and welcome. It bears some thinking about.

      “I’m saying, let’s get back to our original principles. Let’s drop all the political terminology, the dogma we’ve acquired over the years, and try to engage the people looking for something to believe in, some way out of the malaise the left has imposed on the country. Let’s try to build a positive spirit of individualism, of ability, of responsibility for our rights and those of others. Let’s give those people something to believe in, not just railing at those who try to hold them back.”

      This is my (very early) beginning of a document to help gather people together who believe in individual liberty:

      What We Believe

      We believe that all people have certain rights, which are theirs from birth and which cannot be taken from them. Many people believe these rights to be imbued by God the Creator; others see them as inherent to consciousness and self-awareness. But all agree that these rights are fundamental to all people. These include the right to live, the right to speak freely and without retribution, the right to own property and do with it anything they desire, the right to live their lives in the way they desire, the right to associate with others or to refrain from associating with others, the right to defend themselves against any attacks by others, and the right to defend others exercising the same rights when those others are attacked. These rights are absolute; they can only be restrained when exercising them would interfere with the rights of others to exercise the same rights.

      This is not an exhaustive list of the rights people are born with. There are certainly other rights that are inherent with existence, but which we haven’t specified here. There are some rights that might be thought of as growing from the rights listed, but which others might consider individual rights.

      You will notice that these rights are not predicated on any particular personal characteristic or on membership in any particular group. These are rights inherent to all people. They inhere to the individual, not to any group.

      From these rights grow the concepts of freedom and liberty. “Freedom” is the condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance. It also includes the capacity to act by choice rather than by determination. “Liberty” is a similar concept, the condition of being free from oppressive restriction or control by a government or other power. The rights listed above show that we believe all people are born free. To achieve liberty they must accept only those restrictions upon their freedom that they agree to, acting in consort with other individuals. An example would be agreeing to work together to provide for the defense of the group all belong to rather than each individual trying to defend only himself and those he’s responsible for.

      1. Although a conservative, for this I actually don’t care which side of the aisle someone is on as long as there’s a strong regard for the constitution over what is expedient in the short run.

      2. From my own experience you will have to explain that “cannot be taken from them” does not mean “cannot be violated” and will probably have to explain how that is different and why it matters.

    2. Sigh. So many articles I read last weekend are being called upon to testify today, it is as if there is some supernatural force in the Universe directing my attention …

      How dumb does Washington think we all are?
      How dumb do Washington bureaucrats think you are? Really amazingly dumb. Now we have hard data to prove it.

      Instead of polling Americans about Washington again, a pair of academics at Johns Hopkins tried something new — polling Washington about Americans. What they found was a combination of ignorance, contempt and disdain.

      Survey data from the polled group — staffers from the White House and Capitol Hill plus career civil servants and the policy community of lobbyists and others who work closely with government from outside it — indicate that the functionary class thinks of itself as our betters. Our bosses, not our representatives. They see their own judgment as being far superior to that of the rest of us — the people whose wishes they are supposed to be carrying out.

      The revelations in the new book “What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People,” by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg, serve up the side benefit of providing a partial explanation for the rise of Donald Trump.

      The DC insider class is much like the media class: Both misunderstand who the voters are and how they think. You could drive a Trump Train through that gap, and Trump just did.

      The findings were revealing: By a huge margin, the bureaucrats said they knew better than the public what was right for the public. On Social Security, twice as many bureaucrats said they knew best. On crime, three times as many bureaucrats said their way was superior. On the environment, the ratio was almost four to one.

      Reminder: As a group, these people enjoy calling themselves “public servants.”


      1. This is why I think there should be term limits for government employees. Congressmen can be term-limited simply by voting them out of office, but the bureaucrat in DC is sticking around until well after their pension vests.

        1. How about a yearly lottery, where the “winning” 10% of government bureaucrats (management and professional level only) are summarily executed. It would encourage a reasonable turnover, I should think.

          1. I don’t think we need to be quite so dramatic. I do think it needs to extend to all government employees who aren’t military or (possibly) law enforcement officers. The low level bureaucrats – though by no means all of them – are the ones responsible for most of the pain. Putting at 10 year term limit on those employees would get that 10% turnover and would encourage intellectual cross-breeding with the private sector.

              1. If someone were to trip up the stairs on the way out the door I wouldn’t ask too many questions.

              2. I think we would find that if such a term limitation were to be implemented, the incidence of dross would be lessened significantly, anyway.

                And another positive change – there simply would not be as many people willing to actually get those jobs.

            1. At the very least, think of all the money we could save on pensions for these people if they could only stay in government for ten years.

              1. I really hate the idea of a pension. I’d much rather have the money to invest, control, and own than a promise that I’ll get money far in the future. Nobody’s that good a mind reader.

                1. As an accounting professional I can assure you that pensions are indeed wonderful things. They enable their mangers to enrich themselves by playing with other peoples’ money, enjoy generous kickbacks commissions from investment funds and make significant contributions to the campaigns of friendly politicians.

                  And the best thing is that, should those investments fail to produce the hoped for rate of return or even lose money, the taxpayers will make up the shortfall!

                  What’s not to like about being the beneficiary of such an underwritten Ponzi scheme?

                    1. My pleasure, Herb. I live by the motto that it is impossible to be too cynical.

                      Even thought the game is rigged, that is no reason to not enjoy the playing.

              2. Such pensions are a primary driver of government bankruptcies, especially as many of our “civil servants” have learned ways to game the system too insidious and numerous to merit detailing. Recall the tales from California about 4 – 5 years ago of small towns finding themselves having promised pension benefits in the high six figures to former mayors, city council members and police chiefs? Or try looking into the unfunded pension liabilities for Teachers and other public employee unions …

            2. Or even just make it easier to fire them. Then problem people aren’t being promoted and transferred around departments instead of let go.

            3. The U.S. Military has had an “Up or Out” policy for quite some time – why not apply that to the civil service? If you can’t make the next grade after, say, six years, then “Thank You For Your Service” and out you go.

              I might be talked into an exception for technical roles – kinda how the really senior noncoms in some services are shuffled into Warrant Officer grades where they can be technical resources for a long time – but for GS and SES jobs, it’s pass your boards or you’re gone.

              1. The problem is that the GS level is defined by the warlocks at OPM for the job. You might not get that level when you’re first hired on, but you’ll get steadily promoted until you are there – for example, my current job is a GS-10 position. I was hired on as a GS-7 due to my military experience. Every year I got promoted one grade until I reached GS-10. The promotions aren’t officially automatic, the guy I qualified with had one of his delayed by a couple of months for an exam failure, but they need a good reason to deny advancing you. Once you get to the terminal grade for your position, the only way to get to a higher level is to apply for a different job.

              2. The military is really less ideal than that.
                The senior non-coms are effectively choosing their future rivals for boatspaces and promotions, and they’re well aware of that.
                A great many of the most competent Marines I served with mustered out as terminal Lance.
                But there were some drooling idiots who flew up the ranks.
                In fact, there was a saying, “f**k up to move up”. Because the easiest way to make a problem “not yours” was to promote that problem.

      2. Right now they have too much power with the regulatory state. I would like to propose the following, very simple change that would cause the government to war with and regulate *itself*. Any and all costs an individual or corporation incurs as a result of regulation that was not directly and specifically passed by Congress can be subtracted from that person/corporation’s Federal taxes. The cleanup would be so quick there would be an audible pop of air filling in the sudden vacuum. 😀

        Further, any malfeasance on the part of a Federal employee would result in a percentage fine taken from their pension, effective the very first month they receive said pension.

        1. That’s similar to an idea I had a while ago. If a legislator votes for a bill which is passed and which increases the federal debt (for whatever reason, in whatever way), he should be obligated to pay 0.1% of that debt increase from his personal finances into the general treasury. Should he be unable to do so, he should be disallowed from voting on any further legislation until the arrears have been paid. Similarly, should he vote for a bill which passes and which reduces the federal debt, he should receive 0.1% of the amount by which the debt was reduced, as a personal incentive. Oh, and unfunded mandates to the states would have to be completely disallowed. Should federal regulations increase the debt, any sitting legislators who had authorized the creation of the agency promulgating those regulations should be liable for the 0.1% penalty. But at any rate, any such debt increase should be summarily deducted from the agency’s operating budget immediately upon the calculation of said debt increase.

          Skin in the game, as it were.

          1. Oh, and unfunded mandates to the states would have to be completely disallowed.

            That could be fixed by simply repealing a constitutional amendment. When state legislators elected Senators, those Senators did not support unfunded mandates.

