Controlled Burns – Out of the Darkness

Controlled Burns – Out of the Darkness

There are times in life where you just have to call it quits, burn everything down, and rebuild from the ashes like some kind of mythical phoenix. You just need a clean slate, with as little baggage weighing you down as possible. I can understand that, having done it in my own life several times now. I am rather annoyed with those who think that this is the path we need to take for the country. Put the damned matches down for a hot minute.

 

The country can still be saved. We are starting to run into the real trouble, the crazy years, and people are losing their minds. What we need now is careful consideration and a calm center. We need to figure out what is weighing us down, and *then* we can burn. We need to have a few controlled burns so that we can keep the whole thing from going up in flames.

 

The educational system turning the nation’s children into oversenstive idiots? Burn it down. The welfare system that has failed to have any appreciable impact on reducing poverty? Torch it. The DEA, which is setting policies that deny doctors the ability to treat real pain while it enforces laws that make criminals out of peaceful citizens? Light it up. You guys get the idea. We need to clear out the dead weight so that what remains is a cleaner, more efficient government that doesn’t interfere overly much while we go about our lives.

Yes, there’s a lot of dead weight. Yes, there’s a lot of corruption. Yes, there’s a lot of problems. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, though. Pick a problem you see in the country and learn all you can about it. Get involved on the local level. Educate people about the issue. Light a fire under your elected representatives to start cleaning house. Then join with others who are working on different problems in your community.

The left has been working for 150 years to destroy the American spirit, and yet it lives. They have tried to drive the nation’s soul into ruin, and yet we still still stand. We are tarnished and rough around the edges, but we are still in the fight. They have tried to make us bend the knee to our betters, and we still stand defiantly.

We have let them push us apart for too long. We have let them set the tone for too long. We have let them drive us to despair. Now is the time to build. Build businesses. Build relationships. Build community. Build lives. Teach your children. Help your neighbors. Work on the issues, and keep your matches ready for those controlled burns.

*A Sarah post-script: As you guys (probably) have noticed, these posts have been getting later, I haven’t done Dark Fate in two weeks, and if you’re on FB you’ve seen me there a lot.  Yes, there is a an explanation.  A member of my family is having relatively major surgery on Friday, which is stressing me, and I’ve caught a stupid cold.  The good news is the cold is better.  And this too shall pass.  Hopefully this weekend, the critter (no, not a cat, one of the guys) will be back home and recovering. Meanwhile, I’ve put out the first of the new collections I’m assembling, with the short stories I took off sale, to avoid cluttering my page on Amazon (though each collection also has a new story in it.)  Yes, I made the cover from “found elements acquired for free from Pixabay and the renderosity free section, and ran it through filters with filter forge.*

51miwtlusul

244 responses to “Controlled Burns – Out of the Darkness

  1. Put the damned matches down for a hot minute.

    YES. There is a great deal of difference between starting an individual life over from scratch and trying to build a new society from the ashes. The latter, more often than not, does not turn out well.

  2. Yes, I made the cover…

    Nice!

  3. Very nice cover!!!

    • Margaret Ball

      Seriously good cover! (partial translation: oh, all right, I’m going to have to get Filter Forge; I don’t think I could do it just using Photoshop) but apart from that it’s beautiful as well as eye-catching.

      • btw, it might be time to watch for those four riders. APPARENTLY Createspace had NO issues with my cover or text. I think it’s the first time. Ordered proof, anyway, but…

        • NOW I have to go to Renderosity, too? Sigh. Ah well, after I have something more to cover…

          In any case, whichever two-legged critter is having surgery – best wishes. Wife had hers on Monday, and I’m a bit ragged. (Mostly from following her around to keep her from doing too much right out of the gate. Modern surgery is a wonderful thing, but you still don’t start running around full tilt just 24 hours later.)

      • Doing that in Photoshop would be…definitely possible, but time consuming. I too shall have to check these places out! (Being a graphic designer by training, I’m fighting that inculcated snobbery from the university days that says “NOTHING BUT ADOBE!” even though I can’t afford Adobe. I did resist the part of it that says “ONLY MACs!” But that’s ’cause I’m a gamer too. :D)

        And if it can be done in fairly short order using those programs…Hmmm. I am totally sold on it!

        • William O. B'Livion

          When I were doing Design Work I found that Quark and Aldus made better software, but that was *way* back in the day.

      • Filter Forge is also available as a plugin for Photoshop.

  4. I hope the stupid cold is much better soon and will be up to being let out t play on its own.

    As for abandoning the good ship America, why, there’s a hole n the hull big enough to poke my pinkie through! We’re doomed! Dooooooomed, Doomed I tell you!

    We will now pause briefly while countess Huns murmur: Put a cork in it, RES.

  5. The educational system turning the nation’s children into oversenstive idiots? Burn it down.

    Here is part of the problem I have with the burn it down club. You burn down the barn to get rid of the rats, and are left without a place to keep your livestock… So yes, the old needs to go, but not without starting to build alternatives up. We need to built the foundations for new and better systems because they won’t come on line automatically.

    • There are alternatives. They’re not as popular right now, but they exist, many online.

    • I am posting from home school co-op. The parallel systems for education already exist. Yes, they aren’t big enough to take over straight across, but they’re here and when people want to know how, we can show them.
      Honestly, it isn’t going to hurt the kids to miss a year of education (especially since they aren’t getting one). My husband missed four (three to war, one to teacher strikes) and still passed his A levels in five subjects. While supporting himself and his little brother, because his folks couldn’t.
      Sunday Schools originally taught reading, too. The systems are in place for education. I say it’s past time to tear this rotting barn down: the stitches for kids ripped up on those broken boards are more costly than shifting the herd to the new barns.

    • Sometimes you can’t start to rebuild until you’ve demolished the existing structure. If it helps instead of thinking of it as “burning down the barn to get the rats” think of it as “demolishing the structure that is so wrecked it is about to collapse to allow you to rebuild”.

      Note, it might be able to be done with a gutting and remodel as opposed to full demolition.

      • Problem is I know history. The American Revolution of the late 1700s is the exception to the rule. And part of this was the result of structures of government and public life that had been built before anyone even thought to throw the English out.

        • Plus, Washington had enough respect among the citizens of the new United States that he was probably the only man who could have seized control of the new nation. And he didn’t want it.

          Any effort to remake the government was going to require his approval. That didn’t necessarily guarantee that any effort he backed would succeed. But it did mean that unless he signed on, any effort to remake the government was doomed to failure.

        • Yes, but those structures existed because of the very English that were to be thrown out. In fact, the British were thrown out for failing to respect their own institutions. The revolution probably would have fizzled if in 1775 the British had given seats in Commons to each colony and appointed one or two people to the House of Lords.

          Also, the Revolution did sweep away many institutions without replacements. The Articles of Confederation post date the Declaration. The Declaration tore down the government that interacted with other nations on behalf of the colonies which wasn’t formally replaced until the Articles.

          Besides, who said anything about the nation as a whole. I was referring to your comments about the education system. It has largely quit functioning as a barn[1] but by continuing to stand it limits our ability to build a new barn. By having the non-working barn removed we’d have land for a new one and incentive on the part of those in the barn to build something new.

          The questions become, and have to be answered on an institution by institution basis, is it currently functioning enough to be remodeled and if it remains in place can a replacement still be built. If the answer to both is no then the only path forward is demolition. If we won’t demolish after those answers then we are accepting what exists in perpetutity.

          For another example here is something in my original reply I removed:

          Of all the things I think need burning down there is the GOP. By the nature of us elections, first past the post plurality in almost all cases, there are going to be only two major parties and third parties work best as pressure valves and signalling systems.

          The GOP has quit, in my lifetime, being the party opposed to the expansion of the state and is just as statist as the Democrats, just with a different focus. Until one of them is removed and the site cleared there cannot be a new major party that is anti-statist. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the nominal anti-statism of the GOP which is still the position of many (most? not sure anymore to be honest) voters it it should be easier to replace.

          [1] Arguably all it functions as is a barn in reality ironically.

          • The GOP has quit, in my lifetime, being the party opposed to the expansion of the state

            Herb, I was born shortly after Ike took office and never, never in my lifetime has the GOP opposed the expansion of the state. Nor has it been the party opposed to the expansion of the state in my grandfathers’ lifetime. (I would have to do some research, but as I recall the GOP supported the growth of the state well before TR; for opposition to growth of the state in The Gilded Age you pretty much have to look to a Democrat, Grover Cleveland.

            The GOP has, during my lifetime, been home to those who do oppose the expansion of the state, but it is useful to remember that Reagan had to claw his way over the entrenched party of Rockefeller and was regularly undermined by the party.

            It isn’t until the Gingrich Revolution that the GOP as a party briefly focused on rolling back expansion of the state, and many of those in Congress were only too happy to abandon those principals as soon as electorally convenient. See: Republican presidential candidate Bob “Tax Collector for the Welfare State” Dole a mere two years after the revolution.

            • My only disagreement would be Reagan was interested in shrinking government except the military (one of the key functions of the Federal government).

              However, no matter when you date the GOP becoming majority statist in terms of office holders (I think the 70s but I’ll give you TR although I’d argue 1912 is a strong argument otherwise) I stand by my main argument: because of the structure of US elections the only way to have a non-statist major party is to first destroy one of the two statist ones to have one of the two lots open and the GOP is the better choice of lot for the new party.

              It isn’t like this is a new idea with me. If you’ll remember my first comments here were me arguing for the GOP out of the Whigs methods of destruction and being called a Democrat false flag for it.

            • I was born shortly after Ike took office
              Ike was a statist and re-made the Republican party wholly over to the statist cause. Teddy Roosevelt started the process and Ike finished it.

              • The GOP started out as the party of moderately-large government, in part because of the advantages it provided through the spoils system, and in part because they supported a large number of nation-building programs. That was long before large federal regulatory programs became a major thing. They then took a long journey to supporting of the administrative state that more or less started at the dawn of 20th century and ran through to the Eisenhower administration. Since then, at least at the national level, they’ve more supported the administrative state than not.

                • I’d like to add Hoover also turned the party more statist too, but he had only one term. That being said, Roosevelt quadrupled doen on Hoover’s initiatives. Ike came along 20 years later and completely wrecked the last power of the small gov faction of the party.