                1. Personally, I’d like to see states remove the names of presidential candidates from the ballots, and only list the names of electors. Then let the electors campaign for themselves, to prove their ability to choose a president for the country responsibly. (I might consider just having the state legislatures appoint electors, which is constitutional, but I’ve talked to too many state legislators over the years to think much of that…).

                    1. Wayne, some of the things I throw out are tongue in cheek, and I don’t really believe in them either. But I do hope they make people think, even if they’re not realistic. (Which is not to say that I’m not serious about anything I say; I certainly am. I just don’t make a big deal about which is which. 🙂 )

      3. The rot has spread into the media. The way some television stations covered returning after evacuations rubbed me the wrong way. Not “There are pot holes and trees across the road, and places where roads are still under water, so you cant return,” but “Authorities have not given permission to return and they must be obeyed.” What’s worse, some didn’t understand why that attitude rubbed me the wrong way.

        1. The way some television stations covered returning after evacuations rubbed me the wrong way.

          My favorite has always been the claim, mostly by politicians but also by some media, that a given tax cut will “cost” the government money.

        2. I recently was in a dispute online where someone tried to argue that Trump had broken some legal restriction when he went to Louisiana after the flooding.

      4. “How dumb does Washington think we all are”?

        Well, they keep getting elected, so . . .

      5. Survey data from the polled group — staffers from the White House and Capitol Hill plus career civil servants and the policy community of lobbyists and others who work closely with government from outside it — indicate that the functionary class thinks of itself as our betters. Our bosses, not our representatives. They see their own judgment as being far superior to that of the rest of us — the people whose wishes they are supposed to be carrying out.

        They needed survey data to figure this out?

        I did it just by listening to the people they polled.

    3. During the primaries, people were trying to argue that Trump would win.

      Prior to the primaries, there was reasonable grounds to think that this was a Republican election to win. We all knew Clinton would be running, and we all know that she is an extraordinarily weak candidate.

      Who but a Clinton supporter would vote for Trump in the primary and not be disheartened by a Clinton victory?

      1. But that begs the question, is he a Good Man?

        (yeah, I know you meant Asimov’s, but given where we are…)

      1. Only a Fool wants the Second Foundation!

        Oh, now searching for it to destroy it is another matter. 👿

        1. Of all the alternatives given by the end of the Foundation “Trilogy”: new Empire under the First Foundation, Zhondani rule under the Second Foundation, Hivemind under the first robotic experiment, and rule by Robotic Godhead under the final robotic experiment (that’s how I read the end of the last book) I have to say none of them is hugely appealing.

          Asimov didn’t really see any future I’d love to live in like many of his contemporaries did.

          1. Agreed, HerbN.

            I loved, loved, loved having Daneel back in Foundation and Earth…until he made manifest the implications of the Zeroth Law. We must be made into a Galactic Hivemind to protect us from aliens, yay! Oh, and is it OK if I take over this kid’s brain? Thanks.

  10. If we were divided geographically? If? I guess it depends on how you define geographically. Draw a circle, different radius for each city, around NYC, Albany, Utica-Rome, Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and a much smaller one around Ithaca, N.Y. becomes very different. Both in politics and population density. And ability to feed the population.

    1. The reason why we haven’t had another civil war is because, unlike the last time, the Democrats don’t have a geographically contiguous stronghold that could reasonably secede.

        1. The conservative areas, on the other hand, are geographically contiguous.

          I wonder what would happen if the red states simply announced that none of their citizens would be bound by any regulation not explicitly authored by Congress and that anyone attempting to enforce such regulations would be subject to arrest.

          1. You get US marshals and military coming to free the EPA regulator.

            All money stolen by DC Is withheld from noncompliant states.

            Possibly ejection of legislators

            1. That all depends on how the military breaks – the US Marshals alone would be heavily outnumbered by local law enforcement and would likely just end up in the cell next to the EPA guy. Given the cultures involved, the military response would probably be mutiny. Especially given the realities of Posse Comitatus.

              I deliberately phrased my provocation to avoid the states involved seceding, but if the federal government were to effectively kick a state out of the union, that would be a different matter altogether.

              1. I was referring to Congress saying that if say, Texas, said epa regs not voted on explicitly are null, kicking the tx reps out.

                We are in a state of cold war atm. Laws are ignored depending on who and where. A immigration sanctuary city is fine. A firearm sanctuary wouldn’t be.

                1. Right, except that there’s no provision in the Constitution to allow Congress to expel an entire state’s delegation. Doing so would be a major escalation. It would also require Congress to be controlled by the Democrats, which isn’t going to happen for a while.

                  1. You are making the assumption that Congress will not act outside the Constitution. You do it as some form of chamber rule and media promotes it as punishment for insurrectionist speech. It just happens that the insurrectionist speech refers to constitutional balance vs From each, to each.

                  2. Actually, there is; the House and Senate are allowed to set their own rules in Article 1 Section 5

                    “Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.

                    Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.”

                    And that 2/3 is easy to get around by refusing to seat any Representative from any state not paying taxes. Two years and done.

                    1. IIRC, Congress threw out the entirety of the delegations from the former CSA states following the Civil War, and required the states in question to send them delegations that weren’t made up of the same people who’d represented those states before the war.

                      So it’s been done.

                    2. Thank you. I remembered this from some former debate a few years ago. We have gentleman’s rules but outlaw bikers taking control.

                    3. Which is why we need to set aside the gentlemen’s rules for a time.

                      “So the hard, pent rage ate inward, till some idiot went too far…
                      “Let ’em have it!” and they had it, and the same was merry war –
                      Fist, umbrella, cane, decanter, lamp and beer-mug, chair and boot –
                      Till behind the fleeing legions rose the long, hoarse yell for loot.

                      Then the oil-cloth with its numbers, like a banner fluttered free;
                      Then the grand piano cantered, on three castors, down the quay;
                      White, and breathing through their nostrils, silent, systematic, swift –
                      They removed, effaced, abolished all that man could heave or lift. “

                  3. Well, the House of Representatives (& likely the Senate) has the power to expel members with a 2/3 vote.

                    So in theory, both the House & the Senate could expel a State’s representatives & Senators.

                    1. And again, that qualifications thing in the first paragraph means they can simply set it up so that one of the qualifications is representing a state in compliance.

                  4. Actually, the ability is right there in Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 1:

                    Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

                    Each House could find that the Qualifications of a member certified by the government of a state found to be in rebellion against duly constructed federal law are null and void.

                    Read about the recount in Indiana’s Eighth District where, in 1984, the House effectively decided the Democrat won. You don’t think today’s Democrats wouldn’t do that on a larger scale?

                    1. I don’t think the Democrats would have the power to do something like that. At least not for another 6 years at a minimum.

                    2. All they need is a majority.

                      Who is going to stop them? The press? The press will cheer them. The GOP? Those left will be happy to help as long as they keep their sinecures.

                      They have proven they will stop at nothing and regaining majorities in Congress their first move will be to insure they never have to submit to voters who don’t want them again.

                      The only options will be live with it (quite possibly with increasing passive resistance, ie Irish Democracy) or open rebellion. Reliance on the political system will be for fools.

                2. Though iirc Sanctuary Cities *did* get the hammer dropped on them recently with Congress’s threat to cut off federal funds.


                  1. Which went nowhere and will continue to do so without veto proof majorities as we now function solely on political party affiliation unless some rep goes and votes with Democrat

                    1. Sure, but the accountants working for, say, picking a city government just totally at random, the City and County of San Francisco have more reason to now take into account that those Federal monies might possibly be gone. Those budget footnotes rippling across the annual budget process would turn into flash floods raging downstream when a particularly brave comptroller decides to set up reserves against that possibility. They’d try to bury that deep in the budget accounts so as to not make the few remaining papers, but it would impact all the fiefdoms, and pulling the pursestrings would generate pressure on the city government to reconsider – which would ignite a firestorm from the advocacy constituencies.

              2. Then how did Eisenhower manage to send the 101st to Little Rock, and why was the Kennedy Admin federalizing the National Guard in 1961-1962 in the South effective?

                  1. Point being that Posse Comitatus or anything else in the so-called legal code wasn’t an obstacle.

                1. [clicks around]

                  Interesting. We were taught in school – in Little Rock – that Faubus called out the Arkansas National Guard. There was no mention of Federal troops.

                  1. No, in AL and a couple other places, the governor threatened to use the National Guard against “rioters”, so Kennedy “called them up” into the US Army. That took them out from the governor’s command according to the law, and made disobeying an order to stay home treason and mutiny. People still, deep down, respected the Feds, so it was an extra psychological hurdle.

                    1. Keep in mind that it doesn’t count as unconstitutional because it was done by a Liberal Democrat™. It says so, right there in Article 9 of the Constitution.

                      Or did you perhaps go to school in one of those benighted areas where the ebil Rethuglicans suppressed teaching about those last couple Articles?

                    2. Obviously you couldn’t be bothered to read what I wrote. It wasn’t whether a liberal Democrat did it, it was refuting the nonsensical idea that Posse Comitatus was going to stop Ike (the Republican) or Kennedy (the Democrat) from using the military domestically.

                    3. Obviously you missed the point I was making, which was not intended to address your point regarding Posse Comitatus (a hypothetical which can only be tested in actual events) but instead used your comment to make an observation about a broader, more contemporary context.

                      Take a deep breath, Steve – everything we say here is about as significant as a Republican yard sign in California or the proverbial fart in a hurricane. And that includes the doom criers determined to amplify their impotence.

                    4. You may note now that a great many states have State Guards. Back at the end of the last millennium I knew a veteran who was in the State Guard and kept some of their recruiting pamphlets in the hardware store he owned. I recall reading in it that one of the reasons for the TN State Guard was “to provide the Governor with a military force which cannot be nationalized”. A light bulb went off immediately as I realized this was talking about lessons learned by the state from Kennedy nationalizing National Guard units during the 60s racial unrest. His explanation, however, was much more reasonable sounding: that the state needs a military force that can be relied on in the event of natural disasters and such, and that since the National Guard may be nationalized and sent over to the other side of the globe you can’t count on it being around if New Madrid gets shaking again or some such. Since the State Guard doesn’t have to leave the state it can be counted on to be available for unforeseen events.

                2. The 101st was an active duty unit, and when Kennedy was federalizing the National Guard the active duty military, where the NG draws the bulk of their experienced leadership, had been desegregated for almost 15 years. Plus, there’s a bit of a difference between keeping kids from being assaulted by a mob and busting a bureaucrat out of the county jail.

                1. Eh. I had to learn “defenestration” in fourth grade, because that’s what the Portuguese did to Phillip’s representative in Portugal, thereby resuming Portuguese independence.
                  “What happened to Phillip II’s Representative?” And 12 young girls’ voice answer in chorus “He was defenestrated.”

                  1. Oddly enough, the incident you refer to and the one I’m thinking of both involved Habsburg representatives. Not exactly popular with the locals, it seems.

                    1. The Bohemians wanted, um, to be left alone but also to go back to electing their king, sort of. Bohemia and Hungary are almost as confusing as Poland when it came to monarch: selection of. Almost. (Not the on-parchment process being confusing, but the IRL version.)

                  2. I first encountered the word while watching Pink Panther movie. Since I’d just learned “fenestre” in French class, it was a kick to see the word “in the wild,” even if it was Anclicized.

                    1. Weirdly, “fenestration” is not the opposite of “defenestration”, but refers to the design/layout of windows of a building or some portion thereof; in some other contexts it refers to putting holes in things.

                    2. “in some other contexts it refers to putting holes in things.”

                      So also an appropriate response to politicians….

            2. All money stolen by DC Is withheld from noncompliant states.

              Note this is how the 55mph speed limit finally died – some western states had gotten to the point that they were seriously considering forgoing the Federal highway funds that were threatened with being withheld so they could post >55 speed limits. Once Congress realized that states were seriously considering self-weaning from the money flow that’s their source of control, they caved and repealed the national limit.

              Lesson, that.

              1. But today they simply start propaganda campaigns that because you are not hooking yourself you are harming your citizens because you don’t accept the responsibility that comes with protection money, namely toeing the line of local capo. Its how a number of states accepted Medicaid money that will kill them in future.

                And it won’t just be the attached money. Have a disaster? No matching funds. No forestry support for flaming state.

                1. Yeah, but watch the Feds try to collect, say, state-collected gas taxes once those states stop accepting Federal Highway Fund monies.

                  There could easily be a slightly-hotter-cold-war period, with the main battleground being in the accounting and finance world, before actual gunfire breaks out.

          2. They would attempt to federalize the National Guard and send it after the elected officials and citizens. They would call up the BLM, La Raza, etc. to launch enough of a riot that the citizens couldn’t respond.

            1. The National Guard would tell the feds to pound sand. Then they’d cordon off the BLM/La Raza areas – see above about Dem strongholds not being physically contiguous, i.e. incapable of mutual support – and citizens wouldn’t have to respond.

            2. Duh, the first thing you do is seize the National Guard armories. Especially if they have artillery. Then you can get some guns positioned so they can shell the Blue cities. “Nice city you have there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to the Federal Building there.”

              Take the Air National Guard facilities if possible, too. You might need them to defend against the Feds.

              1. In Tennessee the State Guard has (or at least had when I was there) units which have access to and train with the National Guard unit’s facilities, equipment, etc. This is supposedly so that if the National Guard unit is unavailable in an emergency the State Guard unit can go in and already knows where everything is and how to use it.

            3. … enough of a riot that the citizens couldn’t respond.

              “Couldn’t” respond? Highly unlikely. If it got bad enough, the response might be very ugly, but it’s not likely that they could launch enough of a riot that the citizens couldn’t respond.

            4. BLM looks increasingly like the Democrats’ replacement for the Klan. And they’re probably already more numerous than the Klan ever were.

              1. Every movement needs muscle — witness the Sons of Liberty. I’m not surprised by BLM, just dismayed that we don’t have a counter.

                  1. Yeah, they screech that so often it’s like dogs barking.

                    Jake: “How often does that train go by?”
                    Elwood: “So often you’ll never notice.”

                  2. When I was showing this classic to my son I was shocked at the thoughts that 1) such prewar groundwork must have happened and 2) it hadn’t occurred to me to think about it before.

                1. The moment conservatives try to form such a thing they get labelled as the worst thing since the Klan. See how they’ve treated the Tea Party, 2nd amendment supporter groups, etc. Its going to take enough people who ignore being treated like Nazis, and some degree of government tolerance, to assemble such a group.

                  Why government tolerance? Because they’re already pointing people who support the Constitution, own guns, have adequate supplies on hand (per Federal government advice!), etc. as potential domestic terrorists. The present regime and the deep state are looking to hammer anybody that might oppose them.

                  1. Its going to take enough people who ignore being treated like Nazis, and some degree of government tolerance, to assemble such a group.

                    As we’re already learning the people most likely to ignore being treated like Nazis are Nazis and their first cousins. Meanwhile, after BusHitler, McCain is a fascist, and Romney is literally a Nazi attempts at “Trump is a Nazi” are falling flat.

                    When the unified status quo party gets their girl in November and begins settling scores they will be surprised when 2020’s “trump” has them wishing for this year’s model. The question is how many times can they kick the can before they fail and how bad will the eventual “trump” be?

                    Heinlein took a flier at it and it wasn’t pretty.

                    That is why the left’s making everyone who opposes them into a Nazi is so dangerous, it becomes self fulfilling.

                2. We do. It’s called the NRA and the unorganized militia, as well as the fact that BLM has all of the organizational coherence and competence of the Polish nobility.

                3. Oathkeepers

                  BTW, the Sons of Liberty aren’t the only prewar patriot movement, there were other groups like the Mechanics.

              2. A professor said so. Got put on leave, I believe, and a lot of haughty disdain. But it’s breaking down.

            5. The Feds calling on the BLM ect to riot… yeah… no.
              That’s the kind of thing that kicks off a proper civil war, one the Leftist Establishment will not win. You push the situation into a place with a whole new set of rules and conditions.
              For one, the people with guns (soldiers, cops, and average gun owners) greatly outnumber the gang types.
              Loyalties will not be divided, as the people with guns are going to be more concerned with protecting their families, property, and friends over such niceties as “lets give these people space to destroy”.
              Traditionally, rioters get away with it because they tend to stick to their own turf. Should it get out of control, in the scenario you are suggesting, there’s going to be a lot of dead rioters… and a Federal government out of business.

      1. The Democrat areas are like turds in a punchbowl. And they’re just as easy to spot; high-density urban areas with high crime, high taxation, and gun control.