            • It isn’t until the Gingrich Revolution that the GOP as a party briefly focused on rolling back expansion of the state, and many of those in Congress were only too happy to abandon those principals as soon as electorally convenient.

              When the party put the knife in Newt’s back, I quit the party and never looked back.

          • The 2nd Continental Congress met in the Pennsylvania State House when it passed the Declaration of Independence. The state government had voluntarily vacated the Assembly Room and moved their business upstairs to facilitate this. (This building also housed the Constitutional Convention and is now known as Independence Hall.)

            The House of Burgesses in Virginia is the location of Patrick Henry’s famous ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ speech. It was that same body, that took a new name, House of Delegates in 1776 and declared the colony the Commonwealth of Virginian And it was that body which sent Richard Henry Lee to the 2nd CC with the following: ‘Resolved: that these united colonies are (and of a right ought to be) free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is (and ought to be) totally dissolved.”

            I could go on, but each of the colonies had some form of colonial government state governments which morphed quite quickly into independent state governments.

            The Articles of Confederation formed a loose association of the states. The states each maintained that they were sovereign over their territory. A major fear throughout the debate over the Constitution was loss of state sovereignty. For the most part the people thought of themselves as belonging to their state first. This continued well into the 1800s. Consider this – Robert E. Lee refused the offered command of the Union Army when his state choose secession.

            If you burn down the GOP without first building a replacement we will be left with the Democrats, and they will you for it for they will no longer have to put on a pretense of caring what the electorate thinks.

            • If you burn down the GOP without first building a replacement we will be left with the Democrats, and they will you for it for they will no longer have to put on a pretense of caring what the electorate thinks.

              And if we don’t burn down the GOP first our plurality system will render any new party moot and they, like the Dems, will continue paying less and less lip service to what the electorate things.

              But please, elect 2020’s Jeb!. I’m sure he will stand against socialism.

            • In none of the states was the state rebelled against thus the state governments were institutions not threatened by the revolution. Read what I wrote:

              The Declaration tore down the government that interacted with other nations on behalf of the colonies which wasn’t formally replaced until the Articles.

              In fact the states did begin to function as separate states. A functioning replacement for His Majesty’s Government in terms of international affairs did not exist in 1776 when we declared independence. In fact, the drafting of the Articles didn’t begin until after the Declaration and wouldn’t go to the states for ratification until the next year. They wouldn’t be fully ratified until 1781 and it would that government which negotiated with His Majesty’s Government.

              So, the Founders did indeed destroy something without having its replacement completely built and worked fine with ad hoc institutions in between. It is one thing to demand people be ready to create ad hoc replacements and quite another to demand a fully functioning replacement be ready.

              • The states did not want a ‘functioning replacement for His Majesty’s Government.’ It was not what the confederated states wanted, and it was not desired by those attending the Constitutional Convention. (Never mind the accusations leveled at Hamilton and Adams of wanting to re-institute monarchy.) The facts are that the colonies had consistent governmental bodies and there were people with experience in governance.

                In France, for example, the people who deposed the standing government replaced it with untried systems populated by inexperienced people. They paid a great price for it, ending up with Emperor Napoleon.

                • I strongly disagree.

                  If they had not desired to replace at least certain portions of His Majesty’s Government we would not have had the Articles. If they had not later desired to replace other parts we would not have had the Constitution.

                  Congress under the Articles and The Federal government under the Constitution replace several functions of His Majesty’s Government. The most obvious is a unified point of international relations. Had the states desired to remain as separate states without the unifying aspects of being in the UK they would have set up shop in international relations separately but are specifically barred from doing so in Article VI. The fact that they did demonstrates a desire for that government.

                  The same can be said of a system for resolving disputes. The fact that the Articles did not provide a method for doing so while barring them from interacting as independent states among themselves via treaties (Article IX) lead to the Constitution. Had they not desired to replace that aspect of his Majesty’s Government when Article IX proved unworkable they would have merely moved to treating among themselves as they did as a group with other nations instead of adopting a more formal regime under the Constitution.

                  What they did not want was a monarchy or absolute control. However, the idea of being part of a larger nation instead of fully independent states, that is the same grouping they had under the Crown, was never abandoned and once it was clear the only way to guarantee their rights as Englishmen was to do so apart from His Majesty’s Government they moved forward in creating and formalizing the parallels of the Cabinet and Parliament. That Congress was already in place to replace Parliament and, initially, the Cabinet is an example of ad hoc replacement not a planned evolution.

            • If you burn down the GOP without first building a replacement we will be left with the Democrats, and they will you for it for they will no longer have to put on a pretense of caring what the electorate thinks.

              Something has to go in order for us to make things better, and if the GOP is first, then so be it.

              As my teachers say about solving problems so large that you are paralyzed into inaction: Start anywhere

              • If the GOP is first we can count on the Supreme Court, the FEC and the MSM to protect our rights, right?

                The GOP may be a poor watchdog but it’s what we’ve got until we can get some new hounds trained up.

                Geeze, the T.E.A. Party formed six years ago! It should have fixed everything by now.

                Goldern wusses complain because a stable that took 100 years to get full of crap hasn’t gotten cleaned over night? No bleedin’ wonder this nation can’t stand to fight any wars that aren’t won within six weeks.

                • Geeze, the T.E.A. Party formed six years ago! It should have fixed everything by now.

                  If the GOP hadn’t aided in its murder it might have started to make progress.

                  Goldern wusses complain because a stable that took 100 years to get full of crap hasn’t gotten cleaned over night?

                  I’d be happier with it not getting dirtier.

                  The GOP had control of all elective branches for four years. In that time did it stop the growth of government? No. Okay, did it at least slow the rate? No.

                  It passed the first new entitlement since LBJ in Medicare Part D. The only reason it isn’t remember for all time record spending and debt is Obama and the Dems broke their records in 2009.

                  The GOP may be a poor watchdog but it’s what we’ve got until we can get some new hounds trained up.

                  The GOP isn’t a poor watchdog. It is the nice cop who just zip ties you to bring you in instead of knocking you unconscious with a billy club.

                  It also knows we want to replace it and is actively fighting efforts to train new hounds.

                  If the GOP is first we can count on the Supreme Court, the FEC and the MSM to protect our rights, right?

                  Well, let’s see:

                  1. It was a GOP Chief Justice who gave Obamacare a 5th vote twice while using logic 180 degrees from the first time to do it the second (“It is not the Court’s job to protect the public from Congress’s stupidity” on the first and “This is stupid so Congress could not have intended it so we’ll fix it” on the second).

                  2. It was the GOP that gave us the Patriot Act

                  3. It was the GOP that gave us Campaign Finance Reform.

                  4. The GOP, controlling Congress, still refuses to use the powers it has, such as impeachment, to get the IRS to stop dicking with conservative groups which the IRS is still doing.

                  Outside of the 2nd Amendment, and even there it has plenty of wobbly members willing to discuss “reasonable” gun control, the GOP isn’t protecting us any better than the three institutions you mentioned. Why should I suspect it would be that much worse without them.

                  What will they do to stop Hillary that the didn’t do to stop Obama?

                  Also, I think you discount how quickly the vacuum a missing GOP creates will be replaced.

                  When the GOP replaced the Whigs it took about five years. If we start today Hillary could be a one termer replaced with a President from the new party.

                  • While I recognize the fallacy inherent of argument premised on “it would have been worse” I think we can agree that without GOP involvement all of those things you complain of would have been worse had it all been done under the gentle guidance of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

                    We’ve previously argued about the reasons justifying Medicare Part D: a necessary correction to Medicare to bring it into line with modern biomedicine. It should have been part of a total restructuring of Medicare but that was not politically possible, so instead it got pushed through as a pilot project to demonstrate how properly designed policies can effectively use the marketplace to constrain cost growth. The reason it isn’t “remember for all time record spending and debt” is because it came in well under projected cost. It was an entitlement designed to facilitate reigning in other greater entitlements; that it failed is at least as much on the unremitting hatred for any entitlements expressed by a small but decisive faction who, combined with the “Let’s put government in charge of everything Democrat Party manage to stifle any course correction.

                    I strongly suggest we not attempt to relitigate that, and if either of us posts another word on it Sarah suspend that one’s posting privileges for a week. NOBODY EFFING CARES, Herb. Even if EVERYBODY here agreed with you it would not change a single thing.

                    You think Algore’s chief justice would have blocked Obamacare? The fundamental problem is we are suffering a MSM-influenced ratchet effect where any Dem nominee to the Court is by default “moderate” or worse (e.g., a “wise Latina”) and any Republican nominee is presumptively “outside the mainstream” and can be libeled, slandered, filibustered and smeared at no cost to the attackers. Further, it is a conservative — not simply GOP — principle that nominees be judged according to fealty to the Constitution whereas the Dems (and their MSM toadlickers) think it entirely fitting to rewrite interpret</I the clear language of the Constitution to bring it in line with "enlightened" thinking, ensuring some animals will be more equal than others.

                    On each of your other points you assume that what the GOP wrought was as bad as what the Dems would wreak, an assumption I flatly reject. Rather than address them point-by-point I will cite my arguments above as excuses and explanations, with one minor exception: at what point has the GOP held sufficient legislative majorities to impeach anybody?

                    Your complaints about the GOP being too willing to float with the current are understood and appreciated, but at least they aren't flying full sail down that stream. If you want them to turn things about you are being highly unrealistic until you find a way to change that current. Whinging and griping in here won't affect that flow.

                    If we break up the GOP now, by your arguments at least half the GOP incumbents would switch parties and the FEC, FCC, IRS and other minions of the Administrative State would enact the contemplated restrictions that would ensure one party rule forever.