  11. I support Trump for two reasons. First and foremost is of course HRC. Second and also quite important to me is how badly the traditional long term Republicans detest him. Any number would much rather stay comfortable as underdog while using their oppression to drum up campaign contributions from the sheep than actually seize control and do something, anything, in actual support of securing the future of the citizens and the nation.
    Hoping against all common wisdom that it’s Trump rather than Hillary who steals the election. Doubtful as the press, voter fraud, and mooching freeloaders at the government teat all say otherwise. But a Trump presidency would at one and the same time be highly ineffectual as every hand would be turned against him, yet in that struggle so many well ensconced apple carts would be turned topsy turvy.

    1. Yes. I think Trump is a despicable human being, but at least he actually appears to be a human. And more to the point he appears to be listening to people other than the sneering classes.

      I think a Trump presidency could unleash sufficient creative destruction that there will be something to build on afterwards. A Clinton one is just gong to be a sleazefest.

    2. SIgh. The problem is traditional republicans DON’T despise him. He was buddies with them and played golf. Now, they’re the RINOS, but that is part of it, isn’t it?

      1. once we rejected Jeb! (because if you thought the other two Bush CINCs were liberals, well you ain’t seen nothing yet!) the establishment went Trump instead of Cruz because “We can work with him.”
        That the Media and the Dems (but I repeat meself) wanted Trump as the easiest for HRC to beat was meaningless to them.

      2. Which is why I supported Cthulu/SMOD for so many election seasons. We’ve seen far, faaaar too many lesser weevils. I ask you, is it so bad to be hankering for a honkin’ big can of bug spray?

        All kidding aside, despite the dumpster fire cage match that is the presidential race, the downticket is important. As in, these are the guys who can *check* the power of the Oval Orifice… And slow down the rate of disasters coming from the legislative branch.

        It may be too much to hope for to get them to deregulate and give up a lot of taxes and fees (all of which are strangling an economy that *will* bloody take off once you stop choking off its fuel/air supply) at this time. But baby steps. First you wean them off, *then* you reintroduce them to normal life.

        Just remember, folks. The disasters of national politics are seeded and grown locally. Pay attention to those races. We’ll get through this yet.

        1. the downticket is important

          Without the Democrats’ control of the legislature [insert rant about fraud in race of your choice] we would never have had Obamacare pass.

          If Republicans Conservatives had held sway in the Senate, the Iran giveaway wouldn’t have happened.

          The states that are performing best are all governed by Republicans in the governorship, legislature or both. Republican state Attorneys-General are working at blocking further Federal encroachment ad Republican Secretaries of State are fighting to defend the ballot box.

          The lesser evil is indeed still evil; it is also lesser. If you’re going to be forced to choke down some evil, why not opt for lesser rather than greater?

          1. Of course, when we get the 30 million new Democrat voters the UniParty wants, all that goes away.

  12. I don’t think the US – as a rebublic/represntative democracy – is done for. Not yet. But I agree it’s going to take a good deal of fight to get it back on track.

    The good news, it seems to me, is that the other side are doomed to eventual failure, the only question really is whether they can hold on long enough to do critical damage. As it is they may well have done sufficient damage that certain parts of the US – and certain (ethnic) groups – are going to spend a very very long time recovering.

  13. My favorite clown is Biden. He makes me laugh. The Others are too scary. I miss Dan Rather too.
    My nightmare: We have areas of conspiracy theory with uneducated people who don’t believe in vaccination in very high population density at the same time we are letting in diseases which which we have no experience. Eventually we will have the epidemic we invite. Then the crazy conspiracy theory and line of sight transmission of mass hysteria will preferentially affect city centers.

    1. We’re going to have an epidemic anyway, because antibiotic resistant stuff is growing. I found it interesting that when the village cemetery expanded (they bought the land around it) recently, they cordoned off a large area for mass graves in case of epidemic or war. I find that both full of prudent foresight and chilling.

    2. My sister got the measles (I think that’s what it was) not too long ago. It turns out that there’s a small group of people that the vaccination doesn’t work on, and she’s in that group. And then someone with it got her infected.

      So when people start yapping about how we don’t really need childhood vaccines? She gets a bit annoyed.

      The kicker is that most of the anti-vaxxers are apparently well-to-do progs, i.e. the people who ordinarily accuse the rest of us of being science-deniers.

      1. All vaccines have a failure rate.

        I explain it to people as vaccination is hacking your immune system to make it think that you’ve had the disease.

        Fun fact: you can, in fact, get a disease you are “immune” to, if your immune system is too weak– or overwhelmed– to fight it.

        This is kind of a pet peeve of mine. ^.^

          1. Those forms of leukemia that a lot of old people get, too. And medicine being good enough that people who are incredibly weak manage to survive.

            The old idea of kicking out the chronically sick is morally wrong, but it’s not stupid or doing it for kicks. It’s just wrong.
            (See also, killing people to take their stuff. Folks do stuff for a reason….)

      2. Side note: when looking at stats on anti-vaxxers, watch for some slight-of-hand– I’ve caught errors like adding everyone who does not have a vaccine on their record, for any reason, as “unvaccinated.”

        This is when every single school handbook I’ve had a chance to check specifically says that evidence you had the disease (such as a doctor’s note) is enough evidence that you don’t have to get the shot. And ignores moral objections to specific vaccines, due to manufacturing process and removal of morally acceptable alternatives.

    3. Worse, we’ve got people who are getting their mandatory vaccinations who do not understand how vaccines work.

      Combine that with the utterly unvaccinated populations, the unfamiliar diseases and high population density, and you’ve got the conspiracy minded deciding that they have been poisoned from the vaccines, rather than having the very basic knowledge that vaccines give you some resistance, they aren’t a magic bullet that make you immune.

      This is especially nasty when you consider that schools would be the most likely place that these diseases will spread, especially as the mandatory attendance rules get tighter and more people insist they should get their gov’t day-care, even if their kid cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. (Yes, I’ve seen it. And been informed that the kids who are so delicate their systems can’t even handle vaccination will be OK, because everyone else has been vaccinated, so they cannot get sick. *shudder*)

      At best there will be horrific attacks on those who don’t do every singled suggested vaccination, for any reason at all; at worst, truly huge swaths of the inner city will stop vaccinating, without taking any other disease avoidance steps.

      1. The scary thing about anti-vaxxers is they are devoted. I’m surprise we haven’t been deluged by a few new people with rather odd beliefs about disease already (did you know pathogenic organisms don’t actually cause diseases? Apparently, it’s all in your mind!)
        And like most fanatics, they are utterly impervious to facts.
        (yes, I was disgusted following a thread on Mr. Wright’s page)

        1. I run into more of the psychotic magic-vaxxers, honestly.

          Did you know that I’m an anti-vaxxer for not wanting to require smallpox vaccinations for kids to go to school? All available vaccines should be required….


          Can we just lock these guys in a cage and let them bug each other, while the folks who actually CARE about the science, and the results, can deal with stuff?

    4. He’s still around and pontificating. I’ve got a friend who keeps posting his Trump-bashing (which got old after the first post.) I’m not a fan of Trump, but then again, I’m also of the opinion that the news media are 99.9999% unrepentant slime. The exceptions you find should be treasured because you won’t likely find another. That Dan Rather was caught and still thinks he has ANY leg to stand on puts him lower than most in my opinion.

    5. My favorite clown is Biden.

      a chacun son gout but gneeeh. I’m pretty sure that I would have a hard time not … taking defensive action… against Biden if he came within arm’s length. “Creepy” doesn’t begin to describe him.

  14. I call it Argumentum Ad Enlistorum. I.e. they will parade before you the fact they did military service, that they served x terms, and tell you that if you didn’t you can’t be/aren’t a real patriot.

    The first presidential election in which the lack of military service was charged was Jefferson/Addams. Neither had served in the military, but that didn’t stop the press. Addams had run the Continental Congress’ Board of War and Ordnance, overseeing the Continental Army, but Jefferson, while serving as governor of Virginia had fled from advancing British troops, bringing charges of cowardice.

    The General Assembly of the state had investigated, finding he had acted with honor. Like Dolly Madison, who had saved items from the White House when Washington was burned during the war of 1812, Jefferson had taken important documents out of the capitol to safety. In matters political this was overlooked by the press who were opposed to Jefferson. The press has not changed much…

    1. “The press has not changed much…”

      Sadly, we’re no longer able to bring up privately-owned artillery to the doors of annoying newspapers and fire upon them.

  15. I worry but then, I’m a natural worrier. All the recent unpleasantness has made me push harder to get my house in order quickly so that we’ll be in a better position come…whatever.

    Even if that whatever is a surgery that puts an end to my current jobs (possible, though worst case), the inevitable taking care of aging parents while putting 2 kids through college (please, no) or other catastrophes that we can’t foresee.

    I can’t say any of that preparation is a bad thing by itself.


    But there’s a feeling of dread that I’m trying to ignore and I’m hoping is just me being pessimistic. Part of it is occasionally dealing with the dregs of humanity that make me worry about the future. Part of it is finding good, reasonable people turned into lunatics over the recent election. People I thought I knew, have known for years, becoming strangers because they’ve bought into the narrative that tells them I’m evil.

    That’s what worries me. The dividing line being drawn between people that could draw them into opposite sides when the fit hits the shan and make them shoot each other without a second thought. And I’m seeing it.

    1. We shall see.

      30 days until we can start seeing how much of this is temporary high spirits.

    2. No. There is a feeling of dread. Winter is coming. People are going to get killed. It’s going to be horrible. Probably still better than the rest of the world.
      Well, you know where we live, if you need anything, and HONESTLY we need to start a writers’ group, because we will be helping you support that kids in college and parents thing.
      ALSO you should apply to Calliope. It’s a full scholarship workshop. And you really should.

      1. This. Bad Things(tm) are going to happen no matter who is elected. That’s just the way it has to be. Remember that even Reagan had to deal with an economic downturn his first couple of years in office because that’s what it took to correct the poor economic policies of his predecessors. But after the downturn stopped, hey, no more stagflation!

        As a current example, the country has been operating with an artificially-induced zero-percent interest rate for the last eight years. If this isn’t fixed, things are going to get worse over the long-term. If it is fixed, then things are going to get bad over the short-term before things get better (the stock market will probably drop rather dramatically, for one thing).

        And that’s just one thing on the domestic front. There are other domestic issues. And there’s the international situation, which Obama has essentially ignored throughout both of his terms. That’s going to be a very “interesting times” situation.

        1. Oh, yes – word is getting out. I am a member of the Texas Association of Authors, which is primarily run by one indefatigable guy named Alan – he has been raising the visibility — and the viability of local authors for some years now. None of the members are really big names yet, most of us our indy authors, and a few are a mix of trad-pubbed and indy – but he’s been able to get our books stocked all over the place, and to set up events backed by communities and libraries all over Texas.

            1. You probably won’t sell too many copies of your books through the TAA website – but you will get informed about all kinds of events that you can participate in – and Alan is really working on getting the awareness of indy Texas authors out to the wider public … and also to people to organize book events.

    3. They were never really your friends in the first place. I suggest you cut contact with them, find the people that you can really trust, and form communities with them. Anyone “reasonable” who buys into the narrative at this point was never reasonable and should not be trusted with your emotional well-being much less your physical one.

      Friends come and go. Principles are forever.

  16. Years ago, in a summer of insanity (I’d just given birth) I read everything I could about UFOs and fairies and determined they were similar phen0mena and possibly had some sort of intelligence behind it.

    *laughs* You were about a decade ahead of the curve, there.

    1. As phantom societal psychoses go, “creepy clowns” are no “Satanic panic”, but I guess that’s what you get for draining the creativity out of the school system?

  17. I disagree with Sarah somewhat regarding the state of the republic. I think there has been a significant erosion of faith in the government to perform impartially. While this is certainly a correctable problem, and has been something self correcting in the past, it’s a problem that requires a leader who if not willing to lead the necessary changes, is at least willing to get out of the way of those who will make changes. It’s more easily solved from the top down, but can be done from the bottom up. It’s just harder and likely bloodier from the bottom up.

    1. “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” — only there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and a 10% chance it won’t be an oncoming train. It’s enough.

      1. And even if it isn’t, dying for the ashes of one’s fathers isn’t the worst way to go and it’s better than most.

          1. In essence, when the choice is “fight and maybe fall” or “don’t fight and definitely fall” I’ll take the former every time. Even if I fall, I might just give someone else enough support that they won’t.

            1. Who knows – if you keep the foe’s eye on you those hobbits might yet get through and drop that damned ring into Mount Doom’s fires.

    2. That erosion of faith started right at the top of the administrative heap. Encouraged by the media.

    3. We have the problem at the top, because the bottom is rotten.

      Fixing the bottom, long term, need not involve any bloodshed.

      Be a leader at the bottom.

    4. I think there has been a significant erosion of faith in the government to perform impartially.

      I think this is true to an extent, but also not so much. I do not thing the WWII vets who came home after 1945 had any great faith in government power or central planning – they had seen first hand how the centrally managed all-in full-mobilization war effort had manifested as a FUBAR’ed hot mess at the pointy end, and that only individual initiative by the front line troops had converted into success.
      But they also came home with first hand direct knowledge of how utterly beyond redemption all the competing systems they saw worldwide were in comparison, and how the truly centrally controlled systems on the enemy side had led to total and utter destruction of those societies. So when they got home they generally voted for the least-worst candidates on the ballot, and many worked to beef up local school boards and city councils local control. It was really not until the 1970s that efforts to move the center of control upwards from local to national levels, often through court cases and friendly judges rather than popular votes, started to undo what the WWII vets voted into place.
      So while I am certain that the faith in government that was in place from the 1970s onwards is pretty much gone, I’m not sure it was more than a temporary hippie- and Soviet-agitprop- (but I repeat myself) -driven phenomenon. I think for most of our nations history, there has been a healthy skepticism about government. Perhaps that coming back at last is one good thing about our current interesting times.

      1. While you make good points, I was thinking more along the lines of Criminal Justice rather than Dept. of Education or EPA type things. The continually expanding Fed is certainly a major problem, but my point was more along the lines of having a connected/monied elite operating by one set of rules, while forcing the rest of us plebs to operate under a completely different set of rules.

        1. OK, for that the best example was the 55mph national speed limit, which in the end was widely ignored by law enforcement and drivers alike.

          The 55 limit was the most significant and widespread historical undermining of the Rule of Law in the public consciousness until The Dowager Empress was non-indicted.

          And the powers that be back East had no idea whatsoever that they were so widely mocked and despised because of it.

          1. when we took a family vacation during that reign of stupidity, we drove through Chicago, and got looks of annoyance from Cops because Dad was “only” doing 65mph on the interstate.

          2. I can guarantee certain jurisdictions in Texas enforced the 55 mph limit. I had 5 tickets at one time on my record before I was 24 to prove it

  18. At least one of them is also terribly concerned about income inequality, which is Marxist claptrap.  Because free market has inequalities.  The only way to make everyone equal is to make everyone equally poor.

    Inequalities aren’t even bad— they can have some bad results, but they can also have some good results. You think Mother Teresa would’ve been able to do anything if she’d been forcibly leveled to the folks she’s helping? The guy dying in the ditch would’ve still been dying, she just wouldn’t have had anything to spare to CHOOSE to do something about it, couldn’t have gotten the resources from folks who had money, or food, or clothes, but not time, or access or sometimes even health to come do for the desperately poor.

    The old story about making folks equal by putting chains on the strong has a big hole in it– the problem that folks do things for a reason. With the strong, there is a problem, or several; we’ll stick to one. The problem is that some of the weak would be strong, but they’re weighed down. But it takes individual judgement to help find who’s got chains, and get the chains off, or at least help carry them… and it’s a lot of work, and usually thankless at that. (I know that *I* am cranky when I hurt.)

  19. The disturbing factor is that right now the ‘best’ option is annihilation of Capitol by enemy. Next best falls to civil war. You have a large and growing segment of population seeing government that actively looks to harm them. Whether it is BLM or threepers. And not always wrong.

    Government is just looking at ways to ignore the rules and regulations that tie the hands of the little people. Plus we have a growing section of population that thinks the only needed jobs are those of mind. Thinking they will dream up the next iTool or Microsoft rather than being barista #4 in Capitol for minimum wage.

  20. If one looks at the only profession in which two men, both competent at that profession, both clearly willing to put forth the idea of public service, were simply awful presidents, one can see that engineers are not good presidents. One overarching problem is that one cannot engineer good government. I am not an anarchist – I do believe that government is instituted to deal with the frictions of humanity, and that good government doesn’t try to do more than that. We must be prepared to spend time working together.

        1. Reagan’s deregulation actually began under Carter.

          Blind pigs and acorns do not constitute competence.

    1. The problem is that incompetent engineers do not include humans in designs. I’ve had this out a number of times where a point design may be amazing but if you go just a smidge off its dangerous. But the assumption gets made that all analysis was perfect, machining will be exact, installation perfect.