                  • We have state governments. Okay, some of us do. Some of y’all live in crazy places like D.C. I’ve never met anybody who *likes* our current governor here in Idaho, who’s about as establishment a Republican as you can get, but the Democrats are limited to a handful of representatives standing up there in Boise screaming “No!”, unless or until they run a more conservative candidate than the Republicans do. (I’m quite in favor of having the Dems serving as the ‘No’ party. Everybody needs a ‘No’ party.)
                    If the Republican party collapses nationally, those 70-80% of Idahoans aren’t going to vote against personal possession of firearms, pro murder, etc. They just aren’t. They’ll go Constitutionalist, Libertarian, or reorganize into something else.
                    If the entire federal government collapsed (say, because of it’s debt weight), we’d still have a state government, y’know, and it can still do most of the things the feds do. I’m not saying it’d be easy, though it would be interesting, but the end fall out would probably leave us in a better place, as a state, than we are now.
                    So it’s a reasonably good parallel to the Revolutionary era in that sense: there are functioning state governments that can take over the role of handling nation-state affairs, if they’re made to, if that far away government ceases to be able to enforce it’s will.

                    • Actually, if the GOP collapses I suspect the stronger state parties would be what creates the replacement. Before the next Congressional elections I suspect we would see the new party, quite possibly called the Republican Party (for ballot access purposes if nothing else) in place in all but the bluest states (CA, maybe NY and southern NE).

                      Perhaps I should revise my “need to burn” remark to say, “The current national organization structure and leadership of the GOP as well as current Congressional leadership” need to burn. But, because doing that risks reaching Hilloritopia next week instead of next decade we’ll avoid doing it and keep marching to Hilloritopia next decade all the while saying, “we’ll stop it next election” or “well, I’ll be dead in a decade”.

                      Hell, the later answer is why I bothered to vote Republican in 2014…the belief they could kick the can until after I’m dead. I no longer believe the GOP will be able to or wants to kick the can past my expiration date.

                  • If we start today Hillary could* be a one termer replaced with a President from the new party.

                    In four years of unchallenged control, Hillary could easily lock in a Liberal SCOTUS for a generation, revising the First Amendment (she has already made reversal of Citizens United a prerequisite for appointment to the Court) and undoing Heller.

                    See:
                    HILLARY TO RESTRICT SECOND AMENDMENT WITH EXECUTIVE ORDERS?
                    James O’Keefe has done it again: he attended a Russ Feingold fundraiser in Silicon Valley, where one of the topics under discussion was gun control. O’Keefe recorded Feingold, the former senator who is running against Republican incumbent Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, suggesting that as president Hillary Clinton would use executive orders to limit gun rights. The hostess of the event added that Hillary “wants to shut it down,” “it” being private ownership of handguns, and “get guns away from everyone in this country.” She also mentioned imposing a limit on the number of bullets a citizen can purchase as a possible avenue of circumventing the Second Amendment. Here is the video:

                    *Emphasis added. I don’t much like drawing to inside straights, but maybe you know more than I about such things.

          • I’d like to humbly propose that our focus shouldn’t be in starting a new party, but in removing the aspects of our system that make spoilers a problem and gerrymanding a viable tool for consolidating power.

            There are voting systems that do this, but I need to become more familiar with them, and then figure out what it would take to create a bill (or ballot initiative) that would codify such systems into law.

            I mostly don’t know where do begin (excepting, perhaps, hunting down the videos I overheard my daughter watching would probably be a good start), but this election cycle has convinced me, more than ever, that this is the direction we need to go.

            • Not necessarily a new party from the ground up, but to do what has been done before, either gather good pieces when one falls a part or co-opt one.

              • I’ve been arguing for that for years.

                Best I get is “it can’t be done”. Worst I get is “you’re a Dem false flag operation.”

            • Most systems that “remove” gerrymandering so far have made it worse (see California’s).

              Maine is considering five vote voting. You rank five candidates and the votes are counted based on the top rank only. If no one gets a majority the lowest scoring is dropped and his voters are read as voting for their next highest ranked candidate. Repeat until someone has a majority.

          • The Republican party is the original “big government” party.
            One of its very first initiatives was to prosecute the American Civil War. Followed by Reconstruction. And trying to round up sinecures and pensions to keep the veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic mostly employed and happy.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Sarah Hoyt frowns on discussions about the American Civil War and your comment is invoking such a discussion. 😦

        • It’s a lot easier to agree on burning it down than on what goes up after. Revolutions often fall apart at that point. (Not to mention the non-trivial problem of people who supported the revolution for the violence and not vice versa.)

          • Then there is the “Let’s you and him fight” opportunist, happy too hold your coats (and rifle the pockets), planning to eliminate the crippled victor.


            Not that there’s anything wimpy about that.

          • Right about what’s wrong, wrong about what’s right, didn’t Chesterton put it?

            • Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something, let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, “Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good–” At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss in the dark

              ― G.K. Chesterton

              Alas, even if we weren’t in the original mob.

    • This is exactly why the Left is so completely dead set against school voucher programs. If people start sending their kids to better preforming private schools (which they would be able to afford because of vouchers) it wouldn’t be long before we WOULD be able to “burn down the barn” because there would be better barns right next door.

      • One reason it is necessary to do as Scott Walker did and enable decertification of the Teachers’ Unions (or require routine re-certification votes.)

        Chicago Restricts Charter Schools to Stop a Strike by Unionized Teachers
        By Paul Crookston — October 12, 2016

        The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) got the tentative deal they wanted Monday night and a strike has been averted, but hidden in the complex collective-bargaining negotiations is an unprecedented attack on school choice directly from the teachers’ union.

        What makes this deal unique is that it includes an item restricting any growth of charter schools in the whole district — both new schools from opening and existing schools from increasing current enrollment. CTU sees the restriction of charters as part and parcel of their unionized teachers’ salary and job security.

        Chicago Teachers Union vice president Jesse Sharkey said Tuesday that the problem with charter expansion is that it has not been done democratically. That’s an odd line of attack given that charter schools depend on voluntary enrollment and their growth is in response to unmet demand for adequate public schools.

        No students are being forced to use charter schools rather than their district schools. The only way that charters “hurt” traditional public schools is when families decide, en masse, that they need to escape their district school and send their children to a charter. Teachers unions and their allies like to describe this as “draining resources and students,” which is true in the sense that automobile production “drained resources” from horse-drawn carriage production. The CTU calculation is that it is in their interest to restrict families’ choices and punish them if they are seeking charter-school education.

        This is about more than compensation: CTU is playing the long game. It can continue to exploit children through a closed market only if families have no other options. Yes, they could continue to negotiate for deals that give them further generous pay raises and job protections, but just as important is to halt competition that would slow the gravy train.

        There would be no “draining of resources and students” if families weren’t fleeing these schools. That is the actual story here.

        This may be the first instance of a collective-bargaining agreement including a provision capping all charter-school expansion, but expect other unions to push for similar deals. More pay for worse performance is unsustainable when consumers can freely choose to go elsewhere. It only makes sense that teachers’ unions want to maintain their monopoly.

        • The CPS, city, and Crook County are already deep into the Detroit death spiral. Nothing will save them now. If the state tries to bail them out, the state will collapse too. I can see no happy ending for any of those entities. A total collapse and complete burning of all political structures is the only way anything will ever change there. I am hoping to move out, either back to Texas or Tennessee before it happens. I do not want to be within 100 miles of the NE tip of this really messed up state of Madiganistan.

        • ” Teachers unions and their allies like to describe this as “draining resources and students,””

          Funny. I thought schools were there for the children, not vice versa.

    • Baby Brother wanted to be homeschooled from about 3rd through 8th grade. Mom was a schoolteacher by training, and very good at it (but had been forced out because of stupid political nonsense), and had always wanted to do so.

      Within a few months, however, he was signed up with a (very excellent) online charter school, because he was not coping with Mom-as-Teacher. But he did very, very well indeed with that school (and it was/is a good one, and did not require any money from the parentals) and only went back to public school when he reached high school because, well, he discovered girls…(and the speech and debate team).

      So yeah, there are a lot of excellent options out there, even beyond the ‘traditional’ idea of homeschooling. 😀

  6. I’m worried that the looters at the top are so desperate to squash dissent that they’ll start suppressing us by force. Local government is very good, but how do we stand up to the bigger stuff? Sure, there’s a David and Goliath metaphor in there, but where do we find our sling?

    • Yes, there is a David and Goliath metaphor. Consider they don’t have the army on THEIR side, and that we have more arms per capita than any country in the world.
      I’d feel sorry for the poor bastards, but they had it coming.

      • Consider they don’t have the army on THEIR side

        While acknowledging your broader point I’m not so sure about this specific given some of the exercises they’d done the past 10 years and the purging of the officer corps the past eight.

        Then again, I believe the later has significantly damaged the armed forces so it might be a wash.

        • Having the officers on your side doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the rank and file will fall in line. Unhappy troops will find ways to make their views noticed, one way or another. It might take a while to get the discontent at a noteworthy level. But if and when that does happen…

          • According to my Marine sons, a lot of senior NCO’s have been mustered out at a fast pace and some real shitheads have been promoted up to replace them.

            #3 son teaches at School of Infantry and he has told me they are being made to pass a lot of guys who would not have passed 5-6 years ago. Many of those going into active duty are not very well trained as ammo budgets have been cut past bone.

            • A year or two ago, there was a big stink because a female base commander (Marine, I think, though I don’t remember which base) was trying to make her female subordinates achieve minimum standards. The subordinates protested, and the commander was forced out.

            • So basically where we were when I joined the army in 2000. Even then the army (which gets more of the ‘go along to get along’ types than the marines do) would have hesitated to flat refused in the face of even a direct order to fire on Americans.

              • No offense, but this is a serious question:

                The army had no qualms about charging veterans of the Bonus Army and their families. They did so with tanks and fixed bayonets. MacArthur claimed that the Bonus Army was attempting to overthrow the government. How many of his men believed that is a guess, but what is known is they followed orders to drive out civilians.

                I would like to believe that our military wouldn’t fire on Americans, but events like the Bonus Army has me questioning it.

                • One thing to remember about the Bonus Army: this was before Nuremburg declared that every order must be questioned for legality because prosecution would happen if you followed an illegal one.

                  • And yet the National Guard had no qualms confiscating firearms after Katrina. As far as I know, not a one so much as asked for written orders.

                    • You’re saying the MSM engaged in inaccurate reporting about the events surrounding Katrina?

                      Un-Believable!

                    • Foxifer, that’s encouraging, but note there were soldiers who had no qualms about it at all.

                    • The perfect is the enemy of the good. And an area destroyed by a hurricane is a different proposition than one that isn’t.

                    • I’m actually having trouble finding a SOURCE for that– other than news stories reporting, where the only ones with any details talked about taking weapons from people who were walking down the road.
                      (A much less clear-cut problem– quite worthy of being rejected as an illegal order, but much harder to condemn being accepted if you assume that the National Guard involved were going on the common sense application route. IE, that Bad Dude with a TV under each arm and a gun in his belt is gonna get confiscated, the little old lady on her porch with her dad’s shotgun, not so much.)

                      The only objective stuff I’ve found is that the police definitely had all the weapons that were confiscated, and the lawsuit from the NRA and allies to get them back and slap the city hard.

                      Back on the flip side, I can’t find the actual text of the lawsuit, and I really don’t have the time to do the in-depth searching required.

                    • One thing that came out of it was a number of states passing laws specifically stating that the police couldn’t do blanket confiscations, nor request that the Feds do it.

                • At a guess, the vast majority would follow orders.

                  Individual units might rebel because an outspoken and respected idealist starts a preference cascade.
                  But that would be the exception, not the rule.

                  • I think people forget that you don’t want to be the first to refuse unless you know the majority of the squad is with you. Your Lt. is well within his rights to execute you on the spot and even if he wasn’t in this case I doubt he’d be facing a court for doing so. That will also shore up wavering individuals.

                    You need a strong set of NCOs behind it to really make such a rebellion in the ranks stick.

                  • American’s ain’t all that good at the whole “follow orders unthinkingly”.
                    Never really have been.

        • As junior said, generals aren’t trigger-pullers (well, he meant to say that, I think). Now if the majors were on THEIR side, we’d be in trouble. But they generally aren’t. The colonels, I suspect it’s maybe 50/50…

          • If the captains and E-7s and better are on their side we are in trouble. Those are the guys who get the trigger pullers in formation and moving.

          • Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of “fragging” incidents in Vietnam. Even having the low-ranking officers and senior NCOs on their side might not be enough, though it’d probably take a while to reach the point where the troops started to cause real problems.

        • (rolls eyes.) I know the enlisted. Even the officers are 50/50. You’re making the mistake publishers did, and mistaking silence and pretense for wholehearted endorsement.

          • Things like the whole transgendered troops move and the Navy’s re-ranking as of this month aren’t silence and pretense.

            I would say drloss is right about the colonels and I think that is the critical juncture.

            The key is having enough regulars fall into place with the government infrastructure. Holding the command grade and better officers will degrade the ability of those enlisted who don’t follow the orders to work as an effective force while allowing those enlisted who do follow the orders to function.

            Without machinery division you won’t be able to use a submarine, but even if all the enlisted and JOs against the government their ability to act will be limited if they are cut off from squadron and its logistical support.

            As for the enlisted, there are ongoing efforts to get them ready to fight racist militias in the US. Those are more common hostile internal forces than home ground jihadis. What percentage of the army is now ready to follow on that? What percentage needs to be for it to become an issue?

            • The answer to that question is simple: Don’t fire first.
              Never mind the fact that most of these changes are actually being shoved on the military by the civilian leadership, rather than being gleefully signed on to. Or the fact that less than half of the officer corps is willing to vote for Clinton.

            • The modern Politically Correct system is more likely to raise a crop of “Modern Major Generals” in all ranks instead of fanatically loyal warriors.
              They may know genders a-historical or oppression catagorial, but they’ll pretty much be weeding out the scary, face shooting, door kicking types.

              The Leftist power structure refuses to serve, so it isn’t getting the respect of the troops. It constantly denigrates and insults them, so it’s not getting their love either. Hell, the military is often first on the cutback chopping block, so they won’t even get the paid loyalty of mercenaries.

      • It’s all about bringing force to a point. Get there first, with the most.

        That the population is armed does not make it good at coordinating the use of those arms in a disciplined fashion.
        Small paramilitary forces will punch well above their weight simply due to unitary command and control.
        Death squads can intimidate a populace much larger than we’d like to think.

        • Coordination is not necessary. Pacifying an armed populace is not that easy.

          • Neither is overthrowing a government.

            Leftists have already proven they’d rather rule in hell than serve in heaven. How much of the populace, even the armed portion, is ready to live in hell to toss them off their thrones and for how long?

            I am not saying automatically they would win but I’m not that convinced we would either.

          • Pacifying is exactly the wrong term here.

            We’re talking about an authority keeping an armed populace from becoming militant. Not suppressing a populace that’s already become militant.

            Peace is the populace’s stance the beginning of things. The populace would very much like to remain at peace, simply because war sucks. And despots are historically adept at giving such populations ways to rationalize submission as peace until it’s much too late.
            The populace of 1910s Russia was much better armed than the Bolsheviks and outnumbered them by hundreds to one.
            The populace of 1940’s China was better armed then Mao’s rag-tag forces, and outnumbered them thousands to one.
            Fat lot of good it did them.

            • Luke,
              IF you don’t see the difference between the populations of China in the forties (or even now) or Russia in the teens and the population of the US now or ever, I’m afraid there’s no point talking. You are not a serious thinker.

              • Well, one key difference is the populace here and now has a lot more to lose if a general civil war breaks out than the populace of Russia in 1917 or China any time for the majority of the 20th century.

                We are better educated, feed, trained, and entertained. We have more wealth; we have a better sense of our history; we are better informed about day to day events despite all our griping about the MSM.

                I’m not sure if that is what you are after but I’d consider the education, level of being informed, and wealth the key differences.

                However, the later at least and arguably the first are factors that make it easier to cow a population because it means the population has a lot to lose even if it wins.

                Hell, I seem to remember you arguing that point regularly as to why armed revolution would be bad. Most people know and agree which is why they would allow slowly turning screws.

                • Herb, stop posting like a paid robot. You want the world to be over and for there to be no hope?
                  Good — YOU FIRST.
                  Now go find someone else to annoy. I’m NOT in the mood for this.

                  • I don’t want it to be over.

                    Hell, I thought I was acknowledging some things you said in the past, principally that it isn’t people at the bottom of things but one step up most likely to rebel. I interpret that as the sweet spot of “knowing it can be better” because it has but still having effectively nothing to lose so rebelling for change doesn’t cost you much.

                    Right now, as you love to say, there is a lot of ruin left in the US and that ruin, expressed as “something to lose” is a market forces desiring to oppress the populace can exploit to control it.

                    That, to my mind, is one of the key differences in the populations which I expressed as wealth.

                    What you expressed to Joe below, the typewriter bit, comes under “level of being informed” which is the one of the three factors I mentioned that I DID NOT classify as making a population easier to oppress.

                    The education difference, the one I put as a mixed bag, comes to knowing things such as “how rare our revolution was”, “how much better off the US is in historical terms” and so on so I consider it a mixed bag.

                    However, if a serious answer to seeing the differences between, “IF you don’t see the difference between the populations of China in the forties (or even now) or Russia in the teens and the population of the US now or ever,” is being a robot then I can’t help you.

                    Are there more than I said? Sure, however I think at that point we start getting into difference that also split Russia from China as well as both from us.

                    You want the world to be over and for there to be no hope?

                    Is there no hope? Nope, but wishing things such as wealth can in some ways make it easier to control a populace than poverty is not something I will do either.

                    An armed revolution today in the US would for a lot of reasons most closely resemble the American Revolution in no small part because of those differences: it would be the revolution of an educated, wealthy, and informed populace, at least in historical terms. Off the top of my head the only real predecessors are the American Revolution and the English Civil Wars. Maybe we could put in the first phase of the Russian Revolution but it got swamped by the Bolsheviks so I’m sure we should break it out but I’m open to the idea.

                    So the question is why are such revolutions rare? Why are revolutions more like France, the Revolutions of 1848, the Bolsheviks, Mao (although Taiwan wasn’t exactly free after and the Nationalist has a lot of parallels to the Chi-coms down to the big leader orientation with their Little Green Book), and so on.

                    I think two of those three factors: wealth and education are the reason until education and being informed swamped them.

                • Out of the Darkness

                  You don’t seem to understand quite *why* a civil war would be bad here, and why we need to work to avoid it and bring the government to heel rather than try to burn it down. Let me lay it out for you.

                  1) Americans are really good at killing things. Our last civil war was a fairly organized affair with two clear sides, and it was so bloody that when the French sent over people to assess whether they should take a side, said advisers begged the french government to stay the fuck away from the whole mess. This is because when Americans finally get around to doing something, we do it all the way. There will be no clear cut sides this time. Neighbor will turn on neighbor, father against son, brother against brother. This is exactly as happened the last time in the border areas. Except this time, the entire nation will be a battleground. The entire nation will be soaked in blood.

                  2) Americans are built of different stuff than the rest of the world. Our culture is punchy and full of loud and obnoxious malcontents. That’s actually not a bad thing. Where this becomes a bad thing is that once the torch goes up, the entire country will ignite into a raging inferno that nothing will put out until it burns itself out.

                  3) There is no guarantee that we come out of this more free. In fact, history clearly shows that we do not. We came out of the last civil war less free than we went into it, and that was a pretty straightforward affair. The situation on the ground in the US right now is closer to the french revolution than the American revolution, and that didn’t end so well for anyone.

                  4) Our military doesn’t have its first loyalty to the government. Their oath is to the Constitution, to the country, the people. The government is the legitimate authority right up until it isn’t. I have lived my whole life among soldiers and veterans. The chances of an officer who orders a unit to fire on the citizens being shot himself before said unit starts trying to overthrow the government is not small. Yes, some people will obey the orders. It won’t be nearly enough. If every last active duty member decides to obey, and the populace is at least as effective as Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan in terms of KtD ratio, the military looses in about three years, mathematically. Now consider that the military’s entire logistics train would be under constant threat from the unorganized militia. No one has to be giving orders from the top for people to know that that troops need fuel and food and both of those come from the most unfriendly areas of the country to the feds. The government KNOWS THIS. The military members with half a clue KNOW THIS. The military is highly unlikely to fire on American citizens for no other reason than that it’s a deathwish. Politicians with half a clue will not even try to order it, because they will be swinging from lamp posts in short order after the first shot is fired.