      Just wait until some software designer becomes pres. They are worse in my experience. Pretty much every one seems to treat each person as blank, identical slate, infinitely malleable to same outcome with same inputs.

      1. Jimmeh was a commissioned academy graduate working in the Rickover Navy and was in the middle of Nukewlar School when he left the Navy after his father died to take over the family farm.

        While he did work at a Navy nuclear accident site and on the build of the first nuclear USS Seawolf before he left, he was absolutely not a Nuclear Engineering Officer on a Nuclear Sub, nor had he really proven himself anything other than a competent ringknocker junior officer from anything I’ve ever seen.

        Not exactly a ringing endorsement for higher office, but I don’t recall anyone making a big deal about Jimmy’s service record during that campaign* – most likely because Gerald Ford’s WWII record of a year and a half serving in combat on a CVL in the Pacific was probably seen as outweighing Jimmy in a rad suit being lowered down into a basement full of a radioactive spill for his one and only 5 minute turn at cleaning it up.

        Carter ran on being a Washington outsider who was a man of the people. Had Ford not had the Watergate albatross hanging around his neck he would have won handily.

        *I was too young to vote that time around, but old enough to pay attention.

        1. Carter ran in the era when a large number of men had some sort of military experience, beginning with WWI vets up through Vietnam. Making much of a service record in ’76 would have gotten a “No kidding? I served in/at/with/on such and such.” Ditto for Ford. It was the times.

          BTW, I’m convinced that both Carter and Reagan went into office because the mainline media accidentally portrayed them as precisely what the public wanted at that point. With Carter it was John Boy when people were tired of Nixon’s “Imperial Presidency” and wanted a Washington outsider. With Reagan it was a cowboy right when people wanted a president who’d play Cowboys and Persians.

        1. I’m admittedly biased cuz most I know are on the Cali side and have the idea that perfecting humanity (to their definition of perfect) is possible. Another commented that since someone else went thru same class he should be as good at technical skill.

          1. I have the firm conviction that perfecting humanity (to my definition of perfect) is not only possible but inevitable. My definition being a verb tense, it might not mesh with theirs.

      2. It’s easy to blame it on the engineers… but they’re subject to the whims and fads of management.

        There’s a book called “The Design of Everyday Things” where the author takes engineers, architects, and industrial designers to task for stupid designs. Most of the problems were obviously management or building code related.

        In the Real World(tm), engineers get assignments like, “We want you to design an all-new widget. It has to have this set of random features and hardware to match these buzzwords, whether the hardware has any function or not. And it has to be made on the same assembly line as the old widget, and it has to be compliant with the conflicting safety and recyclability standards of sixteen different countries, and it has to be recyclable, and it has to fit inside the same packaging the old unit did, and it has to be done in six weeks, and we need to shave 20% off production costs.”

        One example I’ve seen in several places is buildings with double doors that only swing outward. Yep, that’s a pain in the ass, and I’ve slammed into my fair share of them. But that’s not the architect’s fault; where I live, that’s due to the local building code, which requires both leaves to swing outward “for emergency exit.”

        A lot of these designers and nitpickers live in some kind of fantasy world where they’re able to create their “art” unfettered by cost or legal considerations… yet they don’t seem to actually make anything themselves.

        1. Oh I know very well. It’s driving me nuts atm. One of many reasons for my exploding cynicism.

          I was referring to a number that I know personally. They see people as programs. And perfect programs, not like insane CAD software that does different things with same input.

  21. Hey, he was Time Man of the Year in 1976!

    Of course, Time bestowed that honor upon Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin (twice!), Nikita Khruschev, Ayatollah Khomeini, Yuri Andropov, Mikhail Gorbachev, Vladimir Putin, Barack Obama (twice), and Mark Zuckerberg…

    1. You know, with company like that, it seems remarkably appropriate (although I’d say that Gorbachev was possibly a notch above some of the others in that list)

      1. Bucket List:
        Nobel Peace Prize
        Time Man of the Year
        Indictment for Crimes Against Humanity
        Death sentence from US government run War Crimes Tribunal
        Tens of millions in mass graves

        I’m only 93.4% joking.

            1. This illustrates how far things have fallen for the old news magazines. Right there on that cover they are admitting that this is a new information age and out of their control.

  22. re: the creepy clowns wandering around:
    I’m with the Sherrif in Mississippi who says he is not overly concerned with the fools dressing in creepy clown outfits and wandering around with weapons to scare people . . . the worry is what is eventually going to happen when one gets shot by someone they are trying to scare, and succeeds enough to receive lead deposits.

      1. you know, it seems the only thing stupider than these idjits in clown get-up is the people who think wearing a clown mask needs to be a criminal offense.

                1. Given how laws work, most of those are probably redundant. Like the “you can’t dress up like a clown and run at people witb a blood covered weapon” laws being suggested are covered under hiding your identity for intimidation laws aimed at the KKK.

                  1. but they make someone think something is being done, so the must be alright, right? It’s like “Hate Crime” laws. somehow killing that guy to get money for your drug deal is somehow a lesser crime than killing him because he is gay.

                    1. Check the state laws where they’re being proposed– do they have a loitering while concealing your identity with strange clothes law?

          1. People who like these laws generally don’t live in areas where it gets really cold in the winter. This is one thing that Col. Cooper got wrong, or at least incomplete with his definition of an armed man in a mask as a target.

            1. The people who wrote these were really not stupid. They knew what specific asshattery they were aiming at, and wrote the laws with at least decent skill.

              Check the text of the New York law that got some protesters a few years back:
              . Being masked or in any manner disguised by unusual or unnatural attire or facial alteration, loiters, remains or congregates in a public place with other persons so masked or disguised, or knowingly permits or aids persons so masked or disguised to congregate in a public place;  except that such conduct is not unlawful when it occurs in connection with a masquerade party or like entertainment if, when such entertainment is held in a city which has promulgated regulations in connection with such affairs, permission is first obtained from the police or other appropriate authorities;  or

              1. From the same legislators that think it’s perfectly fine for police officers to be masked “for their personal safety” while they’re playing badass-SWAT-dudes.

                1. That isn’t concealment to do illegal intimidation.

                  That’s concealment so don’t come home to your six year old daughter crucified on your front door as a “warning.”

                  Actual example of why the drug cartels are evil.

          2. I staff an Anime convention in the state of Virginia. We have to inform the people who come that, to comply with state law, they must not wear masks or other items which conceal their face outside of the convention center.

            I have wondered how the state deals with someone who is wearing cold weather gear in appropriate conditions, such a scarf wrapped around their head and over their mouth while shoveling out from a snow storm.

    1. This. When we heard rumors of creepy clowns in the area, our thought was “This isn’t going to last long.” It’d be like Scooby Do with .45s:


      “Okay, Shag: It’s your turn to pull off the mask.”
      “Uh-uh. He doesn’t even have a face anymore.”
      “Would you do it for a Scooby Snack?”
      “How about a Scooby Snack and a Glock?”

    2. If you try to scare people with a weapon, you are trying to make them think that you will kill them. thinking that someone means to kill you is what makes self-defense self-defense.

      Well, reasonably think. But when they deliberately set out to make you think it, it’s hard to say it’s unreasonable.

      1. That’s basically what the cops have told “pranksters” who got their asses handed to them on video by a victim.

        You charge at a guy with a bloody knife, it’s not reasonable to expect him to assume that you’re joking.

        Although I seem to remember several folks got hurt because during terror attacks, they assumed exactly that…..

          Armed police performing an antiterrorist exercise. Except nobody bothered to inform the teachers.

          They stormtroopered in waving their guns, but all it would have taken was *one* teacher responding with an improvised weapon for things to have gone horribly wrong. Drain cleaner from the janitorial closet, sulfuric acid from the chem lab, a broom handle broken off to a sharp point…

          The scary part is how many *different* fails are required to do something like this.

          The school administrators,
          The police administrators,
          The officers involved in the “drill”, who should have known better,
          and whatever clown came up with the idea in the first place.

          All along the chain, there was nobody who raised a hand and said, “Whoa, dudes, is this really a good idea?” Or else, nobody thought it was a bad idea…

          1. The company a friend of mine works for decided on one of these “Active Shooter Drills”. They informed the employees, their families, and the cops a week in advance. It was a “full system test”, including their system for sending out emergency alert texts to all those groups. They basically said “Next Wednesday, if you get one of our emergency alert texts, or 911 calls associated with our location, ignore them; they’ll be reacting to the drill.”

            My buddy walked into his managers office and said “you know, if I were a disgruntled employee, I know which day I’d be showing up with a gun, with all this planning time…..”

            1. That’s not a likely enough scenario to justify not telling people.

              If you want to train people how to respond to dangerous situations, you drill them enough that the response becomes automatic. You don’t risk lives by being “realistic” and thereby unnecessarily terrorizing people.

              1. So, you’re saying those companies I’ve worked where they set actual fires for the fire drills were doing it wrong? Damned Stanislavskyists!

            2. Has been a problem before.

              That’s why the Navy will SAY it’s a drill when they’re 1MCing the drill things. Every single time.

          2. That is going to get a someeone killed.
            Same setup that WA used for putting under 21 rapists in schools– only the principal is told.

          3. Reading the article for what isn’t there, they do need drills– they can’t tell Responders from the Active Shooter stand-in?– but they also need to TELL EVERYONE “this is a drill” when announcing the Active Shooter situation.
            Just copy straight from the Navy, for heaven’s sake.
            “Fire fire fire. Fire at 3 tack six. This is a drill.”

            1. Reading the article for what isn’t there …

              This is essential practice for anything found in the Washington Post, NY Times or, really, any MSM news feed. Their articles stories are written less to inform readers than to advance a narrative.

          4. Ms. Ray needs to inform her children that police wearing standard postal worker style uniforms, with the ONE guy who has a black pressed short-sleeve shirt wearing a brilliant green see-me vest, will not be coming into their classroom during an active shooter situation to shoot them.

            If the school’s active shooter response is so f*ed up that they can’t even figure that out, they need to get someone with more experience to set up their plan for the principal.

            Say, your average 14 year old that plays first person shooters.

            1. I particularly liked the part in the story about the woman who worked at a nursing home being forced into an empty room by “an armed gunman” during one of these unannounced drills..

              1. That place deserves the lawsuit they’re going to be getting from the lady, AND from the cop, assuming she’s not lying. (it does say “former”, and I can’t read the article because of paywall)

            2. This is based on me noting the text at the bottom of the image, which actually *is* from the drill itself. Go look.

              My bet is on the lady quoted being such a gun-scared twit that she’s gotten her kids to reflexively believe any time there’s a gun, they’re going to die.

              1. The text said only two “shooters” but the image shows four or five. (one is mostly hidden behind another)

                I don’t know is the story is wrong or they just used a stock photo.

                1. It’s an agenda story in the Washington Post. Accuracy is not its purpose and any found in the story is there for verisimilitude and is not intended to shed actual light. Very possibly the story is wrong and they used a stock photo.

                2. The kid’s text says two armed officers— which is not at all unusual when you’re practicing clearing rooms. They can cover each other, and…well, if you get shot, maybe the second guy will be able to get the bad guy before you’re totally done for.

                  The picture is from when they’d finished clearing rooms, identified where the “active shooter” was, and centered in on him.

                  The picture’s text has one shooter and one hostage, and either four police or five; depends on if the guy in day-glo is a cop or a drill monitor.

                  Please note that in the picture, their guns are REALLY OBVIOUS props– which makes me think that the reporter who talked to the police department messed up and thought that the cops *having* their service weapons (as required while on duty) was them having them *drawn* (which is such an incredibly bad idea during a drill that I don’t know where to start).

        1. Had a relative fall victim to “witnessing a kidnapping” that turned out to be that…. after he’d dropped his groceries and put some serious bruises on them.

          Made them buy him a new bottle of wine, and abused their ears the entire way about the morality, sense and legality of their actions.

          Makes me pretty sure that any study that finds a bystander effect is actually employing some unconscious bias in selecting their targets, or their acting is bad.

  23. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    It’s becoming more obvious that the elites who have had their way in this country have by and large lost any shred of actual competence. If the WikiLeaks Podesta emails are correct, the elite democrats actually WANTED the current clown show and worked very hard to get it. Unfortunately they are so out of touch with the American people that they didn’t understand how an outsider might resonate with an American people tired of the massive top down failures of the last 15 years or so.

    1. I’d say it’s more likely that they already knew about everything in the opposition-research folder (OK, folders. Binders. Binders and binders.) that they and their allies in the media had ready to go on Trump.

      Those binders were not nearly so full for all the rest, and the H campaign knew she was going to have a rough go of it, so they wanted the one opponent for whom they had the most ammunition for their “October ‘Surprise'” phase.

  24. Oh, we’re doomed.
    Human nature is a constant, entropy is real, and regression to mean is a powerful force.
    In the end, the Red Queen always wins.

    With luck, courage, and effort, we can stave it off for a bit longer.
    Or stick a fork in the b*tch’s eye when the inevitable finally happens.
    But the final outcome is not in doubt.

  25. Meanwhile in another country:

    BRENHAM, Texas – For 8-year-old Ja’Lea Henderson, school is one of her favorite places to be. But it doesn’t take long to realize that she is unique.

    “She was born with an amniotic band syndrome,” said her mother, Kia Nunn. “We weren’t aware when I was pregnant with her. We didn’t know until she was born.”

    The condition left her with limited use of her right arm, making things that are easy for many people a challenge for her.

    But with an pink and purple prosthetic arm, which she received just last week, things are easier.

    “I haven’t learned how to write with it yet but I think that’s what I want,” said Henderson.

    But what may be even more special is where the prosthetic arm came from.

    Over the past two years, students studying computer science at Brenham High School have been researching and trying to find a solution for Henderson. With the help of a 3-D printer, they were able to craft the prosthetic arm…

  26. Years ago, in a summer of insanity (I’d just given birth) I read everything I could about UFOs and fairies and determined they were similar phen0mena and possibly had some sort of intelligence behind it.

    Actually, Ken Hite mentioned two books arguing this thesis in the Suppressed Transmissions bibliography. One was Gods of Eden (there are at least two books by this title so check before buying) and the other I don’t remember offhand. The interesting thing is one goes fairies => UFOs while the other goes UFOs => fairies.

    I honestly don’t know if these people were convinced Trumpites (I think so) who have now lost faith in their figurehead, and therefore everyone must be doomy and gloomy with them.

    Plenty of us figured we were doomed before we decided to vote for Trump. That said while this election has put the final nail in the coffin IMHO for the Republic it has nothing to do with Trump and everything to do with learning just how corrupted by politics the FBI is and, more importantly, how our political class does not care. It is this latter that makes the corruption different than the previous examples you will soon cite to prove I’m over-reacting.

    A significant part of the political and media class though prior politicization of the executive branch agencies was unacceptable including nominal allies of the politicians who did it. Now even their nominal opponents think it is okay as long as the right ox is gored by it. Exhibit one is the GOP’s reaction to the IRS attacking the Tea Party but even the GOP seems to be as much going through the motions on Hillary and the FBI. I suspect that is in no small part because they prefer her to Trump. Look at the people who broke from Trump in the last 4 days over that tape and their reactions then contrast that to their reactions to Hill and the FBI.

    As Glenn Reynolds loves to put it the middle class anarchy is coming. I thought Trump’s biggest achievement, after letting me give the finger to a lot of the GOP by continuing the loyalty they demanded in the past when they refused to give it, was to provide a breathing space to reset against the growing believe the law is exactly as that idiot Posner claimed with the logical conclusion abuot its authority that Posner couldn’t understand.

    But they should worry, because in vulgar terms, they’ve shot their petard. However this turns out, this is the last time they could pull this maneuver. And, given how pressure cookers work, and Hillary’s inability to understand the national mood, they not only will never be able to do it again, but they might have bought themselves the mother of all backlashes.

    I actually agree with you here except I blame the nominal right as much as the left for not protesting earlier (and remember I include myself in that group) but instead voting for the statist Republican instead of saying no mas.

    I also suspect the backlash will not be political because I believe Hillary will insure no one rises to oppose her in 2020 except for a hand picked victim. Others will find how little rule of law we have left while the media screams about the GOP wanting to jail opponents. Hell, I expect prominent figures like Limbaugh to be in jail in time for the midterms of a Hillary presidency.

    Nor despite all the guns do I see open rebellion in an armed manner. Instead I fear we are headed for a more Russian style solution which is most famous from the Soviet period but I suspect Russian. We are headed more and more for “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us” civil society.

    Given the American character it’ll probably be more like Italy, where tax avoidance is the nation sport even over football, but more expansive covering more than taxes. The expanse will be its Russian aspect.

    In the long run this may safe our society as it taps into the very American “get out of the way and let me do it spirit” but in the short term (50 years or so) it means discord of 1860 levels.