                  5) We still are the last and best hope on earth, and it is our duty to fight to save it. It is our duty as human beings, as people of character, as Americans. We must put our shoulders to the grindstone and fix our house so that the beacon can still shine for generations in the future. I have no children, and likely never will. I have nieces and nephews of the heart though, and cousins. I would like those children and theirs to have an America in the world.

                  6) The wolves are at the door. America has spent so much fucking time squawking about stupid shit that the predators that have been restrained by us are starting to get froggy. The drums of war are beating, and they are growing louder. If you want all trace of America to truly die, keep dithering about. While we divide ourselves up, the wolves will pick off the weak members of the pack before coming in for the main course.

                  If none of that convinces you, and you are still determined that we need to burn everything down so that you can see your idiotic fantasy fail in real time, start with yourself. You aren’t going to go down in blaze of glory anyway. Everyone who has even a small chance of actually surviving knows what it will take and that the risks aren’t worth it. You want to burn? Go for it.

                • You don’t seem to understand quite *why* a civil war would be bad here, and why we need to work to avoid it and bring the government to heel rather than try to burn it down. Let me lay it out for you.

                  1) Americans are really good at killing things. Our last civil war was a fairly organized affair with two clear sides, and it was so bloody that when the French sent over people to assess whether they should take a side, said advisers begged the french government to stay the fuck away from the whole mess. This is because when Americans finally get around to doing something, we do it all the way. There will be no clear cut sides this time. Neighbor will turn on neighbor, father against son, brother against brother. This is exactly as happened the last time in the border areas. Except this time, the entire nation will be a battleground. The entire nation will be soaked in blood.

                  2) Americans are built of different stuff than the rest of the world. Our culture is punchy and full of loud and obnoxious malcontents. That’s actually not a bad thing. Where this becomes a bad thing is that once the torch goes up, the entire country will ignite into a raging inferno that nothing will put out until it burns itself out.

                  3) There is no guarantee that we come out of this more free. In fact, history clearly shows that we do not. We came out of the last civil war less free than we went into it, and that was a pretty straightforward affair. The situation on the ground in the US right now is closer to the french revolution than the American revolution, and that didn’t end so well for anyone.

                  4) Our military doesn’t have its first loyalty to the government. Their oath is to the Constitution, to the country, the people. The government is the legitimate authority right up until it isn’t. I have lived my whole life among soldiers and veterans. The chances of an officer who orders a unit to fire on the citizens being shot himself before said unit starts trying to overthrow the government is not small. Yes, some people will obey the orders. It won’t be nearly enough. If every last active duty member decides to obey, and the populace is at least as effective as Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan in terms of KtD ratio, the military looses in about three years, mathematically. Now consider that the military’s entire logistics train would be under constant threat from the unorganized militia. No one has to be giving orders from the top for people to know that that troops need fuel and food and both of those come from the most unfriendly areas of the country to the feds. The government KNOWS THIS. The military members with half a clue KNOW THIS. The military is highly unlikely to fire on American citizens for no other reason than that it’s a deathwish. Politicians with half a clue will not even try to order it, because they will be swinging from lamp posts in short order after the first shot is fired.

                  5) We still are the last and best hope on earth, and it is our duty to fight to save it. It is our duty as human beings, as people of character, as Americans. We must put our shoulders to the grindstone and fix our house so that the beacon can still shine for generations in the future. I have no children, and likely never will. I have nieces and nephews of the heart though, and cousins. I would like those children and theirs to have an America in the world.

                  6) The wolves are at the door. America has spent so much fucking time squawking about stupid shit that the predators that have been restrained by us are starting to get froggy. The drums of war are beating, and they are growing louder. If you want all trace of America to truly die, keep dithering about. While we divide ourselves up, the wolves will pick off the weak members of the pack before coming in for the main course.

                  If none of that convinces you, and you are still determined that we need to burn everything down so that you can see your idiotic fantasy fail in real time, start with yourself. You aren’t going to go down in blaze of glory anyway. Everyone who has even a small chance of actually surviving knows what it will take and that the risks aren’t worth it. You want to burn? Go for it.

              • (grins) Says the person using arms as a (fetish, but that word’s been corrupted. Amulet, maybe?)

                The central point is that while the ability to fight is important, it’s secondary to the will to fight. Cultures are different, people are different, analogues never match precisely. But humans remain human, and there are constants in human nature.
                An armed society is not a panacea. Small groups of violent ideologues have overthrown such societies before, and they will continue to do so in the future.

                Look, I’m not saying that this potential civil war is unwinnable. But doing so requires more in the way of strategy than faith that “the people” will spontaneously rise up.
                History clearly shows they’d really rather not.

                It was not very long ago when a bunch of folks got together in Oregon to protest the federal government acting in an abhorrent fashion. They tried to get public exposure without harming or impeding anyone. Their spokesman was gunned down in cold blood. Nearly all the others are in prison. And to the extent anyone cares, they mostly cheered.
                In Waco, Texas 82 civilians were slaughtered even though they’d never harmed anyone. But they were religious kooks, so it’s totally understandable.
                At Ruby Ridge, Idaho, the federal government committed murder on the flimsiest of pretexts. But the government announced the victims were white supremacists, and who can sympathize with them?
                For the last several years, the Department of Homeland Security has been trying to obtain the membership list of The American Legion. And they have compiled a profile of terrorists that matches no known terrorist, but does match a large percentage of veterans. (IIRC, I tick 74 of 96 boxes.)
                And that’s just cherry picking a few of the most well -known items.

                Do you society mobilizing to prosecute a civil war against the federal government?
                Because I sure don’t.

                • Luke, go think why you’re so invested in burning it all down.
                  You’re fracking insane and goal post moving, and I’m not in the mood for this.

                • The mathematical certainty of the military loosing even if every last member of the active duty didn’t desert and was available to fight? That’s with me only accounting for 3-5% of American gun owners in the fight. How many veterans do you think are in that number? How many will arm and train others? Never mind that it is impossible for every last person in the active duty military to fight. There are way more people in the military who handle logistics, analysis, ect than there are actual door kickers.

                  We don’t *need* the whole country to rise up. We only need 3-5% of the angriest and most motivated to do it, spread out across the whole of the nation, mostly working in their own areas.

                  The government can’t hope to hold the whole of the nation. At most, they can hope to hold the cities. Those are easy to isolate, and supplies still have to move across the rest of the nation are are vulnerable to attack. Again, the government knows this. The military knows this.

                  You’re an idiot. Go masturbate to your moronic idea of gloom and doom. The rest of us have work to do. Remember to use the first match on yourself.

            • Neither force overthrew an established government. The Bolsheviks and the Maoist overthrew unpopular governments that were themselves rickety structures built on the remains of a fallen government.
              And in each case, the people went with a version of their own political culture turned up to 11.
              Mao’s conquest was another in a long line of one warlord taking over the whole and becoming Emperor.
              The Russians got a new Tsar by another name, who led as part of a different religion.

              • The political culture difference being why I said Luke isn’t even serious. Then add in the different TIMES. For instance, they had no means of communication person to multiple persons and were dependent on government news. (Remember, the TYPEWRITER helped bring down the Soviet Union?) Then add in that — no, I can’t prove it, but I bet someone with time to search out statistics could — none of them had as many guns per capita as American citizens.
                THIS IS NOT SERIOUS THINKING. This is “The world is doomed. I win.” Heaven knows what they win, unless they have it REALLY in for the entire world but them. But it is stupid, demoralizing and (in my case) annoying to the rest of humanity who see the holes and the goalpost moving.

        • I think Luke got to my point better than me.

          A strong cadre of loyal officers with even some of the enlisted still loyal can, if they retain control of military infrastructure, be a more effective fighting force than an armed but unorganized populace.

          • Loyal to who? Troops and officers in unsettled times do tend to notice who their friends, and who’s not.
            The would be tyrant finding out his “loyal” troops suddenly aren’t all that loyal anymore is a very, very frequent historical occurrence.

            • And your friends are quite often the guy next to you. Think about it, you’re not in garrison in your hometown but in another part of the country. Your best friends are your squad mates and if not taking orders to shoot at local civies engaged in armed rebellion will separate you from your squad mates who are you being loyal to by refusing?

              • You’re falling into the same trap as the Left- assuming that troops are mindless order following robots unable to see the long term effects of their actions.
                An attempt to institute a Left wing Dictatorship by force would be very obvious, would be spotted, and wouldn’t go through.

    • I admit the roof is riddled with rot and in need of replacement, and may come down over our heads, but if the foundation is rotten as well what then?

      We need citizens who don’t think they need or want the government to take care of them. To have them we have to raise them and educate them. We have to develop candidates we would like to have to step up to the higher leadership roles. This starts way down ticket. All of this is done in homes and at the local level, places where we actually can have real lasting and immediate influence. This is within reach, and if it is not done the rest probably won’t matter anyway.

      As our esteemed hostess advises:

      Now is the time to build. Build businesses. Build relationships. Build community. Build lives. Teach your children. Help your neighbors. Work on the issues, and keep your matches ready for those controlled burns.

      • Speaking from actual house-related experience…if the foundation is rotten, then you jack up the structure and fix it. 🙂 It’s hard work and it sucks, but it can be done! (Even when it’s a 2 story, 100 plus year old home, and you have to shovel two tons of coal and coal slag and junk out of the basement before you can start building the foundation…)

        • Oh my stars and garters – you also had a Monster House?

          Monster House was the nickname I gave the restoration project one of my professors consulted on. At one point, if one thing had gone wrong, two chimneys would have collapsed, taking the neighboring rental house out along with the 3 storey main house, as the front of the building fell off. The restoration was a “wee bit” nerve wracking.

          • Hard piped gas line through a foundation already proven to be settling. (Needless to say we didn’t buy that one.) Some houses are scary.

            On the metaphor note: It seems to me that the foundation is settling and cracked and needs to be re-aligned. While certain powers that be seem to think this is the PERFECT time to hard pipe a gas line into the kitchen through the settling area. The proper response is not to light a match. It is to slap the idiot and take away his tool box.

            • The proper response is not to light a match. It is to slap the idiot and take away his tool box.

              And don’t ever give it back. People, having proven to have such a lack of good judgement, should not be allowed to continue in their position or to move on to one of greater authority.