    I believe in the end we win, they lose, I don’t believe it will be painless or without problems. The very fact that the left believes history comes with an arrow and they’re “on the winning side” guarantees we’re going through a decade or two or awfulness.

    This is where I disagree and, oddly, for a reason similar to the left. I believe history has inertia and there is a strong possibility what we are experiencing is reversion to the mean. Then again, I think saying, “supporters of chattel slavery TODAY are on the wrong side of history,” is extremely premature. While I doubt it will return to Europe in force. The slavery we supposed to be wearing sack cloth over is an aberration in post-Classical Europe (although England had slaves as late as Alfred at the least) mostly being replaced by its cousin serfdom. However, in the world at large I expect it will come roaring back not just in the Islamic world (already has assuming it really left) but in Chinese cultural areas and Africa as well.

    In that mental framework it isn’t odd to believe the Founders, their teachers, and their heirs have not moved the direction of history enough for our levels of freedom to be the new mean.

    And whether they admit it or not the left’s real arrow is back to the mean the world knew before the Enlightenment.

    But I do NOT believe all is lost, or that we should abandon the ideals of the republic and sit around telling each other how everything is doom and gloom.

    I don’t believe all is lost but given how non-existent my stake in the future is I don’t consider it worth the kind of effort we may need to fix it. The left’s greatest achievement was to work very hard to make sure those who do value freedom were marginally less likely to have kids or, if the did, to get to keep them.

    When you tell me things like you’re no longer proud to be an American, but resist any thought of going abroad, what you’re telling me is that you know d*mn well that the rest of the world is worse.

    Hmmm…that’s an interesting question…am I still proud to be an American? Yes and for what is probably the oddest reason: for all my belief we are on the path of reversion to the mean I can say I am of the people who achieved one of mankind’s greatest dreams, landing a man on the moon and returning him home safely. While I am not of the generation that did it I am of the time that did it. If you can’t be proud of that I’m not sure what you can be proud of.

    However, I can say there are days I consider my military service wasted in terms of what we did with the military for much of it and the price I paid to serve. Not every day and not even most days but there are some days. They seem to be coming more and more often (one a month instead of one a quarter, say).

    1. “I don’t believe all is lost but given how non-existent my stake in the future is I don’t consider it worth the kind of effort we may need to fix it.”

      Your lack of motivation is duly noted.

  27. Foxfier |
    “I can’t read the article because of paywall” when faced with this from the WSJ when trying to use a direct URL, you can usually gain access with a topic or key word search via Google.

    1. It is my understanding that Google carries free versions of all articles, can you but find them. Searching for a specific phrase (if you can get one) has generally seemed to work.

      In this instance, try the phrase “According to Fox affiliate WTVT, officials at Jewett Middle Academy e-mailed parents to inform them of the drill, after it took place.” It seemed to work for me but, as I subscribe to the Washington Post online I cannot attest to its effectiveness for others. I have noticed that the WaPo paywall invites people to log in with their Amazon ID, suggesting it might be available to Amazon members.

      1. Wrong article.

        The ’14 WSJ article about accusations– used as a source in the WaPo article.

        Titled ‘Active Shooter’ Drills Spark Raft of Legal Complaints.

        If they’d bothered to give the woman’s name, I would’ve looked for the outcome of the case….

        1. Oh. Try some portion of this:

          When Michelle Meeker approached a strange man last October at the Colorado nursing home where she worked, the man flashed a gun and forced her into an empty room as she tearfully begged for her life, she said.

          Unbeknown to Ms. Meeker, the gunman was a local police officer and the entire episode a drill, arranged by the retirement home’s management to prepare employees for an armed-intruder scenario.

          1. Um, yeah — I also subscribe to the Journal. It is probably not my greatest character flaw, but I prefer to eschew discussion about what that might be.

            It occurs to me that there is a certain essential aspect to not announcing these type events as drills. Part of any such exercise ought be handling panicked civilians, a component likely undermined by providing such notice*. Clearly there needs to be a means for handling that aspect, perhaps by serving milk and cookies for the participants afterward, or perhaps simply shooting the civilians and burying them in an unmarked grave.

            * “Okay, everybody — remember to panic once the drill begins!”

            1. If we had the money, we would. We did, back Before Kids. (Well, he did, anyways. I’m more a Capital Press type.)

              The point of the drills is to keep there from BEING any panicked civilians– you can’t get a good panicked mob worked up with even one in ten folks knowing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, or ACTING like it.

              1. One option might be to inform key personnel about the drill … putting it in a shipboard metaphor, the senior officers and senior NCOs might be aware of the planned drill and trained in how to act so as to not unduly give it away to the crew. You know the idea: act like you’ve been through it before and demonstrate leadership, note which of the crew respond well and which cannot get their !@% together even with leadership.

                In a school setting the teachers and administrators should be prepped for the drill and able to direct the inmates students in what to do.

                A key point of such exercises is conditioning participants to not panic without getting them inured and blase about the exercise. That way when the fecal matter truly does hit the vertical impeller they retain a sense of urgency but with discipline.

                1. It’s an option, it’s just a HORRIBLE idea.

                  You might, with a group that is well trained, has done regular exercises abd is working with a familiar plan, do an unplanned drill.

                  Pulling a surprise drill that you don’t openly display as a drill, with a group that hasn’t done it frequently and a plan that isn’t well tested… that is how you get people killed, because they treat all emergencies as drills.

                  It’s not like we don’t have anything to model this on– look at fires where people die by ignoring the alarm, because it is ALWAYS just a drill.

                  1. (I may be wrong in this recollection.) When I was in elementary school we would have more than one fire drill a year. The teachers were always informed that there would be a drill during a given week — although not necessarily provided the exact timing. The students were not informed.

                    Of course a fire drill is NOT the same thing as a shelter in place/armed shooter drill. The latter was unheard of in my youth. We have come a long way and it isn’t always up.

                    1. When we do active shooter drills, we do NOT have anyone simulating being the bad guy. We hear the alert, do our thing, get checked, and then debrief.

                    2. We did, too– they’d have a note that there was going to be a drill in the paper announcements, but when it happened they’d act like it wasn’t a drill. A lot of people never bothered to read them.

                      Until the liability company informed the school to stop shouting fire in a crowded theater or they were going to not be covered when some kid went “hey, we’re supposed to have a fire drill this week– I’ll just stay here in out-of-the-way corner while everyone else is jumping through dog hoops, what are they going to do? Yell at me?” and was seriously injured during a real fire.

                      It’s like a test of the emergency broadcast system. You’ve got to say “this is a test,” or you’re liable for people responding as if it is not…or treating a real one as if it’s a test, because the last sixteen times it was.

                    3. I know that when I was in grade school– late 80s– entire classes would just ignore the firedrill, because there was a drill scheduled and they had to get what they were doing done, even if the principle was an idiot and would “Randomly” schedule drills based on what was handy for HIM, then get pissed stuff wasn’t finished.

                      It would usually go like this:
                      *alarm goes off*
                      *teacher walks over and sticks head out of window, then walks to door and sticks head out of door*
                      *walks back*
                      “It’s just the drill. Keep going. They’ll turn the bells off soon.”

                    4. When I was in elementary school, the first fire drill of the year would be announced so that we could practice how to evacuate, and all subsequent ones would be unannounced.

                      When I was in high school (same school – all in the same building) my class’s student council representatives decided that we didn’t have enough fire drills and kept begging the superintendent to hold one. They even gave him a box with a partially melted Barbie head in it to demonstrate the necessity of fire drills.

                      It was good that he had a sense of humor ^_^

          2. That does help.

            It’s still in court– and she added a bunch of people. (per justi dot com, she’s suing: Life Care Centers of America, Inc., Colorado Medical Investors, LLC, Town of Carbondale, Colorado, Eugene Schilling, Michael Zimmerman, Robert Baker, Jessica Varley, Melanie Holmes, Eugene (I) Schilling and Michael (I) Zimmerman.)

            Which, given the favorable coverage, must mean her case is really weak.
            Exactly one article was not supportive. It’s the one that actually included the nursing home’s response, and that while she claimed criminal actions, she’s only going for the civil suit, and… well, stuff that wasn’t directly from the accuser’s lawyer.

            It keeps sounding more and more like a fishing-for-money case, especially when you add in that she requested a jury trial, and keeps trying to win on technicalities. (Again, from the Justi site– records orders for cases.)

            I’m getting really suspicious of how often news articles end up being basically straight from the accuser’s lawyer.

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