            • scott2harrison

              Better metaphor: Evil scum have been digging out the ground under the foundation to the point that the foundation is cracking and starting to buckle. It is at the point that people are starting to question if it can be fixed, or if it needs to be torn down and rebuild even though there would be massive arguments over the architecture in that case. Of course the evil excavators are not being killed, or even stopped so a rebuild will go the same way (perhaps add mines to the plans to deal with future evil excavators, although that could be a feature of the patch job too).

              • “Of course the evil excavators are not being killed, or even stopped”

                Which is why another Civil War is necessary. You cannot have a functional society with Leftists in it.

          • My parents’ house, actually. Aaaaand…although it is now livable, etc it is far from done. (I’m hoping some things work out for them and they move, and will be able to hire most of the rest of the work done on that house…)

            But yeah. That house got stripped to the studs, and so much has been done to it that it qualifies as ‘new construction’. And it’s pretty much turned me off serious remodeling projects…o.O

    • 1. Taxpayers outnumber government employees 100:1, and attacking doesn’t work at that numerical disadvantage. Government employees only come to work because taxpayers keep voluntarily sending payments for their salaries to government. If you currently already believe “your” government will oppress you by force, why do you still voluntarily pay to maintain the existence of this hazard?

      2. Some LEO refused to confiscate firearms after Katrina. But you know what these LEO would have done if the victims had used their guns to drive away the other LEO who were confiscating.

      Take 1 and 2 together, and there is no incremental, piecemeal, examine-and-keep-or-toss solution. Liberty will win if millions stop paying taxes, the taxes backing the treasury bonds disappear, the dollar loses value, government then hyperinflates the dollar, and all of the LEO find other jobs at the same time. But if you keep some part of government around, it will try to regenerate its missing limbs. Soon the cost of Medicare will force the bankruptcy anyway, it’s unavoidable. But there’s a window between today and the Medicare crash, in which the longer you sustain the hazard the bigger it gets.

      • Liberty will win if millions stop paying taxes, the taxes backing the treasury bonds disappear, the dollar loses value, government then hyperinflates the dollar, and all of the LEO find other jobs at the same time.
        (Emphasis added.)

        As simple as that, eh? Seems to be working for Venezuela, not so well in Cuba.

        • Ah, a utopianist. “If humans worked as no human beings ever in history, my system would be perfect.” I stopped thinking that back at 12. And I was a late bloomer.

          • Utopians expect socialism for police, courts, armies, utilities, and banking to stay limited, but there is no evidence for this. America’s liberty decayed at the same rate as Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, France, and Britain, so there is no evidence for American exceptionalism.

            Instead, I believe liberty will work given actual humans, not saints. I observe that about 1% of humans are born libertarian-ish. It appears this percentage can’t be increased except by emigration, and any concentration by emigration is re-diluted by their children. Therefore, I need to demonstrate a method to defend against tax collection which works against a 99:1 numerical disadvantage.

            The Silk Road type of anonymous ebay is about at the Model T Ford stage. It’s not practical for mainstream use yet, but it’s no longer just a tinkerer’s curiosity. Meanwhile, the “mighty” American government can’t even keep money and drugs from moving in prisons.

            Scenario: a couple million Americans stop paying taxes in disgust, and don’t shut up about it. They stop getting permits, licenses, zoning approvals, all the rest of the regulatory friction. Maybe they take the license tags off their cars. Maybe they sell major medical health insurance for $50/month which discriminates against unhealthy behaviors. Millions are too many to digest into prison, just like the 250,000 who didn’t register guns in Connecticut in 2014. Some non-libertarians stop paying so they aren’t chumps. Having removed the logistics out from under it, debt slavery peacefully collapses, because it doesn’t have the military means to do anything else.

            Open question: do million of men have the moral courage to disobey their wives? Maybe they can find younger girlfriends who prefer them to be men.

            • I see that you get cell phone service in that cave, but is there pizza delivery?

              • Oh, is that what that drone with the thin, rectangular body shape was up to? No, all the pizza in the cave is cooked in the built-in wood-fired oven, with fresh rosemary and pulled armadillo.

                Got any good, strong, empirical falsifications for my claims? Porcupines are allergic to raisins?

                • You got any good, empirical proof for it? And for the assumption that us wives wouldn’t be standing shoulder to shoulder with our men or more likely providing covering fire? Your claims, YOU support them.

                  • He’s an idiot. Pretty much all his comments come from the reality inside his head, which has no relation to anything outside. And he’s going to get blocked unless he starts making SOME sort of sense.

                  • I hate it when folks make claims and then want *me* to build the argument for them– they either claim I am acting in bad faith, or declare the arguments not persuasive, and it’s only effective if I take the time to make every possible bloody argument *for* them so anyone reading can identify multiple motivations.

                    My time is worth at *least* as much as theirs, and they’re the ones trying to change minds, they can at least bother to support their own claims.

                • Your claims were already answered– to rephrase it so you might get it, “step two of the Underwear Gnome chart is not a rational assumption.”

                  You keep making “what ifs” that require things that have never happened before happening, Just Because.

                  When anyone questions it, you either ignore it or change the subject.

                  • You keep making “what ifs” that require things that have never happened before happening, Just Because.

                    It’s not Just Because, it’s because new things exist: Bitcoin, Silk Road, the technological singularity, cheap drones, Internet of things, the men’s rights movement, private space race. Burden of proof is on people claiming the old arguments are still correct despite new things. In 1968 you don’t claim men will never walk on the moon, because that argument doesn’t consider the manned space program. Today, SpaceX had serious success with only 400 employees, Blue Origin 600, and Copenhagen Suborbitals is crowdfunded rocketry. You can buy machines to 3D print Titanium, which is only 10X less common than Iron.

                    The election will select candidate A or B, doesn’t matter which. A president is chief salesman; they don’t make policy, they sell it. Makes no difference who is president, Bush or Obama, the composition of the federal budget doesn’t change. Look at the graph of national debt, the final sprint to bankruptcy began around 1985. The policy since 1985 has been to reduce freedom a fixed percent each year. That’s exponential, and we’re now going around the corner. Look also at the graph of world poverty deceasing in the last 40 years. World hunger was on trend to end in 1990 if government hadn’t stopped it. When that happens, who needs governments?

                    Stephenson’s _Snow Crash_ and _Diamond Age_ portray the future, but the growth exponent is too small. The author had to deny the technological singularity, otherwise humans would be demi-gods and the author couldn’t justify enough challenges within which to frame a story. What would the original Star Trek story universe look like if it wasn’t a fascist dictatorship, and every citizen had a food replicator, a transporter, and could 3D print themselves a copy of Zefram Cochrane’s original warp drive ship?

                • Got any good, strong, empirical falsifications for your claims?

                  Burden of proof rests upon the one making the claims. I would have thought a bright, intelligent chap like you would know such things.

  7. What I’m seeing isn’t so much “burn it down” as “let them run it under a stump.” The latter only requires popcorn and a spectator’s seat, but the effect is the same. That said, if the country is repairable as in returning to our original views on liberty and limited government and not just some entity called the United States of America, there’s going to have to be some dismantling of things hard or impossible to justify by a strict reading of the US Constitution and amendments. If things really hit the fan, that’s apt to be a mote point, since the states and communities would have to step in to provide things that the US government could no longer provide.

    • Back during the primaries, I saw some who endorsed Trump strictly because they thought he’d bring the whole edifice down faster.

      • at least half of them. Yep.

      • I saw many and while I voted for Cruz I will admit I had some sympathy for them then. The reaction of many of the “you must be loyal to the party” types since have made me very sympathetic.

        Case in point, McCain, the man who never passes up the chance to backstab the party that nominated him for President (even after a decade of such backstabbing) and who called his own voters hobbits is now sending out franked mail to point out his denouncing and refusing to support Trump who is the nominee of his party.

        I wish I had a time machine and could go back and vote for Obama in 2008 given he was the more honorable and honest candidate.

        • McCain is an awfully short, funny looking, little man to be calling OTHER people Hobbits…. just sayin…

          • He specifically used it for the Tea Party:

            http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/john-mccain-calls-tea-party-pols-hobbits-fiery-senate-speech-boehner-debt-ceiling-deal-article-1.162033

            He accused the cavalier lawmakers of being “Tea Party hobbits” — the little, hairy-footed creatures who feature prominently in the Lord of the Rings series.

            In J.R.R. Tolkien’s popular fantasy series, a band of brave little hobbits embark on an against-the-odds quest to defeat the evil Lord Sauron, who dwells in the fiery pits of Mordor.

            “This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees,” said McCain of the failed 2010 Tea Party bids in Nevada and Delaware, respectively.

            • …and he apparently missed the part where not only did the hobbits succeed in their quest, they then went home and kicked the asses of the evil wizard and his robbers who had taken over the Shire! (I have never forgiven Peter Jackson for skipping that part…)

            • “We are the little folk, we
              Too little to love or to hate—
              But leave us alone and you’ll see
              How fast we can bring down the state.”

              R. Kipling “The Picts’ Song” from Puck of Pook’s Hill.

            • ‘This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees,’ said McCain of the failed 2010 Tea Party bids in Nevada and Delaware, respectively.

              Whereas McCain and the GOPe have demonstrated the kind of brilliant political thinking that rendered the GOP a minority party.

              • But how is that an issue? He has his seat, his monies and his power. No need to bother with the actual governing.

              • And that’s the kind of deserting your primary winners (with Angle and O’Donnell, the latter had the GOP leaking her taxes) instead of rolling with it.

                It was a lot of little ones like that, two former GOP Senators endorsing the Democrat here in 2014 before we even had a GOP primary, and Luger endorsing the Dem after he lost the primary which primed me to conclude what I have about the #NeverTrump gang.

                Trump was just proof of how widespread that attitude is.

  8. Christopher M. Chupik

    They’ll be plenty of ashes after November, but no guarantee of any phoenix.

  9. We need to figure out what is weighing us down, and *then* we can burn. We need to have a few controlled burns so that we can keep the whole thing from going up in flames.

    Light a fire under your elected representatives…

    Can we do all that at one time by using the D.C. beltway as a firebreak and putting everything inside to the torch? Maybe invite the Brits in for a reenactment on the 203 anniversary of the last time they burned it? A bit hard on the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress, I know, but the monuments will probably just need a thorough scrubbing and some paint.

    [sigh]

    OK, probably a bad idea.

    • Try crowdfunding it. You could probably get at least enough to rent the French Foreign Legion (is that still a thing?)

  10. Two things are destroying the country. 1)Bureaucracy 2)Affluence and Good Intentions.
    The first is pretty obvious, just look at the IRS, FBI or DOJ over the last few years. Not to mention that there is apparently no blame for failure in DHS nor the VA. Got a bureaucrat? First thing he will do is hire people to make his job more important. Decides he needs a raise, by promoting two of his people into supervisory positions. Jeb Kinnison’s new Death by HR is probably a good start. Administrative Assistants are meat-bloatware.
    The second is encapsulated wonderfully in today’s exciting Obama news. Obama has passed something to require ALL restrooms to have a diaper changing station. Oh that sounds wonderful… consider the Gay Baths of San Francisco, I bet they need a lot of diaper changing there. Dare we suggest it for the local strip club, or local pool hall/bar? They always ‘mean well’, but there is always mission creep. Don’t like the war on pain medications? Should have raised hell with the war on Sudafed.

    • The latter reminds me of an announcement routinely made on MARTA (the local bus and rail system) that the doors by the exits are required by federal law to be reserved for the elderly and handicapped.

      I have no problem reserving those seats to the elderly and the handicapped but really, a federal law? A county ordinance (in both relevant counties) isn’t enough? How about just a MARTA reg where, if you are an ass about it, a MARTA cop can toss you off the train or bus?

      Why do I need someone from DC to care who sits where on a train in Atlanta?

      • Yes you do you deplorable average American! You should let your betters do your thinking for you. You are required to be an ignorant, complacent citizen who never questions your superiors……

      • I’ll admittedly guess that it is referring to a general law in regards to pubic transportation from DC. They can’t trust the states to follow their betters unless it’s forced down as an edict.

        • Oh, I’m sure it is a general law for all transportation projects that ever took $0.01 of federal money (or maybe even $0.00).

          That still doesn’t explain why DC should care about train riders anywhere but DC itself and even then leave it to the city government.

          • Because the capital knows best, of course. Us unpersons elsewhere could never do anything or worse would do the wrong thing if our coastal masters didn’t tell us to.

      • Because what used to be taught as good manners and enforced via societal pressure fell victim to a bunch of 60s children screaming “you’re not the boss of me” and refusing to be polite without a cop’s billy club up their ass.

      • Because after the Americans with Disabilities Act, *you* sit in the back of the bus.

        So much for Rosa Parks…

        • Because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 we must discriminate against you based on your race to prevent discrimination based on race.

          Anti-discrimination laws are a racket for those who the left likes to beat up on those they do not. They need to all be repealed.

      • Check what the law actually says- bet they’re spinning a safety regulation.

      • Don’t know the situation, but some of this crap comes from strings with Federal funding. If the Feds foot part of the bill, they can put requirements on funding.

      • Yes, its ADA, and those seats they are referring to are usually the ones that fold up so a wheelchair has somewhere to park.

        • On the buses perhaps but not on MARTA trains. Such seats don’t even exist on MARTA trains. The seats in question are ones parallel to the center line right next to the doors (which also make the perpendicular seats next to them almost unusable).

    • I’m late showing up here. If you’d said my name *three* times it would have been in a flash (and puff of smoke.)

      Baby changing stations mandated — reminds me of the 6-8 handicapped parking spots at a gym I used to go to, required to be right by the front door. Only once in awhile would even one be used.

      • I’m seeing the usage rate go up because more people are applying for “disability” and getting placards.

  11. scott2harrison

    Your analogy is good, but our analysis from it is flawed. To use analogy of the lack of fire in the National Park system for who knows how long, the first thing that had to be burned was not the forests that had way too much fuel, it was Smokey the Bear. The symbol and more importantly the attitude that fire is BAD rather than a vital part of the ecology.
    Before trying to do a controlled burn on anything we need to destroy the attitude that people, the poor, the old, the CHILDREN, have a right to that thing. It is my belief that that will require the deaths of up to 1/3 of the US population either through natural causes or otherwise. To use a biblical analogy, how many of the Israelites that escaped from Egypt survived 40 years in the desert to populate the holy land? Not many, not in those days. Now ask why God kept them wandering until the original escapees were almost all dead. Yeah that.

    • Professional wilderness firefighters (here in CA it’s Cal Fire) set back burns all the time when fighting wild fires, as well as bulldozing the crap out of ‘nature’ to build firebreaks wherever they can drive the dozers, and cutting them by hand where they can’t, with no EPA approval hearings needed.

      The 4,500 acre Loma Fire just south of Silicon Valley, two weeks after it started, is supposed to be declared fully contained by Cal Fire today.

      Contrastingly, the “professional wilderness managers” for the NPS banned controlled burns in the parks, and Yellowstone burned for months.

      • Yep. Between allowing periodic fires in a controlled fashion and/or harvesting and clearing Deadwood and midweight fuel (just a grass fire in forest without midweight will burn without starting full trees.) You can control huge fires. But feds did worst of both worlds.

      • William O. B'Livion

        I took a class a while back from a guy who’d worked on a Hot Shot crew for a while when he was younger.

        He mentioned that often while setting back fires or doing burns to block the main fire they’d deliberately burn a *LOT* more than they had to because it was the only time they could clear out the fuel load.

    • The problem with “Burn it down” is that tumbrils are fireproof.

  12. Here’s something (long) I posted on the Creepy Clowns comments, but which I think is fairly apt for this discussion. On an online forum I was told that those against Trump were “leaderless malcontents.” I took the term to heart, saying that of course I was leaderless, I make my own decisions, and anyone who isn’t malcontented at this point is either blind or stupid. I then said:

    “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. I’m trying to start from first principles and develop positions from there:

    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.
    ———————–

    That’s as far as I’ve gotten, but I think I’ll have some time to add more in the next week or so. Comments and advice welcome.

  13. For the DEA–I believe the rules on pain meds came from “do something” laws, not the agency.

  14. Setting a fire when one is cold is a good idea. Setting oneself on fire when cold… isn’t.
    Of course you’ll be warm for the rest of your life, but not really worth it.

  15. Christopher M. Chupik

    I get the feeling that even if he loses, The Trump Show will never, ever end. And it needs to. This ridiculous sideshow has hijacked the Republican Party and the election and the national consciousness for far too long. There’s no end of people to blame, but foremost I blame the media for making this narcissistic jerkwad the center of attention — which is exactly what he wants the most.

    Dear Lord, I am sick of this already.

    • Hey, narcissistic jerkwads know and love their own.
      From a Media standpoint, Trump is the perfect candidate. He has no filter, he’s rude, and they don’t have to cover up his indiscretions.

  16. OT Sarah when will Darkship Revenge be available on Kindle?

  17. 😉 The core problem is easily identified.

    It’s the unnatural blight of cities. It is directly from these seething abominations that the vast majority of our problems stem.
    But we don’t have to burn them down. All we have to do, is stand aside.
    They’ll burn themselves down quick enough. Especially if there’s a delay in welfare payments, or a cop shoots a criminal. Worst case, we lay siege for a week. Or just tell them a snowstorm is coming.

    (My tongue is in cheek, but even I can’t say how firmly. There’s truth in that sarcasm.)

    • Luke, I and others like cities.

      • (shrug) I like tobacco. And the Japanese like tentacles.

        People like all sorts of icky and self-destructive things.

        • And there are some people, including some on this blog, who would be dead in more rural settings because of the need to access hospitals, rapid medical care, and other emergency services. Cities are not inherently destructive or icky even if I, personally, can’t stand living in one. (Working in one is bad enough.) There are ugly sides to everything. You’re not just throwing the baby out with the bath water. You’re throwing out the baby, the bathwater, and the wash tub all through a closed back door. The water needs to go. The tub may have rusted and may need to be replaced (depends on the tub, some may be salvageable). But why sacrifice the baby and the back door when it’s not needed?

          • I think it’s fair to say our current cities *are* unnatural, as without government welfare they wouldn’t look anything like what they do. What they would look like, I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t be like this!

            • SOME of our current cities may be unnatural. Which doesn’t mean we should torch them all and hell with the consequences.

            • No you have been remembering Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil.

              Is it possible for anything humans do to be unnatural?

              • I make it a personal policy to stay the heck away from Nietzsche’ writings, and have certainly never read that: it was obvious to me as an eighteen-year-old that reading someone who drove himself insane was not a smart decision.
                In this case, I mean unnatural in that without government interference in people’s personal affairs and the economy in general, cities would not exist in the form they do. Perhaps artificial would be a more accurate term, but I am not John C. Wright and often I choose words that are approximations of what I mean because the right word is somewhere over there running around with that “You! *insert all the kids’ names*! Yes, I mean you!”

                • I make it a personal policy to stay the heck away from Nietzsche’ writings, and have certainly never read that: it was obvious to me as an eighteen-year-old that reading someone who drove himself insane was not a smart decision.

                  Ding ding ding ding ding, we have a REALLY good point, here.

                  Although it could be debated if he was already nuts or if the assumptions he chose to live by drove him there… yeah, ten foot poles R us, can I get the Lovecraft special?

      • Doesn’t need to happen to all cities, but maybe DC could stand to lose electrical (and other) services for a few weeks.

        • How about ‘green’ legislation mandating that all federal buildings discontinue the use of air conditioning? Its for the planet….

    • Cities are pretty much as old as civilization. One may as well speak of ridding humanity of greed or lust as of ridding the instinct of building cities.

      • Cities are the definition of civilization…living in urbanized areas with large scale specialization of labor is the definition of civilized…notice the Latin roots of the term: civis (citizen) and civitas (city).

        Cultures that don’t live in cities aren’t civilized by definition.

  18. William O. B'Livion

    We’re not going to have to burn it down.

    They are going to do it for us.

    The education system? The only ones defending it are the Unions and the Politicians they donate to. Even the Media knows it’s utter crap.

    Pensions are melting down all over the country, and guess who is *relying* on city, state and federal pensions? Private pensions aren’t doing a whole lot better.

    Social Security? Requires more people paying in that pulling out.

    We will be in civil war like conditions in this country within 10 years without conservatives, libertarians or anarcho-capitalists doing anything.

    • And that’s the scary thing. If we (which is not everyone, yes) just leave the controls alone, this plane will NOT settle into stable flight.

      • No, the scary things is our two major political parties differ primarily in how much each wants to steepen the dive.

        • William O. B'Livion

          To be fair to the Republicans, this is simply not true.

          The Democrats want to steepen the dive. The Republicans just want their graft.

  19. Mrs. Hoyt, I had some nothing-better-to-do -than-copy-edit (long story) and worked through a few books, including your short story collection wings. Do you have an email address to which you would like me to send the copy edits for those stories?

  20. Sarah, I think you misunderstand.

    It’s not “Burn it all down.”

    It’s “Let it burn.”

    If we could torch the education system, the NEA, DEA, or the rest of the alphabet soup, we would have by now. It hasn’t happened. It’s not going to happen. Not enough people understand that these things are the problem, and the ones that do understand have no means of explaining it to the ones that don’t. They will not hear. We’re all racists and bad people.

    The system has all the levers of power in its own hands. It has no intention of giving that power up.

    This has been true since the last election. The day Mitt Romney was scolded and meme-branded for bragging about seeking out women to hire, it became abundantly clear that truth did not matter to enough of the voters that the system can rig the game whichever way it wants. Enough of the voters are so transfixed by the need to signal their virtue in whatever way MiniTruth commands them that an election about the state of the nation and what can be done about it is impossible.

    And whoever wins this one will have no legitimacy in the eyes of half the population. Not just “I wish this person were not president, but I’ll deal with it.” I mean, “This person is a fraudulent pile of scum and an insult to our nation.” Regardless of who wins.

    It’s going to get bad. Not apocalypse bad, not Mad Max bad. But Roman Empire bad. Fools cannot have liberty, and we have too many fools among us.

    You abjure me to fight. With what? Words? I’ve been doing that for a decade-plus. I’ve only seen things get worse. With my fists? A .380 Sig Sauer? I can post my defiance until doomsday, and nothing will matter. Ride herd on my congresscritter? Bah. They’re all playing the Game of Thrones over there. Even if I had my guy 100% on the priorities, there’s 434 others to be contended with.

    Fools will return to their folly, even as a dog returns to his vomit. The apes do not understand what they are doing.

    So I’m not the one running around with the matches. I’ve just stopped trying to put the fires out with my hands. The people want the fire, and this is a democracy. So let the common get what he wants — good and hard.

    • No, I’m not misunderstanding (I’m also not reading your whole post. I’m busy) they actively want things to burn down. From cursory look you appear to also. There isn’t a way to set fire to the rats without taking the barn. Have another think.

      • You’re busy, so I won’t trouble to reply to a cursory read. Have a good day.

        • Sir, when you dump a wall of text in a single comment, yeah, I’m too busy to parse the “we don’t want to burn it down, but we want it to burn down.” It’s not like you’re the first one saying that.
          And I still say “No, we will not let you burn it down, you infantile, undisciplined children. The left worked at this for 100 years, but you want results the day you notice something is wrong.”

          • I seem to have made all my points badly. When I said I wasn’t going to reply to a cursory read, I meant only that. Obviously you’re under no obligation to read comments. Snark not intended (like I said, badly).

            For the rest, fine. I’ll be happy to be wrong.

        • You’re busy, so I won’t trouble to reply to a cursory read. Have a good day.

          Way to be a passive-aggressive assclown. You act like it’s anybody’s farking duty to read your wall’o’text, and when they don’t, you get to preen about how SUPERIAH you are. What’s pathetic is that you’re not an outlier, this is what passes for public debate this year.

          • Believe it or not, I wasn’t going for that. But this is the internet, and I should have known better. Mea culpa.

            • If you’re interested, you might try making the most important point in the difference between the two burnings in as short a manner as possible.

              There’s a lot of folks here who…what was that line, I think it was one of the Inklings, “please forgive this long letter, I haven’t the time to write a short one”?

              If folks draw a distinction in the first section that doesn’t work, then the rest gets skipped.

              I don’t know if you’ve read the stuff from about a week back, but one of the other folks who made a point about just not fighting them anymore was answered by it being pointed out that we’re not fighting to defeat them, we’re fighting for what we love.

              Forest fire or arson, doesn’t much matter when your life has been destroyed.

            • Believe it or not, I wasn’t going for that. But this is the internet, and I should have known better. Mea culpa.

              It’s not just “the internet”, it’s the fact that, especially recently, everyfuckingbody who is a new commenter has been a dishonest, manipulative, kafkatrapping, douchecanoe peacock who uses words not to express ideas, but to elicit a desired reaction so that they can peacock around elsewhere crowing about scoring points in some stupid social game.

              Rational discourse is not thin on the ground, it is nonexistent of late. Everything, everything is about manipulating people into pre-determined reactions, to support the commenter’s confirmation bias.

              If that’s not you, good. But I’m afraid you came across like that, and strongly.

              • I intended only “All right, no reason to proceed then.” Because I was trying argue a nuance, and going at Sarah for not catching that when she didn’t want to read the damn thing in the first place seemed like a waste of both our breaths.

                But yeah, it’s getting hard to be succinct without sounding smug.

                “Rational discourse is not thin on the ground, it is nonexistent of late. Everything, everything is about manipulating people into pre-determined reactions, to support the commenter’s confirmation bias.”

                This, this right here, is what feeds my despair. It’s what makes me think I’m trying to fight Leviathan with a plastic sword.

                But “dishonest, manipulative, kafkatrapping, douchecanoe peacock” is fine invective that made me laugh. So there’s that.

                • This, this right here, is what feeds my despair. It’s what makes me think I’m trying to fight Leviathan with a plastic sword.

                  Hm… y’know, that might actually work….

                  Write the world so that the dinosaurs were actually wiped out by a meteor, which would make “dinosaur juice” (oil, which is used to make plastic) star-stuff rather than the bones of the world, and if you make Leviathan intelligent enough to have done protections against stuff that was only star-metal…..

                  **********

                  We have had an influx of folks who go zero-to-psycho-attack of late. Probably got a link on someone’s facebook.

        • I would just like to reiterate: “No, we will not let you burn it down, you infantile, undisciplined children. The left worked at this for 100 years, but you want results the day you notice something is wrong.”

          What we have is far too valuable to let y’all burn it down without a fight.

    • Fools cannot have liberty, and we have too many fools among us.

      Folly. An eternal argument as there will always be fools. There will also always be people who will decide that there are too many fools to allow people liberty, among whom some who believe that they should take control because they know what it necessary and right for the rest of us fools.

      We try to fool proof the world and it won’t work. The more we try the worse it gets. I believe in liberty. It is not perfect, but as long as people are involved there will never be perfect.

      BTW: This was not intended to be a democracy, it was set up as a democratic republic. The Founders understood the problems of mob rule they feared it.

      • That’s all well and good. But when those who understand that are being reliably and consistently outvoted by said fools, then the problem is deeper.

        I want a way forward. I’m not seeing one right now.

        • Join the club. I am older than dirt. I read history. I thought I had already seen the worst choice election of a lifetime, possibly of our history, but, no, they had to surprise me and top it by a mile. *sigh*

          I am sorry about it, but as frustrating as things are, there really are no quick fixes. It takes hard work and discipline on the part each and every generation.

        • It’s not clear yet, and some of it is the technology change. We’re going to eat live slugs for twenty years. Ask me again afterwards.

        • One foot in front of the other. Prepare yourself. Prepare your children. Teach them well. Teach anyone it’s given you to teach. Encourage those around you. Take encouragement from those around you. Days are dark, but even a small candle can do much to stand against the darkness… and it can light others… as well as relight those whom darkness has tried to claim. There is a way through. It’s not easy to find and there are many false trails, as well as areas where there seem to be no trail at all, but the wood is not endless and the night still has stars and candles. Dawn will come.

      • The problem is that it doesn’t matter two damns what it was set up as; what you’ve GOT is a fraud-riddled warm-body democracy in which the fools and parasites and tyrants can out-vote and out fraud us and everyone like us. And since they will use the men with guns to keep power, we will not get back to what was intended without using guns ourselves.

        • The fraud is addressable, and in many states is being addressed — in spite of organized opposition from those who would rule the mob.

          Neither presidential candidate is acceptable to me, but one is more unacceptable than the other, and this is partly why:

          … I want to appoint Supreme Court justices who understand the way the world really works, who have real-life experience, who have not just been in a big law firm and maybe clerked for a judge and then gotten on the bench, but, you know, maybe they tried some more cases, they actually understand what people are up against.

          Because I think the current court has gone in the wrong direction. And so I would want to see the Supreme Court reverse Citizens United and get dark, unaccountable money out of our politics. Donald doesn’t agree with that.

          I would like the Supreme Court to understand that voting rights are still a big problem in many parts of our country, that we don’t always do everything we can to make it possible for people of color and older people and young people to be able to exercise their franchise. I want a Supreme Court that will stick with Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose, and I want a Supreme Court that will stick with marriage equality.

          Now, Donald has put forth the names of some people that he would consider. And among the ones that he has suggested are people who would reverse Roe v. Wade and reverse marriage equality. I think that would be a terrible mistake and would take us backwards.

          I want a Supreme Court that doesn’t always side with corporate interests. I want a Supreme Court that understands because you’re wealthy and you can give more money to something doesn’t mean you have any more rights or should have any more rights than anybody else.

          So I have very clear views about what I want to see to kind of change the balance on the Supreme Court.

          As Yuval Levin at National Review notes, “Pretty much none of this has anything to do with the role that judges should play in our system of government. It is not about how to interpret the Constitution and the laws but about what policies and outcomes to advance. It is the job description of a liberal political activist, and Clinton is not hiding her intentions to appoint liberal political activists to rubber stamp the left’s agenda from the Court.”

          It is only a Republic if we can keep it. In the states we are seeing gains and in a decade or two those gains might, if we are persistent, make themselves felt nationally.

          Burn it all down? Disastrous. let it burn? Same result. Make a backfire to limit the effects and buy time to rebuild? That is an approach which makes sense.

  21. I can deal with that.